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!




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.

Stuffed round zucchini with a side of tuna and mango salsa

Inspired by a trip to the Redondo Beach farmers market I picked out a bag of mixed vegetables. ¬†I got 6 round zucchini for $1. ¬†I decided they were perfect little vehicles to stuff. ¬†I wanted the meal to be fairly healthy and not carb packed. ¬†I cut the tops of the rounds and then scooped out the meat with a spoon. ¬†I chopped up the zucchini innards and saut√©ed them with some garlic, olive oil, peppers and salt and pepper to taste. ¬†I then stuffed the mixture back into the zucchini rounds and baked it at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. ¬†At the last 10 minutes I added some grated parmesan cheese for flavor. ¬† While it was cooking I made my mango salsa and then fired up the grill to cook the tuna. ¬†All in all it tasted good but I would pair up the zucchini with some other protein like chicken, steak or pork chops… or another fish minus the mango salsa. ¬†The flavors were fighting each other.

stuffed zuchinni IMG_0381 IMG_0382

A smoked salmon dinner

This is so easy, yet so delicious. ¬†I love simple dishes. ¬†I bought some wild caught smoked salmon at the local market. ¬†I made myself the easiest and not to mention healthiest dinner. ¬†I wasn’t in the mood to cook, but I wanted something good. ¬†I added some heirloom cherry tomatoes and some organic persian cucumbers on the side for some crunch appeal. ¬†I cut up lots of lemon slices for my salmon. ¬†There is nothing better than simple flavors with salt, I of course used Sel de Cali, for the taste and beauty appeal. ¬†This is now one of my favorite, easy meals to prepare that can also transform into a great appetizer or ¬†hors d’oeuvre platter. ¬†I would however dress it up a bit more when serving it to guests. ¬†I would add a few capers on the side, maybe some red onions, little crackers, blinis, or just simple pieces of ¬†bagels or some type of vehicle to place the salmon and veggies on it. ¬†A great cheese that goes with this is of course, cream cheese, but also a marscapone, ricotta, boursin or even goat cheese. ¬†There are many possibilities. ¬†And for those who are staying away from carbs, a great way to serve this is with Belgian endive leaves, they are a perfect little vehicles to serve the salmon. ¬†You can also make it in advance by placing a bit of cheese, a piece of salmon and a few capers with an onion on a piece of endive… or play with the combinations. ¬†I personally wouldn’t mix the lemon with the cheese, however. ¬†If you don’t have time to prepare it, ¬†in a rush, just add all the elements to a plate as nicely as possible and call it the deconstructed hors d’oeuvre. ¬†Smoked salmon is something I always have in my fridge, you just never know when you will have an impromptu guest over. ¬†Enjoy. ¬†

Sauteed garlic shrimp with pasta al pesto

For tonight I decided to satisfy my husbands love for pasta and give a good recipe for those who want pasta during their 3rd phase of the Dukan diet. ¬†I was tired of grilling, so I just saut√©ed a few wild caught shrimp, previously frozen. ¬†I saut√©ed them in a bit of basil garlic infused olive oil that I had made a few days ago, until the shrimp ¬†were pink and ¬†looked less opaque. ¬†In the mean time, the water was boiling and ready to add my lovely pasta I brought back from Italy. ¬†It’s a semolina based pasta called “Trecce Dell’orto. ¬†It’s delicious and perfect for pesto but, unfortunately,¬†I’ve not found it here yet. ¬†Once my pasta was cooked, I just added one hefty scoop of pesto I had previously made and tossed it in. ¬†I tossed in a few cherry tomatoes halves to add texture, color and freshness to this dish. ¬†Finish it off with a few sprinkles of Sel de Cali, for taste and presentation, as well as a bit of grated parmesan cheese. ¬†The dish takes about 20 mins to prepare, if you make the pesto ahead of time. ¬†You can use any type of pasta, but good ones with this are farfalle, bow tie, orcetta, basically any type of pasta works. ¬†I find that it’s not the greatest with angel hair pasta because it tends to clump up, but it’s still tasty. ¬†Enjoy. ¬†YUM

Broathy leek soup

I love leeks but hate the cost. ¬†I found frozen leeks that are pretty inexpensive, but not organic, in the frozen section at Trader Joes. ¬†It’s great to have these because they are already cut and cleaned and can be added to many dishes for flavor and texture. ¬†I didn’t use the frozen leeks in this particular soup though. I bought 3 big, nice looking leeks from the local grocers at a high price. ¬†I don’t understand why one leek is almost $1 and you can’t really even use the whole thing, unless making stock. ¬†I used a home-made veggie stock. ¬†I prefer it to the pre-made ones found around here. I’ve just had no luck in finding a good one that suits my taste. ¬†I would almost prefer a Knorr bouillon cube to the packaged stock, organic or not.

Stock:  Roughly chopped carrots-3, 2 roughly cut up onion, a few stocks of celery with leaves, (if you have, use dark green parts of leeks) peppercorns, laurel leaf, tyme, parsley-cook for about an hour or more.  Strain and voila, you have veggie stock.  You can use it right away or freeze for another day to make a soup, sauce or add flavor to making rice.  Just substitute stock for water when making rice.

Put about 2 tablespoons of butter and add one finely chopped onion and shallot for about two minutes. ¬†Add the leeks and stir occasionally. ¬†Add about 1 quart of stock and 3 chopped turnips. ¬†Cook for about 45 minutes and it’s ready to serve. ¬†This recipe is great with potatoes instead of the turnips but I didn’t want to add them even though I do love potato leek soup, but I wanted to follow my diet of no potatoes, so I used turnips. ¬†This was a very bland soup but perfect for my husband who was very ill. ¬†You can add all sorts of veggies and alter this so I spiced it up with some crushed peppers. ¬†This is especially yummy with some crusty bread and a nice cheese on the side, like St Andree, Chaource or something creamy and soft.

Chicken Surprise-Dukan diet day 7

I bought a large organic chicken at Trader Joes, my local super market. ¬†I was happy to make a whole chicken. ¬†I planned to bake it at 400 for 45 mins. ¬†I had just recently tested out our oven’s self cleaner, something I had neer done before, but the oven needed to be cleaned. ¬†I had accidentally, a few weeks back, set the oven to pre-heat without taking my son’s gingerbread house out of the oven. ¬†I had hidden it in the oven so he wouldn’t be tempted to pick and eat all the candy off. ¬†It was a big allurement that needed to be hidden! Well, his house”burned down” and melted candy was everywhere. Our home smelled of sweet candied ginger for days, maybe why I was eating sweets constantly. ¬†Anyway, ¬†the oven malfunctioned and locked. ¬†I tried to unlock it but ended up breaking the latch and the door wouldn’t shut properly, making ¬†the ¬†oven incapable of turning on. ¬†So my hopes of a nice roasted chicken was gone. ¬†What to do? ¬†That is where I pulled out ¬†the Le Creuset ¬†Paella-sized pan and started cutting up my chicken. ¬†I ¬†added only a bit off olive oil, staying within the Dukan limits, a sliced onion, 2 chopped garlic cloves and shallot to the hot oil. ¬†I added some nice dried oregano from Sicily, fresh thyme, oregano, and sage. ¬†I let it cook a bit till the onions were opaque and then added my chicken pieces. ¬† ¬† I then added some cut up zucchini, peeled and deseeded tomatoes and a bit of eggplant(about 2 zucchini and 1/2 a big eggplant)¬† It was a type of surprise, a ratatouile, hunters¬†chicken my style. ¬†It was a change from the rosemary, lemon garlic roasted chicken but good anyway.

Light tomato sauce with meatballs

All I can say is YUM. ¬†It’s extra yummy because tonight my dear husband is cooking. ¬†On the weekends, I get spoiled occasionally with a dinner out or Paul cooks a nice meal. ¬†So tonight he has made meatballs with a fresh tomato sauce.

Fresh tomato sauceTomato sauce:

You can use cans or fresh tomatoes.  If you use fresh, get 4-5 lbs, so you can freeze some or have enough for a dinner party. We only bought 3lbs and we have just enough for 3 people.  You can also use whole canned tomatoes, 3 big cans or 6 little ones.  The sauce is so much better with fresh.

If you are making fresh you will need to boil a big pot of water and place the tomatoes in it for a few minutes, just until the skin cracks. Take them out into a strainer and peel the skin and discard.

2 white onions

6 cloves of garlic

1/2 stick of butter


Melt butter ¬†with onions chopped in 4ths and whole garlic cloves. ¬†Add tomatoes and cover for about 30 mins. ¬†Remove all onions and garlic. ¬†Blend the tomato sauce with a hand mixer or find a way to purify it so it’s even in texture. ¬†Cook uncovered for another 15 mins.


1lbs of ground beef

1lbs of ground pork

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons dried or fresh oregano



olive oil

One onion finely chopped

Mix all the ingredients together, any which way you want!!! But if you want more structure. ¬†I usually mix both meats together with salt and pepper. ¬†I then add the egg and bread crumbs. ¬†I add a bit of olive oil, fresh herbs and finely chopped onion. ¬†Place on a cookie sheet, we are trying to make our meat balls smaller but ¬†they always end up so big. ¬†We make extra and freeze them. ¬†When reheating, DON’T HEAT IN YOUR TOMATO SAUCE-MAJOR YULK. ¬†It just gets really greasy. ¬†Just heat up in a frying pan or in the microwave, seperately.

Place in the oven at 375 for about 30 mins depending on the size of the meatballs.

Chicken stew with orange, tomatoes and olives over polenta

chicken stew

Tonight I will embark on making my husband happy through his stomach! ¬†He has had a few rough days at work and needs some comfort food. ¬†For him it’s anything stewy, pasta-like or just really heavy. ¬†Tonight I will cook a chicken stew served over polenta. ¬†He needs a little Italian boost. ¬†When¬†living in Italy he could get all his favorites for lunch, but now here in Southern Cal, I will try and recreate our little Monza living. ¬†I will pull out my instant polenta tarragna that I bought in Italy, it’s delicious and only takes 5 mins to make. ¬†But that doesn’t mean I can’t act like I’ve ¬†standing in front of a hot stove stirring the polenta, nonstop. ¬†I can still bitch like I have and I’m really good at it, my husband will attest to that, but if he knows what’s good for him, he’ll just say how delicious it is and thank me a bizillion times over:)

So this recipe is based on something I found in the Italian William Sanoma cook book.

1 medium sized egg plant

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 shallot

Olive oil



4-5 tomatoes, peeled

dried or fresh oregano

1 orange

bunch of black olives

Chicken pieces: I used two thighs and two wings. ¬†Sometimes I use a whole chicken cut up, depends on how many I’m serving. ¬†However, if you are going to use more than 4 pieces of chicken, adjust the ingredients.

Chop eggplant in cubes and place in a strainer with lots of salt for about 30 mins. ¬†This is to soak up all the bitterness. ¬†You should wash the eggplant and dry when ready to use. ¬†I don’t, but I’m not so great with watching my salt intake. ¬†I think it adds flavor to the sauce. ¬†Cook chicken in a little bit of olive oil. ¬†Brown on both sides for about 3-4 mins per side. ¬†Place on plate. ¬†Lower heat and garlic and shallot. ¬†Let cook for about 2 mins. Return chicken to pan. ¬†Add the juice of the orange along with the orange zest, coating chicken. ¬†Add the tomatoes, breaking them up into the orange juice. ¬†Add the olives and egg plant. ¬†cook covered for 30 mins on low. ¬†Uncover, mix it up and cook for about 15 more minutes. ¬†I usually make this way ahead of time, so by the time my husband who tends to be late finally gets home, the chicken is falling off the bone. ¬†But it’s still delicious. ¬†The trick is to get the polenta right. ¬†So now i”m off to make the polenta.

Hope you enjoy!