Gabe’s Chicken Shabbat

February 24, 2014 5:07 am : Recipes

gabe's chicken

Many of you know that I love to host Shabbat on Fridays. It isn’t a religious event for us (although we light the candles, say the blessings and do enjoy challah and wine) but more a chance to relax after a long week of activities and hard work and reconnect with our beautiful family and friends.

This past Friday was really special. Camille and Manuel Bergher joined with their youngest son,  Gabe, the beautiful Sarah Gallop joined in the fun and my lovely father-in-law, affectionately known as Grandpa, was at the head of the table.

The great thing about this meal is that Gabe asked for seconds and Camille, who literally asks for NOTHING, asked for the recipe. So this one is dedicated to the Berghers and will be known from here out as Gabe’s Chicken. My sister-in-law, Ann, gave me a version of this recipe but I didn’t have time to look and just started cooking.

The menu was Chasen’s Spinach Salad with a twist, pureed broccoli, garlic rice and of course, Gabe’s Chicken.


Chicken cutlets – I buy them cleaned and pounded as it really saves time


1 stick of butter

Juice from 2-3 lemons

1 cup flour

1 tbls Paul’s Spice

2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (I prefer plain and buy 2 boxes just in case)

2 heads of broccoli

Mahatma Long Grain Rice

Low sodium vegetable broth

3 cloves fresh garlic peeled (I buy it peeled and bagged as another time saver)

A bag of fresh spinach

Sliced mushrooms – I sautéed them in olive oil and a drop of butter. once they were starting to brown, I drizzled sherry vinegar over and let it cook off. Othewise you can just serve with slice fresh mushrooms . 1-2 cups mushrooms

Bacon – I always prefer Nueskes  - I heated it in the stove for about 15 minutes until crisp. Plan on 1 piece of bacon for every person. Let cool and break into bite size pieces.

Sherry vinegar


(just mix all of the ingredients together)

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp English dry mustard

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1 garlic clove finely chopped

1/4 tsp Tabasco

1/8 tsp white pepper



Make the dressing the day or so ahead. I had some leftover from a  party the previous weekend. It lasts for weeks and is delicious.

Place the spinach, mushrooms and bacon in a salad bowl. Add the dressing just before serving. You may want to sprinkle some sea salt on the salad for additional flavor.


Basically – follow the directions on the bag of rice BUT sauté 2 pressed garlic cloves in olive oil (for every cup of rice you are making) then stir in the rice and coat. Add the amount of liquid per the instructions but use low sodium organic vegetable broth. It gives it great flavor and a good color.


It doesn’t get any easier than this. Chop 2 heads of broccoli and add to a large glass bowl. Add about 1/3 cup of water, cover in plastic and microwave until soft. Add broccoli to your Cuisinart and puree. Add 2 tbls of butter and salt and pepper to taste, puree until all mixed and serve. So yummy.


Preheat oven to 425. Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet and place a cooling rack on top of the parchment paper.

Use 3 shallow bowls – add 1 cup flour with 1 tbls Paul’s Spice to one, 4 tbls melted butter, 2 tbls olive oil and the juice of 2 lemons to another (plus press 3 garlic cloves into this lemony mixture) and put 1-2 cups of the Panko breadcrumbs in the 3rd.

Dip the chicken cutlets in the lemon butter, then the flour, then the lemon butter, then the panko breadcrumbs and lay gently on the cooling rack. Once all of the chicken is prepared, put chicken in hot oven for 15 minutes.


Serve with spinach salad, broccoli and rice and enjoy. I topped the chicken with arugula and drizzled it with some delicious olive oil. Just a little added touch.

Gabe, you made my night. xoxo






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Crabtree’s Swedish Apple Pie

November 26, 2013 6:42 am : Recipes


Jordan Kerner and Andy have known each other for 48 years. 18 years ago Jordan married the beautiful Nicola at the home they owned in Minnesota. Jordan had produced The Mighty Ducks movies and loved Minnesota so much that they bought a beautiful home there. Andy and I were thrlilled to go and traveled to the midwest in October 1995. I remember as I was pregnant with Danny.

Andy and I loved the fall foliage, the crisp air and the incredible apple pie at Crabtree’s Kitchen. They gave away postcards with the recipe. I have held onto the recipe and been making the pie religiously for 18 years. It is simple and delicious.

You REALLY can buy frozen pie crust and the pie is still delicious. I decided to make it from scratch this time and as always, I turned to Ina Garten. This is her recipe for “perfect pie crust”. We doubled the recipe and froze half for the next time.

Preheat oven to 450

Ina Garten Perfect Pie Crust


12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water


Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. I actually use a full order of the recipe for one pie. Whatever is left over, I roll out into strips and make a somewhat lame lattice. I make an egg wash (whisk 1 egg with 1 tbls of water) and brush it over the crust and lattice AFTER I fill it with the apples.

Pie Ingredients

4-5 apples (Granny Smith are great but any hard tart apple works) – peeled and cut into chunks

2 tbls flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg – whisked

1 pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sour cream

Mix all above ingredients together in a bowl and pour into pie crust. If you are going to put some lattice on top – do so now. Brush all of the crust with the egg wash.

Put pie in 450 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Prepare the topping

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup butter at room temperature3/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix the topping ingredients together with your fingers. (It is really the easiest way).

Lower heat to 350 and bake for another 20 minutes. Then add the prepared topping on top of the pie. Spread out as best as possible. and bake for final 20 minutes at 350.


Seve with high quality vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy!  So easy and so yummy.



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Warm Apple Cobbler – easy and perfect

November 18, 2013 6:40 am : Recipes


We have been making this cobbler for years. Tonight we picked the apples from our own tree. Yep, in the heart of Los Angeles we grow apples and they are delicious and made the  cobbler even that much better.

I believe that when people walk into your home to eat the house should smell delicious AND desserts should always be made and served warm. Some cakes are fine the day before, but I rarely take the chance. Tonight while I was making a great dinner, Andy whipped up the cobbler.

Preheat oven to 350

Ingredients and directions

4 apples – peeled and cut in chunks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Mix together in your serving dish- I use a pie dish or a small rectangular pan

1/2 cup butter – room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour

Mix together with a fork or clean hands. Sprinkle on top of the apple mixture and cover the apples as best as posdible.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.




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“Autumnal” Salad with Sherry Thyme Vinaigrette – Delicious

November 12, 2013 6:35 am : Recipes

When I went to the market I was overwhelmed by all that is fall and went a little nuts. PLUS – I went to my dear friend, Nancy Corshan’s elegant dinner party the night before and I tried to copy the delicious Autumnal Salad they served.

This recipe is for 4, just keep adding for bigger groups.

Salad Ingredients

1 Persimmon – just add it, it’s so good and makes the salad stunning. Cut in half, then quarter then slice super thin

1 package of pomegranite seeds

1/3 cup toasted pumpikin seeds

1 butternut squash – cut in chunks and roasted in oven for 35 min at 425. Turn every 10 minutes

Arugula -or a bag of babymixed spring lettuce with herbs

What else would be good? Roasted beets would be perfect.

Sherry Vinaigrette Ingredients and Directions

2 tsp whole grain mustard

Thyme – 1 tbls chopped thyme

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbls pure maple syrup

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a whisk. Don’t dress salad until ready to serve


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Balsamic Chicken – in honor of Rita D

November 6, 2013 5:22 am : Recipes


Balsamic chicken is an oldie but goodie that I have have been making for about 15 years. It is super easy. My dear friend Rita wants to do Shabbat after work on Fridays and I promised her some easy recipes. We will start with this one – very few ingredients and simple to prepare after a long week.

Balsamic Chicken

5 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts

Paul’s spice for the chicken (or a rub you have on hand)

1/2 cup balamic vinegar

1 container pre-sliced and pre-washed mushrooms

1-2 red peppers cut in chunks (I didn’t have peppers)

Heat a heavy pan with 2 tbls olive oil until very hot. Add chicken and mushrooms to pan. Sear chicken on one side for 6ish minutes. Flip chicken over and stir the mushrooms. Add the 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar. Cook about 7 more minutes until chicken is cooked through.


Sauteed Zucchini and Leeks

3 zucchini sliced 1/4 inch thich

1 leek sliced thin (white and light green parts)

Heat 2 tbls olive oil in a pan. Add leeks and stir until they begin to soften. Add the zucchini and continue to cook and stir occasionally as the chicken is cooking in other pan. Season with Kosher salt and pepper. I poured the veggies over the chicken – especially since I didn’t have peppers handy.

Garlic White Rice

Always keep Mahatma long grain rice on hand. Heat 1 tbls oil in a sauce pan. Crush garlic into the hot oil (2-4 cloves depending on how much you like garlic). Stir 1 cup rice into hot garlic oil and stir thoroughly. Once rice is coated, add 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 16ish minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Plate the rice with the chicken and veggies on top. Spoon sauce on top. Serve with challah.

Shabbat Shalom, Dasch.



sauce over










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Sunday Night Dinner – Garlicky Lemon Chicken, Sauteed Baby Broccoli, Roasted Balsamic Potatoes and Cauliflower Soup

November 4, 2013 6:12 am : Recipes

I am finally back posting! While I haven’t posted for 6 months, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking and I have discovered so many great recipes to share. I thought I’d start with tonight’s dinner. I go a little nuts on Sundays. Sunday afternoons in the kitchen are my treat to both myself, to the family and hopefully, to whomever dines with us. Tonight we had Grandpa David.

I found the recipe for Creamy Cauliflower soup sans creme in Cooks Illustrated. I used less butter than the recipe calls for and it was really terrific.



2 pounds of cauliflower (I had 2 small heads)

8 tbls unsalted butter (I used 5)

1 leek (white and light green parts sliced thin)

1 small onion sliced in half and sliced thin

4.5 cups water (I used 4 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth and1/2 cup water)

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp sherry vinegar (you should have some in the house anyway, esp for the salad dressing I will post soon)

3 tbls minced chives


Take all of the leaves off the cauliflower and wash it. Slice the cauliflower the thin (like 1/2 in slices) and save 1 cup of mini florets and set aside for later.

Melt 3 tbls butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add leek, onions and 1/2 tsp salt; cook stirring frequently until onion and leek are sod and translucent – about 6-8 minutes. Then increase heat to medium high and add the 4.5 cups of liquid along with half of the sliced cauliflower and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add remaining slice cauliflower and simmer for 15-20 more minutes – until the cauliflower is soft.

While simmering – melt remaining butter (i used 2 tbls, not 5 – just couldn’t do it) and once hot, add the cup of mini florets that you set aside earlier. Stir frequently until the mini florets are browned – about 8 minutes. Remove florets with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drizzle the sherry vinegar on top and season with salt – stir until mixed. Leave browned butter in pan.

Take out your blender and pour the cauliflower and broth into the blender. Blend for several minutes until smooth. Soup should have a thick, velvety texture. Pour back into pan, heat and season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Add a tbls of the browned florets and drizzle with a drop of the browned butter and sprinkle with chopped chives.

Danny had 2 bowls – it was that good. I really think using broth vs water makes a big difference and I definitely recommend reduced butter. I may reduce again next time and use olive oil instead.


Preheat oven to 425


Mini potatoes – I use a combination of red and white. Wash and cut so they are all about the same size. 1 package of mini potatoes for every 2 people. I used 3 packages.

Whole peeled garlic cloves – my family loves this addition – omit if you don’t like garlic. For the 3 packages I used about 10-12 cloves.

1 chopped shallot

Olive oil – 1/4 cup

Balsamic vinegar – 1/8 cup

2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemay

2 tsp Kosher salt and 1 tsp pepper

Put the potatoes, garlic and shallots in a roasting pan. Whisk the oil, mustard and vinegar together. Drizzle over the potatoes and use your hands or a spatula to ensure all potatoes are covered. Sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper all over and mix everything together to ensure potatoes are coated.

Place roasting pan in oven and use a spatula to stir all ingredients every 15 minutes. It usually takes about 45 minutes for crispy potatoes.



Baby Broccoli – wash and trim the broccoli

Olive Oil – about 2 tbls

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Heat a 10″ saucepan with olive oil. Add the sliced and cleaned broccoli to hot oil. Keep turning the broccoli until it is beginning to soften. Sprinkle with kosher salt and add the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Cook until heated through.



When Randy Katz (my cooking consultant) tells me he made the best chicken that perhaps he has ever had, well, I can’t wait to make it. He sent the recipe to me Thursday and tonight was the first time I have cooked since. PLEASE trust this recipe and don’t worry about the anchovies. You must add them as they establish the flavor and no one will notice. I promise.


5-6 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken (recipe uses thighs, I used breasts)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper

6 garlic cloves smashed and peeled

5 anchovy fillets

2 tbls drained, dried capers (I always have capers in the house)

1 large pinch of chili pepper flakes

1 lemon halved (I used 1.5 lemons)

Fresh chopped parsley (I forgot this)

Preheat oven to 350

This recipe takes about 15 minutes to make. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the next 6 ingredients to a small bowl as the live oil heats up. Once hot, add the ingredients into the hot oil and stir frequently for about 6 minutes until the anchovies completely dissolve. Stir frequently.

Salt and pepper the pieces of chicken. I use Paul’s Spice (see separate post) as I do on everything. Add the chicken to the pan with the heated sauce. After five minutes, flip the chicken over and put the entire pan into the 350 degree oven.

Cook in oven for about 7 minutes – until chicken is cooked through. Take pan out BUT be careful about the hot handle. Take the chicken out, add the juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon and scrape the pan to ensure all of the bits get into the sauce. Add chicken back to the heated sauce, heat through.

Add chicken to a platter, pour sauce over it, sprinkle with parsley and enjoy. You may want to serve with some bread to soak up the juice – it’s that flavorful.






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Soy Salmon Lunch Bowl

May 26, 2013 3:54 pm : Recipes

As much as I love feeding my family, making lunches is simply the worst. Right?! Well, I made an incredible discovery this week – Sweet Soy Glaze!

I tried roasting a piece of salmon with the soy glaze spread on top of the salmon. I roasted it at 450 for about 10 minutes. In the meantime I made some Jasmine rice with garlic and chicken broth.

I filled 2 plastic containers with the prepared rice and set a piece of the salmon in each bowl. I added a drop of the Soy Glaze on the rice and off the boys went to school with their salmon rice bowls.

At 12:06 I received the following text from Danny “salmon was real gud”. Ahhhhh!


Jasmine rice
Sweet Soy Glaze
Chicken Broth
3 garlic gloves


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Spring Hole-in-the-Bread Breakfast

May 26, 2013 3:47 pm : Recipes

In addition to struggling with lunches, weekday breakfasts can be a bit trying as well. I made this the other day and Danny and i both loved it.

I had some brioche bread (but you can use any bread). I heated some olive oil in a frying pan and removed a circle of the bread from the center. I placed the bread in the hot olive oil and then cracked an egg into the whole. After about 2 minutes on medium heat, I flipped the egg bread over. Danny doesn’t like cheese but if you were to add cheese, this would be the time. If you add some cheese, cover the pan with a top to ensure the cheese melts.

Set the bread on a plate. I topped it with fresh arugula, sliced cherry tomatoes, sprinkled with Maldon sea salt and drizzled with some delicious olive oil.



A slice of bread
An egg
Olive oil
Cheese – if desired
Cherry tomatoes, sliced
Maldon Sea Salt

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Perfect Cinnamon French Toast

May 26, 2013 3:16 pm : Recipes

Years ago – as in 16 or so years ago – I found a version of this recipe. It was called Double Cinnamon French Toast. I am sure I have it somewhere, and the proportions may be slightly different – but it’s so easy and so delicious that you you don’t need a recipe.

I have mentioned that we have Shabbat dinner almost every Friday night. While it is a Jewish tradition and we do say the prayers and light the candles, we started celebrating Shabbat as a way to ensure that we had a big, fun family dinner at the end of the week. As the kids got older, we were more consistent with Shabbat and we welcome any and all friends. The key is to let me know by lunch time on Friday how many friends are joining us to ensure we have enough food.

Every Friday we get a challah. My favorite for years has been from Sweet Lady Jane. I happen to not love their desserts, but their challah is delicious and their chocolate chip challah is beyond. However, we have now discovered Bouchon’s challah and it is the best I have ever had. We had leftover challah this morning so I made Joey and Andy French toast. Perfection.


Challah or brioche bread (any bread works and is good, but these are delicious)
1/2 cup pure Maple syrup
Cinnamon – ground (1 tsp)
2 tbls butter
3 eggs
1/4 cup whole milk or heavy cream


Heat griddle or frying pan for the French toast

Melt 1 tbls butter in a small sauce pan. Add Maple syrup and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Heat until bubbling and thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

Mix 3 eggs in a flat bowl and add the 1/4 cup milk. Add remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1-2 tbls of the maple syrup mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Soak challah in the egg mixture for about 1 min per side. Melt the remaining tbls of butter in heated frying pan. Add soaked break to the hot frying pan with melted butter. Check the heat as you may want to turn it down so you don’t burn the French toast. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

Put the French toast slices on a plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar, drizzle with cinnamon maple syrup and enjoy. I sometimes add berries or sliced bananas which is really good. If you can find fresh cinnamon bread – try that. I call that Triple Cinnamon French toast and it is crazy good.


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“Easy” Caramel Cake

May 19, 2013 3:55 pm : Recipes

This cake is CRAZY sweet and super rich but is really a show stopper. Every time I make it someone asks for the recipe – including last night. This was Joey’s ask for his birthday party cake and, of course, I had to oblige. This recipe is from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2010.

The reason I put “easy” in quotes is that there are a couple of tricks to this cake. First, you must cool the cake COMPLETELY before frosting. A warm cake with warm frosting is a messy, runny proposition. Secondly, beat the frosting with a hand held mixer if you have one. Lucy made the frosting last night and used one and the frosting turned out PERFECTLY. Thanks, Luce!



1/2 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
16 tbls butter softened (yes, that is 2 sticks cut in 1 tbls pieces)


12 tbls butter (softened and cut into 1 tbls size pieces)
2 cups DARK brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar – sifted



Turn oven on to 350 and spray 2 9″ cake pans with Pam Baking Spray (or butter and flour)

Whisk buttermilk, eggs and vanilla together in a large measuring cup

In the bowl of your mixer, put all of the dry ingredients. Mix together and then add 1 tbls of butter at a time until the flour has pea sized butter pieces. Add half of the buttermilk mixture and mix on medium high speed until fluffy for about 1 minute. Then add the rest of the buttermilk and mix until everything is fully incorporated. About 15 seconds.

Scrape equal amounts of batter into each pan and bake for about 20 minutes. I would check after 17 minutes. Let cool completely. The recipe says to let cakes cool for at least an hour but I suggest for a couple of hours.


Heat 8 tbls of butter, brown sugar and salt in a sauce pan on medium high heat. When bubbles form around the edges (about 4 minutes) you are ready for the next step. Whisk in cream until bubbles reappear (about 1 minute) and then take off heat and whisk in vanilla.

Put hot mixture on a bowl and use a handheld mixer if you have one. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until all has been poured. BEat until frosting is pale brown – about 5 minutes. Then add the remaining 4 tbsl of butter one at a time. Mix until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes.

Once cakes and frosting have cooled – frost this delicious cake.

Enjoy! Trust me – this one’s a keeper.

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20 thoughts on “Recipes

      • This is a fabulous repcie! Due to bad weather I had to postpone a dinner party a night the chicken did well even with a 48 hour lemon bath..delish. A new go to in the sunday supper food category

          • Try Lynn’s first. That’s what I’m doing. Really, I’m going to try all of these if JUST ONCE the boys would leave bananas in the house. I must’ve bguoht 3 pounds of the things on Wednesday and we’re down to 4 already. My sons LOVE bananas. I’ll never deny them fruit but at this rate, I’ll have to wait to make the banana bread ’til they spend the weekend at their dad’s. Even then, I may have to hide them.

  1. Hi Lisa! Michael Ross posted your link on FB, I love it! Have you started an email list so we know when your next posting comes out? Would love to join, your recipes look great! I LOVE Barefoot Contessa! I actually was her last Halloween!! She’s my fav! Your doing great! Best, Lisa

    • I love that you were her for Halloween. Great idea. I need to figure out how to send alerts. I am not too technical. Thanks for reading. Glad you like it.

  2. Do you sleep? This is great. I’m always looking for a great margarita recipe. Now I’m on the hunt for Tommy’s in Chicago.

  3. Lisa, this is great fun to read. Keep it up. Next time you are here we can introduce you to the creator of Tommy’s mix but it requires a pretty “over the top” stop for margaritas at his restaurant. I have been getting over served there for years. Hope you are well.

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