Cherry Basil Clafouti

Preheat oven to 350°. Put butter in an 8”x8” baking pan and place in oven until butter has just melted. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to blend. Add milk and stir just until flour disappears. Using a rubber spatula, cut through batter a couple of times to incorporate butter and push batter into corners of pan.

Arrange cherries neatly over batter. Sprinkle with basil.

Bake until top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Adapted from Casa Orinda restaurant, San Francisco

Chilled Spicy Noodles and Sesame Cilantro Shrimp

To make the marinade, in the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment, add all marinade ingredients. Pulse until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, add shrimp, toss to combine, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours.

To make the noodles, in a large pot over high heat, add water and bring to a boil. Add soba noodles and cook, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain and rinse with cold water. Refrigerate.

In a bowl, combine garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chile paste, mirin, and salt. Set aside.

In a wok or frying pan over high heat, add shrimp in batches, discarding marinade. Cook until no longer pink on first side, 2-3 minutes. Turn over and cook on second side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Cover and refrigerate.

In same pan over medium-high heat, add garlic-sesame oil mixture and bring sauce to a boil. Let sauce thicken slightly, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

Once all ingredients are chilled, toss shrimp and noodles with sauce and add lime juice. Divide among 4 dishes and top with green onions, serrano, sesame seeds, and almonds.

Seared Salmon With Pesto and Veggie Spirals

In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and spread evenly to be in contact with bottom of pan. Let cook 3 minutes without touching. Toss and spread evenly again to let brown, another 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let rest.

In same pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil and salmon, skin side down. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano, if using, and cook, 2-3 minutes. Turn over and cook for about 1 minute. Add lemon juice, cover, and cook until no longer translucent, and internal temperature reaches 140°. Transfer fish to a plate to rest, about 5 minutes.

In same pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, and season with salt and pepper and cook, 3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes and spiralized vegetables, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add pesto and toss to combine. Divide into four shallow bowls, top with mushrooms and salmon.

Skillet Pizza

Preheat oven to 450°.

In a 12” cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add meat, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally to break into pieces, until no longer pink, 7-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Wipe skillet clean with paper towels and return to medium-high heat. Form 1 piece of dough into a round. Sprinkle skillet lightly with cornmeal, and carefully place dough round in skillet, ½” up sides. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook dough until it just begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Spread pizza sauce over crust and top with mozzarella, ground meat, pepperoni, onion, and oregano.

Place skillet in preheated oven and bake until golden brown and starting to char, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a cutting board and garnish with basil.

Strawberry Pretzel Tart

Preheat oven to 350°.

To make the crust, in a large bowl, add pretzels, butter, and sugar and stir to combine. Transfer to a 10” tart pan and press firmly into pan using bottom of a measuring cup. Bake 8 minutes and let cool completely.

Meanwhile make the filling. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add cream cheese and sugar and beat until smooth. Add lemon juice and zest, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Fold in whipped cream, then spoon into cooled crust and, using an offset spatula, smooth top.

Starting on outside of tart, arrange strawberry slices on top of tart in a circle until entire tart is covered.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat together preserves and 2 teaspoons water until warmed, 30 seconds. Brush over tart and refrigerate until well chilled, 2 hours.

Cooking Dried Beans

Remove and discard any debris from beans and rinse under cold running water. Cover beans with 2 cups water and let soak for 2 hours to overnight. Drain water and rinse beans. Place beans in insert of a pressure cooker with remaining 4 cups water, making sure water covers beans. Add bay leaf and close lid. Set pressure cooker on low pressure and set for 8-15 minutes, depending on age of beans.

Carefully quick release pressure, open lid, and check to see if beans are cooked to desired doneness.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add bacon and cook until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate or sheet pan and dispose of most of fat.

Add oil, onions, and peppers to pan over medium-high heat and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bacon back to pan. Add beans with all of cooking liquid and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until liquid has thickened, 5-8 minutes. Season with salt, spices, if using, and garnish with cilantro.

  • Use beans in salads, tacos or in any recipe that requires canned beans.
  • Cook beans longer to make refried beans.
  • Add broth or stock to make soup.
  • Discarding soaking liquid helps lessen gases and reduce bloating.

Ham, Spinach, and Artichoke Empanadas

Adjust oven racks to upper and lower positions. Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly flour two baking sheets.

Unfold puff pastry sheets onto a clean work surface. Using a rolling pin, stretch slightly. Cut each sheet of pastry into desired size (16 pieces, 8, or 4 pieces). Stretch each piece a bit more.

Place 1 piece of dough in your hand and brush 1 corner lightly with egg white. Place 1 piece of folded ham and a dollop of spinach dip on one half of dough square. Fold pastry over filling to form a triangle, pressing out excess air. Use fingers or a fork to press and seal pastry together. Repeat with remaining squares.

Combine yolk and 1 tablespoon water. Brush each empanada with egg-yolk wash. Freeze for 5 minutes. Bake empanadas until golden, about 10 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare 9”x13” baking pan.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add eggs and sugar. Using a hand mixer on high speed, beat until pale yellow. Add butter-chocolate mixture, vanilla, and salt and mix until well combined. Add flour and walnuts, if using, and mix, on low speed, just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Spread evenly. Bake until edges come away from pan, 35-40 minutes.

Let cool and frost with buttercream frosting or top with ice cream and Hot Fudge Sauce to make a hot fudge sundae.


To prepare pan, line with parchment paper, enough to hang a couple of inches over two sides. This will allow you to remove brownies easily from pan and cut for serving.

To measure flour, fluff with a fork. Scoop into measuring cup with a spoon and then level off.

Eggs should be at room temperature. You can put in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes before using to accomplish this.

Pressure Cooker Turkey Chili

In a pressure cooker insert on Saute setting, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion, celery, and bell peppers and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

On Saute setting, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and turkey. Season with salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add vegetables back to insert. Add garlic, jalapenos, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, dried oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne and cook, stirring to combine, about 1 minute.

Add lime juice, chicken broth, ¼ cup cilantro, ½ bunch fresh oregano, beans, marinara sauce, tomatoes, and corn. Season with salt and pepper, stir, close lid, and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Let pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Open lid, place chili in a bowl over rice, if using, and garnish with cilantro, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Herb and Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add water, yeast, sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil and, using a whisk, mix until dissolved. Add flour and salt, using paddle attachment, mix on low to form dough, about 30 seconds.

Using a dough scraper, remove dough from paddle. Sprinkle flour over and in bowl around dough. Change attachment to a hook, and on low speed, knead dough for 7 minutes, occasionally sprinkling flour into bowl while kneading if dough looks sticky. Using floured fingers, grab a small piece of dough and stretch it, spreading it out to check on elasticity of dough.

Remove dough from hook and transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead a few times, forming a smooth ball. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, seam side down, making sure to grease top of dough. Loosely cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm space or proofing oven until doubled in size and bouncy when lightly touched, about 1 hour.

Carefully turn dough out on counter, seam side up and flatten into a circle, about 12” in diameter. Add a small handful of onion to dough center. Beginning at 12 o’clock, fold a piece of dough up and over center of dough, covering onions with dough. Repeat with dough at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. Flatten dough slightly again into a circle. Repeat by adding more onion, and folding dough over onion. Collect dough and return to greased bowl, seam side down, cover with plastic, and proof for 30 minutes.

Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer dough, keeping top of dough up, onto prepared sheet. Flatten and stretch dough to fill pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest until dough looks puffy, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°-450°.

Softly press fingertips into dough, making indentations. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over dough, brush lightly with a pastry brush, and sprinkle with herbs. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan after 10 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of baking, add sun-dried tomatoes and cheese, if using.

Remove bread from oven, loosen from pan, and onto a cooling rack immediately. Brush with more oil and sprinkle with salt.