Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I make truffles for my friend's and family as gifts for the holiday's...this year I decided to make a white chocolate truffle after going to a chocolate salon in the City, and meeting Mary Loomis from Saratoga Chocolates, her demo was an inspiration to me as she made a port wine ganache as the filling for her truffle.

An idea started to form.....I had been to Fenestra Winery some weeks back and had tasted their Sweet Viognier with a lemon wafer, it was like a party going on in my mouth, at the time I thought this dessert wine would pair very well with key lime pie....ok, I had decided on my truffle......

My trial run was fairly successful, although you would not have known it, had you been in the kitchen with me...to say the least I learned allot, I will make some slight changes to the flavor but they were well received by all! yippee!

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Hi everyone, Is it just me or does soup sound good to you too?

I think I love the changing of the seasons for one reason and one reason only, "The changes we make in the Food we eat" if you are like me and eat seasonally than you are already seeing the winter squashes, the Brussels sprouts on their stocks, the pomegranates, winter greens...jeez the list can go on, and on.

The chill that I am feeling in the air sent me to the FM in search of Kale, with the fresh cranberry beans (from my Son's girlfriend's Grandpa's yard) and a smoked turkey wing, a bit of stock and some garlic, onions, red chili flakes "walla" I had soup...so easy and yet so satisfying, with a nice french bread and a glass of wine, I have dinner for a week, and will love every one of those meals! Good Eatin'! :D

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Perhaps some of you have heard of Soul Food Farms, located in Vacaville CA...They are known for their wonderful chickens and eggs (Chez Panese uses them) their eggs are sold at the Ferry Building farmers Market...these are just a few places you may see their product.

Anyway the reason I am writing about them is they were severely damaged by the recent (Sept. 3rd) fire in that area, and need as much help as they can get...both monetary and physical help. They also have some local restaurants holding dinner's with proceeds going to their cause.

Monetary donations can be made using paypal or by check (visit www.soulfoodfarm.com/blog/ for additional info about Soul Food Farms relief.

I realize that the economy is real bad and everyone is tightening their bugets...however even if you can only donate 5 dollars...I promise you it will come back to you two fold...in times like this if we fail to help small sustainable businesses, in any small way we can, we will suffer for it.

This farm shall not go down without a fight and if you have ever had one of their chickens or their eggs you would know why.

I do not usually ask others to donate to anything, but in this case I think it's worth it.

To lose them, would only add fire to the large factory's that do not practice sustainably or humanly.

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Please check out the site Eat Real Festival, you can get there from here in my "sites and blogs you should check out" section, it is worth the time. Very informative, and allot of fun events to be found as well.

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Note to self, the caramel sauce, "although very good" does not go with the Dutch Chocolate Pound cake when chili is added! Not horrible, just not great, better without anything on it.

Oh, but the new Guitard Red Dutch processed cocao I bought is grrrrreatttt!

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hi, ok I know I haven't been here for awhile....been going through very big changes in my life.....all for the best, and I am now seeing so much clearer (is that a word) anyway, I am much happier about my future.

On to food....Last week was crazy with catering, ending with a BBQ for 160 (200) really with all the temps and contractor's. Oh did I mention that it was well over 100 degree's. which brings me to the sweet potato/honey/rosemary salad I made that is oh so hot weather, outside, long hours, friendly, because it is not mayo based, and the sweet potatoe's are really yams but YAM SALAD sounds unappetizing...confused yet!

Here is the recipe.... :D

400 degree oven

2 1/2 lbs. yams (diced and roasted with evoo,rosemary, s&p) Note: the yams will go from not cooked to over down within minutes so watch them carefully, you want them underdone, still a bit crunchy)

2 poblano chiles (roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into jullian strips)

1/4 cup diced green onions

1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley


2 T. honey

1 1/2 T. white wine vinegar

1 T minced shallots

2 t dijon mustard

dash of worcestershire sauce (if feeding vegetarians/vegans leave this out as it has anchovies in it)

1/4 c evoo

In a bowl, add shallots, and vinegar, honey salt and pepper, dijon mustard, worcestershire if using. whisk to blend add evoo slowly until dressing emulsify

put cooled diced yams in a large bowl, fold in jullian roasted pobalno chiles, parsley, and green onions..top with the dressing and fold in as well. Serve

Best served at room temperature. Also best made a day ahead.

This salad was a hit with my even pickiest clients.

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bourbon/Maple Sauce

3 cups chicken or veggie stock
1.5 cups maple syrup
1 cup bourbon
½ stick butter, (more if bigger butter flavor is desired)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
½ bunch sage (just through it in no need to mince)
salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients in a heavy bottom sauce pan and bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

If sauce is to thin, add cornstarch dissolved in water and bring back to a boil than simmer for at least 15 minutes more to rid the sauce of the cornstarch flavor

Remove sage leaves and serve.

Well, I had a catering gig this week and was tired of all the old recipe's....so as I am wont to do, I decided to make something I have never made, but the idea was to good to pass up...... Pecan/Panko crusted Chicken breasts and the same with Tofu, but that was not enough so I thought I needed a sauce to go with it "hmmmmm" Bourbon/Maple sauce with sage as a back note. This time I made an extra piece for myself and ate it real quick while preparing to deliver......I was more than happy....but still what would my quests think? I did not have long to wait. Success was on my side again......very rewarding! So here it is, well the sauce at least...yes as usual I did not have the recipe on paper yet and this is as far as I have gotten.

Only because one of the guests was from NY and he had asked if I would be willing to give up the sauce recipe as usual I am flattered, and amazed that I cooked something from my head and made at least 30 people's palate very happy....oh yes, and of course I told him to just give me an email address prior to his leaving and I would send him the recipe, he was back in a flash with his card :D

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fruit salad, I have been craving fruit since Saturday, and I have been satisfing that craving with the most wonderful stone fruit from CA not to mention the watermelon, cantelope, blueberries, and my friends say the strawberries I brought them were great as well (I am allergic, damn!)

Nothing refreshes like fruit salad with the 100 degree weather we have been having here.

So do yourselves a favor and pick up some local FM stone fruit and enjoy!

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I love to bake!!!! It would be nice if I had a better grip, or even would like to study the science of baking. Don't get me wrong I have to have some knowledge or I would not be able to write my own baking recipe's...however when I want a recipe to turn out a certain way it is somewhat of a challenge, and trial and error is the way I roll....not to much error, or I would be discouraged, and that has yet to happen...so Carmel Pecan Pound Cake you taste real good but I will revisit you again with a somewhat different approach. This is not to say it did not disappear in three days, and was well received by those that ate it, it was just not exactly what I wanted it to be!

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Monday, May 4, 2009

I read an article about the real "ALFREDO" sauce that is! Would you believe it there was no heavy cream in it...joy to my ears, because I have always looked for a way to make Alfredo sauce less heavy, anyway, I tried the "real way" on Friday night. All I can say is WOW it was wonderful, light, but very creamy.

Cook your pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

I was making scampi so the butter needed was already in the pan as well as white wine, so I just dumped the hot pasta into the warm pan and started adding hand fulls of good Parmesan cheese and a bit of the pasta water all the time mixing the pasta with my tongs on low heat. Within minutes I had a creamy sauce. It was great!!

Note, if you are just making the pasta Alfredo you will need butter in the pan than add the hot pasta and proceed as stated above all on very low or no heat, tossing pasta until creamy and serve.

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Thursday, April 16, 2009

As most of my friends and clients alike know, I become very bored with the same food day after day.....so I am always on a constant search for new dishes and ingredients to use and make.....keeping it fresh and exciting, at least I hope so, it is for me anyway!

So, going forward, yesterday I felt the need to use an ingedient I had never used before "Wheat Berries" with a little inspiration from 101 Cookbooks, I created a salad using wheat berries, spinach, feta cheese, riasins, roasted sweet potatoes, shallots, oragano, parsley, toasted pine nuts, and a sweet lemon viniagrette. One thing that Hiedi Swanson did I used too, "because I thought it was genius" she added adobo sauce to her goat cheese for a little heat and smokyness. All and all my version was very good and is now a new addition to my cafe faire.

Now I am on to the next new dish!!!!!! Good Eatin'

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Monday, March 23, 2009

I am always looking for better products, and of course great value, who isn't these day's......Well I am here to tell you with the help of one of my cooking mags. I found a very inexpensive cut of meat that is second only to a filet mingon (seriously)......Flat Iron steak!! Now I have always avoided it because of the huge connective tissue running through the middle (which says to me long braising is the only thing going to make this piece of meat taste good, which is not a bad thing.) but not always what you have time for.

Anyway, butchers have come up with a way to cut this mussel across the top and leave the connective tissue out altogether...mind you this is being done for high end restaurants, you won't find it cut this way in your giant supermarket....but if any one has a butcher in their area that butchers their own meats you could ask.

I went to my large chain grocery and asked the meat counter for a package with the least connective tissue he could find, he kindly obliged me and to my delight I had the most tender flavorful taco's for my lunch and it took all of about 5 min to prepare.

At $2.99 a pound you cannot beat it, and if your like me, and have had to learn how to just cook for yourself and not a family anymore than quick, healthful, great tasting, and not allot of cleanup is what I'm looking for.

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Super Natural Recipe Search

Monday, March 16, 2009

I always feel my Gramma's presence, however some day's much more than others. well this weekend was definatly one of those times, and I made the best of it. First it was Kale, white bean and linguesa soup (just the smell, before I ate it, was her) it was so good, I am not sure why I have not made it more often......it did not stop there, I picked up my Savoring Spain and Portugal cook book and found the orange cake Gramma used to make when we were small, being that Ashley's Grandpa had sent a big bag of oranges home with Billy, it was meant for me to make this cake. It is a very simple cake with really big orange flavor, and again, just the smell was my Gramma very close to me....Perfect way to spend a gray weekend indoors.

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Tropical Sauce

1 quart cooking sake

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sesame oil

2 to 3 cans coconut milk

1/2 papaya diced

1/2 pineapple diced

1 stick butter to finish

Simmer all ingredients (except butter) in sauce pan for about an hour to reduce and consentrate flavors.

blend sauce adding butter a little bit at a time to emusify, useina blender or stick blender.

Roasted Butternut Squash w/ Blue Cheese and toasted Pecans

1 large Butternut squash (seeded and cut into 1 inch cube’s with skin)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
Generously season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 ounces blue cheese
½ cup chopped toasted pecans
3 mission Figs quartered (garnish)

Pre heat oven to 400ยบ

Combine butternut squash cubes, evoo, rosemary, salt and pepper on heavy duty sheet pan. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until a knife can insert squash easily.

Remove squash to serving platter and garnish with cheese, pecans and fig quarters.

Good Eatin' Shrimp Ceviche
1 quart salted water 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 1 pound unpeeled medium shrimp ( 31/40 count to a pound) 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 to 2 tablespoons bottled hot sauce.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber (If English Cucumber no need to peel)
1/2 cup diced Jicama2 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed Salt to taste
Lime wedges, for garnish Tostada shells, tortilla chips or saltine crackers, for serving

Cooking and marinating the shrimp:
Bring 1 quart salted water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Add shrimp, cover and return to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, pour off all liquid.
Spread out shrimp in large bowl to cool completely.
Peel shrimp, and de-vein.
Toss shrimp with remaining 1/2 cup lime juice, cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
The Salsa:
In a small strainer, rinse chopped onion under cold water, then shake off excess liquid. Add to shrimp bowl along with chopped cilantro, ketchup, hot sauce, olive oil, cucumber and jicama. Mix gently, taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Cover and refrigerate up to a few hours, or serve immediately.
Serving the ceviche:
Spoon the ceviche into sundae glasses, martini glasses or small bowls. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro, diced avocado and wedge of lime.