Trying to stay cool? I’ve got just the pink drink for you — lavender pink lemonade! Next time, I’m doubling the recipe. It’s so damn good!

KATTY’S LAVENDER PINK LEMONADE

Simple syrup:
First. make a simple syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
Stir, bring to a boil, then remove from heat and add:
1.5 tablespoons dried lavender
peels from 2 lemons (washed, no kidding, HA HA)
3 raspberries, smooshed
2 strawberries cut into small pieces (I used a potato masher to smoosh them further in the pan)
Let this steep in a covered pan for 45 minutes or so. Meantime, get a pitcher and …

Juice 4 large lemons. This yielded 1.25 cups of lemon juice for me.
Pour juice over a sieve into a pitcher.
Once simple syrup is ready, pour it over a sieve into the pitcher.
Add three cups of cold water.
Combine and enjoy over ice!

Stay cool, amici! The summer of 2022 is one for the books for sure — one I look forward to closing!
>>^..^<<

Remember those turkey burgers Oprah once raved about? I fondly remember a funny thread about turkey burgers that were moist and didn’t suck on the (now defunct) food lovers’ site, Chowhound. Having made these, I recommended them. The original poster kept complaining about how turkey burgers are dry and lack flavor. Well, these are moist and delicious! That guy should’ve listened! HA HA.

If you’ve ever searched for the famous recipe online, you’ll note it calls for FOUR POUNDS of turkey. That’s likely more than most of us need to make. So, using that recipe as a starting point, I skinnied it down to use just one pound. Perfect for “now and later” burgers for you and a friend (or your mom, same diff).

I meant to buy a Granny Smith apple, as the original recipe calls for. As is my way, I went to the store and forgot to buy one — and didn’t realize till it was time to make dinner! So I substituted a donut peach. I think apple, peach or pear would all work nicely in the recipe. So whatever you feel like finely chopping a half cup of, there you go.

KATTY’S FANCY TURKEY BURGERS
adapted liberally from a much more famous recipe
And you get a turkey burger! And YOU get a turkey burger!

1-2 teaspoons (who measures? enough to coat the bottom of a small pan) avocado oil — could also use olive oil or corn oil
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup donut peach*, chopped the same size as the celery (*or Granny Smith apple or pear)
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper
1 teaspoon Cholula chipotle hot sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)
zest of one lemon
juice of just a quarter of the lemon
1 tablespoon Major Grey’s chutney (barring this, you might add apricot or mango jam — you’ll just miss the ginger component)
handful of parsley, finely chopped

Sautée scallions, celery and fruit (peach, apple or pear) in bit of oil over medium heat till softened. Remove from heat and let cool a bit as you gather the rest of the ingredients. Combine turkey, salt, pepper, hot sauce, lemon juice, zest, parsley and chutney with the sautéed ingredients from the pan. Don’t overmix. Divide into four equal portions, then form patties. Cook over medium heat about 3.5 to 4 minutes per side.

We enjoyed ours on toasted Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain English Muffins with lettuce and a bit of mayo.

In case you’re not following Katty’s Kitchen on social media, you may have missed I’m on a path toward better health and lower cholesterol. While I didn’t think it would be quite as delicious as it turned out to be, I’m happy to tell you I was so wrong! So, if you didn’t think turkey burgers were your thing, try this recipe. Even my mom said, “We don’t have to eat hamburgers” after we had these. Cheers to happy, healthy eating! Stay cool, amici!




Inspired by seasonal fruit and fellow gin drinkers, I shook up my own satsuma mandarin sour. Vermont’s Barr Hill Gin, with botanicals of juniper and raw honey, makes it extra special EXCELLENT. While satsumas are in season–winter, the season of our discontent–look for fruit with leaves still attached. This shows they’re not just picked and handled with care, but also fresh and of the highest quality. You can store them at room temperature or in the fridge.

SATSUMA MANDARIN SOUR
1 oz freshly squeezed satsuma mandarin (about one piece of fruit, you can cut off the ends for a garnish)
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1/2 oz honey syrup (a 1:1 ratio of water to honey–my favorite variety is acacia from Smiley Honey)
2 oz Barr Hill Gin

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, strain, enjoy–orange you glad you did? AH AH AH!

Hope you’re staying cozy like this comfort kat!

My mom has proclaimed these cookies “better than snickerdoodles.” She’s not wrong. Try them!

EGGNOG SNICKERDOODLES
Adapted from the New York Times

For the cookie dough
3 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 large egg plus two yolks, at room temperature (tip: place eggs in warm water as you gather ingredients)
2 tablespoons rum (I used Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum–highly recommend!)

For rolling
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar and baking soda. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, 1 3/4 cup sugar and the Kosher salt on medium high till smooth and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes total. Stop and scrape down a few times during this cycle to ensure everything’s evenly incorporated.

Set mixer to medium. Add each egg/yolk one by one and combine thoroughly before adding the next. Add rum. Beat another minute or two.

Set mixer to low. Add flour mixture gradually, in 3-4 batches. Beat till combined. Set dough aside for about 10 minutes before prepping to bake.

In a small bowl, combine nutmeg, cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar for rolling. I used a scoop just under 2 tablespoons (1 oz) to portion the dough.

Roll each cookie in spiced sugar. Transfer to cookie sheets, three across. Bake for 7 minutes, then switch racks/positions and bake for 7 more. They’ll be slightly puffed. Let cool on the cookie sheet a bit before moving to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 32 delicious cookies–AH AH AHHHH!

That’s 3 + 29 delicious cookies. Nevermind the apples!!!

Clams casino: a New England classic featuring local littlenecks, red bell pepper and the goodness of bacon. Sadly, as you’ll often find with clam sauce and clam chowder, so many places just don’t get it right. Problem solved! Now you can make them to perfection in your own home. That’s what we did yesterday. And now we can follow our own simple (and simply delicious) recipe for years to come.

CLAMS CASINO
2 slices thick-cut bacon
1 tablespoon butter, salted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 dozen littlenecks, shucked
1/4 cup red bell pepper (about 1/3 or so of the pepper), finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine (we used Chardonnay)
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano
sea salt or Kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
pink peppercorns (If you have them, they add nice flavor. Add just a bit, smashed between your fingers.)
3 tablespoons panko
Some chopped fresh parsley would be great in here, but we got lazy and didn’t feel like chopping anymore.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with foil. Place clams in pan.

Add bacon to large skillet over medium heat. Cook, remove from skillet, leaving bacon drippings in the pan. Blot with a paper towel, then finely chop.

Add about 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Then add red bell pepper, shallots and garlic. Sautee till shallots are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add wine. Cook down about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle Pecorino Romano and panko, stir to combine. Add chopped bacon.

Mound stuffing with a spoon atop each shucked clam. Bake for about 8-10 minutes till topping is golden. Serve with fresh slices of lemon to squeeze over the top. And over the top is just how I hope this dish rates with you when you make it. Buon appetito!

Here’s a new favorite soup, adapted liberally from this America’s Test Kitchen video. To serve, I garnish with a combination of finely chopped bacon and a blend of finely chopped herbs in Meyer lemon olive oil from Seven Barrels.

CREAMY WHITE BEAN SOUP
adapted liberally from America’s Test Kitchen

Soup
extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of your pot
1/2 a large sweet onion, diced
1 rib celery, chopped a bit finer than the onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cans small white beans or canellini beans (I used Goya)
2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano, grated
1/2 a lemon, squeezed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons salted butter

Herb oil
Maybe 1/4 cup or so (I don’t measure) of Meyer lemon olive oil
Handful of fresh parsley
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
Chop very fine, add to lemon olive oil. Let sit so the flavors meld.

Garnish
2 or 3 pieces of your favorite bacon, cooked and diced fine

Coat a large stockpot with extra virgin olive oil, burner on medium heat. Add celery and onions. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, till softened and onions are translucent.

Next, add thyme, sliced garlic and cayenne. Cook till fragrant, about a minute or so.

Add two cans of beans and their liquid. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes more.

Remove thyme. Add Pecorino Romano. Remove from heat; blend for 2 minutes with an immersion (stick) blender. Yes, your arm and/or finger will get tired from blending. Weird. No worries, the feeling goes away!

Add 2 tablespoons salted butter and 1 cup chicken broth. Blend one more minute.

Next, whisk in 1 more cup of chicken broth. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in freshly squeezed lemon juice.

To serve, garnish with a drizzle of herb oil and a tasty row of chopped bacon. Enjoy!

Sometime during the plague, I started buying these cute, colorful creamer potatoes from the Little Potato Company. Even the description on the bag is cheery.

Beyond their cheerful colors and harmonious flavor, they do have such a nice, almost fluffy texture.

I saw Lidia Bastianich making baked stuffed potatoes on TV. I liked the idea, and had sausage on hand, but she was stuffing baked potatoes. I wanted to take her idea and run in my own direction. So I roasted these colorful little potatoes and made my own topping, based on what I had in the fridge and the flavors I like. Here’s my summer potato project. I know it’s fall now, but hope you love it as much as we do! We’ve been enjoying it weekly!

ROASTED POTATOES PIZZAIOLA

The little potatoes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. However many potatoes you want, quarter them and coat them in olive oil. Add Kosher salt to taste and, if you have it, Penzeys California Seasoned Pepper and chopped fresh rosemary. I always make extra so I can have more the next day!

Put ’em in the oven for 15-20 minutes, then turn them and let them cook for 15-20 minutes more. The goal is for them to be a little crispy outside, fluffy inside. Have a bite and see.

While the potatoes are in the oven, get started with the topping.

The sausage topping
1/2 a sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5-6 oz. baby bellas (or mushrooms of your choice)
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 a ball of fresh mozzarella, cubed
2 hot sausage patties (or half a pound of your favorite sausage)–mine is Longhini
fresh basil for garnish, if you have it (parsley’s nice, too)

Coat a large skillet with olive oil, turn heat to medium. Add the sweet onion and bell pepper. Let these cook till the onions start to get a bit golden. Then add the sausage, breaking it up as you go. Next add the mushrooms and tomatoes. Right before it’s time to serve, add the basil (or parsley) and the fresh mozzarella. You just want to warm the mozz up so it starts to get stretchy and do its thing.

Then it’s time to put it all together. Plate your potatoes, top with sausage topping. Maybe a little extra basil or parsley, if you’re feeling fancy.

And remember–ricorda

Hope you’re safe and healthy. Eat your potatoes and stay good!

It’s delicious, it goes down easy, it packs a punch and is simply a classic cool cocktail. Created by Hugo Ensslin, the head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, the first published recipe for the drink appeared in his 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks.

Fast forward through one pandemic, and 100+ years later, here we are, social distancing and adapting to the new normal. Why not drink one in style, even if it’s in your cars? That’s how we roll!

THE AVIATION COCKTAIL
1 oz lemon per person (juice of one whole lemon for two)
2 oz gin per person (4 oz for two)
1/2 oz Luxardo (1 oz for two)
1/4 oz (1/2 oz for two) crème de violette

Squeeze, shake, serve, garnish with a cherry. At home, I serve them straight up in a cocktail glass. But it’s been so blazin’ hot here, we had ours over ice this weekend. Either way, they’re delicious and so fruity, it’s like a refreshing glass of adult punch. CLINQUE!

Cheers to good friends–even at a distance!

My mom’s been making this pie as long as I can remember. Over time, she started adding sausage, which only made something great even more so. With that in mind, I wanted to add a bit of onion and red bell pepper to keep it on an upward track of deliciousness. That’s exactly what this is! See if you don’t love it as much as we do–it’s a total keeper!

CHEESY SPINACH SAUSAGE PIE
6 oz. bag of baby spinach
2 hot sausage links, removed from casing, cooked and crumbled
1/4 large sweet onion, diced
1/3 to 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup butter, melted
8 oz. container full-fat ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
heaping tablespoon Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup heavy cream (can use half & half)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Butter a 12-inch pie plate. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large frying pan coated with oil, cook peppers and onions. Add sausage, breaking into pieces as it cooks.

Steam spinach, then squeeze to remove liquid. Chop spinach (run a knife through it in a grid pattern). Set aside.

Whisk together melted butter, ricotta, cheddar, Pecorino Romano, eggs, cream and nutmeg. Add spinach, sausage, peppers, onions; mix well.

Pour into buttered pie plate. Bake for 30 minutes or till slightly brown at edges and filling is set. Enjoy! #quichemeyoufool

Back in the late 1980s, I was a bright-eyed co-op student working at a now-defunct local health care company. There, I met my first real world boss, Jim, who thought it funny I should call him “Mr. Dunn.” When I had been there a bit, our mutual friend Pat heard me call him that and said, “Mr. Dunn?! His name is Jim!” We all became fast friends, went to happy hour after work and the occasional concert. Good times.

I lost track of good ol’ Mr. Dunn until, through the wonders of LinkedIn, we reconnected and would occasionally meet for “mariachi practice” at a Mexican place in Wallingford, CT, “Los Mariachis.” There, we became well acquainted with our friend Stan, our margarita of choice.

In honor of National Margarita Day, I’ve dedicated a standout margarita recipe to our good friend, Stan–and my good friend, Jim. Whattt?!!! You forgot? Grab your ingredients and celebrate tomorrow, then!

No matter how you decide to mix it up, you’ll never go wrong with a 2:1:1 ratio. That’s two parts tequila to one part fresh squeezed lime to one part some sort of orange liqueur. Now, let’s party with Stan!

THE “STAN” MARGARITA FOR TWO
Inspired by Los Mariachis (Wallingford, CT)

2 limes–roll and squeeze 2 ounces of juice
Save a slice of lime to use as a garnish
4 oz. tequila (They use Don Julio 1942 Ultra Premium–I really should get some for authenticity’s sake! But I used one of my heavy hitters.)
1 oz. Patron Citronge (They use Cointreau.)
1 oz. Grand Marnier

Shake or stir ingredients. Pour over salt-rimmed rocks glasses, filled with ice. Then celebrate! Dance in your kitchen! Concern your cat!