Comfort Food and Easy Entertaining

As a private chef, caterer and cooking instructor I am often asked "What do you enjoy cooking when you're at home on a weeknight or entertaining guests at your table?" I started this blog to answer that question. Here I will share with all of you the recipes that I find delicious and comforting. Many of the recipes are my own versions of classic dishes, some are contemporary twists on old ideas, and some are discoveries I made while perusing my grandmother’s vast collection of cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. Please enjoy these videos. I have also included links to some of the published articles I have written recently. Please feel free to comment here or email me directly with any questions, comments or general thoughts. My email address and information on my catering, private chef and private cooking classes can be found on my website:

Roasted Bratwurst

1 lb Bratwurst
10 cloves garlic
1 large red onion, sliced
4 medium gold or white potatoes, cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
10 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss all ingredients to coat in oil. Pour into roasting pan. Roast one hour, stirring every 20 minutes until all garlic and onions are lightly browned.

Homemade Bratwurst

Homemade Bratwurst:

6-8 feet hog casing
3 lb lean pork butt, cubed
2 lb veal, cubed
1-1 1/2 lb pork fat, cubed
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp crushed caraway seeds
1 tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp sea salt

Grind all meats, blend with seasonings and re-grind. Stuff casings and twist off in 6 -8 inch lengths.

Refrigerate for up to two days. Freeze if storing longer

Barbecued Shrimp

Barbecued Shrimp

2 lb (16-20 count) shrimp – shell on (head-on if possible)
½ lb butter
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup shallots, minced
¼ cup garlic, minced
½ cup green onions, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp basil, chopped
3 Tbsp oregano, chopped
2 Tbsp thyme, chopped
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beer
Salt and pepper to taste
Creole seasoning to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and oil. Add garlic, shallots, green onions, basil, oregano, and thyme. Sauté 3-5 minutes to flavor butter with herb mixture. Blend in Worcestershire sauce and beer. Pour shrimp into a large heat-resistant bowl. Pour butter-herb mixture over the shrimp. Season liberally with 2 tsp sea salt, 2 tsp pepper, 1 Tbsp Creole seasoning and 1 Tbsp Tabasco sauce. Toss together with a spoon until the shrimp are all well coated with butter. Pour shrimp and all the sauce into a small roasting pan (or 9x13 casserole, or small rimmed pan). Place in oven and cook for 7 minutes. Remove shrimp from oven and stir. Return to oven and bake for approximately another 3 minutes, then turn on Broiler and Broil for the last 5 minutes.

Serve with lots of crispy bread… this dish is all sopping up the delicious sauce!

Yields 6 small servings or 3 entrée servings.