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Recipe Testing for A Fresh Start: Healthy Eating for Busy Families

The first draft of most of my recipes are almost written and emailed to the chosen few for testing, photographing and approval. Nicely advancing my book’s aim for a December release. Whilst I carefully cook and balance the ingredients into tasteful art, in Los Angeles the wonderfully talented photographer and my good friend Caroline Gray cooks and photographs the recipes. This amazing collaborative process nicely compliments my personal and professional 30 year journey of successfully creating these recipes for clients in the west and now bringing my food east.

During the week I work 3 varied jobs, servicing different types of clients which requires from me different skills both creatively and intellectually. I need to swiftly switch gear 3 times in one day. This appeals to the adrenaline junky still lurking in me. This busy process of working and writing will form parts of this blog every week, because I hope to inspire my readers to follow their own dreams of self publishing a book.

The New York food world being the primary focus for this blog. As some of you know, I had a successful blog in LA. Heading East means restarting my blog on this coast. The food environment here is even more diverse and interesting than LA, with the added interest of the rapidly growing farm to table movement. New York foodies try to eat most of their food grown within a 60 mile radius. This sustainable food ideal rubs off locally because the top cooking school in the country is on our doorstep. I try to buy the produce, meat and cheeses that are grown in New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania. This ideal helps the local farms and adds to the food’s nutritional value.

During my city stays in Chelsea, I walk past the Highline Hotel on my way to Chelsea Market, often staring at this beautiful, old building, I was hungry and tired one day so I decided to venture in for some tea and a sit on their patio. To my amazement their cafe area is an east coast branch of Intelligentsia Coffee, my favorite coffee shop on Abbot Kinney. Once again I experience not only the best tea around but get to enjoy their ritual of tea making. Choosing my leaf, I enjoy watching the barista brew it for 5 minutes in a glass tea pot, then serving the delicate tea pot, with an equally delicate, glass tea cup on a bamboo tray. This certainly adds to the flavor and ambience of the tea. Similar to Abbot Kinney, this space attracts the 20 something crowd, working tirelessly on their computers in the outdoor / indoor spaces. If you are a homesick transplant to New York from Los Angeles, Intelligentsia will transform you back to days of yore!!

As the New York summer blazes away, let’s continue the theme of refreshingly simple, healthy recipes. Today’s recipe is for home made hummus.

1 15oz tin garbanzo beans drained
4 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
2 garlic cloves peeled
Salt and pepper

Add all the ingredients to a blender and bend until smooth. Keep in fridge until needed. Great accompaniment to Greek inspired meals. I generally make this hummus with taziki, baked eggplant and lamb chops. Definitely a client favorite.

Tonight’s photo is a sunset image I took at Rye Beach.

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