Strawberry and Blueberry Fruit Crisp


This is what you do when you have a lot of fruit around and you don’t want it to spoil before you can eat it all.

This particular recipe was inspired by an article on “Fresh Fruit Crisp “by food writer and chef Jodi Liano, but which we of course made our own by changing quite a bit of it for our own needs and tastes:


Recipe for Strawberry and Blueberry crisp:

4-7 cups of fruit (whole or cut into pieces)


2 T flour or cornstarch

3 T of sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cups of flour

1 T of cinnamon

1/3 cup of butter (cold, cut into pieces)


1. Put fruit, cornstarch, regular sugar in a bowl and mix together.

2. Put other dry ingredients in another bowl, then add butter pieces and mix together with your hands until the make crumbs (big and small. don’t worry about having butter lumps)


3. Put bowl of fruit into a casserole dish (or whatever you bake with) and spread around.

4. Spread the crumbs across the top


Bake at 375-385 F degrees for about 35-40 minutes. Make sure at least of the crumble topping is a bit browned, but not all of it.





You can also make a fruit cobbler very quickly as well with even less ingredients, but you have to use something that is not strawberries, since they have a lot of juices in them.

Let’s say you have some blueberries or cherries:


Fruit Cobbler

A bunch of fruit (3-7 cups)

1 stick of butter

1 cup of water

1 cup of milk

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of flour

1 T baking powder

Dash of salt

2 T of cinnamon and/or nutmug


0. Heat oven to 375-385 F. Put stick of butter in casserole or baking pan, and place in oven to melt

1. Put flour, brown sugar, salt, baking power and milk in a bowl and mix into a batter. Add spices.

2. In a saucepan add water and sugar and fruit. Bring to boil and let cook on med-high for about 10 minutes (so it reduces a bit)

3. Take casserole from oven, and pour batter into dish over butter. Do not mix, just spread it evenly.

4. Pour fruit and syrup from saucepan over batter. Do not mix, just spread evenly. DO NOT MIX.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until top is  crust is brown (crust will rise up around the fruit)


Done… now you too will look like you can cook anything

Walnut and Ham Rice Balls

Recipe from California Walnuts:

A reverence for the art of Japanese cooking can make attempting such recipes daunting, but this recipe for Walnut Rice Balls makes it surprisingly approachable.  These warm and sumptuous otsumami (a Japanese drinking snack) are a common after work nibble enjoyed with a beer or glass of sake, but the savory and crisp crowd-pleasers also make for impressive special occasion fare.  They’re also a hit with kids and a great use of leftover rice!



Walnut and Ham Rice Balls

For the rice balls
2 cups cooked white rice, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (about 1/2 pound) chopped, cooked ham
2/3 cup chopped, toasted California walnuts
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt, more or less
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For coating and frying
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for deep frying
2 or 3 tablespoons chopped parsley

To make the rice balls, in a large bowl combine the rice, ham, walnuts, panko, mayonnaise, ketchup and egg.  Beat vigorously to mix,  then season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (overnight is okay).  The mixture is easier to shape when it is cold.

Using your hands, press the rice mixture firmly into balls or oblongs, using about 3 tablespoons for each one.  Set aside.  (Refrigerate them if you are not coating them in crumbs right away.)

Coating the rice balls in flour, egg and crumbs needs to be done assembly line-style, as follows:  In a bowl beat together the eggs and water.   Combine the flour and salt on a plate.  Spread the panko breadcrumbs on another plate.

One by one, roll the rice balls in flour to coat, then dip them in the egg mixture.  Finally, roll them in the panko until evenly coated.  If they break, simply press them back together.  Set aside on a clean plate or baking sheet.  The rice balls may be cooked immediately, or covered and refrigerated for several hours or overnight.

When you are ready to fry them, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350ºF.    Fry about 4 at a time, for 3 – 4 minutes, or until well browned.  Drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a platter and sprinkle with parsley.

Makes about 14 – 16 rice balls, serving 4 – 6

Nutrition information per serving: 490 calories, 17g protein, 39g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 730mg sodium, 120mg cholesterol, 30g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 1.5g omega-3

Cod-Stuffed Pequillo Peppers with Romesco Sauce


Recipe from California Walnuts:

Spain is known for its delicious finger food or pintxos featuring the likes of cheeses, seafood, ham and nuts – making it a rich resource for inspiration.  Their Peppers Stuffed with Romesco Cod with Walnuts are a gussied up version of a classic, and a great way to work in veggies during the days of indulgence.  This nutritious, full-flavored mouthful adds zest to any spread, and it’s surprisingly straightforward to make.  A bonus: the walnut romesco sauce can be made on its own and used in a variety of other formats, like as a dip or served with a lean protein as an entrée.

Walnut-Cod_stuffed_Pequillo copy


Cod-Stuffed Pequillo Peppers with Romesco Sauce

All elements of this colorful, flavorful dish may be prepared ahead of time.  And since the stuffed peppers are served at room temperature, they are perfect for a picnic, luncheon or buffet, with crusty bread to go along.  Romesco is a frequent condiment in Spanish cookery, and there are many ways of making this pungent sauce.  Among the key elements are its red color, and a smoky flavor achieved by the addition of paprika, along with roasted tomatoes, onions and walnuts.

1 pound salted cod fillets, soaked and desalted (see Notes below)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded and sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more if needed
18 – 20 whole, roasted and peeled piquillo peppers (see Notes below)
Walnut romesco sauce (recipe follows)

*Notes:   Dried cod, preserved in salt, is available in many well-stocked supermarkets and fish markets, packed in 1-pound wooden boxes.  It must be soaked in several changes of cold water to soften, desalt and revive it.  Small fillets (like those in the boxes), need about 24 hours of soaking in the refrigerator and 3 changes of water.  After soaking, it looks and feels like fresh fish, and is just as perishable, so use it within one day or freeze it.

Whole roasted pequillo peppers, imported from Spain are sold in jars in specialty markets.  They are about the size of a large jalapeno pepper, and their cone shape makes them perfect for stuffing.  If they are not available, any whole roasted and peeled pepper, with a mild flavor, may be substituted—though if the peppers are large, you will yield fewer of them, with more stuffing.

To prepare the stuffing, place the soaked and desalted cod in a saucepan and add enough water to cover.  Bring just to a simmer and cook gently, without boiling, for about 10 minutes.  Drain well, and when the fish is cool enough to handle, either shred it with two forks or chop it coarsely with a knife.  Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the green pepper, onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 7 minutes, until soft.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the cod, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add the eggs and 3 tablespoons of the parsley.  Season with salt and pepper, keeping in mind the mixture should be quite flavorful.

Stuff each pequillo pepper with 3 – 4 tablespoons of the cod mixture.  Arrange on a platter, spoon some of the romesco sauce over the peppers and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.  Pass the remaining sauce at the table.

For the walnut romesco sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, peeled and cut in 3 pieces
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup chopped, toasted California Walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons diced pimientos (available in supermarkets, in small jars)
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet or saucepan over moderate heat.  Add the garlic and stir occasionally until it has browned lightly, 3 – 4 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover the pan and let cool.  Remove the garlic from the oil and set it aside.  Pour the oil into a baking pan.   Spread the tomatoes and onions over the oil then toss to coat.   Bake for 45  minutes, stirring twice.  Cool to room temperature.

Transfer the roasted tomato-onion mixture to a food processor.  Add the reserved browned garlic clove, the walnuts, olive oil, vinegar, pimientos and paprika, and process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind the sauce should have some kick to it.

You will have about 2 cups of romesco. Transfer it to a jar, cover and refrigerate until serving.

Makes 18 – 20 stuffed peppers, serving 6 or more

Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories, 18g protein, 13g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 580mg sodium, 105mg cholesterol, 26g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 1g omega-3

Cocktail Recipes for Beach Plum Gin Liqueur


Greenhook Ginsmiths– Brooklyn’s boutique based distillery releases its second run of the highly regarded small batch BEACH PLUM GIN LIQUEUR. 

What can you do with it? Here are a few ideas:



2oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

½ oz earl grey and mint infused simple syrup

½ oz lemon juice

2 dashes Black tea bitters or Angostura bitters

Fever Tree Bitter lemon


Add Beach Plum Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters to mixing glass. Stir with ice. Strain into rocks-filled Collins glass. Top with Fever Tree Bitter lemon. Garnish with mint sprig.


**Earl Grey and Mint infused simple syrup

1 earl grey teabag

1 cup demerara sugar

1 cup fresh mint leaves

2 cups boiling water


Stir until sugar is dissolved in water. Remove teabag. Strain mint leaves.



1oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

½ oz Yellow “Jaune” Chartreuse

½ oz Gran Marnier or Triple Sec

½ oz tangerine juice

Brut Champagne

crushed ice



Add Beach Plum Gin, Chartreuse, Gran Marnier, and tangerine to mixing glass. Shake with ice. Strain into crushed ice- filled wine glass. Top with Champagne. Garnish with orange twist.



2oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

½ oz lime juice

½ oz vanilla simple syrup

egg white

Rare Lime Bitters

Peychaud’s Bitters



Add Beach Plum Gin, vanilla simple syrup, lime juice, egg white, and Lime Bitters to shaker. Cover and “dry” shake vigorously. Add ice and shake. Strain into coup or cocktail glass. Top with 3-4 drops Pechaud’s Bitters.


** Vanilla Simple Syrup

1 vanilla bean

1 cup demerara sugar

2 cups boiling water



1oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

1oz Greenhook Gin

½ oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth

½ oz Bonal Gentiane Quina

Angostura Bitters



Add Beach Plum Gin, gin, Dolin Blanc, Bonal, and bitters to mixing glass. Add ice. Stir. Strain into coup or cocktail glass. Garnish with burnt orange peel.




1½ oz Greenhook Beach Plum Gin

½ oz Sambuca agli Agrumi

1 oz grapefruit juice

vanilla kosher salt and sugar mixture



Rim coup or cocktail glass with vanilla sugar/salt mixture. Add Beach Plum Gin, Sambuca, and grapefruit juice to shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into coup glass.


**Vanilla kosher salt and sugar mixture

1 Vanilla bean

½ cup kosher salt

½ cup demerara sugar


Cut vanilla bean length wise and then into ½ inch pieces. Combine with salt and sugar in mason jar. Shake. Let sit 1-2 days.