• The Wonderful World of Cookies

    by  • September 14, 2012 • 0 Comments

    One Great Cookie Dough … 3 Great Desserts – Bon Appetit!


    Here we serve Koulouraki with fresh apricots and Orange Blossom Honey.


    Koulourakia, Greek Easter Cookies

    Both of the cookies photographed here are from the same base recipe. It can be used in any variation or shape you like. See below for my favorite recipe for lemon bars in which this cookie dough makes an amazing bottom layer.

    Serves: 36 cookies


    1 cup butter, at room temperature

    1/2 cup granulated white sugar

    2 eggs (reserve one yolk for glazing)

    1 tbsp juice and zest from one orange *lemon or meyer lemons work beautifully as well

    3 c flour, white all purpose flour

    1 tsp baking powder

    raw sesame seeds

    Preheat your oven to 350F. In a mixer, cream together room temp butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time so that mixture remains light, and mix until well incorporated. Add orange juice and beat well. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients slowly. Mix until dough is smooth. Continue with cookie preparation or wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

    The snake shape was used traditionally in Greece to represent health & wellness, notice any similarities to the prescription emblem? To make this shape pinch off one inch balls and roll into a rope on a floured (and designated for only cooked food) cutting board. Twist the ends together on cookie sheet lined with a sil-pat or non stick cookie sheet. Leaving a good 1″ to 1 1/2″ space between them to allow for the slight rise that will occur during baking due to the baking powder. Beat together the remaining egg yolk with a couple tablespoons of water and brush onto cookies. Sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds. Bake for 15 minutes until just turning a light golden brown.


    Wild Maine Blueberry & Lemon Zest Cookie

    To make the fruit filled rounds use the same process except use your thumb to make a print in the middle instead of forming the dough into a rope. I had tons on tiny Maine blueberries at the time so I tossed those with a little flour and sugar and filled with those but they would be lovely with any king of fruit like apricots or even candied ginger. I also enjoy the combination of lemon and blueberry so I substituted lemon juice and zest for the orange in the base recipe. Also, I used Turbinado (Sugar in the Raw) to sprinkle on top instead of sesame seeds. You can see the versatility of this recipe already! Grandma would be proud : )


    Lemon Bars

    The warm filling should be added to the warm crust. You can bake the crust while you make the filling. Just be sure to have all your ingredient and equipment ready before. This recipe was adapted from my favorite cookbook Also see… Fresh Fig Cookies in July archives


    Cucumber, Radish & Dill Salad

    by  • September 13, 2012 • 0 Comments

    We enjoyed this refreshing salad today and it is a winner for a lot of cucumbers from the farm stand! To make this one I had about 4 cucumbers, 6 radish, about a quarter of red onion and about a quarter of a bunch of fresh dill. Just slice, chop and add rice wine vinegar to taste (the kind you put in sushi rice) and voila! Refreshing crisp salad perfect for any Summer afternoon. Bon Appetit!


    The King of Cheeses

    by  • July 5, 2012 • 0 Comments

    Blue Cheese!


    A pairing of maytag blue cheese, orange blossom honey comb and freshly cut lavender. Here, it is presented for a cheese course after dinner but can be easily adapted for hors d’oeuvres or part of a nice lunch with fresh pears.

    While based in Essex, Connecticut for the summer, I have been so lucky to cross paths with one of the most knowledgeable cheese connoisseurs and welcoming shop owners I have met to date. Paul and Sue Pertica have rekindled my love of specialty cheeses from around the world and inspired the addition of a cheese course to our daily menus onboard the yacht. The Cheeseshop of Centerbrook, CT is a must visit.

    On my last visit, Paul provided some interesting history about Maytag blue cheese…

    Turns out while Mr. Maytag (from the Maytag corporation) was traveling through France he was so taken with Roquefort blue cheese that he wanted to recreate it at home. Then, with the use of his local cattle and a different aging environment we now have the classic American Maytag blue cheese.


    Pear, Roquefort and Maple Glazed Walnut Salad

    The combinations in this salad are a true complement to each other. Crisp mixed greens, sliced d’anjou pears, creamy and tangy Roquefort and sweet walnuts… a salad lovers heaven. To make quick maple glazed walnuts: toast walnuts in nonstick sautée pan until fragrant and stir in a little (start with 1 tbsp) maple syrup. Toss to coat and add more syrup to taste. Using Grade A, real maple syrup is key. This is an ingredient we can not skimp on. Put the glazed walnuts right onto the salad before they all stick together. I like to put the walnuts on top of the greens already scattered with pears to provide more color contrast and visual depth within the finished dish. We love this salad with the light balsamic vinaigrette you can find in June’s post “A Little Guide to Vinaigrettes.”



    Blue Cheese Tasting of Maytag, Roquefort and Shropshire cheeses paired with Farm-picked Blackberry & Nectarine Crisp.

    It was during this cheese and dessert pairing in which we all recognized the true complement of fine blue cheeses and sweet undertones.

    A Little Guide to Vinaigrettes

    by  • June 3, 2012 • 0 Comments

    Summer is here and that means crisp fresh salads with all the season's freshest ingredients. I can promise you that once you experience the ease and simplicity of a homemade vinaigrette - you will never look back.

    Read more →

    Sterling Silver Meats

    by  • May 12, 2012 • 0 Comments

    I have been using the Sterling Silver brand of meat for 5 years and hope to continue for more than that.  They consistently deliver a perfect cooking and tasting product.  It is beyond wonderful to have the 6 oz. filet mignons on hand in the freezer to defrost exactly how many you need when ever you like.  A whole tenderloin serves nicely for beautiful Beef Wellington shared with friends.  Try marinating the pork tenderloin in the Citrus Soy Marinade listed under Recipes.

    Elegant Dinner Party

    by  • May 10, 2012 • 0 Comments

    Petrossian Caviar Tasting Three premium caviars that highlight the unique characteristics of caviar served with chopped egg white, egg yolk, red onion, sour cream and blinis.  Pairings include chilled Grey Goose Vodka and Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Shassetra Shassetra features firm, medium-size beads, with a flavor that hints of dry fruit and toasted grains Tsar...

    Read more →