Friday, November 5, 2010

A Passion for Cooking

Cooking, for me is more than just putting foods together that taste good...It is a passion, without being able to cook, create new recipe's would be like cutting off my arms. I love to watch people eat the dishes that I have created, there is nothing like the joy of making people happy with food.
Super Natural Recipe Search
Super Natural Recipe Search

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hey out there, I know most of you are, like me, thinking about the biggest cooking day of the year, yes Thanksgiving is around the corner, and I for one am tired of the same ole same ole..............(being as I have cooked upwards of 40 turkey's in a week in past years.) SO I have come up with a plan..........I am going to dry brine my Turkey, but first I am going to remove the back bone, and break the breast so that my turkey is flat...I am going to put my sage cornbread etc. stuffing under the skin, as I am not a fan of, and have never done stuffing in the turkey, because by the time the inside gets to temp the breast is all dried out......with my turkey flat it will cook much faster and the stuffing will help to keep the breast moist. Wow so glad I have a plan, and a place to share it with all of you!! Happy Turkey Day everyone!!!!!!!!!

Super Natural Recipe Search
Super Natural Recipe Search

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall, I love fall, actually I think I love the beginning of every season, because with them comes the produce that I have been missing since the year before.

To me, fall is the beginning of my search for new ways to use the seasons produce in soups, glorious SOUP............!!!!!!!

Anyone out there have some soup recipe's that they love using "seasonal Produce/fruits" please post them, I would love to have them.

Super Natural Recipe Search
Super Natural Recipe Search

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I love to bake, and this time of the year when the cold starts to seep in, I start conjuring up ideas to play with in the baking dept.

Well, I have a recipe for banana cake/bread that not only I love, but everyone that has ever had it, loves it.......the recipe is very special to me, because it came from my Gramma, and everyone in my family makes it.

This recipe, as I have learned is extremely versatile, last year my BF wanted to make a pumpkin cake, so I got to thinking what if we just substituted the banana with pumpkin, and added appropriate spices, hhhmmmmmmmm....well it worked, with great results, and has now been added to the "go to" recipes for this time of year.

All this leads me to someone giving me a ton of wonderful apples, and I didn't want a pie......soooooooooo, hmmmmm, why wouldn't it work, really no I go for it, first by making a compote with the apples adding raisin, Cinnamon, nutmeg, calvados, vanilla, brown sugar, white sugar, and arrowroot to thicken, I cook it down to soft all the way through the apples, but still holding their integrity, made the base of the banana cake and substitute with the apple compote......results are in and they are good! I think adding some rich caramel sauce would take it over the top....However know one thinks it is needed, so I am out-numbered, and I still think it would take it to the level I would be satisfied with.

Super Natural Recipe Search
Super Natural Recipe Search

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Helpful Facts on holding prepared proteins:

There are different holding methods for buffet type foods, keeping this in mind while preparing a menu is vital to the end result for your clients, friends, family, etc.

For instance, if you are preparing fish, or a very lean protein, and it will be held in a steam table/chaffer environment, you need to have some form of fat to keep the protein from drying out, if you do not have a form of fat your end result will be less than palatable after a 30 minute period of time.

Super Natural Recipe Search
Super Natural Recipe Search

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Boy oh boy, have I learned a thing or two this month....I was told about a book (thanks cuz AM) called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, written by Barbara Kingsolver, with input/experiences from her family.

I could go on and on about what is in this book, so one subject at a time...."SEEDS" who knew you should read the labels before purchasing seeds...the large Co. sell seeds that they have genetically modified GM, they also own certain gene strains in seeds, and farmers can be sued (and lose) if they have old seeds that carry these genes, and they plant them for profit......We as consumers need to get a grip on so much that is within our rights to object, with knowledge comes power, if we refuse to purchase from the large land rapers, then they will have to change or cease to exist.

I recommend this book to everyone, it is more than informative it is a great story of a family that decided to live with what they could grow, or purchase from their neighbors, or live without it for a year.

Super Natural Recipe Search
Super Natural Recipe Search

Friday, April 16, 2010

Well Spring is in the air, "lol" this week in CA we have been having winter one week, and spring the next for about a month. Anyway, the FMarkets are reflecting the spring with asparagus, morels, strawberries, artichokes, meyers lemons..the list will continue to grow in a few weeks. Now let us look at the few items I have listed above...nature knows what ingredients make perfect partners, paired with a few staples you have a multitude of meals that will not only satisfy...but nurture your health as well.

Eating what is in season is always fun for me. It gives my palate something to look forward to, as new vegetables/fruit start coming in to the markets the ideas are endless.

Super Natural Recipe Search

Super Natural Recipe Search

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Balance, yes it is something I think about when writing a new recipe, or creating it in my mind.

Recipe's without balance, are usually not very good recipe's...Balance is found, not only in the flavors used in a dish, but in the ingredients themselves, and how their perfect amounts bring the dish together to create unami!

IE. the perfect amount of fillings to bread in a sandwich, not to mention how those fillings pair with the type of bread that will be used, and how much of each ingredient goes into the filling, spreads, etc.

Balance, is a key to good food!

Super Natural Recipe Search

Super Natural Recipe Search

Friday, February 19, 2010

Well once again I have been gone to long from this space, did not expect to be this busy in Feb. oh well but I am.

However, I have a few new recipe's that I some how pulled out of my hat, one a California Lasagna, we dubbed it Napa Valley Lasagna, because you would never find it on the East very good reason I love being a West Coast girl, the possibilities are endless and we do not feel that we need to stick to tradition just for the sake of it.

On to the Lasagna, it starts with a rich bechamel (yes a white lasagna) the ricotta has egg, mozzarella, blue cheese, parmesan, salt, pepper, and garlic, parsley, and sage. I dice chicken thighs into bite size pieces, season with evoo, s&p, parsley, and sage, roast at 400 degree's for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked and a bit brown around the edges. I dice butternut squash (no need to peel) in to bite size pieces, and season the same as the chicken (you can roast the at the same time pulling the squash after about 15 minutes.) while chicken and butternut are roasting, slice and caramelize one onion. assemble lasagna as you would any other lasagna, bake at 375 covered until bubbly and hot in the middle. DEEELISH!!!!!

The other new recipe was for a sandwich, Italian Panino: picture it a hollowed out cabatia roll, with rosemary balsamic reduction aioli, prosciutto, cantaloupe, fresh mozzarella, and arugula. This panino has so much flavor yet very light to the palate, I love it, and so do my clients. YIPPY!!!!

With Spring just around the corner I will be working on new salads, it is really hard to think about cold food in the winter, so I have been putting it off, better get busy as spring will sneak up on me un prepared.

Super Natural Recipe Search

Super Natural Recipe Search

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hi all, I have not been around for awhile, the Holidays were really busy for me. Lots of candy making and catering like a mad person.

However I am now back on track, and my creative juices are starting to flow once again. Have some great ideas for the cafe.

Today I made a new veggie sandwich with roasted poblano chili's, eggplant, yams, portabello mushrooms, red onion, on a seeded roll with the middle torn out and smeared with mango chutney, it was a hit with me and so far everyone else is happy, happy too!! :D

I had some wonderful meals that are always an inspiration to me, while on vacation, one in particular was a sandwich/Torta at Tamarind in Oakland, (I highly recommend the restaurant) between Broadway and Washington on 8th st. The food was served ala carte, so kind of tapa's style, anyway I digress, the Torta was a well seasoned chicken breast with re fried black bean smear, avocado, roasted poblano's jack cheese and was a very well balanced sandwich and we liked it very much.

Now to recreate that sandwich to fit in my cafe is a challenge, because as we all know avocado's oxidizes terrible I am going to make an avocado aioli, with lemon, and roasted garlic, "no more oxidation problem" I am going to change the cheese to pepper jack, and keep the black bean smear, and change the bread to dutch crunch.

Okay, I will be back tomorrow with updates on the new sandwich, any ideas please send them my way, I am always open.

Chow for now!!

Super Natural Recipe Search

Super Natural Recipe Search


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.