Green Goddess Dressing
Tip - make your Green Goddess Dressing ahead - it should sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours.  I have a tendency NOT to read recipes before jumping in... this one only sat in the fridge for an hour and was a little mild, the flavor develops with time.
I got this from Bon Appetit Magazine in my favorite feature, "Molly Wizenberg's Cooking Life."  Everything she writes about sounds delicious. This was from their May 2009 issue.  My husband Steve and I love the bottled goddess dressings but she says they are no comparison to the real deal.

  1. 1/2 ripe medium avocado (about 7 ounces)
  2. 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  3. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  4. 1 oil-packed anchovy, very finely chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  7. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  8. 3/4 cup olive oil
  9. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  10. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  11. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  12. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  13. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  14. 1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

Blend first 7 ingredients in processor until coarse puree forms.  With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube; blend well.  Transfer mixture to bowl; whisk in cream.  Add parsley, tarragon, cilantro, basil, and shallot; whisk to combine.  

Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and chill at least 3 hours (dressing will separate if not chilled).  Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes and re-whisk before serving.

Can be made 1 day ahead.  Keep chilled.
AuthorHeather Ward

Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad

This is ultimate summer salad; fresh, seasonal vegetables combined with the BBQ.  I came up with this salad while at my local farmer’s market where I bought all the produce for this great dish.

We served the salad along with some grilled BBQ chicken breasts but it would also go great with any grilled fish or steak. Stop by your local farmer’s market, invite some friends over, fire up the grill and give this salad a try this weekend!


Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad (printable recipe)

  • 3 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil plus one tablespoon
  • Juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 3 ounces of feta cheese
  • Salt & pepper


Preheat grill.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil and half the lemon juice. Using a pastry brush, apply lemon oil all over zucchini and corn then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Once grill is ready, add the zucchini and corn, turning as necessary until vegetables have grill marks and are cooked through. Remove and let cool. Once they are easy to handle, cut kernals off the cob and cut zucchini into 1 inch chunks.

Place in bowl, then add scallions, cherry tomatoes, basil, feta cheese, juice from the other 1/2 a lemon, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Taste salad and add salt and pepper as necessary.

We also grilled some chicken breast with the same marinade, sliced thin, and topped with Country Bob's Spicy BBQ Sauce.  It is sweet, tangy, and just the right amount of heat.  Enjoy!


Serves 4

Country Bob's Spicy All Purpose was sent to us as a promotional gift.

AuthorAmy Koch

Tzatziki Guacamole

Take the creamy coolness of guacamole and combine it with the refreshing crisp crunch of cucumbers, zip of yogurt, and zest of lemon; assemble them and they form like Voltron into quite possibly the greatest dip ever.

Not to toot my own horn [beep beep] but this is really good - and since the cucumber lightens things up, you don't feel nearly as bloated or guilty when you devour and entire bowl with a half a large bag of tortilla chips to the dome.

This didn't last long enough to top a dish but I could see it being great on chicken or lamb.  It is of course excellent with chips, especially tortilla chips, eating it with a spoon, or your fingers; just don't dip past the second knuckle because that's rude.

Tzatziki Guacamole (printable recipe)

  • 2 ripe avocados, cubed
  • 1/4 red onion, minced fine
  • The juice of 1 lemon, the zest of half of it
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1/2 a large cucumber, seeded and diced small
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro

Combine everything into a large bowl. Try not to eat it all before you blink. If you have anywillpower, it can be stored up to a day in the fridge if you cover the surface with plastic wrap.  



Authordavid koch
Caprese GazpachoOnce again our house was full of beautiful tomatoes.  With the warm summer temperatures lately, I wanted to get away from the stove for the evening but still do something fulfilling with all our fresh vegetables.  
I instantly thought of gazpacho, a cold raw vegetable soup from Spain.  I also had all the ingredients on hand to make my favorite salad, Insalata Caprese, made simply with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.
Finally, I realized I could merge the two into one great dish and enjoy all the wonderful flavors from Spain and Italy in one bite.  This recipe would be wonderful served for lunch or as a light supper.  It looks beautiful plated up and would surely impress dinner guests as a first course.  Enjoy!

The Gazpacho Line-up
Caprese Gazpacho (printable recipe)
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes (about 2 lbs), coarsely chopped - reserve 1 cup of the tomatoes, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped - reserve 1/4 cup of the cucumber, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped - reserve 1/4 of the onion and dice fine
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces - reserve 1 tablespoon chiffonade
  • 1 bell pepper (any color you have on hand), coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed then coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 slices of bread, crust removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Caprese Salsa
In a bowl combine, reserved tomato, cucumber, onion, and basil. Fold in mozzarella then season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside in refrigerator to stay cool.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining tomatoes, cucumber, onion, basil, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and bread. Working in batches, puree ingredients in a blender while slowly pouring in the olive oil, until it is a smooth consistency.

With a spatula push soup through a fine mesh strainer into a large serving bowl. Stir in red wine vinegar, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cover soup and let chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with caprese salsa and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 4

The Gazpacho-maker

AuthorAmy Koch
Kombucha Chicken with Pineapple and Bell Pepper

Making a play on Sweet and Sour Chicken, kombucha adds a whole new element to the flavors of this Chinese-American dish.  Kombucha is fermented sweet tea so along with the sweetness, there’s a vinegar aspect and a hint of earthiness from the black tea.

The pineapple and bell peppers work amazingly with the honey, soy, and cilantro sauce.  Keeping the vegetables in large chunks retains their crunch and allows you to eat them more easily with chopsticks.  A little chili brings some heat into the mix and the ginger brings a brightness and a burst of flavor.

Everything takes about an hour - when served over saffron rice (recipe below) and with a side-salad, a healthy meal emerges.  

Kombucha Chicken with Pineapple (printable recipe)

  • 6 thighs of chicken
  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • 16 ounces of plain kombucha
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, minced fine
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 jalapeno, diced fine
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablesopoons cilantro, minced
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a pan over medium-high heat, add about a teaspoon of oil to cover the bottom and add the chicken, skin-side down.  Sear the skin until it is crispy, about 10-12 minutes.

While the chicken is crisping, in a small pot, bring the kombucha to a simmer.  When the chicken is done searing, add it to the pot with the kombucha.  Allow the thighs to simmer for 30 minutes.

Drain the oil and rendered fat from the pan and add the jalapeno, carrot, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, honey, and a teaspoon of salt.  Make sure to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat down to low and let all of these reduce while the chicken braises.

After 20 minutes, add the pineapple and bell pepper to the pan with the sauce.  10 minutes later, when the chicken is done braising, pull the thighs from the kombucha and add it to the pan with the pineapple and the bell pepper.

Turn the heat to high.  Give everything a few turns to coat the chicken well, about 5 minutes.  Kill the heat, add the lime juice and the cilantro and serve hot over rice.

Saffron rice
Follow instructions for 4 servings of rice from package and add a pinch of saffron (about 10 “hairs”) and a tablespoon of butter.  Be sure to rinse the rice well.


Authordavid koch
2 CommentsPost a comment

Greek Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

It’s summer and the markets are inundated with fresh delicious tomatoes.  I was lucky enough to receive a large bag of ripe beefsteak tomatoes from my Dad’s backyard garden so I enjoyed creating different tomato recipes all week.  

This is a slightly different take on the Classic Greek Salad. I used a tzatziki sauce to dress the tomatoes to make them a little richer. This hearty salad could be used as a side dish and served family style, or as a light main course.


Greek Salad with Tzatziki Dressing (printable recipe)



  • 5-6 ounces of your choice of greens (I used part romaine and part arugula)
  • 1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes or heirloom
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Tzatziki Dressing


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup cucumber, seeded and finely diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon mint, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


For the dressing, combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

On a large platter, pile on greens and red onion then dress with lemon and olive oil. Lay tomato slices across the top of the greens and then season with a little salt and pepper. Spoon tzatziki dressing down the center of the tomatoes and then sprinkle the entire salad with the feta and olives. Enjoy!

Serves 2 as a main and 4 as a side dish



AuthorAmy Koch
2 CommentsPost a comment

Three of my favorite things, chocolate, coconut, and almonds make these little bundles of [Almond] Joy my new favorite go-to treats.  They can be assembled in less than a half-hour with only a mixing spoon, a bowl, a microwave, a pan, a stove, a non-stick surface (ideally a silpat), and a fridge.

Toasting the coconut makes for a great crunch and adds a caramel-like flavor to them.  The sweetness of the coconut is balanced by using semi sweet chocolate and the almond, like Lebowski's rug, really ties the whole thing together.


Coco Dumps (printable recipe)

  • 2 cups of sweetened coconut
  • 7 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of whole roasted almonds

Place the coconut in a dry pan over medium heat and toast, turning frequently, until it browns lightly and a heavenly smell permeates your kitchen.  While the coconut toasts, place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe container and nuke for 1 minute.  Stir the chocolate, microwave again for 20 seconds, and stir again.  Continue in 20 second increments until the chocolate is uniformly melted.

Once the coconut is browned and the chocolate is melted, add both to a large bowl and stir well to combine.  When they are mixed well, use two teaspoons to pull out your haystacks, shape into little spheres, and place in your non stick surface.  If you don't have a silpat or parchment paper, lightly grease some aluminium foil.

Place an almond on the top of each haystack and place them all in the fridge to set up, about 15 minutes.  Store in a airtight container in the fridge until they are eaten, about 2 days (but really though, up to two weeks).  Makes about 20. 


Authordavid koch
2 CommentsPost a comment
Spaghetti with Butter-Stewed Tomatoes and Asparagus
This technique makes for a delicious, easy meal for the work-week.  It can be assembeled with a pot and a pan in about 30 minutes with minimal supervision.  Asparagus can be replaced by ________ [insert vegetable here] - you can make it with what you have on hand by only swapping out one ingredient in the recipe.

There is a richness and yet simplicity in this vegetarian dish.  The tomatoes become velvety as they dress the pasta.  The asparagus gives the dish some body and elegance.  The butter adds a richness that provides satiety.  A simple side salad rounds out a meal.

Spaghetti with Butter-Stewed Tomatoes and Asparagus (printable recipe)
  • 1/2 pound of spaghetti
  • 1/2 pound of asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 8-ounce package of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper
Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil to a pan over low heat and add the tomatoes, the thyme, a teaspoon of salt, and a 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.  Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes until the tomatoes almost completely break down.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt, and cook the spaghetti to al dente.  After cooking the tomatoes for 20 minutes, add the asparagus and the tomato paste to the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Cook until asparagus is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Once the spaghetti is done, strain well and add it to the pan with the tomato sauce.  Add the other 2 tablespoons of butter.  Toss together and check for seasonings. Serve warm and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 2


Authordavid koch


It was my Mom’s birthday a few weeks ago and to celebrate I did an upscale backyard BBQ for the family.  With all the peaches just coming into season I wanted to incorporate them into the menu.  This salad was a big hit that paired well with the rest of the meal of grilled leg of lamb and Joanne Weir’s Grilled Potato Salad.

The sweetness of the peaches matches so well with the bitterness of the greens, the creaminess of the goat cheese, and the saltiness of the prosciutto.  Its a flavor explosion in your mouth.  Give this salad a try this summer!

Salad (printable recipe)
  • 5 oz (or 1 bag) arugula leaves
  • 1 ripe peach, sliced
  • 2oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2-3 slices of prosciutto

  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay proscitutto slices on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake in oven until crisp, about 8-12 minutes. Let cool then crumble into small pieces.

For the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, mustard, sugar, and salt and pepper then slowly stream in extra virgin olive oil until it is well combined.

In a large bowl, lightly toss the arugula leaves with dressing, then top with peaches, goat cheese, and crispy prosciutto.

Serves 4



AuthorAmy Koch
3 CommentsPost a comment
Black Bean, Potato, and Soyrizo BurritosBlack beans and potatoes are like Batman and Robin as far as I’m concerned.  These two can fight off the most ferocious noises my stomach can make when it is doing its Rancor impression.  Add cabbage, sour cream, cheese, some faux chorizo and our vegetarian burrito worthy of the Justice League is complete.

This vegetarian dish is inexpensive, easy, hearty, and delicious.  Carnivores won’t even know they’re eating soy-chorizo, I promise.  There is some prep involved, but the beans can be made  a day ahead and the potatoes can be par-baked ahead too.

The crunch of fresh cabbage, the vibrant note of paprika in the chorizo, the pizzazz of cheddar cheese, and the sweet-cool sour cream all balance the earthiness of the burrito’s “meat”.  You have all the components of a fine meal; it’s complemented well with a side salad.

You must plan a few hours ahead; I would highly recommend making your own beans from a bag of dries ones.  They seem to be more flavorful and the texture is far more appealing than canned.  It takes more time than simply opening a tin but in the words of Alton Brown, “Your patience will be rewarded.”

I used the quick-cook method for the beans instead of allowing them to soak overnight.  The potatoes also need to be par-cooked.  They crisp up far better under the broiler so that you get nice golden brown edges and more of that tasty roasted flavor.  Here we go:

Black Bean, Potato, and Soyrizo Burritos (printable recipe)
  • 1 cup of dried black beans, sorted and any rocks removed, rinsed well
  • 1/2 a 14 ounce package of Soyrizo
  • 6 small Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • sour cream for garnish

For the black bean, onion and Soyrizo mixture:

Sort and rinse your beans, place them in a pot with enough water to cover them by an inch.  Bring them to a boil covered for about 15 minutes then kill the heat and allow them to cool.  Give them an hour to soak.

Once the beans have soaked for an hour, drain and rinse them again.  Place the beans back in the pot, add 3 cups of water, bring them back to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat.  Give them another hour to cook at a simmer.  

Once the beans have had about an hour to cook, taste them to make sure they are soft, kill the heat, then drain and set aside.  

Saute the onions with the Soyrizo in a pan over medium-high heat in a teaspoon of olive oil, add a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Stir the mixture often to break up the Soyrizo; cook just until the onions soften.   Add the beans to the mixture to re-heat them and incorporate well.

For the potatoes:

Set your oven to 350 and put the potatoes in whole, on a sheet pan to bake.  After 30 minutes, remove and set them aside to cool.  Once the potatoes have cooled enough to be handled, quarter them.

Using a large bowl, toss them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Turn on the broiler and slide the potatoes inside, give them about 15 minutes to crisp up nicely.  Remove the potatoes from the oven once their edges brown.

To assemble:

Warm up some tortillas over the open flame of a gas stove, or wrap up in some dampened paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds.  

Take a warm tortilla and add some of the black beans, onion, and Soyrizo mixture, a few potatoes, some shredded cheddar cheese, shredded cabbage, a dollop of sour cream, and your favorite hot sauce.  

Make some sort of futile attempt not to eat too many so that you fall asleep on the couch.  Enjoy!

Soyrizo and Onions
Authordavid koch

Joe Jost's Special

I grew up in Long Beach California, and like every town in America, there's one bar that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE knows.  Enter Joe Jost's - the place is an icon, practically representing the fair City of Long Beach in all corners of the earth.  You could be at a secondary school rugby match in Fiji and see some guy wearing a Joe Jost's T-shirt.

It's been around since the early 1920's and if you're not up on American history, that means it survived prohibition.  (By the way, the only good thing that came of Prohibition was women's suffrage, but that's another post).  Joe Jost's has survived 80+ years by sticking to the basics and doing them well.

They serve cold beer, very cold, 29 degrees cold.  That's below freezing for you literary types and they serve it in giant frozen 15 ounce glasses called Schooners.  The sheer mass of the Schooner keeps your beer cool drastically longer than a standard pint glass, and while they stay cool, they look a heck of a lot cooler too.

Besides cold beer, there's root beer, peanuts, pickled eggs, and five different kinds of sandwiches: cheese, liverwurst, hot dogs, a salami sandwich, and Joe's Special.  

Joe's Special is it.  While I'm sure the other sandwiches are good, the Special is the only sandwich anyone in my company has ever ordered.  In their own words, a Special is, "A Polish Sausage made from our family’s own blend of spices, slice of Swiss cheese and pickle, mustard on rye bread."

With a Schooner in one hand and Joe's Special in the other, life can be pretty grand.   Recently we recreated them in our own home, and while I omitted the Swiss cheese, I added an onion relish.  You could do them together, the combination of flavors will be delicious.  Try this at home:

Joe's Special (printable recipe)

  • 1 Polish sausage, grilled and split lengthwise
  • 1 slice of Rye bread
  • 1 dill pickle spear
  • 1 healthy slathering of Dijon mustard, about a tablespoon
  • 1 slice of Swiss cheese

For the onion relish:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

Put all of the ingredients for the onion relish in a pan over medium heat.  Cook until the onions soften and the liquids reduce, about 12 minutes. 

Put the cheese on the piece of bread.  Place the Polish sausage into the slice of rye and configure the dill pickle spear to fit like a key inside of the split in the sausage.  Add a slouge of mustard, a table spoon of onion relish, and fold together like a taco.  

Wrap up in a paper towel or parchment paper.  Try not to drool in your beer.


Making a "Joe's Special" from Papawow on Vimeo.

Authordavid koch

Bow-ties with Roasted Cauliflower, Arugula, and Prosciutto
An amazing dish, we utilize roasting here to concentrate the flavors of the cauliflower and tomatoes and combine it with the richness of prosciutto.  Bold flavors make this relatively light meal taste indulgent even though it could be frozen and called a Lean Cuisine. 

If you haven't had roasted cauliflower lately, you have been missing out; it becomes sweet and nutty.  The sage rounds out the dish by adding a counterpoint to the saltiness of the prosciutto and the earthiness of the vegetables.

Although this is an easy dish to make, preparation takes about an hour so make enough for leftovers because they warm great in the microwave.


  • One head of cauliflower with the stem removed, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 12 leaves of fresh sage
  • 4-5 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 slices of prosciutto, about 4 ounces
  • 1 pound of dried pasta bow-ties
  • 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 ounces of baby arugula
  • olive oil
  • salt & black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  In a food processor, blend the sage and garlic together for 6-7 pulses.  Add the prosciutto and blend a few more times until the mixture is uniformly chopped. Set aside.

Toss the cauliflower in 3 tablespoons of olive oil on a sheet pan along with with salt and pepper, and place in the hot oven.  After the cauliflower has been roasting for 5 minutes, removed from the oven, add the tomatoes to the sheet pan, stir well, and place back into oven.

After another 5 minutes in the oven, remove the cauliflower and tomatoes and toss them with the sage, garlic, and prosciutto mix.  Place the cauliflower and tomatoes back into the oven for another 5-7 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the  pasta until al dente.  Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.  Once the cauliflower and tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven.  Place the pasta back into the pot and add the vegetable and prosciutto mixture.

Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the arugula, and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, stir to combine.  Add additional pasta water if too dry.  Check for salt and pepper, add as needed.

Spoon into bowls and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy.

Serves 4

AuthorAmy Koch

Brunch Sausage Casserole
As a working mom with a stay at home dad hubby, I don't get to cook too often...  I know, I know, I have it pretty good BUT I like to cook...
...sometimes, on the weekends.  
So, for father's day, because our daughter is two years old, and because I had no idea what else to get him, I thought I'd make Steve (hubby) some great meals.

I have been wanting to make this casserole but did not have an occasion...until now!  We had bought the Jimmy Dean sausage tube a while ago and then threw it in the freezer for a while longer.  In recent weeks, it had been moved to a precarious spot where it would fall out everytime you opened the freezer - the universe was telling me to cook it.
The menu took shape based on what we had in our freezer and fridge as well as flipping through all the magazine pages I've torn out and saved.  For breakfast, a Brunch Sausage Casserole and a Fruit Salad with Candied Ginger.
This recipe can be prepared the night before so that you don't have to spend your morning cooking.  You can enjoy the company of your family.  So Saturday night I made the casserole:
Brunch Sausage Casserole (Serves 4-6)
  • 1 16oz Jimmy Dean Sausage (cooked, crumbled, and drained on a paper towel)
  • 4 cups cubed day old bread
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 10 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 2 12oz cans evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (the dry seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup peeled chopped tomatoes
Place bread in the bottom of a greased cake pan.  Sprinkle the cheese over the bread.  Combine in a bowl the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, pepper, and onion powder and pour the mixture over the cheese.
Sprinkle the sausage, sliced mushrooms and chopped tomatoes on top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, uncover and bake the casserole for 55-60 minutes at 325 degrees.  Keep the foil cover and place back on the casserole the top starts to brown too quickly.
The next time I make this recipe, I may try to "skinny" it up by using less eggs or sausage. Or to "mex" it up by adding diced chiles and using pepper jack cheese.  You could also spinach or diced zucchini for a bit more of veg.  It is yummy regardless so I may not mess with it...depends on my mood.

I like that you can make this the night before and then just toss it into the oven in the morning. The only catch I have found is when we have company over for a weekend and this type of dish would be ideal, we're always busy the night before either going places or making a big dinner so I never actually end up making anything the night before...I usually just make a big scramble the next morning or hope that someone suggests going out :)

Fruit Salad with Candied Ginger
I threw in what we had: 2 peaches, 2 mangoes, 2 kiwis, the rest of the strawberries and 1.5 bananas. The key is to dice up about a tablespoon of crystalized ginger (ours is from Trader Joe's) and then simmer that in 1/4 water for a few minutes then blend it and toss with the fruit. I also added a squeeze a lime when I cut the bananas to keep them from browning.

AuthorHeather Ward

Chelada Turkey Tacos

A Chelada is the name for the drink when you add lime and salt to a beer.  Sometimes people add hot sauce, herbs and spices, sometimes tomato juice, sometimes even Clamato.  They are also called Micheladas and what you may have gathered by now is that they're no real rules beyond salt and lime.

Well, ever since the weather started to warm up here in San Diego, we've been making more and more cheladas.  So when Honeysuckle White approached us to come up with a grilled turkey recipe, Chelada Turkey Tacos came immediately to mind.  They sent us the turkey and they even sent us a Flip HD camcorder to make videos.  Boo-yah!

The Chelada Turkey Tacos encompass four recipes:  the Chelada brine, a Roasted Corn Salsa, the Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce, and Alfredo's Tortillas.  Make each separately and assemble them to order, grill-side, for some delicious summertime BBQ-ing. 

The morning of, we butterflied the turkey, removed the backbone, and quartered it.  This would allow for the turkey to grill more evenly since the dark meat takes slightly longer to cook than the breast.  We then made a chelada brine to season the meat and to keep the meat moist on the grill. Here is a video on how to make the Chelada Brine:

Chelada Brine from Papawow on Vimeo.

Chelada Brine

  • 32 ounces V8 or tomato juice
  • 2 beers, Mexican beer works best
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice plus the zest from the limes
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried Mexican oregano
  • 5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, smashed well

Once the meat has spent 2-3 hours in the brine it is ready for the grill.  Place the meat on a hot grill and cook, turning occasionally until the meat is done.  This can be anywhere between 25-45 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and the temperature of your grill.  Turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.

When the turkey goes on begin to roast your corn and red bell pepper for the Roasted Corn Salsa.  Go ahead and shred some cabbage and prepare the Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce also.  Make sure to keep the sour cream sauce in the fridge or cooler until it is ready to serve.

I'll be honest, the star of this recipe and the key to making them absolutely amazing is "Alfredo's" tortillas.  Alfredo was a guy in Mexico who taught my friend's father the technique of dipping the tortillas into a dressing before you grill them.  There is nothing quite like it.  

We didn't make Alfredo's exact recipe, we modified it to pair more closely with the Chelada turkey but the technique remains.  Below is our recipe and at the end of the post I will give the original Alfredo dip.

Alfredo's Dip (our version)

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Simply dip the tortillas into Alfredo's for 2 seconds on each side before throwing them on the grill.  Cook them, turning once, for about 60 seconds a side.  Plate and fill with toppings for tacos or burritos. 

Roasted Corn Salsa

  • 2 cobs of corn, shucked and grilled until they become spotty with grill marks, the cut from the cob
  • 1 red bell pepper, grilled and diced fine
  • The juice of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

Mix all of these together and set aside in a bowl.  This is a wonderful universal salsa that goes great on almost everything.


Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce (printable recipe)

  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, smashed up fine plus 1 Tablespoon of adobo sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Incorporate all of the ingredients and fill a squirt bottle with them.  You may need a funnel to fill the bottle.  Keep the sauce refrigerated or in the cooler until you are ready to eat.   

How to assemble a Chelada Turkey Taco:

How to assemble a Chelada Turkey Taco from Papawow on Vimeo.

Once the turkey is done, shred it into bite-sized pieces.  Shred some cabbage.  Dip a tortilla, grill for a minute or two, add some turkey, the cabbage, the Roasted Corn Salsa, and squirt some of the Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce on top and you have yourself a Chelada Turkey Taco!


Alfredo's Original Tortilla Dipping Sauce (which is also a marinade)

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon season salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • up to 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoons Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce
Authordavid koch
9 CommentsPost a comment

Easy Beef Stroganoff

I love this recipe.  If all Russian cuisine were this good, there'd be a borsch stand on every corner in New York City.  There are many variations of Beef Stroganoff but essentially it consists of strips or cubes of beef in a brown sauce, served over noodles or white rice.  

Use a beefy cut of steak, like chuck roast, for the most flavor.  Most recipes use mustard and sour cream although some add paprika, others garlic, and some dices dill pickle.  We added parsley and thyme.  This is comfort food at its finest.  

This takes a little bit of time, about an hour or so, but not much prep work (chopping, etc.).  As Alton Brown likes to say, "Your patience will be rewarded."  Make enough for leftovers, it stores well in the fridge and it reheats well in the microwave.  It may even be better the next day.

Easy Beef Stroganoff (printable recipe)


  • 1 pound steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 pound of button or crimini mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon for dried
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 pound of egg noodles

Heat the olive oil in a deep-sided sauté pan on medium-high heat and add the beef.  Season the meat with a sprinkle of salt and several turns of freshly ground black pepper.  Sear the meat on all sides turning the pieces as they brown.  Remove the seared meat, set aside in a bowl, and add the onions to the pan. 

Add another pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper.  Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add the wine and de-glaze the pan, scraping all the tasty bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon.  Allow to reduce almost completely.

Add the beef broth, the meat, and any accumulated juices from the bowl in with the onions.  Bring to a boil then lower heat and allow to simmer.

In another pan over medium heat, add a tablespoon of butter, the thyme, the mushrooms, and another couple grinds of pepper.  Allow the mushrooms to brown, about 6-8 minutes.  Once the meat is tender and the sauce is reduced, drop the noodles into boiling water to be cooked.

Fold in the mushrooms, mustard, parsley, and sour cream in with the meat and sauce.  Incorporate the egg noodles in with the sauce and serve in a bowl.

Garnish with a sprinkle more of parsley and a dollop of sour cream.  I like to add some more raw onions and a squirt of lemon juice, and although my toppings are a little unorthodox, it's delicious.

Authordavid koch
4 CommentsPost a comment

Chili Shrimp Tacos with Mojito Cole Slaw

Gastronorgásmico, [and just in time] for Cinco de Mayo.  These just might be "my most perfect tacos," ever.  The heat of the chili powder in the shrimp is cooled by the mint and sweet jicama in the cole slaw.  The earthiness of the cabbage, the taste of the sea.  Que rico!

These tacos put me on a beach, the sand between my toes, the sound of the waves peeling off a right cobblestone point break in the background.  The heat of the midday sun beating against the nape of my neck.  A Corona in one hand, a taco in the other.  

This recipe was inspired in one part by a conversation with The Teenage Glutster about how one of the more underrated aspects of Mexican cuisine is mariscos, seafood.  In another part, these were inspired by my friend Biggie gifting us a jar of his homemade "Chilli Powder."

Some notes:  

"Chilli Powder" is Biggie's version of AB's Chili Powder by Alton Brown.  It contains dried ancho, cascabel, and arbol chilies along with cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and paprika.  You basically blend everything together and the result tastes like the store bought variety but with far more depth and punch.

FYI gringos, Cinco de Mayo is not "Mexico's 4th of July," that's on September 16th.  On May 5, 1862 the Mexicans beat the French in the Battle of Puebla.  Although Cinco de Mayo is not as widely celebrated in Mexico as it is in the US, it is still a celebration of Mexican culture.  So, salud.

The Jicama plant is native to Mexico and has an edible tuber that has the texture of a raw potato and is nearly as sweet as a pear.  It is wonderful sliced raw for crutide - and even better with a squirt of lime juice, some salt, and a dash of chili powder on top. 

I wanted a slaw with some sharp acidity to it to counter the heat of the Chilli Powder.  Lime was the natural choice but then I wanted some more depth and thought the mint would brighten things up and add a freshness.  The jicama adds the sweetness to the mojito which rounds everything out.  Lime, mint, and jicama + cabbage = Mojito Cole Slaw

The slaw takes a little prep, it can be done the day ahead, and the flavors get more pronounced over time.  The tacos take almost no time at all, maybe 6 minutes.  Note:  If Biggie didn't give you a jar of "Chilli Powder," you can use store bought Chili Powder and add some Cayenne Pepper.

For the Mojito Cole Slaw (printable recipe)

  • 1/2 a large cabbage, chopped into thin shreds
  • 1 large carrot grated or shredded in a food processor 
  • 1/2 a jicama, julienne
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons of mint, chiffonade
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • the zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt


Make the dressing first by adding the yogurt, salt, pepper, mint, lime juice, lime zest, and celery salt in a bowl.  Mix the cabbage, jimaca, and carrot together in a large bowl.  Then, incorporate the dressing and the cabbage mixture well.  Keep refrigerated.

Homemade "Chilli Powder"

For the Chili Shrimp Tacos (printable recipe)

  • 1 pound 36/40 Shrimp "Medium Large," or really, whatever size you like
  • 4 tablespoons of Chilli Powder (or, 3 tablespoons of Chili Powder + 1 tablespoon of Cayenne)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 large, ripe avocados, sliced into wedges

Heat the corn tortillas so that they are soft and pliable.  Over the open flame of a gas stove works best, otherwise, heat then in a dry skillet, turning once.  As they warm, wrap them in a stack in a kitchen towel tightly to keep them warm.

Rinse, de-vein, and clean all the shrimp.  Dry them well with paper towels.  Douse them with the salt, pepper, and Chilli Powder and toss them well so that the are evenly coated.

Bring a pan to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil.  If you don't have a large enough pan, cook the shrimp in two batches.  Add the shrimp to the hot pan, turning, and cook through until they are pink, about 5 minutes.

Assemble the tacos.  Place a few shrimp into a corn tortilla, top with a healthy smothering of the cole slaw, 2 avocado wedges, and a dash of your favorite Mexican hot sauce.

Muy delicioso, viva Mexico!


Authordavid koch
12 CommentsPost a comment

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Goat Cheese and Mint

This is a lighter, more healthful risotto featuring spring vegetables.  It doesn't take long to prepare so it is great for a weeknight meal.  The earthiness of asparagus and peas are brightened with mint.  The goat cheese rounds out the whole dish and adds some creaminess without weighing things down.

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Goat Cheese and Mint (printable recipe)

  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 leek, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 pound arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup peas - fresh or frozen
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup mint, chiffonade
  • Salt and pepper
In a small saucepan, warm stock on medium high heat. Once it comes to a simmer turn heat to low and keep warm.

In a large pot, heat olive oil with 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat and add onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until translucent and then add leek and garlic. Saute for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add rice to pot and stir to coat in fat for 2 minutes. 

Pour in white wine and let it come to a simmer. Once wine has reduced, ladle in warm stock so it just covers rice. Stir and let simmer. As stock reduces, keep adding liquid (about 1 cup at a time). 

Once rice is almost cooked through, about 10-15 minutes, add asparagus and peas. Continue adding stock and stirring until rice and vegetables are all cooked through. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 3 oz of goat cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, parsley, and mint. 

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately and pass remaining goat cheese and Parmesan cheese at the table for garnish.

Serves 6



AuthorAmy Koch
8 CommentsPost a comment

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Crepes

My husband and I took an amazing trip to Italy a year ago where we ate and drank our way through the country. One of my favorite meals was the stuffed crepes I ordered at a small wine bar (or Enoteca) that was located next to our hotel room in Rome.

I loved it so much I went back the next day and ordered it again! Each time I go to an Italian restaurant I look for this on the menu but I am always disappointed to find it missing. Finally, I decided that I needed to recreate it myself. It wasn't identical to the Roman version but it was definitely delicious and a big hit in my household!

This dish can take some time to make so you may want to save it for the weekend. However, if you want to make it for dinner guests you can easily prepare it in advance. Just fill the crepes and keep the marinara sauce in a separate container until you are ready to bake so the crepes do not get soggy. Once the oven is preheated, ladle the sauce over, sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Crepes (printable recipe)


  • 2 eggs

  • 3/4 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup flour

  • 3 Tablespoon melted butter, plus more for cooking


Crepe Filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 12oz. fresh spinach

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 egg

  • 15oz. package of ricotta

  • 1 cup basil, chiffonade

  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping

  • Salt and pepper


Marinara Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 28oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes

  • 8oz. can of tomato sauce

  • 1 cup basil, chiffonade

  • salt & pepper


Stuffing the Crepes


Crepes -
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides and pulse one more time to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated. Place batter in refrigerator and let sit for at least 1 hour before using.

Once crepe batter has rested, heat an 8"-10" non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add a 1 teaspoon of butter to cover the bottom of the pan, then slowly pour a small amount of batter while rolling the pan so that it coats the bottom evenly.

Let the crepe cook until it holds together and begins to turn a light golden, about 1-2 minutes then flip and cook on the other side for an additional 1 minute. Place finished crepe on a plate and repeat with remaining batter until it the batter is all used up.

This will make 8-10 crepes. Also, don't worry if your first crepe does not turn out, this is typical, just throw it out and make the next the second will come out great!

The Crepes before they get sauced

Crepe Filling -
In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add fresh spinach with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook until spinach has wilted. Drain liquid from spinach, coarsely chop and add to a large bowl.

Let spinach cool slightly, then add garlic, egg, ricotta, basil, parmesan and mix together. Taste for seasoning, then add additional salt and pepper as necessary.

The Crepes right before they go into the oven

Marinara Sauce -
In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium heat and add onions and cook until onions become translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and cook for an additional 1 minute.

Add in canned tomatoes and tomato sauce and bring up to a simmer while breaking up the whole tomatoes with a spoon. Alternatively, you could chop the tomatoes before adding them to the pan. Let sauce simmer on medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until it sauce thickens slightly.

Add in basil then taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper as necessary.

Assemble Crepes -
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter or oil a large baking dish and ladle a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom. Lay crepes on a flat surface and spoon about 1/4 cup of filling into each one.

Fold in the long sides then roll up like a burrito and place in baking dish. Once baking dish is full, ladle marinara sauce on the top and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and sauce is bubbly. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6

Here is a photo of the original Crepes from Rome:

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Crepes in Rome


AuthorAmy Koch
3 CommentsPost a comment

Lentils:  daal, llentia, čočka, linse, linzen, lentille, adasha, lencse, linsubaun, lenticchia, adas, soczewica, lenteja, mercimek.  No matter what you call them, whether they are green, black, or red - lentils are high in iron and a great source of protein. This is a healthy, easy, and delicious meal perfect to feed the family on any weeknight.

Lentil Salad (printable recipe)

  • 1 1/2 cups French green lentils
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Grilled Salmon (printable recipe)

  • 1 1/2 lbs wild salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

Rinse lentils with water while you bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Add lentils and let boil for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are cooked through. Strain lentils and set in a large bowl.

In a medium skillet add 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat and add carrots, celery, shallots and sauté until they soften, approximately 4-6 minutes. Add in garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Add vegetable mixture to bowl with the cooked and strained lentils.

Add in the remaining ingredients: lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper and fold everything together to combine. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve alongside grilled salmon.

For the salmon: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat grill pan on medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil over salmon and season with salt and pepper.  Place salmon on hot grill pan flesh side down for 2-3 minutes, or until grill marks have been made.

Flip par-cooked salmon onto a sheet pan skin side down and place in oven to finish cooking. Bake until salmon is just cooked through, about 8-10 minutes depending on thickness. Once salmon comes out of the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice on top and serve with lentils.

Serves 4

AuthorAmy Koch

Spiced Rum Banana Bread

Everywhere I look it's Banana Bread, Banana Bread, Banana Bread.  I did a check on Google Blog Search for "banana bread recipe" for the past 30 days and it turned up 34,982 results.  During the same 30 day time period, for comparison, "apple pie recipe" turned up only 15,920 and "lasagne recipe" just 11,730.

Like I said, Banana Bread is so hot right now.

I started looking more closely at these Banana Bread recipes and most left me blasé.  One idea that just my juices flowing was to add whisky.  Amy thought rum would be better.  Spiced Rum.  I agreed wholeheartedly.  Armed with a couple of spotted-ripe bananas, Chef Amy set out to develop a recipe that will get you up early on a weekend just to make some.

Without further adieu, let me ask you, "Got a little Captain in you?"

Spiced Rum Banana Bread


  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bananas, smashed
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum (We used Captain Morgans)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Rum Glaze

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons spiced rum
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons pecans or walnuts to garnish, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a bundt pan and set aside.

In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer, cream together butter and both sugars until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Take bowl off mixer and stir in the bananas, applesauce, rum, and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet being careful not too over mix.

Fold in chopped nuts. Scrape batter into a prepared bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a large plate. Make glaze.

Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum Glaze

In a small saucepan, combine butter, sugars, rum and water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for 3-5 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Let cool for a few minutes then pour glaze over the top and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Slice and serve.

Serve Spiced Rum Banana Bread with Fruit and Mimosas

AuthorDave and Amy Koch
CategoriesBaking, Recipes
7 CommentsPost a comment