Sides / Appetizers

August 19, 2012

Watermelon, Cherry and Peach Salsa

Nothing says "Summer" better than Watermelon, Cherry and Peach salsa.  The fruit provides a lot of natural sweetness, and this recipe does not require sugar.  Add jalapeno to taste.  Serve chilled with chips, and enjoy!

This recipe makes about 3 cups of salsa.  Give or take.


  • 1/2 pound of fresh cherries
  • ~2 pounds of fresh watermelon
  • 1 large peach
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 of a red onion, minced
  • 1 garlic petal, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 petals of garlic
  • olive oil
  • himalayan salt
  • pepper
  • 2 limes


  1. Roast the shallots and garlic:
    1. Chop shallots into quarters, and roast in olive oil until brown and caramelized.
    2. Remove garlic skin and roast in olive oil on 350 for about 10 minutes.
    3. When cooled, puree in food processor.
  2. Chop the fruit:
    1. Chop the watermelon into little cubes, almost like it is a tomato.
    2. Remove the seeds from the cherries and process in food processor.  Repeat with the peach.
  3. Mix together:
    1. Mix all vegetables and fruit together.
    2. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with jalapeno.
    3. Add juice from 1 1/2 limes.  Taste, and add the remaining lime juice if needed.
  4. Tips:
    1. Add more fruit or sugar if the salsa becomes to hot.
    2. Add more onion if the salsa is too sweet.

February 11, 2012

Baked Onion Rings


Onion rings are a timeless comfort food classic, yet do not exactly fit in well with "healthy eating".  However, I am here to inform the world that non-fried, tasty onion rings do indeed exist!  Here is a recipe that can be made two ways: All buttermilk or half buttermilk, half egg whites. 

The all buttermilk version is easier, and tastes great.  The use of egg whites does add an extra element of crunch, but also is trickier to pull off without a helper, as the egg whites loose volume quickly.  Keep this in mind.  Also, make sure to coat the onion rings with panko well, even if it means manually pressing panko into the onion ring.  You'll thank me later!!

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January 09, 2012

Roasted Shallot with Spinach Dip


Shallots are an easily forgotten, yet delectable cousin to onions and garlic.  This recipe showcases their brilliance while providing an alternative to boring, predictable onion dip, and can even make you the hero with the best snack at the Super Bowl Party.  Well, lets not get crazy.


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November 06, 2011

Fire Roasted Salsa



This recipe is always a winner, who doesn't love fresh salsa?

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June 01, 2010

Roasted Fennel with Parmesan


I'm quite fond of fennel. Mostly, I eat it raw - on its own or in a salad. I've put it in soups from time to time, but I also like to roast it. Fennel, like other vegetables when they're roasted, will caramelize and develop a subtle sweetness. The fennel here is roasted simply and the saltiness of the Parmesan cheese compliments it nicely.

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April 14, 2010

Black Bean Salad


With summer getting closer it's time to brush up on some quick sides and salads that are versatile enough to serve with just about anything. This one came from my wife asking me to pick up a bean salad from the deli counter, but the line was just too long and, well, why not make it yourself?

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February 11, 2010

Potatoes Au Gratin


From my experience, you mostly can't go wrong by adding cheese to a savory dish. I mean, if it can be used to trick unsuspecting children into eating their broccoli, surely this is some kind of super food. Which is just one reason why I've always been fascinated by Potatoes Au Gratin. I've never made them in the past because I'm generally not to fond of cream sauces, but I finally gave in to the potato-cheese-siren.

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January 31, 2010

Top 10 Super Bowl Recipes


While considering the Super Bowl party I'm not having, I started thinking about all the great appetizer-type dishes that make these parties fun for those of us who aren't such big football fans. There are the classics, of course, and the misadventures (usually in the form of a seven-layer-bean-dip) - but good food always makes a good party. 

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January 24, 2010

Roasted Garlic Bean Dip


So I'm standing on line at the grocery store, and I'm next. There are several people behind me with loaded carts and I notice I have a voice mail. It's from my wife. She's asking me to bring home some hummus. There's none in my cart but there's no way I'm abandoning my spot in line.

I'd be committing another 30 minutes for those mashed garbonzos and it's not that my wife isn't worth it, but I figured I could come up with a substitute when I got home. Here's what I improvised.

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January 06, 2010

Meatballs with Soy-Mirin Glaze


My kids aren't the best eaters.

Well, let me clarify. The Big One is happy to try most things and has a broader palette (which mostly doesn't include vegetables), but the Little One has a diet whose entries you could count on one hand.

Wedged between the hot dogs and the chicken fingers are little meatballs that my wife get's from a local deli. He wants nothing to do with my Real Italian Meatballs, which is a point of contention and the reason I'll be taking him out of my will unless he changes his ways, but I figured I could at least try to replicate the golf-ball-sized spheres of beef he drools over whenever my wife returns from town. I tried once without much success, then a co-worker gave me a recipe, which I've based these on.

I'm pretty sure those deli meatballs use some kinds of canned beef gravy and I'm absolutely sure these are much better. As it turns out, the Little One thinks so, too.

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