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Seared Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce

Seared Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce - Romance is all about making great combinations. Scallops and risotto are two dishes that many people are nervous about making, but take the plunge. Trust us: it's easier than you think.  Look, nobody...
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Braised Short Ribs with Honey, Soy and Orange

These braised short ribs are cooked low and slow in a delectable sauce flavored with soy, honey, orange and Chinese 5-spice powder. A hearty cold-weather recipe!

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Brownie Cookies Filled With Peanut Butter Buttercream

Creamy peanut butter buttercream sandwiched between two moist, fudgey brownies, rolled in crushed salted peanuts. Simply the most delicious cookies we’ve ever made.

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Grilled Buffalo Shrimp and Avocado Sandwiches with Blue Cheese Sauce

Grilled Buffalo Shrimp and Avocado Sandwiches with Blue Cheese Sauce

Grilled Buffalo Shrimp and Avocado Sandwiches with Blue Cheese Sauce

The fact that Matt grew up in a rural English village and I grew up in New York City means that, every so often, we have absolutely no idea what the other person is talking about.

For example, here’s an exchange that may (or may not) have occurred recently (it did not, but work with me here).

Emily: Less hit the bodega for a ’40 and stoop it till we mad toasted. You know you down, don’t front.

Matt: What’cha talking abaht, yer daft bint? Put yer knickers on and make me a cup of tea.

Then there was the time I convinced Matt that in New York City, it’s very common for dogs to wear prescription glasses. “Really?” he said, and then I laughed until I got a cramp.

Then he tried to convince me that in Scotland, there are huge, orange cows with hipster haircuts that look exactly like the mayor of London, Boris Johnson. No way, buddy. Like I’m going to believe that.

So you can imagine the fun I had trying to describe what ‘buffalo sauce’ is. I’m not sure how we’re still married.

Anyway, on to our sangwich. Let me start by saying that I would be quite happy if buffalo sauce & blue cheese dip were on pretty much everything I ate for the rest of the summer. These are the kind of bright, zingy flavors I just go crazy for.

Add to that perfectly grilled shrimp, creamy avocado and crisp lettuce and you’ve got yourself a seriously delicious sammich.

Shrimp without titles

Five-Layer Magic Bars

Five-Layer Magic Bars

Five-Layer Magic BarsFive-layer magic bars made with coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and toasted pecans held together by condensed milk on a graham cracker crust.

I sometimes have a tricky time starting these posts, and true to form, for this recipe I got stuck on the very first word of the post title. FIVE-layer magic bars. Is it really five layers? Or is it three? Or four? Honesty in cooking is pretty important, right? There are certainly more than (but not MUCH more than) five ingredients, and you do assemble the bars in neat layers, so really, it can be as many layers as YOU think it is. Or you can just make them and not worry too much about it.

We made these to take to a local bake sale last weekend called For Goodness Bake. This is the third year that it has been organized, and each year the proceeds go to a different worthy local cause. This year it was the Green Teens, an offshoot of the Cornell Cooperative Extension which teaches farming, gardening and other food-related skills to local teenagers.

Five-Layer Magic Bars

Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Beef) Lettuce Wraps

Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Beef) Lettuce Wraps

Bulgogi (Korean Marinaded Beef) Lettuce Wraps

Bulgogi (Korean Marinaded Beef) Lettuce Wraps

I was a pretty picky eater as a kid. If I could smother something in ketchup it was usually safe but I wasn’t what you would call adventurous (no fish of any kind, nothing mushy). Kids are so weird though. My favorite after-school snack was crackers smeared with cream cheese, sprinkled with garlic powder. I thought I was such a gourmet. Matt liked condensed milk sandwiches. And weirdest of all, my brother’s favorite snack was smoked oysters dipped in Thousand Island dressing. This was when he was ten, and no, we didn’t live on the set of Dynasty.

Kimchi

Kimchi (at least the classic version) is spicy fermented napa cabbage.

Anyway, the point is that I was a picky little brat except when it came to Korean food. I wouldn’t eat mashed potatoes for all the money in the world but give me seaweed and a bowl of kimchi and I was set. In fact to this day, my comfort food is toasted seaweed with rice, avocado and kimchi.

My favorite Korean dish is Bulgogi (in Korean, literally “fire-meat”) which is very thinly sliced beef that has been marinated in a delicious sweet soy mixture and then grilled or pan-seared. For some reason I always thought of this as a complicated restaurant-only dish. I was wrong. Turns out Bulgogi is not only delicious, it’s also super easy to make.Bulgogi (Korean Marinaded Beef) Lettuce Wraps

Radishes Drizzled with Sesame oil and Maldon Salt

Radishes Drizzled with Sesame oil and Maldon Salt

Radishes

This is a very simple take on the classic combination of radishes and butter. In this case the butter has been replaced with toasted sesame oil which has a wonderful rich nuttiness that pairs beautifully with the crisp radishes. Maldon Salt is my favorite flaky sea salt but you could use fleur de sel or whatever kind you prefer. It’s so simple but it’s incredibly delicious.

These beautiful pink and purple radishes came from the Common Ground Farm.

These beautiful pink and purple radishes came from our local Common Ground Farm.

Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso-Ginger Dressing

Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso-Ginger Dressing

Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso-Ginger Dressing

A crunchy, spicy red cabbage salad flavored with miso and ginger. Ideal as a side for Asian meals, or as a standalone lunch. Just don’t call it a slaw!

When I was thinking about what I wanted to serve alongside the Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps we were planning on making, I knew I wanted something bright and fresh to counter-balance the rich grilled beef.

That’s when I decided to take our Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad recipe and mix it up a bit. I love, love, love miso and the addition of it gives this dressing a richness that is almost creamy, though there’s no mayo or any dairy in it. It’s actually almost a nutty flavor. Matt said it tasted like the peanut sauce you get with satay, but even better (and there’s no peanut in it either). It also happens to be vegan and can be made gluten free if you use tamari in place of the soy and use a GF miso, like this one).

Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso-Ginger Dressing

Vegetables are so pretty.

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