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dinner: the playbook | zucchini fritters with sour cream and chives


Hey friends…..just completed the second recipe from Jenny Rosenstach’s upcoming second cookbook, Dinner:  The Playbook which will be out late this summer.  And in case you missed my first post, I was one of the bloggers selected to preview and cook from her new book – very exciting!!

So…….Zucchini Fritters with Sour Cream and Chives….ahhhhhhh zucchini has been a dreaded word in our house.  My ex and son’s dad despised any type of squash, with zucchini being at the top of the hit list.  And so our son, I swear strictly by genetic predisposition or let’s maybe just call it taking a good look at “the tree from which the apple fell,” to explain why my teenager still thinks zucchini is the worst vegetable in the world.

So I chose this recipe from Jenny’s new book on purpose.  It was easy to make – you just need to grab your box grater or a food processor with the grating attachment – and get to work shredding three medium-size zucchini.  I had all of the other ingredients on hand – including salty, yummy Parmigiano Reggiano, scallions, and fresh chives from my little container garden.  I had a moment of panic when I wasn’t sure if I had cornstarch in my pantry or not – but I did.  Just haven’t used it in a while and wasn’t sure if it had made the move off of Longboat Key with me last year.

The resulting dish is delicious – I love the cool tang of the sour cream with chives with the warm fritters.  To get this recipe, please pre-order Jenny Rosenstach’s new book HERE.

And – are you wondering if my zucchini-hater son liked this?  Well, I had him try it.  He asked what was in it and I rattled off the ingredients EXCEPT for the zucchini.  I know, bad mom.  He took a little bite and said, “okay, not bad.”  It was a little cold since I had been shooting the plate for this blog post, so I warmed it up, and brought it back to him for another bite.  Oh, he also reminded me that he dislikes sour cream (but to my knowledge has never tasted sour cream) but took another bite of the fritter – with the tiniest amount of sour cream known to man.  I finally had to ‘fess up and let him know that zucchini was like the main ingredient, at which point he did what I would call a respectable “pretend” gag.

So…….I love you zucchini.  I tried.

Stay tuned for recipe three from Jenny’s new book later this week!


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dinner: the playbook | korean short ribs

Dinner_playbook_korean_short_ribs_kitchen_serendipity blog_web

Hi guys!!  I am really excited to have been selected as one of the bloggers to receive an advance copy of Jenny Rosenstrach’s upcoming new cookbook – Dinner:  The Playbook.  Her first book – Dinner:  A Love Story – is wildly popular and is all about bringing back the family meal.  Her stories in her first book are entertaining, honest, and inspiring……along with many fantastic recipes.

Dinner:  The Playbook takes the premise from her first book and gets down to the nuts and bolts of exactly how to get a good meal on the table each night with a 30-day plan – including   recipes for go-to dinners, simple sides, and even “keep the spark alive” dinners.  We are all so busy between work, kids’ schedules, and other responsibilities………..this cookbook and meal plan will be a valued resource in one’s kitchen.

I will be cooking, photographing, tasting, serving, and sharing my thoughts (and those of my family) with three recipes from Dinner:  The Playbook all this week.  I can’t share the recipes themselves at this time, but hopefully it will inspire you to check out her first book Dinner:  A Love Story and to pre-order Dinner:  The Playbook.  I will share as much from the book as I can with you as I re-create her recipes in my kitchen for my family.

So the first recipe I selected?!?  Did you see the image of those delectable Korean Short Ribs that headed this post?!?  I went the extra step and made one of her simple sides as well – the  Rice with Cilantro and Lime just begged for me to use the mold I have.  Sticky/short grain rice just deserves that special treatment in my humble opinion.  Anyway – these ribs are fantastic.  It’s summer – it’s Florida – and I don’t often think about bringing my slow-cooker out – but what a great summer meal this makes.  Effortless – just put the short ribs or country-style pork ribs (which is what i used) in a slow-cooker with staples such as garlic and ginger and a few other ingredients and wow!!  I was running to and from the local grocery stores (yes I will mention you The Fresh Market!) and every time I returned home, the house smelled so crazy delicious!!  In the garage even!!  A neighbor was walking by the last – final time – that I pulled in and I wonder if the aromas wafted out to the sidewalk……I did see him glance…………….

Dinner was with my ex-husband (yes, we get along great) and our son.  The ex polished the dinner off in no time.  My son (a.k.a the “Picky Eater”) also loved it.  It was a little hard for him with braces and the Herps device he has but by golly he dug in.  And ate.

I think I was shocked.

And me?  Yes a big thumbs up from me.

Here’s an image of the ribs going into the slow-cooker along with fresh jalapeños from my little garden……


And a side-by-side of what Dinner:  The Playbook will look like when it comes out in its final edition….and my advance copy that you can see from the bottom of the book is already stained from cooking.  And I think that rocks.


Please stay tuned to my blog this week and as always, thank you for following.  xoxo

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dinner: the playbook challenge is about to begin

I was so excited to learn that I was one of the bloggers chosen to take part in this pre-publication cookbook review……Jenny Rosenstrach is the author of the wildly popular “Dinner:  A Love Story” which is a wonderful collection of stories and recipes that equate to getting a good, homemade dinner on the table each night in spite of crazy schedules and far too busy lives (that we all have.) “Dinner: The Playbook” is her latest book which is now available for pre-sale on  I received my advance, non-color proof copy yesterday evening and I can’t wait to dive into it!  I, along with 49 other bloggers, will be making three recipes from the book during the week of June 22 – June 29 , and posting about the hits (or any misses) with pictures and stories to support and complement the recipes. I hope you will follow along?!?  Should I make the Chorizo and Kale Frittata?  Zucchini Fritters with Sour Cream and Chives?  Crispy Rice Omelet (using leftover take-our fried rice!)?  O r how about the Wonton Ravioli with Ricotta and Spinach?  Ahhhh….decisions and all of the recipes look like big hits to me!!! I hope to see you on the blog next week!

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Edamame, Hearts of Palm, and Feta Salad (aka The Salad Bar Salad)


You don’t always have to use leafy greens when making a salad…….let’s try something else to mix up the salad bar (or home) salad experience!! I concocted this salad from our Sarasota Whole Foods salad bar……and the combination of flavors was so incredible that I totally needed to share with you.  And you don’t need a Whole Foods market – shop your local market and purchase the ingredients.  I always have too many cans of hearts of palm (and artichoke hearts) on hand and I never know quite why exactly……..but picking up a pre-sliced and diced ingredients from a salad bar makes good sense if you’re just serving yourself.  Make as much or as little as you need for the number of guests you are serving.  Enjoy! blog_board_edamame_hearts_of_palm_feta_salad_kitchen_serendipity_blog  

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spicy orecchiette pasta


Yum.  This pasta dish is nicely spicy but super light for your late spring/early summer menus.  It also makes for a great take-along dish…just reheat at your destination.  I was all excited to use my first-ever crop of jalapeño peppers as one of the ingredients that makes this dish awaken your palette!!


It’s super easy to make – garlic, jalapeños, red bell peppers all sauteed together slowly and then bathed in a luxurious crème fraîche sauce.  Most grocery stores now carry crème fraîche…..look for it near the sour cream or head out to your local specialty market.  You can find orechiette pasta at your grocery store as well – orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian but it also looks remarkably like Quisp breakfast cereal if you all remember that from a time long ago (thank you Lafe Low for pointing that out).  Actually, Quisp cereal has been resurrected and can be found at my local The Fresh Market!  Who knew?!?

So just add the pasta to the skillet and toss….bringing up all the goodness from the bottom.  And dive in.





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admin - Thank you Monet!

Monet - This is beautiful. Such a fresh and vibrant spring/summer salad!

Kim - Liv Life - Stunning photos Stacey… and a brilliant recipes!! Who doesn’t love a simple pasta?? This one goes up there as a keeper!

admin - Thank you so much Kim!!!

Kim - Liv Life - Oh my!! I’ve been craving pasta lately and this photo just drew me in. Beautiful!!!