Tamale Casserole


I went for as authentic a flavor as possible, in this tamale casserole - in the form of homemade tortillas made from organic masa harina corn flour. Some recipes call for store bought tortillas, which I've used before (still an option for you, if desired). I have a tortilla press, which is recommended here (manual or electric), because I've always struggled with hand rolling homemade tortillas successfully, without sticking. An investment well worth the expense, especially if you like homemade t...

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Veggie-Rice Medley

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When I need a carb based side dish other than potatoes and bread, I turn to rice.  This recipe has become a standby for me, using a few simple chopped vegetables. Today I used a basmati medley (from Trader Joe's), last time it was all white basmati rice; brown rice works, too. I sauteed carrots, zucchini, red bell pepper and shallots until caramelized - then folded into the rice (which is cooked in chicken broth). Simple, easy and tasty! I use coconut oil for its low smoke point, health adva...

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Italian Sub…a Saturday tradition


On many a Saturday morning when I was a kid, we made a beeline with my mom to Dalvia’s Italian Bakery in Montrose, California. Mr. Dalvia's Italian rolls (and apple turnovers) were to-die-for; getting there late wasn't an option (slim pickings to none). Cold cuts were a must from Monte Carlo’s (Italian Market in Burbank). I'm talking about Genoa salami, capicola, and provolone cheese. Not to mention bread sticks, biscotti, olive oil, olives, pasta, gelato, pastries, fresh mozzarella, canned ...

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Got Fresh Roma Tomatoes?…..make 4 fabulous Italian sauces!


Tomatoes are peaking and if you've got a bunch of Romas, these 4 authentic tasting Italian tomato sauces are an excellent choice. Whether you can or freeze the sauce, you can enjoy fresh tasting tomato sauce for months to come. Here are 4 previously posted recipes I love make with fresh Romas - fresh tomato basil sauce, homemade meat sauce, garlic tomato sauce, and fancy pomodoro sauce. Sure, you do need to put in a little effort - but these are tried and true, straight forward Italian family re...

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Cool Off With Gelato – 11 flavors


Strawberry Gelato It's peak summer and warm, hot, and possibly sweltering, depending on where you are. Gelato is the perfect cool down light desert, packed with flavor and fantastic served with summer fruits. Unlike regular ice cream, gelato is made for the most part with milk and a much smaller amount of cream. So it's not as filling and has a lower fat content - less guilt and no shortage of creaminess and flavor. Here are 10 fabulous flavors I make year long (just click the links). You do ne...

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Strawberry Raspberry Hand Pies


There's nothing like a slice of homemade pie. But change is good, as in these rugged handheld little gems. Extra flaky, tender berry filled pastry squares, sealed together...with a sweet-tart fresh fruit center. They're rustic, so no expertise nor perfection required; just an honest interest and desire to create something fun and delicious. Make the pastry first. I recommend using a food processor, it's quick and easy. The butter should be very cold and hard. Pulse until the dough sticks t...

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Nutella-Banana Mini-Muffin Bites


Chocolate-hazelnut spread is an Italian staple - store bought or homemade. Swirled into banana batter (here) makes one heavenly mini muffin. I just tried a new Italian flour, coming off 22 months gluten free (to calm my asthma and my husband's back inflammation issues; it helped). Long story short, I came across this new flour while researching gluten. Comments claiming no gluten reactions were by the dozen - while traveling and eating pastries, breads, pastas, etc. in parts of Europe. Pesticide...

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Chopped Salad…fit for a crowd


I believe the reason why people don't eat more salad is because they get bored, and don't want to think up other ways to make it interesting and delicious - beyond changing up the dressing. Sometimes all you have to do is raid the pantry and the fridge and start chopping, which is what I did here! It's a simple way to feed a bunch, and not fussy if you have assorted veggie staples in your fridge - plus a can of black olives and artichoke hearts in the pantry. A lot of chopping and a good amount...

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Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

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It's grilling season again. That's not to say we don't grill year round in California, because many of us do, weather permitting (or not). In this recipe I used my friend Cathy's Hawaiian Chicken recipe - filed away in my extensive notebook collection. I took some liberties with the marinade ingredients  and then converted it to kabobs. Easy to make, and tasty for sure. Some of the marinade is set aside for basting, and is best when made a day ahead and refrigerated (overnight) to allow the ing...

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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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Cinco de Mayo came and went. In addition to my Frozen Margherita, I also made tomatillo salsa. Perhaps the easiest salsa I've ever made, and every bit as delicious and versatile as its counterpart - red salsa! Some make it raw, but I prefer roasted for the smoky flavor it brings. Tomatillo salsa pairs really well with grilled meats, and can brighten up just about anything else from quesadillas to eggs. Just roast the veggies and pop in a food processor and blender with cilantro, cumin and lime j...

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