Posted at 1:29 pm , on April 16, 2020
Today is a significant date. First and foremost, it is my husband’s birthday. Aaron, the Captain of our boat and my heart, was born in 1964 and is 56 today. He unselfishly gives of his time and talent, and most of all, Love, to his friends and family. He is completely devoted to our three Grands and drops everything to care for them. He coaches Little League, builds props for my daughter’s photography business, mans the barbecue and is known as the “Tickle Monster” by the GrandBoys. He’s a great role model for Cody and Matthew, and Ellie is definitely a “Papy’s Girl.” This from a guy who never had children of his own and became a step-father when my kids were teens! We are blessed to have him in our lives.
Posted at 10:02 am , on April 9, 2020
Homemade horseradish sauce is so easy that we haven’t had store-bought since I discovered how to make it myself a few years ago. It literally takes minutes and can be enhanced with flavored vinegar and salt, kept traditional, or made creamy and the sharp flavor down-played by adding sour cream.
One five-inch piece makes about three cups of traditional horseradish sauce. It can be stored in a glass jar with a tight lid in the fridge for many months and does taste stronger the longer it sits. When mixed with sour cream, it should be used within a week, so just take out a few tablespoons at a time for the creamy version and store the remainder.
Top with finely chopped chives for a nice presentation.
Posted at 3:24 am , on April 7, 2020
This is a flavorful meal that presents beautifully in minutes. I’ll eat any seafood but hubby is a bit pickier, especially when it comes to shellfish. We both love scallops as they don’t have a strong “fishy” taste and do have a “meaty” texture.
The trick to scallops is twofold: they need to be fresh and not overcooked. If they have a fishy smell or are slimy, don’t use them. The ones I bought were out of the shell and cleaned, fresh (not frozen) vacuum-packed wild products of the United States. If you buy frozen and defrost, they may have a mealy texture.
When you cook, watch them closely and only cook until opaque on both sides. Take one out and cut in half to test for doneness. We personally like ours a tad on the undercooked side so ours are done when still just a bit transparent and shiny in the very middle. If you aren’t a fan of almost-sushi, cook until firm but not hard and fully white in the middle.
Posted at 5:55 am , on March 10, 2020
Why squid ink pasta? Well, because I bought all the other ingredients for this recipe and forgot the pasta and just happened to have this in my pantry. The bold black color seemed odd when I was cooking it, but actually made for a dramatic presentation. Most often used in seafood dishes, squid ink pasta does have a distinct flavor of sea salt not found in other pasta. I didn’t add any salt to the recipe and it came out absolutely delish!
Hubby loves pasta and we most often feature an Alfredo sauce or he makes his famous red sauce. I wanted to try something different and found turkey tenderloins on sale so did a bit of recipe research and then developed this one with my own twists. It’s rich and creamy comfort food and the celery adds a nice little crunch. It can be prepped and assembled in advance and then popped in the oven 35 minutes before you are ready to serve.
Posted at 11:42 am , on February 25, 2020
Winter is all about the soups for me. I love filling my floating home with the scents and warmth of long-simmering yumminess. While my husband will never-ever give up beef, I could probably be a pescatarian. Most likely, when we are cruising we’ll probably rely mostly on fresh seafood, fruits and veggies, so I’ll be a happy camper.
Lentils are dried and easy to store. They and chick peas are a great source of protein, making them a great meat alternative. They are also full of iron, which is sometimes lacking in vegetarian diets. Other vitamins include B, magnesium, zinc and potassium, as well as containing fiber.
Posted at 4:22 am , on January 28, 2020
Winter means Comfort Food. I love cooking hearty stews and soups that take all day to simmer and develop complex flavors. This one is super-easy as it’s just a bit of chopping with the majority of the ingredients coming from cans.
Canned foods will be a staple for us when we are on long passages and in many cases actually provide a greater source of vitamins than fresh ingredients. Fresh produce, for example, is often harvested before it is fully ripened in order to get it to the markets before it starts to spoil. Canned foods are picked at the peak of ripeness and cooked and processed within hours, preserving the vitamin content. Check ingredients to ensure that no salt or preservatives have been added if you are concerned with sodium intake. Many canned foods are available in organic, no/low salt versions.
Posted at 4:41 am , on January 14, 2020
A large part of learning to cook as an adult is the willingness (on my part) to try new things. As the recipient of my trial and error dishes, Hubby is a bit more skeptical. He’s a basic meat and potatoes kind of guy and also loves his carbs.
Veggies in particular don’t thrill him, unless they are covered with cheese or sauce. Since retiring, I have been on a mission to eat healthier so created this yummy side dish that was a hit with both Hubby and his Dad and there were no leftovers. (I served this with a barbecued tri tip.) The squash, when made al dente, has a similar tooth to a pasta noodle and doesn’t contribute much to the flavor, which is carried almost exclusively by the pesto sauce.
Posted at 4:26 am , on December 31, 2019
In past years, I’ve cooked a whole turkey for just hubby and I for Thanksgiving. The leftovers resulted in turkey sliders, turkey casserole and turkey soup. All good, but a bit boring three or four days in a row! So this year I decided to try turkey thighs, mainly because hubby and I prefer dark meat and it seemed like a great one-meal option.
These babies looked smaller in the packaging! At just over a pound each, they were more than enough for a meal for the two of us and presented beautifully with all the traditional side dishes. I chose green beans sauteed in balsamic vinegar, an oyster-pancetta stuffing and gravy (made a day earlier with chicken wings for the stock) and buttered rolls.
Tips: Take the thighs out of the fridge about 30 minutes before putting in the oven so they aren’t ice cold and will cook more evenly. If you don’t have, or aren’t a fan of, poultry seasoning, simple salt and pepper works fine.
Posted at 10:49 am , on December 26, 2019
This was my first time brining a turkey. Usually, I buy a fresh bird and and it gets brought to room temp, rubbed or coated with herbs and popped into the oven and roasted. This year, hubby wanted to slow-smoke our Christmas turkey and we decided to brine it first.
Result: Amazingness! Consensus around the table was that it was the most moist and flavorful bird any of us have ever had.
I believe the secret to the deliciousness is to use similar spices in the brining and cooking to layer the flavor profile. You can use this recipe whether you are smoking as we did or cooking your bird in the oven.
Posted at 5:03 am , on December 17, 2019
Living in California, we have access to avocados year-round and it’s one of my favorite ingredients in meals and snacks. I found a recipe that called for cracking an egg into each hole, and it was a total failure … it didn’t note that the avocados needed to be extra large or the eggs needed to be extra small or the whole white would run out in a blob. So I tweaked it a bit by scrambling the eggs and making guacamole from the scooped out flesh. Delish and healthy!
All of these ingredients are always in stock at our local Grocery Outlet. Click here for their Facebook Page. I highly encourage everyone to check out this store for two reasons: 1) The variety of products at great prices is amazing! (You won’t find a better deal on avocados outside of Mexico!) and 2) The owners, Ellie & Rita Zgheib, are huge supporters of our community. They have donated thousands of dollars of products to those in need and have sponsored donation drives for our Food Bank. Good people!!!
Variations: If you like a bit of spice, add hot sauce to the guac mixture. You can also use other varieties of cheese and top with fresh herbs. Instead of pork bacon you could use turkey bacon for a healthy twist.