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.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Raspberry Cheese Pastries

I love raspberries. L-O-V-E. I keep frozen berries in the fridge for making smoothies, stirring into oatmeal, dropping into champagne and now for making pastries. Fresh berries would be great, too. Just make sure to drain them or your filling will be too runny to use. These were very easy. I didn’t seal them completely because I like the way these look, I just scooped up anything that leaked out and plopped it on top.

We ate these for breakfast, but they would make a wonderful dessert-with a side of vanilla ice cream. St. Valentine’s Day is less than a month from now. Your sweetie would love these, drizzled with chocolate. Okay. Now I’m hungry again.   
Raspberry Cheese Pastries
Servings:  4 pastries
Time: Active time: 10 minutes; Thaw: 20 minutes Cook: 15-20 minutes; pastries in about an hour
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a clean flat surface, a rolling pin, a strainer, a mixer and mixing bowl, a silicone spatula, a small bowl, a fork, a pastry brush, parchment paper or silicone baking mat, and a baking sheet


  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries (you could use blackberries, dewberries, loganberries, etc.)
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 egg separated
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons lemon peel
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Flour
  1. Allow the pastry to thaw for about 20 minutes. Set out the cream cheese, too.
  2. Cover the baking sheet in parchment paper (or the silicone mat) and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 400°. 
  3. Defrost the berries and drain the liquid from them.
  4. Unfold the pastry sheet onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the sheet until it is about 10 inches by 10 inches square. Cut into four squares. Place them on the baking sheet, not touching.
  5. Mix the berries, cream cheese, egg yolk (put the white into the small bowl), granulated sugar, sour cream and lemon peel until just blended. Do not over mix.
  6. Use the fork to beat the egg white and a tablespoon of water in the small bowl.
  7. Spoon about ¼ of the filling into the center of one square. Bring up the edges and overlap. Use a little of the egg wash to seal. It is okay if they don’t close completely. Brush the tops with the egg wash.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. It’s okay if the filling leaks out a little, just scoop it up and drop it back in. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Serve warm.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pan Seared Grouper topped with a Cajun Shrimp Sauce

Pan Seared Group topped with a Cajun Shrimp Sauce

I have a friend who enjoys deep sea fishing. She brought me a pound of grouper from her last trip. The fillets were very thin. They were the perfect size for fish tacos, but I was taco-ed out. I knew that I didn’t want to waste fresh grouper in fish stew. What to do? What to do? I decided on Pan Seared Group topped with a Cajun Shrimp Sauce. This was a great idea.

Making the fish stock is time consuming and labor intensive, as it requires you to peel the shrimp rather than purchase them already peeled, but trust me it is worth it. Also, once you start cooking this goes very quickly, so you should mise en place. That means that you chop, cut and measure everything before you get started. All the ingredients and utensils should be laid out ready for you to use. This recipe is a little more involved than most, so read through it before you begind.

Servings 3-4
Time: Active time: 25 minutes; Cook: 60 minutes; dinner in about an hour and a half
Hardware:  measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and a knife, a large pot, a strainer, a non-stick skillet (I prefer cast-iron), a can opener, tongs, a wooden spoon, a large bowl, enough small bowls to hold all the veggies, 2 clean plates and paper towels

  • 1 pound of very thinly sliced grouper
  • ½ pound jumbo shrimp (21-25 count)
  • ½ pound pre-cooked crawfish
  • 4 cups water + 3 tablespoons
  • ½ a red bell pepper (4 ounces)
  • ½ a small onion (4 ounces)
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 to ½ tablespoons Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (depending on level of spice you prefer)
  • 1-14.5 ounce can of low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 cups of cooked hot white rice
  1. Peel and devein the shrimp. Save the shells. Remove the crawfish tails, but save the shells. Put the shrimp and crawfish tails in the fridge until you need it.
  2. Put the 4 cups of water onto boil. Add the shells.
  3. Dice the veggies, keeping them separate. Remove the white membrane from the pepper. Add all the veggie scraps-the pepper top and membrane, the parsley stems, the celery leaves, a few pieces of onion-to the boiling water. Boil for about 30 minutes. Strain the seafood stock into the large bowl. Throw all the strained stuff away.
  4. Wash the fish in clean water and pat dry. Salt and pepper the fish generously. Place on a clean plate. Spray the pan with cooking spray and heat over high. When the pan is very hot, add the fish in a single layer. The pan should be hot enough for the fish to get a sear very quickly, no more than two-three minutes. Flip the fish and remove from the pan to the clean plate as soon as the fish has a golden sear. You may need to cook in batches.
  5. Add the oil to the same pan and turn down to medium high. Add the onion, pepper and celery and sauté until the veggies begin to soften, stirring often. Push the veggies to the side add the shrimp. Sprinkle the creole seasoning onto the shrimp and veggies. Flip the shrimp as soon as they are opaque. Remove them from the pan as soon as they are done. Err on the side of under-cooking, as they will cook some when added to the sauce.
  6. Add the tomatoes and two cups of the fish stock to the pan. Bring to a rapid boil and stir. Dissolve the cornstarch into 3 tablespoons of cold water. Pour the cornstarch-y water into the boiling sauce. Stir. The sauce should thicken. If it is too thick add a little more stock. Remove from the heat. Add the shrimp, crawfish tails and parsley to the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  7. To plate, make a bed of rice, add a few fish fillets and top with the shrimp sauce.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Instant Pot® Brisket I

Instant Pot® Brisket

So, you know I received an Instant Pot® for Christmas. I am pressure cooking everything! I was most excited to make a brisket. Usually, brisket requires four to five hours of low and slow cooking to create tender, melt in your mouth goodness. A pressure cooker cuts that time in more than half. This means that brisket is not just for Sundays anymore.

It should not take 2 full hours for the brisket to be ready. The cooking time is just 50 minutes, but you must allow the pot to pressure up and then pressure down. I am probably always going to take the extra time to allow my pot to naturally release. That will keep meat from drying out, won’t hurt soups or veggies and will act as an added safety measure. Also, always give the pot a tap AFTER the pressure has released and before you unseal the lid.

This was spectacularly easy to make. It was very flavorful, too. Many users on this Instant Pot® page/cult I joined on Facebook complained that their roasts were bland. I did not find this to be true. In my excitement I may have been imaging this, but it seemed as if the flavor saturated the meat and it was one of the best things EVAH….

Servings: 4
Hardware: A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, an Instant Pot®, silicone tipped tongs, a small bowl, a fork, a strainer, a large bowl
Time: Active time: 15 minutes; Cook: 50 minutes; brisket in about 2 hours


  • 2 pounds brisket
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 ounces shallot (1 cup)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 large sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  1. Wash the shallot and garlic and roughly chop them. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the brisket.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the Instant Pot on sauté, high, more. Add the onion and garlic to the Instant Pot. Stir and allow the aromatics to sear for two-three minutes. Push to the side. Place the brisket, fat side down to the pot. Allow it brown for four minutes. Flip the brisket.
  3. Mix together the broth, ketchup and soy sauce. Pour over the brisket. Throw in the rosemary.
  4. Close and pressure cook on high for 50 minutes. Allow the steam to naturally release. That means that you just leave it alone until the metal float falls.
  5. Remove the brisket and allow it to rest until the sauce is ready. Strain the liquid into the large bowl, discarding the flotsam (stuff left from the veggies and herbs.) Return the liquid to the Instant Pot®. Bring to a boil on sauté. Mix the corn starch and water in the small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the cornstarch-y water to the Instant Pot®. Stir until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust the salt.
  6. Serve the brisket over rice or mashed potatoes. Offer your guest the sauce.