• Jane Evans Bonacci The Heritage Cook


    WELCOME to The Heritage Cook ... we're sharing traditions, one recipe at a time! I learned to cook at my grandmother’s side, watching her create nourishing meals for the family. I love to share the lessons she taught me. I am a recipe editor, developer and tester, a food writer, passionate cook, and baker. Subscribe to the blog and never miss a recipe or the fun of Chocolate Mondays! Creating, exploring, sharing, nurturing ... that is what I love about cooking!

  • Some comments made by readers …

    ... Woo hoo! Mondays just got a whole lot better now that you’re featuring chocolate in some shape or form each week. It’s my favorite food group, after all...

    ... We prepared the “Fathers Day Brunch” on Sunday. It was a big hit! I was amazed at the light and very tasty pancakes. It looks like your recipes are going to keep me busy!...

    ... The [Chocolate Crinkle] cookies look beautiful. First bite brings a sensational experience to the pallet. Slightly crunchy exterior at first, then the moist interior with a burst of chocolate flavor through out my mouth. The flavors lingers long enough that I feel I must have another bite to experience it all again...

    ... This chicken is delicious. So tender, even the breast meat, with a hint of onion and lemon. Definitely a keeper...

    ... Just had my first bite and WOW! I think this is the best homemade brownie i have ever tasted. Great chocolate flavor with the right amount of sweetness. And the fudgy consistency is perfect! ...

    ... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the glossary. I’ve “heard” these terms but never have I seen them in print. Keep ‘em coming! ...

    ... I made this pasta sauce this past weekend...what can I say, it was delicious! I added fresh zuchinni and eggplant for a vegetarian style meal like you suggested. Topping the pasta dish with fresh basil from my "Swiss" herb garden made the sauce perfect! ...

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Grilled Cajun Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

Shrimp and Andouille over rice

Barbecued shrimp is a real treat. I think they are the perfect appetizer for parties and everyone loves them! They are quick to prepare and cook in only a couple of minutes so dinner can be on the table in under 30 minutes. They are versatile and can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. Steamed, grilled, sautéed, or deep-fried, I love them any way I can get them!

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French Chicken in Wine (Coq au Vin)

A bowl of coq au vin!

Did you know that today is Bastille Day in France? Similar to our Fourth of July, it is a celebration of the storming of the Bastille fortress/prison in 1789, a symbolic event of the French Revolution. These days the President of France presides at a parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris. It may have started as a battle, but it is one heck of a party today!

James and I are going to celebrate (we look for any excuse, you know) by having a French food-filled day. While watching the Tour de France cycling race (James waits all year for the Tour!), we’re having an omelet for breakfast, lunch will be a grilled ham and cheese sandwich (known in French as a Croque Monsieur!), Coq au Vin for dinner, and we’ll top it all off with a nectarine and cherry galette for dessert! Ooh, la, la, baby!  It will be a lip-smacking kind of day!

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Grill Recipes for a 4th of July BBQ

If you are hosting a barbecue for friends or having a quiet dinner with your family, here are some recipes that are guaranteed to please everyone! I like to take advantage of the grill when I’m cooking, and make a combination of foods so my guests have choices. Some of my favorites are lemon-thyme chicken, marinated flank steak, and Italian sausages. If there are children coming add hamburgers or hot dogs to the menu. Marinating helps keep meats juicy and tender. The simplest marinade of all is Italian salad dressing! Place your meats in a plastic bag, pour in some dressing and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. That’s it – the easiest and tastiest food you’ve ever barbecued!

Grilled fruits and vegetables are excellent paired with meats. My favorites are pineapple, corn on the cob, onions, and peaches or nectarines. Halve or cut into thick slices, brush both sides with vegetable oil and grill until lightly browned. Watch out, they can burn easily because of the natural sugars. Shuck the corn, discarding the husks and silks. Place the raw corn directly on the oiled grill and cook for a few minutes or until lightly charred. Serve with melted butter.

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Old-Fashioned Potato Salad … Everyone’s Favorite!

Fourth of July Salads

When I was growing up I never liked potato salad. I don’t know why because I loved potatoes made every other way. Being Irish, they are one of my favorite food groups, LOL! So it wasn’t until I was in college and visiting a friend’s house that I discovered how much I had been missing. My friend’s mother made us potato salad and I fell in love! It was so simple and easy to make, and SO much better than any store-bought versions I had tried. I asked her to make it for me every time I visited, and it became a joke that she had to stock up on potatoes the moment she heard I was coming.

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Choc Monday – Luscious Dark Chocolate Mousse

Today is my wedding anniversary … James and I have been married for 12 years! I waited a very long time to get married. My friends told me I was being too picky, but I knew that when I met the man I was supposed to be with, I would know it in my heart. And I was right. From the time we met, James and I have been nearly inseparable. We have been very fortunate, and though sometimes the road has been challenging, I wouldn’t change any of it.

James is the quintessential chocoholic. He lives, breathes, and dreams chocolate. If chocolate is on the menu, you can bet that it will be what he orders. For years there was a wonderful little French bistro in our town and we ate there every New Year’s Eve. No one could make a better or more intense chocolate dessert than Claude and Dominique – and yes, James ordered it every year! In honor of my wonderful husband, I can’t think of a better recipe for this week’s Chocolate Monday than a deep, dark, luscious chocolate mousse.

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Father’s Day Brunch!

If you are cruising around the food pages and blogs, most of the recipes posted at this time of the year are barbecue-centric. There is nothing wrong with that – I love BBQ! But I thought why not be a little different and put together a yummy morning menu for you all. So, just in time for Father’s Day, here is a trio of recipes to make a delicious breakfast or brunch for the favorite men in your life!

Orange juice is the standard American breakfast drink, but why go with normal when you can make it a little more special for fun occasions! This orange smoothie gives you a healthy start to your day and if you want to, you can add a little champagne for a celebratory sparkle, LOL! Continue reading

Aunt Jane’s Killer Marinara Italian Pasta Sauce

How I learned to make spaghetti sauce … oops, make that pasta sauce! When you join an Italian family one of the first things you learn is that there many types of pasta, what they are each called, and that you never refer to pasta as “spaghetti” unless it really is spaghetti! And, God forbid, you think a jar of sauce is something you can serve!

When an Italian-American refers to pasta sauce, it will invariably be Marinara, a vegetarian sauce made with just tomatoes, garlic (or onions), olive oil, and maybe basil. The rest of America typically pops open a jar or makes a meat-sauce. You know the one, with tomato sauce, hamburger, onions, and a ton of garlic. When Marinara is so quick and easy to make and tastes monumentally better than store-bought sauce, I don’t know why anyone would ever buy another jar.

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