Appetizers + Hor d’oeuvres

ricotta cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Making homemade ricotta cheese is a rewarding and surprisingly easy endeavor. Cheese-making at home allows you to indulge in the pure pleasure of creating your own creamy, fresh cheese. And the best part, it’s ready in under an hour. Ricotta, which means “recooked” in Italian, is a soft and luscious cheese that has been enjoyed […]

sweet pea and ricotta crostini

Sweet Pea And Ricotta Crostini

When it comes to hosting summer gatherings, this sweet pea and ricotta crostini is a versatile and elegant choice. This delectable appetizer combines the rustic charm of crostini with the vibrant flavors of sweet peas and creamy ricotta cheese. Embrace the summer season and the abundance of healthful vegetables and fruits that come along with […]

truffled quail eggs

Truffled Quail Eggs

Truffled quail eggs have been a favorite of mine for many years. If you’ve been to a dinner party I’ve hosted, chances are you’ve had them. These flavorful, mini, deviled eggs, make phenomenal hors d’oeuvre at just about any gathering no matter what the occasion. What Are Quail Eggs? Quail eggs are, rather obviously, the […]

halibut crudo

Halibut Crudo

This halibut crudo is a fusion dish I developed inspired by my love for Japanese sashimi. “Crudo” is the Italian word for “raw,” and refers to a dish of uncooked fish, shellfish, (or sometimes meat) that is seasoned and dressed with an oil, some type of citrus juice, or, at times, a vinaigrette. Despite what […]

potato waffle

Savory Potato Waffles With Smoked Salmon

This is my latest and greatest obsession; savory shredded potato waffles topped with sour cream, smoked salmon, and scallions. As if breakfast could not get any better, or truthfully, more effortless. I’m talking, about crispy, buttery potatoes, made in minutes in a standard waffle maker, garnished like a baked potato, with sour cream and green […]

baba ganoush

Baba Ganoush

Baba ganoush is a levantine dip of mashed broiled eggplants, blended with tahini, olive oil, and seasoning, and it’s a dip I love making in warmer months. There’s lots of speculation about the origin of baba ganoush, but this iconic dip (or a similar version) has likely been around, for over 1,000 years. In Arabic, […]

Saint Patrick's Day snack board

Saint Patrick’s Day Snack Board

Ms. Wood, that was the name of my boys’ first-grade teacher. Ms. Wood was the quintessential elementary school teacher; kind, patient, and incredibly warm. Ms. Wood was also fun. Looking back, I can tell you my first-grade teacher was not nearly as wonderful as Ms. Wood, I think my boys truly lucked out. Ms. Wood […]


Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh tomato salsa is a favorite condiment of mine and one I’ve been making a ton lately. This often-overlooked side dip is easy, flavorful, and incredibly adaptable. Salsa is a simple combination of chilies, tomatoes, and other spices that have been around for centuries. Food historians can trace a form of salsa back to the […]

crab summer rolls

Crab Summer Rolls

Vietnamese summer rolls, (also known as fresh spring rolls or summer rolls) are a healthy, often low-fat meal or snack I’m a huge fan of. Gourmet magazine’s description – “a salad packed into an edible container” –says it all. Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, done your prep work, and mastered the basics, you can […]

Scandinavian style cured salmon

Scandinavian-Style Cured Salmon “Gravlax”

A Special Note With COVID-19 slowly closing in on my Northern California area, I’ve been too distracted to write or post these days. But today, with my boys home from school, the reality of this pandemic is truly settling in. Cancelations of life events make me feel like a giant “pause” button has been pressed on […]

Horseradish Pub Cheese

Horseradish Pub Cheese

The Super Bowl is almost here, be ready people. A day of true indulgence, with dips, sandwiches, wings, guacamole, and so much more. My best advice, for the most anticipated game of the year, do whatever it takes to keep your whole squad satisfied, even if the big game happens to go south. And in case […]

Hungarian snacking tray

Hungarian Snacking Tray

A Hungarian snacking tray or “hidegtál” (as it’s called in Hungary), is a cold plate similar to an Italian antipasti plate. A hidegtál can consist of whatever is in your pantry or whatever the chef feels like adding. A snacking tray is, for the most part, a charcuterie board, cheese board, and vegetable board all in one. […]



I am a huge fan of guacamole.  If you have been to my house, chances are, I’ve probably made you some. I make it often. Year-round in fact, not just on Cinco de Mayo. I will search high and low in winter months to find a delicious, perfectly ripe avocado. Thankfully, living in California, I […]

spinach-artichoke dip

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

The first time I had spinach dip was in college and it was served in a large hollowed-out bread bowl. It was not healthy food by any means, but I can admit it, the whole thing was delicious. But that was in the Midwest, I don’t see many bread bowls being served in Northern Cal. […]

baked chicken wings

Baked Chicken Wings + Blue Cheese Dip

The Super Bowl is approaching, and whether you are a football fan or not, it’s a time for fun casual gatherings and tasty snack food that is undoubtedly indulgent and unhealthy. I have always maintained the belief that all things in moderation are fine. Honestly, I believe that. I feel this approach prevents being too […]

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