Fresh Berry

The lowdown on food, drink and cooking
from Southeast Michigan

Fresh Berry
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May 26, 2020

Make Your OWN Classic Biscotti Cookies

Being at Nino’s, I’m surrounded with great people, products and ingredients. It’s also very culturally diverse, and I love that. Of course, even though we’re an international marketplace, because of our late founder Nino Salvaggio’s heritage, many people think of us as being a bit more Ita  more...

May 19, 2020

Ways to Improve Kitchen Functionality

It’s no secret that we all spend a great deal of time in our kitchens, specially these days. And that time can be either a pleasure or a curse depending on how much we enjoy cooking or how well our home kitchens are equipped. Having said that, while it truly is a blessing to have a fantastic r  more...

May 12, 2020

Balsamic Vinegar

Vinegar gets kind of a bad rap in the food world. It is kind of a villain in the ingredient world, and it’s far too often considered an evil necessity to balance the more pleasant ones. However, in truth, vinegar is the silent hero, actually preserving foods and bringing dishes to life with th  more...

May 5, 2020

Mussels Marinara

Here in America, mussels are kind of the black sheep of the mollusk family. For whatever reason, folks here on this side of the pond seem to prefer their oysters and clams unlike the Europeans who absolutely adore mussels. If you DO like mussels, there are dozens of species, but two in particular,   more...

April 28, 2020

Mexican Food Favorites

I’ve had a near lifelong passion for the culture and cuisine of our Southern neighbors. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many of the native “peasant-style” dishes that include fried corn tortillas; roasted chilies; and traditional herbs and spices like cilantro, garlic cumin, and chipotle. I rem  more...

April 21, 2020

Overdue Kitchen Projects

Due to the ongoing situation a lot of us have to stay indoors. This just maybe a good time to take care of some (possibly) long overdue kitchen projects that might make this time a bit more enjoyable. Here are a few tips: Edit the Cupboards Make it easier to store and get to things you really  more...

April 14, 2020

Quesadillas: Expanding the Possibilities

Each time I make quesadillas, I think of one more great way to enjoy them. As a short refresher, quesadillas, unlike burritos or tacos, are flat and usually cut into wedges (like pizza). Another difference is that because they are pan-fried (or baked), you cannot fill them with cold lettuces or s  more...

March 31, 2020

Classic Fish & Chips

For all I knew when I was a kid, if the box of frozen fish sticks said English Style Fish & Chips, it was the real deal. It's sort of truth-in-menu ethical code, which is not unlike having one little chef conscience on each shoulder--one devilishly looking for the easy way, the other guarding  more...

March 17, 2020

Italian-Inspired Desserts

Having been a pastry chef (I like to multi-task), I can’t help but look at many desserts as flavor combinations and the plate-up as compositions or edible architecture. It’s just how I’m wired, I guess. Once pastry chefs have determined the flavors they’re looking to create, many go through  more...

March 10, 2020

St. Patty’s Day & Corned Beef Hash

Each year, Nino’s celebrates the Wearin’ of the Green with Emerald Aisles of traditional Irish fare to help make St. Patrick’s Day a day even a leprechaun wouldn’t mind finding at the end of a rainbow! It starts with fresh shamrocks in our floral department and includes corned beef, cabbage  more...

March 3, 2020

Nino’s Lent Recipes

In this set of recipes, I’d like to turn you on to 3 different dishes, all of which feature a common theme. They’re ALL stuffed (as will you) because they’re ALL delicious! Even better, they’re easy to make. Let’s get started! Nino’s Seafood Department has some fabulous 8- to 10  more...

February 25, 2020

Great Fried Chicken on a Gluten-Free Diet

I love fried chicken. Crispy fried chicken. Now, there’s two ways to go about making fried chicken, three if you count batter dipped, but that’s not as common. The two most-popular fried chicken methods are flouring and breading. And they’re both extremely popular. But what if you  more...

February 18, 2020

Cantonese Sweet & Sour Sauce

Back in my days at The Culinary Institute of America, I had a class we all called Demo. What it was, true to its name, was a day-long lecture in an amphitheater-like hall filled with 80 students staring down on a cooking suite. It was complete with two chef instructors demonstrating the menus we   more...

February 11, 2020

The Soufflé: Dessert’s Rising Star

Whether at home, on vacation, or at the home of friends, when dinner is done, the dishes are cleared, and the subject of “who wants dessert” comes up, all eyes in the room slowly turn in my direction. “Make us something really cool, Pete, something delicious, something chocolate...”   more...

February 4, 2020

A Sweet Treat for Valentine’s Day

Over the years, I’ve often been asked “What dessert should I make for my sweetie for Valentine’s Day?” Of course, it’s impossible to know everyone’s likes and dislikes, especially when it comes to sweets, but my default suggestion is one of my favorite desserts. I’ll defend it to th  more...

January 28, 2020

Pot Shots: Advice on Pots and Pans

If you like to cook, and quite honestly, if you’re a fan of buying anything of value, an investment in quality pots and pans for your kitchen is a must. I definitely have my opinions, not all of which are in step with what you might THINK I’d be here to tell you. Here are just a half-dozen  more...

January 21, 2020

It’s Game Time!

Yes, it happens once a year but the anticipation is year long and as the saying goes "good things come to those who wait" (Lions fans).  Now even if you’re NOT a huge football fan, each year you can still enjoy the excitement and drama of all the player and coaching subplots, the memorable comme  more...

January 14, 2020

Super Sunday 2020

It’s almost here! Super Bowl LIV that is, to be held at The Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. on Sunday, February 2nd. Unfortunately, our beloved Lions won’t be there (unless they bought tickets). But what the heck? If you’re a Lion’s fan, it’s all about the tailgating anyway.   more...

January 7, 2020

10 Tips to Slim Down “Fatty” Recipes

We’re all creatures of habit they say. They also say people are very reluctant to change their eating habits. Then it would seem to follow that if what they say is true, and your diet isn’t very healthy, you have little chance of getting out of that rut. “The only difference between a r  more...

December 31, 2019

Start the New Year Healthy: Kale Salad Recipes

If you think you’ve been seeing and hearing a lot about kale recently, you’re not imagining it. In fact, it’s appearing everywhere from menus at your favorite restaurants to the shelves of your favorite grocery store (Nino’s). Why? It’s because it’s good for you. I mean like super goo  more...

December 24, 2019

Shrimp Dips

Shrimp is synonymous with holiday entertaining and buffet spreads. If you can afford them, it’s a sign you care to offer your family, friends or guests, something that shows them they’re really worth it. Whether big or small, shrimp are still considered to be one of the “affordable” luxur  more...

December 17, 2019

3 Nuts, 3 Recipes, 3 Cookies

The winter holiday season is full of traditions. Among those I enjoy the most is the making and baking of desserts and treats for parties, gift giving and well, in all honesty, just to feed my face. The holidays are my yearly excuse to throw all dietary caution to the wind and break out the bu  more...

December 10, 2019

French Toast Casserole for the Holidays

As a chef, no matter how wonderful your menu reads, how great the food is or how glowing the press might be, you always get suggestions from your customers for something they’d like to see on the menu or a dish you’ve just GOT to try. Such is the story behind my recipe for Pain Perdu. Whil  more...

December 3, 2019

Lobster & Crab Cooking Tips

Holidays are a time to splurge! Not only with presents and parties but with sweet treats and savory indulgences we just can’t resist treating ourselves to. Cookies and pastries are certainly on that list, and for dinner, maybe a juicy Roast Prime Rib, Rack of Lamb, or Honey-Glazed Ham. But i  more...

November 26, 2019

Alternative Stuffing Recipes

I’ve often blogged about the holidays, covering everything from appetizers to desserts. I’m not alone. It’s a season where there is NO shortage of chefs with recipes and tips. Whether you want to know what the Pilgrims ate at the first Thanksgiving or what the Kardashians are eating this ho  more...

November 12, 2019

Happiness Is Warm Gingerbread

Gingerbread. Why something so delicious is relegated to a seasonal treat is beyond me because it deserves a spot in the dessert hall of fame, right up there with chocolate cake, apple pie and ice cream. To be clear, depending on your heritage or what country you may be visiting, gingerbread can b  more...

November 5, 2019

Turkey Timeline

As the years go by, more and more I rely on my tried-and-true recipes, notes, and traditional routines that have paid off in the past. Thanksgiving, and especially planning for Thanksgiving dinner, is one of those times when I rely on my planner so I don’t forget a thing. It’s especially help  more...

October 22, 2019

Halloween Treats

Many of us remember Halloween not so much for the decorations, the pumpkins, the donuts, or the cider as much for the ritual of “trick or treating”, in costume, throughout the neighborhood on a leaf blown, moonlit night. Actually, Trick or Treating goes back a way. And not just in our own cou  more...

October 15, 2019

How to Maximize the Nutrition of Your Produce

It probably goes without saying that fruits and vegetables are good for you in a number of ways. Nutritionally speaking, the vast resources of vitamins and minerals available through produce is reason enough to eat more of them. Digestively speaking, many vegetables are high in fiber or have othe  more...

October 8, 2019

Squash Recipes for Fall

During most of the summer months, soft-skinned summer squash, such as yellow squash, zucchini, and of course, cucumber find their way into recipes, and of course, onto our dinner plates. It’s only this time of the year that winter squash really begins to take over center stage. Fall is when   more...

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