April 29, 2015
At Home with Friends


Baked Wild Shrimp with Ajvar and Feta

For the Sit-in-the-Kitchen Dinner with my friend Maria, I knew I would assemble an Antipasto Platter, but I wanted to make it extra special. I am fortunate to be able to buy gorgeous raw colossal wild shrimp at my neighborhood market. These shrimp are delicate with a slight sweetness. I could have just broiled them […]

April 27, 2015
At Home with Friends


Coconut Oatmeal Ginger Cookies

I always keep homemade cookies in my freezer for friends who drop by for a cup of tea or spur of the moment dinner guests. These are not your typical oatmeal raisin cookies. They are loaded with shredded coconut, crystallized ginger and golden raisins. They are dense, chewy and perfect with fresh fruit or dish […]

April 24, 2015
At Home with Friends


Gratin of Pears, Blueberries and Mascarpone Cheese

In Italy, dessert is frequently fresh fruit with a bit of mascarpone cheese, some nuts and a few cookies on the side. This is my take on that tradition. This dessert is super easy and it comes together in less than 10 minutes. (You don’t even peel the pears.) Sliced pears are topped with blueberries […]

April 22, 2015
At Home with Friends


Marinated Butter Beans

The staples in my pantry include lots of canned beans: garbanzo, kidney, black beans, cannellini and giant white butter beans. Canned beans are great for making spur of the moment dips, soups and side dishes. Beans are also a great source of protein. Which is probably why any given night, I can often find my […]

April 20, 2015
At Home with Friends

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Polpettone Stuffed with Eggplant and Smoked Mozzarella

Meatloaf is a standard in many home kitchens. For many people meatloaf is immediately associated with mashed potatoes and gravy, and it evokes childhood memories. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes is comfort food to be eaten when it’s cold outside and we need to feel the warmth of hearth and home. I would never take away […]

Weeknight Sit-in-the-Kitchen Dinner Menu


Antipasto Platter

Marinated butter beans

Marinated artichoke hearts with tarragon

Baked wild shrimp with ***Ajvar and feta

Mozzarella balls with basil and red pepper flakes

* Roasted tomatoes with garlic

Roasted garlic

** Italian salami

** Prosciutto di Parma

** Olives

** Baby arugula

Main Course

Polpettone stuffed with eggplant and smoked mozzarella

 Sautéed spinach / Roasted asparagus and zucchini


Gratin of pears, blueberries and mascarpone cheese

Coconut oatmeal ginger cookies



* Purchased at Bristol Farms

** Purchased at Trader Joe’s

*** Available at my Amazon Affiliate Store

April 17, 2015

April 17, 2015
At Home with Friends

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Weeknight Sit-in-the-Kitchen Dinner

It was a weeknight and my friend Maria was coming over for dinner. I’ve known Maria for 30 years. (Is it really that long?). Maria doesn’t cook but she eats real food, so it’s always fun to make dinner for her. She doesn’t eat mushrooms, loves artichokes and will try anything I prepare. This was […]

April 10, 2015
At Home with Friends

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Videos: Moroccan Feast (PART I)

If you follow my blog, you know I think everyone should visit Morocco. But if you can’t get there this week, you can have a taste of Morocco via Beverly Hills. Enjoy! Filmed and Edited by Xu Zhang Moroccan Feast Menu Appetizers Bastilla with Chicken * Warm hummus with pine nuts * Spinach and feta pastries […]