Fried Ripe Tomatoes (Gluten-free or not)

Fried Ripe Tomatoes are a cousin to classic fried green tomatoes.  Green tomatoes fry up well because they are still a bit hard.  You can dredge them in batter or cornmeal, throw them into hot oil and they do not fall apart.  Fried Green tomatoes are often served with remoulade or some sort or spicy…

Eastern Tennessee Harvest- Succotash

When I was in the fourth grade, I found a recipe for succotash in the recipe section of the local newspaper.  It caught my fancy, and my mother agreed to help me make it.  Succotash is corn and lima bean stew but I am pretty sure that the newspaper recipe included ground meat of some kind. …

Chilled Avocado Soup/ Last Minute Cold Soup Roundup

The weather has been a weirdly beautiful this  August in NYC.  We only had a few weeks of unbearable heat and humidity (back in July).  August has been sunny and not too hot and only occasionally a little bit muggy.   It has not been the kind of weather that demands cold soup    I…

Apricot Marzipan Tart (gluten-free or not)

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from the Estonian cookbook, Sepamaa Talu köök Osa 2 by Anni Arno.  Marzipan is very popular in Estonia.  You can buy delicious bars of Estonian made marzipan at every corner store.  Here in NYC,  I bought the marzipan from Kalustyan’s.  The original recipe used rhubarb, which is also popular in Estonia….

Home-made cheap thrill sauce- Ajvar (or Ljutenica)

Ajvar (or Ljutenica) is one of my favourite store-bought condiments.  It is a relish made from sweet red peppers, eggplant and tomatoes.  Some brands are spicy and some are not.  It is a beautiful bright orange-red color.  It makes simple, cheap food taste thrillingly gourmet and it is astonishingly inexpensive, which is why I always refer…

Marzipan Cake with Baked Figs and Mint (Gluten-Free or not)

This cake is fluffy from egg whites and nutty, rich and aromatic from toasted almonds.  It’s topped with fresh figs that are baked until they are glazed, syrupy and plump.  The fresh mint is hard to place but it balances the sweetness of the cake and figs.  I brought it to our friend Eric’s birthday…

Lamb, Fig and Eggplant Moussaka (Gluten-free or not)

I have had the pleasure of eating a lot of fresh figs as of late.  I hope that you have too.  If not, consider making this moussaka.  My mum’s friend Keith grows figs and he told me recently that figs were good in moussaka.  I tend to trust Keith since he was the first person…

Crab Apples Pickled in Sherry Vinegar and Five Spice Powder

My Estonian grandmother planted a fruit tree for each of her grandchildren when they were born.  Mine was the crab apple tree.  When I was about seven years old, I asked my grandmother why my tree was the one with fruit that was so hard and sour.  She told me that the crab apple tree…