Southern “Cassoulet”

Southern Cassoulet

Last week, I read a touching tribute to one amazing grandfather on Seek the Best Blog. When I mentioned my grandfather was also from the South, Lady G suggested that I share my family’s favorite meal and a little background behind it.

At the age of eight, I traveled with my relatives back to the South. It was a magical time on the family farm where my brother and I chased fireflies, drank sweet tea on the porch, and ate to our heart’s content. I remember the importance my grandfather bestowed on giving thanks for every meal. Though I miss him dearly, he taught me from humble beginnings comes great things.

Today, my father and I share a special love for Creole Cuisine. Southern Cassoulet combines southern comfort food with traditional French methods of slow-cooking beans. Serve with a tangy mustard, my grandfather’s favorite condiment, and you have food for the soul. Continue reading

Lumaconi with Almond Ricotta and Spinach

Lumaconi with Almond Ricotta and Spinach

Lumaconi pasta comes from a beautiful town overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Legend has it that a young pasta maker fell in love with a fisherman’s daughter. To impress her family, and win her hand in marriage, he invented a new pasta inspired by seashells called “Lumaca di mere.” Traditionally, the pasta is stuffed with ricotta and baked like lasagna. It’s one of my favorite recipes, and I hope it becomes yours too. Continue reading

Spetsofai – A Spicy Greek Stew

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If you like spicy food, spetsofai (σπετζοφάϊ) is for you. The stew is a traditional dish from the eastern coast of Greece.

It is one of the simplest meals to put together. I made the stew with grain sausages infused with roasted peppers, garlic, sweet onions, and oregano. Be sure to serve spetsofai with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. The stew is also wonderful over couscous or rice. Continue reading

Baked Spanakorizo

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Spanakorizo (σπανακόριζο) is a Greek side dish consisting of rice, spinach, and tomato. Though the rice is not stirred while it cooks, it has the same creamy consistency of risotto. I added cannellini beans, Kalamata olives, and a nut-based cheese to make it a meal. Bake the casserole until it’s bubbling hot, and you’re ready to go! Continue reading

Pumpkin Lasagna

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If you love pumpkin, I have a feeling you’ll like this simple lasagna recipe. By using oven ready lasagna and canned pumpkin puree, it cuts prep time in half. If I’m planning ahead for guests, I also like to cover and freeze the unbaked lasagna. It can thaw overnight in the refrigerator when you are ready to cook it the next day. Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Avocado Sauce

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Can you believe December is right around the corner? I have a lot of catching up to do with all of your wonderful blogs. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a special recipe.

Spaghetti Squash is one of my favorite things to cook with during the fall. Usually, I’d serve the “squash noodles” with marinara and homemade dairy free parmesan cheese. But I had an avocado on hand and decided to try out a new sauce. The result was fantastic and would pair great with fresh pasta too. Continue reading

Summer Sandwich

Summer Sandwich

I can’t believe how fast summer has flown by! I like to keep meals easy during the summer, and one of my favorite recipes takes only ten minutes to make. Grilling or broiling the bread is essential. I added hemp hearts to boost vitamins and protein. If you don’t have them on hand, sesame seeds or poppy seeds would be delicious too. Continue reading

Saffron Risotto

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 A Sophisticated and Classic Italian Dish

When I’m cooking for a special guest, I like to impress them with my saffron risotto. The sweetness of saffron paired with the nuttiness of aged nut cheese transforms this risotto into a wonderful dish. You’ll be surprised at how easy risotto is to make. I found the key is using Vialone Nano rice as a base. Today, I’m excited to share my secret recipe with you. Continue reading