Nova Lox with a Schmear

 

After the holidays, I got into this binge craving for lox and schmear, which is a mixture of softened vegan cream cheese mixed with fresh dill, spicy red onion, briny capers, a dash of pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Imagine chewy, fresh warm bagels, thick, rich, amped up softened cream cheese, and tender, slightly smoky, silky lox. Dang! There I go adding the ingredients to our grocery list again!

Continue reading

Quadruple Chocolate Espresso Drop Cookies

 

These insanely, chocolaty, indulgent cookies are not for the faint of heart so make sure your Valentine is worthy (and medically sound)!

How insane, you ask?  How about four different types of chocolate AND a double infusion of espresso?  That should get your blood pumping!  The best part about these cookies is they have a brownie-like, crunchy top, a chewy, chocolaty center, and a rich coffee flavor at the finish.  One bite of these cookies and you may decide you’re your favorite Valentine this year!

Continue reading

Vegetarian Malaysian Laksa

 

I made this dish right after the holidays to help make up for some of those less than healthy meal choices we ate between Thanksgiving and New Years.  This is an immensely flavorful vegetarian dish guaranteed to restore your body’s antioxidants, beta-carotene, potassium, and vitamins A and C.

If you haven’t had Malaysian food before, prepare your taste-buds for a treat.  Authentic characteristic in traditional Malay cuisine is first and foremost the generous use of spices closely followed by coconut milk which gives Malay dishes their rich, creamy flavor.

Continue reading

Roasted Garlic and Sweet Onion Jam

 

Savory jams are great as an appetizer, and adding a thick, rich layer of your favorite cream cheese turns an ordinary piece of toasted bread into a delectable bite.

I first made this jam for Thanksgiving, but everyone enjoyed it so much, I made it again to give as gifts to my friends at Christmas.  The sweet components of the roasted garlic, onions and brown sugar perfectly balance the acid from the vinegar and the heat in the chili flakes.

Continue reading

Smoked Lobster Shot

 

Fresh lobster meat can get a little pricey. However, there are times when you just need to throw that budget out the window and allow yourself the indulgence (and the decadent feeling of naughtiness) that comes with eating it!

Imagine the look of surprise on your Christmas or New Year’s party guests faces this year when they see these luxuriant hors d-oeuvre/cocktails!  They’re the perfect combination of sweet, tender lobster, followed by the smooth, spicy, smoky sauce.   And any left-over sauce makes a fantastic bloody Mary!

Continue reading

Steamed Flounder in Parchment with Vodka Martini Relish

 

To answer the obvious question, yes, I like to play with my food.  I especially enjoy putting my own twist on recipes like turning a dirty vodka martini into a vodka martini relish.  It has the wonderfully boozy, briny, olive flavors you expect, along with some added sweetness from the red onion and piquillo peppers.

Continue reading

Curried Lentils with Roasted Beets, Chickpeas, and Fresh Spinach

 

The side dishes that show up on the holiday table have started to look the same every year. I’m all for tradition and love a large helping of creamy mashed potatoes, however, how many green bean casseroles do you need to eat before you decide it’s time to broaden your options?

Continue reading

Vegetarian Meatballs with Fresh Herbed Tomato Sauce

 

It seems strange to call these meatballs, meatballs considering there isn’t any meat in them, however every other word I tried to come up with to describe them just didn’t sound right.  So we’re going with meatballs!  Whatever you want to call them, they were fantastic!  The creamy lentils were the perfect binder to hold the ingredients together, and the earthy, deep roasted flavor from the vegetables, paired with the bright acidity from the pesto and herbed spicy tomato sauce were a match made in vegetarian heaven.

Continue reading

Pepper Shrimp with Pad Thai Salad

 

Shrimp is one of my favorite seafood proteins. It has a sweet, unique flavor, a gorgeous color when cooked, and is the most versatile seafood ingredient available.

For this recipe, I kept the flavors on the shrimp simple with a touch of salt, and garlic powder, plus a bit more black pepper to pull in the spicy flavors from the pad thai dressing. So what you taste is a perfect ratio of sweet, spicy, crunchy and salty.

Continue reading