Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Homemade Applesauce

I'm an apple lover, so apple "anything"--pie, crisps, tarts, candy (you get the picture)--has always been a welcomed part of my eating repertoire.  Applesauce is no exception and, in fact, has been a favorite since my earliest childhood memories.

While I've done my fair share of apple dishes over the years, last year's Thanksgiving dinner was the first time I decided to make homemade applesauce.  Where had I been all this time?  It was every bit as scrumptious and satisfying as I anticipated--pairing beautifully with my roasted porkloin--and easier than most apple creations that come through my kitchen.  It was clear: this recipe was a keeper.

As wonderful, seasonal dishes go, this is one that belongs in your fall/holiday repertoire, for sure.  I like the mix of sweeter red and tarter green apples, but you can use whatever you like--or happen to have on hand.  Although simple, it's a stunner of a dish with the taste to match.

Happy Eating!

Homemade Applesauce

4-6 lbs. of apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
1 cup apple cider
Juice of a lemon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinches of allspice and nutmeg

Combine all ingredients into a large pot and cook over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking/scorching, about 25 minutes.

Once apples have softened and begun to dissolve/melt, remove from heat and blend to desired texture and consistency with an immersion blender or in a food processor.  Serve warm or chilled--and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Monday, November 23, 2015

{Thank You!} Fall & Holiday Pop-Up Shop 2015

The recent build-up to my Fall & Holiday Pop-Up Shop culminated in an afternoon of holiday cheer laced with my small-batch, artisan goodies that made for another memorable time of sharing my food passion--and connecting with the amazing customers who tasted, savored and shopped our select menu.  From warm mulled cider, to citrus madeleines, to maple-cinnamon granola, spice blends, and much more, there was something for everyone.

Exchange after exchange was filled with my sincere appreciation for the enthusiastic customer support I received from family, friends, colleagues, fellow artisans and bloggers, and new customers who stumbled upon our pop-up while scouring about our host venue, Westside Market.  Your support made the day the true success I hoped it would be, and I'm truly thankful that you chose D.M.R. Fine Foods to bring the tastes of the season to you.

I unfortunately couldn't capture a photo of every customer who shopped with us (and a few were admittedly camera shy :) ), but I wanted to share some of the faces that made the event worth every moment, along with this expression of thanks.

Continued Happy Holidays & Happy Eating!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


What's Fall and the holiday season without seasonal and festive goodies to eat, drink and make merry?  I asked myself the same question over the last while and couldn't resist answering with a delicious Pop-Up Shop to savor some of the season's best tastes.

I'm thrilled to be teaming up with the fabulous Westside Market once again to present an afternoon of fall and holiday inspired fare for tasting, savoring--and yes, shopping! It will be the perfect opportunity to grab delicacies, star ingredients, and more, in time for the holiday season that's around the corner. 

And did I mention that this year's Pop-Up Shop will be amidst Westside Market's Holiday Baazar?  Translation: there will be other artisans available for you to browse and shop for your holiday gifting and decor needs.

Mark your calendars for next Saturday, November 21st from 12 - 4p.m. EST, and make plans to drop in and kick start your holiday season with our goodies that are perfect for your kitchen, as hostess gifts, and more!  From warm spices, to hearty herbs, to bright citrus, sweet confections, and more, there will be something for everyone--and every taste.  It promises to be a deliciously fun afternoon, as always--and I can't wait to see you there!

Happy Holidays and Happy Eating!

D.M.R. Fine Foods Fall & Holiday Pop-Up Shop
Venue Details:
Westside Market
1530 Ellsworth Ind. Blvd.
Atlanta, Ga 30318


Monday, November 2, 2015

All About Pie: Primers, Tips & Tricks

Photo Credit: Williams-Sonoma

When it comes to baking, pies are in a class all their own.  From mastering the perfect dough, to blind baking, to avoiding common mistakes, to yielding (and decorating) the best crust ever, I've gathered the essentials to ensure your pie-baking expeditions are better and more scurmptious than ever.

William-Sonoma's Pie Primer serves up everything you need to know to master a perfect dough and yield a beautifully delicious pie--again and again.

Bon Appetit reveals the six common pie-baking mistakes--and how to avoid them.

Martha Stewart rounds things out with a Pie Crust 101 tutorial for fail-proof results.

With these pie essentials in tow, you'll be all set to indulge in...Happy Baking!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Buffalo Hot Wings

I wish there were adequate words to explain how so very seriously I take my hot wing indulgence.  And I have my mother to blame for this.  The day she began making hot wings for our family years ago was the day my obsession with the crispy, saucy, spicy guilty pleasure began.  Like a short-order cook, she achieved the perfect marriage of super crispy skin and the best buffalo sauce (translation: thick enough to coat the wing without separating into its respective hot sauce and butter parts, with a tangy kick to match.)

And so, from then until now, my quest for the perfect hot wing (besides my mama's) has always been about crispy skin and the perfect sauce.  And here enters my own fuss-free, scrumptious recipe that I began making a little while ago and can't rave about enough. 

First off, they're baked--not fried.  So for those who care, this is now a guilt-free indulgence! And the two ingredient sauce brings the tangy, vinegary, salty, spicy zip that all buffalo hot wings should be known for.  The perfect hot wing, in my kitchen, without the grease or the guilt, is euphoric.  It's the best winning combination I've come across in a while and when you make them, I'm sure you'll agree.

Happy Eating!

Buffalo Hot Wings
2 lbs. chicken wings
Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste (or a poultry seasoning blend)
3/4 cup of hot sauce (recommended: Louisiana hot sauce)
1 tablespoon of butter
Preheat oven to 425 F.

Pat the skin of the wings dry with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.  Inside a large baking dish, season wings liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder (or desired seasoning blend).  Place dish in preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until skin reaches desired level of crispness.  

Remove wings from oven and set aside.  Melt butter into hot sauce, stirring occasionally, and bring sauce to a brief boil.  Lower heat slightly and allow sauce to continue to simmer, while reducing and thickening, about 5 minutes longer.  (Cook's note: adjust ratio of sauce to butter, as desired.  You may also add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to reduce the spiciness.)  

Dip each wing in buffalo sauce to coat. Serve and enjoy! 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

{Be Inspired!}: Fall Beauty Is Here

"Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself." ~Coco Chanel

For me, the allure of Fall extends well beyond the captivating foilage and invigorating weather into the world of beauty.  Rich hues for nails and lips are especially gorgeous and seem to match the cozier elements of the season with a natural flair.

Also not to be forgotten are the earthy tones that lend warmth and a subtler punch, but read equally beautiful.

So whether you prefer bold, or less so, Fall is the season to let your inspiration lead the way into a more beautiful you.  For more beauty-liciousness, go here.

Happy Inspired and Beautiful Living!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Summer's Best: Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Toasted Breadcrumbs

The final day of Summer has arrived.  As we say farewell to the season that's served us well on the food, travel, entertaining and fashion fronts, I couldn't think of a more apropos dish to savor than a fresh, vibrant, chilled gazpacho.  And not just any gazpacho--but one with juicy, colorful, seasonal, creme dela creme, heirloom tomatoes.  It's all the goodness of a traditional tomato gazpacho--turned up a notch.

This soup couldn't be easier to bring together and delivers both rich flavor and great texture from the vegetables. (I consider it a vegetable garden in a bowl.)  And I'll add that it was a hit at last Summer's Pop-Up Cooking School, so you can't go wrong.

If you're looking for that one final taste of Summer that's worth savoring, this. is. it.

Happy Eating!

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Toasted Breadcrumbs

3-5 heirloom tomatoes
1 hothouse cucumber
1 sweet bell pepper, cored and seeded

½ red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups tomato juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup, plus two tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice of ½ lime
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for breadcrumbs
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Baguette or other crusty bread (for breadcrumbs)

For the Gazpacho:
Roughly chop the cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeno and red onion into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not over process!

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, lime and Worcestershire. Mix well and chill before serving.  

For the Breadcrumbs:
Slice bread into 1-inch cubes.  Heat two tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet.   Toss in cubes and begin to sauté until golden brown and season with salt and pepper. 

Before serving, garnish the gazpacho with the toasted breadcrumbs.  Enjoy!

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