bell pepper

Entrée, Breakfast, Spring, Summer


She really is a character all of her own. My mom doesn't really fit a stereotype, so I'm at a loss of trying to put her in a box for you. She was the mom who took us running through golf course sprinklers, and drove the getaway car for my boy crazy girlfriends when we'd go toliet papering in high school. She dressed my sister and I up in her old clothes, and sent us out to make mud pies when the backyard was a mess after the rain. I mean pies actually made from mud- she's never been much for cooking, but she makes up for that in how fun she is. I may not have recipes for 'mom's biscuits', but I have vivid memories of my mom starting the dance party with paper plates as props at my first boy/girl party. I mean, anyone can find a biscuit recipe, but only my mom can party with plates. I was her cautious child, and she always tried to loosen me up... she still does, actually. There is that cliche that says 'you don't understand the depth of a mother's love, until you have children of your own'. I'm sure this is true, but my mom has made her love crystal clear to us. It is deep, really deep, and I know this from her actions. You can say 'i love you' a trillion times, but it's my late night teary phone calls, the articles she sends me in the mail, or helping me plant my herb garden that speak louder than words.

And just because someone doesn't like to cook, doesn't mean they don't like to eat, and my mom loves things with sauce. Food is just her vehicle for more sauce. This is a great mothers day brunch idea. I was inspired by a sauce recipe I found in the Golden Door Cooks at Home Cookbook. It blends up so quickly and tastes lighter than the typical hollandaise you find on an eggs benedict. As soon as you crack the yolk, it marries the bell pepper sauce and serves as the perfect dipping agent for the rest of the stack. If you are not one for poached eggs, you could substitute a fried egg or even a heap of scrambled eggs as an alternative. Experiment with whatever vegetables you have, as I imagine any sauteed green could be used instead of spinach or some caramelized onions or leeks would be wonderful too. For the record: A. This is my new favorite breakfast and B. I love you, Mom.


The sauce recipe is written using jarred roasted peppers. The yellow ones make a sauce that most resembles hollandaise. When bell peppers are sweet and in season near you, I am sure the flavor would be exceptional if you roasted them yourself. Though jarred will save you time regardless of the season. If you don't care for goat cheese, you could use cream cheese instead.

2 Whole Grain English Muffins

4 Large Eggs

5 Cups Fresh Spinach Leaves

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Zest of One Lemon

12 Spears of Asparagus

1 tsp. Garlic Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Fresh Parsley for Garnish


1 1/4 Cup Roasted Bell Pepper Pieces, drained

3-4 oz. Chevre/Goat Cheese (richness to taste)

1/4 Cup Milk

1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

Splash of Hot Sauce


Oven to 500'

1. Start with the sauce. Warm the milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds. In a blender or food processor, combine the warm milk, goat cheese, mustard, lemon juice and the drained roasted bell peppers. Blend until smooth. Cover and set aside.

2. Warm the olive oil in the pan, add the fresh spinach and lemon zest and saute until just wilted. Turn off the heat and let it sit, it will stay warm enough while you finish everything else.

3. Toss the asparagus with a bit of olive oil, garlic salt and some fresh ground pepper. Put in the upper third of the oven for 8 minutes (this all depends on the thickness of your asparagus, alter your timing to get tender but not soggy spears).

4. Bring one quart water + 1 Tbsp. vinegar to a boil, then down to a simmer. This is your egg poaching liquid, there are good directions on how to poach eggs here. If you are doing them one at a time, you can keep them in a bowl with some of the warm poaching liquid until ready to use.

5. Toast the english muffins and get ready to go. Toasted muff+spoonful of sauce+sauteed spinach+asparagus spears, halved+poached egg+another spoonful or sauce+maybe a lovely fruit salad on the side=perfection.

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Appetizer, Side, Salad, Summer


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Originally, panzanella was a Tuscan salad made of day-old bread, fresh tomatoes, olive oil, salt and vinegar. Over the years, there have been renditions with fall vegetables, sweet fruits, grilled versions and more. The 'crouton' being the only ingredient that stands strong in all circumstances.

This seasonal panzanella takes all of about 20 minutes to throw together. If you have time, you can roast your own peppers, boil your own chickpeas and blend your own pesto. However, if you need to save yourself a few steps, these items are available, pre-made at a grocery or health food store. If you have a local farmers market, especially in California, tomatoes, peppers and greens are plenty. This recipe is a starting point, but use this as an opportunity to use your fresh produce or appropriate leftovers.

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END OF SUMMER PANZANELLA // Serves 4 as a side

3 Cups Whole Grain Bread, in 1’ Cubes

½ Cup Roasted Red Peppers (make your own or use a jar)

2 Medium Heirloom Tomatoes

½ Medium Sized Red Onion

1 Cup Garbanzo Beans, fresh or canned

1 Cup Basil, Roughly Chopped

1 Cup Arugula

¼ Cup Toasted Pine Nuts

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Garlic Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

PESTO DRESSING // Pesto recipe found (here)

3 tbsp. Pesto

2 tbsp. Lemon Juice

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Oven to 400’

Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle with the tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and toss them around in the baking pan. Give a generous sploosh of salt and pepper and toast in the top rack of the oven for ten minutes. Toss them around half way through baking time.

Prepare your veggies. Give a rough chop to the roasted red peppers. Slice the tomato into cubes, leave them seeded. Slice the red onion as thin as possible either with your amazing knife skills or a mandolin.

In a large bowl, combine the bread, tomatoes (and some of their juices), red onion, red peppers, garbanzo beans, arugula, half of the basil and pine nuts.

Combine the pesto ingredients together with a small whisk. Drizzle desired amount onto the panzanella and toss. Serve immediately once tossed, soggy croutons aren't so good.

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Entrée, Gluten Free, Summer



Hugh is trying to take over my hobby. I do food, he does pictures. It works. But last week he bought a special grilling book and now has been experimenting on his own. Seeing that I don’t do meat, he can take ownership of that. I don’t come from a lineage of cooks, so the fact that it’s ‘my thing,’ leaves me flattered with the responsibility. If I had the slighest clue about photography, I would start a battle to retaliate against his hobby burglary.

Hugh made some great grilled peppers the other night, which led to inspiration for a good sauce. That is what makes these tacos different- this tasty sauce. It is a tad spicy, has hints of creaminess from the yogurt, and freshness from the loads of cilantro. I put leftovers on my eggs this morning, and it’s thick enough to spread on a sandwich.


We went to a great fish place down by the harbor to get the freshest fish. I checked here to see what white fish is safe and sustainable for our area. The website is full of information and will definitely make you think twice before you just grab for what you see in restaurants. It does not cost more to get what is sustainable. Organics is a whole different market than sustainable seafood; the challenge is finding a place where you can buy specific fish. Once your fish is covered in this tasty sauce, it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference what it is anyways.


  • 12 oz. White Seabass (use what is fresh/local for you)
  • 1 Lime, Zest and Juice
  • salt and pepper or lemon pepper
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 3 Cups Green Cabbage, Finely Sliced
  • 1 Firm Peach, Cut into 8 Slices
  • corn tortillas

/ poblano cilantro sauce /

  • 1 ½ Cups Cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Lime, Zest and Juice (add another if it’s not juicy)
  • ½ Cup Whole Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ½ Cup Toasted Pistachios
  • 2 Roasted Poblano Chiles, seeds removed
  • 1/2 tsp. each Garlic Salt and Pepper, to taste

Heat your grill to medium/high

Salt and pepper both sides of the fish. Rub the zest and juice into the fish, and put in a bowl to marinate.

Lightly oil the bell peppers and poblano chiles, put them on the grill and char on all sides. About 8-10 minutes. Remove peppers and chiles and put them in a plastic bag to steam. Let them sit about 10 minutes in the bag. Remove the stem and seeds, and then peel off the skins when they're cool to the touch. They do not need to be perfect, a little black adds some smokiness. Chop the peppers up and set aside. The poblanos are for your sauce. 

Put the cilantro, garlic, lime, yogurt, olive oil, pistachios and poblanos in a blender or food processor. Fully combine. Taste for salt and pepper.

Grill the fish (on extra clean grill grates to keep from sticking). Put the peaches on the grill, cut side down. Close the lid and grill for about 6 minutes. Flip the fish and peaches and grill another 4 minutes (time will vary depending on thickness of the fish). Warm the tortillas on the grill or stovetop.


Assemble your tacos. Tortilla, sauce, fish, roasted peppers, two grilled peach slices and a generous amount of cilantro.

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