Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Stuffing peppers with nutrients: Protein-rich wild rice in peppers makes a powerful, tasty and colorful everyday meal

Shake up your routine this school year with a healthy and delicious weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy.

All too often, a family’s busy routine doesn’t allow for much time to create a meal the kids will enjoy, especially if the meal involves a vegetable. I’ve created an affordable recipe of fresh green peppers stuffed with a wild rice mixture that’s topped with marinara sauce. It is a colorful dish that’s also a real time saver in the kitchen.

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Savor French Fare at New Parc Bistro Brasserie


Parc Bistro-Brasserie will open in the heart of Banker’s Hill in the former Croce’s Park West space in mid May 2016.

Chef Donald Lockhart, most recently at Cusp Restaurant in  La Jolla, will helm the kitchen and offer a classical French cuisine with coastal favorites, as well as Parc’s own private wine label.

Chef Lockhart has worked with Julia Child and Michel Richard as well as cooking at the James Beard House in New York. By using timeless techniques steeped in tradition, Lockhart’s simple cooking approach is to gather the best ingredients and allow the flavors to shine. He looks to cultivate a sense of community through his dishes and believes his French bistro fare will celebrate local bounty and pay homage to the community that contributes to its success. Guests can expect dishes that stay true to the basics, yet offer a contemporary elements. mdm

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Mission Beach Eatery Offers Island Inspired Dishes

Miss B's Coconut Club Mission Beach
Seafood Ceviche

Tropical birds, tiki gods and colorful flowers come to life in a lively celebration at Miss B’s Coconut Club, a Mission Beach restaurant celebrating San Diego’s nautical and maritime history. Island-inspired dishes make up for the Coconut Club’s unique cuisine, where bold Caribbean flavors meet fruit-infused cocktails. This spring, be sure to plunge into Miss B’s for a classic, Caribbean-inspired menu that’s bringing tiki to the beach!

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We Found Old School Traditional Pretzels

Tavern's Soft Garlic Butter Pretzel SticksHoused in one of the most historic buildings in Pacific Beach since 1997, Tavern at the Beach is a neighborhood favorite that  knows how to make old-school, traditional pretzels.

Whether you like them soft or crunchy, salted or unsalted on April 26th, in honor of National Pretzel Day, head to Tavern at the Beach, a prime Pacific Beach destination and take a big bite into their homemade pretzels.

Chef John's Pretzels at Tavern

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Chicken recipe is light but full of flavor

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

My mother’s southern Italian cooking is rustic and fiery, with recipes often calling for sweet tomatoes and hot peppers, the perfect ingredients for an authentic sauce.

Since one of my mom’s favorite dishes is baked Chicken Parmesan in a marinara sauce, I decided to wow her for Mother’s Day with a modern take on this nostalgic dish that is light and healthful.

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Napizza Gains Attention In Little Italy

NapizzaPerched on the corner of Date and India Streets, Napizza is not only one of the newest establishments in Little Italy, it also has a new concept that is gaining attention.

Green certified and committed to utilizing locally sourced, organic ingredients with no preservatives or chemicals, this is not your typical pizza joint. But that new philosophy is underscored by one of the oldest traditions in pizza-making techniques. Pizza la taglio, a centuries-old art of utilizing special four, yeast and water, and allowing for a slow rise to create a product with no equal. The large, square-cut pieces are familiar to anyone who’s sampled street food from Italy’s larger cities.

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Prepkitchen Fudge Brownie Recipe

If you love brownies that taste like they came out of the oven, don’t miss the Pecan Fudge Brownies sold only at Prepkitchen locations. Now that I have the recipe, I enjoy making these in my kitchen. I know you will too!

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

For the Brownies

  • 1-½ sticks (6 ounces) butter
  • 3 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Yield: 1 9×13 inch pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine butter and chocolate in small heat proof bowl. Heat over a water bath until melted. Set aside until room temperature

In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment- combine eggs, brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Whip until mixture is thick and holds a ribbon with the whip.

Take bowl off mixer and pour in chocolate and sift flour over. Gently fold mixture with a spatula.

Spread into pan that has been sprayed or buttered and floured. Bake about 25- 30 minutes.

Brownies will still be fudgy but the top should be shiny and cracked. Cool completely in pan.

For Salted Caramel Layer

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-½ teaspoon vanilla Extract
  • 1-½ cups pecans toasted
  • 1 tablespoon Fleur de Sel

In a medium sized pot combine sugar, corn syrup, and just enough water to make the mixture the consistency of wet sand. Wipe down the sides of the pan with a wet brush so that no granules of sugar remain. Cook this mixture over high heat until it is a deep amber color.

Immediately take off heat and slowly add the cream (mixture will bubble and expand vigorously (use caution).

Add vanilla extract and salt. Add pecans and stir to coat with caramel. Immediately pour over brownies.

To cut: refrigerate brownies for 30 minutes so that the caramel gets firm.


Perfectly Paired Fusion Food

Sirena Cocina Latina Lima Style Chicharrone Sliders
Sirena Cocina Latina Lima Style Chicharrone Sliders

Fusion is defined as “referring to food or cooking that incorporates elements of diverse cuisine.” Up and coming in the culinary community, fusion food is taking the restaurant scene by storm. The emerging trend synthesizes flavors from every culture to create cuisine that perfectly pairs. Next time you’re looking for a dish that isn’t tried and true, step out of the box and give these restaurants a go.

Breakfast Republic is making a name for itself as North Park’s best brunch spot. The buzzed about breakfast joint is known for their innovative and witty dishes that offer a flair to the conventional. With fusion dishes ranging from Southern classics to Asian incorporations, the lively establishment combines it all. Try their Vietnamese Chicken Wing Breakfast Bowl for a dish that testifies to their creative menu. The hearty bowl is made with five sweet ‘n spicy wings over white rice and is served with Asian veggies and three eggs any style. There’s nothing like it!

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Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen
Heirloom Tomato Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Located on a rather quiet residential street just 1 block west from the South Coast Highway, this small gastropub is a hidden gem. Husband-and-wife team Rodney and Aaron Browning have deep experience in the local culinary community, working with some of the most respected chefs in Southern California.

Grits with Bolognese Sauce (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

This eatery is dedicated to the slow-food movement, a farm-to-table philosophy utilizing locally sourced and fresh ingredients. Rustic American cuisine is featured throughout the menu, with a touch of Southern-style comfort. One of the signature dishes is the Durac Pork Belly served with collards, caramelized apple, and polenta spoon bread.

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Natural Gelato is Garden Fresh


 Tweet It: Spring into @bobboi_gelato in #LaJolla to sample #delicious new seasonal #gelato selections #homemade #fresh #dessert 

With the beginning of spring comes a new crop of seasonal ingredients, hand-picked to create flavorful new gelato selections at Bobboi Natural Gelato. A tribute to sunny California, CALI, blends carrot, apple, avocado, Meyer lemon and ginger. The unique flavor is a summertime favorite.

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Holsem Coffee Delivers New Experience

San Diego Food Finds Holsem CoffeeA new kind of coffee experience is brewing at Holsem coffee roasters in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood.

Holsem’s ‘coffee evolved’ mantra speaks to the concept’s uplifting combination of pure ingredients, inventive coffee creations and meticulous design.  Part small-batch roaster, part contemporary coffee parlour, Holsem’s commitment to sourcing only the highest quality green coffee beans is manifested by its well-rounded armada of offerings, including six core roasts—the foundation of Holsem’s playful selection of 18 non-alcoholic ‘coffee parlour cocktails.’

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My Not So Creamy Seafood Fettuccine

San Diego Food FindsMy seafood fettuccine is a very light dish that’s easy to prepare. My version isn’t as creamy as you would normally expect. I like to keep it simple with extra-virgin olive oil, butter and fresh herbs. Make sure to get a fresh baguette for extra dipping.

Get 25 of my authentic Italian recipes in my new book San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History Of Little Italy And beyond.

Not So Creamy Seafood Fettuccine

Serves 4

  • 2 cans minced clams
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cocktail shrimp, precooked
  • 6-ounce can crab meat
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound fettuccine, cooked according to package instructions
  • Pecorino-Romano cheese, grated (as much as you like), for garnish
  • Handful of freshly chopped basil, for garnish

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Chic Bistro Gets A Facelift

Bellamy's BistroSomething new has sprouted at Bellamy’s Restaurant, an Escondido gem. This chic bistro utilizes seasonal ingredients for an ever-evolving, farm-to-table menu filled with robust flavors. Now, it has breathed life into a recently revitalized space that will celebrate the timeless tastes of upscale, modern California-French cuisine.

Fine dining and an atmosphere to match can now be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike in a newly remodeled space, placing Bellamy’s first in its class among North County eateries. After partnering with San Diego-based Solc Interiors for the new design, the restaurant is ready for a grand unveiling. Bellamy’s enhanced interior reflects a mixed style, with mid-century modern and industrial touches throughout. After stepping through the door, a community-style, reclaimed walnut table lures diners in for a conversation among friends, or a fine family dining experience. It’s just the place to capture a view of your meal coming to life in the demonstration kitchen. Custom-designed pieces are the focal point here, with walnut tables throughout, luxurious oversized booths beneath smoked mirrors, a glistening chandelier and a rejuvenated exposition bar with leather-wrapped and studded accents.

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Downtown Dobson’s Still Attracting Locals

Blue Crab Cake a la Orleans

A small European restaurant in downtown San Diego, the locals have made Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant their regular dining destination for the last 30 years. “The ambiance is very cozy and casual,” says executive chef Martin San Ramon. “We like to get to know our customers by name.”

Grilled Palmito Salad

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OH! Juice Opens New Tasting Room in Carlsbad

OH JuiceOrganic, certified juice company launches new tasting room allowing people to taste before they buy!

OH! Juice, a San Diego-based juice company that delivers high quality and nutritionally dense products, recently opened a new juice tasting room to provide customers with a unique educational experience and deliver ongoing support for those looking to improve health and vitality. The tasting room is open five days a week and features a 12-foot window that gives customers a glimpse of the one-of-a-kind process of cold-pressed juices, the interaction between local farmers dropping off pounds of produce and all the vibrant colors associated with health and wellness.

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