Key Lime Panna Cotta with Salted Pretzel Topping


Not everyone is a fan of panna cotta.


It’s a dessert that wiggles more than a Kardashian sister.


But I am a fan of key lime pie.


This dessert combines the best elements of traditional key lime pie but in a lighter way.


It’s low fat.


So you can wiggle out of any tight outfit you want.


Like a Kardashian sister.

Key Lime Panna Cotta with Salted Pretzel Topping

  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • ½ cup low-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated Key lime rind
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
  • 1¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 4 tablespoons Key lime juice, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 package crushed salted pretzels
  1. Preparation
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat; cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Place ¼ cup 2% milk in a medium bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over milk; let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Return pan to medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Add hot milk mixture to gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin dissolves. Add remaining ¾ cup 2% milk. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids. Stir in 1 tablespoon Key lime juice. Divide mixture evenly among 4 (4-ounce) ramekins or custard cups lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice and honey.
  6. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add pretzel crumbs and remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt. Cook 1 minute or until lightly toasted, stirring constantly. Cool completely. To serve, loosen edges of panna cotta with a knife or rubber spatula. Invert ramekins onto dessert plates. Drizzle each with about 2 teaspoons honey mixture, and top with about 2 teaspoons salted pretzel crumbs.



Stuffed Tomatoes with Mozzarella


Nothing says summer like fresh tomatoes.



Actually a bikini and a margarita says summer just fine.


But that’s not the point.



152Back to tomatoes.


The key to enjoying this dish is….liking tomatoes.


Which I don’t.


But bread and melted mozzarella I can get behind.


This is the epitome of “clean” eating.


Though you still have to do the dishes.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Mozzarella

  • 2½-inch slices rustic bread, torn into small pieces (3/4 cup)
  • 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes, halved
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup corn kernels (from 1 ear)
  • 3 cups packed chopped greens, such as beet, Swiss chard, or spinach
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced (1/2 cup)
  1. Preheat broiler with rack 8 inches from heat source. Toast bread on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring once, until crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.
  2. Scoop out seeds and flesh from each tomato into a bowl; reserve. Arrange tomato halves in a broiler-safe baking dish; season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add pepper flakes and shallot; cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to high; add reserved tomato flesh and juice. Cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add corn and greens; cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Fill tomato halves with vegetable mixture, dividing evenly, then sprinkle with toasted bread, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and top with cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden in spots, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.




Coconut Corn on the Cob

058I hate to admit it but I absolutely love corn.016

We have the same hair.009

Who cares if its also used for gasoline, batteries, matches, explosives, crayons and glue?


Here are another two uses for it.


That have nothing to do with your carborator.030

Chile lime coconut corn.


And coconut palm sugar corn.


They are both out of this world.


My favorite?


The chile lime coconut. 058

It’s a-mazing. :)


Coconut Corn on the Cob
  • 4 husked ears of corn
  • Chile Lime Corn (makes 4 ears)
  • one lime
  • 5 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper (more if you like it spicy)
  • one package sweetened coconut
  • salt
  • Coconut Palm Sugar Corn (makes 4 ears)
  • one small can unsweetened coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  1. For the chile lime corn, mix mayo, chipolte pepper and the juice of a small lime together. Add a pinch of salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Toast coconut on a baking sheet – watch carefully that it doesnt burn. Usually takes 8-10 minutes. Cool.
  3. Grill corn on a grill or grill pan- about 3-4 minutes each side. I used a grill pan and coated it first with coconut ghee (or you can use butter). Slather on the chile mixture until the corn is completely covered. Roll completely in toasted coconut.
  4. For the coconut sugar corn:
  5. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut cream and coconut palm sugar until it boils. Turn down heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Let cool and stir in desiccated coconut.
  6. Grill corn on a grill or grill pan- about 3-4 minutes each side. Brush sugar mixture on corn.


Roasted Peach Jalapeno and Raspberry Basil Paletas

020 A paleta is……just an ice pop with fruit.

There was a great place in Cartagena that Holly, Ami and I visited that sold paletas, called La Paletteria.


I can’t remember what flavor I chose but I do remember I liked theirs better.


Paleta envy.


Which is why I made 2 flavors.

Roasted peach-with a jalapeno infused simple syrup…


And raspberry basil- which will make your neighbors think you’re living in a drug den because of the overwhelming way that basil infused simple syrup smells like marijuana.


Get an air freshener but enjoy the paletas- they are amazing.

Roasted Peach Jalapeno and Rasberry Basil Paletas
  • Roasted Peach & Jalapeno Paletas
  • 3 ripe peaches
  • 2 tablepoons brown or coconut sugar
  • 2 jalapenos chopped, with seeds
  • granulated sugar
  • water
  • Raspberry and Basil Paletas
  • 2 handfuls of basil leaves
  • 6 cups of raspberries
  • granulated sugar
  • water
  1. For the Roasted Peach and Jalapeno paletas
  2. Cut peaches into thin slices, remove pit. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Let peaches cool and place in blender. Puree until fully processed, skin and all.
  3. Add one cup water to one cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Stir. Add jalapenos. Bring to a boil and make sure sugar is fully dissolved. Turn off heat, let jalapenos steep in the simple syrup for at least 25 minutes. Drain to remove jalapeno. Mix simple syrup with peach puree and pour into mold. They will be ready to serve in 6-8 hours.
  4. For the raspberry paletas:
  5. Wash raspberries and puree in blender. Strain through a mesh sieve to remove all seeds.
  6. Add one cup water to one cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Stir. Add basil. Bring to a boil and make sure sugar is fully dissolved. Turn off heat, let basil steep in the simple syrup for at least 25 minutes. Drain to remove basil. Mix simple syrup with raspberry puree and pour into mold. They will be ready to serve in 6-8 hours.


Shakshuka with Bacon


I told Joe we were having Shakshuka for brunch.


He said “Great, Shake Shack.”


Ummmm, no. Shakshuka is a classic North African egg dish.


When you type it in your IPhone, it auto-corrects to “Sharks Hula”


Also incorrect.


Ok, it’s a funny name that could be a medieval weapon, a Yoga pose or something you say when someone sneezes.   It could even be one of Brad and Angie’s kids.


But it’s not.


Not yet….


Shakshuka with Bacon

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 2 handfuls of raw spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1¼ cups)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 slices of bacon, crumbled
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped scallions
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapenos. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute.
  3. Pour in tomatoes and season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta and spinach.
  4. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, scallions and bacon. Serve with hot sauce.


Blackberry Pisco Sours


Drinking Pisco reminds me of some fun times I had in Peru.

ry=400 (19)

Macchu Picchu and Salkantay Trek. ry=400 (20)

And some times that were not as fun.  Like, trying to kill the bugs that are circling you 24 hours a day with dry shampoo.


And then having them seek their revenge.

ry=400 (16)

Camping. Just camping.

ry=400 (11)

Finding a monkey in your hair.


Generally losing your shit.


Falling down. Yup that’s a tear.

ry=400 (13)

Breaking your knee.


Trying to find a good place for a nap.ry=400 (21)

A Jets t-shirt.

ry=400 (18)

We had to drink alot of coca tea to get by.  But that’s another story. A highly, highly energetic story.

ry=400 (6)

We drank lots of water….

ry=480 (2)

And lots of Inca Kola.

ry=400 (12)

Until we discovered….The Pisco Sour, the National Drink of Peru. And we were happy again.

ry=400 (17)This blackberry version brings me right back to that trip.


Not sure if that’s a good thing though.


Cheers to good traveling friends and new adventures.





Blackberry Pisco Sours

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup pisco, chilled
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 large pasteurized egg whites
  • 5 tablespoons simple syrup
  • Angostura bitters (optional)
  • Garnishes: fresh basil leaves, fresh blackberries
  1. Process blackberries in a blender until smooth. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a 1-qt. jar with a tight-fitting lid, discarding solids.
  2. Add pisco and next 3 ingredients to jar. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously 30 seconds or until foamy. Pour mixture into 4 (10-oz.) glasses filled with ice. Add bitters (optional).


Corn Masa Boats with Tilapia in a Yucatecan Pumpkin Sauce (what else would it be??)

DSC_0511 There is a very special time of year on TV that I look forward to all year long.  No, its not the Emmy’s or the Grammy’s or the Superbowl.


Ewwwwwww..the Superbowl.

DSC_0538-(2) It’s Shark Week. This year, brought to you by Rob Lowe. Wait, what???DSC_0544-(2)This dish is like human chum. Actually that sounds horrible. Its way better than that.


These boats are made from masa corn and filled with an amazing pumpkin seed sauce.


One bite and you’ll agree. You’re gonna need a bigger boat.


Corn Masa Boats with tilapia in a Yucatecan Pumpkin Sauce (what else would it be??)

  • 1½ cups pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and membranes removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • ½ bunch cilantro, thick stems discarded
  • 2 cups chicken stock, fish stock or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound tilapia or mahimahi
  • 12 Chalupas
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • Corn Masa Boats
  • 1 heaping cup masa harina
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • corn oil, for frying
  1. In a dry cast iron pan, spread the pepitas in a single layer and toast over medium heat, stirring to prevent scorching, for about 3 minutes or until aromatic and the seeds begin to pop. Remove from heat and reserve 2 tablespoons of the toasted seeds for garnish.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the remaining pepitas chiles, onions, garlic and ½ bunch of cilantro. With the motor running, slowly add the broth (if you add too quickly, the seeds wont grind up completely) to form a smooth paste with the consistency of heavy cream.
  3. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Transfer the pumpkin paste to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is cooked.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the cream, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until the cream is heated through and the sauce is a uniform pale green and the consistency of heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  5. In a nonstick skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the fish and sear for about 3 minutes on each side or until it is cooked through and flakes easily when prodded with a fork. Remove the fish from the pan and flake into 1 inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange masa boats on a platter. Spoon a tablespoon of the pumpkin seed sauce into the center of each boat. Top evenly with the fish and more sauce. (You will have sauce left over; keeps well for 5 days). Sprinkle the boats with reserved pumpkin seeds and the chopped cilantro. Serve right away.
  7. To make the boats:
  8. In a large bowl, stir together the masa harina and salt. Slowly add water, working it into the flour with your hands to form a dough. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes or until moist and smooth but not sticky. If the dough seems too dry, moisten your hands with water and knead in the dampness. If it seems too wet, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and knead until smooth.
  9. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls. Form each ball into a disk about ½ inch thick.
  10. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, place the disks on the hot pan and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side or until a golden crust forms on all sides. As you remove the disks from the pan, pinch the edges of each one to create a rim about ⅓ inch high. Pinch the center to lift and thin the middle of each boat.
  11. Set the boats on a plate to cool and then cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
  12. In a skillet, pour the oil to a depth of about ½ inch and heat over medium-high heat until a small piece of the dough dropped in the oil sizzles on contact. Gently fry the boats turning once, for about 2 minutes on each side or until crisp and lightly golden. Do not brown them or they will toughen. Carefully lift them from the oil, drain on paper towels and fill immediately.
  13. These boats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Before serving, reheat in a dry skillet or griddle over medium heat.

Blueberry Chipotle Chutney Grilled Cheese


For those I have offended this week with my super healthy salad recipe….


(And you know who you are…)


I offer you a peace offering in the form of carbohydrates.


Homemade Maine blueberry chipotle chutney….


Meet….. grilled cheese.


Apology accepted?




Blueberry Chipotle Grilled Cheese
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup finely chopped Granny Smith apple
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons grated orange rind
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (about 3 chiles)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • One 1 inch thumb of peeled ginger; remove after boiling
  1. Preparation
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Cool; pour into airtight containers.
  3. Use as a spread for grilled cheese- gruyere works great or as a dip for pretzels or crackers.
  4. Note: Refrigerate Blueberry-Chipotle Chutney in airtight containers up to two months.


Wheat berry & Kale Salad with Blueberries


Maine may be known for its lobster but it’s blueberries are even more delicious.


Ok, that’s just not true.

006Just running low on lobster.


If you aren’t familiar with wheat berries- they are like quinoa’s hotter, cheaper cousin.


Hotter and cheaper.


That’s a lot of imagery for a legume.


This salad is amazing.  Despite it’s reputation.


Wheat berry & Kale Salad with Blueberries

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 (8-oz.) package sugar snap peas
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped kale
  • ½ cup Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ large shallot, minced
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons coarse-grained Dijon mustard
  1. Bring wheat berries, salt, and 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, cook peas in boiling salted water to cover 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water; drain and pat dry. Slice in half. Drain wheat berries; rinse under cold water until cool.
  3. Toss together kale, wheat berries, and ¼ cup vinaigrette in a large bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. Stir in blueberries, pecans, and sugar snap peas. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
  4. Vinaigrette
  5. Stir together red wine vinegar and minced shallot; let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in olive oil and remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week


Mini Lobster Pot Pies


Yup, more lobster.


I have become the Augustus Gloop of Maine Lobster.



I have eaten so much lobster in the last week that if you stood next to me and had a seafood allergy, you would need your EpiPen.


I really have cooked my tail off this week.


But don’t worry.


I will grow another one in 6-7 weeks.

058My New England friends will get that joke.

Mini Lobster Pot Pies

  • Butter
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 large shallot diced
  • 1 large russet potato sliced
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons Old Bay
  • 1 package Puff Pastry
  • Heavy Cream
  • 2 tbsp. brandy
  • 1 lb lobster meat chopped
  1. Sautee the celery, carrots and potato in butter. When veggies are soft, add the shallots. Cook about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add the brandy.
  3. Cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and cook about 3 minutes until evaporated.
  5. Add chicken stock and peas. Cook until stock has almost evaporated.
  6. Stir in Old Bay, lobster and heavy cream. Cook another 10 minutes.
  7. Cut puff pastry into 12 squares and put in greased muffin tin.
  8. Spoon lobster mixture into squares. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.


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