Monday, September 3, 2018

Save The Pumpkins Hummus

We never seem to notice the humble pumpkin until holiday time, but really, we should. Their beautiful orange exteriors are the perfect complement to the hues of autumnal foliage that signal the harvest season which we honor on Thanksgiving Day. While all are edible, nearly 95 percent of all pumpkins grown in the U.S. are carved into those hallmarks of Halloween: jack-o-lanterns.

In addition to their decorative colors and sizes, pumpkins boast unexpected health benefits as well. Pumpkins are a high-fiber, low-calorie food that's loaded with nutrients including copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. One cup of cooked pumpkin provides more than 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, 20 percent of the recommended vitamin C and more potassium than a banana. Pumpkins also have carotenoids which can help keep skin wrinkle-free and their seeds are filled with phytosterols, which are known for reducing LDL or "bad" cholesterol.



With the current campaigns to reduce food waste trending nationally, perhaps it is time to take those remnants from jack-o-lantern carving and toss them in your morning smoothie or roast them with some cauliflower or broccoli. Roasted pumpkin is excellent when added to rice, mashed potatoes or even macaroni and cheese for an added boost of color and seasonal flavor. If you're looking for a high-fiber snack that's perfect any time of year, just try mixing some roasted pumpkin with some chickpeas to make a super-nutritious dip that's perfect for entertaining.

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
1 cup roasted pumpkin, cubed
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Process beans in food processor until nearly smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add pumpkin, tahini, cider vinegar, garlic and spices and process until smooth, scraping down sides periodically. Tahini adds a subtle sesame flavor and depth to hummus. Don’t have tahini, no worries, you can substitute the nut butter of your choice, add a few drops of sesame oil or leave it out entirely. Once the hummus is full combined and smooth, taste and adjust your seasonings accordingly.

Serve in a pretty bowl and drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and top with some toasted pepitas. A dusting of paprika also makes a gorgeous and colorful garnish.


October 27, 2016

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Labor Day Menu Planner

Stay relaxed while you entertain on this much-anticipated day off with some easy cookout ideas. When it's time to eat, enjoy the fruits of your labor, because that's precisely the point of this lovely summer holiday which won't last much longer! We have put together a list of our favorite Labor Day recipes. We hope they will become your favorites as well!

Just because the summer is winding down, doesn't mean it's time to pack away your grill:

And these chilled sides are excellent accompaniments that can be made ahead:

And what summer party is complete without a frozen dessert?
Lastly, don’t forget something to keep the kids from underfoot and away from the fiery grill. Yard games of bocce, corn hole or horseshoes are always popular and you can NEVER go wrong with bubbles. Try our mixture for the Ultimate Bubble Elixir and get ready for the squeals of delight!

Be safe and enjoy a safe and well deserved three-day weekend! And, don’t forget to designate a driver or enjoy the night air by walking home when possible.


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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Ten Ways with Tomatoes

Each January, we find ourselves looking at the pitiful excuse for tomatoes in the produce section of the supermarket, and pining for the plump, juicy treasures still warm from the mid-day sun sliced and sandwiched between two slices of bread. Since their cultivation by the Aztecs and Incas as early as 700 A.D. and their introduction to Europe during the 16th century, tomatoes are one of the world’s most popular ingredients.

However, many people are unaware how good they can actually be for us. Tomatoes are low in calories and packed with health-promoting nutrients such as vitamins A and C, potassium and the super anti-oxidant called lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that supports heart health by reducing the tendency of blood to form clots and promotes healthy cholesterol levels. It's also been found to be a potent hedge against many kinds of cancer. Tomatoes are so incredibly versatile making them crazy easy to incorporate into almost any meal. Here are our top ten:

1. Toss them: Simply toss fresh cherry tomatoes in a salad with fresh crisp lettuces and toss with your favorite dressing. Or, set a pot of water on the stove to cook pasta and place a sauté pan over medium heat. Toss cherry tomatoes in the pan and allow them to slowing cook until they “melt.” Add torn basil, a crushed garlic clove, salt and coarsely ground black pepper and simmer until pasta is cooked and drained. Pour this simple sauce over the pasta and toss. Don’t forget the grated Parmesan cheese.

2. Slice them: There are few things better on the entire planet than a fresh caprese salad! Freshly sliced tomatoes layered with fresh mozzarella and just-picked basil leaves; nirvana. Lactose intolerant? No worries… try a Japanese chilled tofu dish called hi-yayakko. Alternate slices of tomato and best-quality sliced tofu, firm or soft. Make a dressing of olive oil, soy sauce, seasoned rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic and a touch of sugar to taste then top with slivered green onions.

3. Chop them: Coarsely chop tomatoes into a mixing bowl, salt them well with about one full pinch per cup and let them macerate for 20 minutes. If you don’t care about seeds and skins, you will end up with firmer, more flavorful tomato dice and a lot of delicious juice waiting to saturate any ingredients you mix with the tomatoes. Add a bit of garlic and fresh herbs and, Presto! – Bruschetta!

4. Grate them: This is my favorite tomato trick of all time. Cut the tomato in half through the equator, pluck out the seeds with your fingers and grate the cut side against the large holes in a box grater set over a bowl. You will end up with a bowlful of gorgeous tomato flesh and a naked skin in your palm within seconds. What do you do with it? I like to keep going with other vegetables and grate cucumbers, peppers and a little onion for a quick, coarse-textured gazpacho that you season with oil, vinegar, salt and fresh herbs.

5. Strain them: Blanch four large tomatoes in boiling water to easily remove skins. Once cooled and peeled, coarsely chop tomatoes in a food processor with a couple of teaspoons of salt. Pour into the chopped tomatoes over several thicknesses of folded cheesecloth in a sieve and drain the excess liquid from the pulp (reserving the liquid.) Use the pulp to make a quick tomato sauce for pizza, pasta or meatloaf. If you’re an epicurean, use the reserved tomato water in a refreshing agua fresca or to make an amazing tomato martini.

6. Juice them: Blanch the tomatoes as above and pureed the peeled tomatoes in a food processor along with a rib of celery, several mini peeled carrots and a bit of chopped onion. Heat the juice until just boiling in a sauce pan and simmer for about 20 minutes. Season the juice with a pinch of sugar and salt to taste. If you prefer a smoother juice, you can strain the puree through a sieve before using it to make the best Bloody Mary ever!

7. Cream them: Start by sautéing a chopped onion in butter in a pot. Add a couple of cloves of minced garlic and four to five big tomatoes that have been chopped. Add a spoonful of tomato paste and three to four cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Add two spoonfuls of raw rice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is cooked. Puree in the blender, strain the skins through a sieve and reheat in a saucepan with salt, pepper and a healthy glug of cream or half-and-half. Serve this amazing tomato bisque with garlic bread or a classic grilled cheese sandwich.

8. Freeze them: Remember that tomato pulp from above? Good, now throw four cups of it into the blender with a half cup of cilantro leaves, the juice of a couple of limes and a squirt of your favorite hot sauce. Pour the resulting goop over a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer. Every 20 minutes or so, scrape the frozen edges to the center of the pan with a fork. When you have nothing but red flakes of crystallized ice, you have spicy tomato granita. Place in a covered container and freeze until ready to eat. This makes an fancy and unexpected appetizer or dessert.

9. Roast them: Cut the tomatoes in half through the equator and place cut side up in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the top with chopped garlic and any herbs you like along with salt and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 325 degrees F for about two hours, watching to make sure they’re not drying out too quickly. If they’re still very juicy, turn up the heat to 400 and cook for a few more minutes until the juices start to caramelize. Pull the skins off with your fingers and use them as is or mash with a spoon to a nice tomato paste consistency before using.

10. Preserve them: Just like the many other fruits of summer, tomatoes make a wonderful jam. Combine about a pound and a half of good ripe tomatoes (coarsely chopped), one jalapeno or other pepper that has been stemmed, seeded and minced, a cup of sugar, juice of two limes, a tablespoon of grated ginger, a teaspoon of salt and of ground cumin, a big pinch of cinnamon and a small pinch of ground cloves in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes until mixture has consistency of thick jam, Taste and adjust seasoning, and then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week. This jam can be canning and processed in a water bath and preserved for months.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Addictive Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Unlike the mushy, odorous green lumps we remember from childhood or the cream smothered version served in fancy-schmancy, yuppy-era restaurants, Brussels sprouts have reached the height of their popularity. We certainly consume our fair share in our house. Whether they are roasted, braised, or served raw, Brussels sprouts are fabulously healthy, not to mention downright tasty.

While Brussels sprouts were believed to have been grown in Italy in Roman times, the modern Brussels sprout we eat today were first cultivated in large quantities in Belgium (hence the name "Brussels" sprouts) as early as 1587. They were introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s and by 1900 were being grown in large quantities in California. With the development of the frozen food industry and improved production techniques, there are currently about 3000 acres of the tiny cabbages currently being grown today. This acreage supplies the majority of the U.S. and Canada (where they are more popular than in the U.S.)

Good quality Brussels sprouts are firm, compact, and vivid green. They should be free of yellowed or wilted leaves and should not be puffy or soft in texture. Those that have perforations in their leaves should be avoided as they may have aphids inside. If Brussels sprouts are sold individually, choose those of equal size to ensure that they will cook evenly. Brussels sprouts are available year round, but their peak growing period is from autumn until early spring.

Keep unwashed and untrimmed Brussels sprouts in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Stored in a plastic bag, they can be kept for 10 days. Before washing Brussels sprouts, remove stems and any yellow or discolored leaves. Wash them well under running water to remove any insects living in the leaves. Brussels sprouts cook quickly and taste best when they have been cut into smaller pieces. If you want to freeze Brussels sprouts, blanch them first for between three to five minutes. They will keep in the freezer for up to one year.

Like cabbage, Brussels sprouts make great raw salads similar to coleslaw. Thin shavings of fresh Brussels sprouts tossed with a lemony vinaigrette topped with sieved boiled eggs, crunchy pistachios and salty grated Parmesan makes a marvelous addition to ANY meal.

  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, shaved
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil or olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Romano cheese, grated
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, finely diced or sieved

Clean and trim sprouts and “shave” by slicing as thinly as possible. We've tried using a food processor to shave the sprouts with little luck, but fell free to try it. We also tried the use of a mandolin, but the risk to fingers and the amount of waste were both too great. Patience and a sharp knife are the best tools for this procedure.

Mix sprouts, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper, tasting as you go and adjusting to taste. If you are preparing ahead, set the salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

While feta cheese combines with the vinaigrette to make a creamy dressing, cheeses that are dryer, saltier more dense cheese actually work better in this salad. Romano or Parmesan have a nice piquancy that matches well, but we recommend grating it on the largest hole of a box grater.

To serve, lay the sprout “slaw” on a serving platter and top with grated cheese, chopped eggs and pistachios. There is no real need to toss the salad as the ingredients combine as the salad is being served.

One note of caution, this salad can be a bit addictive. There have been arm wrestling matches in our house over who gets to have the leftovers (when there are any). This salad will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days post arm wrestling.
1/20/14

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Saturday, June 9, 2018

What Dad Really Wants: Steak

Thanks to the nagging of the greeting-card, flower and candy industries, Mother's Day has become etched in our collective consciousness as a holiday not to be forgotten; the guilt would be too excruciating. But Father's Day, which falls several weeks later, is often commemorated with only a card and perhaps a ubiquitous (and most likely hideous) tie (that he will never wear) to celebrate the occasion. Given all that our fathers have endured over the child-rearing years; endless gamesof catch, Christmas Eves spent sweating over the assembly a variety of gifts (with instructions in German), forced politeness toward dates with odd hairdos, and teaching us how to parallel park, Dad clearly deserves better.

So on his day, let's give him what he really wants: the chance to relax, have fun and, to top it all off, enjoy a great dinner. According to an informal poll conducted by Chef Nancy Waldeck, Dads want a big juicy steak that they cook themselves (to ensure that it is cooked to his exact taste.) So in honor of all Dads on Father’s Day, we are including grilling tips and advice for Dads everywhere to enjoy their meaty treasures:

Grilled steaks require glowing coals. No flame. Let the fire burn down till a gray-ash film covers the charcoal. If fire's too hot, you dry the meat, lose good juices. A well-made fire is the essential first step in outdoor cooking. The right fire makes barbecuing smooth and simple.

The temperature of the fire needed depends on the type of meat you are going to cook. For cuts of meat such as steaks, burgers, and kabobs which you intend to cook rapidly, use a relatively hot fire. A moderate fire is fine for roasts and larger pieces of meat. For slower cooking cuts of meat such as pork chops and spareribs, use a slow fire.

Charcoal comes in two forms: lump charcoal and briquettes. Lump charcoal is in odd-sized pieces just as they come from the charcoal kiln. It is less uniform in burning quality and more difficult to handle. Briquets are ground, lump charcoal pressed into uniform blocks. They are easier to use, burn evenly, and produce a more uniform heat. They are easier to control and burn longer than lump charcoal.

Pile the charcoal in a pyramid on the firebox of the grill. You don't need much charcoal. Beginner chefs are often too ambitious, build too big a fire. After you've built several barbecue fires, you'll be able to gauge the amount easily. Add liquid lighter to charcoal; wait a minute, then light. Do not use gasoline or kerosene. Let charcoal burn for 15 to 20 minutes until the briquets are about two-thirds covered with gray-ash. Spread the briquets evenly throughout the grill. The bed of coals should be shallow (easy to control) and just a little larger than the area of food you are cooking.

The fastest way to get a bed of cooking coals (about 15 minutes) is with an electric fire starter. Most other methods of fire starting take approximately 45 minutes. A chimney is another secret for fast take off. Make your own from a tall juice can or a 2-pound coffee can. Remove ends from can. Using tin snips, cut out triangles or circles around bottom, 1 inch apart, to allow draft. Or punch triangular holes with a church-key bottle opener and bend down for legs. (While the bottle opener is out, be sure to use it to open an icy cold beverage for Dad while he labors over the hot flames.)

Place a wad of newspaper in the base of the chimney, add 6 to 8 charcoal briquets, and then light the paper from the bottom of the chimney. When the briquets are burning, add more to the top. Allow to burn about 15 minutes, and then lift off chimney (with tongs!) and rake coals where you want them.

Don't start to cook until the fire dies down to glowing coals. Coals are ready for cooking when they look ash-gray by day, and have a red glow after dark. No flames! Don't start cooking too soon. When coals are hot, tap off the gray ash with fire tongs; ashes on the briquets insulate and retard the heat.

An easy way to tell the heat of the fire is to hold your hand over the coals at the height the food will be for cooking. Begin counting "one thousand one, one thousand two", and so on. The number of seconds you can comfortably hold your hand over the fire will tell you how hot the fire is. If you can count to "one thousand two," you have a relatively hot fire; "one thousand three" or "one thousand four" is about a moderate fire, and "one thousand five" or "one thousand six" is a slow fire.

If you are cooking a large piece of meat that requires a long cooking time, plan to replenish the coals from time to time. Add a little extra charcoal around the edges after your fire is ready for cooking. Don't top your cooking fire with cold coals; this will lower the temperature more than you think. To increase heat, add warm coals from the reserve around the fire's edge.

To slow down the fire, move hot coals out to make a larger oval; to increase heat, move hot coals in to make narrower oval. This technique helps maintain the even cooking. Fire is ready only when flames die down. In broad daylight, the coals will look ash-gray and after dark, they'll have a red glow (they burn from outside in).

If drippings do flare up during cooking, sprinkle the fire lightly with water to quench the blaze. Keep handy a clothes sprinkler filled with water close by. Use only enough water to do the trick; don't soak the coals. It will take some time for very wet coals to dry out and begin to burn again. It will also reduce the intensity of the heat of the fire.

Orders for "rare" go on the grill last. When you see little bubbles on top surface of the steaks, they are ready to turn (heat forces the juices to the uncooked surface). Flip steaks with tongs and a spatula; piercing with a fork wastes good meat juices. Cook the second side a few minutes less than the first since the second side has a head start on heating. Turn only once. For 1-inch steaks cooked medium-rare, allow 13 to 15 min¬utes total grilling time. It is always a good idea to use a meat thermometer when grilling. Insert thermometer so tip is in center of meat. Tip must not touch bone, fat, or the metal spit.

For charred crusty coat, try this: Sear one side by lowering grill top close to coals for 2 to 3 minutes, then raise grill to finish same side. Turn steak, and sear second side; again raise grill and complete the cooking.

Wait until you turn steak to salt it (same for burgers and chops.) Salt and pepper the browned side and then season the other side as you take it off the grill. If you salt uncooked meat, the juices will be drawn out and you'll lose good flavor.

It is important to know how to carve a big steak, like a porterhouse or a sirloin, so that one person doesn't rate most of the choice portions, and another person get the tag ends. First remove the bone, cutting very close to it. Now cut across the full width of the steak, making 1-inch slices and narrowing them a little on the tenderloin side. Be sure everyone gets a section of the tenderloin. If steak has a tail piece slice it last to serve for second helpings.


When the steaks are grilled to perfection, serve them sputtering hot with a pat of butter and a squeeze of lemon. With the grill already “fired” up, it's a cinch to grill a few ears of fresh corn and some thick slices of red onion that have been brushed with olive oil. With some of Dom's potato salad, peach and mozzarella salad, and delicious grilled watermelon for dessert, you will have well-rounded and must-deserved treat for Dad on his big day!
June 19, 2011

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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Tunisian Tuna Salad Sandwiches

It is officially picnic season. The parks are bursting with families and summer outdoor movies and concerts are plentiful. This Tunisian Tuna Salad is incredible especially with some crunchy kettle chips and a frosty rosé.

The Tunisian "sun cuisine" is based mainly on olive oil, spices, tomatoes, seafood and lamb. Tunisian fare gets its distinctive fieriness from their Mediterranean neighbors and the many civilizations which have ruled the land now known as Tunisia; Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Turkish, French, and the native Berber people.

Because tuna, eggs, and olives feature prominently in Tunisian dishes, they make good meals for meatless Fridays during the Lenten season in which Catholics abstain from eating meat as an act of penance. This tuna salad works especially well for lunches which can otherwise be quite challenging for kids who take their lunches to school during Lent!

While this version of tuna salad is significantly more involved than just adding chopped onions, celery and pickle relish to a can of tuna, but it is well worth every extra minute. The potatoes make the tuna salad creamy and the lemon gives it a good tang.

  • 2 7-oz. cans of water-packed tuna
  • 1 large Idaho potato, peeled, cubed (½-inch pieces)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4-5 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Lindsay black olives, sliced (optional)
  • 2 large hard-boiled Safest-Choice eggs, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Harissa (Tunisian hot chili sauce)
  • 2 crusty bâtards (short baguettes)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cover the cubed potatoes with cold, salted water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes, then drain and let cool.

Meanwhile, cover eggs with cold water in another small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 9 minutes. Drain the eggs and cool, remove shells, slice and set aside until ready to assemble sandwiches.

In a large bowl, combine the tuna, olives, capers, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix together with a fork. Gently fold in the potatoes without mashing them too badly.

Split the bâtard(s) in half lengthwise and toast under the broiler until light brown. Spread one side of the bread with harissa and then layer the tuna salad on top and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Place egg slices on top and close the sandwiches. Cut each sandwich in half crosswise and serve with crispy chips and some homemade pickles.
3/12/12


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Friday, June 1, 2018

Dom's Magical Shrimp & Cheese Grits

Outside of the Southern states, a lot of folks have never eaten grits; some have never even heard of them! Known as the "Southern oatmeal," grits were favored over oatmeal before air conditioning was invented because they could withstand the heat and humidity better. Three-quarters of the nation’s grits are still sold in the "Grits Belt;" the Southeastern coastal states stretching from the Carolinas to Louisiana.

Grits are coarsely ground (dried) corn that are traditionally cooked with butter and served as a side dish for breakfast or dinner. Their name comes from the Italian word "gruzzi" which means crushed corn. Grits are very similar to other thick maize-based porridges including the Italian polenta. Grits, however, tend to be made from white corn and are more coarsely ground than the yellow corn used in polenta.

To a true Southerner nothing compares to warm, cheesy grits topped with succulent, sweet seafood, except maybe the addition of a magical, spicy bacon sauce.

  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and brined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 12-oz. bottle of beer, room temperature
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1 cup cheese, grated (Dom uses Gouda)
  • 2 tablespoons of Denise's peppers (optional)

Rinse shrimp in cold water and peel. Brine shrimp in salted water until ready to cook.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain. Add chopped onions to the bacon grease in the pan. Depending on the amount of grease left from the bacon, add up to 1 tablespoon of olive oil as needed to coat the onions. Sauté onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. The term “until translucent” is commonly used to describe onions sautéed in butter or oil.  Raw onions are fairly opaque, but as they cook they slowly become almost transparent. When this happens, add spices to the pan and stir to mix.

Next, add the beer, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine. Coarsely chop the cooled bacon and add to the pan. Cook until the pan juices are thickened and syrupy. 

Drain shrimp and add to the pan, tossing gently to completely coat shrimp. Bring sauce back to a boil, then cover pan and remove from the heat letting the shrimp rest for about 3-5 minutes to allow shrimp to steam and fully cook.

Meanwhile, cook grits according to package directions, stir in cheese and peppers until fully melted and incorporated. Serve immediately on a platter with a mound of cheese grits with the shrimp (and the magical sauce) in the center.

And now the really magical part… watch as all the shrimp and grits disappear!

5/15/11



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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Meet Chef Darius Williams & his Jalapeno Simple Syrup

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

If you live in Atlanta and explored the Beltline then undoubtedly you have heard of Chef Darius Williams diminutive restaurant “Greens and Gravy” which opened last summer on the Westside Trail. You might be as excited as we are that Chef Darius will be sharing his stories and culinary secrets while serving up some of his delicious recipes on Thursday, June 7th at Lenox Square Mall hosted by Macy’s Culinary Council.

The Chicago-born chef and comedian is also well-known for his YouTube channel and his popular website, Darius Cooks TV. He learned to cook by watching and helping his grandmother and is not afraid to experiment with ingredients and seasonin

gs. He encourages cooks to “Embrace flavors!” which is exactly what we did when we decided to try his recipe for Jalapeno Simple Syrup.

Summertime is the perfect time to create craft cocktails; first because there is an abundance of fresh ingredients like herbs, fruits and vegetables; and, second because a refreshing cocktail is just what you need to beat the summer heat. You’ve heard the expression, “fight fire with fire,” well that’s just what we are doing by adding a spicy kick to our summertime libations!

Jalapeno Simple Syrup
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
2 jalapenos

Cut the jalapenos into rings. Remember the more seeds that remain the spicier your syrup will be.

Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Add jalapeno rings to the pan and remove from the heat. Let it sit for about 10 minutes then strain the jalapenos and chill the syrup until you’re ready to use it!

Be sure to RSVP to receive a $10 Macy's gift card valid for June 7th when you check in at the event. And, if you spend $35 or more in Macy’s Home Department, you will receive a copy of Chef Williams' cookbook “Stories from My Grandmother's Kitchen” which he'll sign for you after the event. Also, be sure to stick around for your chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Chef Williams' restaurant Greens & Gravy! For our readers who do not live in the Atlanta area, you can learn more about Macy’s Culinary Council and upcoming events HERE.


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