One of my dearest friend’s, Ashley, and I made this on my birthday last month. It’s a riff on another friend’s recipe. I am in love with the flavor combo of lemon and blueberry so to me this is pure perfection!
Time: 30 minutes + 90 bake + cool Serves: 8-10
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 30 Canelitas cookies (Mexican cinnamon cookies), processed to crumbs equaling 2 1/2 cups
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 13 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 32 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 egg yolks
- 6 egg whites
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups blueberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
Here are the Canelita cookies. And me! With my Mexican feast and delicious cocktail. Not a bad way to spend a birthday, not at all.
How to make it
- Combine cookie crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter (reserve one tbsp) in a mixing bowl.
- Spread remaining tbsp of melted butter on bottom and sides of a 6-inch spring-form pan. Sprinkle brown sugar around bottom.
- Press cookie crumb mixture into the bottom of the spring-form pan. Press down to make an even crust, going up the sides to create a deep-dish effect.
- Wrap pan in aluminum foil to prevent the water bath from seeping in. Place in refrigerator to firm up while you make the filling.
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Put a pot of water on to simmer.
- Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Continue beating, and gradually add 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt and heavy cream until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, with clean dry beaters, combine egg whites, 1/3 tsp salt, and cream of tartar. Begin to beat, gradually adding remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Do not over-beat.
- In three parts, fold egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture.
- Remove pan from refrigerator. Place pan in a large roasting pan and pour hot water around it, going about 3/4 up the sides.
- Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, place in refrigerator for at least two hours before you plan to serve.
- Combine 1 1/2 cups of blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the berries burst. Remove from heat and stir in remaining berries. Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled completely, spread over top of cooled cheesecake.
I’ve seen a few photos floating around where cucumbers are used as edible serving vessels. What a great idea! Feel free to sub shrimp, crab meat, or lobster tail for the langostino tails.
Time: 10 minutes + chill Serves: 6-8
- 8 oz. cooked langostino tails, thawed (I got mine in Trader Joe’s freezer section)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- sea salt, to taste
- Sriracha, to taste
- toasted sesame oil, to taste
- 1 large seedless cucumber, ends trimmed slightly for flat surfaces
How to make it
- Finely chop langostino tails. Place in non-reactive mixing bowl.
- Add mayo, lemon juice, and Worcestershire. Mix well to incorporate. Season to taste with sea salt, Sriracha and sesame oil. Mix well once more and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Cut cucumber into about 2 inch pieces. Scoop out middle with a melon baller, careful not to go through the bottom. Place pieces scooped side down onto a paper towel.
- Stir langostino salad before assembling cups. Divide salad equally among cucumber cups.
A protein-rich, low fat and low cal appetizer. Makes for great snacking! Healthy & tasty. Someone asked if it was a big bowl of wasabi 😉 Recipe slightly adapted from one I found on the Tasty Kitchen site by Eat 80/20 Dietitian.
Time: 15 minutes Serves: 10
- 4 cups shelled edamame, cooked according to package instructions
- 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed & minced
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup water + more as needed
- 1/3 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 30 won ton wrappers, cut in half diagonally
- olive oil spray
- sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
How to make it
- Place edamame, garlic, lemon juice, 1 tsp olive oil and 1/2 cup water in food processor fitted with S-blade. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Process to combine. Add more oil and/or water as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper. Spray with olive oil.
- Place won ton pieces onto sheet so they are not touching. Spray with olive oil then sprinkle with sea salt & pepper.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown. Remove from oven. Chips will continue to brown while left on the baking sheet.
- Once cooled, place in serving dish. May be stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
Although spring is trying to peak out, it’s still chilly here in SoCal where I’m currently based. I don’t mean to wine, I know it’s warmer than my native land. But I thought it would be nice to introduce a Midwestern favorite. A big salad is great for lunch but for dinner a hearty, satisfying, comfort food is in order. The array of vegetables not only pack a nutritional punch but they lend their colors to make this dish really pop. A great make-ahead meal. Prepare it up until the baking, cool completely and freeze, I usually divide into 2. Just defrost in fridge before baking, or up baking time by about 45min. I meant to add mushrooms to this dish but forgot, maybe next time.
Time: 90 minutes Serves: 6-8
- 1/2 cup wild rice, cooked according to package instructions
- 1/2 cup basmati rice, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 head broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (I used orange cauliflower)
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3/8 cup AP flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp each)
How to make it
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 2 8×8 or 2 quart casserole dishes with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, cook stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Add carrots and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally for another 4 minutes. Finally, add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- Drop broccoli and cauliflower florets into boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes then remove and drain in a colander. Run cold water over top until cooled through or drop in an ice water bath.
- In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Add chicken stock in 3 parts, whisking to incorporate. Cook until thickened somewhat. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese and season to taste. Add all vegetables, chicken, and both kinds of rice. Mix well to incorporate. Spoon into prepared baking dish and top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbly and cheese has melted.
Spicy peanut sauce that will make you want to lick your bowl clean! with rice noodles and roasted tofu. Add a side of steamed broccoli to round out the meal. The month of March happens to be National Noodle Month, National Peanut Month, and National Sauce Month and this bowl of goodness delivers on all three of those. So, enjoy and cheers to the rest of March!
Time: 30 minutes Serves: 5
- 14 oz. pack extra firm tofu, drained and pressed to release moisture
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 2 tsp each olive oil and toasted sesame oil, combined
Sauce & Noodles
- 2 tbsp sambal oelek
- 6 stalks fresh lemongrass – inner bulbs only, finely chopped
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 thumbs ginger, grated/finely minced
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
- zest and juice from a lime
- heaping 1/3 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy will do)
- 1 pound brown rice noodles or soba
- 2 green onions, chopped
- handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
How to make it
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cube tofu. Toss with tamari and oil.
- Place in roasting pan and bake for 25 minutes, until edges are browned.
Sauce and Noodles
- Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a rapid boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Process in a blender, processor, bullet…lemongrass, garlic, ginger, shallot, and chile paste.
- Heat oils in a large skillet over medium-high. Add mixture to pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant – about 2 minutes.
- Add tamari, vinegar, honey (or brown sugar), peanut butter, and lime. Whisk to combine.
- Add cooked pasta and toss to coat.
- Serve the roasted tofu right on a mound of these yummy noodles. Top with cilantro and green onions. And don’t forget to eat your veggies!
My dad and I were talking a few months back and he got to reminiscing about the experience he had at friends’ grandfather’s funeral in Israel. They are Sefardic Jews, mostly of Yemenite descent and their traditions, rituals, and foods are unique. My father told me about a delicious chicken soup they served that was different from any he’d ever had before. I was determined to recreate the soup for him and did my best. I referenced a website called Tender is the Steak, but I came across a couple with the same basic ingredients. My dad was pleased, as were my brother and sister-in-law, and in turn so was I!
Time: 15 min prep, 45 min cook Serves: 6
- 3 pounds chicken parts with bones and skin (drumsticks, thighs)
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium tomatoes, cubed
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 spring onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tsp ground cardamon
- 1 tbsp hawaij spice blend*
- 1 tsp turmeric
- salt to taste
- roughly chopped fresh cilantro for serving (optional)
- *Hawaij (a.k.a. Hawayej or Hawayij) is a Yemenite spice blend primarily used in soups. Ingredients may include: cumin, black pepper, turmeric,cardamom, ground cloves, caraway, nutmeg, saffron, coriander and ground dried onions. Another blend of the same name is used in coffee and tea.
How to make it
- Combine all ingredients in pressure cooker. Top with water. Secure lid.
- Bring to pressure and cook on high for 45 minutes.
- Let the pressure cooker sit for 5 minutes. Carefully carry the cooker to the sink and run very cold water onto the top to bring the pressure down. You’ll hear the valve make a big sigh. When it’s safe to remove the lid, lift it off.
- Be careful b/c the bones are tender from the pressure cooking. Try to pick them out as serving.
I recently tried a curry yellow split pea soup at one of my favorite local delis and was inspired to replicate it at home. My version turned into a more hearty, thick stew rather than soup, which is what I was after. This can easily be thinned out with more stock or water to make it more of a soup consistency if that’s what you’re looking for. As it is it reminds me very much of an Indian dal and pairs perfectly with grilled naan and a dollop of yogurt or a cooling raita.
Time: 15 min prep, 6+ hours cook Serves: 6
- 2 cups yellow split peas
- 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
- 3-4 celery stalks,diced (about 1 cup)
- 3-4 large carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- Naan bread (optional, to serve)
- plain Greek yogurt (optional, to serve)
- cilantro, roughly chopped (optional, to serve)
How to make it
- Rinse split peas and soak for about 30 minutes. Drain & rinse.
- Place onions, celery, and carrots, and garlic in crock pot. Add split peas. Sprinkle cumin, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne pepper over top. Finally, add stock. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hours or on LOW for 8 – 10 hours until peas are very soft.
- Remove top, season with salt, stir and cook uncovered for an additional 30 minutes to one hour until thickened up.