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Italian Ingredients

Blond Puttanesca, with a twist.

I love the New York Times Cooking website. The authors and chefs inspire me to think outside of my cooking comfort zone and as a result, I have explored foods and regional recipes that I may have never thought to do. While the recipes are fantastic in their own rite, I feel compelled to amend and alter them…I cannot help myself. I strongly suggest you subscribe to the daily/weekly emails for fun and inspiration.  The nominal subscription fee is well…

Nice Melons! Summer Melon Salad.

Summertime smells rival the smell of apples and cider in the fall. Fruit is so plentiful right now and walking through the Troy Farmer’s Market on Saturday it was almost intoxicating. Melons, berries, and peaches are so plentiful. When the temperatures get high and the desire for quick and easy meals are imperative, I look for something I can make and use in multiple ways. This is one of those recipes- Melon Salad. What you need: 1 honeydew melon -…

Italian Style Cowboy Caviar.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with some international influence. It’s summertime and you are stumped with trying to take something new and different to your family or friend’s picnic. Traditional Cowboy Caviar is a super easy 15-minute dish that is hearty and healthy. My sister-in-law Celeste made for a picnic last Sunday. It was spectacular. But that got me thinking: What can I do to this to make it more of a meal and change it up with an Italian…

My Take on Tuna Poke Bowls

Let's get to this fun and easy dinner dish but, first, let’s say it correctly. It is pronounced poh-kay and it means “to cut crosswise into pieces.” This beautiful creation began in Hawaii as a simple dish of marinated tuna mixed with assorted items that they had on hand such as onion, seaweed, wasabi, and kimchee. The dish became popular in the 1970’s for fisherman who needed a quick and easy snack. I liken it to the many simple and…

Spectacular Soft-Shell Crab.

If you have never tried soft-shell crabs in any way, shape, or form, you are missing out on a spring palate rite of passage! Recipes are plentiful this time of year but I love this particular version from MELISSA CLARK and the New York Times Cooking website.  Of course, I took some liberty, but the basic recipe is Ms. Clark’s: What you need: 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature ¾ cup arugula leaves, stems trimmed 1 tablespoon…