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Category — Recipes

easy olives for a tapas bar

mixed olive stuff

If you’re anything like me, you have a variety of open olive jars in your refrigerator. And if so, then this recipe if for you!

I had partial jars of stuffed olives, pitted olives, black olives, green olives, and olives with the pits still inside. Any and all of those can be used here.

So clean out your fridge and make a great addition to a tapas bar at the same time.

small servers

Tapas Bar Olives

16-ounces of a variety of olives
3 long slices of orange peel
4 fresh bay leaves
1 small hot red pepper, cut to thin circles
Olive oil

tapa bar olives

Place a third of the olives in a large jar with a tight fitting lid. Add an orange peel strip, a bay leaf, and a couple of pepper slices to the olives.


Top with another third of the olives, another bay leaf and a few more pepper slices.

to the top

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April 24, 2014   No Comments

Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon

This easy and super pop-pop-popular tapa has only three ingredients and takes only a couple of minutes to throw together.

3 ingredients

Sometimes the Spanish chorizo can be difficult to find. I found it at Cost Plus World Market.

Chorizo Filled Dates  in Bacon

Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Spanish chorizo sausage, casing removed
14 Medjool dates, pitted
7 slices thick-cut bacon, halved crosswise

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.


Make an incision in one side of each date and remove the pit. Discard the pits and set aside the pitted dates.

Cut the chorizo sausage into 14 little sticks about twice the size of the pits you removed.

stuff with chorizo

Tuck a chorizo stick into each date and pinch the dates closed. Wrap a half strip of bacon around each date and secure with a toothpick.




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April 23, 2014   1 Comment


some tapas

On Saturday night we had our Spain Reunion Dinner.

the table

Peggy & Jim and Lorraine & John plus Dave & I spent a relaxing evening drinking sangria, nibbling on tapas and dining on my paella.


I’ll share recipes with you all week. I shall begin with the star of the evening – the paella!

paella pan

Begin this recipe the day before to marinate the chicken overnight. Up to 4 hours before serving, brown the chicken and cook the onion, garlic and tomato base in the same pan. You can finish the dish when your guests arrive by bringing the base back up to heat and taking turns stirring as you enjoy your tapas and sip sangria.

A couple disclaimers before I get to the recipe. I forgot to add the peas. I had a bag of fresh peas in the fridge and just forgot, much to the dismay of my husband, who loves peas. Sorry!

And the final photo was taken at the dinner table which was outside, in the dark, and I should have used a flash. Oh well, it will have to do.

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April 22, 2014   4 Comments

potato dish for Easter

Along with Arugula & Strawberry Salad with Chèvre, Pistachios and Horseradish-Maple Vinaigrette and Pomegranate Molasses Leg of Lamb and Lemon-Limoncello Meringue Pie I made this scrumptious potato dish for our Easter supper.

perfect leeks

One quick Tip:  When shopping for leeks, look for a leek with as much white as possible. The white and pale green portions of the leek are the only parts used, so try to get the most bang for your buck. I found these two perfect leek specimens at Trader Joe’s.

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April 21, 2014   2 Comments

Spain revisited


Tomorrow night we’re having Peggy and Lorraine and their significant others over for a dinner of tapas, sangria, and paella. We’ll exchange photos and basically relive our dreamy trip to Barcelona. Plus, I have to put my money where my mouth is when I assured them that my paella is superior to what we had in Spain.

Here is the recipe for one of the many tapas I’ll be serving.

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April 18, 2014   1 Comment

Easter Eggs and Easter menu ideas

Instead of my usual Silk Transfer Easter Eggs, I went another route this year. On Pinterest, I found Cocktail Napkin Easter Eggs.


I hard-boiled 9 eggs and used the technique explained on This Site for the first eight eggs. Then on whim, I tried another technique and ended up with the egg above. I love the end results and will show you how to do both.


Plus I’m putting up links to all of my Easter recipes as listed on the Complete Recipe Index – over there on the left, in case you are still trying to figure out what to make.


Cocktail Napkin Easter Eggs

8 to 12 white hard-boiled eggs, cold
Printed paper cocktail or lunch napkins
1 egg white, lightly beaten

napkin squares ready

Open the napkins and separate the printed top layer from plain second layer if napkin has two layers. Discard any plain sheets.


Cut each napkin into four squares, along the folds.


Dip a small pastry brush into the beaten egg white and use to adhere and apply a square onto the front center of an egg.

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April 17, 2014   5 Comments

vinegar-free vinaigrette

Last week, Chef Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s, Café Bink, Bink’s Midtown, and Bink’s Scottsdale, was the guest teacher at Les Gourmettes. Kevin is once again up for the James Beard Award for the Best Chef: Southwest. Fingers are crossed!

Everything he made was, of course, amazing! The thing that I really enjoyed though was a simple, thick, tangy, creamy vinaigrette made without any vinegar. Strange but true and truly delicious.

strawberry arugula salad

Kevin served the vinaigrette over a salad of arugula, strawberry slices, goat cheese and pistachios. I’ll be serving the same salad for our Easter dinner on Sunday.

Speaking of Easter Sunday, if you haven’t colored your eggs yet, hold off one more day because tomorrow I’m posting a new way to decorate eggs and a bunch of Easter Menu ideas.

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April 16, 2014   1 Comment

coconut cream pie

For the past six weeks Connor has been working at Mark Tarbell’s The Tavern. He is the dishwasher and although they feed him dinner, he has not gotten the one item he sees that he really wants… the coconut cream pie.

So of course, I made it for him. That’s what moms do.

thumbs up

He gave it a thumbs up.

I have plenty of photos to accompany the crust making part of the recipe. But my dad was here while I was making the filling. He can be very distracting, so no photos of that part, sorry.

coconut cream pie [


April 15, 2014   No Comments

on a dare

Yesterday morning I opened my computer and did what I do each morning. I checked my email, I made sure my blog post posted correctly and then I went on Facebook. The first thing I saw on FB was a post from my high school and FB friend, Cynthia.


Did you see that? A dare was issued to me on social media. I had to try this recipe now! I was dared! So yes, I made it. And yes, it’s pretty great. Although there were some serious omissions on the original recipe…

… such as the importance of placing the bottom round of dough onto parchment paper or a baking sheet before adding the filling. Let me tell you, it is impossible to move the dough with the filling on it from the counter to a baking sheet! But no worries, I suffered through that error and I’ve rewritten the recipe to reflect such an important detail.

sunflower spinach pie

I also amped up the filling to my liking and added other little details that were obviously done on the original recipe but not mentioned in the instructions, such as using an egg wash and placing seeds on the center section.


All in all, a great recipe that just need a bit more explaining and details. And it really is easier than it looks to make. It would be perfect for Easter! Trust me, you can do it!

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April 10, 2014   2 Comments

snack attack

chipotle powder

This is a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa that I modified. These nuts are addicting… don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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April 9, 2014   1 Comment