Look new bar ware

Look new bar ware

Readers often comment on the seemingly bottomless contents of our liquor cabinet. But we really don’t have every mixer on the planet. Sometimes we pool our resources and head to a friend’s house where Campari is stocked and the Mad Men glasses are just begging to be photographed.


  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth

Mix liquors together in a strainer filled with ice. Strain into glass and drink.

Posted in Food, Recipes, Spirits | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Veal Shoulder Roast

Those folks seem to be ready for the roast right away

Those folks seem to be ready for the roast right away

This is a great way to use a tender tasty veal shoulder. Pork will also work, but not nearly as well.

Roasted Veal Shoulder Rubbed with Basil

  • 4 lb veal shoulder bone removed
  • 6 large cloves garlic minced
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 10-12 large basil leaves diced fine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 8-10 juniper berries ground into a powder
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine

Take everything but the meat and wine and blend into a thick paste. Open up roast and rub mixture into meat. Roll roast back up and tie tightly with baking twine. Let roast marinate for at least two but up to eight hours. Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, place on a roasting rack and pour wine into base of pan. Cook at 345 degrees until internal temperature reads 140 degrees. Remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes before slicing.

Posted in Beef, Dinner, Food, Italian, Recipes | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Carrot and Red Bell Pepper Soup

That's gooooooooooood soup

That’s gooooooooooood soup

The secret to this soup is the toasted bread rubbed with garlic. Dip it or pour the soup over it at the bottom of the bowl.

The other secret is really fresh carrots and bell pepper.

Carrot and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

  • 1 large red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 lb carrots washed and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 loaf baguette cut into 1/4″ thick slices
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Place pepper halves under the broiler and roast until skin is charred. Place halves in a paper sack and let cool completely. Peel off skin and roughly chop. Chop white part of leeks into small chunks. Chop 1/2 cup of the inner green part into thin slices and set aside for garnish. Brush bread with olive oil on each side and toast until golden brown flipping once. While hot rub bread with a clove of garlic and set aside. In a large stock pot melt butter over medium low heat and add leeks and carrots. Cover and sweat vegetables for five minutes. Add oregano, season with salt and pepper and continue to sweat another 10 minutes. Uncover and add stock and red bell pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer until vegetables are very tender and stock is reduced by a third. Blend soup into a fine puree and press through a strainer back into stock pot. Add cream, bring back to a simmer a cook until it reaches the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper and serve with toasted bread or over bread topped with sliced green part of leeks.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Garden, Italian, Recipes, Soups, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Fall and Winter Garden

What is hiding under all that soil

What is hiding under all that soil

For those folks who have not already done so, now is the time to plant for anything that needs to overwinter, like garlic and carrots. It is also time to plant for the fall garden here in the south. Anyone in a cooler climate probably should have done that in August.

This year I am trying turnips along with the garlic and carrots to see how they survive over the winter. I am hoping for a early spring harvest but since this is my first attempt time will tell. For the fall I planted spinach and Swiss chard and I hope to get another crop of eggplant and green peppers along with the greens. I also may get another crop of tomatoes but that would just be crazy.

For those who are wondering yes that is a giant basil plant in the background.

Posted in Garden, How to | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Sunday Suppers: Fall Garden

Here are some meatless options for a nice fall feast.

Start with a mushroom soup

Happiness in a bowl

Happiness in a bowl

A nice rice dish

As you wish....

As you wish….

and some pears for dessert

The sky is the limit for filling

The sky is the limit for filling

Posted in Dessert, Dinner, Food, Rice/Risotto, Soups, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Barbcue Rib Calzones

Putting hot pockets to shame

Putting hot pockets to shame

By Katherine

I have a terrible confession: After almost a decade in the South I’m a little tired of barbecue ribs. OK, a lot tired. Do you know how much meat sticks in your teeth and how many napkins you go through eating just one rib? This puts me at odds with the master smoker in the house who would love ribs every weekend. These calzones are the perfect compromise. I didn’t have to gnaw on a bone and Greg still got to enjoy some smoked meat.

Barbecue Calzones

For the Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue meat (shredded rib, pork etc.)
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 large pepper, diced
  •  1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  • salt/pepper to taste

For Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water, plus extra water as needed

Let yeast sit until bubbles form on surface, about five minutes. In a large bowl mix flour and salt and then create a well in the center. Add oil to yeast and pour into center of flour. Scoop sides of flour into liquid mixing well. Add more warm water a tablespoon at a time until dough forms a rough mass that barely holds together. Remove from bowl and knead by hand for 10 minutes. As you knead, the dough will become more pliable and smooth. If after five minutes it has not begun to soften add more water. If it seems too soupy or sticky add some flour, but again wait five minutes to do so. When done the dough should be very smooth and not sticky at all. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise for two hours. Punch down dough and form into two balls. Let rest 10 minutes before rolling out for calzones.

To assemble calzones, roll out each ball of dough into an even rectangle or oval about 1/4 inch thick. Spread half the barbecue sauce on one side leaving a 1/2 inch border. Make sure there’s plenty of room to fold the dough over without stretching it. Top with meat, veggies and cheese. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges together to make a seal. Brush with olive oil and dust with grated Romano if desired. Bake at 400 until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Italian, Pork, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Potato Scones

The scones are just a small part of breakfast

The scones are just a small part of breakfast

For a true Irish breakfast don’t forget the black pudding, rashers, bangers, tomato and toast. Cheese, fruit and sweet baked goods are just an added suggestion.

Potato tatties refrigerate really well and warm up in the toaster like crumpets so make a double batch and enjoy all week long. The potatoes can be skinned or not, and any potato will work, but go for the waxier varieties if possible.

Potato Tatties

  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup flour
  • *1tsp chopped fresh herb of choice*

Boil potatoes until fork tender then drain and mash to a smooth consistency. Add melted butter, salt and herbs if using. Whip till smooth then add flour a little at a time. Knead into a smooth but soft dough adding as much flour as needed. Roll out into a 1/8″ thick sheet and slice into triangles or squares. Heat a griddle or cast iron pan over medium and fry scones in more butter until crispy and brown. Serve hot.

*Optional. I like using oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme, or anything on hand that is fresh.

Posted in Breakfast, Food, Recipes, Sides, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments