Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Tapenade is one of those things that I make with the best of intention to use in other dishes -- I have been most anxious to try a Muffaletta Salad that calls for 5 ounces of tapenade -- but because it is always so fresh and flavorful and delicious, I end up eating it before it can ever be used for other purposes. That's a good thing, I suppose, because it speaks volumes for just how good it is.

One need not have a recipe to make tapenade. It is, essentially, black olives (I always use Kalamata), capers, and olive oil. Most recipes call for anchovies which is traditional in the French version, but I'm not hugely fond of anchovies, so tend to eliminate it or use just a smidgen of anchovy paste. In my version I use garlic, add lots of fresh parsley, and a hefty amount of cracked black pepper. Spread onto toasted slices of baguette, and it is absolute heaven.


2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1-1/2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Place olives into a sieve and rinse thoroughly.  Then place all ingredients into a blender bowl or work bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced.  Drizzle in oil and pulse until thoroughly combined.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Crunchy Chocolate Clusters

Fess up. You love chocolate, right?  And while it has been found that dark chocolate can be beneficial to health, my guess is that a portion of you aren't that keen on the bitterness that can sometimes be present in the cacao rich dark chocolates, am I right again?  So, how do you eat milk or semi-sweet chocolate to satisfy your chocolate cravings and still feel virtuous?  Easy!  Make yourself a Crunchy Chocolate Cluster, the basis of which is Melissa's delicious, and super nutritious Clean Snax .  Chock full of nutrient-packed chia and flaxseed, and laced with honey and light salt, Clean Snax  is also gluten-free and absolutely magical when covered in chocolate. You will love them, your kids will love them, and they are nutritionally sound. Who could ask for anything more?

Crunchy Chocolate Clusters

 1 container Melissa's Clean Snax in your choice of one of the following flavors: Almond, Pumpkin Seed, Coconut and Cranberry (I chose coconut).
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cover a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper (or a Silpat).

Using a sharp knife and a cutting board, carefully cut each Clean Snax square into quarters. They will crumble, and that's fine. Largely you just want to break them up and have both big and small crunchy bits.
 In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate chips. When chocolate is melted, fold Clean Snax into chocolate, coating well.
 Using a tablespoon, scoop up mounds of the chocolate-coated goodness and plop it onto your covered cookie sheet. Allow to set out until cooled and the chocolate has hardened.

Chow down and feel virtuous!
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