Blackened Tuna and Red Pepper Puree

Winter Food Inspiration from Maize

March showed up here in Sellersville yesterday with 4″ of snow and a topping of ice.  I now officially am in need of sunshine, warmth and green grass/leaves/vegetation.  But, instead of curling up under a blanket and wishing the day away, I figured I’d have a little fun in the kitchen. I had blackening spices on hand, mixed together a roasted corn/lime salsa and created a roasted red pepper and jalapeno puree.  Good to go!

Blackened Ahi Tuna with Red Pepper/Jalapeno Puree and Spinach

Blackened Tuna and Red Pepper Puree

On a related food note and the reason why I created this tonight is that we went to a delightful local restaurant Saturday night named Maize, just down the road in Perkasie, PA.  M and P are kind enough to turn us on to good local “things”, Maize being one of them.

The northern suburbs of Philly have lots of hidden treasures, and I’m sure I’ve found one of them here. Chef Matthew McPhelin and his crew created fabulous meals and inspired me to create some warmth of my own in my kitchen last night.  By the way, Maize is BYOB and sets a leisurely pace, yet seemed exciting the entire time. The popcorn is great, and the buttermilk biscuits with butter and honey have compelled me to figure out how to make something that good.  A review of Maize is coming.

I sat facing the kitchen, and enjoyed watching the changing rhythm of the 3 chefs working in unison. Amazing!  They also had a flat of micro-greens on the shelf between the dining area and the kitchen. I want to figure out how to have my own micro-greens in my kitchen.

We also shared some very good wine through the evening, including a nice Champagne P brought for fun.

Ehret wine Stags Leap


Coq au Vin, minus the coq

I think I’ve always wanted to attempt Coq au Vin at home, and I’ve always be curious about it, but intimidated! Although I’d always heard about coq au vin, I didn’t really know what HOW until earlier this week when I committed to cooking a Sunday dinner for a few people.  So now, I’ve got chicken, wine, and my favorite cooking vessel ready.  Curiosity gets the best of me, again.

La Crosset

I’m using the Julia Child’s recipe from the Smitten Kitchen and Jamie Oliver as guides. I’m confident neither will lead me astray!

Yes, I did search locally for a rooster. Alas, there are no cocks in Lansdale right now.

What music suggestions do you have for “cooking time”?  I’m in a Thelonious Monk mood….


I’m working on my engagement….how about you?

“Client engagement”.  It’s hard.  It takes time, building trust, value and guidance.  Oh, and ultimately results, right?  So, how do you decide on a strategy to “engage” your clients, as well as the tactics to use?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you do to effectively do the client engagement thing!

I like this article from HubSpot “Everyone Talks Engagement, Nobody Knows What it Means”. Author Dan Lyons lays out a good case for building better engagement, citing the following statistics in his piece:

  • 88% of customers say they don’t want to engage with brands.
  • 75% of CMOs interviewed said they don’t know how to engage with customers.

Yikes, right?