Catherine’s Favorite Gourmet Recipes

I am inspired by colors, flavors and textures and love to create unique dishes and desserts.  I encourage you to enjoy the culinary process as I do by creating a fun and relaxed environment while producing your gourmet creations. Turn on some music, breathe in the aromas, be creative.  Enjoy!

Mocha Cheese Cake (Frozen) Orange Burst Cookies Creamy Alfredo Pasta with Pesto and Artichokes Scalloped Potatoes Blueberry Crumble Mid Pacific Teriyaki Chicken with Brown Rice and Stir Fry Vegetables Pasta Primavera Power Protein Salad

Mocha Cheese Cake (Frozen)

This is a wonderful recipe from my sweethearts mom, Gene. It is mouthwatering fabulous and you will want to savor every bite. We served it at Thanksgiving 2011 and our friend Buffie kept moaning and rolling her head back with every bite. It was very disruptive to the conversation though quite humorous and complimentary to the chef. Need: Small, Medium & Large mixing bowls Pyrex or glass 9 x 13 or 10 x 10 baking dish, lightly buttered Electric hand blender or mixer Preheat Oven to 300 degrees Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 1/3 C Butter or margarine melted
  • 2 TBLS Cocoa

Mocha Cheese Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Packages (12oz) Cream Cheese softened at room temperature
  • (Use 8oz rectangular packages not whipped cream cheese)
  • 1-14oz Can Sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 C Hersheys Chocolate Syrup (Use the canned syrup, it is thicker)
  • 2 TBLS instant Coffee (Trader Joes has a good one or Nescafe at your local store)
  • 1 TBLS Hot Water
  • 1 C (plus) Cool Whip Whipping Cream, whipped
  • 1 TBLS Vanilla JELLO Instant Pudding & Pie Filling Mix (Box)

Directions: In medium mixing bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, sugar, and melted butter. Mix well and then press firmly into lightly buttered glass baking dish. Pat crumbs firm. Bake in preheated 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. COOL COMPLETELY. In small mixing bowl combine 2 TBLS instant coffee and 1 TBLS hot water, stir until dissolved. Let cool. In large mixing bowl beat softened cream cheese until fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk, 2/3 C chocolate syrup and coffee mixture from small mixing bowl. Mix well. FOLD IN: 1 C Cool Whip and 1 TBLS (dry)Vanilla JELLO Instant pudding into cream cheese mixtrue and pour over graham cracker crust in pan. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for 6 hours or until firm. Cut slices and place on plates at room temperature 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Garnish with additional Cool Whip and serve.



Scalloped Potatoes


  • Red Potatoes 6-8 medium size (wash first, thinly slice approximately 1/8 inch)
  • Sweet onion diced, 1 Cup or more
  • 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms – wash first to make sure clean of debris
  • 2 Cups Half n Half (or milk)( I like to use Half n Half or even Heavy Cream for the wonderful rich texture it helps create)
  • 3-4 Cups (16 oz) Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese

To Taste:

  • Flour
  • Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 I use a 10 x 13 glass casserole pan or 9 x 12 baking dish. My sweetheart loves scalloped potatoes so a larger dish is always better for me. Grease or butter your baking dish on the bottom and sides to prevent sticking. I use butter. Place a layer of red potatoes on the bottom of your dish then sprinkle some of the diced sweet onions and sliced mushrooms over the top. Careful to pace yourself because you will repeat this and will want to have some left for the top. Take a tablespoon or so of the flour, sprinkle over the top of your layer of potatoes, onions and mushrooms. Sprinkle salt and pepper, to taste, across the top. Follow with a light layer of the shredded cheese. Pace yourself with the cheese as well so you have some for the top. Repeat: Layer of potatoes, sweet onions, mushrooms, flour, salt pepper and cheese Repeat until you have used all of the potatoes and have enough of the onions, mushrooms and cheese to top the pan with. Pour 2 Cups Half n Half (or milk) slowly over the top so that it slides down between the layers. Cover with a glass top or tin foil. Cook 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Uncover and cook for another 15-30 minutes to desired consistency. Once I remove the cover, I find it takes another 30 minutes with an absolutely full pan to reach a desired tenderness in the potatoes. I usually test a small sample of the potatoes after I remove the cover and they have cooked 15 mintues, then I place back in the oven for the last 15 minutes. Ovens cook differently so check your potatoes.



Orange Burst Cookies

Orange & Cranberry Cookies Dipped in White Chocolate Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup butter – At room temp.
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Orange (grated orange peel) – grate the entire orange
  • 1 Cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 Cup rolled oats – extra for soaking up juice
  • 11 oz.or 12oz white chocolate baking chips
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • Wax paper
orange burst cookies Orange Burst Cookies

In small bowl combine cranberries and orange juice: let stand overnight in refrigerator. (Make sure cranberries are almost covered in orange juice but not drowning in juice) In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and orange peel. In another bowl, combine flour and baking soda; stir into butter mixture. Drain orange juice off of cranberries getting any excess liquid off. Do not press or squeeze. Add cranberries and oats to mixture and mix well. If necessary, add a little of your rolled oats to soak up any extra moisture from cranberries. Heat oven to 350. Bake 10-12 minutes Test one cookie first to make sure you have desired consistency. Cookie should rise up and stay up after baking for 10 minutes and be lightly brown around edges. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto greased baking sheet. Transfer to racks and cool completely. In small microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate and oil for 3-4 minutes on LOW setting, stir once or twice while melting as microwaves have different heat settings. Stir chocolate until smooth consistency. (Careful NOT to get any water in your chocolate and oil mixture as this will harden it) Dip 1/3 of cookie in chocolate and set on on wax paper. Let sit until chocolate is firm. Makes about 2 dozen. Favorite compliments on these cookies: “You are the maestro of flavor” and the non verbal hand sign of piece de resistance



Creamy Alfredo Pasta with

  Pesto & Artichokes

  • 1 – 16 oz box of Penne Rigate pasta (DeCecco is excellent)
  • 1 – 15oz jar Alfredo Sauce (Bertolli, Classico or Newman’s Own)
  • 2 – 8oz cont. Pesto – Catherine’ s Gourmet Basil Pesto with Pecorino Romano or fresh pesto
  • 1 – 6.5 oz jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts – I usually use Cara Mia
  • 3/4 C Kalamata Olives – slice olives in half length wise


  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Fresh parmesan cheese, shredded on top

In an 4 quart or larger pan, bring water to boil, add a splash of olive oil (canola or vegetable oil is fine) then add pasta. Stir frequently. Bring to boil again then reduce temperature slightly, continue to stir frequently. Cook pasta al dente, slightly under full time, to maintain texture. In a large saute pan pour Alfredo sauce, marinated artichoke hearts including liquid and both containers of pesto. Stir together on low heat. Add sliced olives. Heat to medium, stir frequently. When you see sauce bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer. Stir on occasion. Add sundried tomatoes for contrasting flavor. When pasta tests done, pour into strainer and drain off excess water. While still hot put pasta into desired serving bowl with plenty of room for sauce. Pour sauce over pasta and mix well. Shred fresh parmesan cheese over the top and serve. Serves 4-6



Blueberry Perfection

I created this sweet treat for fun to serve to friends and customers and received some of my best comments ever so I made it for Thanksgiving and served warm with French Vanilla Ice cream. It was a huge hit all over again so I hope you’ll try it for your loved ones or friends. Ingredients:

  • 32oz Frozen Blueberries
  • 1 1/2 C Rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 1 C Brown Sugar (packed)

    Blueberry Perfection Photo: Bert VanGorder

  • 3/4 C Butter – at room temp
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 C Macadamia Nuts – coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 9 x 12 pan. Thaw blueberries at room temperature or slowly defrost in microwave safe bowl. Drain off excess juice. Mix in fresh blueberry preserves. Set aside. Measure oats, flour, sugar, butter and soda into bowl. Mix together until crumbly. Pour half of mixture into pan and pat down to form                 bottom layer.

With remaining mixture, mix in coarsely chopped macadamia nuts for topping, set aside. Spoon blueberry mixture into pan and spread evenly. Top with crumb and macadamia mix. Press crumb mixture down firm but lightly with your fingertips. Bake in oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Rich in antioxidants and delicious. Serves 6 – 8



Mid Pacific Teriyaki Chicken with Brown Rice and Stir Fry Vegetables

This dish received rave reviews from the Mid Pac crew in Hawaii. My sweetheart and I are vegetarians, however, his crew is not. This is quick, fulfilling and pleasing to palates after a hard days work. Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Long Grain Brown Rice makes 3 Cups
  • 2 Rotisserie Chickens (plain or lemon herb)
  • 1/2 C Soy Sauce
  • 1 – 20 1/2 oz Bottle – Kikoman Takumi Collection
  • 2 Carrots – slice into diagonal strips (hold knife at angle to carrot and slice)
  • 2 Celery stalks – cut in diagonal strips (gives you a crescent shape)
  • 1 Sweet Onion – slice into wedges
  • 8 oz Mushrooms – cut in 1/4 wedges including stems
  • 2 C Cauliflower flourettes including stems
  • 2 C Broccoli Flourettes including stems
  • 1 Small Green Bell Pepper – diced
  • 2 Tbls – Extra Virgi Olive Oil
  • 1/4 C – Soy Sauce

Preheat oven to low or warm – Start your rice cooker or boiling water for rice in advance as it will take about 1 hour to cook. Remove string and skin from chickens.  Pour soy sauce and half of Kikoman into a 4Qt or larger bowl. Put chicken in a bowl and gently pull apart into bite size pieces placing in soy sauce mixture. The meat is pretty tender so this should be quite easy. Pour remaining Kikoman over chicken when finished and mix well to evenly cover. Pour into shallow baking dish, cover with tin foil and place in oven on LOW temperature to keep warm while preparing your vegetables. Wash vegetables. Slice carrots first. Place in microwave safe bowl, sprinkle with water, cover and cook in microwave on medium heat for 2 minutes to steam carrots. Stir carrots and repeat. Wash and slice other vegetables while your carrots are steaming. Add broccoli and cauliflower to carrots, sprinkle with water, cover and cook in microwave on medium heat for 2 minutes. Pour olive oil into a large sautee pan or wok, heat to medium. Place onions, celery and bell peppers in pan and cook slightly, stirring continuosly. Add mushrooms and cook slightly. Stir carrots, broccoli and caulifower into vegetable mixture. Add soy sauce, mix in salt and pepper to taste. Turn to simmer, remove from heat when rice is done. Serves 4



Pasta Primavera – Serve Chilled

My sweetheart loves healthy carbo’s (carbohydrates) for his array of physical activiites, biking, tennis, walking etc). This is one of his favorites for the vegetables and light creamy sauce. Chris at Premier Court also gave it excellent reviews while visiting in Hawaii Ingredients:

  • 1 – 16oz Box DeCecco Fusili Pasta
  • 1- 12 oz Jar Marianated Artichoke Hearts
  • 1- 25 oz Bottle Marie’s Creamy Ranch Dressing (Refrigerated Section)           I prefer Marie’s because it is “Natural”, no chemical additives.
  • 1 Tbls – Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp – Salt
  • 1 C – chopped Garlic Dills – I prefer Nalley’s for their flavor and crunchiness
  • 1 C – Diced Carrots
  • 1 C – Diced Cucumber
  • 1 C – Diced Celery
  • 1 C – Sliced Olives, Green or Black
  • 1 C – Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 C – Diced Sweet Onion

I use a 4 Qt or larger pan. Bring water to boil, add a splash of oil and salt, add pasta. Continue to stir while cooking. Follow cooking times on package for al dente (texture with minimum firmness). While your water is boiling, wash all of vegetables and dice. You can do this while the pasta is cooking, making sure to stir pasta occasionally. Drain pasta, rinse continuously with cold water to cool. Let sit in small bath of cold water for a few minutes to chill. Pour into strainer, shake off excess fluid. Pour 1/2 of Marie’s dressing into bowl large enough to mix pasta into later. Add lemon juice, Italian Seasoning and salt, mix well. Add marinated artichoke hearts including liquid, mix well. Add the remaining vegetables, stir together. Spoon in half of cold pasta, mix well. Pour in rest of pasta, remainder of dressing, mix well and chill in refrigerator. Serves 4-6



Power Protein Salad

(Serve with whole wheat soft tortillas and brown rice for Maximum Protein Punch!) This is one of my favorites for flavor, texture, ease of preparation and goodness on the go. My sweeheart loves this meal in a salad for before or after workout, a casual dinner or when he is on one of his midnight snack adventures. Ingredients:

  • 16 oz Frozen White Corn – Trader Joes has the only one I know of and love.
  • 3.8oz Sliced Olives
  • 1Can 13.-14 oz Quartered Artichoke Hearts – Roland is the best
  • 1Can 15 -16 oz Garbanzo Beans
  • 1Can 15 -16 oz Black Beans
  • 1Can 14.5 oz Petite Diced Tomatoes – I use S&W with Sweet Onion & Roasted Garlic
  • 8 oz Kraft Italian Roasted Red Pepper with Paremsan Dressing & Marinade
  • 8 oz High Protein ORGANIC Super Firm Tofu – Trader Joes is my favorite, super firm
  • 1 C Sweet Onion – diced
  • 1 Package Large Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas – Soft taco style
  • 1Cup long grain brown rice makes 3 Cups(Start your rice cooker or boiling water for rice in advance as it will take about 1 hour to cook)
  • Optional: Shredded Cheese

Defrost your corn in advance in the refrigerator or defrost in microwave safe bowl on low. Put a strainer in the sink and pour in the garbanzo and black beans. Rinse well with cold water, shaking strainer occaasionally. Rinse and shake again, let liquid drain. Pour into large bowl, 8 quart or large enough to mix all ingredients. Drain artichokes and olives and pour in with beans. Pour in entire can of petite diced tomatoes including sauce. Add corn and sweet onion. Mix well. Slice super firm tofu in half. Slice into 1/2″ cubes. Add to beans, tomatoes, artichokes, corn and sweet onion. Wrap remaining tofu and store in refrigerator with its liquid to keep fresh. Pour in 8 oz of Italian Red Pepper Dressing, mix well. Serving Recommendations: Place a soft whole wheat tortilla on a microwave safe plate, put 1 cup or so of my Power Protein Salad ™ in the middle, add 1/2 C of rice with shredded cheese sprinkled on top. Microwave for 30 seconds. Fold the bottom up, sides in and eat like a wrap. OR Spread the salad around on the tortilla, add rice and cheese. Warm in microwave and eat with a knife and fork. OR Serve my Power Protein Salad ™ cold in a bowl or on a plate all by itself. Yum! Serves 4-6