Sneaky Fudge

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It's the last day of the year!  Tomorrow we are off to the races with our New Year's resolutions.  All our low-fat, more exercise, less bacon resolutions. (Sniffle). New year, new you, new me and all the jazz, and you know what that means.  It means we have exactly 24 hours left to eat chocolate.  And by chocolate, I mean fudge.  And by fudge, I mean this particular version of fudge, that includes not only a generous amount of dark chocolate, but a few sneaky ingredients that will have you wondering why you spent all that time eating well-behaved fudge. Read More & Get the Recipe

Candied Bacon

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One of the things I love about this blog is that I get so many suggestions for different things folks would like me to make.  And of all of those suggestions, some of my very favorites are the ones that involve bacon.  I know, shocking.  And of those bacon recipes, the ones that are pretty much all bacon?  Heaven, heaven, heaven.  This particular one is for candied bacon, which is a combination of two of my favorite words in the whole universe.  I was a little afraid to make it, just in case it didn't turn out to be all I hoped and dreamed it would be.  As it turned out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Read More & Get the Recipe

Pasta with Cheese and Cracked Pepper

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Oh sure.  That plate of pasta with cheese and pepper looks all innocent sitting there, doesn't it? A simple little plate of linguine in a buttery, silky cheese sauce.  You twirl up a nice warm forkful, pop it in your mouth, and then it hits you...those little cracked peppercorns balance out all that niceness with just the right amount of naughty.  This supper has bite, baby! Read More & Get the Recipe

Spicy Chilled BLT Soup

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It all started with this guy. Here's the thing.  I can grow herbs with no problem...LOTS of them.  Basil, tarragon, rosemary, parsley, thyme, sage, mint and mint and more mint.  But that's it...when it comes to vegetables I am a dismal failure.  My mom, on the other hand, can grow tomatoes and green beans and pumpkins and zucchini and a million other things, and when I was leaving her house the other day I embezzled this guy from a giant jalapeno pepper bush that she had going.  (Bush?  Vine?  Plant?  Tree?  I don't know the technical term...I just know I saw him, and he was calling out to me, so I picked him.) And then I remembered that I had this recipe for a spicy BLT soup that I had been meaning to make, and guess what it called for...yep.  One perfect little jalapeno.  And this is as good a time as any to give you my standard jalapeno advice, which is to wear surgical gloves (which you can get by the box) in your friendly neighborhood drugstore.  All it takes is Read More & Get the Recipe

Black Pepper and Lime Fries

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For me, summer cooking is all about the grill wherever possible. Steak, chicken, seafood, corn, grilled pizza(happy happy sigh)...and since the Southern husband is an impresario at the grill, life in the summer is even better. There's nothing like sitting on your back steps, glass of merlot in hand, watching the love of your life do the cooking.However, it DOES entail coming up with more side dishes than I, lover of one dish cooking, am normally used to, so I am always doubly happy when I come across a really fun one. These lime fries are from the fabulous 101 Cookbooks blog, and they are both super-easy and very yummy. And pretty darn healthy, as they are the variety of fries that cook in the oven with just a drizzling of olive oil. They involve lots and lots of black pepper, and for that extra zing (here's the part that especially caught my eye), a drizzling of lime juice and some fresh grated lime peel.Some grilled steak/chicken/seafood, some lime fries, a warm summer evening...ah Read More & Get the Recipe

Mascarpone Semifreddo with Strawberries and Black Pepper Honey

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The other day I posted a great recipe for crostini with lemony mascarpone and peppers, created and cooked by the wonderful chef Jessica Marotta from Campagnia restaurant, and I promised that I would follow up promptly with Jessica's recipe for Mascarpone Semifreddo with Strawberries and Black Pepper Honey. And here it is! Jessica is the latest chef that I have been lucky enough to photograph for our local Meet the Chefs series, and she taught us all about mascarpone. She makes her own, and she brought a delicious bowl of it with her. And she also told us (phew!) that these recipes would work just fine if we used store-bought mascarpone, so hang in there with me. We are now going to make mascarpone semifreddo. Which means ice cream. Really, really, really good ice cream. First Jessica beat some egg yolks and confectioner's sugar until it was gorgeously fluffy. Then she whipped up some heavy cream, vanilla and more confectioner's sugar, and mixed that with some of the Read More & Get the Recipe