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 27, 2020

Shrimp and Pineapple Stir-fry

My mom is living with us while she fights cancer. She loves pineapple and shrimp, so I made this for her. It was so good. The dish is beautiful and would be great to serve to guests.

As always, here are my suggestions for tweaking the recipe. You can buy the shrimp already cleaned. It saves you about ½ hour. You can also use fresh pineapple. If you do that substitute orange juice for the pineapple juice. That way you won’t have a jar of pineapple juice you won’t use going bad in the fridge.  I try never to ask you to purchase anything that you will only use in the specific dish we are making. Buy hoisin sauce. Once you taste it, you will find uses for it. Your favorite hot sauce will do if you don’t have sriracha.

Always read the entire recipe before you begin.

Shrimp and Pineapple Stir-fry

Servings: 6-8
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 20 Minutes;  Dinner in 40 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a can opener, a whisk, 2 mixing bowls,  a deep, non-stick skillet, tongs, a paper towel lined plate, paper towels, and a large serving platter

  • 1 ½ pounds medium cleaned shrimp
  • Enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan twice
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of snow peas
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger or ¼  teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1-20 ounce can of pineapple chunks or 2 cups of fresh pineapple
  • 3 cups of steamed white rice
  • Sesame seeds and 2 green onions for garnish
  • ½ cup pineapple juice 
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • ⅛ cup COLD water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)

  1. Place the cornstarch into one of the mixing bowls. Generously sprinkle the shrimp with salt, garlic powder and onion powder. If you are using powdered ginger, sprinkle that on, too. Place the seasoned shrimp into the cornstarch and toss to coat. Set aside. The shrimp will get sticky, don’t worry.
  2. Drain the pineapple, reserving ½ cup of the juice. Put the cold water and cornstarch into the other mixing bowl. Whisk until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Whisk in the juice, hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Stir in as much or as little sriracha sauce as you want. Set aside.
  3. Cut the bell pepper into long thin strips, removing the seed and white pith. Set aside. Mince the ginger and garlic. Roughly chop the green onions, using both the white and green parts. Set aside.
  4. Cover the bottom of the skillet in a generous amount of oil and heat over medium-high. Sauté the shrimp in a single layer until they are crispy and then flip and cook through. This should take no more than 2 minutes per side. You may need to cook them in batches to keep from crowding them. Remove them to the paper towel lined plate when finished. You can keep them warm in the oven on the lowest setting.
  5. Wipe out the skillet. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and heat over medium high, Add the peppers and snow peas. The peppers take longer than the peas, so I put them in a minute or two first. Sauté until they reach your desired tenderness tossing almost constantly. Push to the side and add the fresh ginger (if you are using it) and garlic. Sauté until fragrant. Add in the pineapple and the sauce, whisk until the sauce thickens and gently toss all the vegetables until everything is coated. Taste and adjust the salt.
  6. To serve, make a bed of hot white rice. Top with the vegetables. Then top the vegetables with the shrimp. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and green onions. Serve hot.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Cordon Bleu Pasta

Cordon Bleu means blue ribbon in French and refers to food cooked to the highest standard. The original Cordon Bleu is either chicken or veal, which is flattened, wrapped around cheese and ham, breaded and then fried. It is usually served with a white sauce.  I have given you instructions for an easier (but just as tasty) version.

 If you don’t have a skillet that can be used in the oven, just put everything into a glass baking dish and then top with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. I made my own breadcrumbs by grinding croutons and a little fresh parsley. If you begin to boil the pasta water right as you cut up the chicken, the pasta should finish at the same time that you are ready to use it. If you cook it first, toss it with butter and salt to keep it from becoming goopy. Penne, ziti or any other tube pasta can be substituted for the penne rigate.

Servings: 4-6
Time:  Active time: 10 minutes; Cook: 40 minutes; Dinner in under an hour
Hardware:  a large pot, a colander, measuring cups and spoons, a cutting board and knife, a very deep skillet that can be used on top of  the stove and in the oven, a plate, tongs, a whisk


  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces of uncooked penne rigate
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 8 ounces of cooked ham
  • 3 pieces of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard (preferably Dijon, but yellow will do)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½  cups + ½ cup shredded cheese (Swiss or Gruyère)
  • ¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs



  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Do not overcook. Rinse the ham and dice. Set aside.
  2. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and salt generously. Roughly chop the bacon.
  3. Cook the bacon in the skillet until it is crispy. Remove and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet sauté the chicken over medium until cooked through, flipping often. Set aside.
  5. In the same skillet, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and sauté until the roux is golden brown. Whisk in the mustard and cream. Stir in 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese. Slowly stir until the cheese melts
  6. Fold the prepared pasta, ham and bacon into the cheese sauce. Add a generous amount of pepper. Taste and adjust the salt.
  7. Top with the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the breadcrumbs are browned.
  8. Serve warm.