Labor Day Recipes

The nice people at Real Simple Magazine have published numerous recipes for summer pleasers like corn, watermelons, blueberries, or peaches.

This is a real treasure of ideas for weekend summer cooking. The watermelon salad, blueberry tart, and peach parfaits look really good, but there are many more!

Buy some Chardonnay, click the links above to go to their recipe pages and enjoy a happy, safe and delicious Labor Day Weekend.



The Taste at 40% Off


The LA Times food Festival called “the Taste” is now offering discounts of 40% on many of the major events. Go to the website:, and look for the 40% off symbol. Use codes WEB or LAT when checking out. I predict by the weekend we may see discounting of 70 – 100% as they get more desperate to fill the too- many, too far flung things they have scheduled.

Roasted Zucchini and Potato Tart

From Wine Spectator’s recipes

• 1 generous pinch saffron threads
• 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into thin rounds
• 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
• 2 zucchini, cut into thin rounds
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Olive oil
• 6 cups watercress
• 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium saucepan, toast the saffron threads over medium-high heat until they become aromatic, around 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, 2 teaspoons of salt and cover with water. Let the water come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are barely done, around 15 minutes. Strain and let cool.

2. Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto a greased baking sheet and prick the surface all over with the tines of a fork. Brush the top of the pastry with olive oil, then sprinkle with fine salt. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini slices and potato slices with olive oil to coat, and salt to taste. Layer the slices closely on top of the pastry, alternating rows of zucchini and potato, and leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake until the crust turns a golden-brown color, around 20 minutes.

3. While the tart is cooking, make a salad dressing by whisking together 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the watercress and the crumbled goat cheese with the dressing. Divide the salad onto four plates and serve with a slice of the tart. Serves 4.

Chocolate Good for the Heart! Again!

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All the news media today are reporting that a big research study has come out in favor of chocolate consumption, again.  Researchers publishing in the British Medical Journal  based on a review of work with over 100,000 people found that chocolate could reduce heart attack risk by 1/3.  The best news?  The more you eat of it, the better it works.

The experts reported that  people who ate the most chocolate could reduce their risk of heart disease by as much as 37 percent, their risk of diabetes by 31 percent and their risk of stroke by 29 percent, compared with those who ate the least chocolate.  Do they know how or why?  Of course not! [That’s what they always say]

Every time one of these reports come out, they quickly add that they are not advocating that people start consuming large quantities.  And, common sense will tell you that you would want to eat the lowest fat, highest cocoa content that you can, to maximize the benefits, and minimize the negatives.

Chocolate companies start shipping when the weather cools down, so get yourself some quality stuff for the cooler season, like Guittard, Dagoba, or Valrhona.


What’s with Anthony Bourdain?


Anthony Bourdain went out of his way last week to offer scathing elitist criticism of celebrity chefs that he looks down on, like Paula Dean and Sandra Lee. Why? Are his ratings lagging? Why dis people with a completely different style? Isn’t there room for many styles and levels?
If you read all his quotes about his actually very popular peers, he comes off like a real ass!

Hurricane Cocktail


Of course we hope nobody needs one, but just in case….

Hurricane Cocktail
1 oz vodka
1/4 oz grenadine syrup
1 oz gin
1 oz light rum
1/2 oz Bacardi® 151 rum
1 oz amaretto almond liqueur
1 oz triple sec
grapefruit juice
pineapple juice

Pour all but the juices, in order listed, into a hurricane glass three-quarters filled with ice. Fill with equal parts of grapefruit and pineapple juice, and serve.

One more peachy recipe – Peach, Prosciutto and Ricotta Crostini

Quick – before the peaches are gone for the season!!  This looks so good, and so simple.  From



  • 12 slices ciabatta bread
  • 1 ripe peach (sliced very thin)
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta (preferably sheep’s milk)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6  thin slices of prosciutto (about 1/4 lb)
  • Honey


Grill bread slices. (I would probably brush with Olive Oil for more flavor)

Halve, pit, and thinly slice peach.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon ricotta onto each toast and sprinkle with ground pepper. Tear prosciutto into feathery pieces and drape a few slices over ricotta on each. Drizzle each with honey and top with 2 peach slices.

Recommended with Pinot Grigio or Rose, but I think this could go with lots of wine choices.
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