Tag Archives: Recipes

Valentine’s Day Cocktails

12 Feb

I love idea of serving a cocktail with a Pink blush on Valentine’s Day. Here are a few ideas…plus one  (not Pink) with Chocolate–yum!

“Posmo” (a spin-off of the classic Cosmopolitan):

  • 1.5 Oz. Vodka
  • 1/2 Oz Cointreau (or Triple Sec)
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime (before cutting, slice some off a piece of zest for garnish)
  • 1.5 Oz. Pomegranate Juice

(Optional: rim the glass by rubbing the cut Lime on the edge and dip into sugar)

Cherry Lemon Drop:

  • 1.5 Oz. Vodka
  • 1/2 Oz. simple syrup (I like to make mine from Agave Nectar — I make it in a shot glass by filling it with water and about 1 teaspoon of Agave)
  • Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon (use 1 1/2 if you like your drinks tart, like I do)
  • 1.5 Oz. Cherry Juice

(Optional: rim the glass by rubbing the cut Lemon on the edge and dip into sugar)

Raspberry Lemon Drop:

  • 1.5 Oz. Vodka
  • 1/2 Oz. simple syrup (I like to make mine from Agave Nectar — I make it in a shot glass by filling it with water and about 1 teaspoon of Agave)
  • Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon (use 1 1/2 if you like your drinks tart, like I do)
  • Muddle about 5 raspberries (fresh or frozen) in the shaker before pouring in the ice and liquids

(Optional: rim the glass by rubbing the cut Lemon on the edge and dip into sugar)

Chocolate Martini:

1 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

1 oz. Vodka

(Optional: add a splash of Creme de Cacao or Half and Half, and rim the glass with cocoa powder and sugar)

For all of these Martinis, pour ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a Martini glass. Of course, you could serve them over ice, if you prefer.

Blood Orange Margarita:

  • 1 Oz. Tequila (preferably Silver)
  • 1/2 Oz. Cointreau (or Triple Sec)
  • Juice of 1 Blood Orange
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime

Pink Grapefruit Margarita (adapted from Sunset Magazine):

3 parts freshly squeezed Ruby Grapefruit Juice, 2 parts Tequila, 1 part Cointreau (or Triple Sec)

If you use 1 Oz. of Tequila per serving, it’s easy to adapt it for as many servings as you need. This is one of my favorites!

For the Margaritas, pour ingredients into a shaker, blend and serve on the rocks. Salt or Sugar Rim optional. You could also mix some spice into the salt by mixing it into a mortar with pestle. I have tried Aleppo Pepper, which is quite mild (and delicious on eggs too!), and Aji Amarillo , a bit hotter (from Crescent Moon Farm via the Sebastopol, CA farmer’s market).

The photo is a Purple Basil Lemon Drop. In lieu of adding Cherry Juice to the Lemon Drop recipe above, muddle about 10 small leaves of Purple Basil into your mixing glass. Shake up your drink and strain it into your glasses. It will be a lovely Lavender color (although in this photo, it appears more Pink). Not quite as appropriate for Valentine’s Day, but equally refreshing!

Green Smoothies To Revitalize Your Body

11 Feb

Looks can be deceiving! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how delicious this tastes and you will feel so healthy after drinking it. The flavors go together really well and it’s definitely a great way to start the day, cleanse your body, and increase the amount of antioxidants and vegetables in your diet. By using a blender instead of a juicer, you will benefit by getting more fiber too.

In a blender, add the following in order:

  • 1 Apple, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (not peeled) — I like Gala Apples
  • 3/4 of 1 English Cucumber (not peeled — I recommend English Cucumbers since the skin is thinner and they are seedless so easily digestible
  • Fresh Spinach Leaves, 2 big handfuls
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon (optional: include some of the zest, but avoid the white pith)
  • Ginger, a small 1/4 inch slice, peeled and finely grated (Optional)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of water

Start with low-speed and move up to the highest speed. Makes 2 servings.

If you like it, try these Mix and Match Green Smoothie recipes from the VitaMix company.

By the way, here is link if you’d like to get more information or purchase one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, the VitaMix Blender.

“Let food be thy medicine …” – Hippocrates

Easy Greek Layer Dip for a Healthy Superbowl Appetizer

4 Feb
Layer all ingredients below, starting with the Hummus, in a clear glass dish and serve with Toasted Pita Chips
  • Hummus, homemade preferably
  • Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
  • Cucumbers, chopped (or Tzatziki)
  • Kalamata Olives, halved

Hummus Recipe:

In a small Cuisinart food processor, chop 1-2 cloves of Garlic (Roasted Garlic mellows the flavor so you could add up to head if you like). Garlic Powder will do if you don’t have cloves.

Add a can of drained Organic Chick Peas, the juice of 1 Lemon, 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, thin with a little water until you get the consistency you desire, salt & pepper to taste, optional: Smoked Paprika

Tzatziki Recipe:

In a medium bowl, combine a Cucumber, seeded, then coarsely grated, with 2 cups of Greek Yoghurt, preferably Whole Milk, juice of 1/2 Lemon, 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 finely chopped Shallot, 1 finely chopped clove of Garlic, a couple sprigs of fresh Dill, chopped (or about 1/2 – 1 Teaspoon of dried Dill) and Salt & White Pepper.

Rosemary and Spiced Nuts

11 Dec

These are no doubt THE BEST EVER spiced nuts I’ve tasted! The recipe comes from one of my most beloved friends, Dene Rosemeyer, who is an AWESOME home chef. They are a perfect, savory nibble with a glass of wine or for a scrumptious homemade gift (as well as a practical one if traveling).


  • 2 1/2 Cups Raw Mixed Nuts
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin (Toasted)
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper


  • Preheat oven to 300 (°F) degrees.
  • Place nuts in a bowl.
  • Pour the oil into a small, heavy sauce pan and warm over medium-low heat until warm.
  • Add Rosemary, stir until the mixture is aromatic (1 minute).
  • Pour flavored oil over nuts.
  • Add Sugar, Cumin, Salt, Black Pepper and Cayenne. Stir to coat evenly.
  • Transfer to baking pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until nuts are toasted, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Gluten-Free Peanut-Butter Chocolate Cookies

9 Dec

I found this recipe from Martha Stewart and it was so easy (perfect for me, who has little patience for measuring too many ingredients!).

You probably have all the ingredients on hand (if you stock chocolate chips and peanuts) which means you can whip up a batch anytime. I prefer bittersweet chips so swapped them for semi-sweet in the recipe.

One of the reviews said chunky peanut-butter works too, if you don’t have creamy peanut-butter. The peanut-butter and peanuts almost makes me feel like I’m eating something healthy! Next time, I’m going to try using Coconut Palm Sugar which is less processed than white sugar. Some sources suggest it has a lower glycemic index, although there is also some controversy on this (one factor is the time of harvest). I think they’re going to be gobbled up quickly!


  1. 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  7. 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 large egg (lightly beaten), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Stir in 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts.
  2. With moistened hands, roll dough, about 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, into balls. Place 2 inches apart on two baking sheets.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden and puffed, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

No Time to Bake? Host a Cookie Swap!

3 Dec

I love the idea of a cookie swap and can’t ever forget about the voracious Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. This time of year is super busy for most of us, and this is an delectable way to divide and conquer! Of course you can plan one any time of the year, but a Holiday Cookie Swap can be particularly festive and a relatively easy way to celebrate the season together.

The idea, as you probably know, is that you invite friends and/or coworkers together and each person brings their favorite homemade cookies. Depending on the number of people and how many cookies you want to take home, I suggest each person brings 2-4 dozen cookies or perhaps 6 dozen if you want to use them for gifts.

Then, everyone swaps their cookies and you end up with a wonderful variety of delicious treats! You may want to suggest that people bring their own containers as well as their recipe to share.

Below are some resources for cookie recipes and inspiration:

Holiday Cookie-a-Day Slideshow from Bon Appétit

Martha Stewart Cookie App for iPad and iPhone

Martha Stewart’s Easiest Cookie Recipes

14 Guilt-Free Cookie Recipes from Whole Living

No-Bake Cookies from Martha Stewart


Bundt Pan Cornbread

23 Nov


Super easy! Looks fancy doesn’t it!? I used this as the base for a Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing on Thanksgiving.

Into a bowl, coarsely crumble the Cornbread and add finely chopped Celery, Onions, small diced Spanish Chorizo and a little Broth to moisten; Bake at 350 F for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the top is lightly browned.

Berta’s Southern Cornbread Recipe:

In a mixing bowl, place:

1 Cup each flour and cornmeal
1 Tablespoon each baking powder and sugar (1/2 Tablespoon works fine too if you are trying to cut back on sugar)
Pinch of salt

Mix all with whisk.

Preheat oven at 400 degrees somewhere along the way.

Mix in 1 Egg
Mix in 1/4 cup safflower oil
Mix in 1 Cup milk
Mix with whisk

Pre-grease modest size pan (or lower half of Bundt Pan), put mixture into pan and place in oven for baking at 400 degrees for 25 minutes (check at 20 min if using Bundt Pan). Enjoy!