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August 8, 2017

Like Ina Garten (author of the Barefoot Contessa Cookbooks), I am usually not a fan of scallops.  I've had too many ho-hum dishes of this salt water clam when eating out at restaurants.  Garten's recipe caught my eye, because she mentioned in her introduction that this dish has lots of flavor.  It is also easy to put together!  This is exactly the type of recipe that I like.  It has both great flavor as well as being simple to do.  The original recipe comes from Garten's book - Barefoot in Paris.  I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I and my family did!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I like to serve this with some kind of rice.  Next week I will post the risotto that I served with this recipe and that you see in the pictures.

If you double this recipe, make it in two separate pans.

Preparation is about 15 minutes.  Total time is 25 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh bay or sea scallops

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • All-purpose flour, for dredging

  • ...

August 1, 2017

The first time that I saw a clafoutis was at a little French café in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I remember thinking, "I don't know what it is, but I want it."  The clafoutis that I had in that café was beautiful, sweet, and simplistic.  Clafoutis are traditionally made sweet with fresh fruit.  Cherries are the usual choice of fruit, but you might see any type in this classic French dish.  I decided to do a savory one as I have a lot of tomatoes from my garden that I needed to use.  The recipe is simple, and you can change it according to your tastes.  If you can make pancake batter, then you can make a clafoutis.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

You can use any mature cheese such as: gruyere, mature comté, or cheddar.

The recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, but any small tomato will do.  I used small Roma tomatoes from my garden, and the results were lovely.

You can also use different herbs too.  The next time I make this, I will use a thyme and chive combination.  Some herbs to c...

July 4, 2017

Are you looking for a summer seafood dinner with lots of flavor?  Then you should give this lovely recipe a try.  I found this orzo pasta dish in the August 2016 edition of Southern Living magazine and adapted it to my own tastes.  This meal reflects on summer as it incorporates many foods that are in season - fresh herbs, tomatoes, and shrimp!  All these delightful tastes combined with a crunchy bread topping make this meal a winner.  My family enjoyed topping all of it with extra parmesan cheese to give it some added pizazz!

Bon Appetit!

Preparation time is 25 minutes.  Total time is 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 3 1/4 cups chicken broth

  • 12 ounces uncooked orzo pasta

  • 1 pound medium raw Gulf shrimp, peeled...

June 14, 2017

Summer is the perfect time to get together with friends and family.  Food plays a major part in this ritual.  I love to cook for people; it is my way of showing that I care.  I enjoy making them an assortment of yummy dishes.  Not too long ago, I decided to have an early summer gathering.  Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate, so we could not host it outdoors.  My plans, however, were flexible.  I decided to bring summer inside and share the warmth of good food despite the rainy day.

One of the food concepts that I love comes from the Spanish - tapas, or small plates.  It's basically appetizers or very small dishes that you can put together to make a complete meal.  It provides a lot of food variety as well as allows you to control your portion size.  It's a gathering of different kinds of food.  I've included pictures to show examples of this concept, and how I decided to arrange things.  I hope to inspire you to create your own gathering of food, f...

June 6, 2017

Every once in a while, I crave a good juicy steak, and this recipe does the job perfectly!  I found this simple and delicious recipe in the May 8, 2017 edition of People magazine.  This recipe was created by Jessica Seinfeld.  She gives perfect instructions for preparing steaks, and the blue cheese butter is scrumptious!  Fast and easy to be prepare, you will not be disappointed with this yummy dish.

Bon Appetit!

Preparation time is 35 minutes.  Cook time is 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (1 1/2 pounds, about 1 inch-thick) bone-in rib-eye steaks

  • 1/4 cup (2 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2 ounce crumbled blue cheese (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Let steaks stand until room temperature, about 20 minutes.  Stir together the butter, blue cheese, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper in a small bowl.  S...

May 30, 2017

I love slow cooker recipes; especially for those busy days where the thought of preparing dinner sounds exhausting.  This one is extra nice, because the prep work is fast and easy.  You can easily throw this together before you go to work or start your day.  I adapted this recipe from the May 2011 edition of Woman's Day Magazine.  I love the versatility of this recipe as well (see tips).  If you make these yummy hoagies, please let me know what you think!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

Sometimes, I do not drain the tomatoes, and I add up to a pound more of the sausages.  If you decide to try this, just make sure you serve it with a slotted spoon.

For those who do not eat pork, I have made this with an Italian poultry sausage.  The results were excellent!

You can also serve this open-faced sandwich style.  Toast thick slices of bread, and place the meat-veggie mixture on the toast.  Top with cheese.

You can use any cheese you desire: asiago, goat cheese, feta, mozzarella...

I use mild Itali...

May 23, 2017

Are you looking for an easy weeknight meal?  Try this wonderful chicken dinner!  It is simple to put together, and my family approved of it heartily.  It would be a fine dish for company too.  I adapted it from the January 2014 edition of Southern Living magazine.  It is a lovely dish that brings to mind a rustic French countryside.  The lemon adds a brightness to the chicken, while the rosemary and garlic mellows the flavors into something quite extraordinary.  It really is delicious!  Serve with a crusty French bread to round out this meal and be prepared for compliments!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I like to smash my garlic cloves with the skin on.  Take your chef's knife, and give the clove a good smack.  The skin should peel right off the clove.

I was never a fan of capers, until I started to rinse them.  Now, I love them.  If you like them as is, then no rinsing necessary!

Preparation time is 30 minutes.  The cook time is 50 minutes.  The total time is 1...

May 16, 2017

I adapted this wonderful pasta primavera from one of Giada De Laurentiis' recipes.  The pasta is loaded with vegetables and topped with parmesan reggiano cheese.  To make this pasta shine, use the best ingredients.  I often try to get clean, natural, and/or organic ingredients if at all possible.  You may pay more, but I find that there is definitely a difference in taste.  In the tips section, I mention a few of my favorite staple ingredient brand names that I use in this dish.

One of the reasons why I love this pasta primavera, is it is not loaded down with cream and fat.  It is light and delicious - a perfect embodiment of spring!  Primavera is the Italian word for 'spring'.  You can serve this dish for a main course or a side course, and if you miss the meat, you can simply add grilled chicken (or shrimp).  Serve this with a crusty artesian bread, and you have a lovely meal!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

Make sure to read through the instructions before preparing thi...

May 2, 2017

I got this recipe from a magazine, and it has been in my food file for a long while now.  You might ask, 'What magazine?'  I have no idea!  But I am glad that I ran across it a few weeks ago.  If you love fish tacos, you are going to love this recipe.  It is so simple and so yummy!  These two tacos take about 30 minutes to prepare, so you can have them on the table fast.  They are perfect for Cinco de Mayo or for any weeknight meal.  These tacos are delicious, fast and healthy - that is my kind of dinner!  Give these fish tacos a try and let me know what you think.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I like to use the fajita size tortillas, but you can use any size you prefer.

For those who do not like cilantro, replace it with parsley.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen skinless tilapia fillets (or other white fish)

  • 1/2 cup dairy sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup finely choppe...

April 24, 2017

This salad is wonderful!  And as a bonus, it is healthy too.  Actually, there are a lot of good things about this salad.  It is delicious for one.  It has only a few ingredients which helps minimize the grocery list.  This salad also is fairly simple to make!  My family loved this tasty dish, and I know yours will too!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I bought salmon already skinned, and it worked perfectly in this recipe.  I did lightly spray the foil with a non-stick cooking spray.

I like to toast my nuts on the stovetop rather than in the oven.  I place them in a nonstick skillet on high heat, and then stir continuously until toasted.

Use any kind of salad greens and any kind of Asian ginger salad dressing that you desire.

Ingredients:

4  (5 ounce) salmon fillets

1/2 cup Asian ginger salad dressing

2 tablespoons clementine or orange juice

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

8 cups salad greens

2 to 4 clementines, peeled and sliced

1/3 cup chopped unsalted toasted almonds

Directions:

Place t...

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