Spring Fresh Pasta & Vegetables

My version for a Spring Fresh Pasta & Vegetables is loosely based on some versions also known as Pasta Primavera. Either way you cut it; it all comes down to a simple pairing of pasta, cheese, cream and seasonal vegetables and herbs. Fresh is key here – but dried herbs and even some frozen veg will work. In this case I am using frozen peas since I couldn’t get them fresh yet here.

  • Ingredients

    • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, stems trimmed

    • ½ pound asparagus, ends snapped

    • 1 cup of broccoli florets

    • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes

    • ¼ cup thinly sliced spring onion, white part only (or use shallot)

    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    • Black pepper, more as needed

    • 12 ounces your preferred pasta

    • ⅔ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, at room temperature

    • 1/2 cup dairy (your choice; crème fraîche or whole milk Greek yogurt, thick sour cream or marscapone cream) at room temperature

    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, thyme, and and/or other fresh herbs in season

    • zest and juice of one lemon

    • 1 tablespoon  herbs de province

    • Red Pepper flakes to taste

    • Fresh Basil for garnish

    • Optional: ¾ cup fresh English peas

    • Optional garnishes: Toasted Pine Nuts, chopped bacon bits


    1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.

    2. Prep all the vegetables; halve tomatoes and snap peas, wash and rough chop amperages, onions, etc into 1/4 in pieces

    3. Chop your Herbs

    4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

    5. Add snap peas, asparagus, broccoli and onions/shallots, peas (if fresh)

    6. Cook until vegetables are barely tender 3 minutes.

    7. Add red pepper flakes (to taste), garlic and cook 1 minute more.

    8. If using frozen peas add them now

    9. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

    10. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook according to the instructions

    11. Drain well and transfer pasta to a large bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta liquid. DO NOT RINSE THE PASTA

    12. Immediately toss pasta with warm vegetables,

    13. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, your selected dairy creams, lemon juice and herbs, tomatoes lemon zest

    14. Season generously with salt and pepper, more red pepper flakes if needed.

    15. Plate and top with bacon bits and lightly toasted pine nuts and fresh basil

This is one of the dishes  I made previously on @foodtoktv live. You can see that live on the @Foodtoktv Youtube channel

Follow me tiktok under @KitchenBearSF (in addition to my original profile Frank_Mentorsf) as work up to the 1k needed followers to start going live cooking again

White Beans and Tomato Salad

This White Beans and Tomato Salad is so flavorful and herbaceous that it’s strong enough to serve on a crusty bread as a bruschetta as it is as a side dish or salad. It can be served room temperature or even slightly warm but don’t serve it cold. Play a dish for fresh oregano lovers and very forward with the fresh herbs however you could use a lot less you could use dried or you could amp it up with other herbs in season. When I make this often times I don’t have fresh oregano so I’ll use dry but I’ll Amp it up with fresh rosemary fresh cilantro or parsley use what you have.

This is one of the dishes  I made recently on a @foodtoktv live along with some spicy sweet peanuts and retro Cocktail Potatoes . You can see that live on the @Foodtoktv Youtube channel

Follow me tiktok under @KitchenBearSF (in addition to my original profile Frank_Mentorsf) as work up to the 1k needed followers to start going live cooking again


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) low-sodium cannelloni or other white beans
  • 2 ripe tomatoes 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbs. fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tbs fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 tbs fresh chopped parseley
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • Put the onion in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.
  • Put the beans in a colander, drain, rinse well and drain again.
  • Dice and drain your tomatoes, remove any seeds, using your fingertip to scoop them out if necessary.
  • In a bowl, mix the beans, tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, herbs, onion, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

    Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, by Karen Ansel, MS, RD, and Charity Ferreira (Weldon Owen, 2012).

Cocktail Potatoes

Perfect for a cocktail party, a tapas night or simply a side dish – this retro inspired remake for Cocktail Potatoes is a standard favorite which is why I did this recipe for @foodtoktv as @Frank_MentorSF before shifting over to my new food account  @KitchenBearSF  

Cocktail Potatoes


  • 1lb bag of tiny new potatoes, scrubbed clean (don’t peel)

  • 1 heaping tbsp kosher salt

  • 1 heaping tbsp sugar

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • For coating

    • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

    • 1/4 ground black pepper

    • 1/4 tspn Garlic powder

    • 1 tbsp Roasted sesame seeds or crushed nuts

    • Zest of 1/2 lemon

    • 2 tbsp melted butter, olive oil or roasted sesame oil

    • Salt to taste

    • Minced Scallions or chives


  1. To a pot of cool water; add potatoes, salt, sugar (Yes that is correct “sugar”) and garlic

  2. Boil until fork tender 10-15 min

  3. While the potatoes boil, melt butter and combine red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, ground pepper, lemon zest, black pepper, garlic powder. Stir and let flavor the oil.

  4. Drain the potatoes, add back to the pan with the heat turned off

  5. Immediately add the seasoned butter, lemon zest

  6. Mix well to coat

  7. Add additional salt and black pepper, to taste.

  8. Serve in a warm bowl with toothpicks or skewer two potatoes to a stick and serve cocktail style

  9. Sprinkle with minced chives before serving

  10. Serve alongside a herbed sour cream dipping sauce or your favorite dressing or cheese sauce.

    Notes: you can use your favorite season mix, z’tar or what ever fresh herbs you like.  Recipe can be doubled or tripled easily for a party. Keep warm in a low oven or crock pot.

    Adapted from the Blueberry Hill Kitchen, notebook by Elsie Masterton 1964

Spicy Honey Roasted Peanuts

These quick and addictive spiced sweet Spicy Honey Roasted Peanuts, keep well but rarely last long. Perfect for a treat or a cocktail hour


  • 16 ounces peanuts, dry roasted or roasted and salted, either is fine

  • ⅓ cup honey

  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided

  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus an addition 1/4 tsp as a garnish at the end optional)

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked Paprika

  • 1/4 red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat

  3. Place the peanuts in a large bowl.

  4. Microwave the honey in a medium bowl for 30 seconds (it will begin to bubble).

  5. Remove from the microwave and stir in ¼ cup of the sugar, the salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.

  6. Immediately pour the mixture over the peanuts and stir with a wooden spoon until they are all coated with the honey mixture.

  7. Transfer the peanuts to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.

  8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until they begin to turn a golden brown.

  9. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 2 minutes

  10. Then stir to loosen the peanuts and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar and crushed red pepper flakes over the peanuts and stir to coat evenly.

  11. Return the peanuts to the pan in a single layer and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt (optional) and allow to cool completely.

  12. Once cool, break apart any peanuts that have stuck together and toss with any loose sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

    Adapted from


Vintage recipes and closing out my time on @Foodtoktv

For the last few years I was participating with a Tiktok channel called Foodtoktv as well s running its website and blog as some of you are aware. But with Spring around the corner and starting up my more food focus channel on TT under @KitchenBearSF ( in addition to my original profile Frank_Mentorsf) as a way to come back to BiteTheRoad.com more.

I choose to step back from the collab activity recently, and  did my last “Live” for them last Thursday, wanting to keep at my retro inspired theme with several dishes I could knock out in an hour.

During my Lunchtime Live that week I did several recipes:

The first two you confined on the blog for FoodtokTV (you can still many of the previous lives on the Foodtoktv Youtube channel here)

and two others I will be sharing here this week for

  • Vintage 1960’s Grandmother’s Potatoes
  • Italian inspired White Beans & Tomato with fresh oregano salad/Bruschetta

Here is a quick peak at the all and stay tune for more of the recipes soon.



Benefits of fermented Garlic and Honey

Every wonder what some food you can eat that may help you feel better? Well some fermented foods can help many aches and pains. Sherry recent Garlic & Honey Journey is a great example. Checkout her latest tiktok below on the benefits of fermented Garlic and Honey or visit her story on Garlic and Honey Fermentation.

@sherry_skinner @sherry_skinner Dont Run Out Of Fermented Garlic and Honey #cookingwithbamaw #foodtoktv ♬ original sound – Bamaw Sherry

My Latest version of the traditional Easter Pizza Rustica or Ham Pie

As some of you know I am on Tiktok these days on my original account @Frank_MentorSF, and my newly launched, more food focused @KithchenBearSF. While I work to get @KitchenBearSF up to its minimum followers to go live, I go live from my original one and weekly noon 12:00 noon PST on @foodtoktv collaborative account.

On Saturday I took a rare few hours and went live on my account to make my annual “Ham Pie” that I do most easter weeks. I have blogged about this in the past, but sharing below the latest version of the recipe. See this post for more step by step https://bitetheroad.com/easter-ham-pie-aka-pizza-gaina/ .

Full Recipe for the Filling- (enough for 4-6 pies depending on size)

1/2 lb whole milk insalada (or Insalata) ricotta, aka Ricotta Salata  (Firm salty ricotta cheese. – you can substitute any of your favorites or what you can find locally)

◦ 1/2 lb Pepperoni (Use the traditional sticks or the larger slicing one.)

◦ 1/2 lb Prosciutto (optional)

◦ 1/2 lb HOT Capicola or Hot Soppressata,

◦ 1/2 lb hard salami

◦ 1/2 lb Genoa salami

◦ 1/2 lb Procuittini (You can substitute this with any other pepper coated ham they have)

◦ 1/2 lb Abbruzese

◦ 1 lb Basket Cheese if available or use fresh Mozzarella cubed

◦ 1/2 lb Provolone (Other recipes use ricotta Salato etc.) or both

6 – 12 Large Eggs ((see notes for quantities))

For The Dough – 3 – 8” pies

• 1 tsp Ground Pepper (or more to taste for dough)

• 6 large Eggs

• 3/4 cup (or 12 tbsp) Shortening

• 4 1/2 cups All purpose flour

• 1 tsp Salt

• 1 tsp Grated cheese (Parmesan) (for dough)

• 2 tbsp ice water (as needed)


Read these Notes first

  • Depending on where you live – some of these meats won’t be as available. Its totally fine to switch them out for your favorites or use more of one than the others.
  • When buying your meats and cheese – you will save time by asking the deli to slice it in 1/4’ slices for you.
  • The filling for the full recipe will make 1- 9 inch pie- (in a springform pan) and 1 foil or 3 –  8’ in foil round pans. depending on how much you fill them. I also like to use foil loaf pans.
  • I often make the first batch of dough, knowing I will have leftover filling. Then a few days later make another batch for the freezer. When freezing, cool, wrap in plastic, then foil then place in a ziplock bag
  • By volume, the foil pans take about 6-7 eggs worth of the whisked eggs and the springform will take up to 12 – 13 eggs depending on the size eggs you use. (Lessons Learned – have extra eggs handy just in case)
  • If you use a springform pan – be sure and give it a foil “condom”  around the bottoms and bake on a sheet pan in case it leaks


  • Cut all the meats and cheeses into small cubes. 1/4 to a 1/2 inch mix. You can do this several days before in resealable bags or containers.

Making the Dough

    • You can make the dough several ways.
      1. My usual method is in a large flat bowl (or on your counter if you have the room)- sift together flour and salt. Add eggs, ground pepper and grated cheese. This also works in a stand mixer with the dough attachment.
      2. If you use a food processor – its super fast and the dough will be softer. A few tips  include dice up the shortening and don’t over mix. If you make the full version, you’ll likely have to finish mixing it by hand, but if you use the half batch,  you will be able to process it right in the food processor
    • Add in the shortening and work in quickly. Use a pastry cutter if you have one.
    • Crack and break up the eggs. Add the eggs to the flour mixture and mix, adding up to 2 tablespoons of iced water as needed to bring the dough together.
    • Dump it on the counter and knead it until it comes together and form into a ball. DO NOT OVER WORK. Wrap in plastic or cover until ready to use.
    • You have two options now:
      1. You can divide the dough in 4, shape into discs and wrap and chill for 30 min or overnight  or
      2. Divide the dough and roll out and fit into your pans, pressing up the sides. Cut off at any extra to save as decoration on the top.

For the filling (wet mix first)

    1. Crack and whisk the remaining eggs
    2. Add pepper, grated cheese
    3. You can add 1-2 tablespoons of the Basket cheese (if using) and gentle loosen it into the batter. This will add some moisture when cooking.

Assembling the Pie

    1. Preheat your oven*
    2. Roll out the dough, large enough to extend beyond your pan several inches as you will want the sides to hang over. You want it thin enough to be flexible
    3. Using either a 9in spring form pan (or an 8 inch one will do – but use less of everything) or simple foil cake or loaf pans
    4. Lay the dough in the pan and gently press into place and make sure all the corners and sides and flattened smooth.
    5. Sprinkle some grated cheese ( about a tablespoon) on the dough at the bottom of the pan.
    6. Place 2 cups (for foil pans) or 3 1/2 – 4 cups (for spring form pan) of meat and cheese mix in each prepared pan and spread it out. It should be no more than 3/4 of the way up the sides.
    7. Pour the wet batter over the meat and cheese. Using the back of a wooden spoon gently mix in. Essentially you want to barely cover the meat mixture. (If you run short of eggs, whisk up a few more and top off)
    8. Take the leftover dough and add any decorative topping you want (i.e. a cross hatch or cut out shapes), flute the edges.
    9. Brush with an egg or cream wash
    10. Sprinkle with more grated cheese
    11. Bake in a preheated oven* 350 degrees for 60 – 75 minutes
    12. When they are a golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Take them out of the over and let them cool on a rack, in the pan until cool to the touch
    13. Once cooled some, remove them from the pan  and let finish cooling on the rack (remember they will still be hot inside)
    14. You can serve these warm, room temp or cold.
    15. Once fully cooked ns cool – wrap in plastic wrap, then foil to keep. They freeze great!

*Baking Temperature & Times

  • My mom prefers to use 350 degrees for 60 – 75 minutes or until the toothpick comes out dry for the foil pans (my oven was dead on at 60 minutes. (For the larger springform – plan for another 20 min).
  • My original version https://bitetheroad.com/easter-ham-pie-aka-pizza-gaina/
  • Several other versions I have tried and liked include
    • https://cookingwithmamalombardo.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/another-easter-classic-pizza-gaina/
    • http://www.afamilyfeast.com/easter-pie/
    • http://www.food.com/recipe/pizza-gain-aka-pizzagaina-pizza-rustica-italian-easter-ham-pie-293899#top


How to Make Better Diet Choices for Your Health

With the start of the new year, your thoughts have likely turned to how you can improve your life and health. Remember, your dietary choices not only affect your weight and physical health but also affect your mental health, reproductive health, and ability to avoid disease as you age. Here are a few ways to make better diet choices to improve your health. 

Eat Complex Carbs

One change that you can make to your diet to improve your health is to eat complex carbs instead of refined carbs. Complex carbs consist of long chains of sugar molecules and contain lots of nutrients. On the other hand, refined carbs are full of sugars and refined grains and all nutrients, bran, and fiber have been removed from them. 

Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as whole unprocessed grains, beans, starchy vegetables, peas, and brown rice. Including complex carbs in your diet will help you to feel full, energized, and satisfied when you eat. Instead of avoiding carbs altogether, make sure you’re eating healthy carbs, like complex carbs. 

Reduce Fatty Meats

Another healthy diet choice that you should make to improve your health is to reduce the fatty meats in your diet. While all kinds of meats include protein, which is essential to your health and development, some types of meat are quite fatty. 

A few examples of fatty meats are red meats such as pork, beef, and lamb, particularly fatty cuts such as bacon. Eating lots of fatty meats can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of developing diseases such as heart disease. Eating more lean meat can improve your heart health and reduce issues as you age.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

When you’re trying to improve your diet, don’t forget to eat more fruits and vegetables. The majority of adults don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, which can be quite detrimental to your health. Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and nutrients that are essential to the growth and development of your body. Even if you take daily vitamins and supplements, you likely won’t receive the amount your body really needs. Eating more fruits and vegetables each day can lower your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, chronic kidney disease, and other issues. It can also improve your digestion and energy levels. If you have difficulty eating fruits and vegetables, find creative ways to work them into your diet. 

So, if you’ve realized that you need to take your health into your own hands, remember these healthy diet choices you should be making. Try to eat complex carbs instead of refined carbs, reduce fatty meat intake, and eat more fruits and vegetables. These are just a few changes that you can make that will have a huge impact on your long-term health.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Here’s more to read: Who is the Paleo Diet Best For?

Where to Go for the Best Food Outside the U.S.

Food is one of the best things about traveling. Different cultures offer a rich variety of various cuisines, tastes, and textures to explore. Here are some of the absolute best locations for trying some of the best local food in the entire world outside of the United States.


When it comes to European cuisine, it’s hard to beat Italy. While some places on the continent can offer choices that lean a bit bland (hello there, England), Italian food is world-renowned for a reason. It also happens to be quite far removed from cheaper American equivalents. 

What makes Italian food shine is the freshness and quality of its ingredients. You’ll find pasta that’s been hand-stretched by a chef who’s been making it his whole life. You’ll find tomatoes, garlic, wine, and olive oil that’s produced locally and also happens to be some of the best in the world. 


Mexican food is similar to Italian cuisine in the sense that the American version doesn’t hold a candle to the authentic, homegrown reality. Mexico offers an incredible variety of delicious foods. Even options that might sound familiar—burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and chimichangas–will often be radically different from what you’re used to seeing. 

Other foods that aren’t as well known in the states merit a shoutout; chilaquiles, elotes, and mole definitely deserve your attention. Visit major cultural centers to get the very best options. Mexico City is a fantastic choice. Punta de Mita in Mexico has many great restaurants that serve great local cuisine. Make sure to try some local drinks as well!


From the American perspective, Japanese food might not always seem the most accessible. Common food like sushi or seaweed can sometimes be off putting to some of the pickier eaters in the west. But you will never regret trying to widen your culinary horizons in Japan. Why? Every region has unique, seasonal delights. Everywhere you go, the food is unusually high quality. The street vendors at festivals may have options that you find unfamiliar but you will never regret trying them at least once. Both the savory and the sweet are exemplary–and Japan has mastered the use of the elusive umami flavor.


The U.S. has great cuisine–there’s no doubt about it. We contain a wide variety of foods from a huge range of international countries. New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia–we could go on and on! But it simply is not the same as getting the authentic option on the shores of the country itself. 


Did you enjoy this article? Here’s more to read: Who is the Paleo Diet Best For?

How to Get a Better Grasp of a Country’s Culture

Traveling abroad is one of the greatest experiences you can have. The opportunity to explore a new country and culture is a great learning experience and it can help you expand your view of the world. When you travel, there are a few things you should do to make sure you get a full experience of the culture.

Experience Local Arts and Entertainment

Local art and entertainment are great ways to experience a country’s culture. Art is shaped and influenced by the cultural happenings around it and learning about the local art can give you a great insight into the history of a country and what they value. Different cultures value and produce different forms of art, so make sure you take in a variety of experiences. 

Entertainment is also a great way to see what is important to the people who live in different countries. You can often find performances that are meant to introduce tourists to different forms of dance, singing, and other performing arts. These are great opportunities because they include explanations of what you are experiencing.

Understand the Local Food Culture

Food is a unique experience while traveling and one that many people love. Having the opportunity to try locally prepared cultural dishes is a great way to expand your taste buds. While traveling, try to avoid fast food. Look for local places that are popular and well-established restaurants that focus on authentic food. 

You should also expand into the less touristy areas to find food that is truly local and less of a tourist trap. If you enjoy cooking, you can also attempt to make some of the popular local dishes. Taking a cooking class can help you learn how to use fresh local ingredients. It can also help you figure out how to replicate your favorite recipes once you return home.

Talk to the People You Meet

One of the best things you can do to learn about the places you are visiting is to talk to the people around you. Many people are willing to talk about the things unique to their home. They want to have a conversation with you! If you try to experience a country’s culture without talking to anyone, you will likely miss out on some of the wonderful things that aren’t as obvious, or you may form an incorrect impression. If you are a little worried about talking to strangers, look up local tour guides. Not only will they be great at helping you understand the area you are visiting, but they can also give you tips for the best places to visit on your trip.


Make sure to take the opportunity to learn about the cultures around you while you travel. The world is a wide and fascinating place, and you never know what you may encounter. You may find your new favorite food, or you may find somewhere you want to retire to when you are older.

Did you enjoy this article? Here’s more to read: Signs You Need to Make Changes to Your Diet