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Category: Recipes

Chocolais Chocolate Flavored Blended Fine Wine

During the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to taste various chocolate flavored wines…and while I have always enjoyed the experience, I never felt it was extra special. With Chocolais, that has changed. On our 2011 International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association Conference at Sea on Holland America, our members were treated to Chocolais as part of a wine tasting event as well as a bottle in their stateroom to devour or take home an enjoy. After two exceptional tastings of Roche Winery & Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, we cleansed our palate with “Wine Tasting Cookies” to experience...

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Garlic Cognac Roasted Trumpet Mushrooms

    I love all mushrooms, but I must confess that I’m partial to king trumpets.  Savory in flavor with a firm meaty texture, they live up to their royal title.  Only one thing could make these wonderful gifts better… Cognac!  It is warm and nutty by nature, but when you combine it with butter  it is transcended to a roasted sweet caramel.  In this recipe, when the cognac & butter meets the smokey piquillo pepper, the herbes de Provence & the salty Parmesan, magic happens.  The mushrooms dance and the cognac sings. This dish is a wonderful accompaniment to...

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Last Minute Gourmet Christmas Dinner Menu

Includes video instruction for each recipe. Last year my Christmas wish was to spend at least one month in France in the new year, just to enjoy the lifestyle.  After ringing in the New Year and didn’t give it considerable thought as I made my months went from winter to spring.  In mid-summer, much to my surprise, I received an invite from Chef Katherine Frelon to attend her cookery school in the Burgundy region of France at La Ferme de La Lochere in late August.  It was my Christmas in July!  The incredible French countryside adventure I had been...

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Chef Mathew Macartney of Chateau Yering Shares an Intriguing Salad Plate

While exploring the Australian Yarra Valley wine region, I was able to experience the five star, heritage- listed Victorian mansion. Chateau Yering, sitting on 250 acres, is a member of Relais & Chateaux. In the parlor, while enjoying scones and tea, I discovered Head Chef Mathew Macartney. Mathew oversees the Sweetwater Café and Elenore’s, a One Chef’s Hat in The Age Good Food Guide. Elenore’s has won numerous awards since Mathew arrived. He has also been a celebrity chef on Silversea’s cruise line the past two years. Chef Macartney’s talent speaks for itself in the recipe he chose to...

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Four Ocean Vodka Holiday Cocktails

When we visited Maui, we were fortunate to visit and tour Ocean Vodka. In addition to being impressed with the delicious product, family, marketing and mission, we were thrilled the product  was as good as we heard it was. Since then, we’ve been getting many of  their recipes and these holiday recipes were perfect for the upcoming season. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Ocean Vodka facility, we’d encourage you to do so. In addition to sampling the product, learning about this philanthropic company who is producing organic products, helping native Hawaiians, growing by innovative concepts,...

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Premchit Aromatic Prawns With Mango and Avocado Salad

This recipe is from Premchit in Phuket, Thailand – a destination spa devoted to wellness through diet, detoxification and other focused therapies. Premchit Prateap Na Thalang says: “Connections, between people, animals, plants, the earth, the sun; are life, past, present, future.” Premchit blends her inherited ancestral wisdom and family secrets with her own formal education in aromatherapy from the International Federation of Aromatherapists in London, with her intuitive cuisine and perfumery skills, to create highly enjoyable and effective therapeutic Ambrosias, Elixirs, Scents and Treatments for her EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Natural Wellness Retreats. Premchit Aromatic Prawns With Mango and Avocado...

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Tatanka or Szarlotka from The Piano Rogue in Krakow

After a day of touring around Krakow, Poland, with history, delicious food, and tired bodies, a few of us just wanted to relax before returning to our hotel. Our guide had been nice enough to search the square to find the perfect spot, The Piano Rouge. What a treat to walk into this supper club where time had stopped and hear a father and daughter team singing “Unforgettable.” In its relaxing environment, I enjoyed a well-known traditional Polish cocktail, both refreshing and tasty, called Tatanka or Szarlotka. It translates to apple pie. Tatanka or Szarlotka Cocktail (Apple Pie) Ingredients: 1...

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Fire-Roasted Pumpkin Filled with Wild Mushroom Risotto and Mascarpone

Early in 2011, I had the opportunity to meet Chef Andrew Schloss. He was the celebrity chef at Rancho La Puerta and I was a guest presenter. While attending his class, we all participated. Since pumpkin was not available, acorn squash from the ranch garden was substituted quite well. Andy has authored 15 published cookbooks and appeared on many national television shows. This recipe is the one Andy and his wife serve at their own Thanksgiving Dinner for those who are vegetarians. It is also a great side dish. Fire-Roasted Pumpkin Filled with Wild Mushroom Risotto and Mascarpone Recipe...

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Fresh Mozzarella with Lobster Boursin and Habanero Jam on Toasted Brioche

I just love this appetizer.  It has so many of my favorite flavors coming together to create magic. You have sweet lobster, creamy mozzarella, garlicky Boursin and a spicy kick  of the habanero jam all nestled atop a buttery toasted brioche.  I like to eat this while sipping a nice Zinfandel.  Bite, sip, bite, sip…  Soon all worries are gone and I’m in a happy place.  Make these and join me in that happy place. Fresh Mozzarella with Lobster Boursin and Habanero Jam on Toasted Brioche Makes 30 Pieces The Brioche Cut brioche into half inch thick pieces and...

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Prosciutto Di Parma Rolls from Chef Ivan Flowers

Ahhhh antipasti, is there anything better.  That magical word of delight, what you are going to eat before the pasta.  I am crazy for good antipasti plates.  But I do have one problem with them, what do I eat first?  I want a little of everything all at once!  So I created these Prosciutto Di Parma Rolls.  The buttery prosciutto, the sharp parmigiano, the sweet creamy mascarpone, the tangy basil dancing with the roasted peppers.  Now imagine all of this in a single bite, yes a single bit I tell you.  You will be popping these little beauties till...

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Seabass Ravioli With Stewed Mussels and Clams

Seabass Ravioli With Stewed Mussels and Clams Ingredients (Serves 4) 300 gr (about 1-3/4 cup) semolina flour 3 eggs 250 gr (about 9 ounces) seabass 100 gr (about 3.5 ounces) mussels 100 gr (about 3.5 ounces) clams olive oil salt cream parsley Method Prepare the fresh hand-made pasta, mixing the eggs, the semolina flour, and the olive oil last, and let the dough stand for 30 minutes. Prepare the sea bass, cooking in a pan and add a pinch of flour and some cream. Prepare the ravioli, rolling out the dough until it is paper-thin. Cut squares from the...

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