As we move into the holiday season, here is a special occasion entrée from Grandma Grace’s kitchen which can be timed well with entertaining guests and is simple to make.  Think of it as a Jewish glazed ham.  A wild rice pilaf pairs nicely with it.

Corned beef (brisket flat of course) has many virtues.  Foremost is that cooking it is as simple as boiling water.  Another virtue is that the corning process along with air-tight packaging keeps the uncooked meat from spoiling quickly – this allows supermarkets to sell it for less than an ordinary brisket flat.  It can also be stored in your freezer as well.  So buy it on sale and use it when you want.  For this recipe, the grainy texture of the brisket provides another benefit: sticking whole cloves into the meat is effortless.  The recipe calls for a 4 to 5 pound corned beef but you can use a smaller cut if you prefer.

Glazed Corned Beef on Plate

Grandma Grace’s Glazed Corned Beef – 1 Knife


  • 4 to 5 lbs corned beef
  • Whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1 small can of crush pineapple
  • ¼ jar currant jelly
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey


  1. Follow the cooking instructions on the corned beef package.  Usually you would place the corned beef (fat side up) in a deep and wide pot and cover with water (at least one inch above the meat).  It is probably easiest if you do not add any spices to the water.  Turn the burner on high and bring to a boil.  If you want, you can remove any scum that comes to the top but that is optional.  Lower heat to simmer and cover the pot.  Corned beef usually needs to simmer for about 50 minutes per pound.
  2. When the corned beef is nearly ready, mix the last 6 ingredients together in a bowl.  This can be done well in advance if you are having company.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place the cooked corned beef on a cutting board and trim off the fat on top.
  5. Place the corned beef in a suitable roasting pan.  Stick cloves into the corned beef, evenly spacing them about.  1½ inches apart should be fine.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  6. Pour the glaze mixture over the corned beef and place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes, basting occasionally.  You can hold off placing the pan into the oven until company arrives or shortly thereafter.
  7. When ready, remember that brisket is sliced across the grain.  Place on a platter and cover with glaze from the pan.  Enjoy!

Rachel’s Legacy

For those of you who wondered why there have not been any new recipes posted here in a long while, I regret to inform you that Rachel passed away in late April after almost a full year’s battle with oral cancer.  Though she was taken from us at the young age of 26, Rachel had a rich life full of many hobbies and interests.  Of them all, this blog represented one of her strongest passions.

For those of us who loved her dearly, her family and friends, this blog remains a way for us to keep her memory alive and honor her mission “of proving to the culinary-challenged that cooking is easier than it looks.”  So we will continue to post recipes to this blog.  Perhaps fittingly, the first recipe that will be posted is “Grandma Grace’s Glazed Corned Beef”.  When I visited Rachel during the second week of April, she asked that I make my mother’s recipe for this blog.  The pictures you will see posted with this recipe are the last photos for this blog that she took.

While we will try to write in the spirit of Rachel’s postings by providing commentary, hints, and encouragement, please bear with us as our writing styles and knowledge will differ.  We will also take our best guess as to Rachel’s difficulty rating system (I used to argue with her that some recipes were more complicated than she rated them).  But we will continue to post recipes and remember Rachel always.

Some photos of Rachel at age 3.  A sign of things to come!

Helping make breaded zucchini

Rachel with Grandma Grace

The primary reason I kicked off this blog was to help teach cooking-phobes and rookies how to cook.  When I hear about success stories I love it.  “I tried your ___ recipe and it turned out great!” is music to my ears.  Recently, I successfully managed to teach this recipe to a cooking novice and am proud that they embraced the recipe and have even made it their own.

Now I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out that asparagus is very much fresh and in season right now.  I am a firm believer in cooking foods that are in their peak and this is a great recipe to highlight the deliciousness that is fresh asparagus.  Just make sure when purchasing that all of the asparagus in the bunch are about the same size – so either all skinny or all thick.  For this recipe I prefer thinner asparagus.

This recipe is completed with the Tangy Walnut Vinaigrette posted on this site.  I’ll repeat the recipe and ingredients so you don’t have to bounce between recipes or print out extra pages.  Just know if you like the dressing the recipe is available on its own.

Asparagus and Wild Rice Salad – 1 Knife (Adapted from The New York Times “Getting Your Grains – and Greens, too”)

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wild rice or wild rice blend
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1/3 cup shelled walnuts (optional)
  • ground black pepper (optional)
  • salt (optional)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup walnut oil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Wash the asparagus and trim off the tough ends, usually about 1-2 inches up the bottom of the stalk.  Discard these.
  2. Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces.  Set aside.
  3. Chop the walnuts roughly into pieces and set aside.


  1. Cook the rice according to the directions.  To add extra flavor use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water.
  2. While the rice cooks remove the skin from the garlic and chop into a fine mince, or use a garlic press to smash the garlic.
  3. Add the garlic to a bowl, measuring cup, or jar (really whatever container of your choice).
  4. Add to the container the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and mustard and whisk until combined.  If you don’t want to use a whisk you can use a fork for whisking.
  5. Add the oils to the container and whisk until everything is combined.  Set aside.
  6. Steam the asparagus over 1-2 inches of boiling water in a steamer basket in a covered saucepan for about 4 minutes or until tender.  If you do not have a steamer, boil the asparagus for a few minutes in water until slightly tender – just be careful not to overcook and strain the asparagus from the water immediately after boiling.
  7. When the rice has finished cooking combine it in a bowl with the asparagus, walnuts, and the dressing.  Stir so that everything is coated in dressing.
  8. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste if preferred and stir well.
  9. Serve the salad and enjoy!

Tangy Walnut Vinaigrette

I really love this vinaigrette. It can be used on hot or cold salads, goes with most vegetables, and can be thrown together quickly.  Plus now that spring is here the farmer’s markets are coming alive again with delicious fresh produce that could use some dressing.  I originally discovered this recipe as a part of a bigger recipe in The New York Times.  I will post the larger recipe shortly as it’s really quite delicious and contains ingredients that are in season at the moment.

When it comes to substitutions, you can make them.  For instance, if you don’t have walnut oil you can just sub with more olive oil.  It means it won’t be a walnut vinaigrette, however it will still be delicious.  Also you can add more or less garlic depending on your preferences – and if you don’t have fresh garlic you can always use garlic powder to taste.  I’ve made my own subtle changes to the original recipe, so you should too if you need to.


Tangy Walnut Vinaigrette – 1 Knife (Adapted from The New York Times “Getting Your Grains – and Greens, too”)


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup walnut oil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Remove the skin from the garlic and chop into a fine mince, or use a garlic press to smash the garlic.
  2. Add the garlic to a bowl, measuring cup, or jar (really whatever container of your choice).
  3. Add to the container the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and mustard and whisk until combined.  If you don’t want to use a whisk you can use a fork for whisking.
  4. Add the oils to the container and whisk until everything is combined.
  5. Serve over salad and enjoy!  The dressing should keep in the fridge for a few days.

Every spring my good friend Sass (@grazingingrass – follow her!) puts on a fabulous picnic to celebrate Hanami.  Hanami is the traditional viewing of the Japanese Cherry Trees, and my friends celebrate here in DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival with a picnic of Japanese foods (both authentic and inspired) or whatever people bring to share.  This picnic is an annual highlight and a great chance to break out of the mold and try cooking new things.  I definitely think these meatballs are the most successful item I’ve cooked for Hanami to date – ironic of course that I couldn’t eat them.

I did make major adjustments to the original recipe, which I found in the March 2012 issue of Food & Wine magazine.  I’m going to post below what I did as I know it was a success.  The biggest adjustment I did have to make to the original recipe was to the meat.  When I went grocery shopping there was no ground chicken, so I had to substitute with ground turkey breast.  I also baked and pan seared the balls as opposed to grilling them per the original recipe.  I had to work with the tools I have, and so that’s reflected in the delicious recipe below.


Turkey Meatball Yakitori (Tsukune) – 1 Knife (Adapted from “Chicken Meatball Yakitori” in Food & Wine March 2012)


  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup sake
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ mirin plus 2 tablespoons of mirin
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl (the bowl you’ll eventually mix the meatballs in) zest the whole lemon.  Save the remaining lemon for serving.
  3. Remove the skin from the shallot and chop into a fine mince.  Add to the bowl with the zest.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil.  This will ease clean up later – you’re welcome.


  1. In a small saucepan combine the sugar, sake, soy sauce, and ¼ cup of the mirin.
  2. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat and cook for 3-5 minutes until the sauce reduces to about ¾ cup.  Make sure to stir well so the sugar doesn’t burn to the bottom and dissolves into the sauce.
  3. Set the sauce aside to allow to cool.
  4. In the bowl with the zest and shallot, add the turkey, salt, and 2 tablespoons of mirin.
  5. Mix the meat with the other ingredients until well combined.  I find that using your hands works best, however you can also use a spoon.
  6. Form the meatballs, making them about 1 inch in diameter, and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  8. After the 15 minutes carefully baste (or drizzle with a spoon) the meatballs with a little bit of the sauce.
  9. Bake the meatballs for another 5 minutes.
  10. Heat a skillet over medium and add 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil.
  11. Once the oil is hot toss the meatballs into the skillet to brown them for about 3 minutes.  There is no exact timing here, just brown until they look good to you.
  12. Once browned pour about ¼ cup of the sauce to the pan making sure to coat the meatballs, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  13. Serve the meatballs with the leftover sauce as well as wedges cut from the lemon and enjoy!


Cranberry Orange Scones

I really wanted to crank this post out before the fresh citrus disappears from grocery store shelves.  There is nothing like in season citrus to make any recipe sing.  These scones are nice and tasty and go well with tea, coffee, or are a great anytime snack.  I made them a while back for a tea party and they were a huge hit – especially when paired with clotted cream.

When these were made I used an electric mixer, however you can mix these by hand, it will just take some elbow grease.  Otherwise as scones go this is a fairly basic recipe.  It does take some time and work but like most recipes is worth it in the end – especially when you are looking for a vehicle for clotted cream.

If you need a use for the remainder of the orange I highly recommend the beet and orange salad on this site.  Or just eat the orange as-is, up to you.


Orange Cranberry Scones – 2 Rolling Pins (Adapted from Food.com)


  • 4 cups flour (also have additional to flour for shaping the scones)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (from one medium-large orange)
  • 3 sticks cold unsalted butter (very important that it’s cold)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup flour (this is additional to coat the cranberries)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash the outside of the orange to remove any possible pesticides and wax and dry it.  Using a grater, zest the peel of the orange.  You only want the orange parts, not the white pith.
  3. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the zest.
  4. In a bowl whisk the eggs so they are well beaten and set aside.
  5. Measure the cup of cranberries and ¼ cup of flour into a bowl and mix gently to coat the berries.
  6. Right before you are ready to start mixing everything, cut the butter into a dice.  Taking one stick out of the fridge at a time, cut it lengthwise into three long pieces, turn on its side and cut into three pieces, then cut down the length to make small pieces.  Set these aside.


  1. In a large bowl stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest together.
  2. Add the butter to the bowl and mix at a low speed (or gentlyly if by hand) until the butter is the size of peas.  This means the butter will not be fully incorporated into the flour mixture, but only partially.
  3. Add the heavy cream to the eggs and mix the two together.
  4. Gradually add the cream and egg mixture to the flour and butter, mixing on low speed.
  5. Add to the dough the floured cranberries and mix until just combined.  At this point the dough should look lumpy, and you will still see pieces of butter throughout.
  6. Flour a clean countertop or cutting board and place the dough on it.  Gently knead the dough into a ball.
  7. Take a floured rolling pin and roll the dough so it’s about ¾ of an inch thick.
  8. Use a floured cookie cutter or biscuit cutter (about 3 inches) to cut out the scones.  If you don’t have a formal cutter you can flour the top of a cup and use that to shape the scones.  Any dough scraps should be combined and re-rolled to cut more scones.
  9. Place the scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet about an inch or so apart and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Allow the scones to cool, serve and enjoy!

Shamrock Shakes have become an American tradition around St. Patrick ’s Day.  There is the cult favorite McDonald’s shake as well as tons of other homemade knock offs.  I found a lot that start with mint chocolate chip ice cream, which I find is a little out of spirit with the holiday (and a cheap shortcut).  This recipe is from a very close friend who is currently on their honeymoon, so I didn’t get the chance to ask for permission to post.  The photo is their spouse’s, and credit will certainly go where it’s due.  I’m operating under the assumption they’d be ok with this, besides the more people who use this recipe instead of the gross substitutes the better for humanity, right?

This recipe really is quite delicious and can be enjoyed on days that aren’t St. Patty’s as well.  For instance it pairs quite nicely with NCAA basketball tournament viewings.  It also goes well with a big old plate of corned beef and cabbage.  Or have your Stout with your beef and this shake for dessert.  Whatever floats your boat.  If serving a crowd just simply multiply the ingredients based on your numbers.

If you can’t have alcohol sadly this recipe isn’t for you, not really anyway.  You can most likely substitute mint extract and boil down the Jameson to reduce the alcohol though it won’t remove it completely.  Or you can go to the Golden Arches… guaranteed booze free and with enough calories to fill you up for a while, and with a cherry on top.

Shamrock Shake – 1 Knife (recipe by Sass Mars Bowie)


  • 1 shot Jameson Irish Whiskey (1 ounce)
  • 1 shot Crème de Menthe (1 ounce)
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream (about ½ cup)
  • splash of milk (about ¼ cup or less depending on how thick you want your shake)


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed.
  2. Serve, imbibe, and enjoy!


Ed. Note: Happy Pi Day!  Had I thought about it I should have posted a pie recipe… cest la vie.