Green Olive and Almond Tapenade

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We had the 2021-2022 season’s last MLSNext game in Temecula, California yesterday so after the game ended, we ventured back to one of our favorite places to go whenever we are in the area: Downtown Temecula!

We love eating at Mad Madeleine’s Grill, checking out Old Town Sweet shop, Temecula Valley Cheese company, the antique stores that dot the street, the Lavender Company, and the Temecula Olive Oil Company.

There are numerous other bars and drinking spots that line the main street, wine tasting booths and local breweries, so there’s something for basically everyone.

Yesterday, I saw a small jar of Green olive and almond tapenade at the Olive oil store and it got me curious as I had been preparing and devouring a lot of charcuterie boards quite often lately.

I was going to buy a few items but the lines were just too long, and I think they were rearranging the store as a few employees were by the entrance and talking about where to put the ladder…which was at the time smack in the middle if the store…🤷‍♀️

So I made a mental note of it and somehow just never forgot about it.

Everything fell into place this morning as I went to the grocery store and somehow passed by the olives! Got a can of green olives and hoped it’s all I will need. Will have to improvise otherwise!

I made it quite thick and “scoopable”, but feel free to thin it out with more olive oil if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Serve with crackers, bread, veggies, or thin out with more olive oil to use to top pasta, pork chops, mushrooms…use your imagination! I bake bread regularly and I think I can roll the dough up with some of this spread in between for a delicious olive tepenade loaf!


  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
  • 1 (6 oz.) can Green Ripe olives, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery stalks
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1. In the bowl of a small food processor, finely chop the almonds. I used my kitchen aid 3.5 cup food processor and it worked perfectly with the amount of ingredients.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil.

3. Process until finely chopped and throughly blended.

4. Pour in enough olive oil to loosen up the mixture and pulse for a couple of seconds more.

4. Transfer to a serving bowl or a jar with a lid if serving later.

5. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!!

Draft originally written 05/22/2022.

Mackerel Pate

Hello my friends!

Today I’ll be making a delicious fish sandwich spread. As you might know, I make our bread at least once a week and of course, I want the best sandwich fillings to go with it.

My very favorite will always be butter and orange marmalade, but tuna salad, and BLT are close contenders.

We do have the usual Turkey and/or Ham with cheese and mayo quite often too.

My mom was taking about how she eats some canned mackerel more often now as it is very good fo your health, so imagine how excited I was when I found these at Trader Joe’s.

I was going to mix it up like my tuna salad but figured out I can make a more tasty spread using cream cheese. It makes a thicker spread that you can thin out using some mayonnaise. I hope you’ll like it!

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1/4 red onion, chopped

4-6 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of ground black pepper

Pinch of Salt

1 6oz can mackerel, drained

1 hard boiled egg, peeled and chopped

*you can add 1 – 2 tablespoons mayo to loosen up the pate if you like it more spreadable*


1. In a bowl, mix together onions and cream cheese.

2. Add garlic powder,

3. Ground black pepper,

4. And salt.

5. Open the can of mackerel and drain well.

6. Place the fillets in the bowl.

7. Mash and mix everything together.

8. Add in chopped eggs.

9. Mix well. Add mayonnaise if using.

10. Spread on a thick slice of toasted bread.

11. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #79: Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I love food…any food…but lately have been craving Chinese/Asian food (anybody notice?) and been busy cooking a lot of them.

This time, it’s Lettuce Wraps! I recently got an Ankarsrum mixer and also bought the complete grinder/blender/citrus juicer combo. Not that I needed more gadgets, but I figured it’s worth it if can grind my own meat to just the size I need it.

So I got some chicken breasts today at Stater Bro’s with my mom after her doctor’s appointment and when I got home started my holiday baking (Alfajores Peruanos and Bacardi Rum cake – also baked 3 Butterfly Pea Sourdough with Toasted Oats and Einkorn at 6 am to bring to my mom) then ground some of the chicken to make Chicken Lettuce Wraps! Whew! So much for a day off!

And here is the recipe! It is delicious! Happy to say it all worked out (the mountain of dishes and utensils to wash too!) and I’m done, just need to type this up!

I hope you try this recipe out! Low carb people, here is a recipe for you! ❤️

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1/2 cup ground chicken

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger (I used 1/2t, I like ginger!)

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

3 button mushrooms, diced

2-3 tablespoons chopped water chestnuts

Dash of ground pepper

3 ELB cups water for the base


1. In the big ELB bowl, place chicken, olive oil, garlic, ginger, and onions.

2. Next add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and red wine vinegar.

3. Then add the mushrooms and water chestnuts. Sprinkle with some ground black pepper.

4. Mix everything together until well blended. Do not pack it in the bowl. Lift and loosen up the meat after mixing.

5. Cover with foil and place in the ELB. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, around 1 hour.

6. Carefully open the ELB and check the meat for doneness. This is how it’ll look like after steaming.

7. Mix and break up the meat into little pieces.

8. Serve with washed lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #46: Pizza

After a trip to the toaster…perfect!

And recipe #2 of my wonderful experiments!

Pizza in the Electric Lunchbox….perfected with the help of a toaster! This recipe makes a pizza that is similar to the precooked frozen ones that needs to be baked a bit more before serving, hence the need for the oven toaster.

I am not a fan of pale colored food. I think I got it from my dad, who in turn got it from living as a child during World War 2. Long story, but I would toast my bread until golden, fry my meat until nicely colored. Steamed is only for fresh veggies, basically. If need be, I’ll sprinkle paprika, cumin, turmeric, on a pale colored steamed chicken, which almost never appears on my table save for the time I first got an Instant Pot!

So….this pizza just HAD to be toasted till golden in the toaster! 😊 It’s worth the extra step as it makes it taste a lot better, I promise you!

The recipe is just a guide, use more pepperoni or cheese if you like, add mushrooms, bell peppers, cooked sausages…make it your own. Use restraint with the sauce however, as it can make the dough soggy. You just want a thin layer of it over the dough.

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

You can make 2-3 pizzas depending on your ELB. For every pizza, you’ll need:

A roll of Pillsbury Sweet Hawaiian or regular Biscuits(there are 8 in a can)

1-2 tablespoons pizza sauce

2-4 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese

Pepperoni slices

Basil and/or oregano leaves, optional

1. Grease ELB bowl or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

2. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over the biscuit dough, leaving about a 1/4 inch border.

3. Top with cheese….

4. and pepperoni slices.

4. We love cheese, so a tiny bit more over the pepperoni.

Kind of pale looking right out of the ELB.

5. Cover with foil and place in the ELB base. Add 2 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 30-35 minutes.

6. Carefully remove the pizza from the ELB and cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Toast until brown before eating. Enjoy!


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Electric Lunchbox #41: Pizza Dip

I had mentioned how pizza is a staple in my home because my son loves it, but this recipe is totally a different thing.

This has the familiar flavor associated with pizza – cheese, tomato, pepperoni…but in dip form. Feel free to use crackers, pita squares, waffles, waffle sticks or toasted bread cut into stick form. You definitely can also scoop it out of the dish and eat it straight! 😊

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

1/4 cup whole milk

3 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

A handful of pepperoni (about 1.5 oz)

1/4 cup pizza sauce

Toasted french bread slices or crackers (or whatever you pike to dip in), to serve

1. Place the milk, cream cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan in the big bottom bowl of the ELB.

2. Top with however much pepperoni you want, whole, chopped, or even the mini ones!

3. Top with pizza sauce. Cover with foil and place in the ELB base. Add 2 ELB cups of water to the base, cover, and let steam until done, about 30 minutes.

4. Carefully remove the bowl from the ELB, uncover and gently stir. Add more pizza sauce if desired. Serve with bread or crackers or whatever else you think would taste good with this dip!

5. Enjoy!

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Cauliflower Ceviche

A recipe perfect for summer meals, this dish can be used as a side for grilled or fried meats, as a dip for tortilla chips, or just as a simple salad. It’s light and refreshing, plus you get the vegetable your body needs in a delicious meal.

It is so easy easy to make and it doesn’t require you to turn on the stove. A winner in super hot days! If you want to make this even easier to make, feel free to use the ready made bags of “riced cauliflower” available in most grocery stores instead of chopping the cauliflower yourself.

I usually buy a head of cauliflower, remove the stem and leaves, roughly chop it in pieces and process it in the Thermomix – takes about 5 seconds. A food processor would work the same, but if you have a small one, process in batches so that you won’t end up with cauliflower puree. In a pinch, a good knife and a chopping board with some elbow grease will do too!

1 small head of cauliflower, trimmed of leaves, chopped into small bits

1 small red onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 large avocado, cubed

Juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Just grab a big bowl and mix everything together. Adjust seasoning to taste, serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #29: Easy Curry Chicken

A very easy to make curry chicken dish, perfect to serve with rice and steamed veggies. Or as a dip for tortilla or pita chips. Or as a filling for sandwiches!

This recipe is will be a favorite for picnics and beach trips! Kids love it because of the layers of creamy chicken and melted cheese, and there is a small amount of broccoli (veggies!) nestled in between. Yummy! You can adjust the amount of curry powder to your taste and use either mild, medium, or hot to suit your preferences.

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

1/2 to 3/4 cup cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon curry powder, adjust to taste

1 cup shredded chicken

1/2 cup brocolli florets

Grated Cheddar Cheese

2 Itaki cups rice

2 Itaki cups water

In a small bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, and curry powder. Taste and add more curry powder if desired. Mix in shredded chicken.

Layer chicken mixture, broccoli, chicken mixture in the bottom big bowl of the electric lunchbox. Top with cheese. Place in the Electric Lunchbox base.

In the small nesting bowl, add the rice and rinse well. Drain and add 2 Itaki cups water. Place over the bigger bowl containing the chicken curry.

Place 2 Itaki cups water in the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 40 minutes.

Ono Broiled Sushi

This is yet another recipe I picked up from my time at Brentwood UCLA. I believe we had it at a potluck when I was fairly new, maybe around 2005. I called it “deconstructed sushi” yet it was a lot more than that. It has sushi rice, kani, shiitake mushroom, nori…but it also has sour cream, mayo, and furikake. It is just so good you’ll have to try really hard to stop yourself from eating the contents of the whole pan. Luckily, it makes a lot so there is enough to share…with your closest, most dearest family/friends.

You can definitely add chopped avocados, chopped mangoes, gari, takuan, kimchi…whatever you like in your sushi. Or serve them on the side. I do this a lot, make the recipe my own by adding more of what I like to eat. I hope you’ll try this easy recipe and let me know what you think!

9 shiitake mushrooms, soaked then squeezed of excess water and chopped
8 oz imitation crab meat, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
4 cups rice, freshly cooked and seasoned*
1 bottle (1.7 – 1.9 oz) Nori Fumi Furikake
Korean style nori, to serve

*Sprinkle just cooked rice with about 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and mayo. Add chopped mushrooms and crab meat. Mix well. Set aside.

Spread the hot, seasoned rice in a 13”x9” pan and sprinkle furikake evenly over rice. Drop crab mixture all over the rice and spread evenly. Broil until browned, about 6-8 minutes.

Serve warm with nori. To eat, scoop some (make sure to reach all the way to the bottom of the pan!) onto a piece of nori, fold nori over and eat! Or you can cut big squares of the sushi and serve on individual plates with nori on the side.