Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Yes please...

Monday, September 29, 2014

So true!

Parmegiano reggiano! :)

Chicken Stir-Fry With Pineapple & Peppers

Here is an easy way to have a nice low-fat and protein filled dinner, loaded with plenty of flavor. The ginger adds a nice kick. 

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into one inch pieces
2 tablespoons Sesame or Olive Oil
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 
1 bunch of scallions, diced 
1 half white onion, diced 
2-3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons mirin (sweetened Asian wine)
1 knob of grated fresh ginger root 
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups red & green bell peppers, sliced or cubed
A handful of snow peas, trimmed 
1 cup chunks of fresh (or canned) pineapple 


1. Combine soy sauce, wine vinegar, mirin, ginger, garlic and cornstarch into a medium sized bowl; stir or whisk well. 

2. Heat oil in a large iron skillet or pan, and stir-fry the chicken until it is brown and cooked through, approximately 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and put aside on a platter. Add onions, scallions, peppers and pineapple to the pan and heat through, stirring occasionally. Pour in the sauce and stir until the ingredients are coated and the sauce has thickened. Return the chicken to the pan, get it nice and hot....e voila! You have a delicious meal. Serve with steamed white or brown rice. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Avocado Caprese

Beef Carpaccio

When dining out, a beef carpaccio always hits the spot. Restaurants of course all have their own versions...this was a nice one from last night. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Kale Edamame Salad

Even for those who think they don't care for Kale must try this Kale Salad recipe, it will knock your socks off. 


1 head Kale, leaves torn off
1 large handful Cilantro, chopped 
1 large handful Basil, chopped
1 large handful Parsley, chopped 
2-3 Lemons, juiced 
1 clove garlic pressed or grated
2 handfuls cooked edamame beans
2 tablespoons Garbanzo Beans (optional)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Seeds (optional)
2-3 tablespoons Brags Amino Acid or low Sodium Soy Sauce
Fresh ground pepper 


Tear the leaves off the stalks of one bunch of Kale. Then grab a handful of the leaves and roll them up, and then slice the kale into nice thin strips. I think the thinner the better. 

Chop all the fresh herbs and mix together into a bowl with the nice pile of sliced Kale. 

In a small bowl juice the lemons, then add the olive oil, soy sauce and garlic and whisk it all up. Toss the kale in the dressing for a minute or two and let  it all get nice and coated. Feel free to add more dressing if it needs it. 

I sometimes like to add goat cheese or Parmesan on top at the very end. Either way it is scrumptious. 

Serve and enjoy! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Swimming in Puerto Rico

Best Museums In The World

Wow, Congratulations to The Art Institute Of Chicago for being voted #1 museum in the world on Trip Advisor!


Plumeria! Ahhhh the intoxicating fragrance.

Homemade Pesto

There is nothing quite like the taste of freshly made pesto sauce. It's amazing with penne pasta, but you can also spread it on fish and grilled meats...pesto is very flexible. 

Here are the ingredients you will need:

1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Pine nuts
3 large bunches Basil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt 

Combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic into a food processor or blender. Pulse often to get things finely diced. Add Parmesan cheese and salt, pulse until smooth. If using for pasta, save one cup of the boiled starchy pasta water and add that into the pesto sauce - mix into the pasta pot to create a lovely creamy sauce. Buon Appetito! 


This deliciously simple dish speaks for itself. All that is required are the freshest ingredients: Basil, tomatoes, plus buffalo mozzarella...and use good quality extra virgin olive oil. Of course don't forget to use fresh ground pepper and Mediterranean Sea salt to get the full experience. Buon Appetito! 

Monday, September 22, 2014


Dancing in the streets

Tonight I witnessed live salsa music and salsa dancing in the streets that brought tears to my eyes. Toddlers and elders alike, dancing together in the middle of the street on a Sunday night. I am happy.  

Here is a small taste:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Soba Noodles, from Sobaya in NYC

Those closest to me know my absolute number one favorite place in the whole United States to dine is Sobaya, located in the heart of the East Village in Manhattan, NY. In the 12 years that I lived there, at least once a week I would treat myself to a "solo date" and have dinner at the bar with a book and a nice sake. This food is like magic, there are so many good vitamins in handmade Buckwheat noodles, and the flavors are so fresh and vibrant. Here is the one place in New York City where they make their own Buckwheat Soba noodles right in front of you with flour from Kyoto, Japan. Service is very friendly, and the atmosphere is simple, clean, and very authentic. Any time I get back to New York this is always my first stop. 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Scones

Here is my cousin Sally and her daughter's fabulous recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Scones. They are served and baked fresh for the lucky locals at at the Coffee Cottage in Newburg, Oregon, coffeecottage..net

  • Recipe makes 16 large Scones
    Take 8 oz oz cream cheese, cut it into little squares, and freeze it on a tray or plate while preparing the rest of the recipe.
    The topping (optional): Mix these items together and set aside. 1 3/8 c brown sugar ¾ c white sugar 5/8 c flour 1 T cinnamon 5/8 c butter, melted
    Mix these dry ingredients together: 6 c flour 1 c sugar 1 tsp salt 1 T baking powder
    Cut in to the above: 1 c butter
    Mix these (mainly) wet ingredients together: 5 eggs 1 ¼ c milk ¾ c pumpkin (canned) Dash allspice (opt) ¼ tsp cloves ¾ tsp nutmeg 1 ¼ tsp cinnamon, Cream Cheese Chunks
    Pour the wet into the dry and stir it with a large spoon, only enough to moisten it all—do not over-mix.
    Make the dough into a large ball. Cut the ball in half. Flour the cutting surface, put a dough half on it, and press it into a circle that is roughly 1 ¼’ high all around—like a really thick dinner plate. Now, do the other half. Next brush the tops with egg, then press half the cinnamon topping onto each disc. Time to cut the circles into 8 wedges each.
    At the Coffee Cottage, we separate the scones, put them on trays, and freeze them. The next day we bake them in our commercial convection oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. At home I would probably just pop them into my preheated 425 degree oven right away and check them after 15 minutes. Just bake until an inserted toothpick is pretty clean.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bioluminescent Bay, PR

Green Juice!

When you're in need of a good dose of health, there's nothing like green juice to make you feel great. For this you will want organic ingredients. Here's what you need for two good sized cups of juice:
1 Apple
1 bunch Kale
1 carrot
1 lemon
3 stalks celery
1 cucumber, peeled 
1 knob fresh ginger 
Throw it all into a juicer and voila! Salute! 
Here's to your health.

Most delectable burger known to man

Meal courtesy of Au Cheval in Chicago. 
Melted gooey cheese, magical mystery sauce, 2 perfect patties on a heavenly brioche bun. Simply the best I've ever had. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Farmer's Market Fettuccine

This is a light yet satisfying dish that serves 4-6. I love it because you get the refreshing end of summer veggies plus a heartier pasta and cheese. 


1 pound thin dried egg fettuccine or pappardelle 
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, extra for drizzling 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 cups Multi-Colored Cherry Tomatoes, halved or quartered 
2 ears corn, shucked 
1 pound medium zucchini, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
1/3 cup diced chives
1 cup basil
1/2 cup mint 
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan


Bring large stock pot full of salted water to a boil. 

Meanwhile, mince garlic and mix together in a bowl with 2 teaspoons salt, adding vinegar, oil, and tomatoes. Stir gently and set aside. 

Boil corn until tender, about 5 minutes, and let cool.

Peel lengthwise ribbons from 1 side of a zucchini with vegetable peeler into another bowl, stopping when you get to seedy core. Turn zucchini a quarter-turn, then peel more ribbons, stopping at core. Repeat on remaining 2 sides of zucchini.  Reserve cores for another use (soup for example). 

Cut the corn away from the cobs into a bowl, and add tomatoes. 

Cook pasta until al dente (follow the package directions). Just before the pasta is done add the zucchini ribbons to the pot and cook about 15 seconds. Drain, and put back into the pot with tomato mix, onion, and fresh herbs. Toss and serve into shallow bowls with shaved Parmesan and olive oil on top. Buon Appetito! 

Best Chicago Style Hot Dog I've ever eaten

This was a $4.00 surprise...I rarely eat hot dogs in general, but I was ravenous so I ordered what was readily available at this casual seasonal outdoor cafe named Riverwalk Cafe & Bar, located right on the  Chicago river...and it was amazing. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hearty, Healthy, Autumn Bean Chili

Chili is such a comfort as the fall weather starts to settle in. Here is my own simple vegetarian home recipe: 


2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil 
2 cans 15 oz bpa free black beans 
2 cans 15 oz bpa free pinto beans
1 jar store bought salsa 
2 cups low sodium Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Cumin
2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
1 Pinch of Red Pepper flakes 
2 garlic cloves minced
1 Diced Jalepeno, Seeds removed
1 large red onion diced (put aside a handful for serving at the end if desired)
3 Roma tomatoes diced 
1 avocado diced 
1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar, grated
Salt & Pepper
Dash of Hot Sauce (I like Cholula) 
Xochitl Tortilla Chips (optional)
1 pint Greek yogurt (optional)


In a large stock pot on medium heat add oil, onion and garlic...sauté until onions are soft. 

Add beans, salsa, broth, jalapeño, spices, and season to taste. Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until liquid is lessened by half, about 15-25 minutes. 

Spoon into bowls piping hot, top with grated cheese, extra raw onion (if desired), tomatoes, avocado and a dollop of Greek yogurt as a topper to cool the spice. Line the bowl with tortilla chips for dipping. 

Use those late summer tomatoes...

All you need is: 
Olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic, salt & pepper...cook till they burst and you have a fresh marinara sauce that you can pour over fish, meats, toasted bread, you name it. 

Cooking in Movies :)

I've always appreciated getting little tips and culinary inspiration from movies...and this is a fun article about just that. They didn't include some of my epicurean favorites, so in case you want to add to their already solid list, here are a few of mine:

Like Water For Chocolate, Julie & Julia, Tampopo, and last but certainly not least, Babette's Feast.


How to select the right apple for your recipe

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year...the cool crisp air, sweaters and boots, the promising feeling of a new season...and of course, the marvelous options to choose from as far as cooking and baking. Naturally, the glorious bounty of apples take center stage. Here is a great article to help you choose the right apple for your fall recipes. Enjoy :)

...and here's the link!


Freshly Caught Grilled Red Snapper

It may not look like much, but there is nothing quite like fresh fish straight from the sea...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Palamino Island

Sautéed Cherry Tomato and Herb Spaghetti

Need to use up all those beautiful end of summer tomatoes you have? Here's a simple delicious recipe: 


2 pints cherry tomatoes
3 plus tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 minced garlic cloves
1 pound spaghetti 
2 sprigs fresh thyme 
1 sprig fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded or shaved Parmesan


Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, reserving a half cup of pasta water (put aside.) Drain and return to pot. 

While pasta is cooking, in a large pan, combine oil, garlic, tomatoes and herbs. Cook at a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomato skins have burst, about 15 minutes or less. 

Add tomato mix to pasta; toss and pour a bit of pasta water in...season to taste with more salt & pepper. Serve hot with a good two pinches of Parmesan on top. I like to dollop a tiny bit of olive oil at the end, optional of course. Buon Appetito! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Fajardo music & dance

We heard this fun primal music from way up in the hills, and decided to follow the sounds....here is a sample of the great stuff we discovered:

Grilled Kebabs, street side!

A spicy juicy chicken kebab hot off the outside grill for 2.50 in Fajardo- with a beer! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

One Pot Pasta

12 oz Linguine
Two Bunches of Fresh Basil Sprigs
12 oz cherry or grape tomatoes 
5 Cloves Garlic very thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Onion thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan

How to:
Put pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, Basil, red-pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and 4 1/2 cups water into a large pan. Bring to a boil, stirring pasta with tongs frequently. Once pasta is al dente, season with salt & pepper to taste and sprinkle with Parmesan, Basil and a glug of Olive oil. Enjoy! 

Eggs in Purgatory

This is a simple spicy tomato sauce made up of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and then slowly poached eggs with some Parmesan & fresh Basil sprinkled on top. Use crusty bread for dipping! 

Freshly Muddled Kiwi Juice

My go-to Cobb Salad

When I'm in need of some greens, this is a kitchen favorite:

Placed on top of a bed of farmers market greens: Minced Turkey Bacon, par boiled Baby Red Potatoes, Minced Deli Turkey, Avocado, Cherry Tomatoes, Hard Boiled Eggs, Chickpeas, Minced Carrots, Quinoa....and I made a dressing with Blue Cheese Crumbles, Olive Oil, Lemon, Salt, Pepper, a dash of Cholula Hot Sauce & Parsley.