Scallops with Bacon and Peas

Brain-Dead Dinner Night...

It happens now and again... I just have no idea what I want - or want to make - for dinner...

Open freezer.

There's all the usual suspects - chicken, ground beef, a steak, a small pork loin, langostinos, lots of frozen vegetables... and scallops.

The rusty wheels started turning... there was bacon in the 'fridge, red onions, frozen peas... A meal was born.

A main contributor to the recipe concept was the Garlic Parmesan Butter/Scampi Sauce from our friend, Tony at As you probably know if you read this thing, we've been helping Tony develop a mail order system for the butter, as well as coming up with easy recipes for its use.

One thing I learned from my Demo Years at Trader Joe's, if you want to make a product a pantry staple, you need to let people know how many ways they can use a product besides the obvious. It's how things like Pumpkin Dressing or Sweet Chili Soup came into existence. (There are still several hundred recipes we created on the site under Quick Meals In Minutes.)

Tony's product is so awesome it deserves pantry staple status.

But I digress...

I came up with a dinner made in the time it takes to cook the rice. Old habits die hard... And do I miss those thrilling days of yesteryear?!? Nope. I was born to be retired...

Scallops with Bacon and Peas

  • 1 lb scallops, cleaned
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon cut into strips
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup peas, thawed and blanched
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • pinch thyme
  • pinch oregano
  • 3 tbsp Zantonio Parmesan Garlic Butter/Scampi Sauce

Clean scallops and pat dry.

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan. Add chopped onions and quickly saute . Add peas and quickly warm. Remove peas and onions to bowl with bacon.

Wipe out pan. Reheat and add scallops. Sear on one side about two minutes, flip, and cook another 2 minutes.

Add the Zantonio Parmesan Garlic Butter/Scampi Sauce, swirling the pan and covering the scallops.

Add the wine, and the bacon, onions, and peas.

Heat everything through.

Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

Serve with rice or your favorite pasta.



A simple meal and clean-up was a breeze! (Not that I know first-hand... Victor does the dishes!)

Lobster Mac & Cheese - Zantonio Style

Lobster Mac & Cheese - decadence on a plate. And this one is Decadence Incarnate!

Our friend, Tony has a business back east - Zantonio Brands of Hammonton New Jersey - and makes a couple of really great products - a fresh Bruschetta and a garlic parmesan butter marketed as Scampi Sauce. Both are available in Acme and Shop Rite stores back east, but there's no national distribution.

We've been working with him to help develop some online sales - something that is definitely not easy with fresh food. Our once-fabulous Postal Service isn't always as efficient as it should be - although even delayed packages have been within acceptable temperatures.

The best part of it for us has been receiving samples in the mail! When one has five pounds of Garlic Parmesan Butter/Scampi Sauce, one needs to find uses for it.

And we are...

Last night, I made a Lobster Mac & Cheese - using a recipe from Food and Wine magazine as my guide. The beauty of Tony's butter is I didn't need at add any additional herbs or spices other than a bit of salt and pepper, to taste. Everything else was there!

The biggest secret to this recipe - other than the Garlic Parmesan Butter/Scampi Sauce -is making the lobster stock. Letting it all simmer together makes for a really rich and flavorful base.


Lobster Mac & Cheese Zantonio Style

  • 6 small lobster tails – about 1 1/2 lbs, total – thawed, if frozen
  • 9 tablespoons Zantonio Garlic Parmesan Butter/Scampi Sauce, divided
  • 3/4 cup sliced yellow onion
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound uncooked short curly pasta – elbows, cavatappi, or campanelle
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 16 ounces mixed grated cheeses – fontina, Gruyère, cheddar, asiago – cheeses you like
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt, to taste

Crumb Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs – fresh, store-bought plain, or panko will work
  • 3 tablespoons Zantonio Garlic Parmesan Butter/Scampi Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


Grease a 3-quart, 13- x 9-inch baking dish with butter; set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high. Add lobster tails; cook, undisturbed, until shells turn red but meat is still slightly translucent, about 2 minutes (lobster will be undercooked). Using tongs, transfer lobster to a large bowl; let cool 5 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups of the cooking water to a heatproof measuring cup and set aside; reserve remaining water in pot on stovetop.

Using kitchen shears, cut down the center of each lobster tail shell, transfer meat to a cutting board, and add shells to bowl. Clean the lobster tails.

Chop lobster meat into 1-inch pieces and place in a medium bowl; cover and refrigerate.

Make lobster stock

Melt 2 tablespoons of the Zantonio Garlic Parmesan Butter/Scampi Sauce in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add reserved lobster shells with any juices from bowl; cook, stirring often, until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring often, until almost dry, about 6 minutes more.

Stir in reserved 2 cups cooking water in measuring glass, and bring to a simmer over medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Stir in milk and cream; cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl; discard solids. There should be about 4 cups lobster stock; set aside. Wipe saucepan clean; set aside. Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cook pasta

While lobster stock reduces, return remaining lobster cooking water in large pot to a boil over high. Add pasta and cook for 1 minute less than package instructions for slightly less than al dente. Drain and set aside.

Make cheese sauce

Melt 4 tablespoons of the Zantonio Garlic Parmesan Butter/Scampi Sauce in cleaned saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, until bubbly and light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in reserved 4 cups strained milk mixture. Cook, whisking often, until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from heat; gradually whisk in cheeses, whisking until melted. Add mascarpone and whisk until smooth. Gently stir in cooked pasta and lobster meat. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish; set aside.

Make topping

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons Zantonio Garlic Parmesan Butter/Scampi Sauce. Stir in panko, lemon zest, and paprika. Sprinkle evenly over mac and cheese mixture in baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven until bubbly and golden brown on top, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

About 8 servings.



Tony is still not set for online sales - yet - but it's in the works. We'll definitely let you know when it happens!


Spring, Sprains, and Salad

It was the beginning of Spring and an absolutely perfect day - mild temperature, mild breeze, and blue, blue skies... An absolutely perfect day for a dinner salad.

I headed off to the grocery store walking a bit gimpy with compression socks and a sore knee. It seemed that for no really discernable reason, my left leg and foot decided to swell. I didn't think a lot about it at first, but it seemed to be getting bigger - and bigger... I know the weight loss has not been all that dramatic, but neither has the weight gain - especially on just one side of my body. Time to look into things.

A quick trip to Dr Google let me know that men of a certain (old) age who have prostate cancer are more susceptible to blood clots that those without. I decided it was time to seek actual medical advice from an actual person. Off to Immediate Care.

I saw a great Doc who did the exam and wanted an ultrasound asap. Alas, it was a Sunday and the Imaging Dept was closed for the day. He suggested heading to the ER - which I was not in favor of - so he gave me a blood thinner to get me safely through the night - and an order to get an Ultrasound immediately the following morning. In the meantime, I had several vials of blood taken out and a complete blood workup ordered. to try and rule out every possible cause.

Actually following Drs orders, I had the Ultrasound on Monday and fortunately, it came back negative. No clots, no issues, Good blood flow. Leg still swollen. My PCP called me later that afternoon - she gets notified when something is added to my chart - and said she wanted to see me Tuesday morning so right after my quarterly Urology appointment, I headed to see her - bringing an elastic knee brace I had started wearing because my knee has been bothering me - the same knee I had arthroscopic surgery on 11 years ago. She had the results of the Ultrasound and the bloodwork, and did a thorough exam of my leg. It appears that the elastic brace was the most likely cause of the swelling.

To address the problem of the knee, she sent me upstairs for x-rays. The knee surgery is past its warranty and I'm scheduled for a steroid injection to help alleviate things. The compression socks have reduced the swelling immensely in just a day, and all of my bloodwork came back perfect.

To add perfection to an already stellar medical experience, the Dr who saw me on Sunday at the Immediate Care office called this morning to see how I was doing! It's like old fashioned medicine in the 21st Century!

To celebrate the great news and absolutely gorgeous day, we decided on salads for dinner. Limping through the store , I picked up some fresh tuna kabobs - marinated in teriyaki - and the basic salad ingredients we didn't already have. I made a bean salad, a farrow salad, and I made a salad dressing - a garlicky buttermilk ranch.

Bean Salad was simplicity and based on my old Trader Joe training - 3 cans of beans, diced pimento, diced red onion, a can of diced green chilis, and about a half-cup of Trader Joe's Salsa Verde. A pinch of salt and pepper. Absolutely no muss or fuss - and no-effort really good.

The Farro Salad was another no-recipe recipe. Cooked farro, diced bell pepper, green onion, celery, chopped parsley, olive oil, and coconut vinegar - because we have a dozen (at least) different vinegars and I have to use them up!

There's a little dollop of a local goat cheese with honey and vanilla that tastes like cheesecake - and some marinated veggies from the olive bar. Delish!

The salad dressing was a take on a dressing I've made in the past. This version had a lot of roasted garlic in it.

Garlicky Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp. minced onion
  • 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. flat leaf parsley
  • 5 cloves roasted garlic
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • Pinch paprika
  • S&P to taste

Place everything into a good blender and process until creamy. (I used the smoothie cup to my Ninja)

Taste for seasoning and add more S&P, if desired.

After yesterday's great weather, we have cold, cloudy, rainy weather with snow in the higher elevations - welcome to Spring in the Pacific Northwest! But that's okay. I'll be doing nothing today, sitting with leg elevated when i think of it, and dreaming of Cabo San Lucas in a few weeks.

Little glitches here and there, but life does not suck!



I had a fun time at my bi-monthly shopping trek to Trader Joe's, yesterday. It was my first trip to this particular store - it's fairly new.

My, how things have changed since 2001 when I first went to work for them...

First off, is the size of the store. The back room was pretty much the size of the entire original store I worked in. Wide, spacious aisles. Twice the freezer space. Room to actually move - and it wasn't in a second-tiered, run-down strip mall with crappy parking. No... it's a rather upscale location.

There are three Trader Joe's fairly equidistant from our home. This one, by far, was the easiest to get to and had the best parking lot. It may become my go-to. Friendly staff, as well.

Some things never change with them, though. I couldn't find mayonnaise. I asked a young woman stocking the aisle and she said it had been discontinued. Mayonnaise. Discontinued. Go figure. And then my favorite coffee - Cafe Pajaro - also gone. It's Peet's Italian Roast from now on.

And prices are rising, as well. They are definitely not the low-price store I remember - and definitely more expensive for a lot of things than most of the local grocery stores in the area. Ketchup is still $1.99, though.

The frozen fish selection - one of my favorite sections - was also sadly lacking. I guess with more than 530 stores, it's getting more difficult to supply them. Heck, there were only 120 stores in the chain when I started - and it wasn't always easy keeping us stocked back then!

I did buy some swordfish while I was there, and a quick marinade in olive oil, red wine, and garlic was all it needed before hitting the grill.

One of my impulse buys was Garden Vegetable Hash - an 18oz container of diced vegetables for $4.99. I diced up some potato and an heirloom tomato, added some Italian Seasoning, and sauteed it in a bit of olive oil. It was okay, but I won't rush out to get more, right away...

It was good to see some familiar products, but, with my favorite staples gone, I really am becoming a 5-6 time a year shopper compared to the weekly shopper I once was. I'm not their demographic...

Still, it was fun to be in the store and remember the 17 years I spent with them. And I did get a few fun things!




Shrimp and Mango with Coconut

Victor was perusing the latest issue of Milk Street Magazine when he came across a recipe that piqued his interest - Shrimp with Mango, Coconut and Mustard Seeds.

As luck would have it, I needed to do some shopping, so...ingredients we didn't have on hand became on hand. Funny how that happens...

I generally like Milk Street recipes, although I sometimes think they're a bit more complicated than they need to be. This is not one of them! Having done a bit of cooking in my life, I understand the workings of commercial kitchens and the necessity of having numerous ingredients for numerous dishes in numerous states of preparation. When consistency is paramount, having everyone combine ingredients in very specific ways is of the utmost importance. And writing a cookbook is the same thing - everyone reading the cookbook must be able to reproduce the recipe the same way - every time.

That's one of the main reasons I'm not a good recipe writer. I rely too much on instinct and not enough on method or steps - or quantities, for that matter... I can open a refrigerator and cook dinner with what I find, but explaining it is not going to make much sense - and the odds of the stars aligning in the future with the same ingredients in the same amounts are between slim and none.

And when I do come across a recipe that sounds intriguing, I invariably read it as a guide and cook what I want. It can lead to some interesting meals...

Other than changing a few amounts, I dd make this one pretty close to the original recipe.


Shrimp and Mango with Coconut

adapted from Milk Street

  • 12 oz extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 Fresno or jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into rough ½-inch cubes, or 8 ounces  frozen mango chunks, thawed
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp, turmeric and a pinch of salt; set aside.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown. Add the mustard seeds, ginger, garlic and half of the chili; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the coconut, mango and 1 cup water, then bring to a simmer. Reduce to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mango is soft and most of the water has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Using a fork, mash the mango until mostly smooth but with some chunks, then stir in the shrimp.
  5. Cook, uncovered, over medium, stirring only once or twice, until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Off heat, stir in the remaining chili and the lime zest and juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

It was a hit. Probably a bit more coconut than needed, but it still worked. The lime at the end was perfect, and cooking the shrimp in the sauce just before serving made for perfect shrimp.

I imagine grilling the shrimp and stirring it into the sauce right before serving - or set atop the sauce after plating it over rice - would also be great ways to serve...

We shall see what happens next time we have this!




Homemade Sushi

Our niece, Christine, made sushi for us, last night. Made, as in bought the fish, cooked the rice, and made every single piece of this right in front of us.




I've been eating sushi for years, but my knowledge of sushi is almost non-existent. I have a basic understanding of sushi vs sashimi, but that's pretty much it, so last night's feast was a education, taste, and sensory overload. The only thing I retained was just how fabulous it looked and tasted.

This was not your basic sushi floating by on a little boat.

Some of it was spicy with crunchy dried roe. The flavors and textures were just out of this world. Some of it was double-spiced, with a spicy sauce on top.

The yellow sushi on the right is Tamago Sushi - sweetened egg! Totally delicious. And the fish was just freshfreshfresh. Sublime.

Little serpents that just exploded with flavor.

Barbecued Eel, served with a really spicy condiment I can't remember... Over the top delicious.

And if that wasn't enough, another full tray of assorted flavors.

There was tamari, pickled ginger, wasabi, and a few other condiments I had never heard of - but gladly used and loved. And then there was a sake that was absolutely delicious and refreshing.

I can't even begin to describe how utterly and completely delicious and enjoyable the entire meal was. The skill far exceeds anything I would ever be able to do in my lifetime.

Absolutely delicious.

Fish Stew

Frozen Fish

I think the biggest issue with buying frozen fish is the inconsistency in size. It is sooooo convenient to open the freezer and pull out perfectly vacuum-packed packages of seafood - but there are, inevitably, portion issues that aren't always evident by looking at the package.

One solution is to just cook it up and portion it on the plates. Another is to cut it all up and make a stew of sorts.

That is what Victor did last night.

We had roughly 3/4 pound of Alaskan Cod - two pieces of fish that weren't even close in size. It was time to get creative!

I had been actual grocery shopping a few days ago - my first Wegmans trek since March - and bought twice as much as I had been buying using home delivery - and spent about a hundred bucks less. I knew that the whole InstaCart thing was ridiculously expensive but it took going back to the store to realize really how ridiculously expensive it is.

I think I shall be grocery shopping in person, from now on.

I have to admit that I wasn't really thrilled with the InstaCart experience. In the beginning, I had a couple of shoppers who were really conscientious and contacted me about every substitution, outage, sent pictures of products, empty shelves... they really took it seriously. The last few, however, were pretty lame, substituting things like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal for Wegmans Wheat Crunch cereal. I mean... not even close. Or getting generic andouille sausage instead of the D'Artagnan brand I ordered - and paid for.

Yes, I could have complained, and no, I didn't. But I did decide that shopping early during senior hours might be better...

Fish Stew

So... armed with plenty of fresh produce - I had also done a Trader Joe's run earlier in the week - Victor went to work.

He created a dish of fennel, asparagus, heirloom cherry tomatoes, baby peppers, jalapeño peppers, onion, garlic, aleppo pepper, oregano, and white wine - and then added the fish to gently cook before serving it all over rice.

Totally fabulous. It was mildly spicy, rich and flavorful, lots of contrasting flavors and textures. The perfect meal.

And I'm really happy about getting back into a grocery store. I always shop with a list, but, in person, I can change things and add or delete things based upon what's available or what just looks good. It's win/win for me.

And Victor cooking is win/win for me. I really am a lucky guy.


Baked Cod

Broiled Cod and Tomato Salad

Victor came into the office, this morning and said I needed a break form cooking - he was going to do dinner, tonight. I am never one to argue, so I readily agreed. I don't mind cooking - in fact, I rather enjoy it - but it is nice to have someone come in and take over, now and again.

We both have fun in the kitchen - singularly, or together. We both enjoy cooking and we both enjoy eating - it's a match made in culinary heaven.

Tonight's heavenly dish was broiled cod with a tomato salad served over rice.

Baked Cod

The cod was simply prepared with a drizzle of butter and olive oil, parmesan cheese, and a bit of salt and pepper - under the broiler for a few minutes.

The tomato salad was grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, garlic, olive oil, oregano, parsley, and a pinch of S&P.

He took the basics and ratcheted them up a few notches. The olives with the tomatoes... the parmesan with the cod... It all just worked - perfectly.

I think we're all looking for comfort in our foods, right now - much more so than normal. - and our food supply and way of eating has changed literally over night. It's easy to get discouraged.

But cooking doesn't have to be discouraging.

Play with your food. Have some fun in the kitchen. Bring the kids in and make a mess - it's not like you don't have time to clean it up!

Or... do a Zoom or Facetime with someone and cook the same meal, together - laugh and joke and pretend you're at the same table.

We will be, again...


Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties

I love it when Victor heads to the kitchen to cook dinner. It means something fun and different will be had.

I tend to do variations on a theme - Victor gets an idea and runs with it. When making something different, his modus operandi, generally, is to read five or six recipes for something and then take the pieces and parts he likes from them and make something his own. It's a great system.

Tonight, it was salmon patties.

Crispy on the outside delicate on the inside salmon patties topped with a sun-dried tomato aioli, and aleppo pepper and garlic roasted potato wedges It does not suck to be me!

Salmon Patties

He purposely didn't add a lot of filler or binder so we could actually taste the salmon. It made for a much more delicate patty with perfect taste and texture.

Salmon Patties


  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp pimento, chopped
  • 2 tbsp celery, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 12 oz fresh wild salmon, poached and cooled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch Florida Pepper
  • panko bread crumbs for coating

Cook onion, celery, and a pinch of salt and pepper in hot oil until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in chopped pimento.

Add capers and cook until fragrant. Cool.

Stir salmon, onion mixture, mayonnaise, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, garlic, mustard, cayenne, Florida pepper, salt, and ground black pepper together in a bowl until well-mixed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until firm and chilled, 1 to 2 hours.

Form salmon mixture into four 1-inch thick patties and lightly dredge in panko.

Fry patties in hot oil until golden and heated through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Top with aioli, if desired.

Sundried Tomato Aioli


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2/3 cup neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sundried tomatoes, in oil
  • 3/4 tsp oil from the tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine the egg yolks, dry mustard, salt and lemon juice in a blender and process for 20 seconds.

With the blender running, very slowly drizzle in the oil in a thin stream. It should take about 2 minutes to pour all of it in.

Add the tomatoes, oil, and garlic and process another 20-30 seconds to incorporate completely.

Perfection on a plate!


Fresh Pasta

Fresh Pasta and Fresh Tomatoes

We're not done, yet, with those tomatoes! They really are the gift that keeps on giving!

When we cleared out the majority of the garden the other day, we brought in a lot of unripe tomatoes - the upcoming weather was just not conducive to keeping them outdoors.

We had a bunch of yellow tomatoes ripen together, so that started us off on a path to fresh pasta and yellow tomato sauce.

And I have to tell ya - it was a pretty yummy path!

Fresh Pasta

First, Victor made cavatelli - little semolina pasta shells. Perfectly light and tender, but sturdy enough to stand up to the sauce.


  • 1 1/8 cup semolina flour
  • 3/4 cup Tipo "00" flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Mix flours and salt on board. Make a well and add the water and oil. Slowly mix the liquid into the flour forming a dough. Knead about 5 minutes. Wrap and let rest about 30 minutes to an hour.

Roll pieces of dough into a thin rope and cut into 1/2" pieces. Press and roll to make little shells.

Cook in salted boiling water. Drain and serve with your favorite sauce.

For the sauce, I blended several yellow tomatoes in the blender to make a sauce.

Into a skillet went garlic, leeks, and fennel. When it was wilted, I added white wine and cooked it down. Next went the tomato sauce.

I brought it all to a boil and added oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt.

I brought it to a simmer and poached monkfish medallions in the sauce, and then added chunks of yellow tomato.

I cooked the pasta about 3/4 of the way though and then added it to the sauce to finish cooking.

The end result was pretty spectacular for being such a simple meal.

I am really going to miss these fresh tomatoes.

Ceviche de Camaron

Liz Goldberg

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 pound cleaned and peeled cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegary Mexican bottled hot sauce
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced peeled cucumber or jícama (or 1/2 cup of each)
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • Salt
  • tortilla chips

Defrost and marinate shrimp in lime juice for 1 hour in ‘fridge.

Add all other ingredients and enjoy!

Fresh Tomatoes

The Last Hurrah

Sadly, the garden is over for another year... It's been a good year, with a record amount of tomatoes, cucumbers, galore, and some pretty hot peppers.

The eggplant didn't do as well as it has in the past, and, neither did the hot peppers, although there are still a few out back. The peppers that did arrive came late. I'll go out and get the last of them as soon as it stops raining. (Wishing I could send the rain west...)

Fresh Tomatoes

The green and purple beans started out great and then withered away. No idea why. The beets were good, but also not really plentiful. We also harvested the last of the leeks and the fresh ginger.

It really was the year of the tomato - and, when we weren't canning them, they seemed to go into almost everything we made.

A few nights ago, I made a throw-together andouille sausage and chicken stew, and then the following night, made a pot pie with the leftovers.

Pot Pie

I laid thick slices of tomato on top of the filling before adding the top crust. It was a pretty good use of leftovers...

And then, after seeing a recipe from La Cucina Italiana - I made a bean soup with shrimp.

Bean Soup

I didn't even remotely follow their recipe. but I did take their idea.

I made a quick bean soup using canned cannellini beans, homemade tomato paste, garlic, leeks, and celery, along with white wine, chicken broth, and aleppo pepper. I used an immersion blender to smooth it all out and then added a final can of beans for texture.

I sauteed shrimp in butter and olive oil, lots of garlic, a squirt of lemon, and lots of parsley.  Put the soup in a bowl, added the shrimp on top, and drizzled the pan juices around. It was pretty darned good. I made garlic bread from the Italian Bread I had made earlier in the week

Italian Bread

It was pretty good, too.

We probably have another weeks worth of tomatoes ripening and then it's over until next year - and next year's garden will be in California!