enter your name & email to receive periodic newsletters from the CADP.




123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789



You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.


Filtering by Tag: Recipes

Girls Night Out, In

Allison Jacobson

Dean Pollak gives Southern Charm star, Cameran Eubanks, a lesson on how to host a pre-party with your besties before a Charleston Fashion Week event.

Richard Avedon said style is based on repetition, not duplication.  All you need are a few signature recipes and drinks - and own them.  No need to reinvent the wheel every time you entertain.  Guests will look forward to your specialty.

Instructions as per the Deans:


The Many Benefits of Hosting a Pre-Party Cocktail Hour:

  1. Party where you get all the credit with very little work.
  2. Party takes less than a half hour to put together.
  3. Party is so easy it can be last minute (some of our favorite parties have been last minute).
  4. Party is over before you know it.  One hour and your hosting is done.
  5. Party expense is minimal, but impact is big, lasting and fun.



1  1/2 cups tequila

1 cup citrus juice (mixture of freshly squeezed lime, orange, lemon & tangerine juices)

3/4 cup (or more) soda water

Ice cubes


1.  Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher and stir.

2.  Pour into cocktail glasses and serve over ice.



1 cup olives with pits (use assorted colors)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 strip orange peel

1 chili

1 teaspoon fennel or Herbs de Province


1.  Heat small sauté pan over medium heat for a minute; add olive oil, and then remaining ingredients.

2.  Cook over low heat, stirring, for a few minutes until olives are warm.  Turn off heat and pour olives in a small bowl.

3.  Place a smaller bowl, or cup, near the olive bowl for the pits.

Baby It's Cold Outside

Suzanne Pollak

Courtesy of Radio Boston

Courtesy of Radio Boston

In the Spring, springing and farmers markets occur at least three times a week teaming with tender young vegetable and zucchini blossoms crying to be stuffed, nobody is thinking about their pantry. However, when the last three consecutive Monday’s has dumped 72 inches of snow on our heads, and ordering in is not a possibility let alone going out, you throw open the pantry door praying it is stocked and ready. Is it?

The fall is the ideal time to whip that pantry into shape, but it's not too late at the end of February. Winter is still here. Buy boxes, bottles, cans and jars. They will provide the mainstay of your winter diet. Buy pasta in all sorts of different shapes (fettuccine, shells, bow ties, angel hair), cans of tuna, cannellini and kidney beans, all variations of tomatoes (crushed, whole, diced, pureed) and jars of capers, green peppercorns, pimentos, preserved lemons and bottles of rum, vodka and bourbon to nip at while keeping winters chill at bay.



3 ounces dark rum

4 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

A piece of lemon rind

1 dash of freshly grated nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick

6-8 ounces boiling water


1.  To a large heavy duty cup or glass, add rum, honey, lemon juice, lemon rind, and nutmeg.  Stand cinnamon stick upright in the cup.

2.  Pour the boiling water and stir well to blend.  Adjust honey to suit your sweetness and adjust lemon juice to suit your taste.

3.  Sip slowly and enjoy.


from the New York Times January 28, 2015


1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

1  1/2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

4 pounds beef chuck roast or steak

1 teaspoon salt, more to taste

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra as needed 

1 large yellow or white onion, chopped, plus extra for serving

6 large garlic cloves, minced

4 to 7 large fresh green jalapeños (depending on how much heat) stemmed, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons masa harina or 1 corn tortilla torn into pieces (optional)

2 tablespoons ground pure chile powder, such as pasilla, Chimayo or ancho

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 - 12 ounce bottle Negra Modelo beer

1 - 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, or 3 - 10 ounce cans Ro-Tel canned tomatoes with green chiles

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

3 whole dried large red chiles, such as New Mexico

Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Fritos or warmed flour tortillas, for serving

1.  In a small heavy skillet, toast cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant.  In a mortar and pestle, or in a coffee grinder, grind to a powder and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, roughly cut beef into 2-inch cubes, or slice it against the grain into pieces about 1/4-inch thick by 1  1/2-inches square. Sprinkle with salt.

3.  In a large, heavy pot over high heat, heat oil until simmering.  Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, brown the meat, turning occasionally until crusty.  Adjust the heat to prevent scorching.  As it is cooked, remove the meat to drain on paper towels.  Add more oil as needed for browning, but do not clean out the pot.

4.  To the empty but crusty pot, add onion, garlic, jalapeños, masa harina or tortilla (if using), chile powder, cumin-coriander powder, and oregano.  Cook, stirring, until onion has softened, 5 to 10 minutes.  Add meat, beer, tomatoes, chocolate, whole dried chiles and 1 quart water.  Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for about 1  1/2 hours, or until meat is fork-tender.  Remove the dried chiles.  Taste and add salt if necessary.

5.  Serve immediately or let cool and refrigerate.  (The chili tastes best one or two days after it is made.)  Reheat over low heat, if necessary, and serve in bowls, sprinkled with chopped onion and cilantro.  Add Fritos for crunch or dip tortillas into the spicy gravy.


SERVES 4 to 6


Kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 pound penne pasta

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes

12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise

1 - 32 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand

1/4 cup vodka

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup Parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Finely chopped parsley, to garnish


1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add penne and cook, stirring, until al dente, about 11 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add chile flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes and vodka and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.  Stir in cream and cheese, season with salt and pepper and stir until smooth.

2.  Drain pasta and transfer to pan with sauce.  Toss pasta with sauce until evenly coated.

3.  Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley.

New Year's Eve is For the JV Squad

Suzanne Pollak

New Year’s is for the JV team. We Varsity players stay at home. We either indulge in Oyster Pan Roast or Creamy Scrambled Eggs with shaved fresh truffles, or at least we imagine ourselves doing this. Neither one of us has actually shelled out for a truffle yet, but living in the low country the pan roast is well within our grasp, because even the Deans can harvest oysters.

To inflate the oyster meal to New Year’s status the Deans pair the pan roast with a Gougeres hors d'oeuvres, a tart side salad and finish with a chocolate tart. And even if you are a bench warmer and not on any team, everyone drinks champagne on New Year’s Eve.  


Suzanne Pollak

The Thanksgiving meal is way too delicious to be served only once a year.  Our cry is that a once a year tradition for this meal is insane.  All you people are only serving this turkey dinner in November because of the myth perpetrated down through the ages: this meal takes 18 days to put together at the very least.  Dean Manigault loves turkey and it’s trimmings so much she made Feast again for her tree trimming party just last night and plans to make it again for Christmas and then again in January once the family has cleared out and she can have some friends over.  She proved once and for all that this meal need not be a behemoth.

holiday pic.jpg

Having made the stuffing the day before (stuffing is the most labor intensive of all the dishes weighing in at 45 minutes) and concurrently roasting the sweet potatoes for tomorrows Thanksgiving, the majority of the labor was already out of way.

Day of Feast

Heating the oven takes longer than getting the turkey ready.  Jean Anderson told us in her cookbook Food of Portugal to not touch the turkey while it’s in the oven to obtain the crispiest skin, and she is 100% right.

  1. Dean Manigault puts the turkey in the pan and the pan in the oven (5 minutes).
  2. Assemble Medway Sweet Potatoes (20 minutes).
  3. Make the cranberry sauce and serve warm (from start to finish 10 minutes, only 1.5 minutes of actual labor).  Dean Manigault’s trick is to boil the cranberry sauce on super high until the cranberries all pop.
  4. Trim two bags of Brussels sprouts (7-10 minutes) cooking time (10-15 minutes).
  5. Dean Manigault’s CSA arrived just in time to join Feast, and in it was a baby turnip and carrot recipe.  The CSA suggested roasting them, but Dean Manigault served the turnips and carrots julienned raw with a light vinaigrette as a fresh, crispy contrast to the heavy food.

Total time: 36.5 minutes of labor

Of course everything takes time to cook, and she did have to borrow her neighbor’s oven, but for a such a delicious outcome she would go to far greater lengths.  Just like Tom Sawyer she can sit back and watch people wrangle the lights on the tree without a flicker of guilt because they are all so well fed.

*For summer Feast the Deans plan to fry our turkey and serve with a bread tomato salad, a panzanella. Our mouths are watering already and we haven’t even digested last night’s feast. 

The Deans Have Cryogenically Frozen Christmas and You Can Too! Here's How....

Suzanne Pollak


Dean Pollak woke this morning already dreaming of Christmas breakfast. As ever, she believes there is no time like the present, so she whipped out her handy silpat, bag of flour and ice cold butter and biscuit making commenced. As she got further into her task it occurred to her that not everyone might have Christmas breakfast already chilling in the freezer, and almost as magical as baby Jesus himself, a new Christmas miracle was born. Of course none of the Deans friends will forgive them if they don’t receive a trove of their spicy crispy cheese coins, but now, in addition, they can expect a dozen frozen biscuits ready to be popped into the oven on Christmas morn. Has anyone ever had more thoughtful friends than the Deans?

The Academy's Southern Biscuit

MAKES 12 to 18, depending on size of biscuit cutter


3 cups self-rising flour, preferably White Lily

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 4 equal pieces

1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk


1.  Add the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough almost forms a ball.  Place the dough on a silicone baking mat and begin folding up the sides, right and left, until a ball forms.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness.  Fold one side of the dough into the center and then fold in the other side.  Roll out again and refold in the same manner three to six times.  (Each roll and fold creates flaky layers within your biscuits.)  Roll out one final time until the dough is 3/4 inch thick.

2.  Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch biscuit cutter or an inverted glass.  Place the biscuits on a nonstick baking sheet.  Gather the scraps, re-roll, and cut out more biscuits until all of the dough has been used.  (At this point, you can cover the unbaked biscuits with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or freeze for up to 3 weeks).

3.  Bake until lightly browned on the top and bottom, 10 to 12 minutes.  (Bake frozen biscuits at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes.)

At Christmas time, the Deans receive a cruel lashing from friends if they attend any event without bearing canvas bags overflowing with cheese coins.  They are the Academy's signature treats and Dean Manigault's muscled arm is a testament that the cheddar is lovingly grated by hand.  Sometimes this can mean up to 25 pounds of cheddar because we have so many friends and students to bestow our coins upon.

A Treasure Trove of Cheese Coins

MAKES dozens


16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

2 cups flour

1 heaping teaspoon cayenne

22 twists freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt


1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2.  Using a standing mixer or food processor, whirl all the ingredients until combined.  Form the cheese dough into 2 logs, about 1 inch in diameter.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days (or freeze for up to 6 weeks).  

3.  Cut the logs into 1/4 inch slices and place on baking sheets.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.  

4.  Serve warm or at room temperature (or let cool and store in airtight containers for up to 7 days).

Having solved the Christmas morning debacle for every and all, we now set our sights to plugging up other holes in the Christmas dike. We are always telling people to cook together and we’ve said it so often that we almost forgot to practice what we preach. This week is going to be dedicated to not only biscuit making, but we are ratcheting up the fun another notch by making batches of gumbo for our freezer too.

Now we are not only ready for Christmas breakfast but pop up dinners too. 

5 Things to Make in Charleston This Fall

Suzanne Pollak

1.        Rye Cocktail

2 ounces of rye whiskey, 1/2 teaspoon demora sugar, 2 dashes of Angostura, 2 dashes of Orange Bitters. Pour over large ice cubes. Makes one cocktail. 


And yet another great drink. . .

2.       Wild Mushrooms on Puff Pastry

          Serves 4

2 tablespoons salted butter

2 shallots, minced

1 tablespoon minced thyme

1 pound wild mushrooms, roughly chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 package of Dufour's Puff Pastry

1 egg

Melt the butter in a hot skillet and when the foam subsides lower the heat and add the shallots.  After two minutes add the mushroom and cook until they release most of their liquid.  Add the cream and thyme and heat until hot and the cream has reduced by half.  

Meanwhile, thaw the pastry and cut into a square and line the outside of the square with strips of pastry to form a box.  Brush with the egg.  Bake according to directions and when puffed and golden remove from oven. Place mushrooms in the center of the pastry and serve. 

Serve with a tart side salad for a lunch or a light dinner.  So woodsy and autumnal. Dean-licious.

3.       Charleston Banh Mi 

Fill soft rolls with roasted sliced okra, peanuts, mayo, herbs, sweet soy and jalenpeos, shredded carrot and cucumbers.

The key to a Banh Mi is a soft roll. 

4.       Benne Dressing 

1/2 cup olive oil 

1 teaspoon mustard

1 chopped shallot

Juice of 1 lemon 

1 teaspoon benne seeds

Whisk together. Use on any lettuce. 

5.       Fall Vegetable Melange  

2-3 large yellow beets 

1 large butternut squash

2 onions

1/4 pound wild mushrooms,

Flat leaf parsley

Olive oil 

Place large yellow beets, scrubbed clean, in a shallow casserole. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and a splash of water. Cover with tin foil and roast at 425 degrees for 60-75 minutes, until a knife inserted in beet can pierce flesh easily.  

After putting beets in the oven, toss large chunks of peeled butternut squash and peeled onion quarters with a little olive oil to lightly coat. Place on a baking sheet and roast on another rack in the same oven  turning once, for 45 minutes.

Wipe any dirt off of mushrooms, cut off woody stems, toss very lightly with olive oil and place on baking sheet. When butternut squash comes out of oven, put mushrooms in the oven. Butternut squash and mushrooms should crisp at the edges.

When beets are cool enough to handle, peel and cut into large wedges. Place all roasted vegetables in a large bowl, toss with chopped parsley leaves, coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Delicious hot, room temperature, or cold. 

What's for Dinner?

Suzanne Pollak

Image Courtesy of Tania Lee

Image Courtesy of Tania Lee

Everyone, everyday, asks themselves, “what’s for dinner?” The Deans will prove once and for all that cooking for your family is the second most important thing you can do.  We are still working on number one. Our students come together over bubbling pots and simmering stews and our alums and book fans are armed and ready to tackle satisfying even the most persnickety palates.


Nobody has the time or desire to make a flaky croissant first thing in the morning.  The Deans are here to tell you that you can make far more delicious biscuits yourself.  Well, the Deans do and so should you.  Smeared with your own homemade preserves or filled with ham or melted butter- this treat is a love letter to your family first thing in the morning. 


Makes 12 to 18, depending on size of biscuit cutter


3 cups self-rising flour, preferably White Lily    

1 tablespoon baking powder              

1 teaspoon salt                         

1/2 teaspoon baking soda      

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 4 equal pieces       

1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk      


1.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it forms pea-size pieces.  Add the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough almost forms a ball.

3.  Place the dough on a silicone baking mat and begin folding up the sides, right and left, until a ball forms.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness.  Fold one side of the dough into the center and then fold in the other side.  Roll out again and refold in the same manner three to six times.  (Each roll and fold creates flaky layers within your biscuits.)  Roll out one final time until the dough is 3/4-inch thick.

4.  Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch biscuit cutter or an inverted glass.  Place the biscuits on a nonstick baking sheet.  Gather the scraps, re-roll, and cut out more biscuits until all of the dough has been used.  (At this point, you can cover the unbaked biscuits with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or freeze up to 3 weeks.)

5.  Bake until lightly browned on the top and bottom, 10 to 12 minutes.  (Bake frozen biscuits at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes.)

Image Courtesy of Tania Lee

Image Courtesy of Tania Lee


Lunch is when the Dean’s genius is in evidence. Transforming last night’s dinner into a healthy and satisfying lunch is our specialty. Almost any leftover - fish, fowl or meat - can be placed between two pieces of crisped bread and made into a wonderful meal for lunch or a simple dinner.  Chicken Salad is the perfect meal for eating at home, taking to the office or putting in a tart shell for an elegant lunch party. 


Take the leftovers of your roasted chicken and create a variety of meals using simple ingredients found in your refrigerator.  

  • Carve out an avocado and place the chicken mixture and avocado inside the shell to transport to work. 
  • Wrap your tasty leftover chicken inside a crepe and marry with mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.
  • Take thick slices of sourdough crisped in hot olive oil and layer with roasted peppers, shaved red onion, and your leftover chicken mixture.


We’ve heard every excuse why a home cooked family dinner is not possible - every single one. Stop yakking at us about this. All stews benefit from a night in the refrigerator and a reheat the day of serving.  The minute you walk in the door, put a pot of water on to boil to make rice, pasta or boiled potatoes to serve the stew over and dinner can be ready in 20 minutes, far less time than gathering everyone up and going out.  Below is the Deans favorite stew.  To take it even one step further, pair your stew with beer you’ve bought at Charleston's Beer Exchange or your local brewery.  


Serves 4      


4 Lamb shanks                               

Onion, chopped


Red Wine

Salt & Pepper    


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Sauté lamb shanks in a little olive oil in a sauté pan, over high heat, to lightly brown each side.  Remove shanks, season with salt and pepper, and place in stock pot.

3.  In remaining oil, sauté onions until lightly browned.  Place onions in stock pot.  Cover lamb shanks with red wine and thyme and simmer for 2 hours.

4.  Eat right away, make in the morning, or the day before (even tastier).  

*You can stretch one shank to feed three people by shredding the cooked meat.  Reheat in the wine sauce and use the meat and sauce for pasta another time.  Dean-licious.

You can find all of these recipes and more by visiting us at the charleston academy


Not Being Hungry Never Stops the Deans

Suzanne Pollak

Everyday the Deans start thinking about what's for lunch about 10:30 in the morning, and bear in mind, we have both eaten breakfast. When Dean Manigault moved to Charleston from New York City she was appalled that people ate lunch at eleven and invited you for dinner at six. Twenty years later she can assure you it is her absolute favorite thing about living in the South. Now, when she goes back to NY and the dinner is called for 8:30 in the evening (or even later) she wants to weep like a little baby girl and she can't wait for her flight home.

We don't let being full or even GI distress keep us from enjoying the current meal. On last week's drive to Charlottesville Dean Manigault was excited to introduce Mamma Zu's in Richmond to Dean Pollak. Dean Pollak had entered the first stages of food poisoning but she did not let this impede her ordering four, and yet a fifth, appetizer, because she spied a little gem she hadn't tried yet. 

The Deans are the exact opposites of Buddhists. Gluttony is our deadly sin. We are not proud but we don't know how to change. 

Image courtesy of  Artisan Meat Share

Image courtesy of Artisan Meat Share


Discover Craig Deihl's artisanal meats and so much more at Artisan Meat Share (of Cypress Restaurant.)  Customers can purchase cooked, cured and smoked meats (to name a few) on a daily basis.  The Artisan Meat Share also offers gourmet sandwiches, condiments, and wine or beer.

Below are two recipes that will jumpstart your meal planning at anytime of the day.  


In the morning, the dinner preparation has already started.



Rib Roast

Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Garlic clove


1.  Coat a rib roast with sea salt and lots of black pepper.  If you are feeling zippy, smear it with crushed garlic.  

2.  Pop it in the oven at 375 degrees F and roast until your meat thermometer tells you it's done (about 125 degrees F), roughly 17 minutes per pound. 

3.  Easy, elegant, and uplifting.

After dinner, we go to bed dreaming of what we will have when we wake up in the morning.


Serves 1


2-3 eggs (per person)


Salt and Pepper

Filling: spinach, cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese, bacon, diced ham


1.  Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat.  Crack 2 to 3 eggs into a bowl and whisk; season with salt and pepper.  Pour egg mixture into the skillet.  As soon as they are set, cover half of the eggs with your favorite filling.  

2.  Fold the other half of the eggs over the filling and slide onto your dinner plate.




School Night at the Manigault's

Suzanne Pollak

Cooking is Dean Manigault's artist outlet, but yet, she has been cursed with two daughters who don't like to eat her food. Last night's dinner was a roast chicken with a homemade gravy, black rice, haricot vert, and melon and prosciutto. India (15) took one slice of chicken and one string bean and then ate neither. Gigi (12) took several pieces of chicken, a little bit of rice and some beans. She ate a few beans, a bite of rice, and left most of the chicken and gravy. After seven minutes of communal dining they both begged to be excused. Thankfully Dean Manigault has two neighbors who love to come to dinner most nights, because her ego couldn't take the lashing her daughters inflict. 


Since Dean Pollak's children are adults, she knows what works. Her solutions:  Give birth to seven foot sons. Insist that your children participate in a lively sport every day. Only allow carrots and apples for snacks. Any food that they look askance at, announce that the food is just a different kind of chicken, such as, "that's not salmon, that's pink chicken." The final and most useful tip is to enlist the children's help in cooking, starting when they are toddlers and taking over a whole meal by the time they are teenagers. 

Below are a few recipes that may help entice your child to participate at dinner.


Serves 4 to 6


1 cup water

2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 pound zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick and 2 inches long

Vegetable oil, fro frying



1.  In a shallow bowl, whisk together the water and flour.  The batter should have the consistency of sour cream.  Adjust your measurements accordingly. 

2.  Into a Dutch oven or stock pot, over high heat, pour enough oil to come 3/4 inch up the side of the pot.  When the oil reaches 375 degrees F, dip the zucchini slices into the batter.  Transfer to the hot oil one handful at a time, so as not to crowd the pan.  Flip a couple of times until the zucchini are golden brown all over.  Your oil must be hot enough so the cooking is finished within 2 to 3 minutes.  

3.  Sprinkle with salt and serve piping hot with homemade mayonnaise or remoulade.


Breakfast for Dinner!

Serves 6


1 sourdough boule, sliced 3/4 inch thick

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Thin slices of Gruyere or cheddar, enough to cover the bread on the bottom of the pan

6 eggs

3 cups whole milk

1 pound bulk sausage, browned


1.  Grease a 9x11 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.  Spread both sides of the bread with the butter.  Layer the bread in the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with the cheese.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.  Pour over the bread, up to 1/2 inch below the top of the baking dish.  Any more liquid will bubble over when cooking.  Add the sausage.  Cover and refrigerate the strata overnight or for up to 2 days.

3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake the strata until puffy and golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour.


Find the Chicken Pie recipe and many more recipes here.

Mint. More Than an Herb. Almost a Way of Life.

Lee Manigault

Everyone spends the whole summer simpering about basil. Why is basil so great while mint whiles away in ignominy?  Mint elevates all it touches; tea, lamb, lemonade, watermelon, salads, chimichurra sauce, tarts, ratatouille, cocktails, ice creams and sorbets and for extra freshness, iron your sheets with mint infused water.  This fall plant some in an indoor pot, just like you did with basil in the summer, and when you feel like basil, try mint instead.  We guarantee a new love in your life, and who doesn't want that?




2-3 sprigs of fresh mint plus 2 sprigs for garnish

1/2 ounce simple syrup

2 dashes Angostura bitters

2 1/2 ounces bourbon


1.  Rub three sprigs of the mint with your hands, strip the leaves off the stems and add the leaves, syrup, and bitters to a highball or julep cup and muddle.

2.  Add bourbon and fill cup with crushed ice.

3.  Stir and garnish with more fresh mint. 




1 head red or green leaf lettuce

1 cup mint, leaves off of stems

20 ripe figs, halved or quartered, depending on size

4 ounces creamy goat cheese

one bunch green onions, white and pale green parts finetly chopped

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons olive oil


1.  Place green onions, mustard, salt and olive oil in a bowl and whisk. Add an ounce of the goat cheese and whisk to get a creamy dressing. Add lettuce and mint to the dressing and toss gently.

2.  Cut the figs and arrange over leaves. Place the rest of the goat cheese, in small pieces over the lettuce.

3.  Serve with salt and pepper. 




half bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, about 30

bunch of fresh mint leaves, about 30

bunch of basil leaves, about 15

5 tablespoons unsalted (sweet) butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese


1.  Place the parsley, mint, basit and 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt in a stone mortar and use a pestle to grind ingredients together. (This can be done in a food processor too. Switch on and off so ingredients do not puree).

2.  Transfer mixture to a bowl, add butter, cream and cheese and mix with a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper.

3.  Sprinkle with mint leaves after tossed with pasta. 



Today is World Cancer Day

Suzanne Pollak

Cancer affects all of our lives. 

There have been times in the Deans' lives when circumstances laid us low and the reaching out of a kindhearted friend has never been forgotten. When life throws us major shifts and shocks, the routine of domesticity is most crucial, but it's also barely attainable. Now is the time for you to step in and use your skills to run someone else's house. Even if the recipients are barely able to eat or join in the conversation, having daily life going on around them proclaims, "There will be a way through this situation." Everyone is buoyed by extra love, including you, the giver of kindness to someone in need. Good food (including some in the freezer when you leave) will be remembered a lifetime. 

Chicken Pie is one of the best comfort foods. 

Livestrong is one of our favorite charities. 

Chevy's Superbowl ad celebrates cancer survivors. 

Massive Lemon Drop

Suzanne Pollak

For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. When a cold snap covers the Southeast everyone has to harvest their citrus at one time, or lose it all to Old Man Winter. In a balmier winter, we like to pluck our citrus leisurely and leave fruit on the trees to gaze upon. No such luck this year.  WhenGod gives the Deans lemons, of course we made lemonade, but we didn't stop there. We also created lemon-infused cocktails, chicken thighs with caramelized lemons, handmade lemon bow tie pasta, lemon confit, lemon mousse, lemon fennel ginger tea and we still have gleaming yellow orbs to play with. 


This is only a fraction of the bounty of one Dean's single tree.  Tons more where these came from!!!

can you see the lemony flecks?

can you see the lemony flecks?

Meyer Lemon Rind Bow Tie Pastas 

Meyer Lemon Rind Bow Tie Pastas 

These bow ties are ready for their night out. Pair with a simple tomato sauce - canned whole tomatoes, chopped garlic and olive oil. Simmer for 15 minutes and then puree. The acid from the tomato sauce is a perfect blend with the tang of the lemon pasta.  You'll never be caught underdressed with these bow ties. 

Spicy Lemon Confit 

Spicy Lemon Confit 

spiced ginger lemon tea   

spiced ginger lemon tea


The Deans are akin to colanders today because that cold weather that has gripped the Southeast has got our teeth chattering so, we keep boiling water and making more tea.  We are the best hydrated Deans of any academic institution anywhere.  Quite an accolade!  Fresh fennel fronds, a large knob of ginger peeled and sliced, and the ubiquitous Meyer lemon that started it all, sliced.  Cover with boiling water and let step for five minutes, then strain into mug.  

For more words from the Deans, pre-order our book from Amazon