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Category: Appetizers & Snacks

Blue Beetroot Foldovers

Blue Beetroot Foldovers

Blue Beetroot Foldovers


2 Beets, medium

4 Dates, dried pitted and finely chopped

1 T. Lemon juice, fresh

1/4 C. Pumpkin seeds

2 T. Greek yogurt

½ package | 50 g Crumbled Danish Blue Cheese

1/4 C. / 60 ml pumpkin seeds, toasted; parsley or cilantro chopped finely for garnish (optional)


Boil beets in a large saucepan of salted water until tender; remove from heat, rinse with cold water and peel when cool enough to handle.  Using a mandolin or a sharp knife cut beets into very thin 1/8” slices. Place on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.  Combine remaining ingredients and stir to combine; set aside or refrigerate until ready to assemble.. Scoop a heaping tsp. of the Crumbled Danish Blue filling onto half of a beet slice and fold the other half over. Secure with toothpick if they don’t remain closed on their own. Place on a serving dish and garnish with pumpkin seeds and parsley or cilantro if desired.

Wild Mushrooms and Lardo on Rye

Wild Mushrooms and Lardo on Rye

Wild Mushrooms and Lardo on Rye

1 pound (454 g) mixed wild mushrooms: porcini, chanterelle, morel, boletus, etc. (substitute with any selection of cultivated and/or wild mushrooms)

2 T. (30 ml) butter

3 T. (45 ml) olive oil, divided

1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped shallots

1 T. (15 ml) fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper

½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine

1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream

4 toasted slices of rye bread

2 C. (480 ml) grated Fontina cheese (or substitute with mozzarella or old cheddar)

4 ounces (114 g) Italian lardo (from Valle d’Aosta, if possible), cut into thin strips

Italian parsley, chopped finely, for garnish


Clean mushrooms with damp cloth, trim woody ends of stems, and slice. Add butter and 1 T. (15 ml) of olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms, making sure the skillet is not overcrowded. Leave mushrooms to cook for 3-5 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Flip mushrooms and add shallots, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper to skillet. Cook for another 7-10 minutes, flipping once. Once moisture has evaporated, add dry white wine to skillet and reduce by at least half. Add heavy cream and continue cooking, stirring periodically. Drizzle toast with remaining olive oil. Broil 1 side of bread until golden. Flip over. Divide grated Fontina between slices of toast. Add cheese and broil again until cheese is melted and golden. Remove toast from oven and top each piece with sautéed mushrooms and paper-thin slices of lardo. Garnish with finely chopped Italian parsley.

Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa

Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa

Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa


4 T. neutral oil

½ cup cooked quinoa

Kosher salt

1 pound shishito peppers

Garlic salt

½ lemon, cut into wedges

¾ cup ranch dressing

3 T. Furikake 


In a large skillet, heat 2 T. of the oil over medium-high heat. When it’s shimmering-hot, add the quinoa to the pan and spread evenly. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes (depending on the quinoa’s moisture content; freshly cooked quinoa will take longer). Drain the fried quinoa on paper towels and season with a pinch of kosher salt. Wipe the pan clean. Add the remaining 2 T. oil to the pan and place over high heat. Once the oil begins to smoke, add the shishitos. It’s important that all the peppers touch the pan, so work in batches if necessary. Sear the peppers on all sides, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister and slightly char, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with garlic salt and a squeeze of lemon. Transfer to a plate and top with the fried quinoa. In a small bowl, whisk together the ranch with 2 T. of the furikake. Serve it alongside the shishitos. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 T. furikake before serving.

Spanish Omelet with Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

Spanish Omelet with Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

Spanish Omelet with Pickled Cherry Tomatoes


For the pickled cherry tomatoes

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup (60 mL) of water or tomato juice

1/4 cup (60 mL) of cider vinegar

2 tablespoons (30 mL) of white sugar

1 tablespoon (15 mL) of coriander seeds

1 tablespoon (15 mL) of fennel seeds

1 teaspoon (5 mL) of mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) of your favorite hot sauce

1 pint (500 mL) of cherry tomatoes, halved

2 green onions, thinly sliced


For the potato omelet

1/2 cup (125 mL) of olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

6 to 8 eggs

1 teaspoon (5 mL) of dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt

Lots of freshly ground pepper

4 ounces (115 g) of feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup/250 mL or so)


Begin with the pickled tomatoes. Measure the onion, water, vinegar, sugar, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and hot sauce into a medium saucepan. Bring to a slow, steady simmer. Continue simmering until the mixture is reduced by half, 10 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes and green onions. Let rest for at least 10 minutes, even overnight. For the omelet, heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil. Add the onions and garlic, briefly sautéing to soften the onions. Add the potatoes and sauté a few minutes more. Cover tightly and reduce the heat. Cook, sizzling slightly, shaking the works two or three times, until the potatoes are tender and lightly browned, 20 minutes or so. Whisk the eggs with the oregano, salt and pepper. Gently stir in the feta cheese. Add the potato mixture to the bowl, stir to thoroughly coat the works and return to the sauté pan. Cover tightly and cook until firm but still tender, 5 or 6 minutes. Loosen the omelet from the pan with a rubber spatula. With a strong grip and a few folded kitchen towels or a potholder, invert the pan, releasing the omelet onto the lid (if it’s flat) or a large plate. Carefully slide it back into the pan and cook for another few minutes, firming and lightly browning the bottom. Slice into wedges in the pan using the rubber spatula. Serve and share with spoonfuls of the pickled tomatoes.

Potato Cheddar Pierogis

Potato Cheddar Pierogis

Potato Cheddar Pierogis

½ pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

¼ C. shredded cheddar cheese

¼ C. plain Greek yogurt

2 T. unsalted butter, divided and softened

½ tsp. kosher salt

1 large egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

32 round wonton wrappers, defrosted

1 T. olive oil

½ C. applesauce or sour cream, optional


Place potatoes in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1-inch; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Mash potatoes in a medium bowl with cheese, yogurt, 1 T. butter and salt until smooth. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working with a few wonton wrappers at a time, fill with a heaping tsp. of potato mixture. Brush edges with egg wash and fold over to create a half moon shape. Press edges with a fork to seal tightly and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Cook in batches in boiling water for 2 minutes or until the pierogi floats. In a large skillet, heat remaining T. of butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Transfer half the cooked pierogis to the skillet and sauté 2 to 4 minutes or until golden on each side. Repeat with remaining pierogis and serve with a side of apple sauce and/or sour cream for dipping.

Buttery Garlic Mushroom Toast with Herbed Ricotta Spread

Buttery Garlic Mushroom Toast with Herbed Ricotta Spread

Buttery Garlic Mushroom Toast with Herbed Ricotta Spread


3 T. unsalted butter

2 (8 ounce) packages sliced crimini mushrooms

¼ C. white wine

4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press, plus 1 whole clove, peeled, divided use

2 tsp. thyme leaves


Black pepper

6 slices of your favorite rustic-style bread

Herbed Ricotta Spread (recipe below)

Thyme leaves, for garnish


Place a cast iron or other heavy bottom skillet or pan over medium-high heat; add in the butter, and once it has melted, add in the mushrooms and sauté for about 7-8 minutes, until they become a deep golden-brown, and begin to caramelize. (They will, at first, release a good bit of liquid; but then it evaporates, and the mushrooms become almost sticky, and caramelize.)  Add in the wine, and once it has reduced (after about 30 seconds), add in the 4 cloves of pressed garlic and the thyme, and stir those in to incorporate; once the garlic becomes aromatic, add in a couple of pinches of salt and pepper; set aside and keep warm. Toast your slices of bread, and then rub the remaining whole clove of garlic over each slice. Spread the Herbed Ricotta Spread generously over each slice of the garlicky toast, then spoon generous amounts of the sauteed mushrooms onto each piece; garnish with a little addition thyme, and enjoy.


Herbed Ricotta Spread Ingredients:


½ C. whole milk ricotta cheese

½ C. whipped cream cheese

¼ C. grated parmesan cheese

1 T. minced chives

1 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp. thyme leaves, minced

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper


Add all of the ingredients into a medium-size bowl, and using a spatula, blend everything together until smooth and completely combined; use immediately, or keep in a covered container in fridge until ready to serve.

Sweet and Spicy Pickled Radish

Sweet and Spicy Pickled Radish

Sweet and Spicy Pickled Radish

1 lb. radishes sliced thin

1/4 C. cilantro chopped

1 jalapeno stem removed, finely diced

1 C. distilled white vinegar or more as needed

2 T. sugar

2 T. kosher salt

1 tsp. red pepper flakes optional

1 T. mustard seed


Wash and dry the radishes – slice thin and add to a large bowl along with the chopped cilantro and jalapeño – set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar with the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Bring to a low boil on the stove, then turn off and allow to cool completely (you can also toss in the fridge if you are in a hurry). Grab a wide-mouth quart canning jar and pack it to the top with the radish/cilantro/jalapeño mixture. Pack tightly. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes and mustard seed on the top of the packed radishes. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over the top of the mixture in the jar, if needed, top off with additional vinegar and a pinch of salt. Place the lid and ring tightly on the jar and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours before placing in the refrigerator. Consume within 7-10 days. Optional: 2 chiles de arbol can be added to each jar for a little extra spice. Simply remove the stem and stuff in the jar before adding the liquid.

Avocado with Ginger & Carrot Dressing

Avocado with Ginger & Carrot Dressing

Avocado with Ginger & Carrot Dressing

2 T. water

2 small carrots,, peeled and diced

1/2 shallot,, peeled and roughly chopped

2- inch knob of ginger,, peeled and grated

1/4 C. grape seed oil

2 T. rice wine vinegar

1 T. sesame oil

1 T. sweet white miso paste

1 avocado,, fanned

Sesame seeds,, for topping


To a blender or food processor, add the water, carrots, shallot and ginger. Pulse until carrots and shallot are thoroughly minced. Scrape down the sides and with the blender running, pour in the grape seed oil, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and sweet white miso paste. Allow the blender to run for 30 seconds or so. Give it a taste and adjust the salt to taste. I added just a pinch of salt. To assemble the snack: half an avocado. Peel the avocado and place flesh side down on a cutting board. Slice it thinly and then gently press on the top, fanning it out. Place a liberal T. of dressing onto the plate. Top with the avocado and then garnish with a few sesame seeds and a pinch of salt.

Naturally Pink Cauliflower Pickles

Naturally Pink Cauliflower Pickles

Naturally Pink Cauliflower Pickles

1 medium-small cauliflower (1½–2 pounds)

1 small beet

2 sprigs fresh dill or 2 dill flower heads or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed, divided

2 small cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, divided

½ teaspoon cumin seeds, divided

½ teaspoon red chile pepper flakes, divided (optional)

1 cup white distilled or white wine vinegar

¾ cup water

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons kosher or other non-iodized salt


Wash the cauliflower and remove any outer leaves. Cut it in half, and slice off the florets with a short length of the base attached. Aim for approximately 1-inch pieces. Peel the beet. Cut it in half and then into ½-inch-thick slices. Distribute the dill, garlic cloves, and spices between two clean pint canning jars. Pack in the cauliflower above the seasonings, adding half of the beet slices to each jar. Leave 1 inch of head space. Combine the vinegar, water, honey, and salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and honey. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Pour the hot brine over the other ingredients in the jars, fully covering them but still leaving ½ inch of head space. Screw on canning lids and process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjust the canning time if you live at a high altitude—see the sidebar in the Boiling Water Bath Canning chapter). Wait at least one week before serving. During that time, not only will the flavors mellow and “marry,” but the beet juices will color the cauliflower.

Stovetop Applesauce

Stovetop Applesauce

Stovetop Applesauce

3 pounds apples

2 tablespoons sugar or 1½ tablespoons honey (optional)

½ cup water or apple juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice


Wash the apples. If you have a food mill or a food processor, you’ll use it later to deal with the peels. Otherwise, peel the apples. Remove the cores (save them to make Apple Scrap Vinegar). Chop the apples into chunks about an inch thick. Put the apples into a large pot. If you are using the sugar, add it to the apples; if you are using the honey, dissolve it in the water. Add the lemon juice and the water to the pot. Cook the apples over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes until they are mushy. If you left the peels on, run the applesauce through a food mill to remove them, or puree in a food processor (Since a food processor can’t separate the skins from the pulp in the same manner as a food mill, it’s preferable to peel and seed apples before cooking. After the apples are cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer apples to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse to create a smooth puree, adding a tablespoon or two of the cooking liquid, as needed. Flavor with cinnamon or sugar, if desired.). If you peeled the apples, you can either mash them with a potato masher or puree them in a blender or food processor. Homemade applesauce will keep, refrigerated, for 1 week, or in the freezer for 6 months. For longer storage at room temperature, fill clean, hot pint or half-pint jars with the applesauce, leaving ½ inch of head space. The applesauce should still be hot when you fill the jars. If you want to can applesauce that has already cooled or been in the refrigerator for a couple of days, first bring it to a boil over medium heat before filling the jars. Go around the insides of the filled jars with a table knife to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars clean. Screw on canning lids and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.


Cranberry Applesauce

Cook 4 pounds apples with 1 ½ cups of frozen cranberries, ½ cup sugar, and ¼ cup brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.


Chunky Apricot Applesauce

Soak 1 cup dried apricots in hot water for about 10 minutes, or until softened. Remove from water and dice. Add diced apricots and about ¼ cup

sugar to 4 pounds apples in the last few minutes of the cooking time, stirring until sugar dissolves.


Pear Applesauce

Cook 2 pounds apples and 2 pounds pears, both quartered. Since pears have more natural juice than apples, this sauce will be a little thinner than classic applesauce. To compensate, add just a tablespoon or two of liquid to the fruit before cooking instead of the ¼ cup listed in the recipe


Plum Applesauce

Cook 2 pounds apples with 2 pounds halved and pitted plums, and ¼ cup sugar.

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese and Thyme

4 small or 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into very thin ribbons

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

6 ounces goat cheese (or ricotta if you prefer)

1 T. fresh thyme, plus more for serving

2 teaspoons honey, plus more for serving

Zest of ½ lemon

¼ C. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped

¼ C. fresh basil leaves, chopped

10 thin slices prosciutto, sliced in half lengthwise


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini ribbons with olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese, thyme, honey, lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Working with one at a time, lay out a zucchini ribbon on a clean work surface. Spoon 1 T. of the cheese mixture onto one end and roll up the ribbon. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around the zucchini to secure. Place the rolls seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining zucchini ribbons. Bake until the prosciutto is crisp, 20-25 minutes.  They will ooze a bit, this is ok!  Let them set up on the baking sheet for 6 or so minutes before sprinkling with thresh thyme and drizzled with honey.

Tomato-Basil Jam

Tomato-Basil Jam

Tomato-Basil Jam

2 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled

¼ cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons snipped fresh basil

3 cups sugar

1 1.75 ounce package powdered fruit pectin for lower-sugar recipes or 3 tablespoons powdered fruit pectin for low- or no-sugar recipes



Seed, core, and finely chop tomatoes. Measure 3 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes; place in a 6- to 8-quart stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot. Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Measure 3 1/3 cups tomatoes; return to pot. Stir in lemon juice and basil. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the pectin; stir into tomato mixture. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the remaining 2 3/4 cups sugar. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon. Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Makes 5 half-pints.

Wildflower Violet Popcorn

Wildflower Violet Popcorn

Wildflower Violet Popcorn

1 C. Popcorn in 1/4 C. increments

1/4 C. Butter

1/4 C. Coconut Oil

Sea Salt

Fresh edible flowers OR sugared violets or other sugared flowers


Gather fresh, edible flowers.  Be sure you know what you’re foraging – some wild blooms are NOT edible.  You may also use sugared violets or other sugared flowers in your violet popcorn. If using fresh flowers, gently shake off any dust or debris.  If you must rinse them, place them in a salad spinner to get them as dry as possible.  Place them on a towel or dehydrator rack to dry completely.  You may also place your blooms in the refrigerator for a bit, if you can’t use them right away.  Work quickly, though – blooms like violets will begin to curl up and fade rather quickly. Using an air popper, pop up fresh popcorn in 1/4 C. increments. OR, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your air popper.  As the popper is popping, slowly melt the butter and coconut oil on the stove top. Once the popcorn is popped, add melted fats a few T. at a time to the popcorn bowl as you sprinkle with sea salt and stir gently. Repeat this process, adding fat, salt and stirring until all the melted fats are gone. Allow to cool completely. Gently toss in fresh edible flowers or sugared violets.






Field Daisies

Johnny jumps-ups (violas)


Pineapple Sage Blossoms

Red Bud blossoms

Rose Petals

Sweet William


Instant Pot Popcorn

Instant Pot Popcorn

Instant Pot Popcorn


2 T. butter

3 T. coconut oil

1/2 C. popcorn kernels



Set Instant Pot to sauté, more (or high) setting.  Add coconut oil and butter and allow to melt completely and start to sizzle. (Important Step!) Add popcorn kernels and stir so all kernels are coated with oil.  Place glass lid on top and hold, popcorn will begin popping in about 2-3 minutes, turn off when 2/3 of kernels have popped and they will continue to pop but not burn. Carefully remove lid. Pour out of pot when done so they don’t continue to cook. Salt and you’re done!

Jarlsberg Cheese Fondue

Jarlsberg Cheese Fondue

Jarlsberg Cheese Fondue


1 clove garlic (peeled and halved)

½ C. fruity white wine

1 tsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

½ pound Jarlsberg cheese (grated)

¼ pound fontina cheese (grated)

bread cubes, sliced fruit or boiled baby potatoes (as needed for dipping)


Generously rub the insides of a medium saucepan with the garlic clove; discard remnants. Place the pan over medium heat. Whisk in the wine, lemon juice, and mustard. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add the cheese 1 C. at a time stirring after each incorporation with a wooden spoon until smooth. Pour into a fondue pot set over a heat source or set the saucepan on a trivet. Serve immediately with the bread, fruit and/or potatoes.

Kahlua Spiked Pecans

Kahlua Spiked Pecans

Kahlua Spiked Pecans

1 C. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg white

3 T. Kahlua

4 C. pecan halves


Preheat oven to 325F. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together egg white and Kahlua. Add pecans and stir well to combine. Sprinkle half the sugar mixture on top and mix well. Pour the rest of the sugar on top and stir until completely combined. Scoop the mixture onto a large baking sheet lined with foil and coated with nonstick spray. Spread the pecans to an even single layer. Bake until pecans are lightly toasted and browned, stirring every 10 minutes, about 20 to 25 minutes total. Remove from the oven and scoop the hot pecans onto wax or parchment paper to cool completely.

Roasted Grape + Ricotta + Thyme Toast

Roasted Grape + Ricotta + Thyme Toast

Roasted Grape + Ricotta + Thyme Toast

4 slices good bread

1 C. red grapes

4-5 sprigs fresh thyme

1/4 C. ricotta

Honey, optional

Olive oil to drizzle


Preheat your oven to 400 ̊F. Cut your grapes in half and set aside. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and arrange your bread on top. Spread each slice with 1 tsp. ricotta. Evenly distribute the sliced grapes across the toasts, then drizzle each with a bit of olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the grapes begin to blister and the edges of your toasts are golden. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with your sprigs of fresh thyme, and if you’d like some extra sweetness, drizzle with honey. TIP: I like to buy large batches of grapes and freeze them if I can’t eat them all before they go bad. Frozen grapes work perfectly fine on this toast – just add a few minutes to the cooking time!

Balsamic Pickled Shallots or Onions

Balsamic Pickled Shallots or Onions

Balsamic Pickled Shallots

3 – 3 ½ lb. small shallots

2 ½ C. distilled vinegar

1 ½ C. balsamic vinegar

2/3 C. golden caster sugar

1 T. salt

1 tsp. pickling spice

1 tsp. of cinnamon

2T. of salt for the brine

Boiling water enough to cover the shallots


Tip the shallots into a large bowl and pour over a kettleful of boiling water with the salt to cover and leave overnight.  The following day, drain and peel the shallots. Set the peeled shallots aside and place all the other ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, then simmer for 3 mins. Drop the shallots into the pan and simmer for 10 mins until just tender. Remove the shallots with a slotted spoon and place in sterilized jars. Then pour the vinegar over to cover the shallots. Seal the jars and leave for at least 3 days. Ideally these shallots are best when left over time.




1 C. oil-cured olives, about 5 ounces, pitted

1 C. pitted kalamata olives, about 4 ounces

1 C. pitted Castelvetrano olives, about 4 ounces

1/4 C. pine nuts, toasted golden

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse to finely chop, without making a paste. Transfer to a glass jar or container and refrigerate for at least one hour to let the flavors develop. Serve at room temperature. Store the olivada in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (the flavors will mellow over time).

Witches Hat Not-Nachos

Witches Hat Not-Nachos

Witches Hat Not-Nachos

8 oz cream cheese softened

1 T. taco spice if you like it spicy add some cayenne

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

couple drops orange food coloring red & yellow or brown

2 T. sliced green olives

2-3 T. fresh cilantro chopped

1-2 T. carrot diced small

1 bag blue tortilla chips

1 resealable plastic storage bag


In a small bowl mix together cream cheese, taco seasoning, lemon juice & a couple drops of food coloring. Stir well until all ingredients are well combined. Spoon into plastic storage bag, squishing out air and sealing. Lay out your chips on a serving platter/dish. Remove any broken pieces. Cut off a tiny corner of the storage bag. Squeeze to drizzle cream cheese on each chip giving them a unique design replicating the band on hat. Sprinkle on green olives, carrots & cilantro.

Instead of carrots you could use bell peppers and if you do not like the taste of cilantro, substitute in flat leaf parsley for the cilantro.

Try fresh herbs like basil, dill, mint or parsley mixed with cream cheese, omitting the taco seasoning for a slimy green look.

Make cream cheese the day before, store in refrigerator, remove a couple hours before serving to soften up before piping your hats.

Witches Hat Snacks

Witches Hat Snacks

Witches Hat Snacks

1/8 tsp. Chipotle chile, powder

2 T. Cilantro, fresh

2 T. Red bell peppers, roasted

2 T. Ripe olives

5 C. Tortilla chips, blue


Turn crispy triangles into a witch’s topper with a squeeze of chipotle cream cheese and sweet pepper confetti.

“Salted Caramel” Haloumi Cheese and Apple

“Salted Caramel” Haloumi Cheese and Apple

“Salted Caramel” Haloumi Cheese and Apple

1/4 x 1/4-in.-thick slices haloumi

1 green apple, cored and cut into 1/4-in. wedges

pinch of salt

sprinkle of ground cinnamon (optional)

Place the haloumi and apple slices in a hot non-stick frying pan. Jiggle the pan a little so the fat from the haloumi coats the apple. Cook on both sides for 1-2 minutes, until both the apple and haloumi are a lovely caramel color. Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon (if using) and serve.

Sprouted Spicy Nuts

Sprouted Spicy Nuts

Sprouted Spicy Nuts

2 C. walnuts.

2 C. almonds.

3/4 tsp. each ground cinnamon, ground coriander and ground cumin.

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric.

2 T. salt.

Soak the nuts or seeds overnight in a pot of water with the salt. Drain and toss through all of the spices. Lay out on a baking tray and “heat” in the oven at the lowest temperature possible (less than 65ºC/150°F, or for gas ovens, on the pilot light) for 12-24 hours. Store and eat straight from the fridge. You can also store activated nuts in the freezer.



SALT AND VINEGAR ALMONDS Toss ¼ C. apple cider vinegar and 1 T. salt over 1½ C. of almonds just before you put them in the oven.

MEXICAN PUMPKIN SEEDS Toss the juice of 2–3 limes, 3 tsp. chili powder and 1 T. salt over 1 C. of pumpkin seeds just before you put them in the oven.

TAMARI PUMPKIN SEEDS After sprouting the pumpkin seeds, toss 1 C. of the seeds into a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add a splash of tamari and stir. The seeds will become a gooey, caramel glob pretty quickly, so remove from the heat almost immediately.

Grilled Shrimp with Garlicky Pea Purée

Grilled Shrimp with Garlicky Pea Purée

Grilled Shrimp with Garlicky Pea Purée


If fresh peas are out of season, frozen peas may be substituted. Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.


2 cups fresh peas or 12 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, room temperature

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 large garlic clove, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons Tabasco or hot sauce

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch of sugar


1 pound medium (21/25) shrimp, peeled, tails intact, deveined


If using fresh peas, fill a medium saucepan halfway with water (do not add salt as this will toughen the peas) and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook until bright green in color and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining puree ingredients and process to blend. (If using frozen peas, skip the first step and add the peas with the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process to blend). If purée is too thick, add more olive oil to achieve desired consistency. Taste for seasoning. Whisk all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat. Thread shrimp on skewers. Grill over high heat with the lid closed until just cooked through, turning once, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve the shrimp warm with the pea purée for dipping, or spoon dollops of the pea puree over the shrimp. This is a great beat-the-heat recipe for the summer.  If you like this you might also enjoy these recipes from

Fall Cheese Platter

Fall Cheese Platter

Fall Cheese Platter

2 medium apples, chopped (2 C.)

2 C. cranberries

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 C.)

1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 C.)

3/4 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 C. golden raisins

1/2 C. white vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped gingerroot

1 clove garlic, finely chopped


16 slices (1 oz. each) assorted cheeses, such as Cheddar, Colby-Monterey Jack, Monterey Jack with jalapeño peppers and Swiss

1/4 C. hazelnuts, (filberts)



In 2-quart saucepan, mix all chutney ingredients. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 1 hour, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and fruit is tender. Spoon into nonaluminum container. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Cut cheese with 1-, 1 1/2- and 2-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters. Place cheese on medium platter, overlapping leaves. Sprinkle hazelnuts on platter to look like acorns. Serve with chutney and crackers.

California Spot Prawns with Thai Seasoning

California Spot Prawns with Thai Seasoning

California Spot Prawns with Thai Seasoning

3 1/2 T. fresh lime juice

2 T. grapeseed or vegetable oil

2 T. light brown sugar

2 kaffir lime leaves or 1-inch-wide strips of lime zest

1 stalk of lemongrass, bottom 6 inches only, peeled and minced

1 T. minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. Asian fish sauce

16 large California spot prawns or shrimp (about 1 pound), shelled and deveined

1/2 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely shredded

1/2 C. plain whole-milk yogurt

1 tsp. minced shallot

1/4 tsp. ground coriander

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 small garlic cloves, minced

2 T. finely chopped mint

3 T. very finely chopped cilantro

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Charentais melon or 1/2 cantaloupe, rind removed, melon sliced 1/2 inch thick

2 Hass avocados

3 T. minced red onion

1/2 tsp. minced hot chile


In a medium bowl, combine 2 T. of the lime juice with the grapeseed oil, brown sugar, lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger and fish sauce. Add the shrimp and toss, then refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, squeeze the cucumber to remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer to a small bowl and add the yogurt, shallot, coriander, cayenne, half of the minced garlic, 1 T. of the mint, 1 T. of the cilantro and 1/2 tsp. of the lime zest. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 1 hour. In a medium bowl, toss the melon slices with 1/2 T. of the lime juice and the remaining 1 T. of mint and 1/2 tsp. of lime zest; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled. In another medium bowl, mash the avocados with the onion, chile and the remaining garlic, 1 T. of lime juice and 2 T. of cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat a grill. Drain the shrimp well. Grill over high heat, turning once, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and serve with the yogurt sauce, melon and avocado puree.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Basil Shrimp

Prosciutto-Wrapped Basil Shrimp

Prosciutto-Wrapped Basil Shrimp

20 large frozen peeled deveined shrimp, thawed

1 T. chopped fresh basil

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

10 (about 4 oz.) very thin slices prosciutto

Cooking spray

8 lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat broiler. In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, basil, olive oil, zest, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Mix well and set aside. Lay the prosciutto slices on a large work surface, and cut prosciutto in half lengthwise so you have 20 pieces. Wrap the prosciutto around each shrimp, leaving the tail hanging out, and thread on an 8-inch skewer. Repeat with remaining shrimp for a total of 4 skewers with 5 shrimp each. Place the skewers on a broiling pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Broil the shrimp 2 minutes on each side. Serve hot with lemon wedges.


Serving Size: 5 Shrimp

Calories: 99

Fat: 5g

Fiber: 0g

Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese

Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese

Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese

3 large zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), 1 finely diced

Kosher salt

1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 small onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. tomato paste

1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced

1 medium yellow bell pepper, finely diced

1 large tomato-peeled, seeded and finely diced

Piment d’Espclcttc (see Note)

1 T. chopped mint

1 T. chopped oregano

1 T. chopped basil

2 ounces freshly grated Sbrinz cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2/3 cup)


Cut the 2 whole zucchini into twelve 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices each and season with salt. Transfer to a rack and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Meanwhile, heat 2 T. of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the red and yellow peppers along with the diced zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the diced tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and piment d’Espelette. Stir in the mint, oregano and basil. Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the remaining 2 T. of olive oil in a large skillet. Season the zucchini slices with salt and piment d’Espelette, add them to the skillet and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned in spots, about 4 minutes. Arrange the zucchini in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish in a single layer and spoon the pepper mixture on top. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake in the upper third of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot or warm. Note: Piment d’Espelette is a spicy ground red pepper from the Basque region of France. It’s available at specialty food stores.

Roasted Radishes with Burrata & Arugula Pesto

Roasted Radishes with Burrata & Arugula Pesto

Roasted Radishes with Burrata & Arugula Pesto

1 bunch of radishes, trimmed and quartered

1 T. of olive oil




2 C. fresh arugula leaves

1/2 C. Italian parsley leaves

1/2 C. walnuts

6 T. olive oil

1 tsp. lemon zest

2 T. lemon juice, from about 1/2 large lemon

2 T. minced shallot, from about 1/2 shallot

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste


1 ball of fresh burrata (about 3 ounces) cheese (if you can’t find burrata, fresh mozzarella would also be delicious) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small baking dish or baking sheet, add the radishes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss together until evenly coated. Transfer to the oven to roast for 20 minutes, until slightly softened and until some of the edges have turned light golden brown. (We still want them to have a bite so no roasting for too long!)


Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, add the arugula, parsley, walnuts, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot and salt. Pulse until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Give it a taste and adjust the salt. I added a few pinches more of salt.


Slice a ball of burrata down the center and open it up like hoagie roll (this was the best analogy I could think of, sorry!) and place it in the center of a shallow set bowl or plate. Spoon the roasted radishes atop the cheese. OR, psychotically arrange them neatly like I did. Top with dollops of pesto and add a few pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bacon-Grilled Onion Rings

Bacon-Grilled Onion Rings

Bacon-Grilled Onion Rings


Note: You need firm outer onion rings, so choose large sweet onions, which will provide this. You will also need wooden toothpicks.

2 large sweet onions such as Vidalias, Walla Wallas, or Texas Sweets

1/2 c. of your favorite hot sauce, such as Sriracha or Frank’s RedHot

1 1/2 lb. thin-sliced bacon

Vegetable oil for oiling the grill grate


Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. Trim the ends off the onions and peel off the thin papery skins. Slice each onion crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Carefully pop the centers out of each slice, keeping the 2 outermost layers together. (Two layers make a sturdier foundation for the bacon.) Set aside the largest onion rings. You should have 8. Save the remaining onion pieces for another use. Pour the hot sauce into a mixing bowl or shallow dish. Brush each onion ring with the sauce. mSpiral each onion ring with bacon, slightly overlapping each strip, until the ring is covered. (You’ll need 2 to 3 strips of bacon for each onion ring.) Use toothpicks to secure the ends of the bacon. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well. Arrange the onion rings on the grill grate, away from the fire (using indirect heat), and close the lid. Cook until the bacon is golden brown and sizzling, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the onion rings on a wire rack spread with paper towels. Variation: Use barbecue sauce instead of hot sauce, if you prefer. Or brush the onion rings with melted butter and season them with your favorite barbecue rub. Or brush them with warm maple syrup and dredge the onion rings in brown sugar before wrapping them with bacon.


Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 260

Fat: 6g

Fiber: 1g

Prosciutto Rolls with Arugula, Fennel and Mint

Prosciutto Rolls with Arugula, Fennel and Mint

Prosciutto Rolls with Arugula, Fennel and Mint

8 slices prosciutto

Extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Finely grated zest from one lemon

2 C. (packed) arugula leaves

2 medium fennel bulbs, cores and fronds removed, bulb. halved lengthwise, each half thinly sliced lengthwise

4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

16 medium-large mint leaves


For a smaller roll, halve the prosciutto slices lengthwise, so you will have 16 strips, each about 1 inch wide. Place one strip of prosciutto on a work surface, with a short end closest to you. Lightly brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and a pinch of lemon zest. Lay 4 to 6 arugula leaves, horizontally, at the base. Place a few shards of fennel and Parmesan over the arugula. Top with a mint leaf. Roll up from the base, wrapping the prosciutto tightly around the vegetables, and continue to roll, placing 1 or 2 additional arugula leaves in the fold as you roll up. Place the roll seam side down on a platter. Repeat with remaining ingredients. The rolls may be prepared up to four hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let them stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Before serving, lightly spritz with olive oil or lemon juice, if desired. Ingredient variations: Baby spinach, sweet pepper, goat cheese, melon, mozzarella, figs, brie, rosemary, shredded radicchio, pear, manchego cheese, parsley

Roasted Garlic Chickpeas

Roasted Garlic Chickpeas

Roasted Garlic Chickpeas

1 – 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup fresh parsley [chopped]

1/2 T. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper


Line a baking sheet with parchment. Preheat the oven to 415°. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Pat them dry with a paper towel. They should be slightly damp – not sopping wet. In a large bowl or Ziplock bag, combine parsley, oil, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. Add the chickpeas and mix until well-combined. Empty the chickpeas onto the baking sheet and spread them out. Try to situate the chickpeas mostly together in the center of the pan. Outliers tend to burn. Bake for 25 minutes, tossing every 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and cool. Then enjoy! Notes: If you want to save them for later snacking, keep them fresh by storing them in a glass jar. No need to refrigerate!

LTS Sprouted Seed Sushi

LTS Sprouted Seed Sushi

LTS Sprouted Seed Sushi


2-3 T. alfalfa seeds

Bottled water

Nori (sheets of dried seaweed)

1 can of asparagus

1 can of crab

Low-sodium soy sauce

Wasabi powder, mixed with water per directions to form wasabi paste


To sprout seeds: Place in a jar or container with holes poked in the lid. Add l C. water and soak for 8-12 hours. Rinse and drain; repeat this process for 3 days. Then place jar and seeds in a space that has light (even a little bit of light will work). Keep rinsing and draining for 2-3 more days; you will have a lot of sprouts at this point! Lay out nori sheets. Drain cans of crab and asparagus. In the first 1/3 of the sheet lay out sprouts, asparagus and crab. Roll everything up and seal the outer edge of the nori sheet with a little bit of water. Cut each roll into 5-6 pieces. Serve with soy and wasabi paste.




1/2 C. plain yogurt

1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce

1 T. honey

1/2 C. granola or whole grain cereal (recommended: Grape Nuts)


Mix together yogurt, applesauce and honey. Chill for 20 minutes. Top with granola.

Hurricane Popcorn

Hurricane Popcorn

Hurricane Popcorn


6 T. salted butter

8 to 9 C. freshly popped popcorn (about 1/2 C. unpopped kernels)

1/4 C. nori komi furikake (see this page)

1 C. mochi crunch or Japanese rice crackers (arare)


Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the butter until it becomes foamy, then turn the heat to medium-low and let it simmer and bubble for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bubbling stops. At this point, you should see lightly browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle the butter, being careful to avoid pouring out the browned bits, over the popped popcorn. Sprinkle with the furikake and toss with the arare. Hurricane Popcorn is best eaten the same day

Baked Ricotta

Baked Ricotta

Baked Ricotta

1 pound (about 2 cups) whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

1   tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried

2  teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary’ or 1 teaspoon dried

1-2 tablespoons chopped garlic (2-4 cloves)

Zest of 1 lemon, finely’ grated

1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 egg, lightly’ beaten

Ground paprika, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 375°F (19O°C). Use a drizzle of oil to grease a 2-cup baking dish. Combine the ricotta with the oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes (if using), and a few grinds of pepper. Mix well and season generously7 with salt (I usually start with 1/4 teaspoon). Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with paprika and a drizzle of oil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top puffs up slightly and the mixture is hot and bubbling. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. The ricotta has to be well drained; if it is too liquid, the finished product will be soupy. Most ricotta comes strained, but if the ricotta you have has any’ liquid on top, pour it off rather than mixing it in.

Brown Butter Chanterelle Crostini 

Brown Butter Chanterelle Crostini 

Brown Butter Chanterelle Crostini


Golden yellow chanterelles grow in abundance in the forests surrounding Portland, and those in the know have their own secret foraging spots. But even if you are not a forager, you can easily find these delicacies in local markets every spring and fall. I add these buttery beauties to all manner of dishes, but I especially love them simply sautéed with brown butter to let their subtle flavor shine through. Here I have added a touch of cream to increase their luxe quotient.

3/4 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Olive oil

4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 large shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, one cut in half, one minced, divided

1 pound chanterelles, cleaned and roughly chopped

2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves or more as needed

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 C. dry vermouth or white wine or more as needed

1/2 C. heavy cream, plus more to taste

Garnish: freshly grated Parmesan


Heat the oven to 425°F. Place a bowl or measuring C. near the stove. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and toast until just golden, about 10 minutes. Rub the cut garlic on each slice twice. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter smells nutty and the milk solids turn brown. Remove from the heat and strain into the bowl; using a spatula, scrape the brown butter bits out of the pan and into the strainer. Reserve the contents of the strainer. Wipe the pan with a paper towel and place over medium-high heat. Add the melted butter and the shallot. Sauté until tender. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add the mushrooms and thyme, season with the salt and black pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid. Add the vermouth and stir, scraping any brown stuff off the bottom of the pan (add more vermouth if necessary, to deglaze the whole pan). Cook until the pan is mostly dry. Stir in the cream and browned butter bits from the strainer and simmer until the mixture is thickened and sauce-like. It if seems dry, add a little more cream. Taste and season with more salt, black pepper, and thyme.

7 Spoon the mixture onto the toasted bread and garnish with the Parmesan.

Bacon, Fig Jam, & Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Bacon, Fig Jam, & Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Bacon, Fig Jam, & Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Bruschetta Bread (Olive oil toasted artisan bread)

4 oz. fig jam

6 oz. plain goat cheese

4 slices of cooked bacon crumbled

2 T. fresh basil finely chopped


Spread goat cheese on each slice of Bread. Spread fig jam over the goat cheese. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the fig jam. Garnish with fresh basil. Serve at room temperature.

Herbed Cucumber Bites

Herbed Cucumber Bites

Herbed Cucumber Bites


1 C. soft goat cheese

3 T. chopped marjoram

1 T. freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

2 peeled cucumbers, sliced crosswise into 1-inch rounds (about 8 rounds per cucumber)

12 radishes, each cut into 4 slices

16 fresh herb tips (oregano, marjoram, savory, or thyme)


In a small bowl, combine cheese, marjoram, and lime juice. To assemble bites, spread 2 tsp. of the cheese mixture on a cucumber. Arrange 3 slices of radish over cheese. Spread 1 tsp. of cheese on top of a radish slice and top with an herb tip. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.