Japanese Eggplant Salad

Japanese Eggplant Salad

Japanese eggplants are elegant and beautiful to serve, they can also be cooked a variety of ways. My dear friend Kaui has an incredible green thumb and graciously gave me some eggplants and tomatoes from her garden. I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to try with the generous gifts from my friend. I had been eyeing a Japanese eggplant salad recipe from Terra: Cooking from the Heart of Napa Valleyby Chef Hiro Sone of Terra Restaurant. The umami and pungent flavors from the marinade and dressings are highlighted in Chef Sone’s recipe.  This Japanese eggplant salad has multiple components, but I promise, the flavors are what you can expect to taste when dining in Japan!… 

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50 Forks Restaurant- Hidden Gem of Orange County

50 Forks Restaurant

50 Forks Restaurant of Orange County is where you can get high quality cuisine without the high priced expense. This hidden gem is located at The Art Institute campus in Santa Ana, California. This is a student run restaurant that showcases the skill and artistic flair of Southern California’s future culinary leaders. The concept is a California bistro with dishes featuring global flavors such as India,  Morocco, Italy and American regional cuisine. With students running the show, its a perfect opportunity for them to combine their culinary talents & the skills it takes to run a real business…. 

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Brandied Cherry Chocolate Mousse Cake

Brandied Cherry Chocolate Mousse Cake

This year on August 15th marks the 100th birthday of the culinary icon, Julia Child and in her honor I created a celebration brandied cherry chocolate mousse cake. The idea originally came to me when I began to brainstorm with my dear friend and pastry aficionado Tekoah, and when we came up with a few great Julia inspired ideas I just had to make one…. 

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Roasted Lemon and Herb Chicken

Roasted Lemon and Herb Chicken

Nothing is better than a home filled with the smell of fresh herbs and roasted chicken; it is intoxicating. I was in the mood for a little comfort food, so I gathered some of my favorite root vegetables like sweet potatoes, fennel, onions, celery, carrots, and some summer ingredients like sweet white corn and heirloom tomatoes. These vegetables would be the “nest” for the roasted lemon and herb chicken…. 

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Greek Style Chicken Skewers and Hummus

Greek Style Chicken Skewers and Hummus

Greek food is one of my favorite cuisines because the ingredients are simple, fresh and you can find a lot of healthy options. I always marinate the meat before I cook it to infuse some flavor; typically with fresh herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. Hummus is one of my favorite dips because you can add extra flavors you enjoy like roasted red pepper, garlic, avocado, or just keep it classic. For a light and quick meal, I created Greek style chicken skewers and hummus with a fresh heirloom tomato salad…. 

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Seasonal Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe

Seasonal Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe

If you love tomatoes, then summer is your season! I am always excited to see when heirloom tomato varietals make their appearance at farmers market or grocery stores. Initially I was attracted to their myriad of color, inside and out, the individual shape and the appearance of each tomato; it is the tomato with the most personality! As I begin to learn more, I select carefully based on what flavors I am craving. One of the best ways to enjoy these rare summer fruits are in a classic seasonal heirloom tomato salad recipe…. 

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Fried Egg and Bacon Sandwich

Fried Egg and Bacon Sandwich

I wanted to treat my husband to something extra yummy for brunch, so I picked up his favorite ingredient, bacon. I combined this with my favorite ingredient the egg. By adding a ripe heirloom tomato, homemade basil mayonnaise, and my new favorite cheese the lamb chopper, the sandwich was getting tastier by the second.  I now have a new mouth watering sandwich we don’t have to leave home for; a fried egg and bacon sandwich with homemade basil mayonnaise… the BLTA + EGG…. 

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Stone Fruit Crumble with Blueberry and Almonds

Stone Fruit Crumble with Blueberry and Almonds

With summer in full swing, you can easily find ripe stone fruits in most grocery stores and farmers markets. I picked up some extremely ripe and sweet white and yellow varietals of peaches and nectarines from All Green Farms in Orange County, California. I particularly enjoy being a patron of this farmer because they always make great recommendations and are very honest about what is at peak flavor. I requested the kind farmer to hand pick the ripest fruits for the stone fruit crumble with blueberry and almonds…. 

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An Evening of Tapas Recipes

Caipirinha During my recent visit to Michigan, I had the chance to combine foodie forces with my good friend Angie, aka. The Michigan Bon Vivant. Angie is a big supporter of buying fresh organic produce, is passionate about finding ways to educate others on improving our nation’s food culture, and also knows her ethnic cuisine! As we dined together one evening, we decided that we needed one more food experience before I left for California, so Angie had the brilliant idea to make some of her favorite tapas recipes at her home…. 

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