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Anne’s birthday salmon

I made salmon bowls for Anne’s belated birthday dinner last week. I’ve been on a salmon kick recently, in excess, since now I’m sick of salmon. I do this more often than I’d like to admit. I think it’s simply part of cooking for one. Admittedly, a large part of the problem is that I shop at Costco for my business. While I’m there (several times a week) I will also pick up food for myself. I think we can all agree that shopping at Costco when you’re cooking for one, isn’t the best strategy. This is another “something” that I need to work on.

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August 30, 2023   3 Comments

tomatoes and figs

Peggy and I finally celebrated Anne’s June birthday on Wednesday night. I made a salmon bowl for the main course (recipe coming soon) and a Caprese-Fig Toast for the appetizer. It was inspired by the black Mission figs from the 5 trees in my own backyard and the green Kadota figs I found at Trader Joe’s. If you hurry, you’ll find both varieties at Trader Joe’s right now.

Fig-Caprese Toasts

  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade, more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic reduction, more for drizzling
  • 1 baguette
  • 1 package burrata, balls drained and sliced
  • Ripe black Mission and green Kodata figs, sliced lengthwise
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August 25, 2023   3 Comments

Winner, Winner Charcuterie Dinner!

Many thanks to the 9 of you who posted comments and entered the contest. David, Bonnie, Shelley, Anne, Kim, Jill, Jan, Amy, and Betsy, your names were all put in the random spinner and Jill was the winner. Congratulation Jill! I’ll text you and we’ll find a day and time for you to swing by and pick up your Harmony Board.

Thanks to all of you for your very kind comments! You make it so much more fun and rewarding to continue to post! On that note, here is an easy and surprisingly addictive recipe I made for Marissa and Jeff on my trip to Chicago early this month. I found it on Allrecipes.com and it is now in my rotation!

NOTE: The recipe calls for black beans in mild chili sauce. I did not know there was such a thing, turns out there is. Find that, it makes all the difference if the delicious flavor of these delicious little bites.

Sweet Potato – Black Bean Taco Cups w/ Lime Crema

Lime Crema

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juiced
  • Pinch of salt

Taco Cups

  • Cooking Spray
  • 12 street-size (4-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped sweet potato
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans in mild chili sauce, undrained
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces shredded Mexican-style cheese blend
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Lime wedges and lime crema, for serving
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August 23, 2023   1 Comment

Reminder …


Today is Monday. Our drawing is Wednesday. Time is running out. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, please see the previous post – 14th Blogiversary. In the meantime, a new recipe:

This recipe comes from Instagram influencer, Lauren Garcia aka whatlolalikes. I met Lauren in the summer of 2019, about 8 months after I started Harmony Boards. She was at an Airbnb doing a photoshoot. The owner of the property ordered a board from me for Lauren, her photographer, and stylist to enjoy while they worked. Lauren tagged me in the photo and my Instagram account blew up. She ordered several more boards from me over the years and I can honestly say that my account quickly grew by leaps and bounds, in large part to her and her strong influence.

Lauren makes this salad all the time, so I finally decided to try it, yes she influences me too! It is amazing! It is now my go-to quick, easy, and healthy meal at least 2 times a week. I have no doubt that you’ll love it too.

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August 21, 2023   1 Comment

14th Blogiversary

Fourteen years ago today I began blogging. To celebrate, I’m having an easy contest, keep reading to learn more.

Here is a link to post number one. If you go to that link you’ll see that I speak about Julia Child. Ironically, I attended a birthday dinner last night with Kim Howard at Tarbell’s to celebrate what would have been Julia Child’s 111th birthday. My friend, mentor, and former boss, Barbara Fenzl was the guest speaker. Thank you, Mark Tarbell, it was a delicious and delightful evening.

The day I began blogging, Connor was a few days away from heading off to college. Not to be overly dramatic, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Having been a stay-at-home mom for over 21 years, I was feeling a bit lost. This blog was a great distraction and gave me something to look forward to each day, a purpose if you will. And I was dedicated! Posting nearly every day for 4 years!

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August 16, 2023   17 Comments

sick of summer

The large majority of followers of this page live in the Phoenix metro area. So I know that you are as sick of summer as I am, especially this year.

Today, Saturday, July 29, marks the 30th straight day of 110° plus days. Tomorrow, 109° is predicted but we shall see. To give some perspective, the 1974 record of 18 straight days of 110° or above was broken in mid-July. And seven of these last 30 days were 118° or 119°, so yeah, we’ve had enough!

All that being said, there is one good thing about summer and that is summer squash, zucchini to be exact. One of the most versatile veggies out there. My favorite thing to do with zucchini is to make zucchini nut bread, but it’s too damn hot to turn on the oven, so pasta will be just fine.

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July 29, 2023   3 Comments

buttery shrimp

In the yummy recipe below, I call for U/15 shrimp. This informs you as to the size of shrimp you are shopping for. Shrimp sizes are denoted in numbers, such as U/15 or 21/25. When you see a “U” in the count, it means that there are “under” that number of shrimp in a pound. The slash between numbers denotes a range of shrimp in a pound.

HERE you will find a helpful chart of shrimp sizes.

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July 25, 2023   No Comments

Who or Whom?

Sometimes I find writing blog posts a little difficult, especially when I don’t always know the proper rules of language, writing, or even speaking for that matter. So when I find a little trick that can help me along my way, I pounce on it. For example, I’ve never known the correct times to use who or whom. So when I found a trick to help me figure it out … hallelujah!

So much easier! This should also make you appreciate that you get to read my typed words instead of my handwritten (chicken scratch) words!

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July 18, 2023   12 Comments


Good morning! Happy Day! Sunny Sunday! All the good vibes have arrived!

I’ve been struggling with this website for many months. It’s been extremely difficult to create a post on my end because the site was being uncooperative and dropping content, photos, etc. And I know that on your end the site was taking FOREVER to load. Not just for you, but for me. When I needed to search for an old post, it would take up to five minutes for the search bar to appear. I’d nearly given up … but it’s all fixed! I hope you notice an immediate difference.

In celebration, let’s make some decadent lobster tacos!

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July 16, 2023   10 Comments

quick and yummy

Here is the final recipe from my April trip to Chicago. It comes, once again, from Half Baked Harvest, and as usual, slightly altered to use what is available.

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May 22, 2023   No Comments