Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup

Last Thanksgiving’s Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Shards was such a hit, I’m going to add meat to the veggie dish again this year. Bacon and Brussels sprouts are a classic pairing, but for an unexpected twist, I’ll be serving the little brassicas with Italian sausage seasoned with fennel. Fennel seeds add interesting anise notes that complement and add complexity to the roasted sprouts.

A balsamic vinegar reduction will add sweet notes and enough acid to balance the rich sausage. A sprinkling of parsley will bring bright, fresh qualities. I’m confident that this side dish will be equally, if not more popular, than the bacon version. As a bonus, ease of preparation and a short ingredient list make this one a winner for the busy holiday cook (me).

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Italian Sausage Recipe

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Roadkill Spaghetti

Roadkill Spaghetti - Sweet Salty Angry Chicken Wings, Carrot Bones, Spicy Arrabiata Sauce

Roadkill Spaghetti
Sweet Salty Angry Chicken Wings and Carrot Bones
Spicy Arrabiata Sauce

Why, oh why did the chickens cross the road on that DARK HALLOWEEN NIGHT? This MACABRE scene is the third and last in a series of three original FRIGHTFULLY fun and flavorful BLACK bean spaghetti recipes developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine.

The BLOODY MUTILATED MESS of DEAD chickens, BLACK bean spaghetti, and white carrot BONES in a spicy arrabiata sauce is actually DEVILISHLY DELICIOUS while simultaneously HORRIFIC to behold.

GRISLY ROADKILL Spaghetti will SHOCK your friends and family with its sweet, salty, spicy flavors and GRUESOME presentation.

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Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Are you wondering what to serve for dinner on HALLOWEEN night? Something delicious and nutritious to counter-balance all that candy? SCARE your family with Spaghetti AFRAID-O!

It is a downright DISTURBING dish where alfredo and marinara sauces depict DEATH or at the very least, some SEVERE INJURY as FINGER BONES are MANGLED among BLACK bean spaghetti.

The idea for this dish came to me in a NIGHTMARE, it is the second in a series of three original FRIGHTFULLY fun and flavorful BLACK bean spaghetti recipes developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine.

The challenge was to create three HORRIFYING recipes. They needed to be GORY yes, but also DEVILISHLY delicious. This one is organic, meatless, gluten-free, and lower-carb too.

Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Spaghetti AFRAID-O Recipe

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Deviled Eyes Buried in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Deviled Eyes Nestled in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Deviled Eyes Buried in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Happy Halloween! DEVILED Eyes BURIED in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons are the first in a series of three original FRIGHTFULLY fun and flavorful BLACK bean spaghetti recipes developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine.

The challenge was to create three UNNERVING recipes with a GHOULISH bent. They needed to be CREEPY yes, but also DEVILISHLY delicious with a unique presentation – the first ones to DISAPPEAR from the halloween buffet.

To keep the VAMPIRES at bay, dish #1 is quite garlicky. BLACK spaghetti is tossed with olive oil, GARLIC, fresh herbs, red chile flakes and crumbled egg yolk, while EERIE eyeballs are flavored with GARLIC mayonnaise. BLOODSUCKERS BEWARE!

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Palos Verdes Pastoral Featuring Basque Cuisine

Palos Verdes Pastoral, A Garden to Table Dining Experience

Palos Verdes Pastoral
A Garden to Table Dining Experience
Featuring Basque Cuisine

The art of good eating and culinary style are at the heart of Basque culture. Basque cookery is influenced by the landscape featuring both cuisine from the coast and cuisine from the mountains and fertile valleys.

Terranea Resort’s Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra prepared dishes inspired by the land of his childhood at a dinner where the hills and coastline of Palos Verdes, California mirror the terrain of his beloved Basque Country.

The Chef brought a true garden-to-table concept to the event introducing diners to the flourishing textures, colors, flavors and aromas of the charmed Basque region with predominantly French and Spanish influence.

Palos Verdes Pastoral is a fundraising event that brings people together amidst nature for an exclusive al fresco dining experience with magnificent views of Catalina Island on a warm Autumn evening. The enchanting meal created by Chef Bernard, showcased the best of California-grown, hand-crafted, organic, and sustainable food and wine.

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Olive Harvest Celebration and Palos Verdes Pastoral

Olive Harvest Celebration and Palos Verdes Pastoral

Olive Harvest Celebration and Palos Verdes Pastoral

It just doesn’t get more local than this! At the upcoming Palos Verdes Pastoral to be held on October 9th at Terranea Resort, Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra will be serving an enchanting dinner inspired by the dishes of his childhood. “The mountains were my backyard and the sea was my front yard,” reminisces Chef Bernard about growing up in France’s Basque Country.

The menu will awaken diners to the flourishing textures, colors, and aromas of the charmed Basque region. The Chef brings a true garden-to-table concept to the event – not because it is fashionable, but because it is natural, the way cooking should be, he says.

In France, they relied on local products and let the season dictate what is on the table. Menus would follow the rhythm of Mother Nature.  The Palos Verdes Pastoral dinner will be flavored with uber-local ingredients from the Palos Verdes Peninsula including estate-grown olive oil, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, lemonade berries, rosemary, sea salt, and honey.

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Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Luxardo Glaze, Cherries, and Candied Orange

Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Luxardo Glaze, Cherries, and Candied Orange
Olive Oil Bundt Cake
Luxardo Glaze, Cherries, and Candied Orange

Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Luxardo Glaze, Cherries, and Candied Orange

Inspired by last week’s Evolving Manhattan Cocktail with Luxardo Ice Sphere, here Maraschino Liqueur shows up as a glaze for a not-too-sweet bundt cake featuring fruity extra-virgin olive oil.

Luxardo Maraschino, a liqueur distilled from the leaves, pits, stems and skins of sour marasca cherries has an almond-like, subtly bitter complex cherry flavor.

Nicely browned on the outside, with a soft moist interior, the simple yet impressive cake is enhanced with candied orange and those luxurious luxardo cherries and their heavenly juice. And a complementary basil garnish is much more interesting than the ubiquitous mint sprig.

Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Luxardo Glaze Recipe

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Pretty Watermelon Gazpacho with Blackberries

Pretty Watermelon Gazpacho with Blackberries, Tomatoes, Edible Flowers

Pretty Watermelon Gazpacho with Blackberries

watermelon cubes, grape tomatoes, micro cilantro, nasturtium whorls
edible flower petals, celery leaves, fruity olive oil

I purchased the obligatory feta cheese, tangy Bulgarian Feta to be exact, to garnish my watermelon gazpacho. But when it came time to plate my chilled soup, I thought watermelon + feta is way too predictable and the homogenous pale red soup needed some extra visual pizzazz. Additionally, I wanted to serve a soup that would appeal to my #glutenfreevegan friends… enter blackberries, grape tomatoes, and edible flowers.

The soup recipe is quite intriguing – a balance between sweet and savory -a summery marriage of juicy watermelon and red ripe tomatoes. Spicy green chile, cool cucumber and pungent red onion round out the flavors while my beloved vinagre de jerez is the spark that gives gazpacho its unique character. Good fruity olive oil adds a rich mouthfeel.

Watermelon Gazpacho Recipe


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Chocolate Banana Bites with Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds

Chocolate Banana Bites with Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds

Super Spicy Chocolate Banana Bites with Gourmet Pumpkin SuperSeedz

Add some spice to your next cocktail party. Sure, you will be serving a cheese platter and some type of charcuterie. But also give your guests something unexpected. A fruity-sweet-spicy option on the buffet.

Super spicy chocolate covered banana bites with pumpkin seeds will blow them way. This little snack-on-a-stick is absolutely not for kids. The chocolate and pumpkin seeds are indeed super spicy.

SuperSeedz is an innovative snack company that has reimagined the pumpkin seed – adding flavors like cocoa, cinnamon & sugar, cayenne, curry, and more.

Dry roasted in small batches without the shell, they have redefined the traditional plain pumpkin seed into a variety of creative flavors that provide a healthy, nutritious standalone snack.

Standalone, absolutely, they rock. But cooks like me will also be inspired to give them a try in all sorts of recipes.

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By the way, my banana bites are not frozen. As adults, let’s enjoy our cocktails and keep our teeth happy without having to bite into something frozen solid as a rock.

Chocolate Banana Bites with Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds

It really is super spicy…sweet & savory. And quite healthful too. One perfect bite on a stick. Irresistible.

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Open-Faced Swiss Burger with Flower Salad

Colorful Open-Faced Swiss Burger with Flower Salad and Blistered Tomatoes

Open-Faced Swiss Burger with Flower Salad and Blistered Tomatoes

The idea started out simply to serve my grilled burgers with less carbs and more greens…and yellows, reds, oranges, pinks, and purples. And while there is nothing particularly extraordinary about a hamburger with lettuce and tomato, who wouldn’t be delighted with this vibrant presentation?

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