October 2011 Archives

The Local Cafe's "Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese"

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Chef Tim Kilcoyne of the The Local Cafe (Ventura, Ca), recently showed me how to make his delicious "Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese."  It's a great recipe that's made with fresh, local produce!

The Local Café's Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

Serves:  4

Prep Time - Roasted Beets - 45 minutes approximately

Prep Time - Salad: 10 minutes



  • 4-5 Golden Root Beets, Roasted
  • 1 c. Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • 1 1/2 c. Walnuts
  • 2 Apples, sliced (with skins left on)
  • 1'2 c. Fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 T. Walnut oil (or Hazelnut oil or more Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe Preparation:

  • Roast beets (don't cut bottoms and tops too much) in the oven for 45-minutes to an hour at 375 degrees F. When beets are done, let the cool before preparing the salad.
  • Once beets are cool, using your hands, roll back the beet skin to uncover the meat of the beets.
  • Cut beets lengthwise to keep their natural shape and place them in a deep bowl.
  • Add in walnuts
  • Add in sliced apple
  • Add in Lemon juice, Walnut oil, Extra Virgin Olive oil and mix.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Top salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles (Note:  As an alternative,  this salad is also great with blue cheese crumbles!)

The Local Cafe is located at 1751 East Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001-3410, (805) 643-0237


Visit:  www.SimplyDeliciousLiving.tv

"Haunting at the Harbor" Business Expo in Ventura Harbor

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VC Style's "Roving Eye" (aka me with video camera!),  recently attended the "Haunting at the Harbor" Business Expo at the Four Points Sheraton in Ventura Harbor. It was a great event presented by the Ventura Chamber of Commerce.   There were approximately 59 local business tabletop exhibits, a variety of food vendors, a silent auction, and raffle.  I had fun doing some business networking -- not to mention enjoying some pre-Halloween cheer.

During the evening, I caught up with the Environmental Sustainability folks at their booth.  Environmental Specialist Christine Wied shared some recycling tips.  Next door at Ventura Water, "Aunt Sally" compared the price of water per gallon to other must-haves. 

Simply Delicious Living's "French Toast To Die For"

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On Sunday mornings, I love having French Toast for breakfast.  Usually, I use wheat or rice bread.  However, I recently happened to have some sourdough French baguette in the kitchen and thought I'd try making french toast with it.

One thing led to another as I eyed the smoked salmon and goat cheese in the frig... et Voilà!  "French Toast To Die For" was born!



(French Toast with Salmon, Goat Cheese & Fresh Basil)


Serves  4-6


Prep Time:  5 minutes

Cook Time:  5-10 minutes



  • 1 Sourdough French Baguette
  • 1 - 4 ounce Goat Cheese log (Montchevré  or other)
  • 5 ounce(s)Smoked Wild Salmon
  • 20 Fresh Whole Basil Leaves
  • 5 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 cup(s) Capers in vinegar (Optional)*
  • 1 cup(s)Milk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 tbsp.Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Recipe Instructions:

  • Cut French Baguette into 1 pieces. Set aside.
  • Slice smoked salmon into individual pieces. Set aside.
  • Slice Roma tomatoes into thin slices. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, pour in milk and beat in two eggs with a fork.
  • On the stovetop, over medium heat, pour olive oil into a frying pan.
  • Pick up a piece of baguette with a fork and dip into the milk and egg mixture.
  • Make sure both sides are well coated. Place in the frying pan.
  • Repeat with all the baguette slices (cooking both sides until golden).
  • Place cooked pieces of baguette on a pretty serving plate.
  • Spread a generous helping of goat cheese over each baguette piece.
  • Place a tomato slice on top of each baguette piece.
  • Place a basil leaf on top of the baguette covered with goat cheese.
  • Place salmon slice (s) on top of tomato slice.
  • Place a few capers on each baguette piece (*Optional)
Serve "French Toast To Die For" hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
The dish goes great with eggs for breakfast or with a green salad for
lunch or dinner.  For more recipes, visit:  Simply Delicious Living's

©2011 - Maryann Ridini Spencer, Host of the

"Simply Delicious Living with Maryann®" TV show seen 24/7

on Time Warner Cable's ON DEMAND throughout Southern

California and on CAPS-TV, Channel 6, Mondays, 8:00pm

with rebroadcasts weekly.

A FUN "Green" Music Video from the Environmental Sustainability Division!

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"Our Dirty House" Music Video from the "Sustainable Ventura" TV Series

The cast and crew of the "Sustainable Ventura" TV Series had fun this month (October 2011), 
producing a music video using original music and lyrics by Richard Guzman.  The video offers
some great green tips about cleaning up at home and offers information about the City's
 FREE outreach programs for recycling, composting and more!  

"Sustainable Ventura," an Environmental Sustainability Production, is hosted by
Maryann Ridini Spencer and Ray Olson and seen on CAPS-TV, Channel 15 on
 Thursdays at 8:30pm and rebroadcasts weekly.  For more show schedule information, visit:

Simply Delicious Living's Very Green Salad

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On "Simply Delicious Living with Maryann," host Maryann Ridini Spencer
creates a simply yummy dish made with spinach, green beans, mushrooms,
red cabbage and olive bread croutons! Delicious and nutritious!


One night, as I was going through the refrigerator deciding what to make for dinner,
I decided to combine some green beans (leftovers from the night before) with fresh
spinach.  I also had some olive bread that I thought would make some great tasting
croutons for the salad.  Et voila! the Very Green Salad with Parmesan and Olive
Bread Croutons
was born.  This salad can be served as a meal and/or with grilled
shrimp, chicken or fish. 


Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes


  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 c. red cabbage
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 c. or 16 oz. green beans (parboiled)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3/4 c. shaved Parmesan cheese
  • ½ c. slivered almonds
  • 1 c. olive bread croutons
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • Dressing: Lemon Vinaigrette from http://www.garlicgold.com
NOTE: If you are in a jam, and can't get your bottle of Garlic Gold's Lemon Vinaigrette,
you can make a similar dressing with Olive oil, several diced (or minced) garlic cloves
and a 1/4 c. of fresh squeezed lemon juice.


  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Cut several pieces of olive bread into small (one inch) cubes.
  • On a cookie sheet, drizzle extra virgin olive oil all over the bottom of the pan.
  • Place bread cubes in the pan.
  • Bake in the oven at 450 degrees F until croutons are a golden, crispy brown. 
Place croutons aside while preparing the salad.

Recipe Preparation:

  • Cut off both ends of the green beans.  Rinse and drain.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil on the stovetop. 
  • Place green beans in the pot. Boil 3-4 minutes until beans are
  • cooked (ala dente). Drain green beans and set aside.
  • In a skillet on the stove top over medium heat, put olive oil in the pan.
  • Add in garlic and almonds.  Cook until the almonds and onoins are a golden brown.
  • Add in the green beans and a quarter cup of the Parmesan cheese.  Toss.
  • Add in garlic and salt & pepper to taste.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add in spinach, red cabbage, mushrooms, croutons & beans.
  • Mix the salad.
  • Pour Garlic Gold's Lemon Vinaigrette dressing over the salad.  Toss well.
  • Serve Immediately!
©2011-- Maryann Ridini Spencer

"Simply Delicious Living with Maryann" is a FUN and Enchanting journey
serving up simply delicious recipes and dedicated to all things home,
hearth and joyous living!

Watch the show on Time Warner Cable ON DEMAND® throughout Southern
California (approximately 1.8 million digital subscribers). With your remote,
and scroll to the SIMPLY DELICIOUS tab.  The show is also seen
on CAPS-TV, Channel 6 in Ventura, Mondays, 8:00pm with
rebroadcasts weekly.

VC Style
Maryann Ridini-Spencer produces video stories about environmentally friendly and healthy living in Ventura County.

She co-hosts "Sustainable Ventura" with Ray Olson on CAPS-TV's VTV, Channel 15 as well as "Simply Delicious Living with Maryann" on Time Warner Cable ON DEMAND.