Tomato and Goat Cheese Galette

I love the rustic look of a galette, which is a pie without the pie pan.  It’s almost like pizza, but the buttery crust makes it more decadent.  Of course, the best time to make this tomato galette is the end of summer when tomatoes are boldly delicious and juicy.  But, I admit to making this all year when I can get delicious cherry tomatoes at the market.  Either way, this is a great snack or main course served with a salad. 

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AppetizersEvan Wei-Haas
Chocolate Cream Pie

One of my favorite pastry cookbooks is Flour by Joanne Chang. Her recipes are easy to understand, and flawless. Her chocolate cream pie uses no starch in the filling, and the first time I made it I thought there was no way it would set up. I was wrong. I’ve made a few changes to the recipe to make it a bit simpler, but it is still the best chocolate cream pie I’ve ever eaten. Vanilla paste is one of my “secret” ingredients, and adding to both the filling and topping puts this pie on a whole new level! Also, be sure to use good quality chocolate.

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DessertSavanna Givens
Ratatouille

One of my favorite Disney movie characters is Remy, the rat who aspired to become a chef in the movie Ratatouille.  That film brought recognition to the dish ratatouille, other than France where it originates.  It’s simply a stew made from vegetables and seasonings. It is delicious on its own, but can also be tossed into soups, cooked with eggs, and stuffed into sandwiches.  This is an easy recipe that can be varied according to what vegetables you have on hand.  When you make it, give a little salute to Remy!

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SidesEvan Wei-Haas
Israeli Salad with Ricotta and Yogurt

If I’ve made a favorite recipe among my peers this year it would be this salad!  I had a similar version in a high-end restaurant in Tel Aviv, and I could not wait to make my own version.  The spice mixture za’atar is a middle eastern spice that is not easy to find, so you can substitute with dried oregano and sesame seeds.  I prefer to use ricotta and yogurt from my farmers market because it tastes so fresh.  I use metal rings to assemble this salad for parties, and the layering is so much easier and a beautiful presentation.

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SaladsEvan Wei-Haas
Peach & Almond Salad w/ Head Country Apple Habanero BBQ Sauce Buttermilk Dressing & Spicy Croutons

I can’t decide if I like the salad dressing the best, or the croutons in the salad.  I have to make a double batch of the croutons because they’re such a good snack, and I can’t save enough to go in the salad.  If you’ve got those summer ripe peaches, this is the perfect place to put them!  Head Country Apple Habanero Bar-B-Q Sauce is in the dressing, while Head Country Sweet and Spicy Seasoning is on the croutons.  Need I say more? This is the salad of your summer!

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Head Country BBQ-Battered Chicken Fingers

One of my favorite foods is fried chicken, especially chicken tenders.  I rarely make them myself, but when I do I use this recipe, and they taste better than any restaurant!  Head Country Original Bar-B-Q Sauce is the secret to these tasty tenders.  Not only is it in the frying batter, you can dip the tenders in extra sauce later. I use a heavy iron skillet to fry chicken since it gets perfectly hot, and cooks everything evenly.  After frying these tenders, you could cut them up and toss them in a salad made with Head Country Bar-B-Q sauce in the dressing.  That’s just double delicious!

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BBQ Chicken Pizza made with Head Country Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

Pizza doesn’t have to take a lot of time to make, and it doesn’t have to have traditional toppings.  That’s why I love this Bar-B-Q chicken pizza made with my favorite sauce, Head Country!  In this recipe I use Head Country Sugar Free Bar-B-Q Sauce, but you can substitute any of their tasty sauces.  The smoked cheese melted on top is a great pairing with the sauce, and will make your pizza party an event everyone wants to attend! 

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Spicy Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Preserved Lemons

Tagine is a class dish from north Africa.  It is a stew that cooks slowly, usually in a vessel called a tagine.  It is an earthenware pot with a conical lid designed to lock in moisture and flavors.  When I was in Morocco, we cooked with a clay tagine that required a diffuser on top of the stove to prevent foods from scorching.  I have 2 modern tangines that have a cast iron base and don’t require a diffuser.  They tend to be expensive, but if you plan to make tagine often, and want to make a beautiful presentation, it is worth the investment.

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MainsSavanna Givens
Tabouli Salad

This traditional Lebanese salad made from bulgur wheat is a refreshing way to enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs that are in season.  I've eaten tabouli in Israel, Greece, and Turkey.  Some cooks prefer to use less wheat, while some use a variety of herbs, including cilantro and dill.  Combine the ingredients you like the best, and make it your own recipe! 

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Apple Pie with Milk

My mother made an apple pie once a year, and she always served the slices in a bowl with milk poured over.  I never had her recipe, but I’ve been making a yummy apple pie for many years, and this is my recipe.  Sometimes I cheat and use ready-made pie dough, but it’s a rare occasion.  This crust recipe is easy to make, and tastes delicious!  Be sure to use lots of apples in the filling, since they shrink during cooking.  And don’t forget to eat it with cold milk!

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German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake originated in the United States, and has no German ties at all.  The layers of chocolate cake are filled with a buttery coconut icing that is so rich and decadent, it doesn’t even need to be completely covered.  But why not add some chocolate ganache drizzled on top to make it the perfect dessert for the chocolate lover in your life!


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DessertSavanna Givens
Creamy Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a Russian recipe made with beef and a delicious sour cream sauce.  There are several variations of the recipe, but my Russian friend, Katie insists you must add fresh dill to make it most authentic.  She also serves it over mashed potatoes instead of noodles, whichI agree tastes the best!

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MainsEvan Wei-Haas
Potato and Fried Hard Boiled Egg Salad

I just love spices, and I used several in this flavorful warm potato salad with an Indian flare.  Mustard oil is available in international grocery stores, and it’s worth seeking out to add a spicy mustard flavor to food.  I top this dish with fried hard boiled eggs that is a common dish in Nepal. 

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SaladsEvan Wei-Haas