Prosciutto Egg Cups – Easter Brunch

These prosciutto egg cups are actually simple to make but they really lend an elegant look to any brunch buffet and is the perfect addition to my Easter Brunch menu.  I am going to serve this along with a walnut pesto to really make them extra special.  I am also serving a Caprese Salad that is my own twist on a traditional Caprese Salad because I add thinly sliced red onions, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and chopped pistachios for crunch. This recipe can be found in my cookbook, The ... Continue Reading

Walnut Basil Pesto

Walnut basil pesto is a wonderful twist on a classic pine nut pesto.  And if you live in Northern California, like me, then Walnuts are actually a local product and all the more reason to use them. But even if you don't, they are available year-round in any grocery store anywhere and are a healthy way to jazz up your pesto sauce.  They actually give the pesto a heartier profile and more texture and are less expensive than pine nuts.  Win-win.  But don't just take my word on it, try it!  I ... Continue Reading

Creamy Crab Dip with a Kick

This creamy crab dip is different than other crab dips out there.  It has plenty of fresh crab in it, and that's the star of the dish, but it also has a complexity and layers of flavors from a variety of freshly roasted peppers.  I used a blend that ranges from mild to medium hot to get the most in terms of different flavors and colors.  I think it should have a building heat that doesn't overpower the crab itself.  But feel free to change it up and use any peppers that you like.  And if ... Continue Reading

Puff Pastry Pizza – Tomato, Red Pepper, Olive & Mozzarella

This is a beautiful dish for any special occasion because it's so colorful and so easy to make.  Plus it holds up well and can be served at room temperature.  So it's perfect for a holiday gathering, bridal shower or baby shower, book club night or Bunko night,  or even a special Valentine's Day dinner.  You really can use any toppings you like but this one idea of a delicious flavor combination that really gives a punch from the combination of the salty, briny Kalamata olives to fresh ... Continue Reading

Deviled Egg Trio – A Spicy Valentine

Do you have someone special in your life who loves spice?  And who doesn't love a deviled egg? I mean, c'mon.  What's not to love?  If you do then this is the absolutely perfect appetizer or first course to your valentine's day dinner.  The hard boiled eggs can be done ahead of time and then refrigerated.  And the creamy egg mixture with creme fraiche, mayo, vinegar and mustard is such a wonderful counterbalance to the spicy trio of toppings. The bacon jalapeno is crunchy and a tiny bit ... Continue Reading

Super Bowl Bites – Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp, Paprika & Pepper Jack Cheese Dip, and Candied Pecan Crostini with Gorgonzola & Honey

Looking to wow your guests with a super bowl menu that is both delicious and a little bit sophisticated?  This one has it all.  It’s perfect for a gathering of both sexes – a little something for everyone.  If you are having a larger crowd you can certainly double or triple the recipe to meet your needs.  And if you want something more substantial to round out the menu I’d recommend a slider bar.  Mini burgers served on slider buns or brioche rolls and then an array of fixins’ so ... Continue Reading

Crispy Potato with Flank Steak and Horseradish Creme Fraiche

The holidays are all about gatherings and good times and food is such a central part to that.  When I entertain at the holidays, whichever holiday it is, I like to pick dishes that use seasonal ingredients and where the flavors are reminiscent of that holiday.  For me, the Christmas season usually has some kind of a beef dish with horseradish sauce involved, which is a rich dish, so I though it would be fun to make a dish with those classic ... Continue Reading

Crab Stuffed Endive with Citrus Habanero Oil

One thing I love to serve during the holidays is crab.  Crab cakes are a real favorite around our house.  But with all the rich food that will be part of our holiday gathering I thought it would be fun to try to create a recipe that would lighten up the menu.  This would work great as a small bite before dinner or even as the salad to a sit down dinner.  Simply double or triple the recipe for more guests. I first tried Citrus Habanero oil in a little trio of olive oil set I bought at ... Continue Reading

New Orleans Shrimp Crostini with Creole Butter

I LOVE New Orleans style BBQ shrimp.  The sauce is dark and buttery with such depth of flavor from the creole seasoning.  Typically you get those flavors by creating a stock that starts with cooking the shrimp shells down with onion, garlic, creole spices, beer and Worcestershire sauce.  The sauce is finished with butter and served with shrimp piled high on the plate; the sauce poured all around it.  I wanted  to ... Continue Reading

Sausage, Fennel & Goat Cheese Pizza

Sausage and fennel, fennel and sausage - two of my favorite flavor combinations and they happen to be reminiscent of fall, too.  Fennel sausage in your turkey stuffing?  Yes, please.  This recipe isn't exactly a Thanksgiving dish but it's a great one to serve whenever you are entertaining guests this holiday season or as an appetizer to your Turkey Day meal because it's relatively easy and the first few steps can be done ahead of time, making it simple ... Continue Reading