Extra Chocolate Lava Cakes

Yields 2 

This dessert is a decadent Valentine's Day dessert to make. It is simple to prepare.

It looks and tastes luxurious. 

If you are a chocolate lover this is your kind of dessert! 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon 60 % chocolate - melted 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted+ a little extra to coat the ramekins

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + a little extra to coat the ramekins

1/2 cup all purpose flour 

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

1 large egg

1/2 cup egg whites 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly butter and coat the large ramekins with cocoa powder, remove extra

In a microwavable bowl, melted chocolate chips. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove and mix. 

About half of the chocolate chips should have melted. 

Add the butter to the bowl and microwave again for 30 seconds. 

Add in the cocoa powder and mix well, incorporating the cocoa powder into the butter and melted chocolate mixture. 

Let this sit for a second or 2 to lower the temperature before adding the eggs. 

In a separate bowl measure out the dry ingredients. 

Add the melted chocolate mixture, mix. 

Then add the whole egg, break the yolk. 

Now fold in the egg whites, 1/4 cup at a times. 

The mixture should become glossy. 

Pour equal amounts into the ramekins (this can be done with 4 smaller ramekins). 

Bake in the oven for 27-30 minutes. 

The edges of should be cooked and the center cooked but soft. 

Remove from the oven and let it cool for 1-3 minutes and serve. 

Enjoy! 

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Dulce De Leche Apple Tart

Yields 4 servings 

Ingredients:

1 layer of puff pastry ( I used Dufour Puff Pastry, sold at Whole Foods)- 1/2 of the puff pastry

2 Fuji or Honeycrisp apples - peeled and sliced 

2 tablespoons cane sugar 

3 tablespoons dulce de leche 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 egg - for an egg wash 

Method:

Defrost puff pastry overnight in the fridge. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Unfold the puff pastry and cut the large square in half length wise. 

Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and place the puff pastry on the parchment paper. 

You want to assemble the tart on the baking sheet because it becomes very difficult to move the assembled puff pastry with the apples on it. 

In a bowl mix together the sliced apples, salt, sugar and vanilla extract. 

Make a "crust" with the puff pastry by folding in some of the puff pastry. Remember that puff pastry grows, so don't make the "crust" very big. 

Closely layer the apple slices. You want them to sit on each other slightly. 

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the dulce de leche on top of the apples.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the apples are tender. 

Remove from the oven and drizzle the remaining dulce de leche over the apples. 

Allow this dessert to cool, slice and serve. 

Enjoy! 

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Poached Pear Greek Yogurt Parfait

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients:

2 small pears- peeled

2 star anise

1 cinnamon clove 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

2 cups plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage, whole milk)

1/2 cup homemade granola (recipe coming soon!) 

A handful of berries 

2 tablespoons honey 

Method:

Place the peeled pears in a pot and cover with water, place the star anise, vanilla extract and cinnamon stick in the pot. 

Bring this to a light boil, lower heat and cover pot. Poach for about 8-10 minutes, until the pears are tender. 

Meanwhile assemble the parfaits, scoop the Greek yogurt in a bowl, place the granola and berries on top. 

Place the bowls back in the fridge for it to stay cool.

Remove the pears from the poaching liquid, allow them to cool, then slice. 

Once the pears have cooled, place the slices on the yogurt, drizzle with honey and serve. 

Enjoy! 

*** You can poach the pears a day or two ahead of time to make this a quick and simple breakfast the morning of. *** 

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French Leek & Potato Soup 

Yields 4 servings 

Ingredients:

2-3 large leeks - cleaned and thinly sliced 

2 medium potatoes (I used sweet Hannah potatoes)- peeled and diced 

1 bunch fresh thyme 

1/4 cup white wine

3 cups stock + more if you like (I recommend Pacific Chicken Bone Stock)

Salt + Pepper 

 1 tablespoon butter 

 

Method:

In a large pot or dutch oven heat butter over medium heat. 

Once the butter has melted, add the sliced leeks and a pinch or 2 of salt. 

Let them sweat for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. 

Once they have absorbed all the butter add the white wine, bring the heat up for 30 seconds to a minute to cook the alcohol off. 

Lower the heat to medium, add the potatoes, and thyme, mix together. 

Add the broth, and season well the soup. 

Bring this to a boil, cover pan and lower heat to low for 20 minutes. 

Once the potatoes are tender and have cooked, turn the heat off, and serve. 

Enjoy! 

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Banana Sesame Drop Cookies 

Yields 1 dozen

Ingredients:

2 very ripe bananas- smashed

1/2 cup bran 

1 cup unbleached white flour 

1/2 cup all purpose flour 

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 large egg

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup cane sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 oz unsalted butter- room temperature 

1/2 cup raw walnuts - chopped 

1/4 cup roasted sesame seeds - for garnish 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer, cream together butter, honey, and sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until the egg yolk breaks. 

Add the banana and mix. 

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, except the nuts and seeds.

With the mixer on low, slowly add all the dry ingredients until a batter is formed. 

Fold in the chopped walnuts. 

With a small scoop, drop the scoops 1 inch apart on the lined baking sheet. 

Garnish each cookie with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. 

Bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes. 

Remove and place on a baking rack to cool. 

Serve and enjoy! 

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Mushroom & Kale Rice Noodle Soup with Sliced Pork 

Yields 4 servings 

Ingredients:

1 pint of crimini mushrooms - sliced

1 Portobello mushroom - diced 

1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms - sliced 

1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms - rehydrated 

1 large bunch of dinosaur kale- remove from the rib and roughly chop 

1 small onion - thinly sliced

2 cups mushroom stock - I used Pacific brand

1 cup beef stock + 1 cup chicken or pork stock 

1 bag of rice noodles 

3 tablespoons olive oil 

2 -3 pork cutlets - sliced and seasoned

Salt + Pepper

Method:

Heat oil in a dutch oven, or large pot. 

Add the onions with salt and sweat for 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms except the porcini. 

Season with salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes. 

Then add the kale, 1 cup of mushroom stock, and 1/2 cup of beef.

Season and bring this to a boil. 

Add the porcini, and pork slices. 

Cover pot and lower heat to low, cook for 10-12 minutes, until pork is cooked. 

Remove pork from soup. 

Add the remaining stocks and adjust seasonings, bring this to a light boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes. 

A few minutes before serving add the rice noodles when the soup is boiling, let this cook for 2 -3 minutes. 

Add the pork to warm, cover pot and turn the heat off. 

Let this sit for 5 minutes. 

Serve hot and enjoy! 

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Cod with Curry CousCous 

Yields 2 serving 

Ingredients:

2 fillets of wild caught cod 

Tricolor Couscous 

1/2-3/4 cup tomato puree 

2 large carrots -small dice 

1 small yellow onion - minced 

1 garlic clove - minced

1 tablespoon curry powder 

1 teaspoon harissa 

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 

1 cup tricolor couscous (I used Bob's Redmill) 

1/2 -2/3rds cup stock or water 

2-3 tablespoons olive oil 

Salt + Pepper 

Method:

Prepare all vegetables, and season both sides of the cod fillet. 

In a wide sauce pan (with a cover) heat olive oil. 

Sweat the onions. Once translucent add half of the curry powder, harissa, and cumin seeds. 

Allow this to become fragrant. Add the carrots and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. 

Then add half of the tomato puree, stir together. 

Add the fish on top, lower heat to low, cover pan and allow this cook for 7-8 minutes, until fish is cooked. 

Remove the fish and place on a clean plate while you cook the couscous. 

In the same sauce pan, add the remaining tomato puree, curry powder, harissa, cumin seeds and the couscous. 

Add about 1/2 of the stock, and stir. Bring the heat up to a light boil and lower heat to low. 

Cover the pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes. 

Remove the top and stir, make sure it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan. 

Add a little bit more stock and adjust seasoning. 

Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until couscous is tender but with a little bite. 

Once cooked, add the fish back on top of the couscous, turn the heat off and leave covered. 

Serve and warm and enjoy! 

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SMashed Avocado With Tomato, Aji Chii & Parsley

Yields 2 servings  

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Haas avocado or 1 1/2 Haas avocado 

1 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 lemon -juiced 

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4-1/2 teaspoon aji pepper flakes - if you can't find aji red pepper flakes are just fine

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 

2 Campari tomatoes - sliced 

1 bunch flat leaf parsley - minced 

Salt & Pepper to taste - make sure to salt your tomatoes!!! 

2 large slices of crusty wheat bread 

Method:

Scoop out the avocado and place in a bowl.

Add the seasonings, olive oil, lemon juice, aji, oregano. Mash all together with a fork. 

Meanwhile, slice bread and toast as desired. 

Slice the tomatoes. 

Once the bread is toasted, scoop evenly on each piece of toast, layer the tomatoes on top of the smashed avocado. 

Sprinkle with a garnish of flat leaf parsley and if you like things spicy add a little extra aji flakes. 

Serve and enjoy! 

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Herb Shrimp with Farfalle Pasta & Pesto Sauce 

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Farfalle pasta (I used Organic 365 from Whole Foods) 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 lb of wild caught shrimp (21-26) - peeled and deveined 

2 tablespoons pesto (Genovese Pesto preferably) 

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 

Herb Mix (dried oregano, dried basil, and cayenne pepper) 

Salt & Pepper

Method:

Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil, season generously with salt. 

Boil the pasta for 8 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat a skillet pan with the olive oil. 

Pat dry the shrimp and season lightly with salt and pepper, and the herb seasoning. 

Cook the shrimp for about 3-4 minutes, until they turn pink and coil in (this means they are cooked). 

Lower the heat to low, add the pesto and once the pasta is cooked, add the pasta to the shrimp and pesto sauce. 

Reserve some of the pasta water to thin the sauce out and also to add salt to the dish, if necessary. 

Plate the dish and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan. 

Serve hot and enjoy! 

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Winter Vegetable ground Turkey PIcadillo 

Yields 4 servings 

Ingredients:

1 lb of 94% ground turkey 

2 cups butternut squash - diced 

2 cups of dinosaur kale 

1 yellow onion - small dice 

2 garlic cloves - smashed 

2 carrots - small dice 

1 leek - sliced 

1 cup butter beans - rinsed and drained 

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary - minced 

1- 2 tablespoons fresh sage - minced 

1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 

1 teaspoon butter 

3 tablespoons olive oil 

1/4 cup white wine

1/4-1/2 cup stock 

Salt & Pepper 

Method:

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet pan, add onions and season with salt. Allow the onions to sweat and become translucent. 

Then add the leeks, carrots, and garlic cloves. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. 

Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Turn heat up to high for 1 minute to help cook off the alcohol. 

Lower heat back to medium, season the ground turkey well with salt and pepper. 

Add to the pan and break apart the ground turkey, allow this to cook for 5-6 minutes. 

Then add the fresh herbs, the diced butternut squash, kale leaves, and butter beans. 

Season the dish again well with salt and pepper. 

Add the stock if the pan is dry, bring this dish to a light boil. Cover the pan and lower the heat to low. 

Let this cook for 20 minutes, until the butternut squash is tender and the ground turkey is cooked through. 

Adjust the seasoning if necessary. 

Once it is cooked, let this sit covered with the heat off for at least 30 minutes. 

This dish is best served with farro or rice. 

Serve and enjoy! 

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Lemon & Parsley Seafood & Chorizo Paella 

Yields 2-3 servings 

Ingredients: 

2/3-3/4 lb of seafood medley (Wild caught shrimp, Calamari, Octopus, Scallops) 

2 Chorizo links- sliced

1 small yellow onion 

2 lemons + zest of one lemon 

2 garlic cloves - smashed 

1/4 cup of flat leafy parsley - minced 

1/4-1/3 cup white wine 

1/2 cup vegetable stock 

3/4 cup of water + more if necessary

1 1/2 cups of white Arborio rice 

Salt & Pepper 

3 Tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Prepare the vegetables. 

Clean all the seafood and pat dry. Slice the chorizo. 

In a large skillet pan (that has a lid), heat the olive oil, add the onions and a pinch or two of salt to sweat the onions. 

After 1-2 minutes add the garlic. Once the garlic becomes fragrant remove the crushed garlic cloves. 

Add juice from one lemon plus the zest, and the white wine. Bring the heat up to high for 30 seconds to help cook off the alcohol. 

Add the rice and let this toast for 15-20 seconds. This will help give the rice more flavor. 

Add the seasoned seafood and the chorizo slices. 

Season the whole dish well with salt and pepper. 

Add the 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and 3/4 cup of water. Bring this to a light boil. 

Cover the pan and lower the heat to low. Allow this to cook for 20 minutes. 

Once the rice has cooked and the proteins are cooked all the way, finish the dish with more lemon juice and the fresh parsley. 

Mix together and serve. 

Enjoy! 

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Herb & Dijon Mustard ROasted Fingerling POtatoes 

Yields 4 servings 

Ingredients:

1 lb of organic fingerling potatoes - halved

2 garlic cloves - whole 

1 bunch of fresh rosemary 

1 bunch of fresh thyme 

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Salt & Pepper 

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Halve the potatoes and place in a bowl. 

Add all other ingredients to the bowl and mix well. 

Coat eat potato with the seasoning . 

Line a baking sheet with foil, and pour the dressing covered potatoes evenly on the baking sheet. 

Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. If you would like the potatoes more crispy bake for another 5-8 minutes. 

Remove from oven once the potatoes are tender. Remove the garlic cloves and let it cool for 5 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy! 

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Fudge like Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake

Yields 6 cupcakes 

Ingredients: 

1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa 

2 oz bittersweet chocolate - melted 

1/2 cup +2 tablespoons all purpose flour 

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

2 large egg 

2 tablespoons butter 

1/4 cup brown sugar 

3 tablespoons cane sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

2 tablespoons Salted Caramel - in previous recipes 

Optional add-ins:

Hazelnuts

Chestnuts 

Walnuts 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin/cupcake tin with baking liners. 

In one bowl, add all the ingredients. Make sure the melted chocolate and butter have cooled so as to not scramble the eggs.

With a spatula, mix well. 

At this point fold in any add ins to the batter. 

Fill each muffin/cupcake liner 2/3rds full. 

Bake in the oven for 25-27 minutes, make sure the center is cooked through. 

Remove from oven, allow it to cool for 10 minutes, remove the cupcakes from the tin and cool for another 10 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy! 

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Homemade Fettuccine

Yields 4 servings 

Ingredients:

1 cup semolina flour

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting 

3 large room temperature eggs 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 

1 tablespoon water 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt 

Method:

In a bowl mix together the semolina and all purpose flour. 

On a clean work surface, make a mound of the 2 flours and in the center make a well, where the eggs will be placed.

One at a time and with a fork, crack an egg in the center of the flour mound. 

With the fork begin to scramble the flour with the egg, breaking the yolk to create a sticky egg and flour mixture. 

Then continue this until all 3 eggs are incorporated. Be careful to not break the barrier of the mound so that the eggs don't run. 

Then add the olive oil, water, and salt. Mix with the fork then begin to use your hands to create a dough. 

Initially the mixture will be sticky, but don't fear. 

Using more of the heel and outside of your hand knead the dough. 

Knead for about 5-8 minutes. 

You are looking for a smooth even texture dough. 

Once the dough is formed, shape it into a ball and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. 

Place the dough in the oven for at least 30 minutes for it to rest. 

To shape the dough, cut the dough in half, and wrap the other half back in plastic so it won't dry out. 

Lightly dust a clean work surface, and with a rolling pin (I prefer a rolling pin without handles) roll out the dough so that it can fit in the pasta roller. 

Then with a pasta machine, roll out the dough to either the 2nd to last or last setting, depending on your preference of thickness. 

Then if you have a different setting for cutting pasta, set the shape you prefer and shape the pasta. 

If not with a knife or pasta cutter, cut your shape of pasta. 

Make sure to flour after each time you thin the pasta sheets, and after you cut the shape. 

At this point the fresh pasta can go into a salted boiling pot of water or you can freeze the pasta for later use. 

Enjoy! 

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Banana Walnut Bread with Toasted Sesame Seeds

Yields 8 servings 

Do you ever have too many bananas in your pantry and you just don't know what to do with them? 

Well here is the solution, Banana Bread! 

I love making banana bread because it is a great treat that doesn't require too much additional sugar and tastes great. 

Banana bread can be made many different ways, but I like to make a different variation every time I bake this bread. 

Banana bread is considered a quick bread because it does not require yeast, patience, and proofing. 

The rise of the bread comes from the eggs and baking powder you add to the recipe. 

It is a great breakfast bread or wonderful with an afternoon tea or coffee. 

Here is the recipe, and feel free to add your own add-ins to make it to you liking! 

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas - you can add 3 if you want the bread to taste really banana

2 cups of all purpose flour 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

2 large eggs 

2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter- melted 

1 small container (about 1/3-1/2 cup) unsweetened applesauce 

1/2 cup honey 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/2 cup raw walnuts - chopped 

2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds - for garnish 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter and dust with flour. 

In one large bowl add the mashed bananas, eggs, butter, honey, vanilla extract and apple sauce, mix until the yolks are broken. 

Then add all the dry ingredients, except the walnuts. 

Fold together to create a dough. 

Then fold in the walnuts. 

Pour the batter in the greased loaf pan. 

Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the center is cooked through. 

Remove from the oven and allow the banana bread to cool for 10 minutes before filliping the bread out of the pan. 

Slice the bread once the bread has completely cooled. 

Serve and enjoy!

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Mixed Seeded Bread

Yields 3 loaves 

I served this bread with a goat cheese & ricotta spread topped with blackberries, chestnuts & slivered almonds. 

A simple and quick breakfast or snack.

This bread recipe is adapted from a wonderful bread book,

The Larousse Book of Bread, Recipes to Make at Home.

It is a step by step book that helps explain easy substitutions to make if you are not regular bread maker. 

I used to be so intimated to make bread. I thought it was the most complicated thing to bake, but through practice and this book I love to make bread. 

I find making bread to be calming and for me it is a way to zone out and meditate. The patience you have to learn to have to make bread is useful for me

who is a Type A, never stopping kind of a person!!! 

Give this recipe a try and you will soon be starting a bread bakery out of your home kitchen. 

Ingredients:

about 1/2 cup Mixed seeds (flax, poppy, sesame, millet, caraway, and quinoa) 

4 cups of All purpose flour (500 grams)

1 1/4 cup of water - room temperature water 

1/4 cup (60 grams) water to sprout the seeds 

1.5 grams of dry active yeast (almost 2 grams)

2 teaspoons salt 

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees to toast the seeds. 

Place the seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes, keep an eye on them so they don't burn. 

Immediately place the seeds in the 1/4 cup of water and leave them there for about 2 hours. 

Meanwhile you can make the dough, and I suggest using a stand mixer to help the process move along.

In a liquid measuring cup, measure the room temperature water and pour the dry active yeast in the cup and let it sit for 5 minutes.

In a bowl of a stand mixer add the flour and water with yeast. Begin to knead then add the salt. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, until it becomes a dough.

Dust a clean work surface and place the kneaded dough on the work surface. Shape the dough into a ball.

Place a damp cloth over the dough and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours. 

This is where being patient comes into play.

Once the bread has risen, divide the dough into 3 balls of dough. 

Dust again the work surface with flour, one ball at a time, flatten lightly the dough and shape into an oval.

With the longer part of the oval facing you, fold the dough in a third, folding toward the center of the dough, so away from you. 

Now turn the dough clockwise, 180 degrees. 

Fold the other long side of the oval away from you, towards the center, seal the sides and edges with the heel of your hand. 

Now lightly dust your hands with flour and roll the dough out to form a more plump oval. 

Repeat this process with the other 2 doughs. 

Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the water and place the seeds on a large plate. 

Brush some water on top of the shaped dough and dip the top of the bread on the seed mixture. 

Place the seeded 3 dough loaves on a baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let it proof for up to 2 hours. 

Again patience is key! 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, place another baking dish in the oven while the oven is preheating.

Score the 3 loaves, by using a pairing knife and gently score one line along the length of the loaves.

Once the oven has preheated, pour about 1/4 cup of water in the warmed baking dish and place it on the lowest rack in the oven. 

This will create steam in your oven to make your bread nice and crusty.

Place the baking sheet with the 3 proofed loaves in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Remove from oven and let the bread cool for 20 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy! 

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Rosemary ROasted Chestnuts 

Roasting chestnuts are delicious, but can be a bit tricky. 

When prepping this recipe be very careful with the knife. 

Chestnuts have a very hard shell. 

To roast chestnuts, step 1 is to make an X on the shell. 

With the back part of the knife, you want to score the chestnut. 

You don't want to cut the chestnut, just lightly break the shell. This will allow the chestnuts to crack open from the heat. 

Roast the chestnuts at a high heat or over an open fire for quicker results. 

If you are roasting in an oven, roast at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. 

Once the chestnuts have cracked open, let them cool before removing the shell.

Remove the shell and enjoy! 

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White Bean Chicken Chili 

Yields 4 servings 

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts with rib meat - diced 

3 boneless skinless chicken thighs 

1 slice of turkey bacon - finely diced 

3 celery ribs - small dice 

1 yellow onion - small dice 

1 leek - thinly sliced 

1 15 oz can butter beans - drained and rinsed (no salt added)

1 15 oz can cannellini beans- drained and rinsed (no salt added) 

1-2 russet potatoes - peeled and diced 

1-2 cup chicken stock - low sodium (I used Pacific chicken broth) - depends on how thin you want the chili

1 tablespoon fresh thyme 

1 bay leaf 

Salt & Pepper 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 teaspoon butter 

Garnish:

Sour cream or Greek Yogurt 

Pickled jalapenos 

Flat leaf parsley 

Sharp cheddar cheese 

Method:

In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. 

Add the diced bacon. You can remove the bacon after it is cooked if you prefer not to eat it. 

Just by sauting it in the oil it will give the dish more flavor. 

Then add the onions and a pinch of salt, allow them to sweat for 1 minute. 

Add the leeks and celery. Cook for 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile, dice the chicken and season with salt and pepper well. 

Add the chicken to pan and let this cook for 8-10 minutes. 

If you would like to deglaze the pan, do so with 1-2 tablespoons of white wine. 

Add the beans, potatoes, fresh thyme, and stock. 

Season well with salt and pepper and stir. 

Bring this to a boil, add the bay leaf on top, lower the heat to low, and let this cook for 20-25 minutes. 

Once it has cooked, keep the stove on low, place the top of the pan half on the pot, and let it simmer for 15 minutes. 

Then turn the heat off, keep the lid on and let the chili sit for 1-2 hours. The longer it sits the better it will be. 

When ready to serve, warm the pot back up,  and serve. 

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, some jalapenos and a sprinkle of cheese. 

Enjoy! 

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BONE-IN PORK CHOP WITH LEEKS & GRAPES 

Yields 2 servings 

Ingredients:

2 bone-in pork chops 

1 leek- sliced

1/3 cup grapes- halved

Olive oil 

1 teaspoon butter

Fresh Thyme 

Salt & Pepper 

Method: 

In a skillet pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and half the butter. 

Over medium heat cook the leeks and grapes. Season with salt and pepper. 

You are looking for the leeks to become tender and the grapes to release their juices. 

Once these are cooked remove them from the pan, add more olive oil and the remaining butter. 

Make sure the pan is hot. 

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. 

Place the chops in the hot oiled skillet. The trick to not getting burnt is to place the protein away from you. 

Let a nice golden sear get on the pork. Flip it once it is cooked for about 4-5 minutes. 

The continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, depending on how you like your pork cooked. 

To plate the dish, place the pork on a plate and on the side place the leeks and grapes, garnished with fresh parsley.

I served this dish with buttered onion brown rice.

To prepare buttered onion brown rice for a serving a two, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan, cook the onions until translucent with salt. 

Add the brown rice (3/4 cup) and lightly toast the rice. Add 1 1/3 cup of water and bring it to a boil. 

Once it is boiling, reduce heat to low, cover the pot and allow it cook for 38-45 minutes. 

Fluff with a fork and serve. 

This dish can be prepared with chicken instead if you prefer.

 If you are substituting the pork for chicken, I recommend chicken thighs.  

Enjoy!

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup 

Yields 4 servings 

Ingredients:

2 - 3 red bell peppers - roasted 

1 cup of canned tomato diced - Pomi preferably 

1 small yellow onion - small dice 

1-2 carrots- peeled and diced 

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth 

2 small/medium russet potatoes- peeled and diced 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

2 tablespoons white wine 

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place red bell peppers in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the skin begins to blister. 

Remove from oven and place the roasted bell peppers in a plastic bag for the steam to help peel the skin right off. 

Leave the bell peppers in the bag while you prepare cutting all the ingredients for the soup.

Then carefully peel the skin off the bell peppers, it should come right off. Discard the skin and remove the stem and seeds from the bell peppers. 

Heat in a large pan or dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. 

Add the onions and a pinch or two of salt to sweat the onions out. 

Then add the carrots and allow that to cook for 1-2 minutes. 

Deglaze the pan with white wine and let this cook for 30 seconds. 

Then add the tomato and roasted red bell peppers. Season well with salt and pepper. 

Add the diced potatoes and as much of the broth as you would like. Season again with salt and pepper. 

Bring this is a light boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. 

Let this cook for 20 minutes. 

Once the potatoes are tender, turn heat off. With a hand blender use it to puree the soup. 

If using a blender, fill the blender half way with hot liquid, placing a kitchen towel over the topped blender slowly increase the speed to puree the soup. 

Be careful when blending hot liquids! 

Once the soup is pureed, adjust seasoning and add more broth if you prefer the soup to have more liquid. 

Serve warm and dollop with sour cream or Greek yogurt. 

Enjoy! 

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