Herbed Tomato and Fennel Soup with Parmesan Crisps in mid-century bowls

Herbed Tomato and Fennel Soup with Parmesan Crisps

In the Mediterranean Tradition – the flavors here are a combination of mellow and bold. Aromatic Basil and Fennel both have hints of anise (licorice) and team beautifully with sweet San Marzano Tomatoes. Soup making is about using the best quality ingredients and understanding the method of how to prepare it to perfection. Use the freshest […]

Red Coconut Curry with Sesame Tofu and Roasted Vegetables in a vintage bowl on vintage aqua linens

Red Coconut Curry with Sesame Tofu & Roasted Vegetables

A delicious & healthy Thai inspired meal. Totally satisfying and hearty with out being heavy. Vegan – Vegetarian – Gluten Free! I’m in love! ~ with this Red Coconut Curry Sauce. Coconut Milk creates a creamy essence and Red Curry Paste lends deep flavor, color and heat. Tip: this little can of red curry paste is a cook’s […]

Two white modern crocks with French Onion Soup with Fresh Thyme.

Classic French Onion Soup – My Way

Oh-La-La ~ Warm up with  Classic Crock of Onion Soup with a Secret Ingredient – Shiitake Mushrooms A delicious, hearty broth starts with good vegetable and chicken broths (no beef broth here) – added to perfectly caramelized onions and shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms add a nice earthy flavor that complements the soup.. just love that! […]

Chocolate Lava Cake with peanut butter truffles - perfectly cooked with an oozing center with vintage Valentine's cards

Chocolate Lava Cakes with Peanut Butter Truffles

Let Your LOVE Flow this Valentine’s Day with this Yummy, Fudgy Treat! Dark Chocolate Cake – with an oozing filling of swirling chocolate & peanut butter. This Valentine’s Day treat your sweetie to a delicious, rich, dense and fudgy cake – perfect for sharing! A chocolate treat that has a warm, gooey, flowing chocolate-peanut butter center. Who […]

Romaine, shaved cucumbers, shaved radishes and microgreens with a Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette on a modern white plate

Preserved Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette and How to Use It

Tangy, Mellow and Zesty! A Fabulous Full-Of-Flavor Vinaigrette with many uses beyond salads. Two recipes below for using this vinaigrette: Shaving vegetables brings a nice look and texture to a salad. Shave with a sharp, wide vegetable peeler… so easy and fun. I like to have watermelon and purple daikon radishes in my fridge, they […]

Grilled Pumpkin Swordfish with Green Masala Sauce on a square plate

Pumpkin Swordfish with Green Masala Sauce

A rare but delicious delicacy – Pumpkin Swordfish is in season (well, kind of) and it’s the best swordfish you ever ate! With a gorgeous “pumpkin” color ~ it’s a sweeter variety that is more buttery in flavor with a juicy texture. Of course you can use this recipe with any swordfish… I’m just showing off my catch! […]

Preserved Lemons in a Vintage Ball Jar - a speedy recipe

Preserved Meyer Lemons – a Speedy Recipe… and what to do with them!

Meyer Lemons are perfect for preserving! With their thin skins, bright lemony-color and fragrant flesh they have a sweeter, more floral taste. These beauties will pickle in their own juices.       I’m curing my Meyer Lemons in a vintage Ball Jar ~ inside the screw cap in a lining, is white milk glass. Once […]

Three Chili Recipes to Warm You Up!

This time of year I yearn for the perfect bowl of chili. Enjoy one of these Soul- Satisfying Recipes!  You know I’m always adding loads of vegetables… but what makes them truly delicious are the seasonings! Today I’m adding this one: Very Veggie Tempeh Chili with Homemade Chili Powder – a Vegan recipe. I’m serving it […]

Wonderful Meaty Roasted Mushrooms Team with a Vegan Pine Nut-Pesto Creamy Sauce Layered over Pasta

Roasted Wild Mushrooms with Chili Oil & Vegan Pine Nut Cream Sauce

Wonderful Meaty Roasted Mushrooms Team with a Vegan Pine Nut-Pesto Creamy Sauce Layered over Pasta Mushrooms are basted with my quick homemade Chili Oil for a spicy bite. This Vegan recipe includes many Wild Mushrooms, a luxurious texture and hearty flavor – cooked perfectly with crisp edges! Toss with Pasta in a Vegan Pine Nut-Basil […]

Colorful Winter Citrus is layered with thinly sliced fennel, micro greens and fresh mint

Winter Citrus Salad – It’s the Season!

I’m combining many types of Citrus and teaming them with Shaved Fennel and Mint. Drizzling on top with a delicious Citrus Vinaigrette with Vanilla Beans. You will love this recipe – Refreshing and light – a ray of sunshine in Winter! Citrus, Fennel & Mint Salad – Citrus Vinaigrette with Vanilla Beans  It’s a New […]

Swiss fondue done right with the addition of mellow garlic and chives. For the total experience serve with my Master Dinner Rolls with Flaky Salt

Cheesy Swiss Fondue with Garlic & Chives – Not Just for Entertaining

While fondue might be the ultimate party food- I’m in the mood for it’s silky, stingy texture and assertive flavor, and have decided to have a fondue night at home. Indulgent, okay just a little, but it only sounds fancy – it’s incredible simple to make! I really got into the idea and decided to […]

Flourless Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Brand New Website Design and Experience! Plus Holiday Cookies & Bars

A wonderful dark Chocolate Crackle Cookie that are naturally gluten free – there is no flour. Today I am launching an all new A ZEST FOR LIFE website! (yesterday a post was sent, as we were setting up this new website – this is the one that was intended) All the Recipes and Blog Posts […]

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies!

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

Look no further for the perfect recipe – for eating & gift giving! These are gluten free! Or ~ use regular flour too. Simple, not fussy and EASY Bakery quality cookies you’ll love See recipe: how to make a crosshatch design on top of the cookies with the tines of a fork It’s December already […]

Butternut Squash Latkes - A new twist for your Potato Pancake repertoire.

Butternut Squash Latkes (an updated “potato” pancake)

A new twist for your Potato Pancake repertoire. Butternut Squash with warm spices makes a delicious sweet latke that is perfect for Chanukah or anytime! PLUS 3 of my well-tested latke recipes! These latkes have a pinch of sugar, cinnamon and grated nutmeg (grated apple too!) I love the flavor of these warm spices! Chanukah […]

Veggie Mexican-Style Hard Shell Tacos

After Thanksgiving Recipes Plus NEW: Roast Turkey & Veggie Tacos

I’m hoping your Thanksgiving was enjoyable and tasty. Here’s what I’m cooking up with the holiday’s leftovers. Roast Turkey & Veggie Mexican-Style Hard Shell Tacos Have lots of leftover of everything? Maybe after purchasing many ingredients, you decided to limit your guests this year. This just happened to a friend who was in her kitchen […]

Lightened-Up Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate

Thanksgiving Desserts to Live For! Plus NEW: Lightened-Up Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate Biscotti Crust and Honey Peanuts

A New Recipe ~ Loving the light feel and creamy texture of this cheesecake with addictive chocolate-peanut flavors. A smooth and decadent Cheesecake made with Cottage Cheese – no cream cheese here! The crust is made from my Chocolate Peanut Biscotti – with a little melted butter for binding. Honey peanuts are a snap to make […]

Thanksgiving 2020 Survival Guide ~ the Best Recipes from my Home to Yours

Pecan Pie Bars (with a Secret Ingredient) I’ve got you covered with 24 well-tested, fabulous and inventive recipes for your celebration!  My favorite recipes for Thanksgiving with the necessary ingredients and techniques for complete success. This is obviously a different holiday as the COVID-19 pandemic is still in our midst – create lists of the […]

easily the best sweet potato oven fries with garlic!

Three Sweet Potato Side Dish Recipes for Thanksgiving!

It’s all about the “SIDES!!” Punch it up a notch this Thanksgiving with these delicious, creative recipes. I’ve been busy compiling all of my well-tested Thanksgiving recipes to share next week. Bursting with flavor and creativity. I’ve got you covered ~ from Soup to Nuts! Natural Candied Yams with Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze A beautifully […]

Fall Recipes to Make Now!

Seasonal Fall recipes to try and love! I’ve rounded up some spectacular dishes using local produce with a healthy profile. Need some inspiration? Try one… try them all! 21 Comforting recipes include Soups, Salads, Comfort Foods, Mains and Something Sweet. Before I get serious with all my Thanksgiving recipes ~ here are many of my […]

Sheet Pan Chicken & Vegetables with Apple Cider Glaze - Lovely fall flavors all cooked together

Sheet Pan Chicken & Vegetables with Apple Cider Glaze

Sometimes I’m craving One Pan Cooking!Chicken, Delicata Squash Rings and Shallots roast in the oven and produces a delicious simple dinner.Make the Apple Cider Glaze on the stovetop as the sheet pan cooks.In the style of French Chicken Normandy… this is a genius sauce… easy too! Cook Chicken & Veggies together; reduce sauce on the […]

Pumpkin & Oatmeal Pancakes

Delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients with tips on how to cook a pumpkin and make homemade Pumpkin Puree. These Pumpkin Pancakes are delicious on their own ~I love topping with Yogurt, Granola, Caramelized Apple Slices and drizzle with Pure Maple Syrup. To make the most luscious homemade Pumpkin Puree ~ Cut a cooking pumpkin […]

Mediterranean Gypsy Soup

A healthy, satisfying soup with all the flavor to awaken your taste-buds. “Gypsy” ~ a free spirited soup with a rich assortment of ingredients. Plus 10 more Mediterranean recipes you will love! Try Kabocha squash (also called Japanese pumpkin) ~ with its sweet taste and velvety texture. Gypsy Soup Ingredients:Tomatoes (fresh or San Marzano canned), […]

How to Make the Best Salads Year-Round!

You’ll love this creative Raspberry Crunch Salad with Raspberry-Almond Oil Vinaigrette (plus 9 salads I crave) I have been asked to be a part of The Salad Gazette from the great minds at The Devil Wears Salad in Australia.Including recipe creators from around the world – a celebration of food diversity and creativity.My RASPBERRY CRUNCH […]

Butternut Squash Gnocchi ~ It’s Gluten Free

These pillowy gnocchi include roasted butternut squash in the dough and also in the final dish ~ serve with simple browned butter and fresh herbs.A Fall-inspired recipe with healthy ingredients. I have used Honeynut squash for this recipe – a generally new breed that has a deep color and is rich in flavor. There are […]

12 Tomato Recipes For End of Summer and NEW: Pasta Puttanesca

Tomatoes are still on the vine ~ the perfect time to bring them home and preserve them for the cooler Winter months… and try some creative recipes using them. As mum plants are popping up at local markets ~ with Fall around the corner ~ I want to treasure and savor the last tomatoes in […]

18 Sweet and Savory Apple Recipes! Plus new: Apple Crumb Cakes with Cardamom and Ginger

Apple season is here – and these cakes are divine!Enjoy for dessert, a snack or for the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah I really do love anything apple!This season there are many varieties to choose from, and I’m always recommending visiting a local farmers’ market or an apple farm and try a variety new […]

Grilled Zucchini with Japanese Miso-Glaze and Cashew Crema

Grilled Zucchini with Japanese Miso-Glaze and Cashew Crema

Summer Zucchini off the Grill gets jazzed-up with these Japanese style flavors Layers of flavors make this a must-make Summer Dish! My Japanese Style Miso Glaze is the perfect foil to add a splash of flavor to mild Zucchini and Summer Squash.Simple to make ~ add ingredients to a skillet and simmer for one minute.It […]

Mediterranean Stuffed Shishito Peppers

Blistered Peppers are stuffed with a medley of Mediterranean ingredients for an addictive appetizer The ultimate pick-up tasty three bite little stuffed peppers!The mild peppers are stuffed with an explosion of flavor.These beauties are vegetarian, gluten free and light in calories. The Shishito Pepper is so versatile!In abundance now through September, the pepper is a […]

Cheddar and Herb “Pennies” ~ Savory Shortbread Crackers

Simple to make – roll mixture into a log – chill, slice & bake! Top with garden herbs for an elegant touch. To make the best “pennies” use a great cheddar! I’ve used Black Creek 2 Year Aged Cheddar (bought at Whole Foods.) These cheese coins are made with just a few ingredients including: grated […]

Summertime Panzanella Tomato Salad – you should be eating this right now!

Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes team with Garlicky Toasted Bread and Plenty of Basil Leaves.Top with my Zesty “Shaken” Italian Dressing and scatter some thinly sliced Red Onions and cubes of Cucumber. No two Panzanella Salads are the same! I have made two Panzanellas! One with “Candyland” Miniature Tomatoes with Gluten Free Bread… And One with Red […]

Sungold Tomato Butter

A deeply flavored whipped butter combined with slow-roasted Sungold Cherry Tomatoes. The uses are endless! Slather on Sourdough Bread.Summer little golden Sungold Tomatoes are one of the sweetest varieties.Simply cut them in half and slow-cook in the oven over thyme branches. Set the oven to a low 275 degrees – this will not heat up […]

Veracruz-Style Snapper with Fresh Garden Tomatoes

I’ve taken a classic dish and reworked it with Just Picked Local Tomatoes and have added Fresh Garden Herbs.The result – a lighter and aromatic dish bursting with flavor.Serve with my delicious Arroz Blanco – Simple Mexican White Rice enriched with Thyme Branches. A wonderful mix of Fresh Peeled Garden Tomatoes with Onions, Garlic, Green […]

Fabulous Black Raspberry Pie!

Fabulous Black Raspberry Pie!

Summer Black Raspberries lie under a buttery & flaky lattice crust. Perfection with every bite. Ahh – Pie! Handmade from scratch with the finest ingredients ~ is there anything more scrumptious? Making a pie is an art. It requires careful attention to the crust and the filling. In Summer – there are so many delicious […]

Thai Basil Pesto – and what to do with it!

The flavor has a pronounced licorice essence and a little spicy kick. So many uses – see my list. Find this wonderful variety at farmers’ markets.Makes a delicious and unique pesto! Thai Basil Pesto adorns Pasta Squares and Roasted Zucchini Karen’s Thai Basil Pesto is a little different than classical Pesto Genovese. The basil variety […]

Strawberry Shortcake Frozen Yogurt

A COOL take on “strawberry shortcake.” Creamy and refreshing on a hot Summer’s day – with Brown Sugar Shortcake Pieces Folded in! It’s Gluten~free. It’s fun to experiment with ice cream flavors at home! This mix-in idea came to me as I returned home with a quart of just picked strawberries. Their color was insane! […]

Steamed Baby Beets with Garlic Scape Vinaigrette

Plus 6 more of my favorite Beet Recipes! A Simple Recipe using Ingredients from a local Farmers’ Market. It’s easy to steam beets! Add to an assertive and zesty vinaigrette with Green Garlic Scapes; the curly shoot of the garlic bulb… they’re like scallions with a garlic kick! For the best flavor choose baby or […]

BBQ Recipes for the 4th of July!

I’ve got you covered! Well-tested recipes always with a healthy profile that are satisfying for all who join in to celebrate.I’m including my best Creative Sauces, Salads, Side Dishes, Chicken, Fish, Shrimp, Vegan options and tempting desserts. Remember these recipes through the summer months!There are many pleasures of cooking for yourself ~ try something new, […]

3 Essential Puerto Rican Recipes / Sofrito / Salt-Free Sazón & Sofrito Rice

Sofrito is the mother starter sauce of Latin Cuisine.A mixture of aromatic ingredients, either chopped or pureed, used to add layers of flavor to different foods. Serve raw, or add a few tablespoons to your cooking to jazz it up! The local cuisine of Puerto Rico comes alive with vibrant colors and a melange of […]

Velvety Cool Corn Soup

Velvety corn soup to cool you down! Minimum ingredients so you have lots of Pure-Corn-Flavor. Roasted Pepper with Jalapeño and EVOO adds just the right punch of interest. I must say… thus is HOW you make Corn Soup! The cold cool-you-down variety. The difference from all the rest? The recipe is mostly corn. No confusing […]

Weeknight Lightened-Up Shrimp Scampi

Weeknight Lightened-Up Shrimp Scampi

A quick recipe for everyday with TONS of flavor All the buttery, garlicky and lemony flavor with a sprinkling of fresh herbs in a lighter sauce you can make in minutes! We all have a need to simplify – especially at dinnertime.This is a simple and quick recipe perfect for a weeknight meal. A quick […]

Best Blueberry Frozen Yogurt with a Sugar Cookie Crumble

Best Blueberry Frozen Yogurt with a Sugar Cookie Crumble

Homemade Creamy Deliciousness!I’m loving it with chunks of sugar cookies – great with or without! You might know – I love making all types of Ice Cream at home.Lately I’ve been making Vegan “Ice Cream” and decided to make Frozen Yogurt again – which is what I first started to test in my kitchen. Making […]

Really Amazing Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Seasonal Fresh Rhubarb is blended in a tangy & zesty Barbecue Sauce! Plus, see 7 more rhubarb recipes. An easy Sauce & Glaze – terrific using on the grill and as a side sauce. Ah -my favorite Spring vegetable ~ Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but is legally considered a fruit.Rhubarb stalks are famous for […]

Karen’s Mulato Chile Sauce

Chicken and Veggie Tacos with Mulato Chile Sauce

Delicious with Authentic Flavors!Warm and Zesty Grilled Chicken & Vegetables are bathed in a Flavorful Chile Sauce. Let’s make it Taco Night!Making tacos at home… you can control your ingredients to your liking and serve them fresh and warm. Choose either blue corn or yellow corn tortillas.Yes – as good as the ones you enjoy […]

Mother’s Day Recipe Inspirations

Some awesome Spring Recipes! For some, this Mother’s Day might require some technology; a Zoom meeting!For others – a mother, grandmother and family may be living with you, and so you might be lucky to celebrate and honor those women who have made an impact on your lives. Here are some inspiring recipes Mom will […]

Artichokes à la Grecque

It’s Artichoke Season! Spring Recipe: the French version of an antipasto-style vegetable preparation with intense zesty flavors. Learn how to prepare fresh seasonal artichokes! Also see:Spring Artichokes with Southern Spiced Cornbread Crumbsand Potato Salad with Artichokes – Lemon Thyme Dressing Recipes “Vegetables a la grecque” – an ancient name for a simple French technique.Quartered Artichokes […]

Honey Walnut Banana Bread ~ Gluten Free

Honey Walnut Banana Bread

Gluten Free, Moist and Delicious! I’m making it today using my mini loaf pans which offers a full, beautiful rise.Mash some bananas ~ leave some in chunks for the ultimate banana bread! Instead of adding chocolate chips to the batter, I make a simple chocolate-yogurt frosting and frost some for a decedent taste. I had […]

Tomato Risotto – Northern Italian Style

Tomato Risotto – Northern Italian Style

Delicious and Creamy!! I’m using Three Tomatoes – Peeled Plum Tomatoes, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Fresh Sliced Cherry Tomatoes Make a meal of this cupboard staple by using a specific type of short grain or medium grain rice. It requires constant attention to ensure a perfectly finished dish… stir, stir stir – until it reaches a […]

Weeknight Lemon Chicken

In the style of French “Francaise” and “Piccata” ~ this is an updated version, a recipe every cook should master! A timeless recipe you can serve during Passover and Easter.Use rice flour to coat the chicken; which I use and is gluten free, matzo cake meal or use regular flour too! The difference between the two is […]

The Ultimate Coconut Macaroons

The Ultimate Coconut Macaroons

Two Varieties: Chocolate Dipped and Dried Apricot & Cherry Pyramids Coconut Macaroons are a staple for Passover.My favorite version has a crispy exterior with a chewy and tender interior. My version is easy! I whip egg whites until frothy, and add them to a large skillet with unsweetened shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla (I […]

Delicious Date & Walnut Bars ~ Gluten Free

Delicious Date & Walnut Bars ~ Gluten Free

Easy and moist, these bars are simple to make and cut into 24 bars. Regular flour works great too! These irresistible bars are an updated version from vintage 1940 and 50’s recipes – when baking was simple. They do not contain any butter or oil; the only fat is from the egg yolks.Natural sweetness comes […]

How to Use Your Pantry Ingredients: Mediterranean Aromatic Chickpea Stew

Today’s recipe: Use what you have available for a nourishing meal! How to survive COVID-19: Nourishment can be found in our pantries ~ I’ll give some hints on how to make the best of what you have on hand and make some delicious meals to savor. As we all hunker down in our homes and […]

The Best Homemade Grainy Dijon Mustard! And how to use it.

Delicious homemade mustard takes minutes to make, and cures in a few days. No unwanted preservatives – and yields a big batch for oh-so-many recipes! SEE all four recipes! I’m using up my jar of Grainy Dijon Mustard is so many recipes!I’m sharing 4 mustard recipes with you that I know you will love!With the […]

all the tricks how to make turkey meatballs and scoop them

BEST tasting Turkey Meatballs ever!

Want to make the best tasting meatballs? I’ve got you covered. Just-ground turkey with loads of veggies  – and a technique that adds ton of flavor, and yields a tender meatball!  I have been making meatballs for more years than I can count.Always experimenting with different ingredients and techniques – – –I am now reporting […]

Lemon Biscotti with Dried Cherries and Almonds ~ Gluten Free

Light and crunchy with lots of zesty flavor! Here is your go-to recipe with healthful ingredients. These biscotti are the ultimate snack, dessert and great for gift giving! I love a little home baking – fills the house with fabulous aromas and tastes better than store bought! Also – you are in control of the […]

Tagine Chicken with Apricots, Dates and Chickpeas

A Moroccan feast! Perfectly balanced with aromatic spices. “Tagine” recipes are slow-cooked savory stews rich with delicious Mediterranean spices such as, saffron, cumin, cloves and cinnamon. A rich broth with chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, carrots and chunks of dried dates & apricots with aromatic global spices ~ this is a stew to make again and […]

Mint Chip Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – It’s Vegan!

Mint Chip Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – It’s Vegan!

Creamy, Delicious and Refreshing!! A natural “Ice Cream” that’s irresistible! Here are 4 more desserts perfect for Valentine’s Day! Chocolate is supposed to symbolise affection, attraction, deep love, luxury, passion and sensuality. Eating chocolate  – you are going to achieve peace and happiness in life since chocolate is a mood booster.Chocolate is considered aphrodisiac food since the time […]

Homemade Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Valentine’s Day Treat: Homemade Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

The Perfect Irresistible Valentine’s Day treat for your loved ones ~ keep some for yourself for snacking! These chocolate peanut butter cups are super-simple to make, with just a few ingredients. Use the best quality chocolate ~ I like an extra dark type, although, yes – you can use milk chocolate if you desire (has a much […]

Salmon in Parchment with Multi-Citrus Salsa

It’s Citrus Season! Slow cooked Salmon with a Tart & Zesty Multi-Citrus Salsa is an easy meal cooked in a Parchment Package. Winter is the time for fragrant, juicy, vibrant citrus — now at their peak.I choose a variety to blend the complex flavors. For the Citrus Salsa I’m using Honeybell Tangelos (close to minneolas), Pink Ruby […]

Spinach and Parsnip Soup with a Crispy Crouton Skewer

Winter Warm-Up: Spinach and Parsnip Soup with a Crispy Crouton Skewer

A velvety soup without dairy products… Parsnips and Yukon Gold Potatoes give the soup it’s creaminess when blended. The trick to it’s glorious color is blending the soup right after the spinach is added. An absolutely delicious soup with no dairy or cream. It gets it’s texture from blending half of the prepared soup, made […]

Harissa Sauce – The Perfect Zesty and Flavorful Condiment

Harissa Sauce – The Perfect Zesty and Flavorful Condiment

A little sauce with BIG FLAVOR. Harissa is a North African spicy chili paste— the Sriracha of the Middle East. Harissa Sauce can change how you cook! A flavor-bomb to add to anything you can think of. Simple and fun to make. An easy and quick condiment ~ mild & hot chiles and roasted red pepper […]

Close Cookmode
A Zest For Life
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter - delicious recipes and tips with a healthy twist.
Karen's obsession with food and style