All posts by dudikadog


salad photoINGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs. minced shallot

2 tsp. red-wine vinegar (balsamic, blackberry, fig or another vinegar)

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard (favorite is Trader Joe’s)

1 small clove garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/4 tsp. salt with knife, pestle and mortar, back of spoon or plate, or meat tenderizer

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

10-20 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

Mixed greens or straight arugula, a few handfuls


Whisk together the shallot, vinegar, mustard, garlic paste, and several grinds of fresh pepper in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly, emulsifying the dressing. Add the tomatoes to the vinaigrette, mix gently, and set aside until ready to serve, up to 2 hours. Approximately 15-30 minutes ahead of serving, place the greens on top of tomato vinaigrette until ready to serve. I like to place wax paper, a clean damp paper towel or a plate over the top of the bowl until ready to serve. Toss salad and serve immediately.

I make this dressing most nights. It’s my number one favorite for flavor and simplicity. I usually have all the ingredients on hand except the shallot which I often omit. Other vinegars can be substituted…I love blackberry or fig…there are many others. This is a very forgiving recipes…have fun experimenting.


Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

imageThis recipe is for soft delicious sugar cookies with strawberry cream cheese frosting. Change up the frosting anyway you like…almond, lemon or any other delicious flavor even plain.


1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1 egg
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tarter
1/4 tsp. salt

8 ounce package Cream Cheese, softened
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of Powdered sugar
Flavoring: 1/2 cup Fresh strawberries or other berries
1/4 tsp of lemon or lime zest (Optional)


Cream butter and sugar (if you have a kitchenaid this is the time use it with the paddle, if not it’s great exercise). Add egg and mix, scraping down the sides as you mix. In another medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cream of tarter and salt. After the dry ingredients have been whisked together mix the dry mixture into the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well.

Chill for one hour or more.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface or pastry board roll out the cookie dough to 1/8th to 1/2 inch thick (I like them thick). Cut cookies with cookie cutters or I use a glass for a nice round cookie then place on parchment paper. Cook for six to 8 minutes or longer if the cookies are thicker. The cookies should be just beginning to turn a light brown around the edges.

Cool for 10 to 15 minutes on the pan and transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

Puree and drain approximately 1/2 cup of berry mixture and set aside. Sift the powdered sugar if it’s clumpy and set aside. Using a wooden spoon, hand blender or mixer mix the cream cheese till light and fluffy then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until desire thickness and sweetness. Add approximately 1/4 cup of the pureed berry mixture and fold into the frosting. Taste and add more if desired. This will thin out the frosting a bit so add a touch at a time to desired thickness. A touch of lemon zest or lime zest is terrific for a little zing if you like.

Frost cookies and add sprinkles or leave plain.



1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups milk
***1 tablespoon sugar, optional
***1 teaspoon vanilla, optional

In a medium bowl combine flour, eggs, egg yolks, oil or butter, and 1/2 cup of milk until smooth. A handheld blender, blender, beaters, whisk or many other tools do the trick. Add the rest of the milk and blend until smooth.

Heat a skillet or crepe pan over medium heat and butter the pan between each crepe. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter onto pan and swirl the batter around evenly by lifting the pan up and rotating your wrist in a circular motion for even distribution. Swirl the batter around the pan as thinly as possible. Lift up the edge to check for to see if done. Light brown is the goal unless you prefer your crepes more or less brown. Flip with a spatula or like my brother…flip it into the air and catch it in the pan. Brown the other side and continue until all crepes are made or eat and make as you go.

This batter is good prepared the same day you make the crepes and even better the night before. I haven’t tried this yet but this may be a good recipe to make a batch and then make a crepe a day for a few days.  I love hot crepes with sugar, filled with jam, filled with berries and whip cream, eggs inside with sausage and jam and i can’t wait to try filling them with homemade lemon curd (same lemon curd from the dream pie) and blueberries.

One of these days I will figure out how to make a scrumptious carmel filling and explore these as a dessert. Savory is very good also…with ground hamburger, sharp cheddar and garden fresh tomatoes or sauted spinach, mushrooms and garlic. Leave out the sugar and vanilla when you are making the savory crepes. 


Blackberry Crisp

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Prepare an 8×8 cooking dish–do nothing or butter if you like.





Blackberries or any other fruit…berries, apples, pit fruit
Squeeze of lemon, optional
***1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour or crisp mixture when using berries, optional

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup old fashion oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Less than 1/8 teaspoon of salt and totally optional
3/4 cup soft butter

Place fruit in the prepared dish. Toss with lemon juice in dish. If using berries sprinkle with a little crisp mixture or cornstarch or flour–or skip this step all together–this will thicken the fruit filling. Toss gently. Mix dry crisp topping ingredients together in a separate bowl. Using a fork and knife combine the dry ingredients with the soft butter. Mix and mash until the topping is evenly combine and resembles a coarse topping (size of peas). Evenly distribute over the fruit and cook until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes.


Tomato Pesto Pasta Sauce

This sauce is simple and delicious.


2, 15 ounce cans, Italian spiced or plain, dice Tomatoes, whole tomatoes or puree or garden tomatoes in the summer

Pinch of oregano, maybe 1/2 teaspoon

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Pinch of chili powder

A few grinds of fresh pepper or a pinch of ground pepper

One clove of garlic

Pinch of brown sugar

Dash of cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Dribble of Olive oil

A few tablespoons of pesto, pre-made or homemade

Start by pouring the tomatoes with juice into a sauce pan and blend with a hand blender pureeing the tomatoes. You could also use a potato masher or a fork to smash the tomatoes.

Heated the sauce at medium-high heat until simmering and then turn down the heat. Add all of the ingredients except the pesto and simmer while your choice of pasta or ravioli cooks. Turn the heat off the sauce and stir in the pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning. Just as pasta is finishing up turn the heat back on your sauce and give it a quick warm up. Delicious on vegetables, chicken, fish, rice, pasta, raviolis….ice cream..nah….if you try the last one let me know how it is….

Top with grated hard cheese of your choice or gorgonzola. I found a new one at Traders…an aged gouda that is similar to parmasean….LOVE IT!


Stuffed Pumpkin



1 pumpkin, 2½–3 lbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 baguette, long and thin, cut into ½-inch chunks
4-6 oz cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into ½-inch chunks
2–4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped (optional)
About ¼ cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions

1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme
About 1/3 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, parchment, tinfoil or find a Dutch oven slightly larger than your pumpkin.

CAREFULLY cut the top of the pumpkin like a jack-o-lantern. Clean out the seeds (you can roast these, if you like) and inside strings from the inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin with a good dose of salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper — and pack the mix into the pumpkin. Fill the pumpkin to the top with the mixture. If you don’t have enough add more bread and cheese and extra stuff.  Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Add the cream until moist. Only use enough cream to moisten the mixture. You can add more or use less if necessary.  This recipe is very flexible….try different veggies or meats in the pumpkin. Also, other types of squash can be used instead of a pumpkin.♥

Put the cap on the pumpkin and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours — or until everything is bubbling and the pumpkin is tender when tested with a fork or knife. Take the cap off during the last 20-30 minutes so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown.

When the pumpkin is ready bring it to the table on a serving plate. IT’S VERY HOT!!!!

Serve in a little dish or on a plate. I took a spoonful of everything so it was a layered effect but you could mix it all together and serve it that way. I like the pumpkin to remain whole like a pot of fondue. You can also slice it and serve it. I like to use a thin long baguette for the bread and then use half of the baguette for the pumpkin mixture and 1/2 (more or less for both) to serve the pumpkin on as an appetizer. Thinly slice 1/2 of a thin, long baguette (other half of baguette that you didn’t use in the pumpkin mixture) and brush olive oil on both sides. Toast on a cookie sheet or something to bake on in the oven at 500 degrees. Flip the small toasts a few times until light brown and toasty. These are perfect to serve the pumpkin appetizer on. ENJOYO!

Diverged recipe, original recipe from Dorie Greenspan. Dorie Greenspan latest book is Around My French Table.  She has an audio recipe on sideDish, GOOD FOOD, KCRW.