Monthly Archives: October 2016

Turkish Meatballs in Yogurt and Tomato Sauce


I have a thing for the richness and tang of Greek yogurt. I use it all the time. It’s a healthy, tasty alternative to sour cream. It’s wicked awesome on baked potatoes with a little, salt, pepper, butter, and chopped chives. I put it in a bowl, so the kids don’t know that I’ve tricked them. I’ve got one, in particular, who would think it was heresy to put yogurt on his tacos (sour cream on tacos is a New England thing…don’t hate). What they don’t know won’t hurt them. And it’s mmm mmm good.

Yogurt’s also a frequent guest star in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. You can’t pick up a nutrition book or magazine these days without reading about the copious health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. I wonder, is it the yogurt or the red wine? I vote for the red wine.

This is a riff on a recipe I jotted down in one of my notebooks some time ago.

Feeds 4-6 (depends on who you’re feeding!)

1.5 pounds grass-fed ground beef

1 medium onion

1.5 tsp. cumin

1.5 tsp. dried oregano

1/3 cup chopped parsley

2 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. grated fresh ground pepper

1.5 cups Greek yogurt

1 tsp. grated fresh garlic

½ tsp. kosher salt

1-28 oz. carton of crushed San Marzano tomatoes

2 tsp. smoked paprika

3 tbsp. salted butter

Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees


Grate the onion with a cheese grater.


Mix the ground beef, onion, cumin, oregano, parsley, 2 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper in a bowl.


Roll meat mixture into 2” meatballs. Roast the meatballs on a cookie sheet until cooked through.

Mix the yogurt, garlic, and ½ tsp. salt in a bowl.


Melt the butter in a large skillet and add paprika. Heat until the paprika is fragrant. Add the tomato sauce. Mix the butter and tomato sauce well, heat, and add the meatballs to the hot sauce.

I served this dish over basmati rice. First I put rice on the bottom of the dish, then yogurt, tomato sauce, the meatballs, chopped cilantro garnish, and topped with some roasted baby zucchinis. Those baby zucchinis are so dang cute! 

Serve with a generous glass of Burgundy and reap those health rewards. Enjoy.

Eat well!


“Either give me more wine or leave me alone.” -Jalaluddin Rumi







Black Forest Ham, Gruyere, and Apple Tart


Sunday mornings are one of my favorite times to don the apron and get chopping. Especially during football season. I had a hankering for something crispy, salty, and sweet this morning, so a tart seemed just the thing.

I don’t know if you agree, but I feel pretty strongly that anything pork-y paired with gruyere cheese is  phenomenal, but if you add apple to the equation, you have sheer perfection.


1 sheet of frozen puff pastry

4 oz. crème fraiche

3 oz. grated emmantaler

1 oz. grated gruyere 

3 oz. diced black forest ham 

1 Honeycrisp apple, sliced thin

½ lemon

1 large shallot, minced

1 egg

Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees.


Squeeze the lemon juice over the apple slices, so they don’t brown.

Defrost the sheet of puff pastry.

Roll out the pastry dough as thinly as possible.


Use a knife to create a 1’ edge, without cutting through the dough. Make diagonal lines inside the rectangle you’ve created with the knife.


Spread the crème fraiche evenly over the inside large rectangle.

Mix the cheeses together and then spread over the crème fraiche.


Add the ham, shallots, and apple slices.

Scramble the egg in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, spread the egg wash around the edges.

Bake until the edges and the cheese are golden brown. Enjoy!

Eat well,


“A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch.” – James Beard

Brussels Sprouts and Apple Slaw Salad


It’s been a while. Glioblastoma has a knack for making one’s life no longer their own. Once it arrives on the scene, it takes up a whole lot of time and space. Unfortunately, Roger had a reoccurrence in May and another craniotomy/tumor excision May 31st. We’ve climbed many mountains together since then. Because I’m a throw a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, into the pan/bowl kind of cook, I’ve had neither the concentration nor the time to stop and measure everything out carefully and then write it down. But I’m back now and, gratefully, things seem to have settled down to a dull roar. I have a few recipes in the can and look forward to sharing them. If feels wicked good to be back in the saddle.                                                                                                                                                       Since moving to California, the arrival of fall has always made me nostalgic for cool, crisp days, and falling leaves. As I wrote this recipe, and the temperature outside was identical to the surface of the sun, never had I longed for it more. Sigh.
Because chilly weather and falling leaves were too tall an order, I decided to eat my fall day instead. This salad contains a crisp apple, falling leaves, and it is served chilled. Not the same, but it will have to do.
Serves two people as a side dish.

12 oz. Brussels Sprouts
1 honey crisp apple
1/3 cup hazelnuts
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. EVOO
1-pinch kosher salt
1/2 lemon
Quality/aged Parmesan cheese
Either heat your oven to 400-degrees or use your grill like I did by lighting only the two end burners. Put your baking sheet between the burners and close the lid.
Roast the hazelnuts until fragrant. Be careful not to burn. Chop the nuts into pieces once they’re cool.

Cut off the end of your sprout and peel the leaves. Put the leaves in a medium sized bowl.
Mix the cider vinegar, EVOO, Dijon mustard, and pinch of salt in a small bowl.
Add the dressing to the Brussels sprouts, toss, and let sit and soften.

Cut four sides of the apple off. Slice those quarters into thin strips. Cut the strips into matchsticks. Squeeze lemon over the apple sticks to keep them from browning.
Add the apples and nuts to the sprout leaves and toss.
Shave some parmesan cheese over the salad to taste. Enjoy.
Eat well!
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.” – George Eliot