My niece requested a cheesecake so I had to make a special one for her and for those of you pondering the idea of what to make for Christmas I think this would be a perfect choice.    I had made a White Chocolate Cheesecake last Christmas with Raspberry swirl in it- though it tasted amazing it didn’t pass as a beauty queen at the table of desserts. haha.  So, I thought I”d go with Cherries and this Cheesecake looks so pretty and I already know from last years White Chocolate that the flavors are amazing. What I love is the flavor play on the crust by adding in finely chopped Pecans to the Graham Cracker Crumbs.   I found this super easy yet tasty recipe at Culinary Net, it is definitely on my repeat list. :))



  • 9 whole Honey Maid Honey Grahams, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 package (6 ounces) white baking chocolate, divided
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  1. PREHEAT oven to 300°F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 275°F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Mix graham crumbs, pecans, sugar and butter until well blended. Press firmly onto bottom of pan. Melt 5 of the chocolate squares as directed on package.
  2. BEAT cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, beating until well blended. Add melted chocolate and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
  3. BAKE 1 hour or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  4. MIX pie filling and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla; spoon over cheesecake. Melt remaining chocolate square as directed on package; drizzle over cherries. Let stand until firm. Cut into 16 slices to serve.

Poblano Bolognese Pasta

I”m a huge Italian food lover and could quite possibly live my life in Italy in some cottage near vineyards where I”d grow my own wine.  Yes, I like to imagine these things it’s part of my love for cooking.  I”m following Tasting Table on Facebook and they posted this mouth watering recipe that I just had to try and I was really impressed with how simple it was yet so flavorful.  Here’s the things that I found to be very helpful in my recipe- finding an Italian Deli that carries freshly made pasta- major plus. Italian deli in Agoura is one of my favorite places to visit as I can find freshly made pasta, dough’s, sauces and cheese’s for purchase.  Needless to say, a huge part of the reason this dish came out so good was that pasta.  The sauce is relatively easy and it smells incredible for a good hour while I”m nearly gnawing on anything around while I wait for it to be done. For the wine I used San Antonio winery’s Marsala wine.   I used Angus Beef which is a little tough I think for this dish and I might try ground lamb next time around. The sauce is really creamy and so tasty I would not change a thing.  Also huge hit with the kids. :))

Bolognase Pasta

Poblano Bolognese Pasta

Recipe adapted from Comodo, New York, NY

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 stalk celery, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¾ pound ground beef chuck

1 cup dry white wine

1 14-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, undrained, crushed using your hands

3 bay leaves

2 teaspoons nutmeg

3 sprigs thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 ½ pounds fresh fettuccine

3 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 poblano pepper, finely chopped

½ cup heavy cream

3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS1. Place the carrot, onion and celery in a food processor and pulse until the vegetables have completely broken down. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the beef and cook, stirring until the beef has browned and fat has rendered, about 15 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and pour any excess grease out of the pot.

3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot and place over medium heat. Add the minced vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved beef to the pot, along with the tomatoes, bay leaves, nutmeg and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and simmer, covered (leaving the lid ajar) until the flavors have melded and the sauce’s texture becomes velvety, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme.

4. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

5. Meanwhile, add the butter to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 to 40 seconds. Add the poblano peppers and cook until just slightly blistered, about 2 minutes. Add the Bolognese sauce, reserved cooking water and cream and reduce for 2 minutes. Add the pasta and toss with the sauce until the pasta is well-coated, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over the pasta and serve. Make ahead: Cool and refrigerate the sauce for up to 4 days.

Read more:http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/chefs_recipes/18059/How_to_Make_Poblano_Bolognese_Pasta.htm#ixzz3H1pDal5g

One of the amazing things about Los Angeles is the food, I”m so lucky to be just a traffic jam away from so many tasty options.  ;p  After making my visit to Scarpetta a couple of weeks ago I had it set in my mind to make Short Ribs.  I had two recipes, one that I’m dying to do but it will have to wait when I have more time to conquer it and have the right kind of Short Ribs.   The kind I bought was boneless, so after a quick search on the net I came across an easy recipe that is fantastic from Food blogger-Once Upon A Chef .  I loved it but I think I would add in 1 more Tablespoon of Chili Pepper next time hopping to get a kick. I also used Ketchup with Balsamic vinegar in it.   I wanted to top the meat on a Carb that isn’t so rich just to balance off the richness of the short ribs.  I carmelized finely chopped onion, mushrooms and Cauliflower in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  I cooked the Cauliflower separately as it takes more time to brown than the other veggies.  I put that aside when finished and cooked Couscous in 1/4 beef broth and 1/2 water and once that was done cooking I tossed it in with my veggies.  So tasty….this recipe will definitely make the rotation and my side dish creation was the perfect balance too.

boneless ribsboneless ribs2

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Hours
Total Time: 3 Hours 15 Minutes


For the Short Ribs

  • 4 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 4-inch long pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Season the short ribs all over with salt and pepper, then arrange in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (it will be a tight squeeze).
  3. Combine all of the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
  4. Pour 1/3 of the sauce (about 1/2 cup) over the short ribs. Using tongs, flip the ribs over and spoon another 1/3 of the sauce over top. Reserve the remaining BBQ sauce to spoon over the cooked ribs. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast for 2-1/2 hours. Remove the foil and, if the cooking liquid is covering the meat, use a large spoon or ladle to remove some of the liquid so that the tops are exposed. (Note: the meat will look unappetizing at this stage; don’t worry, it will look much better once it’s done!) Cook for 30 minutes more, uncovered, until the meat is tender and browned. Cut off any excess fat that remains around the short ribs. Transfer the short ribs to a serving platter. Discard the cooking liquid, as it will be very greasy. Slather the reserved BBQ sauce over the short ribs and serve.

Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp

I wanted something simple, quick and not meat since I spend my weekends eating nothing but red meat it seems.  So, with a quick search through Cooking Light’s website I came across this really flavorful Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp in it.   I didn’t pick up the center cut bacon that the recipe called for so I substituted the Turkey Bacon that I always keep in my frig. It came out really tasty but I did have to spray my pan with some Coconut cooking spray since Turkey bacon doesn’t give off any fat to cook with.   I wanted a more meaty chowder so I added in a handful of chopped crab meat and it gave it a nice sweetness and in addition I added crushed pepper.  The kids loved it minus the crushed pepper that I added to mine. :))

Ignore the little purple tape you see in pictures….I’m in need of a better iphone camera.

shrimp dish3

shrimp dish2

shrimp dish


  • 6 slices center-cut bacon, chopped (I used Turkey Bacon)
  • 1 cup prechopped onion
  • 1/2 cup prechopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. 1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon to pan; saute 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown. Remove 2 slices bacon. Drain on paper towels. Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through minced garlic) to pan, and saute for 2 minutes. Add corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth; bring to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes.
  2. 2. Place 2 cups of corn mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed corn mixture to pan. Stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir in half-and-half, pepper, and salt. Crumble reserved bacon over soup.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 294
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated fat: 2.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g
  • Protein: 26.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 34.8g
  • Fiber: 4.3g
  • Cholesterol: 144mg
  • Iron: 3.1mg
  • Sodium: 547mg
  • Calcium: 94mg

Miso Cod

Cod is my favorite fish, I love the butter like texture unfortunately I can’t always get this fish at the market but when I see it I take advantage of it.  I found a quick, simple and tasty recipe from Food and Wine.  Let this fish Marinate over night as indicated in the recipe it really soaks up all that flavor from the miso.  I made Couscous with Peas along side with just tsp of 100% Spanish Olive Oil.  



miso cod2miso cod




  1. 3 tablespoons mirin
  2. 3 tablespoons sake
  3. 1/2 cup white miso paste
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. Six 6- to 7-ounce skinless black cod fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  6. Vegetable oil, for grilling
  7. Pickled ginger, for serving
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the mirin and sake to a boil. Whisk in the miso until dissolved. Add the sugar and cook over moderate heat, whisking, just until dissolved. Transfer the marinade to a large baking dish and let cool. Add the fish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat a grill pan and oil it. Scrape the marinade off the fish. Add the fish and cook over high heat until browned, about 2 minutes. Flip the fish onto a heavy rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, until flaky. Transfer to plates and serve with pickled ginger.
MAKE AHEAD The marinade can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.


Spicy, full-bodied Gewürztraminer.











Okay…..this one hits my favorite list of new recipes I’ve tried this year so far.  Wow….packed with flavor!  I didn’t skip a step, I did everything as they did with the only exception of adding thinly sliced Zuchinni to the Slaw.   Incredible! Kids loved it too!! I love finding new recipes and as always I found this one through Cooking Light.  (click on the pictures….drool) ;))

Pulled pork sandwich cooking light

Pulled pork sandwich cooking light2

pulled pork sandwich cooking light6

pulled pork sandwich cooking light3

pulled pork sandwich cooking light4

pulled pork sandwich cooking light5

peach preservespulled pork sandwich cooking light7


  • 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup peach preserves
  • 2 cups vertically sliced onion $
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup bourbon $
  • 2 tablespoons cold water $
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  1. 1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper; rub evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place pork in a 6-quart electric slow cooker.
  2. 2. Add stock and next 4 ingredients (through crushed red pepper) to skillet; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add preserves, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture over pork; top with onion and garlic. Cover and cook on LOW 6 1/2 hours or until pork is very tender. Remove pork from pan, reserving liquid; cool slightly. Shred with 2 forks. Remove onion with a slotted spoon; add to pork.
  3. 3. Place a large zip-top plastic bag inside a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into skillet, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Stir bourbon into drippings; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Combine 2 tablespoons cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; add cornstarch mixture to sauce, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle sauce over pork; toss gently to coat.

Recipe Time

Hands On: 30 Minutes
Total: 7 Hours

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 206
  • Fat: 5.9g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g
  • Protein: 17g
  • Carbohydrate: 20g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 54mg
  • Iron: 2mg
  • Sodium: 369mg
  • Calcium: 41mg

So I’ve been wanting to use this Thai sauce for awhile now and I decided to do a search for it with Salmon.  This is so flavorful and sweet, add some crushed pepper to the mix and it works perfectly!  It’s a simple 3 ingredient process and done in minutes.  3 Tbls Soy Sauce, 6 Tbls Thai Sauce and I used Ginger Garlic paste.  I did it a little different from food blogger Once Upon a Chef, by marinating the fish in the paste for 20 mins than adding the mixture to it-I also added crushed pepper to give it a little kick.  I’ve made a version similar to this before but I like this one better with the ginger garlic paste vs. chunks of garlic.

For the Veggies I just finely chopped Handful of Brocaali, Califlower and Corn and sauted that in one drink amount of water 2 Tblspoons of 100 % Spanish Olive Oil and 2 Tbls toasted Seasame Oil.   and allow the veggies to cook to a crisp- (allowing browning to take place) almost like you’re burning it- this allows the oils to pull so much flavor into the veggie.


thai salmon


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