Cucumber Feta Salad




3 cucumbers (cut into 1/4 inch bite size pieces)

1 cup feta cheese (bite size squares)

1/2 cup red onion (sliced)

1/2 cup kalamata olives (pits removed)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. fresh or dry dill

4 tbs. olive oil

3 tbs. red wine vinegar


1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, except olive oil and vinegar. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

2. When ready to serve, add olive oil and vinegar. Mix well and serve.

Watermelon Mojitos



fresh mint leaves  (about 20 leaves) *plus extra for garnish

5 thick slices fresh watermelon, seeds and rind removed

10 ounces  Bacardi Light Rum

1/2 cup simple syrup

3 limes freshly squeezed

tsp. of sugar


1.  Mash the 20 mint leaves.  Add a tsp. of sugar to help break up the leaves . Mash for 2 minutes.

2. Remove watermelon from rind. Remove any seeds.

3. Put watermelon, rum, simple syrup and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth.  Spoon out any foam.
4. Put mashed mint into a pitcher and add in the watermelon mixture. Mix well.

5. Place ice cubes in  glasses and pour  mixture into the glasses. Garnish with  fresh mint.

How Do You Like Your Burgers ?



With Fourth of July in a few days, here are some burger ideas that will make you and your guests very happy.

Is It Time For The Big Screen?


For those who have been asking, it’s official, I’m getting ready for my  walk on role in the new Fox Searchlight Film, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” The film stars Julianne Moore and Chris O’Dowd. Filming will take place in Manhattan, this summer. Here’s hoping for a fun experience.


Homemade Grilled Corn Salad and Cole Slaw



Grilled Corn Salad


6 ears fresh corn, husked with silks removed
2 tbsp. canola oil
sea Salt and black pepper (pinch of each)
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

Lemon Dressing Ingredients:

1 lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt and a pinch freshly ground black pepper


1. Rub corn with 2 tablespoons of canola oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Grill or broil corn for 7 minutes or until ears are lightly browned. Remove from grill and allow to cool. Remove the kernels from the cob and place in a large mixing bowl along with red pepper and scallions.

2. In a small bowl, prepare dressing by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve at room temperature.

Cole Slaw


1 small red onions (sliced thin)

6 cups finely shredded green cabbage

5 carrots, peeled and grated

5 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp. caraway seeds

sea salt to taste


1. In a large bowl, toss together the green cabbage, onion, and carrots. (Let chill in refrigerator.)
2. After vegetables are chilled, add olive oil, white wine vinegar, caraway seeds and sea salt to taste. Mix well.

Serve cold.

John Contratti and Jim Parsons



When an invitation came for me to meet Jim Parsons, the star of “The Big Bang Theory” and now on Broadway in “An Act Of God”, the only response was “Yes!!”. A truly wonderful, kind man.

Grilled Chicken Arugula With Fresh Mozzarella and Tomatoes




8 chicken cutlets

2 cups fresh arugula

1 lb. piece fresh mozzarella ( 8 thin slices)

4 large vine tomatoes (16 thin slices)

4 tbs. olive oil

4 tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. sea salt


1. In a Ziploc bag, put chicken cutlets, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. After 2 hours, grill cutlets in a skillet with a tbs. of olive oil. Sprinkle salt on both sides. Cook on both sides for about 3 minutes each. (Depends on the thickness of cutlets.) Make sure chicken is well cooked.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. In a large baking pan, put a little olive oil to coat the bottom.

4. Put chicken cutlet, arugula, a slice of mozzarella and 2 slices of tomatoes on top.

5. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, until cheese melts.

Serve hot. Serves 4. (2 cutlets each)

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