Homemade Easy Ricotta Recipe

Ricotta and StrawberriesOne of the easiest traditional recipes around is homemade Ricotta. First, it is so soft and delicious and store-bought does not even come close to its fresh texture. Plus it can be expensive when it’s purchased at the store. Since its’ few ingredients are almost always in your kitchen it’s something you can whip up anytime. Homemade Ricotta is great just smeared on bread or crackers served with honey or fruit. It’s amazing in homemade lasagna or any ravioli.


  • 1/2 Gallon (2 quarts) Whole Milk (low-fat or non-fat really doesn’t work well).
  • 1/3 C Lemon Juice or White Vinegar
  • Pinch of salt (optional)


Heat milk in a pot until it’s foamy and almost boiling.


Remove from heat and immediately stir in lemon juice or vinegar.


Stir and then let stand for about 10 minutes.


Set up a colander with a cheesecloth in it (or use a coffee filter in a small colander).


Remove any large chunks that do not have to be drained with a slotted spoon and place in bowl.


Slowly pour the remaining mixture through the colander and let sit for as little as 15 minutes or as long as an hour depending upon how thick you’d like your cheese.


Seal and refrigerate.


Mango Lassi – Indian Yogurt Drink

One of my eldest’s son’s favorite restaurants is near the forum in Inglewood. Last time, we ate there my daughter discovered their Sweet Traditional Mango Lassisweet, mango lassi. It is such a simple recipe, that now we make it at home the way the restaurant does. Plus, it is a great breakfast alternative because of the fruit and yogurt – that and you can put it in a cup and take it in the car for a breakfast or snack on the go.







  • 2 Cups Plain Yogurt
  • 2 Cans Sweetened Mango (like Dole) or Sweetened Mango Pulp (available in Indian Markets).
  • Additional Honey or Sugar to sweeten (optional).
  • Milk to thin (if desired).


Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve over ice. 

Italian Sliced Fennel Salad

Sometimes when I’m posting something ridiculously easy to make here, I think – does this even constitute a real recipe? But this is a classic Italian side dish and I had never tried it. Now, I cannot get enough of it. It is so simple and yet so delicious and healthy. No wonder Italians make it all the time.  So it makes me happy to share it with my family. While this recipe just uses fennel, I’ve been told from one of my Italian friends that her mother used to add raw mushrooms sliced extra thin to the dish – and I’ve read that others add sliced onions. It’s a great side dish and now a staple on my table or when we bring a side dish to a barbecue or other outdoor Summer event.

Traditional Italian Sliced Fennel



  • 1-2 Fennel Bulbs
  • Fruity Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Fresh shaved parmesan cheese 
  • Salt and Pepper


1. Cut the green stalks and the hard bottom off of the fennel bulbs. 

2. Rinse the fennel bulbs well to remove any dirt or sand.

3. Slice thin.

4. Spread out onto a large plate.

5. Drizzle olive oil , lemon juice and salt and pepper on top. 

6. Then, shave the parmesan cheese on top. Done.

French Steak Butter

We frequent a French restaurant in Redondo owned and run by a man and wife team. He works hard every day in the kitchen and she runs the front of the house , greeting all of the guests every shift. The food there is amazing and I just love going there because I know how much hard work goes into every meal that comes out of their kitchen. I realized I craved the steak they serve there for one reason – the steak butter he tops it off with that melts onto the meat and plate to be absorbed by his , “pommes frites”. He also drizzles garlic butter on top of the French fries which doesn’t hurt. 


French Bistro Steak ButterNow, I make this butter, store it in the fridge and whip it out when we make steak. It really does gives it that simple and delicious  “je ne sais quoi”. 


  • Butter, 1/2 to 1 stick 
  • Garlic Clove, 1/4 only smashed
  • Lemon Zest, 1-2 teaspoons
  • Lemon Juice, 1-2 teaspoons
  • Salt and pepper, Pinch to 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh Thyme (or fresh green herbs of choice like basil, parsley…) 1-2 teaspoons


Bring butter to room temperature to make it easy to mix. Mix ingredients with a fork or food processor (my favorite is a little old-fashioned one called an “Oscar” although there are mini-processors available now in stores). Keep in the fridge or freeze until ready to add to the top of a finished steak right before serving.