Swiss Chard Pie with Parsley and Cheese

Swiss Chard Pie with Parsley and Cheese

What is a Swiss Chard Pie?

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It’s a pie in the same sense that pizzas, quiches and other similar savory dishes can be considered a pie.  It starts with a layer of dough on the bottom, then is topped with a mixture of Swiss chard, parsley, onions and cheese, and finally is baked in the oven until golden brown.

What Inspired this Unique Dish?

I have Georgian and Belgian cuisines to thank for inspiring me to make this super delicious combination.  When I say Georgia, I mean the Causcasus country, not the US state.

Georgian inspiration

Last spring I had th…

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Roasted Beets and Fennel on Pasta

Roasted Beets and Fennel on Pasta

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How an Accident Became a Favorite Dish
Sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration for meals when you’re cooking for yourself.  Why spend a lot of time to prepare a dish that you’re probably going to eat quickly?

Well, this past year I’ve made Roasted Beets and Fennel on Pasta several times.  It started off as an accident.  One day I wanted to make a meal that required little effort with the ingredients in my refrigerator.  And this dish was the happy result.

 
Red Beets
I usually have red beets in my refrigerator, as I love them prepared so many ways.  I’ll throw…

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Beet Dandelion Pesto – Nutritious and Tasty Greens

Beet Dandelion Pesto – Nutritious and Tasty Greens

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What Inspired this Beet Dandelion Pesto Recipe?
Recently I shared with you my recipe for Dandelion Pesto, prepared primarily with dandelion greens.   My trusty Dandelion Pesto recipe inspired me to make this new Beet Dandelion Pesto.  Yesterday I purchased some lovely organic beets and needed a way to use the beet greens.

 
How to use Beet and Dandelion Greens
I often have high hopes for beet greens.  When I purchase beets, which is quite frequently, I try to select beets with lovely greens still attached.  Beet greens are very nutritious.  It would be such a sha…

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An Easy Quiche Recipe Made Simple

An Easy Quiche Recipe Made Simple

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A Quiche Recipe for all Occasions
Quiche is sometimes overlooked as a dish to serve guests.  I don’t understand why.  I love quiche for informal gatherings, especially accompanied by soup or salad.  It’s an easy weeknight supper with my kids.  Leftover quiche is also super easy and yummy the next day, warm or cold.

Since I started this blog, I’ve made quiche more than a dozen times.  Yet, I have shared only one quiche recipe.  It was a recipe for a Leek Quiche with Wild Garlic, a perfect springtime dish.

What can I possibly add to the numerous quiche recipes already availab…

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French Onion Soup in 45 Minutes

French Onion Soup in 45 Minutes

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Memories of French Onion Soup Past
I tasted my first real French Onion Soup at Cafe Figaro on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood as a teen.  My friends and I thought Cafe Figaro with its French bistro-style cuisine was so cool.  It had a good menu, reasonable prices and a European atmosphere.  Taking a date here helped gave me an air of sophistication.  Or at least I thought.

I must have tried French Onion Soup before hanging out at Cafe Figaro with my friends, yet do not have any earlier memory.   Unfortunately Cafe Figaro disappeared almost 20 years ago.  Its French Oni…

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Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

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Why make Dandelion Pesto?
Dandelion pesto has brightened up many springtime dishes in past years.  In Belgium, I sometimes gathered the leaves of this wildflower from my backyard lawn to add to salads, soups and other dishes.

 
Dandelion greens grow wild
Picking dandelion greens are an annual tradition that marks the arrival of spring.  Although you can find dandelions all year long, the peak of their growth is during springtime.  Most dandelion greens go unnoticed, except to gardeners who get annoyed by the stubborn growth of this weed as it spreads across their…

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Authentic Greek Pasticcio (Pastitsio)

Authentic Greek Pasticcio (Pastitsio)

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What makes this Pasticcio Recipe Authentic?
Greek restaurants all over the world prepare Pasticcio (also known as Pastitsio or Pastichio).  Not surprisingly, families and taverns all over Greece also make it.  Most families follow a recipe passed on to them by a dear family member and then adjusted over time to satisfy personal taste.

 
What is Pasticcio?
Those unfamiliar with Pasticcio may wonder what is this romantic-sounding dish.  The easiest way to describe it would be as a Greek version of lasagna bolognese.   This is not entirely fair as a comparison.

I…

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Crusted Salmon for Special Occasions

Crusted Salmon for Special Occasions

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What makes Sunday family meals so simple yet so special?
After rushing around all week, Sunday rolls around and lets us slow down to enjoy our families and friends.  A meal together, a stroll in the park, or whatever else your family does to reconnect together.

 
Sunday brunch in Los Angeles
While growing up in Los Angeles, Sunday brunch was my family’s main event.  We often enjoyed bagels, lox, and cream cheese along with whitefish, creamed herring and dill pickles. At one time my father made his famous scrambled eggs with everything in it (dried salami, onions,…

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Tomato Tarte Tatin

Tomato Tarte Tatin

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Tomato Tarte Tatin is Simply Elegant
 
What is a Tarte Tatin?
You have probably heard of Apple Tarte Tatin (tarte tatin aux pommes), the French version of hot apple pie.  Slices of apple caramelized in a pan on the stove or in the oven before placing puff pastry dough on top and baking it further.  Before serving the pan is turned over so the pastry is on the bottom and the hot caramelized fruit on top.

Although tarte tatin is often made with fruit, a savory version made with vegetables can be just as delicious.  A few months ago I shared on this site my recipe f…

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Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

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What makes Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings a Fall Favorite?
A couple years ago when I started my Vegan Before 6:00 diet I was looking for new fun ways to prepare vegan main dishes.  Around that time I was practicing how to make homemade dim sum.  I kept trying new dim sum recipes so I’d get the techniques down.

As many of you know, I love pumpkin during the fall, especially in savory dishes.  So creating a new fall favorite with pumpkin put a smile on my face.  When a friend came over for lunch I prepared these Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings and instantly fell in love!

The filling is…

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Belgian Beef Carbonnade (Belgian Beef Stew)

Belgian Beef Carbonnade (Belgian Beef Stew)

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Belgian Beef Carbonnade Made Easy
Belgian Beef Carbonnade is known by many names:  Flemish Carbonnade, Belgian Beef Stew, Beef and Beer Stew, are among the most common.
How to Make Beef Carbonnade
Although recipes for Belgian Beef Carbonnade generally include beef and beer, there are many variations.  Some families spread mustard on bread and add it to the pot for thickness and to reduce the sweetness of this dish.
Many use dark abbey beer to give a deeper flavor.  Depending on the beer used it may also add sweetness.  I prefer a blond Abbey (light ale) beer instead since i…

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Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Sometimes Simple Stuffing Recipes are Welcome on Thanksgiving
If you are like me on Thanksgiving Day, you somehow suddenly become a master multi-tasker.  Preparing several dishes at a time, making sure the oven is constantly filled with dishes being cooked in a pre-determined order, and decorating the table and dining room for the main event:  Thanksgiving dinner.  In all this chaotic order it’s welcoming to have some dishes that remain simple, without any extra fuss.

My Simple Stuffing recipe is exactly what is needed.  It has the all the main ingredients (bread, celery, sage, vegetable b…

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Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic

Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic

What makes this Pumpkin  Soup so Sublime?
Every autumn I make pumpkin soup so many different ways.  I prefer pumpkin soup with spices that give a little heat, such as cumin, cayenne, and turmeric.  When I make a spicier version of pumpkin soup, I usually add an apple to soften and round out the flavors.   Sometimes coconut milk serves the same purpose.

In Belgium, however, people generally prefer a creamy milder version of pumpkin soup.  They usually add a little cream, milk or butter in the last minutes to add richness.  This recipe for Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic features more flavo…

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Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta:  an Autumn Seasonal Favorite!
As the years pass, time seems to go by faster and faster.  Thankfully, a few dishes each season help mark the time and leave us with fond memories.  The past ten years, Pumpkin Sage Pasta (pasta with a pumpkin-sage sauce) has been one of my family’s favorite dishes each autumn.   It’s tasty, healthy and easy to make.  In short, a perfect combination.

I usually prepare this yummy dish with nests of De Cecco Pappardelle egg pasta.  One box of 500 g (18 oz approximately) feeds 3 adults with robust appetites.  However, the same portion can feed…

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Pumpkin Tomato Lentil Soup

Pumpkin Tomato Lentil Soup

What are some ways to use pumpkin?
During the autumn months I tend to buy and use a lot of pumpkin.  Although a wide range of squash is available at the grocers and the farmers markets in Belgium, muscat pumpkins are my favorite.  Muscat pumpkins are different from the pumpkins generally sold in the US.  I now prefer their texture and taste over the US variety.  They also seem to have more flesh, making them a wonderful source for many recipes.

Once I start using a pumpkin, I try to find other ways to use the rest of the pumpkin during the week.  Chopped raw pumpkin added to my morning oat…

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