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{Recipe Redux} Flynn’s Beef Stew (made in treasured Le Creuset)

21 Apr


I had this idea to create my own, homemade version of canned dog food. Most dogs love it, and I use it as a topper to Flynn’s dry kibble. It’s often hard to find wet food without preservatives or all-natural ingredients. And when you find those products, they are often very expensive. I figured that making my own version, using ingredients that Flynn enjoys, would be a cool idea. Make a large batch and freeze it in small portions. If you’re like me, a little will go a long way, as it just serves as a nice compliment to kibble. I feel better knowing what’s in it, and it can be tailored many different ways, using various meats, vegetables and fruits! I used coconut oil, rich in Lauric acid (a medium changed triglyceride), which is known for anti-bacterial/anti-fungal properties. I have been using it, drizzled on dry kibble, for nearly a year. Flynn loves it, and I am convinced that it has helped his skin condition. I used millet here, but you could add whatever grains you like: quinoa, amaranth, millet, brown rice, barley (not gluten free), etc.

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Remember, these foods are unsafe for dogs: grapes, raisins, persimmons, avocados, onions, garlic, chives, rhubarb, mushrooms (wild), tree nuts, peanuts (peanut butter is OK), nutmeg, raw/uncooked yeast dough, cocoa/chocolate.

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Mr. Flynn’s Beef Stew

2 slices bacon, diced
2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1lb chuck roast, cubed into small 1/2″ pieces
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 apples, peels on, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/3 cup millet, rinsed
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Cook bacon in a skillet or dutch oven on medium high heat until it crisps. Remove and allow to dry on a plate between paper towels. Add coconut oil to the pan. Next, add cubed beef in batches. Do not crowd pan. Remove each batch to plate with cooled bacon. When all the beef has been browned, add carrots and, and allow them to soften slightly. Add sweet potatoes and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add chicken broth and millet. Cover pan or dutch oven and allow mixture to simmer for 30 minutes.

Add beef back into stew, and stir well. Add apples and peas. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cooked bacon, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Allow to cool completely before transferring into glass containers.

Keeps in fridge 4-5 days, and in freezer 3 months.


{Recipe Redux} Sponsored Post #CADairyHealthy Cardamom Stracciatella Frozen Yogurt

8 Mar


(Photo source:

March is National Nutrition Month! (Though we all know that every day should be nutritious, right?)

We’ve all seen those adorable “California cows are happy cows!” commercial, right? This recipe contest invited Recipe Redux bloggers to showcase a “lightened up” recipe using a California Dairy product. Dairy is rich in protein and calcium, and often is fortified with vitamin D. Lucky for most of us, California dairy products can be found easily at many supermarkets.  Look for the seal! For information on how California Dairy products can play a role in a healthy diet (including coupons and recipes!), visit and

Our challenge was this:

March is National Nutrition Month and The California Milk Advisory Board, which represents more than 1,500 dairy families, is celebrating “dairy good” nutrition by challenging Recipe ReDux members to “lighten up” some of their favorite recipes with California cow’s milk dairy products as an ingredient in recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dishes, snacks, appetizers or dessert.

Disclosure: I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


I love rice pudding. I also love ice cream. Why not merge the two? I realize that spring is coming (so says the calendar), but these cold winter nights still beg for something like this. The warmth of the cardamom elevates this simple dish into an frozen version of rice pudding.


Cardamom Frozen Yogurt (makes about 1 quart or 8 1/2 cup servings)

3 cups whole California cow’s milk yogurt (I used Brown Cow)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons green cardamom pods, cracked
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
4oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate (chopped and melted)

Warm the cream, sugar, cardamom pods, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let it cool completely. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Once chilled, place mesh strainer over a large bowl, and pour cream/cardamom mixture over strainer. Discard cardamom pods. Whisk in yogurt. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. During the last few seconds of churning, pour in melted chocolate. As the chocolate hits the ice cream, it will harden into streaks. As you know, I use the Kitchen Aid attachment. Transfer into container and freeze for at least 2 hours before eating. (Storing in a shallow, wide container is best for frozen desserts to achieve uniform freezing.)

{Recipe Redux} Italian Affogato

21 Feb


Affogato Italian – \noun\: drowned


You know when you want that sweet pick me up, that won’t put you over the edge. This is it. It’s a simple, few ingredient show stopper, that you can whip up to treat yourself.  Literally the Italian word for drowned, an affogato is a scoop of gelato drowned in espresso or coffee. The trick is to use really good ice cream or gelato, which melts beautifully, but quickly, into the coffee. The result is an indulgent frothy latte-like treat. I used homemade vanilla ice cream here.

Affogato (serves 1)

1/2 cup good-quality ice cream or gelato (vanilla or chocolate)
1 shot espresso or 3 Tablespoons strong brewed coffee
Frothed milk (optional)
Shaved dark chocolate (optional)
Hazelnuts (optional)

Place ice cream in a glass mug or cup, then pour in espresso or coffee. Top with frothed milk, shaved dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts if desired. Drink immediately.

{Recipe Redux} Arugula, Bacon, Onion and Ricotta Pizza

21 Jan


I know that the title is long and cumbersome, but I felt like I had to get your attention! This month’s Recipe Redux‘s task was to blog a pizza recipe ~ everyone’s favorite! This comes at perfect timing during award-show season, and of course, football. This recipe was born from my love of pizza and salad, together. I absolutely love the bacon, ricotta, herb pizza from OTTO Pizzeria, so that was the inspiration for this! It’s a nice break from regular ‘ol margherita pizza.


Arugula, Bacon, Onion and Ricotta Pizza

For the pizza dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour (Note: you can replace up to 1.5 cups whole wheat flour)
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (100 degrees F/45 degrees C)

For the topping:
1 large white or yellow onion, sliced thinly
5-6 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt to taste

For the arugula salad:
1 6-oz bag arugula
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or balsamic vinegar)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Crisp bacon in saute pan. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper-towel lined plate. In the same pan, saute onion in the bacon fat for 10-15 minutes, until soft and caramelized. Season with salt, to taste. Add fresh thyme. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile make the crust: Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water until combined. Spread out on a large pizza stone or baking sheet. Pierce with a fork. Pre-bake crust for 5 minutes.

Assemble pizza by topping pre-baked crust with onions and bacon. Scatter shredded mozzarella cheese. Top with dollops of ricotta cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until desired crispness. Cut into slices.

While the pizza is baking, make the salad. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice (or vinegar), salt and pepper in a salad bowl. Add arugula and toss well.

To serve: top slices of pizza with handful of arugula.

{Recipe Redux} Lucky Ricotta Lemon Cornmeal Cake

21 Dec

Continue reading

{Recipe Redux Special Edition} Avocado Panzanella Salad

12 Aug

This month, the Recipe Redux bloggers were given an opportunity to boast about our favorite dishes featuring avocados. Just 1/5 of one of these nutritional powerhouses (and fruits) offers nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, as well as unique phytochemicals.  This recipe was born after inspiration from my friend, and fellow RD, Christina brought a panzanella salad to a BBQ. I couldn’t get enough! In this version, the delicate avocado goes well with the crusty bread, and crisp vegetables. The beautiful thing about a panzanella salad is that you can use whatever you have on hand – if you have peppers, go for it! If you have capers – go for it! Adding proteins like chicken or cheese elevates this humble salad into a meal, as it has for me many a nights this hot, summer!




Avocado Panzanella Salad (Serves 4)

1 whole avocado, pitted and diced
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 loaf cibatta bread, cubed into 1-inch pieces
pinch kosher salt
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh feta cheese (or mozzarella)

For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Toss cubed bread with olive oil and toast in 400*F oven for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Lastly, add diced avocado and cheese (if using).  Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Disclosure: I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


{Recipe Redux} Salmon Cakes with Black Sesame Seeds

21 Jun

It’s that time again – Recipe Redux time! This month’s theme was “Sowing Seeds”, meaning incorporating seeds in an original recipe. I had been hankering for perfecting salmon cakes, because how many times can you have Roasted Asian Salmon? I felt the need to mix it up a little. I figured black sesame seeds would be the little punch that the basic salmon cake needed.  If you haven’t ventured into salmon-cake territory, I urge you to – especially if you like crab cakes! (Feel free to make these cakes ahead of time and refridge for up to 1 day.)



Salmon Cakes (makes 8 cakes)

1 pound fresh salmon
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp black sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the salmon on a sheet pan, skin side down. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until just cooked. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and refrigerate until cold.

Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion,  hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Flake the chilled salmon into a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into 10 (3-ounce) cakes.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. In batches, add the salmon cakes and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven and serve hot with lemon wedges.


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