Yes, I am full.  Full of the political wrangling and lack of facts presented daily.  Tired of the pontificating.  Self-indignation on both sides.  Let’s focus on the good things- love, friendship, sunshine, making a difference.  I know that my life changes little on who is in the Presidents office.  I know many won’t agree.  My point is to make a positive change where you live.  Volunteer.  Mentor.  Make someone’s life better for knowing you.

I love salads that fill me up.  Salads that have a lot of goodies- not ones that just have two types of lettuce and a dressing.  Give me bits & bites- a salad should be an adventure.  Every bite a discovery of tastes and combos.

To that end, I give you Loaded Cauliflower Salad.

Beauty Shot:


Loaded Cauliflower Salad




1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into similar size florets  Trim off any dark spots.

1 C Mayo  (or Veganaisse-Personal Fave!)  Use good mayo, or make your own.

3 T Grey Poupon Mustard

1/2 tsp Paprika

1 tsp celery salt

1/2 C Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 large Shallot, small chop (or less depending on taste.  Some shallots can be intense.)

4 Hard Boiled Eggs, chopped + 1 slice for garnish

1/2 C chopped dill pickles.  ( I like to use baby kosher dills for the firmness)

3/4 C shelled  cooked Edamame.

6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped into bite-size pieces.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Putting It Together:

Put a medium sized sauce pan on stove and turn to medium.  Add water and cauliflower and cook till al dente.  Should take about 10 minutes.  Drain and cool.



While cauliflower is cooking, make the sauce.  Combine mayo, mustard, paprika, celery salt and stir till well mixed.


In large bowl, add cooled cauliflower, edamame, shallot, pickles, chopped egg and bacon.  Stir in sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste.


Serve on platter with additional sliced hard boiled egg and sprinkle with additional paprika.



P.S.  Top with a bit of Falk Salt too.


P.P.S.  Served with Beer marinated Hatch Chile Brats, grilled Ancho Chilies,sauteed mushrooms and onions with Balsamic Glaze.








Sometimes things just hit you upside the head.  Like finally realizing your mother DID know most things.  Or driving with the windows down and the air conditioning off does NOT give you better mileage.  Or, maybe understanding, and appreciating what you have is more important then what you want.

And this time, it was testing a Kung Pao sauce and recognizing I will never buy it again.  And it goes on virtually everything.  Chicken, shrimp, veggies, pork tenderloin.  It will NOT work on popcorn.  Not at all.  Though I am working on a spice mix that will give the same type of flavor profile.

So, I offer you this recipe.   But triple the sauce.  And don’t eat the peppers.  Unless you are a true daredevil.



Kung Pao Sauce with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Almonds.


2 lbs.  Brussels sprouts

2 cloves Garlic  (Hack: use minced garlic in the jar.  Drain well.  Use 2 T.)

3 Green onions, sliced on diagonal.  Use white and bright green parts.

1/4 cup slivered Almonds, toasted

2 tsp Apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 tbsp Sesame oil

2 tsp Garlic chili paste

1 T Hoisin sauce

1/2 cup Soy sauce

1 tspBlack pepper, Freshly ground

1 T  Swerve granulated.  (Note: if you are not making this Keto, use brown sugar)

1 T Cornstarch

1 tsp Kosher salt

3 dried Chile de Arbol, lightly crushed

1 tsp sesame seeds for garnish.


Putting it Together:

Turn on oven to 425F.  Clean and thoroughly dry the Brussels Sprouts.  Cut off ends and slice in half horizontally.  Put on rimmed cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place into oven for 15-25 minutes.  Should be browned and have crispy bits.


While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, make the sauce.

In a medium sauce pan, add the sesame oil.  Add minced garlic to sesame oil and heat till fragrant.  Should be 1-2 minutes.  In a separate cup, whisk the cornstarch and water together.  Be sure to slowly add the water to avoid lumps. Set aside.

Add Soy, vinegar, hoisin, Swerve or brown sugar and chili paste to pan.  Stir well.  Add the lightly crushed, (big pieces-like 2 or three per chili), salt and pepper.  Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan.  Turn heat up to medium and bring to boil.  It will thicken in about 2-3 minutes.


Remove Brussels sprouts from oven.  Put in bowl or platter.  Drizzle with sauce.  Top with almonds, sesame seeds and green onions.


Serve with extra sauce.  Eat and Repeat.




Sometimes it is important to lighten up. And that could be via commitments, partners, “so called friends”, food, jobs, cities. So many things weigh us down and perpetuate drama that we don’t need.. The energy that is drawn away from elements in our lives that actually add positivity and value often gets lost in the mire of every day life and societal commitments. It’s OK to say no. Or begin to cull what is truly important. Focusing on quality of engagements vs quantity is truly what it is about. Take the time to prioritize your life. Go for what makes you happy. And norms be damned.
I love to eat light in the summer. Quality food that gives me energy and pleasure is where I like to be. I recently came across such a recipe. And I could eat it every day. It is truly a labor of love. And pairs well with glazed salmon. Or a grilled chicken with lemon chive marinade. I say it is a labor of love because it takes a while to prep and slice the snap peas. I wouldn’t want to take this to a party unless I sincerely care about the people I am with. Or family.  Or your really want to impress someone.  With love.


And one picture for pure beauty’s sake. Because everyone needs beauty in their life.


Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Buttermilk Dressing (Courtesy of Bon Appetit) With adjustments.
3 T Whole milk Greek Yogurt
3/4 C buttermilk
8 oz. sugar snap peas, ends and string removed
3/4 c buttermilk
2 T lemon juice (use fresh. Makes such a difference)
Zest of a lemon, split into two equal parts.
2 heaping tsp of minced garlic (can use jarred to save time and effort)
1 tsp minced dill
Olive Oil + some for drizzling.
Salt and pepper. Be generous.

Putting it Together
Start with making the buttermilk dressing. In a medium sized bowl, add buttermilk, yogurt,  garlic, and a pinch of kosher salt, whisk together. Add lemon juice and whisk again. Add ½ of zest, dill, salt and pepper and whisk again. Set aside.

After you have cleaned and prepped the snap peas, slice each one horizontally. Should get about four to five slices in each one. This is the labor of love component I was telling you about.

Toss the peas with olive oil and other half of lemon zest. Pour buttermilk dressing onto platter. Place dressed snap peas on top of dressing. Drizzle with olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.


Lovely, fresh and I could eat it every night. No really. Every night.





Even though it is raining outside and 45 degrees, it is Spring.  You can almost watch the peonies grow by the minute.  And we definitely need the rain.  Come Monday, the desert will be bursting in flowers- dwarf delphinium, tufted evening primrose, lupine forming buds.

I feel the same about eating in spring.  Colorful food, light and delish, packed with flavor and nutrients.  To that end, I offer Inez Melvin’s Marinated Vegetable Salad.  And it’s flexible and can be Keto-friendly.  In fact, that is how I make it.  Leave out the sugar and use Stevia.  No calories, and same contribution to the marinade.  And if you prefer other veggies, as long as they are hearty and can stand up to the marinating process, go for it.  I love snap peas in this.  And sometimes I had chopped salted peanuts just before serving.  Great snack, side dish and potential main if you add tofu or grilled chicken.  Have fun with it.  And let me know what you think.

Inez Melvin’s Marinated Vegetable Salad



1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 can of black olives (change this to other varieties to change the profile)

1/2 lb of mushrooms, quartered

1 bunch of green onions, sliced diagonally.  (Use the white parts and bright green parts)

1 container of grape tomatoes


1 C good olive oil  (Use the good EVOO here.  Makes a world of difference)

1/2 C red wine vinegar

1/2 C sugar  (I use Stevia to keep it Keto)

1 tsp Salt  (I use kosher)

1  T paprika

1 tsp celery salt

1 T minced garlic

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Putting it together:


Clean and chop your vegetables.  Drain the olives and add to the veggie mix in a large bowl. In a separate bowl or mason jar, add in the marinade ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour the marinade over the veggies.  Mix lightly.  Now is the hard part, cover the bowl and put in in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Mix a couple of times over the next 24 hours.  And yes, of course i cheat.  Every time I stir the salad, I nibble bits of goodness from the bowl.


Enjoy this bright filling salad.  Chock full of goodness.  And relish this time of year full of promise and freshness.






As if the colors in this photo aren’t delish enough???  These are trading beads; beads were traded for goods between trappers, soldiers, Native Americans, pioneers.  Many of the beads pictured here are more than 200 years old.  Sourced from Europe, Africa, China.  A myriad of locales and countries.  What a visual feast for the eyes.  (BTW, if you want to see these and thousands more, come to the Mountain Man Rendezvous in Fort Bridger, WY over Labor Day weekend)

Every once in a while I need a sweet- as I generally prefer salty and crunchy.  So I decided to make some Keto cookies.  No grains, no sugar.  I took these tasty tidbits to my gym, (7KFit-  7KFitness.sites.zenplanner.com ) People started complaining that some classes got them and others didn’t.  Next time I need to quadruple the recipe and share with EVERYONE.  This is an easy refrigerator cookie; no rolling pin, no cookie cutters, no frosting.  NO heavy lifting.

Keto Pecan Shortbread Cookies


2 cups Almond Flour  ( I use Simple Truth or Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tsp Real Vanilla

1/2 c chopped pecans  (Pistachios work equally well) Note:  i would chop the pecans smaller than a rough chop- if they are a bit smaller, easier to cut dough later.

6 T butter @ room temperature

1/2 cup Confectioners Erythirtol sweetener ( i like Swerve)

Plastic wrap

Put it Together:

In a mixer, add butter, vanilla and Swerve.  Mix together until light and well creamed.  Add in Almond flour in 1/2 cup increments.  Dough will not form a ball.  Remove from mixer and stir in pecans.

Take a large handful of dough and place on a large piece of plastic wrap.  Roll into logs-try to make the ends square so all cookies are consistent in size.  Your dough should now be sticking together well.Tightly wrap plastic wrap around cookie dough.  Place in refrigerator for at least half hour.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Note: if you don’t feel like baking all the cookies, (roughly 16 in two logs), freeze one.  I typically make a double batch then thaw the dough when I want a warm cookie.)

Heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Remove cookie dough from refrigerator.  Unwrap and cut the dough log into slices appx. 1/2 inch thick.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet and put into oven. Will take between 12-14 minutes.  I like mine just turning light brown on the edge.


This is all that’s left of a double batch. And the little ones are a bit crispy.  But still delish.  I hope they become on of the staple treats in your house.

Yield: 16 cookies

Nutrition: 14 g Fat, 4g Protein, 1.6g net carbs  145 calories per cookie.











We are lucky to have so many food options available to us in the United States.  We can shop globally for that unique ingredient at our local grocery store.  We have abundance-we don’t need to trek for miles to find bread. And ten more miles to get butter.  Or milk.  To that end, I ask you to contribute to a local food effort to feed those in need.  My personal favorite is Backpacks for Hungry Kids.  Pick one that speaks to your heart and make a difference.  For me, no child should be hungry.  That is a travesty.  And tragic.

This recipe is about abundance-plenty of veggies, luxuriant cream cheese, artichokes, rich flavors.  And as I write this, we just received 2″ of snow!  And it’s April 17th!  I think alot of the frustration is that we were in the southwest last week- and I am so ready for spring!

Let’s do this!

Spinach and Artichoke Soup


  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced (Hack: use the jarred minced garlic in Olive oil)
  • 1 – 9-ounce pkg. Frozen Chopped Spinach, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 – 14 ounce can Artichoke Hearts, drained and roughly chopped OR use a thawed package of Trader Joe’s Frozen Artichoke Hearts.  Will need to rough chop for soup
  • 1- 1½ cups Heavy Cream  (may want to adjust to personal taste)
  • 1 – 8-ounce pkg. Cream Cheese, room temp and chopped into 6 pieces.
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 lb. shrimp
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Hungarian Paprika (optional)
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T Olive oil
  • 1 T Butter
  • Additional Shaved Parm for garnish


Putting it Together:

Add the 2 T butter to soup pot and melt.  Add the onion and cook till translucent.  Should take about 7-10 minutes on medium heat.  Add the garlic to onion and watch closely.  Don’t want garlic to burn.  Add spinach to pot; break up any chunks with spoon.


Add chopped drained artichokes to soup pot.  Add in broth.  Add in salt and pepper.  Add in garlic and onion powder. Mix in the cream cheese bit by bit- actively stirring each hunk until melted in.  Slowly stir in the heavy cream till thoroughly blended.  Reduce heat to simmer, do not allow to boil.


Note: I like to use chop sticks to break up stuff- like spinach or stirring scrambled eggs into pretty little curds.

While the soup is simmering, heat deep saute pan to medium. Add in the 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter to the pan.  Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper, garlic and paprika.  Heat till fragrant (only about 1 minute).  Add in the cleaned and detailed shrimp.  Cook till pink and cooked through. Reduce heat.


Back to the soup- mix in the cup of Parmesan cheese.  I would mix in in 1/4 cup increments. May want to adjust salt and pepper at this point to taste.

Let simmer about 5 more minutes.   Ladle into shallow bowl.  Place a few or more shrimp in each bowl.  Drizzle with a bit of the oil/butter mix from shrimp over top.  Sprinkle with additional shaved parm.  I also like a bit of fresh crushed pepper and some chopped cilantro, but that is optional.


Let me know what you think,






Sometimes being away from home is a blessing.  And sometimes it’s for unpleasant things as well.  Even when you are far away from home, it gives us the time to reflect, take in new beauty, breathe deep and appreciate the blessings we do have in our lives.

The last time I was away from home, I had the opportunity to eat at a wonderful discovery- Golden Harvest in downtown Lansing.  My sons had been telling me about it so we needed to make the run.  What a find! THIS IS GOOD FOOD! https://www.facebook.com/goldenharvestrestaurant/


The food was wonderful, the vibe and staff fun and friendly.  We sat at the bar and laughed with the cooks.  If you are someone who is uptight, driving for a hard deadline for eating lunch/brunch or have zero personality and are demanding- this is not the place for you.  Stay away.  I don’t want someone messing with my zen thank you.


My son had waffles with strawberries and cream.  With a side of bacon and their spicy home fries.   I had the Garden Omelet with avocado and sausage added.  It was served with homemade white bread, ( i did not specify what toast I wanted), and those delicious home fries.  Sorry you didn’t see the whole omelet, but I lost my mind for a moment and dove in.

IMG_5691 (1)

We watched the team make a peanut butter chocolate waffle-if decadence has a name, that is it.  Warm waffle, with chocolate chips. And did I mention the caramelized bananas added? Drizzle of hot peanut butter sauce, plenty of whipped cream and hot chocolate drizzle.  I think Elvis would eat two.  Maybe three.

You have to respect anyone that uses a skull and fork & knife for their logo.  Death by fantastic eating?  Perhaps.  But bring cash.  No CC’s here.  And remember to tip your cooks- the ones that will bring you back again and again.





This has been a strange winter here in the mountains. Not much snow. Lots of sun. And when the clouds look like they are about to unleash snow or rain, nothing happens. And not that I am complaining. I love the sun and the mild temps. As long as I have groomers to ride at Park City, I am happy.

But the issue is, we need the snow. We need the snow to fill our reservoirs, provide moisture to the forests and fields, make sure that summer is not too hard on the wild life. Not to mention makes me think that March and April may bring loads of inches of precipitation and the mud will be incredible.

With this recipe, the crux is the balance between healthfulness and taste. I am currently exploring the Ketogenic diet. Or as I prefer, Keto lifestyle. It’s hard to get the nutritional pyramid out of your head, or my mother’s voice telling me to eat more fruit. The veggie part, no problem for me. Bring on the veggies!

This recipe is delish. Sexy, silky and virtually hard to stop eating. And if you have any leftovers, cut in thin slices and put on a romaine lettuce salad with parmesan cheese and avocado. Or, if you are not keto, put it warm from the oven with the sauce on top of a parmesan-laden polenta. Nirvana!

Note: this recipe requires marinating the meat for 4-24 hours

2 lb. skinless pork belly
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
5 scallions, sliced diagonally. Use the white and bright green parts
2 T minced garlic
1 T Hoisin sauce
1 T sesame oil

Here We Go:
Combine the soy sauce, scallions, rice wine vinegar, garlic, Hoisin sauce and sesame oil in a gallon zip lock bag. Zip shut and squish around till combined. Add the pork belly to the bag. Close, and put the kit and caboodle in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours. Max I would recommend is 24 hours.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Put the Pork Belly, fatty side up in a cast iron pan. Reserve the marinade. Set your kitchen timer for 30 minutes and put the pork belly in the oven. Alternatively, you could line a baking dish with tin foil.

When the kitchen timer goes off, adjust the temperature to 275 degrees F. Reset your timer to 1 hour. Remember pork is done when it reaches 145F internally. You may want to check the meat at 45 minutes. Just make sure the top is crispy and smells heavenly.

Remove the meat to a plate and lightly cover with tin foil-it should rest for 15 minutes. Take the reserved marinade, and add into cast iron pan. Scrape the tasty bits into the marinade. Set the stove to medium-enough to bring the sauce to a simmer, and reduce to consistency where it coats a spoon.


Slice the pork belly across the grain. Spoon the sauce over the top. As you can see, I served it with a simple salad of sliced cucumbers, thinly sliced onion and halved grape tomatoes tossed with a little bit of salt and a good dose of rice wine vinegar.






A gift can be many things.  It can be a hug, a kind word, an actual present, an unexpected surprise, a vision from nature, another day with a loved one.  Each and every one of these should cause us to take a moment and be thankful for all that we have.

I have the good fortune to be gifted with a full filet of smoked salmon.  And there is only so much salmon you can eat on a croute with diced hard boiled eggs, capers and lemon.  So I put some in the freezer, and decided to make salmon burgers with smoked red peppers with the rest.  Serve with a green salad with mustard vinaigrette.  Dinner is served.

Smoked Salmon Burgers with Roasted Red Peppers


1 3/4 cup flaked salmon

2 eggs

1/2 a medium sweet onion, chopped fine

1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper.  (use Mt Olive in water.  will need to pat dry before chopping)

3 T mayonnaise  ( I like the avocado mayo by Best Foods or Vegannaise)

3 T almond flour  ( Can use panko bread crumbs if you are not doing Keto.  May want to add a touch more-need the patties to stay together.)

1/2 a lemon juiced

2 tsp Dijon mustard

Pepper and Salt to season

Olive oil to fry

Here We Go: 

Preheat heavy skillet to medium heat.  Whisk the egg, mustard, mayo, lemon juice together.  Add in salmon, red pepper, onion, and almond flour.  Lightly mix.  Add Olive oil to pan.  Form 6-8 patties with your hands and individually add them to the pan.  Let them brown on bottom side, about 3-5 minutes, then flip.  Cook another 3-5 till desired level.  I like a bit of crispness to my salmon burgers.

I make a tartar sauce by mixing about a 1/2 cup of mayo, 1 T dill pickle juice and a minced dill pickle.









So, OK.  it is a not just a blessing, it is a nod to Yottam Ottolenghi.  I love his fresh take on cooking. And while he is not a vegetarian, his focus on vegetables is amazing-fresh, unique, flavorful, layered.

After a season  of plenty, its time to focus on a different plenty- one of plenty of satisfaction, flavor and taste without plenty of calories.  And the right kind of calories.  I did tweak the original recipe; so here is my version.  I also recommend doubling the dressing, which i have done in this recipe.

Lettuce Salad with Oil-packed Tomatoes and Capers


1 small head radicchio, cleaned dried and leaves separated

1 head butter lettuce, cleaned dried and leaves separated

1 head curly lettuce, cleaned dried and leaves separated

5 green onions, white and green parts cut on an angle

10 radishes, cleaned and dried, sliced thin

1/2 a 6.7 jar of oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, sliced thinly across the tomatoe

2-3 tsp small capers


2 garlic cloves crushed, then minced

3 T fresh lemon juice

3 T olive oil

2 T avocado oil

Generous salt and pepper

Here We Go:

In a large clean bowl, put in lettuces.  Add in radicchio, onions, sliced radishes and sliced tomatoes.

Whisk dressing ingredients together.  Pour over lettuce mix and lightly toss.  Move lettuce mix to a clean dry serving platter and sprinkle the capers on top.



I served this with seared scallops in sage oil with fried sage leaves.  Delish!