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Entree

Entree/ Pasta

Bucatini with Spinach, Bacon and Creamy Parmesan Sauce

Who doesn’t love a good pasta dish?

While in Chicago a few weeks ago I made this Bucatini pasta dish. I love bucatini. It’s spaghetti on steroids with a hole through the middle. There are so many interesting shapes and sizes of pasta it is always hard for me to make up my mind what to try next. And I buy pasta wherever I go.  I’ve bought chocolate pasta at Pike’s Market in Seattle and brought back some cool shapes of pasta from Italy and France.    

The night I made this recipe we served it with seared scallops on top. I made it again after returning home to Round Top and used sliced grilled chicken thighs on top. Both ways were delicious; when I do again I’ll choose the grilled chicken thighs.

This recipe is fairly quick to make with or without the scallops. The only change I made to juliasalbum.com’s recipe was to add sun-dried tomatoes the second time I made this dish. (Note: the sun-dried tomatoes were great)

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Beef/Veal/ Beef/Veal/ Entree

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Cauliflower Rice

Stuffed Peppers for dinner!

Don’t you love bell peppers, and to stuff them with something healthy and delicious makes them even better.

I have some pepper planted outside this year. We’ll see what they produce.  I’ve also planted some shishito peppers and I’m really hoping they produce big time; also trying some okra, and cherry tomatoes in our tiny back yard garden at our tiny house here in Round Top.

My mother always made stuffed peppers with cooked rice mixed with the hamburger meat on the inside and I loved them that way and still make them occasionally. Sometimes I can shut my eyes and see her cooking in the kitchen and smell the food I remember her cooking. There’s this one song, “The Wayward Wind”, I still remember playing in the background from a transistor radio while she is cooking. Do you have memories like this?

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Blackened Red Fish with Lots of Butter

Redfish with lots of butter!

I guess by now you know if you don’t want to read a bunch of text you can simply scroll through this “no ads” food blog and find the recipe. I, too, get tired of scrolling forever trying to find a recipe and seeing an ad every other paragraph.  I have no ads for two reasons, first, I could never figure out how to get them on the blog and secondly I do this purely as a hobby. When, I’m not baking at Lollitop Sweet Shop with son, Paul I may actually find time to fire up some new dishes at home.

This recipe I found while searching for  New Orleans fish recipes (nola.com). I love looking at different city’s newspapers that I can find on line for their regional cuisine recipes.  I usually pick cities like Louisville (lived there), San Francisco (been there), NYC (been there too) and southern cities like Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans. It’s also fun to come across really good restaurants and I will pick through their menu to find something I might want to recreate. I still have an idea for a dish we had in Aux Baux France in 2012 at Le Varietes (and it is still on the menu; must be a favorite) for Poulet Sauce Tapenade Verte. It was a beautiful chicken dish with stacks of green and black tapenade and served with a tower of red rice (which I have).

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Appetizers/ Entree/ Game/ HotApp

Buttermilk Fried Quail Legs

Talk about pretty legs!

Pretty bird legs! No not those thin, little legs you might see on someone so skinny that if you were to put them on a flagpole they would wave in the wind. That certainly doesn’t describe me and probably never will. Although my sister (twin) and I did have little bird legs when we were young. I don’t think we ate much other than Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. That changed, hence the current results.

So these pretty little legs were from a few quail that gave their lives for us to enjoy them as an appetizer on New Year’s Eve. (That sounds pretty sad – but they were delicious.) They were so good I have to say thank you little quails. Normally I’m not that great frying things and my husband does all that outside on the grill with his huge 13″ cast iron skillet. This particular New Year’s Eve it was rainy and cold, just us, and me not wanting to go all out making fancy appetizers for just two people, I decided to boil some shrimp and make a good cocktail sauce and then decided I’d better fry these little legs inside.

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Beef/Veal/ Entree/ Pasta

Beef Stroganoff

Been decades but I still like this recipe.

So you are wondering how many ways can one possibly do beef stroganoff. Well, I couldn’t find many recipes that veered off the traditional recipe.

All I knew when I started this recipe was I wanted to use our leftover delicious bone-in ribeye steak that we had for Christmas dinner. We had bought these steaks and some other meats at Eckermanns Meat Market in Fayetteville (TX) (my now go-to for delicious meats and sliced pork belly that I love).

My daughter, Alexis, had brought me some trofie shaped pasta on her first visit to see us after our move to Round Top. I guess I was complaining too much I couldn’t find certain things that was easy to pick up in The Woodlands. Now I know (I already knew this) if I can’t find it, then I can order it probably from Amazon.

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Game/ Side dish

Roasted Tomato and Corn Grits with Duck Confit

I love grits!

I love grits and I love roasted tomatoes and who doesn’t love duck confit. This duck confit just happened to be given to me by my son Paul.

I’ve made confit the traditional way where the duck is covered with duck fat and cooked long and slow in an oven and I’ve made David Leboritz’s counterfeit duck confit where it isn’t cooked in fat (much cheaper) and is still just as tender. I loved using my son’s confit because I know he put a lot of tender loving care into making it.

All the years I’ve made cheese grits I’ve cooked some on stove top before adding in butter and eggs (to thicken) and then finish them in the oven. For this recipe I’m doing all the cooking on the stovetop and eliminating the eggs.

Since moving to Round Top I’m missing all my cooking utensils, pans and everything from my kitchen. (Update: we are now in our second/long term temporary and I have cabinet full (not all) of my cooking things) I think at least 60% of our boxes were from my kitchen, I have ever pan imaginable and every serving piece I could possibly ever need.

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Entree/ Pork/ Sandwiches

Cassoulet Toast

Not the time consuming two day project of a traditional cassoulet.

What is a cassoulet you say? Well if you like white beans then let me tell you about this cassoulet. No it isn’t a casserole it’s a slow cooked dish (maybe casserole would be a stretch) that contains meats like bacon, pork sausage, ham, pork skin, duck and can have goose or mutton.

Making a traditional (French) cassoulet would take you a couple of days at least. By the time you make your duck confit and prep everything and then cook for hours the next day, you have invested a lot of time into what you might think is just beans and ham. The first time I we made this (or Paul/Scott made it) we did the confit one day and we used dried beans and not canned beans. It gets stirred during the day while cooking so the crusty top layer gets pushed to the bottom. If you want to see their results look here.

I won’t go into more details in making the tradition version because this Cassoulet Toast is easy. I first saw the recipe at David Lebovitz’s site and was one he had made from Susan Spungen’s book The Open Kitchen. Susan is a cook, food stylist, recipe developer and author. I started following her on Instagram because of her food pictures and now I own her book and can’t wait to try some of her recipes.

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Egg Dishes/ Morning Foods/ Pork

Crustless Broccoli and Ham Quiche

Virus inspired weekend breakfast.

(Note: My post may be spaced a little further apart for a few weeks as we are packing and moving to Round Top. Looking forward to many new adventures there.)

Why virus inspired? Well since all this madness started a several months ago I’ve been trying not to waste anything. Normally we don’t like to eat leftovers but even my husband said “lets don’t waste our food”. 

Digging through the freezer I found about a cup of chopped ham, some broccoli, had the mushrooms and always have eggs and milk so I whipped this up one weekend morning. Doesn’t every day feel like the weekend? 

What are you doing these days for breakfast?  Cereal, pancakes, waffles, something fancier. Well now’s the time to try one of my recipes from “morning foods” section. You have nothing but time so give one of them a try and if you do, leave a note (please) in the comment section.

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Entree/ Pork

Easy Pork Lo Mein

When I made this dish we were in the middle of the pandemic and I was doing a lot of cooking. A few reasons for all the cooking was boredom, we had to eat, had to get some post made in advance of my shoulder surgery, had to cook some meals for the freezer for post surgery, I love to cook anyway, and I am cooking via internet with the grandsons in Chicago (Oliver and Charlie).

Well, we are still the in pandemic, I’m still cooking, I had the shoulder surgery and in physical therapy. And, during all this we listed our house, the first day had 14 people look, 5 offers, accepted one and now in the process of starting to pack up some things to move to Round Top, Texas (population 90) and will start the process of building a house there.

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Entree/ Pork

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Red Grapes

Red grapes with roasted pork?

Several weeks ago before all this sheltering in place started we had dinner with some old (not in age of course) Chevron friends that spend part of their year here and part in Minnesota. It’s always great to catch up on what is going on in each other’s lives.

I loved everything about the meal we had that night, the cocktails (thanks Jane/Tony), the appetizers and just the whole meal.  In all my years of cooking I’ve never put grapes in anything I cooked and when I first saw these on our plates I thought they were little stems of cherry tomatoes and to my surprise they were sweet grapes that were delicious with a bite of fork. So the way I ate mine when I made this recipe was to take half a grape (these were huge red grapes I bought) and  bite of pork; one delicious bite.

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Entree/ Pork

Beans, Greens and Ham

Green beans and ham? No, Beans, Greens and Ham

Happy New Year to everyone out there. Hope you will continue following my blog with a lot of adventure to come this year.

My friend, the other Sherry (Sheri) with an “I” was telling me one day about making kale and beans and after thinking on that all day and looking at a large ham bone in my refrigerator left from Thanksgiving, I decided to give it a try.

I really wanted to use up all that leftover ham before it went to waste. Sometimes our disposal eats pretty well. Too bad we don’t have some pigs in the back yard and then they would be eating all the food I let spoil by not paying attention to what’s in my refrigerator. 

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Entree/ Pasta

Avocado Pasta with Asparagus and Peas

I love all pasta recipes.

Most of the time I don’t care if the pasta is real (gluten) or imitation (non-gluten); it’s all about the sauce and other ingredients.

Over the years I’ve tried a lot of gluten free pastas and really by the time you put a sauce on it you can’t tell a lot of difference. One thing I did once when I was trying not to eat too much pasta was I made Zucchini Pasta with Pine Nuts and most of the “pasta” was zucchini noodles and I used about a quarter size of whole wheat pasta. That turned out really good because the real pasta kept the zucchini pasta from going too limp and gave it a little more body for holding the sauce. I will do that one again.

I found this Avocado Pasta recipe at wellplated.com. Not sure how I happened upon this but I’m glad I did. I added some chopped fresh spinach to the skillet because I wanted to make sure there was plenty of vegetables and “green” color; it did the trick.

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