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.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Broccoli Bake

Broccoli Bake

Side dishes at our house usually consist of a simple veggie and pasta or rice. Rarely anything fancy. However, the last time I posted a side dish, Rosemary Potatoes and Blue Cheese Gratin, you all responded very positively. My husband did, too.

So, I decided to dress up some broccoli. This was delicious. I served the Broccoli Bake with roasted chicken. It would be great with pork chops, too. The protein needs to be simple, because this is very flavorful.

As always, here are some suggestions for making this fit your family’s taste. I used frozen broccoli, but you could steam your own. You could also add a little garlic with the onion and a pinch of red pepper flakes with the salt. I used cheddar cheese, but any melty cheese would work.

Servings: 6-8
Active time: 10 minutes; Cook: 25 minutes; Broccoli in about 30 minutes
Hardware: Cutting board and knife, measuring cups and spoons, a 10-inch oven-proof skillet (I used cast iron), a whisk, a wooden spoon and an oven mitt


  • ½ a small onion (2 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ¾ cup chicken broth (or veggie broth or water)
  • 12-ounce bag of frozen broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Slice the onion as thin as possible.
  2. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk until the roux is the color of butter, about another minute. Slowly whisk in the broth. Bring to a low boil.
  3. Add the frozen broccoli and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the cheese into the broccoli and top with the bread crumbs. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Open the oven and stir to incorporate the toasted crumbs and bake for 5 more minutes. If you want the top to be crunchy bake for a little longer.
  5. Allow the Broccoli Bake to rest for 3 minutes before servering.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Tomato Bisque

My summer ended today. I returned to my day job as a teacher.  The morning faculty meeting lasted some three hours and change. Then I helped direct an hour-long computer training. Then I took another hour-long class online. Then I attempted to start a three-hour training given online by Cambridge University. For some reason, my school system was blocking Cambridge University because they claimed that their site wasn’t properly secured. I gave up.
Tomato Bisque

When I finally arrived home, I wanted to cry just a bit. Then I wanted dinner. Something comforting. Something easy. Something warm. Something that would nourish me and help me get ready for another 3-hour meeting tomorrow.

Tomato Bisque was the answer to my long, boring, no good, very bad day. Easy, warm, comforting, nourishing and scrumptious. Do you remember eating tomato soup and cheese sandwiches when you were young?

I used canned tomatoes and dried basil because I was exhausted and they were handy. You will not be able to tell everything wasn’t fresh.

Servings: 4 cups
Time:  Active time 10 minutes; Cook: 50 Minutes, Soup in about an hour
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a can opener, a wooden soon, a 10-inch skillet, a blender (or an immersion blender) and a tea towel


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ small onion (2 ounces)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-28 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes-do not drain
  • 2 cups veggie broth (or water)
  • ½ tablespoon dried basil
  • Salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Croutons and cream for garnish

  1. Dice the onion and the garlic. Heat the butter on medium and sauté the veggies until the onions are translucent.  Stir occasionally. Everything should be bubbling, not browning. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the entire contents of the can of tomatoes to the skillet. Add the veggie broth, a pinch of salt and the basil. Cook at a low boil for 30-40 minutes. Stir just enough to keep anything from sticking. You can break up the tomatoes if you want.
  3. When the soup has reduced some and is thickening then remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Taste and adjust the salt. Pepper to taste. I like my tomato soup peppery.
  4. I used an immersion blender to make this step easier. Add the sour cream to the skillet and use the stick blender to completely liquefy the soup. Everything should be as smooth as you can get it.
  5. If you are using a regular blender, add the tomatoes and the sour cream to the blender jar. Remove the little detachable cup in the center of the lid. This is called fill cap. Fold the clean tea towel into a small square and hold it over the open hole in the lid. If you don’t then the heat from the soup will blow the lid off and make a big mess. Blend everything until the soup is a smooth as possible.
  6. Serve warm. You can garnish the bisque with some croutons and a tiny drizzle of cream.