When “C” does not stand for what to “Cook”?

So I haven’t updated this blog in a long time. I love the idea of keeping in touch with anyone in the entire world and building a great place to go for easy recipes, but my life is very different from the average bloggers. I’m up a little after 5 AM, I have a 3 hour commute each weekday to Beverly Hills and I’m trying and often failing to fit time in to exercise, play music, write and also just plain have fun with my family and friends. And as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have the time to set-up, take and post the amazing photos that so many other food bloggers do although I certainly envy their talents and the time they must have available. I sound like I’m complaining , but far from it. You see, time matters to me. Now, more than ever.
Because, another reason I haven’t posted here lately, is that my husband went in for a regular eye exam, only to be told that he had eye cancer. Yes, the man who painted my toenails by candlelight, who has a large albeit sometimes hidden heart of gold and is the reason my boys open even car doors for women has something that has never affected anyone in his family. The fear was paralyzing at first – but then, we marched through it like soldiers probably have to do when they go to war  – suddenly seeing the cracks in our fragile lives – staying as strong and as hopeful as humanly possible because after all, we are just that – only human. 
Long story short, like an unwilling yet lucky Russian Roulette player, we may have dodged the bullet because after months of treatment and tests including a genetic test, the type of cancer he has in his eye has less than a 5% chance of spreading. If the genetic test had came back otherwise, that 95% chance would have meant not if, but when the cancer would have spread to his liver, brain or other organs and if that occurred, per the medical websites (that turn all of us into medical researchers who think we can self-diagnose), there (would have been) “no known treatment”. Three words I’m so relieved we most likely will never need to deal with.  
So, now, how do we feel? Picture the Russian Roulette scene in Deer Hunter – only this time Christopher Walken doesn’t take the gun up to his head one last time towards a tragic end  – but instead, he smiles, suddenly remembers how lucky he is to have Robert DeNiro’s character as a close, lifelong friend, and they both walk out from the dark dungeon into the bright, bustling streets to live life as they had planned all along – playfully, gratefully and joyfully to feel the sun’s rays on their faces, the damp cool sand between their toes, embracing the smell of cheap perfume and pine trees and the sound of their children’s laughter when they tease and joke and the funny whimpers of their furry little dog when it’s time to go for a walk, etc….etc….etc….Then, decades later, they both die a natural death together in their sleep. Yes, that is how we feel! That, and hungry at least three times a day. So, what’s for dinner? Other than the Cheese Platter Mammoth Mountainamazing array of dishes delivered from friends during the ordeal? Maybe just some good wine, cheese, God’s unprocessed fruits, olives and nuts – with good friends and family. Because right now, at least today, I am so happy we are all simply alive and don’t feel like cooking.    

Eggplant : Tapanade Recipe

Easy Eggplant Tapanade

Easy Eggplant Tapanade

This is one of my go-to healthy appetizer recipes that can be made quickly or made ahead. Like all of the recipes I post here, you can change it up easily adjusting the measurements or using different spices and seasonings and it will still be easy and delicious. While an eggplant tapanade is usually considered Italian, it is also something commonly seen throughout the Middle East. The spices I use were inspired by an eggplant dish at a Moroccan restaurant we used to go to for special occasions. The vinegar and honey add a great “sweet and sour” element to the recipe.


The only problem with frying eggplant in oil is that it absorbs so much of the oil that it becomes heavy and caloric. I start with a little bit of oil for flavor and add water instead. It

You can replace the tomato paste and honey with ketchup.

You can replace the tomato paste and honey with ketchup.

works great and the eggplant stays moist. 


  • 1 Eggplant, cut into cubes
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
  • Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons
  • *Tomato Paste, 4 Tablespoons
  • *Honey, 2 Tablespoons

(*Instead of tomato paste and honey, you can use ketchup.)

  • Capers, 2 Tablespoons 
  • Ground Cumin, 1 Tablespoon 
  • Ground Chili Powder, 1 Tablespoon 
  • Fresh Basil and/or Fresh Cilantro chopped


Slice the Eggplant into rounds first, then into cubes.

Slice the Eggplant into rounds first, then into cubes.

Slice the eggplant into rounds and then into cubes.

Tear the red pepper open and remove the step and seeds with your hands.

Chop the onion. 




Heat the oil in the pan and add the vegetables. Stir.

Add a little water (1/3 of a cup or so) and continue to cook on a low flame. Stir. 

Add more water as needed to keep the pan moist, not dry.


Use water in addition to the oil so the tapanade stays moist, not oilyl.

Use water in addition to the oil so the tapanade stays moist, not oily.

When eggplant is soft, add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Cool and serve with crusty bread, crackers or endive leaves if you eat gluten free.


When guests show up, what to munch on from the cupboard?

This really does not constitute a recipe. But I like to share ideas for entertaining as I find or think of them. With the holidays coming, what are several things to keep on hand at all

Canned Butter Beans with Olive Oil and Pepper.

Canned Butter Beans with Olive Oil and Pepper.

times in case company shows up unexpectedly? 


  • Canned Butter Beans
  • Crackers
  • Bottled Olives
  • Bottled Cornichons
  • Cream Cheese or Goat Cheese 
  • Fig Jam and/or Pepper Jelly
  • Fresh Fruit like sliced apples and seedless grapes
  • Sparkling Wine in the fridge




Just place the drained beans in a bowl and drizzle with Olive Oil, and freshly ground pepper and salt. 

Put the drained Olives and Cornichons in little bowls.

Put the cream cheese on a plate and smother it with the Fig Jam or Pepper Jelly. This combination also works well on endive leaves.

Surround the beans and cream or goat cheese with little crackers.

Put the fruit out. 


Open the bubbly and enjoy!



Pommes Anna : Recipe : Easy

I love making Pommes Anna mainly for the pretty factor. That and of course the ease of making the recipe that you just throw in the oven after preparing. Your kids will also enjoy helping you layer the potatoes. 


Sliced Potatoes, Butter, Salt & Pepper.

Sliced Potatoes, Butter, Salt & Pepper.



  • 6 peeled Russet Potatoes, sliced thin. 
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick or 4 ounces) Butter, melted in microwave in 10 second increments or alternatively, Olive Oil if you are a Vegan.
  • Salt and Pepper (I used Truffle Salt for an extra layer of flavor. You can add extra flavor as you like with Grated Parmesan Cheese, or Chopped Fresh Rosemary etc…)


Use a Pastry Brush to cover an Iron Pan with melted butter

Layer slices of potatoes. 

Brush with butter. Sprinkle salt on top of layer. Continue to layer, butter and salt.

Drizzle the remaining butter over the potatoes. 

Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are cooked through.

Just bake until golden brown. Slice like a pie.

Just bake until golden brown. Slice like a pie.

Slice like a pie and top with sour cream. A great gluten free side for any dinner.