Sweet and Savory Veggie Roast with Gorgonzola

Looking for a new vegetable side dish to compliment your holiday dinner?  Look no further than this sweet and savory roasted vegetable dish of nutty, buttery fennel, sweet apple and yellow onion, plump golden raisins with nutrient-packed red kale and creamy Gorgonzola cheese.  This is the perfect combination of beautiful seasonal produce that will pair beautifully with your main course, whether you are serving a roast turkey, honey ham or beef tenderloin. 

Sweet and Savory Veggie Roast with Gorgonzola


1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and thinly slice
1 bulb of fennel, cut in half and core, and thinly slice (reserve the fronds for garnish)
3 Gala apples, cut in half and core, and thinly slice
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups red kale, torn into pieces
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese


1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Begin prepping the ingredients by thinly slicing the yellow onion, fennel bulb, and Gala apples.  Place the sliced onion, fennel and apple on a large baking sheet along with a 1/2 cup of golden raisins, extra virgin olive oil (reserving just a bit for the red kale), and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3.  With tongs or your clean hands, toss these ingredients in order to lightly coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.

4.  Cook in preheated oven for 10 minutes.  With tongs, gently move around ingredients, then cook for another 10 minutes.

5.  Toss red kale with remaining extra virgin olive oil.  Add to baking sheet with other ingredients.  Incorporate well into baked vegetables and apples.  Cook for another 10 minutes.

6.  Transfer to serving dish and top generously with 1/2 cup of Gorgonzola cheese and garnish with fennel fronds. 

Enjoy this beautiful addition to your holiday table.  As this dish sits on your holiday table while your guests leisurely take their seats, the richness of the Gorgonzola cheese will gently melt into the roasted vegetables, making it that much more decadent.  Your guests will be in awe of these complex flavors cooked with simplicity.

Serves 4


St. Patrick's Day Brunch: Corned Beef Hash and Eggs

Inspired by all things Irish this weekend, this morning my husband prepared a Saint Patrick's Day breakfast that started out this beautiful, almost-Spring day perfectly. With potatoes, corned beef and eggs in the fridge, we had all the basics for an amazing corned beef hash. After boiling the potatoes to soften for a few minutes, the potatoes were diced small along with yellow onion and green bell pepper. In one pan, the vegetables sauteed in a bit of olive oil and butter, then the corned beef was added along with a dollop of stone ground mustard. To top it all off, the eggs were cooked right atop the cooking corned beef hash. This savory, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast is a great weekend go-to any time of the year not just St. Paddy's Day. Check out this simple recipe that will bring a taste of Irish cuisine to your breakfast table.

Corned Beef Hash and Eggs

(Serves 2. Double recipe for 4.)

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Yukon gold potatoes (peeled or unpeeled-it's your preference)
1/2 Yellow onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 pound corned beef, sliced thin
1 tbsp stone ground mustard
Eggs (1 egg per person)


1. Boil the Yukon gold potatoes for 5-7 minutes or until slightly tender. Next, drain and allow the potatoes to cool for a couple of minutes.

2. While the potatoes cool, dice the yellow onion and bell pepper. Also, roughly chop the corned beef and set aside.

3. Add oil and butter in a large pre-heated saute pan. Once heated through, add the onions and peppers and season lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Saute for 5 minutes.

4. While the vegetables are sauteing, dice the potatoes into small to medium cubes. Then add the potatoes, corned beef, and mustard to the saute pan. Allow to cook over medium to low heat for 10 minutes, stirring 1-2 times in order to keep the potatoes from sticking to the pan.

5. After 10 minutes or until the potatoes are browned , crack the eggs right on top of the corned beef hash. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 minutes or until the eggs have reached the desired firmness.

6. Serve immediately along with rye toast and butter.

Enjoy! Happy St. Patrick's Say!


La Gloria Ice House

While in San Antonio visiting my family over the holidays, my sister and brother-in-law took my husband and I to a restaurant they both had been raving about for months called La Gloria Ice House. Located on the historic grounds of the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, Texas, La Gloria offers authentic street foods of Mexico in a festive atmosphere. Chef Johnny Hernandez's love for authentic Mexican cooking began with his father's restaurant in the Westside neighborhood of San Antonio. Surrounded by a community of first generation Mexican-Americans, Hernandez was exposed to many of the foods and traditions from Mexico. Along with his culinary education from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and experience in prestigious restaurants in Las Vegas and California, Chef Hernandez gains inspiration from his travels throughout Mexico. In 1994, Hernandez opened True Flavors Catering, which became nationally recognized for its excellence creating buzz all throughout San Antonio. Chef Johnny Hernandez opened La Gloria in May of 2010, and has been thriving since.

Walking into La Gloria Ice House you immediately take in the colorful and festive atmosphere. Hungry after traveling all morning from the East Coast, each menu item looked more delicious than the last. My brother-in-law made the first move and ordered the Molcajetes, which according to their menu is the dish that the Mayan Indians traditionally made by using carved volcanic stone to keep the dish extremely hot, the origins of the mortar and pestle tool used today. First we sampled the Puerco en Chiles - pork simmered in chile and spices served to us piping hot and bubbling in a stone mortar. The next item that arrived was the Queso Molcajetes, which was an entire dish of melted, almost fried, cheese. Both dishes were served with fresh corn and flour tortillas. What a divine way to start the meal!

We quickly finished up both of the Molcajetes. The Puerco en Chiles was spicy and sweet all at once, while the Queso was literally like a buttery heaven. After our appetizers, our entrees hit the table, which included my sister's Pescado Baja Califas – fresh fish, battered then drizzled with crema de chile chipotle and my brother-in-law's Torta Ahogada de Carnitas – tender slow cooked pork served in an artisan hearty bread with a flavorful chipotle sauce. The Pescado Baja Cailfas or fish tacos were fresh and beautifully constructed making this classic Mexican street food shine. The Torta Ahogada de Carnitas sounds intimidating but the concept is simply a pork sandwich with complex flavors of intense chipotle and bright citrus.

For my entree, I went for the Mexican Pizza Tradicional – black beans, shredded queso Oaxaca, avocado, lettuce and tomatoes. What made this dish so irresistible was the simple concept combined with the right ingredients. This Mexican pizza was more amazing than any I have had before because it was made Oaxaca, which is a mild Mexican cheese but when it is melted it becomes buttery with a hint of sweetness. My husband's dish, the Dorados de Pollo Verde – crispy chicken tacos with tomatillo salsa garnished with queso fresco y crema, was stunning on the plate. The chicken wrapped in the flour tortillas rested on a bed of green tomatillo sauce and then topped with Oaxaca and a white crema sauce. On the plate, this entree was as visually appealing as it was tasty.

Often when visiting San Antonio, we end up going to restaurants offering Tex-Mex cuisine instead of authentic Mexican. Authentic Mexican is hard to find but when you do it is completely worth it. Other than the tacos, Mexican pizzas, Mexican sandwiches and Molcajetes, La Gloria offers many other classics such as their Quesadillas. A variety of quesadillas are on the menu, which represent the styles of different regions in Mexico like Chicharrón – a queso Oaxaca quesadilla filled with simmered pork rinds in green tomatillo sauce and Sincronizada – Flour tortillas filled with ham & queso manchego. The variety does not stop there. The menu continues with street foods like Panuchos- Gordita made with masa filled with black beans and various toppings, Tostadas- also known as “chalupas,” a crispy corn tortilla with various toppings or Sopes- thick corn tortillas with a rim to hold in all the good stuff.

With the friendly service, fun atmosphere, delicious flavors and pure authenticity, you are sure to have a memorable meal at La Gloria. If you find yourself in or near San Antonio, then I highly recommend you stop for lunch or dinner. I know we will definitely make La Gloria Ice House a regular dining spot during our visits to Texas.

La Gloria Ice House

100 East Grayson
San Antonio, TX 78215
210 267 9040


Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 Release

The leaves are on the streets and no longer on their branches. Thanksgiving plans are being discussed, recipes are being chosen and shopping lists are being drafted. It is that time of year when we are on the brink of the holiday season; and we cannot escape it. One thing that I always look forward to, which eases me into the holiday spirit, is the anxiously-awaited release of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine. The third Thursday of November marks the traditional release of this very popular young wine made from the Gamay grape of the Beaujolais region of France. This wine is released after a short fermentation period and bottled for the holiday season. This fresh red has fruity tones and a clean and dry finish. You will find this wine extremely easy to drink, especially when cooled slightly. Beaujolais Nouveau is the perfect wine to drink from Thanksgiving to New Years Day.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 will be released this Thursday, November 17th. There is no better way to celebrate this event than to head to Midtown Village in Center City for all things Beaujolais and all things French. From 5pm-8pm, Midtown Village bars, restaurants and retailers will be offering an array of tastings, menu specials and retail items honoring this special day. Barbuzzo will be featuring - Winemaker's Picnic charcuterie, cheese and Beaujolais. Head to El Vez for Beaujolais Sangria and Zavino for Sparkling Beaujolais Cocktails. Check out Midtown Village for more information on this exciting French evening. Be there and be sure to get a few bottles or a case (wink) of the 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau.


Meat Lovers Chili

Yesterday our lovely little block in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia had its own Chili Cook-Off. It was a lovely fall day, the perfect kind for cooking and eating chili. My husband and I both submitted chilis along with five other competitors on the block. This was my chance to recreate the chili recipe I made in 2008, when I won my mother-in-law's annual "Chili Bowl". On a regular basis, we prefer to make healthier chili recipes using ground turkey or lean beef but every now and then you have to pull out all the stops. I hold back nothing in this Meat Lovers Chili, giving you flavor sensations ranging from salty and sweet to smokey and spicy. Try this crowd-pleasing recipe for your next big gathering!

Lizzy M.'s Meat Lo
vers Chili


1/2 lb bacon, dic
ed (Dice bacon after it has been cooked and cooled.)
1/2 lb mild Italian sausage
1 lb. ground pork

1 lb. ground beef
(chuck or sirloin)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-16 oz. can crushed tomato
1 can tomato paste

1 bottle Chocolate Stout

1/8 cup m
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2-3 tbsp Adobo sauce
(Add 2 tbsp to start and add the third if you want more of a kick.)
2 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, diced
2 yellow onions
, diced
4 cloves garlic, grated or minced

Spice Mixture

1/4 cup dark bro
wn sugar
3 tbsp cumin

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

*Combine these dry seasonings together to make your spice mixture. Divide into 3 portions. This will make it easy to add the spice "dumps" when it is time.


1. Saute the bacon in a large skillet on medium heat until the fat cooks out. Remove bacon onto paper towels and set aside. Keep a portion of bacon grease in the pan.

2. Remove Italian sausage from the skin and crumble into the skillet. Brown the sausage in the bacon grease and break up with a wooden spoon. Saute for about 7-10 minutes.

3. In a large chili pot over medium heat, brown the ground pork and ground beef. Salt and pepper the meat while breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Add 1/3 or the first "dump" of seasoning at this time. Saute until the spices are combined with the meat. At this time add the crushed tomatoes, chocolate stout, Adobo sauce and the chipotle peppers. Keep on medium heat covered.

4. Add cooked bacon and sausage to chili pot. In skillet saute onions in bacon and sausage drippings on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Then add tomato paste to the skillet and saute until the paste is combined well with the onions. With a grater, grate in the garlic cloves. Stir well and saute for another 3 minutes. Finally add the vinegar. With a wooden spoon scrape up the bits and drippings on the pan and then cook for another 3 minutes.

5. Add the onion mixture into the chili pot and the second 1/3 "dump" of the spice mixture. Cook the chili on low heat covered for 3 hours stirring occasionally.

6. Remove from the heat after cooking for about 3 hours. Let the chili come to room temperature. Store chili in the fridge overnight.

7. Set the chili out to bring back to room temperature before putting over heat. Once it is at room temperature or close to it, then place on low to medium heat. At this time add the final 1/3 or third "dump" of the spice mixture and cook for at least 2 hours before serving.

Although I did not take home the bragging rights of a first place chili this time around, I came in at a close second with lots of happy tasters. Serve with tortilla chips and the toppings of your choice such as shredded cheese and sour cream. Dig in!
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