Tag Archives: vegetable

Warm Sausage and Potato Salad


warm saussage & potato salad #2

Warm Sausage and Potato Salad

Serves 4

The following may sound complicated and seem time staking, but honestly, it’s not.  It’s a breeze to make and delicious.  It’s great for anytime of the year.  So give it a try and enjoy.


Ingredients and directions in Four Parts:


For the potatoes:

  1. 1 Lb. tiny boiling potatoes unpeeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices or the slightly larger white Yukons or something similar, peeled, cut in half and then cut cross wise in 1/4 inch slices.
  2. 3 Tblsp. chicken broth
  3. 1/4 Tsp. salt
  4. Directions: Boil until potatoes are JUST tender (maybe 10-15 minutes). Drain, put in stainless or glass bowl and add the broth and salt.  Let set while you do the rest.


For the dressing:

  1. 2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
  2. 1 ½ Tsp. red or white wine vinegar (I used sauvignon blanc vinegar)
  3. 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper
  4. 1/3 C. olive Oil
  5. 1/4 Tsp. salt
  6. (I doubled this delicious recipe so as to have left over dressing for other use)
  7. 7.       Directions: Place ingredients in a blender or processor and process till smooth or if you wish, you can just whisk it all.


For the Sausages:

  1. 1/2 Lb. smoked sausage such as Kielbasa, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise in 1/2 –inch slices.  French garlic sausages are the best if you can find them.
  2. Directions: In a large non-stick skillet, place sausage slices and over medium heat cook, stirring occasionally, until the slices are brown and warmed through—about 3 minutes. Remove the slices and drain on a paper toweled plate.  Place aside.


For the Salad:

  1. 1 head of Romaine (torn into small pieces and well rinsed)
  2. 1/2 C. chick peas—if not freshly cooked, canned drained and well rinsed.
  3. 2 Tblsp. green Spanish sliced with pimento olives
  4. 2 Tblsp. chopped parsley


To Serve:

  1. Toss the potatoes with 2 Tblsp. of the dressing and the parsley.
  2. Toss the romaine with the remaining dressing.
  3. Put the lettuce on plates, top with the chick peas, potatoes, and olives and finally the sausage slices.
  4. Serve with fruity Beaujolais.

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.

Minestrone–Good Anytime of the Year



Minestrone-Good Anytime of the Year

4-6 servings

I love this kind of soup—full of veggies, tasty besides and beautiful to look at.  No meat necessary here because the pasta and the chickpeas make for a perfect protein.  It’s also an inexpensive way to feed a group.  If you wish to add a larger variety of veggies, feel free.  Zucchini, crookneck and leaks always make a nice addition.  Sometimes, when serving in pretty shallow bowls, I’ll even float a tablespoon or so of sherry and then top with the shredded Parmesan or Romano.   A nice light desert for this dinner is some poached pears.  Look for the recipe on the blog.



  1. 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  2. 1/2- 3/4 C. diced pancetta (optional)
  3. 2 carrots-peeled and chopped into ¼ inch slices or diced if you wish
  4. 2 stalks celery-chopped into ¼ inch slices or diced if you wish
  5. 2 dried bay leaves
  6. 3-4 peeled garlic cloves-minced
  7. 1 large red onion finely chopped
  8. S&P to taste
  9. 8 oz. sliced mushrooms or 1 oz. dried wild mushrooms, chopped
  10.  One cup cherry tomatoes or 1/2 C. thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  11.  1/4 C. chopped parsley
  12. 1 small bunch purple (or green) organic kale, washed and chopped
  13.  1 C. dry DeLucco small shells pasta—cooked
  14.  5 C. chicken (or veggie) stock
  15.   2 C. chickpeas—if canned, well rinsed
  16.   Romano or Parmesan for topping and possibly Sherry


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta and cook about 3 minutes. Then add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic, onion, parsley and S&P. If you want a thicker soup, now’s the time to add a tablespoon or two of flour.
  3. Stir until the veggies are glistening and soft—about 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, kale and 5 C. chicken stock; bring to a boil. You can also add at this point a favorite dry seasoning of yours.
  5. Turn down heat to medium-heat and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked pasta and the chickpeas and cook about 10 more minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and serve accompanied with crusty French bread and topped with Romano or Parmesan cheese.



Carotte Melange


carottes melange

Carotte Melange

2 servings

Tasty, Easy and Healthy


  1. 2 peeled carrots—1 cut crosswise in 1 inch pieces; the other shaved with a peeler.
  2. 7 whole Brussels sprouts
  3. 2 garlic cloves—peeled or unpeeled
  4. Chives—green and whites chopped
  5. 3 whole cloves
  6. 2 florets of a whole star anise
  7. 3/4 C. chicken bouillon


  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium sized pan. Bring the bouillon to a boil; lower the heat to an active simmer (medium low)  and cook till carrots and sprouts are tender (about 10 minutes).  Remove whole cloves and anise florets before eating.



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.

Spinach Cheese Mushrooms-Hors D’oeuvres


Spinach Cheese Mushrooms

28 Servings (serving size 3 each)




  1.  1/2 lb. torn fresh spinach
  2. 2 Tblsp. water
  3. 3/4 C. ricotta cheese
  4. 3 Tblsp. butter
  5. 1 egg
  6. 2/3 C. Parmesan
  7. 1/2 C. water chestnuts, chopped
  8. 1/3 C. finely chopped pecans, divided
  9. 56 Large fresh mushrooms (about 3 ½ lbs.)
  10.  Butter flavored spray


  1.  In a saucepan, bring spinach and water to a boil.  Reduce hear; cover and cook for 3 minutes.  Drain; squeeze dry and finely chop.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat ricotta and butter until smooth.  Beat in egg.  Stir in Parmesan cheese, water chestnuts, 3 Tblsp. pecans and chopped spinach.
  3. Remove stems from mushrooms. Spray inside of mushroom caps with spray.  Place caps on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray.  Stuff with spinach mixture; sprinkle with remaining pecans.
  4. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or till lightly browned.

Fennel Salad a la Siciliana


 Fennel Salad a la Siciliana

Serves 4



  1.  3 or 4 Honey Tangerines or 3 blood or navel oranges
  2. 1/4 C. olive oil
  3. 1 Tblsp. red wine vinegar
  4. 1 Tblsp. or more of minced fennel tops
  5. Salt and Pepper
  6. 2 bunches trimmed arugula (I used the baby arugula)
  7. 2 medium fennel bulbs, cored, and halved and trimmed
  8. 1/4 C. oil cured black olives


  1. I sectioned the tangerines and used them.  If you are using oranges, discard peel and all of the white pith; then slice crosswise into thin rounds and set aside.
  2. Mix together the olive oil, red wine vinegar and minced fennel tops.  You can either put this in the salad bowl along with the S&P before you put in the rest of the ingredients or you can mix it in a jar or pour it on after the salad is in the bowl.
  3. If you are using regular arugula, tear it into large pieces and arrange in the bowl. If you are using the baby arugula, just throw it into the bowl. Slice the fennel bulbs into long strips and place on top of the arugula.
  4. Toss the salad just before serving, adjust the seasoning, and then arrange the orange slices or tangerine sections on the top along with the black olives.


Mélange of Oven Baked Vegetable with Basil


melange of oven baked veggiesmelange of baked veggies 2 

Mélange of Oven Baked Vegetable with Fresh Basil

Serves 4-6 as a main dish or 8 as a side dish

This is a dish that is not only gloriously healthy but visibly gorgeous as well

For the baking, using this recipe as is, I use a 17 X 14 high sided octagonal aluminum turkey pan

Keep scrolling down for more additional recipes to be made from this main recipe

Fast, before it’s too late; the fresh veggies are at their prime now.  Farmers market or commercial markets, this is when you find them at their very best.  This dish is a bit time consuming but honestly, it’s worth the effort.  And best of all, it’s a glorious looking dish and it’s great for left-over’s.  Actually, it becomes tastier after having congealed a day or two.  If this dish doesn’t deplete fast enough for your desire, next week I will be offering two additional really tasty recipes that you can make from the left-over’s.


  1. 10 garlic cloves
  2. 2 large onions thinly sliced or 4 smaller ones
  3. Zucchini-2 lbs.-I cut them long ways in quarters and then sliced them
  4. 2 large eggplant, about 2 lbs. total, sliced ½-inch thick and salted (you can leave the skin on and if you have time salt them liberally, put them in a colander and let them drain their liquid for 1/2 hour up to a couple of hours.  Then pat them dry.)
  5. A total of 4 assortment of red, yellow and orange bell peppers, stemmed, peeled if desired,( I didn’t peel them) seeded and sliced into 3-4 pieces each
  6. 4 or more if you think needed ripe red tomatoes—if you wish they can be cored, skins and seeds removed and cut into thick slices however I didn’t do that.
  7. 20 fresh basil leaves torn in half (or you can use 1 Tsp. fresh thyme, rosemary or savory leaves but I really like the basil).
  8. 1 C. flat leaf parsley-chopped fine
  9. 1 ½ Tsp. salt and some ground pepper to taste
  10. 1/2 C. to 1 C. of olive oil
  11. Extra fresh herbs and grated Parmesan for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Peel garlic and cut in half. (Hints for easy pealing: Drop in boiling water; leave it there for 30 seconds, remove and peel. Or toast in dry skillet over medium heat, shaking frequently for 3-4 minutes.)
  3. In a casserole, make two layers of the following and it’s best to use the order listed below:
    1. Onion
    2. Eggplant
    3. Peppers
    4. Tomatoes
    5. Zucchini
    6. Parsley
    7. Basil or herbs
    8. Salt
    9. Pepper
    10. Garlic cloves
  4. Drizzle the Mélange with olive oil and place in the oven.
  5. Bake in a large pan that has high edges for about an hour, pressing down on the vegetables occasionally, until they are all completely tender.
  6. Garnish and serve hot or at room temp.

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 shar

Mélange of Oven Baked Vegetable with Fresh Basil Additional Left-Over’s Recipes

So, here it is just as I had promised.  Enjoy!!!!

veggie potage

 Veggie Potage

  1. In a large saucepan, heat about enough chicken or if you prefer, a vegetable stock to combine with the amount of leftover veggies you have.
  2. Puree your veggies along with the stock with a processor or immersion blender.
  3. If  the mixture is too thick, thin it down a bit with more stock until it’s the consistency that you wish. If it’s too thin, add some crushed croutons.  You can also add some canned well rinsed white beans.
  4. Serve topped with Parmesan and more croutons or a float of sherry.
  5. Healthy, easy and perfect on a cold day.

Melange of Veggies Dip or Spread

(For very healthy, easy to grab snacking or for party appetizers to be served with crispy crackers or crusty French bread slices).

  1. Put your left-over casserole bits in a blender and blend it till it makes a nice spread.
  2. For appetizers, this is the way I like to serve it: On a thinly sliced toasted baguette I spread some room temp or even cold spread and top it with crumbled goat cheese and some water cress leaves.  It’s delicious.  However, you can also do the warm versions below.
  3.  You can do the work for your guests and place a dab of the spread on thinly sliced baguette slices, top them with Parmesan or some other cheese of your desire, place on a cookie sheet and carefully broil or bake at 450 till bubbly and perfect to serve.
  4. Or the easier, lazy way is the following:  you can heat the total amount of the spread topped with some cheese in an oven proof dish nice enough to serve your guests and place the bowl on a platter surrounded by crispy crackers or thin slices of crusty baguette and let the guests do their own serving.
  5. Or you can even use the left-over’s unblended but placed on top of some thawed frozen pastry to make a Provencal pizza.  For extra toppings you use some chopped pitted black olives, anchovy fillets and Parmesan.  Before putting the extra toppings bake the “ratatouille” on the rolled out and fork pricked pastry in a 400 degree oven for about 18 minutes; place on the extra toppings and bake an additional 4-5 more minutes.  Slide on a cutting board sprinkle with a bit more cut basil, cut into squares and serve.

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.


Ginger Carrot Soup


Ginger Carrot Soup

Serves 4


“And a bigger thanks for last night—we’re still talking about how great the food was this morning. Our kids LOVED the soup….”  This lovely compliment about a Valentine catered dinner I did was about this soup.  I must agree, it really is good. 



  1. 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  2. 1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1/4 C.)
  3. 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 C.)
  4. 4 C. mini peeled carrots –about 1 ¼ lbs. (you can find these in a package at your grocery store)
  5. 5 C. vegetable broth
  6. 1/2 C. fresh orange juice
  7. Pinch of ground nutmeg
  8. S&P to taste
  9. Crème Fraiche or sour cream for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add ginger and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add carrots, stock and juice. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until carrots are very tender (about 45 minutes).
  4. Puree the soup in the saucepan using an immersion blender. Or if you don’t have one of those wonderful implements, let the soup cool and puree in a blender or food processor and return to the saucepan. The soup will be quite thick in texture and if you would look a smoother soup, pass the mixture through a sieve.  I left it thick and everyone loved it that way.
  5. Add nutmeg, S&P to taste.
  6. If the soup still looks too thick for your taste, you can thin it with a bit of water or vegetable stock.
  7. This soup can be served chilled (refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 5 days), or at room temp or hot.  I reheated mine because my clients wanted it hot.
  8. Garnish with a spoonful of crème fraiche or sour cream.  And I put one sprig (standing straight up) of green onion top in mine.

Lemon Lovers Asparagus



Lemon Lovers’ Asparagus

Serves 4

This is a beautifully colored dish to serve and it’s also one that is delicious. I served it with King Salmon but really, it would go well with almost anything.



  1. 2 bunches of asparagus, tough ends cut off
  2. 2 lemons (I used Meyers) thinly sliced
  3. 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  4. 4 Tsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tsp. dried
  5. 1/2 Tsp. salt
  6. 1/2 Tsp. ground pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Toss asparagus, lemon slices oil, oregano, S&P on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Roast, shaking the pan occasionally to toss, until the asparagus is tender-crisp—13 to 15 minutes.


Plate Fun for a Valentine Catering Dinner for Eight


IMG_3241 IMG_3238Flower forward, flower back, I love to see multiple colors on a white plate. The salmon flew in (not literally of course) today–fresh and not frozen–and it was delicious.  The asparagus, not pencil thin but delicious non-the- less, roasted along with sliced Meyers lemons was excellent and so was the couscous with dried apricots. A very Indian raita like flavorful sauce finished it off perfectly.  A  colorful dish for a fun Valentine’s dinner for 8 is fun to create.

From Margot’s Table to Yours

Menu for the February 9th dinner for Pat Wilson and Milt Adam


Caesar Salad Spears

Jumbo Shrimp Accompanied with Marmalade/Horseradish sauce


Oven Baked Cashew Pacific King Salmon

 Apricot Couscous

Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Lemon Lovers Asparagus

Red and Green Salad with Pears, Cheese and a Cranberry Vinaigrette

Big Wood Bread’s Crusty Sliced Baguette


Linzer Torte

Bon Appétit

Catered by Margot Van Horn

“From My Table to Yours”

Offering Special B&B Styled Menus

From Pat in regards to my catering a future dinner and the one I did for her:


“..  Good luck on another successful dinner.  Ours was certainly wonderful” Pat

From one of the guests present at her dinner:


“Darling Pat,

Such a lovely evening with eight compatible people.  Dinner was marvelous, you and Margo created a splendid meal”

Shari and Randy

(in regards to the picture I sent her for the plating design)

“Beautiful!!!  What a masterpiece you have created, Margot…cannot wait.”