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Melissa’s

Chicken Thighs with Pizzazz

The sauce under the bird is divine. I wish you could see it in this photo! But, it is snuggling with other really good stuff. Trust me, it’s under there! I adore the flavors in this chicken dish. Herbs and olives, capers and anchovies team up to create chicken and its surrounding sauce with addictive deliciousness. And chicken thighs bought…

One-Pot Pasta with Flavor Personality

I’ve tried one-pot pasta dishes before, and they’ve been pretty darn good. BUT, this version has sooooo much more flavor and color! It has olives, feta cheese and fresh mint. And plenty of cherry tomatoes. Yes, everything cooks in one pot, all the components along with the dried spaghetti. You can use jarred pitted kalamata olives, or if you want,…

Plum and Blueberry – A Happy Marriage

Some like it hot. I do, at least when it comes to the fruit that warm summer weather produces. Stone fruit is my favorite; just the thought of cherries, peaches and nectarines, as well as apricots and plums makes me grin. And summertime’s berries are a close second; their versatility is a delicious gift, their beauty reminiscent of a Cezanne…

Smoked Salmon and Fresh Fennel Salad – Easy Summer “Cooking”

If you like mild anise flavors, more than likely you will love this salad. Fresh fennel combines crisp texture with its lovely licorice notes. It makes a lovely counterpoint with the smoked salmon. Of course you can serve it with cocktails (a summertime gin & tonic comes to mind), but it can also be a dinner entree if serving two….

Summer Cherry Tomatoes – Two Scrumptious Appetizers

Here are two of my favorite easy appetizers that I like to make that utilize cherry tomatoes: There isn’t anything complicated about the three layer tray-passed appetizers that Yvon Goetz served (back in the day before Covid at a reception at The Winery Restaurant in Newport Beach).  I remember that guests gobbled them down and seriously jockeyed to get more….

Summer Pudding Delights

Alexandra Stafford’s book, “Bread Toast Crumbs” (Clarkson Potter, $30) could inspire even the most reluctant baker to spend the day making bread. But my summertime kitchen is hot and the my patio beckons. I searched the book for a luscious dish that could show off store-bought loaves, a dish that didn’t require firing up the oven. Near the end of…

The Lime Pie That Saved Us

Initially, it was the title that grabbed me. “The Lime Pie That Saved Us” Sounds like something I could use right now … This is how Nicole Rucker, founder and owner of Fiona and Rucker’s Pie in Los Angeles explains the name in her cookbook “Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers” (Penguin Random House, $32) “I opened my restaurant Fiona…

Easy Fruit Compote with Honey Sauce – No Cooking!

Simple fruit compotes make luscious desserts. You can team them with ice cream or crisp cookies if you like. Think seasonally. Substitute 1 generous cup of seedless tangerine sections in the fall, or in the summer, omit the cantaloupe and substitute more berries and a few (pitted and halved) fresh cherries. Fruit Compote in Honey SauceYield: 4 to 6 servings1/4…