12 NEW Winter Recipes to Download, Along with My Usual Musings…

Main Course / February 21, 2019

Life. Revelation. Expectation. Disappointment. Fulfillment. Tears. Inspiration. Reality. Peace. Torture. Clarity. Love. These are some of the words I think of. I find they go hand in hand with each moment that fills the days we are given. They are alive, rhythmically shifting beneath a cover of organization, planning, and perceived control. The kind of control we all believe we have. And yet every bit of life is fragile beyond comprehension.

That’s why memories and the moment are so profound. What will we make of life and the time we have left?

I was once asked if I had a “sense” of how many years I would live. Whether it is naïve or not, I have always believed it would be at least 100 years. It is a reasonable assumption since the life span of dozens on my ancestors has been well over the age of 90 over the last 300 hundred years. So after turning 60 this year, I can expect 40 more years of “life.”

What can I do to make it what I want it?


These 3 salads + 9 more recipes below = twelve mouth-watering downloads!


Ask a physicist about control. It is the most false claim of all. Called the “Observer Effect.”  In physics, the observer effect is the theory that simply observing a situation or phenomenon necessarily changes that phenomenon.

Let me explain using a food metaphor:  I want to see how my cake is faring during a bake. I open the oven door and … boom! I have changed the environment. So to discover what the cake was at the time I was curious is impossible, since I opened the oven door and shifted everything. But then, that’s part of the dance, yes?

I have always said that food and your interaction with it is THE metaphor for life. Like a successful soufflé, you only know elation the second you take it out of the oven. And you only get to enjoy the show for about 5 minutes. Then, all of that work begins to deflate into a cavern of lost excitement leaving only the exquisiteness of the memory. So you better enjoy the moment.

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I find that the way I cook changes from day to day, month to month, and circumstance to circumstance. We have moved twice since I started this blog. So my comfort zone of oven, lighting, and surroundings has changed drastically. The size of my kitchen has changed. My health has changed. And my countertop space has shrunken. This last year I have done more recipe development but less posting. More refining of technique but less concentration on hashtags or followers.

But that doesn’t matter. I still have a passion for all of it. I still feel like I can answer all of life’s questions during cooking. And I have been able to have so many, many, many more new friends around my table to nourish. And that makes life perfect for me.


Philosophy lesson is over. Now it is time to browse through and enjoy TWELVE, yes that is TWELVE new recipes. Lots of comfort food with my twist, a tasty side dish, several salads, and one terrific dessert.

Citrus Slow Cooker Carnitas Burritos

Serves 12


Ingredients:

3 lbs. pork shoulder roast trimmed and cut into large chunks about 3” around About 3 C organic apple cider*
2 clementines (can use small oranges) quartered
1 lime quartered
1 lime sliced for garnish
1/3 c large diced sweet onion
4 medium cloves garlic rough chopped
2 t kosher salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t good paprika
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2-3 T oil
1 small can Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce
1 C cheddar cheese grated
Handful fresh chopped cilantro
6 small flour tortillas slightly warmed


Method:

  • Place meat, onion, citrus,and seasonings in cooker.Rub a little oil on all of it.*Cover with organic apple cider up to a level just below ingredients but not totally covering. Cook on low 7 hours.
  • When done remove citrus, take out meat reserving juice and shred meat with fork. Put shredded meat back in juices. Heat small can of Old El Paso red enchilada sauce. To assemble place large amount of shredded meat in center of tortilla. (Use tongs to remove meat and let it drip so meat isn’t full of juice. Ladle several T of heated red sauce on top of meat. Roll up.
  • Put more enchilada sauce on top,then top with extra sharp cheddar cheese. Put under broiler until bubbly. Serve with a slice of lime and cilantro.

Baked Pineapple Chicken Meatballs With Mint Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Serves 6-8


Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground chicken
1 large egg
2 T plain bread crumbs
2 t or more kosher salt (don’t skimp! Chicken is bland without enough salt!)
1 t black pepper
1 small 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, pushed through a sieve until all moisture is gone.
¼ heaping C of golden raisins
3 T fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
3 T oil for greasing pan and brushing on top
4 oz. Greek yogurt
1 large garlic clove finely chopped
2 t finely chopped fresh mint
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
A few turns of fresh cracked black pepper


Method:

  • Use the ground chicken when cold. Combine chicken through parsley in a bowl and blend well. (You will have about 1/3 the volume of pineapple after getting rid of all the moisture!) Grease a large rectangular baking dish. Form the chicken into large balls about 2” square. Arrange on pan with the balls just touching but not pushed up against one another. Brush the top of each with a little light oil. I used canola.*
  • Bake in a 375 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes. Do NOT over bake.
  • In a small bowl combine the yogurt, lemon, garlic, mint, and pepper. Mix well and serve alongside meatballs.
  • Let sit until about room temperature, for about 45 minutes before baking. Cold makes it easier to form balls, warm makes it easier to cook meatballs evenly.

Zucchini Lasagna with Fragrant Meat Sauce

Over Creamy Lemon Zest Rice

Serves 6


Ingredients:

1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
1 very large and wide zucchini sliced lengthwise into thin strips
1 28 oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1/3 C chopped red onion
1/3 C chopped red pepper
1-2 large cloves of garlic chopped finely Handful of fresh oregano leaves rough chopped
2 T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 t paprika
3 T half and half
2 t kosher salt ½ t cracked black pepper (to taste)
½ C + grated parmigiana reggiano cheese
Water and corn starch for thickening
A bit of light oil for greasing baking dish.


Method:

  • In a large saucepan add the meat, paprika, the onion, and the red pepper.Season with a little salt and pepper.Break up the meat a little and let brown on medium high until onions are soft. Open the can of tomatoes and empty into large bowl. Using your hands squeeze the tomatoes until broken up in the liquid. Then add the tomatoes to the pan.Stir to incorporate and return to a simmer. Then add the fresh oregano, 1 T chopped parsley, and the chopped garlic. Cover and let simmer for 45 lovely, fragrant, my-kitchen-smells-amazing minutes.
  • Remove lid, and take pan off heat. Then stir in the cornstarch dissolved in water, adding a little at a time, until it thickens and isn’t runny. Then return to heat and add the cream stirring well. Turn heat off and cover. Begin assembling by layering half the zucchini strips on the bottom of a medium sized baking dish, overlapping each one. Then add half the meat mixture. Cover the meat with the last strips of zucchini, layering again, then cover with the rest of the meat sauce. Sprinkle with the grated parmesan. Be generous with the cheese! Bake in a 400 degree Foven for about 20 minutes or until everything is bubbling well. Remove, let sit for about 5 minutes. Cut and serve over my lemon zest creamy rice.* Garnish with the remaining 1 T parsley.

Lemon zest rice:

Cook 1 C jasmine rice as directed. When cooked add 3 T heavy cream, the juice of one lemon, thezest of one lemon, a bit of salt and pepper and stir.

Beef Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6 – 8


Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs. stew meat cut into ¾ inch chunks patted dry and brought to room temperature
½ large stalk fennel chopped into ¼ inch chunks
1 shallot, about 2 ½ inches long, chopped into large chunks
2 T light oil
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 ½ C dark red small heirloom tomatoes cut in half or you can use cherry tomatoes
½ C beef broth
¼ C fruity red wine
½ C smooth tomato sauce, unseasoned
1 t good paprika
1-2 t of kosher salt and 1 t black pepper (To taste. It will depend upon the seasoning of the beef broth so be sure and taste it!)
3 T corn starch dissolved in a little water
Large stalk of rosemary
2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
¼ C heavy cream
4 T salted butter
Extra kosher salt for potatoes
½ t of a good quality light and complex curry powder\
Handful of chopped Italian leaf parsley for garnish


Method:

  • Bring oil to hot in a large sauté pan and add shallot, fennel, tomatoes, and beef. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add the wine, stock, and tomato sauce, and garlic, and nestle in the rosemary stalk and mix all together. Cook covered on a low simmer for 1 hour.
  • While beef is simmering, boil sweet potatoes covered in water until soft. Drain, add the cream, butter, salt, and curry. Blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Set aside with lid on but no need to keep burner on. After the hour, remove lid on beef and mix and remove from heat, then stir in the cornstarch mixed with water and thicken beef mixture until it resembles gravy consistency.
  • Pour all of the meat mixture in a glass baking dish with high sides, about 8 by 12 inches, and spread until covering the bottom evenly. Then carefully spread the top with the mashed sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with a little of the parsley. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes until bubbling and hot throughout. Serve with another flourish of parsley!

Apricot Orange Ginger Glazed Mahi

Serves 4


Ingredients:

4 6 oz. Mahi steaks
½ C Apricot Jam
2 small to medium navel oranges peeled and sections neatly cut out
2 t fresh ginger chopped finely
1 generous T of rice wine vinegar
1 ½ t kosher salt
½ t black pepper
2 T oil
Large handful fresh cilantro chopped


Method:

  • In a small bowl combine the jam, oranges, ginger, and vinegar. Mix well. Rub a bit of the oil around the bottom and walls of a medium sized baking dish just large enough so that the Mahi can be placed about 1 inch apart. Then take the remaining oil and rub on the Mahi. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Arrange in the baking dish. Ladle the apricot mixture on top, taking care to keep some of the orange sections on the top. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until steaks are done. Remove from oven and serve with your choice of side dish.

Zesty Ginger BBQ Baked Chicken With Rosemary Roasted Parsnip Fries

Serves 4


Ingredients:

4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs patted dry
Oil to moisten
½ C ketchup
3 T good quality balsamic vinegar
1 very large clove garlic chopped finely
1 heaping T candied ginger chopped finely
1 t salt, ½ t cracked black pepper


Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rub a little oil all over the chicken. Mix the rest of the ingredients and toss the chicken in the zesty BBQ sauce. Place in baking dish with about 1 inch between each thigh. Slather the top of each thigh with the rest of the sauce. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until meat is 170 degrees inside; cooked by not dry.
  • Serve with parsnips tossed with oil, salt and pepper, and fresh chopped rosemary leaves baked on a baking sheet at 425 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

Salmon Florentine

Ingredients:

4 6 oz. salmon filets, skin on, patted dry
1 t kosher salt, ½ t black pepper
2 T light oil such as grapeseed (High smoke point)
8 C fresh spinach leaves
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
½ t fresh lemon zest
2 T mayonnaise
3 T grated parmesan
¼ t ground coriander
1/3 T ground ginger


Method:

  • Wilt spinach in a large pan with a drop or so of water. Remove and place in colander. When cool, after about 10 minutes, begin squeezing out ALL THE WATER. I begin by squeezing in my palms, then pushing it against the sieve, then wrapping it in a paper towel and squeezing several times. You end up with about 3/4 C of beautifully green and fresh spinach. In that same bowl add the mayo, lemon zest and juice, cheese, spices, and a bit of salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.
  • Rub a bit of oil on the salmon filets and a bit of kosher salt. Heat the oil in a pan until hot. Place the salmon, skin side down in the oil and sear until the skin is crispy and you begin to see the fish turn opaque about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. Then flip the salmon over and sear on the other side. Be sure and regulate the temperature of the oil so that it doesn’t smoke and burn the fish, but maintains a sizzle. When you see just a small thin layer of pink in the middle and everything else is opaque, gently spoon the spinach mixture over the top of the filet. You can invert the fish again to top the non-skin side with the Florentine, or do as I did and put on top of the crispy skin. YUM. Cover with a lid, turn to low, and let it steam and continue to cook for about another 3 minutes.
  • Remove and serve with your favorite sides! Can squeeze a bit of lemon on the top for serving if desired.

Carrot Tabouleh

Serves 4


Ingredients:

4 large carrots
½ t coriander powder
¼+ t ground cumin
¼ t ground ginger
1 small clove of garlic
A few slices of red onion or shallot, about 1-2 T
5-6 large mint leaves, torn
½ t kosher salt
¼ t black pepper
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-3 T light oil such as canola


Method:

  • Cut carrots into 1 inch chunks. Rough chop garlic clove. Add coriander, cumin, ginger, red onion, and mint leaves.Drizzle with about 1 T oil and pulse until ground into small pieces about the size of cooked couscous. Add a bit more oil and about 2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice, and serve.

Vegetable and Fruit Quinoa Salad

With Red Wine Vinaigrette

Serves 12


Ingredients:

3 C cooked quinoa, cooled
½ large English cucumber diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 large navel
oranges peeled and cut into small sections
Juice of half and orange
2 large Fuji apples diced
¼ C red onion sliced thin
¾ pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
Handful chopped fresh cilantro
3-4 T or more of red wine vinegar and light oil to
your desired consistency
1 t kosher salt and ½ t black pepper to taste


Method:

  • Toss and let sit for about an hour before serving.
  • Can add protein to this such as shrimp, chicken, or salami.

Amaretto Brown Sugar Marinated Shrimp

 Serves 6-8


Ingredients:

25-30 large cooked tail on shrimp, thawed and all moisture blotted out
½ C good Amaretto Liquor
3 heaping T brown sugar, not packed
Zest from half an orange
Handful of chopped flat leaf parsley


Method:

  • In a small saucepan reduce the amaretto to half volume. Add the brown sugar and let bubble but not bubble too violently for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • In a large bowl toss the shrimp with the cooled syrup, add the orange zest and parsley and let sit for about an hour or more. (Although you can serve right away, it’s best to let the shrimp soak up a bit of the flavor) Serve.

Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onions

Serves 12


Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower cut into flowerets
½ red onion sliced
3 T good balsamic vinegar that’s fairly sweet like
fig or pomegranate
3 T olive oil
1–2 t kosher salt
½ t black pepper


Method:

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl toss the cauliflower and onion with the balsamic, oil, and salt and pepper. Spread out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes or until onions are caramelized and cauliflower is soft. Test with a fork after 20 and determine how much time is needed. You don’t want mushy veggies!

Apple Cinnamon Ginger Galette

Serves 12


Ingredients:

3 Fuji apples cut into slices
1/3 C golden raisins
2 t fresh grated ginger
2 t fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon
1/4 C granulated sugar
2 T packed brown sugar
3 T water
Box of Betty Crocker Pie crust dough
2 t raw sugar
1 egg beaten
Pinch of kosher salt


Method:

  • In a medium sized saucepan (avoid using a non-stick pan), add the white and brown sugars, ginger, cinnamon, the apple slices, the lemon juice, the vanilla, and the pinch of salt. Let boil gently for about 5-6 minutes until liquid begins to thicken and become syrupy. Watch pot carefully and stir often. Remove and let cool in a bowl. In the meantime, assemble the dough (or make your own) and roll it out to about a 12 inch circle. Don’t make the dough too thick or you will have a soggy bottom. Ragged ends are fine. Place the disc of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. They make it look prettier! When the apples are cool enough ladle them into the center of the dough, piling up into a cone. Don’t need to use all the syrup but use as much as you think is wise so it doesn’t become a watery mess. Gently roll up the sides around the fruit leaving an opening at the top. Make sure you don’t have any tears around the perimeter. Brush with beaten egg and dust with the raw sugar. Place in fridge for about 20 minutes as the oven preheats to 425 degrees F. Then bake for about 20 minutes or until the crust is nice and golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve with cream or ice cream!

 



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Let's think about food preparation as art, and flavors as adventurous stories. Say ‘goodbye’ to safe sequences, or copycat flavors, and use your senses to curate the perfect meal. My recipes help your kitchen come to life as I share anecdotes about food chemistry, and fun shortcuts that conquer menu-mediocrity. my cooking style is one that combines everyday ingredients into sensuous layers that wake up the bored palate as I reveal easy-to-understand tips, tricks, and hacks so everyone can prepare and serve Bling Cuisine with confidence and joy!

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