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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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Roasted Peaches with Honey and Thyme

Roasted Peaches with Honey and Thyme

Easy roasted peaches makes a versatile baked fruit that you can use as a side to duck or other dishes, or as a dessert.  

Roasted Peaches with Honey and ThymeThis recipe is one of those surprises that happens when you find yourself with an abundance of an ingredient (in this case, peaches) and you decide to just wing it, making something up on the spot and it turns out even better than you imagined.

It’s crazy simple but it went so well along with the Crispy Spiced Duck Legs with Thyme, that I wanted to tell you how I did it.

Crispy Spiced Duck Legs with Thyme

Crispy Spiced Duck Legs with Thyme

Crispy Spiced Duck Legs with Thyme

Ultra- crispy duck legs are much easier to make than you might think. Spiced with fennel and thyme, they’ll make your dinner party guests very happy. 

Last week we threw a little dinner party. Nothing fancy, mind you. Matt’s lovely sister Hayli and her delightful husband Tristan* were visiting us from France for a couple of weeks and since they are both actors/musicians/carnies we thought they would have a lot in common with our neighbors Andy and Gina, who are also in the arts.

When we came up with this bright idea, we were huddled under a blanket, shivering in the unseasonable cold that seemed to be the defining aspect of “Summer” 2014.

“What would be a good thing to make for a small crowd on a chilly evening?”, I asked Matt, who was trying to warm his toes by rubbing them very quickly on an angry cat’s belly.

“Duck legs.”

“But didn’t we make that las-”

“Duck legs. I want crispy duck legs.”

“Duck legs it is, then. And give me some of that cat belly. My feet are freezing too.”

*Hayli and Tristan live in the Ardèche region of France. Arguably one of the most sophisticated culinary environments in the world so when they came to visit us, we felt we needed to impress them with the refined, subtle American cuisine one can only find at…Cracker Barrel

Baby Back Ribs With Coffee-Honey Barbecue Sauce

Baby Back Ribs With Coffee-Honey Barbecue Sauce

Baby Back Ribs With Coffee-Honey Barbecue Sauce

You, yes YOU, can make oven-baked ribs. And even better, you can slather those ribs all over with coffee-honey barbecue sauce. Prepare to be popular. 

It’s been a bit of a crazy summer here at Nerds Towers. (Note: our house is not actually called “Nerds Towers” – that was a humorous attempt to make our residence sound grander than it really is. We don’t have any towers. We have a shed that may fall down at any moment.) With all the excitement, we clean forgot until the very end of summer to make ribs. We waited until Labor Day, reader. UNTIL LABOR DAY.

We did this last summer too. All season we made burgers and hot dogs and skewers of various things and forgot all about the number one best summer hang-out food of all time. Then, at the very end of the season, we cooked up a big batch of porcine deliciousness and gave ourselves a thorough kicking for all the rib-enjoying opportunities we’d passed up.

Baby Back Ribs With Coffee-Honey Barbecue Sauce

We were tempted to drink this Coffee-Honey Barbecue Sauce. It was that good.

The nice thing about this recipe is that because they are mostly cooked in the oven, you can make them ALL YEAR ROUND. Yes, I said the oven.

Are you okay? Do you need to sit down? You look a little shocked.

Herbed Potato Salad

Herbed Potato Salad

Everyone has a favorite potato salad recipe and here’s ours: flavored with Dijon mustard and plenty of chives, parsley and dill. It’s our go-to BBQ side.

Herbed Potato SaladHere’s a scenario for you:  you invite someone to a barbecue and they get really (really) excited and shout something like, “Nice! There’s going to be potato salad, right?”. You would most likely back up slowly out of the room, trying not to make any sudden movements and assume that “potato salad” was a euphemism for something else. Something a bit more exciting like cocaine or Baby Back Ribs With Coffee-Honey Barbecue Sauce. Because, let’s be honest here, potato salad is usually not something to get all fired up about.

Herbed Potato Salad

Blackberry-Ginger Fizz

Blackberry-Ginger Fizz

A blackberry ginger fizz is a great cocktail for using up your late summer blackberry haul. Add ginger beer and elderflower and enjoy!

Blackberry Ginger Fizz

There are times in every person’s life when you have to make the hard decisions. When you find yourself at a crossroad. Do you turn left or right? Recently I was faced with one of those decisions. My own personal King Solomon’s choice, except if the baby was a blackberry. A lovely little blackberry.

Here’s how it began. It was an ordinary Sunday morning, unseasonably a little chilly but nice enough for a stroll. Matt and I headed to the Beacon Farmer’s Market, where we often buy our produce supplies for the week.

We usually get there on the early side, a half an hour or so after they open, but this particular Sunday we dragged our feet a little. We were tired, you see. I won’t bore you with the details but we’re in the process of trying to buy our first house and the stress of it had begun to take its toll. For the last month or so, pretty much every night, one or the other of us (sometimes both) will leap out of bed at 3:30 in the morning, convinced beyond all reason that this whole thing is a HUGE mistake.

Or that house we love? A MONEY PIT!

Or there is NO WAY a bank will actually give us a loan. Do they KNOW how bad our jokes are? [Matt is on the phone with the bank right now – apparently, they do.]

So we were tired and slow and showed up at the market late, after the majority of the stalls had been picked clean. Corn? Sold out by noon. Eggplants?  All gone. Sungold tomatoes? Don’t make me laugh.

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