Saturday, December 29, 2012


This classic brunch cocktail is so easy to make, yet so delicious and elegant. Here is how I was taught to make it in bartending school many years ago.

Quantities are not included, as they will depend on the size of your champagne flute. However, the recipe is simple: Equal parts orange juice and champagne.


Orange juice, chilled
Champagne or sparkling white wine, chilled

Pour the orange juice into a champagne flute until it is 1/2 full.

Top with the champagne until full.

-- 1 serving

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spinach and Feta Quiche

Spinach and feta are such a great combination, and they work well in this quiche.

It makes a great centerpiece for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a light dinner. Add some fresh fruit or a salad, and maybe some rolls or muffins, for a light and nutritious meal.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
8 ounces fresh spinach
6 large eggs, or equivalent in egg substitute
1/2 cup half and half *
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, partially thawed if frozen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the tougher stems from the spinach and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced onion, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the spinach, along with salt and pepper to taste, and saute over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and use paper towels to gently squeeze any excess liquid from the spinach mixture. Set the drained spinach mixture aside.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs slightly and then whisk in the half and half. Fold in the feta and the Parmesan.

Add the spinach mixture, and stir to combine.

Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.

Bake for 40 minutes to one hour, or longer as needed, until set in the center. If the crust starts to get too brown, wrap just the crust in some aluminum foil to keep it from burning.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing

-- 4-6 servings

* Note: If half and half is not available, you can substitute 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream plus 1/4 cup whole milk.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon

Roasting is an easy and delicious way to prepare broccoli.

Here I started with our Roasted Broccoli with Garlic recipe, and simply added a squirt of fresh lemon to add a bright new flavor dimension.


1 pound broccoli, cut into medium-size florets
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, cut into 6-8 wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli, garlic slices, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and let sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Pour the broccoli mixture into a baking dish or roasting pan, and arrange the florets in a single layer.

Cover with foil and roast for 10 minutes.

Uncover, stir, and roast for 10 minutes more.

If the broccoli is not yet tender, stir it again and then roast for another 10 minutes, or until tender and golden.

Squeeze one of the lemon wedges over the roasted broccoli.

Serve with the remaining lemon wedges for garnish and sprinkling, as desired.

-- 4-6 servings

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Paprika Roasted Potatoes and Onions

A bit of paprika adds a delightful flavor element to these simple roasted potatoes and onions, along with a lovely, deep color.

These potatoes are a great side dish for brunch, lunch, or dinner!


1 pound red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
1 small or medium yellow onion, cut vertically into 6 or 8 wedges, depending on size
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, toss the potato cubes and onion wedges with the olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper. Arrange the potato-onion mixture in single layer in a deep baking dish or roasting pan.

Cover with foil, and roast for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir.

Return to oven and roast uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes and onions are tender and golden.

Sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

-- 3-4 servings

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dates Stuffed with Almonds

These little bites are easy to make and healthy, but decadently delicious. They're festive enough to serve at your holiday parties and brunches, but simple and inexpensive enough to enjoy anytime!

Quantities are not included in the recipe below. Just use one whole almond per each date to make as many or as few as you need.


Pitted dates
Roasted whole almonds

Cut each date lengthwise along one side to "butterfly ".

Stuff each date with a whole almond, and then lightly press to partially close the date.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.