Ava Frescas con Anjinaras or Fava Beans with Artichokes

Last week while I was doing my early Wednesday morning walk through the famed Santa Monica Farmers Market, I spotted something new for sale.  On several vendors’ tables, there were mounds of large, verdant green, puffy, yet crooked beans.  In a word fresh fava beans had arrived for early spring.  I have a memory in my head of a prized dish Continue reading

Weekday Lentil Soup

Lentils are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet used as part of a complete protein in vegetarian diets or used as a low calorie, vitamin and fibre rich part of any diet.  There are many different colors of lentils,  with different cooking times and textures.  Lentils are a staple in the Middle and Near East and India, while cooked in some European countries also.  They can be paired Continue reading

Lucy’s Picadillo Soup

OK, I confess I have help in my home with all the house work and especially before a party.  A wonderful women originally from El Salvador Continue reading

Seven Spice Turkey Chili

In January, beautiful, warm, blue skied days give way to chilly crisp nights in Southern California.  One may think that this is not much of a winter, but it is enough to kindle the appetite for warm filling meals.  Turkey chili is not only rib sticking, spicy, and delicious, but is also a little lower in fat and calories.  It is a perfect fit for my January mood, wanting to make up for all of the Holiday season’s indulgences. 

A mix of mouth warming ground chilies in varying heat intensities Continue reading

Rice, Beans and Kuftes, Thursday Night Dinner


If you speak with anyone from the Sephardic community in Seattle, Washington, you will find that virtually everyone, me included, ate avicas con arroz or beans and rice on Thursday nights for dinner.  Usually this dinner also included Continue reading

Homemade Apple Sauce

Applesauce is the essence of apple with a little cinnamon and lemon to enhance the natural sweet-tart flavor.  I make mine super healthy with no added sugar.  I prefer to use a mix of Pink Lady and Fuji apples. This is the simplest recipe but it does take a little time to peel all those apples. 

10 large Pink Lady apples or mix of apples

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 to 2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Peel and core the apples.  Chop the apples into 1 to ½ inch cubes. Continue reading

Stuffing with Cajun Sausage and Fennel

I love stuffing, but I can’t make it with butter and I don’t want to use margarine. The solution, I use a lot of olive oil to saute’  the vegetables and I add the spicy oil left from browning the sausage.  The rich pan juices or dark salty gelatin that is left after roasting a turkey is the most delicious flavoring of all.  Every time I roast a bird (sometimes I do it  just to have fresh roasted turkey for sandwiches on hand), I save the precious pan juices Continue reading

Easy Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Fresh cranberries are a delight with their tart  flavor that blends well with citrus and sweet.  The flavor enhances poultry, especially turkey on Thanksgiving.  Continue reading

Stuffed Miniature Pumpkins

I was wondering what to do with all those cute little pumpkins Continue reading

Mashed Sweet Potatoes for Thanksgiving

As I have mentioned before, in our family, my sister-in-law Francine makes the Thanksgiving Day feast every year.  She always serves a version of a sweet potato bake.  Many years ago, she shared the recipe with me and it had quite a long list of ingredients Continue reading