Saturday, December 26, 2015


Victorian table Christmas tree in my sun room, which is now a 'snow room'.

Country Christmas tree cut from our property.

My little Christmas kitchen tree.

Christmas Eve with our daughter

Christmas Eve with my husband

Friday, November 27, 2015


I stopped stuffing the turkey several years ago because in order to get the stuffing to 165 degrees F, the breast tends to be overdone and dry, even with brining. The turkey cooks much faster when it is unstuffed and you don't have to worry about removing the stuffing from the bird within a hour. My husband cuts the turkey up and puts it all on a platter. Any parts we don't use, the dogs love!

1 rustic loaf of country sourdough or white bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 t grape seed oil 
1 lb sage sausage, crumbled
6 T unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks celery with tops, diced
1 T fresh thyme leaves
2 T minced fresh sage leaves
1 t poultry seasoning
3 cups chicken stock or broth, divided
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Place bread cubes on two large baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.    
This can be done a few days ahead and when cool, place in an airtight container.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to another bowl and set aside.
Pour off most of the grease.
In the same large skillet, melt the butter and add the onions and celery and sauté over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. 

Add the thyme, sage, and poultry seasoning.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and sauté a minute more.
Add the sausage back to the skillet, along with ½ cup of chicken stock and stir to combine. 

In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes with the dressing ingredients.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs with the remaining 2 ½ cups of the stock.
Pour into the bread ingredients and mix to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a large greased baking dish, such as a large oval gratin dish or lasagna pan.
Bake in the 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.
Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Fluff with a fork before serving and serve hot.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Sockeye salmon is a species of salmon found in the Northern Pacific Ocean and rivers. The color is very red compared to the Coho salmon. In this recipe, you can use Coho, Sockeye, or when in season, Chinook (also called King Salmon). Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, B6, D, niacin, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

1 12-oz wild sockeye salmon fillet, skin left on
2 T seafood grilling spices
1 T avocado oil

Wild Rice Salad
¾ cup raw wild rice
½ cup green lentils
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
¾ cup walnuts, chopped and divided
½ cup dried cherries
Grated rind of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
4 scallions, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad Greens
Enough mixed salad greens, for 2 servings
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon slices, for garnish

Drizzle olive oil over salmon fillet and sprinkle with grilling spices.
Cover and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.

Rinse rice in a strainer under cold water.
Rinse lentils in a strainer under cold water and set aside.

Place rice in a medium saucepan and add the chicken stock and water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer 15 minutes.
Add lentils and simmer another 15 to 18 minutes, stirring often.

Pour off any remaining liquid and pour into a large bowl.
Add most of the walnuts. Save the rest for garnish on top of the salmon
Add the cherries, orange zest, orange juice, scallions, mint, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Set aside while roasting the salmon.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove salmon from refrigerator and set aside while oven is preheating.

Place salad greens in a bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide salad between two plates, add some of the wild rice medley over the salad.
Place salmon, skin side down, on a baking sheet.
Roast salmon for 10 to 12 minutes.
Cut salmon in half and remove from baking sheet with a spatula (the skin will remain on the baking sheet) and place on top of the rice salad and greens on each plate.
Top the salmon with a few chopped walnuts and a couple of lemon slices.

Serves 2

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Roast chicken is a delicious Sunday family meal. Knowing how to roast a perfect chicken is easy if you follow these instructions. Stuffing the bird with herbs and lemon adds flavor to the pan gravy. Placing the chicken on a 'rack' of sliced onions also adds flavor to the gravy. All you need is a green vegetable or salad for this complete meal.

1 (4 to 4 ½ lb) organic, free-range roasting chicken, if possible
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper                  
2 sprigs fresh rosemary  
4 T unsalted butter                            
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed                     
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon zested and juiced

2 large carrots, cut into chunks                                   
2 bulbs fennel, fronds removed, cut into chunks     
2 medium onions, cut into chunks                            
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks                     
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
Avocado oil
1 t garlic powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Dry chicken with paper towels. No need to rinse chicken - this contaminates your sink.
Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
Place chicken in a large cast-iron skillet
Add the sprigs of rosemary to the cavity.

In a small saucepan, add the butter, thyme leaves, garlic, lemon zest, and juice.
Melt over medium heat and set aside.
Pour the melted butter mixture over the chicken.

Place chicken in the oven an roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until breast meat registers 165 degrees F.

While chicken is roasting, place the vegetables in a heavy roasting pan or cast-iron skillet.
Drizzle vegetables with oil and garlic powder.
Season to taste with salt, and pepper. 
Stir, to combine.
Place vegetables in the oven after the chicken has been roasting for 45 minutes, roast vegetables for 45 minutes. They will be done when the chicken is ready for carving.

Pan Gravy
2 T all-purpose flour
½ cup Madeira or white wine            
1 cup chicken broth or stock                                      
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
When chicken is finished roasting, carefully tilt chicken to let juices run out of the cavity into the skillet.
Place chicken on a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes, covered loosely with aluminum foil.
Meanwhile, place skillet on top of stove over medium-high heat. 
Add flour and stir for a couple of minutes. 
Add chicken broth, wine, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Boil for a couple minutes while whisking. 
Carve chicken into chunks and place on a platter with vegetables. 

Strain gravy into a gravy boat and pour some over chicken.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


The best scallops I have ever had, are from Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada. The scallops in this recipe are East Coast Sea Scallops and are also very sweet. Scallops should not have a strong odor but should smell like the ocean. You may have extra grits left over, but you can refrigerate and reheat in the microwave for breakfast the next morning.

2 cups water
2 cups whole milk 
1 t sea salt
1 cup stone ground white or yellow grits (not instant)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 T unsalted butter

2 t extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil
½ red bell pepper, diced
8 sea scallops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 chorizo sausages, removed from casings and crumbled
½ cup chicken stock
1 T lemon juice
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Hot sauce, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring water, milk, and salt to a boil.
Gradually whisk in grits, reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer, about 15 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat, stir in cheddar cheese and butter. 
Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

While grits are cooking, heat oil in a skillet and sauté the red bell pepper for 2 to 3 minutes. 
Spoon into a small bowl and set aside.
Pat scallops dry, on both sides, with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper.
In the same skillet, raise heat to medium-high. 
Cook the scallops until a golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Do not overcook.
Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 225 degree F oven.

In the same skillet, brown chorizo for about 7 to 8 minutes, while stirring.
Add garlic and cook another minute. 
Add chicken stock and lemon juice.
Simmer another minute.
Spoon grits into 2 warm bowls and spoon on the chorizo and sauce.
Add 4 scallops per bowl and top with the bell peppers and sliced scallions.
Serve with extra hot sauce and a wedge of lemon.

Serves 2