Sunday, May 3, 2015

A preservative free taco mix!

Who doesn't love tacos? But who wants to take the time to marinade or put together seasonings, when the store has it done for you? The only problem with that is they often contain ingredients such as silicon dioxide (sand), MSG(monosodium glutamate) and sulfites. This recipe allows you to enjoy your tacos with less guilt and pure ingredients. It is great on vegetables and beans as well!

Taco Seasoning Mix

Yields-approximately 3 cups

  • 1 1/4 Cups Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Cup Cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Ground Coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons Cayenne Pepper
Combine all ingredients until well mixed. Store in an air tight container.

To use: Place 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound ground meat of your choice. Cook until browned and cooked through. Stir to break into pieces. Add 1/4 cup taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water or broth(chicken, beef). Cook until mixture thickens. Top meat with your choice of veggies (avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapenos) and serve with your choice of cheese. Keep this mix on hand to make a quick and easy dinner! Enjoy your taco night without the preservatives!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A spring breakfast!

French toast is a childhood favorite. It requires little ingredients and not much skill to make. By making the stuffed version, it becomes something even more miraculous. It add depths of flavor and texture. This french toast is perfect for spring and summer. Once you try this dish you will be making it again and again!

 Meyer Lemon and Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Cream Cheese Filling

Serves: 3-4 servings      Cook Time:  5 min   Prep Time: 5 min

Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 oz cream cheese,softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 meyer lemon, zested
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch salt
Sweet Strawberries
  • 2/3 pound strawberries, quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jelly
French Toast
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 slices crusty white bread or brioche bread
  • butter to fry in


Combine all ingredients for cream cheese and set aside. Combine all ingredients for strawberries and set aside. For French toast, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar and mix to combine. Place bread in egg mixture until soaked through. Place on preheated nonstick pan and cook until golden brown, then flip and repeat with remaining side. Repeat with remaining bread. To assemble, place2-3 tablespoons cream cheese on one side of toast. Then place a generous spoonful of strawberries and top with a slice french toast. Garnish with additional strawberries and powdered sugar.

Fabulous French Toast

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A spring pasta!

Pasta Primavera is a culinary classic! It screams spring with vegetables such as zucchini, peppers, and peas. You can adjust the spring vegetables according to what you have on hand. Asparagus is fabulous addition in this dish! The fresh herbs bring fantastic and fresh flavors. The cream gives it just enough richness to carry all the amazing flavors. Make this dish at home and taste spring!

Lemon Zest



Sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes

Sautéing onion and mushrooms

Pasta Primavera

Serves: 6-8 servings      Cook Time:  15 min   Prep Time: 5 min

1 Lb. Fettuccine
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 vidalia onion, diced
Reducing the sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini. halved and sliced 1/4" on bias
1 yellow zucchini halved and sliced 14" on bias
1 red pepper, sliced thin
8 oz cremini, quartered
1 cup peas
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 lemon, zested
1 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
1/2  cup italian parsley, chopped
10 oz heirloom or cherry tomatoes,quartered
parmesan or romano cheese to garnish

Adding fresh herbs at the last minute to preserve flavor


Heat large pot filled with water. Bring to a boil. Add sliced zucchini to water and cook for approximately 1 minute or al dente. Remove and run under cold water or place in an ice bath. Repeat with yellow zucchini or squash and peppers. Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook approximately 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add cremini mushrooms. Cook throughly. Then add tomatoes, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.  Once tomatoes have cooked slightly.  Add white wine and cook until reduced by half. Then add chicken stock and let reduce by half. Finish with heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once sauce has thickened slightly, add lemon zest, parsley and basil. Garnish with additional basil, parsley and cheese.

Gorgeous Pasta!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A pantry soup recipe!

Need a fantastic recipe for a quick and an easy soup? Well this is it! It can be made with pantry staples, which makes it even more appealing. It only gets better the next day as most soups do. This is a recipe vegetarians and carnivores alike will love. My husband who is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, loves this soup. It can be made in 30 minutes or less. Make this soup next time there is a chill in the air or want something quick on the table!

Simmering tomatoes, broth and herbs
Tortellini Soup

Serves: 4-6 servings      Cook Time:  15 min   Prep Time: 5 min

Cooked Tortellini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup leeks, sliced
  • 1 35 oz. can whole plum tomatoes,
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 can chickpeas,drained
  • 1 package cheese tortellini
  • 10 oz bag baby spinach
  • salt to taste


Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add sliced leeks and saute until soft. Add tomatoes and using a wooden spoon break into bite size pieces. Then add basil, thyme, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Then add chickpeas and tortellini.  Cook tortellini in broth according to package. When tortellini is done, stir in spinach until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can garnish with parmesan and basil if desired. Enjoy this quick and wonderful soup.

Finished Soup!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cheese puffs for a crowd!

Gougeres are the french term for cheese puff. They are little bits of cheese heaven. It is made with a pate a choux dough. This is the same dough that is used to make eclairs and cream puffs. Pate a choux maybe a little tricky if you have never tried it before. Don't worry, I will guide you through it.

In this recipe it is very important to weigh out the flour and the cheese. Also, make sure to use extra large eggs. They provide the structure of this dough and it may not come out properly if you use large in place of them. If you follow this recipe exactly as written, it will come out perfectly every time. I guarantee it.  These are great served with champagne or other sparkling bubbly.


    Serves: 40-50 puffs      Cook Time:  30 min   Prep Time: 20 min

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 oz bread flour
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 5 oz gruyere,shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped


Heat milk, water,nutmeg, salt and butter in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Then add the flour. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Place back over heat and mix until dough comes away from the side of the pan. Transfer dough to a mixer. Continue mixing on low speed until cool. Let cool 4-5 minutes or until you can touch the dough with your fingers for 5-10 seconds without burning. If you put the eggs in to early they will cook and you will need to start again. Once cool add eggs one at a time. Wait until the egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Once the eggs are all incorporated add rosemary and gruyere cheese. Place a tablespoon of the dough on a parchment lined tray. Space about 1 inch apart on cookie sheet. Cook at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

An elegant appetizer!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A delicious dessert!

Chilled soups are delicious on spring or summer night. This cherry soup is a little unusual, but once you taste it you will definitely be craving more. I made this soup for an event and it was the hit of the night. Its the perfect balance of tart and sweet.  It makes a gorgeous presentation in shot glasses or a shallow bowl.  As an added bonus, this soup could not be easier to make. This will become a regular dessert in your rotation!

Chilled Cherry Soup

    Serves: 6-8      Cook Time:  10 min   Prep Time: 0 min

  • 1 pound frozen tart cherrys
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 oz cherry lambic or cherry juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 4 oz sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • Garnish with cherry and cream


Place cherries in crockpot with water and their juices. Make sachet with cinnamon stick and add to stockpot.  Add lambic, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer until  cherries are tender 10-15 minutes. Chill and let sit overnight. Remove half the cherries to save for garnish. Remove sachet of cinnamon and add almond extract and heavy cream. Puree all ingredients until smooth. Garnish with reserved cherries and heavy cream. If you want to make this dish gluten free use the cherry juice instead of the lambic.

A clever presentation for cherry soup!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

An appetizer for entertaining!

This chicken salad appetizer came about because I needed to a filling appetizer for an event. It needed to be something easy and be made ahead of time.  This appetizer is perfect for that. The wonton cups can be made a few days in advance. The chicken salad can be made one or two days in advance. To make this dish completely gluten free, serve on cucumber slices or in lettuce cups. If you make this dish, I promise you guests will be craving more!

A brunoise cut measures 1/8x1/8x1/8 of an inch. It is a cube that is smaller than a small dice. For this recipe is it necessary to cut this small in order to fit in the wonton cups. If you are serving this dish another way fell free to cut everything bigger.

Asian Chicken Salad In Wonton Cups

    Serves: 60 cups      Cook Time:  0 min   Prep Time: 10 min

  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari 
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds rotisserie chicken, small diced
  • 1 red pepper, brunoise
  • 5 snow peas, brunoise
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced on bias
  • 1 carrots, brunoise
  • 1/4 head cabbage, chiffonaded and chopped

To make wonton cups, cut 1 1/2" circles with cookie cutter. Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray. Place circles in cups. Cook at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. 

To make chicken salad, combine first 8 ingredients together. Set aside for dressing. Combine remaining ingredients except cabbage. Add enough dressing to chicken salad to taste. Combine cabbage lightly with enough dressing to coat. To assemble, place enough cabbage to coat the bottom of the wonton cup. Add about 1 teaspoon chicken salad on top. Garnish with sliced scallions or cilantro leaf. Enjoy at your next holiday party. Alternatively bake wonton chips for dipping into salad or serve as a sandwich.

Finished Appetizers!

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