Food and Recipes

The Secret's in the Sauce

Photo by Asha Loupy for Food52 I was riding with a friend the other day and we were chatting about cooking. It seems she doesn’t cook much and I added, quite sincerely, that I cook pretty simple meals myself, especially in the summer. I noticed she gave me a little side-eye as I continued, “ I just like to have one or two great sauces on hand, then grill a piece of meat or f…

Chef Bill Smith: Hunter and Gatherer

                            I am lucky to live most of the year in Chapel Hill, NC, a vibrant college town which has a long tradition as a true culinary center in the South. Not one, but two establishments are James Beard Award winners: Andrea Reusing's Asian fusion, Lantern and Crook's Corner, Chef Bill Smith's me…

Fairy Tale Cooking

I love cooking Fairy Tale eggplant. My friend, Susie Middleton introduced me to the variety which she and Roy Riley grow on Green Island Farm in West Tisbury. They are a wonderful source for some of the most interesting and delicious Martha's Vineyard produce.  I’ve lost count of the blue ribbons the farm has won at the Agricultural Fair. As you can see from the photo the eggp…

Gazpacho Two Ways

My summertime kitchen makes me feel like I am living the most luxurious life.  I can bring in an armload of flowers for the table from my garden. The produce is plentiful, the fish the freshest imaginable. Local farmers sell their chicken, ducks, lamb and pork at the market. But there is another luxurious ingredient ..a little extra time. Today started out a little hectic..making airl…

Spring Risotto

There are few dishes that are both totally versatile, providing the blank canvas that I love and that are also an easy-to-assemble first class comfort food. Every spring I like to make a risotto using the fresh vegetables and greens that are readily available in my garden or at the market. I also like to serve risottos for entertaining- making a luscious and satisfying one dish main course…

Wind Chill Chinese Chicken Pot

The title is pretty self explanatory. It is January 7th, 2014 and almost 200 million people in the US are suffering the extreme cold of the Polar Vortex. Chapel Hill is COLD with a wind chill of around -10 degrees this morning.   This is how the Polar Vortex played out at our house. Of course, food was a main character. On Friday, Buck and I took our first, long anticipated trip to…

Julia "Who"

It was 4:30 in the afternoon when the phone rang. It was Doris Koplin, Chairperson of the local planning committee and  longtime friend. She got right to the point. “Do you have room for two more for dinner?” I hedged. Hmm...I’d have to re-set some tables, re-portion some food. She continued without missing a beat, “Julia loved your menu and wants to come to yo…

Clam Digging

I never cook clams in Martha's Vineyard that I don't think about the first time our family went clam digging... We waited all day for the rain to stop and it was late afternoon when the sun broke through. We gathered rakes and buckets and water shoes. The water continued its drip off the roof and sprawling oaks as we piled into Audrey, our ancient station wagon, a rusty retiree from the c…

"Top Chef" Meets Google

 My husband eyes the overstuffed bags of groceries in the back of the car and starts hauling them in. “I know why you got so much food,” he said. “Our son is coming home.”  “Yeah, and I now I am competing with Google”, I replied.   Most kids away from home and out in the business world are nostalgic for their mom’s home cooking…

Beach Breakfast

If you are hungry when visiting my house, then it is your own fault. At least that is what I tell any guest who is reticent to rummage through my fridge and pantry to find a snack or lunch, but especially breakfast. I generally don't prepare breakfast for anyone but myself. In fact, with all my work lately to get my book out, I try to block off every morning for writing and website work, e…