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Roasted Mini Peppers

Raw Sweet Mini Peppers

Raw Sweet Mini Peppers

Roasted Sweet Mini Peppers

Roasted Sweet Mini Peppers

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Wash 1 pound of mini sweet peppers. These are also known as yum yum peppers because they are so sweet.
  • Trim off stems, cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds.
  • Place in a large bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
  • Lay the peppers cut side down on the baking sheet.
  • Bake about 15-20 minutes or until softened, but not browned.
  • Remove from oven and cool. Sprinkle with a large grain coarse salt such as kosher salt or flaked sea salt if desired.
  • Use a firm metal spatula to scrape peppers from baking pan.
  • You can also add basil or use other types of peppers or vegetables.

Authentic Hummus

Hummus with Roasted Tomatoes

Hummus with Olive Oil and Cayenne

My friend Zeina is from Syria. This hummus was made with her expert guidance.


1-15 oz. can chickpeas/garbanzo beans

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

Cayenne pepper, a Dash – 1/8 teaspoon, as desired

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup tahini/sesame paste or more

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water or more; use the cooking liquid from the garbanzos.

Serve with Arab bread, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and/or red pepper strips.

You can garnish the hummus with olive oil, paprika, cucumber slices, pine nuts or whole chickpea. Parsley too!

Another addition is roasted red cherry or grape tomatoes. Toss them on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt, fresh thyme and oregano. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until blistered and beginning to brown. Drizzle with an aged balsamic and pour over a nest of hummus

The hummus taste best and have the smoothest texture if you rinse the beans in water and heat them before adding the other ingredients. 


  • Drain the garbonzos in a collander. Run cold water over them for 1 minute and toss or stir a few times.
  •  Then, place the garbonzos in a small saucepan, cover with water by 1 inch and bring to a boil. 
  • Lower heat and simmer 3 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the liquid.
  • Place the prepared garbanzos in a food processor or powerful Ninja type blender and add the remaining ingredients. Process until very smooth; at least 3 minutes. If it is too thick, add more of the garbanzo bean water.
  •  Pour the hummus into a flat bowl and swirl in a pattern with your spoon. Then drizzle in some olive oil and sprinkle with paprika or cayenne pepper. 
  •  Serve hummus with torn pieces of Arab bread, Naan, either soft or toasted and sprigs of parsley (for cleansing the breath after eating the garlicky dip). I like the crunch with fresh vegetables like carrots, cukes and red bell pepper. Or try the roasted tomatoes as described above


Lime Drizzled Shrimp

Thank you Mary Ann Anschutz for this recipe!

4 limes

12 raw and shelled or cooked and shelled jumbo shrimp

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Splash of sherry

Salt and Pepper

3 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

  • Grate the rind and squeeze the juice from 2 limes; reserve the other limes for later and cut into wedges.
  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink and begin to curl.
  • Mix in the lime rind, juice and sherry. Stir together.
  • Transfer to a serving dish and season lightly with salt (optional) and pepper.
  • Add parsley and reserved limes cut in wedges for squeezing over the shrimp at the table.

Nutrition Notes: shrimp contain 100 mg cholesterol/serving but because it is also low in fat and saturated fat it can be enjoyed on a low cholesterol diet.  When finishing with salt, use the flaked sea salt because you can visualize & limit it more easily.  You can also enjoy the flavors of the other minerals in the sea salt.

Pan con Tomate or Pa amb Tomaquet or Tomato Rubbed Bread

This Catalan dish has Mediterranean links to Italian bruschetta. Pan con Tomate lies close to the heart of the Catalan way of life. They have a passion for this simple food which is unrivaled. It is often the first thing brought to the table and is a classic served with ham, cheeses and pickles or with barbecued foods.  Famous Catalan chefs have made their own versions from Carles Gaig’s fresh tomato pulp in a cone of crispy bread to Ferran Adria’s tomato ice cream with a wafer-thin bubble of pastry. I served this with a toothpick of serrano jamon, manchego cheese & a grape tomato!

1/2 lb. ciabatta or coarse country white bread, preferably sourdough

4 cloves garlic, halved, optional

4 small ripe tomatoes, about 1/3 lb

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Salt, optional or used flaked sea salt

  • Preheat grill or broiler to high
  • Slice the bread on an angle about 1/2 inch thick or less
  • Grill or broil the bread on a baking sheet on both sides until light golden brown
  • While warm, rub one side of the bread with the garlic, if using.
  • Cut each tomato in half. Rub the cut sides of the tomato on top of the toasts until only the skins are left. Discard skins.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt if desired.
  • Pile the toasts on a serving platter and serve

Nutrition Note: Tomato contains the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene which helps prevent gastrointestinal cancers. When finishing, use flaked sea salt because you can visualize & limit it more easily.

Goat Cheese with Lemon and Rosemary

This is an appetizer I have made 50 times and everyone always loves it! You can think of it as a contemporary type of cheeseball! Serve it with a salad and you have lunch!  Thank you to Deb Kammer for the inspiration!

Combine olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Add the chopped rosemary and pepper to the marinade or sprinkle them over the cheese and marinade at the very last

Place the goat cheese on a platter with a little asked edge

Pour the marinade over the goat cheese 

Dip your crusty bread into the marinade and then spread some goat cheese on!

  • On a round glass platter about 11 inches across place:

1-3 ounce  log of goat cheese

  • In a small bowl combine:

 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil 

1 teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper or more

 1/4 cup fresh chopped rosemary (try to use the tender new growth). Alternatively, you can add the rosemary after the marinade is poured on the cheese

  • Add more lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper or rosemary to taste.
  • Pour over the cheese
  • Voila! Perfecto!
  • Decorate the platter with lemon slices and a large stem of rosemary if you like. 
  • Serve with

Sliced French bread or a whole grain crusty bread


Have your guests dip one side of the bread in the marinade and then spread on the goat cheese with a small knife. You can easily double the recipe using the same size platter. To make it easier for your guests, dip and spread the cheese for them and place the bruschetta on a platter for them to enjoy!