Rub fresh corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper.

Place into a preheated 425 degree oven and roast until some kernels begin to brown. See photo. Rotate cobs for evening roasting.

Cut kernels from the cob.

Dice one red bell pepper, two shallots and one large jalapeño (seeds and membranes removed).

Add 1 T of butter and 1 T of olive to a preheated sauté pan. Add peppers and shallots. Sauté until they begin to soften. Add corn and 1 t of dried thyme. Add 1 C of heavy cream and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until cream reduces. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if needed.


Rinse and dry salmon filets. Atlantic salmon works best here.

I love my iron skillet for this preparation. Get the skillet hot and add about 2 T of olive oil. The oil should smoke a bit. Generously season each filet with salt and cracked black pepper. Place filets into the heated skillet. Listen for an even sizzle adjusting the temperature down, if necessary. Allow the filet to cook two-thirds through before flipping. A golden crust is the point. Finish cooking on the other side. Place salmon over cream corn and top with some highmade pesto. Serve with a lemon wedge.



Blanch prepped beans. Drain and dry. Toss blanched beans with olive oil, salt and cracked black pepper. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick baking spray. Place into a preheated 425 degree oven and roast until “crisp/tender”.




black forest ham, brie, dijonnaise, red onion jam on grilled rustic bread with a side of shaved apple and fennel slaw dressed with creamy lemon tarragon vinaigrette

(Served with one of our house wines, this meal is complete!)



Click on this link (red onion jam) for ingredients and cooking instructions. The only difference in this application is that I placed the cooked onion mix into a food processor. I pulsed the mixture until a spreadable consistency was achieved. This stores for a week or two.


Combine 1/3 C of Dijon mustard with 1 C of mayonnaise.


Using a mandolin, thinly shave green cabbage, fennel, celery and granny smith apple. Combine and dress with creamy lemon dressing.


Spread dijonnaise on one slice of bread and red onion jam on the other. Place a mound of sliced black forest ham on the bread and top with a thin slice of brie. Brush sandwich  with melted butter or olive oil and place it on a panini press or into a non-stick skillet for browning. Keep temperature moderate as you are looking to crisp the bread and warm the sandwich.


Power Bowl


lentils, roasted sweet peppers, roasted cherub tomatoes, grilled chicken/apple sausage, sliced avocado, arugula, pumpkin seeds, feta, extra virgin olive oil & lemon

(Have this for lunch and conquer the world!)



1 1/2 C lentils (rinsed)

6 C water

1 1/2 t salt

1/4 t red pepper flakes

4 whole cloves

1 t dried thyme

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender. Reserve for service.



Roast separately as they may have different cooking times. Lightly coat peppers and tomatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Place into a preheated 425 degree oven until lightly browned and wrinkled. You may need to rotate for even roasting. My countertop oven did the trick.



Cut slits into the links (not all the way through) and place on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Place into a preheated 425 degree oven. Roast until nicely browned. Rotate sausage for even browning.

Sausage used was purchase at Trader Joe’s. Costco also has a delicious smoked chicken/apple sausage.



Place a mound of lentils in the center of the bowl. Arrange ingredients as you see in the photo. Sprinkle with feta and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with EVOO and lemon. A spritz of Kosher salt and cracked black pepper tops it off.






Spanish Seafood Stew

(serves 4)

1/4 C olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5-6 small sweet peppers, sliced

1 t dried thyme
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 1/2 t smoked paprika

1/3 C white wine for deglazing

2 pinches of saffron threads, ground in a mortar and pestle

3 C homemade tomato marinara ( if store bought, use a chunky marinara)

2-3 cups seafood stock

4 large new potatoes, cut chunky style and parboiled

3-4 ounces of Spanish chorizo, diced

2 t sugar

1 t salt

3 cod filets

12-14 – 31/40 shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 dozen mussels, rinsed

Chopped parsley for garnish

In a preheated stock pot, add oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper. Sauté until vegetables soften. Add thyme, red pepper flakes and smoked paprika. Continue to sauté until fragrant and some sticking starts to occur on the bottom of the pan. Increase heat and add wine. Reduce wine down and scrape up any bits which have stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Grind saffron threads. Add about 1/3 C of water. Add saffron water to pot. Add marinara and stock. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and add potatoes, chorizo, sugar and salt.

(Note for potatoes: bring a sauce pan of water to boil and very carefully add 1 t of salt and 1 t of baking soda to water. Lower cut potatoes into water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 2-3 minutes. Drain.)

Add cod filets to the simmering stew. Once the filets start to loosen up and flake, add shrimp and mussels. Cover and continue to simmer until mussels open and shrimp are done. Discard unopened mussels. Serve with chopped parsley and rustic bread for sauce sopping.

Moroccan Spiced Lentil Soup (Vegetarian) with Harissa

1/3 C olive oil
1 large onion, diced small
3 celery stalks, diced small
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T fresh ginger, grated

1 T ground coriander
1 T smoked paprika
2 t cumin
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped and divided in half
1 bunch curly parsley, finely chopped and divided in half

4 C vegetable broth
4 C water
1 – 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 C lentils, rinsed
1 – 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

4 ounces kale, chopped chunky style
1/2 C orzo
Juice from one lemon
S & P to taste

Add oil to a preheated soup pot. Add onion, celery, garlic and ginger. Add a sprinkling of salt and cracked black pepper. Sauté over medium low heat until translucent.

Add coriander, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, half of the cilantro and half of the parsley. Sauté until fragrant and well blended. A little sticking on the bottom of the pan is good.

Add broth, water, garbanzo beans, lentils and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil.

Add 2 teaspoons of salt, lower heat to low and cover. Simmer until lentils are tender.

Add kale and cook until tender.

Just prior to service, add lemon juice, the remaining parsley/cilantro and orzo. Continue to simmer until orzo is tender. Adjust seasoning.



6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T paprika, not smoked
1 T ground coriander
1 T ground Aleppo pepper
1 t cumin
3/4 t caraway seeds
1/2 t salt

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until fragrant and blended. Drizzle over soup.

Avocado Toast with Roasted Corn and Queso Fresco

(recipe will make 6-8 slices of avocado toast)

For avocado:

Combine two large firm, yet ripe, avocados with about one tablespoon of fresh lime juice. Use a potato masher and coarsely blend. Reserve. Press plastic wrap directly on top of smashed avocado.

For roasted corn:

Rub two ears of fresh corn with olive oil. Season corn with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and place into a preheated 375 degree oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Rotate cobs and roast for an additional 20 minutes until some kernels develop some golden brown color. Remove and allow cooling. Cut kernels from cob and reserve.

For chipotle mayo:

Place can of chipotle peppers into a blender. Add a small amount of water – just enough to get blender whirling. Blend until smooth. Add 2 T of chipotle puree to 1 cup of Hellman’s mayo. Stir to combine. Reserve.

For queso fresco:

Use a fine grater and grate about 1/2 C of fresco for sprinkling.

For toast:

Use a good quality artisanal rustic bread. Slice round into fairly thick slices. Brush each slice with olive oil. Grill bread slices using a grill pan or panini press. Toasting in the oven is an option too. I prefer the grilling technique as it produces a crisp exterior and maintains a chewy interior. Using a toasting method can make the bread a bit too crunchy.

Assemble the toast:

Spread a layer of chipotle mayo on prepared toast, add a nice slather of mashed avocado, roasted corn and queso fresco. Garnish toasts with fresh cilantro, a spritz of Kosher salt and a wedge of lime. Muy delicioso!

Notes from the kitchen:

All components, except the toast, can be prepared ahead. Serve this with Green Chile Chicken soup.

Green Chile Chicken Soup with Lime Cilantro Rice

(recipe serves 6-8)

1/4 C olive oil
3 small yellow onions, medium dice
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
S & P

1 T ground cumin
1 T dried oregano

6-8 tomatillos, skin removed and rinsed, quartered
2 large ears fresh corn, cut from the cob
1 – 4 ounce can fire roasted green chiles. diced
1 – 15.5 ounce can white hominy, rinsed
1 – 15.5 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
8 C chicken stock
1 T chipotle puree
2 bay leaves
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of one large lime

2 large chicken breasts with rib meat and skin on – about three pounds
olive oil
S & P

For soup:

In a preheated soup pot, add olive oil. Oil should shimmer. Add onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Simmer until onions become translucent. Add cumin and oregano. Mix in well. Stir until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until tomatillos soften. Use the back of a large spoon to break them up. Add reserved chicken.

For chicken:

Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. (Make sure to sterilize your sink after rinsing raw chicken. Use some bleach and soap for a thorough cleaning.)

Rub chicken breasts with a generous dose of olive oil. Liberally season with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Place chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet and place into a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until done. Allow cooling and shred into large pieces.


Lime Cilantro Rice


1/4 C fresh lime juice
1 small bunch of cilantro, large stems cut off
3 large cloves of garlic, trimmed
1 1/2 t salt

2 1/2 C water

2 T olive oil
1 1/2 C of converted white rice (like Uncle Ben’s)

In a blender, add lime juice, cilantro, garlic, salt and about 1/4 C of the water measure.
Blend well. Scrape down sides and blend again. Add remaining 2 1/4 C of water to blender and blend on high-speed.

In a preheated skillet, add olive oil. Oil should shimmer. Add rice and stir to lightly toast. Add cilantro water. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes or until water is mostly absorbed. Pour rice onto a baking sheet for cooling.


Notes from the kitchen:

Soup and rice were prepared a day ahead. For service, warm rice in the microwave. Ladle warmed soup into bowls, add a scoop of rice and a lime slice. Great texture, fresh flavors and a little spice make this soup very satisfying.

Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet


12 ounces bittersweet chocolate

3 c filtered water
1 3/4 c sugar
1 T instant coffee
pinch of salt

Place water, sugar, coffee and salt into a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow about 10 minutes of cooling.

Break up pieces of chocolate and place into a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
Pulse machine to further break up chocolate. ONLY PULSE!

Pour water mixture through feed tube of processor while machine is running. Be careful.

Pour chocolate mixture into a separate container for overnight cooling in the refrigerator.

The next day, freeze mixture in an ice cream maker. Place sorbet into the freezer for further chilling.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

(serves 6)

2 1/2 pounds of chuck roast, trimmed and cut into chunks
olive oil
S & P

5-6 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks on the diagonal
4-5 celery stalks, cut into chunks on the diagonal
2 small yellow onions, cut chunky style
6 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly

3 T tomato paste

1 C dry red wine for deglazing

1 C dry red wine for stock

6 C beef stock

1 T dried thyme
4-5 whole cloves
5-6 bay leaves

1 container of cremini mushrooms, remove stems, dice caps

2 pounds new potatoes, cut chunky style
1 t salt
1 t baking soda

1 C fresh (or frozen) peas

2 T butter, very soft
2 T all-purpose flour

In a preheated cast iron skillet, add about 1/4 C olive oil. Brown meat in batches and season generously with salt and cracked pepper. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Wipe out skillet. Add another 1/4 C of olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Again, season generously with salt and cracked pepper. Don’t over stir! Allow some browning of the veggies. Also, water will be extracted from the veggies from the addition of the salt. Continue to sauté veggies until skillet becomes “dryish” again.

Add tomato paste. Mix in well. An additional amount of oil may be needed. Continue to sauté as a deep red color develops. Some sticking is good. Just watch your heat. No need to rush this. Depth of flavor is forming.

Add 1 C of wine to the veggie mix. Raise heat and get a nice bubble going. Reduce the wine until thickened. You should be able to draw a line across the bottom of the skillet and it should hold. See photo.

Place veggies, drippings and reserved meat into a crock pot. Add beef stock, remaining 1 C of red wine, thyme, cloves and bay leaves. Turn on high and cover.

While that is simmering, sauté mushrooms in the same skillet with some olive oil, salt, cracked pepper and a pinch of dried thyme. You may need to add additional oil as the mushrooms soak it up! Develop a nice golden color. Reserve to a bowl.

Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water. Bring to a boil. Carefully add 1t of salt and 1t of baking soda. It will bubble, be careful. Add potato pieces. Again be careful not to splash hot water on yourself! I used a sieve to gently lower them into the water. Cook until potatoes are tender. Drain in a colander. The potatoes will have rough edges compliments of the baking soda. Reserve.

Continue to simmer the meat until tender. Several hours will be required.

For service:

Stir together softened butter and flour until a smooth paste forms. Add this to the stew. Mix in well. Add reserved potatoes, peas and mushrooms. Allow to heat thoroughly. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper, if needed. Ladle stew into a warmed bowl and garnish with some chopped parsley. A good loaf of bread and a better bottle of red wine is all that is needed.

Suggestion: Edmeades Zinfandel from Mendocino