Arugula Pesto Cold Pasta SaladBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterArugula pesto can be used in so many different ways, but this is one of my favorites. Adding a few cups of the whole Arugula leaves at the end adds additional flavor and texture, along with color. You can also change it a bit by adding walnuts instead of pine nuts, and a nice firm goat or sheep's milk cheese instead of the mozzarella. The salad will keep for several days, and is a great addition to any summer meal, or summer picnic.Mediterranean Farro SaladBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterFarro falls into the category of Ancient Grains and refers to the grains of three different wheat species and is processed several different ways. There is whole farro, which like dried beans, must be soaked overnight prior to cooking. This by far has the most nutrients, but prep time is longer. You can also find semi-pearled or pearled. The more processing, the fewer nutrients, but the easier to cook. In most stores you will find the pearled, although the label is likely to show just "farro", but the directions for cooking on the back will give you an idea. Any form you choose will still yield a lovely, nutty, chewy grain that works for both sweet an savory. Mix with fruit and yogurt or cream, use instead of rice when making risotto, or enjoy in this easy salad recipe.Asian Spicy Pasta SaladBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterA tasty oriental salad dressing, with the heat of the chili oil, the sweetness of the hoisin, and the nuttiness of the sesame oil all combine to make this a favorite cold dish. Add the crispy vegetables and crunchy nuts to the pasta and you have a delightful salad that can stand alone as a lunch, or part of a larger meal. For a more complete meal, add stir fried chicken or diced tenderloin of pork. Simple Vanilla Buttercream FrostingBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis is a very basic, very simple buttercream frosting. It works well if you don't have the time for the Italian or Swiss versions. You can change it a bit with adding different extracts, in addition to the Vanilla like Mint or Lemon, and even add a touch of food coloring. Also try adding a 1/4 cup of cream cheese instead of the sour cream for a bit different flavor and slightly different texture.Lemon Coconut CakeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterA delicate lemon essence infused into the cake layers, tart lemon custard, creamy, buttery frosting and sweetened coconut shreds combine to make this cake a winner for any event. One of the nice things about this cake, is that it can be made in stages. The buttercream and lemon filling can be made a day or two ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator, and the layer cake can be made well ahead and frozen. You simply just assemble it when needed. Light & Airy Chocolate CakeBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis light and airy chocolate cake is perfect with a chocolate buttercream frosting, a coffee buttercream frosting, or sweetened whipped cream. It has a rich cocoa flavor, with an underlying hint of espresso. It's also fun to put a thin spread of seedless raspberry preserve between the layers, particularly if you are choosing the chocolate buttercream. The lightness comes from incorporating air in both the initial blending of sugar with butter, oil and egg yolks, and the secondary lightness from the egg white meringue. Remember, the lightness of the sugar/butter/egg mixture is made possible by all the ingredients being at room temperature, and beating the mixture for several minutes. Adding cold eggs or cold half & half will greatly diminish the rise and airiness of the layers.Rice & Vegetable Curry TartBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterA tasty savory tart that can be eaten hot, room temperature or cold. It's great for lunch with a salad, part of a picnic spread or even a light dinner. The curry and cumin gives the tart a wonderful aroma, as well as depth in flavor. The spices pair perfectly with the firm, lightly processed rice blend as well as the medley of vegetables. Basic Savory PastryBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis is another in a series of basic pastry doughs. It is used mainly in savory dishes like quiche, the rice and vegetable tart and meat or chicken pot pies. The dough can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to a month, or several months if you use a food saver vacuum sealer. As with most pastry doughs of this type, it is best when worked as little as possible, and that all ingredients be very cold. When rolling out the dough, you should be able to see small pieces of butter. This will ensure that it will be tender and flakey when baked.Butternut Squash & Curry SoupBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterI love soups for many reasons. They are generally easy to make, they feed your spirit, and soups place no limits on your creativity. This flavorful soup fills the house with the aroma of the curry and other spices that date back thousands of years. Curry powder is actually a spice blend, so different brands will have slightly different flavors. Any that appeal to you will work for this recipe. Classic Pate Choux PasteBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis is the classic choux paste that has been around since the 1500's, and is the base for eclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, gougeres and more. It is not difficult to make as long as you keep to a few simple rules. The liquid must be heated to a full boil, the flour must be completely incorporated and cooked for one minute to get rid of the raw flour taste, and the paste must be mixed and baked while still warm. The baked outcome is sort of magical in that these few simple ingredients puff up crisp on the outside, hallow on the inside and can be filled with just about anything. Have fun and be creative. Red Wine Risotto with Sausage, Porcini and GibletsBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterMy grandmother was born in a small town in the Lombardia region of Italy, that bordered the Piemonte region. I don’t know for certain, but through research I believe this is the reason that growing up, the risotto in my house was made using red wine as was common in Piemonte. I actually wasn't aware that there were other ways of making it until I moved to San Francisco in 1964 and tasted Risotto Milanese. It was also a great introduction to saffron. Since then I've made my favorite rice dish many different ways, but this version from my childhood still feeds my soul. I realize that the giblets are something that most people discard, but I urge you to try them. They add a special flavor and texture that blends well with the spiciness of the sausage, the earthy quality of the dried Porcini and the "toothyness" of the rice. Mocha Cream PuffsBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThese elegant little puffs are just so tasty with the crispy, crunchy pate choux shells and the rich creamy filling that tastes like sweetened Espresso with a hint of chocolate. They are easy to make, and the cream puffs and custard can be made ahead of time and assembled shortly before serving.