Tag Archives: fall recipes

Easy Fig Jam


Inspired by my travels in Napa Valley and falling in love with the sights, taste and aromas of the wine country is my super easy fig jam. The  jam is the perfect when served with bread, cheese and wine. This recipe helps  to transport me back everytime to this beautiful destination!

From by the bay wishing you fond wine country food memories!


Fig Jam


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 8 ounces fresh black mission figs, stemmed and split in half


In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add all remaining ingredients except figs ( sugar, water, vinegar, salt, rosemary, lemon juice and zest). Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer until it is the consistency of a syrup and add figs. Continue to simmer until figs are soft. Cool and place in a covered glass container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will keep about 5 days in the refrigerator.



Dry Brine Roasted Herb Turkey

If you ask what brine I recommend for this Thanksgiving, it’s a resounding yes to dry brine. You might ask why brine a turkey at all. The answer to that question would be just remember the last time you had dry turkey at Thanksgiving. Using a brine definitely enhances the flavor of a bird with juicy results. Dry brine is a great way to go. What is dry brine? Dry brine is essentially pre-salting a bird. There is no water or liquid involved so there is no mess! The results are a flavorful bird that is moist with crispy skin. The best part is this is super simple to prepare besides being so delicious.

From by the bay, wishing you delicious dry brine food memories!



Dry Brine Roasted Herb Turkey

1 12- to 16-pound fresh turkey, preferably organic
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 springs fresh rosemary
1 onion, halved
1 orange quartered
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2  to 3 cups chicken stock

The morning before serving rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Rub turkey all over with coarse salt including into the cavities. Place the turkey in a large plastic brine bag and move into the refrigerator.  Before cooking, remove turkey from bag and pat dry. (There is no need to rinse it first.) Place in roasting pan and allow to come to room temperature.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Sprinkle half the pepper into main cavity of turkey; add thyme, rosemary, onions and orange quarters. Rub butter all over the turkey including under breast skin by gently lifting the skin.  Sprinkle turkey with remaining pepper. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Add chicken broth to bottom of roasting pan and roast bird for another two hours, depending on size. Baste turkey with chicken broth every half hour. Add additional broth if needed. If turkey is browning too quickly cover breast and wing tips. Remove foil for last 1/2 hour of cooking time. After turkey has roasted for 2 hours, begin to test for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer (digital is best) into two places in thigh, making sure not to touch bone. It should be at about 160 degrees. When roasting is done, tip turkey so interior juices run back into pan. Remove turkey to a separate baking sheet or serving platter. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. The fat and drippings can be used to make a gravy.


Note: Figure cooking time approximately 12 minutes per pound for an unstuffed turkey

Cauliflower and Arugula Soup

Here is a soup that is perfect for this time of year, The evenings are cooler , the variety of local produce  is not quite so robust, but there are beautiful heads of cauliflower. Gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat. It’s just a few simple steps to having a warming bowl of cauliflower soup, balance with peppery arugula. This is definitely a recipe you will want to make over and over again during the cold season.

From by the bay, wishing you warm white soup memories!


Cauliflower and Arugula Soup

Serves 6


  • 2 pounds cauliflower ( 1 medium head) florets broken off and stalk chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large potato , peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup scallions chopped, white part only
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Place all ingredients ( except arugula, salt and pepper) in a large pot over high heat and bring to a  boil. Turn down heat and bring to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until cauliflower starts to soften. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add arugula and mix and serve. Or place in the container and refrigerate until ready to use. Heat and serve.

Pumpkin Spice Applesauce


What’s the perfect fall combination, well apples and pumpkin spice! Now before you dismiss this idea because you see everything with pumpkin spice this time of year , let me make my case for this delicious recipe. Nothing beats home made apple sauce, especially this time of year when we have so many apples available. I always flavor my apple sauce with cinnamon, using my homemade pumpkin spice , it’s amped up flavor, with nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. The resulting taste is so good, you will only want pumpkin spice applesauce from now on ! Honest!!!

From by the bay , wishing you pumpkin spice food memories!


Pumpkin Spice Applesauce


  • 6 large red apples – peeled, cored and sliced, approximately 2 lbs. ( like Macoun or Macintosh)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix ( recipe below)


Place all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until apples are soft. Remove from heat and cool. Mash the apples together with a potato masher. Place in an air tight container and refrigerate until ready to use. It will keep in a refrigerator for about 1 week.

Pumpkin Spice Mix


  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


Mix all spices together well and store in a closed air tight container.

Roasted Cauliflower Hummus

Inspired by all the cauliflower dishes on menus today and the great appreciation of a vegetable that for many years was out of favor, here is a delicious hummus celebrating cauliflower! It’s brightened with lemon juice and given texture with the use of several garnishes. The most interesting garnish being popcorn. I think it’s a great idea to make enough popcorn to not only garnish the hummus but to serve along to guests. If you don’t want to serve popcorn you can easily pop some corn in a small sauce pan with a cover over medium heat just adding a few dried kernels and cover. Shake a few times to ensure the corn does not burn, you’ll know when it’s ready by listening carefully to the corn popping. I like to serve this along with a nice toasted multi-grain bread.

From by the bay, wishing you warm cauliflower food memories!



Roasted Cauliflower Hummus


  • 28 ounces cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/2 cup
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

To garnish use approximately 1 tablespoon of each depending on your preferences

  • dill
  • red onion  pickled with red vinegar
  • roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
  • fresh popcorn


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roasted in the oven until cauliflower starts to caramelize and is soft, approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. In a small dish add the red onion and red wine vinegar and mix. The vinegar will softened and pickle the onions. Once the cauliflower is cool add to a food processor along with the tahini, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Taste to adjust for seasoning. Serve at room temperature or keep refrigerated until ready to use. Garnish with pickled onions, pumpkin seeds, popcorn and dill. Serve with toasted multi-grain bread.

Countdown to Thanksgiving-Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

No Thanksgiving meal would be complete without a side of potatoes and this sweet potato dish is a perfect side. Creamy sweet potatoes are enriched with creme fraiche, touched with sweet cinnamon and then topped with clouds of marshmallow meringue made with marshmallow creme that is toasted last minute and served. Thanksgiving perfection!

From by the bay, wishing you toasted marshmallow meringue food memories!


blog sweet pot marsh

Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • paste from one vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 ounces creme fraiche
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 8 ounces marshmallow crème


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet 1 hour or until tender. Let cool to touch and peel. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat sweet potatoes, vanilla paste, and next 6 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Beat in whole eggs. Spoon potato mixture into a greased 8 by 8 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, beat egg whites, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt at high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until foamy. Gradually add maple syrup, beating until stiff peaks form.
  4. Beat one-third of marshmallow crème into egg white mixture; repeat with remaining marshmallow crème, beating until smooth (about 1 minute). Pipe or spread meringue in a decorative pattern on warm potatoes. Bake 13 to 15 more minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.


Countdown to Thanksgiving-Whole Wheat, Roasted Mushroom and Walnut Dressing

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a great stuffing and/or dressing recipe. You can use this recipe to either stuff your turkey or bake in a casserole and serve on the side. This is a delicious savory dressing recipe, using whole wheat gives the dish a hearty , robust taste. The mushrooms add an earthy taste enhanced by the roasting and it builds on the savory whole wheat.

From by the bay, wishing you savory food memories!



Whole Wheat, Roasted Mushroom and Walnut Dressing

Serves 8

8 cups good quality whole wheat bread, cut into ½ inch cubes with crust

2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as baby bella and shiitake

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 bunch leeks, sliced in rings ( approx. 3 cups chopped leeks)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

5 cups low sodium chicken stock  (or vegetable broth to serve your vegetarian guests)

½ cup parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 egg, slightly beaten


Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Place bread cubes in a single layer on two rimmed large baking sheets. Bake until toasted about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool. In another baking tray lined with foil add the mushrooms and olive oil. Mix well. Roast in the oven until mushrooms start to brown and become tender about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large skillet melt butter and then add leeks, chili flakes, thyme and rosemary. Saute together until softened about 10 minutes, separating the leek rings. Remove from heat and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the toasted bread cube, mushrooms, walnuts, vinegar and parsley to the bowl. Add chicken stock. Mix the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Add egg. Mix well.  To bake the dressing, remove from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Bake in a 400 degree F oven covered with foil for 30 minutes,  remove foil and bake another 20 minutes until dressing is heated through the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Countdown to Thanksgiving-Maple Bourbon Gravy

The perfect gravy for your turkey – especially if you decide to try the Maple Bourbon Roasted Turkey  recipe below:

Countdown to Thanksgiving – Maple Bourbon Roasted Turkey

From by the bay, wishing you delicious maple bourbon food memories!



Maple Bourbon Gravy

Gravy Base

6 cups chicken stock

Giblets and neck from turkey

1 carrot peeled and chopped

1 onion, not peeled and quartered

1 celery stick, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns


1/4 cup bourbon

6 tablespoons flour

6 cups gravy base

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions for gravy base

Combine into a soup pot chicken stock, cider, carrot , onion, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, giblets and neck from turkey. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Cool and strain broth and keep refrigerated until ready to make gravy. This can be done one day in advance.

Directions for gravy

Place seasoned broth into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Take melted butter in a bowl and then add the flour, whisk until a smooth paste.  Take one cup of hot broth and whisk into flour mixture until smooth. Sieve back into the broth and whisk to blend. Add maple syrup, salt and pepper and whisk again. You can have this prepared as the turkey is roasting. Once the turkey is done and removed from the roasting pan and pour pan juices into a measuring cup. Spoon off fat and discard. Add remaining juices into broth in the saucepan. Place roasting pan back on heat and deglaze with the bourbon. Scrap pan to get all brown bits, let reduce to half , about 2 minutes. Add to the gravy. Whisk together and let simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. Remove bay leaves, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey.

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

One of the many things I love about cooking is that inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. My inspiration for this recipe came from my health club. Yes, you heard that right, my trainer had just returned from a trip to Rome and brought back with her bags of the most amazing chocolate chip biscotti. These crispy little biscuits were so delicious, I was charged with creating a version as close to the original as possible. I’m sharing my version of chocolate chip biscotti, here are a few tips : italians typically use their “00” flour for baking. This flour is low gluten and very fine, used in Italy for making pasta and sweets. If you can’t find type “00” flour use pastry flour or all purpose flour. It will have a slightly different texture. It’s very important to use a high quality chocolate. I like chopping my own chocolate . These biscotti are crispy and not too sweet. You will be transported to Italy with each bite. This is a cookie you will always want on hand.

From by the bay, wishing you crispy biscotti memories!



Chocolate Chip Biscotti


  • 2 1/4 cups flour ( use type “00” flour if available)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus extract to sprinkle on top
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sambuca
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup good quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped


Heat oven to 350° F.  Place almonds on a baking sheet and toasted in the oven for approximately 8 minutes as they start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Coarsely cut and set aside. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Place aside.  In a stand mixer, oil and 3/4 cup sugar together. Add the eggs and continue to mix. Add sambuca, and vanilla. Add flour until combined.  Add toasted almonds and chocolate. Mix to combine. Cut the dough in half and roll into two logs, each approximately 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Place logs side by side 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of the logs with extra sugar. Bake on center rack for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Take the logs out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Use a serrated knife and cut into 3/4  inch slices. Place cookies on baking sheet cut side up in oven and bake for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an air tight container for 1 week.

Sausage with Pomegranate Salad with Pickled Red Onions

It’s easier to make the transition from summer to fall if I hold onto some summer in my cooking, while transitioning into fall. This recipe is still light and  usually, I still use my grill to prepare the sausages. I have provided an indoor option for preparing the sausages just in case it’s too cold, windy or rainy. This dish is definitely a feast for the eyes . The lovely crimson pomegranate seeds, accented with the warm pink hues of the pickled red onions really celebrate fall flavors. But don’t misunderstand, this dish may look like it’s all about visual pleasure but it’s really about the rich and luscious combination of flavors: slightly salty in contrast to the sweet and sour. Easy to prepare this can become a quick weekday meal.

From by the wishing you pomegranate food memories!



Sausage with Pomegranate Salad with Pickled Red Onions

Serves 4 to 6


  • 8 sweet Italian  sausage
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers
  • 2 tablespoons pickled red onions ( see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses dressing ( see recipe below)


Light a grill and oil the grate, Grill the sausage over moderate heat, turning until lightly charred and cooked through 10 to 12 minutes. ( Alternately, you can cook the sausage in the a 425 degree F oven arrange sausage on a baking rack set into a baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until sausage are cooked through). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice on the bias. On a large platter arrange arugula, add sliced sausage . Drizzle with pomegranate molasses dressing. Sprinkle with red onion, pomegranate seeds and almond slivers. Serve at once.

Pickled Red Onion


  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt


In a quart mason jar add all ingredients, shake well. Let stand for at least one hour. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Will keep for one week.

Pomegranate Molasses Dressing


  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Place all ingredients in a covered jar. Shake well before using .