condiments + appetizers

oven applesauce

My son and I have a habit of watch­ing the cook­ing chan­nel together. He sali­vates and tells me what he likes to eat and I take notes. A few nights ago, we watched The Bare­foot Con­tessa, oth­er­wise known as Ina … more




chinese five spice blend

I love dis­cov­er­ing spice blends and mak­ing up my own. My 20-year old Braun spice/coffee grinder finally gave out and I just bought a new one, a lit­tle Krups that is wholly ded­i­cated to spices. You can buy Chi­nese Five … more




nightshade free yellow mustard

Based on the well-guarded French’s Clas­sic Yel­low Mus­tard, below is a ver­sion adapted for us lovers of mus­tard, only gluten-free and night­shade–free. In a world where we’re busier than ever, mus­tard is the last thing any of us really want … more




guacamole

When my husband’s fam­ily came from Ger­many this sum­mer, one of the foods they ate in abun­dance was Mex­i­can, smoth­ered in everyone’s favorite condi­ment — gua­camole. Whether you like it smooth or chunky, hot or mild, gua­camole is that quin­tes­sen­tially … more




zucchini cakes

I hap­pen to love zuc­chini, a fond­ness my fam­ily does not share. I’ve been tor­tur­ing them for years, offer­ing new recipes in the hope they will grow to love this del­i­cately fla­vored veg­etable. Mis­sion accom­plished (except for the 10 year … more




nightshade-free black bean guacamole

Hav­ing to give up one of my favorite cuisines, Mex­i­can food, has been ridicu­lously dif­fi­cult. I love moles and salsa, chili rel­leno and grilled pep­pers, but they don’t love me. Turns out, they don’t love my daugh­ter either. So, I … more




Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is a very sim­ple dress­ing to put together, with a nice acidic bal­ance. I use a mini proces­sor, in which case, I need to thin the dress­ing with a tea­spoon or two of water. If you sim­ply shake it … more




gluten-free vegan almond spread

Good for the brain and good for the heart, almonds are also a great way to reg­u­late cho­les­terol. When I want some­thing fluffy and creamy to dip my veg­gies or rice crack­ers in, this is a great option, and a … more




gluten-free thousand island dressing

I remem­ber eat­ing this as a kid over an ice­burg let­tuce salad. I never cared that the let­tuce had absolutely no fla­vor — the point was the dress­ing. This is great over a stan­dard salad, or bet­ter yet, as the … more




one-minute soy-free, gluten-free mayonnaise

I will never buy store bought may­on­naise again! My long-time favorite has been Best Foods — great because it has won­der­ful fla­vor and is gluten-free — not so great because it is made with soy and preser­v­a­tives. I gave this … more




caesar dressing

Can I inter­est you in some hairy fish? This mis­un­der­stood mem­ber of the her­ring fam­ily packs a huge punch. And when served improp­erly, an anchovy can leave an indeli­bly unfa­vor­able mark upon your pal­let. But con­sider this — when served prop­erly, … more




cilantro vinaigrette

Cilantro. An herb peo­ple are rarely ambiva­lent about. I hap­pen to love it. Being a Cal­i­forn­ian, I sup­pose I have a nat­ural predilec­tion for it. This is an adap­ta­tion of the sauce for Fish Tacos. Prep time: 5 min­utes Total … more




gluten free, dairy free ranch dressing

Not just a dress­ing but a condi­ment for mak­ing all sorts of veg­eta­bles palat­able for young kids. God for­bid they ever actu­ally put it on a salad! Serve this up with cucum­bers, car­rots and cel­ery for a refresh­ing snack, or … more




tzatziki

A cool com­pli­ment to a Mediter­ranean meal…make it an hour ahead of time so that the fla­vors can meld together. Great with Gar­lic Rose­mary Chicken. Prep time: 10 min­utes Total time: 1 hours, 10 min­utes Yield: 3 cups or about … more




onion rings

This is a splurge. Things like french fries and onion rings are kind of a pain to pre­pare, which keeps us from doing it too often. We have these once in a blue moon. One large onion is the right … more




hard-boiled egg spiders

If you fol­low a spe­cial diet, be sure to include cal­cium rich foods.  Cal­cium is an impor­tant nutri­ent, espe­cially when you or your child is on a dairy-free (casein-free) diet. Cal­cium is impor­tant for strong bones, as well as sup­port­ing … more




dill vinaigrette

Burst­ing with the fresh­ness of lemon and the light­ness of dill, but grounded with the tart­ness of dijon mus­tard makes this a fam­ily favorite. I love it over greens with a piece of fish atop. This is also great on … more




margherita pizza

I don’t think you should have to give up pizza just because you can longer eat gluten or dairy. With Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Tor­tillas, I make these in my largest cast iron pan. If you can’t do dairy, try … more




rolled tacos

When I want to use up left­over Pot Roast, this is a great, savory snack or din­ner. I don’t like to serve fried food very often, but when the fam­ily craves it, I fig­ure if they’re going to eat it, … more




herbed hummus

In my quest to develop a short-cut recipe for falafel, I instead came up with a lovely recipe for Herbed Hum­mus. There’s a few ingre­di­ents here, but the result is deli­cious and com­plex, and trust me, you’ll love hav­ing these … more




greek vinaigrette

This is a really nice com­bi­na­tion of fla­vors that, for me, epit­o­mize Greek food — gar­lic, lemon, fresh oregano… I love this on a typ­i­cal Greek salad, piled high with lots of veg­eta­bles, which is the per­fect foun­da­tion for left­over … more




hot wings & drummettes

Okay, once in a while, I think these are okay, espe­cially for the Super Bowl or Mon­day night foot­ball. At least if you make them home­made, you know what your fam­ily is eat­ing and it’s free of trans fat. I … more




a cocktail party for the new year

Whether or not you’ve packed the hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions away, on New Year’s Eve, hope­fully you’ll be able to par­take of one last cel­e­bra­tion. There’s some­thing renew­ing about Jan­u­ary 31st. It’s an oppor­tu­nity to be thank­ful for the year you’ve had. … more




fish cakes

Prep time: 15 min­utes Total time: 25 min­utes Yield: 12–16 fish cakes This is a great dish for any left­over flaky white fish such as hal­ibut or cod. I always make extra fish for Fish Sticks or Fish Tacos so we … more




creamy avocado dressing

When you have to give up dairy, you feel as though you no longer get to expe­ri­ence that lux­u­ri­ous tex­ture we all love. Avo­cado is the per­fect ingre­di­ent to give you creami­ness with­out the cream. Total time: 5 min­utes Yield: scant … more




sweet potato latkes

Safe for peo­ple with night­shade aller­gies, these Sweet Potato Latkes are a snap to pre­pare. If you’re cook­ing for an army and have a food proces­sor, you can grate them in sec­onds with your grater attach­ment. They are won­der­ful as … more




latkes

We just cel­e­brated Christ­mukkah last week. Just like it sounds, this mish-mash of Christ­mas and Chanukah is a time to dec­o­rate our tree with friends, play the drei­del game and cook latkes. My kids love to col­lect choco­late gelt from … more




tartar sauce

My grand­mother was an amaz­ing cook, but never wrote her recipes down. Actu­ally, I never did either until I started this blog, so I shouldn’t com­plain. So when I found her tar­tar sauce recipe in our fam­ily cook book, it … more




bbq chicken pizza

A word about “pizza”. You know those things that your mom made you eat as a child that were just short of a scar­ring expe­ri­ence? In our house it was Mon­tana Stew which was com­prised of ground beef, kid­ney beans, … more




cranberry relish

This is a sta­ple at any Thanks­giv­ing table, but I make it year ’round. It’s the per­fect top­ping for a slice of brie atop a rice cracker. Many peo­ple like addi­tional fruit (raisins, apples, cur­rants) or nuts (wal­nuts, pecans) in … more




hard boiled eggs

Active time: 10 min­utes Total time: 1 1/2 hours Yield: 14 appe­tiz­ers Spe­cial tools: egg cooker optional This is stan­dard, old-fashioned fare, but they’re fill­ing and a party favorite. There are two ways to hard boil eggs. The tra­di­tional way … more




garlic dill aioli

This is a tasty dip for steamed aspara­gus spears and for strips of Gar­lic Rose­mary Chicken as an appe­tizer. It’s quick and can be made with pur­chased mayo or you can splurge and whip up your own. Prep time: 5 min­utes … more




chips and hummus

My kids like hum­mus in their lunches with car­rots and chips, so I always dou­ble this when­ever I make it. It’s won­der­ful in place of may­on­naise in sand­wiches or wraps and you can serve it with fresh, raw veg­eta­bles. But … more




mushroom tapenade

I like to dou­ble this, because it goes quickly. I eat it with a spoon, but would serve it to guests on endive spears or with rice crack­ers. Prep time: 10 min­utes Total time: 15 min­utes Yield: About 2/3 cup … more




cilantro pesto

This is great on scram­bled eggs, and for mar­i­nat­ing chicken, turkey and fish. Prep time: 5 min­utes Total time: 5 min­utes Yield: 1/2 cup Spe­cial equip­ment: mini food proces­sor 1 large bunch cilantro 1/4 c. olive oil 1/8 c. fresh squeezed … more




homemade jam

On a recent trip to Ore­gon, we hit sweet black­berry sea­son at it’s peak. We picked til our fin­gers were pur­ple and prickly and didn’t even make a dent in the bushes out­side my sister’s beach house. I found Pomona’s … more




sweet and savory dressing

This is my favorite and most requested dress­ing. It goes per­fectly with the Chi­nese Chicken Salad, but I use it for every salad you can imag­ine. Prep time: 5 min­utes Total time: 5 min­utes Yield: 1/2 cup 1/4 c. veg­etable oil … more




essential roasted salsa

This is adapted from Rick Bay­less’ Mex­i­can Kitchen, one of my all-time favorite cook­books, which should be a sta­ple in your kitchen if you have any fond­ness at all for Mex­i­can food. Prep time: 10 min­utes Total time: 15 min­utes Yield: … more




homemade mayonnaise

Before you scratch your head and won­der who would want to make may­on­naise on their own, just try it, espe­cially if you’re aller­gic to soy. It’s so easy, really, and totally addict­ing. A warn­ing about raw eggs. My research shows … more