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.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mushroom Swiss Burgers

Independence Day is in less than a week.  Burgers are the go to dish for your July 4th celebration.  Mushroom Swiss Burgers are one of my favorites. They will be one of your favorites, too.

Servings:  6 burgers
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowl, a spatula, a spoon, a fork, a small non-stick skillet, a heavy bottom skillet
Time: Prep-10 minutes, Cook-15 minutes


  • 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms (I used baby Bellas)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dried onion flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  •  Salt
  • 6 thick slices of Swiss cheese
  • Olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet
  • 6 toasted buns

  1. Place the sliced mushrooms, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and butter in the non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt. Sauté until the mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove to the small bowl.
  2. Place the remaining soy sauce and the bouillon cubes into the mixing bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Crush the bouillon cubes with the fork. You may need to zap it for a few more seconds to be able to mash the cubes.
  3. Mix the beef, bouillon cubes, onion flakes, and celery seed. Don’t over handle the beef as it will make tough burgers.
  4. Divide the ground beef into 6 equal ¾ inch patties. Make a small dimple in the center of each burger. Generously salt both sides of the patties.
  5. In the other skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Place the burgers into the skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes and then flip. Cook for 3-4 more minutes. Check the thickest burger for desired temperature. Place a cheese slice onto each burger during the last minute or so of cooking so that it will melt.
  6. To serve, place the warm burgers onto the split buns, cheese side up. Top each burger with the sautéed mushrooms. 
Mushroom Swiss Burger


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Thai-Inspired Tofu

A friend saw me at the grocery store and asked, “What are you making for dinner?” When I said tofu, he made a face. Not a yum face, but a yuck face. I really don’t understand that reaction. Tofu has NO taste. It does have an interesting texture. I like to freeze it first, then thaw it. That process makes it chewy.

So don’t yuck it, ‘til you try it. This recipe was inspired by Pad Thai, which in and of itself is a version of a Chinese dish. So I don’t even fool myself into calling this Thai food. But that is where the idea came from and it tastes great, sooooo it’s all good.

Thai-Inspired Tofu
Servings: 2-4
Time:  Prep: 15 minutes   Cooking:  15 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, measuring spoons and cups, a small bowl, a large bowl, a fork, a zester, a whisk, 2 paper towel covered plates, extra paper towels, a deep skillet, and tongs

  • 7 ounces of extra firm tofu (I like Nasoya)*
  • Oil to cover the bottom of the skillet-maybe more (I used sesame, any oil will do)
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 ½ cups very cold water
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Salt
  • 8 ounces cooked angel hair pasta
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts for garnish

  1. Cut the tofu into 1 inch by 1 inch squares.  Lay the squares on to the paper towel covered plate and allow some of the water to drain from the tofu.  You might want to change the paper towels a few times. 
  2. While the tofu is draining, crush the garlic and slice the green onions. Separate the white part of the onion from the green and save both. Zest and juice the lime, setting zest and juice aside. Chop the cilantro. Place the corn starch into a bowl with the cold water and whisk until the corn starch dissolves. Measure everything else and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil on medium high and add the broccoli florets and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.  Add the carrots, onion whites, garlic, cilantro and lime zest. Stir fry for 2-5 minutes.
  4. Push the veggies to the side. You may need to add a little more oil to the skillet. Sauté the tofu until it is crispy, flipping so that it crisps up on every side. This should take another 5-7 minutes. Place everything in the large bowl.
  5. Pour the cornstarch-y water, lime juice, peanut butter and brown sugar into the same skillet. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. The sauce will thicken. Taste and adjust the salt. Return the tofu and the veggies to the sauce.
  6. To plate,  put the pasta on a serving plate, top with the tofu stir-fry, and sprinkle with the onion greens and peanuts.

Tofu comes in 14 ounce containers. To keep the unused portion simply place it in an airtight container with fresh water.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Shrimp and Sausage over Polenta

This is a fun take on Shrimp and Grits. We went to Orlando for our anniversary last month and I had a dish very similar to this. The dish in Orlando also included a nice piece of poached fish, but I am not confident enough to poach fish. To plate ours, I placed creamy, sun-dried tomato polenta in a bowl. I then topped the polenta with a little wilted spinach and spooned the Shrimp and Sausage over everything. In Orlando, the cook used mustard greens instead of spinach, which was delicious. So, you could do that, too. I guess this is sort of a fusion of Italian and southern cuisine, which just happens to be my heritage.

This is really easy to make and so very yummy. You can have a restaurant quality meal on the table in around 30 minutes.

Shrimp and Sausage

Servings: 6-8
Time:    Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 20 Minutes
Hardware:  measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a large heavy-bottom skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a slotted spoon, a large bowl, a small bowl, a fork, tongs, and a whisk

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1-pound large shrimp (31-35 count) cleaned with tails removed
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bell pepper (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • Salt
I like to use yellow, orange, and red baby bells for added color

  1.  Dice the garlic. Remove the seeds and white ribs from the pepper and dice it. Mince the oregano if using fresh. Remove the sausage from the casing. Measure everything else and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in the skillet on medium.  Brown the sausage with the garlic and pepper. Cook and crumble until it’s no longer pink. Make sure to break up the sausage while it is cooking. This should take about 7 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to remove everything to the large bowl.
  3. Add the shrimp and oregano to the same skillet. Salt the shrimp. Sauté the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side or until just pink. Remove the shrimp to the bowl with the sausage.
  4. Mix the tablespoon of corn starch with 2 tablespoons cold water and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
  5. Add the broth, tomato sauce and peanut butter to the skillet. Bring to a low boil while whisking. Stir in the cornstarch-y water. Whisk until the sauce thickens.
  6. Return everything to the skillet.  Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt.
  7.  Serve over grits or polenta.