Thursday, July 28, 2016


The “Dog Days of Summer” have little to do with an old hound dog lazing in the shade of a cypress tree, or a song by Florence + The Machine. Where the phase does come from is Greek antiquity.

To the Ancients, the “dog days” occurred around the day in late July when the star Sirius, the nose in the constellation Canis Major, rises in the dawn just before the sun. In fact, the star Sirius is also known as the “Dog Star” and is the brightest star in the night sky.  And as we all know in the Northern Hemisphere, in late July, summer is at its’ hottest. Here’s a cool dish to serve as a side, or stand-alone vegetarian meal.
1 cucumber (peeled & chopped in 1/2-inch squares)
1 c. roma tomato (diced)
1⁄2 c. red onion (chopped)
3 tbsp. key lime juice
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. agave nectar
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. pepper
1 c. dry whole grain rotini pasta

Cook pasta, drain and allow it to cool. Combine key lime juice, cilantro, sugar, salt and pepper in small bowl and mix well. In a large bowl, combine pasta and vegetables. Toss gently with the lime dressing and serve chilled. Variations: Want protein? Add some cooked Northern Beans. Spice it up? Add minced jalapeƱo.
So simple, yet oh so good. Enjoy JW

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Key limes are a different variety of citrus to the Persian lime we normally find in the grocery store. Key limes have a complex citrusy, and slightly herbal flavor than the Persian variety.  This is why regular limes cannot be substituted to make a good key lime pie. Key lime harvest in the US is in November. However, the juice of the key lime may be purchased year around. Look for it in the juice aisle. Personally, I go to Bob Roth's grove stand west of the turnpike on Griffin Road to buy it by the gallon.
The first thing you will notice in this recipe is that I use a 9” spring form pan instead of a standard pie pan. The reason for this is because I will be adding a meringue as a topping instead of whipped cream and the spring form pan allows me more room to create. Besides, I’ve never heard anyone say that a piece of key lime pie was too big!




1 14 oz. box graham-crackers, crumbled by food processor
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted in microwave and cooled
5 tablespoons sugar


2 cans (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
6 large egg yolks
2 cups key lime juice
2 tablespoon grated lime zest, plus more for garnish (about 8 limes)


For the Crust: Heat oven to 375°. Combine graham-cracker crumbs, butter, and 5 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. Press into a 9-inch spring-form  pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.

For the Filling: Lower oven to 325°. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, key lime juice, and zest. Pour into the prepared, cooled crust.

Return pie to oven, and bake until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.


4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 c sugar Domino Pure Cane Granulated Sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
½  tsp. pure vanilla extract
½  tsp. key lime juice


Fill medium saucepan one quarter full with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer. Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of electric mixer, and place over saucepan. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch,

3 to 3 ½  minutes. Test by rubbing between your fingers. If it’s gritty, continue whisking until smooth. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla and key lime juice, and mix until combined.  Spread or pipe meringue immediately. With a kitchen torch, slight brown the meringue peaks and then serve. Bonus: You will have extra meringue. Pipe it onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 275° for 30 minutes for meringue cookies.  Enjoy, JW