• Recipes

    French Dressing…Homemade Quick and Easy

    When I was a kid I really didn’t care much for French salad dressing.  I must not have known it was made with ketchup; otherwise I would surely have loved it!    Maybe it was that I just didn’t like the ‘store bought’ type (or because my sister liked it, which is a very good childhood reason not to like something).    But I really do like this homemade recipe.  It’s my tweak on my sister’s recipe.  Go figure!  As I said, it’s “my tweak”, therefore it’s not really my sisters, but mine…………all mine!  Well, almost.   French Dressing   1 cup ketchup 3/4 cup cider vinegar 1/2 cup sugar…

  • The Pantry

    Pot Stickers 101…sort of!

    I love Pot stickers; however, I have never made them before.  I’d rather not admit it, but it took me three tries to get it right!  Maybe it’s because I lost my wok in a move a couple of years ago, so I used my old faithful non-stick skillet.  But that really is just an excuse…I think. Here’s what I learned by attempt number three…Hot pan!  Hot Pan! Hot pan!  Duh!  Cooking 101.  When the directions say: “cook on high heat until golden brown”, just do it!  Cook on high heat!  I had so many dumplings that I was trying to cook too many of them at one time which…

  • Quick Bites

    Zanzibar, the Spice Island

    This past summer my friend, Jeannie O’Neill, spent a month in Africa.  She was nice enough to share these photos.  One is a dish from Freddy Mercury’s in Stonetown, and the others are of an open market. Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania, in East Africa.  It is the most widely known of the spice islands.

  • Recipes

    Braised Short Ribs, one of my favorite recipes

    I wanted to share with you one of my favorite recipes.  I noticed today that my local market had short ribs on special, and since I’m always looking for a deal,I bought some for myself and my client. The following recipe is for four people, however, I usually cook for two.  I have made this several times over the past three years, and have found for my personal taste, I do not cut the sauce in half even though I cook half the beef.  That’s my personal preference, but please try it a couple of times to find out what works for your personal taste.  I think it is really good no…

  • The Pantry

    Chinese Cuisine, a little background

    In Chinese culture it is important to find balance and harmony in every aspect of life, including food.   And good cuisine has much the same effect of Chinese medicine, as in prolonging life, sustaining good health, and the promotion of energy.   Chinese dishes, are meant to be simple.  The goal is to create the right balance of flavors and textures throughout the whole meal.  Try to vary the meat and vegetables in each dish, so that there are an interesting variety of flavors, textures, and colors.   Most dishes are meant to be prepared quickly.  Partly because freshness and natural tastes are considered fundamental to Chinese cooking, but…

  • The Pantry

    Learning to Cook Chinese food…My Journey

    Sure, I’ve made many Chinese meals, but the truth is I am just following recipes.  Now is the time to give the great art form that Chinese cuisine is its due.   I’m going to learn to cook Chinese food as it should be, with respect to tradition and culture.  To do that, I will be doing research and experimentation right before your eyes.  I encourage your input, comments, secrets, and recipes, on my Chinese cooking education journey.   This is what I know today:   The art of Chinese cooking is thousands of years old, and steeped in tradition.    There are four major schools of Chinese cuisine:   MANDARIN: …

  • The Pantry

    Lunch in Los Olivos

    We all need to get away every once in a while, even if only for a day or two.  What makes it better is to coerce a friend to come along.  Christine and I have been friends ever since we cooked together years ago at Malibu Riding & Tennis Club.  Even though we live only about 30 miles from one another (that’s almost an hour away in LA driving time), we don’t get to see each other often enough.  But whenever we do get together, usually for lunch, we are the kind of friends that just pick up where we left off.  It’s great to have someone in your life…

  • Recipes

    Homemade Ketchup Recipe

    Now that summer is coming to a close…yes, much too soon, I agree… you may have more ripe tomatoes than you know what to do with.  So, why not make your own ketchup?  Heinz won’t mind.   I know that when I was growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, we often had tomato plants in the back yard, and my grandparents always had some in their garden.  As a matter of fact, we never bought tomatoes from the grocery store!  We only had fresh tomatoes during the summer months, and I just loved eating them right off the vine.   It wasn’t until I moved to California that I ever bought…

  • Quick Bites

    Baked Beans! The perfect Summertime side dish!

    Since its summertime and we all are barbeque-ing, or picnicking, I just thought I would share my recipe for baked beans.  Easy to make, they go with almost anything, and everybody loves them.   Enjoy!   1 Can each of:  Great Northern beans, Kidney beans, Butter beans, Black beans 1-2 medium white onions. minced ¾ pound diced bacon 1/3 cup ketchup ½ cup brown sugar 1 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon dry mustard   Discard ½ the liquid from the beans.   Bake in Dutch oven or casserole dish @ 350° for one hour covered.   Then cook uncovered for one more hour.

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