Seared Scallops on Braised Wild Mushrooms

Sea Scallops are one of my favorite foods, definitely my favorite sea food. I saw this recipe and thought it sounded really interesting – not your typical scallop entree.

I had the “seafood guy” dry pack the scallops. We purchased them once, so water logged that they didn’t sear properly. Read up on it and it’s a thing to avoid and dry packing is the way to do it so they don’t sit in water. I also pat them dry with a paper towel prior to prep.

The recipe called for watercress which I really enjoyed with it. Laurie preferred arugula. This was a really great meal. Something I’d order at a restaurant, and similar to a restaurant, I probably would try something different next time. however, it was really tasty and fun to try something different.


Seared Scallops on Braised Wild Mushrooms

Original post December 15, 2013


Sage Accented Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potato Medley

Pork tenderloin is a terrific roasted meat. The danger is in cooking it too long and drying it out.

I sautéed a Fuji apple with white onion and little bit of maple – an excellent complement to the meat. Add a sweet potato, a few small red potatoes, a red onion – roast – and you have a terrific fall meal. This was really yummy and very easy.


1 lb pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh sage – chopped
3 – 4 cloves of garlic – minced
1 fuji apple
1/2 cup sliced white onion
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 large sweet potato
1 medium red onion
3 small red potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil

I mixed the Dijon, sage, garlic, sea salt and pepper and rubbed it on the pork and let it sit while preparing the potatoes.

Quarter the potatoes and the red onion, slice the sweet potatoes into one inch cubes, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, olive oil and place on parchment covered baking sheet. Place pork in the center of the parchment covered baking sheet. Place potatoes and onions around. Bake at 425 for approximately 35-45 minutes. I removed the pork when the temperature was 150 – covered with foil for 10 minutes. I put the potatoes back in the oven for the remaining time.

While the pork is finishing, slice a fuji apple, half of a white onion, saute with about a teaspoon of butter. Sprinkle a little bit of maple syrup. Saute until soft.

Original post December 14, 2013

Lemon Curd

The frost forced me to pick every lemon off of my tree – so I’m making Lemon Curd for Christmas gifts.

I got 4 ounce mason jars that I sterilized by running them through the dishwasher. The lemons I’m using are Meyers Lemons.

I found this recipe in a book from the library…Delicious Gifts by Jess McCloskey and the recipe was really easy. The most difficult thing for me was not getting the library book dirty! Easy and it’s delicious! Can’t wait to try some on toast.


Original post December 14, 2013

Fusilli with Roasted Tomato Sauce

It’s December in California. Tomatoes are not in season. However, this recipe offers a great way to make them appealing. Roasting really brings out their flavor – even if they’re on the pale-ish side of red.

This is a Cooking Light recipe and for some reason, has you drain the juices after 30 minutes of roasting and says to discard the liquid and the garlic when completely done. WHY would you do that? Roasted garlic?? (I’m sure theirs a culinary reason of which I’m oblivious). Given that, I used it all – except the peel. Incidentally, parchment paper on the baking sheet makes draining a full baking sheet of tomatoes very efficient. Make sure it hangs over the pan a bit and you have a pseudo funnel.

Trader Joe’s used to sell Fusilli and it was really reasonably priced. The only place I was able to find it today was at Nugget and it was a little on the pricey side, however, it’s worth every penny.

This was delicious. A little crusty bread, a little salad and a nice red. Yum!

photo 2 (1)Fusilli with Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe

Original Post December 13, 2013

Wild Mushroom and Lentil Cottage Pie

Always on the hunt for really filling and yummy meatless meals, this one grabbed my attention. I love Shepherd’s Pie and this sounded a lot like it – minus the meat.

So, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. Where it calls for packages of exotic mushroom blends, I used the real deal with the exception of one 5 ounce bag of porcinis (I wanted to use the broth – you need to strain it really well to make sure you get the “grit” out). I used the broth from the porcini mushrooms with the flour instead of using vegetable broth. I used fresh oyster, crimini and shiitake mushrooms. Other than that, I followed it pretty closely.

I don’t know that I’m a fan of buttermilk for the mashed potatoes. I didn’t care for the “sour” taste but with the rest of the meal, it was excellent. I loved it, will make it again and didn’t feel like I was missing out with no meat – in fact, I didn’t miss it at all.

Oh – and the truffle oil rocked it. I added a wee bit of freshly grated Parmesan with the chives.


Wild Mushroom and Lentil Cottage Pie

Cooking Light, December 2009

Original post December 7, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

I must preface this first part by saying, pasta is one of my go to foods. I love it. So, when spaghetti squash was being touted as the bomb with marinara sauce, I was really excited. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed and thought “nah” on spaghetti squash. That was a few years ago. A few weeks ago at work I ordered a fish dish and it had slices of spaghetti squash, roasted in the skin, and I loved it and couldn’t wait to try it at home.

I picked up a small one and carefully (they’re hard to cut) sliced it in two and scooped out the seeds. Preheated the oven to 350, put some parchment paper on a baking sheet and placed both halves, cut side up on the baking sheet. I also sprayed each with olive oil and added a little salt and pepper. For kicks, I quartered a red onion and put half in each piece of squash. Baked for an hour – put some Parmesan on it and serve it with a salad…it’ll go with anything.

Laurie loved it with marinara…I loved it with parmesan and wine.

photo 1Spaghetti Squash with Marinara

Original post December 6, 2013

Roast Turkey with Sage Pan Gravy and Fennel, Sausage and Caramelized Apple Stuffing

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I love to make a (kind of) traditional turkey dinner. Meat however is not my forte so I got excited when I saw this recipe in last years Cooking Light. I didn’t vary much. More garlic, I used turkey broth instead of chicken and my turkey was only 9 or 10 pounds. However, even for a 10 pound turkey, the cooking time recommended was not enough. It need about an hour more.

The stuffing: I’ve never made this recipe before but it sounded amazing. I halved the recipe and the problem with that was that as I was making it, I kept forgetting. So, I may or may not have followed the recipe completely. I used a sourdough baguette for the bread which was a little more difficult to cut into cubes and it didn’t make a difference in the big picture. It was very tasty – especially with the pan gravy (this turned out REALLY well!) and the cranberries and roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes and…of course, pumpkin pudding. 🙂

turkey dinner 3

Roast Turkey with Sage Pan Gravy Recipe

Fennel, Sausage, and Caramelized Apple Stuffing Recipe

In spite of the turkey needing more oven time, the dinner was excellent and worth the time in the kitchen. Happy Thanksgiving Day all.

Original Post November 29, 2013