Appetizers

Grilled Flatbread with Figs, Goat Cheese, Prosciutto and Arugula

August 22, 2011
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There is a saying, “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”

We had plans for this weekend, oh yes. Big ones which involved flying to another city, a nice hotel room and dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant with friends. We’d been planning it for months. Those four days were going to be the only getaway my husband David and I would have together this summer and we were both looking forward to it.

Then fate intervened.

A few weeks ago we noticed that one of our two cats, our boy named Basil, had a problem with his left eye. Over the next few weeks, David took Basil to see three different vets for tests to only figure out what it was not (an infection, a fungus, a virus, cancer spread to other organs). There was no real diagnosis, only that he had a mass …

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Wild Mushrooms with Polenta, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

April 4, 2011
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Spring has sprung in Southern California! In one week we’ve gone from rain and chill to sunshine and 90 degrees. It was quite a shock to the system and I suddenly find myself craving lighter food, salads filled with fresh vegetables and meatless meals. This dish fit the bill perfectly, served one night with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc and a small spring salad with a light vinaigrette.

Recently, I was contacted by the nice people at Gourmet Mushrooms who asked if I was interested in trying out some of their organically grown mushrooms. This offer piqued my interest because they had some mushrooms I’ve never tried, nor seen in my local market. A box arrived via FedEx, and surrounded by insulated packaging, was a wicker basket tightly packed with 2 pounds of gorgeous mushrooms.  These mushrooms are certified organic, and while not technically “wild” they are certainly …

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Three Olive Tapenade Plus How to Roast a Pepper

October 18, 2010
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All of my friends like olives. It’s a bit odd, but I think I could have a dinner party with nothing but bread, wine, and olives and everyone would be perfectly content. When I recently made a batch of this tapenade for a Sunday dinner at my mother’s house it was as if I’d brought a pot of gold instead of a small crock of olive spread. Call it olive crack.
In fact, while I was in Cambodia, my husband posted this on Facebook, “Kristina has only been in Cambodia since Saturday, so it looks like cold chicken and olive tapenade on english muffins for dinner tonight. What will I do when there’s no more tapenade?”
Sigh. Really? That’s what he eats when I’m gone?

I’ve been making a version of this for at least the last 15 years and for some reason it fell of …

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Hand Cut Pasta with Maitake Mushrooms and Squash Blossoms

August 9, 2010
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Last week I was given some Maitake mushrooms, also called Hen of the Woods mushrooms, and immediately started thinking up dishes where I could showcase their earthy goodness. Sometimes simple preparations are best; good sweet butter, fresh herbs, homemade pasta all compliment the star of the show; the mushroom. I added the squash blossoms because I had them in my garden, but if you don’t have any, you could leave them out, or replace them with zucchini, sliced into very thin ribbons.

These mushrooms not only taste good, but have been heavily researched for their cancer-fighting properties and may help balance blood sugar. In the wild, they can grow in pods of up to 40 or 50 pounds those these were commercially grown, organically, in little 3.5 oz cups, making them look a little like a mushroom cupcake.

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Some of my favorite recipes…

July 12, 2010

I’m on vacation this week and in my absence I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes from the past. These are all “oldies but goodies” but if you’re new to the blog, they may be new to you too!







How to Make Fresh Lemonade

What could be easier than lemon juice, sugar and water? After you see how easy this is, you’ll never buy premade or (gasp) powdered lemonade again! Plus, we do a lemonade taste test of Meyer lemons vs. Eureka lemons.

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How to Peel and Seed fresh tomatoes

If your garden tomatoes are starting to come in, you might find yourself wondering what to do with them when you get that mid-summer glut of tomatoes. At the very least you can freeze them to use later. Here’s what I do…

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Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan.

This is a lighter, …

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Red Curry Shrimp Skewers

November 30, 2009







December 1st is World Aids Day. Every year, I get out my red ribbon pin, and put it on in acknowledgement and remembrance. But in reality, I remember every single day. I have watched people I love die slowly from this horrible disease, and know that others I cherish still live with it. I have not forgotten. It is impossible for me to forget. I think about the wonderful people both here and now gone, every day.

Unfortunately, at least in the US, the AIDS crisis has taken a back seat to other issues in the public eye. It has not gone away. The drugs have gotten better, but there is no cure. Lack of attention means that people are still becoming infected. In other parts of the world, the crisis has reached epidemic proportions, leaving millions to die needlessly because they don’t have access to education or the type …

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