I Promise To Make Your Mouth Water

Carnitas, Polenta, Pumpkin Seed Pesto, Avocado, Fresh Corn, Spicy Pumpkin Seeds, Mexican Crema, Pickled Radish and Red Jalapeno, Cilantro, Cotija Cheese

Carnitas, Polenta, Pumpkin Seed Kale Cilantro Pesto
with

Avocado, Corn, Pumpkin Seeds, Mexican Crema
Pickled Radish and Red Jalapeno, Cilantro, Cotija Cheese

What started out as an idea to make a deconstructed pork tamale, morphed into one extremely mouth-watering dish. Creamy polenta with fresh corn is topped with a pumpkin seed kale cilantro pesto. Braised pork shoulder is fried in a bit of oil to give it crispy edges, then piled on top. A dizzying array of garnishes make the dish come alive – avocado, somewhat spicy pumpkin superseedz, pickled radish and red jalapeño, cotija cheese, mexican crema, cilantro.

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 1.11.54 PM

I am so pleased to be working with SuperSeedz and their marketing team to develop recipes utilizing their amazing pumpkin seeds. SuperSeedz is an innovative snack company that has reimagined the pumpkin seed – adding flavors like cocoa, cinnamon & sugar, cayenne, curry, and more.

Continue reading “I Promise To Make Your Mouth Water”

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon ~ Celebrating Our National Parks

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon ~ Celebrating Our National Parks

I wish there were a national contest for the most outstanding Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. I’m certain that the parents of students at Rolling Hills Country Day School would come in first place. Every. Year.

Going way beyond creative, in the past 5 years these parents have turned an ordinary auditorium into mysterious colorful Morocco, a charming Farmers Market, an all-star Ballpark, a clever Eco-Friendly environment, and a delightful Asian restaurant …

And now – into a National Park!

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon ~ Celebrating Our National Parks

On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service turns 100! The Centennial will celebrate the achievements of the past 100 years and kick off a second century of stewardship for America’s national parks and for communities across the nation.

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon ~ Celebrating Our National Parks

Camp Rolling Hills Country Day

“Please join us for a woodsy afternoon luncheon at RHCDS National Park in honor of our Teachers & Staff and the 100th year celebration of U.S. National Parks.

So grab your hiking boots and camping gear as we adventure and explore the beauty of the great outdoors.

We’ll gather around the campfire for stories and s’mores.”

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon ~ Celebrating Our National Parks

Wearing our nifty new Outdoor Adventure T-Shirts, we arrive at the “national park” to find a fabulous Glamping-Style Buffet, and upon further exploration we find that our campsite features S’mores Around a “Live” Campfire, a General Store where we can take our cool new backpacks to fill with all the supplies we’ll need on our adventures.

These include a picnic blanket, canteen, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, lip balm – all embossed with the Camp RHCDS logo. Also included  – a neat little Pelican LED flashlight. Thanks to the generous parents, we’re equipped and ready to enjoy the great outdoors now and all summer long.

To ward off hunger along the trails, we are supplied a red bandana which contains a s’mores kit. Plus, we visit the Happy Trails booth to customize trail mix for the hike, choosing from a wide assortment of dried fruits and nuts and seeds. And finally we visit the Bear Country Bakery booth for bear claw brownies, muffins, and cookies plus hot coffee for energy. We definitely won’t go hungry on this trip.

Come, take a hike with us and check it out!

Maybe we’ll even spot a bear???

Continue reading “Teacher Appreciation Luncheon ~ Celebrating Our National Parks”

Rice Noodles with Miso Butter and Ramen-Style Toppings

Rice Noodles with Miso Butter and Ramen-Style Toppings

Rice Noodles with Miso Butter and Ramen-Style Toppings
Corn, Seaweed, Scallion, Ginger, Bacon (optional), Egg

It’s not a soup, but a noodle dish that borrows the fabulous flavors of miso ramen. The folks at the Food Network are featuring portable, picnic-ready dishes this week. To participate, I’ve transformed ramen soup into a delightful summer noodle salad that is served at room temperature and travels from the backyard, to the park, to the beach, and beyond.

Using fresh summer corn off the cob – it’s seasonal, tasty and unique, sure to be a hit on any picnic buffet. For gluten-free and vegetarian friends – I use rice noodles rather than wheat-based ramen noodles, and while pork is a main ingredient in many ramen soups, the bacon can be served on the side.

Rice Noodles with Miso Butter Recipe

Continue reading “Rice Noodles with Miso Butter and Ramen-Style Toppings”

Smoky Pork Chops with Fresh Corn and Fire-Roasted Hatch Chile, Pickled Okra

Smoky Pork Chops with Fresh Corn and Roasted Chiles, Pickled Okra

Pork Chops Rubbed with Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Dry Mustard
Over Fresh Corn & Fire-Roasted Hatch Chile
Pickled Okra Garnish

Growers say that the intense sunlight and cool nights in this valley result in a uniquely flavored chile. They have been roasting up a storm in Hatch, New Mexico. Unlike other chiles, those grown in Hatch are only available for about 6 weeks each year during the months of August and September, and only as long as the fresh chile supply holds out. Hatch chiles range in spiciness from mild to very hot, choose the type that suits your palate!

Since we are sadly at the tail end of the Hatch season this year you’ve got to hurry to make smoky pork chops with fresh Hatch chiles. Luckily Anaheim, New Mexico, poblano chiles or even frozen Hatch chiles can be substituted in this recipe. But try remember to look for Hatch chiles next growing season, their flavor is really extraordinary…

Smoky Pork Chops Recipe

Continue reading “Smoky Pork Chops with Fresh Corn and Fire-Roasted Hatch Chile, Pickled Okra”

Grilled Corn, Soy-Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

Grilled Corn, Soy Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

Grilled Corn, Soy-Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

Pure white. Very subtle yet intriguing chèvre flavors. Goat butter is produced by churning the fresh, pasteurized goat cream. The composition of goat butter has a lower melting point than cow’s butter, so it is softer than cow’s butter at room temperature. Combined with the clean flavor and subtle heat of wasabi powder, this goat butter is simply sublime paired with grilled corn.

Mirin, soy sauce, and olive oil are combined to make a stellar glaze for grilled corn. Fresh corn is shucked and placed on the hot grill, then liberally brushed with the glaze as the corn is rotated and roasted.

Mirin is a cooking wine brewed from glutinous rice, its complex sweet flavors complement the salty soy sauce. It also adds a glossy sheen to the grilled corn. Be sure to buy high quality mirin, as some brands on the market are made with corn syrup (read the label). Look for mirin made with water, rice, koji (aspergillus oryzae), and sea salt. Or, if possible buy artisanal mirin rather than the commercially produced variety.

With Japanese flavors, wasabi goat butter and soy-mirin glaze take summer’s simple grilled corn on the cob to new umami heights.

Grilled Corn, Soy-Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter Recipe

Grilled Corn, Soy Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

Continue reading “Grilled Corn, Soy-Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter”

Hello? Summer calling…

 summer salad, corn, tomato couscous, basil lemon dressing
Hello Summer Salad

Israeli Couscous, Corn, Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, Jalapeño
Chunky Lemon Basil Dressing, Chervil

I forget how much I like Israeli couscous. It’s airy, toasty, and kind of fun. Perfect for summer. This roasted pasta is shaped like little balls and popular with kids in Israel where it’s called ptitim, we know it here as Israeli couscous. It makes a pasta salad that’s light and not too pasta-y. Vegetables are the star, but the couscous makes it into a meal. A beautiful colorful healthy meal for a hot summer day…

Continue reading “Hello? Summer calling…”

butternut squash lasagna, tomatillo sauce

butternut squash lasagna, gluten-free lasagna, vegetarian lasagna

roasted butternut squash & corn lasagna
layered with corn tortilla, shredded mozzarella, and tomatillo sauce

butternut squash lasagna, lasagna,

Already? The school year is winding to a close. It’s time to thank the parent volunteers for their energy, support, and dedication in helping maintain the library at Rolling Hills Country Day School. As is tradition, our  librarian recognizes all the parent volunteers at a special “Luncheon in the Library” held in their honor. Not only is Mrs. Love an inspiring passionate librarian and mother of three Country Day students, she is also a fabulous cook! I’m thrilled to have her share her recipe here, it was a smashing success (vegetarian & gluten-free too)!

Continue reading “butternut squash lasagna, tomatillo sauce”