Stuffed Dates with Blood Oranges & Mandarins

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Because citrus is still at its peak, the idea of delicious fresh fruit, for dessert, has great appeal. Here is what we feasted on with guests, for dessert this weekend. Healthy and delicious with a colorful presentation, this is one dessert to consider. Oh, and btw, it’s quick and easy to prepare.



1.  4 mandarin or Clementine oranges

2.  2 blood oranges

3.  splash of Cointreau or orange blossom water

4.  8 ripe Medjool dates

5.  8 teaspoons mascarpone

6.  30 roasted/salted pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped seeds from 1/2 pomegranate



Prep mandarins and blood oranges by slicing a small piece of the top and bottom off the unpeeled fruit. Now, with a sharp knife, slowly cut away strips of peel and pith.  Once the peel is removed, slice the citrus horizontally into nice pinwheels. You can use a mandolin, carefully or a sharp knife. Scatter the citrus rounds onto a plate. Add a light splash of Cointreau or orange blossom water to the citrus – It’s amazing how the Cointreau or orange blossom water enhances the natural perfume of the fresh citrus slices. I bought my orange blossom water and pistachios from

Cut each date with a slice large enough to remove and discard the pits. Carefully stuff each date cavity with 1 teaspoon mascarpone. Press some chopped pistachio and pomegranate seeds onto the mascarpone. Scatter the remaining pistachio and pomegranate onto the plate. I bought pomegranate arils from, which is so much easier than prying each seed from a pomegranate.


Here’s the orange blossom water, I used purchased from Amazon. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Arrange a colorful dessert platter, sprinkled with chopped pistachios. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We had an experimental tofu recipe, along with our recent favorite, The Vice, chardonnay.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Jules and I tried this delicious fresh fruit in three ways: 1) without any additions  2) with about 1 teaspoon Cointreau on each orange slice. 3) with about 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (non-alcoholic) on each slice. I liked all three versions. Jules didn’t like the orange blossom water, but did like the other two versions, with a preference for the Cointreau.


Coffee and tea goes well with this dessert.  If you want to serve an alcoholic beverage and you’re using Cointreau on the orange slices, you might as well stick to the same in glasses, or consider a grappa.


Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Cauliflower Gratin with South Asian Spices

I spent a fair amount of time, experimenting with this recipe. I was in a cheesy mood but didn’t want to include pasta. I’m learning about and loving Middle Eastern and South Asian spices. I know that goat cheese and yogurt are used a lot but wasn’t sure how good these spices would be with typical Western cheeses. Hence, the need to experiment a lot. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This experiment had less cheddar, but just as good. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1 onion, chopped

2 scallions, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

15 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, well chopped

1 heaping teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, toasted

2 heads cauliflower, steam for 5 minutes, then break into bite size pieces

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup almond or chickpea flour

1 cup almond milk, warmed

2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese

3 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup grated muenster

2 cups ricotta

1 pinch black pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs. Mix separately, the panko with the parmesan. Set aside.

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tablespoons butter, melted, then add to Panko topping


Wonderful fresh ingredients. The seasonings are on a long shelf in the above left corner, conveniently located next to the stove. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Chop, slice, cut everything that needs this initial preparation.


Chopping everything on the same cutting board. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


2. Preheat oven to 350o

3. Oil a very large baking dish

4. Sautee in olive oil, the onion, scallion, shallots, jalapeno, garlic. When onion and garlic are soft, add all other spices and seasoning and stir together well.


Cooking all the chopped veggies. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. Toast the mustard seeds, then add them to the onion mixture.


In photo above, the mustard seeds are toasting. I love using toasted mustards seeds; they pack a huge amount of flavor in any recipe. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Adding seasoning, spices, seeds, etc. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Adding all chopped herbs to the pot – stir, cook and blend. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Add the grated cheese. Stir it in well. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here the roux with added ricotta is ready to scrape into the large skillet. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. Steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes or less. It needs to stay crisp. Drain; return to pot. When completely drained, pat with paper towel and put into the large oiled baking dish


Cauliflower was steamed and is now draining in the sink. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


7. In a saucepan, melt 3 Tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth and make your roux; whisk in the warmed milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Now, lower heat and stir in the ricotta very well.

8. Stir into the saucepan everything from the onion mixture. Make sure to mix very well into all of the milky ingredients.

9. Stir in muenster and cheddar cheeses.

10. Finally, pour all of the cheesy mixture over the cauliflower and toss well so that the vegetables are all covered with the cheesy mixture.


The above photo is just before sprinkling the mixture of panko, melted butter and parmesan, all over the top of the casserole. Then it goes into the oven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


11. In a separate bowl, toss bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese and melted butter; sprinkle over top of casserole.

12. Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden brown.


One version with lots of cheddar cheese. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Above is another version. I cut down on the cheese and added precooked slices of turkey sausage. Yummy! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Same recipe but I left all cheddar out. Very delicious. I added the spot of broccoli, just to get some color when serving, and also with the photo in mind. This version was served with baked halibut. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This recipe goes extremely well with fish and seafood. Here it’s served with velvety wild salmon, and a ginger/garlic topping. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


A dinner guest brought this chardonnay, The Vice. During the following week, we chilled then sampled it. We could not believe how delicious it was. We rarely order chardonnay. It’s usually too dry and tastes like it’s been stored in slate; we know that many like it for that very reason. But, back to The Vice: we liked it so much we wanted to order more. I tried my two, go-to wine stores in Manhattan, but they didn’t carry it. I knew our guest had bought it in the Sutton Place area, so used Google Maps to track a wine store and found Ambassador Wines. They had 4 bottles left and delivered them that day. You will not believe the price! I asked how anyone could make a profit and charge so little. I put in an order for 2 more cases, which arrived about two weeks later. The person who answers the phone at Ambassador Wine is knowledgeable. He agreed with my theory that this smooth wine was one of the sleepers that restaurants favor, for their assortment of house wines, served by the glass. Le Volte is another low cost tasty red Tuscan blend, used by many restaurants as their house wine-by-the-glass. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


The Big Apple always loved Edward Albee, who passed away just a few years ago. This year NYC is honoring the great playwright, with two revivals: Three Tall Women, on B’way and At Home At The Zoo, off-B’way at Signature Theater, where we are patrons. We’re seeing the B’way production later this Spring. Saturday we saw the off-B’way production and loved it. The acting is superb. If you like Theater of the Absurd, you shouldn’t miss either of these Albee revivals.


We discovered a new seafood restaurant connected to the W Hotel on B’way and 47th Street, Blue Fin. The food was excellent, service was very good, casual dress— not fancy; we would go again.


Have a great week everyone!


From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Kale and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

This is a delicious recipe and easy to make. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Kale and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

(Kale for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner)

3 russet potatoes about 10 oz. each (long and flat)

1 bunch Tuscan kale

Coarse salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon butter

1 large leek

1 cup coarsely grated cheddar, gruyere or comte

3/4 cup sour cream

Pinch black pepper

Pinch cayenne

3 fresh garlic cloves, minced


Get all ingredients together ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



Heat oven to 400oF.


1. Cook potatoes the first time: Gently scrub potatoes but do not peel. Pierce all over with a fork so that steam escapes. If you don’t poke some holes, you could have a potato explosion followed by a mess. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced in center. Leave oven on.


2. While potatoes cook, prepare stuffing: Tear kale leaves off the stems, and wash leaves in cold water to remove any dirt. Don’t dry. Tear leaves into large pieces. Heat a pan over medium-high and add the kale and a pinch of salt. Cook in the pan with just the water clinging to the leaves until they wilt down. Remove from pan and transfer to a colander and when cool enough to handle, wring out any extra moisture. I use either paper toweling or a clean kitchen towel. On a cutting board, finely chop greens. There should be about a cup of well-chopped greens; more or less.


3. Trim leek down to the yellow and pale green part. Halve lengthwise and wash in cold water to remove any dirt, then pat dry. Cut leek halves the long way, again, so they’re in quarter-stalks, and thinly slice.


In a bowl, mixing the cooked kale, garlic and leeks ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add butter and oil. When both are warm, add leek and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until mostly tender and sweet, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring. Avoid letting it brown. Add the minced garlic and chopped kale back to pan and warm up with leeks, for about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a bowl.


Potatoes, leeks, kale have been mashed, sour cream and 3/4 grated cheese have been stirred in. Mixture is ready to heap into the baked shells of the potato. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. Prepare potatoes: When potatoes are cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise and scoop out all but the last 1/4-inch thickness of skin and potato (you want the potato shell to remain strong enough to hold all the stuffing). Now add the potato insides, to bowl with leeks and greens. Arrange the potato shells on a baking sheet. Mash potatoes, leeks and kale together until smooth. Stir in the sour cream, 3/4 of cheese and more salt and pepper (optional). Now, heap the kale/potato mixture into the potato skins. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 of cheese.


Going in oven for second time ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. Bake potatoes a second time, 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Serve while still nice and warm


We opened some of this bottled red satin, which we were saving for a special occasion. This is a well-known vineyard putting forth, year after year, only excellent wines. You can’t go wrong drinking it now or investing in futures. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Friday night, we started by toasting with this delicious (from start to finish), full bodied cab, and a salad with fresh ripe tomatoes, cut up avocados, green olives, mini thin-skinned cucumbers, endive and a fresh lemon juice/olive oil dressing. Then came the unbelievably tender center-cut fillet mignon with marsala/mushroom sauce, the (recipe above) kale/cheese stuffed potatoes, some cauliflower fritters with pomegranate arils (will post my recipe soon), some sweet potato/date patties with chopped pistachios (will post another of my recipes soon) and more wine.


Our house guests for a while from LA:  our son and his friend.  We went to the MetOpera to see the gorgeous Anthony Minghella production of Puccini’s Madam Butterfly and enjoyed it immensely. A wonderful weekend was had by all. Here we are dining out at Sardi’s. We look forward to many more visits like the stimulating one we’re in the midst of now.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here are two favorite moments from an extraordinary production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly:


The beautiful Humming Chorus, as the curtain falls on Act 2


Madama Butterfly: “Un bel di” – Maria Callas



Have a great week everyone!


From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Veggies with Chicken & Brown Rice Mixed with Golden Raisins, Pine Nuts and Peanut Sauce

Just Out of the Oven ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 


Peanut sauce is a favorite thing to eat, with green vegetables, like broccoli, spinach and edamame, and it’s this particular peanut sauce that really makes this recipe different and delicious. Adding left-over chicken or turkey to this casserole, makes for a delicious one dish meal. However, if you want a strictly vegan recipe, a few substitutions can easily make it vegan. I’ve tried baking cubes of firm tofu brushed with olive oil, and using them instead of poultry, with good results. You can substitute chicken stock with vegetable broth.


Get all of your ingredients lined up on the counter. This kind of organization makes cooking much easier.


Lining up the ingredients ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Ingredients for Peanut Sauce 

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (creamy variety)
2 Tbsp tamari soy sauce (use low-sodium variety)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp grated ginger root (optional)
1/3 cup warm chicken stock or broth


Ingredients for the Rest of the Dish

TOFU or POULTRY – One block of the firmest tofu, cut in cubes, stirred in baking dish with extra virgin olive oil and 2 garlic cloves, juiced — bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or stir fry until golden brown. Set aside


BROWN RICE – Make the (organic) brown rice and set aside. To enhance the flavor of the rice, boil it in chicken stock instead of water. You can use saffron rice instead if you prefer.


BROCCOLI – Clean. Steam or stir fry in olive oil and 1-2 juiced garlic cloves, for 2-3 minutes. Break apart the florets to the size you want. Cut stems into small pieces and use. If you would rather serve the broccoli separately, and not in this casserole, go ahead.


14 oz frozen bag (thawed) of organic sodium-free edamame.

1 bunch fresh broccoli

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup pine nuts, toasted ahead of time. You could substitute cashews or peanuts.

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

Pinch black pepper (grind to your taste)

Pinch cayenne powder (optional and to your taste)

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated (or to your taste)



1. Make the Peanut sauce and set aside

2. Bake or stir-fry the tofu or chicken and set aside

3. Make organic brown rice and set aside. You could also use saffron rice.


Here I am sauteing ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


In fry pan, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil, when onion is transparent, add the cilantro, Pinch black pepper, Pinch cayenne, turmeric, cardamom and grated ginger root, stir well and cook for a few more minutes. Add the thawed out edamame and stir well again. If you need more liquid, gradually add more chicken stock or vegetable broth, and stir.


In a large baking dish add the chicken or tofu, brown rice, onion/edamame mixture and stir well. Add all of the broccoli and stir again. Now, add the golden raisins and toasted pine nuts. Finally, pour all of the peanut sauce over all and stir it in well. Use a spatula to get every last bit of this delicious sauce.


Bake in 350 oven for 15 to 20 minutes. I raised the heat for the last 5 minutes for a more crispy top. Serve adding some of the cilantro on top for garnish


Mixing the Ingredients ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


About to sit down with a nice Cabernet. The veggie casserole with peanut sauce was a great success. We both loved it and came back for more. The edamame is a particularly good addition in this recipe. There was enough left over to be able to enjoy this meal again during the week. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Second helping, it was so good ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Korean Cocktail Celebrates the Lunar New Year (Dog)

Year of the Dog, Cocktail made with Vodka, only available in Korea (ROK); ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Year of the Dog

Graphic credit: Fanghong – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


We bring you a Korean vodka cocktail to celebrate the New Year with! We raise our glasses to The Republic of Korea, the host country for this year’s winter Olympics. We also give a toast to Mr. and Mrs. Yong Joong Kim, who brought the vodka back from Korea. We give Cheers, to all of our wonderful Asian employees who contribute daily to the feeling of community at THI. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Ingredients: For two delicious Korean vodka cocktails

3 jiggers of Korean vodka

1 cup of ruby red Tropicana grapefruit juice

3 jiggers of Frangelico

3 jiggers Ginger liqueur

1 teaspoon Campari in each glass, after all else is poured in

2 Martini picks (1 per glass)

6 Cocktail cherries, 3 on each pick (per glass)

1 Cara Cara orange, 1 circle cut in half, half per glass

2 spears watermelon (1 per glass)

2 spears cantaloupe (optional) – 1 per glass


This rare vodka, brought back from Korea, enabled us to create an exclusive (with copyright) Korean Cocktail recipe that we share with you. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Above are the 4 basic alcoholic ingredients needed for this vodka cocktail: Absolut Korean (spiced) vodka, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Frangelico Liqueur, and after the above mixture is shaken with ice & with gusto, 1 teaspoon of Campari is gently dropped on the surface of the drink. I learned this secret from a friendly Italian master bartender, now Maitre D’ ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


You never want to use those bright red totally chemical cocktail cherries. Instead, shop around for slightly more expensive real cherries in their own syrup or sometimes infused in brandy, cognac or (above) bourbon. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


After trying out several brands of juice (orange and grapefruit) plus some fizzy citrus, we settled on the above ruby red with pulp. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Cut your fruit, before you do anything else. Cara cara oranges were used because they have peak flavor right now and because their color is really beautiful, as you can see above. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Decide what fruit you want to use, then do all the cutting and slicing needed. This is a fun chance to be creative, in the shapes and lengths you make of the fruit.

2. Put all the fruit in each cocktail glass, so you’re free to arrange it any way you want. If you do this after the drink is poured, it’s much harder.

3. In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients except for the Campari

4. Shake vigorously.

5. Take cover off shaker and add as many ice cubes as will fit. Shake again with gusto

6. Pour the mixture, through the strainer, into each glass, about 1 inch from the top of the glass rim.

7. Pour a small amount of Campari into a small glass or measuring cup.

8. Place the drink in front of the lucky person about to take a sip. Now dip a teaspoon into the Campari, fill it, and carefully drop the Campari onto the surface of the drink. DO NOT STIR. WAIT until the Campari drops through the rest of the drink and falls to the bottom. The result will be remarkable layers of color, this small amount of Campari adds to the already delicious Korean vodka drink

9. Okay, now sip, smile and be happy in the moment, as life’s struts and frets, fade away.


Enjoy!! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


In this photo you can see the layers of color in this delicious Korean cocktail. The Campari is the heaviest liquid, hence, when you carefully drip the one teaspoon, or a tiny bit more of Campari over the top of the mixed cocktail, it finds its way to the very bottom of the glass.


Serve cheesy appetizers with this cocktail. Also, crackers and green and red seedless grapes. And try cutting sweet potatoes and butternut squash into cubes, put on rimmed baking sheet, pour some extra virgin olive oil over the veggies and bake at 375 degrees, until crisp. Serve with toothpicks.


We wish all of our readers a Happy Lunar New Year.  If you are not familiar with the beautiful crossover voice from Kazakhstan, Dimash Kudaibergenov, here he is singing one of his most popular songs: SOS of an Earthly Being in Distress


Dimash Kudaibergenov: Opera 2 

Dimash Kudaibergenov: Adagio


Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Citrus Salad with Purple Cabbage & Banana Yogurt Dressing

Each year, at this time of peak citrus, I try to create a new recipe that utilizes all the wonderful fresh fruit flavors and colors. We have been enjoying a variety of this particular recipe for several weeks now. Jules gives this one 5 stars. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Ingredients (for dressing)

2 fresh garlic cloves, squeezed into food processor

2 cups plain yogurt

1 cup creamy goat cheese

2 Tablespoons good honey

1 heaping Tablespoon sweet shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean, (optional)

1/2 orange, juiced

1 banana, sliced


I bought all of the fresh fruit from Whole Foods and FreshDirect. I got the shredded coconut from (this site has a wide selection of dates also) ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Directions (for dressing)

1. Put all of the above ingredients into the food processor and pulse until you have a very smooth creamy topping for the salad. If it’s too thick for your taste, just add a teaspoon at a time, of the freshly squeezed orange juice or coconut milk

2. Use this dressing/topping for the following fruit, when citrus is in season, which is right now.

3. Slice into circles and cut out the segments of all the different colors of citrus fruit that are now in season. Other fruit is added for flavor, health and color contrast


Blood oranges

Cara cara oranges

Pink grapefruit

Tangerines with interesting colors

A few blueberries

A few green seedless grapes

A few red seedless grapes

Chopped dates

1 heaping Tablespoon toasted then chopped walnuts


(Optional): Let all of the fruit soak in Grand Marnier for a few hours.

1 leaf of red lettuce on each salad plate or

1 leaf of red cabbage on each salad plate and/or

With a mandolin, run a section of red cabbage through once, and use the thin strands as a beautiful color contrast, healthy as well.


(Optional):1 teaspoon brown sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon chia seeds, toasted together and used for garnish later.


Fresh mint leaf, for garnish


To Serve:


Arrange the leaf first, on individual salad plates, then place the fruit onto the leaf. Just before serving, add a big dollop of the dressing on the fruit. Garnish with a few toasted seeds and a fresh mint leaf.


Basically, I am supplying the recipe for dressing over citrus. Part of the fun of doing this easy, delicious salad,, is your creativity in arranging the fruit. I had fun with the citrus colors and the very thin streaks of red cabbage.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


A favorite chilled white. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This weekend we saw a magnificent production of G. Puccini’s, Tosca at the MetOpera, where Target Health Inc. is a patron. We urge you to rush to see this lush opera, starting with the vivid curtain, which you can see in the above photo, to the extraordinary voices, orchestration, direction and sets. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


As I play and select my favorite moments, to share with you, from this great opera, I assure you, there is not a dry eye on this side of the screen.


The greatest tenor who ever lived.

Luciano Pavarotti – E lucevan le stelle/Tosca (Act 3)


Renee Fleming and Joan Sutherland are my favorite sopranos

Renee Fleming – Tosca – Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore (Act 2)


Luciano Pavarotti. Recondita armonia. Tosca. G. Puccini. (Act 1)


Angela Gheorghiu & Jonas Kaufmann: Puccini – Tosca, ‘Love Duet’ (Act 1)

Jonas Kaufmann is considered by many, to be the best tenor alive today


After Tosca, we took relatives from Colorado out to dinner at Sardi’s. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

Meat Loaf Experiment, Adapted from the NY Times

On the dinner menu this past Friday, snacked on all weekend by Jules. Now, long gone. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


My photos are not doing this delicious recipe, justice. I should have spooned more of the juices over the meat. Take my word for it, this meatloaf gets gobbled up by Jules whenever I do another experiment with it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 



1 onion, well chopped

25 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

2 scallions, chopped

1/2 loaf Italian bread, crust removed, torn into small pieces (about 2 cups)

1 cup almond milk

2 teaspoons curry

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons dry oregano

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground veal

2 large eggs, scrambled

1/2 pound turkey sausage, chopped well

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup fresh parsley, well chopped

2 teaspoons dry thyme

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, well chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup butter

1 cup dry white wine


The reason I wanted to experiment with the recipe I saw in the NYTimes, is that I had never soaked bread in milk for a meatloaf, and I had never scrambled the eggs before mixing them in with the other ingredients. Also, I had never gone through the step of searing, before baking. The outcome is a meatloaf that is definitely very moist. I’m not sure exactly what scrambling the eggs does, but the end result is delicious. Besides the soaked bread and scrambled eggs, all of the other ingredients are from my own meatloaf creations. As you know, I especially like to use lots of garlic. For roasts, tagines, meatloaf, baked veggie dishes, 25 garlic cloves is nothing, because they become soft and have a delicious nutty flavor when baked or roasted. I don’t serve meatloaf that often, but will now, try to do more, in order to compare this recipe with my others. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Soak the bread in the milk for 10 minutes.

3. Do all cutting, chopping, slicing

4. Scramble the 2 eggs

5. Sautee the onions, garlic, jalapeno and scallions until soft

6. In a large mixing bowl, and with your hands, mix the beef, veal, chopped turkey sausage, scrambled eggs, Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice.

7. Add all herbs, seasonings, spices and mix well again. Get all of the vigorous mixing done before you add the bread. Add the bread last.

8. Squeeze the bread to remove excess milk, then chop the wad of wet bread and add it to the meat. Mix gently until well combined, but DO NOT OVERMIX.

9. Transfer the contents of the bowl, onto a board and shape into a loaf. Make the loaf about 10 to 11 inches long and about 4 inches wide. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

10. Use A large baking pan. It doesn’t have to be a rectangle shape. a large round white pan will work okay.

11. Heat the oil and butter in the white pan, on the stove, over medium-high heat. Add the meatloaf and sear without moving it until it is browned, about 5 minutes. Carefully slide a spatula under the meatloaf, then gently use another spatula to help turn it and brown the second side, again without moving it for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, temporarily.

12. Make the gravy:Return the skillet to the stove and raise the heat. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Deglaze simply means, stirring in the wine with a wooden spoon, while scraping up the browned bits stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan, which will make a simple sauce. Return the meatloaf to the baking pan, pour the sauce over the loaf and then put into the middle of the oven, basting occasionally with the pan juices, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the meatloaf to a platter and let stand, tented with foil, 10 minutes. Slice, pour the pan juices over the top and serve.


Do all your chopping, cutting, slicing, etc. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Chopping herbs. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Soaked bread in milk, coming out of fridge. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Eggs about to get scrambled. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Chopping up the precooked turkey sausage. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Cooking the onions, garlic, jalapeno, scallions. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


About to hand mix meat, eggs, parmesan. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here, everything added except the lemon and the bread. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Adding lemon zest and lemon juice to the bowl. Finally, the bread. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Ready to be formed into a loaf and refrigerated. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Getting ready to sear both sides of the loaf. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Getting ready to sear both sides of the loaf. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


The one possibility for a slip-up, but one that can easily be fixed, in seconds. If the loaf loses its shape when you turn it, never mind, all you do is re-form it with your hands. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


After searing both sides, put the loaf into your baking dish. Use a baking dish that goes from oven to table. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Back to the searing pan. Add your wine and deglaze, which simply means scrape all of the little pieces of the loaf that are stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan. This wine, butter, natural juices and little scraps are the ingredients of the delicious warm juice to bake in and to serve over the meat, at the table. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Ready to bake. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Into the oven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We started our meal, clinking glasses of the delicious Henschke shiraz and a simple crisp garden salad with oil, lemon and mashed garlic dressing, Then came the meatloaf with my saffron rice recipe and another veggie dish, I’m experimenting with; and more Henschke. Dessert was a low calorie jello cake with cool whip on top.


Henschke Shiraz, from Australia, is one of our favorite, rich velvety, smooth finish, reds. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Baked Brie with Fig Jam

Many people have a version of this recipe, so perhaps you’ve already had a taste of how wonderful this special appetizer is. The reason I am sharing is that you might not know about it; the other reason is that, what makes my version of this, my favorite, is that it’s so quick and easy, but has the same unbelievably delicious outcome. We served this dish many times over the holidays. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This recipe looks like fare from a gourmet restaurant. When you make it at home, you won’t believe you’ve created an appetizer, so good, you’ll want to make a whole meal of it, with some chilled white wine. Once, that’s exactly what Jules and I did. Polished off the whole thing (slowly savoring each luscious bite), for appetizer, dinner and dessert. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Just out of the oven, the Brie and fig preserves have softened and oozed together and merged with the pastry. If you serve this dish to guests, it won’t last more than 15 to 20 minutes, if they’re helping themselves. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1 Box Puff Pastry

1 piece of round Brie (8 or more ounces)

Fig jam

Egg Wash (1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water, beaten together well)

1 round pie baking dish, greased with butter

Separate plate: sliced apples (skins left on), sliced pears, red and green seedless grapes


Unbelievable how few ingredients are needed. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Be sure to chill your white wine; overnight is good

2. After you buy your pastry dough, chill it overnight along with the wine.

3. Heat oven to 400 degrees

4. With butter, grease a pie baking dish

5. Rinse off all of the fruit you plan to use and let it drain.

6. Sprinkle almond flour over a flat board or flat surface. I use marble countertop, which bakers used to always use. Make the whole sheet of dough 1/8“ thick. Don’t worry if you’re not exact.

7. Carefully, lift and transfer the dough to the pie dish, draping the dough over the pie dish; letting the dough hang outside the pie dish

8. If you weren’t able to find a round Brie, as I couldn’t, buy a nice wedge, and cut it into big chunks.

9. Spread jam over the bottom of the dough. We love fig preserves for this recipe, but you can use whatever you like with a cheese like Brie. Quince jam is also excellent or you may prefer a marmalade. (your choice).

10. Place the Brie over the fig jam and then spread more jam over the top of the cheese.

11. Now, pull all the draped pieces of dough together, pulling them toward the middle of the pie dish. Pinch carefully, all of the places where the dough comes together, so you don’t have any small openings where the cheese will run through, while baking. Examine carefully and pinch all possible little openings. The dough will fall into place while baking, but lightly pat it down a bit so there’s no point of dough, sticking up, in the middle.

12. With your little pastry brush, brush all of the egg wash over the entire area of dough.

13. Place on the middle rack, in the middle of the oven and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven. Set a timer to ring at 30 minutes and watch carefully from that time on. You want the top to become a beautiful golden brown and at that point, remove it from the oven.

14. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and slice your apples, and pears while the Baked Brie is cooling. Arrange the fruit plate and include Carr’s water crackers, or not.

15. Plan exactly when you want to serve this appetizer because you want to serve the Baked Brie when it’s warm and runny. It’s not nearly as good cold or cool.

16. Make sure everyone has a chilled glass of while wine and a small plate with small fork.

17. Cut the Baked Brie with a knife and a pie server. If you want guests to serve themselves, don’t be surprised at the speed with which it disappears.


Grease your pie dish with butter. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


As you can see, the thin dough may rip in places. Don’t worry, all you have to do is pinch it back together, so there are no leaks. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Spread the fig preserves on the dough, (or your choice of jam) all over the bottom of the dish. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


I couldn’t find a nice round Brie, so used a ripe wedge and cut it into chunks. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Can you see, just from reading this recipe, how easy it is to make. Your guests won’t believe it.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health


About to spread the jam over the bottom, much more and over the top of the cheese. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Pinch the dough together, all over, in order to close all cracks and small openings, so the Brie doesn’t run out. I will press down on that tip of dough in the center. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


All pinching and pressing down has been done. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Egg wash with brush is ready. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Egg wash has been brushed all over the dough. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Going into oven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


And Voila! The process of baking wrought such a change of form. Look at it now! Mmmmm, smells so good! I cut the apples with a mandolin. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


If you like warm, runny, melted merging flavors, you are in for a real treat!

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Going fast. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


With or without crackers. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Sheer pleasure! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Will discuss this white in a future newsletter. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We are happy and peaceful and thankful for all that we have. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This is not a tourist joint. This is a favorite of ours for over 25 years. Of course tourists go here, but New Yorkers never left. It’s such a fun place to dine; there’s enough to go around for everyone. We hung out here over the holidays ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc .


Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Persian Pomegranate-Pistachio Lamb Meatballs



1 onion, chopped well

2 stalks scallions, chopped well

10 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 cups raw pistachios

1/4 cup almond flour

2 cups fresh parsley, chopped

1 cup fresh tarragon, chopped

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Zest of 1 fresh lime

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped well

1 pinch black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 pinch salt

2 pounds ground lamb

1 egg

1/2 cup olive oil




3/4 cup pomegranate molasses (I got it from

1/4 cup honey

1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 pinch chili flakes



2 Tablespoons chopped pistachios

1 sprig basil

mint leaves

1 cup fresh pomegranate arils




1. To make the meatballs: Pulse all the ingredients, except the meat and egg, in a food processor until you have a grainy paste.

2. Transfer the paste, to a large mixing bowl add the meat and egg. Lightly knead with your hands for a few minutes (do not over mix).

3. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Preheat the oven to 500F.

5. With extra virgin olive oil, grease a baking dish, large enough to hold 24 meatballs, and set aside. Use a baking dish that goes from oven to trivets on the table.

6. Remove the paste from the refrigerator and scoop out of bowl with a Tablespoon and shape into bite-sized balls, the size of the 1 Tablespoon.

7. Put the meatballs in the baking dish and brush with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.



1. In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the glaze.

2. Taste and decide whether it’s too sour. If so, just add more honey.

3. Reduce the oven to 400 degrees.

4. Brush the glaze over each meatball and bake for another 5 minutes, so the flavor of the glaze becomes incorporated. to infuse them with the flavor of the pomegranate. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

5. Just before bringing to table, garnish the meatballs with chopped herbs and more arils.


Serve these delicious meatballs with Basmati or Jasmine rice, or your favorite Daal recipe; a simple tossed salad, warm pita bread and one of the following wines: red Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Noir, or an excellent Chardonnay, plus many more.


My dear husband was the guinea pig for this recipe, as he is for all of them. After he helped himself to the dinner spread, laid out, there was a pause, and great suspense, waiting for a reaction as he raised his fork. Before I could say one word, he let out sounds of high satisfaction. Happily, he loved the lamb meatballs and I hope you will too! This was definitely one way to my husband’s heart!


Try this excellent wine with lamb. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


With the lamb we had Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, “Artemis“ Cabernet. If you haven’t tried any of the wines (red and white) from this reliable vineyard, we urge you to do so. This vineyard has a very wide range of wines and prices to pick from and it’s fun to experiment. We have never been disappointed. One of our favorites is the “Artemis“ above.


We stayed in this weekend, relaxing, reading and just generally chilling. Maybe, that’s not exactly the right word to use when it was 5 degrees here in Manhattan, last night. Luckily, we could curl up with a good red wine, delicious food and the best company there is.



Have a great week everyone!


From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Spinach Salad with Arugula, Clementines and Croutons

It’s fun to be aware of which fruit and veggies are in season and build a recipe around it. Here, the Clementines, at their peak now, are the star attraction. Not only do they add the perfect color, but their sweet tang is the perfect foil for the dressing and slight edginess of the greens. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This salad was so-o good, it became my whole dinner with wine and a light dessert. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Get all of the ingredients together in one place. Use fresh! Fresh garlic is better than garlic powder. Fresh lemon is better than bottled. Freshly grated parmesan is better than bought and freshly baked croutons taste much better than store bought. I forgot to include the Clementines in this photo. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



The Dressing

3 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained

4 fresh garlic cloves

Pinch Kosher salt

1 large egg yolk (boil egg for 1 minute and not longer)

Zest of 1/2 fresh lemon

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more (to your taste)

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons excellent extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons canola oil

6 Tablespoons finely grated FRESH Parmesan

Pinch black pepper

Worchester sauce (one drop)


The Croutons

1 cup torn 1“ (bite-size) pieces old bread, with crusts

1 Garlic clove, squeezed

2 teaspoons olive oil


The Greens

3 or 4 (packed in tightly) cups of fresh spinach and 3 or 4 cups of (packed in tightly) fresh arugula all leaves separated, washed three times, dried with paper towel. Then leaves torn by hand, put into a bowl and set aside. Both of these green veggies are grown in sandy soil. This is why you really need to wash all the leaves three times, draining each time. Even though the packaging makes the leaves look clean, there’s always a certain amount of sand and/or grit left on the leaves, that’s not visible. It ruins a good salad to feel your teeth crunch down on grains of sand or grit. Also, you have no idea who handled the leaves before or during packaging. It means 5 extra minutes of work, to do this washing routine, but it’s worth the time.


Even fresh looking greens need to be washed three times and drained in between the washing. Last, dry the leaves with paper towel. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




1, 2 or 3, depending on your taste


They’re in season now and couldn’t be more sweet and juicy. Simply peel and separate the segments. Use whole segments or cut them in half. Pick out any seeds that’re sticking out, but don’t bother digging into a segment to get them out, unless you feel like doing it.



The Croutons, certainly, can be made the day before and so can the dressing. Otherwise, make croutons first, before you make the dressing. Can you buy packaged croutons? Of course, but try to make them yourself. The flavor is so much better. If you’re going to make a really great salad, you might as well make great tasting croutons. There is simply no comparison! Once you taste the richness of your own croutons, you’ll never buy them again. They’re not a peripheral ingredient, they make the salad better. That’s why they’re in the recipe.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, add the 2 teaspoons olive oil and the squeezed juice of one fresh garlic clove. Stir

3. Tear or cut any left-over bread, you have, into (1 inch) bite size pieces, enough for 1 cup (press the bread down a bit, in the measuring cup). Then put the pieces of bread, into the bowl with oil/garlic. My favorite bread for croutons is day old (or older) sour dough bread.

4. Now, toss the bread pieces or cubes and be sure that the bread cubes are all covered (as much as possible) with the oil mixture. Let them sit for a while to absorb the oil, like 30 to 60 minutes. Stir them around every once in a while

5. Arrange croutons on a baking sheet or large pan and bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10-15 minutes. Watch them carefully. Just a little too long in the oven, and they will burn and won’t be useable for the salad. When golden, remove from oven and set aside to cool.


Croutons are about to go into the oven. You can see that some pieces have more oil than others. Doesn’t matter. Once added to the salad, dressing will rub onto the croutons and they’ll be delicious. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Out of the oven, crisp, crunchy and delicious; ready to be added to the salad. These are a hundred times better than store-bought. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


The Dressing

1. Use a medium bowl to make the dressing in.

2. Boil one large egg for one minute and remove from heat after 1 minute. Immediately run the egg under cold water. Then carefully crack it open, so as not to break the yolk. You have to separate the yolk from the egg white and use only the yolk in this recipe. Separate and put the yolk into a small container, ready to use in the dressing. This is a precaution worth taking, to prevent salmonella. Never use a completely raw egg.


You’ve got to boil the one egg (for the dressing), for 1 minute and not longer. This is a short cautionary step, so as not to get salmonella. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Freshly grated parmesan means doing it yourself. There’s no substitute. Buying a container that reads “freshly grated“ simply is NOT. After a while, you’ll see, there’s something satisfying about doing it yourself. However, if you’re working and raising kids, everyone understands that, so do what you have to do. If kids are old enough, let them share the various steps of a recipe. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


3. In bottom of salad serving bowl put the garlic and the anchovies. With a fork, mash these two ingredients into a paste

4. Next, with a small whisk, add the egg yolk and whisk it into the garlic/anchovy paste; or continue to use the fork.

5. Now, add the lemon zest, 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and whisk; then add the mustard and 1 drop of Worchester sauce, whisk again


This type of lemon squeezer catches the seeds while letting the juice flow through. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. Next, add the extra virgin olive oil and whisk it into the dressing.

7. Add the canola oil drop by drop, while you whisk it into the dressing.

8. Finally, add the freshly grated parmesan and black pepper (to your taste). Taste to see if the dressing needs more of anything (to your taste). With the anchovies, you may decide not to use any salt. You might want more lemon juice. This is the time to taste and decide. I don’t think you need salt, since the anchovies are salty enough.

9. Whisk the dressing so it’s thick and glossy.

10. When you’re ready to serve, add the greens to the dressing in bottom of salad bowl and toss many times to get each leaf covered with the delicious dressing.

11. Finally, add the croutons and the Clementine segments and toss a few more times, to combine everything.




Such a delicious way to get your daily dose of magnesium. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Experimenting recently, with Chateauneuf du Pape. So far, not living up to expectations, but will keep you posted as we move forward into this new taste adventure. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!


From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


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