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  •     Homemade food gifts for the holidays are thoughtful, economical, and original. I love making them and receiving them. They can be as elaborate as fruitcakes, stollens, and babkas or as simple as spiced nuts and infused vinegars. No offense to Williams-Sonoma, but why spend a fortune on store-bought seasonal peppermint bark when you can make your own in literally about 10 minutes for a quarter of the price? Get your children involved in simple baking and decorating the gift boxes.

  • Bischof
        This recipe is adapted from an old issue of Food and Wine magazine. It will make enough to flavor 10 bottles of Champagne or white wine.

    6 large oranges
    21/2 cups sugar
    31/2 cups fresh orange juice
    4 cloves
    pinch salt
    750 ml. bottle brandy

  • Growing up, I was lucky to live close to the Chesapeake Bay. This meant an abundance of blue crabs and bay scallops.
  • Bay Scallops With Chive Oil and Pineapple

        This recipe was inspired by David Chang of Momofuku and many other restaurants. In his Momofuku cookbook he dedicates two pages to his attempt to create an amuse-bouche (savory little bites served in fine restaurants before a meal) of bay scallops. The recipe calls for homemade dashi, not something so easily achieved around these parts. I simplified his recipe and came up with this very nice little scallop appetizer.

        Serves six to eight.

  • Chicken Roasted With Sour Cream, Lemon Juice,
    And Mango Chutney

        This recipe is adapted from The New York Times. It is very easy and very Waspy!
            Serves two.
    2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup sour cream
    3 Tbsp. mango chutney
    1 tsp. curry powder
    Juice of one lemon
    Freshly ground black pepper

        Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

  • Teaching cooking is both fun and challenging. I have led large groups of adults through five-hour classes with labor-intensive recipes. I have taught young children beginner knife skills and how to use a blowtorch.
  • Let us begin “Paris Part Deux” with one of the more magnificent and elaborate meals I had the pleasure of indulging in. Chez l’Ami Jean is a restaurant that Tommy and Mike had been sending guests to for years, but had yet to try themselves. Everyone would come back raving about this tiny, bustling, and rustic spot.

  • Tomato, Zucchini, Potato Gratin

        There are so many variations of this recipe, some with garlic, some with cheese, some with eggplant. It is called tian or gratin. Simple and easy to prepare, you can make it with mediocre, wintertime tomatoes and it won’t matter a bit. Here is my version.

        Serves four to six.
    2 medium onions, thinly sliced
    4 small zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
    4 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick

  • If you enjoy good pub grub in a friendly setting, you will like Spring Close restaurant. The portions are big, the pours even bigger.
  • Pigeon Pastilla
        Although you can find squab (pigeon) in some markets, you could also substitute chicken thighs. For this recipe, I would recommend substituting six to eight chicken thighs for the three squabs.
        Serves six.
    Ingredients:
    3 squabs
    4 Tbsp. butter
    1 onion, chopped
    1 cinnamon stick
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    2 Tbsp. cilantro
    3 Tbsp. parsley
    Pinch turmeric
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Blogs by this author:

  • The following is excerpted from Laura Donnelly's restaurant review in this week's Star. More ideas for meals on the go can be found in the Star's Restaurant Guide: easthamptonstar.com/restaurants.

    It's Columbus Day weekend AND the Hamptons International Film Festival is on the East End so I know all of you ladies and gentlemen and black-clad cinephiles want to know where to eat. With movies being shown in 6 locations from Southampton to Montauk your dining options are plentiful.