Thursday, February 26, 2015

Northern Mojave Desert

Mojave Desert

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bohemian House, Chicago

Beef Pierogi with Sour Cream, 
       Roasted Carrots and 
       Pickled Onions

Potato Pancakes with Cured Salmon, Apple Preserves, Kohlrabi and Dill.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Carpaccio at Trattoria Stefano

They call it "Italian Sushi". Carpaccio. When it's made properly with farm fresh ingredients, and a healthy squeeze of lemon as well as nice twist of fresh black pepper on a big handful of spicy arugula, Carpaccio is divine. Trattoria Stefano does it right. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Swimming in the middle of winter!

Valentine's Dinner, River Wildlife, American Club, Wisconsin

I love any excuse for romance, especially a luxurious romantic dinner at a cozy restaurant...however my husband and I always prefer to cook at home together on Valentine's Day. This year fate changed our plans! Thanks to a water leak from the floor above us, our home is being worked on, so we have happily left the interruption and noise. We're staying at the beautiful American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin where one of our favorite rustic restaurants is, River Wildlife. It's a big cozy cabin, the food is local, fresh, and organic. All you need to do here is cozy up by the fire, ideally with a beautiful bottle of wine. We chose an old favorite: Terra d'Oro Zinfandel, made with love by our favorite wine maker in Amador County, Jeffrey Meyers.

Happy day of love to you all! Here is our dinner: 

Wedge Salad

Beef Tenderloin

Breaded Walleye 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta and beans! An Italian masterpiece, I could eat this all day, I live for the stuff. My favorite kind of dinner to cook is an all in one pot meal, which this is- and this dinner is healthy too. You can have this dish ready and on the table in 30 minutes! 


2 glugs of good quality olive oil

1/8 pound pancetta, diced 

6 cloves garlic chopped

1 onion diced

2 carrots diced

2 stalks celery diced

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

A few sprigs of fresh rosemary 

1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

2 cans (15 oz) cannelini beans 

2 cups crushed or strained tomatoes 

2 quarts chicken broth

4 cups small shell pasta 

Shredded Parmigiano

Crusty bread for dipping 


Heat oil in a deep pot over medium heat and add pancetta. Stir the pancetta and brown lightly. Add carrots celery and onions, then add herb stems, and garlic. Allow to soften, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, broth and beans and bring heat to high. Bring everything to a rapid boil and add the pasta directly into the mix. Cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. The Thyme and Rosemary leaves will separate from their stems as the soup cooks. Don't forget to remove the stems! Ladle the soup into bowls while piping hot and top with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of grated Parmesan cheese. Buon Appetito! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Loaded Nachos

There is a special place in my heart for nachos. All kinds of nachos, as long as there's plenty of ooey gooey cheese and chips. Normally I'm a simple gal- I make plain old melted cheese and chips and I'm a happy camper. But I happened to have some nice produce on hand, so I went for the layered effect. The bottom bits tend to soften a bit, so if there are any leftovers (doubtful) that part can easily be turned into an enchilada casserole for the next day. Don't be afraid to pile it on. Give these a try!


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound ground grass fed beef

1 can pinto or chili beans

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 cup water 

Salt and pepper

1 small onion chopped

2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack grated

1 bag of good quality tortilla chips

1 ripe avocado diced

4 Roma tomatoes diced

1 cup cilantro chopped 


In a large sauce pan heat up the oil on a medium heat and add half the diced onions, ground beef, all seasonings, and break everything up with a wooden spoon until the meat is cooked through. Add the beans, a cup of water, and stir. 
While those yummy ingredients are mingling on the stove chop all your fresh topping ingredients and grate all the cheese. In a baking pan place one layer of tortilla chips, a handful if cheese, a layer of the beef and bean mixture, and repeat. Heat in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese is completely melted, about 10 minutes. Dig in while it's hot!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Great for Super Bowl, or any party, and even the dudes love this, trust me :) (Seriously, it's really tasty)


1 head cauliflower (6 cups florets)

Salt and pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder 

1 tablespoon butter 

3/4 cup hot sauce of your choice 

Ranch dressing


Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. 

Grease a baking a baking dish or tin with olive oil or baking spray. 

Slice cauliflower into bite sized segments.

Coat with garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

Bake for 20 minutes. 

Melt butter and hot sauce, then pour over cauliflower. Bake for 5 minutes then serve hot with ranch sauce for dipping!