Currently Browsing: First Course & Sides

Spring Egg Drop Soup with Fresh Jonah Crab

Spring Egg Drop Soup

Classic Egg Drop Soup gets a healthy overhaul with Spring Veggies and a topping of Fresh Crab. Spring Produce is popping up everywhere – so I’m using glorious green vegetables and enhancing the classic Egg Drop Soup – I think for the better! The crab is optional, yet adds a lingering sweetness and a pop of color… fresh […]

Rhubarb Vanilla Jam with Toast on vintage plate

Karen’s Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jam

Spring Rhubarb cooks into a delectable jam! I add a little chopped apple for balance and love the lingering vanilla bean aroma. These vibrant pink to crimson stalks are tart with a flavor all their own. I find the taste to be intoxicating. Easy to make – stir up chopped rhubarb and apple in a […]

Stacked Parmesan Crisps with assorted seasonings

Parmesan Crisps – Master Recipe with Flavoring Suggestions

These are so easy, crunchy & delicious! The crisps are made with grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese and your choice of seasonings (I have many suggestions!) Easy Parmesan Crisps can be made into these clever Caesar Salad Tacos. Crush these crisps on top of salads, side dishes like risotto – anywhere you crave a rich Umami flavor-boost. It’s […]

Caesar Salad Tacos with Parmesan Crisps

Caesar Salad Tacos – In a Parmesan Crisp Shell

Ready for a Umami-rich treat? A creative genius recipe that is so delicious and low in carbs! All your favorite Caesar Salad Ingredients – I love to add roasted red peppers too. Gluten Free – no problem! I have used gluten free bread for the garlic croutons. East these immediately after preparing! Taco Shells can […]

Quick Caesar Salad Dressing with Caesar Tacos and Garlic Breadcrumbs

Quick Caesar Dressing You Will Love!

This method takes away the raw egg yet adds all the zesty flavors! Add all ingredients to a bowl, whisk in extra virgin olive oil until nicely emulsified. Ingredients you will use: Fresh garlic, grainy mustard & dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, grated parmesan cheese, natural mayonnaise, anchovies, freshly cracked pepper and extra […]

Tomato & Fennel Soup with Parmesan Crisps in a mid-century bowl

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. I like the […]

Classic french Onion Soup in white modern crocks on a wooden board with vintage linens

Classic French Onion Soup – Karen’s Way

Oh-La-La ~ Warm up with a 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 […]

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

Simple Romaine Salad with Shaved Cucumbers and Radishes with a Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette

Lots of crunch with a Zesty Preserved Lemon 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 are great keepers and add a blast of gorgeous color and […]

Purple Peruvian Potato salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette on vintage plates

Peruvian Potato Salad with Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette

These steamed potatoes are naturally bright purple and team brilliantly with Olives, Scallions and Parsley with this Zesty Vinaigrette I’m loving these Peruvian Purple Potatoes! Beyond an exceptional dose of antioxidants – they are sweet and the deep-purple color can brighten anyone’s day! I steam them whole, peel when cool and cube them. Mixing them with […]

A bowl of Tempeh Chili in a bowl over roasted sweet potato wedges with toppings

Very Veggie Tempeh Chili with Homemade Chili Powder

Vegan Chili with Homemade Chili Powder Packs Flavor and Mild Heat. I love eating in a crock ~ but today serving the chili over Roasted Sweet Potatoes with plenty of toppings!  Tempeh is a wonderful; meat substitute with great texture and absorbs all the flavor of the chiles. Made from Soybeans and Brown Rice – […]

A great little flavored oil condiment to have in the refrigerator! Takes minutes to make and adds a blast of heat and complexity to many dishes.

Quick-n-Easy Chili Oil

A great little flavored oil condiment to have in the refrigerator! Takes minutes to make and adds a blast of heat and complexity to many dishes. Uses for Chili Oil: Add part chili oil to the oil in your stir-fries. Use in a marinade As a dipping sauce – adding a splash of soy sauce […]

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

Citrus, Fennel & Mint Salad – Citrus Vinaigrette with Vanilla Bean

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. Refreshing and light – a ray of sunshine in Winter! Make the season bright this year with the freshest jewel toned citrus. A great way to beat the “Winter Blahs” […]

Karen’s Master Dinner Mini Roll Recipe

I’m making these dinner rolls in a circular wreath pattern to serve and dunk into my Classic Cheesy Fondue. Simple and fun to make with a wonderful smell wafting though the kitchen as the rolls bake! See my recipe: Karen’s Cheesy Swiss Fondue with Garlic & Chives

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

The Best 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! Gluten Free adaptable. Latkes are that ethereal treat; a potato mixture made by dropping large tablespoons into a skillet of shimmering, hot oil. Enjoy year-round! The trick for a perfect latke is twofold: […]

Karen's Easy Honey Peanuts

Karen’s Easy Honey Peanuts

Delicious Honey Peanuts coated last minute with a little sugar. Simple and fun to make. Caution: These are addictive!! The perfect nosh! Also use as a garnish for a dessert like my Lightened-Up Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate Biscotti Crust and Honey Peanuts

Natural Candied Yams with Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze

Natural Candied Yams with Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze

A must for Thanksgiving! A wonderful thick glaze surrounds rounds of yams with a cinnamon essence. A healthier lightened- up recipe! A beautifully sticky glaze that’s not too sweet. The trick: reduce Fresh Apple Cider!

easily the best sweet potato oven fries with garlic!

Incredible Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic

These are a weekly staple in my house. Serve them too for Thanksgiving – everyone loves these! Seasoned, Roasted and Tossed in Garlic, Butter and Parsley.

Yummy Pumpkin & Oatmeal Pancakes

Yummy Pumpkin & Oatmeal Pancakes

Delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients with tips on how to cook a pumpkin and make homemade Pumpkin Puree.

Mediterranean Gypsy Soup

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.

Raspberry Crunch Salad with Raspberry-Almond Oil Vinaigrette

Raspberry Crunch Salad with Raspberry-Almond Oil Vinaigrette

Crispy, Crunchy & Sweet ~ a brilliant, colorful, healthy salad… make place at your Thanksgiving table for this treat! Make the dressing ahead and adorn with my Nut and Seed Crunch (see recipe) This recipe is included in The Salad Gazette from the great minds at The Devil Wears Salad in Australia. The salad is on […]

Butternut Squash Gnocchi ~ It's Gluten Free

Butternut Squash Gnocchi ~ It’s Gluten Free

Using flavorful Honeynut squash – these pillowy gnocchi include the roasted squash in the dough and also served in the finished dish. Serve with simple browned butter and fresh herbs – delish! So much fun to make! See recipe for how to cut into 1 inch lengths and form Delicious Butternut Squash Gnocchi includes Ricotta […]

Karen's Pasta Puttanesca with Fresh Tomatoes

Karen’s Pasta Puttanesca with Fresh Tomatoes

A vibrant sauce takes makes only minutes to prepare – this is one of my favorite dishes ~ Buon appetito! The sauce is cooked in a big skillet – pasta is folded in, then served Puttanesca Sauce is big on flavor! Use fresh tomatoes if you can; the rest are pantry ingredients. Chock full of fresh […]

Grilled Zucchini with Japanese Miso-Glaze and Cashew Crema

Grilled Zucchini with Japanese Miso-Glaze and Cashew Crema

Zucchini & Summer Squash off the grill get jazzed-up with these Japanese inspired flavors Local Zucchini is simply sliced and grilled. I add the Miso Glaze on the bottom of the plate, and Cashew Crema on top. Beautiful Zucchini and Summer Squash off the grill served with a flavorful Miso Glaze and Cashew Crema

Mediterranean Stuffed Shishito Peppers

Mediterranean Stuffed Shishito Peppers

Blistered Shishito Peppers are cut in half and stuffed with a medley of Mediterranean ingredients for an addictive appetizer Stuffed with softened goat cheese, colorful peppers. tomatoes and herbs, then broiled one minute Recipe makes 24 pick-up stuffed Shishitos The ultimate pick-up tasty three bite little stuffed peppers! The mild peppers are stuffed with an explosion […]

Cheddar and Herb "Pennies" Gluten Free Option Too!

Cheddar and Herb “Pennies” ~ Savory Shortbread Crackers (yes, gluten free option too!)

Simple to make – roll mixture into a log – chill, slice & bake! Top with garden herbs for an elegant touch. A revised recipe from the 1950’s – these popular Cheesy Shortbread “Pennies” are the perfect little crackers with big flavor. Fabulous for snacking and company! Crispy and full of flavor. Aren’t they beautiful? […]

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

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. The Heirloom Tomatoes I have used: Red Zebra, Green Tiger and Strawberry Tomatoes

Gluten Free Summertime Panzanella Tomato Salad

Gluten Free Summertime Panzanella Tomato Salad

Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes team with Garlicky Toasted Gluten Free Bread and Plenty of Basil Leaves. Top with my Zesty “Shaken” Italian Dressing and scatter some thinly sliced Red Onions and cubes of Cucumber. This Zesty Italian Dressing pairs perfectly with my Panzanella Salad. Gluten Free Bread is garlicky, tasty and cut the same size as the […]

Sungold Tomato Butter – Slather on Everything!

Sungold Tomato Butter – Slather on Everything!

A deeply flavored whipped butter combined with slow-roasted Sungold Cherry Tomatoes. The uses are endless! Slather on Sourdough Bread The finished slow-cooked tomatoes – ready to blend with the butter Recipe Overview: Slow-roast halved tomatoes over thyme branches. Cook garlic so it has softened. Add butter to a small food processor – whip until light. […]

Karen's Arroz Blanco (Mexican White Rice)

Karen’s Arroz Blanco (Mexican White Rice)

My version of a simple side rice dish that is easy to prepare and full of flavor. I’m serving it with my Veracruz-Style Snapper with Fresh Garden Tomatoes. The perfect little side dish Adding Fresh Thyme Branches elevates the flavor of this simple side dish Medium grain rice is soaked for 10 minutes in water, then […]

Thai Basil Pesto – and what to do with it!

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, Roasted Zucchini and Toasted Pignoli Nuts Karen’s Thai Basil Pesto includes Thai Basil Leaves, Garlic, Pignoli Nuts, Nutritional Yeast, […]

Steamed Baby Beets with Garlic Scape Vinaigrette

Steamed Baby Beets with Garlic Scape Vinaigrette

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! A bunch of Fresh Beets from a farmer’s market makes a whole lot of scrumptious […]

Karen’s Garlic Scape Vinaigrette

Karen’s Garlic Scape Vinaigrette

An assertive and zesty vinaigrette with Purple Scallions (can use shallots or red onion) with delicious Garlic Scapes Garlic Scapes available now ~ late Spring through Summer Green Garlic Scapes; the curly shoot of the garlic bulb… they’re like scallions with a garlic kick! Look for them at your local Farmers’ Market.

Karen’s Essential Puerto Rican Sofrito

Karen’s Essential Puerto Rican Sofrito

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! A fresh mix to stir into so many recipes… the essential flavors of Puerto Rican Cuisine! […]

Karen’s Puerto Rican Sofrito Rice

Karen’s Puerto Rican Sofrito Rice

The local cuisine of Puerto Rico comes alive with vibrant colors and a melange of flavors. A few tablespoons of Sofrito will transform everyday rice into zesty deliciousness! An easy flavorful rice – fluffy & flavorful every time! Sofrito is a Latin cooking essential – make a batch today!

Velvety Cool Corn Soup with a Roasted Peppers & Jalapeño Garnish

Velvety Cool Corn Soup with a Roasted Peppers & Jalapeño Garnish

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 a punch of interest.

Weeknight Lightened-Up Shrimp Scampi

Weeknight Lightened-Up Shrimp Scampi

All the buttery, garlicky and lemony flavor with a sprinkling of fresh herbs in a lighter sauce you can make in minutes! What’s different about this recipe? The sauce has been “lightened-up” ~ which means ALL OF THE FLAVOR with less calories and fat; less butter. How did I accomplish this? The quick answer is […]

Really Amazing Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Really Amazing Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Seasonal Fresh Rhubarb is blended in a tangy & zesty Barbecue Sauce!An easy Sauce & Glaze – terrific using on the grill and as a side sauce. A fruity Barbecue Sauce does not need to be loaded with sugar to be flavorful. Homemade is better ~ no unwanted preservatives and flavorings! 

Chicken and Veggie Tacos with 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. Filling ingredients: Marinated chicken tenderloins, portobello mushrooms, red onions, fresh corn and cotija cheese. Experiment with ingredients you have on hand or love! The flavor profile of Mulato chiles is a bit sweet with hints of smoky chocolate, […]

Karen’s Mulato Chile Sauce

Karen’s Mulato Chile Sauce

An Authentic Sauce for tacos and versatile for many Mexican creations! Mulato Chiles are dried Poblanos. The name Poblanos pays homage to the native region these chiles were first cultivated which is a city in Mexico called Pueblo.The flavor profile of Mulato chiles is a bit sweet with hints of smoky chocolate, licorice, cherries and […]

Artichokes à la Grecque in a white bowl

Artichokes à la Grecque

Spring Recipe: the French version of an antipasto-style vegetable preparation with intense zesty flavors. Learn how to prepare fresh seasonal artichokes!  Vegetables à la grecque is a French dish ~ vegetables are typically slightly pickled in a broth of vegetable stock and wine. I’m swirling in a little butter and serving with fish; great over pasta too! […]

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. Risotto is a traditional Northern Italian dish, and a common way to cook rice in Italy. It’s a creamy & tender mixture made from a starchy short or medium-grained rice. Arborio is the most popular short-grain […]

Karen’s Gluten Free Matzo

Karen’s Gluten Free Matzo

In my test kitchen, I used carefully measured gluten-free “flours,” pulsed the ingredients in a food processor, rolled and cut the dough, then cooked each piece for a moment in a hot cast iron skillet until it slightly blackened. Finally, the matzo crackers were baked in the oven at a low temperature, just to crisp […]

Mediterranean Chickpea Stew with Pantry Ingredients

Mediterranean Chickpea Stew with Pantry Ingredients

An Aromatic Stew made with pantry ingredients: chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, diced tomatoes in juice, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste, Add fresh ingredients you have – potatoes carrots, onions, spinach and cupboard Mediterranean spices.

Radicchio Salad with Mustard Croutons and Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette

Radicchio Salad with Mustard Croutons and Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette

This Radicchio Salad has a nice sweet & bitter elements. Add Frisée lettuce, Watermelon Radish, Shaved Heirloom Carrots, Crispy Croutons with Grainy Mustard and Garlic and Karen’s Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette with Shallots and Garlic. A flavor sensation!

Karen’s Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette with Shallots and Garlic

Karen’s Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette with Shallots and Garlic

The perfect Zesty Vinaigrette for Salads and Beyond! This vinaigrette is my daily salad dressing staple! Easily whisk ingredients together and store in the refrigerator. Terrific paired with my: Radicchio Salad with Mustard Croutons and Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette

Crispy Croutons with Grainy Mustard and Garlic

Crispy Croutons with Grainy Mustard and Garlic

Just the most flavorful croutons! Tons of delicious zesty flavors.

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

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

The best homemade mustard! Mine has a rustic, grainy texture that adds a pleasant pop of flavor to many recipes.   It’s fun and quite simple to make your own full flavored and zesty Grainy Mustard! I make my own because it’s quite easy, and I use mustard quite a lot in my cooking. Yet a […]

Multi-Citrus Salsa

Multi-Citrus Salsa

A Zesty and Tart Salsa that uses in- season Winter Citrus. Colorful, light and tasty with a hint of sweetness and heat. A delicious salsa using Blood Oranges, Pink Grapefruit & Honeybell Tangelo Segments with Chopped Mint

Crispy Crouton Skewers

Crispy Crouton Skewers

These skewers offer a nifty way to serve croutons!

Spinach and Parsnip Soup with a Crispy Crouton Skewer

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. Parsnips and Yukon Gold Potatoes give the Vegan soup it’s creaminess when blended. Make these nifty Crispy Crouton Skewers to garnish the soup.

Harissa Sauce – The Perfect Zesty and Flavorful Condiment

Harissa Sauce – The Perfect Zesty and Flavorful Condiment

Harissa can change how you cook! A flavor-bomb with a Kicky and Zesty Flavor. An easy and quick condiment ~ mild & hot chiles and roasted red pepper are blended into a thick paste with garlic, olive oil, cumin, oregano, tomato paste, red wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. A little sauce with […]

Karen’s Creamy Hummus with Harissa

Karen’s Creamy Hummus with Harissa

Harrisa is a flavor-bomb sauce/condiment and pairs wonderfully with mellow hummus.

Bolognese Sauce with Tempeh and Mushrooms: It’s Vegan!

Bolognese Sauce with Tempeh and Mushrooms: It’s Vegan!

This Plant-Based Sauce is a lightened up, hearty and delicious! A recipe to master. Tempeh is a staple protein source and perfect for a vegetarian and vegan diet – a great substitute for meat… really grabs flavors! Cooked with classic techniques: Sweating, Sautéing and Braising.

Healthy Side: Butternut Squash Purée with Ginger and Browned Butter

Healthy Side: Butternut Squash Purée with Ginger and Browned Butter

Delicious and creamy – chock full of nutrients  Simple to prepare, just 3 main ingredients! – plus salt & pepper and parsley. Browned Butter – also called beurre noisette, named because it smells like hazelnuts and has a similar nutty color, plus a nutty, toasted flavor. It enhances the flavor of almost everything!

Skewered Shrimp Scampi Appetizer

Skewered Shrimp Scampi Appetizer

Sautéed Shrimp in a Hearty Garlic Herbal Butter Sauce Skewered with a Cube of Sourdough Bread to Soak up the Flavors A Simple Scampi Sauce – I’ve added a boost of flavor with fresh herbs, scallions and jalapeño. The perfect Holiday or Party Appetizer! 

Karen’s Garlic Confit ~ A Silky, Spreadable Condiment

Karen’s Garlic Confit ~ A Silky, Spreadable Condiment

Garlic Confit is a “must have” recipe for every cook. Luscious softened garlic surrounded by a blend of healthy oils. Use the cloves and garlic- infused oil for a subtle yet rich flavor After making your confit, you’ll also end up with creamy garlic cloves immersed in a delicious garlic-infused oil.

Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing and Dip

Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing and Dip

A fabulous dressing and dip that is a game-changer for every cook! Creamy, garlicky (yet mild from the roasted garlic), slightly sweetened with maple syrup and enough zesty flavor from fresh squeezed lemon.  

The Ultimate Kale, Romaine and Chickpea Salad with Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing

The Ultimate Kale, Romaine and Chickpea Salad with Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing

Chock full of antioxidants and complementary flavors! The Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing is a game-changer for every cook, full of zesty-robust tang. I enjoy serving with spiced grilled chicken for a main course salad.

How to Roast Whole Garlic Heads in Olive Oil and How to Use It

How to Roast Whole Garlic Heads in Olive Oil and How to Use It

Mellow yet with deep concentration – oven roasted garlic cloves enhances the flavor of everything!

Fried Summer Zucchini with Garlic – Lightened-Up

Fried Summer Zucchini with Garlic – Lightened-Up

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