Breakfast or Lunch

Salad for breakfast? Yes!!! I wanted to start a trend, but so far only one person is with me.
That’s okay, trends take time. Instead, treat yourself to guacamole for lunch. If you think about it, guacamole is a salad-smushed. Skip the last part and you have a salad that doesn’t make you miss summer. If it needs a name, call it salsa or relish. In fact, be the envy of your office mates. Call it a party to go.  And while avocado may be more calorie dense than some of its friends in the produce aisle, it’s still packed with goodness – healthy fats, vitamin C, plenty of fiber and some protein. Mix it with other veggies and you’ll take a big bite out of your daily government sponsored food pyramid.
So, in short order:
1 avocado, cubed
any decent tomato or handful of cherry tomatoes, cubed/halved
a handful of chopped cilantro (parsley for haters)
jalapeno, fresh hopefully, chopped
bell pepper, chopped & optional
juice from 1/2 lime
variations: red onion (not for breakfast or for those who work in close quarters), scallions, garlic, hot pepper sauce…you get the picture
note: great with corn tortillas, brushed with veg oil, sprinkled with salt, cumin, cayenne and baked 350 until crispy

Smokin’ Hot Chocolate!!



I wanted to make y’all a treat for signing up for, so I decided to give a friend’s hot chocolate recipe a whirl. Scott Campbell is the Executive Chef at the lovely New Leaf Restaurant & Bar in NYC, next to the Cloisters. Just a few ingredients and it’s a knockout! Scott calls for Valrohna cocoa powder and chocolate. I had Valrohna’s “Noir” from the chocolate show, but had to make do with another cocoa powder. I also snuck in 2 more tablespoons of sugar (sorry Scott, I think it was my cocoa powder) and cheated with 1%, not whole milk.


Here is his recipe:

1 quart whole milk

2 ounces Valrhona Cocoa Powder

1 ounce sugar

3 ounces Valrhona Chocolate, chunks

Pour milk and cocoa into a sauce pot and bring to a simmer and add sugar. Reduce heat to very low and add chocolate stirring occasionally until melted about 3-5 minutes. Strain hot chocolate through a chinoise (sieve!) and finish with Vanilla.

BTW I whipped the cream by hand after an incident in butter making via the KitchenAid this summer-first time I ever over whipped the cream! Our girls laughed their behinds off, but ate the butter with salt on fresh bread anyway.Whipped Cream

That’s a cup of heavy cream, a shake or two of confectioners sugar and a dash of vanilla extract if you want. It didn’t take as long as I thought and the forearm got a workout.

Welcome to I Am Not A Restaurant…

mom kitchen disaster“I am not a restaurant!” But I play one in my kitchen, and the whole family calls me on it, both individually and occasionally as a group. Not Merlin, just Mom the magical food mill. You don’t like the frittata? Okay, how about pasta fagioli?  Would you like Mommy to peel the skins from the grapes? Freeze them? Make jam, a tart, a savory fish with champagne (ok – prosecco, recession’s sparkler). Though not a kitchen tech enthusiast I have a dehydrator, a spaetzle maker, an ice cream machine, pizza stone, 2 Ninja systems (!), and a still boxed sous vide that is supposed to knock the socks off chicken cooked any other way. Seriously after nearly 17 years of family food management, I finally understand why my parents celebrated the last child’s entrance into college by dining out nightly.

Hence, my newly typed lament, “””. I just want to get the food on the table with some grace most days. As a home and lifestyle host on Martha Stewart Living Radio on SiriusXM for the past 7 plus years, I have fielded the same questions, “what should I make with…chicken…ground beef…broccoli?” And I answer…honey mustard, beer battered, oven fried…empanadas…pasta with garlic. But like a metal stamping factory during economic recovery, the same question for all of us continues.

The thing is, beneath my carmelized, crusty exterior, I still like it. Knowing I can whip together a marinara in 15 minutes gives me great satisfaction plus the hope that I can stuff them full of vegetables before they fledge. So on I will share. Recipes will be original and borrowed, health conscious and spoilers. They will have worked for mine, and I hope they work for yours too!

Try the stuffed peppers and feel free to make them your own!

stuffed peppers  

Change the seasonings, make them meat free, add tomatoes!! This is a great way to plan for and use leftovers.

4 bell peppers, cleaned and halved

1 small to medium onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery sticks, cleaned and chopped

Garlic clove, if you like

Olive or veggie oil

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon coriander

1 cup corn, frozen or otherwise

1 cup cooked chicken (beef, pork etc)

Handful grated cheese – your fave, more for a topping

Salt & pepper to taste

3-4 cups cooked rice, mine was brown

Reserve the peppers in an oiled casserole for stuffing. Soften the other veggies in a touch of olive oil over medium low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add other spices, cook a minute or two, then add corn and chicken. Add the cheese, stuff the peppers, top with more cheese.  Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Eat.