Crostini with Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Roasted Bosc Pears, Hazelnuts & White Chocolate

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This is an adaptation of an Italian Appetizer from Venchi that calls for Gorgonzola Cheese and Dark Chocolate.  In this recipe I used a milder blue cheese from the coast of California called Point Reyes Blue Cheese and white chocolate instead of dark chocolate.

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Maple Bacon “Pops”

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Is there anything on earth better than one bite of bacon deliciousness?  For the life of me, if you put me on a desert island and told me I could only have one thing to eat I would want BACON! Sweet, salt, and fat! Yum, Yum, Yum!

The bacon I cure and smoke (usually on applewood) has a texture similar to canadian bacon.  It is meaty, with a small layer of fat, and has a nice outer smoke layer.

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Cranberry Pecan Cream Salad

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This is one of my favorite ways to eat Cranberries during the winter!  It is a great dish to take to share for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  It is so pretty and always surprises people who usually eat Cranberry Sauce.

This dish only has a few great ingredients! It is super easy to make but is best if the cranberries and sugar mixture rest overnight. So be aware that this step does require some extra time and really can’t be rushed if you don’t want the salad weeping cranberry juice.

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Toasted Pumpkin Seed Guacamole with Peach Wood Smoked Salmon

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Several years ago I went to a plastic manufacturing company and had them cut some molds out of plexi-glass for me so I could create “stacks” like the one above. The were cut from a 2 inch diameter plexi-glass tube in about 4 inch lengths.  They were really inexpensive and I have used them over and over. All I do is pop them in the dish washer and they are ready to be used for the next crazy idea I have!

Visually I love the look of “stacked” food and have used this idea a lot in my career.

I thought that the smoked salmon would look great on top of the guacamole so I got the molds out of storage, dusted them off and went to work on this recipe.

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Chili Peanuts & Pumpkin Seeds

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I love nuts of all kinds with all types of seasonings!

This is a great tasting, slightly spicy snack to create as the beginning to any Mexican or South America style dinner as well as a great snack to have with cocktails or beer.

It is super easy to make and something you could create with your family and friends. It would also make a great treat to take while hiking or going on a road trip like the one I am leaving on tomorrow morning for Taos and Santa Fe, NM.

I am taking Jocelyne and my friend Mel on this road trip and thought that these Chili Peanuts & Pumpkin Seeds would get us “in the mood” for some great New Mexico cuisine.

I have been researching the best restaurants to eat at in Taos and Santa Fe and have my list prepared!  I am so looking forward to this trip.  I need a break and I need someone to cook for me for awhile!

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Curried Chicken Empanadas

 

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I learned this recipe from one of our teachers when we had a wine school in China!  Marcus (our teacher) came for a visit to see our school in Denver.

While he was here he stayed with Claude and I at our house for a month.  Getting to know him was quite interesting.  When he first arrived he told me, before going to bed, that there were two things he “required” while he was visiting! I was shocked!  No one has ever ventured into my home and told me that they “required” something from me! So of course I asked what it might be.  He said “bacons (bacon) and coffee”! Now I was doubly shocked! I asked him if he could get bacon in China.  He said yes but it cost $1 per slice!!! Luckily for Marcus I had just smoked 75 lbs of bacon and had plenty. He ate about 15 lbs in 30 days and assured me he was not going to have a heart attack from it because he was taking the cholesterol lowering drug Lipator!!! I was worried for him!

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Heirloom Bumble Bee Cherry Tomato Galette with Creme Fraiche

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Any recipe with dough makes me happy.  Luckily I do not work in a bakery, otherwise I would  be in big trouble with my carb intake!   I am still experimenting with gluten-free flour and just did a wedding basically  all gluten-free.

I was in the mood to do some baking so I started making this recipe.However my intentions were to use traditional all-purpose flour with gluten. So while working the dough I realized I did use Gluten Free flour by mistake!! Continue reading

Grilled Baby Bella Mushrooms Stuffed with Creamed Colorado “Peaches and Cream” Sweet Corn, Topped With Taleggio Cheese Fondue

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I don’t know too many people who do not like mushrooms or corn! In Colorado we are blessed to have farmers who grow both!

The corn I chose for this recipe is in season in Colorado.  It’s called “peaches and cream” corn!  It has both yellow and white kernels and is super sweet! It’s so delicious and tender you practically don’t have to cook it!

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Poached Figs with Lemon Zest and Bay Leaves

There were three styles of figs available this week at Whole Foods Market!  Mission, Turkish and a variety that I have not seen before called “Zebra” which are green and yellow striped!  They looked amazing.

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I chose the mission figs to work with for this recipe and picked ones that were not too ripe.

The figs need to be pretty firm to withstand the poaching process.

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Pickled Rhubarb with Juniper & Red Chilies

I bought Rhubarb last weekend at the Farmer’s Market.  I only have one Rhubarb plant in my garden and there are several new Rhubarb recipe ideas I want to try before we have a frost and the Rhubarb dies back and quits producing stalks.

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This recipe is one of them.  I serve so many cheese and charcuterie plates both at school for classes and here at home for quick meals.  I like to add a variety of pickled items to the platters and thought this would be something that not everyone has experienced – Pickled Rhubarb!
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