Switched blogs



Hello everyone! ¬†I hope you are well and will start to follow my new food blog since I moved to Detroit. The photo is me and my last days in sunny Cali… with a tan ūüėČ

Check out my new blog-it’s a bit of everything… things I make for dinner, parties, gifts… and a bit of lifestyle and Detroit happenings.


I hope you will follow this one, too!




Yummy pesto pasta salad-hot or cold


This is a really easy thing to make for a party, quick dinner or have unexpected guests.  This can be served hot or cold.

Pesto Recipe:

Big bunch of basil

Extra Virgin Olive oil– about 3/4 cups

1 cup pine nuts

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 garlic clove

Directions: in a mixer put basil and pine nuts and mix, then add the parmesan cheese and garlic clove. ¬†While it’s spinning stream in the olive oil. ¬†You will have a lot of pesto¬†and can divide up into little containers that you can freeze for later use.


Different uses for Pesto: ¬†On little toast for a quick hors d’oeuvres- add a sliced cherry tomato and a few pine nuts, it can be added on grilled chicken, fish or steak… it just adds a bit of flavor… you can even toss a spoon in soup. ¬†The ideas go on and on-even a dollop on a caprese salad adds color and taste! I am using it as a simple pasta salad.


For the pasta salad: ¬†Use a box of shapely noodles… it grips the pesto better. ¬†Halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes, add cut basil leaves with your fingers or sissors, salt and pepper to taste and add a bunch of soup spoons of pesto—toss it all together. ¬†You want the pasta to be really green and not too dry-so add in as many spoons of pesto as you think-depending on the amount of pasta you use. ¬†You can also add olive oil for moisture. Serve hot or cold. ¬†Add¬†protein to this salad: ¬†shrimp, chicken or scallops have worked well, but I prefer to add protein when I¬†serve the dish hot, but if you serve it cold, chicken is always a good option. ¬†You¬†can make this a day in¬†advance for your party, picnic or buffet if you are serving it cold! ¬†YUM


49th Birthday party appetizers

I decided to host a birthday party for my friend. ¬†At first I wanted it to be a surprise… well, I apparently can’t keep a secret. ¬†I had asked Jill if she wanted to celebrate her birthday with me and Latifa at my place. ¬†In the end she said it would be great but she’d love to have Wendy and Penny join. ¬†I burst out laughing because I had spent the whole day spying on her facebook page to get contact names. ¬†I basically told her I’d already invited them. ¬†Later that evening I then blurted out more people I invited. ¬†I decided not to cook as much for this party as I was busy working on other projects and didn’t have much time. ¬†I ended up serving¬†way too much food! ¬†What you don’t see here are Jill’s favorite hot appetizers. ¬†Olive balls.


Olive ball recipe:

40 green pimento olives drained

4 tablespoons of European style butter

3 cups of cheddar cheese

1/2 cup flour

Directions:  Drain the olives and set aside.  Mix with your hands or in the cuisinart all the ingredients until you get it shaped into a big ball.  Take a bit off each time and make a little pancake like shape.  Place an olive in it and then wrap it with the dough.  The best part about this appetizer is you can freeze them and always have them on hand for last minute get togethers.  The keep in the freezer for about 2 months.  Just bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so.  YUM


IMG_5257 IMG_5258


I also made chocolate covered strawberries. ¬†It’s super easy and a nice treat. ¬†I usually buy a big bar of chocolate and use my make shift bain marie- a ¬†steel bowl on top of a pot with boiling water. ¬†You need to constantly stir the chocolate until it fully melts. ¬†I used about 250 grams of chocolate for 12 huge strawberries. ¬†I wasn’t in the mood to make a cake, so I cheated and bought the cheese cake.

Next I bought a great spinach dip that I placed in the red pepper cut out.



A very easy and pretty appetizer is blue cheese, walnuts and endive…. this is so simple, break apart the endive, sprinkle a good blue cheese and little pieces of walnuts and voila!!!!!


The evening was nice with lots of food to eat… I got every type of Italian cured meat at Perozzi’s Italian deli, in San Pedro! YUM

IMG_5263 IMG_5264 IMG_5265 IMG_5266

Detroit -the move from the 1950s


My husband Paul is a car designer. We met in Detroit when I moved to work as a copywriter in a major advertising company… 2 years later we were married and off to Japan. ¬†After one child and four years in Tokyo we moved to Monza, Italy…. 2 years later we came to Los Angeles, a place I fell in love with. ¬†I never wanted to move to LA and thought that there was a big superficial mentality with botox romances¬†and boob injection dreams… well that is the reality but there is much more. ¬†After almost 4- years living here, I love it and I love our Edward Fickett modernist 1950s home we bought a year ago in San Pedro, it’s time to move. ¬†My husband found a better more fullfilling job in Detroit!

I’m thinking food is such a part of me that the food I make will reflect the move and then life in Detroit! Maybe I will call it Deliciously Detroit or Detroit Deliciously!

I hope you enjoy this new section to my blog.

Spicy beef Salad my way


My husband recently left for Detroit to take a job, we will follow from our sunny California home in June to finish my sons school and to selfishly ease into the climate.  My husband and I love ordering Thai food.  But alone I felt it quite silly to order for myself since my son will not eat it.  I was on the phone with a friend who was telling me she was ordering my favorite, spicy beef salad.  I was craving it.  I had lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro red onions and that night I was planning on grilling a beautiful grass fed piece of beef.  In the end I turned it into a delicious salad.

What I did: ¬†I frantically looked at a bunch of recipes online as I was certain I didn’t have all the ingredients

I used :

1/4 red onion sliced thinly

1 cup chopped cilantro

a few sprigs of mint chopped

1 cup lime juice

1/4 cup fish sauce-yes for some reason I had fish sauce

2 tablespoons chili paste/sauce

1/3 cup sugar in the raw

I mixed this all together as my steak was grilling.

2 persian cucumbers sliced

Mixed greens-I prefer the ones that stand up to the sauce like romaine, butter leaf and ice berg

a bunch of herloom cherry tomatoes halved

1/2 red pepper sliced

Toss it all together with the cooked meat thinly sliced.

Simple Avocado citrus salad

My friend dropped off 10 avocados from her father-in-laws avocado farm-lucky! ¬†I love avocado but I simply had too much and was gaucamoled out. ¬†I made a really “light” dressing of lime and a teaspoon of honey on top of a bed of sliced tomatoes and avocados and some chopped cilantro. This is a¬†refreshing and filling side dish or perfect for ¬†lunch. ¬†I now am the proud owner of an avocado tree, but it will take years to yield many avocados.

For two servings:

2 Haas avocados sliced or cubed, depending on your preference

2 tomatoes sliced.

handful of cilantro chopped or cut with scissors

1 lime squeezed into small bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon or more of honey and 2 tablespoons oil of your preference.  Mix and drizzle over avocado and tomatoes!

Add salt ( sel de cali- citrus blend, cilantro red pepper, or chardonnay) Voila, ready to eat.

simple avocado salad

Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles




I needed a desert for a thanksgiving party and felt that by the time people got to desert they’d be pretty full. I decided chocolate truffles are always easy to go down, just one bite. I made these as little gifts for my weddings, used them to decorate around a birthday cake‚Ķ I am also going to give them as gifts for the holidays. I will just put 5 or 6 in a little clear plastic bag, tie a cute bow and that’s it! ¬†You can also get nice small candy boxes at cooking stores or craft stores. There are also molds to make your truffles perfectly round with no mistakes, but I like the homemade look to my truffles. ¬†I don’t want them to look professional just taste that way.



16 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate finely chopped. ¬†I usually use the big dark chocolate bars (500 grams) from Trader Joe’s.

1 cup heavy cream (not whipping cream)

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier ( you can also use triple sec, framboise, or any other flavored liqueurs)

24 ounces chopped dark chocolate for melting and dipping the truffle balls.

For decorating:  Chopped nuts (pistachios, walnuts, pecans,…. ) powdered sugar, sel de cali- orange flavored sea salt, melted white chocolate, sprinkles… what ever you want: get creative.  chopped chocolate


Directions: ¬†Put the chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. ¬†In a small saucepan over medium heat bring the cream to a slight boil. ¬†Pour cream over chopped chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. ¬†Add your favorite liqueur ( about 2 tablespoons). ¬†Put mixture, which is actually called a ganache, in the fridge over night or if you are pressed for time, pour the ganache in a shallow dish and put in the refrigerator/freezer for about 30 mins. ¬†Once the chocolate seems ready in a solid pliable form, not hard, start making little balls with a teaspoon or a melon baller. ¬†Don’t make the balls too big, remember this will be the inside of your truffle, there will still be an exterior layer of hardened chocolate.

Place the balls on a¬†lined baking sheet with parchment paper. ¬†Place the sheet in the refrigerator for another 10 mins. ¬†cheap double boilerMeanwhile chop and melt the 24 ounces of chocolate over a double boiler. ¬†I don’t have one so I balanced a heat proof bowl over a sauce pan filled with water boiling. ¬†Once the chocolate is melted, take the balls out of the fridge. Dip and swirl each in the melted chocolate. place on cookie sheet and sprinkle on nuts, salt..whatever you want. You can also roll it in chopped nuts. ¬†I just kept mine with little added sprinkles and maybe one or two rolled in nuts. ¬†Once you are done, put the truffles back in the fridge. ¬†Continue until all are done. ¬†By the way, don’t re-heat chocolate or over cook, it will break down and won’t work. The truffles last up to 2 weeks and the best is to refrigerate them.




Cauliflower Au Gratin

A great side dish or even a meal if you add hard-boiled eggs.  This specific photo is without the eggs.

cauwlflower au gratin

The first step is to cut up one whole cauliflower and blanch the florets or steam for just a bit, don’t cook entirely. ¬†Put the semi cooked cauliflower in a nice pan or casserole dish to bake. ¬†Turn the oven on to 350 F.

Next make a home-made bechamel sauce.  This requires a lot of attention and stirring.  Once your bechamel sauce is done, pour it into the pan with the cauliflower.  Top off the dish with some grated Gruyère cheese and a bit of grated parmesan.  Bake for 30 mins and turn the heat up to 400 bake for 10 more minutes so the cheese gets browned.  If you want to turn this into a meal you can place 4 hard-boiled eggs cut in half on top of the cauliflower mixture and then add cheese.


Cauliflower (Photo credit: Indiana Public Media)

Ingredients:  1 head of cauliflower

1 cup grated Gruyère Cheese

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Parmesan Cheese (or more accurately, Parmigian...
Parmesan Cheese (or more accurately, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



For the béchamel: 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg, 3 cups whole milk, 4 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons flour.

To make the b√©chamel. ¬†Put the 3 cups of milk to heat in a pot keep warm and don’t let it boil, turn as heat as low as possible. ¬†In a pot melt the butter and add the 3 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly until you form a nice colored roux. ¬†approximately 3 mins of stirring. ¬†Add little by little the warm milk by constantly stirring. Once all the milk is mixed in, continue to stir and get the bechamel bubbling. ¬†If it’s thin at first, don’t worry, it will eventually thicken. ¬†Once it’s the consistency of heavy cream you can remove from heat. ¬†Stir in the salt, Nutmeg and mix in about 1/2 cup of the grated Gruy√®re cheese ( or a good swiss cheese). ¬†Poor it over your cauliflower. ¬†Make sure all the florets ¬†are covered. ¬†Then add the remaining 1/2 cup Gruy√®re and sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. ¬†Bake! ¬†It’s a great dish to bring to ¬†pot luck, to have as a side with meat, fish, poultry, great for Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners. ¬†And again, you can make this the main dish by added hard-boiled eggs cut in half. ¬†Enjoy-yum



Shrimp and Scallop medley

The nightly quest of ¬†satisfying the question “what’s for dinner,” was especially difficult due to a missed shopping trip… kids homework and other things that just get in the way of a Betty Crocker moment. ¬†I found myself staring at a very bare fridge. ¬†Most would order in or get take out but this wasn’t an option. ¬†You can use things in an imaginary way, just pretend your fridge is the mystery basket on the show ¬†Chopped

I found enough to make a nice meal: ¬†a few frozen scallops and shrimp. ¬†A lemon grass and some spinach. ¬†It took less time than ordering food and having it delivered. ¬†I saut√©ed the shrimp in a bit of butter and garlic for about 2 mins. ¬† I added the scallops and then tossed in my lemon grass and spinach. ¬†I didn’t over cook the scallops. ¬†I didn’t get a lovely

seer on them, either, but it was better than overcooked rubber!!!!! I finished the dish off with Sel de CaliРthe Meyers lemon sea salt.  It was delicious and only took about 10 minutes to prepare.   I served this  medley over rice and called it my own.

1 garlic clove chopped

1-2 tablespoons of butter, depending on your health ūüôā

around 6 scallops

around 6 shrimp

One bag of baby spinach

1 lemon grass

Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf
Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf (Photo credit: Ahmad Fuad Morad)

2 teaspoons finishing salt- Sel de Cali-meyers lemon sea salt

Steam some rice