Burrata and Arugula Garlic Toast

I have made this easy dish for appetizers and also served along with pasta or a soup. I haven’t met anyone that eats this that doesn’t like it. You can add pine nuts for an extra texture to the arugula or drizzle over with glazed balsamic vinegar.


Burrata and Arugula Garlic Toast

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • One french baguette (sliced diagonally, about 10 pieces)
  • 4 – 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 4-  6 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1 container burrata (2 balls)
  • 1 – 2 large handful organic arugula
  • 1 – 2 tbsp high quality olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Melt butter and add garlic (stir well)
  • Brush mixture on each piece of bread and place in oven until toasted (about 5-10 minutes)
  • Remove from oven and place on a platter
  • Section out burrata into 10 servings and place on each piece of bread
  • In a bowl, mix arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Place arugula on top of each piece
  • Ready to serve!



Green Papaya Salad

One of the many reasons I love living in California, is because we are able to get most of the ingredients needed to make authentic Thai food. Just 10 minutes from my house is a great Thai Market with all the fresh ingredients you need. This weekend I found a nice unripe papaya so I was inspired to make one of my favorite dishes, papaya salad.

Papaya Salad

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 unripe papaya (shredded)
  • 1 handful of roasted peanuts
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 handful of Chinese long beans (cut)
  • 1-2 Tbsp of dried shrimp
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh thai chilies (more if you want spicier)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind juice
  • 1 – 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp palm sugar (grated)


  • In a large mortar and pestle pound the garlic, peanuts and shrimp together to make a loose paste.
  • Add chilies (per your taste) and pound together.
  • Add tomatoes and pound together.
  • Use a large metal spoon to mix the ingredients in the bottom of the mortar around to make sure you are mixing all ingredients.
  • Add the Chinese long beans and pound together.
  • Add the papaya and continue pounding until all ingredients are combined together. Continue to use the spoon to mix ingredients.
  • Add fresh lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind to taste.
  • The finished product should be a combination of sweet, spicy, and sour.
  • Serve on a plate with fresh cabbage and sticky rice.


Candied Walnuts

My aunt Patty is a wizard in the kitchen. In years past she would serve these candied walnuts with a glass of champagne before our Christmas dinner. I love to give them out as gifts alongside some great Christmas cookies. I make a batch and put them in an airtight container for my family for the month of December for them to enjoy when they visit me in the kitchen.

Candied Walnuts

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 pound of walnut pieces
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar + 2 tbsp after cooled
  • 3 cups vegetable oil


  • In a large stockpot fill with water and bring to a boil
  • Lay out 2-3 pieces of wax paper on the counter
  • Once the water is boiling put the walnuts in the hot water and blanch for exactly 2 minutes
  • Drain in a colander and place them in a large bowl
  • Add sugar and mix well, make sure all the walnuts are coated
  • Lay them out on the wax paper on the counter
  • In about 15 minutes take 2 tablespoons of sugar and coat them lightly
  • Let them dry for 1-2 hours
  • In a large pan (cast iron is best), heat vegetable oil
  • Once the oil is hot, add walnuts in small batches
  • Fry until golden brown and let drain on a wire rack

Quiche Lorraine

This is a delicious easy main dish you can serve for brunch or dinner. Pair with a nice arugula salad with tomatoes, your guest will ask for a second helping!

Quiche Lorraine

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: medium
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  • 4 jumbo organic eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1/4 cup of sweet onion finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 package of thick bacon
  • 3/4 cup of grated Jarlsberg cheese
  • 3/4 cup of baby swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup of finely grated parmesan and romano
  • 1/2 cup of Le Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 unbaked pie dough
  • 1 9inch deep dish pie pan


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Prepare the pie dough into the pie pan and set aside
  • Chopped raw bacon into small pieces and cook in a skillet until crispy, drain on paper towel and set aside
  • Drain bacon fat out of the skillet but leave 1 tablespoon
  • Sauté the sweet onions until soft and translucent, remove and drain on a paper towel
  • Place the bacon evenly on the bottom of the pie pan
  • Sprinkle onions and chives on top
  • In a large bowl slightly beat the eggs
  • Add cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper
  • Mix together and pour into pie shell
  • Bake in oven at 450 for 15 minutes
  • Reduce heat to 350 and bake for about 45 minutes longer until cooked into the center.
  • Let cool for 1o minutes and serve

crispy bacon cooked
crispy bacon cooked

pie shell
pie shell

slightly beaten eggs
slightly beaten eggs

All the cheeses
All the cheeses

fresh nutmeg
fresh nutmeg

quiche before the oven
quiche before the oven

Garlic Truffle Edamame

This is one of my favorite dishes I order at our go to sushi place. I needed to eat this more on a regular basis so I experimented at home with this recipe. It is so easy to make and you can adjust the taste to your liking by just adding more of each ingredient if you want, you can’t go wrong!

Garlic Truffle Edamame

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Photo Jul 04, 5 08 05 PMFullSizeRender


  • 1 bag of frozen (not cooked) Edamame
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup of Ponzu sauce (I prefer Mizkan brand)
  • 1 tablespoons of Chili Oil (you can use less or more depending on spice profile)
  • 1 tablespoon of black truffle oil
  • 4-5 cloves of finely chopped garlic


  • In a medium bowl mix all the sauces and garlic together and let sit for 30 minutes on the counter to marinate.
  • Steam Edamame per the instructions on the bag and then add to the sauce mixture.
  • Stir well and serve hot!

Stuffed Mushrooms with Three Cheeses

I’ve been making this recipe for 22 years. Its always a hit at any party! I typically make this for the holidays. The trick to serving these is when you remove them from the oven and plate them, walk around the party and serve them. They taste best right out of the oven.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Three Cheeses

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients –

  • 2 packages of white or brown button mushrooms
  • 1 cup of fresh mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 1 packaged of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter

Directions –

  • Clean mushrooms carefully and remove the stem from the middle
  • Set them in a casserole pan
  • in a medium bow, mix mozzarella, parmesan, cream cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of half and half, if it needs a little more so you can mix gradually add another tablespoon.
  • Add the chopped chives
  • Stuff filling in each mushrooms, make sure you heap and pack in the filling.
  • Melt the butter in the microwave
  • Dip each mushroom bottom in the butter and place back into pan
  • Drizzle the tops of the mushrooms with any remaining butter
  • Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes until gold brown and soft
  • Serve immediately!


Clean mushrooms and place in casserole pan.
Clean mushrooms and place in casserole pan.

Cheese ingredients before stuffing into mushrooms
Cheese ingredients before stuffing into mushrooms

This is how the stuffing should look for each mushroom
This is how the stuffing should look for each mushroom

Dip each mushroom in melted butter
Dip each mushroom in melted butter

Mushrooms are brown and cooked through.
Mushrooms are brown and cooked through.