I’ve just celebrated another birthday, and this one was truly one to remember. Before embarking on this glorious feast (above), my wonderful boyfriend Kenny surprised me with tickets to the Lion King stage show at the Pantages. Wow! Of course, one of the sockmonkeys had to come along.
Afterward, we ventured off to none other than Primitivo Wine Bistro, which has quickly become a dining favorite.
We were greeted by the very talented Chef Thomas Stewart, who was so excited to share his new winter menu with us. He explained the various new items he’d designed specifically for this time of year. We began our grazing with a bright and beautiful Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad. The orange and yellow veggies were a perfect addition to the petite lettuces, arugula, and candied walnuts.
The next plate to arrive was the Bacon-Wrapped Dates. Stop it. I can hear you right now saying, “yeah, yeah, yeah…I’ve had those before…”. Again, stop it. You haven’t had these. This was my first time with Chef Thomas’ recipe…. and ohmygosh…. I do believe I could eat these every single day till Easter. Made with Spanish chorizo, they are the most moist and tender, sweet and salty little bites of heaven. And the bacon. OH MY the bacon. Crisp and flavorful…. I tried to grab all eight of them, but Kenny loved ‘em too. So, reluctantly I shared. (*Note to self: next time, eat quicker!)
Next to arrive was the Read more »
Welcome to the Early Edition of this week’s blog.
I was pretty sure that if I published my blog tomorrow, you’d never see it, since you’d be busy cooking up your Thanksgiving feast. So, I’m sending this out a day early. I’m sure you’ve already got your turkey and sides thought out, but have you got all of your Thanksgiving desserts in order? This year, I’m serving three desserts:
1. Grandma Casey’s Monster Cookies (which I made last week, and froze)
2. Pumpkin Bundt Cake (which just came out of the oven… mmmm!)
3. Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce with Candied Pecans
This Caramel Sauce is a super-simple recipe that you could easily make for tomorrow! There’s even a large chance you have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now! Read more »
I always look forward to November. It's when the temperature of Southern California finally starts to dip below 70°, and we start thinking about gathering with all the people we care about the most.
I've also noticed that it's the time of year where you'll see more people shopping for the ingredients to a truly homecooked meal.
I will admit, I also love this time of the year because I feel a very special bond to all that is Thanksgiving.
How about a handful of these sweet treats?
I make these pecans every couple of months, but once we hit Autumn, I bet I’m cooking these up at least once every couple of weeks. I love them! Of course, I can justify eating them by reminding myself that they’re a good source of nutrition… (as well as a delicious snack for my sweet tooth). I originally posted this recipe in my Valentines Day blog, but since it was one of three different recipes that day, chances are you may have missed it!
So, I’m letting these delectable goodies have front and center stage today.
This is a super easy recipe, and in less than a half hour, you’ll be snacking on them.
Preheat oven to 325°
1 Tablespoon local raw organic honey
½ teaspoon vanilla Read more »
When was the last time you made Mac & Cheese? No, I don’t mean the one with powdered cheese from that horrid blue box. Gah! When did you last make pasta with a cheesy mornay sauce and bake it in the oven? Wow… that long? Sheesh! It’s certainly time for another one!
You may be wondering why I’ve called this dish “Mac & Cheese 2.0″… well, this one is an updated spin on the old classic. You’ll still be getting the rich 4-cheese comfort food, but because I’m using gluten free pasta and amaranth powder, you’ll be able to switch this recipe from a bacon and crumb topped dish to one that is completely gluten-free and/or vegetarian. Just follow the instructions in RED.
And you won’t get that overstuffed feeling that’s normally associated with regular wheat pasta.
Mac & Cheese 2.0
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons amaranth flour
- 2-1/3 cups milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2-1/3 cup cheddar cheese (freshly grated)
- 2 cups Jarlsburg (freshly grated) Read more »
Every Wednesday my friend Lisa comes over for dinner. It’s always a time of great conversation, new food ideas, and occasionally some line dancing. She’s great at it, and I’m still learning ;) Anyhow, last week, I realized I had a little extra time in the afternoon before she was to arrive, so I decided to do some baking. Since it’s Autumn, I decided to go with the flavors of the season for dessert. This tastes like a mix between pumpkin cake and gingerbread… and I hope you enjoy!
This is a play on one of Martha Stewart’s recipes that I’ve made for the past few years; I’ve added a little here and there until I loved it
Pumpkin Bundt Bread
1½ sticks butter
2½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon ground ginger Read more »
Want to try a really good, delectable sandwich?
You know… the kind where there’s no real scientific cooking involved?
I had that kind of craving the other day, and so I found myself on a mission. By the time I’d left work and parked at Trader Joe’s, I knew exactly what I wanted. I was in for a sandwich… but not a little foo-foo sandwich. I wanted something substantial. So, of course, like most great ideas, it started with bacon. Read more »
This week marks my sister’s 50th birthday.
So, in her honor, I’m sharing the one recipe she *always* asks for at Thanksgiving
First, you need to meet my sister, Robin:
Here are a few Carrot Facts I found from WebMD:
Medicinal Uses of Carrots: Carrots were first grown as medicine, not food, for a variety of ailments.
Nutritional Value of Carrots: This veggie is an excellent source of vitamin A, providing more than 200% of your daily requirement in just one carrot. Carrots also are loaded with beta-carotene, a compound that is naturally converted to vitamin A when consumed. The deeper orange the carrot, the more beta-carotene you’re getting.
Carrots are one of those year-round veggies that are simply delicious, no matter what you do with them. The first time I made this recipe was probably a dozen or so years ago, and I remember my sister Robin taking thirds. I figured it was a hit After that, I began making extras, so she could take them home with her. I will admit, they are *that* delicious, and I’ve been caught licking the plate afterward. Read more »
The other day I was about to take my coffee break at work and Mary turns to me and says… “oh my gosh, this looks so good!”
My ears perked up. “What does?” “This recipe! It’s got pumpkin, sage and pasta… I’m sending it to you”.
This is one of the best parts about my job… I work with awesome people, who really are great friends.
Mary is a major foodie, and has provided me with so much inspiration in my dishes.
I took a look at the recipe, and the mix of flavors sounds wonderful. After a bit of discussion, we both decide to make it for supper that night. After work, we went to Sprouts to pick up the ingredients, wishing each other luck with our meals.
Later on, as I re-read the recipe, I decided to jazz it up a bit and threw in a few extra additions. The next morning we compared notes and both raved about the flavors. Yep, this one’s a keeper.
Let’s start October with the flavors of Autumn!
Chicken with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce
2 free range chicken breasts
2/3 box gluten free linguine
4 Tablespoons lemon olive oil, divided
30 fresh sage leaves, divided
1/8 teaspoon each: salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup organic canned pumpkin
2/3 cup organic heavy cream
1/3 cup organic milk
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup shredded romano cheese
Fill a medium pot halfway with water, cover, and place over high heat.
Using a sharp knife, cut a very thin slice of the first chicken breast, parallel to your cutting board. Repeat till chicken is in equal slices. (There should be about 4). Cut each thin slice into 4 parts. Repeat procedure with second chicken breast. Set aside.
The water should be boiling now. Add pasta, and cook to manufacturer’s directions (should be about 8-9 minutes). Strain water through a colander when done and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat 2 Tablespoons lemon olive oil in large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add 18 sage leaves and fry till crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a folded paper towel to soak up remnants of oil; set aside.
Add remaining 2 Tablespoons lemon olive oil to skillet, and reduce heat to medium. Add chicken pieces, salt, and pepper; quickly cook till lightly golden on both sides. Remove with slotted spoon, and place in a small bowl, covered with a paper towel to retain heat. Set aside.
Quickly wash pan. Melt butter over medium heat. Sauté remaining 12 sage leaves until butter begins to barely brown, and leaves become pliable. Stir in pumpkin, cream, and milk until well incorporated. Add nutmeg, and simmer 5 minutes.
Put a portion of pasta in a wide bowl. Top with pumpkin sage cream sauce, chicken, pecans, and romano cheese. Finish with a sprinkling of crispy fried sage leaves.
…and speaking of pumpkins…