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Clam Chowder and Steamed Artichoke

Another super simple meal… all for my biggest fan and critic! My daughter.
I don’t always get much time to cook for her anymore but when I do I like to whip up some of her favorites! I came up with a simple and less heavy recipe for clam chowder. It was damn good too!

Maia used to love clam chowder when she was younger. But, in her pre-adult life she seems to have lost that once adoration she had for the heavenly comfort of clam chowder. Now, she eats taco b3:/ for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It’s annoying to know she eats this way after raising her on the importance of real food. I’m not worried though. She seems to know and understand all I’ve said and tried to teach her about food over the years. It’s just a phase. I get it. I went through one too. So I won’t lecture.

Maia does happen to still love steamed artichoke! So this menu wasn’t a total loss.

Clam Chowder Ingredients:
good chicken stock, Yukon gold potatoes, celery, shallot, garlic, milk, cornstarch, smoked clams, pancetta or prosciutto hock

Steamed Artichoke
artichoke, lemon, garlic, butter, salt and pepper











Rainy Day Bolognese

A rainy, cold, SoCal day begs for a big pot of bolognese!
I danced outside the box with this classic comfort food, making it with ground lamb and it was incredible!

My ingredient list:
Yellow onion, garlic, ground lamb, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, red wine, s&p

This is the ensemble of ingredients I had on hand. It was a simple but beautiful collaboration!





Something For The Kids

I had so much fun playing in the kitchen for our Halloween menu! My daughter is a senior in high school now. I feel our Halloween days are going to be limited or come to an end. She will be off doing her own adventurous and more grown up things very soon! But for now while I still have her attention and have her at home, I wanted us to have a good old fashioned, fun filled Halloween.

She’s been past the age of trick or treating for some time now. Nowadays we usually decorate our patio with old and new Halloween decorations…I have a box of decorations I’ve collected over the years of her growing up that she still gets excited to pull out! And, I love to get in the kitchen and make some fun fall festive foods. We all gather on the patio for a simple little party and hand out candy to all the adorable kids. My daughter still loves to see and and talk to all the little ones dressed up in their little costumes. She jumps up with the candy bowl every time she sees trick or treaters walking up!

Here’s a look at this years menu and some fun pictures of our night…




White Choco Ghost Bananas

White Choco Ghost Bananas

Apples w/Caramel Drizzle and Crispy Prosciutto

Apples w/Caramel Drizzle and Crispy Prosciutto

Trick or Treat JJ's Patio

Chocolate Dipped Orange Slices

Chocolate Dipped Orange Slices

These Two Tho

These Two Tho

Chicken Rolls Stuffed w/ Olive and Orange Zest and Parmigianno

Chicken Rolls Stuffed w/ Olive and Orange Zest and Parmigianno



You're Going to Hear Me Roar

You’re Going to Hear Me Roar



It's Batman!

It’s Batman!

Amira! <3

Amira! ❤

Cheetah and Her Mermaid <3

Cheetah and Her Mermaid ❤

Partner in Crime

Partner in Crime

Laura Croft, a Cheetah and The Goddess

Laura Croft, a Cheetah and The Goddess

Laura Croft!

Laura Croft!

Last Call! The Mermaid conquered her pirate

Last Call! The Mermaid conquered her pirate





Pie Baking with Kate McDermott

Who loves pie? I know I do! I don’t consider myself a dessert lover but I do love pie! I love it so much, I nicknamed my daughter Pie, because she’s the most perfect thing in the universe…just like pie!

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be able to attend a pie baking class, taught by the lovely and talented Kate McDermott (! Kate had come all the way down from Washington state, on her Pie A La Road tour. The class was an intimate affair, held in my friend’s charming chateau in Marina Del Rey. The scent of blooming flowers mingled with the ocean breeze and wafted through our kitchen. A perfect spring day–and a perfect day for baking pies!

We made a mixed berry pie. You can find the recipe on Kate’s Web site. The filling was well-balanced, slightly sweet, and perfectly tart, but that was the easy part. The hard part was conquering the crust, but we persevered, and the result was worth it: a gloriously flakey crust!

Making a great pie crust is flat-out intimidating. Kate put us at ease with her “Just Chill” chant which applies to more than your nerves. She chills all the ingredients used to make the crust so it’s all the same temperature, even the bowl! And I did a quick mental chill to get myself in the same zone as my ingredients. Remember, your state of mind is really just another ingredient!

In this case, the love was just as important as the lard–and I’m happy to report it was the best damn pie I’ve ever made. And I’m even happier to be able to share my experience with you, my wonderful readers!

Here’s a look at our: Day of Pie Baking with Kate Mcdermott…


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Bison Sloppy Joes

When my daughter actually asks me to cook I get so excited! She is almost seventeen and having any time with her is very rare these days. I know she is on the typical teenager diet right now, eating when it’s convenient and usually consisting of lots of junk food, so I get even more eager to cook something I know she will get nutrients from.

She and her bfriend requested Sloppy Joes. I do not cook from packages preferring not to add unwanted sodium or other mystery ingredients to my food. These are very simple to make even with out the package and it’s easy to sneak a few healthy veggies without them knowing!

Bison Sloppy Joe

Bison Sloppy Joe


  • 1lb. Ground Bison
  • 1- 15 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 1 tBs: Cumin, Chili Powder, Ground Mustard
  • ketchup
  • worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Hamburger Buns
  1. Heat saute pan over medium heat. Finely dice onion,  celery and bell pepper, drizzle pan with olive oil, toss in veggies, season with salt and pepper and saute until tender. About 5 minutes. Dice jalapeno, add to pan. Pour in: cumin, chili powder and ground mustard. Mix to coat veggies.
  2. Add ground bison. Season with salt and pepper, brown meat breaking up with wooden spoon as it cooks. About 5-10 minutes
  3. Pour in crushed tomatoes, add about 1/4 cup of ketchup and 2 tBs. worcestershire sauce. Mix everything together and let simmer 30-45minutes, low heat.
  4. Toast your favorite hamburger buns, spoon Bison Sloppy Joe over bun and be prepared to get sloppy!

Food For Thought: Sloppy Joes are one of those foods that is much better the next day. Meaning they make excellent leftovers! Or, just make it the day before…

Morning Breakfast with Teenagers

I woke up in the morning to a pile of teenage girls camped out in the living room. It was the perfect setting for breakfast with teenagers. I didn’t have to run off to work and they were hungry little gremlins. Stella, (my daughters friend) was ready to to do some cooking! As usual I was scrummaging through the fridge to put something together.

I had a half a loaf of chocolate chocolate chip bread and some eggs. Stella and I decided on Chocolate-Chocolate Chip French Toast and Scrambled Eggs with Cheese.

Oh and here’s a little video of the girls…

Cast from left: Labu, Stella, Vebo, Maia

Chicken and Waffles!

My daughter loves her some chicken and waffles. She’s also a teenager with a short attention span. I like to make her chicken and waffles when we actually get a morning together but I know I’ve got to be quick about it or she will fill up on easy access junk and be out the door.

I’ve made a quick and easy recipe by using chicken tenders and frozen belgium waffles. The tenders are boneless, easy to eat, cook quickly and kids love them! Since I don’t own a waffle iron and I don’t need another gadget in my tiny kitchen, I’ve found there are perfectly fine frozen varieties at the supermarkets. After all this is a recipe for a teenager with a short attention span!

Maia’s Favorite Chicken and Waffle Recipe…

Maia's Fav Chicken and Waffles!

Maia’s Fav Chicken and Waffles!


  1. chicken tenders
  2. 2 cups buttermilk
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. 4 cups of vegetable or canola oil
  5. frozen belgium waffles
  6. softened butter
  7. real maple syrup!
  • Heat oil in deep pan or dutch oven over high heat. Soak tenders in buttermilk. put flour in a dish and season with salt and pepper.
  • Once oil is hot (drop a small bit of batter in oil. batter should sizzle immediately) remove a tender from buttermilk coat in flour and place in hot oil. Repeat. Fry for about 5-8 minutes until tenders are golden brown. remove tenders from oil and let drain on paper towel. Season with a touch more salt and pepper. *tips for frying see below…
  • Prepare frozen waffles according to package. I don’t own a toaster so I just place mine on the wire rack of my oven.

Assembly time! Lightly butter waffle, place chicken on top and cover with real maple syrup. You’ve got a quick and delicious homemade chicken and waffle treat!

*Depending on the size of your pot and the amount of tenders you’re cooking you may have to do in batches. Do not over crowd pot or else you will get a soggy chicken tender instead of a crispy one. They should have plenty of room to float around in the oil.

Chicken and Waffle

Chicken and Waffle

Franklin's Teleme Cheese

Mid Coast Cheese Company

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