a balanced plate with room for dessert


Ginger-Apple Chutney

I can still remember a few (many?) years ago my mom handed me two cookbooks and told me to pick one. One was a Bobby Flay cookbook. The other, a Ming Tsai cookbook. It was a no-brainer – I chose Ming. I’m a cookbook hoarder – I have a scary amount of cookbooks stockpiled in our house. I love looking through them, but I rarely cook from them. Simply Ming is one exception; I cook from his book all the time.

Ming Tsai has yet to let me down. Everything I’ve made of his has been delicious, and this savory-sweet chutney is no exception. It is out of this world. Seriously. I had Mike taste it for a seasoning-check and he asked if he could have it for dinner (ha! crazy man). I am obsessed with this stuff. My one regret is that I didn’t make a double batch of it. I want to put it on everything right now. I have two recipes coming up in the next week or so that will use this chutney and they, too, are pretty dang delicious.

Ginger-Apple Chutney |

Ginger-Apple Chutney
makes about 4 cups

4 cups Fuji apples (about 6 – 8 apples), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup apple juice

  1. Toss apples with lemon juice in a large bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in onions and ginger and saute until onions are soft, about 3 -4 minutes. Add the apples and stir to combine. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Add in vinegar and apple juice and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until only 1/2 cup liquid remains.
  4. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

recipe from Ming Tsai


My Favorite Barbecue Sauce

I’ve been making the same BBQ sauce for years. Sometimes I’ll add a little twist (bourbon anyone?), but the base recipe remains the same. I love this sauce and you can easily tailor it to your needs. Need a thicker sauce? Cook it for a little longer. Want some more heat? Add in a dash of cayenne. This sauce is good on pretty  much everything – pulled pork, chicken, burgers… I’ve even dipped some soft pretzels into it.

So, next time you need some barbecue sauce, try whipping up your own!

Homemade Barbecue Sauce |

My Favorite Barbecue Sauce
makes about 1 quart

3 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tablepoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 1/2 tabespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until desired consistency is reached.