Savory Mint Almond Pesto

I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for pesto. On second thought, I DO know about you and I haven’t met a single soul that doesn’t love pesto. It’s just that awesome potent sauce that works on pasta or crostini as a dip for crusty bread or a spread on a sandwich. This recipe came out of necessity. I was blessed with an abundance of mint and after one too many mojitos and as many sprigs I could put on ice cream, I still had a whole bag filled with mint. I happened to also have about a cup of basil…not quite enough for basil pesto. So I stuck the basil, equal parts mint, almonds, walnuts, Parmesan, garlic, sea salt and olive oil blended it in the Cuisinart. The next think I knew toast was slathered, a bowl of fettuccine was sauced and there was a savory pot leftover for another one or two snacks and a meal. PESTO! Next time I’ll slap a bow on that jar and give as a hostess gift.

Continue reading

Le Quinoa Coco

I gave this quinoa a fancy name  just for irony because it is actually not fancy at all, it is extremely simple. I’ve found that quinoa can go one of  two ways – either someone cooks it like rice and it ends up a bland, earthy side dish you never try again or you kinda overdo it, add a whole lot of fun stuff and then you end up missing the taste, texture and flavor of this magical gluten-free grain. I love this recipe because it’s in the middle. The quinoa gets to shine but you can use it as a simple side dish or an easy lunch that makes fantastic leftovers.

Continue reading

Veggie Faux Meatloaf

Meatloaf is an amazing thing. Known as a working class delight in incorporates a cacophony of leftovers into one tasty dish. The concoction I created for my vegetarian boyfriend, now husband, sought to accomplish this same goal. When I created this recipe it was a time when I was constantly working toward winning his love via his tummy. Turns out I didn’t have to try so hard. But, I came up with lots of great recipes along the way – some of my most inventive, creative, and crowd pleasing. The Veggie Faux Meatloaf is great to serve to the whole family and will soothe the longing soul of new vegetarians craving their mother’s meatloaf. Alas, I no longer partake because it is far from gluten-free but it’s comfort food at its finest to feed the family.

Continue reading

Hamachi Tartare

This happened by accident. I got the inspiration to make a tuna tartare from another blog I follow. I had never made it before. It was for a dinner party. The only problem, I had no idea where to get sushi grade fish. Luckily, my friend coming over said she did. Hurray! Except, when she gets to the store all they have is salmon and hamachi. I’m pretty picky about my raw fish. I’m not a huge fan of raw salmon, so I hoped that hamachi would work. Turns out, it was absolutely lovely. You know how tuna tartare turns into more of a dip, kinda sticky. Well, hamachi was drier more like a chunky salad or salsa. Paired with thick cut crinkly potato chips and it was a huge hit.

Continue reading

Baby Shitakes Mama

I swear to Goddess that shitake mushrooms must be aphrodisiacs. I just crrraaaaveee the crispy, buttery, nutty, earthy goodness you can only get from some sauteed shrooms. This is definitely a recipe I riff on often with all different kinds of shrooms – crimini, trumpet, chanterelle…but my favorite is baby shitake, the large ones sliced work fine too, but there is something special about the hunt for perfect heirloom baby shitakes. They hold a more potent flavor and tenderness in addition to being slice free. These sexy little babies are sure to please a vegetarian husband or a carnivorous gluten-freer like me.

Continue reading

Dinner Table Tagine Chicken

The first time I had Tagine Chicken was about 5 or 6 years ago. I went to a dinner party in my home town, a friend of mine who had been living and studying in France invited some of her closest friends over for apero and dinner with her French boyfriend. He cooked. Needless to say there was a lot of fabulous wine, cheese, and conversation but the show stopped was this rich, tender, fragrant tagine. I was floored. It seemed so gourmet, difficult to make, exotic…I asked how to make it and the chef simply said, “It’s so easy, you take, this blech burg beek ffree…” Okay, I couldn’t quite remember, I had had A LOT of wine by that time. I never forgot the smell and taste of this dish and often thought about hunting down a recipe and trying it myself. Fast forward years later and I had a bunch of chicken thighs on hand, a hankering for curry, and some calvestrano olives that weren’t getting any younger. I looked up a bunch of recipes and pieced together this one using things already in my cupboard. I call this recipe Dinner Table Tagine Chicken because it is easy, delicious, can serve the whole family and could be used at a dinner party. It’s the kind of recipe that tastes like it took more work and ingenuity than it did. That’s always fun, right?

Continue reading

Dungeness Crab Chowder

Whoa my goodness! Such a yummy pot of goodness to be making on a cool night. I absolutely adore Dungeness Crab and when the season hits the San Francisco Bay, I get giddy with joy and often maw down on multiple whole crab over many days during the holidays. I went a little overboard (Tehe) this year because recent holidays have been spent on the East Coast. I bought, ate, and served so much crab that I actually had an assemblage of pieces left over from my last meal of crab. I was crabbed out, but I could let this succulent goodness go to waste! So, I plucked the morsels from their shells, rinsed them and gingerly packaged them in a freezer bag with hopes of a crab soup later on. Last night was the night! The result was a creamy yet light chowder with a base of coconut milk rather than cream and lots of good vegetables. 

Continue reading

Warm Brussels, Bacon & Egg Salad

Many an awe inspiring dish comes together perfectly at a restaurant because of seasonality – “Brussels sprouts! What am I going to do with all these dang sprouts!?” Well, Bungalow 44 in downtown Mill Valley created a drool worthy warm fall salad with them. I attempted to recreate it adding heaps of Brussels sprouts leaves, boiled egg, bacon, shallots and a perfect toss of mustard and balsamic sauteed up. It is fantastically meaty but somehow maintains a sense of being healthy and nutrient rich. Like many restaurant dishes, sometimes this salad can be heavy on the grease so my version cuts the grease and salt a bit and the result is a more robust Brussels flavor. This dish can also be made without the bacon for vegetarians, and you still get to enjoy the Brussels in a savory, deep balsamic mustard sauce. It becomes crave worthy by any Brussels fan. The bacon version has recently made it on the table at a dinner party I hosted and one where I was a guest (evidence after the jump.)

Continue reading

Kale Bombshell Salad + Gluten Free Croutons

My Kale Bombshell is really a kale salad tossed in an authentic Caesar dressing…”My” is used loosely because although I would like to say I’ve modified it significantly to make it my own, I haven’t really. This is a recipe that caught my eye as I was scrolling cable TV one rainy afternoon stuck in a hotel in North Carolina. It’s seems like Rachel Ray is always on when I visit the Eastern side of the U.S. Although I don’t dislike Rachel, I wouldn’t have stopped at her show but, randomly, one of my lady vamp obsessions, Christina Hendricks (from Mad Men and for some of you geeks, Firefly) was being interviewed. Not only that, but she then began to talk about her love of cooking, hosting dinner parties and mixology, then…she began to cook! What?! YES!

Continue reading

Oh Holy Risotto My Face! …with Mushrooms.

OH EM GEE. YES. DOUBLE YES. If you want to impress anyone at all, you can make this risotto. It’s a riff (but not too far) from Lidia‘s (the woman that taught me all I know about Italian cooking)…and it is about simple ingredients and the right technique. At least that is what this risotto is all about. If you master the technique, you will thrill all who tastes.

Continue reading

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: