New Blog coming soon!

I have received many emails wondering what is up with my blog.  I have just transferred this blog from to another platform.  I thought it would be done by Monday am, but it took a lot longer than I had anticipated.  I have close to 1,300 posts and well over 2,000 photographs to move.  I still have a lot of tweaking (no, not twerking!) to do.  I hope to have it complete by the end of today.  This is basically like me trying to do brain surgery!  I have NO idea what I am doing.


Sriracha Honey Roasted Cashews

Sriracha (Thai: ศรีราชา, Thai pronunciation: [sǐː.rāː.tɕʰāː]) is a type of hot sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. It is named after the coastal city of Si Racha, in the Chonburi Province of Eastern Thailand, where it was possibly first produced for dishes served at local seafood restaurants.  Sriracha sauce is made by Huy Fong Foods, a California manufacturer. Created in 1980 by Chinese-Vietnamese founder David Tran, it is a brand of Sriracha sauce also known as rooster sauce or cock sauce because of the rooster prominently featured on its label.  The company is embroiled in a lawsuit, which claims the odors emanating from the factory are a public nuisance. Yesterday, officials in a Southern California city held off on a decision about whether to force the closure of the Sriracha hot sauce plant that is being blamed for bad odors and heat that burns eyes.  Many people would be VERY upset if the factory was forced to close.  There is even a documentary movie called Sriracha.  By the way, I only had black sesame seeds!



Sriracha Honey Roasted Cashews

4 cups dry roasted and salted cashews
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbs of Sriracha, or to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
1 inch size ginger, grated
3 Tbs sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350º. In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, Sriracha, ginger and olive oil. Pour mixture with cashews and stir until evenly coated. Stir in sesame seeds.

On a lined baking sheet spread cashews evenly onto sheet tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally, until golden brown, allow cashews to cool before serving.

Braised Baby Carrots & Zucchini

Braising (from the French word, “braiser”) is a combination-cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature in liquid.  Because baby vegetables are young and tender, they do not take long to cook, only about 20 minutes. 


Braised Baby Carrots & Zucchini

Serves 6

½ Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb baby carrots
1 lb baby zucchini
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs vegetable stock or water
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup vegetable stock or water
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Coat bottom of 9- or 10-inch heavy-bottomed saucepan with oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the baby carrots and cook, stirring often, for 7 to 10 minutes. (Although vegetables won’t brown evenly, they will get some color.) Next, add the zucchini. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables just begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

In small cup, mix 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar with 2 tablespoons vegetable stock and add to vegetables. Shake pan or stir vigorously while liquid evaporates. Reduce heat to medium, add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water; cover tightly and cook for 10 minutes.

To serve, add freshly ground pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.

Crispy Potato Waffles

Last night I made these crispy potato waffles. The potato has to be the most versatile of all vegetables. I love coming up with new ways to make potatoes. These savory potato waffles are similar to potato pancakes, but in waffle form. The potato waffle has one advantage, it reheats exceptionally well and therefore can be made in advance. I put them in the oven at 275 degrees to keep warm. I’ve also been known to make grilled cheese sandwiches in a waffle iron!



Crispy Potato Waffles

Serves 4

3 potatoes, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbs butter, melted

Pre-heat waffle maker to the highest heat.

Liberally salt potatoes and lay them out on a stack of paper towels to drain. Stack a few paper towels on top, press down and let sit for a few minutes.

While potatoes drain, whisk together the onion, egg, sour cream, and pepper in a large bowl. Add drained potatoes to bowl and fold until combined.

Brush hot waffle maker with melted butter. Evenly spread potato mixture around the waffle maker. Close and cook for 12 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and brown.

Homemade Pickled Jalapeños

Pickled jalapeños are very easy to make. You can use them for nachos and tacos, cheese omelets, pizza, burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, etc. I recently needed one jalapeño and had to buy a whole bag of them. My jalapeño plant in the back yard is not doing very well at the moment.


Homemade Pickled Jalapeños

1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs sugar
dash of salt
jalapeños, sliced

Whisk apple cider vinegar with sugar and salt. Slice jalapeños into a jar and pour the vinegar mixture over them. Close the jar and refrigerate the jalapeños overnight.

Cowboy Casserole

Here is a recipe that we’ve been testing for our hot lunch program. This is the kids version. I think I would throw in some chopped green chilis!I hope they like it!


Cowboy Casserole

Serves 12

1 lb of ground beef
1 small onion, minced
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs flat leaf parsley
10¾ oz can of tomato soup
15 oz can of corn
3 Tbs dried mustard
32 oz package of tater tots
salt & pepper, to taste
4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Brown ground beef with the onions – drain. Then add the Worcestershire sauce, parsley, tomato soup, corn, dried mustard and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a greased 9×13 baking dish, arrange tater tots in single layer. Cover with 2 cups of cheese. Pour ground beef mixture over top and cover with remaining cheese.

Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Crispy Roasted Beech Mushrooms

This is a snack I made around the cocktail hour. If you like mushrooms, you’ll love these. There are clean and ready to use. The Brown Beech mushroom, or Bunashimeji, and the White Beech mushroom, or Bunapi has a nutty, buttery flavor, and a firm, crunchy texture. The mushrooms grow in clusters and produce tender caps.




Crispy Roasted Beech Mushrooms

Makes about 2 cups

1 lb white and/or brown beech mushrooms
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F with a rack set about 4 inches from the heat source. Put a baking sheet on the rack to heat up while you prep the mushrooms.

Use a knife to cut off just enough of the base to separate the mushrooms-you may need to use your hand to help separate them. Discard the bases and put the mushrooms into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the mushrooms and season with 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.

Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and pour the mushrooms onto the sheet. Use a spatula to gently spread out the mushrooms into a single layer. Roast until mostly golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes, using a spatula to turn the mushrooms occasionally so that they cook evenly.

Season the mushrooms liberally with salt and pile in a small bowl. Serve immediately as a snack.

Grilled Margarita Shrimp

I just bought some new grill plates and tested them out with Margarita Shrimp. The nice thing is that you don’t have to marinate shrimp all day or overnight. It only takes a couple of hours and you’re go to go. While the shrimp marinates, you can be busy drinking margaritas. One of our family favorites is Eric’s Avocado Margarita. Yes, I know it sounds weird, but once you’ve had one there is no turning back!




Grilled Margarita Shrimp

Serves 4-6

2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 Tbs triple Sec
2 Tbs lime juice
zest of one lime

Combine all ingredients, except shrimp, in a medium mixing bowl. Add shrimp, cover and let marinate in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Remove shrimp and discard marinade. Thread shrimp onto skewers and grill for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Dill Pickle Dip

When my husband and I were dating 100 years ago and we would go to the supermarket, he would buy a jar of dill pickles and eat the entire jar in the car before we got home. He likes his dill pickles. His brother used to drink the juice, not sure if he still does this! Russell?! Anyway, this dip is divine!


Dill Pickle Dip

1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs green onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dill
2 Tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4-5 medium dill pickles, finely chopped

Combine all the ingredients and stir until smooth.

Refrigerate until serving. Serve with pita chips or vegetables.