PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Donna Brown

Foothill gourmet: Good stuff for summer

Exciting and delicious news about chicken cutlets with saffron cream sauce and some awesome ideas for making homemade soda. I thought, if you did the prep, the kids around the pool can make their own sodas. Can summer get any better than that? We made chicken cutlets with saffron cream sauce recently for friends. It […]

Foothill gourmet: Time to get corny

Fresh corn is plentiful during the summer season. Here are some ways to cook corn, whether you buy it from the supermarket or the farmers market. First, the best ways to cook corn — To grill: Brush husked corn with oil. Grill over high heat, turning until lightly charred, 8-10 minutes. To boil: Bring a […]

Foothill gourmet: Smoothies are easy to make and good to drink

Smoothies and fruit juice drinks are delicious all year but particularly irresistible in the heat at this time of year. They are so easy to make even a child can be taught how to make them. Even better with all the fresh fruits and juices available, it’s almost impossible to make a bad combination. Probably […]

Foothill gourmet: Perfect paella

Today’s column features paella, the delicious Spanish rice dish that features meats, shellfish, saffron, broth and vegetables. Recipes include a quick riff on a traditional recipe since it is less work intensive and a slow-cooker paella with some prep, but even less labor. I’m looking forward to trying the slow-cooker one. I never thought it […]

Foothill gourmet: Saffron is the star

Saffron has starred in several previous columns. I delight in the flavor and color of saffron, so my opinion is that everyone should have the experience of enjoying saffron. Saffron is presumed to be expensive. By weight saffron is the most expensive spice. Since it takes only a small amount to flavor dishes, actually it […]

Foothill gourmet: More meatballs

Today’s column is dedicated to my workout friend Cindy Z. I know she’s reading today, because she is a faithful reader. At a recent yoga class, she complimented me on my last meatball column. She thought it was one of my best. That’s why I’m dedicating this second meatball column to Cindy. After the recipes, […]

Spring Art Show at Woodridge

Lodi Community Art Center’s 55th annual Spring Art Show comes to Woodridge by Robert Mondavi, 5959 East Woodbridge Road in Acampo, on Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12 from 11 a.m-5 p.m. Admission is free and this year the theme is “Fabulous Fifties.” By producing one of the largest juried art shows in California, […]

Foothill gourmet: Consider all dining preferences

Our friend Wilma and her partner Jackson recently came over for dinner. She’s vegan but he’s not. We solved the problem, by preparing a vegan meal and Dwight grilled small portions of meat to accompany the dinner for himself and Jackson. In the past, I have occasionally written articles for the column about fixing dinner […]

Foothill gourmet: Where’s the meatballs?

Welcome to today’s column, it has flavorful ideas for meatballs. Meatballs are no longer ordinary. Read ahead to find stellar ideas for flavorful meatballs ranging from beef to seafood and in flavors from Italian to Jamaican. There are four ways to cook meatballs: bake, broil, deep-fry or pan fry. To bake: Arrange on a parchment-lined […]

Foothill gourmet: Soup with vegans in mind

Over a year ago, I found a recipe for wild rice and mushroom soup planning to use it when my vegan friend Wilma came to dinner. Recently, I found the recipe again and plan to make it for Wilma’s next visit. The soup base begins with an entire pound of sliced cremini mushrooms, a favorite […]

Foothill gourmet: Fun with pesto

Pesto is a favorite flavoring for many foods; for example, pasta, rice, potatoes, grilled or braised chicken breasts or thighs, and fish fillets. Pesto can be made from greens beyond basil, cheeses beyond Parmesan and nuts beyond pine nuts. First, toast 1/3 cups nuts or seeds (varieties follow) in a dry skillet (a no oil-cast […]

Foothill gourmet: Super subs

Game day is approaching, so ideas for party subs could be just the recipe you need. Use a large (22-25-inch) loaf of bread for these subs. First hollow out the bread inside to make room for the fillings, similar to my recent recipe for stuffed French bread. Depending on how you slice the finished sub […]

Foothill gourmet: Spinach is supreme

Mention the words a la Florentine and you immediately have my attention. The French phrase translates as “in the style of Florence,” and refers to dishes that are accented with spinach. When the entrée features fish, as well as spinach, it’s usually enrobed with Mornay sauce, sprinkled with cheese and browned in the oven. In […]

Foothill gourmet: Wild recipes

Several years ago I made wild mushroom-shallot cream sauce. It is so delicious, that I now make it every year. It also provided me with an exciting new technique for peeling shallots, to add to my repertoire. Because the cream sauce is rich, I save the recipe for special occasions. While I’ve always loved the […]

Foothill gourmet: cookie column

Cookie recipes suitable for the holiday season are featured in today’s column. My favorite oatmeal cookie recipe is oatmeal craisin gems and I plan to use it often during the holidays. It is a variation of chocolate chip cookies. I treasure the other cookie recipes, because significant people in my life have given me their […]

Foothill gourmet: Winter warmers

Today’s column includes two delicious soups to warm you and your family during the winter weather. First is a Cajun shrimp chowder. The recipe is very versatile using fresh produce when in season and frozen or canned vegetables in winter. The second is turkey minestrone, which I created last year to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. […]

Foothill gourmet: Vegan meal is a win-win

Recently, we made a delicious vegan dinner for friends. It gave us the chance to try a new recipe and make the spice blend garam masala. It was a win-win on both counts and the dinner we created was delicious. Also included are several new and easy ideas for quick flavorful pasta dinners. Roasted masala […]

Foothill gourmet: Favorite clam chowder recipes

If you’re a clam chowder aficionado, read on. Clam chowder is today’s highlight. We visit the stunning coastal area of San Luis Obispo County and enjoy bird watching and fresh seafood. Besides 250 species of birds, San Luis Obispo County (SLO, in the local vernacular) hosts a decadently rich, creamy clam chowder at the Splash […]

Foothill gourmet: Two paella recipes

Today’s column features paella, the delicious Spanish rice dish that features meats, shellfish, saffron, broth and vegetables. Recipes include a quick riff on a traditional recipe since it is less work-intensive and a slow-cooker paella, some prep, but even less labor. I’m looking forward to trying the slow-cooker one. I never thought it was possible. […]

Foothill dining: Avacados are good

At our house, eating an avocado is a pleasure anytime one is ripe. Avocados are colorful and delicious additions to recipes and an excellent fresh accent to meat, fish, chicken and salads. We eat them because they are heart healthy. They also supply healthy monounsaturated fats, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. Their monounsaturated fats help lower […]

Foothill gourmet: Helpful tips

Today’s column features tips for getting fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, a recipe for baked fries, tips for picking lean steaks and the best way to keep the steaks tender, while cooking. The column ends with a recipe for watermelon salsa, which you might be able to use before watermelons quickly disappear from […]

Make your own snacks

Snacks come in all kinds of flavors, savory, creamy, chocolaty, salty, crunchy and sweet. I like healthy, savory, creamy, and crunchy best. EVOO is shorthand for extra virgin olive oil. These recipes are for individual servings. Multiply the ingredients if you’re going to make additional servings. Mini Margherita Pizza — Top half of a whole-grain mini […]

Foothill gourmet: Barbecue is always on the menu

In California, with our year round favorable weather, it’s never too late to barbecue. Most weekends the fall weather remains warm and outside dining is extremely enjoyable. Barbecue sauces are invariably popular. Many cooks and backyard chefs like to devise their own. Barbecue sauces impart assertive flavors and give meat a delightful color, which are […]

Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

With fresh corn abundantly available during the summer months, a column highlighting different flavors accented with a topping for fresh corn would be welcome. First, it’s helpful to know how to cook corn. You can cook it three ways: boiling, steaming or grilling. I have friends that love to grill corn, because grilled corn has […]

Foothill gourmet: Sunsational salads

Hot summer days include an abundance of summer produce from the garden and farmers market. What better way to use flavorful summer produce than in stellar summer salads. It’s perfect fare for hot days when appetites wane. Avocado and chicken salad is a unique, delicious salad. It features a delicious, subtle light green dressing of […]

July 14, 2014 | Posted in Prospecting | Tagged ,

Foothill gourmet: Wraps are the in thing

Wraps, instead of sandwiches, are the current go-to food. Easy and flavorful to make, plus you only need a hand to eat them. Lots of fiber in the greens and vegetables and using a tortilla, they are easy on the carbs. Eating a whole sandwich is difficult for me; it’s just too much bread. My […]

Foothill gourmet: Good gifting

Gifts in a jar range from soup options to brownies and bars. It is a colorful eye-catching gift, because as you layer each ingredient you and your recipient will see a range of different colors. Today’s column focus on brownies and bars. An additional advantage to preparing a gift in a jar is that as […]

Foothill gourmet: Chicken salad has many uses

Chicken salad is a favorite dish for any summer dinner or barbecue. Recently, I found several variations on the classic, so today I’m sharing the fun. Included today is a basic chicken salad recipe and several twists on the classic chicken salad. The ways you can use chicken salad are almost endless. Use classic chicken […]

Foothill gourmet: Avocados are the best

At our house, eating an avocado is a pleasure anytime one is ripe. Avocados are colorful and delicious additions to recipes and an excellent fresh accent to meat, fish, chicken and salads. We eat them because they are heart healthy. They also supply healthy monounsaturated fats, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. Their monounsaturated fats help lower […]

Foothill gourmet: Spinach makes the recipe

Mention the words a la Florentine to me and you have my immediate attention. The French phrase translates as “in the style of Florence” and refers to dishes that are accented with the flavor of spinach. If the dish features fish, it will probably be topped with Mornay sauce, sprinkled with cheese and browned in […]

Foothill gourmet: Bacon and cackle berries

Today’s column is bacon and eggs — ideas for bacon appetizers and ideas to help you dress up hard-boiled eggs. When we use bacon, for health reasons, we always buy uncured bacon, as it has no nitrates. Nitrates are suspected of producing cancer in colons. When you read the recipe, know that we purchased uncured […]

Foothill gourmet: Can’t go wrong with bacon

Today’s column features several appetizer recipes and many recipes include bacon. We purchased uncured bacon, (no nitrites). Most of the recipes serve four to six guests. One or two recipes will easily serve a small dinner party. If you’re planning an appetizer party, prepare several additional recipes. Goat cheese trio — Cut a 12 ounce […]

Foothill gourmet: Homemade tomato soup

Today’s column features several delicious recipes — a lovely homemade tomato soup, a recipe for stuffed French bread and ideas for savory wings. Homemade tomato soup — I made this recipe with 1 1/2 pounds of canned Italian tomatoes (save the juice for another use). It was delicately seasoned and a perfect accompaniment to stuffed […]

Foothill gourmet: Chicken makes a good piccata

I’ve had a chicken piccata recipe that I have treasured for 20 years. A piccata recipe is typically made with veal but chicken is a flavorful, as well as, a less expensive alternative. Last weekend we prepared chicken piccata for good friends. A piccata recipe is extremely flavorful implying a complicated preparation but this recipe […]

Foothill gourmet: Go Greek

A welcome gift from friends of ground turkey combined with ground venison was the inspiration for a delightful Greek repast. I knew I wanted distinctive burgers since this gift deserved star treatment. The final easily prepared meal included the entrée, Greek burgers with creamy pesto dressing. I created artichoke-kalamata pilaf for a delicious accompaniment. First […]

Foothill gourmet: Homemade hummus

We’ve been enjoying purchased hummus with friends and family for several weeks. Imagine my surprise, when I found a recipe to make homemade hummus. This recipe uses dried chickpeas instead of canned. Dried chickpeas make a creamier hummus. I was excited to try that recipe. I followed the recipe the first time but made two […]

Foothill gourmet: Saffron is a star

Saffron has starred in several previous columns. I delight in the flavor and color of saffron, so my opinion is that everyone should have the experience of enjoying saffron. Saffron is presumed to be expensive. By weight saffron is the most expensive spice. Because it takes only a small amount to flavor dishes, in reality […]

Foothill gourmet: Cookie time

Today’S column features two Christmas cookie recipes. Isn’t it remarkable how the holidays seem to creep up on us? In spite of all the hustle and bustle of holiday preparation, Christmas is a season that evokes sentiment and memories. It’s a time for making special favorites to share with family and friends. For me, these […]

Foothill gourmet: Helpful holiday dinner tips

Here’s a few tips to make your Christmas dinner stellar. It’s never too early to plan for the holidays. First is my recipe for wild mushroom-shallot gravy, that is delicious. The aroma of shallots, while roasting in the oven, perfumes the whole house with a wonderful scent. If roasting shallots doesn’t get you salivating, nothing […]

Foothill gourmet: Be prepared

It’s those last few days before the Thanksgiving celebration. For the most part, the planning has been done; the guests are invited. All that is left is the shopping and the final execution of your menu. If there is one suggestion that would help you to cope with the stress of the day’s cooking; it’s […]

Foothill gourmet: Thanksgiving tips

Here’s a few tips to make Thanksgiving dinner stellar. If you like the tip, but not for Thanksgiving, put it in your file of delicious tips to save. Wishing you lovely holidays. A good rule of thumb for knowing how much turkey you will need for Thanksgiving dinner is to purchase 1½ pounds of turkey […]

Foothill gourmet: Spice up the holidays

October and November holidays have most kitchens filled with the smells of pumpkin or cranberries. A huge thank you goes to two of my long-time friends who took the time to share favorites. Today’s column also features several new cranberry recipes, that you might like to try for the upcoming holidays. My friend Traci recommends […]

Foothill gourmet: Vegan meal

I have a dear friend, Wilma, that I’ve known for 43 years. After meeting we went on a bicyclying tour of Hawaii. She recently became vegan. When we have her and Jackson to our house, we always make a vegan dinner. Today’s column feautures vegan stuffed acorn squash with wild rice medly. For meat lovers, […]

Foothill gourmet: More about pesto

Pesto is a favorite flavoring for many foods, for example, pasta, rice, potatoes, grilled or braised chicken breasts or thighs and fish fillets. Pesto can be made from greens beyond basil, cheeses beyond Parmesan and nuts beyond pine nuts. First, toast 1/3 cup nuts or seeds (varieties follow) in a dry skillet (no oil-cast iron […]

Foothill gourmet: Pesto is great

My friend, Betsy, wanted an answer to the question: What is pesto? As a result, a recipe for classic Italian pesto appeared in one of the my first Foothill Gourmet columns. Imagine my delight when I found additional ways to use pesto beyond pasta. Traditional pesto is a combination of fresh herbs, oil and cheese. […]

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