Make Ahead

Spicy Gazpacho

May 29, 2014

Spicy Gazpacho

Spicy Gazpacho

Gazpacho is so easy to make and is perfect for those upcoming warm days. If you want to ease up on the spiciness then use mild salsa instead of spicy salsa.


1/4 Cup Chopped Red Onion

3/4 Cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper (Cored & Seeded)

1/2 Cup Chopped Seedless Cucumber

1/4 Cup Chopped Celery

14.5 Ounces Canned Diced Tomatoes (Drained a Little Bit)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/2 Cup Spicy Tomato Salsa

1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Sour Cream For Garnish (Optional)

Avocado or Guacamole For Garnish (Optional)

In a food processor place onions, red bell pepper, cucumbers, and celery. Pulse until vegetables are finely chopped. If you want your gazpacho a bit chunkier than pulse less. Add tomatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, pepper, and spicy tomato salsa. Pulse until blended. Transfer to serving bowl and stir in cilantro. Place, covered with plastic wrap, and chill in fridge for 2 or more hours. Serve chilled garnished with sour cream and or avocado if you desire. Serves 4.

© Victoria Hart Glavin


Holiday Pumpkin Cherry Bread

November 30, 2013

Holiday Pumpkin Cherry Bread

Holiday Pumpkin Cherry Bread

This pumpkin cherry bread is perfect to give away as gifts or to have around for quick breakfasts.  It’s easy to make and keeps quite well.  Make several loaves and store one in the freezer for those out-of-town guests who are coming for the holidays. 


3 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

3 Cups Sugar

15 Ounces Pumpkin Puree

4 Large Eggs

1 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/2 Cup Orange Juice

1 Cup Dried Tart Cherries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans

In a large-size bowl combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and kosher salt.  In a separate large-size bowl combine sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, vegetable oil, and orange juice. Beat until blended.  Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture.  Stir JUST until moist.  Fold in dried cherries.  Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans. Place into oven and bake for 60 to 65 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes.  Remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.  Makes 2 loaves.  


November 8, 2013



While in Rome I had the best grissini (breadsticks).  While grissini is typical of Turin they were on every restaurant table that I visited.  They really aren’t too difficult to make and are so much better than buying those packaged ones from the supermarket.  You can make them plain or sprinkle them with kosher salt, sesame seeds or any herbs you may like. 


2 Cups Unbleached Flour (Plus More As Needed)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast

3/4 Cup Warm Water (Not Hot Water)

Semolina Flour

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  In a large-size bowl combine flour, olive oil, kosher salt and yeast mixture.  Knead for at least 30 minutes. Divide dough into 12 pieces and let rest for 5 minutes. Form pieces into oblong rolls. Set them out on a damp surface, flatten them by hand, and let them rise for 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle a baking sheet with semolina flour. Cut dough into strips and set them out on the semolina. By hand, draw each out to at least 12 inches in length. Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes until crisp and golden.  If you are going to sprinkle them with your favorite salt, sesame seeds or herbs do this right before baking.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Makes about 2 dozen depending on the size you make your grissini.  

Chile-Spiced Bean Salad

September 2, 2013

Antique Picnic Basket

Chile-Spiced Bean Salad

A bit of chile mingles with corn and three kinds of beans in this colorful salad that stays crisp for hours. 


Spicy Dressing

2 Cups Red Kidney Beans

2 Cups Pinto Beans

2 Cups Garbanzo Beans

2 Cups Whole Kernel Corn

1 Sliced Large Celery Stalk

5 Sliced Green Onions (Including Green Tops)

1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley

1/2 Cup Diced Green Chiles

Prepares the Spicy Dressing and set aside (recipe below).  In a large-size bowl combine the kidney beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans.  If you are using canned beans then make sure to drain and rinse them.  Add the corn to the beans and mix.  Add the celery, onions, parsley, and chiles. Combine well.  Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.  Makes 8 servings.

Spicy Dressing:

3/4 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Wine Vinegar

1 Minced Garlic Clove

3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Oregano

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, stir together the olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic, kosher salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and pepper.  Mix well to combine.  

Parsley Potato Salad

September 2, 2013

Parsley Potato SaladPotato Salad with Chili Coriander and Allioli

For a new twist on the traditional potato salad, try this light; fresh-tasting version that combines sliced potatoes with an oil and vinegar dressing. 


2 Pounds Small Red Potatoes

1 Finely Chopped Large Celery Stalk

1 Hard-Boiled Egg

1 Minced Garlic Cloves

4 Canned Anchovy Fillets

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1/2 Teaspoon Sugar

1/4 Teaspoon Hot Sauce

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

3 Finely Chopped Green Onions (Including Green Tops)

1/2 Cup Chopped Parsley

Pour water into a 4-quart pan to a 1 inch depth.  Bring to a boil over a high heat.  Add the potatoes.  Cover and reduce the heat.  Cook for 20 to 30 minutes just until tender when pierced with a fork.  Don’t overcook.  Drain the water and let cool.  Peel and thinly slice into a large-size bowl.  Add the chopped celery.  In a blender or food processor, pulse the cooked egg, garlic, anchovies, mustard, sugar, hot sauce, olive oil and vinegar until smooth.  Add the kosher salt and pepper and pulse for another 30 seconds.  Stir in the green onions and parsley.  Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and stir gently.  Cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for at least 4 hours or until the next day.  Transport in a cooler when taking to a picnic.  Serves 6

Raspberry Sponge Cake

August 23, 2013

Raspberry CakeRaspberry Sponge Cake

Today is National Sponge Cake Day so let’s celebrate with making a simple, but delicious sponge cake.  Many people wonder what the difference is between a sponge cake and a regular cake.  Sponge cake is a light, porous cake that is made by beating egg yolks and sugar until fluffy, and then folding in beaten egg whites.  The eggs are the only leavening agent in the cake.  There is a large proportion of eggs, but no shortening in a sponge cake.


3 Large Eggs (Separated)

5 Ounces Sugar

4 Ounces Self-Rising Flour

1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Cream Cheese Frosting or Whipped Cream

1 1/2 Cup Fresh Raspberries

Fresh Mint for Garnish

Preheat your oven to 375° F.  Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. In a large-size bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar for 1 minute until thick and creamy. Set aside. In a separate large-size bowl beat the egg whites until they are stiff.  Fold the flour and kosher salt in to the egg yolk mixture.  Finally, fold in the beaten egg whites.  Divide the batter between the cake pans and place in the oven.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until light brown and springy to the touch.  Remember that all ovens heat differently so check at 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Turn the cakes out on to a wire rack to cool completely.  When cool frost each cake with either whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.  Garnish with the fresh raspberries and mint leaves.  If you want to make this a single layer cake then place a layer of frosting or whipped cream between layers.  Makes either 1 or 2 cakes.

Whipped Cream:

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In a chilled medium-size bowl combine the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Beat until stiff peaks form.  The tips should stand straight.  Do not overbeat or it will turn to butter.


Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

6 Cups Powdered Sugar

In a large-size bowl beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.

Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut & Anise Cookies

July 31, 2013

Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut & Anise CookiesDark Chocolate, Hazelnut & Anise Cookies

Thank goodness it’s not so hot out.  I’ve been missing turning my oven on to bake delicious cookies.  I just don’t feel right without a cookie jar full of cookies.


2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Softened Butter

3/4 Cup Sugar

3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Teaspoon Anise Extract

2 Large Room Temperature Eggs

2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips

2 Cups Chopped Roasted Hazelnuts

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking soda and kosher salt.  In a separate large size bowl add the butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla & anise extracts.  Beat on a medium speed until creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture.  Do not overbeat.  Stir in the dark chocolate chips and hazelnuts.  Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto a parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.  Remember that all ovens heat differently so make sure to check at 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for 4 minutes.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Blackberry Cheesecake

July 30, 2013

Blackberry CheesecakeBlackberry Cheesecake

Today is National Cheesecake Day!

I love cheesecake.  Growing up I would go blackberry picking in my neighborhood.  There was always some area with overgrown blackberry bushes. Picking up my childhood sandbox bucket I would set myself to the task of bringing home a bucketful of blackberries.  Not many would make it home and the evidence would be all over my face.


40 Crushed Vanilla Wafers

6 Tablespoons Melted Butter

16 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

3/4 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons Unbleached Flour

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Creamed Cottage Cheese

1/4 Cup Cherry Brandy

3 Eggs

4 Cups Fresh Blackberries

Preheat your oven to 375° F. In a medium size bowl stir together crushed vanilla wafers and butter.  Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of an 8 inch spring form pan and set aside.  In a large bowl stir together cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, flour and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low until smooth and set aside.  Place the cottage cheese in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Incorporate into the cream cheese mixture.  Next, stir in the 1/4 cup cherry brandy.  Beat in the eggs on low speed until combined.  Don’t over mix as you don’t want to incorporate too much air into the batter. Pour half of the cheese cake mixture into the crust lined pan.  Spread 1 cup of the blackberries on top.  Top with the remaining cheese cake mixture and 1/2 cup of the blackberries.  Place in a shallow baking pan in the preheated oven.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until center appears almost set.  Remove from the oven. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Loosen the sides and cool completely.  Cover and chill for 2 hours.  To serve cut the cheesecake into wedges and top each with the blackberries. Serve with additional blackberry sauce if you like. Serves 10

Baby Eggplant Salad

July 29, 2013

eggplant 2Baby Eggplant Salad


1 Pound Unpeeled Baby Eggplants

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Ground Paprika

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

3 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Bunch Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley

Fill a large size pot with water and salt.  Cut the eggplants into quarters (lengthwise).  Place the garlic cloves and eggplants into the water and bring to a boil over a high heat.  Boil until the eggplant pieces are tender.  Drain and throw away the garlic.  Place the eggplant pieces into a large size bowl.  Combine with the paprika, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil and chopped parsley.  Mix gently and place into the fridge for 2 to 4 hours.  Remove from the fridge when ready to serve. Serve chilled.  Serves 4

Tzatziki Sauce

July 26, 2013

Tzatziki SauceTzatziki Sauce

I love making Tzatziki Sauce because it’s so easy to make and homemade is so much better than store bought.  It seems like the store bought stuff is sugary which is horrible.  All you need is a food processor or a blender and a few ingredients.


1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1 Garlic Clove

1/4 Cup Minced Red Onion

1/4 Cup Diced Cucumber

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor.  Pulse for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You want to keep it just a bit chunky.  Pour the Tzatziki Sauce into a bowl, cover and place into the fridge for 2 to 4 hours.  Remove from the fridge when you are ready to use.  Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.  Makes about 2 cups.

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