Monday, December 21, 2009


One more blog before the year ends, in the hope that you might be able to use it over the holidays. I can think of about one hundred ways to use this salsa. Over fish (pictured here), chicken, or lamb; as an ingredient in an organic sour cream dip; or tossed with Zucchini noodles or Cauliflower "rice." You will no doubt think of other ways once you taste this highly flavorful and extremely versatile salsa. No cooking required!

1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste
2 to 3 cloves garlic, grated
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons capers, chopped if necessary
½ cup pitted black olives, chopped
½ cup flat‐leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved, or cherry tomatoes, quartered
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1) In the bottom of a medium bowl, combine anchovy paste, grated garlic, red pepper flakes, zest and lemon juice; and whisk in ¼ cup olive oil.
2) Add capers, olives, parsley, and tomatoes.
3) Toss and season with black pepper (optional).
4) Serve immediately. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
If it lasts that long.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Asparagus Frittata

Asparagus Frittata has been a family favourite for Christmas brunch for years. Everyone enjoys the beautiful look of it, not to mention the delectable savory taste. But I have always enjoyed using it as the centrepiece of the brunch because it finishes in the oven while I put the finishing touches on the table and other specialties of the festive family meal.


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, or two small shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut diagonally into 1‐inch lengths
4 to 6 large (preferably organic, free range) eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded raw organic (Imported) Gruyere or (Domestic) Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
1) Gently heat olive oil into a 10‐inch oven‐proof frying pan (see our blog on cookware) over medium high heat.
2) Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 3 minutes.
3) Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium‐low, and cook, covered, until the asparagus are slightly tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
4) Pour in eggs and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 2 minutes.
5) Sprinkle cheese over eggs and put in oven to bake uncovered until eggs are set and cheese is melted and browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. (You may want to turn on the broiler during this baking time, to better brown the top.)
6) Remove from oven with oven mitts and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coffee Ice Cream

My first interest in creating food came not as a well-meaning bride or young mother, but much later. I watched Emerill Lagasse prepare unbelievable meals on late night television as I was falling asleep, and I was hooked. This means two things.
1.) I was trained by a chef.
2.) I am lucky to be alive.
However, Emerill's recipe for Coffee Ice Cream, using stevia rather than sugar, is a winner. If you are worried about what kind of dessert you can serve with a late afternoon Christmas dinner, maybe this is just what the (Maximized Living) doctor ordered.

  • 2 cups organic heavy cream
  • 2 cups organic whole milk
  • Stevia to equal the sweetness of 3/4 cup of granulated sugar (See the blog on Stevia)
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 6 egg yolks

Combine the cream, milk, stevia, and coffee in a medium, heavy saucepan. Stirring gently, bring to a heat point just before a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks very slowly in a steady stream. This will temper the egg yolks so they do not scramble when they are added to the hot cream mixture.
Gradually add the egg mixture, again in a slow, steady stream, to the hot cream. Cook over merium-low heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After the ice cream is made, transfer to an airtight container. Cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve.
My ice cream maker delivers a soft-serve consistency ice cream in approximately 30 minutes. I would love to tell you exactly how long to freeze the finished product before serving, but hubby and I nearly finished the batch at this soft serve point. Therefore, there wasn't enough left to estimate a required time in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. If you like the idea of a soft serve consistency, you could certainly have the ice cream machine running while you finish your dinner. I have often done this with frozen yogurt during summer meals.