Appetizers for the Holidays

Potato Sleighs

This is a Peruvian recipe I just love. The finger potatoes make this dish ideal to serve as an appetizer. Its rich creamy texture melts in your mouth and just as you think you’ve tasted all the flavors a hint of spice reveals itself. Exotic, festive and perfect with cocktails. Enjoy   

Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 lb finger potatoes

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling and add the potatoes. Boil potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork about 7-10 minutes. Drain water from potatoes and let cool.

 Huancaína Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
2 hard boil eggs (yolks only) optional
1/2 cup chopped organic onion
2 Habanero pepper seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups feta cheese
1 cup organic 2% milk
Organic black pepper to taste

Sauté onion, garlic, and habanero pepper in the olive oil until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Place onion mixture and milk and blend. Add cheese and egg yolks (cooked) and blend until smooth. Sauce should be fairly thick. Add more milk if necessary. Season with pepper to taste. Cut potatoes on half and cut a little sliver of the bottom so that they lay level on the plate. Add a teaspoon of sauce, which should be fairly thick. Garnish with cilantro leaf and slice of sweet red pepper. Arrange on plate and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Festive Peppers

These mini Chile Rellenos are delightful. Although these chilies come in packages of yellow and red, I only use the red peppers when I serve them during the holidays. The chilies are very tasty but not at all spicy. Colorful, yummy and fun. Enjoy!

Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

24 (2 to 3-inch long) sweet baby peppers (red)
Mozerella cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons Olive oil

Using a paring knife cut 1/2-inch of the peppers lengthwise; remove the seeds and veins. Fill each pepper with a slice Mozerella cheese. Place the filled peppers on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the peppers begin to soften. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Arrange the peppers on a platter, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm.

Holiday Beet Bites

Delicious, healthy and different, these beets bites are easy to make and fun to serve or bring to any party or gathering. The cranberry, basil adds a flavorful touch to the soft texture of the goat cheese and the earthy flavor of the beets. It’s been a favorite each time I’ve served it.

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

Coking Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 60 Minutes approximately.

6 Medium Beets
Soft Goat Cheese
Small Basil leafs
Dried Cranberries

Trim beets and place in a large pot then cover with cold water.  Turn heat on high until water begins to boil then reduce heat to medium to keep water at a simmer. Cook 25 minutes to an hour or until done (for medium, fresh beets). Once beets are cooked, remove from heat, drain water and then plunge beets quickly into cold water. Remove beets from cold water, cut off root tips & stems and you should be able to rub the skins off easily with a damp towel. Slice beets and cut slices into halves, arrange on a flat plate. Add one slice of goat cheese. Add a Basil leaf. Top with a Cranberry and hold together with toothpick. Enjoy.

Thanksgiving Turkey Curacao Style

If you are looking for an exciting and delicious new way to cook your turkey this year, this is a traditional Curaçao recipe. On Curaçao turkey is usually served for Christmas, but ever since I moved to California I’ve been making this recipe for Thanksgiving and it is always a highlight. It’s festive, flavorful and it brings Caribbean warmth to American holiday.  
Prep Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 6.5 hours


1 whole organic turkey 12 to 15 lbs

Turkey Rub

1 cup of organic red wine

¼ tsp organic garlic salt

3 organic garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp organic olive oil

1 tbsp organic chicken bouillon paste

¼ tsp dried organic thyme

¼ tsp dried organic sage crushed

¼ tsp dried organic oregano

¼ tsp organic nutmeg


1 cup organic chopped onion

2 cup organic chopped celery

6 organic garlic cloves chopped

1 cup organic ground turkey

1½  cup organic raisins

1¼ cup organic walnuts

1 cup organic green olives

2 tbsps organic capers

1 cup organic chicken broth

½ cup organic red wine

3 cups organic bread crumbs

¼ tsp organic sage rub

¼ tsp organic thyme

¼ tsp organic oregano

¼ tsp organic nutmeg

Himalayan or Celtic salt

4 tbsp organic olive oil


½ Bottle of organic red wine

3 tbsp organic chicken bouillon paste

3 cups water

1 tsp organic garlic salt


Preheat oven to 325º F.

Remove the giblets from the body cavity along with anything that has been tucked into the neck skin. Discard giblets.

Rinse turkey under cold, running water, pat dry with a paper towel, inside and out. Coat turkey inside and out with garlic salt and rubbing spices.

Place onion, celery, garlic cloves, in a pan on medium heat. After simmering for 3 to 5 minutes,  add ground turkey and cook until light brown. Add raisins, walnuts, olives, and capers. Add wine and chicken broth and finally add the breadcrumbs. Set aside to cool.

Fill turkey cavity with stuffing and tie with string. Place the turkey in a roasting pan with a little bit of olive oil on the bottom of pan. Prevent over-browning by covering the turkey with a tin foil tent. Put the pan in preheated oven.

Combine basting ingredients. After the turkey cooks for 30 minutes, prick turkey and baste every 15 minutes.

Turkey should be done in approximately 4 to 4 ½ hours. To allow for browning, remove the tent during the last 45 minutes of baking. To ensure that the turkey is done, insert a meat thermometer into thickest part of the breast. Once the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 180º F, remove it from the oven and let it rest approximately 15 minutes before carving.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!