• 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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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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Chipotle Fish Tacos

When I was visiting my friend Becki in San Diego, California many years ago, the one thing she insisted I had to eat was fish tacos. I had never had them and couldn’t wait for my first taste. We drove around and around, looking for a specific restaurant. I’m not sure we ever found the right one, but we finally stopped at Alberto’s and ordered tacos with “green stuff” aka guacamole. One bite and I was hooked. Continue reading

Apple Pie without a Crust = Apple Crisp!

Most people I know are scared of making pie. But when you think of the 4th of July desserts, what is more all-American than Apple Pie! Well, I’ve got the answer you’ve been waiting for … Apple Crisp! You shouldn’t have to worry about dessert when you’ve got a bunch of people coming over. A crisp is a fruit dessert with a sweet crumbled topping, similar to a streusel. It’s an apple pie without a crust!

One of the tricks to a perfect apple pie (or any apple dessert for that matter) is a blend of apples. Some turn mushy when you bake them and others hold their shape. A mixture of the two gives you the best filling with great flavor and texture. Unlike a pie, this dessert holds up well and can be baked ahead. Equally good at room temperature as it is hot, this is good to take to parties or on picnics.

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Two BBQ Side Dishes You Will Love

For me, when I am throwing a barbecue party, what I cook on the grill is the easy part. I always focus on what I will serve with the main course. Will it complement the grilled flavor? Does it add texture to the plate? Will the plate have lots of color? What kind of starch does everyone like? Am I serving a different menu than the last time they came to dinner? And, if it is a holiday, do I have enough “traditional” foods to satisfy people’s memories. I put a lot of thought into my party menus and try to get a good balance of flavors, textures, nutrients and “favorites.”

My mother used to say that if a plate of food was “pretty” and had lots of color, then it was healthy. She was so far ahead of her time! Today we know that fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for good health and are nature’s rainbow. Just like a leprechaun’s pot of gold, eating fresh produce will give you a happy life!

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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

Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad

When the weather heats up I start looking for ways to prepare dinner without heating up the kitchen. My mind wanders to picnics and barbecues with images of friends laughing, sounds of kids playing, and sultry, balmy nights. Salads are always a good choice when the heat takes away your appetite and all you can think about is jumping in a cold pool of water to cool off.

Fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market, prepared ingredients I can buy from the store, pastas and other items that can be served cold are at the top of my list. When you think of pasta salad do you think of sweetened macaroni and mayonnaise? Corkscrew pasta with vegetables? Penne with Italian antipasti? Noodles with Asian vegetables? Pasta is endlessly adaptable – I can toss in any vegetables I have in the refrigerator, change up the sauce and have a whole new meal!

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Salmon Provencal

Salmon is a super food. It is chock-full of nutrients that help keep us feeling young and vibrant. One of the best sources of Omega-3, salmon and other deep-sea fish, are important in helping us battle the signs of aging and keeping us healthy. Eating Well magazine recently ran a fascinating article comparing the United States’ consumption of unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids today to that of our ancestors. “Today, Americans get 10 to 25 times more omega-6s than omega-3s, partly because we don’t eat as many omega-3-rich [foods], such as salmon and sardines … mostly our diets now contain processed foods that are packed with omega-6-rich oils, including oils made from soybeans, safflower and corn.” Capt. Joe Hibbeln, M.D. believes that this dietary change is responsible for our society’s increased rates of depression, ADD, stress, etc. He gives a list of ways we can increase our intake of healthy Omega-3’s … something we should all be aware of.

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