Virginia Willis Blog

Make This: Romesco Sauce

Romesco at

Starters and Nibbles

Spring is here in much of the country and warmer weather means more time outdoors and generally, more socializing. Patio parties and do-dahs on the deck mean having starters and nibbles at the ready to serve friends and family. Nothing’s wrong with chips and salsa, but how about elevating the app game with homemade Romesco Sauce? (more…)

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How to Cook Leeks: Sautéed Leeks and Celery

How to Cook Leeks: Sauteed Leeks and Celery on

 How to Cook Leeks

Yikes! Take a look at that muddy mess of leeks! Soil or grit in food is the culinary equivalent to nails scratching a chalkboard. Yet buried beneath that dirt and soil are real kitchen treasures. Leeks are used as a base for soups, stews, stocks, and sauces. They can be poached, chilled, and served as a sophisticated salad or sautéed and served as a warm vegetable. Leeks are a great addition to your kitchen repertoire as we transition from winter to spring. This week, I’ve paired them with celery for a delicious, yet decidedly simple and inexpensive side dish, Sautéed Leeks and Celery. (more…)

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Pork with Apples and Onions: Weeknight Supper



Pork with Apples and Onions with

Pork Anatomy

Pork with Apples and Onions is an easy dish for a weeknight supper. First, you have to know what to buy. All four-legged animals have a muscle, called the loin, that runs along either side of the backbone. In a steer, this muscle represents itself as a rib-eye in the rib section and with a pig, it’s center cut pork chop, around the waist of a pig — if a pig had a waist. The loin muscle doesn’t get much exercise and therefore it is fairly tender and appropriate for shorter cooking times. Think steaks and chops. The legs get much more exercise, are less tender, and are best prepared with low and slow, longer cooking times. Think pot roast and stews. (more…)

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Baked Broccoli Risotto: Modern Comfort

Baked Broccoli Risotto on

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Somewhere along the way when women were “liberated” from the kitchen, processed and convenience foods became Standard Operating Procedure. One-pot casseroles became the go-to for many busy moms and families. An all-time favorite is Broccoli Rice Casserole. What’s not to love? Tender, creamy rice topped with cheese. Broccoli Rice Casserole is serious comfort food. What about modern comfort? How about Baked Broccoli Risotto? (more…)

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Valentine’s Day: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites on


Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go together like, well, chocolate and peanut butter. To help celebrate Valentine’s Day I thought I’d share these Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites. They are super simple to prepare. You probably have the ingredients in your pantry and can whip these up tonight!  (more…)

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