Spring Lamb Stew


Here in Colorado, our biggest claim to food fame may be western slope peaches. Oh, August…2d209-food-peach-afm

Unless, that is, you’re crazy about lamb like I am. You might remember I once ordered Colorado lamb in London and was very glad to get it.  I really did do bangers and mash the rest of the time.  (Read about American lamb here.)

I adore Colorado lamb (and love eating locally!), but it’s not always readily available or reasonably priced, so….

Once in a while, I just do the expedient, less expensive thing and buy a big boneless leg of lamb at Costco with the rest of the crowd.  Why not?  Continue reading

Egg and Ham Sandwiches with Greek Goddess or What to do with Easter Leftovers

After Easter there is a plethora of goodies in the refrigerator.  The blessings of not only having enough to eat, but more than enough (witness my weight problem and perhaps yours, too)… are beautiful if sometimes embarrassing.  “An embarrassment of riches” is what it’s called, I think.   Others might use the pejorative meme, “First world problems.”   I choose to be grateful, but careful.  Full of breath, but conservative in the best sense of the word.  In a country where 30- 40% of our food is discarded, but

48.8 million Americans—including 16.2 million children— live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. As a result, they struggle with hunger at some time during the year.

(No Kid Hungry dot org)

you can see why a food blogger would think twice before cooking, eating, or posting anything at all.  There are moments I’m shifty-eyed and clench-jawed just thinking of recipes that discuss things like the quality of certain cheeses or chocolates that easily set one back $25 a pound.  Add to this mix the concepts revolving around our fascination with being thin and a faithful, earth-loving person begins to be more than confused.

If it hasn’t come across your radar, we’re moving up on Earth Day and while we’re talking being conservative in the very best way, here are some…

earth day ideas for earth-loving cooks–coming up April 22, 2016There are many things we can do, and you’re likely aware of quite a few, but for those of us who are comfortably set for house and home, food and clothing, we can share all we can and use all we can wisely. We can donate a few bucks a month to the local food shelter, the World Food Programme or No Kid Hungry.We can use less water, walk more, eat less meat or simply eat more plant-based foods.  We can use fabric napkins and buy a couple of dozen white bar towels to use instead of quite so many paper towels.  Pick a cause that speaks to you (clean water, better air quality, etc.) and write letters or emails. Study up on climate change and hunger here. Donate to the crisis in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) here.  For a list of 10 great things to do right here and nowread here.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.   Theodore Roosevelt

But in the meantime, this week you can do this:  use up your Easter or Passover leftovers, though admittedly they might not be identical. Just use what you already have. Don’t throw them in a plastic bag and send them to the landfill.  Don’t pitch them down the garbage disposal.  Put them in someone’s stomach.  If there’s too much, invite a few folks over to share, or take a big plateful in to the office.  In fact, you can make this just decadent meal that’s good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you still have boiled eggs, ham scraps, leftover fresh vegetables, and a little dip or dressing.  Try this:



  1. Heat a skillet over medium flame with a teaspoon of butter or olive oil. Place the halves of an English muffin in the pan facing down, along with a few thin slices or slivers of Easter ham.  Let all of it cook 3-4 minutes or until everything gets a little crispy.  Remove muffins to a plate and top with 2 leftover boiled, peeled, and sliced Easter eggs, along with the ham.
  2. In the meantime, slice up some of the vegetables from your holiday veggie tray or salad– I liked a lot of radishes with some zucchini, yellow peppers, and cherry tomatoes–and put them on the plate.  (About a cup total or however many you’d like.) Give them a few grains of salt and pepper on top and splash with a little sherry (or other) vinegar. 
  3. Drizzle the sandwich and/or salad with Greek Goddess Dip (Melissa Clark– A Good Appetite @NYT)  or other dressing or dip you still have in that little container in the fridge. Eat warm or at room temperature.

If you liked this, you might like my Snowcap Bean Soup Or Bye-Bye Easter Ham Bone.

{printable recipe}


Sing a new song; make something fresh with  your leftovers,


(a repeat post from 2014)


Quick Salmon-Irish Cheddar Chowder for St. Patrick’s Day


A little Irish music to set you up for a bit of cooking: click here.  And, in the Irish, as they say, “La fheile padraig!”  

I’ve been making Salmon Chowder for a good long while; there’s a really easy and light version in my soup cookbook, SOUPS & SIDES FOR EVERY SEASON.  If by chance you’ve made it, you’ll know it’s perfect spring or summertime fare for the day after you’ve grilled a big piece of salmon and don’t know what to do with the leftovers.  Likewise it’s for fall or winter if you’ve roasted a side of salmon for company and only used the big fat inner slices for the dinner table, leaving the skinny ends smelling up the fridge.  This year, though, I was into something a little different…


            Late summer, 2014 in Dunsmore East, Ireland (the port for Waterford)

The Irish, along with my fair Scots, have some of the best salmon in the world, but more often make a mixed fish and seafood chowder such as Donal Skehan’s Howth Head Seafood Chowder.

Continue reading

Smoky Green Chile-Shrimp Corn Chowder


I worked on a fresh pea clam chowder while I lived in the great city of St. Paul, Minnesota.  There, on any given beautiful early spring Saturday, the St. Paul Farmer’s Market would proudly boast a gorgeous array of pea shoots and tendrils…and not long after that, the peas themselves. That soup ended up in my soup book, Soups & Sides for Every Season and is a favorite with or without the fresh peas! (Fresh peas are often available year round at Trader Joes, as well.)

Fresh pea shoots–leaves, shoots, and tendrils from pea plants.  Yummy greens.

Continue reading

Curried Green (Puy) Lentil Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, and Kale


There’s little better pot of gold in the fridge than a lentil salad. Make that curried lentil salad and we’re nudging platinum; you’re rich! Full of protein (add rice for a complete protein), fiber, color, texture, and nutrients, it’s a hefty and quick supper that translates into a week’s lunches at home or work as it travels so perfectly well. Tuck it into a pita or a tortilla. Warm a big spoonful and eat with scrambled eggs; it will love you all the more. See below. 


Lentils are that perfect landscape upon which almost anything can be planted, grown, and harvested. They’re a warming winter soup or a trusty spring salad. They’re a platter for big hunks of protein when need be.


Here’s my Salmon on Lentil Risotto. Continue reading