Rich Reds

RICH REDS I’ve made more than my share of red, white, and blue centerpieces for patriotic-themed parties, and it’s not an easy combination. Blue flowers are rare, and forcing those three colors into one arrangement can give some pretty garish results. It’s better to combine reds and whites in a bouquet and bring in the blue with a tablecloth or placemats to create a more natural Fourth of July look. The greens provide a neutral backdrop and a more casual […]


Summer Salads

“And I think this word ‘sallet’ was born to do me good…” – Henry IV, Part II When I worked at the White House, the Bushes held a dinner one year to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday. The menu card contained a quotation from Shakespeare to accompany each course, and this quote from Henry IV came from the salad course. I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun planning a dinner, pouring through Shakespeare quotations looking for just the right one. (Dessert: […]


Cornbread Cake

Cornbread is as American as it comes, and there must be thousands of family recipes out there that are passed down from one generation to the next. When I was growing up, cornbread was a savory food, served as muffins or in corn cob-shaped segments out of an old iron mold. I believe that the best cornbread comes out of an iron pan, whatever it’s shape, and this recipe is particularly good because it’s so versatile – moist as the […]


Rhubarb and Blood Orange Pie

Sometimes things just work out. I found blood oranges and fresh rhubarb at the market and it gave me the perfect opportunity to try a recipe I’ve been hanging on to for years, in the hope that one day rhubarb and blood oranges would be available at the same time of year. And voila! A sweet, tart confection for those of us who like their sugar in healthier, manageable doses. The sweet oranges complement the rhubarb perfectly; not too sweet […]