Cooking is fun. Eating is funner. I cook, photograph and write these recipes.
Everything I post on this blog I make from scratch using fresh wholesome ingredients.. I've been cooking since I was a little kid.

My recipes are based on trial and error, along with studying cookbooks, family recipes, blogs and cooking shows.

Some of the veggies and herbs I use are grown in my garden. Yay sustainability!
I'm working on making my yard into an edible landscape. It's really fun to go out in the garden and pick your veggies for dinner!
I'm helping as many people as I can to plant edible gardens in their yards too. It's hard work but it's really fun!



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    Delectable Almond Fruit Tart

      I needed to make something delicious to bring to a BBQ, so I started looking around the kitchen for inspiration. We had berries in the fridge, a perfectly ripe peach, a  bag of ground almonds, lemons, butter, and various flours. At first, I thought of making my favorite lemon tart, but I decided to make something new. Experiments with butter, sugar, and fruit are always worth your while. The pastry crust here is almond based and so is the filling. This is very nutty and sweet, but is balanced with tartness from the fresh fruit, especially the raspberries. And butter. You could make something similar with healthy coconut oil. You can do anything you want. Butter. 

    I made this gluten free because a couple of our friends don’t eat wheat. If you’re not gluten sensitive, just use regular old flour.

    For the crust:

    Heat oven to 350

    In a bowl, combine 2 tblsp melted butter, 1 1/2 cup ground almonds, 2 tblsp rice flour or a.p. flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Press into a tart pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove & set aside. 

    I did a search for almond tart recipes and based this one off of this one, but I added a little maple syrup.

     For the Almond cream filling:

    In a bowl, mix together 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature, 2/3 cup sugar, 3/4 cup ground almonds2 teaspoons rice flour, 1 teaspoon cornstarch1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, a little salt, and 1 tsp maple syrup. Mix until creamy. Pour into prepared pastry crust, add 2 fresh peaches, sliced thin, and several raspberries

    Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or so until the almond cream puffs up and gets golden brown, but the tart is still a bit gooey.


    I’m going to cook my favorite foods this week because it’s my birthday week! Stay tuned for mole enchiladas, crispy perfection tacos, pad thai, amazing ribs, and melt in your mouth home made ravioli.

    Yum, I can’t wait.

    Here’s a short film I made about how we always make BBQ turkey on Thanksgiving. Please enjoy!

    Happy weekend Tumblrs. Please enjoy this Saturday morning cartoon, Biatches, made by my friends Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov! This is a brand new Comedy Central Digital show. Horatio Sanz plays Mrs. Klitnick, one of the best cartoon characters of all time. Our friend Brian Stack plays Mrs. Klitnick’s boyfriend. I play Shelly, the cheerleader in a wheelchair. Dana and Julia play themselves. This is ridiculous fun.

    Thanks Dana and Julia for making me a cartoon voice! Best job ever. 

    Grilled Vegetable Moussaka with Almond Pesto Noodles

    Here are a couple shots from our harvest yesterday, and the dish I made with them. We grew most everything in the first 2 photos except the portobello mushroom. Grilled Moussaka is a delicious and easy summer vegetable casserole. You can make this vegan by eliminating the cheese. Here’s how to make this:

    Heat oven to 350. Make or buy your favorite tomato sauce. For home made: In a little olive oil, sauté 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 chopped carrot, and 1 stalk of celery until fragrant and soft, season with s & p. Add peeled and chopped garden tomatoes, or 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes, blended. Season with salt and pepper, fresh grated nutmeg, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a little paprika, and a dash of celery salt. Add about 1 to 2 tblsp each fresh basil and parsley leaves chopped. Simmer until sweet.

    Meanwhile: Slice each of these vegetables about 1/4 inch thick; 1 or 2 small eggplants, zucchini, portobello mushroom, red peppers, a couple potatoes, and 1 sweet onion. Marinate the vegetable slices in olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and salt & pepper. Grill the veggies. Layer the grilled vegetables in a casserole dish with tomato sauce, parmesan and feta cheese and a little white wine. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until bubbly and cooked through. Serve with salad or pasta, bread or rice. We served our with almond pesto noodles:

    Boil water for the noodles. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rub a large bowl with a smashed garlic clove. Toss the cooked noodles with 1/4 cup ground almond meal, chopped fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.


    Party Meatloaf with Sweet Corn Succotash, Apple Kale Slaw and Apple Maple Reduction

    This is the dish I made from the latest box sent to me from Master Chef and Plated. It was a couple weeks ago, and they didn’t post it on their tumblr, so I’m posting it here because it came out so delicious.

    The box contained; 4 big apples,1 of them was a tart Granny Smith apple, the other 3 were sweet apples. 1 package of ground turkey, some sweet Italian sausage, a large yellow summer squash, 2 small onions, green beans, and 2 ears of yellow sweet corn.

    The letter said to make an elevated dish featuring apples. I decided to make mini meatloaves with an apple reduction over succotash with apple slaw as a garnish. This was delicious comfort food, I loved the apple reduction! Here’s how I made this fancy diner-style party food.

    For the Apple Maple Reduction / Sauce: Juice 2 of the apples, or buy fresh apple juice and use that. Heat a saucepan and add 1 tblsp butter. Chop 1 of the small onions and sauté it, add 1 crushed garlic clove and salt and pepper. Pour in the apple juice, 1 tblsp grainy mustard, and 2 tblsp maple syrup and 2 tblsp cider vinegar. Simmer to reduce by about half, until it becomes nice and syrupy. This takes about 45 minutes or so. Taste for balance, if its too sweet add a little lemon juice or white vinegar, about 1-2 tblsp to taste. Strain and set aside.

    For the mini meatloaf: Pre-heat oven to 350. Peel and finely chop one apple, 1 small onion, and a few green beans. Add to a mixing bowl with 1 chopped celery stalk, and 2 crushed garlic cloves, the ground turkey and the sweet Italian sausage removed from the casings, a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp mustard, smoked paprika, 1 egg and salt and pepper. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. Form the mini meatloaves gently in the muffin pan. Add a little ketchup to the top of each mini meatloaf, bake 25 - 35 minutes until cooked through and no longer pink inside.

    For the succotash: Chop 1 small onion, yellow summer squash and green beans into dice. Cut the corn from the cobs. Saute all the veggies in a skillet with a little olive oil and salt and pepper until crisp tender. 

    For the apple slaw, peel and thinly slice the tart Granny Smith apple, then cross slice to create a julienne cut. Toss with the juice of 1 lemon to prevent browning, season with salt and pepper. Add a little slivered kale if you have it growing in the yard. This tart apple slaw balances nicely with the sweet apple reduction.

    Serve the Mini Meatloaves on a bed of Succotash, with Apple Slaw relish on top, with the sweet Apple reduction syrup drizzled over the whole thing.  I love working with mystery ingredients, it’s deliciously fun! Yum!

    Jalapeño Kale Hash with Sunny Side Up

    This was our delicious lunch today. We had a leftover baked potato from dinner the other night, and peppers and Tuscan kale growing in the yard. So I decided to make a “free” lunch. This was spicy, smokey, very cheap and easy. You could serve this for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner, make the hash as a side with any kind of grilled fish or meat, or just serve with eggs like I did.

    I’ve been keeping the kale growing healthy through the drought by spraying the leaves thoroughly each time I water. It washes away any aphids or what not, and also seems to keep the leaves tender & hydrated. I harvest the new leaves at the top of the plant for cooking, and remove and compost the bottom leaves, which get tough in the heat as they get larger. The drought sucks. Most of my yard is hibernating right now. I only water plants that are established and have deeper roots. I’m also watering tomatoes, basil and other summer crops because they’re valuable and delicious. I hope to see our garden spring  back to life soon with lots of rain this fall and winter. Fingers crossed and wishing on my Good Luck Charm.

    Here’s how to make this easy, inexpensive & yummy lunch:

    In a cast iron skillet, add 1 tblsp olive oil and a little bit of butter, or a lot, depending on if you worry about such things. My husband called me “Skinny” today as a nickname, I’m not. But I now have a false sense of skinniness, so I’m having butter. Chop 1 leftover baked potato, 1 shallot and 1/2 jalapeño pepper. Sear in the skillet, season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two on each side. You only need to get them hot and caramelized because the potato is already cooked. If you start with raw potatoes, cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, flipping and turning as you go. 

    Wash and chop any kind of kale or greens and add them to the pan. Cook until wilted. Scoot everything to the side, add a tiny bit more butter and cook an egg or two, over easy or sunny side up. You could poach the eggs to save additional calories. It’s faster to cook it in the same pan and saves on water from washing two pans. 

    Season with smoked paprika. Yum!

    Caprese Salad

    Here’s another delectable way to use all those garden tomatoes. In this photo: Isis Candy tomatoes on a plate that’s been rubbed with a garlic clove, add fresh Mozzarella, shredded Basil, salt, pepper, and Olive oil. Serve as a salad, or over pasta as Cecca, with toasted French bread as Bruschetta, or with any grilled fish or meat. You could also add a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar. This is very fresh and delicious!

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