Potato Chips and Chocolate

When I first saw this recipe, I really could not believe it.... potato chips and chocolate! Have I died and gone to heaven? Well, maybe if they could erase the bloating and weight gain, then yes!

Sadly, this is one of the dishes that you'll have to enjoy in moderation (darn it!) Still, when you've had the week that I had... it is totally worth it! There is always another day for dieting.

In the meantime, console yourself with the fact that dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, which means this is good for you!


9 oz. kettle-cooked plain potato chips
4 oz. dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 t. vegetable oil
1/2 c. chopped pistachio nuts
1/2 T. coarse kosher salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper


Combine the chocolate and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Nuke on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is melted. Stir.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.

Dip the potato chips into the chocolate mixture, one at a time, and then set onto the lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle with the nuts, salt and/or cayenne pepper.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm.

Do I need to tell you, its ready for eating and enjoying?


Olive Crostini

This is our middle sister, Jeanette's, "famous" Olive Crostini recipe. We've been enjoying this tasty, easy appetizer for years - at every holiday, party and even just casual gatherings. Trust me, once you make it for the first time, it will be a reliable stand-by for you in years to come.


1/3 c. black olives (pitted)
1/2 c. green olives with pimento
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
4 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 c. fresh chopped parsley
1 fresh baguette


In a food processor, chop both types of olives coarsely. Put into a medium bowl and set aside. With the food processor running, drop the garlic through the feed tube and mince. Add Parmesan cheese, butter and olive oil. Process the ingredients into a paste.

Add paste to olives, then fold in Monterey Jack cheese and parsley. Stir together.

Preheat oven to broil.

Cut baguette into 1/4 inch thick slices. Spread with olive mixture. Broil until bubbly and browned (about 3-5 minutes - watch very carefully so you don't burn them!)

Serve warm. Oh my goodness - who doesn't love olives? This is such an easy, delicious appetizer recipe. Enjoy and please do share in the comments below if you try it!


BLT Smashed Potatoes

I will say right now that this is the best potato recipe you'll ever taste. BLT Smashed Potatoes are easy and super delicious. After you whip this together a few times, you won't even need to consult the directions. In my book, that is a perfect recipe!

I even found a way to serve this to my vegetarian friends (alterations below). Potatoes are a great side dish for many meats and burgers. Since I don't care whether or not I have substantial protein at each meal, I'm happy to enjoy this dish as my meal.


1/2 pound bacon
1 bunch fresh leeks, washed and diced
1 fresh tomato, diced (alternatively, one 9 oz. jar dried tomatoes, chopped)
1 T. butter
1-2 pounds red potatoes
salt and pepper to taste


Wash leeks well, separating stalks to make sure to get all grainy sand rinsed out. Dice leeks, then saute over medium heat in butter.

Meanwhile, wash and chop the red potatoes. Steam in a colander, covered, over medium-high heat, for 5-8 minutes, until tender.

While potatoes are steaming, cook bacon. I prefer to line a baking sheet with foil and and then cook at 400 degrees in the oven. You can also fry in a large saucepan over high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Crumble when finished.

After the potatoes are cooked, drain and put into a serving bowl. Add sauteed leeks, chopped tomato and crumbled bacon.

When I made this for a vegetarian couple, I substituted bacon with dried tomatoes. You get just as much flavor, with lower fat and calories.

This recipe is an easy, family favorite. Try it a few times and before long, it will be a staple dish in your home.


Sea Bass with Mustard Champagne Sauce

Most of us could stand to eat less meat and more fish and vegetables. Cold water catches like Sea Bass are delicious and high in nutrients like zinc and Omega-3s. Conversely, they are low in fat, yet satisfying due to their high protein content.

Recently, people have been concerned about the safety of eating large amounts of fish due to mercury levels. While Sea Bass is not exempt from the warnings, it is relatively low in mercury levels, compared to swordfish and halibut (see the attached FDA webpage). Like all good things, be sure to enjoy in moderation!

Sea Bass with Mustard Champagne Sauce is a delicious meal that can make any evening feel special.


6 sea bass fillets
3 T. freshly chopped shallots
1 c. champagne or sparkling white wine
2 T. Dijon mustard
3 T. butter
1 T flour
1 c. half and half
1 lemon
Salt and pepper


In a 13X9 baking dish, spray with olive oil cooking spray. Add chopped shallots in a single layer. Place the sea bass fillets in the dish, then add salt and pepper.

Dot the fillets with butter. Pour the champagne over the top and cover loosely with foil (dull side up). Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the fillets and place on a large serving platter. Reserve the liquid in the dish!

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add the flour. Stir for 10-15 seconds, then add the liquid from the baking dish. Whisk in the cream and mustard. Reduce sauce to desired consistency. Add juice of one lemon (roll lemon on counter first, cut in half and squeeze into pan). Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over the sea bass fillets and serve! Garnish with additional slices of lemon and fresh parsley if you wish.

Excellent with delicate salad greens and wild rice.


Tasty Apple Crisp

So, I know its not fall, but I just have to share my favorite Tasty Apple Crisp recipe. We made this last night and brought it over to a friend's house for dessert.

Given that you can get good quality apples year-round, who wouldn't want to enjoy a bowl of apple crisp, with fresh whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream?

Be sure to pick the best apples for baking, however. Red Delicious are great for snaking, but not so tasty in apple crisp.

Your better choices include: Jonathan apples, Rome Beauty, Winesap or Golden Delicious. For apple crisps and pies, tart varieties work best!


2 pounds fresh apples (about 8-9 apples), peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 lemon
1/2 c. butter (one stick - works best), plus 1/2 T. butter
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


Peel, core and slice the apples and place into a large bowl

Roll lemon on the countertop, slice in half and squeeze over sliced apples (careful not to get seeds in the bowl!)

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to apples and stir well.

Take a 13x9 inch pyrex baking dish and grease with 1/2 T. butter

Pour apples into the dish and spread in a single layer

In a medium bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, oats and chopped nuts. Take 1/2 c. (one stick butter) and, using a pastry knife or fork, combine until crumbly. **NOTE: some people prefer to melt the butter and then add to the flour mixture.

Sprinkle the flour/oat mixture over the top of the apples.

Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes.

Did I mention how great this tastes with vanilla bean ice cream? Dig in!


Shrimp With Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

With swimsuit season around the corner, you may be thinking about cutting back. Trust me, its no fun eating rabbit food and rice cakes all the time.

That's why I love Shrimp With Tomatoes and Feta Cheese for dinner instead. For under 300 calories a serving, this flavorful protein-rich dinner will keep you from dangerous evening snacking later!


1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (not bay shrimp)
2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz. each)
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. fresh chopped parsley
1 t. fresh minced dill
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3/4 c. crumbled feta cheese


In an oven safe skillet, saute onions in olive oil for about three minutes on the stovetop (over medium heat). Add minced garlic and saute for another minute or two. Stir in 2 cans of tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 7-8 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in fresh herbs and shrimp. Add salt, pepper and feta cheese.

Place in preheated 425 oven and bake 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy on its own, or over whole grain rice or pasta. "Dieting" never tasted so good!


Fettuccine with Peas and Ham

On the go all the time with your family? Join the club! But please drive right past the fast food outlet.

There's something better: Fettuccine with Peas and Ham! This is a super fast recipe that takes less than 2o minutes to get on the table. And the taste puts Big Macs to shame.

Think Fettuccine is too heavy? This one is less than 400 calories per serving!


1 package fresh fettuccine pasta (9-10 oz.)
1 T. butter (don't use margarine -butter is fresher and better tasting)
1 clove minced fresh garlic (you can use 1 t. bottled minced garlic in a pinch)
1 c. frozen green peas (substitute fresh peas in the summer)
3/4 c. sliced mushrooms
2/3 c. half and half
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1 c. thinly sliced ham - cut into 1/4 inch strips


Cook the pasta, per the package directions and drain. Set aside

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add peas, mushrooms, cream, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring the entire time. Do not bring to a boil. Turn off heat.

Stir in pasta and ham. Serve!

This recipe makes enough for a family of 4 (over 1 cup per serving). We serve fresh greens with balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the side.


Blueberry Granita

Early summer is here on the High Desert. Its been in the 80s this week, which gets me in the mood for Blueberry Granita. Such a perfect dessert recipe because you can make it 24 hours ahead.

Don't worry, it sounds like much more work than it is. And if blueberries aren't your thing, feel free to replace with raspberries, blackberries, or the like.


For the Granita:
2 quarts blueberries (or other fresh berries)
1 1/2 c. water (divided)
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3 T. fresh lemon juice

For the Compote:
2 c. sliced strawberries (divided)
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
1 piece lemon rind (about 2 inches thick)
3/4 c. blueberries (again, replace with other berries above if you aren't going blue)
1 t. fresh lemon juice


Make the granita first, by placing berries in a food processor or blender and processing until smooth (1-2 minutes). Slowly add 1 c. water and continue processing.

Strain the berry mixture through a sieve and discard solid pieces.

Combine 1/2 c. water and 3/4 c. sugar in a saucepan over high heat on the stove. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Take the mixture and add 3 T. lemon juice with berry mixture from above. Pour into a 13 x 9 glass baking dish and allow to cool. Freeze for 2 hours, then flake with a fork. Return to freezer and repeat flaking and re-freezing every 30 minutes for 2 hours. Cover and freeze one more time for 1 hour.

Prepare compote by placing 1 c. strawberries in a food processor or blender and processing until smooth. As above, strain through a sieve and discard solids.

Combine 1/2 c. water, 1/3 c. sugar and lemon rind in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute tand then remove from heat. Take out rind and discard.

Add strawberries puree, quartered strawberries, blueberries and 1 t. lemon juice to the saucepan. Stir and then let cool.

To serve... spoon compote into 8 bowls and then top with granita.

This is a wonderful, practically non-fat dessert for under 200 calories!


Honey and Balsamic Glazed Chicken

This post is in honor of my son, who happened to be watching the Food Network while I was having a pedicure last weekend. He asked me to make Honey and Balsamic Glazed Chicken, but I missed the show (admittedly, I was reading the latest Oprah magazine, instead).

So, we had to improvise a bit. Fortunately, my son agrees that my recipe tastes as good as he imagined it would be!

Ahhh... what a good boy. Try this and see if you agree!


4 boneless chicken breasts
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1 T. fresh chopped thyme
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. honey


1. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper and thyme.

2. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken about 4 minutes on each side, turning once. Remove chicken and keep warm.

3. Add balsamic vinegar and honey to pan and simmer 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat until glaze thickens.

4. Pour glaze over chicken and enjoy!

You can use this glaze for salmon or pork, as well. Its so versatile and delicious!


Homemade French Fries

Wondering what to serve with your grilling recipes this summer? My family loves homemade french fries! Perfect for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or any fun gathering, seasoned fries like these are a tasty addition to burgers, chicken, fruit salad, etc.

Step away from the freezer. You don't need those stale, tasteless potatoes to ruin your meal. Come on - these homemade fries are the perfect accompaniment for your delicious recipes. And they're so easy. Since they are not deep fried, they are so much healthier too.


2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2"-1/4" inch strips
1 1/2 T. vegetable oil
1 t. kosher salt
1/8 t. freshly ground pepper
1/8 t. red pepper flakes (if desired)
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 paprika
1/4 t. seasoning salt
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese (if desired)


Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir well.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and crispy.

If you watch your serving size (these directions make 4 servings), you'll add only 200 calories to your main dish (compare with 250 calories for a small fry helping at McDonald's)!

Where will you eat your homemade french fries this year?


Chicken and Mandarin Oranges

Quick! Its almost dinnertime! What are you going to serve tonight? Why not Chicken and Mandarin Oranges? No, really... its not too much work (though it tastes like you spent much more than the 20 minutes it will take you from start to finish.

Take a "wok" on the wild side, or use an ordinary non-stick skillet. You'll see why this Asian-inspired chicken recipe is a family favorite at our house!

Amazingly, this recipe is less than 400 calories per serving (serves 4) That means its a double bonus recipe: fast AND low-calorie!


1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (4 breasts, sliced into smaller tender pieces)
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. butter
2 t. olive oil
1/2 c. orange marmalade
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. lemon juice (slice 1/2 lemon and squeeze the juice, carefully catching and removing seeds)
1/2 t. dry yellow mustard
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1 can (7 oz) mandarin oranges


1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat butter and olive oil in a wok, or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side, until browned. Leave in pan, but turn off heat until third step.

2. In a medium bowl, combine marmalade, cornstarch, lemon juice and mustard with a whisk. Stir in mandarin oranges.

3. Add orange mixture to chicken, and simmer over low heat about 5-6 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Sprinkle with chopped green onions

Serve with white or brown rice, seasoned with 1/2 c. each sliced green onions and chopped cashews. Or, serve over cooked and drained rice pasta noodles.


Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops

Nothing says summer like grilling season! Trust me, your neighbors will certainly drop by when the smell the aroma of Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops coming from your backyard. The sweetness of bourbon and honey has never met a chop it didn't like! First, it serves as a marinade, and then after bringing to a boil, its a luscious sauce.

Add some fresh peaches, and you're that much closer to heaven.


4 boneless pork chops, trimmed
1/3 c. bourbon
1/4 c. honey
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. vegetable oil
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
2 fresh peaches, pitted and cut in half


Combine bourbon, honey, soy sauce, oil, ginger, red and black pepper. Wash and pat dry pork chops. Add to a large freezer Ziploc bag and pour marinade in, add peaches. Combine well, lock bag and set aside.

Pre-heat your grill to medium high heat (or you can use a nonstick grill pan indoors), spray with cooking spray. Grill the pork about 4 minutes each side. Grill the peaches about 4 minutes total.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Spoon marinade over the grilled pork and peaches.

Did I already say "heaven?" Unbelievably delicious!


Lemon Souffle Pancakes and Blueberry Syrup

Its the weekend! That means leisurely breakfasts and an extra cup of coffee.

Don't go out for brunch on Sunday... make Lemon Souffle Pancakes and Blueberry Syrup. I think I originally saw this recipe in Sunset magazine. The souffle part comes from the extra step of beating the egg whites and folding them into the pancake mixture. Instead of heavy, dense pancakes, you get heavenly light, lemon-y bites!

We've tweaked the original recipe a bit to make the lemon taste stand out. Its even better if you have your own lemons, but if you aren't so fortunate, just pick fresh citrus from a local fruit stand, if possible.


2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. fresh blueberries
1 fresh lemon (For a sweeter taste, pick a Meyer Lemon): from this you will need 1 T. grated lemon peel and 3-4 T. lemon juice
2 eggs (separate yolk from whites - you need both parts)
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
4 T. melted butter (divided)
1 c. maple syrup

For another interesting breakfast idea, check out this White Chocolate and Blueberry Pancake recipe!


In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together and set aside.

Take the lemon and roll it gently on the counter, pressing firmly on the top. This will help release the juices. Before juicing the lemon, use a small grater and peel 1 tablespoon of the zest. Reserve. Cut lemon in half and use a juicer (or you can just squeeze over a small bowl) to get several tablespoons of juice.

Now, mix together the zest, lemon juice, egg yolks, buttermilk and 2 T. butter, melted.

In a deep mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer on high speed until stiff.

Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Fold in egg whites.

Preheat a griddle to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray or butter to grease beforehand. Pour batter, 1/4 c. at a time into portions. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Watch carefully!

Over medium-low heat, combine 2 T. butter, maple syrup and blueberries. Heat about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve blueberry syrup with lemon souffle pancakes and enjoy!


Mediterranean Vegetables

If you love stir-fried vegetables, you'll enjoy Mediterranean Vegetables even more! This recipe is made on your stove top and is delicious as a side-dish, or stirred into cooked pasta for a great, low-calorie vegetarian meal. This will make about 6 servings.

With spring in the air, people are starting to plant their gardens. Just harvest your fresh veggies and herbs, then stir this up. So easy, fresh and delicious.


2 c. sliced zucchini
2 c. sliced sweet peppers (green, yellow and/or red)
2 c. chopped broccoli
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 T. chopped fresh basil and/or fresh oregano
1/4 t. fresh ground pepper
1/4 c. chicken broth
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
salt to taste


In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine zucchini, peppers, broccoli, garlic, herbs, pepper and broth. Bring to boiling, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in tomatoes at the end. Salt to taste.

For a main dish, add to 2 c. cooked pasta (I prefer whole wheat), add 1-2 T. olive oil and 1/4 c. fresh shredded Parmesan cheese. Hot, for a main dish; cold for a great tasting pasta salad.

Don't you just love fresh veggies?


Beef Tenderloin

If beef is the answer for: "what's for dinner tonight", then you'll love this recipe! I really enjoy cooking a big "meat" meal -- especially on the weekends. It is so wonderful as the smells waft through the house and coax everyone downstairs to taste what's cookin'.

This recipe is from my chef neighbor's recipe box. It's delicious and wonderful to serve the family or company!


1/2 cup olive oil,
1 bunch chopped flat leaf parsley (leaves and thin stems only),
5-6 fresh garlic cloves-minced
1 tsp black pepper

Mix together and then pour over/rub a 2 pound beef tenderloin cut at least 24 hours before cooking. Cover and refrigerate.

Cooking Directions:

Remove beef from the mixture and scrape off most of the garlic.

Salt meat generously (about 1 T per whole tenderloin).

Place in roasting pan on the rack. Heat oven to 400 degrees and then roast tenderloin for about 25 min. Check temp with meat thermometer (145-150 degrees for med. rare). Continue to roast, checking every 5 min. until desired temperature is reached.

NOTE: If the meat has not browned enough on the outside, you can broil it for a couple of min. to crisp it right before you take it out of the oven.

Remove from roasting pan and place on cutting board that can catch juices. Let stand, covered with foil for about 15 min. before carving. Then carve into 1 inch slices and serve.

Collect all the "jus" and put in a pitcher on the table to pour over the tenderloin. Serve with roasted vegetables and salad. Delicious!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

OK, admittedly, Baked Macaroni and Cheese is not low-calorie (or even low-fat), but when you are craving comfort food, those kind of considerations go out the window. With spring in the air, you cannot tell whether it will be 40 degrees or 80!

On cooler days, I like to surprise my family with a hearty meal after baseball practice, or just a long day at school. For adults, this is a super way to take a little trip back down memory lane. Maybe just skip dessert afterwards!

If you are following a vegetarian diet, then put this one in the recipe book. Other than the hottest couple of months during summer, you can make this dish year round.


1 c. smoked cheddar cheese (in Oregon, we love Tillamook), shredded
1 c. heavy cream (not half and half, please read the labels!)
3 whole shallots, roasted
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. white wine
1/2 t. fresh chopped thyme
3 cloves garlic, roasted
1 tomato, roasted
1 c. cooked elbow or penne pasta
1/4 c. bread crumbs with herbs
salt and pepper to taste


First, roast shallots by combining them with 2 T. olive oil, 1/4 c. white wine and 1/2 t. fresh chopped thyme, then cover with foil and roast on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

You'll also need to roast the tomatoes and garlic. This will take two steps. The tomatoes can be done in 15 minutes after cutting it into quarters and coating with a bit of olive oil. Roast at 350 for 1/4 hour. Garlic will take a bit longer - coat with olive oil, salt and pepper then cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350.

All your hard roasting work is about to pay off.

Bring the heavy cream to a boil, slowly over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the garlic, shallots and pre-cooked pasta. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Turn down heat to low and add cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Later, stir in tomato.

Pour into an oven-safe dish and sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Cook for only 8 minutes at 350 until browned.

Dig in and enjoy!


Easy Corn Salad

10 minutes to a fresh, homemade salad? Not impossible! And this one does not involve ripping open a bag of pre-washed lettuce. Easy Corn Salad is a great accompaniment to grilled entrees and practically screams sunshine. We enjoy this corn salad from April through October.

This recipe serves 4, so I often double it for larger crowds.


2 c. corn kernels (you can either cut from pre-cooked corn on the cob, or use frozen corn in a pinch)
1 c. chopped zucchini
1/2 c. diced red bell pepper, and/or chopped grape tomatoes
1/2 c. minced green onions
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. granulated sugar
1 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
1/4 t. hot sauce (if desired)


In a serving bowl, mix together corn, zucchini, red peppers (or tomatoes) and green onions.

Stir dressing together in a separate medium-sized bowl with remaining ingredients.

Pour over vegetables, mix well and serve.

TIP: In order to allow the flavors to marinate, add dressing to salad about 1/2 hour before serving and refrigerate. Stir again, and serve.


Asian Fusion Turkey Wraps

Asian Fusion is a hot new cuisine trend. But you don't need to shell out big bucks at a fancy restaurant. In fact, you don't even need to wait until dinner to enjoy the flavors of the Far East. With Asian Fusion Turkey Wraps, lunchtime can be tasty, low-fat AND a bit exotic.

Plus, this recipe is less than 200 calories per serving. With summer fast approaching, this is a great break from your rice cakes.


2 c. cooked, shredded turkey
2 c. shredded cabbage
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
2 T. fresh mint, chopped
2 stalks green onion, minced
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. rice vinegar
2 T. soy sauce (low sodium is best)
1 1/2 t. sesame oil
1/4 c. canola oil
pinch granulated sugar or 1 packet of sweetener
6 8-inch flour tortillas


In a medium bowl, mix together turkey, cabbage, herbs and green onions. Set aside.

Make the dressing in a small bowl, whisking together mustard, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Add a small pinch of granulated sugar (my secret is a packet of Splenda instead). Slowly add the canola oil, whisking into the other ingredients until well-blended.

Pour the dressing over the turkey mixture and stir to combine.

Take each tortilla and add 1-2 spoonfuls of the turkey salad in the center. Fold the bottom up first, then fold each side in. Cut in half and serve! (Serving is 2 halves).

In true fusion form, feel free to experiment with new tastes that inspire you the most. Replace the turkey with shredded carrots and soy if you prefer vegetarian wraps instead.

Fuse your way to a slender figure, without giving up a tasty, satisfying meal!


Healthy Whole Wheat Spaghetti

As a diabetic, I'm always looking for healthy recipes that are tasty too. This Whole Wheat Spaghetti dish is quick, easy and vegetarian, as well. Whatever your health condition, it may be a perfect meal for you!

This recipe makes 4 servings and includes about 50 grams carbs each. The good thing about whole wheat pasta is that it will not spike your blood sugar, and will help keep it even over several hours after your meal.

Plus, the whole wheat will help keep you satisfied for hours. You'll be less likely to snack and "cheat" on your diet. All around, great news!


1 box (13 oz) whole wheat blend pasta (spaghetti noodles recommended)
2 T. olive oil
2 T. garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, minced
2 peppers (your choice: red, yellow and/or green)
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste


Heat 5 quarts water to a rapid boil. Add pasta and cook for 10-11 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.

Meanwhile, take a medium saute pan and heat olive oil. Saute garlic, onion, peppers and/or mushrooms for 3-4 minutes.

Pour mixture over pasta and stir.

Serve with fresh greens. Delicious and nutritious!


Breaded Grilled Salmon

For many people, Friday means fish. Especially today, which is Good Friday for Christians. My kids love this recipe for Breaded Grilled Salmon, even though fresh fish is not normally at the top of the list of their favorite foods.

If you love other meats, you can easily transform this recipe for pork, chicken and even beef. Its faster than a marinade, but adds some great flavor.

I like to refer to it as "poor man's shake and bake."


2 salmon filets (skin on is fine)
2 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. seasoning salt
1/4 c. olive oil


In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and seasoning salt. Pour onto a large platter and spread evenly. In another large platter, place olive oil.

Take fish fillets and place into olive oil, on both sides, first, then dredge in bread crumbs mixture.

Broil or grill for 6-8 minutes on each side


Another alternative for other meats is to combine bread crumbs and Parmesan Cheese in a 2:1 ratio. We did this for pork chops earlier this week. Really tasty!

Happy Good Friday and enjoy your fish fillets!


Grilled Prawns Salad

Whether you call them shrimp or prawns, the shellfish is a delicious addition to any light dish, especially when you are making Grilled Prawns Salad.

What I love most about this recipe is that it could be a wonderful luncheon recipe, or a summer dinner on days when its too hot to eat anything heavy.

The other benefits include the fact that you can serve 8 people with this dish, and its less than 200 calories per serving!
Go ahead, and have seconds without guilt....


1 c. white beans, rinsed (or 1 14 oz. can of white beans)
2 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped crosswise
1/2 c. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 T. dry white wine
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (prawns), peeled and devined
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 bunch fresh arugula, rinsed and stemmed
1 medium tomato, sliced (optional)
salt and ground black pepper to taste


If you are going to cook the beans from scratch, put the beans in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 6-8 hours, or overnight. Change the water at least once during the soaking.

Drain the beans and put them into a large pot. Add chicken broth, water, onion and carrots. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Drain and rinse the beans again and discard the onion and carrots. Set aside beans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 c. of the olive oil, garlic, rosemary 1 T. balsamic vinegar and salt/pepper. This will be the marinade for the prawns. After rinsing and patting dry the prawns, add to the bowl and stir to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Remove prawns from the marinade and grill over medium heat 5-7 minutes total, turning once.

Add the grilled prawns to the beans, then add lemon juice, tomatoes and arugula. Mix together.

Take the remaining 2 T. balsamic vinegar and 1/4 olive oil and combine. Pour over the top of the salad.

Crab Quiche

Forget what you might have read.... real men do eat quiche - at least if its our not-yet famous Crab Quiche! The egg-based pie dish is popular for brunch recipes. Perfect, of course, for the upcoming holiday weekend. Eggs and Easter go hand in hand.

Because we're using a pre-made pie shell, you'll save time and a lot of hassle. And the best part, is you can still take pride in making a main dish that tastes like you had it catered.

This recipe serves 6. If you are going to double it, be sure to use two separate pie dishes and crusts.


Unbaked single 9-inch pie shell
2 T. butter, melted (divided)
1/2 pound fresh crab meat, drained (never, EVER use imitation crab!)
2 c. grated Swiss Cheese
1 2/3 c. whipping cream (not half and half)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 bunch green onions, diced
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. nutmeg

(crab not your thing? Try the Spinach Quiche recipe in the following video instead)


Put pie shell into a 9-inch pie dish, Trim and flute edges. Brush with 1 T. melted butter. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees. Take out and allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, combine beaten eggs and whipping cream. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Saute the green onions in remaining 1 T. butter for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Remove and place into pie shell. Top with fresh crab, then swiss cheese. Pour egg mixture over top.

Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes (watch closely for the last 5 minutes). There should not be any watery or runny mixture remaining at the end.

We love Crab Quiche with fresh salad greens. On Easter, enjoy a Mimosa or glass of champagne too.


Marinated Tomatoes, Cucumber and Feta Cheese

I'm on a fresh food kick this week. We've just started planning our vegetable garden and I'm dreaming about the delicious tomatoes that we'll be harvesting in a few months. Perfect for this Marinated Tomatoes, Cucumber and Feta Cheese recipe.

You have to use the ripest, tastiest tomatoes from your garden (or farmer's market) for this one. Heirloom tomatoes make this vegetable dish extra special.


3 large red and/or yellow tomatoes, sliced
2 medium cucumbers and/or zucchini, peeled and sliced
1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese

3 T. olive oil
3 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. chopped green onion or chopped chives
2 t. honey mustard
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
salt to taste


Line a serving platter with leaf lettuce. Place tomatoes, zucchini and/or cucumbers on top.

Combine dressing ingredients (last 6 items above) in a small bowl. Drizzle over the vegetables, then cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving.

For a richer salad, try adding slices of avocado and/or brined olives to the mix. Simply delicious!


Mango and Melon Salad

Our local farmer's market is just about to open for the season. I cannot wait! With the fresh offerings, I'm going to make our mouth-watering Mango and Melon Salad.

Like many of our recipes, you can get creative with the ingredients.... substitute watermelon with honeydew, or one of my favorites: cantaloupe. That way, you can always use fruit that's in season, and never compromise on taste.

This fruit salad is perfect for brunch, or as a light afternoon snack during the warm days of summer.


1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 T. crystallized ginger
1 T. fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 small seedless watermelon, scooped with a melon baller
1 ripe mango, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut (toasted)
1/3 c. roasted pistachios (unsalted), chopped


Spread coconut onto a baking sheet and lightly toast under the broiler for 2-4 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine first four ingredients.

Stir fruit together in a serving bowl, then pour dressing over the top. Sprinkle with coconut and pistachios right before serving. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Fresh, fruity, crunchy sweet goodness!

Simple Fruit Dip

This recipe is so easy, its almost embarrassing! But - trust me when I say that your family and guests will wonder how you whipped up something as tasty as this Simple Fruit Dip. I'll admit that its probably not the healthiest option out there, but that's why its so great to serve at parties and other gatherings.

I usually serve this dip with fresh, ripe strawberries. But feel free to dunk bites of cantaloupe, honeydew melon, apple slices, or even pineapple.

It would even be a great accompaniment to your Easter Sunday brunch.


6 oz. softened cream cheese
7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme
1 T. pure vanilla extract


Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer, until smooth.
Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top, if desired, and perhaps even add a couple of cinnamon sticks for garnish.

Serve with your favorite slices of fruit, or fresh berries (large enough for dunking).

Doesn't summer taste delicious?


Smoked Salmon Hash with Dill Sauce

Easter is on Sunday! What will you be serving at your house? I'm thinking Smoked Salmon Hash with Dill Sauce. Its the perfect brunch recipe. Of course, being from the Pacific Northwest, any dish with salmon is almost perfect. But even if you don't live near large bodies of water, you can find some pretty good smoked salmon at the store or online.


2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 T. olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into small bits
1/2 medium yellow onion, julienne cut
1/2 pound smoked wild-caught salmon, flaked and picked free of bones
6 T. fresh dill, minced (divided)
1/2 c. sour cream
1 t. fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste


In a medium saucepan, boil potatoes in 2-3 cups water for about 7 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together sour cream, lemon juice and 3 T of the dill. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir fry onion and pepper in the olive oil. Add potatoes and cook for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are golden and crispy. Add salmon and remaining dill to the mixture and cook for 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer mixture to plates and drizzle with sour cream sauce.

Now you can focus on more important things, like egg hunts and getting some great photos of your Easter Sunday!


Potato and Herb Salad

Sunny days like today make me long for summer. We're getting there soon, which means its time to think about yummy Potato and Herb Salad. This unique potato salad recipe is light and flavorful. Fresh herbs from your garden can be used (avoid the grocery store if you can!)


1/4 c. light mayonnaise
1/4 c. light sour cream
2 T. Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. ground peppercorns

4 c. cubed gold potatoes
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped parsley
1/4 c. chopped chives
1/4 c. green peas

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium sized bowl. This will be the dressing for your potato salad.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan or pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and allow to cool - about 1/2 hour.

Combine fresh herbs and vegetables above with the dressing, combine with potatoes and toss well.

Makes 5 servings about 1 cup each. We find that we're often doubling this recipe because its so tasty and is a great potluck or BBQ side dish.


Tomato Tapenade

Great for an appetizer, or use as an extra special relish for a sandwich (my favorite - panini), this Tomato Tapenade is a family favorite recipe. I've been making it for almost 10 years now. Everyone loves it - guests, family and even my kids!


1 c. sundried tomatoes
3 T. pine nuts
1 T. olive oil, plus 3 T. olive oil (divided)
3 T. Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste

(if serving as an appetizer, you'll also need a loaf of french bread or tasty crackers)


In a small bowl cover the sundried tomatoes with about 1/4-1/2 cups boiling water. Let stand about 15 minutes. Then drain.

Meanwhile, stir fry 3 T. pine nuts in about 1 T. olive oil, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

In a food processor or blender, whirl together all ingredients except remaining 3 T. olive oil. Stir in olive oil.

Your tomato tapenade is ready! For an extra tasty appetizer, spread on 1/4 inch thick french bread slices and sprinkle 1 T. mozzarella cheese on top. Broil for 3-5 minutes until bubbly.

As noted above, tomato tapenade is delicious on sandwiches as a special relish. Let your imagination (and your stomach) be your guide!


Cheesy Potato Gratin

My husband just LOVES potato gratin. And he loves cheese. So this Cheesy Potato Gratin is a perfect recipe. We like to serve it alongside grilled meats, or bring it with us to a potluck. It doesn't take long to put together, and takes less than an hour in the oven.

Even on busy weeknights, you can have dinner on the table quickly, with a dish the whole family will love to eat.


2 c. heavy cream
1 package (5 oz) Boursin Cheese
2 T. minced shallots
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 t. olive oil
2.5 lbs. red potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thickness (finer for crispy, thicker for soft potatoes)
2 T. minced fresh chives (divided)
1/2 c. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. fresh parsely for garnish (optional)


Place the cream, cheese, shallots and garlic and stir over low heat in a medium saucepan. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F.

Use cooking spray to coat a 13X9 baking dish. Then, place 1/2 of the potato slices in the dish, overlapping them slightly. Salt and pepper, as desired, then sprinkle 1 T of the chives over the top.

Pour 1/2 of the Boursin cheese mixture over the top of the potatoes. Now, finish off with the other 1/2 of the potatoes. Just as before, use salt and pepper and then the remaining chives. Then add the last of the cheese mixture.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 400 (no cover) for about 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with parsely.

Trust me - your entire house will smell delicious with this homemade recipe!


Basil and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be trying - what mom doesn't know that? What if I told you there is a dip you can make for mini carrots, cucumber slices and broccoli that actually has even MORE vegetables in it? And what if I claimed that this Basil and Roasted Red Pepper Dip would delight children and make your evening struggles that much easier?

OK - no more questions. The anticipation must be killing you.... Let's get down to the recipe!


8 oz. cream cheese block (softened)
2 roasted red peppers (you can make your own, or buy them canned at the store)
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 t. cayenne pepper or 2 dashes mild Tabasco sauce
1/4 t. salt
3 T. fresh chopped basil


Place everything in a blender or food processor and blend well.

The dip will keep up to a week in the refrigerator. Serve with fresh vegetables, crackers or slices of french bread.

*NOTE: To make your own roasted red peppers, core and slice peppers, place skin-side up on a broiling pan and brush with olive oil. Broil (watching carefully) for about 3-5 minutes and then turn over, and complete broiling for about 2 minutes.


Chicken Piccata

I love all things salty – salt, olives, capers. I’d take salty and savory any day over sweet. That’s probably why Chicken Piccata is one of my favorite meals. It’s a super-savory chicken dish that appears and tastes better than your average mid-week chicken meal. It reminds me of the wonderful dishes served in Europe. The butter, capers and light breading (via the flour) put an elegant touch to this dish that's beyond the ordinary.

This recipe is perfect for company, and also makes a romantic dinner to impress that someone special.

My next door neighbor was a culinary chef and made the best Chicken Piccata. Though she refused to part with her secret recipe, I've recreated my own! Its so good you'll want to have a basket of crusty bread alongside to mop up the remaining sauce from dinner.

Why not put a twist on Easter brunch this year? Instead of the old, worn-out ham recipe from your mother-in-law, serve Chicken Piccata instead. Your guests will be lining up to come over next year (so... if you don't like your guests, serve the ham instead!)

This recipe serves 2, so be sure to double or triple everything if you are expecting a larger crowd.


  • 2 chicken breasts skinless (1 1/2 pound total)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan grated (use the real stuff if company is coming, otherwise, the green can stuff works fine).
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice – fresh is always better
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth/stock or a nice white wine
  • 1/4 cup brined capers
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped


1. Cut the breasts in half horizontally, butterflying them open. Put between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat hammer until they are 1/4 inch thick.

2. Mix together the flour, salt and pepper, and grated Parmesan. Rinse the chicken pieces in water and dredge them thoroughly in the flour mixture, until well coated.

3. Heat the olive oil and 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces (you don't want to crowd the pan). Brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and reserve to a plate, cook the other breasts in the same manner, remove from pan. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven while preparing the sauce.

4. Add the chicken stock (or white wine), lemon juice, and capers to the pan. Use a metal spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Reduce the sauce by half. Whisk in the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter.

Put the chicken on the serving plates and pour the sauce poured over the top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Garnish with thinly sliced lemon, if desired.

By the way, Easter brunch is at 2:00 at my house this year!