To Try: Jacques Pepin’s Mushroom & Gruyere Pizza

From “Jacques Pepin’s Heart & Soul in the Kitchen”

Serves 2 for lunch, 2-4 as an hors d’oeuvre

2 Tablespoons peanut oil
2 flour tortillas (8″ across)
1 cup diced (1/2″) Gruyere cheese (about 5 oz)
3 cups sliced (1″ pieces) portobello mushrooms (about 6 oz)2 scallions, cut into 1″ pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Rub 1 teaspoon of the oil on one side of each tortilla and arrange them oiled side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Combine the cheese, mushrooms, scallions, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until you have a coarse puree.  Spread the puree on the tortillas, covering the entire surface of each one.  Sprinkle the remaining 4 teaspoons oil on top.

Bake the pizzas for 12 to 14 minutes, until hot, bubbling, and browned underneath.  Cut into quarters and serve.

Published in: on July 13, 2016 at 2:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cauliflower Tots

Slightly adapted from the recipe at PureWow

Makes 4-6 appetizer or side-dish servings

50 minutes start-to-finish

Nonstick cooking spray, as needed (I used olive oil spray)
3 cups prepared cauliflower rice, cooled*
1 bunch scallions, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 egg + 1 egg white, lightly whisked
¾ cup panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it generously with nonstick spray.

2. Press the prepared cauliflower rice with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to absorb excess moisture. Transfer to a large bowl.

3. Add the scallions, parsley, cheese, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, egg and egg white; mix to combine. Add the bread crumbs and mix to combine.

4. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of the mixture and form it into a cylindrical shape. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. Spray the surface of the tots with nonstick spray.

5. Bake until they’re golden brown on the bottom, 17 to 20 minutes. Flip the tots and bake 5 to 10 minutes more to get the other side all golden. Serve immediately, with your favorite dipping sauce(s).

*Using a food processor with the grating disk, shred one medium-sized head of cauliflower.  Put into a bowl, cover, and microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Remove cover, pour onto a clean kitchen towel and let the cauliflower cool and pat away excess moisture with the towel.

Published in: on July 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm  Leave a Comment  


Spray a non-rimmed baking sheet* with non-stick spray or line with parchment.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Place triangular tortilla chips in a single layer with edges touching as much as possible in the center of the baking sheet.  Top with a mix of grated jack and cheddar.  Add any optional toppings of your choice:
taco-seasoned ground beef or chicken
Top with additional cheese and heat in the oven until the cheese is melted.
Remove from oven carefully – don’t let them slide off!
Slide the nachos off the baking sheet onto a plate.  Top as desired with sliced olives, green onions, salsa, cilantro, sour cream, avocado or guacamole, hot sauce…

*Airbake is one option:

Published in: on December 19, 2015 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Festive Feta Appetizer

From Sue Schorr, official accountant to Cheese Therapy, as featured in San Jose Mercury News, 7/19/15

Festive Feta Appetizer

Serves 4
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt, pepper to taste
One 4-5 ounce block feta
Balsamic vinegar, to taste

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or spray an ovenproof serving dish.

2. Toss onions and tomatoes with olives and extra-virgin olive oil. Add salt, pepper and oregano.

3. Remove feta from wrapper; place cheese block in the ovenproof dish. Pile the tomato mixture decoratively on top of the feta. Bake for 20 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve hot, with crackers, crostini or pita chips.

Published in: on August 1, 2015 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

No-Mayo Chicken Salad


Slightly adapted from a recipe by Meme Inge

10 oz. cooked chicken, chopped, then shredded with your fingers
1/2 cup celery, diced small
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp honey
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper {or black pepper}
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne
dash of nutmeg, optional
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Stir together the chicken and celery in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

Put the cottage cheese, lemon juice, honey, salt, white pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg {if using} in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until completely smooth, about 30-45 seconds. Add half the onion and process for about 10 seconds until the onion is incorporated.

Pour the cottage cheese mixture over the chicken & celery. Stir well until completely combined.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Taste and add extra lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or garlic powder if desired.

Great in a sandwich, on crackers, with raw veggies, on a bed of lettuce…


Published in: on July 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

The best way to cook frozen potstickers


Put about 6″ of water in a large pan and bring to a boil.

Add one bag of frozen potstickers (or as many as you want to cook), turn off the heat, and cover.

Let the potstickers sit in the hot water for 5-7 minutes until soft.  Pour gently into a collander to drain.  Pour about a teaspoon of canola oil onto a plate and set the potstickers, bottom side down, in the oil, sliding them around as necessary.  If you fill up the plate, get another plate – make sure they stay in one layer.  You can hold them at this stage at room temperature for about an hour.

Heat up a large frying pan over medium to medium-high heat.  Add a teaspoon or two of canola oil.  When the oil is hot, carefully add the potstickers, bottom side down, in a single layer.  They will not mind being crowded.  Fry until crispy brown on the bottom, about 10-15 minutes.  Keep an eye on them!  If your pan has hot spots you may need to rearrange a bit so everybody gets brown.

Drain on paper towels before serving if needed.


Published in: on June 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Watermelon & Feta Salad with Pine Nuts

My dear brother-in-law Mark Anderson Phillips served this as a salad course for one of the delicious dinners he made us this summer at our family cabin.

On each serving plate, place largish bite-sized pieces of perfectly cold, crisp watermelon.  (Mark cut his in triangles and it looked really nice.)

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Sprinkle with crumbled feta and toasted pine nuts.

Beautiful, refreshing and surprisingly delicious.

Friends have suggested their favorite additional ingredients for this salad, which include
basil chiffonade
lemon zest
lemon juice
chopped mint

I’ve tried them all except the olives and onions and find that so far I prefer the purist version.

Published in: on September 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Skillet Kale Chips


I just discovered you can make kale chips on the stove! It seems faster and easier than making them in the oven. Wash several large leaves of kale, remove leaves from stems in largish pieces, and place in a glass bowl with a lid. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Meanwhile drizzle a little olive oil in a wide non-stick skillet, trying to cover as much of the skillet as possible without using too much oil. When the microwave is done, remove the kale, shake off the water, and place the leaves in the skillet one at a time in a single layer, dragging them through the oil as needed so each leaf gets some oil. Sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring/turning the leaves occasionally, until as crisp as you like it.

To Try: Chorizo Poppers

From Just a Pinch, by jamie BeechamCook time: 10 Min  Prep time: 15 Min  Serves: 50


1/4 lb button mushrooms (more?)
150z ole mexican foods chorizo sausage
2 medium-sized jalapeno peppers
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
pinch of salt
2 packs of crescent rolls
olive oil
1. Clean and finely chop button mushrooms

2. drizzle some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
3. Sautee’ the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl
4. Open the chorizo sausage and remove from the casing
5. place in a skillet over medium heat and cook about 7 minutes
6. chop and dice fine the jalapeno peppers
7. In a mixing bowl place the cream cheese
8. Add in the mushrooms and peppers
9. When sausage is ready drain off the grease and add to the mixture and begin to mix by hand
10. I used my mini muffin pan, pinched off cresent roll and flattend place in pan and added a spoonfull of mixture, then pinched closed. It is ok that it comes out some.
11. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 7 to 8 min. being careful not to burn.

Jamie’s Chorizo Sausage Poppers

12. Remove from muffin tin as soon as they come out and place on a dish. Serve with sour cream or salsa. Maybe both

Published in: on December 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Chicken Meatballs

from Melissa d’Arabian, $10 dinners
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3/4 pound), rinsed and patted dry, sliced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 bacon strip
  • 3 slices sandwich bread, roughly torn into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 13 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling over the meatballs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)

Place the chicken and the bacon on a plate and freeze to chill for 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the bread, chili powder, cayenne, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have fine bread crumbs. Divide the bread crumbs between two medium bowls. Set one bowl aside and stir the milk into the bread crumbs in the other bowl.

Add half the chilled chicken and all of the bacon to the food processor and pulse to combine into a rough mixture. Add the milk-and-bread-crumb mixture to the food processor along with the egg, onion, garlic, and Parmesan and process until very well combined (the mixture will be almost creamy). Add the remaining chilled chicken cubes to the food processor and pulse just to combine. The mixture will be semi-smooth with small chunks of chicken. Using a 1-inch small scoop, divide the mixture into about 30 small meatballs. Place the meatballs on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the freezer and roll the meatballs through the reserved bread crumbs to lightly and evenly coat the surface. Return the meatballs to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the broiler to high. Drizzle the meatballs with the oil and broil until they’re cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with Parmesan and the parsley (if using), rest for 5 minutes, and serve.

Published in: on December 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm  Leave a Comment