Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

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Unusual Pumpkin Recipes & Reflections

Spoiler alert: this is not really a food post, it is a reflection on life and relationships. I know, just when you thought I might throw another pumpkin something your way I head the other direction.

Since I am reflecting, let’s compromise and I’ll share my recipe reflections on some of my favorite, not so usual, pumpkin recipes:

Cheesy Pumpkin Kale Lasagna

Quinoa Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Ginger Semi-Freddo Ice Cream

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Continue reading ‘Unusual Pumpkin Recipes & Reflections’

Pumpkin Chestnut Cornbread

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I really have no excuses. I tried to come up with one, however there is just no point. In the vein of transparency I will stick to the truth. Sometimes, despite how very well I am doing health wise, day-to-day life becomes all too consuming and I can’t pull out from under it. For me writing and recipe development is like an old friend. It is what nourishes my soul and satisfies my creativity; yet in the throws of a busy life filled with activities and obligations things can really become borderline >if not completely< overwhelming. So here I am, hat in hand, asking you to accept that I am doing the best I can to stay connected to you. Continue reading ‘Pumpkin Chestnut Cornbread’

Mt. Shasta Watermelon Refresher

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I originally posted this recipe last year. It is one of my daughter’s favorites, as she will often ask me to make this ‘vacation drink in a bowl’ nearly every week during the summer.

When I think of watermelon I can’t help but think of her and about the Mt. Shasta Blackberry Festival. For the last 8 years we have attended the Blackberry Festival, which always falls on Labor Day weekend. Continue reading ‘Mt. Shasta Watermelon Refresher’

Matcha Berry Breakfast Bowl

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Life just feels rushed. There is so little time to reflect and focus on the finer points of day to day life as I find myself rushing from place to place. Given that reality, I’ve gone into survival mode on the food front. I refuse to compromise quality and creativity, so I am modifying what I create given available pantry and refrigerator ingredients to satisfy my crazy savory palate. I realize that this concoction may not be for everyone, but I also know that many of you really enjoy diving into new flavors so I am going to take a gamble.

I cannot quite pinpoint when my palate took a turn towards the savory spectrum of flavors. I’ve thought about it over and over again and come up with a zilch. I can only suppose that when my mom was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago that my tastebud transformation began to take hold in its infancy. Despite the fact that she has never been a big sweets eater, knowing that she was suddenly not supposed to have her favorite desserts seemed to make her crave them all the more. I compare it to when I’ve “attempted” to diet in the past. The thought of the word diet makes me suddenly want to eat all of the caloric comfort foods I can find. I digress…back to this savory breakfast post.

What you can expect to taste with this bowl of yum? It’s an explosion of textures and flavors. The creamy yogurt is a blank slate for the rest of the flavors that are combined in this recipe. The matcha and nutritional yeast lend a slant of saltiness, which is counter acted by the sweet plump fresh berries and the tart dried berries. Nuts provide an added crunch, while the mango chutney is both sweet and spicy. For the finishing touches, the maple syrup drizzle seals the deal with a hint of sweetness.

This recipe, yet another one of my go-with-the flow recipes, takes all of six minutes to assemble.

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Matcha Berry Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 handful blackberries or blueberries

1 TBS dried goji berries

1 TBS sliced almonds or salted marcona almonds

1/8 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 tsp matcha powder

1 TBS hot mango chutney

1/2-1 tsp maple syrup

Directions

Place yogurt in a bowl and then sprinkle with matcha powder, nuts and berries. Next add nutritional yeast, if using. Top with mango chutney and drizzle with maple syrup.

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Lemoncello Peach Salad

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Missed me? I’ve missed you!

So much has transpired that I hardly know where to start. The quick snapshot looks like this…epic vacation, followed by catching up at work (yes, I have a ‘real job’ outside of recipe development) and THEN my website becomes infected with malware and my creative writing comes to a screeching halt. Continue reading ‘Lemoncello Peach Salad’

Red Pepper Unicorn Hummus

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I’ve been blogging since 2008 and yet it seems like I just started recipe writing yesterday. It has gone by in a blink. I never really planned on blogging. When I started this blog it was a way to promote my first cookbook. Just for fun. Years later, I can easily admit that it has been more fun than I ever expected. There are a few times that I wondered if I could maintain it, especially in the past six months. I’ll admit that I’ve struggled to post. Behind the scenes I am still on the mend; I feel great, but my stamina has not returned. There are days that I wonder if it ever will come back, but those that have gone before me assure me it is only a matter of time. >tick, tock<

Despite my lack of posting, I certainly have not stopped enjoying my love of food – whether it is my cooking or someone else’s food I remain passionate about flavors. A few months ago while at work, I ordered a mixed hummus plate for lunch. It was so delicious I couldn’t get it out of my mind. In fact, I obsessed over it. I went back and ordered it five more times. Eventually I asked to meet the chef, and told him how much I loved it. He was so pleased to know how much I relished this recipe that a smile grew across his face. While he didn’t have a recipe to give me he eagerly shared his ingredients list. I left confident that I could crack the code on this recip-mystery.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when my family was invited over to our friend’s home for dinner. >Something that you may not know about me is that as much as I enjoy cooking and creating in the kitchen I ADORE when other people cook for me. It’s something special that holds a great deal of significance to me and I wanted to bring something special that I made.< After much contemplation, I decided to try to recreate this recipe. My daughter was stunned, she knows that I NEVER entertain or prepare something to serve for the first time that I have not previously tested. And yet, I wondered if perhaps this was my recipe unicorn. Despite her reminders of my prime cooking directive, I had to take a risk and make this recipe without an official test run. And I am happy to report that Red Pepper Hummus turned out spot on. I was thrilled! I still am. I can’t wait to make it again. It is just-that-good! And yes, I do think it is my recipe unicorn.

Red Pepper Unicorn Hummus

Ingredients

1 (16 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers, reserve remaining oil

1 cup walnut pieces, plus 2-3 halves to use for decoration

1 TBS sugar

3-4 cloves garlic

½ lemon, juiced and seeds removed

3 cloves garlic

½ cup gluten free bread crumbs

Optional Serving Suggestions:

pita bread points

baguette slices

crackers

vegetables: cucumbers, celery or carrots

Directions

In a small pan, over medium high heat, add all of the walnuts and sugar. Stir regularly until sugar melts and nuts are coated and sugar is an amber color. Transfer from pan to a plate to cool.

In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients EXCEPT 2-3 decorative candied walnuts and blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add oil from the jarred bell peppers, a teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Place hummus in a decorative bowl and decorate with 3 decorative walnuts. Serve with vegetables, crackers or toast.

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Sassy RED Spicy Granola

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Remember waking up early, sneaking downstairs to make your mom a special Mother’s Day Breakfast in bed? The quality of the breakfast was usually commensurate with the age. My specialty was drop biscuits with jam. Still one of my favorites go to breakfasts even today.

I remember my kids brining me flowers from the yard and burnt cheese on burnt toast. And I loved it! I loved hearing them scamper about the kitchen, trying desperately to be quite in their loudest ‘yell whispers’. Continue reading ‘Sassy RED Spicy Granola’

Beetroot Not-So- Ho-Hummus

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Isn’t it peculiar how sometimes we perceive the direction of our lives to be mandated by a fortune cookie, horoscope, a face-up penny or a ‘sign’ like 1:11pm or or knocking on wood? The list can be seemingly endless. I can’t tell you how many tunnel wishes I’ve made over the years- saving those wishes for the REALLY BIG moments when Continue reading ‘Beetroot Not-So- Ho-Hummus’

Anytime PBJ Toast – The Make-Over

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I know, I’ve been silent. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to share, but rather too much to share to know where to begin. I am at some sort of a beginning and I’ve yet to crystallize my thoughts, but time and distance are moving me closer to that bridge. Right now I am the most simple version of me that I can ever recall. There is time to observe what’s going on around me, and even time to think through a situation and examine if my life pre-Cancer was all that amazing and worth repeating. Continue reading ‘Anytime PBJ Toast – The Make-Over’

THIN Mint Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

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Today is what I grew up calling a ‘rainy day session’ or ‘a cave day’. Actually it’s been raining for over a week- cold and damp and just the kind of day you want to order when you feel the need to stay in your pajamas all day and hide away from the world watching movies on the couch. Continue reading ‘THIN Mint Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches’