Yesterday, I hosted a really fun and unique brokers’ open house at a home in The Point in Mooresville that I’m listing.  We invited brokers to attend what we think was a very creative and fun experience -- a chef demonstration and wine tasting.  I had a blast and I think all of my fellow brokers really enjoyed it, too.  The chef, Jill Dahan, was amazing, and I learned so much about wine from Christina Stephens!

I thought I’d share Jill's recipes so you can try them at home:

You just can’t beat beets for giving you that spring in your step! And for beet haters this salad is so delicious you won’t even know you are eating beets!

Beet Salad to Beat

Makes 4-6

4 beet roots with greens if possible

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

½ sweet onion cut into wedges

1 large garlic clove

4 cups baby spinach leaves

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 cup goats or feta cheese crumbles

1 tsp thyme leaves fresh

Shelled raw pistachios for garnish


Remove greens and plunge in cold water. Chill until using. Top and tail the beets and with a veggie peeler, peel and cut them into wedges. Toss them and the onion in coconut oil in a baking pan and roast at 375F for 20-30 minutes until soft and lightly crisp.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  Blend in a blender the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and thyme until combined.  To serve, toss spinach and beet leaves in a bit of dressing to coat and then add in onion, beet, nuts, and cheese to serve.

Make them big or little, these little gems will fill the spot and get you rave reviews without so much as a bead of sweat on your brow!

Cheesy Herb Flan Tarts

Makes 2 dozen


1 pkg wholewheat pie crust or homemade

1 cup unsweetened almond milk or whole milk

4 large eggs

1 cup garlic and herb goats cheese (8oz.)


Cut and press pie crust into mini muffin tins and up sides thinly.  Place milk, eggs, and cheese in a blender and blend until thoroughly combined.  Set aside to settle, then pour into tart cases and bake at 375F on the bottom rack of the oven for 10-12 minutes until mixture is just set.  Remove and serve warm or room temperature.  Decorate with dried cherry tomato halves.


Easy peasy, and such a crowd pleaser, especially when the asparagus is tender and fresh from the field. 


Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Shavings

Makes 1 bunch


1 bunch asparagus

1 knob of parmesan regianno

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Break off ends of asparagus to remove woody parts and rinse.  Place single layer in a baking dish and bake at 375F for 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the stems. Always better to under do then over do!  Remove and toss in oil just to coat then using a veggie peeler, shave parmesan over.  Serve at room temperature. 


Avocado and chocolate are not your first thoughts for dessert combos but you have to try this and you won’t believe the results it will have on your tastebuds and your bikini body! 

Choccie Coconut Mousse Tarts

Makes about 2 dozen tarts


1 medium ripened avocado, pit and skin removed

4 dates, stones removed

¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil

100g (3 ½ oz) dark chocolate 70% or above 

1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

1/3 cup warm water

1 pkg whole wheat pie crust or homemade


Soak the dates in 1/3 cup water for at least 30 minutes to soften them. Meanwhile, heat the oil until warm and then add in the chocolate and stir until just melted. Press the pie crust thinly in mini muffin pans and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes until crisped.  Remove and set aside.  Place in a blender the date mixture, avocado, vanilla paste, and melted chocolate mixture and blend on high until completely smooth.  Add in a little more water if you need a looser consistency.  Spoon into tart shells, cover and leave out for a couple of hours for best flavor. Serve room temperature.  The choccie mixture can be eaten as is too.



Strawberrry Coulis

Serves 3-4



1lb. organic frozen strawberries, thawed

3-4 St. Dalfour strawberry jam

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Water or sparkling wine to thin, if necessary


Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until thoroughly combined.  Thin with water if necessary.  Serve room temperature.