What’s Better than Marinated Cheese!

Marinate Your Feta and Never Look Back

Marinate Your Feta and Never Look Back photo
Credit: Alex Lau

The quality of your cheese-eating life hasn’t reached its full potential. It’s time to start marinating your feta. Food director Carla Lalli Music always keeps a few Mason jars of the stuff in her home fridge to have on hand whenever she wants to schmear it on crackers or crusty bread, crumble it onto a salad or a soup, or stuff it into an omelet. You could say the quickie technique is her bread and, er, cheese. And it’s incredibly easy to pull off if you have a jar, a fridge, some olive oil, a few key ingredients, and five minutes.

If you’re ready for peak cheese, raise your hand—and watch the video below.


Super Bowl ~ Appetizer

antipasto-kabobs2 (1)

Thought this looked terrific for the Super Bowl!

Antipasto on a stick!


  • 1 – 7 oz container fresh or marinated mozzarella balls
  • 8 oz. sliced prosciutto
  • ½ lb. genoa salami, sliced thin
  • 1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 6 oz container of marinated olives – the type you find in the olive bars @gourmet grocery stores
  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce or arugula, buttery mache, whichever kind of leaf you like

If you want to drizzle them with olive oil and a little vinegar you can do that as well. Little tomatoes can be substituted for the red peppers or even added for more color.

Then just put them on the skewers arrange on a platter and enjoy the game! Can be prepared ahead of time covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated.  However allow them to come to room temperature before you serve them to get the best flavor from the cheese and prosciutto.


Roasted Cauliflower & Pepitos!

Well now that we are settling into the routine of 2016…..
I’ve received a request from a friend for more recipes. So here you go…. knowing we are all still trying to eat relatively healthy I found one I just love. Now I know you might be saying how can a vegetable be a warm, fuzzy, comfort food. This one is. Cauliflower gets such a bad rap. It’s actually quite versatile and because it absorbs the flavors you roast or cook it with it it  chameleon “esque” in its taste. I found this one courtesy of BonAppetit but have home tested it frequently.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves with tender stems for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


  • Preheat oven to 450°. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. oil. Trim cauliflower stalk and place head stalk side down on a cutting board. Slice cauliflower lengthwise into ½” slices. Arrange cauliflower slices and any stray pieces in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until underside is deeply browned, 20–25 minutes. Turn cauliflower over, season with salt and pepper, and continue to roast until other side is dark brown and crisp, 15–20 minutes longer.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium. Add pumpkin seeds, bring to a simmer, and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until pumpkin seeds are toasted and butter is browned and smells nutty, 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat and add red pepper flakes; let cool 10 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange cauliflower on a serving platter and drizzle with dressing. Serve topped with cilantro leaves. I use arugula instead of cilantro. But you could use parsley or any herb you like.

There you go Grayson!

Falls here….start cooking!

Short Rib Pot Pie Recipe

Short Rib Pot Pie ~

Servings: 8


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening or beef lard

filling and assembly

  • 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2” pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 10-oz. package frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 sprigs thyme, plus 2 Tbsp. chopped thyme
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
  • Heavy cream (for brushing)



  • Pulse flour and salt in a food processor; add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl and drizzle with ½ cup ice water. Mix with a fork until dough just comes together.
  • Knead dough lightly, adding more water by the tablespoonful if needed, until no dry spots remain (dough will be slightly shaggy but moist). Form into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
  • Do Ahead: Crust can be made 2 days ahead; keep chilled.

filling and assembly

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Season short ribs with kosher salt and pepper; toss with ½ cup flour on a rimmed baking sheet. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, shake excess flour from ribs and cook, turning occasionally, until deeply browned, 8–10 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add onions to same pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown; season with kosher salt and pepper and, using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic to pot, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until slightly darkened in color, 5–8 minutes. Add wine, rosemary, and thyme sprigs, bring to a boil, and cook, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is reduced by half, 8–10 minutes. Add 6 cups water to pot and bring to a boil.
  • Return short ribs to pot; season with kosher salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, until short ribs are almost falling apart and liquid is thick enough to lightly coat a spoon, 2½–3 hours.
  • Add onions and chopped thyme to pot and stir to break up short ribs; season filling with kosher salt and pepper. Remove herb sprigs.
  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about ⅛” thick. Transfer filling to a shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Place over filling and trim, leaving overhang. Tuck edges under and crimp. Cut a few slits in crust. Brush with cream and sprinkle with sea salt. Alternatively, you can use 8 individual dishes.
  • Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake pot pie until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, 50–60 minutes (35–40 minutes for smaller dishes). Let sit 5–10 minutes before serving.

Curry & Flat Bread

Flaky Bread Recipe

Recently called on the table by one of my dear friends for publishing a recipe that was not so user friendly….aka….it had more than one ingredient! Here is a go to small amount of ingredients recipe that produces such a lovely soft flat bread that is so worth it.

An unfloured surface provides some traction, so it’s easy to roll the dough very thin.


Servings: Makes 10

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more, room temperature, for brushing (about 10 )
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
  • Olive oil (for parchment)


  • Whisk kosher salt and 3 cups flour in a large bowl. Drizzle in melted butter; mix well. Gradually mix in ¾ cup water. Knead on a lightly floured surface until dough is shiny and very soft, about 5 minutes. Wrap in plastic; let rest in a warm spot at least 4 hours.
  • Divide dough into 10 pieces and, using your palm, roll into balls. Place balls on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 15 minutes.
  • Working with 1 piece at a time, roll out balls on an unfloured surface with a rolling pin into very thin rounds or ovals about 9” across. (If dough bounces back, cover with plastic and let rest a few minutes.)
  • Brush tops of rounds with room-temperature butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Roll up each round onto itself to create a long thin rope, then wind each rope around itself to create a tight coil.
  • Working with 1 coil at a time, roll out on an unfloured surface to 10” rounds no more than ⅛” thick. Stack as you go, separating with sheets of parchment brushed with oil.
  • Heat a large cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Working 1 at a time, brush both sides of a dough round with room-temperature butter and cook until lightly blistered and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer bread to a wire rack and sprinkle with sea salt.

I would serve this with a terrific curry. Here’s one I make with ground pork or turkey.


Ground Pork Curry with Garbanzo Beans


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 lbs ground pork or dark meat chicken or turkey

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 large onions, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons grated peeled ginger

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons curry powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

2 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken broth

5 ounces baby spinach

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems



Heat oil in a large heavy dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season meat and brown in the skillet. Add butter and onions to drippings in pot; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and golden brown, 10-15 minutes.


Stir in garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, curry and cayenne. Cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in chickpeas and 2 cups broth. Add more broth if needed to cover chicken about three-fourths of the way up. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes.


Add spinach to pot, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand until spinach is wilted, 5-7 minutes.


Stir yogurt into cooking liquid. Season with salt.


Savory Pie ~


Made this Chicken Sausage, Porcini Mushroom, Lentil pie last night with a Pecorino Cheese Crust………looked and tasted terrific!

How it started…..I had a busy day planned and it didn’t include a large chunk of time in the kitchen. But I really was feeling a savory pie. So while I was making the morning coffee I whipped out the food processor and made the crust in just a couple of minutes. Wrapped it in plastic wrap and popped it in the fridge for later that day.  While getting the dogs breakfast ready I put the lentils and the chicken sausage in a pot of chicken stock and simmered them together with a shallot for 25 minutes. Which was just enough time to get dressed before I went out the door.  Everything prepped for later in the day. Here’s the recipe. It’s so worth it.



1 cup lentils

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

2 chicken sausage fennel sausages

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 shallot

2 carrots, diced

1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup chopped parsley

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon sun dried tomatoes, chopped


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup (packed) coarsely grated Soft Pecorino cheese (about 3 ounces)



Add lentils to pot and cover lentils with chicken stock 1”. Add the two chicken fennel sausages, 1/2 t salt and a shallot; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain; set lentils and sausage aside. Or if you are prepping early pop it in the fridge.

Pour 1 cup of boiling chicken stock over porcini in medium bowl; soak 15 mins. Remove porcini from soaking liquid, chop coarsely. (Reserve soaking liquid.)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh mushrooms. Sauté 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, carrot, sage, and thyme. Sauté 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic; sauté 30 seconds.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Mix flour into vegetables; cook 1 minute. Add porcini soaking liquid and the remainder of the chicken stock.

Cover; simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes. Add lentils; season with salt and pepper. Place the filling in a pie dish or 4 individual large ramekins. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before topping with the pie crust.

Do ahead. Can be made 2 days in advance Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk; pulse until dough forms moist clumps. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll into a disc, cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 mins.
Roll out the dough on a flour service and place on top of the pie dish with the filling. Crimp the edges. Slit the top of the pie 4 or 5 times. Egg wash the top and sprinkle some sea salt on the crust.

Bake pie on baking sheet until tester the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remember the filling is already cooked. If the edges get too brown wrap them with foil 20 mins into the cooking.

The Artistry of Sweet!

Photo: Starting to think about those holiday gifts? Place your order with Kollar Chocolates today and we will get your items delivered just before Christmas for the freshest and tastiest chocolates!


One of my favorite choices for beautiful edible treats. I have long followed Kollar chocolates, not only are their creations artistically designed but they taste as wonderful as they look. From Bark to Truffles their chocolates are available in gift boxes and bags for shipping anywhere. Perfect hostess gifts and stocking stuffers!

Here’s the link to their store:


What to do with Fall’s bounty?

Bake a cake!

The beauty of this time of year… besides the kids heading back to school, the smell and feel of Fall in the air, the excitement of what the last beautiful months of the year always brings…..is the plethora of vegetables from all the summer gardens. Here’s a great recipe for all those zucchini’s you can’t possibly imagine what to do with. It’s great for lunch box treats or enjoyed with a cup of tea in the afternoon while reading a special book or warmed with a little scoop of ice cream right before you drift off to slumberous sleep!

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c vegtable oil
  • 1/2 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • Sifted icing sugar, to serve



  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and base-line an 8 inch round cake tin.
  2. Put the self-raising and whole wheat flours in a bowl and stir in the baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla extract and poppy seeds. Mix into the flour, then stir in the grated zucchinis. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan.
  4. To serve, dust with icing sugar. 

National Farmer’s Market Week!

If you haven’t had the visual and informative pleasure of reading a copy of Edible Silicon Valley….you are truly going to be pleasantly surprised when you do.  The artistry that is scripted in this publication embraces the love of all things food. From what is seasonally fresh, to where to find it and what recipe to prepare it in, the appealing pictures ignite the desire to prepare all the artisanal recipes. Providing the confidence for each aspiring evening chef with user friendly directions, you can enjoy all the bounty that this beautiful state provides…and not just high real estate prices.

“Edible Silicon Valley celebrates the local, sustainable food sources of the Silicon Valley area. Every season we serve up a combination of profiles, features, and recipes that illuminate the people who work so hard to bring this bounty to our tables. Intertwined throughout the magazine we include food as art through stunning photography and illustrations. Edible Silicon Valley is a feast for the eyes, the intellect and the palate.”

Here is a picture of the quarterly magazine that is available in print  form or on-line. I’ve provided the link below if you would like to subscribe to it. They also feature a newsletter and blog. Some local markets feature the publication. I know Roberts has it!


Buttermilk Pancakes & Berries!

Buttermilk pancakes with cinnamon summer berries - Brunch Recipes

Haven’t posted a recipe for a while…been swamped with wonderful clients….woke up to a foggy morning, a few hours until work and thought a nice breakfast with my family sounded heartwarming.  What’s better than buttermilk pancakes to soak up summer’s sweetness!

Berry Syrup:

1 lb of your favorite summer berries (I use blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t lemon zest
1T arrowroot
Juice of one orange

To make the summer-berry sauce, put the sugar, cinnamon and arrowroot in a saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the orange juice. Set over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to thicken. Add the berries, turn up the heat, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Set aside.

Buttermilk Pancakes:

3 T unsalted butter melted
2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t. kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
Vegetable oil for the griddle

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before the batter is evenly moistened. Add the cooled melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened (there will be lumps). Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle.

Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium heat until drops of water briefly dance on the surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the griddle. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned; then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve with the berry syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and a little creme fraiche! They are great with a few slices of Applewood Smoked Bacon.

Photo courtesy of Tara Fisher.