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Recipes

A few weeks ago, my friend Donna and I were planning a small get together to watch some movies. There were going to be 5 of us. Donna is also a fantastic cook (She’s Italian-it’s in the genes), but we wanted to do something healthy. The Today Show happened to be on and they showed […]

Applesauce might not be the fanciest thing to blog about, but I’ve had some really crappy stuff in my life and with the holidays looming, I have to put my two cents in. I grew up on my mom’s homemade stuff. Living on the East Coast, there were a kabillion different varieties of apples to […]

One of the best things about Fall is that it’s PUMPKIN season! I adore pumpkin. Pretty much anything that has pumpkin in it, I’ll try (except if it has licorice or coconut in it). I can’t tell you how disappointed I was that most of the pumpkin products from Trader Joe’s were discontinued after Thanksgiving. […]

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend the launch of the extension of Germany’s biggest selling spice company, Just Spices, (www.justspices.com) here in the US. They specialize in blends-really original blends to make your life easier. They had a bunch of sample foods there and I fell in love with their Pancake Blend. (I had […]

Last night was one of my “First Saturday” monthly potluck dinners in Manhattan Beach. It’s hosted by my friends, Diane and Paul Basile. They’re wonderfully generous, holding this fantastic dinner. Paul is the gourmet cook, choosing the main course. We happily suggest side dishes, appetizers, salads and desserts for him to choose for us to […]

How to keep motivated when you’re tired, stressed and cranky Yes, this happens to me. It’s OK to admit you don’t feel like exercising. There are days when I have clients, articles to write, companies to visit and a dog to walk. I get up at 5 am and don’t finish until 8pm. Would YOU […]

I’m known for my good eating habits. (thank you Captain Obvious). But being a foodie and having gone to cooking school, I can’t be good ALL the time! And neither can you!! I found this recipe in a recent Food and Wine magazine that my friend Cathy Arkle gave me. Many of you know her […]

Every so often, I get a wonderful perk from a company that would like me to “test-drive” their products. Last week it was some great chocolate. (I’ll tell you about that in my next post). A while ago, Larry Kandarian from Kandarian Organic Farms sent me a whole big box of his amazing organic ancient […]

What could be better than fresh guacamole for watching sporting events? Or movies? Or catching up on your favorite TV shows? Or putting in an omelet? OK, you get the idea. Recently, Alan, my fabulous boyfriend, showed up with about 30 fresh avocados picked from the trees of his friends. Avocados are a fruit, which […]

It might seem like an oxymoron when someone like me lives a healthy lifestyle and still considers herself to be a “foodie.” But I do love good food and always allow myself to eat ALL kinds of food (in moderation, of course), especially when it’s re-engineered to be healthier. Donuts are a perfect example of […]

A Handy How-To Guide Summer means grilling and grilling connotes succulent meats and fish marinated in anything from soy sauce to red wine. But what about your vegetables? It’s easy to include them in your back yard BBQ-and with these tips on flavoring and cooking, they’ll be a welcome addition to your table, even for […]

As many of you know, I don’t do a lot of sugar. But sometimes, after dinner, a like a little something sweet with my tea. I found the original recipe on the Daily Meal last year, but it had a lot more sugar and frosting stuff on it. I was getting a sugar high just […]

I don’t like not being able to do something. If you followed my Chef School series last year, you’ll remember that the one thing I failed at was pie crusts. I don’t bake a lot of pies or breads, so dough was a foreign substance to me. My final exam-cooking a full meal-came out pretty […]

I’ve really been getting into vegetarian dishes lately. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my proteins. But because there are SO many different vegetables and fruits out there-so many more than types of animal protein-the creative possibilities are endless. I’ve eaten this combination before, but when I made it this time, I added the […]

I had to miss last week’s class because of a keynote speech I was hired to give. The class was all about buying and cooking fresh, local foods. My friend, Cathy, told me all about it. You can read her version of the class at http://www.cathyarkle.com/shepaused4thought/farmer-market-treasures/. Chef Carol had everyone meet at the Wednesday Santa […]

If you had to describe Indian food, what words would you use? Flavorful? Bold? Spicy? All of the above? The thing I love about Indian food is the wealth of spices used in the cuisine. But what I learned is that in Los Angeles, as in most of the United States, Indian food is “dumbed […]

What’s the first thing you think of when you ponder Chinese and Japanese cuisine? RICE! They all go well with rice. This is because all rice comes from the Far East. Its origins are a little murky, though. Some say it originated in Thailand, others say Burma. But it was the Chinese who were the […]

This week’s cuisine was all south of the border. I’m not a huge fan of Mexican food, but as I found out, much of what I think of as Mexican is really Americanized or Tex-Mex. For instance, refried beans aren’t the average side dish that we see on our plates. They’re often made for children […]

As a whole, this is my favorite part of the world for food. It’s simple, made with fresh ingredients and very “user-friendly.” From Greece to Israel, the cuisine from the eastern part of the Mediterranean area has a lot in common. Globe eggplant is a popular common ingredient. It may have a slightly different flavor […]

Guess which country we tackled this week? French food is known to be the most ‘non-friendly’ cuisine out there. Translation-it is the most complicated to make. There’s really no middle ground with French cuisine-it’s either great or horrible. Carol had us taste cheeses from all over France, as there are so many fabulous tastes to […]

Yes, I’m back in cooking school. It was a bit of a toss-up as to whether or not I wanted to take the Level Two classes at The New School of Cooking here in Los Angeles. After stressing heavily over the testing weeks of Level One’s classes, I was hesitant. However, after I found out […]

Like so many other foodies who cook, I collect cookbooks to get inspiration from and just find good stuff to make. Recently, I revisited a huge set of cookbooks I have. They’re literally huge, I think they’re about 18″ high and 12″ wide. The books are a series called “The Beautiful Cookbook.” This one is […]

There are two ways I know summer here: There’s more gloomy clouds in LA more than any other time of year and tomatoes start to be seen at the farmer’s markets. Gorgeous, juicy, sweet tomatoes. Granted, we don’t have those mealy hot house tomatoes like they sell in the East Coast supermarkets, but to have […]

I’ve had my share of crab cakes in my life. I really love them. They’re versatile. You can get them as an appetizer or main course. Some of the best I’ve had were in Maryland. These were succulent because they were mostly crab meat with very little filling and they had that legendary taste of […]