German Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

German chocolate cheesecake cups

It’s strange how a food can symbolize so much more than just food. We attach people, events and emotions to foods and smells to anchor us to our history. The combination of pecans, coconut, chocolate and caramel is one such anchor for me. Continue reading

Where’s My Backpack? Travel Theme: Edges

“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.” –Fanny Burney

All roads lead to Rome. Enjoy some of the multiple edges of the Eternal City.

Roman Coliseum

Roman Coliseum

Florence, Italy
You need only look up to see the fine edges of her beauty.

Florence Italy

To see more from Where’s my backpack?, weekly photo theme, go here.

Baked Tomato With Pesto & Mozzarella

Baked tomato with pesto and mozzarella

I have fresh tomatoes coming out of my ears. I’m not complaining, I swear. I will be crying for fresh tomatoes in October when they are replaced in the grocery stores with red, tasteless orbs of tomato likeness. I love caprese salad because seriously what’s not to love about tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella? I wanted a warm pretty side dish to serve with baked black cod (sable fish). These baked “caprese” tomatoes were the perfect addition. Continue reading

Tortilla Soup- Vegetarian

What's for. Dinner?

I know that you all are dying to know what I made with my “What’s for dinner? Challenge” ingredients. I can tell from the “holding your breath in anticipation” cyber silence. Feel free to breathe now and leave a comment if you came up with a recipe for the challenge. :-)

South of the border, Tortilla Soup is usually made with chicken but the portobello mushrooms lend a “meaty, umami” flavor and the grilled peppers and corn lend a smoky deliciousness to the soup. I topped my soup with avocado, non-fat sour cream and toasted corn tortilla strips for a vegetarian meal. Vegans, just leave off the sour cream for an animal friendly meal.

Mushroom tortilla soup

Roast or grill fresh corn and red peppers.

Mushroom tortilla soup

Combine rough chopped carrot, onion, potato, mushroom, garlic, and sautée in olive oil.

Mushroom tortilla soup

Simmer in cumin, ancho chili powder, coriander seasoned mushroom broth.

Tortilla Soup, Vegetarian

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 medium onion diced
2 gloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground dried coriander
2 tsp ancho chili powder, more or less to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups vegetarian broth, I used mushroom broth
2 cups water
2 cups fresh seeded tomatoes or canned
14 oz can pinto or red kidney beans, drained
2 portobello mushrooms rough chopped, any mushroom will work
2 carrots diced
1 large potato diced
Kernels from 2 ears fresh corn
1 red bell pepper roasted and chopped
2 cups chard, kale or spinach chopped or torn
Adjust salt to taste, the broth and beans may be salted already.

To Serve
1 avocado sliced
1 lime quartered to squeeze over the soup
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves picked
2 corn sliced and tortillas toasted
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese shredded

Grill or broil corn and red peppers until a nice char appears. I don’t bother to skin the peppers after roasting. Remove corn kernels with a sharp knife. While the oven or grill is hot toast the tortilla strips misted with olive oil and lightly salted until golden brown.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 2 quart pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic sautée until soft. Add cumin, chili powder, coriander and ground pepper and cook 2 minutes until fragrant. Add all vegetables except the greens, legumes and the liquids. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes. Add greens and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle into large bowls and serve with toppings on the side.

Make Time For Arugula Nectarine Feta Salad

Arugula nectarine feta salad

There’s never enough time!

“This is no time to talk about time! We don’t have the time!… What was I saying?” Cmdr. Deanna Troi, Star Trek First Contact 1996

“I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. No time to say Hello, Goodbye, I’m late, I’m late I’m late.” Bob Dale

I’m on my way to Fiesta Friday with this three ingredient salad. Continue reading

What Would You Make For Dinner?


Are you up for a challenge, Top Chefs? The prize, you ask? Uh….a sense of accomplishment. Yes a sense of accomplishment!
Now stop procrastinating and Go!

What would you make for dinner tonight?

Here are your ingredients.
Red bell pepper
Portobello mushrooms
Swiss chard

You may add seasonings and either a meat or a grain. Liquids and herbs are a freebie.

What would you make for dinner tonight?
Stay tuned for the recipe that I dreamed up.
Hint: South of the U.S. border cuisine

Leave a comment with your recipe title or a link to your blog.

Where’s My Backpack? Travel theme: Horizons

Alaskan Horizon

Early morning in Southeast Alaska. Grab a cup of coffee while the crew prepares to make way and just listen to the sea. The gentle tang of the halyards, a distant gull, the huff of a sea lion or the blow of a passing humpback. Now listen to your breath, be one with the moment and let civilization drift away.

Lemongrass and Ginger Halibut en Papillote

Lemongrass Ginger Halibut en Papillote



Halibut en paper
One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. I’m bringing this fancy yet simple dish to Fiesta Friday #29 at The Novice Gardener. Thank you to our lovely hosts Jhuls and Selma.

You are in for a treat if you have never tasted Alaskan halibut and I hope you enjoy a little taste of the Alaskan landscape in my photo slide show. Is there a word for people who are smitten with Alaska? Alaskophile? Enjoy!

I found a fantastic online source for Alaskan seafood at Island Seafoods in Kodiak, Alaska. Halibut is expensive but there’s nothing worse than paying for expensive fish that is not fresh when you get it home from the store. I want to know where and when my fish was caught. My obvious preference is to eat fish in Alaska on a boat from my line to the galley but since I don’t live in Alaska I must have my fish shipped. Many thanks to Ian at Island Seafoods for getting flash frozen seafood from the boat to my doorstep in record time. They also have salmon, crab, shrimp and cod for sale.

Halibut is a big fish and it consumes and stores more mercury than a small fish like salmon. Continue reading

Tomato & Basil for Bruschetta

Bruschetta Love

Is there anything better than fresh tomatoes keeping company with basil and garlic? What’s not to love?

Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants including vitamin C and beta carotene. They have a very good amount of the mineral manganese and a good amount of vitamin E.
Continue reading

Eggplant Parmesan With Pesto

Eggplant Parmesan With Pesto

I’m having a lazy Sunday, after an incredibly stressful week, writing my blog for Fiesta Friday. If you are a new blogger then you should find a weekly virtual group that will challenge you to write. Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener motivates me to create recipes and photos every week. I’ve made a commitment, it’s on my calendars and it gets done.

I have been exploring ways to enrich my life outside of medicine. Please don’t think for a minute that I don’t love medicine. Medicine was my first love and has been my passion since I was 12 years old. But I know there’s more to me than being a physician. I’m not sure where this silly little blog is taking me but I know for sure that writing most days keeps me writing and that’s what writers need to do, right? Yes, write.

Please enjoy my original spin on baked eggplant Parmesan with a pesto twist. Not low-fat, not carb free, not a nutritional power house but a delicious cheesy comfort food recipe.

When eating a rich main course keep your portion size reasonable and balance your plate with 1/4 main dish and 3/4 fresh fruit and vegetables. Take what you need and savor every bite.

Eggplant Parmesan with pesto

Portion control
1/4 main protein
3/4 fruits and vegetables

Add color and textures for visual and flavor satiety. The flowers are nasturtiums which I grow for salads. I keep my herbs and edible flowers free of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers.

Edible nasturtiums

Edible Organic Nasturtiums

For those of us who never follow a recipe. Here’s the quick step version. Keep reading for the printable recipe.

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan With Pesto

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 15 minute prep and 75 minutes baking time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


(You will have extra)
1 bunch of fresh basil, large stems removed, about 2 cups
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoon olive oil or more for the consistency you like

Eggplant Parmesan
3 large eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs, I used panko
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, no need to peel
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, or 1/2 cup shredded
Spray of olive oil
1 (8-ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese,
3 cups jarred or homemade, natural marinara (I used Trader Joe’s Marinara)
1/2 cup fresh or store bought pesto


Blend pesto ingredients in the food processor until blended if using fresh. I highly recommend fresh because it’s so easy to make.

Whisk eggs until blended. Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Lightly salt eggplant then dip slices into egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
Bake eggplant in a single layer on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lightly greased with olive oil. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes until golden, turning slices at 15 minutes.

Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce in a 9 X 13 baking dish, I prefer glass, and arrange one-half of the eggplant in a single layer. Spread 1/4 cup of pesto over eggplant. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat pesto layer and spoon 2 cups of marinara over the top. Top with the remaining mozzarella.
Bake, covered, at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove cover and bake 10 more minutes or until cheese melts and is golden.