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Peppery Potato Skins with Quail Eggs

Living right next to San Francisco has many perks; one of my favorites is the large amount of visitors passing through. Whenever someone visits, I show them the popular tourist spots, and then I show them my San Francisco! My San Francisco includes many parks, restaurants, and one dive bar with great music called Tempest! The Tempest has an attached kitchen that serves all sorts of fun concoctions. I am especially partial to their Pork Belly Potato Skins with Quail Eggs. Every bite is rich, cheesy perfection.

Today I was looking for a similar bite, so I created these peppery potato skins with sunny-side up quail eggs on top. They offer the same rich, cheesy flavor as the Tempest’s skins, but are made with a crispy pepper bacon creating a slightly lighter bite. I hope you enjoy them! And, I would love to hear what makes your city yours!

Peppery Potato Skins with Quail Eggs
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Arugula and Honey Roasted Almond Salad

My dad loves making things. As a child, he built us a treehouse and dollhouses, throughout my adolescence he brewed beer, and now he is a beekeeper collecting delicious honey! He then shares the honey with us (my favorite!), uses it in food, and makes candles. I really enjoy this hobby of his.

Today using a special batch of his honey, I made an Arugula and Honey Roasted Almond Salad. The salad is light and summery offering a peppery bite from the arugula and a sweet, salty crunch from the almonds. The almonds also step this dish up a little offering a source of protein for a more complete meal!

http://thedelectablefeast.com/arugula-and-honey-roasted-almond-salad-recipe/ [click to continue…]

Plantain Guacamole Bites

There is nothing like sporting events to bring people together. As a Penn State alum, I believe that I gain 110,000 friends whenever I go and watch a football game at Beaver Stadium. Sporting events allow everyone to speak a universal language, one of pride, competition, and teamwork. Right now, in the midst of the Fifa World Cup, this sentiment is so strong.. Walking through the streets of San Francisco, I see so much USA pride and at game time, the city transforms itself to only teammates and friends.

Getting in the spirit of the World Cup, I made these Plantain Guacamole Bites to enjoy with my friends, as we watched the US play! The fresh flavors transport you to Brazil. Each bite offers a fruity sweetness from the plantain, a tart kick from the lime, and a little spice from the jalapeño. I would recommend making extras, because I know I could eat them all by myself!

Plantain Guacamole Bites

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Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

The other morning I was grocery shopping and became enchanted by a deliciously sweet smell coming from the produce section. I started to explore and found the root of it, beautiful, ripe summer peaches. I picked up some for snacking and decided to make a dessert with the others.

I love upside down cake, pineapple, peach, plum – it was one of the first desserts I learned how to make. It’s so versatile; you can use fresh or frozen fruit. I decided this was the perfect vehicle to showcase these gorgeous peaches. The desert is beautifully caramelized and the aroma of the sugar and butter making it’s gooey magic fills your entire home. The comforting appearance, sweet aroma and mellow fruity and buttery taste result in a scrumptious treat. This cake manages to look beautiful and rustic at the same time.

The dessert is amazing on its own, but for special occasions I like to add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt. It highlights the vanilla in the cake and in the caramel and creates a nice contrast to the warm dessert.
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Arugula Salad with Fresh Figs, Toasted Hazelnuts and Shaved Parmesan

This salad hits on all our taste sensations, the pepperiness of the greens with the sweetness of the fresh figs, the crunch of the toasted hazelnuts and the saltiness of the parmesan cheese. I love arugula, when my girls were small, I bought a case of it and we ate arugula twice a day till it was gone. It took a year before they even wanted to look at it again. Now they can’t get enough and would love it if someone brought them a case.

When I shop for fresh figs, I look for a little drip of liquid at the bottom or eye of the fig, telling me they are ripe. Somehow figs manage to be crunchy, sweet and chewy all at the same time. This effortless salad is delicious without them but figs take it to another level of flavor.  [click to continue…]

Summer Pasta Salad

Summer and the livin’ is easy. Well I guess I shouldn’t say easy, I still have to work, but summer and the livin’ is magnificient is more like it! Summer breeds countless days in the sun, parties, and outdoor gatherings. If asked, I would have to say my favorite summer activity of all is an outdoor barbecue with friends, fun games and great food.

While I’ve been known to scoff down my share of cheeseburgers, I am very partial to the sides. I mean what’s better for soaking up that one-margarita-too-many than a nice pasta salad. Summer pasta salad is the perfect name for this recipe because it has light, fresh flavors creating a happy summertime moment with each bite.

Please share in the comments your favorite summertime activities and treats!

Summer Pasta Salad
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Eggplant Chickpea Stew

My go-to snack ever since childhood has been a can of chickpeas with salt and pepper. I just cannot get enough chickpeas – I love them! When other kids were bringing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school, I was bringing hummus sandwiches on pita bread. When my college roommates bought cases of mac and cheese or ramen noodles, I was online ordering a case  of chick peas from Amazon. That’s why a few years ago when I saw fresh, chickpeas in the pod on a cooking show, I knew I had to have them! I looked everywhere for the beans with no luck. Then this past week at my neighborhood Whole Foods, I saw none other than the beans starring at me from their almost hidden spot on the bottom shelf in the produce section.

After purchasing a few pounds of the chickpeas, I went to my kitchen to experiment. Eaten raw the chickpeas have a slightly sweet flavor with a tender crunch. They are everything I expected and more. While the beans are fabulous alone, combining them with these Mediterranean flavors brings out their whole flavor profile. This recipe has delicate, light flavors making it the perfect meal for any season.
Eggplant Garbanzo Bean Tagine
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Recipes for a Fourth of July Party

The fourth of July is independence day, parades and fireworks, family and friends, picnics and bbqs. There is so much history wrapped up in it. For our family it was extra special as we celebrated the birthdays of my grandfather and aunt.

Rick and I like to throw a party. Now we live far from family, but we have great friends, a terrific porch and we don’t need much of an excuse. This menu is prepared ahead and once the party starts you are free to mingle. We’ve done this meal for twenty and we’ve done it for six and it is stress free and delicious.

IMG_2344 Watermelon and feta bites with a ribbons of mint

IMG_2345 Mini antipasto platter

IMG_2354 Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

IMG_2351 Chicken Brochette

IMG_2343Red, White & Blue Potato Salad 

IMG_2358Angel Food Cake with Strawberries, Blueberries and Whipped Cream


Some small hints  – the day before your party, separate the eggs for the angel food cake and set aside. While they are coming to room temperature make your dry rub and coat the pork with it. Place in a glass baking dish wrap in plastic film and refrigerate overnight. Get your bar area, plates and platters ready. Make your angel food cake, cool and cover. On the morning of the party,  take your pork out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Coat with mustard and put it in the oven. Cut the chicken into brochette and make the marinade. Soak bamboo skewers for an hour so they won’t burn when put on a hot grill. I believe in delegating, if your friends offer to bring something let them.

Watermelon and Feta Bites with Mint

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Angel Food Cake with Strawberries, Blueberries and Whipped Cream

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