Cranberry, Rosemary & Pecan Dip

adapted from Cheeky Kitchen

8 ounces Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese
1/4-1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt (depending on how thick you want it)
1/2 – 1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

  1. Combine the Neufchatel cheese, Greek yogurt and garlic until smooth. Add the cranberries and rosemary.
  2. Serve immediately or cover and store in fridge up to overnight – the flavor gets better over time.
  3. Sprinkle pecans over dip just before serving.
  • You can substitute 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped for the garlic powder. This was in the original recipe, but I used garlic powder so that I did not have any chunks of garlic.
  • You can mix the nuts in if you like, but I leave them until the end so that they stay crunchier.
  • You can used untoasted nuts, but toasting them for a few minutes in a skillet adds a lot of flavor.
  • The recipe was originally designed to be served with Kettle Chips, but I have only tried it with crackers. I have used Ritz and another unseasoned cracker. If I remember to buy some Kettle Chips, I will try that next time.

Shrimp Canape Filling

this is one of the fillings I used for cherry tomatoes at my wedding reception

3 6-oz cans shrimp, rinsed & drained
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary, crushed
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Beau Monde Seasoning

  1. Chop shrimp finely.
  2. Mash cream cheese & blend in shrimp & seasonings.
  3. Use to fill hollowed out cherry tomatoes, mini cream puffs or as a spread on crackers.

Lemon Rosemary White Wine Jelly

adapted from

4 cups white wine
4-6 cups of sugar (depending on how sweet the wine is)
2 – 6 oz pouches liquid pectin
Zest and juice from one lemon
Rosemary sprig, leaves stripped and chopped

  1. Measure 3 and 1/2 cups of wine into a pan, add rosemary and heat gently over medium heat until fragrant.
  2. Add 4 cups of sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Stir until completely dissolved.
  3. When tiny bubbles form on the bottom of the pan, stir in the lemon juice, zest, pectin and the remainder of the wine.
  4. Once the pectin is thoroughly stirred in; skim off any foam; continue to cook on medium heat until jelly dropped on a plate kept in the freezer firms up and ‘wrinkles’ when you gently push it with a spoon.
  5. Ladle the jelly into hot jars; leaving 1/4 inch headspace, apply seals and screw on rings and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes at sea level or 15 minutes at 5000 feet if you are using half pint jars or smaller. Increase processing time by 5 minutes if using pint jars.
  6. Makes 4 pints.
  • Do not discard the foam – use it just like any other jam. It’s not as pretty, but it still tastes good.
  • I have used several different white wines in making this jelly – Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and even a couple of sparkling white wines (we left them open to let the carbonation out). I know many cooks say that if you don’t like to drink it, don’t cook with it, but this jelly made wonderful use of wines that I thought were too dry to drink.
  • You can strain out the rosemary if you prefer, but I like the look of the rosemary in the jelly, & I don’t object to the texture. 

Judy’s Easy Microwave Potatoes

recipe courtesy of Judy Trimarchi

potatoes, peeled or unpeeled
garlic salt
fresh rosemary, chopped (or dried rosemary, crushed)
olive oil

  1. Cut up as many potatoes as you want into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Place in a shallow glass baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
  4. Sprinkle with rosemary.
  5. Sprinkle with anything else that sounds good.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Stir until potatoes are coated.
  8. Microwave for around 10 minutes – less if you like them a little crunchy inside.
  • I use garlic powder, then add salt to taste so that I can control the amount of salt. 

Dorian’s Marinara Sauce

recipe created by Dorian Lara especially for his Eggplant Parmesan

extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1/4 carrot, diced
1/3 large head garlic, peeled and diced
1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 – 28 can diced tomatoes
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
dried oregano
dried basil
dried thyme
dried marjoram
dried rosemary
black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
10 “twigs” fresh thyme, strip leaves from stems


  1. Heat olive oil in large stock pot.
  2. Add onion and carrot and saute until onion is just barely caramelized.
  3. Reduce heat and add garlic (reserving 2 cloves). Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add all tomato products. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add dried herbs and pepper to taste.
  6. Add fresh basil and thyme leaves (discard the stems).
  7. Simmer for 1-2 hours partially covered. If it looks a little runny, remove lid and cook until thickened.
  8. Before serving, add the two reserved cloves of garlic – just smash and toss them in.
  • Yes, that’s 1/3 of a head of garlic, not 1/3 of a clove.
  • You can use an “Italian seasoning” blend to replace the dried herbs if you prefer.
  • You can make a double or triple batch and freeze the extra.

Gyros Seasoning

adapted from several online recipes

2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp crushed marjoram
½ tsp ground rosemary
¼ tsp ground black pepper


  1. Sprinkle all ingredients over sliced meat or hamburger, then saute until done.
  2. Serve on flatbread, pita bread or flour tortillas with sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced onion & tzatziki (sour cream & cucumber sauce).
Flatbread & tzatziki are available at many grocery & specialty stores.
My favorites are at Trader Joe’s.