Tea Sandwiches

These tea sandwiches are perfect for any crowd and any occasion when it comes to easy entertaining.  There is a vegetarian version and a meat version so you can have all the bases covered and they both have a scrumptious herbed butter on the bread that resembles the classic watercress tea sandwiches served in England.  Perhaps best of all is that this is one of those easy, no-cook recipes but still looks fancy for entertaining.  These tea sandwiches can be part of a brunch, bridal shower, ... Continue Reading

Baked Brie, Balsamic Onions & Fig Jam

Baked Brie, Balsamic Onions & Fig Jam - yum!  Bake brie is such a crowd pleaser for any gathering.  And Baked Brie, Balsamic Onions & Fig Jam should be at the top of your list for this Thanksgiving holiday.  It's so easy to make and you can make part of it ahead of time - the balsamic onions - and just store them in the fridge until needed.  They will save for a few days even. I made my own balsamic onions but I recently saw that our Trader Joe's was selling a jarred version.  ... 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

Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Poblano and Corn

With Fall approaching I wanted to make something that celebrates the Fall flavors I love so much - despite the fact it's still 90 plus degrees outside.  Who knows...maybe a nice little Fall soup will trigger the cooler weather.  And for me it's the roasting  of veggies that really brings me fully from one season to the next.   So, of course I needed to start with something roasted and decided sweet potato was a good place to start.  I don't know about you but soup seemed to make ... Continue Reading

Roasted Poblano Crema

What is a crème, you may ask?  It's very simply a thick, creamy sauce that is seen in Mexican cooking (think Fish Tacos with crema) similar to crème fraiche (French cultured sour cream).  Crema is thinner than the American version, sour cream.  This Roasted Poblano Crema is my twist on a regular crema because it really packs in the flavor with the roasted Poblano pepper mixed into the puree.  I also add in some cilantro, garlic and lime juice for a balance of flavors.  And I used ... 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

Fresh Fig, Peach and Brie Crostini

It's fig season!  And peach season!  And crostini season?  Well....it's no secret that I love a good crostini.  It's my 'go to' for entertaining because you can pile pretty much anything fresh and seasonal on some bread and call it a day.  Right?  Well almost.  This fresh fig, peach and brie crostini dish is the perfect example of how balance is everything and using fresh, seasonal ingredients  to make a beautiful bite for the senses is an art in itself.  Less is more.  It's all ... Continue Reading

Spicy Garlic and Parmesan Pasta

This is Spicy Garlic and Parmesan Pasta is one of the easiest pasta dishes you could ever make but seriously one of my all time favorites.  Something magical happens with the combination of crushed red pepper flakes, basil, and fresh chopped garlic mixed with olive oil and then gently heated. And then when you add that salty, nutty parmesan cheese to the mix it's just out of this world delicious.  A combination made in culinary heaven.  Best of all it's fast and inexpensive!  Which ... 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

Fresh Tomato Soup and Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

When it's summertime and tomato season this is the perfect recipe for any cocktail hour or tapas night.  There is nothing like the sweet, tangy flavor of a fresh tomato soup with an ooey-gooey grilled cheese to dip into it.  And served in these soup shot glasses it makes a really elegant and fun presentation that can work for a casual tapas night or a wedding reception or engagement party! I used heirloom tomatoes but you can use any type of fresh tomato you like if you can't find ... Continue Reading