Winter Olympics Weekend Special

Uh oh, I’m feeling a little achy, my throat is a little scratchy and my nose is stuffy. With any luck, it’s a blip. Without that luck, it could be a weekend on the sofa. Thank goodness, the Olympics are on. There will be plenty to watch.

Hopefully, your immune system is holding up better than mine. After all the Olympics are a terrific excuse for a watch party and delicious dinner with friends. Buffet or around the table, you choose. Either way, here are a few ideas for a tasty Olympic feast with a bit of Asian flair:

Let’s start with a tasty appetizer, maybe two. There couldn’t be a better time to give my Savory Korean Pancakes a try. Need more? Let everyone help themselves to a beautiful platter of fresh vegetables, Roasted Shrimp and Peanut-Sesame Dipping Sauce?

Start your dinner with a lovely salad. Can I suggest – Spicy Cucumber & Radish Salad or Thai Salad.

Now, for the main course. How about a delicious combination of Hoisin Pork Ribs with Quick Braised Asian Vegetables and Dandan Noodles.

Ready for dessert? Green tea or ginger ice cream and/or fresh fruit works. If you’d like to take it up a level, you might like to try my Ginger Crème Brûlée or Fresh Berries with Creamy Lime Custard. Neither is Korean or even Asian but both are delicious!

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus!

Photo courtesy of  IOC Media © Dave Thompson/IOC. All content exclusive of IOC photo © Susan W. Nye, 2018 

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It’s Another Patriots Super Bowl Weekend Special

New Englanders are beside themselves with excitement. Tom Brady and the boys are in Minneapolis for Super Bowl 52! They’re going for number six … that’s six Super Bowl wins. It’s party time throughout the region. Football fans will be watching (and eating) in fancy screening rooms and ordinary family rooms. Man caves will be packed and, invited or not, women will be there in their number twelve jerseys.

Now for the spread … how about Italian? … because – who doesn’t love an Italian feast. Here are a few ideas for a delicious spread:

Let’s start with beautiful antipasto platters. To start, arrange some of your favorite cheeses, sliced sausages and prosciutto on a platter, add some fruit and a few nuts. Next, roast some of your favorite veggies. Think Cauliflower, Beets and Butternut Squash as well as Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots & Pearl Onions. If you like, add a small pitcher of Balsamic Reduction Finally, fill a basket with artisanal crackers, toasted baguette slices and a few breadsticks and invite your friends to make their own crostini.

Enjoy your favorite pasta at halftime. Now you can keep it simple and toss up a big batch of Penne alla Vodka. (Hint: make the sauce in advance.) Or take the make ahead route with Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake or everyone’s favorite Four Cheese Lasagna Bolognese with Spinach. Serve the pasta with a colorful Romaine & Radicchio Caesar Salad.

For dessert? How about a cupcake? Of course you’ll want to bake one with a white frosting … so you can add a few drops of food color to celebrate your favorite team. You might like my Sour Cream Cupcakes with White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting. Not enough chocolate? Well, then give my Double Trouble Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes a try. Too much, then maybe you’d like my favorite Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Touch down and bon appétit!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2018

The Super Bowl LII logo is a trademark of the National Football League.  

Weekend Special – a Cozy Dinner to Face the Rain and Ice

Right on schedule, it’s the January Thaw. After weeks of subzero weather, it would feel pretty good … if it didn’t bring rain … and ice. It may be above freezing but it’s wet and still chilly. Outside there will be a mess of slush and ice but, thankfully, inside it will be cozy and warm. Why not invite friends over for a game or movie night and dinner?

Here are a few suggestions for a cozy meal:

Set up the Jenga tower and invite everyone to gather by the fire. Pass a plate of warm and toasty Mushroom Crostini, sip a glass and hold your breath until the tower falls.

Start dinner with a hearty salad. Many of us grew up with pale tomatoes and paler lettuce. Now we lean towards vibrant colors. Kale, radicchio, arugula, roasted veggies and more come together in all their glory. Give my Kale & Radicchio Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash or Romaine & Radicchio Salad with Avocado, Pomegranate & Walnuts a try. You’ll be glad you did.

For a cozy main course, enjoy a spoonful of Sweet Potato Polenta topped with delicious Roasted Shrimp & Andouille Sausage.

For dessert, load that Oscar contender that you missed in the theatres and enjoy it with my Mini Tarte Tatins. Be sure to add a spoonful of your favorite vanilla or ginger ice cream.

Stay dry and bon appétit!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

How will you spend this rainy-icy-snowy weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2018

A Cozy Dinner for a Numbing Cold Weekend Special

The snow is piling up outside but it’s warm and cozy inside. (Knock wood that power stays on!) It is a great day to cuddle up at home with a cup of tea, a blanket and a book. Before I get to that, I have a few suggestions for a cozy dinner this weekend. (Unfortunately, today’s relatively balmy temperature – 15°F – will be short lived. The weekend promises another blast of numbing cold.

Whether you stay in by the fire or bundle up for a ski, skate or snowshoe, it’s going to be a cold weekend. Here are a few suggestions to warm up at the end of the day:

Start the evening in front of the fire. Warm up with a nice glass of red wine and mug of soup. You’ll love my Wild Mushroom Soup. Add a wedge of your favorite cheese and crackers and the hors d’oeuvres are done. Take your time, relax and enjoy.

Eventually, you’ll want to move to the table. For a cozy main course, you can’t beat my Braised Short Ribs. Serve them with my Sweet Potato Polenta and a spoonful of Roasted Carrots with Pearl Onions and/or Roasted Parsnips.

Staying with the cozy theme, enjoy my Bananas Foster for dessert. Serve the fiery bananas with a spoonful of your favorite vanilla, banana or rum raisin ice cream.

Stay warm and bon appétit!

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For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

How will you celebrate the New Year? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2018

Holiday Special – New Year’s Day Brunch

Some would say it’s too cold to ski or ice skate. If you agree, why not invite family and friends in for an impromptu brunch? That said, it’s been a long week and, maybe just maybe, you’re getting to a little tired of cooking (say it ain’t so). If that’s the case, make it a potluck.

Here are few dishes to help you get motivated:

If it’s quiche you want, try my almost traditional Quiche. If you prefer some variation of brunch’s favorite cheese and egg pie, turn to my Spinach Ricotta Pie or Tarte à l’Oignon (Onion Tart).

Unless you’d prefer a pancake. How about my Tostadas with Avocado Crema & Black Bean Salsa or Zucchini Pancakes with a dab of Tapenade. If you haven’t had enough smoked salmon or Gravlax, then try my Savory Blinis or Latkes with a dab of sour cream, a sliver of salmon and a bit of caviar. Then again, you can trade the pancakes for a toasted bagel with that lox.

A baked good or two is nice touch. For savory, try my Irish Soda Bread or Cheesy Pumpkin-Sage Biscuits. Want something sweet? How about Cranberry Coffee Cake or Gingerbread Muffins.

Brew some coffee, whip up a batch of Mimosas or Mango Sparklers and have a lovely brunch.

Happy New Year and bon appétit!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

How will you celebrate the New Year? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

What Cooking on New Year’s Eve?

There are lots of  ways to welcome in the New Year.

Some will celebrate with a raucous buffet or potluck and others with an elegant sit down dinner. I’ll be off to a low-key gathering with tapas and champagne. As long as there is a fire in the fireplace, it sounds good to me. The cold was brutal today – I don’t think the temperature broke zero. (For my Swiss friends that’s 0°F or -18°C.) More cold is promised for at least a week.

Tapas for New Year’s Eve

Whether you are doing it all or you need to bring a dish to a tapas potluck … here are my suggestions:
Roasted Shrimp with Rémoulade Sauce or Roasted Shrimp with Tarragon Aioli
Spanakopita Triangles or Greek Stuffed Mushrooms or … Savory Galette with Spinach, Mushrooms & Manchego
Butternut Squash Tartlets or Butternut Squash Crostini with Goat Cheese & Balsamic Reduction
Crostini with Fig, Stilton and Walnuts or Crostini with Beef Tenderloin & Stilton or Mushroom Crostini

Fill out the menu with a beautiful platter or two. Try smoked salmon with all the fixings or Gravlax with Tarragon-Caper Mustard Sauce and some a delicious artisanal cheese and charcuterie board.

Say goodnight (before or after midnight) with a sweet treat:
Triple Chocolate Parfait in tiny dessert glasses, Pot de Crème (Chocolate Cream) or White Hot Chocolate
Pumpkin-Ginger Mousse or Maple Mousse with Apple Compote
Citrus & Spice Sugar Cookies or Almond Macarons with Chocolate-Raspberry Ganache or Root ‘n’ Tooty Good ‘n’ Fruity Oatmeal Cookies or Macadamia Nut Shortbread (or all of the above!)

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A Festive Buffet or Potluck for New Year’s Eve

Start with a lovely salad:
Crunchy Salad with Apples & Grapes or Caesar Salad with Parmesan Croutons or Romaine & Radicchio Caesar Salad
Mixed Greens with Gorgonzola & Walnuts or Rainbow Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette or Radicchio, Fennel, and Arugula Salad

Unless you’re thinking something hearty like Quinoa Salad or Wheat Berry Salad – either or both be a great addition to the buffet table.

A heart soup or chili will be welcome on a brutally cold night:
Hearty Black Bean Soup or White Bean Soup with Sweet Potato and Wilted Greens
Cheddar Ale Soup or Potato & Cheddar Soup or Sausage, Kale & Potato Soup
Harira (Middle Eastern Soup with Chicken, Chick-Peas and Lentils) or Curried Chicken & Lentil Soup or French Lentil Soup with Chicken & Sausage
Nana Nye’s Prize-Winning Fish Chowder or Spicy Shrimp Chowder
Chili Con Carne or Red Bean Chili with Pork & Butternut Squash or my favorite Pumpkin Chili with Turkey & Black Beans

Now, for dessert? How about …
Applesauce Cake with Brown Butter Icing or Apple Bread Pudding  
Double Trouble Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes or Frosty the Snowman Cupcakes or
Gingerbread Cupcakes or Mini Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Cheesecake Brownies or Espresso Brownies or Triple Threat Brownies

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And How About a Cozy but Elegant Dinner Party?

Pass Savory Blinis with Smoked Salmon & Caviar
Come to the table for Roasted Cauliflower, Radicchio & Arugula Salad
Move on to Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Mushroom SauceTwice-Baked Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pearl Onions …or… the simplicity of an almost one-dish wonder Braised Lamb with Artichokes & Mushrooms & Creamy Polenta

Something ligher? How about starting with Spanish Stuffed Mushrooms
Followed by a Fennel & Feta Salad
and then move on to Fish Stew Provençal with Whole Grain Pilaf and Grilled Ratatouille Stacks

Either way … try my White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle for a grand finish.

However you spend it, have a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration and bon appétit!

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menusFor a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

Beef or Turkey? What’s for Christmas Dinner?

What’s on your Christmas dinner menu? The traditional favorites seem to be beef – either a rib roast or beef tenderloin – or turkey. I grew up with turkey on Christmas until Mom realized that beef was a much easier meal. Yes, it’s more expensive but she figured it was worth it. I’ve put together two menus to help you enjoy a delicious Noël. Feel free to use one in its entirety, pick and choose or mix and match. Whatever you cook this Christmas, have a wonderful holiday!

Delicious Beef Tenderloin for Christmas Dinner
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Toss up a salad with with Lemony Kale & Radicchio Salad to start.
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Treat everyone to a beautiful Beef Tenderloin. Serve it with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce or Roasted Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots & Pearl Onions (I recommend the latter.) Add some Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Nye Family favorite … Twice-Baked Potatoes.
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Finish with a sweet pud. Try my creamy White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle, homey Cranberry Clafoutis or my fabulous Chocolate-Espresso Cheesecake.

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A Tasty Turkey for Christmas
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Start with a delicious salad of Roasted Cauliflower, Radicchio & Arugula.
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Move on to Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy. Make it easy (there’s a lot going on!) and skip the stuffing. Instead serve the turkey with Wild Rice Pilaf with Roasted Mushrooms & Kale. Don’t forget the Cranberry Sauce or, for something a little different, Cranberry Chutney.

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End on a sweet and gingery note with traditional Gingerbread Cupcakes,
Ginger-Orange Cheesecake or luscious Ginger Crème Brûlée (or all three!)

Wishing you a joyful and delicious Christmas!

Christmas dinner on Jackson Road.
Grandpa Nye, Nana Westland, Mom, Grandpa Westland and Nana Nye

Happy Holidays!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What are you cooking Christmas Day? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus!  © Susan W. Nye, 2017