Fresh Fruit Platter

Are you making a fresh fruit platter for a party? Maybe for a family get together, holiday party, BBQ, wedding or baby shower, picnic or brunch?

Have a look at these examples for some inspiration!

Color contrast
Add some greenery
Different shapes and sizes
Add height…pile it on top!!

Zucchini and Feta Stuffed Ravioli with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Here’s my no cost dinner!  I just emptied the fridge with everyday ingredients!


Fresh zucchini, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and wontons! Dinner!

Ready, set, go!

I took the feta cheese out of the fridge to soften.  I had about 5 ounces.

Then I blanched 2 medium sized zucchini which I had cut into circles.  (To blanch: boil a pot of water and add the zucchini for 3 minutes).  Drain and put into an ice bath (a bowl of ice water) for a few minutes to stop the cooking. Drain again and blot dry with a paper towel.

Next I chopped the zucchini into very small pieces and mixed with the softened feta.  Added a pinch of salt and pepper and 1/4 teaspoon each of dried basil and oregano from my sister’s garden which she sends to me every year in my Christmas gift package.

I dug out the wonton wrappers I stashed in the back of the fridge a few weeks earlier (good intentions!), and dropped about 1 tablespoon of the zucchini/feta/herb mixture into the middle of each wrapper…20 in total.  rav-5

One at a time, I moistened the four corners of each wonton with water.  Often an beaten egg and water mixture is used for this step but I didn’t have an egg for this “empty the fridge” meal.

Then I folded them into a triangle and then folded them into a “diaper” (see photo).  Moisten each fold with a bit more water to keep them from falling apart.


For the cherry tomato sauce I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees.  Put the whole container of cherry tomatoes on a foil lined sheet pan, mixed with a good pinch of salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.


Meanwhile, I put on a pot of water to boil for cooking the ravioli.

I cooked the tomatoes in the oven for 10 minutes.

And boiled the ravioli for about 7 minutes, just until they rose to the top of the pot then removed them with a slotted spoon.

I placed the ravioli onto a platter, then I removed the tomatoes from the oven which had become a “sauce” and topped the ravioli with it.

Added a little parmesan too!

Great dinner!

Chef’s note: you can use other vegetables and cheeses for your ravioli.  Whatever is in your fridge!



After Snorkeling The Great Barrier Reef Start Dinner with a Pimm’s!


Had a fantastic day snorkeling The Great Barrier Reef, at Airlie Beach in the Whitsunday Region of Australia.


“On top of the world” while down under!

Why not start dinner with a refreshing Pimm’s cocktail.


Pimm’s is a liqueur usually served with ginger ale and a variety of chopped garnishes: apples, cucumber, lemons, strawberry, mint, etc…  Goes down easy. Very easy!

Dinner started with an appetizer, which in Australia is called an “Entrée”, of: Tempura Soft Shell Crab Served on a Wasabi Mayo, Dressed with Asian Slaw and Sweet Soy and Citrus Glaze.  Amazing!


Then our Entrée, or as it is in Australia, the “Main”:  Grilled Fillet of Local Wild Caught Barramundi Served on Steamed Bok Choy Topped with Macadamia Nut and Basil Pesto, with a side of Sweet Potato Chips (fries in the USA).


Best day ever!!!

What To Do After A Hike in Australia

Time to eat and drink.  The rewards of hike Down Under!


I recently visited Australia and my host and great friend Marilyn, wanted to show me her beautiful adopted country.  No problem, however, it wasn’t easy keeping up with my very fit friend!  Thank goodness for the spectacular views!


Of course, after the hike, it was time for refreshments!  I know…now we’re talking!

img_0654Don’t worry, that was just a taster of an Australian beer for me.  Yep, liked it.

If I see oysters on a menu, I’m all in.  And these were so fresh I felt they came right out of the ocean in the photo above.  Maybe they did!


Another seafood I cannot get enough of is squid, aka calamari.  I know these look like onion rings!!!  This is not trick photography.  They really were this big!!  And delicious!  Ah Australia!


I’ll hike all day for food like this!

Gold Coast of Australia.  One hour north of Brisbane.  Put it on your bucket list.


Just saying…


A salad in not a meal.  It is a style.  ~ Fran Lebowitz

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.   Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.  ~Miles Kington

It takes four men to dress a salad: a wise man for the salt, a madman for the pepper, a miser for the vinegar, and a spendthrift for the oil.” ~

“my salad days, When I was green in judgement, cold in blood.” ~
William Shakespeare


Fresh Herbs!

Fresh herbs

Herbs are the fragrant leaves of plants that do not have woody stems.

They can be annual or perennial.

Some of the most common herbs are: basil, bay leaf, chervil, coriander, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, and thyme.

Used in the culinary sense and for medicinal purposes.

Herbs flavor dishes so you don’t need a lot of salt, butter, or oil. The addition of some green herbs to a meal not only makes it more appealing to the eye and taste-buds, but can also add health benefits.

To store fresh herbs, rinse them with cool water to remove any dirt, then gently shake off excess moisture, and pat dry with paper towels. Place them in a jar and fill it with a few inches of water. Trim the ends of the herb stems so that they fit with the leaves above the jar’s edge. Keep them on the counter, or store in the refrigerator, covered loosely with a plastic bag.

To lengthen the life of fresh herbs you can freeze them. Chop your fresh herbs and put them into an ice cube tray or plastic bag and store in your freezer for later use. Freeze them in olive oil to use in sautés or roasted dishes.

You can also air dry fresh herbs that will last a long time. Take a bunch and secure the stems with twine or a rubber band and hang them upside down in a warm, dry place that’s away from direct sunlight. Put a paper bag over the herbs to prevent them from getting dusty.

Experiment! You will love them!

Carrots: The Vegetable for All Seasons


Carrots are available year round…no wonder they are so popular!

Actually a member of the parsley family!  Who knew?

Known for their heathy properties and high Vitamin A content for over 2,000 years.

When buying carrots they should be firm and smooth.  Avoid those with cracks and any that have begun to soften.  The best carrots are young and slender (as with so many other things!!  LOL!)


Oven-Baked Onion Ring Recipe

Can’t live without these!

MBI Onion Rings

Makes 6 servings


¼ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 large white onion, cut into ¼-inch slices

3 egg whites, lightly beaten

¾ cup plain bread crumbs



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray
  3. Combine flour, salt and cayenne
  4. Separate the onion slices into rings
  5. FEB = dredge in Flour, dig in Egg whites, coat in Breadcrumbs
  6. Place on baking sheet and bake on top rack of oven until brown, about 10 minutes
  7. Turn onion rings over and bake until brown, 5-10 minutes

I like to serve them with ketchup, of course, or some blue cheese dressing.