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Baked Artichoke Crostini with Havarti Dill

April 8, 2022

If your looking for a new, easy appetizer for Easter, this recipe is for you.

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you all – I have been dreaming of re-creating this dish here on the blog. We always visit one of our favorite restaurants, Giuseppe’s, in Meredith, NH whenever we go visit my in-laws. My husband grew up near Lake Winniepesaukee and Meredith is the beautiful lake-side town next door. Giuseppe’s is located in an old mill building that is beautifully renovated, and between the scenery and the food it is so special.

It also might be this artichoke dish on their menu that calls us there.

I was surprised that my first time trying to re-create it tasted exactly like the restaurant version, which is probably because it uses only a few good ingredients. This dish is a study in simplicity, and brings out the flavor of the artichokes. The creamy havarti with the notes of dill perfectly compliment the garlic, wine and artichokes.

I recently made it for our cooking club, and everyone was crazy about this dish. ‘That’s lovely’, ‘what is this deliciousness’ and ‘wow’ were some of the comments. Pretty much a home run for a pot luck dish. (I think it’s still delicious at room temperature).

This would make a great appetizer for Easter or any party. The whole artichokes get soft baking in the oven and it is so fun to let them spread out on the crostini. Taking a bite is such a wonderful textural combination – crunchy, buttery crostini, soft, warm artichokes dripping in a wine and garlic infused liquid, and creamy cheese with dill to top it off. Perfection.

You will want to double the recipe if you have more than 3 people (I need at least 2 when I have this).

Hope you get to try this one soon, it is such a crowd pleaser and super simple to make. Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Baked Artichoke Crostini with Havarti Dill


10 slices of a baguette or French bread

3 T. olive oil, divided

1 garlic clove, minced

1 can whole artichokes, 5-7 count

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup chicken stock

4 oz. havarti dill, sliced into 4-5 slices

salt & pepper



Preheat oven to 350.

Arrange slices of baguette on cookie sheet. Drizzle with 2 T. olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt & pepper.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden. Set aside.

In a cast iron skillet or small pan, heat remaining tablespoon of oil. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring carefully. Add wine to skillet, then add artichokes and let them cook in the wine garlic mixture for 3-5 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and lay sliced havarti dill on top of artichoke hearts. Cover with foil or lid and place into a 350 degree oven. Let cook for 10-12 minutes.

Remove, and serve immediately with crostini.

Sausage, Escarole and Tomato Pasta

February 23, 2022

Guys, this is one of the best dinners I have made in a long time. I am so happy to share it with you all!

The idea for this dinner began when I read Alexandra Cook’s post on how much she loves sautéed escarole as a winter side. She makes the point that by February, we have roasted so many veggies that cooked greens hit the spot and are so easy. When I grabbed a few heads of escarole at the store, I got to thinking. Wouldn’t they be delicious in soups or pastas? The answer is yes and yes.

I looked around at other recipes online, and one of them was very similar to a simple pasta dish our family loves making combining these ingredients.

We usually make ours with broccoli or spinach (fresh or frozen) and use any pasta shape. I merged ours with one I found on Epicurious. And the result was amazing. I give all the credit to that glorious trio of shallots, garlic and wine cooked together to give such a delicious base. And the pasta water helps create the most luxurious sauce. Trust me, you are going to want to try it. And then make it again because it is sooo yummy.

The acid from the wine, the slight bitterness from the escarole, the sweetness of the tomatoes and the heat from the sausage, the comforting pasta, all covered in the delicious sauce is so well balanced. And the crispy fried rosemary on top is genius. I can’t stop thinking about how many other dishes I can use it on.

Just all around something I would drive to a restaurant far away to order again and again.

This one will be on heavy rotation because it is so easy, and so satisfying. Hope you get to try it soon too!

Happy eating, xoxo Katie

Sausage, Escarole and Tomato Pasta

1 pound tubular pasta like paccheri or rigatoni

2 sprigs Rosemary

1/3 cup olive oil

20 oz. turkey sausage (or any kind you prefer)

2 shallots, finely diced (1/3 cup)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 cups cherry tomatoes

2 heads (about 8 cups) escarole, torn into pieces

1/2 cup parmesan plus more for serving


Bring pot of salted water to boil for pasta. You will need some of the pasta water for the sauce so be sure to reserve.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium high heat. Fry rosemary, turning until crisp about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towel to drain.

Add sausage to the same pot and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon or fork and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through about 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. While sausage cooks, start boiling pasta, setting timer for 3 minutes less than the packages cooking time.

Be sure there is still enough oil in pot, if not add more to equal about 1 T. Add shallots to pot and let cook for 2-3 minutes to soften, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and let cook for a minute before adding wine. Scrap up the bottom bits in the pan and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

With a slotted spoon or spider, transfer pasta to pot with tomatoes, then add escarole and 1 cup pasta liquid. Cook, tossing until escarole is wilted, pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes. Add another 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid then gradually add 1/2 cup cheese, tossing until melted into a glossy sauce. Thin with more pasta water if desired, season with pepper and more salt if needed (you probably won’t if your pasta water is salted.) Add sausage back into pasta and stir to combine.

Divide pasta in bowls, and crumble rosemary on top and sprinkle with more parmesean cheese.





Why I Love (Cheap) French Wine

July 29, 2016

First, let me start out by saying I am NOT a wine expert. This post is meant to share that as a decidedly NON-wine expert, I have found a few good wines that I am loving and a few reasons why, so I am sharing them in the hopes that you can take it and make it work for you in your (perhaps) non-expert wine drinking moments. (Julie and Henri, this excludes you if you are reading this since you both know more then I ever will).

I wanted to share this because I feel like I found a treasure trove by accident. It is the French wine section at our New Hampshire Liquor Stores.

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Wherever you live, find a place that sells good wine, and head on over to the area marked ‘French’ or is broken down by French regions, like ours is. Once you are there, please note the prices.

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They are not that bad! Right? Price points from $9.99 to $27.99. So this leads us to the first myth about French wines that I want to overturn.

Myth #1: French wines are expensive. 

Ok, maybe some are, but I think the anxiety about them comes from the fact that some bottles are sold for a gazillion dollars because they are rare. For 99% percent of us, we will never be faced with the decision to open a $1,000 bottle of a 1957 Bordeaux.

But guess what? The 2014 Bordeaux is only $15.

French people drink wine everyday and still somehow manage to give half of their income to taxes (little joke there) and pay for their homes and food and clothes.They care ALOT about quality and the time-honored traditions of terroir and flavor and cultivation. And they have figured out economical ways to make them.

Myth #2: French Wines are complicated.

I thought they were. Until I realized you can just fall in love with a region – or even a town – and every bottle from there will be delicious. French people care so much about the soil grapes were grown in that they got very specific about it, and started naming their wines after each town or region it was grown in. But start small and just pick one region and try some to and see if you like it.

My current favorite is Médoc. I learned about it from the (much better) food blog  Manger.

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Two quick travel stories from this year that I will share with you about Médoc wines:

First, When my husband took me to the AMAZING restaurant Primo in Maine for my 40th birthday dinner, we looked at a menu by a James Beard awarding chef, and an equally impressive wine list. I was overwhelmed by everything, of course. When I looked down the list of wines, I saw one from Médoc that was the cheapest one on the menu (!) at around $36. We were willing to splurge, but I knew from shopping at my local wine store that all the Médoc wines were delicious, and I wanted to do justice to the amazing food we were about to eat. So we ordered it and it was Heaven. Such a relief at such a big moment to love the wine you chose.

Second, when we went out to eat with a huge group to a steak house in the Outer Banks with my husband’s college friends, I spotted a Médoc wine that was again the cheapest bottle on the list, I think it was $34 (hello dirt cheap for a steak house). I went to order it for our end of the table. The rest of the table followed suit and they ordered 3 bottles for everyone.

No pressure.

When it came, it was delicious. Sigh of relief and happy people all around.

Myth #3:  All wines contain natural sugar.

When we traveled in France last summer, you might recall that I was reading a ton of food memoirs throughout our trip. I learned from Ruth Reichl’s book Comfort Me with Apples that Americans prefer sweet wine, so some wine makers dump extra sugar into the wine that sells in the US.

This little factoid is what made me turn to the French wines. I don’t believe in being a wine snob, or a food snob, but now that I taste a lot of the grocery store wines, all I can taste is the sugar.

Myth #4: A Sauvignon Blanc from France tastes the same as one from California.

Nope. The best thing my wine-savvy sister taught me is to take a wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon, and buy one from a few different places. Italy, France, California, New Zealand, South America. Then taste them to see where you like them grown the best.  Throw a wine party and taste them to see which ones you (and your friends) like.  

Turns out a Sauvignon Blanc grown in France has many names. There is the Pouilly-Fumé, which Julia Child wrote about in My Life in France (favorite food memoir of all time). She also demystified the Pouilly-Fusse, since it is the French name for Chardonnay.  Along with the Pouilly-Fumé however there is the Sancerre.

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I love it. Not all of them are created equal though – since we have returned from France I have tried all of them and this one is my favorite bottle, ringing in at $14.99 but is a whole lot of goodness for that price. I just brought over a bottle today for lunch with my mom and sister and we all loved it.

To learn more about the Sancerre check out this (far more knowledgeable) wine person.

I have to mention one other winemaker from Médoc that have truly made some special evenings with friends and other celebrations. It is the Michael Lynch winery, and their reds and their white Graves have been so outstanding.

To learn more (and memorize their labels my friend! If you see them you are in good hands), check out this website.

Favorite Wine Recipes 

I really love cooking with wine. Here are some of my favorite recipes – try them on your next adventurous cooking night.

  1. Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguigon – Ina loves using Cote du Rhone in her cooking.
  2. Chicken Fricasse – this recipe has me over the moon. I love it so.
  3. Jacques Pepin’s Red Wine Beef Stew – favorite Christmas Eve dish ever.
  4. Red Wine Braised Short Ribs – I love these so. Honorable mention for Pale Ale Braised Short Ribs.

Ok, happy eating (and drinking!) friends.

xoxo Katie