Healthy Hollandaise

eggs ben2

Less is more.  That’s my mantra for 2011.  No resolutions, just trying to simplify.  And I think you know, that isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

One week into the new year and I find I am looking for more ways to reduce clutter – from my closet to the kitchen.  So I’m playing my favorite culinary game: “Use It Up,” and creating some mighty delectable dishes in the process.

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Egg Nog Panna Cotta

egg nog panna cotta

There are times when you just NAIL it in the kitchen.  This is one of those times!  I dare say this dessert is by far one of my favorites to date, and if you like egg nog, you will LOVE this creamy creation.  Plus, it’s super simple to make!  So be sure to plan just one more trip to the market and get the goods for Egg Nog Panna Cotta.

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Quinoa Tabbouleh

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Summer is finally arriving here on the west coast (apologies to Easterners!) and the tomatoes are now showing color.  I’ve been busy with cooking demos at farmers’ markets and one of my most popular dishes is tabbouleh made with quinoa.  It’s a crowd pleaser and great to make in advance for backyard parties…

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Kale Chips

kalechips sheetI’ve been a bit of a TV junkie of late watching the Olympics in prime time, pushing the limits of my shut eye.  After this week comes the Academy Awards on March 7th, which is another excuse to create a party around a food theme. Certainly with Julie and Julia in the mix we will see Boeuf Bourguignon or this lovely adaptation of pumpkin soup from Shirley at GFE.  For the Oscars, I tend to lean toward a variety of nibbles and small plates – don’t want to miss a glimpse of George Clooney! – and one of my favorite winter snacks are fresh baked kale chips.

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Lemony Broccoli Soup

broccoli soupPhoto source

In my CSA box this week was a beautiful bunch of broccoli.  Add that to the beautiful bunch I got at the farmers’ market, and another soup was in the making.  I love blender soups – you steam the veggies, saute some onions, measure the stock, pull out the Vitamix and voila!  Dinner is served…and lunch the next day.

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"Creamy" Potato Leek Soup

pleek

We are gearing up for a series of storms on the west coast this week…so to me, that begs for soup.  Soup is the best way to get mega-doses of vegetables all in one serving, with so many variables on combinations.  And as part of our monthly Gluten Free Progressive Dinner Party, I thought it was fitting to offer this recipe as the first course.  Let the flood gates open (so to speak…) as we savor soups in the season of the storm…

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Esalen Greens with Orange-Ginger Sauce

Pinch me. I think I was dreaming. This past week I was in the most beautiful place on Earth.  I had the good fortune of assisting with a cooking class at Esalen in Big Sur, CA, for five days.  I had fully intended to write from my perch, but there was no internet service so, alas, I was ‘forced’ to kick back and become a sponge. Click to continue reading »

Panna Cotta with Nectarine Coulis

Hike in Pagosa Springs

Hike in Pagosa Springs, CO

I’m back!  Thanks for sticking around.  We had a glorious trip through Colorado.  Did you know they have 54 mountains with an elevation of 14,000 feet or more?  Quite impressive.  I’d like to say we hiked them, but just tackling 9500 feet was ‘breathtaking.’  We ate very well along the way, even scored a few farmers’ markets.  Let me know if any of you are planning to travel there; I have plenty of suggestions on where to eat – from Boulder and Telluride, to Crested Butte and Aspen.

Speaking of food (that’s why you’re here, right?)…a few weeks ago I mentioned a dish I made for my final presentation at Bauman College. It was a Coconut Chai Panna Cotta with a Nectarine Coulis and Orange Tuile.  As you know, I don’t usually post complicated recipes, but while this one may have one or two more steps, believe me when I tell you it is out.of.this.world.

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Corn and Zuke Frittata

I think almost every grower I buy from at the farmers’ market has an abundance of zucchini right now.  So, hey, being a team player…I give.  But today the real star is corn.  Sweet and in its prime, corn makes a wonderful addition to everything – from chowder and pasta, to salads and frittata.  Of course, just eating it right off the cob is the pure essence of summer, especially with a dab of herb butter. Click to continue reading »

Flour Power

I figured if I’m starting a feature called “Savvy Substitutions” and it focuses heavily on baked goods, it might be advisable to explain different types of flour and their ratios in baking compared to the ‘other white stuff.’  Of course you know it begins with whole-grains, and organic whenever possible.  Wheat is one of the most pesticide laden crops in America, so it truly pays to buy the purest product available.  This way you can go right to your pantry when a recipe calls for spelt (a cousin of wheat) or another alternative and know how it might affect the taste and texture of your creation.

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