Rosemary Baked Chicken WITH GRAVY

How beautiful is this chicken?  I took this photograph while standing on my dining room table.  I have a perfect place right by my back sliding glass door where the natural light is good for about four hours a day. I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog.  I see my stats rising and I […]

New Video: Simple Vegetable Soup for Busy People

I keep soup like this in my house almost all the time.  I make a big pot once a week, and I eat it almost every day. It’s great for lunch.  You can add a little leftover chicken if you want to have a little protein.  Or some leftover pasta if you want more […]

French-Style Thanksgiving Turkey (with Gravy)

Once again, Thanksgiving is upon us.   I must admit; as I was cooking this turkey for my blog I got little misty-eyed with gratitude.  Another year has passed with us all safe and well.  A hard year, yes, but one that yielded good things, ultimately. I’ve been cooking this particular turkey recipe for seven […]

Fancy Cranberry Sauce

The days are clipping by so fast; it’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is in only two weeks.  The difficult-to-manage four-year-old turns five next week, which is just unbelievable to me. So, I’ve survived the “first five years” SIX TIMES OVER.  That’s a lot of tying shoes, a lot of boo-boo kissing and a lot of […]

Classic American Yellow Cake with Chocolate Icing

If you’ve never made a cake from scratch before, this recipe is a good one to get you started. I can’t claim to have a favorite cake, like I can’t claim to have a favorite child.  But….this one’s in my top 5… The chocolate icing has just a bite of bitterness to […]

Mini Apple Breads

These great little breads are deliciously moist and cinnamon-ey. Plus, they mix up easily and keep well. The presentation is ADORABLE, if I do say so myself. My little daughters were thrilled with these, because they said they were straight out of a “My Little Pony” episode. Apple Valley? I […]

Vavich Family Buttermilk Pancakes

There’s really nothing to making pancakes from scratch. Three of my children have this recipe memorized, and my husband does too.  He’s pulls out all the stops on Saturday mornings and makes these.  He’s like a Transformer….  Marine most of the time, but on Saturday (if he’s home) he’s “Breakfast Time Daddy”.  I […]

Caramel Apple Slab Pie

People always ask me which kind of apple is best for apple pie.  Oh don’t get me started.  I love talking about apples almost as much as I love talking about Star Trek. I have had the fantastic fortune of being able to live in so many places.  One of the things that’s […]

My Best Pie Crust

 “Pie Crust Anxiety”. Oh yes, it’s real. Of all the topics of cooking classes I’ve taught and of all the time I’ve spent with students and friends in my own kitchen, I’ve witnessed an incredible amount of angst and trepidation over pie crust. It seems to be the American woman’s […]

DIY Designer Cake Plate

I have always relied on the old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention”.  It is exhilarating to create something on the fly – something that didn’t even exist an hour ago.  And most times, what necessity requires you to invent is far superior to anything that could have been handed to you.  […]

An Old-Fashioned Cakewalk Cake for My Son

My fifth child is in first grade already!  I can’t believe it.  It seems like only yesterday that he was bounding all over the house in a diaper and a ninja costume. Every year my kids’ elementary school has an old-fashioned “fall festival”.  Think Pollyanna and the bazaar.  Really neat […]

True Love’s Beef Stew

I met my husband when I was only eighteen.  I may have been only eighteen, but I was smart.  I thought to myself, “He’s the one”.  And then I set about to convince him that I was the one for him. Since my only training in romance had come from Janet Jackson and […]

My 72-Hour Beef Broth

That’s right.  Seventy-two hours.  This is the kind of broth that will make a hundred dishes swoon-worthy.  This is the kind of thing you make when you really FEEL your food.  When you consider yourself an alchemist.  A rogue.  A guns-blazing, ax wielding badass of a cook. If you’re any kind of […]

Fresh Persimmons with Moroccan Rosewater and Okinawan Honey

Persimmons are in season right now in Okinawa. I’ve had several people ask me what they taste like. An orange? A mango? Yes. Kind of a combination of orange and mango, but with flesh like a mango. Sort of. The skin is firm and almost as thick as a mango’s […]

Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup

Back on my Carrot and Coriander Soup post, I said that almost every soup in the world starts with an onion.  Well, this creamy fresh tomato and basil soup would be the exception to that rule. Soup-making is such an important and useful skill. Clearly, these tomatoes are past their prime.  […]

Banana Butter Rum Cake

It all started with seven overripe bananas and more rum than should be legal before noon. And it ended with this really delicious cake. But let’s start from the beginning. Hello. Nemesis. Oh, how I hate bananas.  Always speed-ripening.  Never the same from day to day.  Like avocados, but SO NOT […]

Persimmon Pico de Gallo

It’s autumn in Okinawa.  While the leaves are not turning, and we are far from the light frost of the winter, you will find an abundance of Asian fall fruits in the local markets. Global cuisine.  It’s a new phenomenon.  We modern humans so well-traveled, and have such accepting palates, that we can taste a fruit […]

My Family’s Favorite Braised Beef

There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day out and being greeted with the heady, spicy scent of this braised beef.  It cooks up so perfectly in the crock pot.  If you’re tired enough, and stressed enough, and overwhelmed enough, it may just bring a tear of relief […]

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Pizza

I’ve been making pizza since I was about fifteen-years-old.  I seem to remember doing a how-to pizza demo for my tenth grade English class.  I think that was my favorite day of high school, ever. Even after twenty-five years of making pizza at least once a week, I still find the process thrilling. And […]

Roasted Brussels with Bacon and Truffle-Infused Goat Cheese

Such a long and fancy name for something so easy to make. But delicious. This is the kind of thing you make when you want a quiet night in.  I consider it a main meal.  You eat it with a huge glass of wine while sitting on the sofa in your favorite jammies and watching […]