Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

Franco’s Chicken Cacciatore — So Easy…So Good

I’ve been home from Italy for two months and I’m still craving all the great meals Franco taught us how to make at Tuscookany.  This is a photo I took in Italy of his super easy-to-make chicken cacciatore. I was hoping mine would turn out as good–it did! Although I cheated a bit. Franco had us start with whole chickens–complete with a few feathers that we had to torch off, but I had […]

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Giada’s Salmon In Lemon Brodetto With Pea Puree

There are so many good ways to cook salmon–you can poach it, grill it or bake it, but I love this version. Cooking it in a super hot cast iron skillet sears it and keeps it really moist and flavorful and then it’s fun to spoon up the lemony broth with the pureed peas that have just a hint of mint. Not to mention, it’s quick and easy to make–perfect for […]

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A Week at Tuscookany and Franco’s Pasta E Fagioli

I spent three weeks eating my way from Lake Como to Rome, but the best part of my trip was a return visit to Tuscookany for more cooking lessons at Torre del Tartufo with Franco. We made so many great meals but first I’ll share Franco’s Pasta E Fagioli–my new favorite soup. I even had more fun this time because my friends, Steve and Jonna, joined me and we had […]

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Laguna Beach Sea Breeze

The perfect end of summer cocktail–a refreshing Sea Breeze. Again, I have Ina Garten to thank for this one. This is perfect for serving a crowd when you don’t have time to mix each cocktail separately.  INGREDIENTS FOR A PITCHER OF SEA BREEZES 16 oz. vodka 30 oz. cranberry juice 12 oz. grapefruit juice ice lime slices  Pour all ingredients into a pitcher and stir. You can make it ahead […]

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A New Orleans Style Seafood Boil With Shrimp, Clams, Mussels and Lobster

I wanted to make something different to end the summer and decided on a Seafood Boil. I read dozens of recipes but nothing sounded great–they all seemed pretty bland. Since I knew I wanted mine to have lots of flavor I called Jake. After all, he lived in New Orleans for four years, loves to cook and had a crawfish boil in May, so if anyone could give me advice on how […]

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Fresh Summer Salad With "Spiral" Zucchini Noodles, Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Radishes and Feta Cheese

I know I say this often but this salad REALLY is my new favorite. It’s super easy to make, looks delicious and tastes even better than it looks. It’s great to bring to a pot luck because your friends will think they’re eating a “spaghetti pasta” salad. Somehow the spiral cut zucchini and yellow squash have the same taste and texture as spaghetti.  One of my friends even said it […]

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Jake’s Brandy Flambeed Shrimp and Cheese Grits

Jake’s brandy flambeed shrimp with cheese grits are the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some really good ones in both Charleston and New Orleans. I think what makes his so good, besides the brandy flambé, is the tomato based sauce they’re sitting on. It was fun to photograph him while he cooked and I realized I could get a lot more interesting food shots when I’m not both the chef […]

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"Janis’s" Ukulele Tomato and Cucumber Salad

My friend, Janis, always has the most fun and unusual “Girl’s Night” Parties but she truly outdid herself last night with a Ukulele party. When her email said bring along a ukulele, I absolutely assumed a ukulele was optional. I mean, really, how many of my girlfriends own ukuleles? Well, as I learned last night–almost all of them. And can they ever play!  I figured since I was “uke-less”, I could […]

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Jake’s Grilled Chicken Salad With A Roasted Pepper Cilantro Dressing

  Jake’s home for a quick visit before he moves to New York and I’m proud (and a little envious) to say he’s a better cook than I am. I don’t know if it was the New Orleans influence or the fact that he worked at one of the best restaurants there, but he can really cook! His chicken salad with a fresh roasted pepper and cilantro dressing was rich […]

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"Slightly Spicy" Corn On The Cob For The 4th of July

This just might be the shortest blog I have ever done! But it’s one of the best ways to make corn–especially if you’re feeding a large group. INGREDIENTS FOR “SLIGHTLY SPICY” CORN ON THE COB fresh corn on the cob softened butter jalapeño, chopped fine chili powder fresh squeezed lime salt & pepper cilantro, chopped Heat the BBQ to medium high. In a small bowl mix butter, jalapeno, chili powder, lime juice. […]

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