Sunday, August 24, 2008

The idea of ethanol

Is there another subject other than food? I actually have a very wide range of interests other than food though some how it all seems to come back to the kitchen! So why do I find irony in the fact that the 2 main presidential candidates are talking about using corn to create new energy and reduce our need for oil. Except for the world wide "rice shortage" the biggest reason I am told that the price of eggs, milk and just about everything else is due to the "corn shortage" Why you ask? If the chickens can’t eat they produce less eggs. Some how what the chickens are eating has some thing to do with why vegetable prices are so high. You can’t seem to save any money being a vegetarian! And what has that got to do with the price of rice in China? Somehow people were not buying that due to the high cost of gas it is just too expensive to eat.

So not only are we dealing with a corn shortage that makes the idea of ethanol ridicules, there does not seem to be a clean viable way to turn corn into energy. Check out this 3-minute film from the wildly fun, smart and creative folks at

As we know it is all about the food enjoy a couple of corn recipes because other than the higher prices there seems to be an abundance of fresh sweet corn out there!

Soybean and Corn Salad
6 cups edemame, shelled and cooked
5 cups corn, off the cob cooked and cut or frozen, cooked
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro. Chopped
3/4-cup limejuice
1 tablespoon Cumin
Salt to taste
Mix all together. Taste. Adjust the lime. Unfortunately limes vary greatly in there flavor and juiciness. I always buy a few more than I need.

Grilled Corn with Chili Lime Butter
8 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, softened
1/2-teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
4 teaspoons fresh limejuice
1/2 teaspoon jalapeño, minced (or to taste)
8 ears corn on the cob in the husks

Place the butter in a small bowl; add the chili powder, lime peel, limejuice, jalapeño and salt. Mix well. Shape the butter into a log and slice into 8 even pieces. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Heat grill to medium-high. Place corn (in husk) on the grill, rotating the corn so you cook on all sides, for approximately 15 minutes total. Remove from grill and cool slightly (so you are able to peel the husk). Place corn back on grill over the same flame for about 4 minutes, once again rotating the corn for even grill marks.

Avocado-Corn Salsa
2 small to medium ripe avocados, peeled, seeded, and finely diced

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 Red onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Jalapeño peppers, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, gently combine all ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.

Local Producers

Did you know that a tomato is a member of the nightshade family whose siblings include peppers, potatoes and eggplant? Originally from South America, tomati is the Aztec word for plumb vegetable, but the conquistador’s misunderstood and turned the word into tomate. What about the fact that rabbits and squirrels won’t go near a garden with crops of onions and garlic? Did you know that Cuban Cuisine is a fusion of Spanish and Caribbean traditions? Black beans, rice and plantains are a staple of this culture plus plenty of tropical fruits like mango, papaya, coconuts and pineapple. Did you know how lucky we are to live in Southern California with all of its diversity and amazing local farm producers so we can eat locally?

Be Wise Ranch
Escondido, Ca
Be Wise Ranch is a certified organic farm that has been growing organic produce since 1977 including vine-ripe heirloom tomatoes, strawberries, squash, and melons. Bill Brammer, owner of Be Wise Ranch, has been committed to sustainable agriculture since the early days of the organic movement, and during his five-year term as the state president of California Certified Farmers (CCOF), helped draft the state and federal legislation that defined organic standards for the industry. Bill is committed to improving the quality of the soil, and to growing varieties that have the outstanding flavor the increasingly sophisticated organic consumer has come to expect.

Bennett’s Honey Farm
Piru, Ca
Red and Ann Bennett not only produce their organic honey, but also package and distributed it. Red’s former career as an electrical engineer gave him the edge as far as designing all solar powered machinery to follow their passion of bee keeping and honey filtering. The Bennett’s feel that they are a little fussier in their process, but the taste is worth the extra effort.

Cahuillia Farms
Temecula, Ca
This 500-acre farm is owned and operated Argentinean native by Sergio Glushankoff. He grows heirloom squash, garlic, onions and pumpkins using irrigation systems that filter water directly to the roots, which helps limit weeds naturally.

California Baby
Alhambra, Ca
Mother of 2, Jessica Iclisoy searched for skin care that did not contain harmful ingredients. When she could not find any California Baby was born. She features 52 products including lotions, sun care, bubble bath, shampoo and essential oils and her sons and their friends test all of the products.

Perfectly Sweet
Alhambra, Ca
Mary Aqleh learned to love baking from her grandmother and with her 26 employees are baking 24 hours a day. A supporter of local vendors she shops 3 days a week picking up ingredients from farmers that she has been buying from for years. You can watch Mary bake whiles enjoying a sweet treat at her Main street establishment.

Carlsbad Aquafarm
Carlsbad Ca,
John and Andy Davis are very busy improving the marine ecology around them. This local aquaculture lagoon houses not only Black Mussels and Manila Clams, but a living reef which is helping to replenish some species of fish.

La Cubana
Glendale, Ca
After emigrating from Cuba, Maria Fernandez’s parents opened La Cubana where customers still flock to for there traditional Cuban flavor including their famous Mojo de Ajo.This oil based marinade can be used to flavor meats, vegetables and sauces and is an amazing dipping sauce for breads.

GT’s Kombucha
Los Angeles, Ca
GT Dave started his beverage company inspired by his mother’s battle with cancer. He produces a drink that is delicious and good for you. Kombuciha is a microorganism that is beneficial to drink each day.

Begley’s Best
Studio City, Ca

Ed Begley’s cleaning products were birthed by his lifelong passion and commitment to the earth. And it is not just talk either. He lives a completely green lifestyle. His home runs on solar power and his back yard features an organic garden, and both he and his wife drive “green” vehicles. Products like Begley’s Best All Purpose Cleaner, Glass and Surface Cleaner and Spot remover are all safe to use throughout the house. As passionate about his products as his busy acting career you often see him delivering cases of product to Whole Foods Market in his electric car and educating people as a vendor at the Studio City Open air Market. Ed gives all profits back to environmental charities.

These are just a few of the local producers that are in our comunity. When we buy foods locally it supports local families, reduces fossil fuel consumption and keeps our rural areas green. It encourages biodiversity and keeps our connection to food alive. I encourage you to find out more and support our local producers that are following their hearts to make the planet better.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How To Flambé

The Term Flambé (Flahm-BAY) is a French word meaning to pour liquor over food and light it in order to burn off the alcohol and impart the flavor of the liquor to the food. It is done with dramatic effect richly flavoring the food. Traditionally it is Crepes Suzette, Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster. Chefs have been playing with the concept of setting fire to liquor to include sauces for meats and vegetables as well.
You must use extreme caution here, you will be dealing with a liquid that is on fire; do not carry the dish while flaming, this is best done on a side board away from your guests or sometimes for less formal events I will invite them in the kitchen to watch me play with fire.
In selecting a liqueur to use for a flambé, choose a liqueur that is at least 80 proof so the flames will last long enough to flavor the food. While any 80 proof liqueur may be used, you will need to pick one that the flavor will be adding something to the dish that you are flambéing.
To start you must heat the liquor. It must be heated until just warm, and is done when you see billows rise from the liquid. Do not overheat your liqueur, or the alcohol will evaporate, and it will not catch the flame. To warm your liqueur, place the amount needed for your recipe in a tiny saucepan. Now place the saucepan on the stove under low heat. Once you can see the billows rising from the liqueur, ignite the billows in the saucepan. Ignite with a long fireplace type of match or lighter. They will only ignite if the alcohol is warm enough or the alcohol has not evaporated. Now carefully pour it over the hot food. I will once again stress the importance of extreme caution. Watch out for hair clothes. I know from experience that watches and bracelets can heat up causing the skin to burn. It can be fun to share with the kids, but keep at a safe distance never near or touching the flame. Play with my Grand Marnier crepes (loosely based on traditional crepes Suzette) you can add so many fruit flavors and I have even added mini chocolate chips to the crepes and replaced the grand Marnier for a hazelnut or raspberry liqueur. I have included a popular pasta dish that is spicy and rich and always a crowd pleaser. Enjoy the drama and intense flavor of Flambé.

Grand Marnier Crepes
4 eggs
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons milk
1 pinch of salt
1- teaspoon vanilla
1-tablespoon water
2 tablespoons butter

Beat the eggs, flour, milk salt, vanilla and water to the consistency of heavy cream. Heat in a frying pan or crepe pan with 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Move the pan to spread the batter thinly, and keep it moving. After one minute, turn the pancake upside down, and then turn it again, until it is golden brown. Fold the crepe in half, and fold again to form a triangle. Proceed to make the remaining crepes, adding butter to the pan only if the crepes begin to stick.

Grand Marnier Sauce

8 ounces Grand Marnier
1/4 pound butter

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large frying pan. When it begins to bubble, pour in 6 ounces of Grand Marnier. When the mixture is warm, carefully flame the liqueur. Then plunge the folded crepes/pancakes into the warm sauce. Turn them, and add the remaining 2 ounces of blended liqueurs. When the fire dies down again, they are ready to serve. Garnish with thin strips of orange zest.

Red Hot Pasta Flambé
1/2-cup vodka
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 cups Marinara Sauce
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup half and half
Fresh basil, coarsely chopped
Fresh ground pepper
12 oz pasta of your choice
Parmesan Cheese
Soak the crushed pepper in the vodka for 1 hour. In a large pot bring salted water to a boil add pasta and cook until andante about 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat vodka mixture a large skillet over low heat. When hot light it with a match. Be very careful it will really flame. Add the butter, half and half and marinara sauce. Bring to a light boil. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce and coat well Sprinkle with basil, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Serve at once.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Where did the Luau come from and where does Hawaiian food get its influences? Hawaiian chefs are accustomed to mixing and matching a multitude of Polynesian, Eastern and Western flavors. Flawlessly and bravely creating a unique cuisine mixed with the amazing local fruits, nuts fish and vegetables. And yes, the world’s finest coffee. In ancient Hawaii, men and woman were not allowed to eat together. Commoners and women of all ranks were also forbidden by the ancient Hawaiian religion to eat certain delicacies. This all changed in 1819, when King Kamehameha abolished the traditional religious practices. A feast where the King ate with women was the symbolic act, which ended the law, and the luau was born. The favorite dish at these feasts is what gave the luau its name. Young and tender leaves of the taro plant were combined with chicken, baked in coconut milk and called luau. You may not want to roast a whole pig, but you can create a fun event using themed food and drinks and decorations.
Serve fresh fruit and decorate with pineapple, papaya, and bananas. You can have so much fun with big leaves, flowers and coconuts. Tiki torches and shells make great and fun presentations. You should always greet your guests with a flower or shell lei and you can easily find fun Hawaiian music. So grab your grass skirts and plan a summer luau.

Cold Ginger Chicken
6 Boneless chicken breasts
2 cups chicken stock
1 Maui onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
Place all ingredients in a soup pot. Add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and then cover and remove from heat and let cool. Remove chicken and refrigerate to cool. Arrange on platter and cover with sauce.
Ginger Sauce
1/2-cup canola or macadamia nut oil
1/2 cup ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced1 tablespoon soy sauce
Heat oil to a smoking point and add ginger (watch out for splattering) Let cool and whish together remaining ingredients.

Curried Mahimahi
1-pound Mahimahi
3 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce.
Whisk together curry, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. Marinate Mahi-mahi for 1 hour. Bake in a 350 oven until cooked through about 12 minutes. Or you can grill over med-low heat about 6 minutes per side. Serve at once.

Sweet Potato Salad
1/4-cup canola oil or macadamia nut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon
2 inches ginger, peeled and minced
1/2-teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-teaspoon nutmeg

Whisk all ingredients to blend in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

6 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup Macadamia nuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup brown raisins

Steam sweet potatoes in batches until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer sweet potatoes to large bowl. Cool to room temperature. Add green onions, parsley, macadamia nuts, and all raisins. Pour dressing over; toss gently to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Coconut Pound Cake
1 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
1/4-teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1-teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1-cup coconut milk
1 cup flaked coconut
Pre-heat oven to 325. Cream butter, sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, flour and milk. Fold in coconut. Pour batter into a loaf pan sprayed with bakers joy. Bake until toothpick comes out clean about 1 1/2 hours. Sprinkle with powder sugar mixed with coconut flakes. (I also like to sprinkle with edible flowers for a pretty presentation.

Haleakala Ice Tea
1-gallon water
12 black tea bags
1-cup sugar
4 sprigs mint
3 cups pineapple juice
2 cups lemon Juice

In a large pot bring water to a boil. Steep teabags and mint until very dark. Remove mint and teabags Add sugar and juices. Stir to dissolve sugar pour into containers and refrigerate. Serve with ice and fresh sprigs of mint and pineapple spears.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


As a child the only seasoning I knew came from a bottle or package. As I got older I learned that garlic was actually not a type of salt and that there were fresh herbs from the ground and not made by McCormick. As I grew in my culinary experiences I found fresh basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro, lavender and sage. To me nothing is more exotic that tarragon. The smell reminds me of a beautiful country road. The flavor so unique and wonderful. Tarragon pairs wonderfully with citrus, mustard, horseradish and cream. Look for tarragon next time you are at an open-air market or in the produce section. If you have never cooked with it before you are in for an amazing spring treat!

Baby Greens with Tarragon Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 shallot, minced
4 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
4 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
1/2-cup extra-virgin olive oil
I bag mixed baby greens

In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, the shallot, the vinegar, the tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified. Add the greens and toss the salad well.

Lobster and Tarragon Salad
2 lb cooked fresh lobster meat
1 lb small red potatoes
3 ears corn
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/4-cup olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups mixed greens
3 scallions. Thinly sliced
Pre- heat oven to 350. Pierce potatoes with a fork and roast until tender about 40 minutes. After 10 minutes add the corn and roast for 30 minutes.
Cut meat into 1-inch pieces. Cut potatoes in half, and cut corn from cobs.
Whisk together lemon juice, tarragon, mustard, and salt until combined, then add oil in a thin stream, whisking.
Just before serving, toss together lobster meat, potatoes, corn, vinaigrette, tomatoes, mixed greens, and scallion in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Lemon Tarragon Snap Peas
2 pounds Snap Peas
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

In a large kettle of boiling salted water blanch snap peas in 2 batches 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. With a slotted spoon transfer snap peas as blanched to a large bowl filled with ice and cold water. Drain well. In a large bowl whisk together lemon oil and tarragon. Add snap peas and toss well.
Serve snap peas garnished with tarragon sprigs
Shrimp Linguini in a Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
4-tablespoon tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
1-pound linguini

In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Add the cream all at once. Cook and whisk until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat and cook for one minute longer. Add vinegar, mustard and tarragon. Cook for one minute longer and then simmer to keep warm while cooking pasta and shrimp. In a large soup pot bring salted water to a boil and add linguini and cook 7 minutes.
Drain. Cook shrimp in boiling water about 2 minutes until opaque. Drain. Toss shrimp, pasta and sauce. Serve at once.

Lime Tarragon Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4-cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh limejuice
4 teaspoons tarragon, finely chopped

Arrange chicken in single layer in glass casserole or pie plate. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk oil, limejuice and tarragon in small bowl to blend. Pour marinade over chicken and turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.
Preheat broiler or prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Transfer chicken to broiler pan or barbecue. Season with salt and pepper. Broil until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dear Friends,

I hope this letter finds you well! We are having a great summer, and I wanted to let you know about all the exciting things that are happening at Back to the Kitchen.

I am now working with a Business Manager, Elisabeth Dimopoulos, so don’t be surprised if you reach her instead of me when contacting us. I am doing my best to stay “In the Kitchen” so that I can concentrate on what I do best, so give a nice welcome to Elisabeth should you happen to talk to her.

One of the most exciting things that we have done is to launch our new website, It’s still a work in progress, but take a look at what we’re up to and be sure to visit my blog, which has a link on the website.

Be sure to check out the Weddings section of the website—we are delighted by the decision of the California Supreme Court on gay marriages, and we will gladly donate 10% of the profits from any wedding, gay or straight, to Equality California, which is fighting against Proposition 8. Please pass this information on to any friends who might be looking for a caterer for their nuptials—we can handle any wedding, from an intimate affair to an extravaganza for 500.

As we contemplate the end of summer, please keep in mind that I am now booking Holiday events—get in touch soon, since the best dates fill up fast. It’s hard to believe that we are already heading into “that time of year” again, but here it is!

Again, I hope you are having a great summer and I look forward talking to you soon.

Best regards,

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


The joys of a nice summer afternoon are sipping sangria and eating little flavorful snacks. While upon occasion I like traditional sangria, I much prefer the light fruity crispness of white wine sangria. Throwing some shrimp on the grill and even grilling the shrimp and Chorizo Quesadilla can add fabulous flavor. You can toss together the sangria before your event, but the best Sangrias are chilled around 24 hours in the refrigerator allowing the flavors to really marinate into each other.

Traditional Sangria
1 Bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
1 Lemon cut into wedges
6 Oranges cut into wedges
3 Lime cut into wedges
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Shots of gin
1 Cup of sliced strawberries or raspberries
1 Small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
4 Cups ginger ale

Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and pineapple then add sugar, orange juice and gin. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving. If you'd like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice.

White Wine Sangria
1 bottle dry white wine
1 cup frozen lemonade
4 cups ginger ale or 7 up
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon sliced
1 lime sliced
4 strawberries, sliced
1 peach, sliced

In a large pitcher mix together white wine and lemon aide. Add fruit slices and about 4 cups ice. Pour over the ginger ale or 7-up and mix well. Best is a pretty glass pitcher so you can see all of the fruit.

Shrimp with Prosciutto
24 large raw tiger shrimp, tails on
12 sheets prosciutto
Olive oil for drizzling
Lemon Juice
Slice the sheets of prosciutto lengthways, and wrap each shrimp in a half sheet. Thread onto a skewer. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook on a BBQ or griddle for about 3 minutes and then flip over and cook 3 minutes more until the shrimp are cooked through and still moist and firm to the touch.

Grilled shrimp in a ginger lime marinade

2 pounds shrimp, frozen raw peeled and devained
1-cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4-cup sesame oil
2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 inches ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2-cup soy sauce
1/2-teaspoon red pepper
1 lime
In a large bowl combine oils, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, pepper and lime. Drop in the shrimp and stir gently to coat well with the marinade. Let stand at room temp for 1 hour. Prepare the grill. Reserving the marinade, arrange the shrimp in one layer in a large grilling basket; close the basket. (You can also skewer them on 8 to 10 inch skewers. Remember if using wood…soak.) Grill the shrimp 3 minutes 5 inches from heat then brush with marinade and grill for 2 more minutes. Turn and marinade and grill for 3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through and still moist and firm to the touch. As I have said before with shrimp…don’t over cook. Serve over rice with grilled veggies brushed with the reserve marinade.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
2 stalks of lemon grass
2 inches ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-tablespoon warm honey
1/4-cup olive oil
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined

Combine the limejuice, zest, jalapeno, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, olive oil, honey and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the shrimp, coating well and marinade in the refrigerator for four hours up to over night. Thread on skewers (if wooden skewers soak in water for 1 hour.) Grill over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side and brush with marinade while cooking.

Shrimp and Chorizo Quesadilla

10 large shrimp peeled, deveined, sliced in half

3 links chorizo, remove skin

4 12-inch flour tortillas
1 bag mixed Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese



Sour cream

Olive oil
Chopped cilantro

In a sauté pan with olive oil, cook peppers, shrimp and chorizo. Drain and place ingredients on half of the tortilla shell then add cheese mixture. Fold the shell over in half and lightly brown until cheese melts in nonstick sauté pan or oven. Cut in 4 triangles and put a spoon full of salsa, sour cream and guacamole. Add a little chopped cilantro for garnish and taste.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Berries

Wandering around the market is a favorite past time of mine. You know when you are not in a super hurry or when you don’t have a list! I love to cruise through the produce section and check out what is fresh and new. Late summer is such an amazing time for berries! There are so many different varieties, colors and textures, and in such abundance! We all know that you can take berries and do so many simple things. Fresh from the carton, over ice cream mixed into yogurt and because I LOVE to bake so this is a great time for muffins tarts and pies. I have put together some simple and old standard berry recipes as well as a few with a twist. So the next time you are in the market take a moment and look at the fresh berries and see if the smallest and most flavorful of fruits can inspire you.


Use any mixture of berries in this simple, quick compote. It is great to have on hand and is great over pancakes, ice cream, pound cake, cheesecake or grilled salmon (Really….Try it!)

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice
3 cups mixed berries such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
Melt butter in a skillet over moderate heat. Stir in brown sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Add berries and cook, tossing gently (try to keep most of them from breaking up), until berries are warm and juices begin to be released, 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Shrimp and Berry Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
1 basket black berries
1-basket raspberries
1/4-cup pine nuts
2 firm-ripe avocados
1-teaspoon fresh limejuice
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 cups each baby spinach and arougula (or your favorite mix of greens)

Quarter avocados lengthwise, then pit and peel. Cut length wise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Drizzle with limejuice and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare barbeque or stovetop grill (medium-high heat). Pour 1/4 cup dressing into small bowl. Reserve remainder for salad. Brush shrimp with dressing from small bowl and grill until opaque in center, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes.
In a large serving toss together spinach, arugula, berries and pine nuts and dress lightly. Arrange avocados and shrimp on top of salad and serve.

Citrus Vinaigrette

1/4-cup fresh orange juice
Juice of one lime
1/4 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
6 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3/4-cup canola oil

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix Berry Tart With Almond Crust

This recipe makes 2 tarts. It may seem like a lot, but they go so very quickly.

Use what ever fresh berries that you would like. You can get as creative as you would like in your fruit placement.
Almond tart crust
1 1/2 sticks butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanillia
2 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup almond meal
(in a food proscessor grind 1/2 cup sliced almonds with 1 tablespoon powder sugar)
pinch of salt
In the bowl of an elertic mixer combine butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until well blended. Mix in the flour and almond meal. Stop when it isjudt mixed. Do not over mix. Wrap in plastic and chill over night. Divide the dough in half and roll each out on a well floured suface to desired size and place in well spsrayed tart pans. Prick the bottom and bake in a preheated 350 oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack.

3/4 cup sugar
3 cups milk
4 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
6 large eggs
1 stick butter
2 teaspoon vanillia
In a medium saucepan mix 1/2 cup sugar to the milk nad bring to a boil stirring constantly. In a medium bowl whisk together1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch a nd yolks. Once the milk is boiling por 1/4 of the milk mixture into the egg mixture whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture into the rest of the milk mixture and return to the heat whisking until the cream thickens and comes to a complete boil. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla whisking until the butter completely melts.Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic untill it comes to room temprature.
1 pint rasberries
1 pint blueberries
1 pint blacberries
1 pint strawberries
(or any fruit and berry combo that you like)
1 cup red currant jelly
Spread 1/2 of the cream filling into each tart shell. And cover with berries. When ready to serve melt the jelly over meduim heat. Using a pastry brush carfully brush over fruit. Serve immediately.

Mixed Berrt Short cake
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter. cut into tiny peices
3/4 cup heavy cream
1quart fresh berries
1/4 cup sugar
splash orange juice
Fresh whipped cream
Spray a cookie sheet with bakers joy. Pre heat oven to 450. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder salt and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Lightly stir in cream until the dough is just blended. Drop 12 3 inch (or smaller if doing minis) rounds of batter from a spoon Bake for about 12 minutes until golden.Meanwhil, in a large bowl gently e mix berries, sugar and orange juice. When ready to serve whip the cream. Split biscuits in half lengthwise. Cover with berries and fresh cream. Serve immediately.