White Bean Soup



White Bean Soup with Quinoa and Greens


  • 3 TBS Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tube tomato paste
  • 6-7 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 (or more – see note) 15.5 oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, soaked for 5 minutes and thoroughly rinsed (do not skip this step)
  • 1 bunch kale, Swiss chard or spinach, washed and slivered
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Sherry vinegar (at table)

Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté until just tender (5-8 minutes). Add garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and combine with other ingredients. Add stock and simmer ~20 minutes. Add beans and quinoa, cover and simmer until quinoa is cooked (tiny threads are visible), approximately 20 minutes. Remove lid, stir in slivered greens and cook an additional 5-8 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a splash of sherry vinegar

Note: We found that this recipe could accommodate 1 1/2 – 2 cans of white beans which may also require some adjustment on the amount of stock. We started with 6 cups and when reheating leftovers, added 1/2 cup more.



Black Bean Tart



Black Bean Tart with Chili Crust

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 2-3 TBS ice water
  • Raw rice or beans for weighting shell

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained (2, 15.5 Oz cans)
  • 2 TBS sour cream
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack, coarsely grated (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 fresh jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped fine (wear rubber gloves)
  • 1 TBS ground coriander

Lime Sour Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • Zest from one lime

Preheat oven to 350°.

Make crust: In a bowl with a pastry blender (or in a food processor) pulse together flour, spices, and salt until combined. Add butter and blend or pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water and pulse until incorporated, and mixture forms a ball.

Press dough evenly onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim and chill 15 minutes, or until firm. Line shell with foil and fill with rice or beans. Bake shell in middle of oven until edge is set, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil and rice and bake crust 10 minutes more, or until golden. Cool crust in pan on a rack. Crust may be made 1 day ahead and kept at room temperature, covered loosely with plastic wrap.

Make filling: In a food processor purée 1 cup canned beans with 2 TBS sour cream until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until warm but not smoking and sauté onion until soft. Add yellow bell pepper, and sauté additional 2 minutes. Cool.

In a large bowl stir together whole beans, bell pepper and onion mixture, Monterey Jack, jalapeños, and ground coriander, and season with salt and pepper.

Spread bean purée evenly onto crust. Mound with remaining filling, pressing gently.

Bake tart in middle of oven about 20 minutes, or until hot through and cheese is melted. Let tart cool in pan on a rack 15 minutes.

Make lime sour cream: In a bowl whisk sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest with salt and pepper to taste. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Makes about 1 cup.

Remove rim of pan and serve tart warm or at room temperature with lime sour cream. Serves 6-8.



Lex’s Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken



Lex’s Roast Chicken


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large onions, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 cups celery, sliced
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1 chicken (3-4 lbs)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 loaf crusty French bread, sliced 3/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice



Preheat oven to 375°. Sauté onions in 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add celery, and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Add lemon zest, garlic, pepper, and red pepper; continue to sauté an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in parsley, and set aside.

While vegetables are cooking, butterfly the chicken. Remove the backbone by cutting along both sides with kitchen shears. Turn the chicken over (breast side up) and press down on the breastbone to crack and flatten it. Rub chicken on both sides with 2 TBS olive oil; season with pepper and salt.

Lightly oil the skillet or baking dish, and place bread slices snugly against each other to fill the bottom of the pan. Spread the sautéed onion mixture over the bread slices to completely cover.

Place the chicken, breast side up (tucking the wings under the breast) over the bread and vegetable mixture. Pour the fresh lemon juice over the entire chicken, and place, uncovered, in the oven. Roast the chicken until golden brown, and it registers at least 165° on meat thermometer (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, begin checking for ‘doneness’ during the last 15 minutes of cooking time).

Remove from oven, and let stand for 10 minutes. Place chicken on cutting board, and cut the chicken into quarters, or smaller pieces for serving. Place slices of bread and vegetables on serving plates, and top with chicken. 4 servings.

From the October 2004 issue of Cuisine at Home.



Roasted Butternut Squash Soup



Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk


  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium-large butternut squash*
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBS fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups water (or milk)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBS fresh lime juice
  • Garnish: Toasted pumpkin seeds



*Heat oven to 350°. Halve washed squash, seed, and lightly coat cut side with olive oil. Place on jelly roll pan (use either Silpat or parchment paper) cut side down and roast for ~1 hour, or until completely soft. Remove from oven and cool just long enough to handle. Peel flesh from skin and add to soup in order listed.

Heat Dutch oven and add 1 TBS olive oil to pan. Add sliced onion and sauté until completely softened. Add ginger, sauté additional minute. Add 2 cups water (or milk), coconut milk, cayenne pepper, salt to taste, and squash. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.

Using stick blender, blend until completely smooth. If needed, thin with additional water. Stir in lime juice and serve with toasted pumpkin seed garnish.

4 servings



Broccoli and Breadcrumbs



Broccoli with Spiced Breadcrumbs


  • 1 lb broccoli cut into flowerets
  • 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs (whole wheat)
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, drained


Steam the broccoli just until crisp-tender and immediately run under cold water. Drain and dry on paper towels.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil and add the bread crumbs. Saute until golden brown. Combine the crumbs with the cardamom and salt.

To serve, put bread crumbs in one small bowl and yogurt in another. Dip broccoli in sour cream and then bread crumbs.

This is an incredible recipe and when we make our breadcrumbs, we prefer using whole wheat bread or a fresh baguette from Bread Furst.



Crispy Skillet Corn


Ai-Mei’s Crispy Skillet Corn



  • 6 ears corn, shucked
  • 1/3 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat or olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place an 8-inch cast-iron skillet in a 425-degree oven to heat up for at least 10 minutes.

Cut the kernels off the corn cobs and place them in a large bowl. Use the blunt edge of your knife to scrape the milky liquid from the cobs into the same bowl. Add the cornmeal and salt to the bowl and stir well to combine.

Place the bacon fat (or olive oil) in the scorching-hot skillet and tilt the skillet so that the fat coats the bottom and sides. Add the corn mixture and pat down in an even layer. Roast (middle rack) in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Use a round-edged knife to loosen the edges of the corn, and a flexible spatula, as needed, and carefully invert the corn onto a serving platter. Serve right away.


Ai-Mei’s Green Bean Salad


Ai-Mei’s Green Bean, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad



  • 1 lb tender green beans, stem ends removed
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 4 oz blue cheese or smoked blue cheese, crumbled


  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add green beans, and cook just until tender (about 4 minutes). Drain, and immediately run under cold water. Put on paper towels to dry.

In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for the vinaigrette. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

Just prior to serving, toss green beans with vinaigrette. Plate dressed beans, and top with walnuts and crumbled blue cheese. 4 servings.


Redd’s new shirt


Redd needs a shirt to celebrate his upcoming birthday on September 12. So, Ai-Mei is pitching in to make sure everyone who wants to join the celebration can get their own shirt. If you are interested, choose a style/size (info is in the link below) and e-mail your preferences to reddtheorangutan@gmail.com by July 29. Once we know the size of the order, we can provide specific pricing and payment details as well as postage required for shirts being shipped from DC. We hope to keep the price at ~$15 before postage.

Here is the front and back of Redd’s shirt which will come in Ash (pale grey).


The description of the styles and sizes of shirts are found at the Gildan Shirt Specifications.


Cold Zucchini Soup


Ai-Mei’s Cold Zucchini Soup



  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1 TBS parsley, finely chopped (Optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped (Optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place zucchini, green pepper, onion and chicken stock in saucepan. Simmer covered for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Process with stick blender until smooth. Add sour cream (or yogurt, or a combination of both), mix well and chill. Serve garnished with sour cream and dill. Makes 4 servings.


Ai-Mei’s Burmese Melon Salad


Burmese Melon Salad with Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette*
Recipe created by Susan Feniger, featured in O Magazine



  • 2 TBS unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 2 TBS white sesame seeds
  • 2 TBS finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 1/4 cup peanut or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 TBS fish sauce
  • Kosher salt to taste

  • 3 cups melon (any combination of melons; we used watermelon), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts, toasted (optional)
  • 1/4 cup mixture of chopped basil, cilantro and mint (optional)

*Note: we made a few changes to this recipe. The original recipe can be found on the Oprah web site.

Heat large skillet over medium heat; add coconut and toast, stirring often, until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat the skillet over medium heat and add sesame seeds; toast, stirring constantly, until golden. Add to the coconut.

Add the ginger and a small amount of the oil to the pan; cook, stirring often until very fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add to the toasted coconut and sesame seeds.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together the oil, lime juice, and fish sauce. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

To serve: Combine all of the ingredients, toss well, season to taste, and serve immediately.


Ai-Mei’s Temperature Chart



Ai-Mei is always having trouble deciding when to take the fish out of the oven and when her bread is actually done. So to keep things straight, she collected all of the internal temperatures she could find and put them into her internal temperature chart. She knows she isn’t the only one who is tired of putting a wooden skewer into the zucchini bread to see if the timing was correct.




Beef Internal Core Temperature   Pork Internal Core Temperature
Extra-rare or Blue (bleu) 80-100° F (26-38° C)   Pork – Medium 140-145° F
(60-63° C)
Rare 120-125° F
(49-51° C)
  Pork – Well Done 160° F and above
(71° C plus)
Medium Rare 130-135° F
(55-57° C)
  Pork ribs 180-200° F
(82-93° C)
Medium 140-145° F
(60-63° C)
  Pork shoulders 195-200° F
(90-93° C)
Medium Well 150-155° F
(65-69° C)
  Brisket 195-200° F
(90-93° C)
Well Done 160° F and above
(71° C plus)
  Sausage 160° F and above (71° C plus)
Brisket 165-175° F
(74-79° C)
  Ham 160° F and above
(71° C plus)
Pot Roast 180° F
(82° C)
Ground Meat 160-165° F
(71-74° C)



Poultry Internal Core Temperature   Fish Internal Core Temperature
Whole Chicken or Duck 160-165° F
(71-74° C)
  Salmon 130-135° F
(55-57° C)
Breast meat 160-165° F
(71-74° C)
  Halibut, Cod, Red Snapper, Sea Bass, Tilapia 130-135° F
(55-57° C)
Thighs, Wings, and Legs 160-165° F
(71-74° C)
  Trout 130-135° F
(55-57° C)
Whole Turkey – Oven Roasted Turkey 165° F
(74° C)
  Tuna – Swordfish – Marlin 125° F
(51° C)
Deep Fried or Cajun Fried Turkey 170° F
(in the breast) (76° C)
  Ahi Tuna (Sashimi grade) 115-120° F
(46-49° C)
Ground Poultry 160-165° F
(71-74° C)
  Scallops 120° F
(49° C)
Turkey Stuffing (Cooked alone or in turkey) 165° F
(74° C)
      Shrimp 120° F
(49° C)
      Medium-size boiling 3 to 4 minutes
      Large-size boiling 5 to 7 minutes
      Jumbo-size boiling 7 to 8 minutes
      Lobster 145° F
(62° C)
      Boiled or Steamed, Whole Lobster 145° F
(62° C)
      Grilled Lobster 145° F
(62° C)
      Lobster Tail 140° F
(60° C)
      Crab Cakes, Salmon Cakes 150-155° F
(65-68° C)



Breads Internal Core Temperature   Pies Internal Core Temperature
Quick Breads (Breads, Muffins and Cornbread) 200° F
(93° C)
  Chocolate Cream Pie 165° F
(74° C)
Yeast Breads 200-210° F
(93-99° C)
  Custard Pie – Cream Pies 170-175° F
(76-79° C)
Soft Breads/Dinner Rolls 180-190° F
(82-88° C)
  Fruit Pies (Blueberry, Blackberry, etc.) 175° F
(79° C)
Scones 200° F
(93° C)
  Pecan Pie 200° F
(93° C)
Sourdough Breads 200-210° F
(93-99° C)
  Pumpkin Pie 175° F
(79° C)
Cinnamon Rolls 190-200° F
(87-93° C)
  Sweet Potato Pie 175° F
(79° C)
Water temperature to add yeast 105-115° F
(41-46° C)
  Meringue Pies 160-165° F
(71-74° C)



Cakes Internal Core Temperature   Puddings and Custards Internal Core Temperature
Cakes 205-209° F
(93-98° C)
  Bread Pudding 160° F
(71° C)
Cupcakes 205-209° F
(93-98° C)
  Creme Brulee 170-175° F
(76-79° C)
Carrot Cake 205-209° F
(93-98° C)
  Baked Custard (Old Fashion) 160° F
(71° C)
Clafouti (with fruit) 160° F
(71° C)
  Flan 170-175° F
(76-79° C)
Devil’s Food Cake – Red Velvet Cake 205° F
(93° C)
Molton Chocolate Cakes 160° F
(71° C)
Pound Cake 200-210° F
(93-99° C)
Tres Leches Cake, Three-Milk Cake 200° F
(93° C)
Upside-Down Cakes 190-200° F
(87-93° C)
Cheesecake 150°
(66° C)



Potatoes Internal Core Temperature
Baked Potato 210-212° F
(98-100° C)
Boiled Whole Potato 200° F
(93° C)




A Photo of Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki (Savory Japanese Pancakes)


Pancake Batter

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2-3 TBS all purpose flour
  • 1 TBS fennel seeds, toasted and crushed

  • 2 cups shredded or finely chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded or finely chopped carrots
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and finely chopped

  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • Slivered speck


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS Sambal Oelek

Place first five ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly with a stick blender. Stir cabbage, carrots and scallions into the batter by hand.

Warm oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat. For each pancake, ladle one heaping tablespoon of batter into skillet, top with some of the speck, pressing down lightly with spatula. Flip pancakes to cook the other side. Remove to paper towels when lightly browned on each side (about 3 minutes/side).

Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve pancakes with a side of the sauce.

Note: The batter can be refrigerated overnight. You also can save the cooked pancakes overnight and reheat them on parchment paper for 10 minutes at 400°

Bulgur Salad

Bulgur Salad with Asparagus, Feta and Toasted Walnuts (from www.food52.com)


  • 1 cup coarse grind Bulgur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup freshly toasted walnut halves
  • 1/3 cup freshly toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh Bulgarian Feta (chunk, about 1″ x 1 1/2″ x 2″), roughly crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup best olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place Bulgur in medium bowl, add boiling water and let sit, covered, until water is absorbed. This will take an hour or more, depending on the grind of the bulgur.

While the bulgur is soaking, toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds (separately) in a heavy frying pan, watching and tossing over medium low heat, until lightly colored. Set aside to cool.

Next, cook the asparagus; steam or par-boil until just tender. Drain and cool in refrigerator on paper towel. When cool, cut into bite-size pieces.

When bulgur has absorbed all the water (check and if necessary, discard excess water), toss it lightly, then add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, asparagus, parsley and feta in a gentle mound on top of the grain.

In a liquid measuring cup, add the lemon juice to the 1/4 cup mark, then fill to the 1/2 cup mark with olive oil. Whisk briefly with a fork and pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Toss everything together gently, mixing thoroughly, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4-6

AiMei’s Granola

A Photo of AiMei's Granola

Ai-Mei’s Granola


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut **
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 250°.

    In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Combine the vegetable oil, honey and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat just until warm. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture onto a jelly roll pan and place in oven. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing in airtight plastic bags. Makes 6 cups.

    **: We have recently found that unsweetened coconut is a good substitute. We used 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded and 1/4 cup unsweetened flakes to make a granola that is less ‘sweet’ and lower in fat.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Photo of Ai-Mei's Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 TBS fresh ginger, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 TBS dry sherry
  • 3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable) plus more as needed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream


  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Dry sherry

Preheat oven to 350°. Wash squash and cut in half. Remove all seeds and pith and place squash cut side down on a jelly roll pan covered with a Silpat or parchment paper. Roast squash for 1 hour, or until very tender (test with knife inserted into squash half). Cool just enough to handle and remove peel from squash and discard. Set aside.

In a 3 quart saucepan over low heat, melt butter and sauté diced onion just until soft. Add grated ginger, salt and pepper to taste. Add dry sherry and reduce for 5-8 minutes.

Stir in roasted squash until incorporated with onion mixture. Slowly add broth whisking until smooth. Add milk and cream and heat through. If soup is too thick, add more broth to reach desired consistency. Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds and dry sherry if desired.

Kale Salad with Chickpeas


Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas



  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 TBS water
  • 1 1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced or slivered
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (zest from about 1/2 of a lemon)


  • 1 large bunch Tuscan (Lacinato) kale


  • 1 can chickpeas rinsed, drained and dried on paper towels
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika*

Combine all ingredients for salad dressing and refrigerate. There will be enough dressing left for more salads.

Preheat oven to 450°. Once oven is heated, place the 1 TB olive oil in a cast iron skillet, heat and add chickpeas and hot smoked paprika. Toss over medium high heat until completely coated. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

Wash and dry kale, remove stems and thinly sliver leaves. Place kale in large bowl, sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt and gently massage leaves for a couple of minutes. Add salad dressing just to coat. Add chickpeas and if needed, a bit more salad dressing, again just to coat all ingredients. Serve immediately.

*Heat may vary by brand, so perhaps start with ¼ tsp of hot smoked paprika the first time. This ingredient is crucial to the overall taste of the dish.

Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal


Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal
Recipe from Ellie Krieger


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup pecan pieces, chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 pinch salt, divided
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium golden delicious apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch piece (1 cup)*
  • 1 cup shredded carrot (2 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish or 9-inch deep dish pie plate with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of the pecans, 2 tablespoons of the coconut, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, the brown sugar and a pinch of salt.

In a medium bowl stir together the oats, baking powder, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. In another bowl whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg, oil and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup pecans, remaining 2 tablespoons coconut, apple, carrot and raisins.

*Rather than cut up the apple, we shredded it along with the carrots.

Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the pecan-coconut mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until it is set and the top is golden.

Makes 8 servings
Serving size: about 1 cup

MAKE AHEAD: The baked oatmeal can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Cover with foil and reheat in a 350° oven for 20 minutes, or microwave individual portions on HIGH for 1 minute.

Ai-Mei’s Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Photo of ingredients for Ai-Mei's  famous salad dressing



2 TBS champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
6 TBS (1/3 cup) olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

Combine vinegar and mustard in a small container; slowly add olive oil while mixing** to make an emulsion. Season to taste.

When a recipe calls for just a few ingredients, use the best quality available. My preferred champagne vinegar is “O” and when I am very fortunate, I have olive oil from Chile (thank you Marcelo and Gisela) to use in this recipe.

** A small battery-operated whisk by Bonjour (https://smile.amazon.com/BonJour-Stainless-Hand-Held-Battery-Operated-Beverage/dp/B001DJ0ZU2/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483030563&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=bon+jour+battery+operated+whisk) is perfect to quickly mix the dressing.

New Recipe from Ai-Mei







Broccoli with Spiced Breadcrumbs


1 lb broccoli cut into flowerets
3/4 cup fine bread crumbs (whole wheat)
3 TBS olive oil
1 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup plain yogurt, drained


Steam the broccoli just until crisp-tender and immediately run under cold water. Drain and dry on paper towels.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil and add the bread crumbs. Saute until golden brown. Combine the crumbs with the cardamom and salt.

To serve, put bread crumbs in one small bowl and yogurt in another. Dip broccoli in sour cream and then bread crumbs.

This is an incredible recipe and when we make our breadcrumbs, we prefer using whole wheat bread or a fresh baguette from Bread Furst.



Roast Chicken on French Bread


Roasted Chicken on a Bed of French Bread









Roast Chicken on French Bread


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large onions (halved, sliced into half-moons)
2 cups celery, sliced
2 tsp lemon zest, minced
1 3/4 tsp coarse sea or kosher salt
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1 chicken (3-4 lb), butterflied
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp freshly round pepper
1/2 tsp coarse sea or kosher salt

1/2 loaf crusty French bread, sliced 3/4 inches thick
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly oil a 12 inch cast-iron skilet. Saute onions and celery in 1/4 cup oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zest, salt, garlic, pepper, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Continue to saute until onions and celery are soft and translucent, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and set aside.

Rub chicken on both sides with olive oil; season with pepper and salt.

Layer bread (fit pieces together snugly), onion mixture, and then chicken in lightly oiled pan. Pour lemon juice over the chicken and roast, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, or until golden brown (at least 165°). Check for doneness during last fifteen minutes.

Remove from oven; let stand for 10 minutes.

Note: To butterfly the chicken, first remove the backbone with kitchen shears, then flatten it so it’s spread out.