Sunday, September 6, 2015

I desperately need to catch up on my food blog...

What a year! Some things have languished while we've been caught up with many changes in our lives, including this food blog.

A friend of mine, Angie, who is an incredible cook and one of the most selfless, giving persons I know, not only cooks for her family at home but also for hundreds of local at risk kids and homeless adults on a regular basis. Check out her blog Cheffess for some terrific recipes and colorful culinary concoctions. Today, Angie posted on Facebook: "I desperately need to catch up on my food blog." WOW, that is me in spades!!

Her true confession challenges me to get back on board with attempting regular posts about some of the scrumptiliumious meals me and my family having been cooking and sharing these past months. I am so far behind on sharing some of our delicious gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and pescetarian recipes that I doubt I can ever catch up.

But, my next post coming this week will be about the delightful slow process of making ratatouille with fresh, local produce and herbs from our garden. I wish you could smell the savory aromas wafting from my kitchen right now, even long after we've enjoyed our evening meal... imagine, if you will, inhaling the bouquet of freshly chopped basil, Italian parsley, bay leaf, savory, thyme and garlic in a stew of fresh tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and onions.

Please stop by again, later this coming week for the recipe. It's sure to be a hit amongst friends and family who love their veggies!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Egg Strata

With so much going on during the holidays, it's great to have a breakfast recipe that can be prepared a day ahead to bake just for breakfast or brunch the next morning. I made this Egg Strata dish on the afternoon of Christmas Eve to bake and enjoy after opening gifts with the kids on Christmas morning. I pulled it from the refrigerator at 7 a.m. to warm until time to bake and serve later in the morning. I will be serving a version of this dish this coming Sunday, when we enjoy another holiday brunch with our family in Bend, Oregon. Serves 8

Egg Strata


14 Eggs
2 cups Coconut Milk beverage, unsweetened (I used SoDelicious brand)
2 Baguettes, Udi's gluten-free (defrosted and cubed) OR 12 slices gluten-free bread (cubed)
4 Green Onions, sliced
1-1/2 cups fresh Mushrooms, chopped
1-2 cups fresh Spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned Salt
Pinch or two of Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 cups of shredded Cheddar Cheese 

Optional Ingredients: Red Bell Pepper (chopped or minced), Butternut Squash (cooked and cubed, small), Herbs (garlic, thyme, oregano, with Paprika and/or Goat Cheese (crumbled) for a topping.

  1. Grease a 13X9 inch glass baking dish with butter or a butter substitute (my preference).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk, Dijon mustard, Cayenne pepper, and seasoned salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, blend together the cubed bread, shredded cheese, fresh mushrooms, spinach and green onions and any optional vegetable or herbs you wish to add.
  4. Add the bread mixture into the buttered baking dish, and spread evenly.
  5. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture in the baking dish.
  6. Refrigerate overnight covered with plastic wrap.
  7. In the morning, set the Egg Strata out on the counter to warm to room temperature.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees.*
  9. Bake at 350-degrees for 50-60 minutes, until set and slightly browned on top.
  10. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

*NOTE: If the glass baking dish is still cool when you are ready to bake the Egg Strata, place the egg dish in the oven as soon as you begin to pre-heat the oven, and bake for 1 hour.

The day after Christmas and all through the house...

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and are now looking forward to the New Year with hope in your hearts for many good things ahead for you and your's in 2015!

The day after Christmas and all through the house are signs of the holiday... cards, gifts, wrapping papers and bows, and sweet and savory homemade snacks to enjoy this coming week.

I made gluten-free cookies, white chocolate covered popcorn (addicting and so bad for you I won't share the recipe), and spicy pretzels, which I gave for gifts. Too big to be stocking stuffers, I put the spicy pretzels in decorative holiday bags and tins. Below is the spicy pretzel recipe our delightful neighbor, Andi, shared with me. Thanks, Andi! My batch was gluten-free. This snack will be great to enjoy while ringing in the New Year!

Spicy Pretzels


1/2 cup Canola Oil (I used Safflower Oil)
1 envelope dry Ranch Dressing mix
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (For the grandkid's sake, I reduced to 1/2 tsp. Perfect!)
1 large (20 oz.) bag of Pretzels (I used gluten-free)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200-degrees.
  2. Put the pretzels in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Whisk together the oil, dry dressing mix, garlic salt and cayenne in a small bowl.
  4. Drizzle all of the oil and spice mixture over the pretzels, and toss gently until completely coated.
  5. Spread the pretzels out evenly over the two baking sheets.
  6. Bake at 200-degrees for 75 minutes. 
  7. Cool completely before packaging.
  8. Instructions say to stir once during the cooking time, but I did not. They turned out great!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday Brunch Fruit Salad

This colorful and zesty fruit salad is simply delicious; quick and easy to prepare and marinate ahead the night before your brunch. Serves 12-16.


2 cups green Grapes, halved

2 cups Strawberries, sliced

2 cups Peach, sliced or chunked

2 cups Orange (Mandarin Oranges), segments

1 cup Kiwi, peeled and sliced or diced

2 Bananas, sliced

1 cup, Blueberries, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup Orange Juice

1/2-cup orange-flavored Liqueur (Cointreau®)

2 tablespoons white Sugar

  1. If using canned fruit, drain before adding.
  2. Add the prepared fruits, except the bananas and blueberries, to a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the Orange Juice, Cointreau, and sugar (until dissolved)
  4. Gently stir the orange mixture in with the fruit medley until coated.
  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Before serving, gently stir in the freshly sliced bananas and blueberries, tossing with the orange dressing to coat.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Special - How Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner by Hannah Rothstein

Repost of : Thanksgiving Special: How 10 Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Special: How 10 Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving humor
Piet Mondrian

Thanksgiving Special: How 10 Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving humor
René Magritte

Thanksgiving Special: How 10 Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving humor
Vincent van Gogh

Thanksgiving Special: How 10 Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving humor
Pablo Picasso

Thanksgiving Special: How 10 Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving humor
Jackson Pollock

Thanksgiving Special: How 10 Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving humor
Georges Seurat

Thanksgiving Special: How 10 Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving humor
Andy Warhol

In this fun series of photos titled Thanksgiving Special, San Francisco-based artist Hannah Rothstein imagines Thanksgiving dinners as plated by famous artists throughout history. Gravy, corn, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, and even the plate itself is used as a medium for edible artworks in the style of Jackson Pollock, Cindy Sherman, Georges Seurat, and Vincent van Gogh. To see all 10 artworks head over to Rothstein’s website. Prints of the artistic plates are available, and Rothstein is donating 10% of the profits to the SF-Marin Food Bank. (via Coudal, Quipsologies)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweet & Savory Rice

This sweet and savory rice dish is perfect for serving as a side dish at Thanksgiving, even if you are serving stuffing. It's a delicious gluten free, vegetarian alternative. Serves 8-10


2 Cups Brown Rice, long grain
3 Tablespoons, Vegetarian "Better Than Bouillon"
4-1/2 cups Water to cook rice
1 cup Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Green Onion, chopped
1 cup Butter, or substitute
1/2-1 cup White Wine
1 cup Dark Raisins
1 cup Golden Raisins
6 tablespoons, Slivered Almonds or Pine Nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon Salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon  Cayenne Pepper


Let the raisins soak in the wine, while you are preparing the rice and other ingredients for cooking.

Steam the brown rice in the vegetable bouillon until done. I use a rice steamer, but stove-top method is fine too.

In a deep skillet, saute both onions in the butter until soft. Stir in the wine-soaked raisins with all the liquid, toasted almonds, salt, cayenne pepper and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the parsley.

 When the rice and raisin mixture is ready, combine and serve warm, or cool to room temperature, refrigerate and reheat to serve as desired. This is a moist rice, so if you want it dryer, use less water to cook the rice of less wine in the mixture.

Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Prickly Pear Aguas Frescas and Thanksgiving

This has been a year, not just a season, of great transition... an epic relocation back to Oregon from the far reaches of Washington. It took us months to accomplish our move with a husband who suffered an injury, required surgery and a long stretch of recovery time. Transitions into new jobs, new opportunities, putting down roots, networking for business, and yet another move, have kept my dance card pretty full.

I don't wonder where the time went, that's pretty clear, but as I reflect on how much has been packed in to this year, I'm going to take some time here to be thankful for all blessing packed in to this year too. Surviving and thriving, I'm amazed and thankful for all.... after all, everything leading up to right now has brought me here. "Here" is good, and it's right here that I attend to my languishing food blog, and that's another good thing!

Oh yes, my food blog has seriously languished... my last post was in April, like seven months ago! A quick post about the marvels of peeling an egg. Wow! During these past months, there were so many meals shared, and mostly prepared by family, who are far better cooks than me; quite a few meals on the go, and with so much on my plate, there has hardly been room for food.

I may not post as often as I have in the past, but I do want to play catch up during the winter and share some tasty recipes that are creations of my daughter and her husband (at one time a chef). Hopefully, we can get some good photos of our fare and feasts, and I'll try to get back in my kitchen as my own creative juices start flowing again...

And speaking of juice... Fantastic to serve at Thanksgiving, here's my daughter Effie's recipe for her non-alcoholic Prickly Pear Aguas Frescas:


4 prickly pears (available fall/winter seasons), peeled with a knife and rubber gloves (a must)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 limes, juiced plus 1 lime for slices to garnish
1/4 teaspoon ground canela (Mexican cinnamon) or regular cinnamon
2 cups ice

  1. Puree the prickly pears in a blender.
  2. Pass through a fine sieve or mesh strainer in to a bowl to strain out ever seed; use rubber spatula.
  3. Puree the pear liquid again, adding in the sugar, lime juice and ice in a blender for 1 minute.
  4. Pour into glasses and garnish with lime.

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Novembers.”