JANUARY: Short Ribs With Coffee And Red Wine

I  had friends over for dinner the other night and wanted to make some beef short ribs and beef ribs that I had from a roast. I also  had a coffee rub that  had been delicious  with steaks earlier.  This is what I cooked up.


8 ribs from a Rib Roast
4 meaty beef short ribs

3 T. Coffee Rub (see recipe below)

Flour to dust the meat
1 large Spanish Onion
4 cloves of garlic diced
1/4 cup of olive oil
1.5 cups of a good red wine,  I used a Cabernet Sauvignon so that I could drink the rest!  so there Julia!
1.5 cups of brewed coffee
1 cup of boiling water used to dissolve a 2 cup beef bouillon cube
2 T. Balsamic Fig Drizzle
(if you do not have this add 2 T. good quality balsamic and 4 dried figs diced)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
6 fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper

Day 1

Coat the ribs with the coffee rub and let sit overnight.

Day 2

Dust the ribs with the flour.  Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven. Sear the ribs on both sides. Remove to a plate. Saute the onions and garlic just until beginning to brown.  Put the meat back in the pot. Add the rest of the ingredient and bring to a boil. Cover with the lid of the pot and bake in a 325 degree oven for about 3 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans or sauteed swiss chard.

Serves 4

Coffee Rub


1/4 Ancho Chili powder
1/4 c. finely ground espresso
2 T. Spanish Paprika
2 T. dark Brown sugar
1 T. dry mustard
1 T. kosher salt
1 T. ground black pepper
1 T. ground Coriander
1 T. dried Oregano
2 tsp ground ginger

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and use to rub the meat. Makes more than you need.  Great to have on hand!


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FEBRUARY: Winter Vegetable Gratin


3 T. butter
3 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion
1/2 fennel bulb
2 medium red potatoes
2 medium yukon golds
about 4 inches of butternut squash neck ( not the seeded area )
1/2 lb gruyere cheese grated
2-3 cups of celery soup  with 1 cup of heavy cream ( I used homemade but there are commercial ones on the market )

4 T. butter and 2 cups of bread crumbs
salt and pepper

This took me 1/2 hour to assemble with the use of a Cuisinart.

With the 2 m. slicing blade, slice the onion and fennel.  Saute in the oil and butter.

While those are slowly wilting, peel and slice the potatoes and the butternut squash.

Heat the soup and cream.

In an 8 or 9 inch square casserole, create layers.  1/2 of the onion and fennel mix, overlapping layers of squash, 1/2 of the grated cheese, some of the soup, salt and pepper,  then a second layer of onions and fennel, overlapping potatoes, cheese, soup.  I had enough for another layer of the squash.  Cover with the soup.

In the same pan that you sauteed the onions, melt the butter and saute the bread crumbs.  Cover the casserole with the crumbs.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until the squash and potatoes are soft.

My celery soup consists of oil, onions, celery, celeriac , salt , pepper and chicken stock, cooked and pureed.


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MARCH: Hotcakes with Delicious Blueberry Compote

While waiting to see my dentist, I was looking through a magazine in the waiting room and came upon this appealing recipe for pancakes. It looked so good, I asked the receptionist to copy it for me. I’ve since made these pancakes to the delight of my clients and would like to share the recipe.

Blueberry Compote

18 ounces fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)


1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
4 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup buttermilk, shaken
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4  cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
About 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Butter for serving

1. To make the blueberry compote: 
Combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves. (Don’t let the berries cook to long or they will become mushy and lose their beautiful shape.) Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the chopped mint if using. Keep warm.

2. To make the hotcakes: 
Whisk the ricotta and the egg yolks together in a large bowl; then whisk in the buttermilk. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the ricotta mixture. Stir with a whisk until just combined.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites through the batter in 2 batches. Gently fold the fresh blueberries into the batter.

4. Melt some butter on a hot griddle pan over medium-low heat. Ladle the batter onto the griddle (you should be able to fit 3 hotcakes at a time) and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until the hotcakes puff, become golden brown, and are just cooked through.

5. Transfer the hotcakes to plates. Spoon the warm blueberry compote over the hotcakes, and then top with a dollop of butter. Serve immediately.

Serves 4


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APRIL: Italian White Bean and Squash Soup

I couldn’t resist all those gorgeous squashes at the stands last fall. I stared at them for a few months until they called to the pot and to me. While inspired, I created three dishes, this Italian White Bean and Squash Soup, Risotto with Butternut and Gorgonzola and a creamy squash soup.


½ cup Spanish onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 ½ lbs winter squash, cut into large squares
3 carrots, diced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon  Italian spices
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ can chopped tomatoes (#10 can-3 lbs 3 oz)
2  cans cannelloni beans, with liquid
¼ cabbage, cut into 1 ½” slices
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Saute the onion and garlic.  Stir in the squash and carrots. Cover and cook for a few minutes to allow the flavor to intensify.

Add the spices and chopped tomato. Add water to cover and the chicken bouillon. Cook until vegetables are soft. Add the cannelloni beans and cabbage. Cook for another 10 minutes until the cabbage is tender.


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MAY: Hummus

This tasty dip can be mild or spicy depending on the amount of garlic and cayenne you use. Since all the ingredients are blended at once, you can start with fewer garlic cloves and less cayenne and black pepper, stopping to taste and add as desired.

The following quantities will serve 30-50 people, depending on how many other items are being served.


3 cans chick peas, save the liquid
6 large cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp Tamari
Juice of 6 – 8 lemons
2 1/4 cups tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 Tbsp black pepper
1/2 bunch scallions (optional)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 tsp cayenne or to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with pita bread, cut into triangles and/or crudite.


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JUNE: Rhubarb Tart

There was an article in the paper last week that reminded me that Rhubarb season was upon us so I thought I would share this version of a Rhubarb Tart with you.


9-10 cups of rhubarb

3 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1.5 teaspoons of nutmeg
2 tsp of vanilla
6 beaten eggs

For the crust ( pate sucre):

2.5  c. flour
1/8 tsp salt
3 T. sugar
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter cut in to pieces
1/3 c. ice water or more as needed

Put  flour, salt and sugar in the cuizinart. Blend. Add butter and blend until has broken in to small pieces.  With the machine running pour in ice water a T. at a time.  Process a few seconds or until the  dough comes together.  Remove and divide into one large ball and one small. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.  This makes enough for one 11 inch tart with dough left over.

Roll out the large piece into an 11 inch tart pan .  The crust will hang over.  You can decide it you want to trim it to fit the pan or lay it over the top of the rhubarb.

Put the sliced rhubarb into a large bowl
Mix the sugar and flour.  Mix the cream, milk, nutmeg and vanilla. Mix with the beaten eggs.  Add the wet to the dry.  Pour over the rhubarb and mix well.  Pour the fruit mixture on to the crust and fold the extra crust over.  Bake for 1 hour at 375° or until set.

It is great warm out of the oven. I reheated a piece for breakfast the next morning and had it with Greek yogurt. What a way to start the day.


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JULY: Cabbage And Brussells Sprout Slaw

I was in Portland Maine last fall and had a surprisingly wonderful salad of raw brussels sprouts.  I think they added parmesan or asiago , olive oil and  nuts.  Can’t be certain.  Anyway, that idea of raw brussels sprouts has been rolling around in my head.

This week I was making a cole slaw to go with Lobster and corn bread for dinner with some friends.  As I pulled the cabbage out of the veggie drawer I saw half a pound of brussels sprouts.  Here’s what I did.


One half of a medium savoy  cabbage
about 12 brussels sprouts
1 lb carrots

3/4 cup of mayonnaise
3/4 cup of sour cream
1 medium onion diced
2 tsp to 1 T. dijon mustard
1-2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Using the cuisinart this will take no time at all.   Take the cores out of the cabbage and brussels sprouts. Using the 2 mm blade shave the cabbage  and brussels sprouts.  Remove to a large bowl. Switch to the grating blade and grate the carrots.  Remove to the same bowl.  Replace  the steel knife and add the rest of ingredients. Blend.  Pour over the slaw.  Season with more s&p or cumin.

You may need more sour cream and mayonnaise if you have a very large cabbage.


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AUGUST: Summer Squash Chowder


2 T. butter
1/4 cup of olive oil
6 medium summer squash diced or small pieces
6 ears of corn , shucked, , remember to scrape the milk into the bowl as well
1 large spanish onion, diced
1/2 lb turkey bacon sliced
water and chicken stock to cover
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped  ( optional )
Salt and Pepper
2 cups of heavy cream

In a medium casserole-shaped pot, saute the onion in the oil and butter until they begin to wilt.
Add the squash and corn, toss, coating with the fat, and let simmer for a few minutes until they begin to soften.

Add the stock, water, cilantro, and bacon. Cook until soft.

Correct seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the heavy cream and heat to serve.

I made this again last week when there were FRESH LIMA BEANS in the market.  I added two cups of shelled beans to the recipe.  It just added another dimension.

You may also cook the bacon first with the onions , butter and oil.


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SEPTEMBER: Colonial Carrot Soup

Yields 6 quarts

1 stick (1/4lb) butter
1 large Spanish onion, diced
5 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
4 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp anise seed
4 lbs carrot, peeled, 1/4 inch slices
1 large potato, unpeeled, diced
1 large parsnip, peeled, trimmed, 1/4inch pieces
4 Morga vegetable cubes
1 pt half and half
1/2 stick butter
2 leeks, white part only, sliced thin
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into half moons, roll cuts and matchsticks
2 parsnips, peeled, cut into 1 1/2 inch ovals
2/3 cup seedless raisins
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp honey
1 tsp dried spearmint
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp thyme

In a large, heavy stockpot, melt the butter and saute the onions for 5 minutes.
Add garlic, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, ginger and anise.
Cook slowly about 15 minutes. Do not brown onions.
Add carrots, diced potatoes and parsnip. Then add vegetable cubes and water to cover (3 quarts). Simmer until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and cinnamon, add the half and half, and puree until smooth in a food processor.

First, saute the leeks in butter for 10 minutes.
Add carrots. Cook for 5 minutes. Add parsnips and cook 10 minutes longer.
Add the raisins, dry ginger and honey to taste.

To assemble, add the saute to the puree. Season with spearmint, nutmeg, thyme. Season to taste with salt. Serve piping hot.


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OCTOBER: Chocolate Roll

6 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 sticks butter, unsalted
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsps vanilla
3 large eggs
3 T  cocoa
1 tsp instant espresso
pinch of salt

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and add cocoa and espresso. Stir to dissolve.

Cream butter with confectioners sugar. Add vanilla. Beat 3 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time. Beat 2 minutes after each addition.

Add chocolate and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

5 eggs separated
2/3 cup sugar
2 T cocoa
2 T flour

Beat yolks until light and frothy. Beat in sugar until light and thick. Beat in cocoa and flour.
In a clean bowl, beat whites until soft peaks form. Mix into egg mixture so that there are no streaks.

Butter a half sheet pan and line with waxed paper. Butter and flour the waxed paper. Spread the mix on the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove and roll in a new piece of waxed paper the long way.

Final Filling Layer:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 T confectioners sugar

Beat the whipping cream with the 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar.

Unroll the cake onto a tea towel. Spread with the chocolate filling. Spread the whipped cream on top. Re-roll and move to serving platter. Dust with confectioners sugar or cocoa for serving. Slice into 10-12 pieces.


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NOVEMBER: Honey Cranberry Chicken

Chicken, versatile as always, takes a fall twist.


5 lbs chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 onion
1 oz  shallots
1/4 head garlic
1/4 stick butter
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
2/3 cup honey
2 cups cranberries
1 orange, peeled in thin strips
1 small can tomato puree
1/8 cup black berry vinegar ( or other fruit vinegar)

Saute in oil and butter, the onions, shallots and garlic.

Add wine, honey, stock, orange and cranberries, tomato puree and vinegar. Marinate the chicken in the sauce overnight.

Bake covered in a 350 degree oven for 25-45 minutes. Uncover the last 10 minutes.

Serves 20


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DECEMBER: Greens with Pears, Asiago, and Cashews

My friend, Diana, was cleaning her shelves and decided she didn’t want the cookbook, Colorado Collage, so I gladly inherited it. This recipe is one of many great salads in this collection by the Junior League of Denver.


5 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 T finely chopped green onions
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups bitter greens including Belgian endive, radicchio, and green leaf lettuce
2 ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced
2 oz Asiago cheese, shaved with vegetable peeler
2 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted cashews, toasted

In a jar or cruet, combine olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, green onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Shake well and set aside. In large bowl, combine greens and about two-thirds of the dressing. Divide among individual serving plates. Arrange pear slices over greens in spiral pattern. Drizzle with additional dressing. Top with shaved Asiago slices and toasted cashews.

Serves 4


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Bonus Recipe! Red and Yellow Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

This recipe contrasts the warm beets with goat or blue cheese to make a delicious blend of flavors and textures.


1  bunch each orange and red beets
1 T minced shallots
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1/2 cup canola or olive oil
1-2 T sugar
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
1 orange thinly sliced
4 oz crumbled goat or blue cheese
chopped chives for garnish
Bed of lettuce

1. Boil beets separately, red in one pot and orange in another. When cool, peel and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
2. Combine next 8 ingredients.
3. Lay sliced beets alternately on a bed of lettuce. Drizzle with dressing. Garnish with orange slices and chives.

Serves 6


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