Apart from the time-saving ease of the weekly menu plan, premium members enjoy new recipes added to their recipe library as soon as I write and test them. Here’s a glimpse of what’s been bubbling up in my kitchen lately – all have either been added to premium members recipe library or will be shortly. The tartlets can be found on my Holiday Starters and Sides Menu Plan for sale in the shop.

Pear, Gorgonzola and Pancetta Tartlets

Sweet, savory, crispy little tartlets that will impress your guests and their taste buds. The peppery arugula plays well off the sweetness of the caramelized pear and onion, while the gorgonzola adds sharpness and the pancetta that salty finishing touch. This can be made a day ahead, and heated in the oven just before serving.

Pumpkin-Pear Soup

premium member specifically requested this soup for before Halloween, but it’s perfect for any of the holidays this season, too. Presentation is really fun in a small, scooped out pumpkin. You can even serve with the lid on to keep the heat in, and let your guests discover the treat inside.

Pear, Candied Pecans and Gorgonzola on Mixed Greens tossed in Raspberry Vinaigrett

This is a client favorite winter salad, and is also great with apples and any white cheese of your choice. My daughter,Tatjana prefers this salad with goats cheese, but I like the sharp bite of the Gorgonzola with the sweetness of the pears and candied pecans (guess you can tell by now I’m big on pears this time of year).

Chicken Paprika

This succulent chicken doused in a creamy paprika sauce is one of my favorite comfort foods since childhood. Perhaps it’s the Hungarian in me, but my clients keep asking for it over and over again too.

Chicken Tarragon

This simple French dish was another one of my favorites as a child. The slightly licorice taste of the tarragon gives such a whole new dimension to chicken and tangy white wine sauce.

Beef Stew

Stew is one of the most versatile meals you can make. Feel free to substitute any vegetable of your choice. You could even do a whole chicken or pork butt in place of the beef. Stews work exceptionally well with the Personal Chef Approach™ since they get better after a day or two of allowing the flavors to meld further, and freeze extremely well.

Fusion Snow Pea & Tofu Soba Noodles

Colorful and a veritable smorgasbord of flavors and textures. The crispy snow peas contrast nicely with the soft buckwheat noodles being slurped into your mouth dripping with the sweet and spicy sauce infusing the tofu with a burst of exotic flavor. This Thai-Japanese fusion dish is good hot or cold, which makes it ideal for toting to work for lunch.

Parmesan Zucchini Custard

Deceivingly simple to make, yet elegant to serve, this is another kid and adult alike favorite. Perfect for holiday entertaining, because you can so easily increase the servings by multiplying the ingredients and using a larger casserole dish. Experiment with various herbs and spices if you like.

Crunchy Roasted New Potatoes

Parboiling, then smashing these tender baby potatoes in olive oil and herbs allows the potato to soak up the oil. When roasted they become crispy around the edges and smooth, soft potato inside that your teeth will glide through. The winning combination of garlic and rosemary adds an aroma that will have you drooling by the time they come out of the oven. Here I have used a Pewee Medley of new potatoes, but you can also us baby Dutch or fingerling potatoes.

Smashed Carrots Tinged with Orange & Herbs

Orange brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots, while the spices and herbs anchor it in the savory realm. These smashed carrots are a great low-carb alternative to mashed sweet potatoes, and are festive enough for an enticing holiday side dish.

 Tex Mex Zucchini Hash

Crunchy on the outside, soft and hash brown like texture on the inside. This is a delicious, but sneaky way of convincing both big and little mouths to start eating more green vegetables.

Cinnamon Spiked Banana Nut Muffins

Nothing puts a smile on my face faster than the smell of Banana Nut Muffins spiked with cinnamon baking in the oven. These healthy muffins are both moist and fragrant. The cinnamon adds a little spice to the sweet bananas, the pecans for crunch, and the banana flaxseed oil (see note below) adds flavor with a boost of healthy omega-3 oils.



1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Flax Meal (or omit this and use 2 cups all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large bananas, very ripe, divided
1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup flaxseed oil (preferably banana flavored)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecans, chopped


1). Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a muffin pan with muffin wrappers.

2). In a large bowl, mix together the flour, flax meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.

3). In a small bowl and using a fork, roughly mash three of the bananas to add texture to the muffins later; set aside.

4). Add remaining bananas and sugar to another large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk together until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the buttermilk, flaxseed oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated (don’t over mix or the muffins will be tough instead of light and fluffy).

5). Using a rubber spatula, fold in the mashed bananas and nuts. Spoon equally into each of the prepared muffin wrappers (I like to use an ice cream scoop for this).

6). Bake in the 375° preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes before pulling the muffins out.


You can warm the muffins in the oven or serve at room temperature. A muffin and a cup of coffee is enough for me, but they are delicious served with scrambled eggs, omelets, or frittatas for a lovely brunch, or with a cup of tea to fight the afternoon munchies away.


I use Royal Harvest Banana Flax oil, because it adds more banana flavor, it’s expeller pressed, is made from non GMO flaxseeds, and has no chemicals, additives or preservatives. You can buy it online at www.shapefoods.com.

PS. What have you had cooking lately?

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  • November 17, 2011
    11:34 pm

    well julie anne..i have been cooking really good foods like banana muffins and i’m making a nice turkey for thanksgiving. lucky me!

  • November 18, 2011
    7:25 pm

    I didn’t think it was possible to lapse into a food coma through words and photos alone…I am DROOLING over every item in this post, Jewels!!

  • November 18, 2011
    12:02 pm

    That is great news Laura! Glad your feeling more comfortable and enjoying being in the kitchen.