Judy LynessJuly 16, 2014

Gazpacho Made Easy


When temperatures start to hit the 80s the last thing I want to do is cook.  So I always turn to gazpacho, the chilled Spanish soup the sings of summer.  Here’s a video to show you just how easy gazpacho is to make.


The following recipe is a combination of quite a few recipes that I’ve tried.  I like Persian cucumbers because they have more bulk to them.  You can use red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, so long as they are ripe.

  • 2 lbs tomatoes (about 5 large tomatoes)
  • 3 Persian cucumbers peeled
  • 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper without seeds for mild, with for a bit more zing
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 red onion peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2-4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Fill bowl large enough to hold the tomatoes with ice water
  3. Place tomatoes in boiling water for 30 –45 seconds
  4. Plunge tomatoes into ice bath and cool.
  5. Coarsely chop the cucumbers, garlic, your choice of pepper, onions
  6. When tomatoes are cool. Slide off tomato skins, core and coarsely chop. Keep the cool water in case you need to thin out the soup.
  7. Add half of all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick add some of the ice bath water.
  8. Pour into clean bowl.
  9. Add vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper according to your taste.  Chill.
  10. Before you serve check the seasonings and texture.  Add more water if needed.
  11. Serve.

Mango and Cherry Clafoutis

By Judy Lyness on 07.09.2014

Mango and Cherry Clafoutis

Mango and Cherry ClafoutisI was in a dilemma, What birthday cake to make when that person hates cakes? I had just picked up a mango at the store that was perfectly ripened and some really dark, sweet cherries just looking for a purpose.  What to do? Whipped cream was off the check list as well.  Hmmmm?

Thankfully, I have an abundance of incredible food bloggers to guide me.  Cynthia Woodman of What a Girl Eats had just posted a recipe for clafoutis that made me drool.  I ogled Valentina of Cooking on the Weekends’  flaugarde pictures and recipe. Inspiration at last!  My game plan was beginning to take shape.  A group message to Valentina, Cathy of She Paused for Thought and Christina of Christina’s Cucina asking if a mango and cherry clafoutis sounded weird.  The overwhelming response was “go for it!”!

Got to say it was a rousing success!!!  I used Cynthia’s recipe as a road map and this is what I came up with.

  • 1¼ cup whole milk
  • 1/3  cup sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup toasted coconut
  • ½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 of a regular mango, pitted, pealed and sliced length wise
  • 16 or so dark sweet cherries, halved and pitted (your fingers are going to get stained but the reward is worth it)
  • 1 Ataulfo mango, pitted, pealed and sliced length wise
  1. Place first five ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth less than a minute.
  2. Heat oven to 350
  3. Grease a nine inch pie pan or baking dish with butter or oil.
  4. Pour about a 1/2 inch layer into dish and bake for about 10 minutes.
  5. Slice and pit fruits.
  6. Remove dish from oven
  7. Arrange fruit on top of layer in pan
  8. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  9. Pour remaining batter into dish and return to oven.
  10. Bake 40-50 minutes.  It’s done when an toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.Cherry and Mango Clafoutis
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Judy LynessJuly 3, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Grilled Red Pepper Sauce

Just in time for your July 4th BBQ, a sauce that goes with just about anything you can throw on a grill–steak, burgers, shrimp, veggies and my personal favorite–salmon. Check out the salmon recipe here.

Salmon finished on grill

Claim your independence and make this easy sauce!  The recipe is in the video. Have a happy Fourth of July.


Judy LynessJune 25, 2014

Kara Walker’s Sugar Sphinx–Williamsburg Brooklyn

sugar sphnixA few weeks ago I took off on a sunny day from New Jersey to see the Kara Walker exhibit at the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  By all rights the trip should have been a disaster—the skies opened up and poured while in line, I had no umbrella and the rain didn’t look like it would stop anytime soon. But as luck would have it, a family in front of me shared the shelter of their umbrella.

Once inside, the soon to be demolished sugar factory, the exhibit was incredible.  As this video will attest.

When I departed the factory I sought shelter from the security guard’s umbrella.  He willingly obliged while pointing out that the nude bikers were in the adjacent park.  Ah the beauty of toned buttocks.  (Sorry for the bad quality picture)Naked BikerStill, I had to make it to Manhattan so I dashed to a sporting goods shop.  Alas, no umbrellas but they did give me a garbage bag that helped keep me somewhat dry.  As I continued onto  the subway this woman offered to give me another bag for my head.  I politely declined but thanked her.good samaritan Jumping over puddles and running from awning to awning I made my way towards the subway.   I rounded the corner and there was a cab!  As the driver and I chatted, I came to find out he thought I was ten years younger than I am.    Now that’s what I call a great adventure.

The New York Times ran this article about a man who worked at the Domino factory.  It’s a wonderful story of a man who worked at the factory and volunteered for the exhibit.  Read it here.

Fiesole Artichokes and Pasta

By Judy Lyness on 06.12.2014

Fiesole artichokesTo say that I’ve been obsessed with artichokes would be an under statement.  Green, sangria, and these delightful baby fiesoles have been cooked and consumed this month.

I found sometimes the simplest is the best, like the combination of artichokes, pasta and a tart and tangy ginger lime buerre blanc it becomes a ménage et tois made in heaven.

The preparation is easy.

Fiesole Aartichokes with Pasta and Lime Ginger Buerre Blanc 

  • 12 or so fiesole artichokes
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 pound of your favorite pasta I used linguine
  • 1 slick butter
  • 5 limes juiced and zested
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  1. Place a pot with salted water on stove to cook your favorite pasta.  I used linguine.
  2. Trim down baby artichokes and quarter.  Toss in a pan with water, salt and garlic. Simmer until tender.
  3. While the artichokes and pasta cook make your buerre blanc.
  4. In a non-reactive pan squeeze 5 limes, grate a one inch piece of ginger, a small shallot and a splash of white wine.  Place on stove and simmer on low until the liquid is reduced by 75%.  Remove from heat and whisk in 1 stick of butter that has been cubed one piece at a time.  Add salt, you’ll be surprised at the amount you’ll need, or at least I am, but alas I’m a classic under salter. When  you’re finished you should have a “creamy” buerre blanc.
  5. Strain pasta and place in large bowl.  Strain artichokes and add to pasta.  Pour buerre blanc over and toss. llinguine with artichokes
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Judy LynessMay 22, 2014

Fried Artichokes

ArtichokesI love artichokes.  As a kid my mom boiled them and then we dipped the end of the leaves in butter.  The heart was the reward for our hard work.  This spring has been about artichokes.  Last week a few blogger friends and I went to Baroda Farms in Lompoc to see the thistles up close.  Here’s the video in case you missed it.

Last year about this time I was in Rome where artichokes were everywhere.  And it is also where I tasted my first fried artichoke at Gensola.  Here’s my interpretation of fried artichokes.


Judy LynessMay 14, 2014

Artichokes: Field Trip to Baroda Farms

sangria artichokeArtichokes, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways–sangria, fiesole and green globe.  The only thing better than eating artichokes is going to an artichoke farm and then eating them.

A few weeks ago I asked Oakley from Frieda’s Produce if she knew of an artichoke farm that I and a few of my fellow bloggers could visit.  Doing what Oakley does best she arranged for a visit to Baroda Farms in Lompoc.   It was a fantastic day.  You probably even read about it on Cathy’s site She Paused for Thought or maybe you checked out Valentina’s of Cooking on the Weekend or Christina’s Cucina’s or Kelly’s of Tasting Page.

I like to think that I was saving the best for last, so here’s a video of our trip to Baroda Farms.

A huge thanks for the generosity of Mary and Oakley of Frieda’s Produce and the artichoke wizard himself, Steve of Baroda Farms.


Judy LynessMay 8, 2014

Jicama Crackers

Jicama CrackersThese days it’s important to have an easy non-gluten, vegan alternative to a cracker.  Ladies and gentlemen the jicama cracker.  These all vegan, non-gluten crackers will become your go to alternative.  They are a wonderful base for a dab of guacamole or a bit of mango salsa or anything you want to throw on top of them.  The great thing about these jicama crackers is that they have crunch!

The only thing that you need to create these beauties are a bulb of jicama and a sharp knife.  Here’s a quick how to video to guide you along.


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