Garlic Basil Mahi Mahi on the Grill

Some friends created a recipe-sharing group on Facebook a while ago, and it’s been a great resource, especially when I’ve been stuck on a particular food bent, or when I’ve simply been feeling uninspired to make dinner. As frequently happens in these types of online food communities, certain recipes seem to gain celebrity status – everyone has to give them a try! One of those recipes for this group is Jamie Oliver’s Tender and Crisp Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes.

It’s a truly delicious recipe and I love making it. The recipe calls for tomatoes and basil, as well as 90 minutes of oven time. This is an issue for me because tomatoes and basil are summer produce, but summer around here means a “cool” day is when it gets down to 90 degrees. So, I am not going to be running my oven. But in the cooler weather months when I don’t mind baking, basil and tomatoes are not nearly as readily available or as good. I thought I’d come up with a version that I could make on the grill that captures the basic flavors of this recipe without needing the oven.


Isn’t this the epitome of summer bounty?



Lemon-glazed persimmon bars

A number of years ago, my father-in-law’s friend gifted us a huge brown paper bag full of persimmons. I was rather unfamiliar with them at the time, but some research helped me learn about the two basic types and how to use them. You can call me an official persimmon fan now. My 1-year-old daughter absolutely goes nuts for the fuyu variety.

It’s such a lovely fruit. The hachiya persimmon is almost heart-shaped, and hangs on the bare tree like orange ornaments. It’s so pretty, especially at Christmastime.


Neapolitan Cookies

When my friend Jeanne posted a photo to her Facebook page of these cookies, I knew I had to make them. She mentioned that they contain almond paste. Lord knows I’m a sucker for almond paste. (more…)


In my husband’s family, everyone knows what a bambushka is, and may even start salivating involuntarily when you mention one. Before I met him, the only bambushka I had heard of was the similar-sounding Russian “babushka” (no M), meaning elderly woman, or sometimes referring to a Russian woman’s headscarf. Similar to my experience with my friend’s family’s noodlas, I can’t find anything on the Internet about bambushkas. The only thing I can figure is the Russian nesting dolls are sometimes called babushka dolls, so maybe these are named bambushkas because of the treasured filling inside.

So what are bambushkas? It is a rich egg and yeast dough, rolled thinly, and filled with a sausage, ground beef, bacon, onion and sauerkraut mixture. I think it’s the sauerkraut that makes it truly magical. When we made this batch, I ate two for dinner and then couldn’t wait until breakfast so I had an excuse to eat two more. They go quickly. (more…)

Independence Day Tradition: Noodlas and Watermelon

Every year for the July 4th Independence Day, one of my bestest friends, Kelly, gets together with her family and makes noodlas and watermelon. Now, you might be wondering what the heck a noodla is, and dearest reader, you would not be alone. I have never heard of them before meeting Kelly and her family, and I can’t find anything about them! Do things really exist if they don’t exist on the interwebs? Well, after this post, they will indeed exist somewhere online.  (more…)

Low sugar strawberry muffins, by accident

Strawberries go bad so quickly. I wanted to use some up this morning, and searched a bunch of recipes. As is typical, I used the various recipes I found as a guide and kinda did my own thing. I had intended to add 3/4 cup sugar to the batter, but in my up-all-night-with-the-baby haze, about a minute after I put the muffins in the oven I saw the sugar canister on the counter, unopened, and realized I forgot to add any.

Oops.  (more…)