Castillon Meatballs in Wine Sauce

Recipe of the Month: Castillon Meatballs in Wine Sauce

Recipe of the MonthINGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 large apples peeled and shredded
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 3 med. Onions diced (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 t. salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups dry red wine
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 jars (6oz) tomato paste
  • 1 t. basil
  • ½ t. rosemary


  • Combine beef, apples, eggs, 1 c. onion, s & p in a large bowl.
  • Mix well and shape into 1-inch meatballs
  • Heat oil in large skillet and brown the meatballs (half at a time, remove as browned)
  • Add remaining onion to skillet- cook stirring until golden
  • Stir in wine, water, tomato paste, basil, and rosemary
  • Add meatballs – bring to a boil
  • Cover and simmer 5 minutes
  • Remove from heat and serve over noodles
  • Can also be frozen – to heat afterwards – cover and bake at 400 for 30 minutes – uncover and bake 15 more minutes, stir and then remove after 5 minutes to serve


I can’t remember where I first discovered this recipe, but I’ve been making it for over 30 years.

The flavor is very unique and everyone has loved them.

This year I made them ahead and froze to use for Christmas Eve dinner. When reheating, if I think they need a little more sauce I just add a cup of wine.

Recipe of the Month

Recipe of the Month: Mom’s Dumplings

Recipe of the MonthINGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup broth

Ingredients for Easy Broth- (see notes for directions)

  • 1 large boneless organic chicken breast
  • 3 boxes Costco’s (Kirklands) Organic Chicken Broth
  • Optional – Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base
  • Salt and pepper



  • Mix flour, salt, and baking powder
  • Mix the eggs with the broth
  • Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix well
  • Put the dough on a floured surface and work (knead) like bread dough until it isn’t sticky
  • Roll out thin as noodles (not as thin as pie crust) and cut into squares
  • Drop the dumplings into boiling broth one at a time
  • Do not stir after they are dropped
  • Put a lid on the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes


Obviously, the whole dish is chicken and dumplings. You can cook a whole chicken and make broth from scratch or take the easy way out like I did this time.

I put 3 boxes of Costco’s organic chicken broth in a soup pot and added one very large organic, boneless chicken breast. (I have never used their broth before, but will be buying it again – smells and tastes wonderful). Bring it to a boil and then simmer and cook until the breast is cooked. Bring the breast out of the liquid and break it up with a fork and then add it back to the broth. At this point – taste it and if desired add salt and pepper. If you like a stonger flavor you can add about a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillion, Roasted Chicken Base. (I try to keep a jar of that in the fridge all the time). When you have the flavor the way you want it – proceed with the dumplings.

I actually froze half of the dumplings after I cut them into squares. (The liquid had boiled down and I had more than enough dumplings for 2 people.  To do that – lay the cut dumplings out on a cookie sheet (not touching). When they are frozen put them into a zip loc bag or freezer container.

I have checked other dumpling recipes and none were like this one. This one has never failed to make light, wonderful dumplings. I can still see my son making them with his grandmother years ago. Enjoy!

Recipe of the Month: The Best Banana Nut Bread

Recipe of the MonthINGREDIENTS

  • 2 really over ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups organic maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 c walnuts (chopped into large chunks)
  • 3/4 of a large dark (Belgian) chocolate bar broken into pieces (I got mine at Trader Joes)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Prepare a loaf pan, I use coconut oil instead of butter and sprinkle with flour.
  • Pour baking soda into buttermilk. Set aside.
  • In a bowl with electric mixer -mix together coconut oil and maple syrup.
  • Add the eggs and mix well.
  • Add salt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and flour, mix.
  • Add butter milk and vanilla and beat.
  • Mix in banana and walnuts.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.


Once again – the recipe was so good, I just had to share.

Buttermilk is not something I keep in the house. But I do keep a powdered buttermilk by Saco that you can get at the grocery store. You simply mix the powder with milk and it turns to buttermilk.

My bananas were totally black on the outside but I was determined to not throw them away. Not sure if they made the difference, but it really was the best banana bread ever!

It will seem like it should be thicker (probably because I used maple syrup instead of sugar) but it turns out just fine.

I love the crunch of nuts in my baked products (I love nuts) so I always chop them into large pieces.

I think the spices also helped with the flavors. You can adjust them if you’d like more or less.

The chocolate bar was just one I happened to have in the house. You could use chocolate chips.

I always try to use everything organic. The bananas were not organic. They don’t need to be.

This is my new go to recipe for Banana Nut Bread. I hope you like it as much as I did.

Recipe of the Month: Blueberry & Red Bell Pepper Salsa

Recipe of the MonthINGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, minced (discard seeds)
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  • Rinse blueberries and pour onto cutting board.
  • Give them a rough chop. You will miss some berries giving you a nice mixture of whole and chopped.
  • Put them in a large bowl.
  • Add chopped cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, red bell pepper, salt, and lemon juice.
  • Stir until combined.


This salsa is great with chips, but I served it with grilled salmon and it was awesome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Fig and Lemon Pizza

Recipe of the Month: Fig and Lemon Pizza

Recipe of the MonthINGREDIENTS

  • 1 handful of radish sprouts
  • 1 pizza crust (I get mine at whole foods and divide it because I like thin crust – bake time is for thin crust)
  • 1 organic lemon sliced really thin
  • 6 figs sliced
  • 1 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 grated garlic cloves
  • 1 ¼ cups organic corn meal


  • Grate the garlic and put it in a small bowl with the olive oil.
  • Slice the lemons and figs.
  • Heat the pizza stone in the oven on 450 for 5 minutes.
  • Put 1 cup of corn meal on the counter and roll out the pizza dough (or toss it if you are that good).
  • Carefully take the pizza stone out of the oven and spread ¼ cup corn meal on the stone (to keep dough from sticking).
  • Put the rolled-out dough on the stone.
  • Using a pastry brush – brush the dough with the olive oil/garlic mixture.
  • Place the sliced figs and lemons around the pizza.
  • Sprinkle the radish sprouts around the pizza.
  • Sprinkle the gorgonzola evenly over the pizza.
  • Top with the mozzarella.
  • Sprinkle the pizza with the parmesan cheese.
  • Put it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until it is starting to brown and the crust is crispy (this timing is for a thin crust pizza and may vary depending on your oven).


We have friends over for Pizza and Shark Tank on Friday nights. To avoid having the same thing each week I decided to venture out with my choice of ingredients. This pizza may sound a little adventurous to you, but my friends said it was one of their favorites. I get my pizza dough ready made from whole foods and divide it in half because I like really thin crust pizza.  The second half gets frozen.  The sprouts are from one of my health partners – Skolex.  They are at a farmer’s market near me in the summer.  I usually buy a variety of sprouts from them. They also sell kits to grow them at home (great for winter months).

My Version of a Greek Salad

Recipe of the Month: My Version of a Greek Salad


1 small cucumber sliced and quartered

1 box(can) of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

3 green onions sliced – include the green part

3-4 Tables spoons fresh dill chopped

½ cup feta cheese

¼ – ½ cup kalamata olives sliced

½ c grape tomatoes sliced

¼ cup chopped yellow pepper

¼ cup chopped orange pepper

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ cup olive oil

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

2 hand fulls lettuce or spinach (optional)


Mix all the veggie ingredients together, sprinkle with the olive oil and the vinegar – toss!


This salad actually started out quite differently.  I had some dill that I wanted to use while it was still good.  I love garbanzo beans, dill, cucumbers, and feta cheese together.  So that is what I set out to do.  But then when I decided to have baked chicken I started thinking a Greek Salad would add a little spice and color so I checked my fridge for available ingredients and came up with my version of a Greek Salad.  I have included 2 pictures because there are actually 2 ways you can serve this salad.  The first one is with lettuce, spinach or some greens mixed in like a typical salad.  The second is without the greens – served in a pita pocket or just on a piece of toast – bruschetta style.  Also great as a meal salad.

You can add radishes or veggies you have on hand that you like and you can increase or decrease the amounts of any that I have included if they are not your favs.  Enjoy!

Grilled Salmon Salad

Recipe of the Month: Grilled Salmon Salad for Two

Recipe of the MonthINGREDIENTS

  • 1 piece salmon (I like Alaskan salmon –– just under ¾ lb)
  • 2 cups Mixed greens
  • 2 cups Kale (sliced away from ribs and then chopped or sliced into ribbons)
  • 3 small Multi colored carrots thinly sliced (regular carrots are fine, I like the added color of red, white, and orange carrots)
  • ¼ – ½ cup Olives ( I used mixed, you can use just Kalamata olives)
  • ½ Avocado sliced
  • ½ cup Blackberries
  • 1 Red onion (½ sliced thin, ½ minced or grated)
  • 2 large radishes thinly sliced
  • 1 Lemon thinly sliced
  • 5 Tablespoons Olive oil (2 for the salmon, 3 for the dressing
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard ( I used a sweet/hot mustard – Dijon would be ok too)
  • 9 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I used Braggs)


  • Put the salmon in a dish and pour 2 T. olive oil over it.
  • Sprinkle the grated onion on top of the salmon.
  • Spread the sliced onions and lemons on top.
  • Set it aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes (an hour would be better, turn it over after 30 minutes).
  • Divide the lettuce and kale between two bowls or plates.
  • Add the sliced onions, radishes, blackberries, olives, carrots, avocado.
  • Light the grill and let it heat up for a few minutes (5-10 depending on your grill.
  • Mix 9 Tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon mustard, and 3 Tablespoons olive oil to make the salad dressing. (I usually put all the ingredients in a coffee cup and blend it with a mini wisk – a fork works also).
  • Put the salmon on the grill (onions and lemons also – even though they may fall through the grates).
  • When it is flaky – it is done (you may prefer a little less done – that is your choice).
  • Divide the salmon into two portions and place a piece on each salad.
  • Pour the dressing over each salad.


Serve with garlic bread and a glass of wine and you have a wonderful dinner!  Bon appétit!

Lemon Arugula Shrimp Pasta

Recipe of the Month: Lemon Arugula Shrimp Pasta (for two)


  • Pasta – I use Ancient Grain Fettuccini (I never measure – just guess what I think will be enough for 2)
  • 2 organic lemons (because you will be using the zest)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced – I use my microplane)
  • 6 large shrimp (shelled and deveined)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2-3 cups arugula
  • Salt and pepper


  • Heat salted water for the pasta
  • Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan –add the garlic and cook until fragrant and just barely beginning to turn golden (Do Not burn it)
  • Add the zest of the 2 lemons and the juice from both
  • Add the pasta to the boiling water
  • Sauté the shrimp in the olive oil lemon mixture until pink and no longer translucent (If the liquid seems like it has all been absorbed you can add another Tablespoon of olive oil)
  • Drain the pasta, put it in a serving bowl add the shrimp mixture and the arugula and toss


A little garlic bread and a glass of wine and you have a fantastic dinner with very little effort.  (Yes, I do drink wine)

Dinner For Two – Baked Fish with Capers, Fingerling Potatoes, and Roasted Carrots

Recipe of the Month: Dinner for Two – Baked Fish with Capers, Fingerling Potatoes, and Roasted Carrots



  • 2 fish fillets (tilapia, sole, flounder work well – DON’T use farm raised)
  • ½ organic lemon sliced paper thin (organic because you are using the rind)
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


  • 8-10 fingerling potatoes cut into thirds
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped pablano (could use a regular green pepper)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper


  • 2-3 carrots halved or quartered depending on thickness
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar



  • Heat the oven to 350
  • Put 1 T. olive oil in a baking dish
  • Cut the potatoes and put in dish on top of olive oil
  • Chop the pepper and add to potatoes
  • Mix to coat everything with the olive oil
  • Add the Salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle with the parmesan
  • Cut the butter into little pieces (4 or 5) and dot the potatoes with the butter
  • Put in the oven (the potatoes will take the longest)


  • Peel the carrots and slice in half lengthwise (I like to leave just a little of the green stem for appearance)
  • Put the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a baking dish
  • Toss the carrots in the olive oil/vinegar mixture to coat evenly and put in the oven


  • Put 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a baking dish
  • Top with the fish fillets
  • Thinly slice the lemons and put on top of the fish – about 5 slices
  • Sprinkle the onions on top of the fish
  • Sprinkle the capers on the fish
  • Salt and pepper
  • Then squeeze the lemon juice from the other half of the lemon on the fish
  • Put in the oven with the other dishes


Farm raised fish are typically fed grain that has been genetically modified or is loaded with pesticides.  Avoid it like the plague unless you are absolutely certain about your source.  Easiest thing is to just avoid it.

Cooking times may vary depending on the size of the potatoes, carrots, and thickness of the fish – as well as your oven.  But a good rule of thumb (with my oven) is 25-30 minutes for the potatoes (I like mine a little crusty). The carrots may be 5 minutes less and 20 minutes for the fish.  You’ll know the fish is done if it is flaky when you test it with a fork.

This recipe is really easy and quick to prepare and looks elegant on a plate.  Great date night dinner.  Enjoy!

Asparagus Mushroom Risotto

Recipe of the Month: Asparagus Mushroom Risotto


  • 1 cup risotto
  • 4 garlic cloves minced and divided (2 and 2)
  • 1 lb asparagus (break off ends and slice into 2-3 inch lengths)
  • I also added about a cup of broccoli heads – just because they needed to be used
  • 8 oz mushroom sliced (pick your favorite variety)
  • 4 T butter
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan


Put the 4 cups of stock in a pan and heat to warm – keep it warm but not cooking.

Saute 2 of the garlic cloves in 2 T butter and 2 T olive oil.  When fragrant add the mushrooms.  If desired – add salt and pepper at this time. Here’s the tricky part.  Once the moisture has evaporated turn the heat up and let them brown DO NOT stir them during this step.  You will want to – but resist.  This is when they get great flavor.

After they are browned you can add the asparagus and any other veggie you have decided to use.  You will want them to be aldente.  Turn the heat off when you get to this point and cover it to keep it warm or put in a warm oven.

While the mushrooms are browning – in another pan add the remaining olive oil and butter.  Saute the remaining garlic until fragrant.  Add the shallots.  When the shallots are translucent add the risotto and stir to coat (do not brown it)

Add the cup of wine and cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed.

Add 1 ladle of the broth to the risotto and keep stirring.  When it is almost all absorbed add another ladle.  Keep doing this until you have added all of the broth.  This is time-consuming – but be patient – it will be worth it.

When you have added the last bit of broth sprinkle in the parmesan and stir to mix it in.  The risotto should not be juicy but it will be sticky.  The cheese should add a salty flavor, but if you want more – this is the time to add it. Add the veggies and put on plates to serve.


Risotto has always scared me a little bit.  I like it and think it makes a great meal all by itself, but the careful attention it requires made me hesitant.  This recipe might be a little more time consuming than some quick prep ones – but it is so worth it.

If you want to make it truly vegetarian – use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  Enjoy!