Tag Archives: easy recipes

Old Bay Baked Fries

Old Bay Seasoning is a favorite seasoning mix here by the bay, I’d like to say its’ the name, but that is not quite true. Old Bay is a wonderful combination of 12 spices including ginger, cinnamon, clove, mace, bay laurel, just to name a few. It adds a lot of flavor making these baked oven fries both delicious and easy!! This is a great easy side dish to add to almost any meal!
From by the bay wishing you yummy old bay food memories!
blog fries
Baked Old Bay Fries
Serves 4 
2 pounds Idaho potatoes, cleaned with skin on and cut into wedges
non stick olive oil spray
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
extra coarse sea salt such as Maldon to season after baking
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large size bowl add potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, Old Bay Seasoning and fine sea salt. Mix well. Spray 2 non stick baking sheets with the olive oil spray. Place seasoned potatoes onto the baking sheets in a single layer. Spray again lightly with olive oil spray so the potatoes will brown in oven. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until brown, do not turn while cooking. When browned, remove from oven and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Serve immediately.

Clams in Broth

If I want to watch my mother’s face light up when she is visiting, all I need to say is do you want clams for dinner? The answer is always a resounding yes! That would explain all my variations of clam sauce or clams cooked in broth. This is one of my favorite versions of clams, especially when I’m looking for light meal. I just skip the pasta and eat the clams and broth with a spoon and little bread. It makes a great appetizer for six or dinner for four. If you want to use as a meal for Lent – just omit the pancetta. Try it this weekend and watch the faces at your dinner table light up too!
From by the bay wishing you lovely clam memories!
blog clams broth
Clams in Broth
Serves 4
4 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed and cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, cubed
1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
28 ounce can whole tomatoes, with liquid
8 ounces clam juice
1 tablespoon thyme leaves

Place a large pot on a medium heat, add olive oil and heat for 1-2 minutes , add pancetta and saute until crisp, then add garlic and onion, saute until soft, about 5 minutes add chili flakes and pepper and saute another minute. Add to the pot the tomatoes with liquid breaking the tomatoes with the back of your spoon, next add the clam juice and thyme. Bring to a boil add the clams and cover. Cook until clams are open, discard any unopened clams. Serve immediately with bread or pasta.

Cranberry Pecan Tassies

blog cranberry tassie
Cranberry Pecan Tassies
makes 24 cups
1 3oz. package cream cheese, softened
½ cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
Make the crust by blending cream cheese, butter and flour in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. To make filling mix together using a spoon beat together  egg, sugar , vanilla, zest and cinnamon. Add melted butter to the mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in the cranberries and pecans. Preheat oven to 350F. Divide the dough for crust into 24 small balls, approximately the size of an acorn. Place each ball into a small muffin tin and press down to line bottom and side of the tin. Spoon filling into each cup. Make sure that there is cranberries in each cup. Be sure not to over fill the cups. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove pans from oven and cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Carefully, remove tassies from the pan using a knife or small spatula. Will last one week in an air tight container or four weeks in the freezer.

Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad

blog sweet potato salad


Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad

Serves 4

2 cups sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 red onion, sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon dried red chili flakes

3 cups baby arugula leaves

2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Coarse sea salt to taste

Directions to roast sweet potatoes and red onion:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line with parchment a baking sheet add the sweet potato cubes, sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, red chili and salt. Mix well.  Place in oven and roast for 45 minutes.

Directions for toasted pine nuts:

Use a small dry fry pan heat and add the pine nuts stirring until they are golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool.

Directions to assemble salad:


To a bowl or serving platter add the arugula with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss. To the arugula add the roasted sweet potatoes and red onions. Top with crumbled gorgonzola cheese, pine nuts, black pepper and finish with coarse sea salt to taste. Serve warm.


Blue No More Gazpacho

Last summer I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite rock and roll artists. His music is what I play to dance my way through creating and preparing a meal. So of course, upon meeting him, I was tongue tied. With that,  I fell back to comfortable ground – food. Who knew that would be a topic he enjoyed discussing. Our conversation included a little comparison of recipes and his search for the perfect gazpacho recipe. He shared a few hints and with that I created this recipe. My version already has lots of rave reviews. Here’s hoping he will be blue no more looking for that gazpacho. I’ve added another cold soup recipe to get you through the summer, this one is a cold cucumber soup for the coolest guy I know!

From by the bay wishing you cool food memories!
blog gazpacho

Blue No More Gazpacho

Serves 6


  • 1 28 ounce can whole fire roasted tomatoes ( if you can’t find fire roasted use canned whole plum tomatoes)
  • 1 large roasted red pepper , from a jar packed in olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper , seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper


Place all the ingredients into food processor and process until pureed. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

blog salsa

Hint: to make a terrific and easy salsa, use the gazpacho recipe without the roasted red peppers!

blog cuke gaz

Cool Cucumber Gazpacho

Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 2 medium size cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until pureed. Place soup into a glass mason jar and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Weekend Goddess Making Pizza

I think of myself as a weekday warrior and weekend goddess. I spend the work week as a fashion warrior, working hard in a very competitive industry, living in Manhattan in a city of grey and black. The pace is fast.  My weekend’s are a complete shift . I move from the city to the country, living by the bay. The water is majestic and calming. The landscape is filled with color. I move from working at the desk to creating in the kitchen .  I travel to “by the bay” on fridays evenings by train. No matter what time I arrive, I’ll find the time to transition from weekday warrior to weekend goddess. The surest way to get there is getting into my kitchen and whip up a quick dinner after the commute to the house. One of my things to make is pizza. I have tried so many different pizza dough recipes and my favorite is the one from Jamie Oliver . I have adapted the technique to make the dough a little easier to prepare and  as well as the clean up. This version also works well when using your home oven. I, like most home cooks, do not have my own wood burning pizza oven in my backyard. This recipe works perfectly using your oven. You must try this pizza dough and I’m sharing two favorite pizza toppings – but pizza toppings is definitely one of times you can really get creative and experiment. So have fun with this and hope it inspires the weekend goddess in each of you!

From by the bay wishing you the most creative food memories!

Basic Pizza Dough – adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe in “Jamie’s Italy”
Makes 2  – 17 inch pizzas

3 1/2 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo “00” flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4-ounce packets active dried yeast
1 teaspoon fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
extra semolina flour , for rolling

In a measuring cup combine water, sugar , oil and yeast. Let sit for about 10 minutes. In the meantime measure the flour and salt and combine in a large mixing bowl. Create a small well in the middle of the flour and add the ingredients from the measuring cup. Use a fork to swirl and combine incorporating as much of the liquid into the flour as you. Turn out the dough on to a clean work surface , with well floured hands start to knead the dough together. Knead until you have a smooth dough – about ten minutes. Place in a bowl tht has been wiped with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for about an hour. Remove plastic wrap and punch the dough down. Divde dough into 2 portions. Roll dough on on to a work surface floured with the semolina and roll out into a  17 inch circle with a rolling pin, continuing to use semolina so the dough does not stick to the work surface of rolling pin. Place onto a 17 inch oiled pizza pan. Use the topping of your choice and bake in a 500 degree F oven for approximately 10 minutes until baked.

The remaining portion of dough can be used immediately or keep in the refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to use remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature before rolling out. You may also place in a plastic freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to one month. Defrost on counter before rolling out.


Pizza La Luna
Makes 8 slices

1 portion pizza dough

3 cooked chicken sausage broken in small pieces

6 slow slow roasted tomatoes

½ cup crumbled Soft Colombo Gorgonzola

½ cup shaved pecorino

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

¼ cup caramelized onions

1 tablespoon olive oil plus to prep pan


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Spray pizza pan with olive oil. Roll out pizza dough into a 17” round to fit pizza pan and transfer dough to pan. Layer pizza with sausage, caramelized onions, gorgonzola, pecorino and rosemary. Drizzle very lightly with olive oil. Let rest 20 minutes. Place pizza in oven and

ake pizza on center rack until the crust is crisp and brown on bottom and the cheese is melted on top, about 10 minutes. Cut pizza into 8 slices.


Tip: Cut slightly cooled pizza with scissor.

blog pizza broccoli rabe 

Bianco Broccoli Rabe Pizza

Makes 8 slices


1 portion pizza dough

1 cup broccoli rabe

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan reggiano

1/2 cup grated percorino (using large hole grater)

2 tablespoons olive oil



Clean broccoli rabe, cutting off stems. Bring to boil large pot of water. Add broccoli rabe and blanche for about 1 minute. Drain and rinse broccoli rabe with cold water and let drain. Pat broccoli rabe dry with paper towels. In a medium saute pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add garlic and saute for one minute, add broccoli rabe and saute for 2-3 minutes until tender. Place to the side and cool. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. On a clean surface add some flour and roll out the pizza dough until it fits a 17″ pizza pan, presprayed with olive oil. Place dough on pan. Smooth layer of ricotta cheese across the pizza leaving 1/2 inch around the edges without the topping. Next add the broccoli rabe, scatter the parmesan cheese and the the grated percorino. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the pizza is brown. Slice and serve.


Maple, Pecan and Apple Granola

blog granola gnome

Maple, Pecan and Apple Granola

2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup dark brown sugar

½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup dried raisins
1/2 cup dried apples slices, chopped


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine all ingredients except the dried fruit into a mixing bowl, combine well. On a parchment lined sheet spread ingredients in 1 layer. Bake for 50 minutes until brown stirring every ten minutes until mixture is browned. Remove from oven and cool granola. Once cooled add dried fruit and mix. Keep in airtight container. It should keep about one week.


Barbecue Chicken Breasts with Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Sauce

blog jalapeno peach bbq
Barbecue Chicken Breasts with Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Sauce
Serves 6
6 Chicken Breasts, bone in and skin
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 2 limes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
 1 recipe of Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce
Place all ingredients except barbecue sauce into a resealable plastic bag and marinate the chicken for several hours  before cooking. Preheat oven to 325F and empty contents of plastic bag into baking dish with chicken breast skin side up. Bake for 1 hour. Heat grill and using approximately 3/4 of the barbecue sauce brush generously the skin side of the breasts and place skin side down onto the grill. Brush the back of the breasts, now with sauce. Cook until skin begins to char on each side. Remove and serve warm with remaining barbecue sauce on the side, reheated and warm.
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Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce
2 1/2 cups fresh peaches, stoned and chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup peach preserves
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon jalapeno chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place on ingredients into a medium sauce pan and place onto a medium heat. Stir ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and blend in a food processor. Place in a jar until ready to use . Barbecue sauce will last 3 days

Mitzi’s Plum Cake

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Mitzi’s Plum Cake

¼ pound unsalted butter softened plus 1 tablespoon

½ cup fine sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for topping the cake

1 egg

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

6 italian plums

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Split plums and remove pits. Place plums in bowl, cover with lemon juice, mix and set aside. Using electric mixer combine  ¼ lb butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg and combine. Next add  the flour and  baking powder and combine. This makes a soft dough.  Take an 8” non stick cake pan line with parchment and butter and flour the pan. Press the dough into the pan covering the bottom of the cake pan. Use a spatula to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Press plums into dough with the cut side facing up in a concentric circle. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with ½ teaspoon cinnamon, mix and sprinkle on top of the plums. Dot with extra butter. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until  cake tester is clean.

Variations: replace plums with apricots or peaches

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

Pudding is one of the ultimate comfort foods and if you are really in need of some extra comfort think about making this extra creamy bourbon butterscotch pudding. It’s a great twist on a classic dessert – consider each spoon as a little hug!
Enjoy!!From by the bay wishing you comforting food memories!

 blog butterscotch pudding
Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding
Recipe by Allison Roman, Published in Bon Appetit, March 2013
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon bourbon or Scotch
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 large egg yolks
¼ cup cornstarch
3 tablespoon sugar
Crème fraîche and crushed gingersnap cookies (for serving; optional)
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until butter begins to brown and smell nutty, about 3 minutes. Add brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is starting to dissolve, about 2 minutes. Add cream, milk, bourbon, and salt; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually add hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Wipe out saucepan. Strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until custard bubbles occasionally and starts to thicken, 5–6 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender. Blend briefly on low speed until smooth. Place ramekins or bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide custard evenly among ramekins and chill until set, at least 3 hours. Top with creme fraiche and crushed cookies to serve.