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Some favorite vegetable side dishes are—Spanish Spinach, made by placing fresh or frozen spinach in a microwaveable bowl, topped with a sprinkle of raisins, a drizzle of orange juice, a few grates of nutmeg-about 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and a sprinkle of Kosher or sea salt. Cover and process in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes or until done. Stir in a few Tablespoons of heavy cream until of desired consistency and a teaspoon of anisette. Sprinkle with caribe chile and serve. This is a wonderful dish.

Gingered Carrots—just scrape or peel fresh carrots, cutting into little “sticks” about ¼ inch diameter and 2 inches long. Simmer in small amount of lightly salted water until just tender—about 5 minutes. Drain excess water, add about a Tablespoon of unsalted butter, a Tablespoon of candied ginger, chopped into ¼ inch pieces and about 2 Tablespoons of coarsely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley . Stir and adjust seasonings, then serve.

Any simple salad is enhanced with a freshly made vinaigrette made with 3 parts of very good olive oil to 1 part vinegar of citric juice. Add about a ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard for every 2 servings of dressing and wisk or beat with a fork. Winter ingredients such as snipped or cut up figs, dates, dried fruits and spiced nuts make a great salad.

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