Apple-Fennel Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Fall is in the air and that means lots of apples around here.  And fresh pressed apple cider is in every grocery store right about now.  A classic flavor combination is pork, apples and fennel and a favorite way to combine those flavors is to stuff them into pork chops or a pork loin.  But I thought it would be fun to experiment with the same flavors in a different way.  Why not a fall salad instead?  And instead of pork chops what if I used prosciutto as the pork?  That got me excited ... Continue Reading

Corn and Sweet Potato Salad

Corn and sweet potatoes are an irresistible combination. Plus it's summertime and you probably have corn coming out of your ears.  Okay....that was a terrible attempt at humor but hopefully this recipe for Corn and Sweet Potato Salad hits a better note with you.   I call it a salad but it's really a side dish or a hash.  There are many names for it but whichever you choose it's delicious and easy to make. Corn is probably on sale by the bucketful where you live as it is here in ... Continue Reading

Bacon Caprese Cups

Father's Day is coming up and in honor of all the bacon loving dads out there I wanted to create a menu that includes bacon and/or beer in every dish.  I'm starting out with these Bacon Caprese Cups and we'll see where it goes from there!  Caprese Salad is so delicious and simple.  It celebrates the beauty of a perfectly ripe, sun-kissed tomato with just a few simple ingredients like creamy mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, olive oil and salt.  While this version might make a purist cringe ... Continue Reading

Pine Nut Crusted Goat Cheese Salad with Cara Cara Orange Vinaigrette

Pine nut crusted goat cheese?  "I don't know...."  Is that what you are thinking?   Admit it.  Well I had my doubts too when I came up with the idea but trust me it just works.  The breadcrumb and toasted pine nut mixture is crunchy and has that distinct pine nut flavor to it that we all love in pesto.  It's just like sprinkling pine nuts on your salad only this time it's right on your cheese.  Paired with a bright, citrus vinaigrette this goat cheese salad makes a terrific starter, ... Continue Reading

Zucchini Noodle Salad

Recently my sister and I took our kids to Santa Cruz for a fun getaway and cousin time.  Along the way we stopped at a pizza place in Campbell, CA and had this delicious zucchini noodle salad.  It was packed with flavor and different veggies (roasted red peppers, olives, fresh and sundried tomatoes, artichokes) and had this spicy, tangy light dressing to it.  The best part was that my niece, who was all of 1 years old, was shoveling this salad into her mouth by the fistful.  She loved it!  ... Continue Reading

Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad

Persimmons and pomegranates are both in season right now and make a delicious addition to your fall table, whether entertaining for the holidays or just having a weeknight meal with family. To amp up the festive flavors I made a pomegranate vinaigrette to go with it using pomegranate vinegar and shallots and a couple of other ingredients.  But, if you don't have any on hand, just substitute regular balsamic vinegar instead. And this is one of those salads where I think ingredients really ... Continue Reading

Panzanella Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

Hold up!  Summer is not over yet.  Is it? Well even if it is this Panzanella Salad with grilled veggies and a beautiful grilled lemon-basil dressing is a hit year round.  It's a hearty salad, more of a side dish than just a salad, and it won't wilt in the summer heat so it's perfect for a picnic or barbeque if you are lucky enough to squeeze one last one in this Labor Day weekend.  Panzanella is a Tuscan inspired 'bread' salad with fresh vegetables where the day-old bread soaks up the ... Continue Reading

Tuna fish three ways

There is nothing more fun than taking a simple dish - like tuna fish - and finding new ways to present it and eat it.  It's all about options with this tuna trio.  I came up with these ideas as part of my cooking segment for KCRA3 on what college kids can make in their dorm room kitchens.  Unless things have changed dramatically since I went to college, which is possible, it's all about cheap, quick and easy.  Also, tuna fish is a very healthy option for college kids who may be concerned ... Continue Reading

Wedge Salad with Crispy Chorizo

A crisp wedge salad with a creamy buttermilk dressing and blue cheese and tomatoes is a delicious classic that usually comes topped with crumbled bacon.  This is a dish you'll find on the menu at most steak houses across America and one that I know many of my friends enjoy, too.  While I can't argue with a classic I thought that by adding a smoky element of chorizo sausage, instead of the bacon, would be a great way to update this salad and give it an interesting twist.  An Internati... Continue Reading

Heirloom Carrot and Purple Cabbage Coleslaw

I make this coleslaw year round and use regular carrots when I can't find the heirloom variety.  It's such a light and refreshing side dish that comes together in mere minutes and pairs especially well with my pulled pork tacos with fried plantains!  But really it goes with any picnic or BBQ as an easy crowd pleasing side dish.  Even the kids love coleslaw, right?  The heirloom variety of carrots are nice because they add some additional color to the dish which makes for a vibrant ... Continue Reading