JANUARY: Beef Stew

I had some leftover tenderloin chains from a party and came up with this stew.
I am guessing that the 4 chains that I had amounted to 2 lbs of beef.

Marinade for beef : combine all of the ingredients below

3 cloves of pressed garlic
3 T. coriander seed crushed
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 T. dijon
1/2 T soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine

2 lbs of beef cut into stew pieces.
Marinate overnight in above mix

1/4 cup olive oil
5 yukon golds cut into 1 inch pieces or slices
1/2 lb green beans cut in half
1 cup sliced onions
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms cut in to quarters
6 roma tomatoes chopped
1/2 bottle of good red wine  ( you will want to drink the rest with the meal)
2 cups of beef broth
a few sprigs of fresh thyme

Marinate the meat overnight

Saute the meat in the olive oil in a large stove top to oven casserole until browned on all sides. Remove to a plate.

Saute the onions in the same pot until golden. Return meat and rest of the ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil and place in a 350 oven for 2 hours  .

The rest of the wine and a salad will complete this meal.


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FEBRUARY: Butternut Mango Soup

(A winter island fantasy soup)


1 spanish onion, chopped
6 T. butter
2 T curry powder
1 medium butternut squash.  (I used about 1.5 lbs)
1 can of coconut milk  (not the lite)
Water to cover
3 mangos peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika (more or less according to taste)
1 tsp chipotle powder (more or less according to taste)
Juice of 1.5 limes

Heat the butter and saute the onions.

Add the curry powder and stir for a minute or two.

Add the mangos and the butternut squash and stir. Sweat the mix by covering the top of the pot with a sheet of waxed paper and a lid for 5-10 minutes.  Stir once or twice.  This intensifies the flavor of the vegetables.

Add the can of coconut milk and water to cover , and come up one or two inches above the vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are tender and fall apart.

Add the chili powder, paprika, chipotle powder, and lime juice and puree with an immersion blender. You can add more water or chicken stock if you want a thinner soup. If you want a hotter taste you can add the chili with the curry powder.

Season with salt and pepper. Remember, adjust the seasonings to your palate.


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MARCH: Roasted Pear, Goat Cheese and Candied Walnut Salad with Fig Vinaigrette

This composed salad makes a lovely presentation and tastes divine.

The Salad


3/4 lb mesclun greens
4 pears, semi-hard
1/4 lb goat cheese
1/2 head garlic
4 T butter
1/4 lb pecans or walnuts
2 T sugar
Fig Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Roast the garlic:
Place all but 2 of the garlic cloves in a pan. Cover with foil and roast in a 350 degree oven until soft.
In a bowl, mash the roasted garlic with the goat cheese. Squeeze the reserved garlic cloves in a press and add to the mixture to intensify the flavor.

Bake the pears:
Cut the pears in half length-wise. Leave the skin on, but scoop out the seeds and cut out the stems. Brush the pears with lemon juice. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and pour it onto the bottom of a sheet pan. Place the pears face down on the butter. Bake at 350 degrees until tender,  but firm enough to hold shape, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Candied Nuts:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. Add the nuts and sprinkle the sugar over them. Toss to coat. Transfer the nuts to a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the nuts are slightly browned and the sugar is set.

Fig Vinaigrette:  


1/3 cup dried figs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup apple cider
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp black mustard seed
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon shallots
1/8 cup sherry vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook 1/2 of the figs in the water until soft.  Puree in your cuisinart. Add the rest of the ingredients in sequence.  Finely chop the remaining figs and add to the vinaigrette.

To serve:
Reheat the pears until just warm.  Using a spoon or piping bag, fill the center of each pear with the room temperature cheese mix.

Toss the mesclun with the vinaigrette.

Compose individual plates  with a bed of mesclun. Place pear half on the greens. Sprinkle with candied nuts and drizzle a little Fig Vinaigrette over the pear and cheese.

Serves 8


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APRIL: Moroccan Toasted Couscous With Spiced Honey Citrus Dressing


1/2 tsp cumin
1/ 4 tsp cardamon
1/ 4 tsp cinnamon
1/ 4 c. lemon juice (save zest )
1/ 4 c. orange juice   ”
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 T. honey
1/4 c. lemon oil (oil with lemon rind)
salt and pepper to taste

1.5 c. Israeli couscous
1.5 c. water
1/4 tsp turmeric

1 small red pepper diced
1 small yellow pepper diced
1/ 2 small red onion minced
10 dried figs sliced
10 dried apricots sliced
1/ 2 cup raisins1 cup unsalted pistachio’s toasted
1/ 2 c. cilantro or parsley minced
1.5 T. grated orange zest

For The Dressing:  Combine the cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, citrus juices, ginger , honey, lemon oil, s & p.  Blend well using a whisk or hand held immersion blender.  May be made a few days ahed and refrigerated.

For The Salad: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the couscous on a baking sheet.  Roast the couscous for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool and place in a large pot.

Combine the water and turmeric in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Pour the turmeric water over the couscous and cover. Simmer , loosely covered for 10- 15  minutes.  Set aside, covered for an additional 10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender.  Fluff with a fork.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the prepared couscous.  Mix well. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix again.

Serves 8


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MAY: Walnut And Cucumber Gazpacho


2 English gourmet cucumbers, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch flat leaf  parsley
1/2 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
1/2 small red onion , peeled
Juice and rind of one lemon
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1 cup toasted walnuts
1 cup ice
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

cold water to thin if necessary.

Salt the cucumbers and let sit one hour.  Combine 1/2 the cucumber with  all of the rest of the ingredients in a blender or cuizinart. Puree until the texture that you want. Add the rest of the cucumber for the chunky texture.

Serve cold with a dollop of sour cream.


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JUNE: Mexican Chocolate – Shortbread Cookies


2 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 T. ancho chili powder ( or chiptle if you really want a kick )
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
10 T. sugar plus more for coating the cookies
2 tsp vanilla

Sift together flour, cocoa ancho powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Resift.

In a medium bowl cream the butter and 10 T. sugar. Mix in the vanilla and flour mix.
Beat and knead until it sticks together.  It will be crumbly but will come together. and be smooth and supple.

Divide in half.  Roll each half between two pieces of waxed paper until 1/4 inch thick.
Chill for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 275%. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or thoroughly grease with crisco.

Cut the cookies out in 2 inch rounds.  Pierce each cookie with the tines of a fork. Put the extra coating sugar in a flat bowl.  Coat the top of each cookie before putting on the baking sheet.
One inch apart.

Bake the cookies, changing position in the oven for  about 40 minutes or until crisp and firm.

Remove from the oven and cool on the sheets for 5 minutes. Cool on racks. Store in airtight container.  They will keep for one week.  Makes about 40


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JULY: Spicy Edamame Hummus

I have a client who calls from NY and says, “ I’m coming up for the weekend. Can you cook us a few meals?”  I know that she makes things up while we’re talking.  So here’s one of her requests and our version.


2 bags of frozen edamame, 12 oz. each cooked to package directions.
1 cup of tahini with some of its oil
2 lemons juiced
1 lime , juiced
1 T. Cumin
1/3 tsp cayenne
1 tsp pepper
1 &1/2  tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped

Blend everything in your cuisinart. Do not make more than 2 days ahead for the brightest green.

Wonderful served wtih rice crackers or corn chips.


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AUGUST: Peach And Blueberry Or Sour Cherry Cobbler

Thought I am a lover of fruit pies, I seem to be getting a little lazy about rolling out all those crusts. So this summer I have become a fan of Cobblers. I had some sour cherries in my freezer from last years cherry tree crop. I have also made this with blueberries . It is a light ,flavorful dessert when peaches are at their sweetest.


3 cups of cherries or blueberries
6 large peaches
1/ 2 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
2 T Tapioca
2 T. dark brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/ 4 tsp nutmeg
6 T. cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup whipping cream, or light if that is what you have in the house.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Wash the fruit. Peel the peaches by dropping them into boiling water until you see the skin break. Transfer to a bowl of cold water and peel. Slice in to 8ths and cut those in half.
Put the peaches and berries into a 2.5 quart shallow baking dish. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of sugar. Grind the tapioca in a food processor. Add to the fruit , toss and let rest.

Put the brown sugar, flour, b.p. and nutmeg in the food processor. Blend. Add the butter cut into chunks, and mix until it looks like cormmeal . Slowly add the cream and mix until the mixture pulls from the sides of the bowl.

Flour a board and roll the dough to fit the size and shape of your baking dish. Gently lift and transfer covering the fruit. If it hangs over just tuck it in. Brush the top with water and then sprinkle with the teaspoon of sugar. Cut slashes in the top to let the steam out.

Bake until the top is firm and golden andthe fruit is bubbling. About 45 minutes.

Serve warm with whipped cream, heavy cream or ice cream. The more cream the better!

Serves 12 or less!


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SEPTEMBER: Mocha Java Coffee Cake

I made this a few weeks ago for an event. It had been years since I made it and it was as good as ever. I even made a large one and sent it over to one of the locations where people were helping with Irene clean up. Still waiting for my pan back! I am giving you the recipe for 2 cakes. You will want one in your freezer for those sudden guests.

1 c. soft butter
2.5 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 T. of liquid coffee.
1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time to mix well. Add the coffee and vanilla and blend

4 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/ 4 tsp salt
2.5 cups of sour cream

Sift the dry ingredients together. Add alternately to the sugar/ butter mix alternating with the sour cream.

1/ 2 cup of raisins (soak in hot water, O.J., coffee or liqueur.) Drain. Add to the above mix.

1 cup brown sugar
2/ 3 cups chopped walnuts
4 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. instant coffee.

Mix these 4 ingredients together.

Grease 2 9×13 inch pans. Pour half the batter into each pan. Sprinkle with the struessel
mix and bake at 350 for 40 – 50 minutes.

When cool drizzle with a mix of:

2 cups of 10 x sugar
6 T. liquid coffee
1 tsp half and half
1/ 2 tsp vanilla

Make a big pot of coffee and invite your friends over. Let me know when it’s ready!


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OCTOBER: Lemon Cranberry Corn Scones

I wanted to make something special for my September birthday breakfast, so I came up with this recipe.  Hope you enjoy them.  I had them with butter and the Peach Lavender Jam that I had made earlier this season.


2 c. flour
1 c. cornmeal
1/ 3 cup sugar
2 tsp b. powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/ 4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
5 T. unsalted butter

grated rind of one lemon
1 cup dried cranberries

1/ 5 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1.5 tsp vanilla
2 T. heavy cream

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Blend in the butter until it forms a coarse meal.  Toss in the lemon rind and cranberries.

Mix the wet ingredients in a cup, add to the dry and blend until all ingredients come together.  Shape into 3 balls.  Fatten a bit and cut each into four parts. You will have 12 pieces.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

Dust with sugar and bake at 450 for 15 – 18 minutes, or as needed in your oven.


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NOVEMBER: Apple Gruyere Quiche

1 cup flour
1/ 2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
1/ 2 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into bits
1 large egg yolk beaten wtih 3 T ice water

Mix the dry ingredients.  Blend in the butter until resembles coarse meal.  Add the egg mix and mix until a dough is formed adding more ice water if needed. Shape, rest 1 hour, roll out to fit pie plate, prick the bottom and let rest 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  Fill the crust with foil and pie weights, bake for 15 minutes in a 425 oven. Remove and let rest.


2 tart green Granny Smiths: peel , core, chop
6 scallions, chopped
1/ 4 tsp nutmeg
1 /8 tsp curry powder
2 T. unsalted butter
1 lb. gruyere, grated
1 c. heavy cream
4 large eggs, beat lightly
1/ 4 c. vermouth
1/ 4 tsp ground pepper

Cook the apples, scallions, nutmeg and curry  inthe butter in a skillet until the apples are softened. Let this mixture cool.

Mix the egg, liquids , rest of the spices and cheese.

Mix with the apple mix and pour into the shell.

Bake in a 375 oven for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350 and bake until set or 40-45 minutes.


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DECEMBER: Artichoke And Chestnut Pate

I was given this recipe years ago by a chef in Colorado. I have modified it to fit my tastes. It is  a sensational vegetarian pate and especially perfect for the holiday season and entertaining.


2 lbs chestnuts , dry moist pack
1 lb pecans
1 cup walnuts
1 lb artichoke hearts in water , save the liquid
6 slices of whole wheat bread, torn into pieces
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup of chopped parsley
2/3 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of chopped shallots
3 oz. of butter at room temperature
2 tsp sale
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp mace
Bay leaves for garnish

Chop the nuts coarsely in a food processor. Leave texture.

Coarsely chop the artichokes and combine with the nuts.

Pour the artichoke liquid over the bread and let it soften.

Combine all ingredients except bay leaves. Adjust seasoning.

This makes a good amount of pate.  You will need several terrines.

Grease ceramic terrines with soft butter.  Place a few bay leaves decoratively on the bottom of each.

Fill each to the top with pate. Cover with parchment paper and crimp the edges. Tie a nonflammable string around the edge to keep the parchment in place.  (The same kind of string that you use to truss your Thanksgiving turkey.)

Bake at 350 in a bain marie. It usually takes about an hour, less for smaller molds.  Check to see when it is set.

Remove from the ban marie . Cool. Put the terrines in the refrigerator with weights  on top of each.  Chill overnight.

Unmold and serve with good quality crackers.

The extras can be frozen.


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