Poor Man's Paté

The nights have been cool lately, and there's nothing more comforting than a densely-packed meat loaf with hot buttered rice to take the edge off a crisp breeze. We've loved this dish for a really long time. It's a fragrant mixture of ground beef, eggs, minced onion, chopped green pepper, ketchup, Kosher salt, pepper and a dash of milk. The secret to this dish: homemade breadcrumbs, made with ciabatta bread, minced fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, sweet basil, grated Parmagianno Reggiano, French Sel de Mer and a medly of freshly-ground peppercorns (white, red, green and black). I make it in big batches and freeze in big ziploc bags and use for meatballs, meat loaf, and breading chicken breasts.

This meat loaf goes from the dinner table to the lunch bag in the blink of an eye. Just a spooonful of Russian dressing on a soft roll, some lettuce et "voila!," you have a "paté" sandwich manifique!

Butter Him Up for His Birthday!

Butter Cake
Our favorite birthday cake, a variation on a traditional strawberry shortcake, is a great way to butter up your favorite friend on his or her birthday. For his birthday this weekend, Tommy requested blueberries and bananas in the whipped cream, in addition to strawberries. I baked a rich, butter-filled cake and set it out to cool for a few hours. The frosting is heavy cream with sugar and real vanilla extract, whipped until it is almost butter! Fold in fresh blueberries, fresh sliced strawberries and sliced bananas. (Keep some of the whipped cream aside for the top of the cake.) The secret to a fabulous finish -- a double-extra helping of whipped cream with berries between the two rounds. It stands up to the cake when sliced, and makes every bite extra-moist.