Salmon Tacos with Basil Pesto-Yogurt Sauce


                                                     Quick version of recipe at bottom of post.

I clearly remember the first time I heard someone order fish tacos at a Tex-Mex place called Chevy’s (it may still be around somewhere.) I couldn’t get my mind around it, but the person ordering it, who happened to be my brother-in-law Bill, assured me it was out of the world luscious.


Here’s Bill singing Beatle songs to our granddaughter Piper last May.

I don’t think so, thought my younger and more naive self twenty years ago.  And this despite the fact that I had, indeed, spent four years in San Antonio, where tacos of any sort in the universe reigned supreme. (Had there been fish tacos, though? I didn’t remember them.)

Fast forward a few years and find my sister cooking fish tacos in my kitchen. Addiction. Totally. I hijacked her recipe with a few embellishments. And made it and made it and made it.  Dave then began ordering fish tacos from restaurants and I kept thinking…


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Spinach Omelet with Tomatoes, Mozzarella Balls, and Olives… … … … … … … …Or A Baker’s Dozen Egg Dishes for Fast Dinners


If I had to come up with a cooking mantra from friends, family, students, and neighbors, it could very well be,

I just don’t have time to cook.

Sometimes that makes sense to me. Like I’m in the middle of cleaning out closets, in a frenzied rush to pack and leave for a trip, or between a deadline, picking someone up from the airport, and a trip to the movies.  Ok, I’ll have some cheese and crackers. Tuna out of a can. Slice an apple.

But when I take this little meme and run with it, I come away with the knowledge that includes visions of lives running and running on empty or on the fast track without a centered vision of what it means to live in a home.  Kind of like we run around a lot because we can.  We watch cooking on tv, talk “Chopped” with our spouses, and then refuse to grocery shop because it takes too much time.  Don’t set the table and, instead, eat standing up dropping cracker crumbs in the sink.


Do we really have so much to do that we don’t want to feed ourselves well and healthily?  It’s a question for which there’s no answer. Work triumphs. Health and emotional well-being suffers. Soccer, tv, and the computer win.  Laughter, easy talk, difficult conversations, and connections around the table are lessened. Rather sad. Continue reading

Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower… … … … or My Love Affair with Vegetables


One pan. A bit of olive oil. Cauliflower florets. Salt and pepper. A few shards of Parmesan. Maybe a dusting of ground cayenne. Dinner is done. For nights when a little is better. Or for when you need a little extra-special side that’s ultra-easy.

I occasionally buy too many vegetables because I’m crazy about them. That’s pretty close to how it is. While I like fruit, I love vegetables. I really like meat; I adore fish.  But vegetables just do something for me. It has often occurred to me that I’m so attracted to them because they exist in infinite variety, colors, shapes, tastes, textures, sizes, and even styles–think Thai or Japanese eggplant and see below…

                                  Meat comes in brown.

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Hot Tuna Stuffed Peppers


Before baking…


…and after baking.

If I googled this dish, I’d probably find it. I prefer to think I dreamed it up in my very own kitchen. Which I did.  I don’t need to know it’s not original. Necessity is the mother of invention. I had “X” number of food items.  It looked like this outside:

IMG_3160I wasn’t going to the store.  I wasn’t going ANYWHERE. The mail lady said she could hardly make it up our hill with four-wheel-drive and chains. In other words, my car was staying in the garage where it belonged. I was making do with what I had on hand.

Like most cooks, I keep a full pantry year-round, but especially in the winter as I live within sight of the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading

Pizza Kebabs for The Big Game


I looked on the blog for my work pizza kebab “recipe” the other day–thinking it would be great for Super Bowl snacks– and couldn’t find it. I had posted it on Facebook, but hadn’t blogged it. Perhaps because you might not really need a recipe for pizza kebabs. On the other hand, you might never have thought of them either.  I had to search out the photo, get the date, and save it to iPhoto as I hadn’t even kept it. A very sorry management practice!

For part of 2014 and nearly all of 2015, I worked as a Jenn-Air and Dacor chef, demonstrating and teaching cooking techniques at the local high-end appliance store.  It was mostly great fun and one of the things that most interested me was the need to invent quick attractive-to-the-masses recipes.

cropped-cropped-wp_20150429_008.jpgWhile I often teach a cooking class about pizza, I couldn’t figure out how to fit it into the time frame of my weekly demonstration. (And yes, in the class you do get to eat your work.  You also take dough home to try it out in your own kitchen. See below. I teach 1/2-sheet pan pizza-making. No special equipment needed. Feeds a bunch.) Continue reading

Quick Chicken and Rice Soup (“In January It’s So Nice…”)


In January it’s so nice
While slippin’ on the slidin’ ice
To sip hot chicken soup with rice
Sippin’ once, sippin’ twice
Sippin’ chicken soup with rice..

Book-Nutshell Lib

Lyrics (original text) by Maurice Sendak.  Music by Carole King, Really Rosie. (Click here to listen.)  First published in the book Chicken Soup with Rice, part of the Nutshell Library.

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