Postcards from Paris – A Preview

In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing with you visions of one of my favorite cities, Paris.

Here’s a peak and a preview…oh, and it’s Fashion Week!  For those of you who are as interested in fashion as you are in food, I will try to capture a few shots that might make you smile.  Of course, I’ll be searching out new recipes to share in the coming weeks as well.

Right now, I’m doing a little happy dance because Return to Sunday Supper has been nominated by The Kitchn in the Best Food Photography category!  Voting ends on March 2nd, so I’d really appreciate it if you would take the time to vote today…there’s a bit of a sign in involved, but that should only take a second…thank you, thank you!  My readers are the BEST!

Here’s the link to vote:

Please join me on my journey through Paris!


Cody’s Zesty Tomato Soup with Herb Cream and Deluxe Grilled Cheese – Comfort with a Kick!

Three young professionals living in Brooklyn…what do they have in common?  Well, they’re siblings, they’re in the same industry, and when at all possible, they get together for supper on Sunday.

I have to say, right off the bat, that I’m so very happy that they are all pursuing their dreams in New York.  I have known Cody, Jessie and Wyatt since the day they were born, and they have all grown into extremely intelligent, accomplished, caring, beautiful adults.  I wish them all the best that life has to offer.

In Brooklyn there’s lots to do and they have many friends…so why do they make time to have dinner together?  They do it because it is their grounding point for the week.  The meet, eat, laugh and share.

Cody said, “We usually start around 6:00 buying all the ingredients,  then spend hours chopping and sautéing and baking and laughing in our small but mighty Brooklyn kitchen…and honestly, we sometimes don’t get the meal on the table till 10:30 at night (the process is so much fun that we never feel the need to rush it).  All three of us recognize how lucky we are to have family so close here in New York City, and our Sunday dinners are the way we make time to be a part of each others unique and ever-evolving journeys.

Jessie added, “Wyatt usually buys the wine, Cody scours the internet for the recipe of the night, and I make sure that the Jazz music is in full swing.  It’s really a special time for all of us…we are so blessed that we are able to get together week to week”.

I love, love, love that they get together for Sunday supper AND… that they’re young and single.  I think that this is an important point.  They are not 40 with a family, they are young, and they make time in their hectic, professional lives to gather together and find that grounding moment to start the week around the kitchen table.

There is comfort shared around that table and sometimes comfort food, as well.   Cody found this recipe on Epicurious and adapted it to make it her own.  I’ve added a few things also and I think that this is a modern, zesty version of the classic tomato soup and grilled cheese.

So the next time you want to change up a classic, try this…and if you want to make it for your family, like I did for our Sunday supper, I’m betting they’re going to enjoy having comfort with a kick.

Make it special, make it Sunday!

Wow!  I’ve  just found out that Return to Sunday Supper has been nominated for “Best Food Photography on a Blog” by The Kitchn.  If you would like to vote for my blog (and I’d really appreciate it), please vote here:


Zesty tomato soup with herb cream and deluxe grilled cheese

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Comfort with a kick!


For Soup:

4 tablespoons butter
1 sweet onion (1 1/2 cup), finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 pablano pepper (2/3 cup), finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, (1 tablespoon), finely chopped,
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 - 28 oz. cans crushed tomato puree
4 cups (32 oz.) chicken broth (you may use homemade chicken stock if you prefer)
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup heavy cream

For Herb Cream:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 tablespoons lemon zest

For Deluxe Grilled Cheese:

2 slices of sourdough bread per person
Butter, softened (1 tablespoon per person)
4 thin slices pablano pepper, per person
2 slices havarti cheese, per person
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped rosemary, to taste


Please note: If you do not like spicy, use green pepper in place of the pablano and jalapeno peppers. If you like a touch of spice, but not too much, make sure that you don't use the bottom part of the jalapeno where more heat is concentrated. Also, make sure that you don't use more that 1 tablespoon of jalapeno. If you're a spice lover and it just can't be too hot for you, go for it and use more! If you are sensitive, use rubber gloves when chopping jalapeno pepper and please remember not to touch your eyes afterward.

For Soup:

In stock pot, melt the butter and add the onions, carrots, pablano, jalapeno, garlic, thyme, crushed red pepper and sugar. Cover and let the mixture cook till the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth, cover and let simmer for about 40 minutes. Add heavy cream and lemon zest right before serving.

Since I'm on a mission to reduce salt and there was salt in the chicken broth, I didn't add any, but if you must, now's the time.

For Herb Cream:

In chilled bowl, add whipping cream and with either a whisk or electric mixer, whip the cream, rosemary and lemon zest till slightly thickened.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with a bit of the herb cream (or serve on the side).

For Grilled Cheese:

Evenly butter the outside of the bread. On inside of bread, layer the pablano, havarti, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a heavy pan and add the sandwiches and grill until golden on each side and cheese begins to melt.

Serve immediately!



Spicy New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp Recipe for Mardi Gras

New Orleans has always held a very special place in my heart.  It’s easy to fall for its sultry, Southern charm.  I love to walk down the streets of the French Quarter and breathe in the old world atmosphere and feel the slightly decaying decadence ooze into my pores like soft mud from the banks of the Mississippi.

This Sunday, I’m making a dish that came from this center of grand culinary tradition.  The story goes that the recipe was brought back and adapted by folks that had eaten this at a restaurant in New Orleans many years ago.  It has been passed from sibling to sibling and now on to me.  If anyone knows exactly where the recipe originated, please let me know so that I can give credit where it’s due.

I first tasted this not long after I came back from my honeymoon in New Orleans.  It brought back all the wonderful memories of fiery Cajun dishes mixed with soulful Dixieland jazz and stirred with a gin fizz.  I’m making it this Sunday for family and friends as our indulgence in honor of Mardi Gras.

My special thanks to David, Gail and Maureen!

Update: A knowledgeable reader of my blog informed me that this dish originated at Pascal’s Manale located in the Garden District of New Orleans where they’ve been making barbeque shrimp since 1913.  Thanks so much for this information…I’ll have to add this to my “must visit” list for our next trip to New Orleans.

Make it special, make it Sunday!


Spicy New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Savory, spicy, shrimp that you can't quit eating...use crusty, French bread to sop up every last drop!


2 pounds fresh,jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 tablespoons Heinz Chili Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke (hickory)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced


Peel and devein the shrimp.
Add all of the other ingredients in a saucepan, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and let cool.
Arrange the shrimp in an oven- proof casserole dish and pour the sauce over the shrimp.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake shrimp for 15 - 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with crusty French bread, new potatoes and a crisp salad.




My Paris Valentine to You – Love Locks

No one knows exactly how it started…an Italian novel, a beautiful vow…but in cities around the world, couples have been buying locks, pledging their love, and throwing away the key for many years.  In Paris, there are two bridges that are groaning with these symbols of undying devotion.  One is Pont des Arts and the other is Pont de l’Archveche.

Imagine strolling along the Seine at sunset with your beloved.  You are holding hands and something else. You both start to cross the bridge but stop, walk to the rail and in an instant you lovingly wrap your bond around this bridge where lovers have tread for centuries. On this bridge you pledge your love…you clamp down hard and seal your fate.  You pronounce your undying love and nothing will come between you unless the key is dredged up from the depths of the Seine to unlock your commitment.

OK…Paris makes me a bit melodramatic….but you get the idea.  A romantic idea.  Especially on this day dedicated to love.

I’ll be going back in a few weeks….I think this time I’m going to bring a lock with me!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pavlova Hearts with Chantilly Cream Recipe

Let’s not argue!  Whether Pavlovas are an Australian concoction or a New Zealand confection, it’s a delicious dessert, perfect for a light, but special treat.  Named after the famed Russian prima ballerina of the 1920’s, this dessert has turned heads and started debates about the origin for decades.  Who really created it?  Since I have many Australian and New Zealand friends…I’m stepping away from this one!  Let’s just say that whoever invented it, they did a service to us all!  Light, airy, fruity, with just a touch of decadence…sounds like a romantic ending to our dinner.

This Sunday, in honor of Valentine’s Day,  I want to surprise my family and friends by making something I’ve never tried before…yes, another baking adventure!  This time, I feel a bit more comfortable than my attempt at sourdough bread, but I still sought help from some knowledgeable bakers.

I know that I usually don’t show many “how-tos”, but I thought that for this post it was important for you to join me on this journey, so in the future (maybe Tuesday?) you can easily make this treat.

Here’s what the bakers told me.  When making the meringue, always start with a spotless glass or metal bowl and whisk.  Any grease residue will prevent the eggs from attaining their ultimate froth.  You also want to be sure to separate the eggs (be sure that there’s not a speck of  yolk) when they are cold, then leave them on the counter for up to an hour so that they will be at room temperature when you use them.

Use caster sugar.  It dissolves quickly into the egg whites and does not have the grainy texture that granulated sugar does.  You’ll know when the meringue is ready when it forms a stiff, glossy peak.

The tip for making perfect hearts is a making a stencil from a heart cookie cutter and tracing the shape onto parchment paper with a pencil.  Then place another sheet of parchment over the stenciled piece. (I used 2 colors so that you could really see the tracing).

Now you’re ready to pipe your hearts. Use a pastry bag (or even a plastic bag with the tip cut off) so that you can control the flow of the meringue.  Keep the tip on the parchment paper, do the outside line first, then go round and round to fill in to the middle.  Be sure to go around the outside again for a last pass so that you have a well- formed edge and a shallow well in the middle to put your Chantilly Cream.

Gather a cold bowl and whisk, cream, sugar and a bit of vanilla and voila, the perfect filling!  Top with fresh fruit and you’ve got one great dessert!

Since Valentine’s is on a Tuesday this year, you know I’m serving this on Sunday for family and friends.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Make it special, make it Sunday!


Pavlova Hearts with Chantilly Cream

Yield: 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

A light, airy, fruity, dessert with just a touch of decadence.


For Meringue:

3 egg whites
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For Chantilly Cream:

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fresh fruit of your choice


For Meringue:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Make a heart stencil on parchment paper and cover with another piece of parchment paper (as shown).

Beat eggs until frothy (either with a whisk or electric mixer) then add the cream of tartar. Keep beating and start adding the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks (as shown).

Place mixture in pastry bag or plastic bag with tip cut off and form into hearts. Remember to go over the outside of the heart again so that you have a well in the center of the heart (as shown).

Bake for 1 hour, turn the oven off and let it cool in the oven for one hour. Then remove from the oven and let totally cool.

For Chantilly Cream:

Hint: Put your bowl and whisk or beaters into the freezer to get them very cold.

Add heavy cream, caster sugar, and vanilla extract to bowl and beat until it forms soft peaks.

Remove the hearts from parchment paper with a spatula and fill center with Chantilly Cream and top with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.