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, May 30, 2019

Grown-up Fish Sticks

Grown-Up Fish Sticks

When I was a child, I loved fish sticks. When I was a teen, I actually ate fish sandwiches from fast food restaurants. That turned me off fish. However, I was craving fish sticks the other day. I didn’t want those frozen sticks of sadness you can find in the grocery stores. So, I made my own.

These were perfect. I usually give you a way to tweak my recipes, but don’t change anything. I made fish sandwiches with the leftovers. I made more after I ate all of these.

Servings: 4-6
Time:  Active: 35 minutes; Cooking: 10 minutes per batch; Fish in about 40 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, measuring spoons and cups, 2-shallow bowls or plates (I use pie plates), a spatula, a deep skillet, an oil thermometer, 2 plates, paper towels

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-pound of a firm white fish (I used cod)
  • Oil to fill the skillet halfway

  1. Wash the fish and pat it dry. Cut it into serving size pieces. Season both sides of the fish with one tablespoon of the Old Bay. Cover a plate in paper towels and set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs. Place the beaten eggs in one shallow bowl. Mix the flour with the salt and place it in the second bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs and the other tablespoon of Old Bay together and place it into the third container.
  3. Pour oil into the skillet. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until the thermometer reads 350°.
  4. Dredge each piece of fish in the seasoned flour, then in the beaten eggs and then into the breadcrumbs. Make sure the fish is completely coated in crumbs. You can place the breaded fish on a plate so that you can concentrate on frying instead of going back to dredge more fish.
  5. Fry the fish until it is golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side. Make sure the fish is cooked through, this should take 2–3 minutes per side. Do not crowd the fish. You may need to work in batches. Remove the fish to a paper towel covered plate. You can keep the fish warm in the lowest setting in the oven.
  6. Serve the fish sticks with the Tatar Sauce and rice or French fries.

Tartar Sauce

If you can avoid things that come pre-made in a jar, then you should. This is so much better than a factory-made tartar sauce. Serve with Grown-up Fish Sticks.

Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, an airtight container, a mixing bowl, a silicone spatula, a zester
Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup of mayo
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 3 heaping tablespoons dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Zest and squeeze the lemon. Mince the chives. Mix the mayo, lemon juice and zest, the chives, the capers, the dill pickle relish and the pepper together. Place in the airtight container for at least 2 hours. Taste right before serving and adjust the salt.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sour Orange Pie

Sour Orange Pie

I am from North Florida. Our food is a mixture of the old South, locally sourced food (seafood and citrus) and Asian and Caribbean influences brought here by waves of immigrants. This uniquely regional fare is known as Floribbean Cuisine.

Sour Orange Pie is one such dish. Sour oranges or bitter oranges like the Seville are generally used to make marmalade. They were brought here by the Spanish and can now be found growing wild throughout the state. They are too sour to eat on their own but can be used in place of lemons.

Sour Oranges aren’t available in other places. So, if you want to taste a real Sour Orange Pie you are going to need to visit Florida. Or you can make this very good substitute. I read a million recipes and tweaked one I found on America’s Test Kitchen. I didn’t think their pie was ‘orange-y’ enough. This is very simple and tastes better the next day. Instead of grated orange zest, I used Spice Island Orange Peel. I like having it on hand to mix into seafood dishes.

Servings:  8
Time:  Prep: 20 minutes, active time: 15-20 minutes, allow to rest at least 2 hours, preferably overnight
Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a can opener, a zester, a mixer, a large mixing bowl, a rubber spatula


  • A pre-made shortbread pie crust
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 tablespoons thawed, frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 6 drops of yellow food coloring and 2 drops of red (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Whipped cream for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚
  2. Separate the eggs. Save the whites for something else. Zest the orange.
  3. Mix all the all ingredients (but the whipped cream) in the large mixing bowl until fully combined. Pour the filling into the crust.
  4. Bake the pie until the center jiggles slightly when shaken, 15 to 20 minutes. When you gently touch the very center, the pie should stick to your finger and dimple, like pudding. Let the pie cool completely.
  5. Refrigerate the pie until fully chilled. Do not refrigerate until the pie is fully cooled or it will sweat and ruin the pie. I find it is better the next day.