Quick And Easy Recipes

Strawberry Almond Summer Salad Recipe Recipe

Strawberry Almond Summer Salad Recipe

07.10.14 by Jackie

We're back to our routine. Lulu has been focused on his work and I'm in charge of providing delicious meals for him. Last night we hosted another dinner party. To save time, I put together a healthy yet delicious strawberry and almond salad for the first course, to the delight of our guests.

Almonds are rich in protein and gave extra crunch to the salad. Strawberries provided color and natural sweetness. I wished I had found the same out-of-this-world mara des bois strawberries I had last week in Paris but thankfully the ones from our garden fit the bill wonderfully. 

Throwing a dinner party doesn't have to be time-consuming. I usually try to make one elaborate dish and a quick and easy dish so I'm not too exhausted when it's time to greet our guests! 

If you browse through the website, you can find many party-planning tips and recipes , especially a number of elegant appetizers.


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Bresaola and Cucumber Finger Sandwiches Recipe

Bresaola and Cucumber Finger Sandwiches

06.26.14 by Jackie

These charming finger sandwiches were probably the only thing I could have prepared in the tiny kitchen of the Roman apartment we rented while in the capital city of Italy last week. But it didn't stop me for preparing yummy sandwiches for Aria and me, using local products such as ricotta pannarella and black Angus bresaola meat.

Bresaola is salted lean and succulent beef that is air-dried until the meat turns dark red. It originated from the Lombardy region in Northern Italy. And I first discovered out-of-this-world ricotta pannarella while ordering a cheese platter in a restaurant in Rome. We asked the waiter to give us his best selection and I have to admit it sure was!  Now I'm just hoping I'll be able to find some back in the US!

I prepared the finger sandwiches with crust-free, sliced white bread, a mixture of caramelized fennel and ricotta, sliced cucumbers and of course, freshly-made mozzarella cheese and delicious bresaola meat. 


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Mac and Cheese Shepherd's Pie Recipe Recipe

Mac and Cheese Shepherd's Pie Recipe

04.01.13 by Jackie

We've been experiencing rainy days in the Bay Area and I thought a little comfort food would warm us up. I couldn't decide between a shepherd's pie or mac and cheese, so I went for a combination of the two.

To keep the dish vegetarian, I prepared the bottom layer with a mixture of vegetarian protein crumble, tomatoes and onions; you could opt for regular ground beef if you prefer. Instead of topping the dish with mashed potatoes as you would in a standard shepherd's pie recipe, I added creamy mac and cheese. Needless to say, the richness of the dish was a huge hit even baby Aria asked for more!


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Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe

07.26.12 by Jackie

The idea for this Mediterranean salad was inspired by finding fiddlehead ferns at my local market last week. The tight coil of the young fern is very similar to cappelletti pasta and I thought mixing them would make a pretty dish playing with odd shapes and colorful ingredients. This week I was able to buy the pasta but unfortunately the market doesn't carry fiddleheads anymore. It didn't stop me from making a delicious dish... I just substituted beautiful haricots verts in place of the fiddleheads. 

I combined the coil-shaped pasta with red onions, carrots and celery that I received this evening from Full Circle and heirloom tomatoes from our garden. To the summer pasta salad, I also added garbanzo beans, hearts of palm, olives, pickled grape leaves and sun-dried tomatoes to complete the one-dish meal. No ingredient is irreplaceable; you can always substitute in an equally delicious element. All that really matters is a visually appealing and tasty dish. 

I almost forgot to mention that all PhamFatale readers will get $10 off for your first box order from Full Circle. If you're interested, use the promo code SOCIAL10 upon sign-up. Bon appétit and enjoy farm fresh, organic vegetables! 


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Tomato Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Recipe

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

07.18.12 by Jackie

My husband Lulu's little nieces from Oakland are staying with us for a week. I'm going to make their favorite dishes and we prepared a lot of fun activities so they have a memorable stay with us. This morning, we took several large baskets and they helped me pick fruits and vegetables for lunch. We gathered so many tomatoes, I decided to make tomato sauce to store for the winter. But as I was preparing mac and cheese for the children in the evening, I changed my mind and added the tomato sauce to a modified version of the kid-friendly dish. 

I spread a layer of tomato sauce at the bottom of the dish and also flavored the béchamel sauce with fire-roasted tomatoes. They impart a light sweetness and pleasant tanginess that complements the flavors of the cheese and sauce very well. So not only did I coerce the kids into going outside to do a physical activity, I also snuck some veggies into a dish they can’t resist. Pham Fatale indeed!


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