“P” is also for Peas…

Peas were my arch nemesis as a child. I hated them. I remember evenings sitting alone at the dinner table,  the rest of my family off in the other room watching T.V. or some other activity, while I had a stare-down with the little evil spheres. I was to sit there until they were gone. No amount of seasoning or sour cream could mask their vile taste. On occasion the family dog would take pity on me and assist in their disappearance. But alas I have endured and risen above the conflict that plagued me. As an adult.. I will eat the pea… I just won’t enjoy it.

Photo of Peas, laid out in the shape of the letter "P"

“P” is for Parsley….

This is Italian Flat Leaf Parsley. (Whats with all this “Italian” stuff anyway?) The main difference between this and “Curly Parsley” is that Flat Leaf tends to have more flavor and is used more often when cooking, whereas Curly Parsley is more widely used for decoration.

Photo of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, laid out in the shape of the letter "P"

“N” is for Nuts…

My Favorite are Pecans.. for Pecan Pie! And one of my favorite recipes for Pecan Pie can be found in one of my favorite cookbooks! The Silver Palate Cookbook. There are a ton of delicious recipes in this book and I encourage everyone to make this book a staple in your kitchen. But if you simply must have the recipe before you can find your way to buying the book… you might find it here

Photo of Nuts, laid out in the shape of the letter "N"


“M” is for Mushrooms…

I love a good Risotto con Porcini! But I am not a fan of the texture of mushrooms, so when I make mine I just dice the mushrooms up super fine so they just melt into the Risotto. (Hmmm.. I might have to make that for dinner tonight!)

Photo of Mushroom, laid out in the shape of the letter "M"

“J” is for Jalapeño…

If you are ever in Pasadena California,  grab a cocktail over at Le Grande Orange (or LGO). They serve a spectacular martini called the “Screaming Monkey” … Grey Goose Orange Vodka, a little OJ, Cran, Lemon, and a couple of slices of Jalapeño in a sugar rimmed glass. Super Tasty!!

Photo of Green Jalapeño Peppers, laid out in the shape of the letter "J"

“I” is for Italian Bread…

I am Italian (well half Italian) and I LOVE Italian Bread. Croccante sull’esterno e lanuginoso sull’interno! Perfect with a little Checca! ( fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper – like Italian Salsa) Yum!

Photo of a loaf of Italian Bread, laid out as the letter "I"

“H” is for Haricots Verts…

Photo of Haricots Verts, laid out in the shape of the letter "H"















Always a classic, Julia Childs recommends preparing them thusly:

  • 1 1/2 lbs green beans, washed and trimmed
  • A large pot containing at least 3 to 4 quarts of rapidly boiling salt water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt per quart of water (4.5 to 6 two for this recipe)
  • A wide, heavy-bottomed, enameled saucepan or skillet
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp softened butter cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 to 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp minced parsley
1. A handful at a time, drop the beans into the rapidly boiling salted water. Boil the beans slowly, uncovered, for about 10 minutes; test the beans frequently after 8 minutes by eating one. A well cooked bean should be tender, but still retain the slightest suggestion of crunchiness. Drain the beans as soon as they are done.
2. Place the beans into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and toss them gently over moderate high heat by flipping the pan, not by stirring them. This will evaporate their moisture in 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Toss briefly again with salt, pepper, and a piece of butter. Add the rest of the butter gradually while tossing the beans; alternate with drops of lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. Place into a serving dish, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.