From the category archives:


Fregola with Feta & Arugula and Sesame Sauce

June 1, 2016

The first time I ate fregola pasta was in 2009 at Nancy Silverton’s restaurant Mozza. My friend Michele and I had gone there for our birthday dinner, and I wrote a detailed post about it. I had a lamb dish where the fregola and sauce were hidden under the slices of meat. It is so [...]

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Thai Curry Beef Stew

April 5, 2015

If you had to guess how much liquid is in a spoonful of soup, what would you say? A teaspoon? Tablespoon? Well, when I eat this Thai Curry Beef Stew, I ask myself, how can so much flavor be contained in one little spoonful. How can there be such depth and complexity in that [...]

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Ricotta Parmesan Gnocchi & Brown Butter Broccoli

October 10, 2014

Oh, Ricotta Parmesan Gnocchi, how I do love thee. Cheezy little pillows. Melt in the mouth dumplings. Soft buttery morsels. Ok, you get the idea. These are so good, it’s hard to find the right words to describe them. And when they’re browned a little in butter, becoming crispy in places, they are perfect in [...]

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DIY Gyoza Wrappers + My New Apartment

March 25, 2014

Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a little flour and water? I wanted to make pot-stickers, but I’m not that big a fan of factory-made wonton and gyoza wrappers, so I decided to make my own. They turn out great and are really worth the time and effort. To me, wonton wrappers are [...]

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Vietnamese Happy Pancakes with a Killer Dipping Sauce

June 17, 2013

The March 2013 issue of Food and Wine Magazine had a great article called 20 Best-Ever Recipes. The Best Vietnamese recipe was this one for Happy Pancakes and I wanted to cook it immediately as soon as I saw it. Two months later, at Camp Blogaway, I was lucky to get a sample of Bob’s [...]

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Spinach Spaetzle & Butternut Squash Casserole From Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms

May 1, 2013

Last October I wrote about a Kitchen Casserole Class at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen and gave you the recipe for Reisling Chicken and Mushroom Casserole. The accompanying dish was this Spinach Spaetzle & Butternut Squash Casserole, which looked so beautiful on the plate and tasted really splendid.

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Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

March 13, 2013

I was looking through the March 2013 Bon Appétit magazine and came to this photo of a soup showing noodles, chicken, cilantro and lime wedges. The broth looked redish and creamy. I had to make it. Any dish that has lime wedges squeezed over it is totally irresistible to me.
What is so intriguing about this [...]

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Top 10 Recipes of 2012

January 3, 2013

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope 2012 was as great a year for you as it was for me and Cook & Be Merry. For everyone who visited my blog, Thank You.  And to all my great commenters, you are the absolute best! You make my day and make my blog so much more interesting. [...]

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My Mom’s Goulash

June 14, 2012

This whole story starts with me looking at the grocery list on the kitchen counter and seeing that a family member has written MAYO. Well, at our house, mayo is one of the staples that we do not want to run out of. In fact, it is one of the items that I always have [...]

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Pecorino Romano Meatballs & Spaghetti

June 3, 2012

If I was Italian, I might be calling this dish Pasta with Sunday Gravy. But I’m Norwegian, Danish, French and German, so I get to call it the American name, Spaghetti and Meatballs. But whatever it’s called, I had a big craving to make some and eat it all up ASAP. We had a guest [...]

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Chicken, Sausage, Asparagus and Mushroom Pasta from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms

March 26, 2011

I was really looking forward to my recent visit to Grace-Marie’s Kitchen, because the theme was Italian Cucina Sunday Supper. Grace-Marie grew up in an Italian-American family, so her Italian dishes are always authentic and wonderful. She absolutely fulfilled my expectations with this succulent Chicken, Sausage, Asparagus and Mushroom Pasta with a Parmigiano and Mascarpone [...]

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Butternut Squash and Tagliatelle with Red Pepper Sauce, Lemon and Arugula

November 7, 2010

Fall is here for sure, because Daylight Savings Time ended in Los Angeles today. The sun is lower and the temperature is heading down. Time for some of those winter vegetables to start showing up in my recipes. Butternut Squash is one of my favorite ingredients to cook. Its earthy sweet flavor and wonderful texture [...]

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Goat Cheese Ravioli with Tomatoes and Basil from Seasons 52 Fresh Grill at South Coast Plaza

October 12, 2010

Last August I was invited to a lavish and spectacular blogger preview lunch at the new Seasons 52 Fresh Grill restaurant at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. You can read all about it in my post about that day. Quite soon I was getting queries about the recipes for the dishes in the story [...]

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Soba Noodle Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

July 26, 2010

In one more week it will be August and we still haven’t had summer here in Manhattan Beach. Today the high was 69 degrees F. I am hopeful that warm weather is right around the corner, so in anticipation, here is a cold Soba Noodle Salad that will be great to enjoy outdoors when the [...]

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The Alto Adige Region of Italy Celebrated By Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms

July 19, 2010

On June 26, Grace-Marie’s Kitchen Cooking School at Bristol Farms presented a cooking class and luncheon in collaboration with the Italian Trade Commission and Eos featuring wines, cheese and speck from Alto Adige, Italy. I had never tasted any of these marvelous products before, so it was a wonderful introduction to the area for [...]

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