A Celebration of Green: Herbed Fettuccine, Spinach-Poached Egg

herbed fettuccine spinach-poached egg
A Celebration of Green

Herbed Fettuccine, Spinach-Poached Egg, Artichoke Heart
Asparagus, Baby Heirloom Tomato, Shredded Parmesan, Raw Pepitas
Tarragon, Marjoram, Thyme, Chervil

I simply cannot go to the Farmers Market without bringing home load of …everything green. Yesterday’s haul included tomatillos, asparagus, artichokes, raw pepitas, spinach, chervil, jalapeños, chervil, chives, little green tomatoes, sage, basil, tarragon, summer squash, thyme, marjoram. And probably more.

green pasta concept

What shall I do with all this GREEN stuff? Pairing with pasta sounds good…but not all the produce can end up in the final dish. It has to be balanced, the herbs and other ingredients have to harmonize. Alas the tomatillos, summer squash & jalapeños will be saved for another day. Asparagus stays. I’ll use marjoram for pretty floral and subtle lemony notes, tarragon for its sweet anise-like spice, thyme for pungency and earthiness, and chervil for its bright green color and lacy texture.

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A “Down Under” BBQ & Blueberry Limoncello Pavlova

blueberry pavlova recipe

PAVLOVA
Blueberry, Lemon Curd with Limoncello, Greek Yogurt

Gidday Mates! This past weekend we celebrated our friend Chip’s birthday, as well as my new BBQ grill with a “Down Under” Party. The idea started with “shrimp on the barbie” and grew from there with Australian wines, beers, and ports, grilled lamb steaks, grilled corn, grilled bread, salads, cheeses, and more. And of course there had to be the quintessential dessert, Australia’s beloved Pavlova. And being us, we had to put booze in the pavlova. Limoncello to be exact. We do love our themed dinner parties.

In this simple but beautiful blueberry limoncello pavlova, the sweet meringue dissolves on the tongue, the lively lemon curd spiked with limoncello adds a surprisingly zippy note which is balanced by the tart yogurt and the heavenly fresh blueberries that pop in the mouth. Could it have been too elegant for our outback party?

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Risotto: Carrot, Cumin, Vodka, Creme Fraiche

carrot risotto, vodka, cumin, creme fraiche
RISOTTO
Carrot, Cumin, Vodka, Creme Fraiche
Parmesan, Nasturtium Blossom

I just happened to be thinking about making risotto while reading the Proud Italian Cook’s fabulous new ebook, Italian Sauces My Way (highly recommended and available here). In her book, my friend Marie has a recipe for Vodka Cream Sauce which she recommends spooned over steamed mussels, ravioli, gnocchi, or the classic penne pasta. It’s not a complicated sauce but the vodka makes it fancy, taking her delicious basic marinara to another level. Anyway, her wonderful sauce got me thinking about pairing vodka and risotto.

Other than tomato, what vegetable would pair well with vodka? Beet, celery, and carrot all sounded right. I decided to make the first trial with carrot. I added a kiss of cumin and a some creme fraiche for the creamy element. The color was so incredibly lovely, I didn’t want to detract from it. So the dish was finished with a nasturtium flower from the garden, keeping that monochromatic look.

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It’s The One Dish To Serve With Those Grilled Steaks!

eggplant and garbanzo salad
Grilled Eggplant Topped with a Chickpea Mash
Tomato Cucumber Onion Relish, Tahini Sauce, Mint Garnish

It’s a side dish, it’s a salad, it’s a vegetarian entree. Throw some steaks on the grill and serve them with this fabulous vegetable-bean dish! That’s the whole menu, right there. Smoky grilled eggplant is the base, topped with a terrific warm chickpea mash, a lively colorful relish, and a creamy sauce. It’s one unfussy yet pretty vegetarian platter bursting with flavor, the perfect accompaniment to grilled meat, chicken, or fish…

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Annual Library Luncheon & Mrs. Love’s Black-Eyed Pea Squash Salad

library luncheon READ
Welcome to the Evelyn Dawn Memorial Library, where librarian Mrs. Love is holding her annual Appreciation Luncheon for Parent Volunteers to thank them for their energy, support, dedication, and enthusiasm in helping maintain the library throughout the school year.

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Ideas for Personalizing Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Table Setting

I’m thrilled to be a contributing columnist for our local paper Random Lengths News, which covers the Harbor Area of Los Angeles, where I write about food and entertaining.The following is the column I wrote for Mother’s Day.

Personalizing Mother’s Day

It’s no secret that Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for U.S. restaurants. Take mom out for a nice meal, give her the day off from cooking and cleaning, what a treat! But if you would like to make the day festive and personal, try these tips for “Making Mother’s Day Special” starting her day by fixing breakfast or brunch. And {hint} you can still take her out for dinner!

brunch strata

Prepare a fresh and easy brunch that is on the healthier side. The menu includes a light egg & cheese strata, fresh fruit parfait, with juice, and coffee or tea. The strata provides a delightful savory element, while the parfait adds a sweet note.

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