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Rancho la Puerta Garbanzo Soup

my favoirte view

My abbreviated week at Rancho La Puerta, although short, was wonderful!

rancho la puerta

When Barb, Kim and I first went to “The Ranch” in 2008, I thoroughly enjoyed the week.

the bird and branch

This time, I really realized what a special and beautiful place it is. I’m not the only one who thinks so. Rancho La Puerta is one of the Top 10 Destination Spas of 2014 according to Conte Nast Traveler. Granted there are three Top 10 Spas that are closer, all right here in Arizona (Canyon Ranch and Miraval in Tucson and Mii Amo in Sedona)  but “The Ranch” is darn close too, only 45 miles south of San Diego, just across the US/Mexico border in Tecate.

dining hall

One of my favorite meals was a lunch consisting of garbanzo bean soup and roasted vegetable pita sandwiches. I tried to recreate the soup at home, I think I got pretty close.

yoga class

Along with the recipe, I’m sharing a few of the many (as in over 200) photos I took, including one at my daily yoga class above and another of Kim and my bedroom below.

linda and kims room

Thank you, Barb, for once again taking me along on another of your wonderful adventures. xox

broth and beans

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September 12, 2014   2 Comments

soup for my dad

Upstate Minestrone Soup

When I was cleaning my dad’s house last week, I came across a large envelope with a dozen copies of a page from a cookbook.

dads recipe

One of the recipes on the page was outlined. I decided to take a copy and make the soup for him for our Sunday supper.

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April 7, 2014   5 Comments

Q & A

The post entitled, “help me, help you,” received not only many thoughtful and inquisitive comments, which I was blatantly soliciting, but also several personal emails.

monet

There was a common theme that ran through them.

“What are your ‘must have’ items for a well-stocked Holiday/Entertaining pantry?”

“I need helpful Entertaining Tips.”

“Do you have tips for last-minute holiday entertaining?”

“I love your Thanksgiving Timeline, it has helped me year after year to stay on track. I know you host many parties, how about a Party Timeline?”

OK, you asked for it, you got it. Since Christmas is exactly one month from today (do not panic!) … I shall take on each of those topics/questions, over the next several days.

Today we shall tackle ….

freezer

The Well-Stocked “Entertaining” Pantry, Refrigerator & Freezer

Freezer

My #1 must-have is Frozen Pizza Dough. Obviously you can make mini-pizzas or foccacia, but an even easier option is to roll out, cut into thin strips, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan then bake. You now have warm delicious homemade bread sticks.

Next time you buy a Baguette, by an extra one. Slice, place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven. Cool and then throw into a freezer zip-lock bag. They are perfect for last-minute appetizers; crostini, bruschetta, added to a cheese plate, or topped with a savory purchased spread.

Puff Pastry. My freezer is never without this most versatile workhorse. It is like magic. To make sweet or savory tarts, all you have to do is roll it out, spread something on it, bake, and then slice. Puff Pastry is an appetizer base miracle worker that can be topped with virtually anything — any cooked chopped protein, cheese, vegetables, tapenade, or pesto – you name it.

Frozen Berries. At the ready for refreshing blended drinks or quick dessert with that puff pastry.

Nuts of all types. Storing nuts in the freezer is better than storing them in your pantry. The freezer prevents the natural nut oils from becoming rancid. They thaw in minutes. Healthy and convenient.

Shredded Cheese. When you have bits and pieces of cheddar, mozzarella, or jack cheese left; shred it and freeze. Now you’ll have it at the ready when you want to throw together that quick crostini or bruschetta with your frozen baguette slices.

Frozen Juice Cubes. Make juice cubes from leftover cranberry, orange, or apple juice, and lemonade for that matter; then drop a couple into champagne for an always festive and instant cocktail.

Selection of Frozen Hors d’oeuvres (you know I get mine at Trader Joe’s)

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November 25, 2013   4 Comments

the definition of summer

Can you tell that summer is weighing hot and heavy on my mind? The last few posts have been Gazpacho, Panzanella Salad, Peach Pizza, Baba Ghanoush, Mojitos, etc. 

I know that for many of you, summer does not begin until June 21 (actually June 20th is officially the first day of summer this year – don’t ask me why).  But here in the Arizona desert, summer hit on the first 100 degree day, which was April 21st this year.  Yes, a full two months before it’s “official”.  And yes, that sucks royally! Today’s forecasted high temp is 108 degrees! UGGGGG!!!

But I can’t deny that I do love summer foods; tomatoes, zucchini, peaches, plums, radishes, watermelon, cherries, cucumbers, eggplant, corn, basil, and, maybe most of all… berries! 

“Boo” to 100+ Degree Days!
“Hip Hip Hooray” for Summer Produce!

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May 21, 2012   3 Comments

walking and cooking

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for yours truly. First off, my sister and niece, Sloane and Raina, along with Marissa and I, are going to get up at the crack of dawn and drive to Tempe to participate in Pat’s Run. Pat’s Run honors American Hero, Pat Tillman and benefits The Pat Tillman Foundation which raises funds benefiting Tillman Military Scholars. If you don’t already know Pat Tillman’s story, you really need to learn about him!

After the run, (in all honesty we are walking, but walking fast!) Marissa and I will race home, pack up, and get ourselves to Berridge Nurseries on Camelback and 46th Streets for the Art in the Garden event that I will be cooking at, beginning at noon.  This is the recipe I’ll be making, I realize it may look a bit intimidating with 25+ ingredients, but the majority of those are vegetables, herbs, and olive oil, so give it a whirl. I hope you’ll stop by the event and say “hello”.

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April 15, 2011   1 Comment

Menu and Party Ideas

Wedding Taco Bar Recipes

These are recipes and stories from Cody and Chanté Howard’s amazing wedding weekend in northeastern Arizona over Mother’s Day Weekend in 2018. You may go to this LINK to see the complete taco bar with all the chopped toppings that are not included in this recipe list.

Photo courtesy of griffithimaging.com

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September 9, 2010   1 Comment

Arizona Cardinals and buffalo mozzarella

cardinals

It’s Football Season! Today is opening day and our Arizona Cardinals are at home vs. San Francisco. All I can say is, “GO CARDS!!!” Here are three quick and simple hors d’œuvres using buffalo mozzarella. Cow’s milk fresh mozzarella balls may be substituted. The Stacks can be served hot, cold or at room temperature. If serving cold or at room temperature, use Belgium endive spears to serve the stacks on. If heating, the stacks will be placed on toasted baguette slices. An important thing to pay attention to when preparing this recipe, try to buy zucchini and eggplant that are of similar in size when cut into rounds. Instead of cutting a large ball of mozzarella, brocconcini (tiny little mozzarella balls) may be used. You’ll notice that the baguette, eggplant, and zucchini are all sliced on a diagonal. This gives you a much large piece and better shape to work with, rather than cutting straight down into rounds.

The Prosciutto Picks couldn’t be easier or more convenient. They also may be served cold or at room temperature. Finally, the Meatballs are simply delicious! I like to roll half of them Parmesan cheese before baking and leave half plain, it makes for a more interesting presentation on the platter. You may dollop with purchased Marinara or with the same yummy tomato-pesto sauce used on the Parmesan Chicken recipe from the September 9 post from a couple days ago.

buffalo mozzarella hor d'oeuvre platter

buffalo mozzarella hor d'oeuvre platter

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Related Posts with Thumbnails

September 13, 2009   2 Comments