Apricot Bellini

4 Jul

Over a medium heat, in a heavy pot, cook Apricots until soft. Keep an eye on them so they don’t boil over. If your Apricots aren’t very sweet, add a touch of Honey. Then purée them (I like to use a hand blender).

Pour some chilled Champagne or Sparkling Wine into a glass and add about 1 Tablespoon of puree. So delicious!

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What To Do With Leftover Spaghetti Squash

2 Jul

Make Pancakes!

I had about 1 cup of leftover Spaghetti Squash that had been sitting in the fridge and I was uninspired by it until this morning (it was actually my lunchtime since I didn’t have time for anything besides Coffee this morning, because I went to Yoga). I was hungry and really craved some scrambled Eggs and Bacon and then saw the jar with Squash and knew I needed to come up with some way to use it up or it would go to waste which I hate!

Having grown up with a mother who lived in Holland during World War II, I learned not to take food for granted. I still remember her telling us how she used to eat an Apple — all but the stem and the seeds. Funny I find myself doing the same these days, and I feel healthier doing it!

Back to my Pancakes…I made this up and it turned out delicious so I hope you’ll try it. You could also use grated Zucchini.

Exact amounts are flexible in this recipe but this is what I used to make (6) 4-inch Pancakes for 2 servings:

1 cup Spaghetti Squash, shredded
2 large Eggs, beaten
3 heaping Tablespoons Chickpea Flour (or enough to make a thick batter)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 cup Cotija Cheese, crumbled (Feta would be a good alternative)
1/4 teaspoon Baharat or any other ground spice (your choice! Suggestions: Curry, Garam Masala, Cumin, Coriander)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients (Squash, then Eggs, Cheese, then dry) in a medium bowl.

Next, I slivered 2 pieces of Bacon into a nonstick pan, cooked until crispy, them removed them. When you sliver it, you get Bacon in every bite but don’t have to feel so guilty since you are eating just 1 piece. If you are vegetarian or vegan, use Butter or Olive Oil. Then used a small ice cream scoop to drop the pancake mix onto the pan (over medium heat) with the leftover Bacon Fat. The ice cream scoop helps to keep the Pancakes consistent in size. Cook on each side a few minutes and keep warm in the oven at 200 F.

I served them with a hash made from 4 small roasted Red Potatoes, sauteed Leeks and the slivered Bacon. Serve with some green Tabasco sauce for a bit of acidity.

Note, if you don’t have Chickpea Flour, you could use an All-Purpose Wheat Flour, but the Chickpea Flour adds a nice, slight nutty flavor plus extra protein, and makes them Gluten-Free.

Enjoy!

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Have You Tried Speck?

20 Jun

It is a delicious smoked Prosciutto, worth seeking out! La Quercia is a very good American-made brand that is top quality. I especially like it wrapped around fresh Figs, alongside a Frittata. This one pictured below was made with roasted Sungold Tomatoes, some leftover grilled Potatoes, and fresh Asparagus cut into small slices. The clay dish that I used to bake it in was quite small so it was hard to arrange the Asparagus tips in a more appealing manner, so please forgive me for lack of better styling. I often shoot photos at the spur of the moment!

Serve with a glass of bubbles any time of day or night! Iron Horse sparkling wine from California’s Green Valley (near the Russian River) or a grower Champagne would be my recommendation…they are quite good values too. Bon Appetit!

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Mixed Berries With Orange Blossom Water

16 Jun

A little goes a long way…just a splash!

This is a super simple and light dessert, or enjoy with yoghurt for breakfast. Garnish with some sliced Almonds or a sprinkle of Granola.

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Thoughts After A One Year Hiatus

24 May

Well, here I am again, after no blog posts for just over a year. Last May, I had thoughts of revamping the web design and along with it, sharing in a new format…shorter posts, maybe a sentence or two, or maybe even just a photo with a comment…basically, anything that might inspire someone to try a new idea or to think about ingredients in a new way, and that I could publish more spontaneously. However, after searching for new designs, I never ended up finding what I really wanted, and so after all this time, the design is the same!

I have missed writing and being in touch with my friends/family/followers and appreciate all of you so much! I’m sure there will be times when posts are more lengthy, but I hope you’ll enjoy a more spontaneous format going forward.

So with that said, here’s photo of one of my favorite recent meals, served at Café Rouge in Berkeley…Prosciutto, Asparagus, a perfectly poached Egg, topped with Breadcrumbs and drizzled with Truffle Oil. It is one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area. What I love is that the menu always changes and uses seasonal ingredients. I’m definitely going to duplicate this one at home. I hope it inspires you to do the same 🙂

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Food Revolution Day

17 May

Today is Food Revolution Day! May 17, 2013! I think it should become a National Holiday 🙂

Lots of good ideas and recipes here !

I’m supporting Food Revolution Day because I believe food education & cooking skills can help save lives.

Tiramisu Affogato

5 May

Here’s a super simple idea for a delicious dessert! No baking needed!

Buy some Tiramisu, take a small ice cream scoop and place 2-3 scoops in a pretty glass, pour a couple of Tablespoons of cold Coffee over it (leftover from the morning works perfectly fine!), and sprinkle with some grated Chocolate or Cocoa powder.

I love the Tiramusu from Viola Pastry Boutique and Café in Santa Rosa. Trader Joe’s also has one called Trader Giotto’s Tiramisu Torte that is frozen and costs about $7.

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It’s a tasty twist on having coffee and dessert all in one and can be assembled ahead (keep refrigerated until about 30 minutes before serving).

Buon Appetito!

Strawberry Basil Meyer Lemon Drop Martinis

13 Apr

Cocktail time! Muddle 2 strawberries and 1 big basil leaf, then add juice of 3 lemons and 4 oz of Vodka. Shake over ice and strain. Garnish with strawberry, zest and a small leaf of basil. Cheers!

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Foods High In Iron

16 Mar

You probably know about Liver, but what if you don’t like Liver? I found this infomation linked here from The Office of Dietary Supplements and thought you might find it interesting. Lentils are high on the list too. The list includes mature Soybeans, but honestly, when do you see a recipe using mature Soybeans!? It’s one of my frustrations with how nutrition is taught…it’s great to know about the basic elements of good nutrition (i.e. what are good or bad carbs or fats, sources of proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc.), but it’s important to know how to incorporate good nutrition into your diet. A more practical source, in my opinion, would be to list Edamame (immature boiled or steamed Soybeans) which have 2.5 mg per 100 mg serving (3.5 oz), and are most commonly found in Japanese restaurants (you can also find them in the freezer section and they’re delicious added to grain or green salads, especially if you use some Asian flavors, like Soy Sauce and Toasted Sesame Oil).

I happen to love Chicken Liver Pâté and get Organic Chicken Livers from Whole Foods. I usually have to ask for them at the butcher counter since they’re not always in the case, and they give me a 1/2 pint of frozen ones. I like this recipe from Jacques Pépin and Food & Wine since you simmer the Livers in water and avoid the splattering that often occurs when you sauté them. I like to cover the Pâté with a thin layer of Duck fat or Bacon fat. It’s nice to serve with some sauteed Apples or Pears, along with the toasts. It makes a great make-ahead appetizer for entertaining.

Here is another recipe from Lidia Bastianich for Bigoli (Pasta) with Chicken Livers.

For some Lentil recipes, here are some from Martha Stewart. I also like to make Lentil Salad (cook up some Petit Fench Green Lentils, then add some chopped Carrot, Celery, Shallot, Olive Oil, Red Wine or Sherry Vinegar, Salt & Pepper) and Red Lentil Hummus (cook up Red Lentils, then puree with a small clove of Garlic, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper…adding Roasted Red Peppers or Sundried Tomatoes will add even more good flavor and health benefits).

This week I’ll be finishing up a four-week nutrition class from Kitchen On Fire and it’s been very enlightening. Why don’t they teach this in school, in more detail, when we’re growing up? It’s so important! Unfortunately, I think many of us don’t learn what we need to know until some blood test tells us we’re deficient or too high in this or that, or some other medical issue comes up…Nutrition is complex and there are so many “diets” and misinformation, but ultimately, like my teacher said, everyone is unique and that means what is good for some, is not good for others. It’s defintely a learning process, but one that I think is quite worthwhile to give some time to study. For me, the fun part is making it taste good and staying creative 🙂

CampStove That Charges Gadgets

10 Mar

I came across this website for BioLite that sells camp stoves that can charge portable devices, like phones, iPods, Kindles, and more…thought it sounds pretty good so wanted to share with you campers, boaters and/or beach barbeque lovers (S’Mores anyone?)…also looks good for an emergency kit. If you buy it from REI, you’ll get $13 back in your annual refund if you are a member.

The photo below is from BioLite’s website. No fossil fuel required 🙂

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