Make Mine Mexican

  My husband is half Italian-American and nowhere is this clearer than the kitchen. Whether he’s stirring up marinara from a recipe encoded in his DNA or pressing pizzelle at Christmas or building his tasty sausage lasagna layer by layer, Italian cuisine is his comfort zone. My heritage is more complicated: English, German, Eastern European butContinue reading “Make Mine Mexican”

Cookie Fever

  Honestly, I’m not sure what’s gotten into me. It’s June and my garden is up and growing. I’ve got leafy greens winding down, raspberries coming in, zucchini flowers begging for me to sauté them. But somehow I keep reaching for my large mixing bowl and reflexively softening two sticks of butter. Yes, it’s cookie-making that keepsContinue reading “Cookie Fever”

Salad Days

  There’s been a stretch of hot here in Southwest Virginia and it’s spelling the end of what has been a wonderful few months of salad eating. We had red leaf lettuce from our cold frame in the chill of March and since late April we’ve been eating from a beautiful bed of mixed lettuces and endive, arugula andContinue reading “Salad Days”

Inspiration

What inspires you? People? Places? Experiences? Lately, I’ve sensed inspiration all around. Spring will do that to a girl. But also I’ve lately encountered wisdom-filled conversations and travel to thrumming cities. Like I said, inspiration everywhere. So … time for a little sharing. First, my profile of a man who has been inspiring gardeners forContinue reading “Inspiration”

Giving Chestnuts Another Go

My first encounter with a chestnut was in my friend’s backyard. She and her family have a beautiful chestnut tree whose branches reach across their whole lot, providing shade and climbing for her three boys — even supporting a swank treehouse. So when I asked if she might have a few extra nuts for meContinue reading “Giving Chestnuts Another Go”

Celebrations

  Thursday is Thanksgiving — a time to gather with family and friends, a day to indulge and relax. It’s an occasion to count our blessings and to spend time romping in the chilly sunshine and lounging in front of televised parades.      It’s also the only holiday I can think of that isContinue reading “Celebrations”

Eating My Way Through Virginia’s Wine Country

  For four days I lived someone else’s life.      I drove along country lanes connecting horse farms and wineries and estates, and ate multi-course breakfasts, lunches and dinners cooked by celebrated chefs often working just a few feet away from where I dined.      I stayed at resorts and in manor housesContinue reading “Eating My Way Through Virginia’s Wine Country”