green goddess dressing

Green Goddess Dressing

My husband and I just returned from a relaxing and fun-filled weekend in San Francisco. We had a wonderful time discovering new restaurants and revisiting old favorites, wandering around the city, and watching the Italians and Kiwis race for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the right to face Oracle/Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup which is being held in San Francisco Bay. I’ll be posting more about our trip later, but I wanted to share this recipe first. Continue reading

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corn cakes with strawberry and tomato salsa

Corn Cakes wth Strawberry-Tomato Salsa

Thanks to the abundant sunshine, fertile soil, and cool coastal breezes, farmers up and down the state of California are able to grow a huge variety of crops, many of which are shipped all over the country. We are fortunate to live here in Southern California, where we have access to many of these locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of them, such as those featured in today’s recipe, are at their peak of flavor during the late spring to early summer.

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lobster rolls

For many Americans, Monday’s Labor Day holiday marks the unofficial end of summer. Don’t let these last carefree days quietly slip away without a proper send-off. Celebrate with a backyard party or a picnic at the beach or park. Keep it casual, yet festive by serving lobster rolls with corn on the cob, potato chips, and brownies for dessert. Doesn’t that sound like a perfect feast to mark the end of a fun-filled summer?

Lobster Rolls (sandwiches filled with sweet and succulent lobster meat) are most popular in the New England states — especially Maine, Connecticut and Eastern Long Island.  There are two ‘schools of thought’ when it comes to serving lobster rolls: warm or cold . . . In Connecticut, lobster rolls are served warm, with just a drizzle of butter.  In Maine and in Long Island, mayonnaise is either spread on the inside of the bread or mixed with the lobster by itself and in some cases with diced celery and herbs.

gougères with goat cheese and chives

Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow, and are a staple in my herb garden. They are hardy perennial plants from the same family as onions, leeks, and garlic. They grow in clumps with narrow, hollow leaves that reach about 6 to 12 inches in height.  In the spring, they produce a mass of beautiful, globe-shaped violet blossoms which, I learned recently, are also edible. I planted a couple of small plants about three years ago, and, since then, I’ve been spoiled with an abundant supply of chives all year round.

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bacon and zucchini tart

My zucchini plants are finally slowing down, and I think I’ve harvested the few remaining ones, so this will most likely be my last zucchini post for a while.  I never thought I’d cook as much zucchini as I have in the last couple of months and I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed them.  This tart is no exception.  While it’s great for breakfast, this savoury tart is also great for a light supper, with a salad. Of course, omitting the bacon and using low-fat milk instead of whole milk and heavy cream will reduce the calories and make for a healthier meal.
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zucchini blossoms

I love it when things work out!

Last weekend, Chris went camping and I was home alone.  I was too lazy to go to the grocery store, so I decided that I would make do all weekend with whatever food was already in the house. So for dinner that Friday, I had bacon, eggs and rice.  I love breakfast for dinner.  I sat in front of the television all night, watching the two Sex and the City movies.  FUN!!!  Not so fun was what happened on Saturday morning.  I turned on my computer and after a couple of seconds, the flashing folder with a question mark appeared.  Hhhhmm!  I’m home alone and no internet.  Bummer!!!  I’m still too lazy to go to the store so I’m determined to eat whatever is in the fridge or pantry.  I moped around for a bit and then went outside to check on my garden.  Lo and behold…overnight, the little zucchini plants have produced a whole bunch of blossoms.

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my urban vegetable garden


Chris & I devoted most of the last week of August working on our new garden.  Chris tilled and leveled the soil and removed some tree roots left by two huge trees in preparation for the placement of four new raised beds he built.  I had it fairly easy; I was in charge of  selecting, buying and planting all the vegetables and flowers.  I included flowers around the vegetables to add splashes of color amidst all of the green foliage.  I also transplanted all the herbs that were scattered around in different pots to a single raised herb bed.  Now most of my herbs – French tarragon, Greek oregano, Italian parsley, rosemary, sage, lemon thyme, and garlic chives are together.  I also have basil but I read that it is the perfect companion to tomatoes so I planted them together in a separate pot.  The basil is supposed to keep insects away and even enhance the flavor of the tomatoes.

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