Butternut Squashed Soup with Lime Cream

This is a decadent autumn soup very similar to one we used to serve at the White House. It was so good that people would scrape their bowls to finish it. I like soups for a first course in the fall and winter, in small cream-colored soup bowls. The smaller, handled bowls hold just enough to whet the appetite for the rest of the meal, and it’s a simple and comforting beginning. It would make a great starter for a […]


Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Caraway Rye Crackers

I’m a lazy cook. I like recipes with fewer ingredients that aren’t too complicated, especially foods that are adaptable for different kinds of meals. This mushroom soup can be an elegant starter (wonderful for a Thanksgiving dinner if you’re already thinking about the holidays) or a substantial entree with the addition of wild rice. You might see this on a menu and think, ‘Mushroom soup – meh.’ But it’s rich and nourishing, and with the addition of caraway rye crackers […]


Fried Oysters with Bacon

This is a recipe for the times when you need a snack ‘with a capital K’ – you know, when it’s not close to mealtime but you’ve got a powerful craving for something savory and bursting with flavor – and it can’t be just anything. Fried oysters are a rich treat, and when you add garlic and sage and bacon – well, of course it’s mouthwateringly good. A plate of these thrown down with a fresh round of beers on […]


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: […]


Rosemary Shortbread

We have some dear British friends spending the Thanksgiving holiday with us, so there has to be tea – at least once. We’re not home for the holidays this year, so my plan is to keep things simple – recipes with just a few ingredients, using the most basic cookware. I don’t want to miss out on the fun, so the recipes need to be fast and easy. This shortbread meets all the requirements. It’s a sweet and savory treat […]