Classic Coleslaw

The good old classic coleslaw, it almost goes synonymous with a summer holiday weekend.  Coleslaw goes with anything, especially anything that has been grilled.  This summer in NYC, we visited one of my favorite delis, the one that brings a big metal bowl of pickles and one of coleslaw to every table.  I couldn’t even wait for my corned beef sandwich to come, I just had to dig right in.  Fortunately there were six of us, so they brought us a few bowls of coleslaw, because I plowed through one of them pretty quickly.  By the time my sandwich came, I had to dig into the second bowl.  Their coleslaw is amazing, there is no mayonnaise, just a vinegar dressing that the cabbage has been soaking in for probably days.  It is crunchy and absolutely addicting – by itself, or in between a sandwich that is already bigger than your mouth.  Oh wait, and did I tell you about the chocolate soda they bring around after your meal?  Just classic.

I decided to make some coleslaw to go with our BBQ, and I searched for a recipe that would be good, and I just couldn’t find anything that appealed to me – until I found this on Epicurious (from Bon Appetit).  I figured since it was called Classic Coleslaw, I couldn’t go wrong.  Really what sold me on the recipe was the fact that it had diced dill pickles and pickle juice in the dressing.  I decided to change the recipe slightly though, and added radicchio instead of purple cabbage, for a nice twist.  I was glad I did, I liked the slight bitterness with the tangy dressing.  So – it still didn’t hold a candle to the deli coleslaw, but it was still classic in its own way.  Look at that picture, is that classic coleslaw or what?


  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced dill pickle plus 2  tablespoons pickle brine
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white  vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared white  horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black  pepper
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 cups shredded radicchio


Whisk the first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend.

DO  AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Toss the cabbage, carrots and raddichio together in a large serving bowl.  Add the dressing, and mix to coat.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Classic Coleslaw

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Margarita Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Years ago I had an idea…I should open a store where I sell different types of cookies, and different flavors of ice-cream, and you can choose the top, bottom, and insides of your custom ice-cream sandwich.  I thought it was brilliant, but I wasn’t about to quit my day job, so it just ended up being a fantasy.  Over the years, I have seen glimpses of this idea come to fruition – but nothing exactly like it until my last trip to New York City.

New York City is a food lovers mecca – and I have to go every year to get my fix.  I love spending weeks figuring out exactly where we are going to eat, and carefully planning each meal.  This last trip went extremely well, I am not sure we had a bad dish all week – and we even stumbled upon some bonus places that we were not anticipating (Eataly being one that is not to be missed).  A week before we were leaving, I heard about The Meatball Shop – and even though I didn’t have a meal to spare – once I read about this place, I had to switch some things around.  We had to go…and we were so glad we did.  The meatballs were amazing, seriously, the best I have ever had – but get the dessert – exactly my store.  They had 6 different cookies, 6 different ice-creams, and you chose the top and bottom cookie, then your ice-cream – and you have created your very own creation.  For $4, it could not be beat.  The entire week we were thinking about how we could go back.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and I really felt like they were thinking outside the box with this one.  I loved the salted sugar cookies along with the lime sherbet mixed with vanilla ice-cream – it was genius.  The flavors were perfect together, and if you closed your eyes, you thought you were drinking a margarita.  My daughter on the other hand, was not too excited when she bit into the cookie and realized that it was not just sugar on top, it was also salt.  She was not pleased.  But for adults who love that combination, it cannot be beat.  So – if you can’t get to NYC anytime soon, and you are craving a creative ice-cream sandwich, here is a great one for you – although it might just be too good for kids…they need to acquire the taste first.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 teaspoons grated lime rind, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 11 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 cups vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, softened
  • 2 cups lime sherbet, softened


Place butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg, 1 tablespoon lime rind, and lime juice; beat 2 minutes or until well combined.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon table salt; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, and beat just until combined.

Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 6-inch log. Wrap logs individually in plastic wrap; chill 3 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut each log into 16 (about 1/3-inch-thick) slices, and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the cookies evenly with remaining 2 teaspoons lime rind, turbinado sugar, and sea salt. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes on pans on a wire rack. Remove from baking sheets, and cool completely on wire rack.

Place vanilla ice cream and sherbet in a medium bowl; lightly fold and swirl together. Scoop 1/4 cup ice cream mixture onto bottom of one cookie, and top with one cookie. Cover each sandwich with plastic wrap; freeze 4 hours or until firm.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Margarita Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce

I feel like I keep harping on this subject – but I swear, this has been the worst summer in the 15 years I have lived in Seattle.  We are back into red right now though with temperatures reaching into the high 70s, and you can hear the cheering from miles away – but unfortunately it came a little late this year, and it doesn’t look like we are going to have many cherry tomatoes to enjoy.  My husband always planted a variety – some cherries, some big mamas, and some in between – but we always loved the cherries the best.  Finally a couple of years ago – he made a big decision…the garden would only have cherry tomatoes.  Why not grow just the good stuff?  I thought we would be missing out – that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy that wonderful tomato sauce, or make salsa – but I was surprised.  I could do all that with the cherry tomatoes, and they actually made everything taste sweeter and better!

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and it sat in my pantry for quite a while waiting for the cherry tomatoes to turn ripe, when I finally couldn’t stand it any longer.  I had to go to the market and actually pay for them.  At least I was able to find them at the farmer’s market, where they looked reasonably fresh – although they were probably driven in from eastern Washington.  Needless to say, this chicken dish was amazing.  So sweet and delicious – the tender pieces of chicken took on that wonderful flavor, and it was just a party in my mouth.  Even the kids liked the chicken, although I had to remove the tomatoes – but no problem at all, that meant more for me.  I served this with some rice, and just scooped the leftover tomatoes on top of the rice – they were ridiculous.  So if you live in a place that had a hot summer – and you are wondering what to do with all those cherry tomatoes – look no further…here is the recipe for you…enjoy!!!


  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground  black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes (11-12 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf  parsley


Mash butter, garlic, marjoram, and paprika in a small bowl to  blend. Season marjoram butter to taste with salt and pepper.

Melt 1 tablespoon marjoram butter in a medium heavy skillet  over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet,  cover, and cook until no longer pink in center, about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a plate. Tent chicken with foil to keep  warm.

Increase heat to high. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook,  stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes. Add  remaining marjoram butter to skillet. Crush tomatoes slightly to release juices;  stir 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon tomato sauce  over chicken. Garnish with parsley.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chicken Breasts with Tomato

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Cherry Hand Pies

So remember when I posted this, I mentioned I had saved some cherries to make something else as well?  I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, right around the time that we were picking all the cherries, so I was super excited.  I just love puffed pastry…it is so easy to work with, and everything comes out looking so impressive when in reality it was actually pretty simple.  I decided though that it was time to try a new puffed pastry…and I am so glad I did.

I mentioned a while ago that my husband has eliminated dairy from his diet.  It actually has been easier than I thought – although I am still eating dairy.  I have been trying to make more dairy free desserts – but I just love baking with butter, and I have not eliminated it from the house.  Since there are still three people in the house that eat dairy, sometimes he just has to go without the baked goods.  The other week I was in Whole Foods though, and I noticed a puffed pastry that was dairy free – I was very intrigued, because to me puffed pastry is really just about the butter – but how can puffed pastry be bad?  I was about to find out.  I decided to try these Cherry Hand Pies using the dairy-free dough because I knew the cherries would be amazing, and balance out any strange taste the puffed pastry ended up having.  Well – I was shocked – I couldn’t tell the difference whatsoever – these were fabulous – and I didn’t miss the butter flavor at all!  Best of all, my husband was extremely appreciative – so much so that he ate three the night I made them.  So – if dairy is not your friend, you must go to Whole Foods and find this product – you will be so happy you did!


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted, or about 12 ounces frozen pitted cherries, unthawed
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 11.4-ounce package all-butter puff pastry (preferably Dufour), thawed in refrigerator
  • Flour (for dusting)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons raw sugar


Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir  cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl to blend. Combine  fresh cherries and next 4 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium  heat, stirring occasionally, until cherry juices are released, about 5 minutes.  Add cornstarch mixture; bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and  let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to an 18×15″  rectangle.  Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into nine 6×5″  rectangles. Whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon water in another small bowl for egg  wash.

Working with 1 pastry rectangle at a time, place on a work  surface and brush edges with egg wash. Scoop 3 tablespoons cherry mixture onto  one side; fold dough over filling so that short ends meet, forming a 5×3″  packet. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in  top of pie to vent. Place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining dough  and filling.

Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle with raw sugar. Chill  for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake pastries until tops and bottoms are  golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer  to wire racks; let cool completely.

DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day  ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Cherry Hand Pies

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Lighter Brioche Hamburger Buns

We have been having a lot of fun with my husband’s new toy – the Big Green Egg.  Every weekend we try something new, and everything is amazing, seriously – this thing works magic.  One weekend though, he really out did himself.  He went with the 18-hour pulled pork.  He started it late on Saturday night, then cooked it well into the day.  Neither of us slept very well, worrying that the temperature was not holding steady – but it came out beautifully – better than that, it was downright dangerous – good thing we had lots of friends over to share the goodness.

Well, since he was taking most of the responsibility with the main course (which I loved, BTW), I decided that I had to make some homemade rolls to go with the pork.  I haven’t had to search for a recipe in quite a while, because normally I have a pile I am trying to get through – so I ended up going to both Foodgawker and Tastespotting to find a good roll recipe.  Thanks so much Home Cooking Montana – you were the lucky winner – those buns looked amazing, and they turned out fantastic!  They were light and fluffy, and rose wonderfully, which is always my worry.  Next time I make them I will use more egg wash (since I had some left-over), but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Of course the star of the show was the pork…but the buns definitely made an impressive showing.   Thanks for an awesome new recipe!!


  • 2/3 cup warm milk
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3 TBS honey
  • 2 ex-large eggs, room temp.
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 cups bread flour(+ more, if needed)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk with a little water
  • sesame seeds
*you can use regular bread flour


In the bowl of a mixer add the flours(3 cups first), yeast and the salt. Whisk to combine and add the sliced soft butter.  In a glass measuring cup, combine milk, warm water, eggs and honey. Whisk to combine and add it all to the dry ingredients.  Place a kneading hook and turn on mixer. Mix on low scraping the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour. Increase the speed to medium. Knead for 8 minutes…the dough should be tacky and look pretty sticky. If you feel the dough is sticking to the sides too much add 1 TBS of flour at a time until the dough gathers around the hook and slaps around the sides of the bowl. It may still stick a bit to the sides, but not overly. Don’t be tempted to add too much flour or the buns will be dry.~ I probably added another couple of tablespoonfuls of extra flour.  Continue kneading for an additional 2 more minutes… for a total of 10 minutes.  Scrape the sticky dough that clings to the sides of the mixer bowl and then form all of the dough in a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until at least doubled in bulk and is nice and puffy… 1 to 2 hours.
Plop the soft dough unto a floured countertop… sprinkle a bit of flour on top as well. Using a dough scraper, divide dough into 8-10 equal parts( or in my case, just grab a lemon size piece of dough). With floured hands form balls and place on lightly oiled parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheet as they will rise some more.  Flatten the balls down a bit( to about 1 1/2-2 inches or so) and brush with egg yolk. Add sesame seeds. Cover loosely (with oiled plastic wrap) and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours… or until nicely puffed.
Pre-heat oven to 400F with rack in center. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the buns.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely and freeze, if desired.
So, what did we do with these beauties??  Big Green Egg Pulled Pork baby…un-freakin-believable.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Lighter Brioche Hamburger Buns
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Mango-Cucumber Wine Cooler

I figured it was time for another cucumber drink, just in case you are still wondering what to do with all those cucumbers in your garden.  Even though we don’t have cucumbers, we certainly have mint..and plenty of it.  There is a section of the yard next to the garden boxes that started off with Rosemary.  Rosemary grows like weeds in Seattle, there are people who actually have it growing like hedges – what a wonderful smell they have walking up to their front door.  Back to our garden – so even though it started with Rosemary, and we figured we would have to trim it back it would grow so big – it only lasted a season.  I guess Rosemary has not been happy with the cold winters we have been having – and it hasn’t been doing as well in the recent years.  Two years ago, my husband decided to plant some mint in that space – we heard that mint also grows like weeds, so we figured we would give it a try.  Sure enough, it is perfect for that area – it dies in the winter and comes back in the spring – and so far (knock on wood), it hasn’t taken over the entire yard yet.

Needless to say – I have been making a lot of drinks with mint this summer.  Cucumber and Mint is a wonderful combination (as I proved here), but add some Mango to the mix – and you’ve got yourself a party in a glass.  I found this recipe in Bon Appetit, and I had to give it a try.  This was almost like a Sangria – alcohol soaked fruit with a wine base – it was wonderfully refreshing.  What I love most about these drinks, is you get a little snack with every glass.  I served this to some friends, and it went quickly.  A perfect summertime drink – now only if we could get Mangos to grow in the Pacific NW…we would be set!


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 750-ml bottle Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, peeled, cut into 1/4″ rounds
  • 1 mango, pitted, peeled, finely diced
  • 12 sprigs fresh mint, divided
  • 1 cup ginger  ale


Stir sugar and 1  1/2 tablespoons hot water in a large pitcher  until dissolved. Add wine, cucumber, and mango. Remove leaves from 6 sprigs of  mint; stir into pitcher. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 6  hours.

Stir ginger ale into pitcher. Fill 6 large wineglasses with  ice. Divide wine cooler among glasses. Garnish with remaining 6 mint sprigs.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Mango-Cucumber Wine Cooler

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Lemony Cucumber Salad

Are you wondering what to do with all those cucumbers in your garden?  I am not asking that question of myself, because unfortunately we stopped growing cucumbers years ago, since my husband is not a fan.  I am a huge fan though, so I end up buying them at the farmer’s markets along with other goodies that we don’t have growing in the back yard.

I have probably told this story before, but when we lived in Denver, my husband (boyfriend at the time) grew everything imaginable – whether he liked it or not.  Cucumbers seemed to grow like weeds, we had way more than I knew what to do with – and that’s when he told me he wasn’t a fan.  So what did I do?  I bought some italian dressing, cut the cucumbers in slices, and kept a huge Tupperware container of them marinating in the refrigerator.  I was young then, only a couple of years out of college – with no internet, and very few cook books.  This was the best I could do – and I loved them – I probably ate a cucumber a day for a month.  I probably should have just made pickles and ate them throughout the year….live and learn.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and it just seemed like the perfect summer salad – I could find almost everything at the farmer’s market.  Since I was using cucumbers and knew my husband wouldn’t eat any, I didn’t feel badly at all putting vinegar in the dressing.  It was a delicious salad, that tasted even better the next day.  So, if you don’t want to make pickles with all your cucumbers this year – try this one instead!


  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine lemon rind and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour over cucumber mixture; toss well to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Lemony Cucumber Salad

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