Is it a Salad, an Appetizer, or a Drink?

Meet my newest favorite thing! It’s a Mexican Shrimp Cocktail.

I can’t begin to describe how much I adore this little salad in a glass!

It’s so fresh, spicy, crunchy, savory, tasty.

At lunch, I scooped it up with tortilla chips, then, I had all this beautiful tomato juice left over, and it became a spicy Bloody Mary!

I could have scooped it up with Endive, or Romain lettuce.

Ooooh….I’m thinking we add a little bacon garnish next time. Maybe some olives.

It is slurp-able spicy fun.

Have you made any recent flavor discoveries that made you say WOW?

Couldn’t get it off my mind, so I made some!

A quick conversation with my buddy Bill in Boston about Cioppino. Cioppino is an Italian Seafood Soup, and one of my favorites things to eat. So Bill wants to know how it’s made, and how he thinks that he could make it with Marinara sauce.

I had to look into this theory, as I thought he was off his rocker. I was right. Nice try Bill, I couldn’t find any recipe that used a jar marinara sauce in their soup. Not sure if I would trust it if I did find one.

Cioppino is not a difficult thing to make. The more I looked at different recipes, the more I wanted to make it. Next thing I know I’m at the grocery store and staring at the clams and mussels. Darn you Bill, you got me thinking, and I wasn’t satisfied until I had made my own batch.

From all recipes I looked at, I liked Giada De Laurentis’ best. She uses fennel bulb, and lots of white wine, and a big can of diced tomatoes. It took less than an hour to prep and make. I think I spent more time scrubbing the clams and mussels than anything else.

It was light, and fragrant. It had big fresh flavor, and a slight heat from red pepper flakes. Add a piece of French bread, and no one spoke, we just slurped our soup and munched our bread, and laughed at each other as we pulled the mussel shells out and used them as makeshift spoons.

It was a fun meal, unexpected, and different from what we usually have on a Monday night.


Yesterday was one of those days. Things to do, clean up for the garbage pick up this morning. Lunches to pack for work this week.

What to do with the Ham Bone and left-over Ham from Christmas dinner?

Truth be told, the cheap spiral cut ham, that we put on the smoker was way better received than the prime rib we served.

The grill dominated this year. I had wrapped carrots in bacon, and glazed them with the honey glaze. They smoked and got happy next to the Ham. And they were the two favorite and remarked on items at dinner.

So as leftovers went, we did beans and the ham bone, and the one bacon wrapped carrot, some celery and onions. A little beer didn’t hurt. The fresh cilantro took it over the top. It didn’t hurt that my market carries local harvest frozen crowder peas and pinto beans. I kept wondering if 6 pounds of beans was too much. But 6 pounds were perfect.

The cornbread was just the kicker that made the beans so comforting.

Barefoot, in the kitchen, and happy

There is something about cooking that makes me happy.

Grating, chopping, stirring, slicing, simmering, and serving.

Roasted chicken thighs on potatoes and onions with rosemary and lemon. A beautiful Sunday night meal.

Getting nerdy, roasting fresh pumpkin, adding goat cheese, eggs, cream, herbs…putting together a quiche. It turned out more like a savory cheese cake. I ate two pieces, it was so different. Light, but so full of rich flavor.

The family Sugo. A meat sauce with wonderful herbs, fresh oregano, thyme, and rosemary from my garden….Also with Lots of garlic, and sweet Italian sausage.

My favorite part of the day, dancing around the kitchen barefoot, the music up loud, stirring my sauce, making something good for my family.

Grill marks

When my husband called and asked me if I wanted him to pick up Pizza on the way home…..I said “I cut steaks tonight, be home in 15 or you might not get one.” Yes, I personally cut the steaks from the whole tenderloin. The wonky one in the middle is from the lower tip.


I love this pan. Nice grill marks, huh? It makes me smile. 😁

The asparagus went on next. It was fabulous.

Sometimes I need cake

Yes, I’m on a carb fix. Yes, I am comforting myself with food.

There is something about warm Ricotta cake, fresh out of the oven. Especially slathered with freshly whipped cream. It is comfort to my soul.

The quiche was pretty tasty too.

I’ll work out again tomorrow. Tonight I’m eating CAKE!

A week at home

My first week off the road in a while, and I felt the need to compensate.

My ugly chicken pot pie. You saw this one. It was ugly, but really tasty.

Night 2 was quick chicken and veggies, not picture worthy.

Night 3.

My sweet Italian Sausage sauce. Fresh herbs from the garden, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves made it so amazing.

I served it with Cavatapi Pasta, and plenty of good Parmesan cheese and a lovely salad.

Night 4. Posole.

Posole, is a pork, green chili, hominy stew. Hatch Green Chili’s are the star in this one. It’s a mild but flavorful heat. Especially good on a blustery cold day

I’m so happy that meals have worked out.

I never know when my inspired ideas will make good. This has been a good week. I picked up some fresh made tortillas this morning. There will be sour cream, Monterrey jack cheese, and avocado. Maybe a little fresh jalapeño and Pico De Gallo too to accessorize our Posole, con maize y cilantro.

4 homemade meals this week.

1. Down home comfort food. Food coma, and a great night sleep.

2. Clean Eating, plain goodness, low carb, no fuss. No sleep, go figure? No Picture.

3. Give-me-the-carbs pasta meal with a beautiful sausage Sugo and Cavatapi Pasta. Still no sleep…..carbs are not the answer.

4. Spicing things up with a Green Chili Posole, a spicy pork stew with Hatch green chili’s, hominy, onions, and lots of cilantro. I serve this with sour cream, fresh made tortillas, Monterrey jack cheese, and avocado. Will I have to get the Advil PM?

Tomorrow……someone needs to take me for dinner I’ve had enough. 😁

I love to cook! But this is real work, and I have a real job. Just saying….

Ordering! Where’s my waiter?

I really am a happy girl. Happy, Happy, Happy. I really do like cooking for my family.