Mr. C’s Grilled Flank Steak with Chile, Cinnamon and Cumin Marinade

Cinnamon on Steak with this Marvelous Meat Marinade!  Mr. C’s Grilled Flank Steak with Chile, Cinnamon and Cumin Marinade Main Summer weather in Southern California came late this year (yay, for May Gray!), so we only recently fired up our gas barbecue.  Speaking of fire, there was one small problem … when Tom turned on the barbecue there was an explosion, and flames shot out from underneath the grill where the propane tank is located!  We ran away (well, I ran, while Tom inexplicably stayed close to the barbecue), and I dialed 9-1-1 fearing it was going to explode. The firemen arrived, quickly extinguished the fire, and inspected our barbecue for the cause (pan drippings fell onto the propane tank … Read more…

Roasted Sweet Potato, Poblano, Avocado & Black Bean Tacos

Healthy Tacos Roasted Sweet Potato, Poblano, Avocado & Black Bean Tacos Main So our January and February plan to diet during those months did not materialize.  But now it’s almost March, and we’re starting over. Despite being a gentleman of a certain age, Tom has a list (short) of foods he doesn’t like, and for some reason, sweet potatoes are on that list.  He refused even to taste them.  This recipe sounded great to me, so Tom agreed to have a teeny, tiny bite.  And he loved it!  Have you ever wondered (like me) what the difference is between yams and sweet potatoes?  Here is a link to a good explanation from The Spruce Eats:  “Many times the names ‘sweet … Read more…

Italian Blue Goat Cheese Risotto and Xocopili Chocolate

Remarkable Risotto Risotto with Italian Blue Goat Cheese and Xocopili Chocolate Main We saved one of our best meals for last on our 2018 Italian trip.  On our final night in Orta San Giulio, we enjoyed a stupendous risotto made with blue goat cheese, candied walnuts and shaved Xocopili chocolate (Risotto all’erborinato di capra della Val Vigezzo, cioccolato Xocopili e noci caramellate).  Wow! That was that good risotto!  We stayed at the incredible Bed & Breakfast Al Dom on the shores of Orta San Giulio with a private garden at the edge of the lake and views across to the L’Osola del Silenzio (Island of Silence).  Below is our little Al Dom “picnic area.”             … Read more…

Bucatini Aglio e Olio

Pasta Perfetta Bucatini Aglio e Olio Main Having just returned from a three week trip to Italy, we are still craving pasta, and our favorite pasta recipe is Bucatini Aglio e Olio. (Here are a couple of photos from my Italy 2018 trip report … The roof of Duomo di Milano and our hometown of La Morra in the Piemente wine country).                       .   Upon our return from our Christmas week 2009 journey to Rome, we started making the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, which is made with garlic (aglio), olive oil (olio), red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese. We make this all the time (yes, … Read more…

Grilled Steak and Elote Tacos

Excellent Elote! Grilled Steak Tacos with Elote Main Perusing Cooking Light recently, I found a recipe for Grilled Steak and Elote Tacos from skinnytaste.com.   Fast and easy!  Perfect for a weeknight grill fest.  One of my favorite appetizers is the Elote Appetizer from the Elote Café in Sedona, Arizona.   Elote is Mexican street corn, usually grilled and rolled in mayo and cotija cheese and eaten on a stick.  YUM.  The recipe calls for skirt steak which is very thin and cooks quickly.  For our usual tacos, Tom and I prefer flap meat ( which is a tad thicker than skirt steak and our butcher cuts into thinner carne asada-type pieces), but it does take a little longer to grill (but not … Read more…

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Shake Shack’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken Variation Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Main When I read that Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) said the recipe for The Shake Shack’s fried chicken was the best fried chicken ever, I did a double take.  My Nana’s fried chicken is the best ever!   Of course, did anyone bother to get Nana’s recipe? … Mom?   So, if Ina says this is the best ever, I had to give it a try. What I can recall of my Nana’s chicken was that she fried it in an electric frying pan, in Wesson or Crisco, and she used paper bags to shake it up.  Man, that chicken was perfection and even better the next day … but, nothing to … Read more…

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon, Thyme & Shallot Sauce

Gnocchi … Two Ways Meyer Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon, Thyme & Shallot Sauce Main As anyone who has read Tom’s trip reports or Tom’s Dining Out knows, Tom loves his gnocchi.  He has it everywhere we go.  I would say gnocchi is one of his Top 5 favorite foods in the world.  (below photo is from one of our visits to Officine Brera in Los Angeles). The February/March 2018 issue of Fine Cooking arrived recently and there, way in the back, was a ricotta gnocchi recipe with lemon.  Tom BEGGED ME to make it for him.  Have I ever made gnocchi before?  NO, but it didn’t sound too difficult (ha!), and the Meyer lemons from neighbor Pat’s tree were … Read more…

Beef and Stout Pie with Stilton Calvados Pastry Top

British Pub Supper (With Help From The Irish & The French) Beef and Stout Pie with Stilton Calvados Pastry Top Main Oddly enough, this recipe started with a diet.  It was New Year’s Eve, and I was purging the refrigerator so Tom and I could attempt yet another diet.  I had a lovely blue jar of Trader Joe’s Blue Stilton Cheese and recalled a recipe I had seen in a Williams Sonoma catalog for a Beef and Stout Pie with a Stilton Pastry top. Be warned. This recipe does take some time: three hours for the stew to simmer, an hour for the pastry to be refrigerated before rolling it out, and then more refrigeration after that.  Of course, I … Read more…

Hot Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

In Search Of The Perfect Chicken Enchilada Hot Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas Suizas Main What’s a girl to do when her husband brings home a haul of Extra Hot Hatch Green Chiles courtesy of the very generous Melissa’s Produce?  Roast them!  Tom was once again fortunate to be included in an event at Melissa’s Produce, this one featuring La Tortilla Factory.  Not only did Tom score the Hatches and get to taste the scrumptious food, but he also brought home a bunch of La Tortilla Factory’s products, too. If you haven’t had an opportunity to taste La Tortilla Factory tortillas, you must hunt them down.  I love, love, love their Original Flour Tortillas in a quesadilla.  And the Hatch Chile … Read more…

Shrimp Scampi in a Garlic Butter Sauce with Pasta

From The Kitchen of Kim & MaryShrimp Scampi in a Garlic Butter Sauce with Pasta Main (Tom and Tracy Note: Two of our favorite places to dine on the road in Southern California or Northern California are at one of the homes of our intrepid traveling companions, Kim and Mary (we were very happy when they added their new location).  Both are wonderful home chefs, plus they don’t charge us a corkage fee. This recipe is their daughter’s favorite and just one of the numerous terrific recipes they have created for us throughout the years.)                     This is a super easy recipe, as long as you do all the preparation before you start cooking.  Once … Read more…