Game Time Snacks

‘Kayso, I finished working out just before Monday Night Football kicked off (Cowboys vs. NY – GO COWBOYS!!), and I was a little hungry. I wanted a snack. Hmmm…let’s see what’s in the ‘fridge: leftover biscuits from yesterday’s brunch, 3-pepper gouda, arugula, and I had two lovely Cherokee Purple tomatoes sitting on the counter. Bingo! Added some Avocado Chipotle Lime mayonnaise and I was off and running…

A few minutes under the broiler.

Voilà! The sweetness of the biscuits was a perfect compliment to the spicy arugula, cheese, and mayo. YUM!

Paired with a cocktail of botanically-infused vodka over ice. Perfection.

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Edible Delights::Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

One of our neighbors gifted us a boatload of cherry tomatoes. We’re right in the middle of our yearly heatwave so I knew these wouldn’t keep for long. What to do, what to do, what to do? I know: roast ’em!!!

The recipe is so simple. Dump the tomatoes in a large rectangular baking pan (single layer, please). I cut up a large onion and scattered it on top, along with three garlic cloves (halved). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I also sprinkled plenty of Chef Josef’s Garlic Herb Seasoning Blend on top. (Chef Josef’s was one of the vendors at this year’s Sunnyvale Art & Wine Festival.)

Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes, or until the tomatoes have “popped”.

That’s it! This is great as a side dish, over fish or chicken, spooned onto big slabs of sourdough, or tossed with pasta…

I added about 2/3 of the roasted tomatoes to 1# of cooked pasta
(I used a combo of orecchiette and farfalle).
Then threw in some arugula and feta (which made it a bit creamy).
Serve hot or warm.

Bon appétit!

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August is the Sunday of Summer*

Yep, tomorrow not only marks the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) but it’s the end of Summer for many. For us in the Bay Area our Summer extends through September into October – sometimes into November. In fact, Summer doesn’t really hit its stride here UNTIL August. (90s are forecast for the coming week. Hot days mean warm nights which I absolutely LOVE!)

BTW, have I mentioned how much I’ve missed sunbathing? It’s been years since I’ve had a tan and I must admit I’m loving the way it looks – especially since I’m LIVING in shorts these days. LOL

Corn, heirloom tomatoes, and other seasonal produce are still in great abundance at our Farmers Markets. (Yay!) Next week it’s back to Excite Ballpark to see another SJ Giants game, and mid-September will be enjoying the last of the local Art & Wine Festivals.

Summer lingers on…

To celebrate the Autumn Equinox I made another Mabon Apple Cake, except I added a couple handfuls of raisins and about 1/2 cup of chopped pecans to the batter. Really made a difference in both the texture and flavor!

Enchanted Living‘s Autumn 2022 (The Vintage Witch) Issue included a recipe I HAD to try:

I used almond milk instead of coconut milk
– and added a healthy splosh of bourbon. Yum!

Merry Mabon everyone!

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* “August is the Sunday of Summer” by MaK Cov.

A Summertime Feast – Courtesy of our California Farmers

Huzzah to California’s Farmers/Growers!!

What we snagged at the Farmers Market.
Everything here was used in our Feast.

Store-bought hummus with baguette slices
Fresh organic strawberry margaritas
Roasted organic corn-on-the-cob with chipotle mayo and cotija cheese
Roasted veggies (eggplant, red onions, summer squash, sweet peppers, and studded with garlic cloves)
Roasted yellow potatoes with arugula and feta cheese
Mothership Tomato Salad
Sirloin Steak (Yes, I cook for meat eaters. ≋;> )
Espresso served over gelato (vanilla and chocolate)

Some of these photos were taken in haste and turned out a bit blurry. My apologies…

Not included in our Fourth of July Feast but something I’ve whipped up a couple times this summer.

Roast Veggies & Pasta Bake

Any vegetables can be used here. During the colder months I might try this with winter squash, mushrooms, carrots, onions, and perhaps parsnips. Anything goes, really. The key is to roast each vegetable separately in a baking pan. It normally takes about 30 minutes in a 350° oven, but some veggies may take less (or more) time. Just keep an eye on them.

4-5 heirloom tomatoes, sliced in chunks or quarters
2-3 onions, sliced in half-moons
2-3 summer squash, sliced in half-moons
1/2# dried penne
A boatload of shredded mozzerella
Grated parmesan (fresh)
Salt and pepper

Note: Roasting the vegetables can be done a day ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble the bake.

Preheat oven to 350°.

I like to roast the tomatoes first so the onions can cook in their juice. Arrange tomatoes in a foil-lined baking pan, drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper, and pop in the oven. Once the tomatoes have roasted to your liking spoon them into a container – but leave the juice! Next up: the onions. Again drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Bake these until they soft and golden brown. Spoon them on top of the tomatoes (You’ll be mixing all the veggies together anyway.) Treat the squash the same way: drizzle with EVOO and season. These may take a bit longer than the others depending upon the size of the pieces. The squash should be soft and slightly browned. Add to the tomato/onion mixture along with whatever juice is left in the pan.

Cook the penne in boiling water according to directions on package. Meanwhile, spoon your veggie mixture into a 9×11 greased casserole dish. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the veggies. Toss well. At this point I like to throw in a couple (or three…or four…) good fistfuls of the mozzerella and toss again to thoroughly incorporate. THEN I cover the entire top with more mozzerella and finish off with a layer of parmesan.

Into a 350° oven it goes for about 30 minutes or until the cheese starts bubbling.

Bon Appétit!

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Pour votre santé – it’s World Cocktail Day!

During these last two years we’ve been honing skills in preparing mixed drinks – aka mixology. With limited options on going out to a club, bar, or restaurant, what else was there to do? (There are silver linings to every cloud…)

African Blue Basil Martini

  • Dry vermouth
  • Chilled vodka (I keep mine in the freezer)
  • Castelvetrano olives (Don’t even try substituting these – it won’t taste the same.)
  • 4-5 African Blue basil flowers
  • Lemon (optional)

Add ice cubes to a cocktail shaker (don’t scrimp on the ice). Add 2 ounces vodka and 2 spurts of vermouth. Shake for about 10 seconds then pour into a chilled martini glass. Add a jot (or two) of olive juice and a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle the flowers on top and garnish with 2 the olives.

Makes 1 cocktail

Elderflower Martini: 2 ounces chilled vodka and
1/4 bottle Elderflower lemonade (or to taste).

Fresh organic strawberries from the Farmers Market make the perfect blended Strawberry Margarita.

A classic Manhattan using Redemption Rye whiskey.
(Never, ever use maraschino cherries. Splurge on the good, black ones.)

A successful experiment using ingredients we had on-hand.

Use good quality eggnog, please
– and don’t forget FRESHLY-grated nutmeg!

A classic vodka martini using jalapeño-infused olives
(and more than a “jot” of the juice).

I’ve also amassed a collection of cocktail recipe books…

One of Sushi Confidential’s twist on a Mantattan: Deserves a Defense.


Related Posts
Bourbon Milk Punch
Elderflower Peach Sangria
Gin & Tonic à la Chez Rock Vixen
Brazilian Lemonade

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