Friday, November 19, 2010

Not Your Mama's Pesto

I have an affinity for mason jars...I know I'm not alone because there is a blog out there called "Food in Jars". It think it's better for your health to store food in glass containers, plus it just makes the food look more appealing. Maybe this affection can be traced to my love of reading "Little House on the Prairie books. Last week I made two batches of granola and stored it in jars. I'd like to tell you I shared it with friends, but we ate it so fast, I didn't even have the chance to display it decoratively on my baker's rack. My daughter Lauren got me excited about making it...she had just made a couple yummy combinations with orange zest, dried cranberries and lots of nuts. Once you know a basic formula, you can be creative and use what you have in your pantry. The aroma of the baking granola is heavenly. It's easy and gratifying...because you can say, hey, I made that! You could use this recipe from "Art and Lemons" as a guide. Nikki writes a beautiful blog, great writing and recipes, plus she put her granola in a jar! Wait a minute, I titled this post "Not Your Mama's Pesto", so let's talk about pesto.

The "out of the box pesto" I just made (and put in a cute jar) was from "Shefzilla, Haute cuisine at Home". It's a Cilantro pesto recipe and is definitely not run of the mill. It's bright green color and unique flavor can add interest to many dishes. I made the suggested recipe of Shrimp and Cilantro Pizza and it was a winner!

I didn't have an yeast in the house, so I improvised and didn't make the crust from scratch. Instead I used some Indian Tandoori Naan bread from Traders Joe's. I worked very well, but I'm sure homemade pizza dough would be best. The pesto's flavor has an Asian flair, substituting Toasted Sesame Oil for the traditional olive oil, adding fish sauce and my favorite Sriacha for a kick. Keep this on hand in your refrigerator...think of the possibilities, even on eggs!

Cilantro Pesto
(Shefzilla, Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home)

1 bunch cilantro leaves and stems, rinsed thoroughly in cold water
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp Sriracha
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
1/4 c. cold water

1. Bring 2 qts. water to a hard boik and add 1 tsp. salt. Blanch cilantro until tender about 30 seconds. Remove from boiling water and rinse under cold tap water until coll, 10 seconds. Squeeze out excess water and roughly chop.

2. Place blanced and chopped cilantro in container of blender and add remaining ingredients (sesame oil through water) Cover and blend on high until smooth about 1 minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Shrimp and Cilantro Pizza
(adapted from Shefzilla, Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home)
3 Tap. Cilantro pesto
1 8 oz. pizza dough portion (grilled) (I substitued pre-made naan bread)
8 poached shrimp (sliced in half length-wise)
3 Tbsp. finely grated Grana Padano (I used Parmesan I had on hand)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Spread Cilantro Pesto evenly on the grilled pizza dough. Top with Poached Shrimp, Cheese and red pepper flakes. (At this point, I did put mine into the oven to toast it up a bit) The recipe doesn't call for reheating....your choice.

I learned a few things I didn't know about cilantro. It is very healthy for you. Cilantro is detoxifying and can actually remove heavy metals from your system! Check out this article...very interesting!

If you want to try a more traditional cilantro pesto, here is another version. Enjoy!

Cilantro Pesto

3/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 c. fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
1/2 c. olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Put all ingredients in the food processor. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shefzilla "Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home"

Do I really have to put my flip-flops away? Is the party over? Farmer's Market season is coming to an end here in Minneapolis. One "Last Hurrah", a chance to soak in my favorite newly discovered (by me anyway) Kingfield Farmer's Market on Nicollet Ave. A few weeks ago I made my way to this cozy "Sunday only" market with a goal. My mission was to secure a signed copy of Stewart Woodman's new cookbook "Shefzilla" Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home for my son Dan. We both have admired Stewart's creative food and style in his restaurant, Heidi's, (named after his wife an accomplished chef in her own right) and his food blog, Shefzilla. My mission was accomplished and I got a personalized copy of the book for Dan, instructing him to "Live his dream"...which he is doing in a fine restaurant in Los Angeles. I have yet to send it to him, because I can't put it down. Hopefully I won't get his copy all dog eared and stained before I get it in the mail. Better get my own copy!

Last Christmas when our family was all together in one state, we decided the six of us would enjoy a gift from a favorite Auntie and go out to enjoy some fine dining. We picked Heidi's, had a "lick your plate" meal and had wonderful family time and tried not to be too giddy as we discretely took pictures of our food. Dan went back into the kitchen to give Stewart his regards and praise. So glad we did because the restaurant was destroyed by fire a few months later. There is a happy ending though...this new cookbook was born from this "time off" for the Woodman's and they will be opening the restaurant in a new space on Lyndale Ave. before the first of the year if all goes as planned.

So fun to meet Stewart. I think I stumbled over my struck by chef celebritydom. The book is great, giving the home cook flavors that are unique and will keep your guests wanting more. Perfect if you're looking for that show stopping dish to bring to a holiday party.

The Woodman children were right there at their side as they demonstrated , Seared Salmon Spring Rolls, Simply delicious. The dipping sauce gives it that "give me more" flavor. That's one of the things that makes this cookbook great. He shares many of his sauces, stocks, dips that add that extra pop to the dishes. It inspired me to go to Penzey's Spices to pick up some pink peppercorns, black sesame seeds and a few more interesting spices to add to my repitoire.

The side bars (gold text boxes) also make this book extraordinary. Stewart shares his insight about his he came to this place and how deeply in love he is with his craft. Not just a cookbook, but stories and life's lessons to boot.

Yes, that's me next to Heidi. I was in the crowd and got to help with the demo. LOVED this day.

Everyone got to sample. Last week Stewart also shared this recipe on the morning news. Check the link for a video demo. of the recipe.

Seared Salmon Spring Rolls
Recipe by Chef Stewart Woodman
Shefzilla: Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home

Makes 5–6 rolls

For marinated salmon:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1 pound salmon, cut in 1-inch strips
1 tablespoon canola oil

1. Place first 7 ingredients (soy sauce through celery salt) in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour over salmon and marinate, covered, in refrigerator 2 hours.

2. Preheat sauté pan over high heat, add canola oil, and heat to smoking point. Add salmon to the pan; discard marinade. Cook about 2 minutes, turning salmon occasionally to sear on all sides.

3. Remove salmon and pan juices to plate and let cool to about room temperature. Flake salmon with a fork and set aside with pan juices.

6 (8-inch) spring roll wrappers
About 24 to 30 cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced into thin 3-by-1/4-inch ribbons
About ½ cup Dipping Sauce

Fill large bowl with warm water. Working in batches, soak 1 to 3 spring roll wrappers in water until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove rounds from water and arrange in single layer on work surface. Place 4 to 5 cilantro leaves, 1/8 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, and 2 cucumber ribbons down middle of each round. Place about 1/3 cup flaked salmon filling with juices on each round. Fold one edge of each round over filling. Fold in ends. Roll up rice paper rounds tightly. Transfer to platter. Repeat with remaining rounds. Slice spring rolls in half diagonally. Spoon about 1 tablespoon dipping sauce over each half. Serve immediately.

Dipping Sauce
Makes about 2 ½ cups
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
6 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
10 tablespoons fish sauce
¼ cup shredded carrot

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Before I left the market, I was drawn to the Foxy Falafel tent, "Because Chickpeas are Cool". I happened to run into my new friend Crystal, a Twin Cities food writer and fellow "foodie" who writes Cafe Cyan. She was just handed her warm pita filled with crispy goodness and before she got her first bite, I asked if I could take a picture of any good blogger would do.

What makes these falafel so special is that they sprout the chickpeas increasing their nutritional value, plus digestibility...and the SAUCES, did I mention the sauces? Smoky garlicky harissa, cucumber yogurt and the lemony tahini sauce. Plus, these condiments.

Sorry to tease you, but Foxy Falafel is done for the season. You'll have to wait until next Spring. I am working on my own at home falafel recipes (which I will share) in case you can't wait that long. I know Foxy's are hard to sure to try their Beet Falafel...OUTSTANDING, with it's lemony goat cheese sauce. (I'm drooling)

Stay tuned for my next post. We enjoyed Shefzilla's Cilantro Pesto Shrimp Pizza, great flavor...I will share the green delight.

P.S. Did you know cilantro has amazing health properties?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sauerkraut Balls and "Sweet Nutritious Beer"

This has been the most colorful glorious Fall we've had in years! I confess a tear came to my eye while driving by our local Lake Calhoun a few days ago...the sun was at an angle that made the water look deep blue, the trees bright orange, sun sparking on the water as the sailboats were gliding by...spectacular. Such a great time to soak in this beauty and take a drive. I hope you got to enjoy it, too. We traveled down Highway 169 last weekend and helped David realize his dream of visiting New Ulm, Minnesota and the Schell's Brewery. (He claims he's wanted to make the trip for the last 20 years!!) Definitely an October activity, since Oktoberfest is in full swing. It wasn't exactly the kids idea of a "family day"...but it turned out to be perfectly perfect, especially since the day ended with their request of an enormous caramel apple from Emma Krumbee's Orchard. O.K., I'm sure you're all wondering...doesn't she usually talk about health and nutrition? I did do some research, and "sweet nutritious beer", as one of our good friends calls it, actually does have some health benefits! Check it out and the darker the beer the better good thing, because after the beer sampling at the end of the tour, I liked the Schell's Dark best. This historic brewery has a rich history and family tradition, celebrating 150 years in business.

Here's the tie in...Shaklee is 54 years old and also has a rich family history founded and run by Dr. Shaklee and his sons. We now have an outstanding owner, Roger Barnett who is carrying on the with the quality products, research and integrity my family has come to know and trust in the 20 years we've been using them. Nearly $300 million has been invested in research and development, and 100 published clinical studies to back up the products. Shaklee participated in a Landmark Study conducted by the University of California Berkley. It was the first ever study of long term supplement users showing people who use Shaklee supplements have markedly better health compared to those who took a multi-vitamin, or no supplements at all. Check out the published clinical study for yourself.

Our day began here. See... no clouds in the sky!

We didn't get to ride in the vintage beer bus...but it's kinda cute isn't it?

The end of the tour. They gave us "samples" of their beer and the kids got "1919 Rootbeer" the recipe the Schell family came up with to help them make money during prohibition!

We made our way into town and ended up at Veigel's Kaiserhoff restaurant, in search of my Sister-in-law's uber favorite Kaiserhoff secret sauce they sell by the bottle (or case, as she tells me). So...when in Rome (or New Ulm) during Oktoberfest, you have to eat German food. Plenty of health giving cabbage and sausage, plus these little delicacies the Sauerkraut Ball. These were, OK...but I liked the idea, so I found a recipe of my own. If your uncertain of the beer being nutritious...I know for sure that fermented cabbage is very healthy!!

Sauerkraut Balls
(My German half is showing)

1 c. sauerkraut, drained and chopped
1/4 to 1/2 c. chopped corned beef
1 c. dry bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 small onion finely chopped
1/4 c. water
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs beaten
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs

Mix the kraut, corned beef, 1 c. of the bread crumbs, 1 egg, onion, water, parsley, horseradish, garlic and salt. Refrigerate at least 1 hr. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Shape sauerkraut mixture into inch balls. Dip balls in 2 beaten eggs; then roll in the 1/2 c. bread crumbs. Bake on ungreased baking sheet until lightly brown. (About 20 min.) I'm sure the "Kaiserhoff Secret Sauce" would be the best condiment to go with these :)

Here comes a recipe for a healthy pizza idea David said was "The best pizza he's ever eaten" Whoa...hope it lives up to it's reputation.

Kale, Red Onion, Kalamata Olive and Goat Cheese Pizza

Check out this post for easy to make pizza dough

or buy ready made dough or crust. (Trader Joe's has a few good choices)

Saute chopped kale, a couple cloves of minced garlic with some olive oil until just wilted. (It will cook more and get a bit crispy when it bakes on the pizza)

Top unbaked crust with olive oil, minced garlic, the sauteed kale mixture, thinly sliced red onions, pitted kalamata olives, and blobs of fresh goat cheese. Bake on a pizza stone or pizza pan. in a 450 - 500 degree oven until brown (anyway you like it) This one could have been "toastier" but you can't go wrong...don't stress.

This next recipe is a "go to recipe" for weekend mornings that include a steamy pot of french press coffee or a cup of Shaklee Cinch Energy Tea You can make any flavor combination you like. I whip them up quickly in a food processor, just a few pulses until the dough comes together. You mix in your favorite flavor and shape it into a disk like this.

We made two flavors last weekend, mixed berry and cherry walnut. You can be creative, even add savory mix-ins and omit the sugar.

Scones (pick your flavor)
Adapted from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, Orange Currant

1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. butter (1 stick) put it in the freezer, ice cold butter works best
1 egg
1/4 to 1/2 c. milk

1 Tbsp. orange zest
juice from half and orange
1/4 c. currants

(If you are making a different flavor, omit the orange juice and just a more milk in it's place)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Whisk to combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until the butter bits are pea-sized.
  2. Add currants and orange zest. Add orange juice, egg, and milk, and stir to combine.
  3. Flour work surface. Pat dough into a 7-inch circle, and cut into 6 wedges.
  4. Place wedges about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden-brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving.
I brush them with a beaten egg (cream works too) and bake on a parchment lined baking tray...(it's works fine without it too)

Back to the "sweet nutritious beer" just saw this post on my Facebook feed...couldn't resist sharing. I haven't tried it yet, but everything in this book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" is great. Bradley Benn's Beer Bread.

Stay tuned for dates of upcoming Women's Nutrition presentation that we are planning. Loads of excellent information you can use.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Enjoying the Fruits of the Season

The Table. It's the heart of the family, the meeting place for friends, the place to play games, put together puzzles and EAT. I often hear people ask "why does everything have to revolve around food"? I say why not? The sharing of a meal brings people together. How about preparing food together? If you don't feel comfortable cooking for people other than your family...make it an event. Invite people to bring ingredients and try a new recipe together. You can laugh and bond. The entertainment and the meal can be rolled up into one! We did just that with some new friends last weekend. Actually, Joanne and I have know each other since high school, but we have never socialized together with our husbands. We traveled an hour south of the city to their beautiful countryside home in the middle of beautifully restored prairie land. When you walk into the house it is perfectly serene with views of the wooded lot it is nestled into. But the best part...a gourmet kitchen with a center island, perfect for a group cooking experience...topped off by the garden delights we picked from their garden. Try Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, arugula, garlic, onions and plenty of fresh herbs...I could hardly contain myself. This is a recipe for a beautiful evening ending at a table bathed in candlelight and topped off by great conversation and fresh berry kuchen (I know...I make that a lot) and whipped cream.

Maintaining connections with friends and family is an important part of maintaining good health...there are studies to prove it. Are you concerned about your health and your families health? Make a point of meeting at the table everyday. After raising four kids, two out of the house, the advice I give new parents is just that. Make every effort to eat meals together. Of course I always put some Shaklee supplements beside everyone's plate.

Especially now that school has started it is so important to get all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy. I can't fully explain how great these products are, you just have to try them for yourself. The research has been done for you and there is a 100% money back guarantee. What do you have to lose?

Here is a wonderful soup we made that night with the bounty of tomatoes from the garden! So good I made it twice this week. Thank you, Patty, for the gift of tomatoes and kale you left on my doorstep! This is one of the things I made out of them. I made a kale pizza too...but I'll share the recipe for that another time.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Chipotle Cream
Fresh Tart ( Stepanie Meyer
  • 3 lbs. garden tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 3 unpeeled large garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. butter 1 1/2 c. chicken broth (perhaps more, to thin the soup to your liking)
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 chipotle chili (from a can of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce), minced to a paste (add some of the adobo sauce as well for more heat)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the tomatoes, skin side down, in the one layer in 2 foil-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a little salt. Add the garlic to 1 of the pans, and bake the tomatoes and the garlic for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the tomatoes are very soft and their skin is dark brown. Let the tomatoes and garlic cool in the pans on racks.

Stir together the cream and chipotle pepper and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan cook the shallot, the oregano, and a sprinkle of salt over moderately low heat, stirring, until the shallot is soft. Add the tomatoes, garlic (skins discarded), and broth. Simmer the mixture, covered for 15 minutes. Puree in a blender, or use an immersion blender, until soup is smooth. Add more broth to achieve desired consistency. Stir in balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve swirled with chipotle cream. (Can be made one day ahead, cover and chill.)

This next recipe might sound strange, but I made it twice last week as well and it was a big hit. How can you go wrong combing lusicous ripe peaches and's the season.

Peach, Tomato and Basil Salad
(Penny De Los Santos)

  • Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine

Arugula Salad with Roasted Figs and Goat Cheese

Use the same balsamic vinaigrette for this salad.

Fresh figs are in season, so buy them while you can. I cut these in half and sauteed them in a bit of olive oil. Then I roasted them on a baking sheet in the oven for a short time.

Peppery arugula is perfect to offset the creamy goat cheese and sweet figs.

We made these potatoes from the garden potatoes. The recipe calls for preserved lemon (which I found in the product dept. of Whole Foods) for a great price...but forgot to bring it to our gathering. We used some from lemon instead...the recipe didn't turn out the way it was intended, but our theme for the night was "It'll be just fine" and it was.

Crash Hot Potatoes
Fresh Tart ( Stephanie Meyer
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Serves 6
  • 12 whole new potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary (or other fresh herbs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of a whole preserved lemon, seeds discarded, minced (I find jars of whole preserved lemons at Whole Foods)
  • coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes and cook them until they are fork-tender.

While the potatoes cook, add heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the rosemary and garlic and saute until garlic is fragrant and just softening, about 4 minutes. Stir in preserved lemon and set aside.

Drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil on a baking sheet and spread evenly. Drain potatoes and place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato. With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly crushes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and crush lightly again. Spoon a bit of the garlic oil on each potato, using all the oil. Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt.

Place potatoes in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Grind black pepper over the hot potatoes and serve immediately.

Truly, these potatoes were even better the next morning for brunch. I added the forgotten preserved lemon, cooked them up "hash style" added some arugula and cooked an egg on top. DELICIOUS!!

Don't waste any time enjoying the fruits of the season and this gorgeous Fall weather. Plan some get togethers with friends new and old. I would love to cook with you and share Shaklee. Call me, or I'll call don't be surprised if you hear from me soon :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tarts, Tacos and Tomatoes

Summer is coming to an end. The whole month of August has been a blur, but I want to share some of the highlights with you, at least from a gastronomical point of view! I tend to get melancholy as a season passes...but I am trying to get in all of the tomatoes, berries, peaches I can before we get into the crisp fall vegetables and apples. The time shared with family, great friends, (along with the good food) is a shot in the arm to strengthen your immune system! Laughter truly is good medicine. Check out this amazing article:

August was filled with time with all of my kids, going to the farmer's market together, cooking, hiking and lots of laughter with extended family and old friends. I celebrated another Disneyland of all places. I'm now closing in on 50 and I'm so grateful for Shaklee supplements and how great I feel when I take them regularly and how I love to help other people feel well too.

Vitalizer is a product I take everyday. Shaklee makes it easy for you to get the nutrients you need in a convenient form. Vitalizer is by far the most advanced, comprehensive multi-nutrient supplement you can buy. If you take this everyday, you're guarantees to enjoy the wonderful feeling of health and vitality!

Life is short, so let's start with dessert! Here is a picture of my birthday tart. It's really a recipe from my friend's Susie and Stephanie for their award winning blueberry kuchen, but when we went to the farmer's market...this is what looked good, so we improvised. That's the beauty of this recipe...use the fruit you like. Made it with blueberries and mangos and it was great too.

Blueberry Kuchen (I made with Blackberries and Peaches)

Adapted from Dara & Co. Minnesota Monthly Stephanie Meyer

From Susie Shubert
Serves 10-12

I baked this in a 10 inch Tart Pan with a removable bottem...but you can bake it in a springform pan.

2 1/4 c. flour, divided
dash salt
1 c. (two sticks) butter
1 1/4 c. sugar, divided, plus a little more for sprinkling
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
6 c. blueberries, divided
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F. Using a food processor or pastry blender, combine 2 c. flour, butter, 1/4 c. sugar, and vinegar until dough just comes together. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan, pushing the sides up a bit higher to form edges.

In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/4 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the crust, top with 4 c. of the blueberries, and then the remaining flour-cinnamon mixture. Shake the pan a little so the flour sinks down around the berries and the berries are evenly distributed. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are deep golden brown and the berries are bubbling.

Transfer pan to a rack and distribute remaining 2 c. of blueberries evenly over the top. Sprinkle with a little sugar, let cool for 30 minutes, and serve warm with vanilla ice cream (or cool to room temperature).

Here is another very similar recipe with the addition of coconut in the crust!! Equally simple and impressive dessert. A good way to use the Summer's bounty of beautiful berries.

Really Raspberry Coconut Tart (from Alice Medrich)

From Lottie and Doof


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups raspberries, rinsed and spread on paper towels to drain
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


Position a rack in lower third of oven. Place your heaviest, darkest baking sheet (or pizza stone) on the rack and preheat oven to 425°F.

Set a medium bowl near the stove. Spread the coconut in a wide heavy skillet, set over medium heat, and stir constantly until the coconut begins to color slightly. Turn the heat down and continue to stir until the coconut is mostly light golden brown and flecked with some white. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes, be careful not to burn the coconut. Immediately scrape toasted coconut into bowl.

Stir the sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and salt into the coconut. Add the flour and mix just until well blended. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. This takes a little patience as there is just enough dough.


Mix the sugar and flour together in a medium bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups of the berries and gently fold or toss to coat them with the sugar mixture. Pour the berries (including any loose flour or sugar) into the crust and spread them evenly.

Set the pan on a square of foil and fold the edges of the foil up and loosely over the edges of the crust to protect them temporarily. Set on the hot baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350°F, unfold the foil to expose crust edge, and bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the berry juices are bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes more. About halfway through, use a fork to gently break up the berries.

Remove the tart from the oven and arrange the remaining berries attractively, as close together as possible, over the hot berries. Cool completely on a rack.

Remove the sides of the tart pan and dust the tart with powdered sugar before serving. The tart is best if served within a few hours of baking.

Here is the kitchen island before my son Dan started to cook my delicious birthday dinner. We started with a beautiful baguette my daughter Lauren made, paired with radishes, butter, salt and some "stinky cheese"...what could be better?

The next course was clams and mussels in a white wine, fennel, garlic broth. Then....get ready for this, I'm sorry I don't have a picture, but we had the most fabulous stuffed zucchini blossoms with ricotta, herbs and lemon battered and fried (not sure if that is the fancy culinary term) served with a salsa verde. YUM. The entree was a grilled chicken breast served on a bed of roasted baby heirlooms from the market, a nicoise olive tapenade and creamy feta on top. Ok...I know, I'm so lucky to have a son who's a chef. I was an experience...the cooking process is part of the entire pleasure of the meal.

Here is a glimpse of another meal. We weren't sure what we were going to have...and this is the meal that happened. Grilled Shrimp good. We just brushed the shrimp with olive oil and some smoked paprika and grilled them along with some scallions and corn tortillas. Dan whipped up a rouille (similar to this recipe and some radish salsa, shredded cabbage (what do I say? Eat something from the cabbage family everyday) plus some rice pilaf . We had a feast!

This is food porn to me: a homegrown ripe tomato sandwich. A piece of great bread toasted with a good slather of mayo, a slice of tomato, and a sprinkle of salt. Hint, hint...if anyone has extras in their garden, you know who would appreciate them sooo much.

Here is a great idea if you have an abundance of tomatoes and you're not sure what to do with them (after you've already given some to me).

Tomato Jam
(James Beard Foundation)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 cup chopped onion
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
4 cups coarsely chopped plum tomatoes, seeded and peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

To make the tomato jam, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and sauté the garlic, onion, red pepper, and rosemary in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan until soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes and cook down over medium-low heat until the tomatoes have given up most of their water and turned a deep orangey-red, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste. Here's an idea, serve on toasted baguette with a smear of goat cheese!!

We started with a tart...let's end with a tart...a Tomato Tart :)

Tomato Tart

Store bought Puff Pastry


Basil leaves

Cheese of your choice
  • Cut the rolled pastry into a circle or rectangle big enough for you or how ever many you are feeding.
  • Slice the tomatoes thickly and place onto pastry layering slightly and keeping a couple of inches from the edges.
  • Tuck some torn basil leaves in here and there. Season and sprinkle the cheese over the tomatoes if you are using it.
  • Brush the edges of the pastry with milk.
  • Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes until pastry has risen and tomatoes and cooked through
Shaklee helps to bring out the "Best of You". We have new products to improve your lives. The new product guides are available. I would love to show you how Shaklee can help improve your life.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Come to the Table

I'm humming..."Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..." , you know the rest. Tuesday evening my heart was singing. I accepted a gracious invitation of a special "Blog Love" event hosted by Kris Ann and Kristin co-authors of one of my all time FAVORITE blogs Love Feast Table.

If you see beauty in the everday, love to surround yourself with extraordinary things, people and food you love, plus appreciate the beauty and "fanciness" in daily life, this is a site you will visit again and again to be inspired to create your own best life.

These passionate women also had the insight to coin a phrase...a concept called a "Love Bomb". What is a "Love Bomb"? It is ..."the act of preparing, serving and sharing a meal or morsel with someone you normally wouldn't" What an incredible I'd like to perpetuate. These two wonderful women are BFFs with the kind of friends that only come along once in a life time, if you're lucky. As Kristin and Kris Ann say, " Much of our days are spent managing our homes, kids and dryer lint, but we've kept our creative spirits percolating all along." and they are able to coordinate this blog across the miles, one living in Minnesota and one in Baltimore.

Tuesday night's "Blog Love" event was a gift to all of us local "bloggers". It was a "Love Bomb" of sorts, designed to encourage what these enlightened women do best on their all of their devoted readers follow their passions and use their gifts to make their world more beautiful in every way. Camille en Rouge a jewel on Main Street in the quaint town of Prior Lake, Minnesota was the venue. What a gorgeous, ever changing array of interesting, sublime merchandise! The perfect shop for buying wonderful things for your home or gifts for friends...very affordable and so unique!

We were lavished with gifts. Aveda from Southdale, provided hand massages, and custom perfume with their rich natural products, Kelli Lea of "Kelli Lea Designs" made us each unique handmade bags to hold our treasures, The Vintage Pearl designed and gave us all sterling necklaces stamped with the words "Blog Love".
Kristin's husband, the chef made a delicious Spanish Ceasar Salad. The buttery croissants were provided by the darling bakery just down the street, Edelweiss Bakery. A sassy handmade apron was presented in a drawing provided by J & J Inspirations. Mela Kamin generously shared her passion and gifts by giving us all one of her CD's. This entire evening was documented by the exceptional photography of SuzanneJean Photography.

Here are a couple of the talented ladies I met. The cute blonde on the left is Maggie aka "Gussy" Check out her story (everyone has one, what's yours') SO COOL. She sews incredible creations you just have to check out, and Mela the ultra talented blond in the middle, has the voice of an angel, you must buy her CD or have her come and speak at your next function, so inspiring! The Blonde (don't look at my roots) on right, the grateful soul attending this Delicious Time is ME.

I didn't get the pleasure of meeting all of these women but I do know the beautiful brunette in the super stylish outfit in the middle is Susie from "Finding Borneo" (My Son has Asberger's and All I Got Was This Lousy Handbook) Her site is witty and insightful, you'll love it! The blonde on the right is Erin from Foodalyst a "foodie" that analyzes food and life.

Thank you so much Love Feast Table...good things happen when you come together at the "Table".

We all had a "delicious time".

Fancy friday

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gone Fishin'

My head is swimming with thoughts, I'm not sure where to start. We are currently in beautiful Southern California spending a "delicious time" with family and friends. It's also Shaklee Global Conference time in Anaheim, and David's class much to report. The weekend before I got on the airplane, I traveled to Northern Minnesota. Ely, to be exact, and spent time with dear "old/new" friends in a picturesque lake home in the wilderness. Words cannot describe the beauty of the area or the incredible hospitality my friend Julie extended. This group of girlfriends have reacquainted after 30 years, and have found a strong connection even though we didn't "hang out" too much in high school. Stories, laughter, and bonding as only women can do is such a blessing. Of course, we had to eat. Barb made a fabulously healthy Indonesian Rice Salad and I can't wait to share it with you. We made simple delicious food, did yoga on the porch overlooking the lake, hiked (picked fresh raspberries along the path) get the picture, it was the ultimate B & B. Here is a shot of breakfast the last morning...pure bliss, whole grain pancakes, toasted pecans, organic blueberries and dark roast coffee (Thanks Jerry!)

Indonesian Rice Salad
(My friend Barb)
2 cups short grain brown rice

1/3 cup peanut oil
2 T toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup pineapple juice (or orange juice)
some orange zest
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1 T chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 T tamari
1 t salt
2 T maple syrup (or honey)
2 T cider vinegar
1 cup chopped pineapple

2-3 scallions, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 red and 1 yellow bell peppers, diced
1 small bag of snow peas
1-2 handfuls of fresh mung bean sprouts
1 cup toasted cashew (or roasted peanuts, almonds, or combination)

Cook brown rice in 3 cups water. While rice cooks, combine in a large bowl
the dressing ingredients. Add the hot rice to the dressing, mix well, and
add the scallions, celery, dried fruit, peppers, snow peas, bean sprouts, and nuts.

We sipped on this delicious drink...the perfect summer drink as the sun sets over a fuschia sky

Sangria !
as served by Barbara Ann at Eagles Nest #2
1 bottle dry red wine, like a Spanish Rioja
1 cup cognac or brandy
1/2 cup simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, boiled briefly until dissolved; also tasty in iced tea, mint juleps, and mojitos)
1/2 cup orange juice ( I used orange/mango because that is what lurked in the refrigerator)
2 oranges, sliced into thin rounds
2 lemons, sliced
2 green apples, sliced
2 handfuls blackberries

Combine everything but the wine in a pitcher and let it soak and cool in the refrigerator
for about two hours. Add enough wine to cover all the fruit, then pack it all up and head to the lake to meet your friends.
Immediately upon arrival, add the rest of the wine to the pitcher, break out the goblets, pour generously, and toast your
good fortune. Beware the apples. Viva amigas! Allegedly lasts up to two days, refrigerated.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pizza Farm

A Beautiful Summer's evening, a lovely drive through rolling hills, a huge lake (Lake Pepin, which is really a river) eagles soaring overhead, a quaint town named after a city in Sweden, turn left, you're almost there, past the tiny cemetary on the hill, turn right by the sign that says "Liberal Cathoic Church" hmmm... keep going along the dusty gravel road, look for parked must be close, the smell of pizza is in the air. Pizza? Until last week, I had never heard of the A - Z Produce farm. The "Pizza Farm" , as they're known, just outside of Stockholm, Wisconsin serves gourmet pizzas. One night a week, they make brick oven baked delights, made from the organic produce and meat from their picturesque farm. You can explain it, but you have to experience it to really understand it. This is an organic family farm. The herbs, vegetables and "happy pigs" provide the wonderful toppings for the delicious pizzas.

July 12th marked our 24th wedding anniversary...we said we were going to wait to celebrate, but instead we first had a wee little night out at "The Anchor" in NE Minneapolis, which I highly recommend for some of the best fish and chips in town...add a local Grainbelt Nordeaster and you've got it made. An inexpensive delicious eating experience. So I was really surprised when David said pack up a bottle of wine and a blanket, "we're going for pizza in Wisconsin"...I guess I wasn't too surprised, our friend Tim told us about this unique rural dining experience, so David thought we'd follow Tim's lead. The Fisher and Bannen Farm only serves pizza on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., and that means pizza, ONLY pizza. Bring your own "everything else"...and that's where you can get creative. We brought a bottle of red, a root beer for Pete, some salads, utensils and something to sit on. The fun and friendly couples sitting along side us in our little pine covered nook on the lawn were smart and stopped at Homemade pie shop in Stockholm on the way. They highly recommend the coconut cream time. I did have these beautiful fresh vegetables from our friend Bou's family garden to make some simple salads to go with our pizza.

The most unusual pizza, perhaps, is the four stations pizza. One-quarter of the pizza is sausage, roasted pepper and fresh mozzarella; a second is pepperoni, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, basil and garlic; the third is pesto, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella; and the fourth is roasted beets, onion, basil and Gorgonzola time!!

After you order your pizza from the great combos on the chalk board, you can sit anywhere you please...with the crowd, secluded in the trees with a table, candles and flowers, or close to the pasture with the animals!

Our pizza was ready in about an hour...the time was not an issue. We had fun observing the variety of people who had gathered there for the "Wood Stock" of pizza. "Hippies"...actually highly tattooed Bohemian types are quite the norm these days, book club ladies, "Red Hat Society" ladies, families, and couples looking for a romantic rendezvous.

This experience has inspired me...maybe we should open up our home? our backyard?...we could build a wood burning oven? it allowed in our the city's code? We could call it "Pizza Fridays at the Abes? I do have a baking stone and a grill, plus the life changing pizza and bread dough recipe from "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" This recipe is so easy...I swear. You can always have pizza or bread dough in your fridge!! I've been making Rosemary and Sea salt Foccacia out of this dough too.

Olive Oil Pizza Dough
(From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)
Makes about 4 pizzas)

2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 TBSP. granulated yeast
1 1/2 TBSP salt
1 TBSP sugar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
6 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the water, yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil in a 5-quart, lidded container.

Mix the flour in. Use a wooden spoon, (you could use a stand mixer...but it's not really necessary) you are mixing the dough just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Cover, not airtight, and let sit at room temp. for about 2 hrs., until dough rises (nearly doubles)

Store in the fridge, keep it covered, but not air tight, and use within 12 days.

On the day you are going to make pizza, bring the dough out of the fridge. Dust the surface of the dough with some flour and pull off one quarter of the dough (using a serrated knife). This is about the size of a grapefruit. Put the rest of the dough back in the fridge to be used another day. Using floured hands, quickly shape into a ball and then roll out. I sometimes just stretch it. Using flour when needed to keep it from sticking.

I Wish I had one of these...but use what you've got. (That is actually OUR pizza in there!!!)

We picked #1 Combo - "Happy Pigs" for the evening. Roasted tomatoes, onions, basil, green olives, kalamata olives, and sausage.

Summer Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza

1 lemon
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
Few leaves of fresh basil, cut into thin slivers
1/2 medium yellow zucchini, sliced as thinly as you can pull off with a knife or your mandoline (I went for 1/8-inch thick with mine)
1/2 medium green zucchini, sliced as the same as above
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Roll your pizza dough into a thin 12-inch circle and lay it on a stone that has been dusted lightly with cornmeal.

In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese with the juice of half your lemon. Season it with salt and freshly ground pepper, and spread it over your pizza dough. Scatter fresh basil slivers over the cheese.

Arrange your zucchini coins in concentric circles over the goat cheese spread, overlapping them slightly. You can alternate their colors, if you’re feeling fancy. Squeeze the juice of the second half of your lemon on top of you zucchini, then drizzle with olive oil and finish with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes (your baking time will vary, so please watch carefully), or until the edges of your pizza are golden brown and the zucchini looks roasted and a little curled up at the edges

How about a Breakfast Pizza idea...This one is from the "Big Sur Bakery Cookbook"

6 strips bacon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cups grated mozzarella
6 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced

One to two hours* before baking, place the dough in a warm spot. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and set a pizza stone on it. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees 30 minutes before you are ready to bake the pizza.

Prepare the dough and toppings: Fry the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until crisp. Cool on a paper-towel-lined plate; roughly chop.

Dip your hands and a ball of dough into the flour. On a lightly floured countertop, pat the dough into a disc with your fingertips, then drape the dough over your fists and carefully stretch it from beneath to form a 12-inch circle.

Generously dust the surface of a pizza peel or large inverted sheet pan with flour ( I use some cornmeal too) and place the stretched dough on it. Sprinkle the dough with half of the Parmesan, mozzarella and bacon. Crack 3 eggs over the top and season with salt and pepper.

Bake the pizza: Shake the pizza peel slightly to make sure the dough is not sticking. Carefully lift any sections that are sticking and sprinkle a bit more flour underneath, then slide the pizza directly onto the baking stone in one quick forward-and-back motion. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes. When the crust is golden, the cheese is melted and the egg yolks are cooked, use the peel to transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Sprinkle half of the parsley, chives, scallions and shallot on top. Let cool for 2 minutes, slice and serve immediately. Prepare the second pizza in the same way.

Come on over! I'll make you a pizza and we can talk about Shaklee. Isn't it about time for you to find out more about these wonderful green, organic healthy products?...I would love to show you how great they are.

Contact your Shaklee distributor for more information. Fresh Clean water is so important for a healthy lifestyle. Check out the new "Get Clean Water Pitcher" We can't wait for ours to arrive.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Everything Goes With Green"

We celebrated Father's Day with the "Third Annual Mini-Golf Tournament". Go to a course...nope. The young cousins in the family constructed very creative golf holes in the backyard out of what they can find in the garage and around the house. It keeps them busy for most of the day, so the Dad's can go out and do anything they want, which is usually play "big boy golf". The day was finished off by another creative activity...involving food of course. It was such a beautiful day, so we planned to eat on the deck and create a "panini bar". If you have an electric press this works very well, grab an extension cord, and make them outside. Everyone is assigned to bring a favorite the combinations are as creative as the kids golf course. Fresh mozzerella, roasted red pepper, caramelized onions, olive tapenade, basil leaves, arugula pesto (recipe below), blue cheese, cheddar, tomatoes. Just add a salad and you have an instant party!

This summer I've been convicted to get as many green leafy vegetables on the table as possible. You will notice most of the recipes are green this week! With the farmer's markets and crop shares available greens are very inexpensive and PACKED with nutrients.
Green leafy vegetables are arguably one of the richest sources of nutrition and have numerous health advantages, including cancer prevention and detoxification.
Despite their many health benefits they are one of the most under-consumed foods in the average person's diet. Studies have shown that eating two or three servings of green leafy vegetables per week significantly lowers the risk of stomach, breast and skin cancer. These same antioxidants have also been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease and prevent cataract and macticular degeneration in the eye.

Shaklee is all about "Green". Of course our "Get Clean" products were among the first truly green cleaning products, but a couple other truly green products are Herb Lax #20144 and Alfalfa #20153 An original Dr. Shaklee formula, Herb Lax contains an enhanced proprientary blend, including Senna leaf, which has been used for thousands of years as a natural laxative, plus other complementary herbs. Encourages a mild cleansing action to aid the body’s natural processes. Alfalfa is another Dr. Shaklee signature formula, it is a storehouse of nutrients. Its tap root reaches down as deep as 20 feet, searching out nutrients and minerals from deposits in the soil, while its leaves gather large amounts of chlorophyll through the natural process of photosynthesis. How green can you get?

Garlic is another thing I use in most meals. It helps boost the immune system, prevent colds, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and fight fungal or yeast infections.
Shaklee Garlic # 20084 is an amazing product...and you won't keep your friends's odor controlled with rosemary and spearmint! This quick sauce is great with so many things...grilled vegetables, couscous, meats, pita chips use your imagination.

Garlic Yogurt Sauce
1 c. whole milk yogurt (Greek would be good)
1 clove of garlic mashed with a pinch of salt
a few drizzles of olive oil

This is good just the way it is, but of course you could doctor it up any way you choose. It would be great with a sprinkling of smoked spanish paprika (you can get it at Penzey's this stuff, kind of a secret ingredient you should have in your spice drawer!

Loved this next recipe. You could use a number of different ingredients. It even tastes great the next day.

Massaged Kale Salad
(Cookus Interuptus) link to fun video of this salad being made

1 bunch kale
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted (or Sweet Glazed Nuts
¼ cup diced red onion
1/3 cup currants
¾ cup diced apple, (½ apple)
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

De-stem kale by pulling leaf away from the stem. Wash leaves. Spin or pat dry. Stack leaves, rollup and cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade). Put kale in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, massage salt into kale with your hands for 2 minutes. To toast seeds, put in a dry skillet over low to medium heat and stir constantly for a few minutes until they change color and give off a nutty aroma.
Put kale in a fresh bowl and discard any leftover liquid. Stir onion, currants, apple and toasted seeds into kale. Dress with oil and vinegar and toss. Taste for salt and vinegar, adding more if necessary. When at desired flavor, toss in cheese.

Preparation time 15 minutes
Makes 6 servings

This is a quick saute we really like. In the recipe it calls for blanching the broccoli rabe...last time I made it I skipped that step and it worked just fine.

Broccoli Rabe Toasts with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Red Pepper
Adapted from Gourmet, April 2006

This has a lot of "bang for your buck" Just buy a bunch of broccoli rabe, put a pot of water on to boil, and all you have to worry about is your impending garlic breath. Especially good with a glass of red wine and maybe some manchego cheese :)

For the toasts:
A few slices, about 1/3 inch thick, from a long, crusty, country loaf
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, halved crosswise

For the broccoli rabe:
1 lb broccoli rabe, large stems discarded and the remainder coarsely chopped
3 Tbs good-quality olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes
3 Tbs water
¼ tsp salt

Preheat the broiler, and fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven about 2/3rds full of salted water. Bring it to a boil over high heat.

While the water is heating, prepare the toasts. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet, brush both sides of the bread with oil, and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Broil the bread about 4 inches from the heating element, turning the slices halfway through, until golden, about 3 minutes total. Gently rub both sides of the bread with the garlic. Discard the garlic, and set the toasts aside.

When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli rabe, and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli rabe into a colander, and press it gently to remove any excess water. Set it aside.

Wipe the pot clean, add the oil, and warm it over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Taking care to avoid hot oil splatters, add the broccoli rabe, water, and salt, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.

Divide the warm broccoli rabe over the toasts, and serve.

I got this next idea from my Brother Kevin. He was "flying solo" while Pam was away last week. He made this chicken in "strip" form and his kids loved it. Last night I made it for David with a side of fresh green beans. It took 30 min...and we got to enjoy a candle lit "date" on the deck.

No Recipe Recipe Dijon Panko Chicken with Lemon Garlic Green Beans

I did what Kevin said...pound some chicken breasts, coat them with dijon mustard and then dredge them in panko bread crumb (add some salt and some parmesan if you have it) Bake them in a hot oven for about 30 min. ( cut into to make sure the chicken is cooked through) it should be really juicy with a crisp crust.

While the chicken is cooking, wash and trim some fresh green beans. I put some olive oil in my cast iron skillet, threw in the beans. Right before they were done (crisp/tender) I tossed a couple cloves of garlic in the pan. Finish it off with some lemon zest, a sqeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Easy meal.

This is the pesto I had for the paninis. You can use it on pasta, or add to mayo for a nice kick on a sandwich.

Lemon Arugula Pesto Sauce

Lemon-Arugula Pesto Sauce
(by Reeni)

1/2 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1 and 1/2 cups Baby Arugula leaves
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive oil
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Toast the walnuts in a skillet on low for 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To the bowl of your food processor add the walnuts, garlic, arugula, and parsley. Pulse to chop.

Stream in the oil and lemon juice. Pulse constantly until nice and smooth.

Add cheese and pulse briefly to combine.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This month Shaklee is running a fabulous special for those of you who are not yet "members". Membership is FREE until June 30th with a 50 pv order. Contact me for details. Also ask me about a new benefit of membership I am offering members in my group. How would you like some one on one nutritional/cooking consultation? I can help you revamp your pantry and we can cook a few dishes together.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Family Time

June..."Dads and Grads". Last weekend my nephew Erik graduated from High School. My Brother Steve and his wife Sara put on a wonderful party to celebrate the event. Lots of friends and family...Steve smoked six turkeys, 500 buns were sliced, my Mom made her famous potato salad (secret recipe) but I'm sure she would share it with you, David and I made tons of asian pasta salad, buttermilk coleslaw (I have to give him credit for all of the chopping) and two luscious cakes that were gone in a flash. Sara did an incredible job orchestrating the event for over 200 people. Lots of love went into every detail. I think many people went home with tupperware containers of was like the "loaves and the fishes". It's times like these that we remember what is most important to us: family, friends and everyone coming together celebrate and honor each other. This weekend we will have the chance to say "thank you" to our Dads for the love and care they've given us. So...get together, it doesn't have to be elaborate...simple can be best.

Simple whole foods and top quality Shaklee nutrition is best for you, as well. Everyday we are making choices that affect our health. Choose wisely and it will pay off in your health and well being. A simple addition to a good diet is a balanced mulit-vitamin like Shaklee's wonderful Vita-Lea. The best of Shaklee science in one of the most comprehensive and balanced supplements you can buy, Vita-Lea® is specially formulated to provide you with 23 essential vitamins and minerals to promote overall health and vitality. Taken daily, Vita-Lea supports long-term colon, heart, and eye health, promotes strong bones and a healthy immune system, and provides protection against free radical damage. A superior formulation compared to other leading multivitamins.

2 times the calcium to support bone building and maintenance
of bone density

2 times the vitamin D to support calcium absorption and
healthy bones and teeth

2 times the beta carotene, the natural, plant-based form of
vitamin An E to promote immune, heart, and
cellular health

2 times the magnesium to help maintain heart rhythm, as
well as muscle and nerve function

3 times the vitamin K to support bone metabolism and
blood coagulation

6 times the boron to aid in the metabolism of vitamin D and
support bone development production

How about a grain that also packs a strong punch? We enjoyed this healthy salad made from can get it in most grocery stores...just ask if you can't find it. It cooks up in minutes. I usually make extra because it makes a good cereal...add some cinnamon, nuts, or berries and you have a protein rich breakfast.

Pronounced “KEEN-wah,” the ancient Incas called it the Mother Grain and they were definitely on to something good. Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and mineral, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. It contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Lemon & Feta

(The Kitchen

Excuse my over cooked tasted really good anyway :) Loved the combo...creamy, crunchy and tangy. "A winner" - the Abes

Serves 2 to 4

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more (to taste) for seasoning the salad
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon shredded parmigiano-reggiano
fresh cracked black pepper
1 large garlic clove, peeled and left whole
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled feta

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the quinoa, water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium size pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook (covered) for about 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Set aside.

While the quinoa cooks, spread the asparagus on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil, the shredded parmigiano, salt and pepper over the asparagus; toss to coat the spears evenly and spread the spears into one even layer. Place the garlic clove on top of the spears and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the asparagus is blistered in spots, but retains a bite. Allow the spears to cool slightly and slice into one-inch pieces. Mince the garlic.

While the asparagus roasts, whisk together the mustard and lemon juice in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk in the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper.

In the large bowl holding the vinaigrette, add the cooked quinoa, sliced asparagus, minced garlic and toasted almonds. Toss to distribute the vinaigrette throughout the quinoa. Taste for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper as needed. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the crumbled feta.

Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Here are a few pictures of simplicity. I've been preaching about how easy this bread is to make (see my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day post) Be "in charge" of what goes into your bread...three simple ingredients. No additives.

"Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts."
James Beard

Good bread, butter, radishes and salt. A simple pleasure!

Want something special to make for Dad? This is so can use whatever fruit is in season. We made this combo last weekend and loved it!!

Rhubarb Toasted Walnut Clafoutis ( what I used...but you can use almost any stone fruit or berry) Sounds fancy, but it's not. You can "jazz" it up with some whipped cream (try adding some honey or cinnamon to it) or a good vanilla ice cream.
(Adapted from Smitten

Serves at least six

Butter as needed
1/2 cup flour, more for dusting pan
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt
3/4 cup heavy cream (I used milk)
3/4 cup milk
Dash of flavoring, such as almond or vanilla extract, a liqueur or brandy (optional)
About 3 cups of fruit (sliced pears or apples or any kind of berry or pitted cherry)
Powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a gratin dish, about 9 by 5 by 2 inches, or a 10-inch round deep pie plate or porcelain dish, by smearing it with butter, just a teaspoon or so. Dust it with flour, rotating pan so flour sticks to all the butter; invert dish to get rid of excess.

2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add 1/2 cup flour, and whisk until smooth. Add granulated sugar and salt and whisk until combined. Add cream and milk and whisk until smooth.

3. Layer fruit over bottom of the dish. Pour batter over fruit to as close to top of dish as you dare; you may have a little leftover batter, depending on size of your dish. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until clafoutis is nicely browned on top and a knife inserted into it comes out clean. Sift some powdered sugar over it and serve warm or at room temperature. Clafoutis does not keep (not sure I agree with this); serve within a couple of hours of making it.

Cultivate a sense of purpose and surround yourself with positive people! Find the reason for which you get up in the's one of the secrets to a long and happy life. Incorporate good nutrition and Shaklee nutritional supplementation into your day. It can change your life. It has changed ours. Having a Shaklee business is a great way to find your purpose...we help people live healthier lives and find also give them the opportunity to build a strong financial future. I would love to show you how!
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