Thursday, November 13, 2014

Peruvian Shrimp and Carrot Salad, Aji Amarillo Soy Limon Dressing

Shrimp and Carrot Salad
Okra, Cherry Tomato, Red Onion, Caperberry, Feta, Nasturtium
Ají Amarillo Soy Limón Dressing

Colorful baby carrots and my tree bursting with key limes became the source of inspiration for this sprightly salad. Carrots and limes have a curious affinity for one another. Key limes, called limones in Peru are used extensively in Peruvian cuisine. I mix the lime juice with ají amarillo paste and soy sauce to make the refreshing dressing. Ají amarillo, a yellow-orange Peruvian chile pepper is simultaneously spicy and fruity. Just a couple teaspoons of the paste gives the dressing its zing and along with the shrimp and carrots paired with feta, okra, onion, and tomatoes – the result is a really zesty salad with piquant Peruvian flair.

Peruvian Shrimp and Carrot Salad Recipe

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quinoa Omelette filled with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar

Quinoa Omelette
filled with
Roasted Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar

Lovers will love. But will haters, hate? There is something about roasting shaved Brussels sprouts that makes them appealing to even the most picky eaters. And stuffing them into a fluffy omelette made with quinoa and melting cheddar – well perhaps we are able to win some new friends for these cute little brassicas that have the unfortunate reputation of being one of the country’s most disliked vegetables.

Brussels sprouts can have a slightly bitter quality, especially the large older ones, which can be off-putting to many. And then there is that childhood memory of mushy overcooked Brussels sprouts with their lingering cabbage-y smells. But when those mini cabbages are shaved – so there are lots of leaves exposed to get crunchy and crackly, then roasted – creating crispy caramelized bits, they do become quite irresistible.

I add cooked quinoa to eggs to increase fiber and nutrients. Cooked quinoa is fluffy like couscous, creamy like rice, slightly crunchy with a nutty taste reminiscent of sesame seeds. It adds flavor and texture to this unique seasonal omelette.

Quinoa Omelette filled with Brussels Sprouts Recipe

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5 comments • Filed in: Meatless

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Abalone Cove Grand Re-Opening

Sacred Cove and Inspiration Point, Rancho Palos Verdes, California

The Palos Verdes Nature Preserve (PVNP) has over 30 miles of trails through rolling hills, steep canyons and rock outcrops, with significant habitat and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Elevations range from approximately sea level along the coastal edges of Vicente Bluffs, Abalone Cove, and Ocean Trails to approximately 1,300 feet above mean sea level.

The Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve (64 acres located within the PVNP) features two beaches  - Abalone Cove and Sacred Cove, tide pools, beautiful bluff-top viewing areas, and dramatic crisscrossing trails. Two promontories, Portuguese and Inspiration points, frame Sacred Cove with its sea caves, black sand, and rare plants. (from

I was thrilled to have been invited by Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy to the Volunteer Recognition and Abalone Cove Grand Re-opening and to join in celebration of the volunteers’ dedication and commitment to PVPLC’s programs. It is my honor to provide photographic documentation of fund-raising events such as the PV Pastoral Garden-to-Table Dining Experience and to participate in the popular White Point Home Tour.

After over two decades without any major improvements, Abalone Cove Shoreline Park was in need of renovation. A state grant helped fund the improvements including paths and trails, signage and interpretive panels, landscaping, picnic areas, benches, and binocular stations. The Grand Re-Opening festivities held on October 25th included nature walks, food trucks, a beer garden, kite exhibit, native plant workshop, en plain air demonstrations, Art To Grow On, a pop-up library, and more!

Abalone Cove Grand Re-Opening


Come take a hike around our newly restored Abalone Cove with me!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Malted and Salted: Milk Chocolate Pots de Creme

Malted & Salted:  Milk Chocolate Pots de Crème

The term “Petits Pots de Crème” refers both to a soft baked custard and to the small ceramic pots, often with lids, that they are baked in. The dainty authentic petits pots pictured above were made in France. They belonged to my grandmother-in-law, Evelyn Dawn. While I only have six porcelain petit pots, and am cooking for a crowd, I supplement my collection with espresso cups.

Pots de Crème are a fabulous dessert to serve at a diner party. They look adorable, are impossibly rich and velvety, and petite enough to be elegant and sophisticated. Adding malted milk powder to a supremely French dessert gives this version an unexpected light-hearted twist. And as a bonus, they are prepared a day ahead. Just add the quick garnish of fleur de sel and/or malted milk balls, and they are ready to go.

Malted milk powder was invented by James Horlicks in 1883. It is a combination of sprouted grain that is quickly dried (barley malt) then ground up and added to powdered milk and wheat flour. It was originally meant as a nutritious non-spoiling supplement for babies’ diets, but gained popularity among explorers who found it portable as well as tasty…and became a hit at soda shops all around the country when added to ice cream to make a “malt” and as a candy marketed as “malted milk balls.”

Pots de Crème Recipe

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Palos Verdes Pastoral @ Terranea Resort

Palos Verdes Pastoral

A Garden-to-Table Dining Experience on the Peninsula

Candlelit tables elegantly dressed in white linen with sparkling glassware were arranged on a hill overlooking the moonlit Pacific. The vibrant autumn menu was created by Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra – showcasing the best of California-grown food expertly paired with hand-picked wines. For the third year in a row, the event was a smashing success.

Palos Verdes Pastoral @ Terranea Resort
The evening is designed to bring people together amidst nature for an exclusive dining experience featuring the best of California hand-crafted, organic, and sustainable foods. After a fabulous wine and appetizer reception on the patio, 200 guests took their seats at sunset to enjoy the artisanal creations by the Chef and his talented team.

Palos Verdes Pastoral @ Terranea Resort

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5 comments • Filed in: Restaurants