Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a nicely sauteed vegetable!  We’ll be having these this Christmas Eve with steak au poivre and roasted red potatoes.  Perhaps not the most traditional holiday meal, but any good food shared with loved ones makes the dining experience memorable, and these brussels sprouts will be a delicious addition to ours.  We hope that all of you are enjoying great food and special time with your loved ones this holiday season as well.  Continue reading “Sauteed Brussels Sprouts”

Homemade Salsa

It’s not too late to make a holiday gift for the Tex-Mex fans in your life.  My mom has a great recipe for homemade salsa that is easy, fresh-tasting and delicious.  Some very special people on our Christmas list love this salsa, and I don’t make it for them often enough.  (Yes, you read that right — this is one of the very few recipes that I make all on my own!)  I made a couple of batches for our friends this year. Continue reading “Homemade Salsa”

Greenberg Smoked Turkey

We were very lucky to be gifted this holiday season with one of Dan’s all-time favorite culinary presents — the Greenberg Smoked Turkey.  This is the second year we have received one, and I’ll be honest — if we had not gotten one as a gift, we probably would have ordered one on our own.  But, Dan’s friends and colleagues in East Texas came through and sent us one last week.  Hooray!  And if those friends are reading – thank you so much!
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White Chili (and Christmas Decor!)

We don’t go too crazy with the Christmas decorations, but we do like to make things festive. This year, Dan made white chili for us to eat while we got started with the decorating.  He adapted this recipe from to make it a little easier to make.  Although Dan has perfected his regular chili recipe over the years, this was his first attempt at white chili.  It turned out great, and we’ll definitely be adding it to our rotation as a lighter alternative to beef chili. Continue reading “White Chili (and Christmas Decor!)”

Lemon Veal

Several years ago, Dan and I were lucky enough to take an amazing trip to Italy with my parents, who were lucky enough to have been there a couple of times prior to our trip, and graciously showed us the ropes.  One of my parents’ favorite destinations in Italy (and now our favorite as well) is the Island of Capri.   Capri is an amazing place, and we strongly suggest you go there if you get the opportunity.  If you do find yourself so fortunate to be on Capri, we highly recommend the restaurant  Villa Verde , which provided the inspiration for this dish.  We had a version of lemon veal at Villa Verde on our first night in Italy, and it was heaven on a plate.  Exhaustion from our travels and giddiness about actually being in Italy may have factored into our fondness for Villa Verde and this dish, but we love our home-cooked version just as much.  This year, for the first time ever, we were able to make our Lemon Veal with our own homegrown lemon, which made it even more special. Continue reading “Lemon Veal”

Shrimp Salad (with store-bought shrimp)

With the holidays fast approaching and adding more activities to the usual busy week, these days we are all about easy meals.  It doesn’t get much easier than incorporating a leftover protein into a salad, which can become a satisfying meal all on its own.  This recipe is one of our favorite weeknight salads.  We usually make it with leftover shrimp, but Dan’s spicy garlic shrimp that he made earlier in the week was so good that we didn’t have any leftovers.  So, we improvised and bought some pre-cooked shrimp from Whole Foods.  Not nearly as good as Dan’s, but still made a pretty delicious (and really easy) salad.

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Rice with Roasted Poblano, Spinach and Cheese

As self-proclaimed foodies, we love the show Top Chef, including their “Top Chef Masters” series, in which they pit established chefs against each other.  On the first season, a chef named Rick Bayless won.  Chef Bayless is widely acclaimed as America’s biggest proponent of authentic Mexican cuisine.  He also has two reportedly amazing restaurants in Chicago — Frontera Grill and Topolobampo.  I personally wouldn’t be able to speak in detail about how amazing they are, since I have never been (someone forgot to make reservations far enough in advance of our most recent trip to Chicago.  His name rhymes with pan).  But, pan Dan was lucky enough to go to Topolobampo once with a couple of colleagues during a work trip and says it was exquisite.  I guess the rest of us will just have to settle for the  homemade version of Chef Bayless’ delicious recipe for “Rice with Roasted Poblano, Spinach and Fresh Cheese.” Continue reading “Rice with Roasted Poblano, Spinach and Cheese”