Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chili-Orange Glaze for the Turkey

I'm forever trying new ways to "do" the turkey each Thanksgiving. Some go over very well and others are a lesson in trying to please my Mother or as noted in a song, "You can't please everyone so ya gotta please yourself." I introduced this to the family Thanksgiving of 2000, with success I might add. This recipe from Sunset Magazine is both simple and yummy.
Not being one that enjoys "in the bird stuffing," I like to rub butter all over and under the skin, stuff cavity with halved oranges, apples, onion, etc. instead. Basting occationally with a white wine and melted butter mixture. I glass for the cook and one for the bird...repeat!
If glaze starts to get too dark, loosely wrap dark areas with foil.

Yield: enough to glaze a 12-24 lb turkey.
Serve with a nice sparkling wine.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bayou Chicken Pasta

Oooooh Weeee! Now We're Gettin' Warm!
Bayou Chicken Pasta

This recipe just spoke to me. Chicken, pasta, spicyness and it's Emeril...need I say more?

My Cooking Notes:
Take out seeds in pepper to lower the heat; make your own Essence, to taste; used whole pint on heavy cream; forgot to add parsley. Would definitely make it again...had heat, but just enough to make you want more.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Better BLT

Better because the bread is homemade, the tomatoes are homegrown, and you can put as much bacon on as you want. The first ones we made were actually BCTs (Bacon-Chard-Tomato). The next two times they were BTAs... with avocado replacing the lettuce/chard. Those beautiful beefsteak tomatoes were gifted to us, and we felt that this would be the best way to highlight their fabulousness.

Pretty self-explanatory, but here's the line-up:  
  • Lightly toasted homemade sourdough bread
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Sliced avocado
  • Thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
  • Sliced homegrown tomatoes
Prep all the separate components, draining the tomatoes and bacon a little. I like to layer the tomatoes on top so they don't make the bottom piece of bread soggy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grilled Corn Cakes

Today is my youngest birthday so I decided to make a "special" breakfast this morning. The came out so well that I decided to post.
This recipe is a mixture of two that I took some of this and a little of that until I got these wonderful little guys.

The trick to these basic corn cakes is to add 1 cup of boiling water to the 3/4 cup corn meal and let them thicken before adding to the batter.

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup of sugar

3/4 cup stone ground corn meal (I like whole grain)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk)

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

Cook on a oiled skillet until golden brown and cooked through
These cakes are nice and sweet and light. I like to put cut up fruit and maybe some butter on
them. Yum!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sculpin Mediterranean


1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes, cut into 1" pcs
4 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
8 ounces Sculpin (or any fish fillet of your choice)


Preheat oven to 450°F.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Add wine and garlic and simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, olives, oregano and orange zest. Season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.Season fish with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Arrange the fish in a single layer in a pie pan or baking dish. Spoon the tomato mixture over the fish.

Bake, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes. Divide the fish into 2 portions and serve with sauce.

Served with Whole Grain Rice Vegetable Medley and a 2007 Trefethen Chardonnay

Good eats, ~Marta

Saturday, July 3, 2010

BBQ Salad

I was eating at a local restaurant and ordered this grilled salad. It was so good and looked super easy to make. This is my version, a quick and easy way to have your veggies with your favorite BBQ.

I have always used Romain lettuce, but any firm head of lettuce would probably work. Slice the heads right down the middle. Add salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder. drizzle with olive oil, (a fine mist sprayer works even better). Place cut side down on a HOT grill for about 2 min or until you get your grill marks. While the lettuce is still warm, grate some Parmesan cheese on top, (blue cheese crumbles are awesome too). Serve immediately! Now eat your veggies!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tri Tip Perfection!

I have come to the conclusion that there is no finer cut of meat than the tri tip. They can be found everywhere, just as good as a nice New York but not as expensive. I try to find one with not too much marbling (fat) and a pretty even thickness through out the whole cut.
Trim any excess fat off the outside of the meat. This fat layer tends to just burn on the grill and not really impart anything to the flavor.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pear Pie

This is an amazing tasting pie with multiple facets. It tastes somewhat like custard, caramel or pear, sometimes all of the above all at once. It is very simple and easy to make and a pie that I think you will enjoy.

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
2 pears - peeled, cored and cut in half (or thickly sliced)
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°. Press the pie pastry into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Flute the edges. Place the pear halves cut side down in the pie crust with the small ends toward the center (if thickly sliced instead, spread over bottom of pan). In a medium bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until smooth, then beat in the eggs one at a time until light and fluffy. Stir in flour and vanilla. Pour over the top of the pears. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until pears are soft and custard is set in the center. (If pears where thickly sliced instead, baking time may vary closer to 40 minutes. Top crust will be golden color when done and the custard will be set). Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Auntie Esther's Chicken-In-Foil

This authentic Chinese dish is an old family recipe of our Godmother, "Auntie Esther", who introduced it to us when we were kids. It is one of those culinary pieces of heaven that your tongue and mind never forget (at least we didn't). Please note that this recipe is definitely "old-school", meaning a little of this, a little of that, etc., mostly to your own personal tastes, so feel free to "play" with it a bit. It is also a bit of work, but once you get the hang of it, then it goes quicker. Either way, well worth the effort.
Personally, I think my brothers may owe me BIG time for this long-awaited-for recipe. Maybe not, they are good brothers!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tomato Basil Salad

Here is another easy salad to try in place of the usual macaroni or potato salad. Especially tasty if the ingredients are fresh from your own garden. Some fresh pulled Mozzarella cheese on the side may be just the thing to go with it. Sounds wonderfully like "summer"!

6 (1/4 inch thick) slices tomato
6 red onion slices
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar

Place tomatoes in a shallow dish; top each slice with an onion. In a small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine remaining ingredients; shake well. Pour over tomatoes and onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Cucumber Salad

This refreshing salad is an excellent side dish for BBQ's and such. It has no cholesterol in it so you can eat it with absolutely no guilt!

2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt


1. Combine cucumbers and red onion in a salad bowl.
2. In a small bowl, stir together water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and seasoned salt. Pour over vegetables. Chill for 1 hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

This is always great for summer and it makes a nice alternative for when you are tired of eating macaroni and potato salads.

Sierra City Mountain Potatoes

This is an easy and tasty way to enjoy a hot and filling breakfast while camping or simply as comfort food at home.

Potatoes (usually Russett type, but any larger baking type will do)
Red onions (could probably use yellow ones, but we favored the reds)
Lawry's Garlic Salt
Sour Cream
Cheese (your favorite type, optional)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Aluminum foil

Mince the bacon into small bits and cook. Drain and set aside. Slice the potatoes and put butter and Lawry's Garlic Salt on them. Apply the onions, then add small, already cooked, real bacon bits to the potato. Wrap in foil, cook on the grill and then when done, add the sour cream and/or cheese to it.

The beauty of this is that you can play with the recipe once you get a feel for the technique by adding or changing the goodies that go on/in it. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Butter to Olive Oil Conversion Chart

Conversion Chart: Butter to Olive Oil
from The Olive Press - Sonoma, Ca

Butter = Olive Oil

1 teaspoon= 3/4 teaspoon
1 Tablespoon = 2-1/4 teaspoon
1/4 cup = 3 Tablesp
1/3 cup = 1/4 cup
1/2 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoon
2/3 cup = 1/2 cup
3/4 cup = 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon
1 cup = 3/4 cup

yours, for (occasional) healthy options

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lemon Verbena Butter

In our household, fishing season has begun (meaning that the water has warmed up enough to fish and it isn't snowing out). Trying to come up with new and interesting ideas for fish can be a bit taxing. However, I did come across this recipe that I tried awhile back and remembered that it was pretty tasty (at least with the trout and the bass we caught). I would imagine that it would work very well on any mild tasting fish (such as red snapper, sea bass or grouper) and should be good on shrimp as well. If you find other cool uses for it, let me know.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mom's Inside-Out Ravioli

This is a quick and easy casserole to make that is practically idiot-proof (I say that because there is always someone who has had a bad day, etc etc etc!). This is one of those wonderful recipes that can taste even better as reheated leftovers (and no one really knows why...just one of those simple acts of God...Thank you Lord!).

Friday, June 4, 2010

Help With: Onions!

I have a big bag of beautiful red onions in my pantry... normally we only buy a couple at a time. What kinds of things can I make with them? I don't want them to go to waste, so I'd appreciate suggestions...


Monday, May 10, 2010

Apple Time Cake

This recipe was taken from a Lutheran cookbook and complements of St. Peter's Lutheran Church Mission Circle in Easton, MN. It is a wonderfully moist cake that is extremely simple and quick to make. It has impressed everyone who has had the fortune to taste it including myself. It is a wonderful cake to make if you have 30-45 minutes to spare in your day.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Herb and Brie Omelette

Herb and Brie Omelette from Williams-Sonoma

Happy Mother's Day ala William's Sonoma. I saw a photo of this in their May catalog and just had to look it up...soooo glad I did! Served it with Apple-wood thick cut bacon, fresh sourdough bread and a lovely J champagne...did I say "yummmm"?


Friday, May 7, 2010

Pesto Chicken with Polenta

Pounding chicken with a mallet can be a good thing to do when you are stressed. Pounding chicken with a mallet can be a bad thing to when you are stressed. The difference lies in the amount of stress relative to the size and quantity of chicken breasts. Unfortunately that's a ratio that you'll have to figure out on your own. It's different for everybody. Creamy, buttery, cheesy polenta is super comforting and goes really well with the pesto chicken too. After all that pounding, what's a little stirring?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

No-Fail Hard-Boiled Eggs

Seriously, perfect... every time. I don't make hard-boiled eggs that often, and I'm always anxious how they'll turn out when I do... because sometimes they don't. This technique produces hard-boiled eggs that are just the right consistency (not rubbery) and it totally eliminates the dark gray-green discoloring around the yolk. What more could you want? O.k. don't answer that.

Try it, you might like it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Homemade Granola

This is a fabulous recipe that can be tweaked to your preferences pretty easily. I had accidentally added too much honey once and then ended up pressing it onto a cookie sheet and made granola "bars" of a sort. It turned out tasty if not aesthetically pleasing!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Napa Valley Cabernet Burgers

A yummy from the grill that will impress one and all from Bon Appétit-July 2003. You can view the complete recipe online at:

750-ml bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup minced shallots
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (15% fat)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Vegetable oil
1 cup (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
4 4 1/2-inch squares focaccia, cut horizontally in half
8 large tomato slices
2 cups arugula

Boil wine and shallots in medium saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter and brown sugar; whisk until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Mix remaining 8 tablespoons butter and rosemary in small bowl. Set aside.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Mix beef, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup wine-shallot mixture in bowl. Form meat into four 5-inch squares or rounds. Brush grill rack with oil. Grill burgers until brown on bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn burgers and brush with wine-shallot mixture. Continue grilling burgers until cooked to desired doneness, turning and brushing occasionally with wine-shallot mixture, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare. Sprinkle with cheese after last turn and grill until cheese melts.

Spread cut sides of bread with rosemary butter. Grill, cut side down, until golden, about 2 minutes. Arrange bread, grilled side up, on plates. Top bottom halves with burgers, then tomatoes and arugula. Cover with top halves of bread.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes

These were pretty good (nobody complained anyway), I think I would increase the amount of rosemary next time, but that's just me. If you like a lot of garlic, certainly add as much as you want.

The recipe says to make them "wetter" than you think they should be because they will continue to absorb liquid and could become too dry by the time you serve them. They're not kidding! Don't skip that part - especially if you won't be serving them immediately. Oh and if you notice the slow cooker in the photo... it's only there to keep the finished potatoes warm during the travel and waiting to eat time (yep - made them for a pot luck). Which brings me to my next point. I tripled this recipe, so if you don't need to feed 12 people, just divide the ingredients by 3...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fennel Dusted Chicken with Browned Butter and Capers

This is a chicken dish that I made last week using fennel seeds... never would have thought that would work (much less taste good) but it did and it was delicious and dead-easy. Check it out over on my blog (shameless self-promotion alert!)... Make it Bake it Buy it Fake it

Try it... you might like it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Creamy Caraway and Apple Chicken

Looking for a chicken recipe to make for dinner... and definitely not wanting to go to the store, I went searching through my plethora of cooking magazines and special editions and happened upon an interesting one from America's Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers (Winter 2010 edition). I am ashamed to admit I have never had anything with Caraway seeds, so I was curious.

America’s Test Kitchen: 30-Minute Suppers, Winter 2010 edition, is stock full of terrific-looking recipes to get delicious, nutritious dinners to the table quickly. The magazine is comprised of 96 tear-out recipe cards that are divided into sections: poultry, vegetarian, pork, pasta, beef, lamb, seafood and salad. These recipes are no-fuss fare, but each one still has a casual elegance about them that goes beyond your regular weeknight meal. Alas, not available on line. I bought mine at CostCo in February.

I only made one substitution of 2% milk instead of the heavy cream. Didn't have any on hand.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Party Quiche

Super easy, super tasty. This is one of my favorite "go to" recipes of all time. Kind of a crust-less quiche with a little fiesta mixed in. The original recipe was from my Mom's friend Peggy and was printed in our church cookbook, circa 1970-something. It's a great dish for breakfast, brunch or lunch. It even tastes good cold! Cut it into small squares for an appetizer or large squares for an entreé. I'm thinking about trying it out in muffin tins for individual quiche-lettes at our next party. The cooking time will be different though, so I'll have to experiment. If anyone tries it out before I get around to it, let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Boiled Dinner

I just love St Patrick's Day. Not because he ran all the snakes out of Ireland (though that does help), but because it allows me two of my favorite indulgences...Guinness and Corned Beef Dinner...yumm! It conjures up all sorts of memories like Dad doing the two-step to the plethora of Irish folk songs in our vast music collection! I've created a twist on the old time favorite by adding a baste that zips it up a wee bit...but not too much. It's the only corned beef (or cabbage) my Brother-in-Law and Sister will eat!

Irish Soda Bread

4 – 4½ c. Flour
½-1 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Soda
¼ c. Sugar (optional)
2 shakes Cinnamon, Ginger & Nutmeg each
¼ c. Butter or Margarine
1 Egg
1¾ c. Buttermilk

2 c. Currents, Raisins, &/or Cranberries

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and sugar until thoroughly blended. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or knife until crumbly. In a separate bowl, beat egg slightly and mix with buttermilk; stir into dry ingredients until blended. Add optional items. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth (2 – 3 min). Divide dough in half and shape each into a smooth, round loaf; place each loaf into a greased pie pan. Press down until dough nearly fills the pan. With a floured knife, cut a cross in the top of the loaves, about ½ inch deep. Mix ¼ c. buttermilk with a capful of Irish whiskey and bathe the top of each loaf and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 375o oven for 35 – 40 min., or until nicely browned.
Yields 2 loaves.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oatmeal-Brown Sugar Baked Apples

I made this for my BD Breakfast with Mom and Stephanie. It was a rainy, blustery March day and this recipes conjured up cozy, warm, loving feelings of my childhood.

I Used Gala Apples (I wanted sweet but firm apples and they were the biggest and looked the nicest that day).

My oh-so-smart-sister, Stephanie, recommended we core the apples from the bottom and twist off the stem. You can then eat the whole thing!

Added: 1/4c Raisins, 4 chopped Apricots and a small handful of chopped Pecans. Apples still firm but not much syrupy-goodness.

First found this recipe on my sister's wonderful food blog: Make It Bake It Buy It Fake It
She found it on: the kitchn


Monday, March 1, 2010

Fiesta Corn Muffins

There were leftover ingredients sitting in my fridge from the muffin-a-thon the other day: fresh cilantro, red bell pepper, and buttermilk. As I sat thinking about what I could do with it all so's not to waste it, it dawned on me... just make more corn muffins!

I combined two recipes for the best of both worlds: lots of corn and lots of flavor. Used my vintage muffin pans (8 muffins cups in each) since I still haven't washed out the 12-cup muffin pan from the other day. Yep, I really hate washing out muffin pans. Seriously do not like. Of course, now I've got three pans to wash. Ugh. Anyway, these are super tasty corn muffins and would go great with all sorts of barbecued dishes (or a bowl of chili of course).