Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day Shell Pasta Salad

Labor Day Pasta Salad

Going to a BBQ this weekend?? Here is a delicious and easy to make pasta salad. It’s the perfect side dish.

Ingredients include:
2 Ears of sweet corn
2 large radishes
4 green onions
1/2 of a yellow bell pepper
4 Leaves of fresh basil
2T fresh minced parsley
Cherry tomatoes
1C Mayonnaise
1/2 C sour cream
Juice of two lemons
Ground pepper to taste

Begin by shucking corn. Shucking? Is that a word?? Just cut it right off the cob.

Next in a pot of salted boiling water add 3 cups dry medium pasta shells and the shucked corn, cook until pasta is "al dente," approximately 8 minutes. Drain, set aside.

Thinly slice the radishes and then cut in half once more, cut tomatoes in half or leave whole depending on size, dice the bell pepper, green onion, and mince parsley, slice basil. Add the vegetables and herbs to the drained pasta and corn, toss to combine.

Next is the dressing. In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, juice of two lemons, pepper, and pour over pasta mixture, combine.


And there you have it! Let it hang out in the frig for a few or serve immediately. Serves 8.

* Options, yes I have options, this salad is also delicious with cooked shrimp. *


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kim’s “FAMOUS” Lasagna!

Kim’s “FAMOUS” Lasagna!

Lasagna-Every time I make this dish there is usually a reason. Whenever we are heading to our favorite camping spot in the Sierras I prepare this for the crowd and without it, the trip just wouldn’t be the same. Sometimes I find myself making this for a friend who has had a new arrival to their family, or just a neighbor in need. This time I decided to make it for our midweek dinner but while preparing it, the memories came flooding back. No wonder why they call this dish comfort food.

Begin by boiling lasagna noodles with one teaspoon salt and a drizzle of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together. Cook the noodles to “al dente” so they still have a little bite to them. Rinse with cool water and set aside.

In a large skillet, brown the sausage and beef. Season with salt and pepper. Drain any excess fat. Set aside.

Brown ground beef & sausage with casings removed.

Dice all vegetables.

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil.  Add the bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms. Cook until the onions become translucent and the bell peppers soften.  Add the garlic and tomatoes. Simmer for about 2 minutes. Add the meat mixture, marinara sauce, parsley, basil, and spices. Combine and let simmer on low.

Whisk one egg and fold into the Ricotta. Set aside. 

Begin with a thin layer of sauce to coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish to prevent sticking.

Add a layer of noodles and spread some of the ricotta mixture on the noodles.

Add the sauce, about 3 cups in between each layer.

Sprinkle a little of each cheese to each layer. Finishing with cheese on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour and a half or until golden and bubbling on top.

Want a bite?

It's difficult not to serve this the minute it comes out of the oven, but if you could hold off and let it rest for 15 minutes you will have beautiful pieces of lasagna and not lasagna soup!

To make this ahead of time let it cool completely. Cover it with saran wrap and then with foil and freeze it. The day you want to use it remove from the freezer in the morning so it will have time to defrost. If it doesn’t defrost all the way it’s ok.  Remove saran wrap and foil. Then bake.

Ingredients (Yes, there is a lot of ingredients but it’s worth it!)

1/2 pckg. Lasagna noodles (I usally make a few extra just in case a few tear)

1 lb. Spicy Italian Sausage, casings removed.
(I use the sausage from my local Italian Market, Prontos', they make it fresh and they add fennel to it which adds great flavor) 
1 lb. ground beef

1 T olive oil
1 red bell pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 package baby bella mushrooms diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 C Italian Parsley coarsely chopped
1/4 C Basil coarsely chopped

1 16 oz. Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 egg

44 oz. Jar Marinara sauce (I like to use Classico, traditional sweet basil) plus a little more if you like a thinner sauce.
1-14 1/2 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano or your favorite.

1/2 t. Italian Seasoning
1/2 t. Oregano
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

Grated Mozzarella
Grated Quattro Formaggio (4 cheese blend)
Parmesan cheese

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Morning Quiche

Easter Morning Quiche

When we have Easter at our house our family travels South in some pretty heavy traffic, everyone shows up with a huge appetite and a little grumpy from the Southern California holiday traffic.  As a reward for their hectic drive I love to have a variety of quiche fresh from the oven on their arrival.  After everyone gets their fill the smiles quickly return and we enjoy our day. This is a new one we will be having this year.

One bite of this will put a smile on your face!


Thinly slice the potatoes. Slice the leeks lengthwise then across, using the white and light green parts only. Dice the mushrooms and shallot. Slice the prosciutto.

Melt the butter in a skillet. In a single layer cook the potatoes on each side until tender and brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.    

I like to leave a bit of a bite to the potatoes because they will continue cooking in the quiche. These potatoes do not take long to cook, approximately 2 to 3 minutes depending on the thickness.

In the same skillet add the prosciutto, cook for a minute then add the leeks and mushrooms continue cooking together until tender. Add pepper to taste. Because the prosciutto and cheese are a bit salty I did not add any extra salt. Remove from heat. (I happened to have truffle oil so I drizzled a little on the meat mixture for extra flavor) If you do not have this, it’s ok to leave out.

In a bowl mix together the eggs and half & half. Add the cheese to the egg mixture.

For Easter morning I know I have a long day ahead of me so I use a store bought deep dish pie crust to save some time. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe and would like to use it, it will be extra yummy.

Keep in mind, when making this quiche since it has potatoes it can be made without a crust. Simply grease the bottom of a pie dish before beginning the layers and start with the potatoes first.  My girls love the crust and wouldn’t have it any other way so I always use the pie crust.

First add a layer of the meat mixture, and then a layer of potatoes ending with the potatoes on top.


Add the egg mixture.

Ready for the oven
Bake at 350 for approximately 55 minutes. Let the quiche rest for 10 minutes before serving.



2 Leeks
2 Medium sized Yukon gold potatoes
2 C Mushrooms diced
3 T Diced shallots
6 Thick slices of prosciutto
4 Eggs
1 1/2 C Half & Half
1 C Gruyere Cheese
1 T Butter
Truffle Oil (Optional)
1 Deep dish pie crust (Optional)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chia Seed Pudding

I absolutley love this Chia Seed Pudding, although this is not my recipe
I love it too much not to share it.
You can find the recipe In Giada's new Feel Good Food Cookbook or here. I have really enjoyed her new cookbook and highly recommend it.
I make the recipe with strawberries and toasted almonds like the recipe calls for, but I really enjoy it with blueberries and toasted walnuts. Try it yourself and you be the judge. Also make sure to use the grade B maple syrup, it makes all the difference in the world.
I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as my family and I do.
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fresh Peach Empanadas

Fresh Peach Empanadas
A beautiful light pastry stuffed with fresh peaches. Yes, another peach recipe! Why? Because I still have peaches falling from the tree and because these empanadas are so light and delicious.

For the filling peel and dice peaches.

Transfer to a heavy saucepan. Add sugar, cardamom, and cornstarch. Over medium heat bring to a light boil continuously stirring until the peach mixture thickens leaving a light coating on the spoon or until you can rub your finger across the spoon leaving a path. Remove from heat, set aside until the mixture is completely cool. 

Thickened mixture

For the pastry:

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut cold butter into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry blender cut butter into flour mixture. Add shortening and continue incorporating until coarse crumbs are created.  Be careful to not over mix.

Cut butter & shortening
Add iced water one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each tablespoon. Once all the water is added combine the dough. Set aside and let rest for about 10 minutes. Using your hands make individual balls, approximately 3”. 

On a floured surface roll out each ball into a 6X6” circle.  Add a few tablespoons of peaches, fold pasty over and using a fork dipped into flour pinch the edges closed.

Pinch the edges closed using a floured fork

In a small bowl whisk two egg whites. Lightly brush the tops of the empanadas with egg wash and dust with sugar.

Ready for the oven
Transfer empanadas to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the empanadas are golden brown.


Makes 24 Empanadas

Options, yes more options! These are also great filled with pumpkin, pineapple, and apricots.



5 C Flour
2 T Sugar
1/4 t. Salt
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 C Shortening
7 T Iced water (adding one tablespoon at a time)
2 egg whites whisked


8 C Peeled & diced peaches
1 C Sugar
1/2 t. Cardamom
3 T Corn Starch

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is this Sunday so we thought we would share our favorite Mexican recipes to make planning your celebration a little easier. We love Mexican food, after all its our culture...Well Kim's culture, I just married into it.

We hope you enjoy our round up of some of our favorites! Oh, and don't forget the margaritas! 

Fish Tacos

Chicken Enchiladas

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with JalapeƱo & Serrano Chiles
Easy Weeknight Chicken Taco's

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Blood Orange Salad with Mint and Pistachios


Blood Orange Salad with Mint and Pistachios
Don’t you just love it when everything falls into place?  Was having the most difficult time trying to decide on a salad to make for guests and then I happened to receive a bag full of blood oranges…problem solved! 

These oranges are by far the most beautiful oranges I have ever seen.  They have beautiful color, so juicy, and taste so sweet.

Start off by removing the segments from the oranges. 

Cut the ends off of each orange.

Using a sharp knife cut the peeling off from the top to the bottom of each orange working all the way around the orange.

Remove the segments by cutting between the white membranes.  If you are making this salad for a crowd be sure to do this ahead of time.  Remove segments, cover, and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad. Cut some oranges crosswise to garnish the salad.

Place greens, mint, blood orange segments, hearts of palm, red onion, feta, and pistachios in large mixing bowl. Lightly drizzle desired amount of dressing and toss.

Serve salad on platter and add additional orange segments, and pistachios. Delicious and refreshing!  

The mint really adds a fresh taste to this salad but remember a little goes a long way. I really like the taste so I used about 6 to 8 leaves.


Organic Spring Mix
Mint (torn)
Blood orange segments
Hearts of palm sliced
Red onion, finely sliced
Crumbled Feta
California Harvest, Orange~Muscat Champagne Vinegar (any champagne vinegar dressing would work)
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