Black Bean Raspberry Dip

When your job entails writing for a lifestyle magazine, sometimes a local caterer will “spill the beans” and send a great recipe your way. So was the case with this tasty dip, which marries flavors I would never have thought to bring together. Roanoke’s Tracy Hamilton seeks out a special raspberry salsa to make thisContinue reading “Black Bean Raspberry Dip”

Potato Pancakes

When I say, “potato pancakes,” you likely head right to, “Hanukkah.” But I think March is the ideal month for frying up a batch. They bridge winter and spring, a hearty comfort food that pairs perfectly with an early season salad — a few spinach leaves, some lettuce from our cold frame, sprouts we’re growing on ourContinue reading “Potato Pancakes”

Spinach Artichoke Dip

There’s nothing like a great app — it keeps the dinner hunger at bay, it’s great for a party, heck, sometimes we even make a meal out of a couple apps and some fruit. I’ve made my fair share of artichoke dips over the years but when I started experimenting this time around, I wanted lessContinue reading “Spinach Artichoke Dip”

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  I have tried dozens of ways to make roasted pumpkin seeds, some to better effect than others. My favorite method of the moment is detailed below. Spicy and sweet variations follow the basic recipe. Ingredients One medium-sized pumpkin fine sea salt olive or coconut oil Instructions Cut open the pumpkin by carving a circle aroundContinue reading “Roasted Pumpkin Seeds”

Roasted Figs with Honey and Cheese

I have eaten and enjoyed fresh figs but never cooked with them. When I happened upon some local figs, I got busy researching. Here’s my takeaway: You want your figs to be really, really ripe. If you’ve never tried them, think grapes. You eat the skin and all, and they have something of a sweet-but-muskyContinue reading “Roasted Figs with Honey and Cheese”

Blue Cheese Herb Spread

I love having an easy app on the table when hungry hubby and on-their-way-to-cranky kids all pile into the kitchen at the end of the day. I typically have a good half-hour of cooking left when this convergence occurs, but with a plate full of pesto cheese straws or a fresh batch of salsa at the ready, IContinue reading “Blue Cheese Herb Spread”

Sausage and Apple Stuffing Bites

At some point over the last few years, I saw this recipe in a beautiful Food & Wine magazine edition, ripped it out and tucked it away for later. As we are in juicy-apple-and-freshly-processed-local-pork season, when I came across the page recently, I knew that “later” was now. My family has gobbled this delicious and funContinue reading “Sausage and Apple Stuffing Bites”

Guacamole

  Guacamole may be my favorite condiment/sauce/topping on the planet. I love the creaminess of the avocado, the kick of the peppers and the medley of flavors that the tomato, cilantro and onion bring to the plate. Like any dish, the better the ingredients, the better the end result. I want my avocados soft, but notContinue reading “Guacamole”

Plain Old Hummus

Hummus is big these days as a nutritious food, beloved by kids, that can double as dip, lunch or dinner. There are endless varieties of veggies and spices that can be mixed in, but in my house plain old hummus is the jam. I’ve served this recipe for years in my own kitchen and asContinue reading “Plain Old Hummus”

Rosemary Roasted Chestnuts

  I spent much of my fall scoring and peeling, cooking and tasting the once-beloved and now nearly forgotten chestnut. I wrote about my journey from chestnut ambivalence to embrace here and then I took my recipes on the road to my local TV daytime show, Daytime Blue Ridge. The upshot is: Do try this at home.Continue reading “Rosemary Roasted Chestnuts”