Union Hill Kitchen building permit has been approved.


Since January 28th 2012, I have tried to get all the required permits approved from Dekalb county and the City of   Chamblee.  After many rejections and re-submittals, today I received the coveted “yellow construction paper”, aka building permit.  I proudly placed it on the window and took a sigh.  The path to this point has been arduous and discouraging at times but as with most things in life- anything worth doing takes time and a lot of effort.  I need to continuously tell myself that and move forward. I look forward now to the day I open for lunch.

Mini Strawberry pies

Mini Strawberry Pies.

Mini Strawberry Pies.


Our kitchen garden has begun to have its first harvest of strawberries.  I am making some mini strawberry pies to celebrate the arrival of our red friends.

You can buy a store-bought graham cracker crust and follow my steps below.  In this version I purchased the mini store-bought cracker crust.    You can also purchase a the 8 or 9 inch pies and apply the recipe below but the mini versions look great at a party.

Mini Strawberry pies

The mini graham cracker crusts come six to a package and are made by Keebler.  When doing this recipe make sure remove the stems from all the strawberries and to cut six of them in half and set them aside. These larger pieces will be used on top of the pies for decoration.  The rest of the strawberries you can roughly chop them and set aside.



1 cup of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon of Kosher salt

3 tablespoons of corn starch

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 12 oz can of classic Fresca cola or 7 up

3 ounce package of strawberry gelatin

1//4 teaspoon of vanilla

1 pint of strawberries hulled, sliced thinly and then coarsely chopped

3 strawberry hulled and cut in half


Remove the mini graham cracker crust shells out of their packages and fill them with 2-3 tablespoons of the chopped up strawberries.  Do this to all of them and set them aside.

In a sauce pan place the sugar, corn starch, salt and cinnamon and whisk together until it is combined. Turn the stove to medium heat and begin to add the Fresca soda then continue to whisk.  Make sure you use a heat tolerant spatula to make sure all flour and corn starch from the edges of the pan are incorporated into the mixture.  Continue to whisk the mixture until it thickens, about 4-7 minutes.

Once the mixture thickens, remove from the heat and add the 3 oz of strawberry Jell-O and vanilla remembering to continue to whisk until it is combined.  Allow to cool for several minutes.   Pour the Jell-O mixture into a large measuring cup and slowly pour the mixture into the prepared pie shells.  Once they have cooled for 4-8 minutes, place them in the refrigerator to set for about 2 hours.

Serve with with some whipped cream.  They will keep in the refrigerator covered without any whipped cream on top of the pies for about 3 days.



1.  Slowly drizzle the Jell-O mixture into the shells and this will prevent the Jell-O from spilling over the sides of the pie.

2.  Don’t feel the need to fill the shells all the way to the top.  You can always add more once the Jell-O has settled into the pie.

3.  After the mini-strawberry pies have cooled about 4-8 minutes.  Put them in the refrigerator to cool for about 2 hours.




New life for the classic meatloaf

I have been experimenting with classic recipes and giving them a contemporary twist. I made this meatloaf in a cake pan with laminated dough balls on top to soak up the sauce. I think it’s pretty interesting.





Chive flowers are easy to use in the kitchen

I have lots of chives at our farm and in our restaurant garden. When the chives bloom is spring, the petals can be used in many applications. One of them is making a crostini with goat cheese cream and I lay one or two chive blossoms on top. The purple blossom has an explosive flavor of chives.


Pear Tree in Our Kitchen Garden Has Pears

I went out early this morning and saw that our pear tree has hundreds of pears. How lucky am I to have a tree like this to pick ripe fruit from to make wonderful things with in the kitchen.


Planting a summer flower cutting garden

I decided to add a couple of extra boxes I order to have fresh cut flowers for the restaurant when it opens in a couple of months. I am so thankful for dirt and rain – and the magic they do in a garden.