Who doesn’t love potstickers? I’ve always loved them. I’d always order them from the local chinese restaurant. But, they’re usually flabby and greasy. Neither of which I find to be an appealing trait. So, a few years ago I decided to try to make them at home. My first few attempts I found to be very frustrating, and more or less fruitless. I used the packaged round wontons, and they just wouldn’t cooperate for me. I ended up throwing them all away in disgust.

So, when this dish came up in cooking class last fall, I must admit that I was a bit nervous. Visions of balled up dough and bits of ground pork all over the kitchen came flooding back to me. Thankfully, these were a breeze to make. The homemade gyoza wrappers were so much easier to work with than the store-bought variety. ‘Round these parts we like pan-fried dumplings, but feel free to steam, or (Heaven forbid!) deep fry them as well.  If you think this batch will make too many for your needs, no worries. They freeze beautifully! Just quick-freeze them on a baking sheet, then place them in a Ziploc bag for storage. Good for up to 3 months. Cook as directed, but add about 7  minutes of cooking time when covered.

Allow me to introduce you to this recipe. We go way back. I first stumbled upon it when browsing The Spice House’s website (which is owned by Bill Penzey’s sister. They’re just a whole family chock full of spice tycoons, I tell ya). At the time, St. Patrick’s Day was right around the corner. I’m not a huge fan of corned beef, unless it’s in hash form. The recipe called for Guinness to be used, so I though it would be a festive alternative to the traditional corned beef and cabbage. I was right, it was a huge hit. I went out with some girlfriends that evening, and when I returned…it had all been consumed by the husband.  And make no mistakes folks, it was a large roast.

Needless to say, it since became my standard pot roast recipe. So much more flavor that your  standard Crock-Pot variety pot roast. Not only that, but I feel like it’s been improved upon by trying out different beers. I had heard wonderful things about coffee-braised pot roasts. So, I thought it would be very interesting to combine the two. Again, boy was I right!

We have  2 oh-so-wonderful local breweries in my area (hey – we don’t have much, but we’ve got good beer by God!). Both happen to make wonderful, rich dark stouts that use coffee in the brewing process. The first is Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout. If you haven’t heard about DogFish, and like beer, do yourself a favor and try something out. You can find them nationwide, if you look hard enough. The second is Evolution Brewing Company’s Rise Up Stout.  “Evo” started  up about a year or so ago, right here on the Eastern Shore, and have been putting out wonderful craft beers. Chances are if you don’t live in the Chesapeake area, you won’t find them. But, by all means, get out there and explore the beer coolers at your local stores. Lots of great microbreweries are springing up all over the place. I’m sure you could find something near you that is equally as wonderful!

I don’t list potatoes in the recipe, but feel free to add them in with the rest of the other veggies. I usually use red potatoes that I’ve halved.  However, it’s wonderful with mashed potatoes too. You want as much of the gravy as you can get, folks. Enjoy this recipe, I promise you that you won’t miss that corned beef a bit!


Who doesn’t remember this cake from their childhood? I remember my “Aunt Sissy” making a notorious Upside-Down Cake. She’s been gone for quite a few years now. Unfortunately I wasn’t into cooking and/or baking at that time. So, sadly I never got the recipe. However, this recipe was close, and certainly brought back memories.

The cake itself is ultra moist and dense. The lovely caramelized sugar and pineapple rings on top are loaded with flavor, and make for a beautiful presentation as well.  It would be an excellent choice to make for an upcoming Holiday get together, as “that time of year” will be here before we know it. I know I can’t speak for anybody else – but I myself cannot wait! I’m counting down the days my friends. Enjoy!


I’ve always been a fan of stir-fries. Crisp veggies, tender strips of various proteins, savory sauces, rice – the perfect one dish meal. I came across this recipe when browsing old issues of Cook’s Country Magazine. I love their recipes because they are usually very easy. Wonderful on those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking!

I’ve always got a cache of boneless skinless chicken breasts, and we adore snow peas in this house…so I knew this one would be a winner.

On another note – can anyone believe it’s November already? This year has just flown by. I’ve signed up for a cooking class at the local community college. I have to wear a chefs jacket and hat – it’s so much fun! It is an International Cuisine course. This semester is mainly focusing on Asian and Caribbean cuisine. I have another 3 weeks of class, and I’m looking forward to signing up for another in the spring. Hoping to make a few “foodie” friends in the area. Not many of my friends really enjoy cooking, so I’d certainly like to find some who do!

Anywho, enjoy the cashew chicken. Really was a great dinner!