Warm artichoke dip

Easy to throw together and a crowd pleaser.

Smoked salmon dip

So easy to throw together and always a crowd pleaser. Goes great on a charcuterie platter with an assortment of sausages, olives, crackers, etc.. It’s easy to smoke your own salmon or simply buy some good quality stuff at the store.

Lamb lollipops

My friend Holly makes the most delectable little lamb chops, or “lollipops”as we like to refer to them.  There’s something about this dish which brings memories of warm summer evenings with friends. A little time in the marinade  and a short stint on the grill and you have heaven on a stick. When choosing your rack of lamb, plan for at least a couple bones per person. Here’s how she does it:

Chipotle hummus

We used to make this one in the restaurant a lot. Easy, spicy, good! Serve with pita chips or other chips.

BBQ rub

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Often, I like to simply use Kosher salt and coarse black pepper to rub down briskets and the like, but sometimes I get crazy and use this all purpose rub.

Roasted butternut squash soup

Unfortunately, there were no butternuts emerging from the garden during this growing season. With all the garden items, I just didn’t make room this year. However, this squash is plentiful and easy to grow. Thankfully, I have access to the farmers markets and a decent selection at the local grocery as well.  This recipe is easy enough to throw together, from scratch, even after work and the results speak for themselves. This easy soup is tasty, healthy, and inexpensive.

You want to end up with about 4 lbs of butternut squash flesh, so be sure to come up with a couple of smaller butternuts or one large one.

Serve with a nice chunk of crusty french bread.


Chocolate chip persimmon cookies

I should refer to these as “Jill’s Chocolate chip persimmon cookies”. Our family looks forward to the holiday season when the persimmons finally freeze and become soft and ripe. Jill loves to pluck the fruit from the otherwise bare tree and make batch after batch of these delicious cookies (the rest of the family just likes to gobble them up!). The type of tree we have is a “Hachiya” which produces the soft fruit that folks like to incorporate into baked goods. The meat of the fruit is similar to a jelly or jam. Typically, we squeeze the fruit from the skin and into the food processor. Process for a few seconds and this will help lend to a more consistent texture and makes it easy to incorporate.

These cookies make great seasonal gifts as well.


Blueberry Coffee Cake


My family loves this simple coffee cake and it is also great for company. Since the ingredients are straightforward, it’s likely that you’ll have the stuff necessary without making a special trip to the store.

It’s easy enough to throw this recipe together while everyone is enjoying their first cup of coffee in the morning. When blueberries are in season, this is a great use for them and a special treat, but I also try to keep a stock of frozen blueberries hanging around as they work particularly well for this easy recipe.

Apple Pie

Northern California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada is apple country. During these days of fall weather and terrible traffic as out of towners descend on us hill folks to participate in apple related activities, I thought it would be appropriate to whip up an easy apple pie at home. This way, I can enjoy the fruits whilst avoiding the crowd. This particular recipe is really easy and everyone seems to enjoy it. I hope you give it a try.

Apple Pie

Apple Pie



This easy and versatile coleslaw dressing recipe can be used with either whole head cabbage or an equivalent amount of that tasty broccoli slaw mixture which is available at the store.