Recipe :: Spring Quinoa Salad with Peas, Mint & Pecorino

Spring Quinoa Salad with Peas, Mint & Pecorino |

Want to know one of the dirty little secrets of high-end chefs? Many chefs, even those committed to using the freshest local ingredients, use frozen peas in their spring dishes. Ok, so it isn't that dirty, but I remember being surprised the first time I heard that frozen peas are actually preferred by chefs. Why would so-called "local" chefs use a … [Read more...]

Recipe :: Whipped Ricotta Crostini & Vanilla Bean Sea Salt

Whipped Ricotta Crostini with Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Recipe |

Crostini with whipped ricotta has become one of my go-to appetizers for entertaining a crowd. The creamy texture of the ricotta feels extremely indulgent, and the crisp crostini provides a great contrast in texture. I vary the crostini by topping it with either Stylish Spoon's  Vanilla Bean Sea Salt or Porcini Mushroom Sea Salt.  As far as … [Read more...]

Menu :: Mother’s Day Vegetarian Spring Dinner

healthy vegetarian spring pasta menu dinner party special impressive

Celebrate both the season and a vegetarian or veggie-loving mom with a menu bursting with spring flavor.  This menu, which I developed for Vegetarian Times (Mother Love, April/May 2012), is all about the delicious details.  Herbs in lemonade, homemade croutons, a pretty pasta shape, and a bright berry sauce on the flourless chocolate cake make this … [Read more...]

Flower Gift Tags {Mother’s Day ideas}


Use leftover gift tags to hang a sweet note on a homemade Mother's Day bouquet.  Write a little note and tie it to one of the flowers in your arrangement for a pretty little detail that mom is sure to appreciate.  Happy Mother's Day! … [Read more...]

Recipe :: Asparagus with Hazelnut Dressing


This is, hands down, my favorite asparagus recipe.  I love the tender stalks after they've been peeled and blanched, and the crunchy hazelnut dressing adds a nice contrast in texture.  Serve this dish as a side at brunch, lunch or dinner.  It's great when served with roasted or grilled meat.  You can make the asparagus a few hours ahead, along with … [Read more...]

Party in the Garden


Host a garden party with ideas from my July 2010 column on The Family Groove. … [Read more...]