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Category — Recipes

a book and a salad

I’m still in Quebec at Kim and Paul’s dreamy lake house. I haven’t been posting regularly because, well, I’m on vacation and because I’ve been obsessed reading a book I found on the shelves here. I finished All The Light We Cannot See yesterday afternoon. My dreams have been filled with it since the day I picked it up and last night was no exception. Many of you have probably already read it since it came out nearly four years ago. I’m usually behind the curve when it comes to books. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new read.

Now that I have my nose out of the book and my head out of the clouds, here is the salad recipe I promised you last week. Oh, and there is a mouse update at the bottom of this post.

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August 20, 2018   2 Comments

Wednesday dinner at Deer Lake

I know I said I’d post the recipe for the salad we ate the night before last, and I promise to get to that soon, but we had such a fun day yesterday, that I’d rather talk about that for now.

It was cloudy and foggy over the lake when I awoke. Then the thunder rolled in and the rain began. The lake house was so cozy and dark, it felt like fall for a moment and I was in heaven. Summer drags on when you live in the desert, so even a few moments of what feels like fall is a complete joy.

Our morning plans to paddle board were put on hold. Kim knows how and Debby and I were eager to learn.

photo credit: Pinterest

Oh, before I go any further, I should mention that I was a bit tentative about being the first person to get up and leave my room. And for good reason, the first night here we saw that we had another resident in the house with us. A mouse. Granted, he was little and even, dare I say, cute. We tried to shoo him out the door with a broom but he wasn’t having any of that. Kim set out a no-kill trap but it didn’t work. We saw him again the next night, Debby set four mousetraps with peanut butter and placed them around the kitchen. So, the first person up was going to have to deal with a dead mouse and I didn’t want that to be me.

But I was getting sore from sitting in bed and typing my post. I had to get up so I could sit at the table to type. I quietly crept out and peeked around the corner … no mouse. All the peanut butter was gone but thankfully, no smashed mouse.

Yay for me. Yay for the mouse. But then again, we still have a mouse in the house, so no bueno!

The rain stopped. Kim and I went to run errands and grocery shop in the little town of Ripon. Two of the things at the top of our list were more mousetraps and Snicker’s bars, which will hopefully work better than the peanut butter. Debby stayed behind to read and hold down the fort.

When we returned, Kim taught us to paddle board. For me, the hardest part was going from the kneeling stage to the standing stage. I had to do Lamaze style deep breathing and talk myself into being brave and just do it.

After much hesitation and nearly psyching myself out, I did it. Debby did too. We were quite pleased with ourselves. The Howards have two paddle boards. I came to shore and Kim took that board out. Most of my pride washed away as I watched her pop right up and quickly paddle down the lake in the blink of an eye. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Next, we went out on the pontoon boat and took a tour around the entire lake.

It’s a long lake! You can’t see from one end to the other. It curves and twists and there are cute islands and peninsulas. Kim and Paul not only own the lake but also the 550 (approx.) acres of wooded land that surround it. This is a very special and magical place that has been in the Howard family for generations.

After our cocktail boat tour, I made another recipe inspired from a doctor’s office waiting room magazine find. The perfect end to a perfect day.

OK, not quite the end and not perfectly perfect. Kim and Debby set a total of 10 mousetraps with the Snickers. Without a doubt, I’m sleeping in this time.

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August 16, 2018   4 Comments

quinoa in Canada

photo credit: Cody Howard

If you’re like me, sometimes you look at your smart phone in complete awe. We walk around with a computer in our pockets. No longer do we need a watch, a camera, an encyclopedia, a dictionary, any array of how-to books, a landline, and the list goes on.

And no longer do I tear out pages from magazines in doctors’ offices. Yes, I’m sorry to admit that I was one of those people. Now, I just whip out my phone and snap a photo of that recipe or article I must have.

photo credit: Debby Gooding

The following recipe is inspired from one such photo I took during a recent visit to a doctor’s office. I don’t recall the magazine, probably a celebrity weekly or women’s monthly, since those are the magazines I usually gravitate towards in that situation.

I’m in Quebec Canada with Kim Howard and her dear friend, Debby Gooding, at Deer Lake, which is the Howard Family’s gorgeous Canadian retreat. Click HERE to read more about it in this posts from my last visit in July, 2013. One of my favorite things about this magical place is all the vintage vibes.

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August 15, 2018   2 Comments

Cioppino

Cioppino is a fish stew that was created in San Francisco in the late 1800s. It is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in San Francisco is typically a combination of crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and fish from the Pacific ocean.

The Cioppino I served yesterday at Sunday supper for Connor, my dad and myself was a seafood medley that came in this bag from Costco. It consisted of shrimp, mussels, scallops and calamari rings.

Not only did it not come from San Francisco, according to the packaging, that I am just now reading, none of it even came from the USA! Oh well, it tasted great and since it was frozen, it didn’t really matter.

Since you may be using live mussels, I’m writing the recipe accordingly. The frozen mussels were already cooked and opened, so my stew was actually easier to make.

When using tomato paste, I like to use the paste in the tube instead of the can. For this recipe I used sun-dried tomato paste from the tube. It is more intense, so I used 2 tablespoons instead of the ¼ cup I tell you to use in the recipe. I’m assuming most people have regular tomato paste on hand instead of sun-dried paste.

Have you seen these wonderful red and yellow striped bell peppers in the market? They are Striped Holland bell peppers. According to a specialty produce site, “the bell peppers are yellow bell peppers with deep red stripes that seem painted on in swaths. The bi-colored peppers are hand-grafted and slowly ripened to maximize flavor and maintain consistency.”  I’ve been using them all summer for my crudités Harmony Boards and wouldn’t usually use them when cooking, but I had one that was looking a bit wrinkly and tired, so I used it here.

Fish stock can be difficult to find. I use a combination of clam juice, chicken broth and water. If you do find fish stock you may substitute it for the chicken broth.

I served Connor and my dad’s stew over angel hair pasta, which is not traditional, but I knew they’d like a little more bulk to the dish. I had mine without pasta. Everyone was happy!

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July 30, 2018   5 Comments

lavender

Photo courtesy of Pinkerton Photography

My cousin and my friend, Michelle Lorts, gave me a tin of Red Rock Lavender Lemon Pepper. Michelle owns Studio Fiore and is the florist who created the stunning flowers for Marissa’s wedding.

Photo credit: Red Rock Ranch & Farms

A few weeks ago, Michelle and a few girlfriends took a day-trip to visit the lavender fields at Red Rock Ranch & Farms in Concho, Arizona.

Concho is in the White Mountains, about a 3½ hour drive from Scottsdale.

Photo credit: Red Rock Ranch & Farms

I’ve always thought about going for the Lavender Festival, but never pulled the trigger on it, maybe next year.

I used her gift to make a delicious chicken dish. You can make it too, even if you don’t have a tin of the Red Rock Lavender mix because I’ve included the proportions to make the herb and spice mixture on your own at the bottom of this post.

I also used one of my favorite local olive oils, Queen Creek Olive Mill Meyer Lemon Olive Oil. You may use regular olive oil as a substitute. Of course, you if want to make this recipe using the unique Arizona spice mixture and olive oil, the links are here for you to order those items online. Enjoy!

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July 9, 2018   2 Comments

tomatillo rice

Is it okay if I’m feeling a bit reminiscent and sad when I say that this is the last post, the last recipe, from Chanté and Cody’s wedding?

After the months of planning and anticipation leading up to it, all the work and joy surrounding the wedding weekend, and the fun of posting and reliving it, I’m sad it’s really over. But then again, if anyone knows how to drag out a happy event, it’s me!

Here is a list of the recipes that made up the taco bar with links to each recipe. This same list is posted Menu and Party Ideas over there on the left side of the page, so you can easily find it when you’re in need of taco bar recipes.

Wedding Taco Bar Recipes

Fillings:

Toppings:

Sides:

Signature Cocktails:

Roasted Tomatillo Rice

  • 20 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and dried
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cups rice
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

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July 5, 2018   1 Comment

Happy 4th

July 4, 2018   3 Comments

street corn

July 3, 2018   No Comments

cilantro sauce and flag food

Before we get to another recipe from Chanté and Cody’s wedding…

…I want to remind you that there are more than 2 dozen 4th of July recipes in the Complete Recipe Index under the Holidays – 4th of July tab.

So if you’re waiting until the 4th or the upcoming weekend to celebrate, get on over there and find something festive to make.

Several of them are in the shape or colors of the flag. FUN!

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July 2, 2018   1 Comment

easy cheesy

Easy Cheesy Refried Black Beans

  • 2 cups refried black beans
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup prepared salsa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion, garnish
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato, garnish
  • 1 minced jalapeño, garnish
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, garnish

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June 29, 2018   No Comments