Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cherry Fontina Grilled Cheese

Serve Cherry Fontina Grilled Cheese on french bread for an open face summer bite alongside cocktails.  You know Fontina is a great melting cheese in pasta dishes and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Did you know Fontina cheese has an affinity for cherries?  The cherries are flavored with lemon juice, lemon peel, black pepper and a little ground cinnamon.  This is a fun grilled appetizer during the summer and a warming simple treat straight out of the oven when the weather turns cool.

Cherry Fontina Grilled Cheese 
Serves 2 as an entree, 6-8 as appetizers

6 slices french bread
1 cup pitted bing cherries
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
6 ounces Fontina cheese, sliced


  1. Lightly brown your bread slices while preparing the cherry mixture.
  2. Roughly chop cherries.  In a small bowl mix berries with lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, salt, cinnamon and black pepper.
  3. Cover browned bread slices a heaping tablespoon of cherry mixture and top with cheese.  Leave a few extra cherries to garnish finished sandwiches.
  4. Slide a trayful under the broiler or place them on tin foil on a hot grill.  Cover and let the cheese melt.
  5. Top with reserved cherries.

This sandwich is approved for breakfast, main course, appetizer or dessert!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Red Onion & Cucumber Salad

Red Onion & Cucumber Salad not only stands on its own as a hot weather side but can also top a regular green salad.  The sour cream & apple cider vinegar dressing is a great match for tomatoes, avocado and greens.

It is important to let this salad marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.  The vinegar will break down the cucumbers and onion so that they are soft and flexible.  The red onion will taste less sharp.  The vinegar in the recipe contributes a fermented base that provides bonus goodness for your gut.

Red Onion & Cucumber Salad
Serves 4

4 small cucumbers*, unwaxed or peeled
1 medium red onion
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey
salt & pepper


  1. Rinse cucumbers and peel away outer layer of onion.
  2. Slice as thin as possible.  Use a mandolin if available for even very thin slices.
  3. Place vegetables in medium bowl and add remaining ingredients.  
  4. Stir we'll so that all ingredients are mixed.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Meatloaf Parmesan Sliders

These little beef & pork patties give you the comfort of meatloaf in a slider that takes one third the cooking time and gets a mozzarella and parmesan topping.

Meatloaf Parmesan Sliders 
Yield: 6 sliders, 3 main course servings

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus extra for serving)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 pound (6 thin slices) mozzarella cheese


  1. Place meat in a large bowl.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients, except mozzarella cheese,  in a separate small bowl to create a binding sauce.  
  3. Pour sauce over meat and combine well with a fork or your very clean hands.
  4. Form six patties and place on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Bake 375˚F for 15 minutes, top with cheese and bake 5 minutes more.  Drain any fat and juices off before topping with cheese.
Serve on mini rolls or as is over pasta with tomato sauce and sautéed mushrooms. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Beans on the Side

These are low sodium black beans, heated with a little soy sauce and cumin.  Add beans to a summer buffets served in oven- and microwave-safe ramekins.

Fill each with 1/3 -1/2 cup hot beans.  Give them a reheat in the microwave just before setting out on a tray.

Garnish with sour cream, cilantro and a little hot sauce or set up a "bean bar" to let people add their own toppings.

Perfectly portioned and fiber rich, a bean side dish goes with grilled anything, especially if some tacos or tortillas are part of the menu.

Some other bean sides for the season, perfect for Father's Day and Graduation Parties...
  • Swap out different beans to suit your menu
    • Baked beans (serve with hot dogs and hamburgers)
    • Chili beans (serve with grilled steak)
    • White beans, rosemary and olive oil (Serve with grilled salmon or trout)
    • Channa Masala (serve with tandoori grilled chicken)