Pickling Vegetables

• August 31st, 2014 •

I finally got everything together to start pickling vegetables. I went through the garden, the farmers market and finished off at the grocery store, came home and dove in! The fun thing about this recipe is that you can use any veggies you have. I initially wanted to add cauliflower, but at $3.99 a pound, I decided no. So, I ended up with (more…)

The Best Pico De Gallo

• August 6th, 2014 •

Yesterday I made the best pico de gallo ever! I have made it many times but never with ingredients from my own garden and that, my friends, is the difference. It was fresh, spicy and a burst of flavor with each bite. You know, sometimes the universe is right on and (more…)

Spring Rolls

• July 21st, 2014 •

I cooked Chinese Food last night for some new friends and made spring rolls for an appetizer. A friend from California taught me the basics and now I make them with different ingredients depending on my mood and what I have available. (more…)

Summertime Breeze

• July 10th, 2014 •

Summer has arrived in Spearfish. The days are warm and the nights are cool. We had good friends over on Sunday and the men immediately headed for Cabelas.  Melinda and I headed for the kitchen to create a refreshing drink without a lot of calories or sugar. We created the best drink and called it summertime breeze. That’s exactly what it tastes like, (more…)

Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche

• November 14th, 2013 •

First of all I have to confess that I love all quiches, but my favorite are little mini quiches. A friend of mine served a sun dried tomato and goat cheese quiche a few weeks ago and I knew it would become a favorite. Of course, I tweaked an already perfect recipe to make it my own. All cooks do it. We can’t help but (more…)


• August 9th, 2012 •

One of my most favorite foods in the whole world, and I do mean the whole world, is polenta. Any shape, any form, any topping. I love soft and creamy polenta, I love it fried, I love it grilled, and I can put just about anything on top of it to create a masterpiece. Polenta is so versatile, it can be made into a homespun classic or (more…)

Tomato Martini

• May 29th, 2012 •

I had the opportunity this weekend to experiment with some fun recipes and share them with friends. I wanted to celebrate the summer and its bounty, while giving an old classic a twist. I decided on a martini because it was my mother’s favorite drink and she was on my mind. The twist to this old classic was to make it a tomato martini with the vodka being optional. Then I gave the olive a twist too by stuffing it with blue cheese and frying it. Why not…right?

This drink would be great for a brunch as well and it can be served without vodka if you like. You can add Tabasco and make it spicy too.  The key to the tomato martini success is vine ripe tomatoes. The olives make a great appetizer on their own and can be stuffed with any kind of cheese you like.

Unfortunately, I was so into stuffing and frying my olives that I forgot to take photos of the process. I only have the end result. But, not to worry, they were so popular, I will post them sometime this week when I make them again. Sorry friends.

fresh roma tomatoes



The Ingredients:

  • vine ripe tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vodka (optional)






tomato pulp

Cut the tomatoes into cubes and mash them with the back of a spatula through a fine strainer. You can quicken this process up by putting the tomatoes in a blender for a minute to break them up more.
straining tomato water




Here is the tomato water or pulp. Season it with slat and pepper. If you want it spicy, add a few drops of Tabasco.




tomato water

Here is the tomato water ready to be refrigerated. Chill it in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.


tomato martini

Chill a martini glass and fill with 1/4 cup of tomato water. Add vodka to taste and garnish with a fried olive.



Here is the finished tomato martini. Yummy!

Burrata Crostini

• May 21st, 2012 •

My cousin, Monique, came over for dinner last night, so I decided to go to Claros, my favorite Italian grocery store. If you live in So. Cal., you must go to a Claros market. The aroma of garlic, cold cuts, and basil fill your being when you walk in. It is a spiritual experience. Really, it is. So as I meandered (more…)

Caesar Salad

• May 11th, 2012 •

As summer approaches in California, I crave salads. Well, not really. But I do tend to eat more of them as the weather warms. I am always on the lookout for new and creative ways to serve salads. I like to add interesting ingredients or give them a twist like the Greek Salad Rolls. One of my all time favorite salads (more…)

Greek Salad

• March 22nd, 2012 •

I make a Greek salad at least once a week. My husband could eat it everyday, of that I am convinced! This is not really a recipe for Greek Salad, but rather a metamorphosis of a Greek salad. I got tired of the same old thing last week and decided to reinvent it. I decided to turn the salad into an appetizer. I wanted it to be easy, fun and delicious. It turned out great! I am going to keep this one in the back of my mind for parties, especially in the summer when it’s hot.  This is also a great project for children. You can do all the chopping, and they can measure, mix and roll!

There is something about Mediterranean food that is just plain comforting to me.  (more…)