The Love Hate Relationship with Beets

As I sit here typing I am am amazed that it’s already September.  How did the time zip by so fast?  I had all good intentions for the summer of working on my web site, blog and files.  Generally speaking I tend to slow down over the summer. Many of my clients go away leaving…

Easy Salad Dressings for Father’s Day

I’ve been terribly neglectful of my blog. Apologies for all that follow me. My writing sometimes takes a back seat to catering, and that has certainly been busy for me. I’m back this week with some fun ideas to kick off the summer months and and easy dinner for Father’s Day, or any day of…

Chicken Soup From Scratch with Ramps

Somedays I find myself with a little extra time on my hands. As was the case yesterday. After an excellent spin class I headed to Whole Foods with the initial intention of finding something to make for dinner, but then got inspired to update my homemade chicken noodle soup. I make a version of this…

What’s For Dinner?

Coming off an eight day stretch one would think my creative juices would be completely juiced out. But this is the first week of the month and I want to continue this series called “What’s For Dinner?” The idea, as I mentioned previously, is to hopefully inspire you to make a quick and delicious dinner,…

Celebrating Spring and Getting My Irish On

Many wonderful things happen in March: The weather finally breaks and Spring arrives, the clocks “spring” ahead, my orchid blooms and a fun Irish holiday is celebrated. For the past few years I have sought advice from my three Irish friends, Alan, Brona and Derval, on recipes and lore of Ireland. A few years ago…

What’s For Dinner? ,..

What’s for dinner? I ask myself that question frequently. You would think coming from a chef it would be easy. Not really. I spend the first part of my week cooking for other people. Mainly cooking them dinner meals. When I get to Wednesday it’s pretty much time for take-out. Facing my own stove at…

Not Your Mother’s Lima Bean Soup

This morning a very serious, and somewhat threatening, message came through on the local Patch page: Wind Chill Watch, Temperatures will drop dangerously fast in Westchester. That ominous headline highlights probably the worst part of the year for me. The month of February: cold, dreary and lifeless. The world around me is in black and…

Looking for Color in January

We’ve reached that dreary part of the year that is my least favorite of all. All of the festive holiday decorations are put away, and mid-January is upon us. From about this point until the end of February the world seems to be in black and white. Nothing is colorful. It’s just a cold bluish…

Reflecting on the Past and Looking Ahead to the New Year

The new year is almost upon us. I have so many things to be grateful for this past year. The health and happiness of my family first and foremost. I have been blessed with the most supportive husband, as many of you already know. At a moment’s notice, he’s carting things back and forth to the…

A Little Departure From the Norm ….

What an amazing rollercoaster two months I’ve had. Probably the busiest in my seven years doing Bella Cucina Maria. Not only juggling my regular private work, but catering and part time cooking for the Canadian Permanent Mission. Honestly, as tired and wiped out as I am on December 16th  – with at least seven more…

Winter Squash Salad

Sometimes I find that I need a little inspiration. That sounds amusing to say, and even more amusing to write. Yet, every now and then I just need a little nudge. That is exactly what happened this weekend. Coming off a very intense week of cooking and catering I opened my lap top and just…

Giving the Thanksgiving Side Dish a New Lease on Life

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. People will be starting their food prep this weekend, or at least start shopping, for Thanksgiving. Main courses are pretty standard, but Thanksgiving side dishes can actually make or break the whole meal. This month I set out to take the traditional side dishes and step them up a…