Rainbow Roasted Vegetable Skewers

Skewers on Baking Sheet

What a colorful way to serve roasted veggies.  Depending on what’s in season, you can use cherry tomatoes… red, orange, yellow and green bell peppers… yellow and green zucchini… yellow and orange squash… red onions… purple potatoes… any veggie you like really.

When using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water a few hours or overnight so they don’t burn in the oven or on the grill.Skewers Soaking

Cut vegetables into various sizes depending on how quickly they will cook (potatoes and butternut squash take longer to cook than bell peppers and zucchini).  Put the cut veggies into a plastic food storage bag, pour in olive oil and salt and pepper, seal and shake until evenly coated.  Then put the sealed veggies in the fridge for at least two hours (overnight is fine).
Veggies and Oil

Arrange the veggies onto the skewers in colorful patterns.  Cook on a barbeque grill or bake in a 450 degree oven until tender and nicely browned.  They need careful monitoring because the time can vary so much depending on the combination of vegetables used.  As long as they don’t burn, I think roasted veggies taste better the longer they are cooked, but that’s my preference.  You may like yours crunchier.
Skewers on Platter
They taste best when served hot, but even cold roasted veggies are yummy.


Slow Cooker Lamb Stew


Nothing says “Ides of March” like a good lamb stew.   The secret to tender lamb is to sear the edges of the meat to seal in the juices and then cook at a very low temperature for hours.

You can add your favorite stew ingredients and seasonings.  I used lamb, but beef would be yummy, too.  Onions, carrots and potatoes are pretty standard, and I added garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for
additional protein and texture.  Tomatoes are not technically appropriate for an Ides of March stew since they weren’t eaten in Caesar’s day, but I chose flavor over authenticity.


1.  Put 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in a plastic food storage bag.  Add 2 pounds lamb (cut into 1-inch
cubes) and coat the meat evenly with the flour mixture.

2.  Brown the meat over medium-high heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turning to brown all sides, but do not cook through.  Depending on how much meat you are using and the size of your skillet, you will probably need to brown the meat in batches.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat from the skillet to the crockpot.

3.  Add one sliced onion to the skillet and sauté until golden brown, scraping up the remaining bits of lamb.  (I left several pieces of lamb in the skillet and cooked them through for my dinner.  Oh my! So delish!)
03 Grilled Onions

4.  Add the onions and the remaining ingredients to the crockpot:
2 cups carrots, 2 cups potatoes, 28oz can crushed tomatoes,
15oz can of garbanzo beans (drained) and 2 cups of water.  My crockpot was filled to capacity, so I only used 1 cup of water and it was fine.

5.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Printer-friendly recipe:  Slow Cooker Lamb Stew

Pizza with Arugula, Ricotta & Red Grapes


Here’s a truly unique and delicious pizza, and it’s so quick and simple to make.  It was featured in Dinner at Tiffini’s and People magazine.

8 oz refrigerated pizza dough, halved
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups arugula
1 cup red grapes, sliced in half
1/4 cup pine nuts
Zest of one lemon

1.  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and preheat oven to 400.

2.  Flatten and stretch each half of dough into 12″ oblong or rectangle. Lay one dough into bottom of hot grill pan and cook until it stiffens, 1 to 2 minutes, flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.  Repeat with remaining dough.

3.  Transfer crusts to a baking sheet and spread ricotta on top.  Bake until ricotta melts slightly, about 6 minutes.

4.  Remove from oven and top with arugula, grapes, pine nuts and lemon zest.   Cut into squares and serve warm.20150308_092703

Confession: The first time I made this, I didn’t read the directions carefully and put the toppings on before baking the crust instead of after. The second batch was made following the instructions. Turns out I liked it better with the toppings cooked, especially the pine nuts, but it is good either way.

Print-friendly recipe:  Pizza with Arugula, Ricotta and Red Grapes

Enjoy this and many more easy brunch recipes to come.