Tag Archives: appetizer

Crepes, The Easy & Painless Way


# 1 crepes to eat

Crepes, The Easy and Painless Way

No measuring is daring and it can be fun. It’s certainly the quick way to cook and you might be surprised at how well you can do this.

Crepes are a good substitute for morning pancakes and they certainly are good for lunch, dinner or dessert. They are so versatile. So, it’s up to you with what you want to fill or top them: ricotta cheese and berries? Jam? Veggies and cheese? Chicken bits with a lovely sauce over it all? Or topped with a delicate orange or lemon Crepe Suzette sauce? Variations are endless and fun to invent. You can even have an array of fillings on the side and let guests or your family invent themselves. What I myself had this morning were crepes filled and topped with ricotta and fresh berries. Yum, they were delicious!

I could go on and on about fillings and toppings but what I am giving you here is just the basic crepe recipe. The trick with this recipe is to use the SAME SIZED cup or glass for placing the eggs, flour, milk and butter because you are going to eyeball your amounts within these four vessels. A vessel that holds about 2 cups (oops—I shouldn’t have said that—sorry) will make enough crepes for 4. My picture showing my vessels with the ingredients are for half of the listed ingredients i.e. 1/2 a vessel of eggs, 1/2 vessel flour, slightly less than 1 vessel full of milk & 1/8th vessel of melted butter.

I use a Teflon crepe pan but if you don’t have one, then make sure to put a little oil or butter in your pan first. I like to make sure my pan is quite hot (when an entered droplet of water sizzles). If your first crepe doesn’t turn out quite right, fear not because you’ll know whether to turn the heat up or down to make the next one right.

To keep your crepes warm, you can have a double boiler top all ready to put them in; or wrap them in foil or in a dish covered with foil in a 200F or 250F oven. I also have had left over batter which when whisked again make fine crepes the next day. You also can freeze left-over already made crepes. So see how versatile these guys are?

#2 cups full bowl whisk yes


  • Eggs-1 vessel full
  • All-purpose flour-1 vessel full
  • Whole milk-1 ¾ vessel full
  • Melted unsalted butter-1/4 vessel full
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch baking powder (optional)
  • Pinch powder sugar (optional
  • Drop or so vanilla (optional)
  • Lemon or orange zest (optional)

Instructions:     #3 crepe in pan

  • In a bowl that has a pouring spout is the best, whisk well or beat with electric beaters the eggs.
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients. Whisk or beat till you have a smooth batter.
  • Heat your crepe pan or a small size skillet. Add a bit of the batter, just enough to partially cover the bottom because then you want to roll your pan around so the batter slides smoothly over the whole pan bottom. You don’t want a thick crepe. You want a crepe that is fairly thin.
  • Cook until the edges begin to brown—anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip over with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds or more. You can peek to say how brown the bottom of the crepe is getting.
  • Pile them up on your oven warmed platter and cover; or place in the top of your double boiler that is warm by boiling some water in the bottom part.


Bon Appétit —-From Margot’s Table to Yours

 Want some more recipes or small group catering: visit http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com or email Margot at margot@eyeonsunvalley.com


Nuts, Nuts, Nuts to the Holiday


spiced nuts 1

spiced nuts 2




Nuts, Nuts, Nuts to the Holidays—

Spiced nuts are so easy to make; they are an easy, lovely little treat to give to someone you like for the holidays. Here are 3 simple recipes that you can make in a jiffy and of course, if I were you, I would keep some of these nuts for myself because of course I hope that you like to treat yourself as well. Any kinds of nuts would suffice for these recipes; however, I have mentioned the ones that I like the most for each individual recipe.

Nuts Recipe #1:   Sugar and Spice Nuts (This is very tasty with raw cashews and raw almonds)

  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 1 Tblsp Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbslp chili powder
  • 2 Tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 Cups raw cashews and almonds


  • Preheat oven to 300.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the salt, chili powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg white until frothy.
  • Add the nuts to the egg white along with the sugar combo.
  • Mix well until all the nuts are well coated.
  • Spread out on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Cool the nuts and store in an airtight container.

Nuts Recipe # 2: Curried Nuts (this is very good featuring raw cashews)


  • 6 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 6 Tblsp. curry powder
  • 4 Tsp. Kosher salt
  • 6 C. nuts


  • Preheat oven to 250
  • Whisk lemon juice, curry powder and salt in a large bowl. Add nuts, toss to coat and spread in an even layer in 2 lined with parchment paper baking sheets
  • Bake, stirring every 15 minutes for about 45 minutes.
  • Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for about 3 weeks.

Nuts Recipe #3:   5 Spice nuts (this is very good featuring raw pistachios)


  • 6 Tblsp. orange juice
  • 6 Tblsp. Chinese Five-Spice Powder
  • 4 Tsp. Kosher salt
  • 6 C. nuts


  • Preheat oven to 250
  • Whisk orange juice, 5-spice powder and salt in a large bowl. Add nuts, toss to coat and spread in an even layer in 2 lined with parchment paper baking sheets
  • Bake, stirring every 15 minutes for about 45 minutes.
  • Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for about 3 weeks.



Ten Wonderful Recipe Ideas for ALLLLL of that Zucchini in Your Yard


10 ideas for eating all that zucchini in your garden

1 Pasta: Grab yourself one of those veggie spiral cutting gizmos, which let you render produce into pasta-like ribbons. Zucchini does particularly well. Toss the zucchini spirals in a hot skillet with a splash of oil for a minute or two, then dress with sauce and cheese as you would pasta. Or boil up real pasta, then add the zucchini for the last minute. Drain and dress.

2 Dip: Slice a zucchini in half and toss it on a medium hot grill. Cook until lightly browned and tender, then pop it into a food processor. Add tahini, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice, then process until very smooth. Use as a dip for vegetables and chips, or as a sandwich spread.

3 Salsa: Dice and toss together 1 medium zucchini, 1 large tomatillo and 1/2 red or orange bell pepper. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapenos and a splash of hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Fries: Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick sticks, then toss them first in a beaten egg, then in seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, then bake until crisp outside and just tender inside. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle them with grated Parmesan cheese.

5 Boats: Slice a zucchini in half, then use a melon baller to scoop out the insides of each half. Mix together loose sausage meat, grated cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Pack the mixture into the hollowed out zucchini halves, then bake or grill (over low heat) until cooked through.

6 Frittata: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Whisk 6 or so eggs, then pour them into an oiled pan and cook over medium-high until the bottom is just set. Scatter the zucchini slices evenly over the top of the egg, then crumble feta over it. Broil until lightly browned and the center is set.

7 Grain salad: Toss finely diced raw zucchini with cooked and cooled farro or barley, halved cherry tomatoes, diced red onion and crumbled soft goat cheese. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

8 Tart: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry (thawed according to package directions). Run a paring knife along the outside of the pastry about 1 inch from the edge and cutting only halfway down. Arrange the zucchini slices in the center, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake at 400 F until puffed and lightly browned.

9 Chips: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, mist with cooking spray, then season with herbs, spices, salt and pepper, whatever you like. Bake at 375 F until the chips are nicely browned.

10 Casserole: Cut a whole mess of zucchini into 1/2-inch rounds. Arrange several layers of them in an oiled casserole dish. Top them with a bit of marinara and some ricotta cheese. Repeat this layering until you fill the casserole dish about three-quarters of the way. Bake at 350 F until tender, lightly browned and bubbling at the edges.

Shrimp Bruschetta with Arugula and Wine


Shrimp Bruschetta with wine and arugula


Baguette slices or toast points

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 packed cup arugula, chopped
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature


For the toasts or baguette slices: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Arrange the bread/baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes. Rub the warm toasts/baguette slices with the cut side of the garlic. Set aside.

For the topping: In a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 2 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste, and add them to the skillet. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

In the same skillet, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the tomatoes start to soften, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tarragon, arugula, mascarpone cheese, and chopped shrimp. Stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Arrange the toasts/baguette slices on serving plates and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.


Bruschetta with Strawberries, Balsamic and ONE Mint Leaf


Bruschetta with Strawberries, Balsamic and One Mint Leaf


strawberries only

Strawberries for an appetizer? Yes indeed and I tell you, this is a really delightfully light and delicious treat to offer your guests for a hot summer day. Best of all, it’s a breeze to make. The only thing I have found that it’s best served when the strawberries are heated so that’s a last minute thing but not necessarily so because you can make the sauce ahead of time, refrigerate it for a day or 2 or even freeze it and then reheat it briefly in the micro (about 1 minute and I put the micro at 1/2 temp just to check that it’s not getting too hot and syrupy).



  1. One box of Melba Snacks Whole Grain Crackers or something similar
  2. 6 Tbsp. brown sugar (I use the light brown variety)
  3. 1 Tsp. grated lemon zest
  4. 2 Tsp. lemon juice
  5. One quick tiny squirt of Balsamic (CAREFUL—not too much)
  6. 3 C. cleaned, hulled sliced strawberries (you can also dice them if you prefer)
  7. 4-6 Tbsp. mascarpone
  8. A bunch of washed whole mint leaves



  1. In a small bowl, combine and whisk well the sugar, zest, juice and balsamic together.
  2. Heat a large Teflon skillet over medium-high heat and add the above mixture. When it begins to bubble (30 seconds to 1 minute) add the strawberries and stir until the juices begin to release their flavor and the berries are heated through (30 seconds to 1 minute more)

stawberries in pan

3.  If you are serving this immediately, I would recommend spreading the mascarpone on the crackers before you have made the sauce and have the crackers all ready on a pretty platter to finish off and serve.

4. After you have placed the sauce on top of the mascarpone, top each with a mint leaf. That will make the whole deal!!!


Bon Appétit strawberries on crackers

Cajun Shrimp Bruchettas


 Cajun Shrimp Bruschetta
Make the sauce the day before and refrigerate for the ingredients to meld well.
Serve on bruchettas or some good crunchy crackers; if you wish, spread some whipped cream cheese before topping with the sauce; be sure to place one good sized basil leaf as the very last topping.
Ingredients for sauce:
1. 1-2 tblsp. olive oil
2. 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3. 1 small onion, finely chopped
4. 2 or 3 small garlic cloves minced
5. S&P to taste
6. Cayenne to taste
7. 1/4 C. finely chopped Basil
8. 3/4 to 1 C. bay shrimp—chopped
9. 1 C. canned crushed tomatoes or 3-4 fresh finely chopped Roma tomatoes

Ingredients needed for the finished product
a. Whipped cream cheese to spread on bruschettas before putting the shrimp mixture on.
b. Bruschettas that you have made or bought
c. Whole basil leaves for very last topping

1. In a medium sized frying pan, sauté the celery, onion and garlic. Season with S&P and cayenne to taste.
2. Add the chopped basil, chopped shrimp and the canned crushed tomatoes if you are using that or the fresh chopped tomatoes if you are using that. Sauté over low heat uncovered for 5-10 minutes.
3. Place sauce on bruschettas or some nice crackers which, if you wish, have been spread first with whipped cream cheese; top it all with a large whole basil leaf.
4. Serve and enjoy.

Below are 2 ways to make your bruschettas: (PS—this is an Italian word so the “ch” is pronounced as a “k” for a totally correct pronunciation. )
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Slice the baguette on a diagonal into about 1/2 inch thick slices. Using a pastry brush, coat one side of each slice with olive oil. Place slices on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven and baking sheet. Place the tray of bread slices in the 450 degree oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Serve olive oil side up.
3. Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

Guacamole with Toronja (grapefruit)


Guacamole w. grapefuit

Toronja (grapefruit) Guacamole with Oven Baked Tortilla Chips

Serves 4-6

2 for 4—that is at Atkinsons’ Market in Ketchum, ID. I bought 2 delicious large avocados for $4.  They come from Mexico and truly are so tasty and sweet, it’s hard to believe that they arrived here in that condition.  YUM!! So, here’s a new twist to the ole’ guacamole and I think that it’s really good to eat with chips, or as a veggie wrap or with fish tacos. You can store the guacamole in the refrigerator for several days but here’s a tip: forget the old tradition of putting the pit in the avocado to keep it from turning brown.  What makes the avocado turn is oxygen (air).  So, if you wrap it thoroughly in wrap or in a container so that NO AIR can reach it, it’ll stay green.   As well, I’ve included an easy way of making your own tortilla chips.  Buenos apetito!!!


  1. 2 large ripe avocados or 4 small ripe avocados
  2. 1 medium grapefruit—I used a ruby one
  3. 1 small onion, diced
  4. 1 jalapeno, seeds taken out and minced
  5. 1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
  6. 1/4 Tsp. salt
  7. A bit of diced garlic and a splash of lime if you wish

Directions and put the following ingredients in a medium size bowl:

  1. I processed the onion and jalapeno into dice chop. But you can hand dice as well.
  2. Cut the grapefruit crosswise; serrate and cut out and drop the individual sections over the bowl—so as to catch the juice as well.  Remove whatever seeds fall in.
  3. Cut the avocados in half, length wise; remove the pits; remove the flesh and put in bowl.  You can do this with a spoon but I cut the flesh criss-cross wise and scoop it out that way.
  4. Add the chopped cilantro and salt.
  5. Mash it all with a potato masher or a fork.
  6. Serve it immediately or store in refrigerator till ready to serve. I think that it gets better when refrigerated for a bit.

Oven Baked Tortilla Chips



  1. 12 corn tortillas—white or yellow
  2. 1-2 Tbsp. safflower or other like kind oil (can be optional)
  3. Fine or Sea Salt to taste (optional)


  1. Brush BOTH sides of the tortillas with the oil.
  2. Stack the tortillas and cut the pile into sixths or whatever size you wish for your chips.
  3. Spread the chips in one layer out on parchment lined cookie sheets and season with salt to taste.
  4. Bake until golden brown and crisp for 12-15 minutes.  Rotate the sheets half way through this time period.
  5. Place on a paper towel to drain and then store in a paper bag.
  6. You can also bake the chips without any oil.  They just might not be quite as tasty, but certainly will contain fewer calories.
  7. And of course, you can go the full route, and deep fry them.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

 @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

(Guacamole Recipe inspired by Garden Betty)

Garlic Shrimp–3 different ways


Garlic Shrimp (3 different ways) for an appetiser or for a light mealgarlic shrimp

Serves 4

Well, I love shrimp and I love garlic so you know what I think of these simple, delicious and lovely to look at dishes.  If you like the two ingredients I just mentioned,  don’t wait to create these easy ecstasies; they can suffice as hors d’oeuvres or as a luncheon or supper dish.  Easy and good–I aim to please.


  1. 1/4 C. Olive Oil or more (Make sure that the olive oil covers the pan bottom. DON’T SKIMP!)
  2. 4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  3. 1 Tsp. red pepper flakes
  4. 1 to 1 ½ Lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and unfrozen (I do not buy the ready to cook type of shrimp because for my taste, the uncooked shrimp is so superior and it’s a breeze to handle).
  5. 2 Tblsp. lemon juice
  6. 2 Tblsp. dry sherry (I used white vermouth because I didn’t have dry sherry.  White wine would be OK as well.  I hear that even white vinegar or rice wine will do but I haven’t tried that for this recipe).
  7. 1 Tsp. paprika
  8. Chopped Italian parsley for garnish and lemon wedges as well
  9. Crusty sliced French bread or white rice to go with this dish


  1. In a sauté pan or a large deep skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until the garlic turns golden (about one minute).
  2. Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry and paprika.  Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly, until the shrimp turn pink and curl slightly (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Season to taste with S&P and sprinkle with parsley.
  4. Serve hot over white rice or even Spanish styled rice or sided with sliced crusty French bread.  Left-over’s? Place in frig. and reheat slightly in the micro the next day.  They’ll still be good.

Variation to the above recipe:

  1. Chop roughly the peel of one orange and add it when you sauté the garlic and red pepper.
  2. Substitute the lemon juice with the juice of your one orange.
  3. 1 Tsp. of ground cumin can be added to the paprika if you wish or you can delete both of these spices totally.
  4. Substitute chopped cilantro for the Italian Parsley.
  5. Serve this with warm corn tortillas or over Mexican rice or with sliced crusty French bread.

Very Lastly:

If you wish you can easily make a broiled shrimp scampi from both of the above recipes:


  1. Preheat the broiler
  2. Make sure your pan that you are using stove top will be broiler proof and will fit on the oven rack correctly as near to the broiler as possible. Turn the fan on.
  3. Where the directions say to add the shrimp etc., do so but very quickly so as be able to stir everything to blend well—- once again quickly.
  4. Immediately place the pan under the broiler
  5. Cook, shaking the pan once or twice and stirring if necessary, but generally leaving the shrimp undisturbed until they are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly.  This may take from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the heat of your broiler.
  6. Garnish and Serve IMMEDIATELY.


Artichokes Spells Green Goodie for St. Pat’s



Frost Kissed Artichokes are in town—just in time to celebrate the GREEN of St. Pats (PART ONE)

This is the first of a two series presentation of Artichoke Recipes—so stay tuned!!


I do really enjoy artichokes and have had a lot of fun with new comers in the instruction of the “how to eat” an artichoke.  When I resided in CA I used to grow these edible thistles in my yard so I garnered very fresh chokes that barely needed to be cooked.  Here our chokes are usually a bit older however the ones I picked up the other day at the Bellevue Atkinsons’ for such a good price were the frost kissed variety so I knew that they weren’t very old. Sure enough, when cooking them I started smelling their fragrant aroma in 20 minutes and 5 minutes later, they were done and delicious. Frost Kissing occurs when the temps drop below 32 degrees resulting in an enhanced nutty flavored artichoke. So if you like this veggie, hurry and get some.  They also make great appetizers.


There are a myriad of ways to which to treat this thistle in a culinary fashion.  I’ve even been given a recipe dealing with using raw artichoke strips in a salad.  Sad to say, I was very disappointed with that recipe. Below is the way I’ve always cooked my choke plus another easy greener recipe I thought you might enjoy.  Next week will be another very tasty recipe that my editor, Leslie Thompson, a terrific cook, is offering for the followers of this column.   


Basic Instruction for Prepping an Artichoke:

Hold the choke by its long end and with a scissor, cut the individual leaf ends off so that the thorns are removed; next, with a serrated knife, cut both ends of the choke: the stem close to the choke bottom and the very top off about 1/2 inch.  Now wash them and they are ready to be cooked.

Margot’s Favorite Way:

Cooking instructions:

Place the chokes in a tall pot that accommodates your chokes and fill the pot with water (I put in warm or hot water) that goes about half way up. In the water add a dash of olive oil,  one or two bay leaves, one or two whole peeled or even unpeeled garlic cloves, some pepper corns and a dash of sea salt and a squirt of your favorite vinegar or lemon juice.  You can also add some fresh tarragon or thyme.  Put the pot on the burner and when the water comes to a boil, turn it down to a rolling simmer and place a top that will fit in and not on top of the pot. This will keep the chokes under the liquid and from discoloring. If you don’t have that size top, just put a regular top on the pot. Start testing in 25 minutes by trying to take a leaf off with ease to see if it is tender. I use tongs to do that. Also I’ve noticed that when the choke starts smelling good, that’s when you know that it’s about done.  An artichoke can be done in as little as 20 minutes or as long as a bit over an hour—depending on size and age.  When done, turn the choke upside down in a bowl to drain. If you have left over’s, they can be stored in the frig for several days and reheated in the micro or just enjoyed cold or stuffed for hors d’oeuvres. Oh my, so many options with a choke—————–

I like to eat my chokes plain but many people like to dip the leaves in melted butter, olive oil or mayonnaise.  You can even combine the butter or olive oil you are using as a dipping sauce with a dash of minced garlic, lemon juice and S&P or/and some grated Parmesan or some dill or Dijon mustard.  And if serving the choke cold as an hors d’oeuvre, mayo with a dash of curry or other powder is a breeze to whip up. Well, you get the idea—- imagination is the ingredient here.

Lastly, no matter how you cook and eat your choke, don’t forget to remove the uneatable furry/fuzzy part to get to the best part—the heart. Also remember to provide an empty bowl on the side of the artichoke for discarded leaves and when guests are present, I usually put one discarded leaf in the bowl as an example.

Thinking of St. Pats, here’s an extra green to stuff in your choke:

  1. When choke is cooked, remove the interior including the fuzz and heart and fill it with 1/2 C. of frozen peas. Place a bit of butter on the peas and add some fresh mint, garlic or other seasoning.  Microwave in a covered dish for about 1 ½ minutes.  The peas will be done. If your artichoke had been refrigerated, the micro waving time may take a bit longer. Garnish with fresh mint and serve with fresh mayo and a shamrock.

There are so many choices in cooking a choke and as time goes on, I’ll pass on some more yummy recipes concerning this wonderful thistle.  However, don’t forget, if you have a special recipe concerning the artichoke or anything for that matter, be sure to pass it on directly to me or Leslie and you’ll get a nice Albertson’s $20 gift card.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Frost Kissed Artichokes are in town—just in time to celebrate the GREEN of St. Pats (PART TWO)

This is the second of a two series presentation of Artichoke Recipes


It’s amazing when looking up the history on various vegetables how very long ago they were mentioned in the discovered writings of ancient times.  The artichoke was mentioned by the Greeks and the Romans and even in the excavations of the Roman-period in Egypt.  So I imagine that  Cleopatra and Julius or Mark enjoyed them at one of their soirees.  Later in time, they found their way to France (Avignon) and Italy and down to the hinterlands of Holland.  The Dutch introduced them to England and they grew in Henry VIII”s garden at Newhall in 1530. He also probably dined on them at one of his lively soirees.  Then by the French immigrants coming to Louisiana, the choke was introduced; it also was introduced to California by Spanish immigrants.  Presently, can you believe, 100% of the U.S. crop is provided by California (if they aren’t torn up for vineyards—I hope not) and 80% is grown in the Steinbeck country of Monterrey County. Castroville, on the Pacific in Monterrey County proclaims itself to be “The Artichoke Center of the World”.  They hold a very fun festival there each year.  Don’t miss it if you are in the area.  If I remember correctly, there’s even artichoke ice cream to be tasted.

Leslie Thompson’s (the Weekly Sun’s Editor) Favorite Way (when time allows):

Preheat oven to 425.  Prep them as above, THEN, take loads of fresh minced garlic; pull the leaves back and sprinkle the garlic among the leaves. Then, add some Parmesan cheese in the leaves too (stuff down anything that’s left sticking up). Next lightly sprinkle them with a favorite herb mix (I usually make a thyme and sage blend that I mix myself) and S&P. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice and drizzle some olive oil over it all. Then wrap them up in a double layer of heavy tin foil making sure that they are totally sealed. Bake them in a 425 oven for an hour or 45 minutes for small ones.

There are so many choices in cooking a choke and as time goes on, I’ll pass on some more yummy recipes concerning this wonderful thistle.  And don’t forget, if you have a special recipe concerning the artichoke or anything for that matter, be sure to pass it on directly to me or Leslie and you’ll get a nice Albertson’s $20 gift card.

Roasted Red Pepper/Artichoke Dip: (a very colorful dish when placed on cooked artichoke leaves)


  1. 4 Artichoke hearts (fresh is preferable of course)
  2. 1 leek, diced
  3. 2 Tblsp. butter
  4. 1 C. of roasted Red Peppers (from a jar) drained
  5. 3/4 C. Grated Parmesan
  6. 3 Tblsp. mayonnaise


  1.  In a small sauté pan over medium high heat,  add the butter and when it’s melted and warm, add the leeks.  Cook until leeks are tender. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add artichoke hearts, peppers, cheese, mayo and cooled leeks to food processor or blender.  Pulse until dip is smooth and well combined.
  3. Serve with artichoke leaves, chips or fresh veggies.


For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Crudities with Green Goddess Dressing


Crudities with Green Goddess Dressing

Makes 12-18 appetizer servings


Crudities Ingredients:

  1. 2-3 lbs. small raw mushrooms
  2. 2-3 lbs. asparagus (tough ends removed)
  3. Broccoli (cut into small flowerets)
  4. Small peeled carrots
  5. Edible-pod peas
  6. 40 to 50 small inner leaves from 3-4 heads of romaine lettuce(washed/crisped)

Green Goddess Dressing ingredients (makes 1 ½ C)

  1. 3 large egg yolks
  2. 3 Tblsp. white wine vinegar
  3. 2/3 cup chopped parsley
  4. One 2-oz. can anchovy fillets
  5. Green onions, chopped including the tops
  6. 1 ½ Tsp. dry tarragon
  7. 1 ½ C. olive oil


  1. Place all of the ingredients except the oil in a blender and whirl until a smooth puree.  Slowly add the oil till well blended.
  2. Serve or cover and chill for up to a week.