Life, Love and my passion for cooking

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Carson City, NV, United States
I grew up in Illinois in a small town. I moved to California in May of 2000.In that time I have experienced life, love and my passion for cooking. We now live in Nevada. I hope to take my passion for cooking to a new level.


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Friday, August 31, 2012

Healthy veggie recipe

Veggie Barley Salad

1 cup barley
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1 orange bell pepper chopped
1 spicy pepper chopped- any kind
1/2 cup light feta cheese or any cheese that crumbles. Blue cheese or queso fresco are good choices.
1/2 cup black olives (optional)
1 heirloom tomato I had nice pretty green colored heirlooms. Vine ripe tomatos work just as well, chopped (optional) 


Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

1/4 cup balsamic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves chopped fine
fresh ground pepper
pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/2 tsp fresh basil

Cook barley with 2 1/4 cups water in a 4 quart pot. Bring to boil then cover and simmer for 40 min. When barley is done let it cool in the pot. Put the barley into a colander and rinse with cool water a few times until its cool.

Meanwhile, chop all your veggies and add them to the barley in a large mixing bowl. Then make the dressing. Add the feta and dressing and mix with salad spoons. Serve in small bowls and enjoy!

keeps in an air tight container for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. This amount makes enough for 4 servings.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Items used:
Old crusty roasting pan- any deep metal pan will do but best results come from old roasting pans.

Stainless steel grill pan- i used this so that the tomatoes would be nicely roasted and not too watery and soggy. It fits perfect in my roasting pan.

1. 12 Heirloom Tomatoes- large and small sizes

2. Two Jalapeno peppers chopped with seeds and a few yellow peppers with seeds.

3. 1 large sweet onion chopped

4. Extra virgin olive oil

5. Leaf oregano

6. Ancho chili pepper

7. Kosher Salt

8. Dried Basil

9. Coriander


12. I also added a secret spice- it is very hot and you only need a tiny bit. It is basically home grown dried chili peppers ground up in my spice grinder. Feel free to add something spicy of your choice!

11. Nice handful of chopped Cilantro- add last when salsa is ready to be served.

I preheated the oven to 450. Spray the grill pan with non stick spray. Chop all the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Season them with all the herbs except the cilantro. Then add them to the tray for roasting. Next drizzle a nice amount of Extra virgin olive oil to coat the tomatoes. Then chop the peppers and onions and coat them with olive oil. My oven is small so I roasted the tomatoes first and then roasted the peppers and onions.

Roast the tomatoes for 35-40 minutes. Then Roast the Peppers and onions for 30 minutes let them cool until ready to blend. I like my salsa blended. If you like yours chunky then leave them chopped. I blended  the tomatoes and pepper mixture in half amounts because it all does not fit in the food processor at one time. Blend half the tomatoes and half the peppers and onions. Then transfer to a bowl. Then repeat with the other half.

When everything is blended and in one bowl refrigerate the salsa so the flavors can blend together. Then serve with your favorite chips and enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

When life gives you lemons make muffins!

Lemon Muffins

2 cups Flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 lemons + 1 for glaze

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk or milk
(if using buttermilk the batter might be a bit thicker just add a little extra water or milk so its not too thick)

1/2 cup plain non fat yogurt

6 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400.
Grease your muffin tin with non stick cooking spray or use paper muffin liners.
Combine flour, sugar, b.soda and salt. set aside.

Take your three lemons and grate all the lemon rind off and put the rind in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Then you will need to squeeze all the juice from the three lemons. Make sure you strain the juice so the seeds don't fall in. Then pour it into the dry ingredients bowl. Mix well.

In a separate bowl mix eggs, buttermilk or milk, yogurt, and oil. Then slowly add it to the dry ingredients.

Then spoon the batter into a muffin tin of choice. 12 regular size or 6 large. I used a muffin tin for 6 large muffins.

Place into the oven and bake 20 min.
Insert a toothpick to check for doneness.

Lemon Glaze:(Optional)

about 1/4 cup confectioners sugar or a little more
rind and juice from one lemon
Mix together and decide if you need more juice or sugar. 

after the muffins cool drizzle a little on top of each muffin before serving. I also sprinkled a little confectioners sugar on top of the glaze.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cool pasta for a hot day!

Lemon Basil Pasta

16 oz bag Penne pasta- cook according to box directions

Large bunch fresh basil- chopped

8 oz container low fat ricotta cheese- (if all you can find is a 16oz container use about half.)

¼ cup olive oil

Zest from 1 lemon & half the juice

Salt & pepper to taste.

Sprinkle of sunflower seeds or pine nuts

Boil pasta according to directions on the box.

Make sure you cool the pasta completely in a strainer with cold water and drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil to keep it from sticking.

Get a large mixing bowl.  Place pasta in the bowl with ¼ cup olive oil, lemon zest and Lemon juice in the bowl with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the pasta.

In a separate bowl mix the container of ricotta and basil together. Then add it to the pasta mixture. Stir well and fold the ricotta mixture into the pasta making sure you don’t break up the pasta. We like to sprinkle the top with sunflower seeds it gives it an nice nutty taste.
It is best to refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Salad with homemade dressing

Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing



The dressing:

1/2 cup Frozen Raspberries
Fresh Basil- 3 or 4 leaves
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons dried mustard or Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup Vegetable oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in the food processor
Blend it until smooth
pour into a container for serving.

Fresh romaine lettuce chopped
Half a bag of trader Joe's herb salad chopped
1/4 cup chopped candied pecans
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 apple chopped

Chop salad greens and top with pecans, blue cheese and apples. Drizzle the raspberry dressing on top.