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

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Pineapple

These sweet and spicy grilled pineapple skewers may be the easiest recipe I've ever posted.  But easy doesn't mean it's doesn't bring the wow factor with the flavor.  I made a super fast glaze for the pineapple by combining honey, Sriracha sauce, and soy sauce.  That's it!  Brush some one before you grill it, a little more while grilling, and the last little bit after.  The honey gives it that sticky sweetness you want and the Sriracha adds a little heat.  The soy sauce brings the balance ... Continue Reading

Savory Roasted Tomato Bread Pudding

With summer right around the corner that usually means one thing....wedding season.  And that usually means engagement parties and brunches abound.  This savory roasted tomato bread pudding is the perfect dish for a bridal luncheon or brunch occasion of any kind because it's really elegant and decadent.  It definitely has that 'wow' factor you want when you want to impress your guests.  And best of all you can make them ahead of time and then gently reheat so they are not a last minute ... Continue Reading

Olive & Artichoke Tapenade

Tapenade is traditionally made with Kalamata olives and capers and is a delicious, briny/salty spread that pairs really well with cheese.  My version is the same idea but with a few extra flavors that make this tapenade especially addictive.  I may be biased so please, you be the judge.  A great thing about tapenades are they are super easy to make.  Just a few seconds in a food processor and you are done.  And they keep for days or even up to a week or more (thanks to the acidic nature ... 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