Dee Gourmet

Artichokes with Lemon Cream

Try this delightfully tangy and creamy dip for your artichokes!


This quick little recipe is easily whipped up and will impress you with its delicious simplicity!

Serve as your dip for grilled or steamed artichokes.

You will likely never eat artichokes any other way!!

What You’ll Need:

1 cup non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt

3 to 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil Mayonnaise

Sprinkle of garlic salt or 1 fresh garlic clove, pressed

Zest of 1 lemon

About 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons rinsed capers, chopped or whole


  1. Whisk together the yogurt and mayonnaise. Add more or less yogurt/mayonnaise to your liking.
  2. Grate the zest of 1 small or ½ large lemon into the yogurt mixture. Add lemon juice and garlic salt. Whisk. Taste and adjust lemon to taste.
  3. Stir in rinsed capers.

Dee’s Lemon Cream can also be served as a salad dressing if thinned with a little buttermilk or regular milk.

Use your imagination!!

September 21st, 2014

Bit of This and That Cheese Spread

Ever wonder what to do with those pesky little leftover pieces of cheese

in your cheese drawer?

Here’s your answer!!



Here are some cheesy ideas for using up bits of leftover cheese. Make a spread out of them!  The wine in this particular spread helps to bind the cheese, but if you prefer, water works as well. You can spread it on veggies or fruit like cucumber rounds or apple slices, or as a dip, or as a topping for cooked vegetables.

Use your imagination!!

What you’ll need:

1 pound of cheese pieces, any kind you have on hand brought up to room temperature

¼ to ½ cup dry white wine, room temperature

2 to 4 Tablespoons room temperature butter

2 cloves garlic, pressed

Small handful chopped Italian parsley

Few drops Sriracha or other hot sauce

Other variations listed below

How to do it:

The amount of butter and wine will depend upon the types of cheeses you use. The harder the cheese, the more butter and liquid you’ll want to put in. But you will be able to tell this by looking, testing, and tasting as you go.

Start by cutting the cheeses up into ½ to 1 inch pieces, or grate hard cheeses like Parmesan, and throw them in the food processor. Put the minimum amounts of the wine and butter in, and the pressed garlic.

Pulse the food processor at first, then run for a minute or two until everything is smooth.

Add parsley, hot sauce, and any other seasonings you want and pulse until incorporated.

Taste and adjust for flavor and texture. Add more butter and liquid to smooth the mixture out, keeping in mind it will firm up in the refrigerator.

If you find the flavors are too strong for you, add a little sweetener or a little more butter.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.


Once the basic cheese recipe is done, try some of the variations below. Just put in the suggested combinations and pulse the food processor until the desired consistency is achieved.  Keep tasting and adding until you get the flavor you are looking for! Most of the fun of cooking is experimenting!! Enjoy—after all, you were probably going to throw the cheese bits away anyway!

Mustard-Caraway - Add 1 teaspoon of mustard and 2 teaspoons caraway seeds.

Herb - Add ¼ cup of chives or dill and a chopped green onion (scallion).

Pimento - Add a small jar of pimentos, drained

Maple Brandy Pecan – Add about 1 Tablespoon good quality brandy, 6 to 8 pecan halves and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Sun-dried tomato: Add 2 to 3 Tablespoons of drained sun-dried tomatoes (in oil).

Olive: Pit your favorite olive, halve and add to taste.

*** *** *** ***

June 28th, 2014


I get a lot of questions about cheese platters, so here are a few tips

that may help you with your next gathering!


How many cheeses?

There are as many answers to this question as there are cheeses!

The bottom line is…’s your party!  I usually like to serve 4 to 6 different types of cheeses as an appetizer if I am having a party for 20 or so people.  If having only a few guests, then I will usually serve only 2 or 3 cheeses.  If you have a remarkable cheese and you want to showcase a single cheese, do that!


The types of cheese you are serving should decide the accompaniments.

  • If you are serving a soft and rich brie, then you may want to choose an earthy jam, like fig or a subtly sweet-tangy tangerine or orange preserve. Grapes or fresh figs also go well with brie
  • Bleu cheese is its own best friend! I like to serve it drizzled with a robust honey, like avocado or eucalyptus (if you don’t live in California, you may not be able to find these…any honey you like will do). Lavendar honey is more delicate and just fabulous with a really nice bleu cheese.  Pear slices are also a nice accompaniment to bleu.
  • Swiss and gruyere: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and dried apricots or pear slices. Rye cocktail bread or rye crackers are also good.
  • Cheddar:  Try serving cheddar with a spiced quince spread or tomato or other chutney. I also like to serve cheddar with plain, thinly sliced crusty bread and good quality balsamic vinegar.
  • If you are serving Italian cheeses, consider making an antipasto platter and serve with olives, nuts, salami, proscuitto, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
  • You can decide on either serving plain crackers (like water crackers) or flavored crackers. Just be sure that the flavor of the cracker doesn’t overwhelm the taste of the cheese. I would avoid cheesy or vegetable flavored crackers. Plain crostini works well with most platters as does sliced breads, such as cocktail rye or whole wheat or thinly sliced French or Italian bread.
  • If you want to focus on the cheese, then avoid the crackers and bread and serve with the accompaniments I have suggested or EXPERIMENT!

Arranging your platter:

  • Arrange cheeses from mild to strong and young to old
  • Look to create contrast and try to alternate types of milk (cow, sheep, goat, etc.)
  • End with bleus because the stronger acids pierce your palate and the sharp flavor lingers.
  • Set the cheese out at least half an hour before eating to bring them up to room temperature before serving.
  • Offer a different knife with each cheese.
  • Quantity for cheese as hors d’ oeuvres: 1 to 2 ounces of each cheese per person
  • Quantity for cheese as a dessert course: 1 to 1 ½ ounces of cheese per person
June 28th, 2014

Basic Mayonnaise

Home made mayonnaise takes only a few minutes to make and makes all the difference!


1. Place 2 large egg yolks (from pasteurized eggs) in a food processor.

2. Add 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 4 teaspoons lemon juice

3. Pulse ingredients until well combined.

4. Now pay attention!  With the motor running, add 1 cup of canola oil or olive oil in a slow, thin, steady stream.  It will get thick and emulsify.  Don’t over process! Season with salt and white pepper.

5. You can store in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Change it up!

GARLIC MAYO:   In step 2, add 2 garlic cloves that you have put through a garlic press

RED PEPPER MAYO:   In step 2, add 1 jarred roasted red pepper, patted dry and 2 garlic cloves pressed as above

HERBED MAYO:   In step 3, after adding the oil, stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon, chives

CESAR MAYO:   In step 3, add 2 minced anchovy fillets and 1/4 cup Parmesan

TARTAR MAYO: In step 3, after adding the oil, stir in 2 Tablespoons chopped gherkins (sweet pickles) and 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion.

September 16th, 2013

Chiffonade of Basil

Here is an easy way to chiffonade basil, which means to cut them into long strips.

Here’s how it is done

1.  Remove the leaves from the basil stalk.  Try to remove all the stems.

2.  Layer the leaves like this:

3.  Roll the leaves up like so and cut into thin strips:

And there you have it: Chiffonade of Basil! (or mint or whatever you want!)

February 6th, 2013

Home | Classes | Testimonials | Recipes & Tips | Seasonal Cuisine | About Chef Dee | Newsletter | Contact
Dee Gourmet Goddess © 2018 | designed by FD