Eggplant Purses

Table ready

Purses? On a food blog? Yes! Purses!

No, I’m not talking about Prada or Coach. However, these purses are handcrafted Italian perfection! With each pocket of pleasure comes a burst of flavor from the basil mozzarella combination.

I love to play with food. I think most of us do. We just don’t realize we are playing but when you are rolling sushi or stuffing peppers, don’t you feel like you’re playing? Well, I do! That’s why I like interesting food. You know, stackable food or food that you build. I use food molds all the time to create height on the plate. Molds allow you to stack your

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The Bake-A-Thon’s Denouement!

Webster sez…

There were survivors. It was questionable at first but as the torpor of the food coma began to wear off, monosyllabic grunts became audible and murmurs became phrases. From the older girls full sentences followed. The younger ones, having long since passed their bedtime, were out like lights. But at its conclusion The Kitchen Island’s 6th Annual Christmas Bake-A-Thon was adjudged a brilliant success!

The length and breadth of the production is hard to describe; the unflagging good humor of the Fair Wanda even more so. By about 3 PM, I Continue reading

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6th Annual Christmas Bake-A-Thon

The ingredients. The scene before the participants arrive…


Over the next eight hours, there will be more calories generated on The Kitchen Island than are generally permitted per month at one single address in the Old Dominion. There will also be a bunch of girls so amped up on sugar that we may be able to sell some of the excess energy to the local power company. Webster and the Wonder Dog are battening down the hatches, for the chaos is about to begin. If there are any survivors, a follow up post will appear when they recover sufficiently to report coherently.

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Valentine’s Day at The Kitchen Island: Moules á la Monsieur Arnaud

Mussels Served

Moules en Créme! Magnifique!

Webster traveled extensively during his misspent youth (a period that ended a little more than 10 years ago, when he met me), and, aside from anything else he picked up, he certainly picked up some cooking skills.

On our first Valentine’s Day together, he invited me and The Bug over for “a special dinner”. Yes, that’s right, our first Valentine’s Day included my 14 year old daughter who was not too happy with Mom’s new love interest.  After assuring her that he would not be serving salmon, she graciously agreed to attend.  Webster advised that we come “dressed”. The Bug decided her 6th grade formal gown was the appropriate attire while I settled for a simple cocktail dress. He greeted us decked out in a tux, welcomed us in French and presented us both with a lovely arrangement of flowers. (The Bug started to warm up to him at this point.) He told us the story of how he learned to make this dish and his “friend”, Pierre Arnaud, whom he’d apparently last heard from five years earlier. We were to experience mussels á la Pierre.

At this point, I must relinquish the keyboard to Webster.  For you see, he, and only he, can paint the scene of that European adventure that led to the magnificent culinary delight we enjoy every Valentine’s Day.  Take it away, Honey….

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The Down and Dirty Martini


The Real Deal!

Webster sez:

One of Wanda’s cold-weather favorites! The extra dirty martini. She uses vodka but gin is acceptable, too. (Admittedly, given my proclivity for a Tanqueray and tonic, the gin inventory here at The Kitchen Island is always in flux, so vodka may be her path of least resistance.) The raw oysters in the background represent the balance of our St. Valentine’s Day opening round. The main event is a story unto itself – and will be posted on our next

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All Hail Caesar! (The salad that is!)

Caesar Salad My first Caesar salad was almost 10 years ago, when Webster took me to meet some of his old friends in Virginia Beach, VA. We visited with this couple for a little while and then he took me to the Isle of Capri, a hotel rooftop restaurant overlooking the beach. It was Fall, the wind was quite sharp and the beach was deserted. He suggested the she-crab soup and the Caesar salad.

The salad’s creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States. Cardini was living

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Smoked Salmon and Drinks Appetizer

photo (1)

A typical February day at The Kitchen Island consists of a steaming mug of herbal tea and a crackling fireplace.  Not today.  It’s 61 degrees and I’m sitting on the deck with a chocolate peanut butter smoothie reminiscing of one of our perfect sails last summer on the Chesapeake Bay.   Continue reading

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