Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa

Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa

Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa


One 10-ounce can white meat chicken, drained

¼ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. coriander

¼ tsp. chili powder

⅛ tsp. salt

6 taco shells or tortillas

Shredded lettuce

Shredded cheese

Mango salsa

Canned diced tomatoes (optional)


In a medium bowl, mix the chicken with the spices and salt. Heat in a microwave on high until it reaches the desired temperature (try 1 minute first). Warm the shells or tortillas per the package directions. Fill each shell or tortilla with several spoonfuls of seasoned chicken. Add some lettuce and cheese, then top with mango salsa. (If you want to use tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes work well, but with the mango salsa you don’t really need them.)

Sweet Mango Chili Sauce

Sweet Mango Chili Sauce

Sweet Mango Chili Sauce


1 large mango around 2 cups chopped mango

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 large garlic cloves minced or very finely chopped

½ tablespoon chili flakes adjust to taste

2 tablespoons brown sugar

A pinch of salt

½ tablespoon corn starch adjust to get the desired consistency of the sauce.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil/ any neutral flavored oil

1 cup water


Peel and roughly chop the mango. Put the chopped mango in a blender and blend to make a smooth mango puree. Heat oil in a pan. Add minced garlic and chili flakes. Sauté for a few seconds. Add mango puree, sugar, salt, and lime juice. Mix everything and cook for about a minute. Add water and cover the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce starts simmering. Mix cornstarch and water in a bowl to make cornstarch slurry. Add it to the sauce and stir continuously for about a minute. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens and then switch off the gas. Allow the sauce to reach room temperature and then enjoy!


Notes: Use a less fibrous variety of mango in this recipe. The amount of sugar and lime juice will depend upon how sweet or sour your mango is. Check and adjust the seasoning as per taste. Instead of lime juice, vinegar can also be used. After adding the corn starch slurry, stir continuously for at least 1 minute otherwise it will get lumpy. If using readymade mango puree, use around a cup of puree in the above recipe. More detailed recipe tips and tricks are given within the post. Please follow them to make this recipe.


Prosciutto-Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil Bites

Prosciutto-Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil Bites

Prosciutto-Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil Bites


16 thin slices of prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise

16 large basil leaves, cut in half

6 ounces (approximately) of fresh mozzarella, cut into 32 small pieces

16 grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Freshly ground pepper

4 T. extra virgin olive oil


Fold a piece of basil and sandwich it between the tomato half and the mozzarella piece. Wrap the cheese and tomato with a strip of prosciutto as shown in the photo above and secure with a toothpick. Arrange the appetizers on a serving plate and season with the freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil.

Honey Strawberry Salsa

Honey Strawberry Salsa

Honey Strawberry Salsa


1 1/2 cups sweet red peppers, diced

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

1 cup green bell peppers, diced

1 cup fresh tomato, diced

1/4 cup Anaheim pepper, chopped

2 T cilantro, finely chopped

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 T tequila, optional

1/2 tsp. crushed dried red chili pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper


Combine all ingredients in glass container; mix well. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend.  Serve with chips, over grilled chicken or fish.

Garden Fresh Pasta Salad

Garden Fresh Pasta Salad

Garden Fresh Pasta Salad


3/4 cup (105 g) cooked pasta

2 tsp. (30 g) Homemade Pesto

1/4 cup (56 g) fresh baby spinach, chopped if desired

1/4 cup (38 g) cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 carrot, grated, optional

1/2 C. thinly sliced red onion

1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese


Mix all ingredients in a bowl until the pesto is thoroughly distributed.

Blueberry Lemonade Smoothie

Blueberry Lemonade Smoothie

Blueberry Lemonade Smoothie


1 cup (155 g) frozen blueberries

1 lemon, juiced

3 T. (45 ml) maple syrup (or honey)

1 1/2 cups (3.5 ml) lemonade

2 cups (475 ml) ice


In a blender, combine the blueberries, lemon juice, maple syrup, and lemonade. Blend well.

Add ice and continue to blend. If it is too thick, add more lemonade or water.

Mark Diacono’s Fragrant Herb Tempura

Mark Diacono’s Fragrant Herb Tempura

Mark Diacono’s Fragrant Herb Tempura


One thing is crucial: mix the ingredients quickly together, like you don’t really mean it, to avoid getting the flour’s gluten going. Lumps are fine; the batter should – like a dress at Cannes – just cling here and there. Wild garlic flowers and the bolder herbs are the ones to go for: coriander, sage, lemon verbena, parsley and chives are especially good. A sharp chilli-tamarind dip is very good to go with.


14oz. groundnut oil

2 ½ oz. Cornstarch

2 ½ oz. AP flour

1 tsp. Salt

1 Egg Yolk

5 fl. Oz. Sparkling Water

Small Sprigs of Herbs of your choice

Flaky Sea Salt to serve


Over a medium heat, warm the oil in a medium pan (the oil should come about one-third up the sides). When a cube of bread sizzles to a quick copper, you can fry your battered herbs. Quickly mix the flours, salt, egg yolk and sparkling water together in a large bowl to form a batter; don’t worry about any lumps. Dip the herb into the batter and lower carefully into the hot oil. Expect patchy batter coverage; it is as it should be. Ninety seconds should be enough to fry them perfectly. Fish out onto kitchen paper, using a slotted spoon. Shower with salt and eat in a hurry.

Marjoram and Chive Salt

Marjoram and Chive Salt

Marjoram and Chive Salt


How you dry this salt is everything. Leave it for a few days on greaseproof paper to slow-dry on a sunny window sill and its flavor is delightfully seaweedy; dry in a very low oven for 15 minutes (more if needed) and it’ll be a little brighter. Try half a batch of both and see which you prefer.


2/3 oz marjoram leaves

12 chive flower heads

2 ¼ oz coarse sea salt


Place the leaves, 8 of the chive flowers and the salt (add last to weigh down the herbs) in a coffee/spice grinder and whizz thoroughly: the change in tone from clatter to dentist drill tells you when it’s as it should be. If there are any remnants left unreduced, stir and whizz briefly again. For the oven-dry method, spread out (the salt, not you) on baking parchment on a baking sheet, and place in a very low oven; 230°F. After 10-15 minutes it should lighten in color. Scratch it up a little with a fork to expose the parts that are still a little damp and return to the oven. After 15-20 minutes it should be fairly dry. Allow to cool, add the remaining chive flowers (broken up a little), then jar immediately and try to focus on whatever else the day brings. A bit of finely grated lemon zest can be added.

Chermoula Herb Sauce

Chermoula Herb Sauce

Chermoula Herb Sauce


1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted

1 tsp. coriander seeds, toasted

1 cup cilantro (small stems ok)

1 cup Italian parsley (or sub more cilantro)

1 tsp. fresh ginger (a thin slice about the size of a quarter)

1 tsp. fresh thyme (optional)

2 garlic cloves

½ cup olive oil

Zest from 1/2 lemon (about 1-2 tsp)

2 T. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. aleppo chili flakes -add more for more heat

1/4 tsp. salt, adding ¼- 3/4 tsp. more if using as a marinade


Toast seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring until fragrant and golden. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well combined, but not too smooth. Keep in an air tight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Veggie Cream Cheese

Veggie Cream Cheese

Veggie Cream Cheese


This dip is delicious spread on celery sticks or toast or sandwiched between crackers. It’s also a great way to use up the scraps generated when cutting vegetables into shapes. If you don’t have carrot or bell pepper on hand, experiment with other vegetables such as sugar snap peas or broccoli.


4 oz (115 g) less fat cream cheese, softened

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. dried dill

1 1/2 T. finely chopped carrot 1 1/2 T. finely chopped red bell pepper


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until evenly combined.

Smoked Salmon Bites

Smoked Salmon Bites

Smoked Salmon Bites

These Smoked Salmon Appetizers are fantastic to take to gatherings because it is fast to make loads – no fiddly assembly one by one – and it’s served at room temperature. These were a hit with my taste testers! See below the recipe for the cooking video (and Dozer cameo at the end!).

250g / 8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Zest of 1 lemon (large) – more is better, adjust to taste!

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup dill, chopped


3 soft large wraps / tortillas (approx 23 cm / 9″ diameter) (Note 1)

350 – 480 g / 12 – 16 oz smoked salmon slices

Table butter


Mix Spread ingredients together. Spread half on a flatbread in a square shape. Top with half the smoked salmon. Spread a flatbread with butter – just thinly, like buttering a piece of bread. Place the butter side down onto the salmon. Spread remaining Spread on flatbread, again in a square shape. Top with remaining salmon. Butter 3rd wrap and place butter side down onto the salmon. Use a large flat object, like a cutting board, and press down lightly to smooth the surface and compress everything. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours (up to 48 hours) so the filling sets. Using a serrated knife, trim edges to make a square. Don’t cut down – filling may squirt out, cut back and forth in a sawing motion. Chef privileges: nibble on offcuts. Cut square into 6 or 7 even strips, then each strip into squares. Serve with toothpicks, wedges of lemon and extra dill for garnish.

Open Faced Chicken Cordon Bleu

Open Faced Chicken Cordon Bleu

Open Faced Chicken Cordon Bleu


2 chicken breasts (See Note 1)

1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper

2 T. all purpose flour

1 T. olive oil

1 T. butter

2 T. dijon mustard

4 slices deli ham

4 slices Swiss cheese


Preheat oven to 350°F. Pound chicken breast to flatten to 1/2″ or if large, slice horizontally. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly dust each side with flour. In a oven proof skillet over medium high heat add the olive oil and butter. Quickly pan sear the chicken on both sides until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes each side. Turn off heat and brush each piece of chicken with divided mustard. Top each piece of chicken with divided sliced ham and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top ham with Swiss cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes and serve immediately. Notes: 1. If large chicken breasts, slice horizontally for 4 pieces of chicken about 1/2″ thick.


Servings: 4

Calories: 378

Fat: 24g

Fiber: .9g

Simple Mushroom-Miso Soup with Shrimp & Udon

Simple Mushroom-Miso Soup with Shrimp & Udon

Simple Mushroom-Miso Soup with Shrimp & Udon


12 ounces udon noodles

3 ounces (3 cups) baby spinach

10 ounces shiitake mushrooms

3 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup white miso

12 ounces extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound)


Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add noodles and cook until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse under warm water to remove excess starch. Drain noodles well, then portion into individual serving bowls and top with spinach. Meanwhile, stem and thinly slice mushrooms. Bring broth, 2 cups water, and mushrooms to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until flavors meld and mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Peel shrimp completely (including tails), de vein, and cut each shrimp into 3 pieces. Whisk miso and 1/2 cup water together in bowl. Off heat, stir miso mixture and shrimp into soup, cover, and let sit until shrimp are just pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle soup into prepared bowls and serve.

Thyme-Infused Ricotta, Preserved Lemon Salsa Bruschetta

Thyme-Infused Ricotta, Preserved Lemon Salsa Bruschetta

Thyme-Infused Ricotta, Preserved Lemon Salsa Bruschetta


4 cups (1L) full-fat milk

11/2 tbs apple cider vinegar

2 tsp thyme leaves


1 preserved lemon quarter, rind only, finely chopped

1 tsp salted capers, rinsed, chopped

1 Asian (red) eschalot, finely chopped

1 lemon, peeled, segmented

1 tsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp finely chopped mint, plus extra to serve

1 tsp finely chopped oregano leaves

1 tsp thyme leaves

1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil

Pinch cayenne pepper

Pinch ground white pepper


Grilled sliced sourdough bread

Extra virgin olive oil


For the preserved lemons, preheat oven to 110°C. Wash three 2-cup (500ml) jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse, then dry well (alternatively, put through the hottest cycle of a dishwasher). Set lids aside and transfer jars to oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Place lids in a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside to air dry. Leave to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine salt, fennel seeds, bay leaves, thyme and saffron in a large bowl and set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add lemons and top with a heatproof plate or lid smaller than the saucepan to keep lemons submerged. Simmer for 12 minutes or until softened slightly, then remove and stand to cool. Quarter cooled lemons and toss through the salt mixture until heavily coated. Tightly pack the lemon quarters into sterilized jars, dividing the salt mixture among the jars and topping up to the brim with lemon juice. Seal jars and store in a dark place for at least 3 months before using (store, chilled, for up to 3 years). To make the ricotta, combine milk, vinegar, thyme and a pinch of salt flakes in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally only until curds begin to form. Keep cooking (without stirring) until temperature reaches 85°C on kitchen thermometer. Remove from heat and stand for 15 minutes to cool. Line a fine sieve with muslin or a clean cheese cloth and, using a slotted spoon, transfer curds to sieve to strain (use strained whey in other recipes, or you can drink it chilled. Ricotta can be served warm, or it can be stored, covered and chilled, for up to 3 days). For the preserved lemon salsa, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, then stand for 1 hour for flavors to develop. To serve, top the sourdough with the ricotta and lemon salsa, scatter over extra mint and drizzle with oil.

Eggs Poached on Sweet Peppers & Onions

Eggs Poached on Sweet Peppers & Onions

Eggs Poached on Sweet Peppers & Onions


¼ cup olive oil

2 sweet red peppers, sliced

2 medium onions, sliced

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped

2 T. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 large eggs

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

2 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


In a large skillet with a fitted lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the peppers and onions and cook until the peppers are almost soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil and cook until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. With the back of a spoon, create 8 indentations in the vegetables. Carefully crack the eggs in the indentations. Don’t let the eggs touch the bare bottom of the pan or the sides or they will burn or stick. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer until the whites of the eggs are set, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the Parmesan and parsley. Serve promptly.

Uncle Sam’s Sangria

Uncle Sam’s Sangria

Uncle Sam’s Sangria


1 bottle dry white wine

2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup apple juice or white grape juice

1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced

3–4 thin slices pineapple or Granny Smith apple

1 bottle prosecco (or other dry sparkling white wine)


Using a small, star-shaped cookie cutter, cut small stars out of pineapple or apple (pears work too) to get the “white” in the red, white and blue and for extra visual whimsy with this sangria version. Mix all ingredients together, except for the stars and sparkling wine, and let sit overnight or for 4 hours in the refrigerator. Stir in the fruit stars and sparkling wine just before serving.

Dandelions al dente

Dandelions al dente

Dandelions al dente


3 large bunches dandelion leaves

2 cloves garlic

8 ounces penne pasta

¼ cup white wine

1½ tsp. salt (divided)

½ tsp. ground pepper

2 T. olive oil

¼ cup Parmesan cheese plus 2 tsp. for finishing

Optional: ¼ cup ricotta cheese


Thoroughly wash and dry the dandelion leaves. Tear into smaller pieces. Mince garlic cloves. In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Add 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook penne for approximately 10 minutes, until al dente. While pasta is cooking, warm olive oil in a large saucepan. Add minced garlic. When garlic becomes fragrant, add dandelion leaves and sauté. When the leaves release their liquid, add white wine and finish sautéing until tender, 4-5 minutes. When penne is al dente, drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Then add drained, warm pasta to sauteed dandelion greens. Add ¼ cup parmesan cheese (if a creamier pasta is desired, also add optional ricotta) and drizzle in pasta water, stirring until everything is smoothly coated. Plate while warm and give a few generous grinds of fresh pepper and salt to taste. Sprinkle the dish with the remaining Parmesan and serve.

Purslane Relish

Purslane Relish

Purslane Relish

Approximately 6 cups chopped purslane leaves and stems

Optional: ½ cup chopped small daylily buds (the edible naturalized orange variety)

Optional: 3 T. rough-chopped yarrow leaves and a few clusters of intact yarrow flowers (wild or cultivated yarrow)



2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

1 T. salt

1 cup white sugar


Tightly pack the chopped purslane (and chopped daylily buds and yarrow leaves and flowers, if using) into clean jars, leaving an inch or more of headspace. Combine all brine ingredients in a saucepan and set on the stove over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove brine from heat. While the brine is still hot, pour into the jars, packing the purslane down with a spoon as you go, if needed. Cover the purslane with brine by ¼ inch. Cover and allow to cool on the counter. Once the relish is cool, move to the refrigerator and chill for several hours. Serve as a side dish or as a topping for hot dogs and sausages. Relish will last up to one month stored in the refrigerator but will lose its crunch after the first few days.

Tomato Basil Tortellini Skillet

Tomato Basil Tortellini Skillet

¾ lb ground beef (or use ground turkey)

½ cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (24-oz) jar tomato basil pasta sauce

2 cups chicken broth

½ (25-oz) pkg frozen tortellini


Cook beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until beef is browned and crumbly; drain and return to skillet. Stir in pasta sauce, broth, and tortellini; bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tortellini is tender.

Fiddlehead Fried Rice

Fiddlehead Fried Rice

Fiddlehead Fried Rice


1 cup prepped Ostrich fern fiddleheads

2-4 cups leftover rice–whatever you have

Chopped vegetables of your choice

2-3 T. oil such as canola or sunflower

2-3 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp. peeled ginger minced

Soy sauce or tamari sauce

1 or 2 eggs


Prep the fiddleheads and chop some vegetables. I like to use shredded carrot, chopped celery or bok choy, and red pepper. Broccoli, asparagus, or other Chinese vegetables are also good. Just don’t overpower the fiddleheads so they can be the star of the dish. In a wok or cast iron pan, heat 2-3 T. oil. Add 2-3 cloves minced garlic and about 1 T. minced ginger and stir fry. Add the rest of the vegetables and fiddleheads before the garlic browns. Stir fry them briefly and add the leftover rice. Let the rice crisp a little on the bottom of the pan so don’t stir it much at first. Add 1 T. of soy sauce or tamari then start moving the rice around to heat through. The last step is to make a well in the rice on the side of the pan, and crack an egg or two into that space. Scramble the egg mixture well and continue to stir it until cooked. Once the egg is cooked, mix it into the rice. Add more soy sauce or salt and pepper to taste. If you want a little more protein, add cooked shrimp, chicken, or tofu when you are frying the rice.

Beer-Battered Fiddleheads

Beer-Battered Fiddleheads

Beer-Battered Fiddleheads


8 cups canola oil

8 ounces fiddleheads, trimmed

¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp. salt

⅛ tsp. dry mustard

¾ cup IPA beer, such as Fiddlehead

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 T. club soda


Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium high heat to 350 degrees. (The oil should measure about 3 inches deep.) Wash the fiddleheads under cold running water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, pepper, salt and dry mustard. Add the beer, egg and club soda and stir until just combined. Quickly dip each fiddlehead into the batter, soaking about 5 seconds. Drop small batches into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, turning occasionally to brown on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes Using a slotted spoon, remove the fiddleheads and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

Milkweed Buds with Ginger & Soy

Milkweed Buds with Ginger & Soy

Milkweed Buds with Ginger & Soy


12 milkweed buds with stems


1 T. coconut or unscented oil

1/2 thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced into matchsticks

1 T. soy sauce

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. sugar

Freshly ground black pepper


In a saucepan, bring enough salted water to a boil to cover the milkweed. Blanch the buds and stems for a minute to dispel the latex. Drain and refresh under cold water and pat dry very, very well with a dishcloth or paper towels— the buds tend to absorb a lot of water. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the ginger and sauté gently for a few minutes until cooked through. Increase the heat and add the soy sauce, lemon juice, and sugar, stirring briskly to dissolve the sugar. Add the blanched milkweed. Toss several times to heat through and coat with the glaze, and season with pepper. Serve immediately.

Corn with Mexican Mint Marigold Butter

Corn with Mexican Mint Marigold Butter

Corn with Mexican Mint Marigold Butter


1/2 cups unsalted, softened butter

2 green onions with tops, chopped

1/2 tsp. dried chile árbol, ground

Salt and pepper to taste

2 T. minced Mexican mint marigold

1 Zest of a lime

2 tsp. fresh lime juice

For each ear of unhusked corn:

1 T. Mexican mint marigold butter

A few sprigs Mexican mint marigold

Sprinkling of salt and pepper

2 Green onions, chopped

1 pinches dried red chile árbol


Fresh Corn, still in husk


Combine ingredients (except corn) in a small bowl. Chill for several hours, or overnight. (Keeps several days in fridge.) Preheat grill or oven. Peel back corn husks and remove corn silk, but don’t remove husks. Spread about 1 T. of butter on each ear of corn, then close the husk around the kernels. Wrap each ear tightly with foil, and grill or bake until tender (15 to 20 minutes).

Beet Bread

Beet Bread

Beet Bread


3¼ cups bread flour or all-purpose flour

1¼ cups whole-wheat flour

2 tsp. instant yeast

2 tsp. salt

1½ cups water, 95°F

2¼ cups grated raw beets, small or medium, scrub skin, trim top and bottom

1 T. unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, yeast and salt. Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer; add the beets, butter and then the dry ingredients. Use the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed for about a minute, until the ingredients come together in a shaggy mass. Mix the dough on medium speed for 3–5 minutes, until it forms a smooth but sticky ball in the center of the bowl. Place the dough into a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1½ hours in a warm, draft-free place. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently fold it like a business letter. Allow it to rest, covered with plastic from bowl or dish towel, for about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into round or torpedo loaf or loaves and place on a lightly floured baking sheet, or into 2 lightly oiled loaf pans. Cover and allow to proof until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. The bread is ready to bake when an indentation made by pressing a moistened finger lightly into the dough does not spring back. Slash the dough with a very sharp knife or blade, if desired. Bake for 45 minutes, or until browned and hollow sounding when thumped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

Sunny Lemon-Honey Chicken Thighs

Sunny Lemon-Honey Chicken Thighs

Sunny Lemon-Honey Chicken Thighs


1½ T. olive oil

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

¾ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ cup thinly sliced shallots

2 T. water

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1 T. honey

1 T. chopped fresh oregano


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with oil, coated evenly. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; add to pan. Cook 4–5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Add shallots to pan; reduce heat to medium. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown and soften. Add 2 T. water, lemon juice and honey to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen any browned bits. Return chicken to pan, turning to coat. Sprinkle evenly with fresh oregano and serve immediately.

Potted Pork with Mace and Mustard

Potted Pork with Mace and Mustard

Potted Pork with Mace and Mustard


2 pounds skin-on pork belly

kosher salt

black pepper

2 ounces pork fat

4 bay leaves

1 tsp. mace

1½ tsp. Colman’s mustard


Salt pork belly thoroughly and bring to room temperature. Cut pork into 2-inch-wide strips. In a cast-iron skillet, melt pork fat over a low flame. Add pork belly pieces to pan, keeping flame as low as possible. Tuck bay leaves among the pork pieces. Gently cook over low flame for 5 hours, turning occasionally to cook evenly on all sides. Pour off and reserve excess fat as needed, about once per hour. Do not allow meat to brown. Remove meat to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove tough outer pork skins, leaving about ¼-inch of fat on each piece of skin. Preheat oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse pork belly, mace, mustard and black pepper until smooth, adding reserved pork fat as needed to create a spreadable texture. Taste for seasoning. Rub strips of pork skin with salt and bake at 325°F for an hour, or until golden and crispy. Eat immediately. Spoon pork into clean jars or ramekins, leaving ¼ inch at the top and taking care to spread evenly, avoiding air pockets. Seal pork in containers with reserved fat and refrigerate at least 1 day to age, and up to 6 months.

Franny’s Bucatini with Ramps

Franny’s Bucatini with Ramps

Franny’s Bucatini with Ramps


6 ounces young ramps, 1/8 to ¼ inch thick, ends trimmed

6 T. unsalted butter

Kosher salt

½ tsp. chili flakes

1 pound bucatini

¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

About 3 T. finely grated pecorino Romano, plus more if desired.


Rinse the ramps under cold running water to remove any grit and dry them well on paper towels. Separate the leaves from the bulbs. Cut the dark green leaves into 3-inch pieces and leave the bulbs whole. In a very large skillet, melt the butter over high heat. Add the ramp bulbs and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with a large pinch of salt and the chili flakes. Add the ramp greens and toss until wilted, about 1 minute. Add 2 T. water to the pan. Remove from the heat. In a large pot of well-salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until 2 minutes shy of al dente; drain. Toss the bucatini into the skillet with the ramps, along with the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cook over medium heat until the pasta is al dente, 1 to 2 minutes, adding more water if the sauce seems dry. Divide the pasta among four individual serving plates or bowls and finish each with 2 tsp. or more of pecorino Romano.

Sorrel Crackers

Sorrel Crackers

Sorrel Crackers


1⅔ cups gluten-free flour (I used ½ cup almond flour, ½ cup quinoa flour, and ⅔ cup ivory teff flour)

½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. olive oil

½ cup water

1 cup packed fresh sorrel leaves (spinach may be substituted for a milder cracker)


Preheat oven to 325° F. Blend oil, water, and sorrel in a blender until smooth. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, whisking together. Add the sorrel purée and mix well. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Let the dough chill for 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Between two lightly floured sheets of parchment, roll out the dough. Slice into desired cracker shape. Sprinkle with more salt if desired. Bake at 325° F for 20–30 minutes or until dry and firm, but still green in color. If the crackers retain moisture, finish in a dehydrator at 200° F, or on the warm setting in oven, making sure they do not overbrown.

Polish Kotlety (Mielone)

Polish Kotlety (Mielone)

Polish Kotlety (Mielone)


1 pound (500 g) ground pork or turkey approx. 7% fat

1 small stale bun or ½ large, plus water for soaking,

1 small onion

1 medium egg

⅔ tsp. fine sea salt and ½ tsp. pepper

3-4 T. breadcrumbs for coating

2 T. vegetable oil for frying


Prepare bun: Place in a bowl, cover with water and set aside for 10 minutes (if the bun floats on top cover it with a small plate, or similar, to make sure it’s fully immersed in the water). Drain then squeeze excess water from the bun (do this thoroughly). Shred the bun (it will be very soft). Prepare onion: Either chop very finely by hand, grate or blend in a food processor (recommended). Make kotlety mixture: Combine the meat, shredded bun, egg, onion and seasoning. Using your hands mix the ingredients together until thoroughly incorporated, the mixture is smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands as much (do this for 3-4 minutes). It will feel very soft. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, if possible. Form kotlety, coat in breadcrumbs: Remove the mixture from the fridge. Form round (or oval shaped) patties, place in the breadcrumbs and coat thoroughly. They will be soft, but this is good as it means they will have a soft texture. You should get about 10 patties. Fry: In a large non-stick pan heat up 2 T. of oil and fry the kotlety over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side until nicely browned (be careful not to brown them too quickly). Do not overcrowd the pan. Remove bits of breadcrumbs from the pan (and add more oil) before frying another batch. Serve immediately or briefly place on top of a paper towel sheet to remove excess oil (if necessary).

No-Churn Pineapple Ice Cream

No-Churn Pineapple Ice Cream

No-Churn Pineapple Ice Cream


2 cups heavy whipping cream (cold)

1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. lime juice

1 tsp. lime zest

1 can 16 oz. canned crushed pineapple (drained)


In a large bowl, add the whipping cream, and using a hand or stand mixer, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Next, add sweetened condensed milk, zest, juice, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until fully combined, stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the crushed pineapple. Pour the ice cream mixture into a freezer-safe dish, and cover with plastic wrap or a lid if available. Freeze for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

Nasturtium Chips

Nasturtium Chips

Nasturtium Chips


Nasturtium Leaves

salt, pepper, garlic pepper

And the nasturtium’s iconic round leaves can be baked to create chips that are similar in shape and size to classic potato chips and carry a brittle crunch like seaweed snacks.

You can use all sizes of nasturtium leaves for the chips, but the fresher, the better. Once you gather the desired amount of leaves from your garden, rinse them off and preheat the oven to 275 F. Spread out the leaves on a cutting board for a few minutes to dry out—nasturtium leaves are unique because most of the water will collect in droplets and roll off, so you won’t have to wait long. Once dry, lightly brush both sides of the leaves with olive oil and sprinkle with a light amount of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You can also add dried calendula petals and basil if desired. Place the seasoned leaves on parchment paper and only bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until crispy; just be sure to pull them from the oven before getting a burnt look. A delicious snack suited for any picnic, porch, or garden party, nasturtium chips are a delightful way to add more local greens to your seasonal menu and dazzle your guests. Enjoy!

Pistachio Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate

Pistachio Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate

Pistachio Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate


¼ cup salted butter

10 ounce bag mini marshmallows

5 cups rice krispies cereal

3.5 ounce box instant pistachio pudding mix

½ cup dark chocolate, melted


In large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows and continue stirring until completely smooth. Remove from heat. Add dry pistachio pudding mix. Fold in with spatula. Add in cereal. Mix completely. Pour into a parchment paper lined 9-inch square baking dish. Allow treats to cool and set at least one hour. Remove from dish, remove parchment paper. Cut into 16 squares. Drizzle with melted dark chocolate, allow to set, about 15 minutes. Enjoy (these are great in the fridge)!

Ramen with Beef, Shitakes, and Spinach

Ramen with Beef, Shitakes, and Spinach

Ramen with Beef, Shitakes, and Spinach


12 ounces blade steak; sliced into thin strips

8 tsp. Soy sauce

2 T. Vegetable oil

8 ounces Shiitake mushrooms; stemmed and sliced thin

3 cloves Garlic; minced

1 T. Fresh ginger; grated

3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

4 packages ramen noodles; seasoning packets discarded

3 T. Dry sherry

2 tsp. Sugar

6 ounces Baby spinach


Sauté beef: Pat beef dry with paper towels and toss with 2 tsp. of soy sauce. Heat 1 T. of oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Ad beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up clumps, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to clean bowl. Saute Mushrooms and aromatics: Add remaining T. of oil to skillet and return to medium high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Simmer ramen: Stir in broth. Break bricks of ramen into small chunks and add to skillet. Bring to simmer and cook, tossing ramen constantly with tongs to separate, until ramen is just tender but there is still liquid in pan, about 2 minutes. Finish: Stir in remaining 2 T. soy sauce, sherry, and sugar. Stir in spinach, handful at a time, until spinach is wilted and sauce is thickened. Stir in beef and serve.

The Lavender Daisy

The Lavender Daisy

The Lavender Daisy


10 fresh blueberries (3 reserved for garnish), rinsed

½ tsp. fresh (or ¼ tsp. dried) lavender flowers

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1½ ounces Bombay Sapphire Gin

Sparkling water

1 ounce honey syrup*


In a highball glass, muddle 7 blueberries with lavender blossoms and honey syrup. Add ice, fresh lemon juice, gin and top with sparkling water. Garnish with 3 blueberries. * Combine 1 cup local honey and 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat and stir until honey dissolves. Cool and pour into a clean glass bottle. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Spring Carrot Tartare with Lime Creme Fraiche, Capers, Shallots and Chives

Spring Carrot Tartare with Lime Creme Fraiche, Capers, Shallots and Chives

Spring Carrot Tartare with Lime Creme Fraiche, Capers, Shallots and Chives


½ cup heavy cream

1 T. buttermilk

Fresh juice of ½ lime

1 pound whole carrots, washed, not peeled, ends trimmed (tops washed and reserved if fresh)

Kosher salt

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 T. capers

1 shallot, finely minced

1 bunch chives, washed and chopped


One day ahead, make the crème fraîche by combining heavy cream, buttermilk and lime juice in a small nonreactive bowl. Leave covered at room temperature for 24 hours, then refrigerate. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place carrots in a large bowl and toss with salt, red wine vinegar and drizzle with olive oil. Transfer carrots to a sheet pan and roast for 45 minutes, or until just tender. (You can otherwise use a smoker to smoke the carrots until just tender, about 30 minutes.) Remove from oven and let cool completely. Put carrots through a meat grinder and set aside. (Otherwise, roughly chop carrots, place in a food processor and pulse to mince.) To serve, add 2 T. crème fraîche, capers, shallots, chives and a pinch of salt to the ground carrots and mix well using a wooden spoon. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Divide carrot tartare among 4 plates and garnish with chopped carrot greens or microgreens. Serves 4 as a first course or 2 as a main course.

Cinco de Mayo Green Chile Cheese Puffs

Cinco de Mayo Green Chile Cheese Puffs

Cinco de Mayo Green Chile Cheese Puffs


3/4 C. whole milk

5 T. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 C. all-purpose flour

Pinch cayenne pepper

3 large eggs

1/4 C. chopped green chilies

1 C. grated Monterey Jack or Jalapeno (Pepper) Jack cheese

1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water – for the egg wash


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Combine the salt, flour and cayenne in a small bowl. As soon as it boils, remove the milk from the heat and add the flour mixture. Place the pan back on the heat and cook for about 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Immediately add the eggs, jack cheese and Parmesan and pulse until the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth and thick. Stir in the diced chilies. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1-inch wide and 1-inch high onto the baking sheets. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Brush the top of each puff lightly with the egg wash. Bake the puffs until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes about 2 Dozen Cheese Puffs

DIY Brownie Mix

DIY Brownie Mix

DIY Brownie Mix


1 C. Sugar

½ C. Flour

1/3 C. Cocoa

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Baking Powder


Mix these ingredients together and store in labeled container. When ready to cook:



2 Eggs

½ C. Vegetable Oil

1 tsp. Vanilla


Add these ingredients to the baking mix and spread in square pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Easy Calzone Rolls

Easy Calzone Rolls

Easy Calzone Rolls


2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed

1/2 pound sliced ham

1/2 pound sliced hard salami

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup jarred marinara sauce


Roll each loaf of dough into a rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches. Layer ham and salami down the center of each rolled loaf lengthwise. Top meats with 1 cup shredded mozzarella for each roll. Fold short ends of each loaf in about 1/2 inch and seal. Roll from the long sides and pinch well to seal the entire loaf. You should have 2 long rolls. Bake, seam side down on a greased baking sheet in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cut each roll into 8 slices and serve with marinara for dipping.

Peruvian Sauces

Peruvian Sauces

Ají Verde (Peruvian Green Chile Sauce)


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped coarse

3 T. minced fresh cilantro

2 T. grated cotija cheese

2 T. lime juice

1 T. jarred huacatay paste

1 garlic clove, minced


Combine all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. about 1 minute. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)



Ají Amarillo (Peruvian Yellow Chile Sauce)


1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 T. aji amarillo paste

1 T. lime juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. jarred huacatay paste


Combine all ingredients in blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)