The Savory Side of Chocolate

Cacao Nib Tapenade When my husband suggested a lemon dessert for Valentine’s Day to go with some fresh raspberries he brought home my first thought was, what about chocolate? Chocolate had to appear on my menu for this special day so I turned to a box of unsweetened cacao nibs in my pantry. I whirled […]

Move Over Guac

Mediterranean Nachos It’s not that I don’t like guacamole, or bean dip, or hummus. It’s just that these common party snacks are just that – common. Bring something new to the Super Bowl table on February 5, or anytime you have an event that calls for munchies.  Mediterranean Nachos is a dish that’s different enough […]

Best App for 2016

No – it’s not an app for your phone, this is my go-to appetizer for holiday parties.   Why?  The recipe requires only a handful of ingredients, it goes together in a snap, and most of the prep can be done ahead. And I love the combination – robust blue cheese, finely chopped figs and toasted […]

A Golden Twist on Hummus for Fall

Pumpkin Hummus with Fig Olive Gremolata   Hummus is hot.  Sales reached 695.5 million in 2014, a number that has doubled since 2009 (Reference 1,2).   It’s become a staple in many homes, including mine. Not only is hummus scooped onto pita bread and chips,  it is replacing butter and mayonnaise in wraps, sandwiches and more.   Arabic for “chickpeas” […]

Get the Party Started

Oysters = Celebration   Baked Oysters – Italian Style   There’s no better way to launch the holidays than with a platter of succulent oysters. The season starts early at my house with my husband’s birthday in early November. A couple dozen Italian-style roasted oysters is always on the menu. Fresh oysters are always within […]

Nutty for Nuts

    Almond Orange-Ginger Dressing   How often do you crave a food that is is good for you?  Lucky  me – I love nuts. I inherited this passion from my father.  A little bowl of Spanish red-skinned peanuts appeared every evening at cocktail hour along with a martini, Manhattan or summertime gin and tonic.  […]

Must-Have Dip for Super Bowl

     Smoky Sun-Dried Tomato & Bean Dip This is an especially super super bowl because my local team the Seahawks is playing.  For once I’ll be watching the game instead of listening from the kitchen where I’m most likely to be on a Sunday afternoon.  I want foods I can make ahead and that […]

Healthy Holiday Tip: Have a Pre-Party!

Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus Your calendar is filling with events where there will be lots of food and drink, including holiday treats we see once a year, making them all the more irresistible.  The typical adult gains between 5 and 8 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s according to Susan B Roberts, PhD, director of […]

A Gluten-Free Flatbread Everyone Loves

Farinata Everyone who tries this pizza-like appetizer, made with a chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour crust, seems to fall in love with it.      I was moved to try Farinata when I found a half-empty bag of garbanzo bean flour after testing Garbanzo Bean Gnocchi with Forest Mushrooms and Garlic Chive Coulis in my friend Braiden […]

Holiday Gifts – Homemade and Healthy

Spiced Nut and Cranberry Mix Since childhood, I have made gifts, mostly edibles, to offer as Christmas gifts to family and friends.  Something homemade is a gift from the hands and heart, offering more than what comes from a purchased gift – or so I was taught early on.   Always one to experiment, some […]