Dishin and Dishes

The Legendary Orange Sauce

This sauce is life.

I am not even KIDDING you.

This is Tacolicious Legendary Orange Sauce and legendary pretty much describes it.

It’s not salsa. It’s just…sauce. A sauce made with spicy dried chiles (but you can control the heat by how many you add). A sauce with a tang of vinegar, and toasted garlic cloves and charred tomatoes and onions.

I make it to go over these amazing Al Pastor Tacos. But people inevitably start dipping tortilla chips in it.

And then whatever salsa I may be serving gets forgotten.

Because …this sauce is life. 

The best life.

Start out by slicing two roma tomatoes in half and one yellow onion as well. Place the two roma tomatoes cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Slice one half only of the onion into 1 inch pieces and lay them on the baking sheet as well. Broil with your top rack of the oven moved up to the highest position for about 10 minutes until the all get a lot of black charring on them.

Remove them along with with any juices to a bowl.

While those are in the oven, take a small skillet and add a drizzle of canola oil. Add in 1/2 cup of Chile de Arbols. Seriously, these things are hot…I make a double recipe and I only add 6 or 7. But if you love crazy hot…add the 1/2 cup.

Toast them in a the hot oil…it happens very quickly. So after a few seconds flip them and then quick remove them to a bowl. Add in your garlic cloves and turn them until they get browned on each side as well. Remove to the bowl.

Add the tomatoes, onions, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of salt (use the full tablespoon, you need it). Turn your blender on and puree all of this to bits. Then turn it down to low, and drizzle the oil in as slowly as you can, using only a tiny thread of oil at a time. The consistency will be like a thin salad dressing but with a little thickness.

I hope you love this sauce as much as we do!

The sauce of life.


The Legendary Orange Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Category: Sauces

Cuisine: Mexican

Yield: 3 cups

The Legendary Orange Sauce

Recipe Courtesy and permission given by Tacolicious


  • 2 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed dried arbol chiles, stemmed (I use 3-4 chiles)
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water ( I don’t use)
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt


  1. Turn on your oven broiler and make sure that you have a rack about 4 inches from the top. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tomatoes, cut side down and the onion slices onto the sheet. Broil for 10 to 12 minutes, until soft and charred in spots. Cool for a bit while you toast the garlic and chiles.
  2. Cook the garlic for 2-3 minutes just until lightly browned. Now add the chiles and heat, turning them when you need to until just browned in spots.
  3. Transfer the chiles and garlic into a blender, scraping in all of that good oil and all of the seeds. Pour in the vinegar, water, and salt and let it soak for about 5 minutes or so to soften up. Add in the roasted onions and tomatoes and any juices from the pan (including the charred bits–they add some beautiful flecks of color). Blend at high speed until smooth.
  4. Turn the blender speed to low and add the remaining oil slowly through the hole in the lid, allowing mixture to gradually thicken. If necessary, blend at high speed to fully smooth out sauce to your satisfaction. This sauce will be just slightly thick and still pourable.
  5. Makes about 3 cups.

For a more mild recipe only use about 3-4 of the chiles.

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Chicken Al Pastor Tacos

I have to tell you. I am super reluctant to share this recipe for Off the Spit Al Pastor Tacos with you guys.

It”s kind of like that stingy old grandma who dies with her recipe for the best chocolate cake because she knows it’s the recipe that keep her family coming over and visiting.

That’s how that recipe is in my house, I don’t care what my peeps are doing, they will ALL show up.

It’s just that good.

A few years back I got this cookbook.

You’ll remember my rave review (click here to view).

This book by restaurateers Sara Deseran along with Joe Hargrave, Andtelmo Fariai and Mike Barrow and publisher Ten Speed Press is one of my all time favorites! thanks to them for permission to share this long loved recipe of our family!

I have probably  made these Off the Spit Al Pastor Tacos so many times I could make them with one hand tied behind my back, blindfolded and upside down.

Just kidding…don’t ask me to do that.

The process is simple. Just whiz the marinade up in a blender, pour it over the pork (we buck tradition and use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead), and marinate overnight. The next day you just throw the meat on the grill. It boasts the lovely orange-red hue of al pastor and gets some nice charred black spots on it as well. When the meat is almost done, grill some pineapple wedges, then cut them up into bits.

Serve them both sprinkled over a grilled corn tortilla with chopped onions and cilantro, a bit of Cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime.

They are fantastic!

OH! And the Legendary Orange Sauce – you must make it. Click here to get the recipe!

Chicken Al Pastor Tacos
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from Tacolicious cookbook, Sara Deseran, Joe Hargrave and Ten Speed Press
Serves: 12
  • 4 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp achiote paste **see note
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp dried Mexican oregano *see note
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3½ lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into ½-inchthick slices (reserve any trimmings for another use) or 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple grilled and chopped into small pieces
  • Chopped white onion, chopped fresh cilantro, salsa of choice, Cotija cheese (*see note)and lime wedges, for serving
  1. Put the chiles in a bowl, add hot water to cover, top the chiles with a weight to keep them submerged, and let soak for about 15 minutes, until softened.
  2. Drain the chiles and transfer them to a blender. Add the garlic, onion, pineapple juice, lime juice, vinegar, achiote paste, salt, oregano, and cumin and puree until smooth.
  3. Put the pork in a large, heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag, add the chile puree, and seal the bag closed. Massage the contents of the bag to coat the pork evenly with the puree. Alternatively, place the pork slices and puree in a shallow baking dish, turn the slices to coat evenly, and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  4. Prepare a medium-hot fire for direct-heat cooking in a grill. Remove the pork from the marinade and let come to room temperature.
  5. Arrange the pork on the grill rack directly over the fire and grill, turning once with tongs, for about 3 minutes on each side, until it has a bit of char and is cooked through but not dry. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, chop into ½-inch cubes, and place in a serving bowl.
  6. Serve with the tortillas, pineapple, onion, cilantro, salsa, and lime.
Achiote paste, guajillo chiles, Mexican oregano and Cotija cheese can all be found in a Mexican or Latin market.

Mexican oregano is quite different than regular so try to find it if you can!


Garden 2019 Update

It’s been awhile since I did a garden update. Because …well it’s been winter.

After the holiday excitement passes by, it helps that I start getting seed catalogs.  This stirs the inner spirit animal in me that is always missing my garden during the bare cold months of winter.

I have tomato and pepper seeds going in the greenhouse and they are already pushing against their clear lids clamoring to get out!

We use a small ceramic electric heater inside so we can get an early start on the seedlings around the first of February.

Back in October we visited The Silos, Chip and Joanna Gaine’s place in Waco.

It was during Silobration and we had so much fun experiencing the organic wonderful vendor fair around the site, the food trucks, Silos Baking Co., Magnolia store and gardens. And the concert was so much fun with Drew Holcomb and JohnnySwim!!

silobration 2018

We were especially inspired by the Seed & Supply and the lovely gardens around it.

Our raised beds had been only one board level in height (about a foot or a little more),  unlike the ones we saw there.

I loved the natural structures they incorporated into their edging, garden supports and trellises.

I also loved the color schemes of green, purple and cream they used with just a touch of yellow and pink mixed in.

When we got home,  Mr. Wonderful got inspired to add another level to our beds with an edging around the top just like theirs were.

We’ve also added two truckloads of river rock pebbles around the raised bed area and the chicken coop. The muddy times were driving us crazy.

Yesterday he also got two more truckloads of dirt from our favorite place – Minick Materials. They have fantastic garden ready soil, much needed here in Oklahoma, the land of red clay. He got quite the workout hauling it all back to fill in our newly elevated beds.

Oh yes! And that new cover you see in the front is our new cold frame Mr. Wonderful built recently

. I asked him to build me one back when all the lettuce got yanked from the shelves during the salmonella scare. Here’s a horribly bad video I took on my iPhone.

We have several kinds of lettuce sprouting in our cold frame, as well as spinach, kale, romaine, and bok choy. We’ve had some pretty cold days here of late, (as you can see by the attire on Mr. Wonderful) and it is insulated enough to keep these little babies growing so I’m very excited about that!

In case you’re wondering what those taller red support beams are, they serve two purposes.

One is as a support to hold the 50/50 garden shade fabric we put over our beds when the intense heat hits in July and August. It helps keep our plants from burning up but still allows 50% of the sun through.  We ordered ours on Amazon. They have those circle metal grommets at the corners and there are hooks on the support beams to hook them easily over.

The second is to help with a successful experiment we tried last year and will continue doing with our tomatoes.

Growing them vertically.

I’ll write some more about that this summer but we’ve never had so many tomatoes!

So there’s my beginning of the year garden update! I hope you enjoyed a little tour of our gardens.

What are you doing in your garden that is new this year?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Chocolate and peanut butter go so well together.

My kids and I are the biggest Reeses Peanut Butter Cup fans in the world. In fact, my kids buy each other those giant one-pound versions for each other for their birthdays, Christmas and just about any excuse they can find. So the revelation of making this Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars recipe, which I might add, is dangerously easy, has been a huge hit with our family.

I recently co-hosted a wedding shower and made 48 strawberry and lemon cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting.

On any other day, this would have been great but guess what? No one ate them because of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.

Pretty much shot myself in the foot with that one.

Cuz. Chocolate. And. Peanut Butter.

You should totally make these!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24
  • 1 c.salted butter, melted*
  • 2 c. graham cracker crumbs or about 2 full sleeves
  • 2 c. powdered) sugar
  • 1¾ c. creamy peanut butter, divided
  • 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with foil. Press all around edges to mold pan sides
  2. Put graham crackers in a food processor and make crumbs or alternately put in gallon freezer bag, seal and roll with rolling pin to crumbs
  3. Mix the melted butter, graham crumbs, powdered sugar and all but ¼ cup of the peanut butter with a mixer then evenly spread into lined pan
  4. Melt chocolate chips and remaining ¼ cup peanut butter in microwave by putting in for 1 minute intervals and stirring after each one just until melty and smooth
  5. Spread over peanut butter mixture
  6. Chill at least 2-3 hours.
  7. Removed from refrigerator and peel off foil
  8. Cut into squares and serve.
  9. Store any leftovers in refrigerator

25 Valentine’s Day Menu Item Ideas

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you have something special planned for today with your sweetie, your Gal-entine’s friends (apparently this is a thing now) or something to just plain treat yourself with. Because loving yourself is important! I am sharing some dinner plan ideas to help you out by suggesting some of our favorite romantic ideas that Mr. Wonderful and I do at home.

Some of these are very fancy, some are playful and fun and I’ve included Meat and Mains, Sides, Salads, Dessert and even a fun breakfast idea!

Happy Heart Day!

  • Red Velvet Pancakes

Beef Wellington Tart

I’ve always had a little crush on Beef Wellington. I mean, what’s not to love about a beef filet seared then covered with Pâté de Foie Gras (a pate made out of fatty duck liver….trust me it’s a delicacy), and/or Duxelles (finely chopped mushrooms sauteed with shallots and herbs) and wrapped in flaky puff pastry and baked?

There’s a few problems with reality here folks. I mean first off, Pâté de Foie Gras is quite pricey and you’re already spending money on that beef filet right? And what home cook is going to go hunting for Foie Gras anyway?

OK, so being a foodie, I do know quite a few people who might do that…but still….

I wanted to come up with a fun Valentine recipe that would impress, but still be pretty simple… so think of it as a sort of deconstructed version of Beef Wellington. You still get all that puff pastry goodness and the beef filet. Oh, and I cover it with a beautiful dark and rich mushroom sauce,

And it’s easy.

Because who wants a lot of fuss over Valentine dinner when one could be getting your romance on?

You start by thawing your puff pastry sheets (usually located by the pies in the freezer section of your grocery store). Take them out of the box, and let them set out for between 30-40 minutes. They will then unfold nicely. (You don’t want them to get too warm or it can mess up the flakiness of the puff pastry.)

Cut two 5 1/2 inch squares out of the pastry. I used a plain old ruler and made marks on the puff pastry to do this. I could only get one per sheet but Mr. Wonderful came to the rescue and managed to put some pieces together so we had no waste and we got it down to just using one.

Next about 1/2 inch in on the puff pastry, score around all 4 sides of the edges, not pressing all the way through. When the pastry bakes and puffs up, it will make a nice little ridge around the edge of your “tart”.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your dough with plenty of space in between. Bake these for about 12 minutes in a 400º oven or until the edges begin to turn golden. The center will be puffed up but after they cool about 10 minutes,  you can take the back of a spoon and smash down on it gently and it will sink down leaving you with the edges up and the center indented and ready to fill with goodness.

Next take two small (about 6-8 ounces) filets of beef (filet mignon), pat them nice and dry with a paper towel,  and generously salt and pepper them. Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat  in a heavy bottomed skillet that can be transferred to the oven (my iron skillet was perfect).

Sear your filets for about a minute  and half per side until they get a nice brown crust forming. Then pop the skillet into the oven to finish for about 9-10 minutes, depending on how thick your steaks are. Use a meat thermometer to check them (rare 140º, medium rare 145º, medium well 160º). I refuse to give you temperatures above that, because, honestly, if you’re going to burn it, you don’t deserve to be having steak.

Just kidding. Maybe.

Remove the steaks and let them rest for about 10 minutes, add another tablespoon of butter and 2 cups of chopped mushrooms to the same pan. Stir them around until they begin to start browning, then add some chopped garlic. When the mushrooms are darkened and juicy and have turned brown, pour in some wine and scraped the bottom of the pan well with a spatula or spoon. You can use red or white wine, I kind of prefer red with the mushrooms,  but only had white on hand today.

This is called “deglazing” by the way.  Simmer about 2 -3 minutes to reduce a little and let the alcohol cook out.

Then I add this stuff.

It’s an incredible way to get a dark rich look to sauces and gravy and the flavor really enhances dark sauces and gravies. My kids’ great grandma introduced me to this stuff and you should always listen to a grandma when it comes to cooking. She never steered me wrong. (I find it near the spices at the store).

Oh and then you’ll need to pour in a small amount of heavy cream. And some fresh thyme. Stir again for a little bit until your sauce thickens, then remove the pan from the yeat and stir in one tablespoon of butter at the end. This will make your sauce nice and glossy.

There’s a fancy name for this technique called Monte Au Beurre, which means, “to lift with butter,” and don’t we all want to be lifted with butter?

Slice your beef up into thin pieces and lay them across your tart, then spoon some of the mushroom sauce over top.


And top it with a sprinkle more of fresh thyme or some chopped parsley.

You could serve this with a simple side of roasted asparagus and a salad and call it a meal!

Chances are if you serve this to your guy or gal for Valentine’s Day, they’re really going to love you.


Beef Wellington Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 2 (8 oz) filet mignon steaks (about 1-1½ inch thick)
  • 3 T butter, divided
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 -2 sheets puff pastry (enough to cut 2 (5½ inch squares)
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 T water (optional)
  • 1 (8 oz) box Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ t. or 1 garlic clove, minced
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 t. fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
  • ½ c. dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)
  • ¼ c. heavy cream
  • 1 t. Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce (see note)
  1. Preheat oven to 400º
  2. Thaw puff pastry sheets at least 30-40 minutes so they will unfold easily
  3. When thawed, unfold and cut 2 (5½) squares out.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your dough with plenty of space in between
  5. About ½ inch in on the puff pastry, score around all 4 sides of the edges, not pressing all the way through
  6. If using egg wash, brush edges only with egg (will make it pretty and shiny when baked)
  7. Bake in oven about 10-12 minutes or until browning on edges
  8. Let cool 10 minutes
  9. The center will be puffed up but after they cool about 10 minutes, you can take the back of a spoon and smash down on it gently and it will sink down leaving you with the edges up and the center indented
  10. Liberally season steaks with salt and pepper
  11. Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed skillet that can be transferred to the oven
  12. Sear your filets for about a minute and half per side until they get a nice brown crust forming. Then pop the skillet into the oven to finish for about 9-10 minutes, depending on how thick your steaks are. Use a meat thermometer to check them (rare 140º, medium rare 145º, medium well 160º).
  13. Remove the steaks and let them rest for about 10 minutes
  14. add another tablespoon of butter and 2 cups of chopped mushrooms to the same pan.
  15. Stir until just browning and juices begin to release
  16. When the mushrooms are darkened and juicy and have turned brown, pour in some wine and scraped the bottom of the pan well with a spatula or spoon to deglaze. Cook about 2 minutes
  17. Add cream, thyme and Kitchen bouquet
  18. Taste sauce and adjust for salt and pepper to taste
  19. At the last minute stir in one more tablespoon of butter. It's optional but it will make your sauce beautiful and glossy
  20. Stlice steak and lay into each tart
  21. Top with mushroom sauce
  22. Garnish top with more fresh thyme and/or fresh parsley
Kitchen Boquet can usually be found near the spices at your market
Puff pastry can usually be found near the











Maples Barbecue

I have chased the Maples Barbecue truck down a few times. Sometimes it’s not been where I can get to it in time and often it was sold out.  Thank goodness they now have a brick and mortar located in the Plaza District.

I’m not going into the whole Franklin Barbecue speel, as I’m sure everyone has heard the story of how Maples studied the famous East side Austin joint that people line up for hours at. All I’m going to say about that is …thank goodness we don’t have to drive to Austin. You can get that beautiful experience right here in Oklahoma City now thanks to Todd Woodruff and his crew, namely pittmasters Cody Davis and Zach Edge.

Made in the style of Texas BBQ, basic salt and pepper rubs, a simple spray of apple cider vinegar, and a lot of tender-loving, slow-smoking care go into their meats.  As in 12-14 hours over post oak only (i.e. really good wood). They’re picky about their meat quality too, using USCA prime beef, just about the best quality brisket you can find around these parts.

If none of that means anything to you, just know it’s really good stuff!

And their sides are pretty doggone tasty as well! Those beans…swoon.

Burnt. End. Beans.

Need I say more? And the Custard Mac & Cheese is pretty awesome as well.

Maples is a very casual setting with picnic tables to sit at community style.

We visited Maples over the holidays and I just love seeing my girls together as Kayla was home from California.  According to her, good BBQ is hard to come by in sprout-loving Cali, so when she’s here she craves some good ol Southern BBQ.

There is a small bar at Maples.

And a cute little patio outside which will be nice later in the spring to sit at and watch the popular Plaza District happenings at.

Before we left, I had to go look at for the smokers. I knew they’d be around back…and had a pretty good idea where.

Anytime you see wide open windows in late December you know there’s a ventilation need of great proportions. Like post wood oak smoke…

And there they were in all their glory. These make our smoker at home look like a tin can.


On a side note, apparently the real treat is the beef ribs served only on Saturdays until they sell out so one day soon, we’re going early and getting us some of THAT goodness!

Our family is crazy about BBQ.

Or possibly just plain crazy.

1800 NW 16 St
Oklahoma City, OK

Need help finding Maples Barbecue? Here’s a map to help you find it!

Maples Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Poke Bowls with Smoked Salmon and Crab Salad

How to make poke bowl

I have had a serious love affair going on with Poke Bowls. Remember my first attempt at making these? I’m not kidding you! I could eat one every other day at least! This latest version features smoked salmon and crab salad and it might be my favorite version yet!

what to put in a poke bowl

A little note on crab salad – you know the one you get inside of a sushi roll? I couldn’t believe when I looked it up how easy it is to make. Get a package of flaked imitation crab meat, put it in a deep bowl and blitz it with your hand mixer until it shreds all apart, then mix a little mayo and a tiny drizzle of sesame oil into it. SO EASY. You can also use the imitation crab sticks but you’ll have to cut them into one inch pieces or they won’t shred well with the mixer. Want spicy crab salad? Drizzle in a squirt or two of Sriracha.  crab salad recipe

Also I’ve included the recipe for a spicy mayo that is wonderful drizzled over the top of your poke bowl. However, just in case you need a shortcut, this stuff is wonderful and you can buy it at most grocery stores in the Asian section.

How in the world can you go wrong with something called Yum Yum?

P.S.  Did you know I have made a Power/Buddha/Poke Bowl section now on my recipe list just in case you’re obsessed with them like me?  You can find them under Meats & Main Dishes or click here.

I love that they are healthy but also full of flavor and you can switch things up in them to your tastes. In fact, Oklahoma City and many other cities are seeing poke bowl shops cropping up all over so I know I’m not alone in my love!

how to make poke bowls

Oh and before I forget…we have a new BABY in the family. Since Chris and Stacy got married, we now have a new addition into our family – Chris adopted Zacary so we got our first grandBOY! And now he has a new baby brother and so does Emelia too!

Meet Patrick Michael, our new baby grandboy born on January 7th! One day before his Grandma (that’s me!) and four days before Mr. Wonderful – his Papa! He has perfect skin and sleeps like a little angel when you hold and cuddle him. He’s so cute and squishy and he has a cry like a little lamb.

We might be biased but we think people and babies born in January are special! 

Speaking of special, I hope you are a poke bowl fan and try to make these. 

By the way -it is pronounced ‘po-kay’, just in case you are tempted to say poke, the way it is spelled! 

Now…go forth and make poke bowls!


Poke Bowls with Smoked Salmon and Crab Salad
Prep time
Total time
  • 2 c. shredded imitation crab meat
  • 2 heaping T. mayo
  • 2 t.. sesame oil
  • Smoked salmon -about 1 oz per bowl or to taste
  • ½ c. soy sauce)
  • 1 T Asian rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Asian toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 t. fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp wasabi paste
  • FOR THE SPICY MAYO (or buy Yum Yum Sauce)
  • 3 T. mayonnaise
  • 1t-1 T. Shriracha hot sauce, to taste for spiciness
  • Smoked salmon
  • crab salad
  • Edamame
  • Shredded carrots
  • Cubed cucumbers
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Shaved almonds
  • thinly sliced nori
  • Green of choice – kale, spinach, romaine, roughly chopped
  • 4 c. cooked grain of choice –brown or white rice, farro, quinoa mixed with 1 T. seasoned rice wine vinegar
  2. Using a hand mixer, Cut the crab into ½″ pieces if using crab sticks. If using flaked imitation crab no need to cut then blitz with the hand mixer until it looks like crab salad.. Add sriacha if you’d like it spicier.
  4. Mix all together in a small bowl. Add smoked salmon, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble bowls (no more than 30 minutes). Alternately you can drizzle sauce over entire bowl when done (about 3 tablespoons or to taste).
  6. Stir together the mayo and Sriracha in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  8. Divide grain of choice into 4 bowls and smooth evenly. Add salmon to center of each bowl. Then working around the outside edge of each bowl, add each other ingredient to fill bowl in circle.
  9. Drizzle with soy sauce mixture and spicy mayo.
  10. Sprinkle with sesame seeds
  11. Alternately you can buy smoked salmon filets in the meat aisle and cook them for more meat and if you prefer cooked salmon instead of cold smoked. Just bake in the oven and flake when done.


how to make poke baowls

The Space Bar Trick on Iphone is a Game Changer

This post has nothing to do with food, or recipes, in fact…. I don’t even know where to put it in a category on my blog. But here goes…

Open up your text message on your iPhone (you must have upgraded to iOS12 for this to work). Type in a line or two of text just for fun but don’t send it!

Yes my husband and I have Bitmoji’s and we use them unapologetically.

And they make us laugh all the time.

Now, put your finger (or use your thumb like I do) on the space bar and hold it down and start moving your finger/thumb around.

When you wiggle your thumb, you’ll start noticing the little cursor line now becomes like a mouse…and you can easily move it to wherever you want to go back to in your text to correct or add something!

And that is it! 

Go on with your day. I just had to share because for it’s been revolutionary!  Because you know….

I’m the typo queen…just ask my kids.

Cornbread Sausage Sage Stuffing (Dressing)


Cornbread Sausage Dressing

Everyone needs to have a solid stuffing/dressing recipe under their belt. For me, moving to the south brought a revelation to me – there was such a thing as cornbread stuffing. Once I tried it, I never went back to plain ol bread dressing. There’s something just a little more delicious about cornbread dressing – the way it soaks up flavors, the texture of it on one’s tongue and the satisfying crispy baked top that holds up with a crispy finish under a spoonful of gravy.

Also, I think a good stuffing/dressing recipe begs to have a good addition of sage to it. It just screams Thanksgiving to have that warm taste of sage mixed with rich turkey gravy. After trying and testing a few different recipes, this one stuck as the favorite. The addition of the sausage bumps the umami up in volumes. If you can find sage breakfast sausage, it’s especially good, but you can just use plain ol sausage and add the sage in separately for flavor.

To begin, you’ll obviously need cornbread.  This dressing recipe makes a 9 x 13 pan so first, you’ll need to bake up a 9 x 13 pan of cornbread.  You can use my recipe here .   If you’re pressed on time, the light blue box of Jiffy will work as well but I believe you’ll need 2-3 of them.

Once the cornbread is baked, let it cool a bit then cut it into 1 inch squares and spread it out on 2 baking sheets.

You can let it set out overnight, or do like I do and pop it into the oven at about 250º for about 30 minutes. It should feel pretty dried out with not much moisture at all.

Cook up a pound of breakfast sausage, preferably sage, but regular will do just fine. If you like things spicy, spicy sausage is delicious as well!  Remove the sausage from the pan, and add in a cup each of chopped onion and celery.  Saute it around in two tablespoons of butter until it has softened.

Now in a large bowl, add in the cornbread, sausage, onion and celery along with 2 teaspoons of rubbed sage, a teaspoon of kosher salt,  and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

Mix it all up well with a large spoon and drizzle 2-3 cups of chicken stock or broth over it, stirring after each cup. You want your mixture to be moist but not soggy.

Spoon this all into a lightly sprayed 9 x 13 pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Then remove from the oven and drizzle with 4 tablespoons of melted butter mixed with 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning.

Return to the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the top is browning a nice golden brown and crisping up.

By now your home will be smelling divine, with all the wonderful smells of Thanksgiving.  Sometimes I think the smells are as comforting as the delicious spread that covers the table and the sage in the cornbread really adds to that.

I hope you and yours have a most blessed holiday giving thanks to the Lord for the beauty that is family , friends and wonderful flavors.

Happy HAPPY Thanksgiving to all!

Cornbread Sausage Sage Stuffing (Dressing)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 1 recipe cornbread for 9×13-inch pan, baked
  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage, preferably sage, cookied and crumbled
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 c)
  • 1 c. celery, chopped finely
  • 2 t. rubbed sage
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. pepper
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 T. butter, melted
  • 1 t. poultry seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Cut cooled cornbread into 1 inch cubes and spread onto two cookie sheets
  3. Leave out to dry overnight or bake in a 250º oven for 30 minutes to dry out
  4. Cook sausage and drain, remove to a paper towel lined plate
  5. Melt 2 T butter in same skillet and saute onion and celery until softened, about 7-8 minutes, stirring often
  6. In a large mixing bowl, mix cornbread, sausage, onion and celery along with the sage, salt and pepper
  7. Pour chicken broth a cup at a time, just until the cornbread is thoroughly moistened but not soggy.
  8. Spread into a 9 x 13 pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray
  9. Bake 15 minutes then removed from oven
  10. Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and mix with poultry seasoning
  11. Drizzle over top of dressing and return to oven for 10-15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and crispy.

Garlic Peppers and Onion Hands

If you love to cook like I do you’ve done one of two things when it comes to garlic, peppers and onions.

#1 – You go to your local beauty supply and purchase a box of those disposable rubber gloves and use them to avoid your hands either smelling awful or becoming lethal weapons in regards to touching your eyes, nose or any other part of your skin that pepper residue tends to lend a hand to.

#2 – you either don’t buy the gloves, or you forget to put them on resulting in either smelly or fire-laced  hands that can ruin a day if you happen to touch your eyes or face.

Enter the brilliant Julia Child.

She had a long time coaching method of getting rid of the onion and garlic stink on your hands and it works fairly well for hot peppers also.

First start off by rinsing your hands in cold water. I’m not sure why cold but just do it.

Next, rub them all over the palm side of your hands with salt, fingers and all.

Finally, wash them again with warm water and soap.

Voila – that’s it easy peasy…and it did work for me. Try it for yourself!

Roasted Pork Loin and Autumn Veggies Sheet Pan Supper

Well, I decided I’d have to try out a sheet pan supper recipe and jump on the bandwagon.

sheet pan dinner recipe

Boy am I glad I tried.

What a revelation.

What a delicious and easy meal.

What a fantastic thing not have 90 pots and pans to wash!

This week we have had rain, rain and more rain. This weekend the temperature dropped to frigid along with misting rain. We snuggled inside with fuzzy blankets and quilts and watched The Post and the 1976 version of A Star is Born because we were going to see the new version on Saturday. After we watched the movie Saturday we drove over to Trader Joe’s and I continued to boo-hoo for most of the way there.

Doggone that Jackson Maine anyway.

Speaking of Trader Joe’s, I could live in their produce and flower section…it must be the gardener in me. I also love to peruse through all their fall offerings like Butternut Squash Gratin and try to figure out how to make them myself so when they disappear I won’t cry again.

Because man, that movie really made me cry. Crying is exhausting.

Because it’s officially fall here and I am craving all things fall how about you? I’m going to spare you the pumpkin craze for now, although I won’t promise that I won’t get sucked into it because c’mon.


So back to the sheet pan suppers – Saturday night we kept three of our g-babies and I ate these.

So Sunday I needed some vegetables in my life and Because it’s October, I decided to try one with autumn vegetables and what goes better with those than a nicely glazed pork loin?

This is so simple – just make sure you roughly get the vegetables the same size so they bake evenly. Line them up and place the pork loins on top. This serves two purposes.

One -it elevates the pork loin like a natural baking rack.

Two – pork juices will drip down over the veggies making them especially delicious.

I made up a delicious glaze that I’ve included in the recipe below that you first brush over the pork loin then at the last minute drizzle or brush over the veggies as well.

You can serve this straight off the pan after you slice up the pork loin or remove it all to a beautiful platter. If you use the platter, make sure and pour the pan juices over the meat for an added bonus of flavor.

I have to say I’m officially hooked on sheet pan suppers.


Roasted Pork Loin and Autumn Veggies Sheet Pan Supper
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T. honey
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 T. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 T. Fresh Rosemary chopped (or 1 t. dried)
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless pork
  • 4 c. each of the following:
  • small red potatoes sliced in half (about 4 cups)
  • butternut squash cut in 1 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • brussels sprouts cut in half and stems cut off (about 4 cups)
  • ¼ c. olive oil or olive oil spray
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients but the olive oil for the glaze with a whisk in small saucepan over medium low heat
  2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil whisking quickly to emulsify
  3. Pour 2 T of the glaze into a small bowl to brush pork loin with. Reserve the rest and simmer for a minute or two to thicken over medium low heat
  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray or brush with olive oil
  3. Toss veggies separately in olive oil or you can simply lay them on the pan and spray with olive oil spray.
  4. Lay red potatoes in rows on both ends with cut sides down
  5. Lay Brussels sprouts with cut sides down in rows next to the potatoes on both ends
  6. Lay Butternut squash in the center
  7. Sprinkle salt and pepper over all
  8. Lay pork loin not touching sides on top of veggies
  9. Dry pork loin with paper towel then brush with glaze
  10. Bake for 40 minutes or until pork registers internal temperature of
  11. While baking simmer glaze to thicken up a bit about 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat
  12. After meat is at temperature, remove pan from the oven and remove pork to platter but let rest for 10 minutes. If you prefer your veggies browned somewhat when roasted - return veggies to oven and bump up heat to 450º
  13. Slice meat after 10 minutes and add back to tray or arrange all on platter.
  14. Drizzle pan sauces over top of meat and then drizzle glaze over all