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Gluten-free Tuscan Peasant Soup with Sausage

This Tuscan peasant soup is a version of a classic dish found in Marcella Hazan’s “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”. I received a copy from my sister-in-law for my birthday a couple of years ago and spent a week of reading it cover to cover. It’s an amazing cookbook,...

Chardonnay Chicken

This chardonnay chicken recipe is super easy and is just the thing to fancy-up a regular weeknight meal. I used a chardonnay gifted to me by Prescription Vineyards and chicken from Omaha Steaks and the combo was perfect (we drank the chardonnay with the chicken also and that was...

Taylor Swift listening party menu ideas

If you haven’t had a Taylor Swift listening party yet (because it was at midnight and you have a job), you are probably planning to listen to Midnights within the next day or two. Every good listening party needs a good menu. Here are a few ideas to make...

Brown Butter Banana Bread

This brown butter banana bread is a decadent morning treat. If you’ve been saving up ripe bananas in the freezer, this is your reminder to use them! I used three frozen bananas and brown butter — yep, brown butter — alongside brown sugar, cake flour, vanilla bean paste and...

Basic Chocolate Cake Donuts

Donuts on Sunday morning are a must sometimes (especially chocolate cake donuts). My kids beg for them every week, but sometimes I’d like to get in the kitchen instead of sending them out with their dad for the baked goods. This morning, I settled in to make these basic...

Pumpkin ricotta caprese appetizers two ways

This pumpkin ricotta version of caprese with sausage is a truly versatile appetizer. If you aren’t a fan of pumpkin, you can omit that ingredient, but this is a savory pumpkin dish that isn’t too “pumpkin-y.” The pumpkin and ricotta combine perfectly with the ample garlic and lemon juice...

Pumpkin parfait with white chocolate

Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin parfait dessert? This white chocolate pumpkin parfait is lighter in flavor than pumpkin pie, lighter overall than a pumpkin cheesecake, but equally as indulgent as both of those desserts. This is easier to make than most desserts. It’s no-bake, and includes one of...

Pesto sausage lasagna with homemade sauce (and tons of herbs)

This pesto sausage lasagna is definitely a bit more complicated than my usual recipes, but still not too difficult! I wanted to try my hand at the dish and I had mountains of herbs to use, so I put together a pesto sauce to mix into the meat mixture....

Negroni cocktail with honey and rosemary

A Negroni is one of those classic cocktails that doesn’t really need improvements, but I love to experiment and came up with a version I like. This Negroni cocktail has some sweetness, subs sweet vermouth for a dry Sauvignon blanc or vermouth, and has the added flavors of rosemary...

Edible Crops to Plant in Your Fall Garden

It’s time to start planting your fall garden! Gardening is my second favorite activity (to cooking). There is nothing like deciding what to have for dinner and heading into my front yard to pluck the ingredients. My kids like to join in too — they love to try each...

The best chocolate brownies with hidden veggies

Brownies are asked for all the time in my house. It is difficult to get just the right combo of chewiness and fluffiness – the ratios have to be just right to get them how you like them. I have probably made 20 different brownie recipes and experimented with...

School lunch: pack what they will eat

Sarah McClellan-Brandt A slightly different version of this article originally ran in the Fort Worth Business Press. School lunch has come a long way since the rectangular pizza slices and marshmallow Snoballs of my youth in the 80’s and 90’s. Schools try to make the meals balanced and offer...

Best burger recipe

This burger recipe has been our favorite for years. I’ll tell you upfront, the secret ingredient is the cumin. It’s not a super-common ingredient for a hamburger but it’s not so off-the-wall that you’d taste it and think it’s weird, but just different enough to make you ask what...

Mezcal Margarita

Craving a margarita but fancier? Look no further than the Mezarita. That’s short for a Mezcal margarita (but spicy). A friend and I made this one a little special with the addition of cilantro lime syrup, which really took the flavor up a notch!  Recipe is below, but here...

Vesper martini with lemon and lavender

I’ve been thinking about making this lavender lemon vesper martini for awhile. I’ve wanted to make a vesper martini since I tried one at a local restaurant in January (when I first fell in love with Lillet). I finally put one together, with a couple of twists. I used...

Five cookbooks everyone needs in their kitchen

A slightly different version of this originally ran in the Fort Worth Business Press. A good cookbook is like a good friend. It’s always there when you need it, and it gives you great recipes. Well, I hope you have friends who give you recipes. Everyone has favorites, but there...

Top three after-work cocktail ideas

Note: A slightly different version of this first ran in the Fort Worth Business Press on May 5, 2022. A classic after-work cocktail is a magical thing. It can be the gateway between a rough day at work and a lovely evening, and when you work from home, it...

Brussels sprout salad

There is a restaurant near my house (if you are local you will know Pacific Table ) that makes the best, BEST, Brussels sprout salad. I made my own version at home, and while it pales in comparison, was my favorite meal this week. I’m pretty sure there is no...

Pulled BBQ Pork

This pulled BBQ pork is super easy, super versatile and will make your house smell amazing all day. All you have to do is slow-cook it in the oven for up to 12 hours and I do it overnight specifically so I’ll have weird meat dreams and wake up...