Monthly Archives: October 2015




Welcome to my home.  Thank you for joining me.  It’s Fall and it used to be my least favorite time of year.  You see, I am not fond of cold, cloudy weather.  I like the sun and warm days.  So, even though Autumn is still sunny and warm for a few months before the cold starts, I would dread the weather changing soon and never really appreciate Fall.  It was only a stepping stone to a time that had short, dark days.  I remember one year, I decided that I was letting this season pass without appreciating its beauty because it was just foretelling what was to come.  Silly, I know. I started looking around at the trees, the flowers, the squirrels and I became obsessed with acorns.  Now, I really love fall.  The weather is cooler yet still nice but most of all, the colors that shine in the sun are just beautiful. My acorn collection is the envy of my backyard squirrels.  And I’m living in the moment, not thinking about what’s to come.

I am so happy that I am beginning the blog during this time of year.  The Renaissance Kitchen was born out of the suggestion of a good friend to find more joy in my life.  I was at a point that I couldn’t figure out what really made me happy.  After many conversations and meditation, I realized that something that always makes me happy is cooking for people. Nothing gives me more joy than when someone tells me how much they like my dish and if the next phrase is “I want the recipe.”, I get a real thrill.  I love that feeling of making something so yummy that they want to replicate the dish.  Usually, I love anything that is cooked for me.  I appreciate someone spending the time thinking about what to make and creating the dish for me.  It’s love.  Someone has to really care about you to go through that process.

I cook with love and music.  I hope that you will enjoy being with me through this blog.  I’ll be thinking about what to make and share with you.  Thanks for joining me.  I’ll meet you in the kitchen.


When oranges, reds, yellows, and greens come up to greet you, I think of apples, soups, stews and chili. Fall is here and this time of year has everyone baking. But if you have trouble with flour and gluten, all those breads and pies can cause problems. That’s why I really enjoy this recipe. It’s quick and easy. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Green apples, sugar, cinammon on a cutting board


I enjoy chunky applesauce with lots of cinnamon. It tastes like apple pie without the crust. So this is a gluten free recipe and it’s low in sugar. You can adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of your apples. Granny Smith or Pippin apples work well in this recipe.  You can omit the cinnamon, also, if you want a more traditional applesauce. To make it smooth, run it through a blender or food processor before adding the sugar. I have used an immersible hand held blender at the end, too.  I don’t usually listen to music with this recipe.  There is usually a football game going on in the background.


8-10 large Apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1/2 cup Water

1/2 cup or less Sugar

1 tsp. Cinnamon

In a saucepan, cook Apples and Water until they begin to boil.  Then cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until Apples are somewhat tender, 8 -10 minutes.

pouring water on to apple cubes

Add Sugar and continue cooking uncovered about 30 minutes.

stirring sugar into apple cubes

Stir in Cinnamon.

stirring cinnamon in to applesauce

That’s it!  So easy.  Can you believe it?

Applesauce served

For 8 servings:  136 Calories, 36 grams Carbs, 3 grams Fiber



Fettucine with Fresh Herbs


There are two things I like in a recipe. One is if it has olive oil and the second, is if it has fresh ingredients. This dish has both and that’s why I really like it.  It serves 8 and if you like, you can add grilled chicken to make it a more substantial main course. I grilled 3 chicken breast ahead of time. Then sliced them into bite size pieced.  If the chicken is at room temperature, the pasta will warm it up enough that you don’t have to reheat it.  I often listen to music when I cook, especially if I’m alone in the kitchen.  Each dish kind of calls for certain music. My favorite album for this recipe is Tony Bennet Duets-An American Classic.  Favorite song- Are You Havin’ Any Fun?

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I recommend that you use fresh herbs. I have Greek oregano in the garden and I favor it above the Italian one, which doesn’t agree with my stomach. You may be tempted to substitute the herbs for dried ones. It won’t taste the same, but if you must, remember that you need less quantities of them.  Also, I use a ROBUST olive oil in this dish; a Koroneiki or Frantoio would work perfectly.


2 Tbl. Salt

1 lb. Fettucine

1 clove of Garlic

3-4 Tbl. Olive Oil

1 cup loosely packed fresh Basil leaves, finely chopped

1 cup chopped Scallion (green onion) tops

1/4 cup fresh Oregano, finely chopped

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese.

In a large pot bring 6 qts. of water and 2 Tbl. Salt to a rolling boil. Add and cook 1 lb. Fettucine for 8 minutes or until al dente.


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Meanwhile, rub a warmed bowl with 1 clove of Garlic, halved. You can warm your bowl in the microwave or if the bowl can’t go in the microwave, heat up some water and pour it in the bowl until it warms.

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Combine in the bowl:

3-4 Tbl. Olive Oil, Basil, Scallion tops, Oregano and Parmesan. Drain the pasta and toss in herb mixture. Add the chicken breasts, if you choose to.  Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.


8 servings without chicken:

280 Calories, 12.5 grams Fat, 44 grams Carbs, 15 grams Protein, 2 grams Fiber, 2 grams Sugar.

Almond Lemony Biscotti

This biscotti is easy to make and they are not as dry as others.  Wonderful for tea or coffee or as gifts. They are sweet, yummy, and look beautiful on a plate. Each batch makes 24, so they are great in pretty tins or boxes for Christmas gifts. See if you like them as much as I do.


  • 2 ½ cups Unbleached Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup whole Almonds
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • Zest of 2 Lemons-I finally broke down and bought a microplane.Wish I had a long time ago.
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Fleur de sel (optional)
  • 8 oz Ghirardelli White Chocolate


In a food processor, grind Almonds to a coarse Flour texture. In a medium bowl, whisk Flour, Baking Soda and Salt together. Stir in Almonds and set aside.


Preheat oven to 350°. With an electric mixer, beat Eggs, Sugar, Olive Oil, Lemon Zest and Vanilla on medium speed for 1 minute.


Scrape sides of bowl if needed. Reduce mixer to slow and add flour mixture gradually. Mix until dough comes together. Do not overdo it.


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay dough divided in half for two loaves. Using damp hands, shape each piece into a 12 inch long log.


Bake until firm, 28–30 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet for 15 minutes. Place logs on a cutting board and slice into 24 ½ inch pieces with a serrated knife. Place biscotti on their side on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with fleur de sel (optional). Do you see my bag of Fluer de Sel?  I got this from a friend as a souvenir from her trip to France.  I love it!  Back to the recipe… Bake until crisp about 14 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


Melt chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Stir and microwave another 20 seconds. Stir and microwave another 15 seconds. (Each microwave is different. Keep an eye on your chocolate.)


Then dip edges of the biscotti. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to harden the chocolate. Makes 24 biscotti.


Calories:  Do you really want to know?  Best not.  Enjoy!

Chocolate and Yogurt Zucchini Bread


This is a very moist chocolate and zucchini bread. I love it because it has so many good ingredients and yet , it is very chocolaty good. I used Greek yogurt and a delicate olive oil.


  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ⅓ cup Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups Flour
  • ⅓ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 cups grated and squeezed Zucchini
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips, ¼ of it for topping

First, preheat the oven to 350°. Grease 2 loaf pans (8 ½ x 4 ½ inches) and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat Eggs and Sugar. Add the Olive Oil and Yogurt. Mix well. Add the Cocoa and mix with a spatula.

In another bowl, mix Flour, Salt, Vanilla Extract and Baking Powder. Then sift into the Egg mixture. Stir until smooth but don’t overdo it. Add the Zucchini and stir until it is coated with the batter.

Put aside ¾ cup of Chocolate Chips. Sprinkle the remaining with a little Flour and fold in the batter. Don’t overmix. Divide the batter evenly into the the two pans. Top each with the Chocolate Chips set aside and bake for 65 minutes.

Let cool completely before slicing.


Calories:  Well, with all the wonderful ingredients, let’s just say it’s pretty healthy.