Bacon and Green Onion Tuna Steaks on Cannellini Bean Hash


For years, my good friend Sue Hall has made a favorite dish of white beans topped with grilled tuna… It might have been enhanced by some earthy fragrant rosemary or a few onions, depending on the day.  Healthy, luscious, I remember this plate of goodness as one of the perfect al fresco summer meals.

When I bought some cryovac-packed tuna steaks at my local grocery (frozen fish=good idea in Colorado/great value), I thought of Sue and wondered how many times I’d seen her make this tuna meal albeit with fresh tuna.  While I’m not at the beach where Sue loves to cook, I’m happy to be home cooking in my own kitchen…


after two weeks of restaurant and cruise food. Even Italian, Greek, Turkish, or Croatian restaurant and cruise food!

(Below– from our trip: Yummy Izmir, Turkey breakfast with honey and orange marmalade where I put a big piece of what I thought was cheese on my bread and found out it was a half-inch thick, 4″x2″ piece of butter-see bottom of photo!)


Here’s my spin on this happy fish meal.  I filled it out with a root vegetable hash mixed with time-saving canned cannellini beans, placed it on a frame of asparagus for greenery, and topped the tuna with barely steamed scallions along with the bonus: a huge thick piece of crispy bacon. Thanks, Sue! (From top left, clockwise:  Sue, Lani, Kim, and I at our last beach trip.) Continue reading

Chicken Basil Riff and the Venice to Istanbul Trip


Just coming home from a two-week vacation is work enough (back in the saddle again), but coming home to find a #deadbodysmell fridge-freezer before you’ve even unloaded the doggies is just plain nasty.  I had already needed to buy a washer and dryer on the way home as my dryer had died right before our flight to Venice and the washer was on its last legs.  I was looking forward to a fast delivery to take care of the two weeks of suitcase clothing.  Don’t want vacation tails? (sic) Scroll down past the photos for recipe.

12088334_1039242892806072_1112814192825993745_nI accused Dave of creating the wafting, unhappy-nose and brain smell-GOD, GOD, IT WAS TRAGIC; he denied it vehemently.  I looked at the dogs, who looked back at me; they had nada.  (Above:  at super Double D Ranch for camp.) As I opened the car door, I realized it was the garage that smelled and just knew an animal -ARGH- had entered and died.  We looked around and found no raccoon, bear, cat, etc. (We really do have bears in garages here.) Dave went to the 2001 double-door fridge/freezer we removed from the kitchen during the remodel–obviously none too soon–and not being able to stop himself from opening it, discovered a sickening mess that had been going on for a while. Quite a while.

In the house was a note from the woman who cleans our house and stays over occasionally when we travel.  “House is great; can’t figure out the smell in garage.”

IMG_1621Just when I was feeling oh-so-sigh-Venicy.  We did surely, surely have a glorious time with six friends taking the long route on a ship that, beginning in Venice with a side-trip to Florence, had to nearly blow through Brindisi, Italy; Katakolon, Greece (Olympia); Izmir and Istanbul, Turkey; and Dubrovnik, Croatia to make it back to Venice in a week. Just for info:  we went on MSC Cruises (ship=Magnifica), an Italian line, and they showed us a gorgeous time. Beautiful ship (a little big at 3,000 passengers for this Holland America girl), good food, polite staff, lack of constant corny announcements, and a dependable please-read-your-daily-program-we-aren’t-your-babysitters approach to cruising. Continue reading

Butternut and Other Winter Squash Roundup


The blog and I are on vacation for most of October–Dave and puppies, too.  I’ve collected my favorite butternut (and other) squash recipes for you to peruse while we’re getting out of Dodge.  Just click on the title under each picture for a link to the blog post and recipe.  Start your fall cooking NOW!

 Butternut Squash Frittata with Parmesan Cheese above photo–no link, but here’s the…


Sauté  2 chopped small tomatoes, 1/2 cup cooked chopped butternut squash, and 1 cup spinach over medium flame in an 8-inch skillet with 2 teaspoons olive oil until tender. Add three egg whites evenly on top of the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until egg whites are set to your liking.  Flip pan over onto plate, top frittata with Parmesan and eat while hot.  Serves 1.   Cook the yolks for the dogs!

Two tips about butternut  or other winter squash:

  1. You can often buy it peeled and cut in containers in the produce section.
  2. Using a whole winter squash? It’s much easier to peel if you microwave it for 5 minutes before peeling it. (Do poke several holes in it and place in a microwave-safe dish before microwaving.)  Click here for a basic article on peeling and cutting winter squash.


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Colorado Lamb-Barley Stew with Butternut Squash and Tarragon Mushrooms


And while the New Zealanders, Australians, Brits, Scots, and Irish would strenuously object, Colorado has close to the best lamb in the world.  It’s rare to find any in the store in Colorado itself–horrible pun, but there it is; I use it often.  We once had some Colorado lamb in a swank restaurant in London paired with high-priced French wine. (The quintessential pairing for lamb is Bordeaux.)  But I’m an American and I adore lamb with Oregon Pinot Noir.  The lack of Colorado lamb in Colorado groceries is a common complaint of mine. I apologize to those of you who’ve heard it before.

Want to buy American lamb?  Check HERE.

If you’re like me and you can’t find any Colorado lamb without ordering it online (and that’s something you can do in the states), choose any lamb shoulder or boned leg of lamb for the meat in this stew. You can find a good-looking, decently-priced boneless leg of lamb at Costco; cut it up, use some and freeze the rest for another day. Alternately, California or other American lamb is often found in the regular grocery chains.  Any will work and you don’t need too terribly much. Lamb is rich and that’s a complimentary way of saying it’s fatty and fattening.  Let’s call it a treat.  And who wants stew made with lean meat? What would THAT taste like? We’re talking stew here. Continue reading