Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lime Chipotle Mayo

More spice for your Sunday

Servings:  1 ½ cups
Time: 10 minutes
Uses:  Serve as a condiment with fish, shrimp, or chicken.  Excellent on tacos.

Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a cutting board and knives a zester, a wooden spoon, a bowl with a lid


  • 1 cup mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; diced (These are spicy.  You can use less if you prefer.)
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper (sometimes called ancho chili powder)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 

  1.  Mix everything together.
  2. Store the Lime Chipotle Mayo in the fridge until you are ready to use it.


The combination of lime and chili gives this an authentic Mexican flavor.  When making tacos use boiled shrimp instead of beef or chicken. Use this mayo in place of salsa and you have turned a boring meal into something special.  You can also use this to make Caribbean Fish Flatbread Sandwiches.

Curry Cream Sauce

Saucy Sunday continues...

Servings:  1 ½ cups
Time: 10 minutes
Uses:  Serve over fish, shrimp, chicken, or veggies. 
Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a sauce pan, a whisk (I use a balloon whisk)


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Curry powder 
  • 1 ½ cups cream

  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it is melted.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium high and whisk in the flour and curry powder until they are completely incorporated and there are no lumps.
  3. Turn the heat back down to medium and slowly whisk in the cream.
  4. Simmer, but do not boil, for a minute or two.
  5. Serve warm.

This is very mild and is best when used with a dish that doesn’t overpower it.  I love it over poached tilapia.

Lemon Dill Mayo

Servings:  1 ½ cups
Time: 10 minutes
Uses:  Serve as a condiment with fish or shrimp.  Excellent with crab cakes

Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a zester, a wooden spoon, a bowl with a lid, a fridge 


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill leaves
  • 3 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and store in the fridge until needed

This is wonderful with any poached, steamed, or boiled, seafood or fish.  I love this on crab cakes or I use it instead of mayo on a fish sandwich.

Peanut Sauce

                                                                    A continuation of my saucy week!

Servings:  3 cups
Time: 15 minutes
Uses:  Pad Thai, noodles, dipping sauce for satay or chicken

Hardware:  Cutting board and knives, measuring cups and spoons, NO POWDER latex gloves, a zester, a saucepan, a wooden spoon, a can opener


  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 hot pepper, diced(For this I use Thai peppers, which are also sometimes called Birdseye peppers. They are very hot!  The seeds and the white ribs of a pepper contain the heat.  So remove these for less heat.  Leave them in for more.  Always seed and chop peppers using gloves.)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 1/2 cups of crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 can of coconut milk (I prefer Thai Kitchens)
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (substitute soy sauce if you prefer)

  1. Place the oils in a sauce pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add the garlic, pepper, and lime zest and stir until the garlic begins to sweat.
  3. Lower the heat to medium.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated and heated through.
  5. Serve warm.

 This is wonderful as a dipping sauce for chicken wings.  It is also the basis for Pad Thai.

Spicy Mustard & Fruit Sauce

This week I am not giving you any new dishes.  I am giving you a way to make your old dishes new.  I am sharing with you some of my favorite sauce recipes.  Think of these as a way of sending your dinner to a spa.  Your old dishes will be the same, only refreshed, rehabbed, and renewed!

Servings:  Makes 2 cups
Time:  5 minutes
Uses:  Pork, chicken, or lamb

Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a sauce pan, a whisk (I use a balloon whisk)


    • 2 cups cream
    • 1/4 cup stone ground spicy mustard
    • 3 tablespoons fruit preserves (orange, peach, OR apricot)

    Hot and sweet and so good!

    1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a sauce pan over medium heat.
    2. Stir until just simmering.  Serve warm.

    Drizzle a tablespoon of the sauce over pork chops, pork roast, or baked chicken.  Offer the extra sauce on the table in a gravy boat/sauce cream pitcher. Garnish each plate with a slice of fresh fruit that represents the preserve you used.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Veal Picatta

    As I have stated before, my food is a reflection of me.  As such, this dish is not low fat.  It is not cruelty free.  It is however, bright, easy going, and elegant without being fussy.

    Tangy & Tasty
    Servings: 6

    Time:    Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 15 Minutes
    Hardware:  measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a gallon Ziploc bag, a heavy bottom skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a wooden spoon,  tongs, a plate, tinfoil, a whisk (I use a flat whisk)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil (maybe more)
    • 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons of butter
    •  3 cloves of garlic
    • 1 cup of flour
    • 1 1b veal scalloppini (you can use chicken)
    • 1 cup of chicken broth
    • ½ cup of white wine
    • ½ cup of lemon juice
    • ½ a lemon (choose one with a nice skin)
    • 2 tablespoons of capers
    • 2 tablespoons of flat leaf Italian parsley
    • Salt & pepper to taste
    1. Wash the parsley and finely chop it.
    2. Wash the lemon.  Slice half of it against its natural segmentation.  You want lemon wheels.  Remove any seeds or fibers.
    3. Peel and dice the garlic.  Set all of the herbs and fruit to the side.
    4. Place the flour in the plastic bag.  Put the scallopini in the bag and shake it like crazy to coat the veal.  Set aside.
    5. Pre-measure all the liquids and set aside.
    6. Loosely tent the plate with foil. Set aside
    7. Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan on medium high.
    8. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a minute or so.
    9. Shake as much flour from the veal as possible and add it to the pan a few pieces at a time.  Don’t crowd the veal. 
    10. Because it is so thin, scallopini cooks quickly.  Only allow the veal to cook for 1- 1 ½ minutes and then turn with the tongs.  Cook for another minute or so on the other side.
    11. You may need to add a little more olive oil if the pan becomes dry.
    12. Remove the veal from the pan and keep it warm in the tinfoil tent.
    13. Turn the pan down to medium and add the liquids.  Use the whisk to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
    14. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes.  Using the whisk, stir often, scrapping the bottom and sides of the pan as you do.
    15. Whisk in the remaining butter and simmer for another minute.
    16. Add the lemons, parsley, and capers and allow this to simmer for 2 minutes.
    17. Add the veal to the sauce and cook for another minute or so until everything is warmed through.

     To serve, place thin pasta (angel hair) on the dish.  Put one or two veal scallops and a lemon wheel on the pasta.  Spoon some sauce over the dish.  Serve with shredded Parmesan.   


    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Orange Beef Broccoli

    This dish is inspired by my favorite Chinese take out.


     Servings: This will marinate up to 2 pounds of steak and give you an extra cup for sauce.

    Time: Prep 10 minutes Resting: 2-6 hours

    Hardware: Measuring cups and spoons, a cutting board and knives, a glass (or some other non-reactive) bowl, wooden spoon or a whisk, NO POWDER latex gloves, a large plastic Ziploc bag, a container for saving a cup of liquid (a plastic Glad container, an old jelly jar), and a refrigerator

    • 1 cup rice wine vinegar (you can substitute apple cider vinegar)
    • 2 cups orange juice
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
    • 1/8 cup soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sliced ginger
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 chopped green onion (all of it, even the green part)
    • 1 large hot pepper, diced (I use Serrano peppers. Choose whatever pepper you like. The seeds and the white ribs of a pepper contain the heat. So remove these accordingly. If you aren’t into spicy food, remove all of the seeds and ribs. I just wash and dice mine. I like hot. Always seed and chop peppers using gloves.)
    • 1 ½ pounds 1 inch thick sirloin steak

    1. In a large glass bowl mix all of the ingredients except the steak.
    2. Reserve one cup of the marinade. It will become sauce later. Store it in the fridge until you need it.
    3. Put the steak in the Ziploc. Pour the remaining marinade in the bag too. Place that in the fridge. (I always put this in a bowl, bag and all, because sometimes those zippers unzip. Then you have a huge mess.)
    4. Marinate from 2-6 hours, turning the bag over every once in a while. 
    Orange Beef Broccoli

    Servings: 6

    Hardware: Measuring spoons, a large skillet that can be used on top of the stove and in the oven (I use a cast iron frying pan), tongs, a cutting board, knives, a plate, tin foil, a wooden spoon, a measuring cup, a fork

    Time: Prep: 5 minutes Cooking: 20 minutes

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 ½ pounds marinated steak
    • 1 large red bell pepper
    • 1-12 ounce bag of Steam-In-the-Bag frozen broccoli florets
    • 3 green onions
    • 1 small orange (when buying an orange make sure to find one with a beautiful skin)
    • 1 cup of cold water
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 cup of the reserved marinade
    • 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 500.
    2. Wash and dry the vegetables and fruit.
    3. Heat the olive oil in the skillet on high. You want the pan to be HOT.
    4. Drain the steaks and place the steaks in the very hot pan. The idea is to sear the outside.  Allow the steaks to sear for two minutes on each side. Turn them with the tongs.
      • Hint: Always turn meat with tongs. When you use a fork, you must pierce the surface, allowing juices to escape, and in the process drying out the meat.
    5. Put the steaks, in the same pan, into the pre-heated oven. Cook them 5 minutes for rare and 7 for medium rare. If you want them cooked more than that, you should stop eating steak.
    6. While the steaks are in the oven prep the veggies.
    7. Seed the pepper and remove the inner white ribs. Slice it into long thin strips.
    8. Chop the green onions.  Discard the root.
    9. Beautiful & healthy
    10. Slice the orange against its natural segmentation. You want orange wheels. Remove any seeds or fibers.
    11. Remove the pan from the oven. Careful it is HOT. Place the steaks on the plate and loosely tent them with foil.
    12. Put the same pan onto a medium high burner. Open the bag of frozen broccoli and pour it into the pan. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
    13. Add the pepper. Stir fry for another 2 minutes.
    14. Add the green onion and the orange. Cook for a minute. Push the vegetables to the side.
    15. Add the cornstarch to the cold water. Use the fork to mix until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.  Add the cornstarchy water and the reserved marinade to the hot pan and stir. Allow it to boil. The mixture should thicken.
    16. Stir so that all the vegetables are covered and remove the dish from the heat.
    17. Slice the steak, against the grain, into bite sized strips. Add to the vegetables.
    18. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
    Serve immediately with Baked Egg Rolls for an Asian-inspired meal. 

    It can be eaten over rice, Raman noodles (yes those Raman noodles, just drain completely and discard the flavor pack), rice noodles, or egg noodles.
    This dish is so vibrant that it doesn’t need garnish.

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Cranberry Bacon Cheese Spread

    Okay, cheese balls are, for lack of a better word, cheesy. They conjure up images of 1970s cocktail parties and jello molds.  So I have updated the concept.  This cheese spread is very easy to make and very tasty. Whenever I serve this I always get asked for the recipe.  So if you need to take something to a party, but don’t have much time, this is for you.  (I have also added instructions for making a cheese ball.  I liked the 70s.)

    Hardware: Spoon, bowl, storage container
    Time:  Prep: 5 minutes,  Resting time: 2-24 hours 

    • 8 oz cream cheese
    • 8 oz crumbled feta
    • 4 oz Hormel Peppered Real Bacon (found in the salad aisle with bacon bits)
    • 4 oz craisins
    • Fresh black pepper to taste

     1.  Mix everything together, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours. Allowing it to refrigerate overnight is better. Serve with a very plain cracker. We use Captains Wafers or Vinta Crackers.
    If you have the time and the desire you can make a cheese ball! (or log or whatever you want.)
    Hardware: waxed paper, NO POWDER latex gloves


    • Cranberry Bacon Cheese Spread
    • ½ cup candied pecan pieces
    • 1 large container of dried parsley

    1. Crush the pecans into large crumbs.

    2. Using the gloves and waxed paper roll the cheese spread into a ball or a log.

    3. Mix quite a bit of the parsley and the pecans on another sheet of waxed paper.

    4. Roll the cheese in the pecan mixture.

    Serve with crackers. Garnish with cranberries and a parsly sprig.  It is best served right away so that the pecans don’t get soggy.