Blog about Cooking Tips and Ingredients | Feast and Merriment

Ramble On...

Welcome to my ramblings! And trust me…they are just that! A collection of my rough (really rough!) thoughts, opinions, experiments and tips that I’ve written down over the years.

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t all started a long, long time ago. (By a long time ago, I mean in 2007.) We had just moved into our house and it came with an old, but decent sized kitchen, and I threw myself into all things food and friends. My collection of notes about cooking and entertaining grew rapidly, and were scattered about and stuck in cookbooks and notebooks everywhere. As it turns out, that system really wasn’t very helpful.

I needed a more permanent place to jot things down so I would remember what I did right, and what I did wrong, or what I thought about a recipe. So I started a blog, just for my own reference, and I called it Feast and Merriment! It was one page and had no focus! As I grew into a more competent cook, the recipe bank became large enough to have their own section, and that is what you have today in the rest of the site. But the blog portion still remains an unfocused collection of my not-so-perfect and mostly incomplete ramblings. If you care to pour yourself a glass of vino and take a read, you’ll find a tip or two…or at least some entertainment!

Oysters “Rockabrett”

These decedent roasted oysters are served right out of the shell and will make you feel as “Rich as Rockefeller” while eating them!

How to get the most out of your Basil plant

Basil grown from seed will always be strongest and it is really easy. Once established,  clip it right above the first set of four leaves and continue to do so every time you clip it and it will reward you with large and bountiful healthy leaves all season long.

Step up your breakfast game

Who doesn’t love eggs over easy and toast on a Sunday morning? Sometimes you need to step ups your game. Here are some Ideas and inspiration for how to sass up your Sunday egg dishes.

Aweee Shucks!

For the love and learning of shellfish W e love shellfish around here. All of it- any kind, prepared any way. But we really love fresh shucked oysters and clams. We've been working on mastering the art of shucking- and let me tell you, it ain't easy! We are finally making strides in this department this picture certainly [...]

Cooking out of my comfort zone

Remember to step out of your comfort zone in the kitchen once in a while. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck making the same ‘ole things all the time.

Grow your lettuce in a window box

Home grown lettuce…what a treat! I grow mine in window boxes right on my deck. This allows me to have more control over insects and those pesky rabbits! It’s also quite convenient to walk right outside and trim a few leaves for a salad and pop right back into the kitchen!

Monster Madness!

No theme party is complete without some theme inspired finger foods! These sandwiches were perfect for a Monster High birthday party and hit of “monster proportions!”

Caesar Salad Dressing

There is nothing quite as simple and satisfying as growing your own garden greens and tossing them with a homemade caesar dressing.

A ‘Chopped’ Challenge

It was a cold December evening and my friends and I were sitting around having some wine to celebrate the holidays when we had an idea…

Traditional Italian Struffoli

From my family to yours. C hristmas season means something different to everyone. One of the traditions I loved most when I was a kid was 'struffoli making day.' Although, I always pronounced it 'struffola' so I could use an expert opinion on that! More of us than were necessary gathered in the kitchen and [...]

Riding the Gravy Train

A little bit of planning and some effort can pay off big when it comes to making gravy in advance.

Tips for Entertaining

When entertaining for any crowd, large or small, try and get as much done as possible before your guests arrive. The less you have to do when your guests are there, the more smoothly your event will go and the better time you and your guests will have.

Is meat killing us?

My personal journey of challenges when I learned about the “The China Study” that makes the connection between animal protein intake and cancer.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Everyone loves mashed potatoes- except the cook making them! With these tips for make ahead mashed potatoes, the cook can enjoy the mash as much as the guests.

For Tina

Remember that chicken ravioli from last year!? Well, my friend Tina wouldn’t stop talking about this pear & cheese ravioli they had while in Italy last year. (It was like Brett and that chicken ravioli all over again!)

Simply… Italian

I recently returned from my first trip to my ancestor’s homeland, Italy. I wanted to go to Italy for one reason and one reason only- the food!

Tired of the standard BBQ fare?

I’ve had enough with classic backyard BBQ fare. It’s so boring! BBQ’s can be so much more creative and delicious- there’s just no reason not to. Let’s ditch the dogs and try a little harder.

The Port Chester Pizza Debate

Port Chester has a unique lock on one thing- pizza!

Cake or Cupcakes?

Its a big week of Birthdays and it got me thinking…Cake or Cupcakes? Whats the preference?

Are 3 eyed fish the fish of our future?

I stopped eating farmed salmon years ago because of the high numbers of PCB’s, the excessive use of antibiotics in salmon farms and the the gross fact that farmed salmon meat would be grey without the use of an orange dye called Canthaxanthin…

To Flour or Not to Flour? THAT is my question!

When making cutlets of any kind, I have always floured, egged, breadcrumbed. After watching my friend, who is an excellent cook, make cutlets without the flour step, I started asking around and it seems the jury is split.

White beans and dreams

Using cannelloni beans in place of pasta is a great way to satisfy your pasta fix without all the gluten. The opportunities are endless, and delicious.

Lobster Tips

Tip 1: Where should you buy Buy lobsters only from reliable fish sources that have either open or large lobster tanks and ask when they get their deliveries to be sure its weekly. Their tanks should always be clean and the lobsters should appear active. If you see one climbing up the wall- thats the […]

Lobster Dinner

With a little advance planning, Lobster night can be a whole lot more enjoyable. Learn the tricks of the trade and leave the bibs behind.

How far can you make a roasted chicken go?

I roast quite a bit of chicken, especially when I am trying to stretch my food store dollars. When I take the time to plan it out, it always amazes me how far I can make that chicken go.

‘THE’ Chicken Ravioli

For 7 years now, Brett has been talking about some chicken ravioli dish that he had somewhere, at sometime, that he can’t really remember, but that he loved it.

Take the Time to Plan

The timing of a meal is very important to me. I want everything to get on the table at once, and hot! I also don’t want to have to spend time in the kitchen when my guests are enjoying drinks in the living room. I enjoy myself so much more when I know I have […]

The Gift of the Perfect Meatball Tip

My great-grandma GiGi died when I was quite young but there are things I remember and believe it or not, they have greatly influenced how I cook.