German Cucumber Salad

2 English Cucumbers or 3-4 regular cucumbers, but not too fat because of excess seedy-ness

2 tsp. salt

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup sour cream or you can substitute a good quality plain greek yogurt

1 tbsp. white vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

dash black pepper

1 tsp. sugar

1 tbsp. fresh dill coarsely chopped

Lightly peel the cucumbers leaving a bit of green ‘skin’. Using a mandolin or cheese slicer, thinly slice cucumbers into a bowl. Sprinkle with the 2 tsp. of salt and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes to release some of the excess moisture.  Dab with a paper towel to soak up the released fluids.  Add the finely chopped red onion.  In a separate bowl mix together the sour cream, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar.  Pour over the cucumber mixture and gently toss to coat.  Add the fresh dill and gently mix.  Serve immediately.





Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, plain or tri-color, cooled
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • 1 7.5oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried or fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – crumbled feta cheese

Combine all ingredients, except the feta, in a medium bowl. Chill for a half an hour to allow the flavors to meld. If using the feta, sprinkle desired amount on top of the salad just before serving.

Ginger-Carrot Bisque

1/4 cup, plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped

2 large onions, chopped

1 tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup half and half

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots and onions. Cover and cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Mix in ginger and coriander. Add 2 cups stock. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer soup until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes. Puree soup in small batches in processor or blender. Add remaining 3 cups stock and half and half to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until warmed through. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with small amount of parseley.


Tomato, Basil and Corn Salad with Lobster

Here’s a recipe from one of my best friends’ who also happens to be a fabulous cook!

Servings: four as a main dish.


4 ears fresh corn, shucked, silk removed
Sea salt 
2 live lobsters, about 1-1/4 lb. each (or 9 oz. cooked lobster meat)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. white-wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and minced (to yield about 3 Tbs.)
2 shallots, minced (to yield 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
5 oz. (about 4 cups) mixed baby greens


Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil over high heat. Add the corn and cook for 3 minutes. With tongs, remove the ears of corn from the pot and set them aside to cool. Salt the water generously (it should taste like the sea) and return the pot to a boil. Add the lobsters and cook uncovered for about 8 minutes. Check for done-ness by twisting the tail off one lobster. The meat should be opaque throughout. If it’s still translucent, continue cooking for another minute or two. Drain and let cool. Crack the shells; remove the meat from the tails and claws. Slice into 1/2-inch pieces and refrigerate in a bowl until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice and vinegar with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds pepper. Whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream. Slice the corn kernels off the cobs. Add the kernels to the vinaigrette, along with the tomatoes, jalapeños, shallots, and basil. Toss gently, taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed. Put the greens in another bowl.

Tilt the bowl with the tomatoes and spoon off about 4 Tbs. of the juices. Add this to the bowl of greens and toss to coat. Spoon off about 3 more Tbs. of juice from the tomatoes and add this to the lobster; toss to coat. Taste both the greens and the lobster; adjust the ­seasonings as needed.

Divide the tomato salad, lobster, and greens evenly among four plates, arranging them in separate mounds, and serve.

Classic 4 Bean Salad

I actually use more than 4 varieties of beans for my salad, the choices can be varied to your personal tastes, but the classic version always has one or two of the cut green beans.

1 can each, drained and rinsed, cut green beans, cut yellow wax beans, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans

1/2 each, yellow and green pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 of a small sweet onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium size bowl toss the beans with the chopped vegetables. Blend in the remaining ingredients until well incorporated. Allow to chill before serving. 

Caramelized French Onion Soup

Serves 6

4 1/2 lbs. mixed onions, such as sweet onions, 2 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/4 cup cooking sherry

3 cups each of vegetable broth and bone broth

8 fresh thyme sprigs

1 tbsp. kosher salt, to taste

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 slices day old rustic whole grain bread, or bagette

4 oz. each, high quality emmanthaler and jarlsberg swiss cheese sliced with a cheese plane

Combine the onions, oil and butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Toss together with tongs. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions start to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring and scraping browned bits from bottom of pot, until onions are tender and golden in color, about 25 minutes.

Add sherry and cook, stirring to scrape up any remaining browned bits. Simmer over medium heat stirring constantly until sherry is mostly evaporated, 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered until flavors are blended, 20-25 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Preheat oven to broil with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Divide soup evenly among 6 oven-proof crocks or bowls and place on rimmed baking sheet. Place a slice of bread on the soup in the bowls. Add cheese slices to cover the bread and the bowls. Broil until melted, bubbly and browned, 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Split Pea Soup with Ham

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 stalks celery, chopped 

3 cloves garlic, chopped 

3-4 carrots chopped 

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups) 

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

2-3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf  

1 pound split peas, picked through for pebbles then rinsed with cold water 

One left-over ham bone

Chopped ham from the bone – or add 1-2 cups of chopped smoked ham

8 cups ham bone broth 

To make the broth:

Place the ham bone in a large pot and cover with approx. 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to gently boil for approx. 2 hours to create a flavorful broth.  Remove the bone and cut up any of the remaining ham and set aside.  This step can be done a day or so in advance. 


In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, garlic, carrots and onion, and saute for 15 minutes to build flavor, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Add the thyme and bay leaf, and cook on low for 3 more minutes. Add the split peas, ham and stock. Remember to season lightly as you cook. Cook until the peas are tender and the soup has come to desired consistency.  If you prefer a less thick soup, just add more water or broth.  

Garbanzo Bean Salad

This simple salad can be mixed together in no time as an easy summer side.

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, chill and serve

*try serving with freshly toasted pita bread and tzatziki

Lemony Asperagus Pasta

This dish is the taste of spring.  So fresh, could be served as a main course or a side.
1 lb. penne pasta
1 lb. thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
1/4 c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water, then drain. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Cook asparagus until crispy, then season with pinch of salt. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add heavy cream, white wine, lemon juice, and zest. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add in salt, Parmesan, and black pepper. Reduce heat to low and mix until well combined.
  4. Turn off heat and mix in pasta, asparagus, and parsley until well coated. Add small amounts of pasta water until you reach desired consistency. Serve with more grated Parmesan, cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Classic Cole Slaw

1/2 head of cabbage

2 large carrots

1/2 tbsp. celery seed

1/2 tbsp. caraway seed


1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Slice the cabbage very thin with a large knife (food processor can be used as well, but I prefer to hand slice).  Place in large bowl.  Grate the carrots and add to the cabbage.  Add the celery and caraway seed.  Set aside. 


Mix together all the dressing ingredients until well blended. 

Dress the cabbage mixture with desired amount of dressing shortly before eating.  This keeps the mixture crunchy and fresh.  I prefer my slaw lightly dressed, others like a little more.  This is up to you.  Enjoy!