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Zucchini Blossoms… painting, procreating & preparation!

Stuffed squash blossoms with chicken sausage
Zucchini blossoms are delicate by design, exquisite to eat, and pleasurable to paint.
But today I didn’t just paint Mother Nature…
watercolor-painting-squash-blossom-

I tampered with it.

Really, it wasn’t my fault – the birds and bees were busy elsewhere. I shamelessly did the bee’s dirty work as I hand-pollinated the zucchini flowers with my artist’s brush. Continue Reading →

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Roasted Cherries with Salmon

I have a love-hate relationship with cherries. I love to eat them and I hate to pick and pit them. Back on the farm in Iowa, we had a sour cherry tree that represented countless hours of pure drudgery to a child. I endured the pain for the taste of my mother’s perfectly latticed tart cherry pie.

After moving to Los Angeles I started craving freshly harvested sour cherries – despite the memories of pitting them. Luckily I discovered Bing cherries. These dark lusciousness gems are sweeter, easier to pick (at the grocery store) and as delicious as cherries from our farm. Unlike the sour cherries, you can pop these sweet treats in your mouth, or cook them in a sweet or savory dish. Continue Reading →

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Duck Breast with Pomegranate Reduction

Duck Breast with Pomegranate Reduction
There is nothing sexier in my book than cooking French. That could explain why I traveled 6,000 miles to take cooking lessons in France from a gifted cook and teacher Susan Herrmann Loomis. Her culinary classes became my destination.

Why French? 

Georges Auguste Escoffier was the first to create systems and simplified rules for cooking. Not only did he create them, he documented them in the fascinating book Le Guide Culinaire. His criteria are still used in Western culinary education and restaurants today.

This might explain why we drink a “Frappé” 
at Starbuck instead of a “drink that is ice blended,” eat crêpes, instead of “very thin pancakes” and “deglaze” a pan instead of “removing the bits of food that cling to a pan, by adding a liquid.” Continue Reading →

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2013 SERV International Recipe Winner:
Colossal Chicken & Veggie Tower
“SERV”ed with Love

They say you first “eat with your eyes,” but with today’s recipe I hope you will also taste with your heart.

Before your fork ever touches your food, your senses are anticipating how enjoyable the dish before you will be. You’ll taste with your senses and find delicious flavors. When you taste with your heart, you will feel the love behind the food. Let me explain. Continue Reading →

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Chicken Nuggets with Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup

photo by cathy nelson arkle
If you think that ketchup is a food group, or believe everything is better with ketchup, today’s recipe is for you. Feeding your kids and your inner child something tasty in the same meal is possible because of one ingredient.

Ketchup… no kidding!

ketchup

Ketchup is one of America’s favorite condiments especially for kids who eat 50 percent more than adults.  This, I think, could change after tasting Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup from Traina Foods. I’m traditionally not a ketchup girl, but Traina sent me a bottle of theirs and so I said…”why not give it a try?” I love creating recipes and meals, so this posed a great challenge.

I was pleasantly surprised because Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup isn’t like any ketchup I ever tasted. It’s tart and slightly sweet, yet mildly spicy (not hot) and aromatic. Continue Reading →

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