Monday, October 7, 2013

Snack Attack By

 My lovely daughter, Lauren created these yummy snacks for her clients. Lauren works in the field of   holistic nutrition in Los Angeles. Please visit her website  for wonderful tips for living a full  and delicious life. We are all so proud of her accomplishments, she is truly our inspiration !

                                                                                            Makes 8-10 muffins
                                          1 1/2 cups, almond flour
                                          3/4 cup, canned pumpkin
                                          6 egg whites (room temp)
                                          1 teaspoon, baking powder
                                          1 teaspoon, baking soda
                                          1/2 teaspoon, ground cinnamon
                                          1 1/2 teaspoon, pumpkin pie spice
                                          1/8 teaspoon, sea salt
                                          1/4 cup, raw honey
                                          2 tablespoons, almond butter
                                          1/2 cup, fresh blueberries
                     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners. In a stand mixer or by hand, combine all ingredients and mix until well-combined. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop even amount of batter into prepared muffin pan. Spray tops with coconut oil. Bake for 35-45 minutes on the middle rack or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
                                                  CRISPY ORGANIC APPLE CHIPS
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: Approximately 1 hour and 15 or 30 minutes

                                          4 apples
                                          cinnamon, to taste
                                          nutmeg, to taste
                                          Truvia (optional)
                                          nut butter
                                          unsweetened shredded coconut
                     Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slice apples into 1/4 inch thick half moons. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and Truvia (optional). Place on a cookie sheet, in one layer, with space between the slices. Cook for 45 minutes, then flip the chips and cook for another 30-45 minutes, or until desired crispiness has been reached!

After the apple chips cool, place 1-2 teaspoons of nut butter between two slices, sprinkle with unsweetened shredded coconut and enjoy.
                                                         TRAIL MIX TRUFFLES

                                            2 cups, Trail mix
                                            2 tablespoons, unsweetened cacao
                                            1 tablespoons, coconut oil
                                            Truvia/Stevia to taste
                   Place all the ingredients in a food processor and roughly mix ingredients until they are about the size of small pebbles. Remove from the food processor and make into truffle balls with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Trio of LBS ( little basic sauces)

Herb Goddess ~Spicy Tomato Jam ~ Lemon Compote 

It's pretty easy to jazz up ho- hum dinners with these tasty sauces. The Herb Goddess, The Spicy Tomato Jam  and Lemon Compote compliments summer grilled fish, poultry, steaks and vegetables. I can safely say, any dish you serve smothered with these condiments will add layers of deliciousness. 

To test my theory, I decided to make mixed grill, last night for a group of friends. On the menu, Rack of Lamb, Quail, Grilled Ribeye Steak, Whole Branzino, Stacked Vegetables and Grilled Artichokes.

 The idea was to present  three sauces in cool-looking canning jars ( the jars in the photograph are from William Sonoma) with the hope that everyone would try dollops of each condiment. Each condiment has ingredients that compliment each other. Lemons and olive oil , garlicky tomatoes and mixed herbs, you know the old adage, what grows together goes together.

These little basic sauces make basic ordinary foods come alive using a whisk, a fry pan and the food processor. Most important, they are easy to make, can be made ahead of time and each stores well in the refrigerator.

 Remember "The Peterman Catalog"? Mr. Peterman created a basic dress you could wear for a day on safari, by adding a scarf, cute heels and a fabulous piece of jewelry, same dress, now fancy takes you from safari to night club.

You get the idea. I created  sauces that go well with everything. If you are a non-cook, sauces 

 like these will easily dress- up your Al Fresco summer grilling menus. If you love to cook, adding sauces to everyday cooking is a shortcut. Who knows you might do less cooking and accessorize more.   

Herb Goddess Dressing

Makes 2 ¾ cups 

1 1/2 cups  Light mayonnaise
1 cup         Light sour cream
1/4 cup       Parsley,minced
3 tablespoons  Green onion, minced
1 tablespoon    Tarragon Wine Vinegar
2tablespoons anchovies,mashed well
1 small           Garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon   Fresh tarragon leaves, minced
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, whisk well to combine.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove from the refrigerator 1½ hours before using.  
Reserve the remaining dressing for the rest of the week.  

  Spicy Tomato Jam

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup   onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
½ teaspoon chili flakes
½ cup homemade sundried tomatoes or use jarred  rinse off any excess oil
1/3 cup white or rose  wine to deglaze  
½ cup coconut milk, canned
½ cup  or less vegetable stock, homemade recipe attached
2 tablespoons honey
salt and  white pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium sautépan over a low flame. Add onion, garlic, shallots, ginger and the chili flakes and cook until well browned and caramelized, for 15 minutes. Then add sun-dried tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine. When wine has evaporated, add the stock, coconut milk, honey and lower the heat to simmer the ingredients for about 15 minutes; let cool. Pour the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth.

 Fresh Lemon Compote

2 Organic Lemons- seeded and thinly sliced
1/3 Cup Olive oil to sauté
2 Whole garlic cloves
½ teaspoon whole white peppercorns

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan- heat over a medium low flame and cook lemons in oil until they brown. Keeps in refrigerator for 3 weeks.

Stacked Vegetable Napoleons ~Sweet Potato Mash
Eggplants Peppers Zucchini from my Garden

 Stacked Vegetable Napoleons with a Pistachio  Vinaigrette
Makes 12

Sweet Potato Filling
2 large  Sweet Potatoes
4 oz. Goat Cheese

To make Vegetable Napoleons
Olive Oil for grilling 
1 large  Purple Eggplant, cut in 12 slices, 1 inch in diameter
4 medium  Zucchinis, cut lengthwise into 5 slices each
3 large  Portobello Mushrooms, gills removed, cut into 4 slices                
2     Red Peppers, stemmed seeded, cut into 6 
2 large  Red Onions, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place potatoes on a baking pan and bake until very soft, about 45minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Peel and place potato in a small bowl; add goat cheese and whip to combine with an electric mixer.  Set aside.

Preheat stovetop grill on a medium-high flame.  Spray the grill with olive oil and Sear eggplant on both sides.   Do the same with the rest of the vegetables.  Searing each separately until nicely browned and softened.  As they cook set aside the browned vegetables on a large baking pan. Vegetables should have grill marks on both sides.

Assemble the vegetable napoleons on a lightly oiled baking pan start with rounds of eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, pepper, red onion,and sweet potato.  Place baking sheet with napoleons in a preheated oven to warm through.

Place the vegetable napoleons on warm plates and spoon thewarmed Pistachio on top and around. Serve immediately.

Pistachio  Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon                Olive Oil
1/4 cup                         Red Onion, finely diced
1/4 cup                         Pistachio Oil
2 tablespoons              Cassis Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup                         Water, plus 2 Tbl.
To taste                        Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat a small sautépan over a low flame.  Add olive oil.  When hot, add onion and sauté until softened and caramelized.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for one minute to combine.  Remove from heat.

Place sauce in a blender and pulse on and off—just to blend the ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pictures of Beautiful Salads

                               Everything from the Garden
Grilled Prawn Salad

Sunday Brunch, My Way

Fire Cracker Steak Hand Rolls
Asian Shrimp Noodles
    Sunday  Brunch, My Way

Inviting friends for Sunday Brunch is my new favorite way to entertain. Imagine twinning brunch and lunch into an easy make -ahead feast. The plan is to make a few fabulous recipes that won’t require my eagle-eye attention during the party. If I shop and prep everything on Saturday, then my weekend ‘feels’ somewhat stress free. By Sunday, I’m ready to start cooking and eager to get the party started. 
    The Farmers Market is the right place to shop, for ready -made goodies. I can’t go home without fresh, sweet coconut granola, loaves of nut breads, coffee cakes, cookies and macaroons, ruby red strawberry jam and and jars of homemade pickles. My culinary shopping spree includes every exotic seasonal  fruit for slicing, plus pommelos, tangelos and Cara Cara oranges for fresh juice.  I snap up a variety of roasted private reserve coffee beans and my favorite green and lavender tea. Who can resist the fresh goat cheese with such different toppings like basil flavored hummus and sun-dried tomato pesto. Without too much effort on my part, I have gathered a festive array of top quality products. 

    When the weather warms up, hearty composed winter salads makes everyone happy.  An Asian Shrimp Noodle Bowl layered with cool crunchy greens and thin rice noodles in a light, lemony dressing: Chinese Chicken Salad restyled with ingredients that Snap! Crackle! And Crunch! The real star of the trio is the Fire-Cracker Steak Hand Rolls.  They are sweet and salty, fun to make and eat. This recipe sings to me. Everyone rolls his own, into crisp ruffled lettuce leaves, slivers of colorful peppers and Maui onions.(The recipes for the Fire-cracker Steak hand-rolls and Asian Shrimp Noodle salad id featured at the end of this article.)

Chinese Chicken Salad
        With a little help from the talented artisans at our Farmers Market and this easy menu, put on your Sunday dress, and enjoy yourself.  The best part is being with friends and eating too.  Don’t be surprised, more often than not, cozy afternoons like this, stretch straight into the dinner hour. Be prepared, have all the fixings you’ll need to make stacks of pancakes to go with the Fire-Cracker Steak with fried eggs!


Chinese Chicken Salad is a universally loved dish.  For a change,  place a big portion  of the dressed salad between two crispy wonton skins, one per person. Then diners chop up the bottom layer of the wonton skin together with the salad. It’s pretty cool… and tastes incredible too.
Ginger Dressing:                                                                         Makes 6-8 servings

2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 tablespoon sesame Oil
2/3 cup oil

Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender, except for the oils and whirl until smooth. Add oil drop by drop on a low pulse until the dressing is thick and emulsified.

Salad Ingredients

Mai Fun Noodles
12 large Wonton skins
Macadamia Nut oil or Coconut oil to fry
4 scallions, sliced
½ each red and yellow pepper, finely diced
4 cups of shredded lettuce & Napa cabbage
12 oz roasted shredded chicken, skinless

Break Mai Fun noodles into 3 inch long pieces. Pour oil into a wok about 4 inches deep. Heat on a high flame. When hot, dip a portion into the hot oil- they will puff in a few seconds. Use 2 spoons to turn over all the noodles so they cook evenly.
Remove from oil as soon as crackly and place on a paper towel to drain.

Place wonton skins on a cutting board and cut into 6inch circles with a biscuit cutter. Fry in the hot oil till crisp and lightly browned on both sides. Remove from oil and drain.

Place scallion, peppers, shredded chicken, mixed greens and cabbage in a large bowl and lightly toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten the leaves

To Serve: Place salad between 2 crispy wonton skins and garnish the tops with the fried Mai Fun noodles.

Asian shrimp and Noodle  Bowl

Everything in this salad is addictive and healthful, even the dressing! You can make this salad in individual bowls, one per person or in one gorgeous salad bowl. I love to make this salad with fresh tuna poke as well. Just give the poke a quick stir-fry just before serving and don’t forget serve the salad with chopsticks.

 Dressing                                                                                    Makes 6-8 servings     
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup sugar
½ cup fish sauce
8 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup water

Put the ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake well to mix the ingredients. Set aside.

Salad Ingredients
1 package Saifun Noodles
18 large shrimp, cooked
5 cups mixed lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
2 cups mung bean sprouts
2 Asian pears, thinly sliced
2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1/3 bunch fresh mint leaves, stemmed
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 daikon radish, peeled and sliced into coins
Macadamia nuts, roasted and chopped

Cook the Saifun noodles as directed on the package, drain well in a strainer.
Layer the salad ingredients, except the macadamia nuts in a large salad bowl.
Gently toss with just enough dressing to moisten the leaves and garnish with the macadamia nuts.

Firecracker Steak Hand Rolls
The ingredients in the marinade create a sweet and succulent flavor. I love the meat rolled in soft lettuce, you can make it hearty and bundle the sliced meat and greens into soft warm buns.
                                                                                                              Makes 10 -12 rolls

1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
1 cup Soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons crushed red chili flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1- 4inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped
2 pounds flank steak
1 head butter lettuce, washed and thoroughly dried
2 scallions, separated into thin strands
½ each red and yellow pepper, thinly sliced
½ Maui onion, thinly sliced

Whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili flakes, garlic, ginger, and ¼ cup water in large bowl. Add the flank steak and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally to coat.

Heat barbeque, Remove steak from marinade, and grill the steak till desired doneness. Remove from the grill, place on a cutting board and let sit to set juices.

To serve, Place slices of steak into the lettuce and garnish with the pepper and Maui onion slices.