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Category — Recipes

“what should I make for dinner”

sweet salvage

Yesterday, I came home after a morning at Sweet Salvage and asked Connor what he wanted for dinner. It was his only night off this week, so he could pick whatever he wanted. He didn’t know but told me he’d think about it while I went off to a lunch appointment.

I had lunch with Marissa’s future mother-in-law, Amy, to go over some wedding details.


After lunch I sent Connor a text, “Any dinner thoughts yet?”

He replied, “Roast pheasant with buffalo sausage and sparkling cider sauerkraut.”

I said, “So helpful.”

He sent back a text, “Was it not specific enough?”

I thought, “He’s egging me on” … so I said, “Sure sounds good.”

I headed towards the grocery store, fully intent on just picking up some tortillas and making chicken enchiladas. I mean, if he wasn’t going to say what he wanted, I certainly wasn’t going to ask again.

A few minutes later, I get another text, this time with the website for his pheasant recipe!


OK, I’ll take the bait. I sent back a text, “Any idea where I can get pheasant and buffalo sausage, Mr. Smarty Pants?”

His reply, “Costco?”


As I drove, I thought, “What the heck! I’m going to take his dare and make a version of his darn recipe.”


I picked up Cornish game hens in place of the pheasant…


…and hot Italian sausage in place of buffalo sausage.


I checked out the recipe and it called for 6 pounds of prepared sauerkraut. Six pounds! A one-pound package costs $3.49, I’m not about to spend $21 on sauerkraut! So, I bought just one package. I mean, I was going to have to alter this silly recipe drastically anyhow.

Turns out Connor went on Google and typed in “What should I make for dinner?”  A few sites came up and from that he picked out-

Roast Pheasants with Buffalo Sausages and Sparkling Cider Sauerkraut


This recipe calls for juniper berries. I used them since I have them on hand, but if you don’t – there is no reason to go buy a jar – they honestly don’t add much flavor at all.

Here is my recipe for…

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February 20, 2015   8 Comments

layers of creamy potato goodness

outdoor table

For Valentine’s dinner, Dave requested a version of these potatoes, which he had seen in the food section of the Arizona Republic.

valentines dinner table

The original recipe did not call for the half-and-half or thyme, but I felt it needed both for extra creaminess and flavor.

heart plate

They were divine!

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February 18, 2015   No Comments

fennel-orange rub

Dave’s brother, Roger, has been visiting all week and was here on Valentine’s Day.

Roger’s specialty is grilled bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin. Dave’s specialty is perfect garlic bread.

Roger also wanted to grill salmon, so I came up with this spice rub. The potato recipe will be shared in tomorrow’s post.

feb 14 dinner

Fennel-Orange Spice Rub for Salmon

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • Salmon
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar


Place the fennel seeds, salt and peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind.


Stir in the smoked paprika and orange zest.

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February 17, 2015   4 Comments

Friday = Cocktail Time

cocktail board

Today is the last day of “Cocktails & Cupcakes” bridal shower details and recipes.

What better note to end a week on than cocktails!?!

We’ll start with the recipes and end with a fun decor item that the mother of the bride, Laura, her sister, Mary, and I created.

the bar

These following two cocktails come from The Bar Book Elements of Cocktail Techniques by Jeffery Morgenthaler with Martha Holmberg. Martha taught a modern sauces class at Les Gourmettes last month and I was the happy recipient of this bar book.

tom collins

Tom Collins

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) gin, preferably in the Old Tom-style, such as Hayman’s (available at Total Wine)
  • 3/4 ounce (1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounces (1 tablespoon) simple syrup*
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) chilled soda water
  • 1 lemon peel for garnish


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February 13, 2015   2 Comments

strawberry margarita cupcake

It’s finally time for the cupcake recipes from Megan’s “Cocktails & Cupcakes” bridal shower!


Actually, time for the cupcake recipe. Only one cupcake is new to this blog. Links to the remaining cupcakes from the shower are at the end of this post.

lime zest

I found the recipe for these Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes through Pinterest and I had some trouble with it. The problem was actually with the frosting. It’s similar to the frosting for Toffee Crunch Mini Cupcakes (which works perfectly) but this one still gave me fits.

The frosting was a nice consistency, until it was time to add in the strawberry purée and the other liquids, then it became a runny mess and the only way I could fix it was to add cups (so very many cups) of powdered sugar. The result was an overly sweet – basically pure sugar – frosting. I’ve corrected the recipe, but please still take extra care when adding the strawberry purée, add a little at a time and keep an eye on the consistency. If you do this, you should not have to add any powdered sugar!

fill tins

Also, when looking at the photos, please keep in mind that I made a double the batch so that I could make regular and mini cupcakes. So when you see 4 eggs instead of the 2 called for – don’t be concerned.

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February 12, 2015   5 Comments

Sweet ‘n Spicy Meatballs

Some people may think I was crazy to host two bridal showers in as many weeks. Crazy like a fox is what I say!

brides to be

The shower that Abigail, Kaley, Alyse and Marissa threw for Lindsey left me with a bounty of items and ideas to use for Megan’s shower, two weeks later.


Kaley did such a beautiful job with the chalkboard art that I immediately knew I’d be using it again!

perfect signs

Abigail left behind a wonderful bulletin board that she had guests write words of sage advice for bride-to-be, Lindsey.

advice pinboard

I just had to recycle it for Megan’s shower, as seen on the left edge of the photo below.

present time

Then there was the “Welcome” and “Presents” banners that Abigail made.



Yes, I reused them as well.


So, as you can see, hosting two versions of the same sort of party in a short amount of time is easier than hosting just one!

Here is another appetizer from Megan’s shower.

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February 11, 2015   3 Comments

Bloody Mary Shrimp appetizer


In keeping with the bridal shower theme of “cocktails and cupcakes” the wine barrel in the entry was decked out with seltzer bottles, cocktail shakers, flowers arranged in silver mint julep cups and ice buckets, and of course, cupcakes.

Today’s recipe was the most popular of the appetizers served at Megan’s Bridal Shower.

spoon appetizer

I’ve been making this appetizer for years in various incarnations. If I remember correctly, it came from Gourmet Magazine some 10 years ago.

You can buy Chinese soup spoons at Asian markets, on Amazon or at Cost Plus World Market.  They are not only perfect for this recipe, but great for all sorts of appetizers and little dessert tastes.

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February 10, 2015   3 Comments

Cocktails & Cupcakes Bridal Shower

All week I will post photos and recipes from Megan’s bridal shower.

How cute is the invite?!? Laura ordered them from HERE on Etsy.

Cocktails Cupcakes

Megan is Laura’s daughter. Laura is my best friend from high school. She was my maid of honor, I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. Laura is Marissa’s godmother and I am godmother to two of her sons.  So, yeah, we have lots of loving ties to each other.

3 generagionsThree generations of beautiful women! Laura’s mom, Coleen, the guest of honor, Megan, and my dear friend, Laura.


The theme may have been cocktails and cupcakes, but the shower began at 5:00, so dinner was on the menu too!

Megan’s Bridal Shower Menu

The Appetizers

The Cocktails        

The Savory

  • Build Your Own Niçoise Salad
  • Cheese Board

cheese board

The Cupcakes

 Stephies vanity

I had a lot of inspiration from my wonderful neighbors, Cindi and Cheryl.

Cindi is the queen of hosting bridal showers!  She offered to loan me some of her beautiful items/ideas.  For instance, she takes her daughter Stephie’s vanity out of the bedroom and used it as a champagne bar!

Marissas vanity

She generously offered the vanity for me to use, but I used Marissa’s mirrored vanity instead.

old fashioneds

I moved it downstairs and outside and used to it serve the Maple Old Fashioned drinks from. Such a glamorous look!

cindis door

Cindi also loaned me a wedding dress that she used as the front door decor. Doesn’t it look fabulous on her gorgeous front door?!?

my door

Not quite as impressive on my door, but the guests still thought it was beautiful, of course, they didn’t know any better! Since I have the double doors, I had to somehow balance it out, so I used the vintage window frame/chicken wire frame that Peggy made for me.

chicken wire frame

It’s pretty darn cute! Even though, now I want new front doors as fabulous as Cindi’s!

napkin ring ring

Lastly, Cindi loaned me big “diamond” ring napkin rings. Not the best photo of them, but they were darling.  Thank you Cindi for all your help and inspiration. xoxo

salad stuff

Now it’s time to share the inspiration from Cheryl. Do you remember this photo from back in December?  This is what she made for her annual Ornament Exchange and I’ve been dying to recreate it ever since! As you’ll see in the recipe below, I copied Cheryl’s salad down to the order that the components are placed on the platter. No need to mess with perfection! Thank you, Cheryl! xoxo

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February 9, 2015   4 Comments

crab cakes for the Patriots

coffee ice cream

I made a themed dinner for Super Bowl Sunday. Crab cakes for New England and coffee ice cream for Seattle.  To be honest, I didn’t make the ice cream, I bought it but it’s the thought that counts and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t think “coffee” when the the think Seattle!


In the recipe, I give you instructions on how to smoke tomatoes on an outdoor grill. I actually used an indoor stove-top smoker that I own and love.

smoke rising

If you like to smoke a variety of foods, it’s a pretty good investment. You can find it HERE. If not, just keep using your grill.

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February 3, 2015   No Comments

lazy Super Bowl snack

Did you enjoy the Super Bowl? It was very low-key at our house. A few weeks ago, Dave and I received an invite to a party, but we turned it down because we didn’t want to leave Connor and my dad hanging out to dry.


A few days ago I talked to my dad and was asking what time he wanted to come over and he informed me that he was going to a Super Bowl party! How do you like that? Too funny really. So it was just the three of us chilling at the house all day.

I had some chips and salsa on hand, so that was snack #1. I needed something more but I had no intention of going grocery shopping, so I came up with this tasty treat.

I’d baked a few potatoes the other night and had two left. Plus there was leftover prosciutto and cheese from last weekend’s bridal shower. That’s all it took!

The recipe made 16, I ate 2 of them, the rest quickly disappeared, so I guess the boys really like them!

 prosciutto potato wedges

Prosciutto Wrapped Cheesy Potato Wedges

  • 2 baked potatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
  • 16 pieces of Port Salut or Brie cheese (cut into 2-inch long sticks)
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise

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February 2, 2015   1 Comment