Making my way through the farmers’ market in August puts me into stone-fruit sensory overload on (healthy) par with my annual pre-Halloween trip to Economy Candy. Of the peach variety, there are Saturn, yellow, white and donut peaches (also yellow … Continue reading




Blueberry Pies


Vintage tools of the trade: wooden bowl, muffin tin, pastry blender, spoon and rolling pin

 Sometimes a few simple ingredients can inspire a great dish. Other times, it may actually be the dish itself that inspires the great—wait…that sounds a bit like an Odyssey-type riddle (maybe Monty Python?) In any case, I’ve been on my own quest of sorts—a quest to find beautiful and unusual tabletop objects and kitchen equipment. I’m really not one to fetish-ize stuff or even collect things really, but lately, I’m finding it hard to resist yard sales, junk shops and the occasional antique shop. 


Blueberry pie fixings: blueberries, ginger, lemon and brown sugar






The more food writing, styling and shooting I do on my own, the greater need for interesting props I have. On a recent trip upstate, I hit every joint on the way up and came away with a few lovely things. One was a vintage square muffin tin made by Echo from the ‘40’s. It was filled with hazelnut coffee beans and scented tea candles—the shop owner’s shabby-chic “Great holiday decorating tip”—which immediately gave me a headache. (She refunded me $2.50 for the beans and candles that I left behind.)  Down the road, I found a few original Danish modern serving spoons, a vintage pastry blender, wooden board and an amazing Bennington bowl all for $6. Of course they’re no Golden Forest Dinnerware collection by Dibbern, but I like them, they’re interesting, purposeful and took some effort to find.

It’s finally sunk in that beautiful objects can function as “muses” as well as decoration. When I hold something in my hands, I know exactly what I will do with it. The muffin tin would be perfect for these little blueberry pies—it just needed a good soak and scrub to get rid of the hazelnut coffee /vanilla scented candle smell before baking.


Assembling the blueberry pies


Blueberry pies ready for the oven

















2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, chilled

1/2 cup ice water


2 cups blueberries

1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Granulated sugar for sprinkling


  1. Make the pastry: In a large bowl, using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and cut it in, until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Add the ice water and using a wooden spoon, gently stir until a raggy dough forms. Turn the crumbs onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Form into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Alternatively, use the food processor: pulse the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter and pulse in 1 second bursts 5 times. The butter should be the size of small peas. Lift the lid, pour in the water and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until the dough is moistened, but doesn’t form a ball. Knead briefly, wrap and chill.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375° and position a rack nearest the bottom. Spray a 6-muffin muffin pan with vegetable spray. On a floured surface, roll the dough ¼-inch thick. Cut the dough into six 7-inch rounds. Gather the scraps and gently press together to make more rounds. Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 5 minutes. Ease the pastry into the muffin cups, carefully pressing it into the corners. Patch any tears if necessary.
  3. Make the filling: In a bowl combine the berries, ginger, lemon zest and juice, the brown sugar and cornstarch. Spoon the filling into the pastry, mounding it slightly above the surface. Bring the edges of the pastry together and pinch to seal. Brush the tops with the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the pies on the bottom rack until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is deeply golden, about 1 hour. Cover the tops with foil if they brown too quickly. Let cool, then carefully transfer the pies to a platter. Serve warm. 



Brussels sprouts in season August through December

Brussels sprouts in August? Huh? After nearly 2 decades in magazine publishing, I’m still bewildered by the fact that we always work at least one season ahead. Flat, tasteless hot-house tomatoes in March have to (using taste memories, a great sense of imagination and an even greater suspension of disbelief) approximate July’s luscious juicy heirlooms. Of course shipping from parts west (and warm) is always an option, but very costly. The irony of publishing “Locavore” stories in season while  working on them out of season is one that never escapes me, but probably never occurs to readers. And why would it?  Who could know? Working on wintery stories in the Spring and Summer is a bit less of a stretch  because many of those fruits and vegetables store fairly well. Taste is not always optimal but chances are, they’ll be roasted, braised, gratinéed, puréed or baked into a pie and that mitigates much of the un-seasonality . 

Brussels sprouts, the stinky cornerstone of Thanksgiving, are now just starting to pop up at the market, which is convenient for magazine work. But I’m always happy to see Brussels sprouts–any time of year and take full advantage of their presence whether I’m developing out-of-season recipes or just making dinner…or today’s brunch as luck would have it. 


Brussels Sprout Shakshuka ready for the oven

One of my absolute favorite dishes is Shakshuka–a Middle Eastern version of my beloved Italian Eggs in Purgatory. Both dishes are nothing more than eggs baked in tomato sauce. Today I wanted something a little different and not so saucy. Back from a beautiful, drizzly trail run, and starving, I did a quick check of my pantry: eggs, sandwich bread, scallions, rosemary and yes, Brussels sprouts. (I was working on a Thanksgiving story and had half a basket in my fridge.)  My post-run go-to meal always combines protein, carbs and veggies and I had everything I needed.

I toasted some croutons in the skillet, then shredded and sautéed the Brussels sprouts in olive oil to softened them and bring out their sweetness. Rosemary and scallions were all the seasoning, besides salt and pepper, necessary, though I suppose some fresh chiles would’ve been delicious. (Enter hot sauce!) I then transferred the mixture to individual baking dishes, made a little well in the center of each, into which I cracked an egg. They popped into a very hot toaster oven (no need to turn on the big one) for about 4 minutes and emerged with runny yolks, crispy croutons and tender Brussels sprouts. A perfect all-in-one meal!


The perfect all-in-one brunch: Brussels Sprout Shakshuka


total time: 20 min

2 servings


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 slice packaged white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

6 large Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 large eggs

hot sauce!


Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the bread and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining oil to the pan along with the Brussels sprouts, scallion and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Return the croutons to the skillet and toss to combine. Divide the mixture between 2 individual baking dishes or gratin dishes and make a small well in the center. Crack an egg into each dish and bake until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with hot sauce. Yay!


Perfection in every bite.








Almond-Maple Granola with Cranberries

Yes, another $@&#! granola. Hey, I’ve been making mine for nearly 15 years, thank you very much, so I’m not exactly a newcomer. That was back when “crunchy granola” and men with big bushy beards actually meant “hippie”…and not the other “H” word, back when Williamsburg was a place your parents dragged you to for a lesson in American history and not a place you went to to pay $15 for an 8-ounce bag of artisan-made muesli. And like my hippie predecessors, I am a radical…for delicious granola (among other things–just don’t ask me about the Grateful Dead…total blind spot)

It was something I made twice a month and ate everyday for breakfast for nearly 15 years. My morning would play out thusly: I’d get up at 5:00AM, have a cup of coffee and a moment of quiet reflection, then head out the door for an 8-mile run, come home, shower, make lunch for the kids and head to work by 9:00. Nowhere in that run-down did you see breakfast. That’s because breakfast was my desk-side, email-reading reward for making it through my commute without having a Network-style meltdown on my way to the office.

The fruit changed with the season and the yogurt with what ever i had on hand, but for the most part, the granola remained pretty much the same: oats, nuts, seeds, sweet syrup, brown sugar, oil and dried fruit. Nuts can be raw walnuts, pecans or almonds (salted or smoked almonds added at the end are my favorite), ; seeds can be flax, sesame, chia or sunflower; sweet syrup can be maple, honey, rice bran, or agave; and dried fruit can be cranberries, raisins, diced mangos, apricots, dates or figs. Cinnamon is nice, but not crucial. Try it and hug a tree–I’ll be right next to you!



raw oats, almonds, ground flax seeds



Makes about about 5 cups



1/3 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (preferably thick-cut)

1 cup raw slivered almonds

1/4 cup golden flax seed meal (or seeds ground in a coffee grinder)

1 cup dried cranberries 

Preheat the oven to 300° and butter a large rimmed baking sheet. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the  maple syrup, oil and brown sugar and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Add the cinnamon and salt and whisk until smooth. Add the oats, almonds and flax seed and stir until completely moistened. Spread out on the baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, toasted and fragrant, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely, then add the cranberries. Store the granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 


Ready to eat!

The Great-est Scape


my bouquet of garlic scapes

I picked up a beautiful, gnarly tangle of garlic scapes from the farmers’ market this weekend to play around with and found so many delicious uses for them: grilled flatbread; mixed pepper stir-fry; pickled with chiles and bay leaves; and pesto.

What the heck is a garlic scape, you ask? It is the long, green flower stem that grows from a head of garlic. Farmers remove the scapes which draw energy and nutrients away from the  bulbs so that the bulbs may grow larger and more robust. It’s a lovely sacrifice that I’m happy to accept–guiltlessly. They’re generally available at farmers’ markets in early to mid summer, so now is the time to binge. You can freeze them with a quick blanch and flash-freeze but it’s not quite the same.

Fresh, at first bite, they’re mildly garlicky and very green tasting, but after a few seconds, they explode into that recognizably sharp, pungent and spicy garlic flavor. When sautéed, however, they become mellow and sweet with a delicate suggestion of garlic. The texture is not unlike a tender green bean or pencil-thin asparagus. 

Preparation couldn’t be simpler. Trim an inch or so from the tough, woody bottoms and the brown feathery tops  and then cut into whatever size pieces you like.  For the flat bread, and stir-fry, I cut them into 2-inch pieces and sautéed them until crisp-tender. For the pickles, I cut them to fit the jar and left them raw because I wanted a pronounced flavor and a crunchy texture–think garlic dills without the cucumbers. 



vibrant and green garlic scape pesto with pine nuts


The same went for the pesto. The vibrant, green flavor would be irresistible on grilled bread or simple grilled chicken, both of which I served that night–deliciously! Ordinarily I like to toast nuts for pesto because it adds a more distinct nutty flavor, but here, I left them raw so as not to interfere with the garlic too much. For that reason, I also left out the cheese, though pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano would be fine.  Honestly, it could go either way and still be dreamy. Please try it while scapes are still at the market. They don’t last forever! 


Makes about 1 cup

10 large garlic scapes, bottom ends and browned tops trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup (packed) Italian parsley

1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted optional)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Put the scapes, parsley and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. While the machine is running add the oil and process to a chunky puree. Season with salt. Stir in cheese if so desired and use on grilled chicken or bread, with pasta,  grain or bean salads.  



The more my mother’s cooking becomes a distant memory, the more I long for a familiar taste—one that shuttles me at light speed back to her warm kitchen and a pot of something-or-other bubbling away in the oven. Nothing does that for me in the summer quite like her fruit crisps.  She would use peaches, nectarines or even plums, throw in a handful of blueberries or raspberries and then top it with an oat-y crumble.

Using perfectly ripe summer peaches was a bit tricky for her. The fruit—super juicy—was often a little loose making the crisp topping a little soggy. But I loved it nonetheless.  Vanilla ice cream melted under heat of the juices, blending into a creamy, fruity soup. And the topping was like a soft-baked oatmeal cookie. No complaints, honestly.

Yet, secretly, I wanted a crisper crisp. That chef’s trick of cooking the filling and topping separately always seemed a bit fussy and chef-y –something I shied away from when creating recipes for my readers at Food & Wine. That is, until I actually tried it and discovered how easy it was. And how much quicker it was to put together. And what a superior crisp it yielded.


The filling bakes in the dish while you prepare the topping.


Then the topping bakes separately on a tray for a few minutes while the fruit is still in the oven.


Finally, topping and filling assembled, everything bakes together until bubbling to blend the flavors and textures: Jammy fruit, crispy topping. Win-win!

I believe my mom would’ve approved and probably even started making her crisps this way. She may’ve been an old dog but she was no stranger to new tricks, especially when the reward is so sweet.


8 servings

8 ripe peaches, peeled and cut into wedges

1 cup blueberries

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons St. Germain liqueur (optional)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 light brown sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Crème fraiche, whipped cream or ice cream for serving

  1. Combine the peaches and blueberries with the granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest and the St Germain if using.  Transfer to a medium baking dish. In another bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, butter and a  pinch of salt until sandy. Press into small clumps and spread on a baking sheet.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the fruit until juicy and soft, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bake the streusel, stirring once, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the streusel over the fruit and bake 10 minutes longer. Let cool slightly, then serve with crème fraiche, whipped cream or ice cream.



Charles Marcoux was my father-in-law.  We called him Chick, Charlie, Chickie or Pop. Today marks the first anniversary of his death and I’m honoring it with his signature dish– tourtiére, which we will savor (or maybe choke down, depending on how deeply emotions run) along with stories and memories of years past.  Chick’s family was from Canada. In fact they were some of the earliest European settlers to come from Champagne, France and land in Beauport, Quebec in the 17th Century. Comment dit-on “Blue Blood” en français?


Tourtiére is a classic French Canadian, double-crusted pork pie that my father-in-law introduced me to when I began dating his son what seems a millennium ago. His famous tourtiére, handed down by his aunt Simone, always had a prominent place at the Christmas table as a first course. Super-spicy and lusciously rich, it’s heavenly on a chilly day but it may be just a bit too heavy for late July, especially as the mercury nears 98°.  Hey, tribute is not always convenient nor should it be, lest the intention be somewhat diluted.   Truth be told, we often filled up on it, making the rest of the meal a struggle to get through (well, almost).  Chick was a great cook and really proud of his tourtiére. His had an ungodly amount of black pepper, not-so-lean ground pork and potatoes, which he mashed together and baked between two layers of store-bought pastry. We of the slightly more health-conscious generation would belly-ache (claiming it gave us a bellyache) every time he presented it but not loudly or vigorously or for very long. Before we knew it, half the pie was gone. He knew.  You can make a large pie, like Chick always did or make individual hand pies like I’m doing as well (Chick was also part Scottish, hence the “pasties”).  For my version, I’m using half turkey and half pork so our arteries don’t clog and taming the black pepper buzz so our tongues don’t blister. Please try it and say “Merci bien, Chick” when you do.



This recipe will make one 9-inch pie AND 6 hand pies OR one very large 10-inch deep dish pie OR twelve hand pies (how’s THAT for options!)

active: 40 min; total: 2 hrs plus cooling

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

Kosher salt (Diamond crystal)

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, finely cubed and frozen

about 3/4 cup ice water

1 pound turkey

1 pound bulk sausage

1 tablespoon oil

1 large onion, diced

1 celery rib, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of allspice

Pinch of nutmeg

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste

1 pound baking potatoes (2 medium), peeled and coarsely shredded

1 cup low sodium beef or chicken broth

2 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as savory, thyme, chives and sage

1 large egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour with 1 teaspoon salt and add the butter. Using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives, work the butter into the flour until it is the size of small peas. Add ½ cup of the water and stir quickly to moisten. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer raggy. Knead it once or twice to bring it together, then divide it into 2 pieces. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large deep skillet. Add the pork and turkey and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until cooked through. Spoon off any fat and transfer the meat to a bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan and add the onion, celery and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add the pepper, allspice and nutmeg and cook for about a minute. Add the potato and broth and simmer until the potato is tender and the broth is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Scrape the filling into a bowl and let cool completely.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°. On a floured surface, roll one piece of dough a scant ¼-inch thick and ease it into a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Refrigerate the rolled out pastry to keep it chilled.
  4. Scrape the filling into the pastry, pressing lightly to compact and brush the edge lightly with water. Roll the remaining dough ¼-inch thick and place it over the filling. Trim the overhanging dough to ½-inch, tucking it under and crimp decoratively. Brush the top with egg wash and make a few small slits to vent the steam.
  5. Bake the tourtiére in the center of the oven until bubbling through the vents and deeply golden, about 60 t0 70 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.


If making individual pies, cut the pastry into 5-inch rounds, gathering up the scraps and gently pressing them together to roll out more. You should have about 5 from each piece of dough. Divide the filling between the rounds and bake . (There may be a bit left over which is delicious if fried crispy in a skillet and topped with an egg!) Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 40 minutes until bubbling and golden.


Melissa Clark, my favorite recipe goddess, and I see eye to eye on most things, except maybe a certain pizza place that refuses to cut your pizza (but that’s a rant for another time)  Splitting up after having recently met for coffee, she said she needed to get to the supermarket to pick up a jar of Kraft mayonnaise, and then spent the next 3 minutes  en route, trying to convince me of its virtues relative to my favorite, Hellmann’s. I was skeptical at best and at worst, felt betrayed. How could anyone, especially Melissa Clark prefer anything to Hellmann’s? Impossible. Eye to eye or not, I was not ready to give it a try let alone concede my precious white gloppy gold to the back of my fridge to congeal and eventually crust over.

I needed a week or so to mull it over—to live with it—until it felt safe enough buy myself a jar of Kraft. Actually, I just needed the week to run out of my own mayonnaise—cheapskate that I am. But, the impulse to reach for the Hellman’s was pretty strong—I believe it’s called muscle memory…?


Back at home, Kraft in hand, the first thing I tried it with was a tomato sandwich on toast—the litmus test for mayonnaise. If it’s awful on a tomato sandwich, it’s pretty much going to be awful on everything else. Well, it was pretty good. In fact it was delicious—very creamy, not too sweet, overall, very well balanced. The acid of the tomato and the nutty flavor of the toast all contributed.  Not convinced, the next thing I tried it with was a sliced hard-boiled egg sandwich. Again, pretty delicious. The dry yolk was perfectly moistened by the mayo. Finally, the last test was potato salad. There are no distracters from the mayo in potato salad, like sandwich bread. If it wasn’t tasty, I’d know it right away. Yep, delicious.  Am I a Kraft convert? I don’t know. But the impulse to reach for the Hellmann’s won’t be unconscious any longer.





2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed

3 large eggs

2/3 cup mayonnaise–Kraft or Hellmann’s

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons snipped chives

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer over moderate heat until tender, 30 minutes. Drain and let cool. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a vigorous boil. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and gently shake them against the side of the pan to crack the shells. Fill the pot with cold water and let sit until cool. Peel the eggs and coarsely chop them.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream and mustard until smooth. Add the chives, tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and eggs and fold until combined. Refrigerate until chilled and serve.

How to Curry Favors (that may get you free fish)

My friend and neighbor, Bob Wheeler is a fisherman—a generous fisherman who gladly shares his catch with me whenever he can. He’s brought me tuna that’s fresher than any I’ve ever had and more bountiful than I could ever afford. One time, there was enough for 3 dinners and each dish took advantage of the subsequent changing freshness of the fish. Day 1—Tuna Tartar (raw); Day 2—Tuna Salade Nicoise (lightly seared); Day 3—Tuna Burgers (cooked through). All good and all free!


This time he brought me about 5 black sea bass. Thankfully he gutted the fish, though I have been known to clean my own catch, but left the scaling and filleting to me.  I don’t mind breaking down fish, but scaling is a messy project. The scales fly all over, landing is some pretty unexpected places—inside drawers (closed!) on window sills but the oddest was inside my coffee pot. How??

Unlike the tuna boon, I wasn’t able to use all the bass right away.  I grilled what I could for dinner and vacuum-sealed the rest to freeze for later, knowing that the frozen fish would be relegated to bouillabaisse or fish tacos. (No complaints here!)  I was not in the mood for a tomato-y stew or motivated enough to shop and prep for tacos last night, so I checked my pantry for what I did have: ginger, unsweetened shredded coconut, dried curry leaves, a handful of cherry tomatoes and a pint of clam broth that I’d frozen after a clamming excursion last year (a cool story for another time!) Everything I needed for a fish curry. 


Quickly sautéing the aromatics, then simmering the broth and coconut milk, and finally adding the chunks of fish for the last few minutes yielded a most delicious curry which I served with rice. Three of us devoured what I’d intended for four. 

Bob gives me fish but what do I give Bob? Where’s the squid-pro-quo? Bob knows that to the core of my being, I appreciate the effort, the adventure and the absolute perfect freshness.  I love listening to his fish tales, but he loves listening to my kitchen exploits. Like a proud father, he beams when I tell him what I did with his catch. And even though I don’t have a fishing rod in my hand, he knows that I am a kindred spirit. 



Total time: 40 min

4 Servings


2 tablespoons oil

½ large sweet onion, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 jalapeno, minced

1 large garlic, minced

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 branch curry leaves (about 10) fresh or dried

½ cup chopped tomatoes

2 cups clam broth

½ cup coconut milk

2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water


1 pound white fish fillets, such as sea bass, red snapper or halibut, cut into 2-inhc pieces

½ cup peas

2 scallions sliced

Steamed rice for serving

Heat the oil in a medium enameled cast-iron casserole or large saucepan until shimmering. Add the onion, ginger, jalapeno, and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 7 to 8  minutes. Add the shredded coconut, curry powder, mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, clam broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in the corn starch mixture and bring to a boil. Season with salt. Add the fish and peas and simmer just until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in the scallions and serve with rice. 



Summertime is in full swing (or blues…) and short of Tea for Two or Makin’ Whoopee, the only thing to mitigate these St. Louis Blues is a big bowl of something very very cold. Vanilla ice cream is a lovely start, but why stop there?


Out of the blue, I had a hankering for blueberry sauce—which was very convenient since all I had in my fridge were blueberries and limes. (Yay for G&T’s!)  A trip to my herb garden yielded a hefty sprig of rosemary for aromatics and a trip to my pantry a few cups of sugar. Done!


First I simmered the blueberries and rosemary in a bit of water to get saucy, then strained out the skins and herbs.


Next, I made a lovely amber caramel. The lighter the caramel the more pronounced the blueberry flavor. I like it on the dark side because it reminds me of creme brûlée. I just discovered this unrefined sugar from Zulka which is a little darker than white sugar and has a slightly caramel-y flavor to start with. It made the caramel even more luscious and rich. I mixed both the caramel and the blueberry liquid together for a quick simmer and left it to cool. When working with caramel, you have to work quickly (the caramel continues to darken even off the heat until you add the liquid) and carefully. Caramel burns are EXCRUCIATING!

Of course it’s amazing on ice cream, but is awesome mixed in yogurt, drizzled on pancakes, waffles or french toast or mixed with mustard and brushed on grilled ribs (use a rosemary branch on the ribs!)  Happy Days are Here Again!


Makes 2 cups

Total time: about 20 minutes plus cooling

1 ½ cups blueberries

1 small rosemary sprig

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 cups sugar

In a small saucepan, simmer the berries and rosemary with 3/4 cup of water, crushing until softened and saucy. Strain the liquid, pressing on the solids to remove the skins and herbs and extract as much of the juices as possible. Stir in the lime juice.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cook without stirring over high heat until a deep amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Gently swirl the pan to evenly combine the caramel. Off the heat, carefully add the blueberry liquid. When the bubbling subsides, return to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the hardened caramel is dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer the caramel to a bowl and cool. Serve hot or at room temperature and enjoy! Refrigerate any leftovers, practically indefinitely.