High “Hole-y” Day

According to legend, Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the universe ~ the day of Adam and Eve’s creation. Its actual translation is Head of the Year. At ChezHelvetica, this High Holy Day celebration was more “Hole-y” since Covid infected our friend Joan who then could not join us.

Lunch showcasing Blackberry Pie for dinner

Persevering, our dinner started with the sweet tradition of Apples and Honey followed by Matzo Ball Soup. Our main course featured Everything Bagel Roasted Salmon, Green Beans and a simply delicious Basically Noodle Kugel. Brushing Honey and Dijon Mustard on the Salmon adds sweet and tangy flavors, while Everything Bagel Seasoning adds extra crunch and spice. Notes of Vanilla and Cinnamon heighten the luscious mixture of Sour Cream and Cottage Cheese, swirling the buttered Egg Noodles of the Kugel.

High Holiday Main Course

The incredible wine pairing was a 1996 Jordan Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, a gift from our neighbor.

Rare bottle of 1996 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

As we finished the wonderful home made Blackberry Pie in a beautiful whole wheat crust (using berries picked from a friend’s garden), optimism for a Happy and Healthy New Year encircled us. May there be Renewal for All!!!

P.S. Wearing masks, we brought this dinner to Joan’s house the next day where she gave us the best Challah from Noe Valley Bakery.

Sweet Apples and Honey missing Challah


Thankful, Grateful, Artful, Graceful and FULL! Those heartfelt words depict the feelings at ChezHelvetica this Thanksgiving in reconnecting with family, setting the table with treasured heirlooms and preparing traditional dishes with new twists. Our feast began with a small salad of Spinach, Arugula and pureed Pumpkin with a dollop of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider. Mary’s Free Range Organic Turkey Breast dry brined in Kosher Salt, Sugar, Dried Thyme, Garlic Powder and coarse-ground Black Pepper for 28 hours. The mouthwatering Turkey and Bon Appetit‘s Simple is Best Dressing (prepared with Ciabatta, Onion, Celery, Chicken Broth and Herbs) starred, drenched with Andronico’s savory Turkey Gravy. French’s Onion Rings recipe for Green Bean Casserole was transformed with the addition of Sautéed Mushrooms and Garlic. Another metamorphosis – baked Sweet Potatoes split in half and finished under the broiler with Honey, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. An amazing Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cherries and Cloves will forever change using just plain cranberry sauce. And then, a delicious Chocolate Pecan Pie in a homemade Butter and Sour Cream crust. Such Happiness on Thanksgiving! FULFILLMENT!


Resurrection & Ascension

CodAsparagusHashChezHelvetica told The Story of Easter by reinterpreting ancient themes into the day’s parade of delicious meals. Breakfast ~ Challah plucked from the freezer, Vanilla Beans scraped from the pod, Cinnamon and Orange slices came to life as Maple-Cinnamon Toast with Citrusdoused with Lemon Yogurt (instead of Créme Fraîche) and Maple Syrup. Lunch ~ Like a breath of fragrant air, Saffron, Tumeric and Coriander-spiced Carrot Soup accompanied luscious Artichoke Dip and zesty Pita Chips for a casual repast. Dinner ~ The Golden EggCod with Asparagus Hash and Horseradish Sauce Sautéed Russet Potato, pencil-thin Asparagus, Onions and Cod Fillets (anointed with Horseradish Sauce, Lemon and fresh Dill) paired with Kendall Jackson’s velvety Vintners’ Reserve Chardonnay in the ultimate celebration of this occasion. Rather than a crown of thorns, delicate Snickerdoodle Cookies embraced us on this very special day of Rebirth!CallaEaster

Back to Back : Heart to Heart

ArugulaAbbyTableAs excitement mounts for Thanksgiving, ChezHelvetica welcomed amazing Mother, followed by incredible Sister. TurkeyMomA pre-holiday feast included traditional favorites – Roasted Turkey Breast, Yams and Dry-Fried Green Beans, with the vibrant addition of Kale with Pomegranate Dressing. Curly, purple Kale from Nuñez Farms met Pomegranate from Tory Farms, adorned with Champagne Vinegar, Shallot, Feta Cheese and beautiful deep purple Pomegranate seeds. Acacia Chardonnay from Carneros kicked off the meal; velvety Bogle Old-Vine Zinfandel paired with the decadent Caramel Mixed Nut Pie dessert. Luscious French Vanilla Ice Cream topped the Inzana Ranch Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds and Hazelnuts and rich Caramel Sauce. Then something new for guest #2: a Cornmeal Crust quiche (rather than bars) with savory Arugula, Onion, Garlic, sweet Flame Raisins and Pine Nuts mixed with Parmesan, Ricotta and Feta. The alluring fragrance of Cinnamon and Nutmeg instantly transported the Sisters to the Mediterranean. An aura of love CarmelNutPieand gratitude embraced both tables as we toasted our thanks to each other and to all that IS right in the world …


And Now a Volcano!

With earthquakes and tsunamis on my mind, the flowing Garlic Volcano Bread at Boudin Bakery certainly caught my attention. Happily, this delicious bread proved the perfect accompaniment to Spaghetti And Meatballs Allamatriciana. This recipe from Bon Appétit Everyday Meals provided a new twist on the traditional dish with the use of mouthwatering applewood smoked bacon as the charcuterie of choice in combination with ground beef, panko breadcrumbs aromatics and the spices. Let the truth be known that instead of using the tomato sauce ingredients from the recipe, I used Prego tomato sauce left over from Burning Man. The organic Trader Joe’s whole wheat spaghetti couldn’t have been happier. The Wall Street Journal’s “Off Duty” section inspired our salad. The ChezHelvetica version used horizontally sliced Tory Farms navel oranges, arugula, goat cheese and toasted walnuts with a balsamic vinaigrette enhanced by Italian parsley and fresh oregano from our garden. And ZAP, a tantalizing bottle of Zynthesis Zinfandel quaffed our thirst!



Very Vanilla

From start to finish, the fragrant allure of vanilla cast its spell over this evening’s dinner. An Eggplant Parmesan recipe from “A Century of Flavor”, Nielsen-Massey‘s exclusive cookbook, catapulted this iconic dish to a new level. The vanilla accent mingled with sweet diced tomatoes, cinnamon, oregano, basil and savory onions and garlic, separated by layers of Provolone and Parmesan cheeses. A salad composed of arugula with sugar snap peas, walnuts and orange zest, dressed with Sidi Yassine Huile d’Argan Extra Vierge from Morocco, and garlic bread, juxtaposed flawlessly with the featured star. Bon Appétit’s recipe for Roasted Apricots with Honey-Vanilla Créme Fraîche deliciously concluded our meal. A little caveat was my use of peaches instead of the apricots, sending everyone scrambling for knives to cut through the thick skins!