Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

This is a great find by my right hand gal and amazing friend Lorraine! These cookies are soooo good you'll want to make them often. Thanks Rainy!!! Xo

1 1/4 C Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 C + 1 T Flour
1 1/4 t Ground Ginger
1/4 t Ground Cinnamon
1/4 t Ground Cloves
1/4 t Ground Nutmeg
1 T Cocoa Powder
8 T Butter
1 T Fresh Ginger,minced
1/2 C Brown Sugar,Packed
1/4 C Molassas
1 t Baking Soda
1 1/2 t Boiling Water
1/4 C Sugar
Line baking sheets with parchment. Sift together flour,ground ginger,cinnamon,cloves,nutmeg,& cocoa powder.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter,and ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add molasses and beat until combined.
In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda and water. Beat half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Beat in baking soda,then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate, and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until cold through.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls place on baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes, can be frozen at this point for later baking. Roll balls in granulated sugar. Bake until surfaces crack slightly, 13-15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and serve.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Risotto Style Farro

Farro is an Italian grain and has kind of a nutty flavor.  It works well risotto style!  I had so much fun creating this dish with Michele at Power Camp this week!  Here's to many more creations together, Michele! xo

2 T Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves,  Finely Chopped
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
2 C Farro
2 C Dry White Wine, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
2 t Fresh Sage, Chopped
1 T Fresh Basil, Chopped
2 t Fresh Thyme, Chopped
4 -6 C Chicken or Vegetable Stock
3 C Kale, Roughly Chopped 3 C Swiss Chard or any other greens, Roughly Chopped
1 C Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1 C Romano Cheese, Grated
1 T Butter
Juice of 1 Lemon
Additional White Wine for the finish

In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil and add onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. saute until onions are translucent, 3-4 minutes.  Add farro and saute until farro is lightly brown.  Add wine, simmer and stir until almost all the liquid is gone.  Add 2 C stock.  Repeat until farro is cooked al dente.  Add kale & chard and stir until wilted.  Add cheese, stir until incorporated.  Before serving add butter and lemon and sprinkle with wine.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pork Tenderloin (or Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts)with Pomegranate Sauce

This recipe is awesome!  Great flavors and the meat is oh so tender!  Enjoy! xo

1 t Ground Cumin
1 t Ground Corriander
1 t Ground Pepper
1 t Ground Cinnamon
1 t Salt
2 Pork Tenderloins, 2 lbs in total  or 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (6 large)
3 T Olive oil
2 C Pomegranate Juice
1 T Corn Starch
1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
2 T Butter

Stir together cumin, corriander, pepper, cinnamon and salt.  Pat meat dry and rub with spice mixture.  Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium  heat add meat turning occasionally until meat is browned on all sides, 20 -25 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 145 degrees.  Transfer meat to a plate and cover with foil.  Let stand 10-20 minutes.  Meanwhile add pomegranate juice to pan juices and boil over medium heat for about 3 minutes.  Stir together cornstarch and balsamic and whisk into pan and boil until slightly thickened.  Add butter and whisk until incorporated.  Taste for seasoning and pour over meat, serve.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snap Pea & Arugula Pesto

This salad fresh, delicious and gluten free!  This one's for you Ana, thanks for requesting it! xo

2 C Quinoa
3 C Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.  Let cool.

1 15 ounce can Black Beans, Drained
1 15 ounce can Corn, Drained, can also use 1 1/2 c fresh corn
1 15 ounce can Black Olives, Drained
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Small Can Diced Green Chilies, Drained
2 C Cherry Tomatoes, Quartered

1 Bunch Scallions, Sliced thinly
1 C Cilantro, Roughly chopped
1 C Sugar Snap Pea & Arugula Pesto, more if desired

When quinoa is cool, place in a large bowl and add all ingredients except the pesto.  Toss to combine well.  Add pesto, taste for seasoning, add more pesto if needed.  Serve!

Sugar Snap Pea & Arugula Pesto

The sugar snap peas give this pesto a bright fresh flavor.  Use on pasta, on crostini with feta for an appetizer or as a dressing for a quinoa salad, like in the next  post. xo

2 C Sugar Snap Peas, chopped
1 6 oz Bag  Arugula
5 Cloves Garlic
1/2 C Olive Oil
Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon, more if you desire
1 t Salt
1 t Pepper
1 t Red Pepper Flakes

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste for salt and serve.  Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Roasted Seasonal Vegetables

I love roasting veggies! They are so fresh and tasty.  For this recipe I used Brussels sprouts and Zucchini but you can use what ever is available, like cauliflower and broccoli.  Enjoy! xo

2 lb Brussels Sprouts, Quartered and trimmed
1 lb Tomatoes, Quartered
1-2 Zucchini, Quartered & Sliced Thick
1 Red Onion, Sliced Thick cut into bite size pieces
4 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
1 t Red Pepper Flakes, or more if you like
1 t Salt
1 t Pepper
1/4 C Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.  Taste for seasoning.  Spread in a thin layer on a large parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes or until veggies are crisp tender.  Garnish with lemon zest if desired.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lamb Meatball & Gorgonzola Appetizer

These Lamb Meatballs are so good and so easy to make,  I know I say that all the time, but it's true! :)  Pair this with a great red wine and you have magic! xo

1 lb Ground Lamb
3 T Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/3 C Water
1/2 lb Gorgonzola Cheese, sliced thinly
1 Pkg Fresh Rosemary, divided into 3-4 tine twigs
1 Pkg Thin Soft flat Bread, like lavosh

Cut flat bread into 2-3 inch strips about 1/2 inch wide.   Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix lamb, seasoning and water.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and form lamb into bite size meat balls.  Place on parchment and bake for 10-12 minutes.  To assemble place a piece of gorgonzola on one end of the flat bread strip, put a meatball on top of that, wrap remaining flat bread over the top of the meatball and insert toothpick through to the bottom, put the rosemary sprig around the toothpick on top of the flatbread.  Serve and enjoy!

Pear & Carrot Curry Appetizers

This is a different and tasty appetizer that goes well with a light white wine.  At Flights & Bites for West Wind Winery I paired it with a Muscat Canelli!  Yum!

1 Pkg Tandoori Masala Naan, Cut in bite size pieces,  Available at Trader Joe's ( It's yellow in color)
1/2 C Mascarpone Cheese
1 C Shredded Carrots, Cut so the pieces are short
1 C Shredded Pear, Cut so the pieces are short
2 T Fresh Italian Parsley or Basil, Roughly Chopped
2 T Cider Vinegar
1 T Curry Powder
2 T Honey
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
1/4 C Olive Oil

In a medium size bowl place the vinegar, curry, honey, salt, pepper and olive oil, whisk to blend.  Add carrots, pears and parsley,  mix well.  Place bite size pieces of naan on a plate, top with carrot and pear mixture, then place a dollop of mascarpone cheese on top.  Serve.  Can be topped with a pineapple chip if available in your area, I found them a Trader Joe's

Clam & Garlic Mini Pizzas

This mini pizza makes a great appetizer cut into the traditional wedges.  It also makes a great luncheon main course topped with an Arugula Salad (Arugual tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper).  Yummy and so pretty! xo

2 T Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 t Red Pepper flakes
1 Can Baby Clams with Juice
1 C Sauvignon Blanc Wine
1 C Italian Parsley, roughly chopped & divided
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
Juice & Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Pkg Middle Eastern Flat Bread Rounds, available at Trader Joe's
2 C Shredded Cheddar & Jack Cheese, or Mozzarella

In a medium saucepan over medium heat place olive oil, garlic & red pepper flakes, saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add baby clams and juice, wine, 1/2 cup Italian parsley & the juice of one lemon. Taste for salt & pepper.  Turn the heat up to med-high and let reduce until there is no liquid left, about 10-15 minutes.  Assemble pizzas by spreading 1/3 cup of shredded cheese on each flat bread round, top with reduced clam mixture, top with reserved italian parsley.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Top with lemon zest.  Cut and serve as appetizer or top with Arugula salad as a main!  Enjoy

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Pasta

I have lots of tomatoes from my garden and wanted a way to use I came up with this yummy dish! I hope you try it! xo

2 T Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 T Red Pepper Flakes
2 t Chicken Bullion Powder or 2 cubes smashed into powder
4 Chicken Habanero Sausages, Sliced
4-6 Zucchini, Depending on size and how much you like them! Sliced
4 Large Tomatoes, Cubed
1 Bunch Scallions, Sliced
1/2 Bunch Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
1 6 oz Pkg Fresh Spinach
1 lb Cooked  Pasta

In a large saute pan add olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes & sausage cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add sliced zucchini, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, spinach and chicken bullion.  Saute until spinach wilts, add pasta and cook for 3-4 more minutes.  Can also be served over rice.

Shrimp & Veg Stirfry

Try this quick and easy dinner.  Low on calories, too! xo

2 T Olive Oil
2 t  Red Pepper Flakes, or more
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Red Onion, Sliced Thick
5 Baby Bok Choy, Trimmed and Quartered
5 Baby Broccoli, Roughly Chopped
2 Cups Frozen Peas
1 lb Frozen Shrimp, Tail off
1 T Oyster Sauce

Put olive oil, red pepper flakes & garlic in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add red onion, baby bok choy, baby broccoli, & frozen peas.  Stir fry for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are crunchy soft.  Add Shrimp and Oyster sauce. Cook until shrimp are heated through, about 5 minutes.
Serve over brown rice, white rice or Asian noodles.  Enjoy! xo

Klock Kahlua Kake

This is an amazing cake recipe given to me by my friend Cynthia Klock (I did tweak it a little). We used it for a wine pairing for her winery.  It is so delicious! xo

1 Box Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix, with chocolate pieces or comparable
8 Ounces Non Fat Greek Yogurt
3 Eggs
1/2 C Olive Oil
1/2 C Kahlua

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Place in a Bundt, loaf or cake pan.   Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and cracked on top.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spicy Sweet Cold Slaw

This is the most surprisingly good cold slaw I have ever had!  It is very pretty too, but you will be amazed at the taste!  Enjoy! xo

1 1/2 C Frozen Shelled Edamame
2 C Thinly Sliced Red Cabbage
2 1 lb Packages Cold Slaw Cabbage
1 pkg Shredded Carrots
1 Orange Bell Pepper, Sliced
2 C Pineapple, Cubed
2 C Mango, Cubed
1 C Raisins
1 C Smoked Almonds, chopped
1 Bunch Mint,Chopped roughly
1 Bunch Cilantro, Chopped roughly

1/4 C Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 C Honey
2 T Harissa, (available at Whole Foods) or Chile-garlic sauce
Whisk together and set aside.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well, add dressing, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Toss to distribute and refrigerate.  Keeps well.  Garnish with additional mint and smoked almonds.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Italian Meat Balls

These meat balls are so tasty and go well with all red sauces.  Double the recipe, bake and freeze for an easy dinner.

1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Ground Pork
1 lb Hot Italian Sausage
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
3 Eggs
1 1/2 C Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1/4 C Italian Parsley, Chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 C Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 C Warm Water

Mix all ingredients well, mixture will be wet but should hold together.  Form into 1-2 inch balls.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until they are cooked through. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sweet Potato Au Gratin

This dish is savory and so yummy!  It was a hit at my friend's birthday last night!  xo

4 lb Garnet Yams, Sliced Thinly in the food processor or by hand
3 Large Onions, Sliced thinly in the food processor or by hand
4 C Shredded Gruyere Cheese
1 1/2 C Shredded Romano Cheese
1 1/2 C Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 t Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with Pam.  Layer 1/3 of the potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish, top with 1/3 of the onions, sprinkle with 1 1/3 C of the Shredded Gruyere, 1/2 C Shredded Romano, 1/2 C Shredded Parmesan, sprinkle with 1/3 t nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Repeat until all ingredients are used.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.  Can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated until baking.
Feel free to use any cheese you have and most of all Enjoy!  xo

Braised Vegetables with Balsamic Rosemary Aioli

I first has this dish when we took our daughter to her first day at the Culinary Institute of America, in St. Helena, CA.  They put on an amazing spread for us and this was my favorite part!  I hope you love this easy, tasty dish!  If you don't have the vegetables I list use any that you love.  This recipe can be served cold or warm!  The aioli is great on sandwiches, too! xo

3/4 C Mayonnaise
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 T Fresh lemon juice
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T Chopped Fresh Rosemary
2 T Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Aioli can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic and refrigerate. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1 Head Cauliflower, Cut into bite size pieces
2 Lb Asparagus, Ends trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 2 inch pieces
1 Head Radiccho, Sliced in thin wedges

Place cut vegetables into a large bowl.  Toss and season lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Place in an even layer on a large baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes until the vegetables are al dente. 

Place back in bowl and toss with 1/2 C aioli.  Taste and add more if needed.  Serve!

I have also used broccholi, colored bell peppers, endive...use the vegetables you like!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

A great use for those mushy bananas.  You can make bread with this recipe too, bake the bread for 45 minutes to 1 hour. xo

1 C Flour
1/2 C Flax Seed Meal
1 1/2 t Baking Powder
3/4 C Sugar
1/4 t Salt
1 C Ripe Banana, Mashed (2 large bananas)
1 Egg
1/2 Olive Oil
1/4 C Milk
3/4 C Mini Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin cups with cupcake liners.  Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Mix mashed bananas, egg, melted butter and milk in a medium bowl.  Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients just until blended, don't overmix.  Stir in chocolate chips. 

Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full.  Bake muffins until golden, about 30 minutes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Eggs Baked in Tomatoes

This is a great do ahead brunch dish. So tasty and healthy. Surprise your family or friends with a yummy breakfast. For smaller portions you can cut the tomato in half and fill that way! xo

Serves 4

4 Large Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
8 Eggs
2 Scallions, Sliced
1 C Feta with Sundried Tomatoes or Plain
1/2 C Romano, Shredded
2 Slices Sourdough Bread, cubed, or whatever bread you have!

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray baking dish with Pam.

With a serrated knife, cut off the top of each tomato. Then with a spoon or melon baller gently remove seeds and inner membrane. Place tomatoes in baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
Divide bread cubes, scallions, & feta between tomatoes. Whisk eggs together and divide between tomatoes. Top with Romano. At this point you can refrigerate for baking the next day otherwise bake for 45-50 minutes or until eggs are set. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. xo

Grilled Spicy Sausage Salad with Pomegranate Mint Dressing

This is the perfect lunch salad! It has the sweet (fig), salty, and spicy thing going on that I love. Hope you do too! xo

Serves 4

Pomegranate Mint Dressing

1/3 C Olive Oil
1/4 C White Balsamic Vinegar
3 T Chopped Fresh Mint
3/4 C Pomegranate Seeds or juice, Available in the frozen section at Trader Joe's
1 T Molassas
1 T Ground Cumin
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
2 T Red Onion, Minced
1/2 T Salt
Blend all ingredients with a wand or blender. Set aside until ready to use.

6 Spicy Sausage, Chicken Habanero or your fave
1 Large Red Onion, Sliced Thick
12 C Spring Mix
3/4 C Goat Cheese, Crumbled
10 Dried Figs or 6 Fresh, Quartered
1/4 C Fresh Mint Leaves, Roughly Chopped

Grill sausages and onions. Slice sausages in thick bite size pieces, set aside.
For dried figs, quarter and place in a microwave safe dish, add 2 T water and microwave for 1 minute and cover until ready to use. This will steam the figs and make them soft, yum! Set aside until ready to use.


Spring Mix & Mint mixed together
Sliced Sausage
Red Onion
Goat Cheese
Top with Dressing

Braised Tomaotes & Fennel with White Beans

This is a great side to any pasta dish. If you have leftovers of these beans you can blend them for a great hummus! xo

2 Large Fennel with Fronds attached
3/4 C Olive Oil
2 t Salt
2 Pints Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
4 Large Oregano Sprigs
3 Large Garlic Cloves, Sliced
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
1 t Pepper
1 15 oz Can Cannellini Beans, Drained
1 15 oz Can Garbanzo Beans, Drained

Preheat oven to 425.
Chop fennel fronds to make `1/2 cup. Trim fennel bulbs and slice 1/4 inch thick.

Heat oil in an oven proof skillet over medium high heat, add fennel slices and sprinkle with 1 t salt. Cook until fennel begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, garlic and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle with 1 t salt and 1 t pepper. Mix together.
Transfer skillet to oven and bake until tomatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add beans and chopped fennel fronds. Heat through on stove. Garnish with additional chopped fennel fronds.

Rigatoni with Grilled Salmon, Arugula and Lemon

This is a fresh and easy do ahead dinner! You can use canned albacore tuna instead of the grilled salmon if you desire. Serve with a salad and braised veggies! xo

Serves 4

1 lb Rigatoni
1/2 C Olive Oil
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice
Zest of 3 Lemons
Salt & Pepper to taste, do taste! It's important! :)
5 C Arugula
3 lb Grilled Salmon

Season salmon with lemon pepper seasoning and grill until almost done. Remove from grill, place on a dish, cover with foil and set aside.

Mix together oilve oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, salt & pepper, set aside.

Cook pasta al dente in salted water. Reserve 1/2 C pasta water. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add pasta and lemon olive oil mixture, heat through. Add grilled salmon and arugula and toss to combine. Saute until arugula is wilted, add reserved pasta water. Taste for seasoning and serve!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Morrocan Carrot Salad

This is a great side dish for the Moroccan Braised Chicken! Enjoy the amazing layers of flavors. xo

1/2 t Cumin
1/2 t Ground Ginger
1/4 t Cinnamon
1/4 t Coriander
1/4 t Cayenne
2 t Gharam Masala
2 t Salt
1/3 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Lemon Juice
2 T White Balsamic or Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T Sugar
3 T Fresh Mint, chopped
1 lb Carrots, Shredded, purchased is fine
1/2 pkg Shredded Purple Cabbage
1 Small Red Onion, slice thinly

4 C Spring Mix

Mix dressing ingredients and whisk or wand together, tasted for seasoning. Add Carrots and onions and let sit until ready to use. When ready to serve place Spring mix in a bowl or on a platter and top with carrot mixture. Can garnish with raisins.

Braised Moroccan Chicken with Dates

Serves 6

4 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts & Thighs, cubed
2 T Flour
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
2 T Olive Oil
1 Large Red Onion, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 T Cinnamon
2 T Ginger, ground or Fresh
2 t Cumin
1 t Tumeric
1/2 t Cayenne Pepper or to taste
4 C Chicken Broth
5 T Lemon Juice
2 C Dates, Roughly Chopped
4 C Butter Nut Squash or Sweet Potatoes, Cubed
1/2 C Slivered Almonds
1/2 C Cilantro, Chopped

Place cubed chicken in a bowl with flour, salt and pepper, toss to coat. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add chicken to cover bottom and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a bowl. Repeat with remaining chicken. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and garlic, saute about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add cinnamon, ginger, cumin, tumeric and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add chicken and juices, butternut squash, and dates. Simmer for up to an hour. Garnish with almonds, cilantro and additional cinnamon. Serve over cous cous or rice.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Green Goddess Dressing

This is my version of the classic Green Goddess Dressing. It is great as a salad dressing or a vegetable dip. xo

2 C Mayonnaise
1 C Greek Yogurt
1 Tin Anchovies with oil
4 Green Onions, Roughly Chopped
1/4 Bunch Cilantro
1 T Tarragon, Fresh, Chopped or Dried
1/4 C Chives, Fresh, Chopped or Dried
1/4 C Rice Wine Vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon

Place all ingredients in a deep bowl and use an immersion blender to blend, add salt to taste. You can also use a food processor or blender to mix. Refrigerate until use.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wasabi Shrimp

1/2 C Orange Chicken Sauce (In the Asian section of the Market)
1/2 C Wasabi Mayonnaise (you an use regular mayo and add 2 T wasabi)
1 T Ginger, Chopped
1 t Soy Sauce
1 T Black Sesame Seeds
1 lb Shrimp with Tails, Thawed and dried

Mix the first 4 ingredients together. Add all but 1/3 of a cup of mixture to shrimp. Toss to coat. Place on platter with the additional 1/3 cup in a bowl for dipping. Garnish with black sesame seeds and shredded carrots. xo

Tortellini Skewers

These are yummy and easy! They can be made ahead!

20 Tortellini, Cooked Al Dente, 3 minutes less than the pkg says
2 T Purchased Pesto
2 T Sun dried Tomatoes, Chopped
1 Garlic Clove, Chopped
1 t Montreal Steak Seasoning
20 Grape Tomatoes
20 Kalamata Olives

Toss the tortellini with the pesto, sun dried tomatoes, chopped garlic, seasoning, tomatoes and Kalamata olives. Assemble a tortellini, grape tomato and a Kalamata olive on each toothpick or skewer. Enjoy! xo

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spinach & Arugula Baked Penne with Fresh Tomatoes & White Truffle Oil

I made this for my cousins Norma & Jeanne's Birthday Lunch today. I have to say it was so nice seeing you all and I can't wait to do it again! xo

1 lb Penne Pasta, Cooked Al Dente, 3 minutes less that the package says
6 Ounces Arugula or Rocket
6 Ounces Baby Spinach
1 C Fresh Grape Tomatoes, Halved
1/4 C Fresh Italian Parsley, Chopped
1 C Romano Cheese, grated, Plus some for sprinkling on top

2 T Olive Oil
2 T Butter
3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped Finely
1 Onion, Chopped
1/3 C All-Purpose Flour
4 C Milk
1 C Heavy Cream
1 C Chicken Broth
1 t White Truffle Oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Spray a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish with Pam.
Add cooked penne, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, cheese and parsley to the prepared pan. Toss to mix.
Melt the butter and olive oil in a deep large pan over medium heat.
Add the onion, garlic, and truffle oil, saute until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream & broth. Increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. Pour over pasta mixture in prepared pan.
Bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 25 minutes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Deb's Chicken Piccata

This is my easy take on Chicken Piccata! I like it with rice or mash potatoes and a fresh vegetable sauteed in garlic and olive oil and topped with fresh lemon zest! I hope you like it, too! xo

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Split lengthwise and pounded flat
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, Split lengthwise and pounded flat
2 T Butter
4 T Olive Oil
3 C White Wine
1/4 C Lemon Juice, preferably fresh but bottled is ok
1/4 C Capers, Drained
8 oz Sliced Mushrooms, more if you love them
3 T Italian Parsley, Chopped
1 T Chicken Stock Powder
2 T Cornstarch
1 T Water

Flatten chicken between 2 pieces of parchment or plastic wrap. In a large heavy skillet heat butter and olive oil. Saute chicken pieces until brown, season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to plate. Add wine, lemon juice, and capers, stir until heated through. Meanwhile mix together chicken stock powder, cornstarch & water. Pour mixture into pan & reduce. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add Chicken, accumulated juices, and parsley, heat through and check for seasoning. Garnish with additional Italian parsley, fresh lemon slices and freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Butternut Squash & Yellow Split Pea Soup

This is a versatile and easy soup that is so satisfying! I sometimes add ginger and coconut milk for a Thai flavor! xo

2 T Butter
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic, Crushed
1/2 t Dried Thyme, Crushed
1/4 t Dried Marjoram, Crushed
4 C Chicken Broth
1 C Water
1 lb Butternut Squash, Cubed
1 C Dry Yellow Split Peas, Rinsed & Drained
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add onion, garlic, thyme & marjoram. Saute until onions are transparent and herbs are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, water,butternut squash and yellow split peas, season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the butternut squash and yellow split peas are tender, stirring occasionally. Makes 6 side dish servings. Easily doubled. Can be frozen.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thai Chicken Pizza

These easy and delicious pizzas make a great appetizer or dinner. For dinner serve with a simple salad of mixed greens, cucumber, red onion & shredded carrots with a rice wine vinegar and olive oil dressing! xo

Peanut Sauce-Can use purchased, if using purchased peanut sauce add peanut butter to thicken

Peanut Sauce Recipe
1 C Peanut Butter
1/4 C Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
2 T Soy Sauce
1/3C Brown Sugar
3 T Ginger, Chopped (Can be purchased in a tube in the herb section of the market)
2 T Garlic, Chopped
2-3 t Red Pepper Flakes


6 Pieces Taandori Garlic Naan (Trader Joe's) or your fave Naan
1/2 lb Grilled Chicken Breasts, Chopped and Tossed in 1/4 C of Peanut Sauce (purchased is fine)
1 1/2 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 C Carrots, Shredded (purchased is fine)
3 Stalks Green Onion, Sliced Thinly
1/2 C Cilantro, Chopped Roughly
1/2 C Honey Roasted Peanuts, Chopped (optional)

Assemble the pizzas by spreading each piece of naan bread with the peanut sauce, add chopped chicken, sprinkle with Mozzarella, carrots, green onion, cilantro and peanuts. Can be made a day ahead and baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. You can also sprinkle with red p epper flakes! I love those red pepper flakes! Cut into triangles and place on a bed of the remaining shredded carrots to serve.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dried Cherry & Pecan Bark

This is an easy recipe that is great with red wine! I have made it with unsulfured dried apricots and dry roasted pistachios! Try your own version with your favorite dried fruit and nuts! xo

1 lb Semi Sweet or Dark Chocolate, Chopped
1 C Dried Cherries, Roughly Chopped
1 C Toasted Pecans, Chopped

Place chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir and continue to microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet to 1/4 inch thick. Top with cherries and pecans, press gently into chocolate. Allow to cool for 2 - 3 hours. Cut into triangles and serve. Garnish with additional cherries and pecans.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cranberries

I love Brussels Sprouts! This recipe is so pretty and tasty, it is savory and the dried cranberries add a little sweetness! xo

2 T Olive Oil
2 lb Brussels Sprouts, Ends Trimmed & Quartered
2 Large Shallots, Roughly chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 C Dried Cranberries
2 C White Wine
2 t Chicken or Vegetable Paste or Powder

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil, shallots and garlic. Saute until shallots are transparent. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in cranberries, white wine and stock paste. Simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the cranberries. Garnish with toasted walnuts or almond slivers.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Arugula Salad with Fennel, Pomegranate Seeds & Gorgonzola

I had the pleasure for cooking for some amazing and inspirational women last weekend! Cynthia thank you for your kind words and loving my love-filled food! This recipe is for you! xoxoxo

5 Ounces Arugula or Rocket
3 Ounces Baby Spinach
1 Bulb Fennel, Julienned
4 Ounces Pomegranate Seeds
5 Ounces Gorgonzola, Crumbled


2/3 C Olive Oil
1/3 C Fresh Lemon Juice
1/3 C Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
1-2 T Montreal Steak Seasoning, more or less to taste
Whisk together and set aside until ready to use. Whisk before tossing in salad.

Mix salad ingredients and set aside. Toss with dressing and top with additional pomegranate seeds, fennel and Gorgonzola.