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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greek orzo salad with mustard-dill vinaigrette

Greek Orzo Salad with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette
This pasta is ideal for a potluck or picnic.  It will feed a large group and can sit out a bit at the buffet table.  But that’s not the only reason to make this Greek orzo salad.  It is easy to make and packs well for light, yet filling work day lunches.  It also makes a wonderful summer evening supper to be enjoyed outdoors, perhaps, with some crusty bread and a glass of wine.  Like many pasta salads, this one tastes better the next day, when all of the flavors have had a change to meld. Continue reading

eggs poached in chunky tomato sauce

eggs poached in chunky tomato sauce

There are many variations of this wonderfully filling and comforting dish. In its simplest form, eggs are poached in a flavorful tomato sauce. In Southern Italy, it is called Uova al Purgatorio, or Eggs in Purgatory (due to the appearance of the eggs cooking in a hot, bubbling sauce resembling flames in hell purgatory), and it is often made with parmesan cheese and basil served over bread, pasta, or polenta. In the Middle East, it is known as Shakshuka, and it is made with a spicier tomato sauce, crumbled feta cheese, peppers, and cumin and served with warm pita bread. The Turkish dish, Menemen, is similar, as the eggs are cooked with tomatoes, onions, and peppers in a single pan, but the eggs are almost always scrambled, instead of poached.

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chicken liver pâté


Liver, or any offal, for that matter, is a polarizing food – you either love it or you don’t. You may think of it as a gourmet delicacy or are completely turned off by it. As you can see, I am firmly in the LOVE IT camp. Today’s post is especially for those who are fans of chicken liver. If you’re not, come back in a couple of days and I’ll have an entirely organ-free recipe for you. As fans, you know that chicken liver, when prepared correctly, is quite delicious and tasty. And, although it is high in cholesterol, eaten in moderation it is nutritious as well, containing a lot of vitamins and minerals that are good for our teeth, bones, skin, and hair and nutrients that help support our immune systems. I’m not going to try to convince you to like liver; it isn’t for everyone. But for those of you who do, this is absolutely indulgent, so please try to practice moderation.

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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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Slow Roasted Tomatoes


Over the last week, I harvested over a pound of beautiful tomatoes, and I want to preserve  some of them for use later in the week.  Ignoring the stifling summer heat, I turned on my oven and roasted my tomatoes for close to 2 hours.  I was rewarded for my long, hot and sweaty wait with the sweetest, and arguably, the most intense tomato flavor I have ever tasted.  The slow roasting method really brought out the sweetness of the tomatoes, giving them a slightly caramelized, candy-like flavor.  Imagine how good it would be to squeeze the roasted garlic on a piece of crusty bread with a spoonful of roasted tomatoes garnished with sprigs of thyme.  Yummy!

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