1. Delish Detector!- Juicepresso
In order to keep up with my “slim down for my wedding” plan, I’ve been putting my Juicepresso to good use by making fresh cold-pressed juices with amazing fruits and veggies!
Since, it’s still summer weather here in LA, there is still amazing produce at the local farmers markets! I’ve been concocting new flavors and cooling down with refreshing juices. I’m not one to replace meals with juices, so I use these drinks as a way to work more fruits and veggies into my daily routine.
The folks at Juicepresso were kind enough to let me try out this amazing machine and so far, so great! I was used to the giant juicers that took up an entire counter and sounded like a plane engine in my kitchen, but the Juicepresso packs a powerful punch into such a tiny machine!
This juicer gets the job done without the hassle of the normal juicers we’re used to seeing. The only big difference I’ve seen between the Juicepresso and other competitor juicers is the extra pulp that ends up in your finished product. Lucky for me- I love it!!
This is definitely a product worth adding to a Christmas wish list or wedding registry!
My favorite juice thus far has been my watermelon, ginger and lime summer “potion.”
    High Res

    Delish Detector!- Juicepresso

    In order to keep up with my “slim down for my wedding” plan, I’ve been putting my Juicepresso to good use by making fresh cold-pressed juices with amazing fruits and veggies!

    Since, it’s still summer weather here in LA, there is still amazing produce at the local farmers markets! I’ve been concocting new flavors and cooling down with refreshing juices. I’m not one to replace meals with juices, so I use these drinks as a way to work more fruits and veggies into my daily routine.

    The folks at Juicepresso were kind enough to let me try out this amazing machine and so far, so great! I was used to the giant juicers that took up an entire counter and sounded like a plane engine in my kitchen, but the Juicepresso packs a powerful punch into such a tiny machine!

    This juicer gets the job done without the hassle of the normal juicers we’re used to seeing. The only big difference I’ve seen between the Juicepresso and other competitor juicers is the extra pulp that ends up in your finished product. Lucky for me- I love it!!

    This is definitely a product worth adding to a Christmas wish list or wedding registry!

    My favorite juice thus far has been my watermelon, ginger and lime summer “potion.”

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  2. "Another Kind of ‘Wich"- Baby Broccoli Sandwich with Roasted Tomato Spread and Fresh Mozzarella
I may have missed National Sandwich Month (yes, it exists), but in my opinion, everyday should be sandwich day. Why dedicate only a month to sandwich celebration, when you can feast on thousands of ‘wich combinations throughout the year?
When it comes to goodness between two slices of bread, I think I’m a lot like Liz Lemon from that episode of 30 Rock, “Sandwich Day.” In simple terms, I’m serious about my sandwiches and can get pretty territorial.
This particular sandwich has my name written all over it. Lots of garlic, great crunch from the baby broccoli and a tangy tomato spread to balance it all out.
What You Need:
For the Broccoli:
1 Garlic Clove, sliced
1 Cup Baby Broccoli, washed and trimmed
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Salt/Pepper
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
For the Spread:
1 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
2 Garlic Clove, smashed
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil
2 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese
Additional Ingredients:
Fresh Mozzarella
Crusty Bread (ciabatta would work well)
1. In a medium bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt/pepper, smashed garlic and red pepper flakes together. Then pour them onto a foil lined, greased cookie sheet. Roast at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, then baby broccoli. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add about 2 Tbs. of water to the pan and cover with lid to help steam a little. Remove lid when the broccoli is bright green. Add garlic, salt, pepper and another dash of hot pepper flakes. Saute for another 3 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
3. Then, in a food processor, add the roasted tomato mixture, sundried tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese. Blend until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
4. Slice your bread and lightly toast. Then spread on the tomato mixture, top with the baby broccoli and fresh mozzarella.
    High Res

    "Another Kind of ‘Wich"- Baby Broccoli Sandwich with Roasted Tomato Spread and Fresh Mozzarella

    I may have missed National Sandwich Month (yes, it exists), but in my opinion, everyday should be sandwich day. Why dedicate only a month to sandwich celebration, when you can feast on thousands of ‘wich combinations throughout the year?

    When it comes to goodness between two slices of bread, I think I’m a lot like Liz Lemon from that episode of 30 Rock, “Sandwich Day.” In simple terms, I’m serious about my sandwiches and can get pretty territorial.

    This particular sandwich has my name written all over it. Lots of garlic, great crunch from the baby broccoli and a tangy tomato spread to balance it all out.

    What You Need:

    For the Broccoli:

    1 Garlic Clove, sliced

    1 Cup Baby Broccoli, washed and trimmed

    Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

    Salt/Pepper

    2 Tbs. Olive Oil

    For the Spread:

    1 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes

    2 Garlic Clove, smashed

    2 Tbs. Olive Oil

    Salt/Pepper to taste

    1/4 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes

    1/4 Cup Fresh Basil

    2 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese

    Additional Ingredients:

    Fresh Mozzarella

    Crusty Bread (ciabatta would work well)

    1. In a medium bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt/pepper, smashed garlic and red pepper flakes together. Then pour them onto a foil lined, greased cookie sheet. Roast at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

    2. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, then baby broccoli. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add about 2 Tbs. of water to the pan and cover with lid to help steam a little. Remove lid when the broccoli is bright green. Add garlic, salt, pepper and another dash of hot pepper flakes. Saute for another 3 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.

    3. Then, in a food processor, add the roasted tomato mixture, sundried tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese. Blend until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

    4. Slice your bread and lightly toast. Then spread on the tomato mixture, top with the baby broccoli and fresh mozzarella.

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  3. "Hot Jam!"- Apricot, Ginger-Jalapeno Jam
I may not have the best ‘green thumb’, but I’ve somehow mastered the art of growing peppers! I’m an urban farmer (but only for peppers.)
My jalapeno plant has been on a roll the past few weeks, poppin’ out peppers left and right.
But what is one to do with a bunch of hot jalapenos? The usual pico de gallo, or stuffed jalapenos were in the running to be made, but then a bag of dried apricots and candied ginger caught my eye. Hence, the creation of hot jam!
What You Need:
1 Cup Dried Apricots, finely diced
1/4 Cup Crystallized Ginger, finely diced 
3 Small Jalapenos, minced
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1 Cup Boiling water
3/4 Cup Sugar
1. Soak dried apricots and ginger in the boiling water for about an hour. Then transfer to a small pot. Add in jalapenos, sugar, lemon juice. 
2. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Transfer mixture into a jar and let cool to room temperature.
    High Res

    "Hot Jam!"- Apricot, Ginger-Jalapeno Jam

    I may not have the best ‘green thumb’, but I’ve somehow mastered the art of growing peppers! I’m an urban farmer (but only for peppers.)

    My jalapeno plant has been on a roll the past few weeks, poppin’ out peppers left and right.

    But what is one to do with a bunch of hot jalapenos? The usual pico de gallo, or stuffed jalapenos were in the running to be made, but then a bag of dried apricots and candied ginger caught my eye. Hence, the creation of hot jam!

    What You Need:

    1 Cup Dried Apricots, finely diced

    1/4 Cup Crystallized Ginger, finely diced 

    3 Small Jalapenos, minced

    1/2 Lemon, juiced

    1 Cup Boiling water

    3/4 Cup Sugar

    1. Soak dried apricots and ginger in the boiling water for about an hour. Then transfer to a small pot. Add in jalapenos, sugar, lemon juice. 

    2. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

    3. Transfer mixture into a jar and let cool to room temperature.

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  4. "We’ve Got the Beet"- Beet Carpaccio with Raspberry Balsamic and Goat Cheese
Beets are by no means a “pretty” vegetable to look at. I mean, quite frankly from the outside, they are dirty, have weird stems sticking out of the tops and sometimes they’re even hairy. But, once you slice them open, they’re quite beautiful. 
Now some consider beets to be more of an acquired taste, but the versatility of this root can sway any stubborn palate.
Instead of the usual roasted beet, I decided to keep my kitchen cool and throw together this easy beet salad. The crispy, ruby red beets offer a great crunch and a tad of sweetness, which is the perfect pairing for a soft goat cheese.
What You Need:
1 Large Beet, cleaned, peeled
2 Tbs. Goat Cheese
1/4 Fresh Basil, chiffonade
1/4 Cup Raspberry Balsamic
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper, to taste
Maldon Salt, optional
1. Slice beets with mandolin, or sharp knife, into paper thin slices. Toss beets in a small bowl with dash of salt and 1/2 the balsamic.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining balsamic, olive oil, salt/pepper.
3. Arrange the beets on a plate, allowing excess balsamic to drip off before plating. Using a spoon, drizzle the balsamic/olive oil mixture over the beets. Top with goat cheese crumbles, basil and a little Maldon salt if you have it.
*If you have toasted walnuts, this would be a great addition to the plate for an added crunch
    High Res

    "We’ve Got the Beet"- Beet Carpaccio with Raspberry Balsamic and Goat Cheese

    Beets are by no means a “pretty” vegetable to look at. I mean, quite frankly from the outside, they are dirty, have weird stems sticking out of the tops and sometimes they’re even hairy. But, once you slice them open, they’re quite beautiful. 

    Now some consider beets to be more of an acquired taste, but the versatility of this root can sway any stubborn palate.

    Instead of the usual roasted beet, I decided to keep my kitchen cool and throw together this easy beet salad. The crispy, ruby red beets offer a great crunch and a tad of sweetness, which is the perfect pairing for a soft goat cheese.

    What You Need:

    1 Large Beet, cleaned, peeled

    2 Tbs. Goat Cheese

    1/4 Fresh Basil, chiffonade

    1/4 Cup Raspberry Balsamic

    1 Tbs. Olive Oil

    Salt/Pepper, to taste

    Maldon Salt, optional

    1. Slice beets with mandolin, or sharp knife, into paper thin slices. Toss beets in a small bowl with dash of salt and 1/2 the balsamic.

    2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining balsamic, olive oil, salt/pepper.

    3. Arrange the beets on a plate, allowing excess balsamic to drip off before plating. Using a spoon, drizzle the balsamic/olive oil mixture over the beets. Top with goat cheese crumbles, basil and a little Maldon salt if you have it.

    *If you have toasted walnuts, this would be a great addition to the plate for an added crunch

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  5. "Batter Up"- Goat Cheese and Basil Fried Squash Blossoms
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I’m sure you’ve heard the commercials for the LA County Fair and the copious amounts of fried food they were serving up through the month of September.
I’m pretty sure they were frying anything they could get their hands on. Everything from the usual, onion rings and mozzarella sticks to fried oreos, White Castle burgers and fried Spam.
Since I wasn’t able to make my way to the fair, I figure out a way to get my own fried food fix.
Thankfully, on Sunday I spent my morning frolicking through the Hollywood farmers market and picked up a few handfuls of some beautiful squash blossoms. These are the perfect vessels to stuff with delicious cheeses and herbs, then batter and fry ‘em!
What You Need:
10 Squash Blossoms, cleaned
1/2 Cup Goat Cheese
1/4 Cup Shaved Parmesan
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
Salt/Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 Cup AP Flour
Club Soda
Canola Oil
Sweet Chili Sauce, to dip
1. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Combine well and taste for seasoning. Then, open up each blossom and stuff a small amount of cheese filling into the base. Twist the top of the blossom to enclose the mixture. Set aside.
2. Then, in a medium bowl, combine the flour and enough club soda that brings the flour to a pancake batter consistency. Next, take each stuffed blossom and dip it into the batter, covering the entire flower. Allow excess batter to drip off and place onto a plate until ready you’re read to fry.
3. In a shallow frying pan, pour enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring the oil up to about 350 degrees (test a small amount of batter in the oil- if it sizzles, the oil is ready.)
4. Depending on the size of your pan, lay a few battered blossoms into the hot oil. Allow to fry on all sides, then remove from pan and lay it onto a paper towel lined sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper once removed from the oil.
*Serve with Sweet Chili Sauce
    High Res

    "Batter Up"- Goat Cheese and Basil Fried Squash Blossoms

    If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I’m sure you’ve heard the commercials for the LA County Fair and the copious amounts of fried food they were serving up through the month of September.

    I’m pretty sure they were frying anything they could get their hands on. Everything from the usual, onion rings and mozzarella sticks to fried oreos, White Castle burgers and fried Spam.

    Since I wasn’t able to make my way to the fair, I figure out a way to get my own fried food fix.

    Thankfully, on Sunday I spent my morning frolicking through the Hollywood farmers market and picked up a few handfuls of some beautiful squash blossoms. These are the perfect vessels to stuff with delicious cheeses and herbs, then batter and fry ‘em!

    What You Need:

    10 Squash Blossoms, cleaned

    1/2 Cup Goat Cheese

    1/4 Cup Shaved Parmesan

    1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil

    Salt/Pepper, to taste

    1 1/2 Cup AP Flour

    Club Soda

    Canola Oil

    Sweet Chili Sauce, to dip

    1. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Combine well and taste for seasoning. Then, open up each blossom and stuff a small amount of cheese filling into the base. Twist the top of the blossom to enclose the mixture. Set aside.

    2. Then, in a medium bowl, combine the flour and enough club soda that brings the flour to a pancake batter consistency. Next, take each stuffed blossom and dip it into the batter, covering the entire flower. Allow excess batter to drip off and place onto a plate until ready you’re read to fry.

    3. In a shallow frying pan, pour enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring the oil up to about 350 degrees (test a small amount of batter in the oil- if it sizzles, the oil is ready.)

    4. Depending on the size of your pan, lay a few battered blossoms into the hot oil. Allow to fry on all sides, then remove from pan and lay it onto a paper towel lined sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper once removed from the oil.

    *Serve with Sweet Chili Sauce

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  6. "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Pancake Eater"- Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Pancakes
Suffering from the iOS 7 or Breaking Bad blues? Are you frustrated that your contacts have mysteriously disappeared, or depressed that Walter White and Jessie Pinkman have left your life forever? 
Well, in my opinion, pancakes are the remedy for any problem. This prescription for pumpkin spice pancakes will clear up your frustration/sadness in no time!
What You Need:
Yield: 5 Small Pancakes
1/2 Large Banana
1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin
Heaping 1/4 Cup Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats
1/4 Tsp. Almond Extract
1/4 Tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
3 Large Egg Whites
1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until fully incorporated.
2. Head a small frying pan or pancake griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease with cooking spray or a little butter. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter into the heated pan.
3. Cover with lid until you see the top of the pancake begin create bubbles. Then using a spatula, flip the pancake and cook for another minute or so. 
*Remember to lightly grease the pan each time you pour the pancake batter in
*Top with butter and maple syrup
    High Res

    "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Pancake Eater"- Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Pancakes

    Suffering from the iOS 7 or Breaking Bad blues? Are you frustrated that your contacts have mysteriously disappeared, or depressed that Walter White and Jessie Pinkman have left your life forever? 

    Well, in my opinion, pancakes are the remedy for any problem. This prescription for pumpkin spice pancakes will clear up your frustration/sadness in no time!

    What You Need:

    Yield: 5 Small Pancakes

    1/2 Large Banana

    1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin

    Heaping 1/4 Cup Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats

    1/4 Tsp. Almond Extract

    1/4 Tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

    1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon

    3 Large Egg Whites

    1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until fully incorporated.

    2. Head a small frying pan or pancake griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease with cooking spray or a little butter. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter into the heated pan.

    3. Cover with lid until you see the top of the pancake begin create bubbles. Then using a spatula, flip the pancake and cook for another minute or so. 

    *Remember to lightly grease the pan each time you pour the pancake batter in

    *Top with butter and maple syrup

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  7. "That’s How I got my Nickname..Frenchie"- French Onion Soup with Garlic Crouton
Growing up, I remember going to birthday parties where the parents would serve the kids chicken fingers, hamburgers and hotdogs. And then there would be me, sitting with my hamburger bun filled with lettuce, ketchup and potato chips. The mothers would say, “Oh, she’s vegetarian.” As if I was some strange hippie child.
This happened a lot through my childhood. At camp cookouts, I would find myself eating PB&J while the other kids were eating the “normal” burgers and hotdogs. Or at elementary school, kids would go through the lunch line for taco day, filling their taco shells with meat and cheese. Then, I was the one whose mother had to come in to ask the lunch lady just to give me extra cheese, because I was vegetarian.
Let’s just say, as much as I loved being brought up as a vegetarian, I did experience a little bit of food envy over the past 20 something years. 
One dish that I’ve always salivated over was french onion soup. The idea of an onion based soup, topped with a toasted crouton and a thick layer of melted cheese just sounded unreal. But, nevertheless, its always made with beef broth!  
So in an effort to fill my french onion soup void, I threw together a veggie friendly pot of soup.
What You Need: Yields 2 Servings
For the soup:
3 Medium Onions, sliced thin in half moons
2 Tbs. Butter
1 Clove Garlic, minced
3 Cups Vegetable Broth (or mushroom broth if you have it)
1/4 Cup Marsala Wine
1 Tbs. Flour
Salt/Pepper, to taste
For the Topping:
4 Slices of a Baguette, toasted
1 Clove Garlic
3 Slices Picante Provolone Cheese (Gruyere is great too)
3 Slices Mozzarella Cheese
Heat oven to 500 degrees.
1. Set a large pot over medium heat.  Add butter and onions and a dash of salt. Coat the onions in the melted butter and allow onions to saute for about 40 minutes. Toss onions every so often, but if they look like they are beginning to brown too fast, lower the heat. Then add the garlic, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
2. Once the onions are caramelized (brown in hue), add in the flour. Mix the flour into the onions and cook for about 4 minutes.  Then add the Marsala wine, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Then pour in the vegetable stock.
3. Bring the soup to a simmer, adding additional salt and pepper as needed. Allow the soup to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. 
4. Ladle the soup into two oven safe bowls. Then, rub a garlic clove onto the toasted baguette slices. Next, place the toast onto the top of each bowl and layer the sliced cheeses on top.
5. Place soup bowls onto a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven to broil the cheese. Broil until the cheese begins to bubble and brown on top.
6. Carefully remove the tray from the oven and place soup bowls onto a plate lined with a paper towel (to ensure the heat doesn’t crack the plate.) Then serve!
    High Res

    "That’s How I got my Nickname..Frenchie"- French Onion Soup with Garlic Crouton

    Growing up, I remember going to birthday parties where the parents would serve the kids chicken fingers, hamburgers and hotdogs. And then there would be me, sitting with my hamburger bun filled with lettuce, ketchup and potato chips. The mothers would say, “Oh, she’s vegetarian.” As if I was some strange hippie child.

    This happened a lot through my childhood. At camp cookouts, I would find myself eating PB&J while the other kids were eating the “normal” burgers and hotdogs. Or at elementary school, kids would go through the lunch line for taco day, filling their taco shells with meat and cheese. Then, I was the one whose mother had to come in to ask the lunch lady just to give me extra cheese, because I was vegetarian.

    Let’s just say, as much as I loved being brought up as a vegetarian, I did experience a little bit of food envy over the past 20 something years. 

    One dish that I’ve always salivated over was french onion soup. The idea of an onion based soup, topped with a toasted crouton and a thick layer of melted cheese just sounded unreal. But, nevertheless, its always made with beef broth!  

    So in an effort to fill my french onion soup void, I threw together a veggie friendly pot of soup.

    What You Need: Yields 2 Servings

    For the soup:

    3 Medium Onions, sliced thin in half moons

    2 Tbs. Butter

    1 Clove Garlic, minced

    3 Cups Vegetable Broth (or mushroom broth if you have it)

    1/4 Cup Marsala Wine

    1 Tbs. Flour

    Salt/Pepper, to taste

    For the Topping:

    4 Slices of a Baguette, toasted

    1 Clove Garlic

    3 Slices Picante Provolone Cheese (Gruyere is great too)

    3 Slices Mozzarella Cheese

    Heat oven to 500 degrees.

    1. Set a large pot over medium heat.  Add butter and onions and a dash of salt. Coat the onions in the melted butter and allow onions to saute for about 40 minutes. Toss onions every so often, but if they look like they are beginning to brown too fast, lower the heat. Then add the garlic, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

    2. Once the onions are caramelized (brown in hue), add in the flour. Mix the flour into the onions and cook for about 4 minutes.  Then add the Marsala wine, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Then pour in the vegetable stock.

    3. Bring the soup to a simmer, adding additional salt and pepper as needed. Allow the soup to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. 

    4. Ladle the soup into two oven safe bowls. Then, rub a garlic clove onto the toasted baguette slices. Next, place the toast onto the top of each bowl and layer the sliced cheeses on top.

    5. Place soup bowls onto a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven to broil the cheese. Broil until the cheese begins to bubble and brown on top.

    6. Carefully remove the tray from the oven and place soup bowls onto a plate lined with a paper towel (to ensure the heat doesn’t crack the plate.) Then serve!

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  8. "Puff, Puff, Pastry"- Three Cheese and Vegetable Puff Pastry Tart
I think most of us can agree that cooking weeknight meals just seems like a hassle.  You come home from work and all you want to do is plop down on the couch and turn on “Jeopardy!” or an episode of “Orange is the New Black” (unless that’s just my household.)
The idea of making a mess of the kitchen is the last thing on your mind and more times than not, you end up with something boring and unsatisfying.
Last night, I was in that exact mood.  I didn’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen, but somehow I got the idea to make an easy tart. I figured, I have the veggies, cheeses and puff pastry, all I needed to do is throw it all together.  Then, in 30 minutes I had a beautiful and more than satisfying meal.
What You Need:
1 Puff Pastry sheet, slightly cool, but not completely thawed
1 Egg, whisked for egg wash
For the Veggies:
1 Large Zucchini, sliced thin
1 Portabello Mushroom, sliced thin
2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
1 Small Eggplant, sliced thin into half moons
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, sliced thin
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper
For the Cheese:
3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese
3 Tbs. Grated Parmesan
1/4 Cup Goat Cheese
2 Tbs. Fresh Thyme, chopped finely
2 Tbs. Fresh Rosemary, chopped finely
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Salt/Pepper, to taste
Heat Oven to 400 degrees
1. Combine all the veggies in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set Aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the 3 cheeses, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.  Mix well and taste for seasoning. Set Aside.
3. Place the puff pastry on a flour dusted surface and gently roll out into a rectangle (not too thin).  Place onto a greased cookie sheet (or use a silpat).  Gently use a knife to score a line around the entire dough, about a half inch in from the edge of the dough.
4. Gently spread the cheese mixture in the small rectangle you just created. Then top with the veggies. Then use a pastry brush to lightly coat the edge of the dough with the egg wash.
5. Place the tart in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Top with extra fresh thyme and serve with a side of marinara sauce
    High Res

    "Puff, Puff, Pastry"- Three Cheese and Vegetable Puff Pastry Tart

    I think most of us can agree that cooking weeknight meals just seems like a hassle.  You come home from work and all you want to do is plop down on the couch and turn on “Jeopardy!” or an episode of “Orange is the New Black” (unless that’s just my household.)

    The idea of making a mess of the kitchen is the last thing on your mind and more times than not, you end up with something boring and unsatisfying.

    Last night, I was in that exact mood.  I didn’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen, but somehow I got the idea to make an easy tart. I figured, I have the veggies, cheeses and puff pastry, all I needed to do is throw it all together.  Then, in 30 minutes I had a beautiful and more than satisfying meal.

    What You Need:

    1 Puff Pastry sheet, slightly cool, but not completely thawed

    1 Egg, whisked for egg wash

    For the Veggies:

    1 Large Zucchini, sliced thin

    1 Portabello Mushroom, sliced thin

    2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin

    1 Small Eggplant, sliced thin into half moons

    1/2 Red Bell Pepper, sliced thin

    3 Tbs. Olive Oil

    Salt/Pepper

    For the Cheese:

    3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese

    3 Tbs. Grated Parmesan

    1/4 Cup Goat Cheese

    2 Tbs. Fresh Thyme, chopped finely

    2 Tbs. Fresh Rosemary, chopped finely

    1 Clove Garlic, minced

    Salt/Pepper, to taste

    Heat Oven to 400 degrees

    1. Combine all the veggies in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set Aside.

    2. In a small bowl, combine the 3 cheeses, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.  Mix well and taste for seasoning. Set Aside.

    3. Place the puff pastry on a flour dusted surface and gently roll out into a rectangle (not too thin).  Place onto a greased cookie sheet (or use a silpat).  Gently use a knife to score a line around the entire dough, about a half inch in from the edge of the dough.

    4. Gently spread the cheese mixture in the small rectangle you just created. Then top with the veggies. Then use a pastry brush to lightly coat the edge of the dough with the egg wash.

    5. Place the tart in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Top with extra fresh thyme and serve with a side of marinara sauce

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  9. "Put an Egg on It"- Poached Egg on Avocado Toast with Roasted Pasilla Pepper Salsa
Breakfast.  The most important (and my favorite) meal of the day.  While most days I’m caught with a bowl of cereal or two in the morning, there are some days that I’m craving something a little more hearty.
Lately, I’ve been obsessing over avocados mashed up on toast.  I can’t get enough of it. But, I always feel like there just something missing.  
Then I thought of my sister’s words of wisdom, “Put an egg on it.”  It applies to pretty much any meal.  If you feel like your dish needs something, just put an egg on it.
But for me, it needs to extend beyond that.  I’m a chef gosh darnit!  So to spruce up this breakfast creation, I gathered up my pickings from the farmer’s market and made one spiiiiiicy salsa.
What You Need:
For the Salsa:
2 Pasilla Peppers, roasted, seeded and char removed
3 Roasted Garlic Cloves
1/4 Red Onion, diced
1/2 Jalapeno, minced
1/4 Tsp. Cumin
1 Juiced Lime
1 Tbs. Honey
Salt, to taste
For the Poached Egg and Toast:
1 Egg
White Wine Vinegar, a splash
1 Slice Sourdough Bread
1/2 Avocado, mashed
1. Combine all ingredients for salsa in a food processor. Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust.
2. For poached egg, fill small pot half way with water and add a splash of white vinegar. Then, bring water to just below a simmer. Next, break the egg into a small dish. Swirl the water in the pot, creating a whirlpool. Gently pour the egg into the middle of the whirlpool.
3. After about 3-4 minutes of cooking, removed egg with a slotted spoon and drain it on a paper towel.
4. Begin to construct your toast by mashing avocado onto the sourdough. Next, spoon a small amount of salsa onto the toast and lay the poached egg on top.  Add additional jalapenos or black pepper.
 
    High Res

    "Put an Egg on It"- Poached Egg on Avocado Toast with Roasted Pasilla Pepper Salsa

    Breakfast.  The most important (and my favorite) meal of the day.  While most days I’m caught with a bowl of cereal or two in the morning, there are some days that I’m craving something a little more hearty.

    Lately, I’ve been obsessing over avocados mashed up on toast.  I can’t get enough of it. But, I always feel like there just something missing.  

    Then I thought of my sister’s words of wisdom, “Put an egg on it.”  It applies to pretty much any meal.  If you feel like your dish needs something, just put an egg on it.

    But for me, it needs to extend beyond that.  I’m a chef gosh darnit!  So to spruce up this breakfast creation, I gathered up my pickings from the farmer’s market and made one spiiiiiicy salsa.

    What You Need:

    For the Salsa:

    2 Pasilla Peppers, roasted, seeded and char removed

    3 Roasted Garlic Cloves

    1/4 Red Onion, diced

    1/2 Jalapeno, minced

    1/4 Tsp. Cumin

    1 Juiced Lime

    1 Tbs. Honey

    Salt, to taste

    For the Poached Egg and Toast:

    1 Egg

    White Wine Vinegar, a splash

    1 Slice Sourdough Bread

    1/2 Avocado, mashed

    1. Combine all ingredients for salsa in a food processor. Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust.

    2. For poached egg, fill small pot half way with water and add a splash of white vinegar. Then, bring water to just below a simmer. Next, break the egg into a small dish. Swirl the water in the pot, creating a whirlpool. Gently pour the egg into the middle of the whirlpool.

    3. After about 3-4 minutes of cooking, removed egg with a slotted spoon and drain it on a paper towel.

    4. Begin to construct your toast by mashing avocado onto the sourdough. Next, spoon a small amount of salsa onto the toast and lay the poached egg on top.  Add additional jalapenos or black pepper.

     

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  10. "Jeah!" Mint Chocolate Chia Pudding with Thin Mint Cookie Crumbles
I swear for the longest time I thought fellow Florida Gator, Ryan Lochte, was saying “Chia!” when he shouted his nonsense word (which I later learned was spelled J-E-A-H.)
While I was way off on the pronunciation and had to YouTube, “The Art of Jeah”, I came to the realization that while he was not yelling the name of one of the superfoods, the many definitions of “Jeah” can apply to the taste of my chia pudding. 
I understand that to many, chia seeds are a bit odd.  In looks, texture and taste, chia seeds are a little off putting at first try.  But, once you taste recipes that have successfully incorporated the seeds, you won’t even think twice about them.
Chia seeds are a pretty incredible discovery if you think about it.  They’re known to help curb cravings, make you feel more full and a great source of Omega-3’s.
I’ve found that I love chia seeds in pudding form.  The texture resembles that of tapioca pudding if you need a point of reference.  Since chia seeds impart no flavor, they’re really a blank canvas.
When I happened to find a few extra Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies in my freezer yesterday morning, I figured they’d be a great addition to my chocolate chia pudding. 
What You Need:
1 1/4 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk
3 Heaping Tbs. Cacao Powder
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/8 Tsp. Peppermint Extract, optional
1/4 Cup plus 1 Tbs. Chia Seeds
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
Dash of Salt
Crumbled Thin Mint Cookies, optional
1. In a blender, combine cacao powder, almond milk, maple syrup, salt and extracts.  Blend until mixture is thoroughly mixed.  Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.
2. In a shallow bowl, mix chia seeds and blended mixture, making sure to fully incorporate the seeds throughout.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.  
Garnish with crushed Thin Mint cookies, chocolate shavings or whipped cream.
    High Res

    "Jeah!" Mint Chocolate Chia Pudding with Thin Mint Cookie Crumbles

    I swear for the longest time I thought fellow Florida Gator, Ryan Lochte, was saying “Chia!” when he shouted his nonsense word (which I later learned was spelled J-E-A-H.)

    While I was way off on the pronunciation and had to YouTube, “The Art of Jeah”, I came to the realization that while he was not yelling the name of one of the superfoods, the many definitions of “Jeah” can apply to the taste of my chia pudding. 

    I understand that to many, chia seeds are a bit odd.  In looks, texture and taste, chia seeds are a little off putting at first try.  But, once you taste recipes that have successfully incorporated the seeds, you won’t even think twice about them.

    Chia seeds are a pretty incredible discovery if you think about it.  They’re known to help curb cravings, make you feel more full and a great source of Omega-3’s.

    I’ve found that I love chia seeds in pudding form.  The texture resembles that of tapioca pudding if you need a point of reference.  Since chia seeds impart no flavor, they’re really a blank canvas.

    When I happened to find a few extra Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies in my freezer yesterday morning, I figured they’d be a great addition to my chocolate chia pudding. 

    What You Need:

    1 1/4 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk

    3 Heaping Tbs. Cacao Powder

    1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

    1/8 Tsp. Peppermint Extract, optional

    1/4 Cup plus 1 Tbs. Chia Seeds

    1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

    Dash of Salt

    Crumbled Thin Mint Cookies, optional

    1. In a blender, combine cacao powder, almond milk, maple syrup, salt and extracts.  Blend until mixture is thoroughly mixed.  Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.

    2. In a shallow bowl, mix chia seeds and blended mixture, making sure to fully incorporate the seeds throughout.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.  

    Garnish with crushed Thin Mint cookies, chocolate shavings or whipped cream.

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