New England Steamer Clam Chowder with Fennel

We call it chowdah, a regional staple with the flavor of the sea.  A friend of mine asked me for a clam chowder recipe recently, and I told her to check my blog. However, there wasn’t one there! I checked my family cookbook, and I didn’t include one there either, lots of other chowdahs, but…

A Yankee’s Shrimp and Grits with Asparagus

It may not be a traditional Southern Shrimp and Grits, but this dish is packed with flavor and freshness! Grits were not a part of my childhood cuisine. In fact, I never tasted them until I was an adult and actually lived in the South. I must confess, my first encounter with them was as…

Fiddlehead Ferns a May Day Delight!

You have to prepare them correctly or you’ll never eat them a second time. But it is easy, and one of the treasurers of our Northern woodlands. May Day. A perfect day! 60 degrees, blue sky, a gentle breeze, and everything is greening and blossoming. My peas and lettuce are up, tulips and violets bloom….

Spring Sorrel and Parsnip Soup

It’s time to make a spring tonic soup since the ice is out at Joe’s Pond! Ah, April. Just when we thought it was safe to ditch the boots and winter coats, just as the daffodils delight with their beautiful spring show, we had a spring snow storm that left thousands without power.  The ice…

Pineapple Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

My mother always made a ham at Easter. She cut crisscross marks all over, slathered it in mustard and brown sugar, sometimes varying the topping. One of my first jobs was putting the little whole cloves in each intersection of the cuts. Toward the end of baking, she adorned the entire ham with pineapple rings…

Potato Crusted Sesame Tuna with Spicy Lime Dressing

Lightly seared tuna is a once in a while indulgence, and sesame is always a great partner. My mother-in-law Pat was an accomplished chef and she taught me quite a few little tricks of the trade. One of her favorite ingredients to sneak into a high-end meal was potato flakes! This humble ingredient makes pretty…

Baked Tofu with Mustard Cream Succotash and Fregula

Heavenly. Creamy. This dish made with veggies tucked in your freezer is good for you too! The garden is offering up a few chives right now, and this weekend I’ll tuck some lettuce in the cold-frame to at least give the illusion of gardening season starting. The squill is blooming, the daffodils are budding, and…

(Today’s)Yankee Bean and Macaroni Soup

A New England classic that stands the test of time – inexpensive, quick, and really tasty. When I was growing up, Mom often put together a “Yankee Bean Soup” using leftover beans from another meal and a ham bone for flavor. It was a quick meal, tasty, filling, and usually served up with biscuits. There…

Colcannon Cabbage Wraps with French-Fried Potato Peels

Rustic, tasty, filling, inexpensive, but also worthy of company. Who could ask for anything more? The Irish in me looks forward to St. Patrick’s Day cooking because there is usually a potato involved! One of my favorite country dishes is colcannon, a humble bowl of mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage a few scallions…

Shiitake Mushroom Noodle Soup with Peas Three Ways

Shiitake mushrooms are the star here, but peas three ways are perfect supporting actors. Growing up, my uncle Leonard and Aunt Mary were neighbors. He was a great forager of many wild delights, especially mushrooms. From a young age, I learned to love the flavor of chanterelles, hen of the woods (maitake), morels, and other…

Cajun Seafood Pot Pie

Time to celebrate Spring, Mardi Gras, and perhaps a Birthday! I celebrate the seasons along with the meteorologists. Spring begins on March 1 in my book, and no one usually argues the point. Of course, in Vermont, March, and even April for that matter, often looks more like winter than spring, but some years we…

If you don’t like the weather…

In New England, we’re told if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute and it will change. This is quite often true! So let’s just cook. In the past week, we’ve gone from temperatures below zero to shirt-sleeve weather. We’ve had snow, rain, sunshine, sleet, mud, and a howling wind storm. Yesterday morning I…

Noodles with Tuna and Peas

Tastier and easier than that retro Tuna Noodle Casserole you may have grown up with (or not!). We have a vegan version too! I did not grow up with Tuna Noodle Casserole in our home. I guess my mother did not like it, or my dad! She loved egg noodles though, and usually served them…

Potato and Carrot Soup garnished with a few memories

It’s still cold and icy, so it’s time for comfort soup. In this house, that probably means potatoes and usually soup. There’s both a shrimp and a vegan version! It’s been cold and icy, and February arrived this week reminding us that even though the sunlight is slowing returning, we are still sitting firmly in…

Swiss Chard with Potatoes and Yellow-Eyed Beans

These New England staples combine for a memorable winter supper that is packed with flavor and nutrition. Our family’s favorite green in the garden when we were growing up was Swiss chard, and it remains one of my personal favorites to this day. In addition to being tasty, it is easy to grow, you can…

Weeknight Mushroom Tetrazzini

If you like a Tetrazzini, you will love this vegetarian version that is filled with mushroom flavor. There’s a baked version with crispy top as well! Like much of the east coast, we had a beautiful snowfall this week. I love a snow day of cooking or baking, making a big mess in the kitchen…

Purple Reigns Salad

Purple reigns in this salad, and all that color means it’s loaded with lots of healthful nutrients, a nice boost on those low energy days! We’re two weeks in the month of January, often the Season of Resolutions and quests for foods that are nutritious but also hearty where the weather is cold, and it’s…

Winter Veggie Stew: A study in orange

This soup is flavorful and warming, and on a cold winter’s night, a welcome supper. It has been grey here in Vermont. Tuesday, we had a bit of sun for a while, but for the most part, the last two weeks have been black and white with a bit of holiday red tossed in. The…

Tomato Rice with Broccoli Rabe and Roasted Garlic

It’s tasty and economical, and with a few additions this humble dish can star at a dinner party! From Mexico to Malaysia, and just about everywhere else, there are recipes for simple rice and tomato dishes that offer a wide variety of flavors and options. A base for the simple or the complicated, they create…

French Lentils with Hakurei Turnips and Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is delicious on a cold autumn night. Lentils are hearty and satisfying, and the addition of the turnips and sweet potatoes round out the flavors, textures, and nutrition in this dish. You can serve it straight up, or dress it up for company with a piece of fish or tofu.  The base of…

Omelet with Nantucket Bay Scallops and Peas

When they are in season, Nantucket Bay Scallops are a treasure from our New England waters. If you are lucky enough to travel to Nantucket Island, Mass., from November to March, plan to dine at one of the fabulous seafood restaurants and look for their bay scallop dishes. You won’t be disappointed. The best in…