how to make: a Grilling Party


Finish the summer off right with a backyard barbeque.  Here’s what I’m wishing for this weekend:

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw (inspired by Bethenny–I don’t judge)

Combine in a saucepan and bring to a boil:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 T white sugar

Pour vinegar mixture over about 8 ounces cole slaw mix, let stand to soak in about 15 minutes; then add, 1 t Dijon mustard, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese.  About 4 servings.


Roasted Corn

It’s the perfect time of year for corn on the cob–I feel like I’m still catching up from the two years in junior high when I had braces and couldn’t eat it!

Shuck the ears, place a tablespoon of butter (or less, if you’re feeling virtuous) in the center of the ear, and wrap up in foil–throw them on the hot grill (indirect heat) for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.



Whether it’s Johnsonville or something ritzy from an artisan local butcher, there’s nothing like the snappy, juicy texture of a good grilled sausage; cook according to package–or butcher–directions, serve with mustard, ketchup, onions, relish…

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

how to make: an Alsacian Feast

This is a desirable thing, I promise.  Alsace is the region of (now) France that’s been passed back and forth between France and Germany for several hundred years (not like a hot-potato; more like a really wonderful piece of furniture–everybody wants it).  Anyway, it’s where a significant portion of my ancestry lived, and it’s where we find Strasbourg & Colmar, which my husband and I visited in July.

In honor of my ancestry, and to relive the glory of vacation, we created an Alsacian feast last week.


Open a Riesling or Gewurztraminer, and get ready for a new pizza experience: Tarte Flambee (or Flammkuchen–just like how you pronounce “Appalachian” makes a statement about your class and politics, whether you use the French or German name for a dish reveals your true loyalties (mostly, for me, going to Alsace helped me understand why I’m both obsessed with food and very efficient)).

16 oz pizza dough, prepared

6 oz creme fraiche

1/2 yellow onion, sliced

8 oz bacon, cooked & sliced (in which ever order you prefer)

6 oz Gruyere, shredded

1 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh-ground is best, and nutmegs are super-readily available–Target, World Market, everybody’s got them (i love Penzey’s))


Preheat oven to 450 degrees (or grill, if you’re feeling wild).  Spread the dough on a cookie sheet (or, again, the grill grate), cook the first side till the dough has got some shape, but isn’t browned at all, 4-6 minutes.

Quickly remove (or turn over) crust from the oven (grill), spread generously with creme fraiche, sprinkle liberally with sliced onion, bacon lardons, and Gruyere, finish with ground nutmeg.  Cook for another 8-12 minutes, till the crust and cheese have started to get some color.


For dessert, how about a miraculous chocolate mousse?  Two ingredients, my friends:

270 mL water

350 grams chocolate (I used 70%–but less would work too, if you like something sweeter)



Combine in a saucepan, melt, and stir to fully combine.  When totally melted and combined, pour mixture into a bowl set over another bowl of ice and water.

Then, whip the snot out of it.

On an expert’s advice, I whipped it by hand–a good work out, and what a feeling of accomplishment!–but I’ve been told you can use electric beaters, too.

Here’s the video:


On my very first try, here’s how it turned out:


It’s almost like being back home in Alsace!