Thursday, April 30, 2020

Celebrating Anniversaries, Birthdays and Cinco de Mayo during COVID19....Here are the Menus.

I'm posting my Weekly Menu a little early for next week.  We have a lot of celebrations for which I needed to plan and prepare.

photo of couple

Saturday we will be celebrating our Wedding Anniversary.  A lot has changed in 28 years but the love and contentment I get from this man has only gotten stronger.  I can't think of anyone else with whom I would rather spend my life.

photo of man

Monday is Frank's birthday.  Four years ago we had a big party for him, as we have nearly every year since we've been married.  This year will be much different but still celebratory.

Then Cinco de Mayo actually falls on Taco Tuesday this year.  That's perfect for meal planning. In fact, if you are planning your menu check out the Taco Crepes I am sharing tomorrow.

The rest of the week will be more of the same.  We will be Staying Home/Staying Safe/Staying Well.  I hope this finds you in good health and spirits.

One of our local first responders has a wood fired pizza truck that he is setting up in the parking lot of our chiropractor's office tomorrow.  We are going to support him so I have moved my Fish Friday dinner tomorrow to be our starter for our Anniversary Dinner on Saturday.

Saturday Anniversary Dinner
Lobster Mango Salad
Grilled Filet Mignon with Zip Sauce
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Asparagus

BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Fingerling Potato Salad
Broccoli Salad

Monday-Frank's Birthday
Chicken Marsala
Fettuccine Alfredo
Glazed Carrots
Strawberry Almond Torte

Taco Tuesday-Cinco de Mayo
Nachos made with Leftover Rib Meat
Pork Enchiladas
Refried Beans
Green Rice

Grilled Gyro Kababs
Homemade Pita Bread

Smoked Sausage with Mushrooms and Onions
Leftover Fettuccine

Fish Friday
Shrimp Spring Roll Salad

The Biggest Little Farm: The Round-up #FoodnFlix

This month I asked the members of Food n Flix to join me in watching the documentary The Biggest Little Farm and sharing a recipe that was inspired by the film.

The Biggest Little Farm (2018) - IMDb

Food n Flix is a fun group that gets together each month to watch a film chosen by one of the members.  We then create a recipe inspired by the film and share it on our blog or instagram along with a review of the film.

Food n Flix logo

Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla was first up quite early in the month.  She watched the movie twice in one day.  Cam titled her post "Deep Conversations, Farm Fresh Eggs, + Molly's Spaghetti & Meatballs", explaining "I sat down with Jake to watch this for the second time. The movie sparked an earnest conversation about what we envision in our retirement years."


Cam made up Molly's Spaghetti and Meatballs, adapted from a recipe found on the Apricot Lane Farms blog.  Apricot Lane Farms is the setting for the documentary.

The next person to join in the fun was Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures.  Amy told me that this was way outside her genre and she really enjoyed it.  I'm so glad.

BBQ Chicken

Amy decided to make BBQ Bourbon Bacon Shredded Chicken (Doesn't that sound delicious) based on two of the farm animals portrayed in the documentary.  Here is her reasoning in her words.  Thanks for the chuckle Amy!

"Then, one day, Greasy met a tragic end. He was…ummm...shredded. Not by coyotes as originally suspected, but by one of the farm dogs. And that’s our macabre inspiration. Yep, we have shredded chicken (sorry Greasy) with bacon (Emma) with a homemade BBQ."

Debra of Eliot's Eats was right on Amy's heels with her Chickpea Salad that she found on the Apricot Farm Blog.

Chickpea Salad

Debra used ingredients she had on hand as we are all still quarantining from COVID19.   This is what she had to say about the film.
"If you haven’t seen this film, I highly recommend it. It certainly got me out to the garden. I don’t know how biodynamic we will be or if we can problem solve like John when it comes to pests, but at least Apricot Lane Farms has given me hope."
I was next up with these Chocolate Coconut Banana Muffins. I also found my recipe on the Apricot Lane Farms website.  I adapted it to use what I had on hand.  They turned out delicious.


I so enjoyed this film and it is available free on you tube.  Do yourself a favor and watch it while we are still sheltering in place.  It is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening.

Our leader, Heather, joined in right after me with this amazing looking Flaky Nectarine Pie.  I need a piece of this scrumptious looking pie.

Nectarine Pie

Heather was inspired by the fact that Apricot Farms has over 75 stone fruit trees and decided to bake this pie.  Heather also loved the film saying......
"So yes, this documentary pulled on my heartstrings, but it also inspired me...and assured me that I do not have the patience to start a farm (though I'd love to, hypothetically)."
Midnight in Paris

So that's a wrap for this month's film.  Please join us next month as we watch Midnight in Paris hosted by Debra of Eliot's Eats .  I watched it last night and loved it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Empanada Nachos #FestiveFoodies

When making my weekly menu, I usually include planned leftovers.  My family isn't big on just reheating leftovers in the micorawave for a second go round so by planning leftover meals I cut way down on food waste.  These Empanada Nachos are an example of this.

Empanada Nachos

Crisp tortilla chips covered in empanada filling, smothered in cheese and topped with fresh jalapeno slices make a perfect starter for dinner, light lunch or snack while watching television.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Chocolate Coconut Banana Muffins #MuffinMonday #FoodnFlix

These muffins are tender, delicious and gluten free. They are chock full of coconut and banana flavor with just a hint of chocolate.

Chocolate Coconut Banana Muffins

I was inspired to make these muffins after watching the documentary, The Biggest Little Farm.  What better day to share them than on Muffin Monday.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Chocolate Frosted Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars #OurFamilyTable

Peanut Butter Pretzels mixed with powdered sugar and more peanut butter make the base of these delicious bars.  Chocolate frosting tops them off for a special sweet treat.

Chocolate Frosted Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

There are Pretzels Everywhere today over at our From the Dinner Table Group.......

Friday, April 24, 2020

Didn't I just do the Weekly Menu?!! Oh, and a Book Review too.

This pandemic has me all topsy turvy.  We were having dinner last night and Frank asked if I had the shopping list ready for the morning.  What?!! What day is it??

All the days seem to run together and here we are on April 24th, our daughter Jessica's birthday.  Another celebration that will have to be delayed.  Our son, Chuck's birthday is Saturday but he's in Virginia so we don't often get to celebrate his birthday with him.  Sunday is our German son, Max's, birthday.  Hopefully, he and Chuck will both be home this summer and we can have one big celebration.

So I'm sitting down and making a Weekly Menu so that I know what to add to the grocery list.  Normally our menus are broken up with celebrations and dinners out.  It is difficult to come up with new and exciting dishes when you are eating every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner at home for weeks on end.  Not complaining.  I am very grateful that this is the only inconvenience that I am suffering during this time.  Just saying, I didn't realize how lucky I was to be able to spend time with friends and family at home or out at a restaurant whenever the mood struck.

Let's see......what shall I make this week.  What's on your menu?  Do you have go to recipes that you pull out on a regular rotation?

the rosie project book cover

I just finished a novel, The Rosie Project, where the protagonist, Don, had his meals planned to make the same dish on the same day each week.  How boring would that be?!!

If you are looking for a fun, easy, light-hearted read during this quarantine you might want to order up this novel about a scientist who is on the spectrum for autism.  His life is very structured and very scientific.  So scientific, that he decides to start a project to find the perfect wife as a life mate.  Then, Rosie, walks into his life and all his rigid beliefs are sent spinning.

This novel is the first in a series and I am anxious to read the next book to see if I like it as well.  I am sharing this post over at Foodies Read.  Stop by and see what others are reading this month.

I was, of course, inspired by that rigid menu and will be making my version of Don's Lobster Salad for dinner Friday night.

Hot Dogs
Baked Beans

Shopska Salata
Roast Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli

Meatless Monday
Mushroom Pasta

Taco Tuesday
Chicken Quesadillas (using leftovers from Sunday)


Chicken Pot Pie (using leftovers from Sunday)

Fish Friday
Lobster, Mango and Avocado Salad

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Tassajara Bread #CooktheBooks

This rustic loaf of bread is made using the Tassajara method made famous by Edward Brown in 1969. The recipe is easy, concise and delicious explaining it's popularity for over 50 years.

Tassajara Bread

I learned of this recipe while reading "Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat" by Jonathon Kaufman.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Cookbook Review: #IncredilbleOnePotCooking

I was provided a pre-release copy of  Incredible One Pot Cooking: Easy, Delicious Recipes for Exciting Meals Without the Mess from Page Street Publishing.  This cookbook is written by my friend Megan of Strawberry Blondie Kitchen and is being released today.  All content and opinions in this post are strictly my own and 100% truthful.

I am sharing the recipe for very first meal that I made from this cookbook with you today.  I adapted it slightly to use what I had available in my household and to suit our personal tastes.

Chicken Nachos

Chicken pieces crusted in tortilla chips and baked to a crisp golden brown topped with melted cheese, red onions, fresh tomatoes, jalapeno slices and creamy avocado.  Perfect for a quick dinner, snack or addition to a party buffet.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Lemon Ricotta and Thyme Bundt #CakeSliceBakers

This amazing Bundt Cake is moist from the ricotta and flavored with lemon and thyme.  It is a delicious start to your day, perfect dessert for after dinner and an excellent snack throughout the day.

Lemon Ricotta and Thyme Bundt

This cake was the selection I chose for the Cake Slice Bakers this month...............

Instant Pot Corned Beef with a BBQ Whiskey Glaze #MultiCookerMonday

Corned Beef cooked until tender in half the time using an Instant Pot and then coated with a BBQ Whiskey Glaze and placed under a broiler until glazed and sticky.  Who says Corned Beef is only for St. Patrick's Day?

Corned Beef

It is Multi-Cooker Monday.  Come on in.........

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Garlic and Black Pepper Shrimp and the Weekly Menu

Happy Sunday.  I don't know about you but I miss going to Mass.  I miss the community and support that being a part of my parish offers.  Watching Mass on TV is just not the same.  I miss receiving the Body and Blood of my Lord each week.  And all the days seem to meld together now so that I don't even know what day it is most of the time.

The reason I know that today is Sunday is because I made this dish to celebrate National Garlic Day with the From our Dinner Table group.  Unfortunately, I lost track of the days and did not supply my recipe title in time to be included in the event.

But I still wanted to share this easy and delicious recipe with you today and also share my Weekly Menu that started yesterday.

Garlic and Black Pepper Shrimp

 This shrimp seasoned with jalapeno, garlic, black pepper and lemon juice is delicious tossed with fresh tomatoes, basil and pasta.

We are all still trying to limit our visits to the grocers which has forced me to start using food I have on hand in my freezer, pantry and refrigerator.  Luckily I am pretty well stocked and we have been getting by with Frank making only one trip to the grocers per week or every 10 days.

I try to plan my menus around what we have and write out my grocery list at the same time.  Here is what is on our menu this week, under which you will find the recipe for this Garlic and Black Pepper Shrimp.

Weekly Menu

Grilled Italian Sausages with Peppers and Onions

Swiss Steak over Egg Noodles

Meatless Monday
Veggie Stir Fry
Steamed Brown Rice

Taco Tuesday
Chicken Enchiladas

Cheeseburger Pizza

Chicken Picatta
Pasta agli e olio
Steamed Broccoli

Fish Friday
Tuna Melt Sandwiches
Homemade Chips

What's on your menu this week?  Please take the time to take care of yourself.  Eat well, exercise to relieve stress, do a puzzle or some crafty project to keep your mind busy and spend time in the kitchen or garden if that is where you find peace.  Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Well.

#shrimp, #pasta, #garlic,
Seafood, Entrees, Pasta
Yield: 3 servings

Garlic and Black Pepper Shrimp

Garlic and Black Pepper Shrimp

This shrimp seasoned with jalapeno, garlic, black pepper and lemon juice is delicious tossed with fresh tomatoes, basil and pasta.
Prep time: 10 MCook time: 15 MTotal time: 25 M


  • 1 small jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • generous serving of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • juice of half a small lemon
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3/4 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt to taste
  • 6 oz. pasta cooked per package directions
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 4 basil leaves, rolled and sliced


How to cook Garlic and Black Pepper Shrimp

  1. Whisk together the jalapeno,  garlic, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.  Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
  2. Place a large skillet over med high heat.  When hot, add the shrimp, reserving the marinade.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the shrimp are bright orange or pink.  Remove the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the pan with the marinade and basil.  Season with salt and cook for a moment to heat the ingredients.  Add the pasta and shrimp back to that pan.  Toss and cook until heated through.  Serve immediately
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Saturday, April 18, 2020

To Syrah with Love #FrenchWinophiles

These are strange times in which we are living.  I find myself doing things that are completely out of character.  Like enjoying this $35 bottle of Crozes Hermitage Syrah from Jean-Luc Colombo during the middle of the week.


The French Winophiles are virtually traveling to Northern Rhone Valley in France today.......

Leftover Beef Soup with Noodles #SoupSaturdaySwappers

Wondering what to do with that leftover roast beef?  How about turning it into a delicious, nutritious bowl of soup.

Leftover Beef Soup with Noodles

We are sharing Noodle Soups today over at Soup Saturday Swappers........

Friday, April 17, 2020

Foiled Fish with Mango #FishFridayFoodies

Fish Fillet coated in butter, sprinkled with lime and rum and topped with mango chunks before being wrapped in foil and baked until tender and flaky.  Come visit the Tropics with me during this Stay Home/Stay Safe mandate.

Foiled Fish with Mango

Join the Fish Friday Foodies as we share recipes inspired by our travels.......

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Easy Peasy Cheesy Pull Apart Bread #BundtBakers

This easy pull apart bread starts off with frozen dinner rolls that are drenched in a buttery herb sauce and covered with lots of cheese.  Your family is going to love this.......

Pull Apart Bread

We are sharing recipes with cheese over at Bundt Bakers this month......

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Sourdough Hot Cross Buns #BreadBakers

These Hot Cross Buns begin with a mixture of sour dough starter, flour, brown sugar and water that you allow to double before continuing with the recipe.  They are spicy, fragrant and delicious.

Hot Cross Buns

We are sharing Easter Breads from Around the World with our Bread Bakers group today........

Monday, April 13, 2020

Herbed Chicken with Charred Romaine Salad #BakingBloggers

This delicious and easy sheet pan dinner is made in layers making a complete, nutritious and tasty meal with easy clean up.  The chicken is coated with a lemony herb mixture and baked along with all the ingredients for the charred Romaine Salad.

Herbed Chicken with Charred Romaine Salad

The Baking Bloggers are baking with herbs today......................

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Grilled Blue Cheese and Onion Sandwich #OurFamilyTable

Sauteed Sweet Red Onion and Tangy Blue Cheese Crumbles melted together onto slices of Onion Rye bread and grilled to perfection.

Grilled Blue Cheese and Onion Sandwich

The From Our Dinner Table Group are sharing Grilled Cheese Sandwiches today......

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Clams Tossed in Herbs and Spaghetti with a Santo Assyrtiko #WinePW

Fresh, tender, delicious Little Neck Clam steamed in an herb and wine sauce and tossed with spaghetti.  Served up with an Ancient Greek Wine from Santorini this made an amazing and comforting dinner.

Clams Tossed in Herbs and Spaghetti

We are tasting and talking about Ancient Wines with our Wine Pairing Weekend group this month.....

Friday, April 10, 2020

Maafe #EattheWorld

This traditional stew from Senegal, West Africa combines beef, peanut butter and tomatoes.  Served over rice it is savory with a hint of sweetness.


We are visiting Senegal with our Eat the World group this month.......

The Weekly Menu including a small Easter celebration

Today is Good Friday.   The day we remember our Christ suffering His terrible death upon the cross.  It makes our suffering through this pandemic seem minuscule in comparison.  We all have our crosses to bear, this just happens to be one we are all sharing around the world right now.

Good Friday Greetings 2020 - Happy Good Friday wishes Text, Messages

This has been a very difficult Lenten Season for me.  Normally I would be spending a lot of time in reflection, prayer and worship with my church family.  I have still spent time in reflection and prayer but miss the sense of community, love and compassion shared among our parish during this time.

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord ⋆ Holy Spirit ...

This year, more than ever, I need the joy and peace brought by the Easter Resurrection and Promise.  It is hard not being able to spend Easter with my family as has always been the case but I am very blessed that Frank, Marissa and I are together, well and able to enjoy the day together.  

I will talk to all my other children and facetime with the Angel Face.  Now, more than ever before, I am grateful for the technology that makes these visits possible.  

So I am sharing our Weekly Menu and my sincere wish that this Holy Day finds you and yours safe and well.  May the promise of His Resurrection bring us all hope and peace.

Holy Saturday

Easter Sunday
Steamed Asparagus 
Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

Meatless Monday
Tortellini Primavera

Spinach, Artichoke and Ham Lasagna 

Leftover Tomato Bisque
Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Cole Slaw

Honey Sesame Chicken
Steamed Rice
Stir Fry Vegetables

Fish Friday
Shrimp and Ham Jambalaya

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Mixed Greens with Roasted Golden Beets and Lemon Vinaigrette #ImprovCookingChallenge

This wonderful salad of mixed baby greens tossed with a lemon vinaigrette and topped with roasted golden beets and crumbled feta cheese is a delicious way to celebrate spring.

Mixed Greens with Roasted Golden Beets and Lemon Vinaigrette

We are serving up lettuce and lemons this month over at the Improv Cooking Challenge.....

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Sourdough Hamburger Buns

Light, fluffy and golden brown these delicious hamburger buns will make you wonder why you ever purchased store bought.

Sourdough Hamburger Buns

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Well what should we have for dinner this week?

I've been keeping myself busy quilting for the past few days.  It gives my mind something to focus on other than all the terrible news we've been hearing.

Table runner

Friday, April 3, 2020

Whiling Away the Time with Marenco Brachetto d'Acqui Pineto #ItalianFWT

Make every day a celebration of life, health and love.  Pour that wine, toast to those you love and can't be with and find good in what is becoming our new normal....

Fruit and Cheese with wine

And while we are at it let's toast to all the other countries in the world affected so horrendously by this virus.  We are visiting Italy today with our Italian Food Wine Travel group.  And our thoughts and prayers are with them as they struggle to get through this devastating time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Please Join Me in Watching "The Biggest Little Farm" #FoodnFlix

Food 'n Flix

I am excited to be hosting our FoodnFlix for this month.  FoodnFlix is a fun group that gets together each month and all watch the same film chosen by one of the members.  We then make and post a recipe that was inspired by the film. At the end of the month, the host who chose the film does a roundup of all the recipes shared.  It is so much fun.  If you would like to join us you can learn how right here.

The Biggest Little Farm (2018) - IMDb

I chose the documentary The Biggest Little Farm for this month.  This was released in January 2019 and my son, Chuck, contacted me after seeing it and told me I was going to love it.  I did!!!  And I immediately contacted our leader Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen and immediately secured a spot for hosting.  This spot was the first available.

This documentary follows the life of John and Molly Chester who decide to start a sustainable farm near Los Angeles, California.  John,  a documentarian by trade,  does a great job of portraying their journey filled with failures and successes, over the next several years.

The farm is called Apricot Lane Farms and is still thriving.  You can find both the Biggest Little Farm and Apricot Lane Farms on Facebook.  Apricot Lane Farms also has a blog that you can follow.

I got this film from the library, all of which are closed right now.  I think you can watch the film for free on You Tube.  It is also available for rent or sale on many of the on demand stations.

So while we are stuck inside our homes, fighting off this terrible virus that has infected our world, pop in this movie and learn about the people that want to keep our world and food safe.

Once you have watched and posted your review and recipe pop me an email at and to Heather at by April 28th so that we can include you in the roundup.

I hope you all enjoy this film as much as I.  Stay home/stay safe/stay well......