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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Pistachio

Pistachio Butter

Marc J. Sievers


We all know about the wonders of butter, but have you ever tried making a compound butter? A quick search of your pantry is all it would take to find a few things to make a delicious butter that can elevate many of your favorite dishes! My Pistachio Butter only calls for four ingredients, but it packs serious and sophisticated flavor. It is perfect to toss with blanched or grilled vegetables or to spread on toast or muffins in the morning.  This is a recipe that adds instant flavor to even the simplest dishes, like sautéed green beans (add the zest of a lemon for a touch of brightness!).  You can also add it to fresh vegetables from your garden, grocery store, or farmers market!

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Pistachio Butter

Ingredients (makes 10 tablespoons)

  • Whole Pistachios – ½ cup, shelled, unsalted

  • Butter – 8 tablespoons, unsalted, at room temperature, European-style preferred

  • Fleur de Sel – ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked


  1. In a small sauté pan set over medium heat, add the shelled pistachios and toast for 3-5 minutes until lightly toasted, tossing occasionally.  Transfer them to a cutting board and allow them to cool for 10 minutes.

  2. Once the pistachios are cooled, give them a rough chop.  Transfer the nuts to a small bowl, add in the remaining ingredients and thoroughly mix.

  3. Cut a strip of parchment paper 5-inches wide and place the mixture on the short end of the paper. Roll into a log about 1 inch in diameter, rolling the parchment paper around the butter mixture. Twist ends to close. Chill overnight.

  4. Serve by cutting into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Tip: This butter will keep perfectly fresh stored in the refrigerator or up to 1 week in an airtight container.  A fabulous last-minute addition to recipes where you want extra flavor.

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Apple Salad with Croutons

Marc J. Sievers

One of my favorite things about writing recipes is surprising readers and my guests with complex flavors by using everyday ingredients!  My Apple Salad with Croutons made its television debut on WGN TV Midday News: Lunchbreak and the star of the dish was my simple and incredibly flavorful homemade vinaigrette!

I made the vinaigrette with cinnamon, honey, and apple cider vinegar as my secret ingredients.  All of those flavors are classic combinations with apple, and the addition of tart cranberries, intense Blue Cheese, nuts, and crunchy croutons creates a layered and complex salad with wonderfully everyday ingredients. A match made in food-flavor heaven!  In fact, I served this same salad on Thanksgiving Day, and the entire platter was devoured with guests actually asking for seconds – of salad!  

Apple Salad with Croutons

Ingredients for Salad (serves 8)

  • Granny Smith Apple – cored, and thinly sliced

  • Honey Crisp Apple – cored, and thinly sliced

  • Lemon - juice of 1 lemon

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – 1/3 cup

  • Honey – 1/3 cup

  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Olive Oil – ¼ cup

  • Dried Cranberries – ½ cup

  • Pistachios – ½ cup

  • Candied Pecans – ½ cup

  • Blue Cheese – 4 ounces, crumbled

  • Arugula or Spring Mix – 8 ounces

Directions for Salad

  1. Start by placing the cut apples in a large bowl of cold water. Add the lemon juice, and allow to sit until ready to serve.

  2. Meanwhile, mix vinegar, honey, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking vigorously. Set aside.

  3. Drain the apples.

  4. Arrange the greens down the center of a big platter. Add the apples, dried cranberries, pistachios, pecans, and blue cheese on top. Drizzle evenly with the vinaigrette.

  5. Serve immediately.

Ingredients for Croutons

  • Demi Baguette – cut into ½-inch cubes

  • Butter – 3 tablespoons, unsalted


  1. In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the bread cubes.

  2. Toast for 5-7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly brown.

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Warm Figs with Goat Cheese

Marc J. Sievers

Fresh figs are such a luxury this time of year!  Their normal season begins the first few weeks of June, then they come back to greet us from August through October.  While you can certainly find dried figs year round—they are fabulous to serve with cheeses, in pastas, or just eaten right from the container—fresh figs add such an elegant touch to a party.

In the past, I have written a few recipes using these luscious fruits, but my Warm Figs with Goat Cheese may just become your new favorite way to enjoy fresh figs this time of year!  How can you go wrong with fresh figs drizzled in earthy honey, rosemary, pistachios, and goat cheese?  The aromatic and savory rosemary adds a bit of an autumnal vibe, perfect for the start of this transitional time of year. 

Presentation is very casual as guests can literally spoon the warm figs onto slices of toasted bread.  Or, serve as a salad!  Best of all, you can assemble this dish one hour head of time and allow it to sit at room temperature (no need to take up precious fridge space).  Add the pistachios just before you are ready to bake and then bake as your guests arrive and are greeted by a fabulous and sophisticated aroma that will surely get them excited for what’s to come.

I like to bake and serve this dish in a cast iron skillet or pie plate—from oven to table!  Summer coming to an end isn’t so bad after all!  This is only the beginning of the fabulous fruits of Fall!

Warm Figs with Goat Cheese

Ingredients (serves 6 as an hors d’oeuvre, 4 as salad course)

  • Fresh Figs – 1 pint, stems removed and cut in half

  • Honey – 1/3 cup

  • Rosemary – ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Goat Cheese – 3 ounces, at room temperature

  • Pistachios – ¼ cup, roughly chopped

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • *Baguette or crackers for serving as a hors d’oeuvre

  • *Arugula for serving as a salad


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Arrange the figs cut side up in a single layer in an oven proof dish or cast iron skillet.

  3. Drizzle the honey over the figs and sprinkle evenly with the pistachios, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Crumble the goat cheese evenly over top.

  4. Bake for 5 minutes, or until the cheese begins to soften.

  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

As an hors d’oeuvre – allow guests to spoon the warm figs onto toasted slices of baguette or simple crackers.

As a salad – arrange handfuls of washed arugula onto salad plates (or onto a large platter for family style) and top with the warm figs.  The honey and natural juices from the figs will act as the vinaigrette.

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Bistro Salad

Marc J. Sievers

This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday.  Though it is a holiday in my head, it is still a regular workday for most of us.  But, it also promises to be a great start to a romantic weekend.  With that in mind, I want to keep the kitchen time down to a minimum on Friday so that I can kick off my “Valentine’s Weekend” doing what I love most—spending time with my Valentine.

What to do when you want to have a romantic night in sipping Champagne and gazing into your beau’s eyes, but still make a fabulously-delicious dish?  Using a few classics from the traditional Valentine’s Day pantry I created my delicious Bistro Salad, and it assembles faster than Cupid’s arrow can find its mark.

My Bistro Salad combines sweet honey, tangy goat cheese, strawberries, and chocolate making it the perfect romantic (and quick!) dinner on the Day of Love.  It takes just minutes to assemble and will pair perfectly with a bold Cabernet or crisp glass of bubbly.  Most importantly, it will give you the latitude to enjoy a rich and decadent dessert without robbing you of your sense of romance!  Whether you are spending this day with friends or your special someone, I hope the day brings love, hugs, and champagne.  Eat well, laugh often, and above all share the love, for Cupid’s sake!

Bistro Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Greens – 5 ounces, rinsed and well-dried

  • Goat Cheese – 3 ounces, crumbled

  • Strawberries – 1 cup, hulled and quartered

  • Sliced Almonds – ¼ c cup

  • Pistachios – ¼ cup

  • Honey – 3 tablespoons

  • White Balsamic Vinegar – 3 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Dark Chocolate – 3 tablespoons, 72%, shaved with a vegetable peeler


  1. Place the greens in a serving vessel of your choice.

  2. Evenly distribute the strawberries, nuts, and goat cheese over the greens.

  3. Drizzle the honey and balsamic vinegar over top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chocolate.

  4. Serve immediately.

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Deux Madeleine

Marc J. Sievers

Every recipe I write always has a story behind it.  Whether it’s from a childhood memory, something I have tried at a restaurant, or even from a particular type of music I’ve heard, I am constantly on the lookout for new inspiration!  Just a few days ago I was shopping with a friend at a cookware store when I stumbled upon a madeleine pan that was on sale (like seriously on sale!), and my imagination started running wild with ideas of different flavor combinations.  I put the pan in my basket and continued shopping.

My friend instantly started telling me stories about her many trips to Paris and how lovely all the madeleines are.  Her story telling was so detailed, I could almost picture myself walking down the streets of Paris and popping into bakeries to try these amazing little cakes.  I was making her dinner that night but asked if it would be OK if we skipped dinner and I just made her madeleines instead?  I think you know her answer!

After a few rounds of testing different flavors (and a few bottles of wine!), my recipe for Deux Madeleine was complete!  These amazing delicate little cakes are lightly flavored with almond and some with almond, pistachios, and chocolate.  The batter is so simple to make and can be flavored so many different ways.  In fact, from start to finish you will have fresh madeleines in under an hour!  I hope my little story of inspiration gives you the courage to try something new and different, especially this recipe.  Happy baking!

Deux Madeleine

Ingredients (makes 22 - 24 cakes)

  • Flour – 2/3 cup, all-purpose, plus more for dusting the pan

  • Baking Powder – ¼ teaspoon

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan

  • Eggs – 2 extra-large, at room temperature

  • Almond Extract – 1 teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ⅛ teaspoon

  • Powdered Sugar – 1 cup, plus more for dusting

  • Pistachios – 2/3 cup, roughly chopped

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – 2/3 cup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Butter and flour a standard size madeleine pan.

  3. Start by sifting the flour, sea salt, and baking powder into a small bowl. Set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and almond extract on medium-high speed until it thickens, about 5-6 minutes.

  5. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat an additional 5 minutes.

  6. Turn off the mixer and gently fold in the flour mixture, then the melted butter. Mix until smooth.

  7. Allow the batter to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  8. Next, Spoon the batter into the wells of the pan, filling about ¾ full.

  9. Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 3 minutes in the pan. Then remove the cakes and allow to fully cool (fluted side down) on a wire rack.

  10. Wipe out the pan, flour and butter the wells, and repeat the steps above until all the batter has been used.

  11. Dust with powdered sugar and serve at room temperature.

  12. Madeleine’s can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

Pistachio & Chocolate Madeleine

  1. Follow the steps above.

  2. After filling each well with batter, sprinkle evenly with chopped pistachios and follow baking and cooling instructions.

  3. In a heat-proof bowl set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally.

  4. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

  5. Place the melted chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip.

  6. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled madeleine.

  7. Allow the chocolate to fully set before serving or storing.

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