Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks

Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks baked

What’s a girl to do when it gets to be grilling season but she’s got no grill? Make Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks of course! This chicken recipe is really simple to make and delicious all year long, but the best news is, it’s just as easy for a city mouse as it is for a country mouse. And even if the chicken will never have those beautiful char marks, it’s flavorful marinade and golden brown crispy skin make my Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks the perfect accompaniment for hot weather food. It’s perfect with corn on the cob and summer salads of all sorts. The well-balanced marinade pairs well with Asian and Mexican salads for sure because I’ve been doing lots of improvising, but I’m sure you’ll find this sweet, spicy, rich chicken will pair with just about anything. And don’t let the scale of the recipe hold you back ;the leftovers are awesome, hot or cold. Of course, leftovers require that you and your guests haven’t already polished off every last piece of Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks. … Continue reading

Grilled Ramp Butter

Grilled Ramp Butter on buckwheat cherry bread

While Grilled Ramp Butter, isn’t actually a meal in and of itself, and it’s really simple, just two ingredients: grilled ramps processed with salted cultured butter, I think it’s the ultimate in decadent Spring condiments. This delicious butter is amazing on grainy toast with a poached egg, a slice of fancy cheese, a little ham, or, it’s the base for my amazing duck tartines. Keep this Grilled Ramp Butter in the fridge for a week or so and you’ll find it dangerously disappears. A tablespoon will slip into the spring peas you make as a side for dinner, a teaspoon will be on a late afternoon piece of toast with a sliver of good parm. A dallop will land in a cup of store-bought soup. This Grilled Ramp Butter is a special spring treat that helps make ramps season (one of my all-time favorite seasons) last just a little longer. Because, of course, if you haven’t eaten it all too quickly, Grilled Ramp Butter could also be squirreled away in the freezer. … Continue reading

Banana Foster Brioche Bread Pudding

Banana Foster Brioche Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Happy almost Mardi Gras friends, have I ever got a recipe for you in this Banana Foster Brioche Bread Pudding. While it’s based on a bon appetit recipe, I have made some serious modifications to this Banana Foster Brioche Bread Pudding to make it more user friendly, as well as to make it fit in the pan. I have no clue how the original recipe ever fit this in an 8×8. It’s simply impossible, at least in my house! Maybe the pan they used was a foot deep? And then I don’t know how you’d eat a whole piece of this Banana Foster Brioche Bread Pudding at all, because it’s SUPER rich, which is also probably why it remains one of the best desserts I’ve ever had and on my now and then list. When you cook as often as I do, there aren’t that many dishes that have you coming back, again and again. It’s always onto the next new thing, you know? But this Banana Foster Brioche Bread Pudding is so special, and so satisfying that I remember it each year when the Crawfish Boil rolls around, it’s Mari Gras, or a Cajun emergency pops up, like a very … Continue reading

Thick and Smooth Fall Apple Butter

Thick and Smooth Fall Apple Butter with croissant

Thick and Smooth Fall Apple Butter is a delight to eat and a cinch to make. And the best part? Thick and Smooth Fall Apple Butter makes fall last all year long if you decide to preserve it. The apples, plus apple cider give it a very concentrated flavor. The cinnamon and cardamom make the thick spread full of spice and flavor. And the dark brown sugar, which is my personal preference, makes this spread rich and deep in flavor. I love spreading it on warm breads of all sorts but warm croissants are one of my personal favorite uses. I also love it in place of mustard or mayo on a sandwich like my Ladies Lunching Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich. My sister put it on a slice of my Double Almond Pumpkin Bread over Thanksgiving and remarked, this tasted like fall! No matter how you choose to use this Thick and Smooth Fall Apple Butter, you’re going to love it. … Continue reading

Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish

Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish for Thanksgiving

One item that I absolutely cannot have Thanksgiving without is a version of my Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish. If you check out a couple of my menus you’ll see that I make Cranberry Relish a little differently every year, based on the direction I’m taking the menu. For the Mexican Thanksgiving, I added a little tequila. For Caribbean Thanksgiving, I added lime and dark rum. This year, for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving menu, I’ve added elderflower and lingonberries. So why is Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish so critical to Thanksgiving? Well, the tart flavor cuts through all the salt and fat to balance each dish and is an essential part of a perfect bite for me. I also love it for leftovers. It’s a great condiment on a turkey sandwich and with the Juniper Brined Turkey I made for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu those sandwiches are more tender and flavorful than ever. If you’d rather go with the classic relish, just skip the elderflower and lingonberry preserves, but I must say this Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish brings a little something extra to the Holiday table this year that I think you and your guests will notice and enjoy. … Continue reading

Swedish Gjetost Fondue

Swedish Gjetost Fondue with sliced fruit and crisps

This Gjetost Fondue is another great easy to make ahead hors d’oeuvres that’s perfect for any Thanksgiving, but I served it as a started for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu for good reason. It’s chock full of lovely Swedish cheeses, which are actually rather easy to find, particularly if you live near an IKEA, where they stock all of the cheeses required for this Swedish Gjetost Fondue. But even if you can’t find many of them, the only two that are absolutely essential are the French Gruyère and the Scandinavian Gjetost. The Gjetost in particular cannot be substituted because it is a very unique caramelized goat’s milk cheese. Yes, you heard me, caramelized goat’s milk cheese. But, caramelized milk sounds crazy to describe cheese. It is, you’re right. And while Gjetost on it’s own tends to be a love or hate it food because it’s a little sweet and extremely dense and creamy. It is also absolutely the element that makes this Swedish Gjetost Fondue so special and one of the crowd favorites at Thanksgiving last year, even amongst people who said they didn’t normally like Gjetost. It’s also a cheese that I grew up with at breakfast, served on toast, … Continue reading

Salmon Mousse with Rye Crisps

Salmon Mousse with Rye Crisps

While for those of us in the United States (perhaps Alaska and the Pacific Northwest excluded), salmon is special and certainly not the cheapest thing at the fish counter, in Sweden, it’s a “poor man’s” fish and eaten in many different forms on the regular, like this Salmon Mousse with Rye Crisps hors d’oeuvres. Salmon is frequently eaten fresh and simply roasted or grilled, but in this instance I’m using it preserved as the famous salt cured gravlax that we eat with our bagels. And this Salmon Mousse with Rye Crisps hors d’oeuvres is definitely reminiscent of bagels, lox, and cream cheese. In fact, it’s all the ingredients combined into a smooth and rich mousse and then served on rye crisps for perfect blend of flavors and textures. And while Salmon Mousse with Rye Crisps is quite untraditional for a United States Thanksgiving, something like it would certainly be present in the Swedish equivalent that I was paying homage to with my Thanksgiving 2014 Menu. And the Salmon Mousse with Rye Crisps was perfect next to the pickled herring, which was also served. Added bonus, the Salmon Mousse with Rye Crisps is very easy to make. Just be sure to … Continue reading

Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze

Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze ready for grill

Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze is quite straight forward, in terms of recipe; there’s just not much to it. Most of the drama and the flavor comes from the cedar planks themselves. That said, there is lots of drama and flavor, both of which make Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze a perfect dish for parties all summer long. Be it the 4th of July, Midsommar’s or just a Saturday night with a few friends over you’re going to have fun preparing it to your guests amazement and only you will know how simple it is. You will have to plan ahead a bit to make sure you have appropriate cedar planks around as you probably can’t just grab them at your local grocery store, but other than that, my Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze preparation is straight forward and really delicious. I first made Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze for a Midsommar’s party as both salmon and cedar are very Scandinavian. The cherry glaze came about because I was in Door County for the solstice and since we were sipping on Door County Cherry Spritzers anyway… well, you see where I’m headed. But the flavor was so great … Continue reading

Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo

Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo

For my English Polo Picnic, I picked dishes that are easy to make ahead for room temperature consumption and are both elegant and easily portable, like these Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo. I bought pre-formed Salmon Burgers to keep things easy and then just doctored up premade mayo and mango chutney for a very flavorful and unexpected picnic sandwich. I grilled them at home on a grill pan and then just packed them up in foil and served them room temperature at the party. If you’re going to grill them far ahead, you should definitely refrigerate them until you’re ready to go and then just let the Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo come up to room temperature as the party starts. These Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo are really flavorful and a fun departure from standard grill fair. If you can’t find pre-formed patties, they’re not too bad to make yourself, but anytime I find good shortcuts, I like to share them, especially when I’m making several recipes at once, like these Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo as part of a party menu that needs to be transported off-site. And when you add little touches of your own, like I … Continue reading

Spicy Cold Shrimp Cucumber Salad

Spicy Cold Shrimp Cucumber Salad and dressing

I love this Spicy Shrimp Cucumber Salad for a variety of reasons, first an foremost, as a girl from Wisconsin, I love recipes that are consistent year ‘round. It truly can be the bleak midwinter in much of the country around the Holidays, and having vibrantly colored and flavored food can make things bright. While you may not be able to find mouse melons, tender Persian cucumbers should be available. Aside from being made up of year ‘round vegetables, an exciting and hearty salad can be just what the palette (and the diet) need this time of year. There’s so much butter and milk and cream and carbs in the form of Christmas cookies and the like, and I love those things too, but sometimes one really needs a break. Finally, if you have lots of Jewish friends, like I do, you know that a common Christmas day tradition amongst Jews is Asian food and a trip to the movie theater. So this Spicy Shrimp Cucumber Salad is a break from the traditional in terms of Christmas-y recipes of baked goose and ham and is an homage to all of my wonderful Jewish friends. I encourage all of us, regardless … Continue reading

Baba Ganoush via Jerusalem

Baba Ganoush via Jerusalem with pita chips

Ok, you got me, this Baba Ganoush via Jerusalem isn’t strictly Baba Ganoush. The flavor profile is really different with the lack of tomatoes and onions in the eggplant base. That said, the title that Jerusalem chooses (Charred Eggplant Salad with…), just distracts me from the fact that this is, at least to me, a gussied up and very modern take on the classic dish. I love this Baba Ganoush via Jerusalem for so many reasons, perhaps best of all is the brilliant choice to add pomegranate kernals to the mix. In winter, the bright ruby jewels are a welcome sight contrasted with the bright lemon zest and intensely green herbs. As the kernals explode in your mouth with little bursts of tart juice, they contrast the smokey, salty, garlicky goodness of the eggplant. This is a dish where skimping on the olive oil both in quantity and quality isn’t the way to go. It adds so much body and flavor to the Baba Ganoush via Jerusalem that you should consider it carefully as an ingredient. I think I try a different olive oil every time I make this dish, and I still haven’t settled upon my favorite. It’s a … Continue reading

Lime Dark Rum Cranberry Relish

Lime Dark Rum Cranberry Relish TG

I love cranberry relish, and no matter my theme, it’s going to be at my Thanksgiving table in some form or the other. So when I took on a Caribbean menu, there was no doubt that I would still make a cranberry relish no matter how foreign cranberries may be to the Caribbean and that was enough to make this Lime Dark Rum Cranberry Relish possible. I just needed to add the right flavors and accents to make the cranberry relish fit in with some of my more traditional dishes on the menu, like the jerk turkey. I also knew that since my classic relish is raw, I would need to combine it with a sauce of some sort if I wanted to sneak in something as bold as dark rum. So here we are with a best of both worlds Lime Dark Rum Cranberry Relish that combines a cranberry sauce and cranberry relish. While you’re making the relish, be sure to keep tasting both sauces throughout both processes (which is, of course, a good general practice) because while I like things a little tart, you may not, and should feel justified in upping the sugar just a bit here and … Continue reading