Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Tacos have historically been considered a kind of  street food, that came out of the taquerías in working class Mexican neighborhoods.  Having come to the US in early in the 20th century, the taco has recently burst onto the scene in even the poshest of restaurants and have even inspired a whole slew of memes…

Champagne Tarragon Salad with Chicken and Toasted Almonds

Last night I dreamed of tarragon again.  Really.  But I also just finished reading Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, so in my mind tarragon and Manderley are intertwined and together they inspired my new favorite salad. I only wish I were eating it beneath the chestnut tree by the sea. Tarragon is the star of this recipe…

Tre Formaggi Manicotti

We have been binge watching The Sopranos On Demand.  One of the most entertaining things about this show is that food is almost a character in the series.  They eat when they are happy.  They eat when they are stressed.  They eat to celebrate.  They eat to mourn.  Food is a gift.  It is a bribe….

Butter Bar “Salad”

Andrew and I have been trying to improve our diet and fitness lately.  Naturally, this involves eating more salads, exercising more, and generally getting outdoors more (difficult in Illinois this “spring”).  In furtherance of our health initiative, I developed the “salad” recipe below.  There are different kinds of salads in this world — green salad,…

Pan Seared Scallops and Shrimp in White Wine Cream Sauce

Today is my husband’s birthday, so he got to plan his own birthday dinner.  He chose staying home and he chose the menu.  Having lived for decades on the Outer Banks, he loves seafood.  I am from California, so I also love seafood.  This is a super simple recipe that gets a sophisticated flare from…

Buttermilk Ricotta Pancakes and Bacon

Morning sunlight streaming bright through the windows.  Dust particles glinting slowly in the rays onto clean, white sheets.  The decadence of Sunday morning.  It is almost iconic in this country where we work so hard and too often fail to recognize the things that truly give us peace.  Of course, this leads us to breakfast….

Lemon Cobbler

I love lemons.  In fact, lemon is my favorite dessert flavor, better than chocolate, better than mocha, better than pumpkin.  If you ever feel yourself doubting the existence of God, make a pan of lemon bars with Meyer lemons (actually a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange), and you will understand that such…

Buttermilk & Butter Biscuits

Buttermilk is one of my favorite ingredients.  It’s one of these unassuming ingredients that makes a huge contribution to recipes from cakes to panna cotta to pancakes to biscuits.  Traditional buttermilk is the leftover liquid from churning butter or from fermented cream.  Commercial buttermilk is pasteurized and homogenized milk that has been inoculated with a culture…

60 Days…Day 15

“Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.”  ~ Captain Jean-Luc Picard Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!  Seasons Greetings!  I am not a wordsmith about holiday greetings and I welcome any good wish people want to send my way. I did not exercise today, but I stood in the kitchen cooking for about…

Butterscotch Pecan Blondies

Butterscotch’s primary ingredients are butter and brown sugar.  What’s not to love?  Because I am a cook, I always notice the foods characters eat in books that I am reading, so much so that I am right now on my third revision of a lamb stew with prunes, inspired by the sponsor gift that Katniss…