Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunshine Peach Cobbler

My friend Kathy has been bringing peaches to work for lunch all week. I have also seen them for sale in the grocery store. So I have peaches on my mind. The fact that I live in Florida means that I have access to fresh Georgia peaches. Georgia peaches come to market in May and last until around the end of August. Sadly, peach season is ending. So you should make this dessert right away. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait another year to enjoy summer in a bowl.

Servings: 8-10
Time: Prep: 15 minutes, cooking: 55 minutes
Hardware: Measuring cups and spoons, knives, cutting board, wooden spoon, sauce pan, mixing bowl, and a 13”x 9” glass baking dish

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices-5 to 6 peaches
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons orange preserves

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. Put the butter in the glass dish and put it in the pre-heating oven to allow it to melt.
  3. Remove the glass dish from the oven.
  4. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; add the milk, stir until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
  5. Pour the batter over the butter. DO NOT stir.
  6. Mix the corn starch in the orange juice until it dissolves.
  7. Put the peach slices, brown sugar, orange juice and orange preserves in the sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
  8. Pour the peaches over the batter. DO NOT STIR.
  9. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until it is golden brown.
 Serve the cobbler warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It also tastes great at room temperature.
Hint, Hint:  Learn how to peel a peach here

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saint Marta's Sauté

Marta was the sister of Mary of Bethany and Lazarus. The name Marta means mistress of the house. When Jesus came to visit, she happily cooked for Him. Because of this she is sometimes referred to as the patron saint of cooks and entertaining. This dish is named in honor of Marta.

Servings: 4
Time: Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 15 minutes
Hardware: measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a large heavy bottom skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a large pot, a colander, a wooden spoon, a serving bowl

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 6 ounces of portabelloa mushrooms-two large mushrooms
  • 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil-this is about ½ cup-drained 
  • 6 ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts-do not drain.
  • ½ pound (31-35 count) shrimp (You can usually buy these from your fish monger already cleaned. It saves so much time.)
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese
  • 8 ounces of uncooked fettuccine
  • Salt
We eat first with our eyes
  1. Put 4 quarts of salted water on to boil.
  2. Mince the garlic. Clean and roughly chop the mushrooms. Chop the tomatoes. Rinse the shrimp and remove their tails. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter in the skillet on medium low. Allow the butter to melt. This should take 2 minutes or so.
  4. The water should be boiling by now. Place the pasta in the boiling water. Allow the pasta to return to a boil and cook for 11 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. When the pasta returns to a boil you can start on the sauce. Turn the heat under the butter up to medium and add the garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, and the entire contents of the jar of artichokes, including the liquid. Adjust the heat until the dish is bubbling. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms begin to give up their liquid. Nothing should be browning. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir this occasionally.
  6. When the mushrooms begin to look soft, add the shrimp to the pan. Cook this just until the shrimp turn pink. This should take 2 or 3 minutes.
  7. When the shrimp is no longer translucent remove the pan from the heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sour cream.
  8. Drain the pasta but do not rinse it. Place the pasta in the serving dish and toss with the butter sauce. Crumble the feta cheese over the dish.
    • Never rinse pasta.  The outside of cooked pasta is starchy and will quickly absorb the flavor of the sauce you add it to.  If you rinse the pasta, you rinse off the starch.  Also, you should try to get the pasta into the sauce as quickly as possible.  It will soak up the sauce faster.

 Serve immediately. Offer your guests more crumbled feta at the table.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sausage Cheese Grits

Last spring, I took my niece Allie to New York City as a thirteenth birthday present. One morning we decided to eat at a brunch buffet. Allie went from hot pan to hot pan searching. “Can I help you find something?” a friendly server asked. “I’m lookin’ for grits,” Allie smiled back. The server made a face like he had just sucked a lemon, “We do not serve grits.” “Well,” Allie looked him square in the eye, “Ya’ll are makin’ a mistake.”

She was right.

Servings: 4 main course or 6 side dishes
Hardware: knife and cutting board, measuring spoons and cups, no powder latex gloves, a large heavy skillet with a lid (preferably cast iron), and a wooden spoon
Time: Prep 5 minutes, cooking 15

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Italian sausage link (¼ pound)
  • 1 small onion minced (½ cup)
  • 1 small jalapeño
    • The seeds and the white ribs of a pepper contain capsaicin, which is the chemical responsible for the heat. So remove these if you prefer less heat. Always seed and chop peppers using gloves.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup quick grits
  • ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • S&P
These are slap your mama good!

  1. Wash and mince the chives. Set these aside.
  2. Mince the onions,the smaller the better.
  3. Wearing the gloves, seed and chop the pepper.
  4. Heat the oil in the skillet on medium. Remove the sausage from the casing. Put the sausage, onion, and pepper in the skillet. Cook and crumble the sausage, until it’s no longer pink. This should take about 7 minutes. 
  5. Stir in the milk and water. When the mixture has begun to boil, slowly stir in the grits.
  6. Allow the grits to return to a boil, stirring the whole time.
  7. Reduce the grits to low, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir often.
  8. Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter, and chives.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
 Serve immediately. Garnish with more cheese and a sprinkle of chopped chives.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gurkensalat (Cucumber Salad)

My friend Pat’s mother is from Germany. She has served this many times at picnics. It is creamy, bright, and refreshing. I tried to recreate her dish. This isn’t quite as wonderful as Maria’s, but it is still tasty.

Servings: 4
Time: 20 minutes
Hardware: Measuring cups and spoons, a vegetable peeler, cutting board and knife, a colander, a bowl

Das schmeckt sehr gut.
This tastes very good.
  • 1 English cucumber, these are long, skinny, and seedless (You can substitute 2 regular cukes, but you must seed them.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Fresh black pepper
  1. Peel the cucumber. Slice it into very thin 2 inch strips.
  2. Place the cucumber in the colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow it to rest over the sink for 15 minutes.
  3. While the cucumber is resting, mix together everything but the pepper.
  4. Squeeze as much of the water as possible from the cucumbers and mix them into the dressing.
  5. Top with a few grinds of pepper.
You can serve this right away or place it in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld.