Virginia Willis Blog

Gluten Free Chocolate Nut Cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Nut Cake on

Passover Dessert

Yesterday we sat down to review the menu for Passover and I requested that we make Lynn Shapiro‘s Chocolate Nut Cake from her book Food, Family, and TraditionHungarian Kosher Family Recipes and RemembrancesWhile I am not Jewish, I have grown to love the celebration — and the whole new world of food traditions, too! Family is coming tomorrow and we have guests coming, as well. I am on a crazy deadline for my next book (and forthcoming TV series), Secrets of the Southern Table and taking a break from my blog. This week I am sharing her recipe for a delicious Chocolate Nut Cake.

Bon Appétit Y’all! 


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How to Make “Cream of Anything Soup”

How to Cook Cream of Anything Soup on

La Technique

Soup is in the kitchen forecast with the polar vortex making a last dash into spring this week. “Cream of Anything Soup” is one of the easiest of soups to make. It can be practical and money-saving, too. Do you have some vegetables lingering in the fridge that are too limp for sautéing or too bruised for salad? Don’t toss them in the compost or the trash. They are perfect for “Cream of Anything Soup.”  Think “Cream of Anything Soups” are too rich and fatty? You actually don’t need any cream for velvet-smooth, silky soups other than perhaps an optional few drops at the end. Do you think soups are just for winter – how about Chilled Cream of Asparagus this spring or Cream of Corn or Zucchini Soup this summer? How to Make “Cream of Anything Soup” is a fundamental kitchen technique. (more…)

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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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