Tag Archives: photo challenge

Coffee and a Swizzle

An after dinner treat – coffee with a swizzle stick…oh, and a slice of New York style cheesecake.

Coffee and Swizzle

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

Careful – Scorpion Pepper

Careful! While fitting for the month of October, the Scorpion pepper is one of the world’s hottest.  The Pumpkin peppers are a bit milder but still provide a lot of heat!

Scorpion 3

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful

(Extra)ordinary – Chicken Livers

Transform ordinary chicken livers into an extraordinary sauce with this recipe from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, authors of The Silver Palate Cookbook – two of my favorite cookbooks!

“Pitti Palace Pasta”


1 pound chicken livers, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

4 fresh ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

8 ounces wide noodle pasta (such as tagliatelle)

If the chicken livers are large, cut them in half.  Combine the flour, paprika, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a mixing bowl.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Dredge the livers in the flour mixture, and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes.  Raise the heat slightly, and add the tomatoes, vinegar, chicken stock, wine, and rosemary.  Simmer until slightly thick, 5 minutes.

Chicken liver sauce

While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the pasta, and cook at a rolling boil just until tender.  Drain, and toss with the sauce.  Add the remaining 1 teaspoon pepper, and serve immediately.

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary

Happy Place – Italian Pastry

Enjoying my favorite Italian pastry – sfogliatelle – along with some chocolate for dipping is a most happy place.


In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

Change – Gingersnap Gelato

Gingersnap gelato…from liquid to ice cream.  A spicy fall treat.

Gelato 1

Gelato 2

Gelato 3

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Creepy…Like a Snail – Escargots in Butter


1 baguette

1 dozen escargots

3 tablespoons French butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Finishing salt

Fresh ground pepper

For this recipe, I use Roland escargots.  Each can is 8.75 ounces and contains 12 escargots – perfect for two servings.  The benefit of using these escargots is that they are already clean and cooked; you only have to heat them.

Preheat the broiler.  Slice the baguette on an angle, two slices per person.  Place the slices under the broiler until they are golden brown on one side.  Then turn the slices over to brown the other side.  Remove the slices from the broiler and arrange two slices on each small plate.

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil.  Allow the pan to heat up and the butter to foam.  Add the garlic and scallions to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon.  Allow the garlic and scallions to cook for about 2 minutes.  Drain the liquid from the can of escargots and add them to the pan along with the parsley.  Turn the heat down to medium low and stir with a wooden spoon.  The escargots will only need to heat for about 3 to 4 minutes.  Spoon the escargots on each baguette serving, and drizzle with some of the butter mixture.


In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

Beneath Your Feet – A Summer Tavel

Summer is the season for rosés, and my favorites are French.  Tavel wine, known as the “King of Rosé”, is from the Languedoc region in Southern France.  This wine royalty is richer in color and more full bodied than the typical rosé.  Tavels are also quite versatile – I have paired them with meals ranging from a Salade Niçoise to a crispy duck leg.  Do not permit summer to pass by without savoring a Tavel from the wine cave.

Tavel Final

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

Inspiration – Fish Market

Fresh ingredients inspire me.  For example, a trip to the fish market…

Bouillabaisse? Cioppino? Paella?


In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

Close Up – Real or Fairy Tale?

Contemplating over coffee…how to prepare these fairy tale eggplant to accompany tonight’s dinner?

Eggplant 2

These tiny eggplant are less bitter and have fewer seeds than their larger counterparts.  So, simple is best to showcase their flavor…perhaps the garlic will overpower.  I will slice them in half lengthwise and sauté in olive oil for just a few minutes, making sure to rotate in the nonstick pan.  After the eggplant become tender and nicely browned, while still on the heat, I will season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, add fresh oregano and toss with a splash of balsamic vinegar glaze.

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up