Happy Spring! It’s been a long, hard winter in more ways than one but we’re almost there! I’d like to share a healthy spring recipe that was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. (Isn’t Pinterest just the greatest? If you ever need an instant pick me up, just log on and start pinning!)  This is a great way to use asparagus, an abundant spring vegetable. The amounts of these ingredients are estimates and can be changed according to your preference. You can find Israeli couscous at Wegmans in the organic section.

Fairytale Spring Couscous Salad
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat Israeli Couscous like Bob’s Red Mill (can buy at Wegmans)
8 oz. of asparagus (I like Wegman’s steam-able bag), cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup of julienned sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup of golden raisins
1/4 cup of slivered almonds
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint leaves
1 lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Cook the couscous according to the package directions. Steam the asparagus in the microwave. Mix together. Dress with the juice of a lemon and sprinkle with some extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.


SPRING IS HERE! For some reason I associated Spring with berries and pies – the kinds you would see on the cover of Southern Living Magazine. Berry pies. Cherry Pies. Strawberry pies. Rhubarb pies. Strawberry – Rhubarb pies.  It doesn’t matter. It if looks pretty, I’ll try it. Unfortunately, when it comes to baking a pie, I am a seasoned failure in this area.  My solution when I’m craving a homemade berry pie? A berry strata by Giada DiLaurentis, which combines two of my favorite ingredients: bread and berries. It’s a simple, no fuss recipe and it tastes fantastic.  It manages to taste gooey and rich while retaining the sweet full fruit flavor from the berries.

Anther reason I love this recipe is because you can make it hours ahead of time and then bake it when you are ready. Recently, I went to my first barbecue of the season and I decided to make this strata. I made it almost exactly according to this recipe except I used 1% milk (that is all I had on hand and it saved a few calories).  I used a country-style farm bread from Wegmans and cut it into 1 inch pieces. I may have used more than 4 pieces but I did not use the whole loaf.  I probably should have coated the bread more evenly in the mixture and was a little disappointed with myself about it but no one else seemed to mind.  I let it refrigerate for about four hours and then I baked it on location at the barbecue. The result was a big hit! I hope you will enjoy it as much as we all did!

Berry Strata 

by Giada DiLaurentis


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 4 slices of bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag frozen mixed berries, thawed and drained


Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Turn off the heat, add the honey, and stir to combine.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the eggs, ricotta, and sugar. Using a fork, mix to combine and beat the eggs. Add the milk, orange juice, butter and honey mixture, and bread. Stir to combine. Gently fold in the berries.
Place the ingredients in a 10-inch round (2-quart) baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the strata until golden on top and baked through, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Spoon into dishes and serve.

(Strata before baking)