The Wonder Of Store-Bought Crackers

I have a deep affinity for crackers.  Not gourmet varieties, or even homemade, but good old plain Jane everyday crackers, be it Captain’s wafers, or saltines, and especially any kind that comes two-to-a-pack.   I don’t think anyone needs a reason to like crackers  but my fondness, I am certain, begins with my childhood memory of … Continue reading The Wonder Of Store-Bought Crackers

RECIPE CARD: All-American Crab Cakes

I can't tell you how many times I made crab cakes while working at different restaurants.  I am pretty sure even I don't  want to know.  What I do know is many times they had lots of flavors sans one, crab and I often thought the cakes were more bread crumb than crab.  So here … Continue reading RECIPE CARD: All-American Crab Cakes

Octopus and Potato Salad with a Tomato Vinaigrette

I like the unexpected.  Especially when it is something new to me, or it tastes and sounds exotic but in reality it has a longstanding history—a marriage of flavors that is natural. Flavors tried and tested over time, in this case,  in towns all across Portugal. Octopus is a food that falls into a category … Continue reading Octopus and Potato Salad with a Tomato Vinaigrette

Pan Bagnat – Summer’s Best Sandwich

In a sense, to smush, press, or mash a sandwich could feel redundant but it's not.  It is a tool employed to make certain kinds of sandwiches better.  Case in point, a Cuban, panini, a shooter's sandwich, and pan bagnat. I love all these sandwiches.  Classics, each and everyone. In the heat of summer, I … Continue reading Pan Bagnat – Summer’s Best Sandwich

The Lobster Roll’s Better More Lovable Brother

It is almost August.  The month in which my parents would always load me and my siblings up in the car and we would head to the east coast for vacation.  It was as much a search for a cool ocean breeze as it was a temporary reprieve from the mundane everyday Midwest. Sometimes while … Continue reading The Lobster Roll’s Better More Lovable Brother

Shrimp and Okra Stew

Some lucky people grew up eating okra; there are even families with rich okra histories that they pass on from generation to generation. I am not one of those lucky people. I came late to okra -- or at least my love for it did. Since I didn't come from a family of okra-eaters, I … Continue reading Shrimp and Okra Stew

Greek Style Shrimp in Tomato Sauce (+ 10 Tips to Better Sautéing)

There is something wonderful about a one-pan sauté. Sure, a quick dinner and easy clean-up would be enough to pass muster for most, but what I love is how wonderfully delicious dinner becomes as you build flavors in the pan. Starting at the bottom of the pan, there is an order to how things go; … Continue reading Greek Style Shrimp in Tomato Sauce (+ 10 Tips to Better Sautéing)

The Best, 5-Minute Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Last summer, my mother asked me to make cupcakes for the June birthdays. We have several in June and, in order to make it easy, we celebrate them all at once. Nevertheless, I forgot to make the cupcakes and I was on my way to the party when I remembered. "Oops," or as Vivian, my … Continue reading The Best, 5-Minute Smoked Salmon Appetizer