Figs with Basil, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Figs with Basil, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Figs. Basil. Goat Cheese. Pomegranate.  Pure yum.  I’ve been on a bit of a health kick recently, testing out new salad recipes and vegetarian accompaniments.  What I’ve discovered is that the key to a truly exciting vegetarian dish is balance.  Balancing the flavors and textures of a dish can provide a unique experience that’s far from mundane or monotonous.  This recipe for Figs with Basil, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette is sweet, salty, fresh, earthy, spicy and peppery.  The texture is both crunchy and creamy with a toothsome bite from the figs.  Super balanced.  Super yummy.

The next time you make a vegetable dish, try adding some new elements to balance the flavors (if they aren’t balanced already!).  Brighten up a side of roasted potatoes with fresh herbs and pickled onions.  Top a serving of al dente asparagus with a creamy poached egg and salty bacon bites.  Roast tender butternut squash with coarsely ground, crunchy spices (pepper, cumin, coriander and/or cardamom) then accent with lime and chile (yes, this is a short description of last week’s squash recipe).  The next time you make a salad or vegetable recipe, I urge you to take a moment and consider balance.  A small change or two can take a dish from good to spectacular.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

Watermelon Basil Agua Fresca

Watermelon Basil Agua Fresca This past Thursday, I hosted my first Kitchen Konfidence Live event at the west elm here in San Diego.  It was such an amazing experience.  First, the setting was really spectacular.  Attendees sat in an array of perfectly mismatched chairs, benches and sofas.  My station was positioned in the middle of the store surrounded by gorgeous kitchen and entertaining product.  I even had a gargantuan image of green beans entitled ‘Market Fresh’ towering behind me.  Second, I couldn’t have asked for a better audience.  The attendees seemed engaged and interested, asking valuable questions between presentations.  With each sampling, I heard various mmmms and ahhhhs escaping from the crowd.  Seeing others enjoy my food truly does make me happy.  It’s one of the main reasons why I love to cook.  Finally, the entire event went off without a hitch (other than one minor electrical issue).  The west elm staff was so helpful and accommodating.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any high resolution images of the event to share with you right now; however, I will eventually release a video of the event and some behind the scenes footage at my house.

Over the next two weeks, I will be featuring the four recipes that I presented at my Kitchen Konfidence Live event, starting with this Watermelon Basil Agua Fresca.  Juicy watermelon is blended with fresh, fragrant basil, bright lime juice, water and sweet agave nectar.  The finished beverage is a light, refreshing concoction perfect for a warm summer afternoon.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

Heirloom Tomato and Peach Caprese Salad

Heirloom Tomato and Peach Caprese Salad I’ll have to admit that I’ve been feeling a little unhealthy over this past week – minimal time spent doing physical activities and maximum time spent consuming large quantities of processed junk.  In an attempt to turn things around, I made this Heirloom Tomato and Peach Caprese Salad last night.  Topped with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette, this salad is a fresh mix of heirloom tomatoes, sliced peaches, mozzarella cheese and chopped basil.  Followed by a lengthy walk through Balboa Park, this dinner was just what I needed to go from feeling no good to so good.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

Skillet Pizza

Skillet PizzaI’ve prepared a countless number of pan pizzas over the years; however, recently I decided to test a new method of making pizza.  Heating a cast iron skillet on the stove top provides the high heat needed to achieve a brick oven-like crust (without the brick oven!).  The finished pizza has a crispy, slightly charred crust.  Topped with seasoned tomato sauce and melty mozzarella cheese, this might just be the perfect homemade pizza!  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

Summer Cocktails

Summer Cocktails - Cucumber Lime Basil Martini A good friend of mine once said, “The key to a successful dinner party is to start with great cocktails.”  His reasoning is that if your guests are boozed up, they won’t notice any of the mistakes you make and your food is guaranteed to taste good!  While I certainly think this is valuable advice, I like to serve mixed drinks for a different reason.  Providing your guests with signature cocktails can really give your party an elevated, restaurant-like feel.  Continue reading for two Summer Cocktail recipes:  Cucumber Lime Basil Martini and The Rosebud.

Read More »