Welcome my blog of LOVE!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Inspired in California

What to Drink With What You Eat? This is a question asked many times. Well you might not like it but here go's.
Rule # 1 Drink what you like. What you like to drink always takes precedence over any recommendation that anyone might make.

Rule # 2 Start by thinking about the dish or meal as a whole. What are its dominant characteristics?
Is it mild or flavorful?
Is it fatty or lean?
Is it rich or acidic?

Rule # 3 Keep flavors in balance.
Match mild foods with mild wines. Match big, flavorful foods with big, flavorful wines.
(For example, pair a bold-flavored Pepper Steak with a spicy, bold red Zinfandel.)

Remember-Raise a glass to this low-fat, high-flavor ingredient.
Ok how about this...
Instead of sauteing veggies in loads of butter or oil, you can saute them in a smaller amount of oil plus some wine for flavor and moisture.
Instead of making a marinade with tons of oil, decrease the oil and add wine.
Instead of adding 3/4 cup of oil to a cake mix recipe, add 3/4 cup of white or dessert wine to the batter.

Play off the subtle flavors in wine.
White wine: melon, apple, pineapple, pear, citrus, vanilla, caramel, olives, and mushrooms
Red wine: berries, peaches, currants, plums, cherries, oranges, chocolate, and coffee

So...What type of wine should be used to cook which type of food? Never cook with a wine you don't like to drink, I do not ever cook with cooking wines, they tend to be salty and flavorless!

That last secret to cooking with wine: Have fun!

Feel free to experiment while cooking or baking with wine. Get creative, invent new flavor combinations. And, after you've created something phenomenal, don't forget to write down how and what you did it!

Here's a great recipe to get you started.

Since I here in Oceanside California I'm inspired by the ingredients of the coast.
These tacos are a great way to eat heart-healthy salmon, enjoy them with a glass of 2007 Highland Estates Camelot Highlands Chardonnay.

2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons Splenda or Stevia
1 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 corn tortillas
avocado, cilantro, green onions, and radishes for topping
1 cup shredded cabbage

Putting it together
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix the low fat mayonnaise with the lime juice. In separate bowl, combine the chipotle powder with the orange zest and splenda.
Rub each piece of salmon with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and then with the chipotle–orange zest mixture. set aside for 5-10 minutes.
I like to wrap the tortillas in foil and bake for about 8 minutes at 350°, until they are softened and heated through.

Heat a saute pan on med heat. cook until nicely browned and just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Gently break each piece of salmon in half. Top with avocado, cilantro, green onions, and radishes for on the warm tortillas and top with the salmon, shredded cabbage. Drizzle each taco with the lime and lite mayonnaise and serve them up.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chef Robert's Tortilla Soup of Love

Chef Robert's Tortilla Soup of Love


16 ounce can tomatoes
1 medium onion, cut up
1 can black beans drained
2 clove garlic
4 tablespoons snipped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast cut up
2 or 3 *chipotle peppers and little adobo sauce

Garnish with:
Shredded Monterey jack cheese
Chopped avocados
Tortilla chips
Sour cream


In blender combine undrained tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and sugar. Cover and blend till nearly smooth. Put mixture into a large pot with chicken broth, chicken,beans and chipotle peppers. Bring to boiling; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shrimp and Crab BLT's of LOVE!

How do you say Super Bowl without a Shrimp BLT of love

This is a great variation of a BLT. Sam the Food Guy gave me the idea for the sloppy but great sandwich. So what are you waiting for?

What you need!

1 lb. peeled cooked shrimp The smaller guys work great!
4 ounces of crab meat...you can use the artificial kind they taste great!
Olive oil and chopped garlic
Lettuce, your favorite kind
2 medium ripe tomato, sliced
About 12 pieces ready bacon, cooked
2 nice soft rolls
Chili sauce, the ketchup kind and Low Fat Mayo (mix together equal parts)

Lets put it togather...

Cook the bacon the microwave until crispy

Preheat a pan on the stove, add a about a teaspoon of olive oil and a table spoon of garlic and toss in the shrimp and craband heat quickly it wont take long.

Preheat the broiler
Open the sandwich rolls, place on a baking sheet and toast lightly under the broiler.

Cut the lettuce in half then quarters and shred about a quarter into thin slices

Spread the chili sauce and mayo on the toasted rolls

Top with 3 - 4 pieces of bacon, lettuce shreds and a 2 tomato slices

Finally top with 3-4 pieces of the cooked shrimp on top of the lettuce

Put the top of the roll on and cut the sandwich in half

Don't get freaked out when it starts to fall apart - just feel the love!

Teriyaki Salmon with Scallion

Simple and easy, low fat and Carbs! I can feel the love!!

Teriyaki Salmon with Scallion


4 6-ounce center-cut salmon filets, skin on
1 cup teriyaki sauce
3 bunches scallions


Remove any bones from the salmon and discard. Place salmon in a bowl or shallow casserole. Cover with the teriyaki sauce. Marinate for 20 min.

Meanwhile, trim roots from the scallions. Trim 2 bunches of scallions so that each scallion has only 1 inch of green. Place the trimmed scallions in a non-stick skillet with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook until scallions are soft (about 5 minutes). Keep warm.

Remove the salmon from the marinade. Reserve marinade. Season each salmon filet with fresh cracked pepper. Heat 1 large non-stick skillet until very hot. Put the salmon skin-side up in the pan and cook over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Turn over and cook for 3-6 minutes.

The salmon will start to flake when done.

Finely dice remaining scallions so you have 1/2 cup. Add to the reserved marinade. Add marinade and 1/4 cup water to the salmon. Heat for 1-2 minutes, until well coated. Serve with the boiled scallions.

Servings: 4

Nutrition at a Glance (per serving)

Calories 370
Total fat 17.7g
Carbohydrate 8.9g
Sugar 8.4g
Protein 38.4g

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My SuperBowl Recipe Pick!

Mozzarella Tomato and Basil Skewers

My good friends Larry and Kathy Whitty invited us for dinner the other night. When we arrived at the table, a colorful looking appetizer immediately caught my eye. The basil and fresh mozzarella were clearly identifiable, and the taste was subtle and rich. I put my own twist on this dish, but kept the spirit of the original. Thanks Kathy- this one's a keeper!


20 cherry bocconcini (a type of fresh mozzarella) or ovolini, or 5 regular bocconcini, sliced into quarters
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
20 small grape tomatoes
40 small fresh basil leaves


1. Put the bocconcini in a bowl with the oil, vinegar, parsley, chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.
2. Thread one grape tomato on a skewer or toothpick, followed by a basil leaf, then bocconcini, another basil leaf and then another grape tomato. Repeat with more skewers and the remaining ingredients and serve.
3. In advance: These can be served immediately, or covered and chilled for up to 8 hours.