All posts filed under: Gourmet Cooking & Recipes

Food: Dinner Tonight – Lentil Salad

I have a bag of lentil I’ve been itching to cook up – normally I drizzle olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, chop up fresh cilantro, and dice up chives and voila a quick and easy dish after a busy day.  But today, this recipe sparked my desire to up the simple meal to this variation – I will use Halloumi cheese naturally – which is the best grilling cheese in my opinion.  Paired with a bottle of white or red (for me) and now we have a gourmet stay-in dinner. INGREDIENTS Kosher salt ¾ cup black beluga lentils 3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp. honey 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided Freshly ground black pepper 8 oz. grilling cheese (such as bread, Halloumi, or paneer), torn into 2″ pieces 1 lb. sweet mini peppers, ribs and seeds removed, halved lengthwise, cut into thirds if large ½ tsp. dried oregano ¼ cup (packed) basil leaves, torn if large Flaky sea salt  {continued}     Featured image source and full credit

Food: Dinner Tonight – Chicken Caesar Salad Altered

There is at least one day a week, I serve a chicken dish to the family – my mother included. However, when I mention that dinner would be chicken related, she cringes – not sure why. I do ask her, and she says, chicken is good. You do what you think is best. So, this pesto chicken Caesar salad recipe it is with a few alterations to fit our dietary needs: INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 2 cups torn ciabatta bread (no bread for us) 2 cloves garlic, smashed 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks 1/2 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and black pepper 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 8 ounces burrata cheese, at room temperature (this may be mozzarella instead) fresh herbs, for serving, such as chives, thyme, and basil PARMESAN TAHINI DRESSING 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil juice of 2 lemons 1/4 cup tahini 2 tablespoons dijon mustard {toss up on the dijon since family not a fan} 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1-2 cloves garlic, grated kosher salt and black pepper 1/3 cup grated parmesan {continued} Question of …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Salad with Avocado, Mango and Feta Cheese

I bought mango over the weekend – not the usual kind but Ataulfo – which I remember having a version of it in the middle east as a child. Weird I know. But I did – in the hills of Lebanon, somehow, someone had sliced and chilled a few and served it to us one very hot summer evening, seated on a terrace, chatting up with friends and family. Anyway, this is the reason I bought the Ataulfo mango and I guess the internet realizing my nostalgia, offered up this recipe for me to consider for tonight’s dinner –  and instead of feta which I don’t have at home, I will be slicing up Cotija cheese. Recipe 2 ripe mangos, cubed 1 avocado, cubed 6 oz of feta, cubed handful of mint, chopped handful of chives, chopped handful of basil, chopped 1/4 cup of pistachios, chopped juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp good olive oil flakey salt to taste fresh ground black pepper to taste {more} {featured image and recipe full credit On another note …

Monday Updates and More Lovely Things

…And we are back – to another work week and the continuation of our current lifestyle – which by the way I have gotten so used to now. Have you? Lots happened over the weekend, mostly in my head, where I am now wondering how life will be after the pandemic. Will we be mindful, thoughtful and as tight knit as we have become while struggling through the same challenges, globally? Or will everyone simply bounce back to the norm before the storm…that has swept the entire planet to its current state? Just thinking out loud. But really, in San Francisco we are in the final weeks of the best weather, before the summer dense fog shrouds the city for the next three or four months.  So, I did some walking across the city again, while snapping photographs of the springtime blooms throughout. Then worked in my garden – which I’d been avoiding due to severe allergies in my family – but I have to say, it was the most invigorating as plans to revamp …

Food: Cooking Helps – Especially Cheesy Chicken Enchilada

I’ve always found cooking to be therapeutic, so I opt to make dinner every night and take the leftovers for lunch to work. That’s been the standard in my household for a few decades. So, I do recommend the exercise while forced to stay home the next couple of weeks – cook, or bake, and then wash the dishes by hand rather than placing them in the dishwasher. The idea of doing something you can control has a positive affect – trust me. Tonight’s dinner – leaning towards much comfort food also – is this Cheesy Chicken Enchilada skillet – which I never thought of doing – I normally leaned towards the traditional over-baked version.  This one is easier for sure. INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1/2 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 (16-ounce) jar medium red salsa 1/2 cup sour cream, plus more for serving 4 corn tortillas, torn into quarters 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (from 1 [2 1/2-pound] rotisserie chicken) 1 (15.5-ounce) …

Food: Chicken or Beef Tacos – Another Version Added To My Collection of Taco Recipes

Tacos it is – again – but I am not complaining and after testing out this recipe, I doubt the family will complain either. Except for one thing – I do not like ground chicken – I preferred pulled chicken instead. So, that’s how this recipe will go down in my household. Feel free to add you favorite protein. INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 pound ground chicken, beef, or turkey 1 yellow onion, chopped 2-3 teaspoons chipotle chili powder use to your taste 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper use to your taste 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon kosher salt 12 hard shell tacos 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese CILANTRO LIME RANCH 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped + 2 tablespoons brine juice from 2 limes 1 teaspoon kosher salt  {more} On another note – would you take a trip to New York just to see this Broadway musical – about Princess Diana?  

Food: Valentine’s Day Desserts and Would You Eat Tacos Everyday

So you’ve planned dinner for Valentine’s day but have no idea where to turn for desserts, and sure you’ve considered a ready made alternative, or perhaps discussed a personalized sweets of sorts. But have you considered making your own dessert, and really it doesn’t have to be only for Valentine’s day but for any special date night at home. Here are some of my favorite which are also the easiest to make – for the rest go here: Would you eat Tacos everyday – I would, if it was dinner for one, and I’d try all 42 of these taco recipes – which of course would be on rotation in my kitchen  

Holiday Series: Gathering Up The Week Long Celebration Menu

I’m hosting many guests over the holiday week, and finding just the right recipe is probably the funnest task I embark on, because you see, I love a good dinner party, and a conversations, and even followed by a board game. So, here are some of the dishes I intend to make this week: What are your favorite recipes? Here’s a fun article about how to feed your hungriest house guests 

Holiday Series: In The Baking Mode

I am partly hosting a holiday-ish party next weekend and although most of the catering has been established, and deposits made, the snowflake cookies we envisioned isn’t going to happen – from a bakery. So, I volunteered to bake – for the first time – the said cookies and decorate them in time for the Saturday event. Then of course, I stumbled upon this list of 12 simple and delicious baking recipes for this holiday season to gift all the wonderful beings in your life past the immediate family.  Check out some of my favorites and for the rest go here: And since I usually tweak whatever recipe I want to try, I had to add my take on each one below: Whatcha ye baking?

Holiday Series: Thanksgiving Appetizers

Normally my appetizer set-up trumps the actual ‘non-turkey’ oh alright, a sliver of turkey dinner.  The reason for that is, most folks arrive at my doorstep very hungry, and very thirsty for a cocktail, so the ritual begins, munching away at appetizers while cocktailing.  So by the time dinner rolls around, folks are too full to indulge. I haven’t yet figured out how best to settle this matter except perhaps try an array of light appetizers. But that doesn’t mean I won’t share some of the appetizers that are making their way to my list for this year’s dinner gathering. For the rest of of the 123 recipes which by the way are great suggestions for any parties, including Christmas, or New Years, go here   And how to host Thanksgiving or any party without the stress – although I welcome the stress – it is invigorating I think