Donna Florio

Recent Posts By Donna Florio

All I Want for Christmas Is An Easy, Elegant Side Dish

Everyone needs a doable side dish that will impress family and friends at Christmas dinner, and for our money, Fennel-and-Potato gratin is just the thing. If you like to dress up the table at the holidays, as we do, serve the gratin in a silver-plated casserole holder, which Santa will surely bring you if you ask him (very) nicely.

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All I Want for Christmas is A Special Appetizer

A simple, stellar appetizer sets the tone for a pull-out-the-stops holiday dinner party. These Pancetta Pear Crisps from Chapel Hill cookbook author Sheri Castle are a great example of  a dish that combines wow factor with ease of preparation. They’re stylish, and a perfect combination of sweet and salty, tender and crisp.

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All I Want for Christmas is Bourbon Balls

Holiday treats don’t come much easier than these no-bake bourbon balls, requested by Mary Robinson of Macon, Georgia. They make a large batch, so they’re great for parties or gift giving. They do, err, pack a slight punch, so be judicious when sampling them! 

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All I Want for Christmas is A Perfectly-Planned Party

Meghan Alpern of Matthews, North Carolina, says she’s always at a loss estimating food and drink for their annual Christmas gathering, where she serves heavy hors d’oeuvres. She says, “We seem to overestimate food and underestimate beverages.”

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All I Want for Christmas is a Perfectly Seasoned Cast-iron Skillet

While most new cast-iron comes pre-seasoned, if you’re lucky, your hand-me-down cast-iron came with a beautiful, non-stick patina that comes from years of handling with loving care.  Blair Rumley of Brown Summit, North Carolina, wants to know how to maintain that finish or to replace it once it’s gone.

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All I Want for Christmas is Great Turkey Gravy

Our food staff loves to make as many dishes ahead as possible, especially for the holidays. So when Christine Pratt-Whitaker of Bradenton, Florida, asked for a foolproof turkey gravy, we immediately thought of Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy.

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Katie Button’s Sauteed Greens and Olive Oil-Fried Eggs

In just over 18 months, Asheville’s tapas restaurant, Cúrate, has become the hottest ticket in town, and its Executive Chef and co-owner, Katie Button, a blazing culinary superstar.  She shared one of her favorite, easy, late-night meals, eggs fried in deep olive oil, served over sautéed baby kale and spinach, in our just-published January 2013 issue. 

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All I Want for Christmas is a White Fruitcake

If you prefer a fruitcake that’s more cake than fruit, then White Fruitcake, requested by Tammy Coleman of Acworth, Georgia, is one you’ll love. It’s lightly studded with candied cherries, pineapple, and raisins, brightened with citrus zest. The Orange-Bourbon Glaze is a nod to the tradition of soaking fruitcakes in liquor, but you can substitute more orange juice for the bourbon […]

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All I Want for Christmas is A Dish that Travels Well

Jessica Cox of Birmingham writes “I travel 3 hours between gatherings on Christmas Day, and would like a make-ahead dish that can make the long car journey, but isn’t another baked good or dessert.”

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All I Want for Christmas is A Fabulous Beef Tenderloin

We have just the recipe for Kelli Drury of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who wants a melt-in-your-mouth delicious beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner. Herb-and-Potato Chip-Crusted Beef Tenderloin has a crunchy, flavorful crust that helps keep the meat moist and tender. Serve it straight up, or with sweet, tangy Cherry Chutney and crumbled blue cheese for a lavish holiday entrée. 

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