-On life, love, & laughter with an occasional side of despair (and recipes, too!)
I'm just a person. I've been a mystic sharing inspirational experiences and stories my entire life. This blog is a personal experiment in self reflection and expression with a few angel readings and recipes sprinkled in for good measure. (I've always got something cooking!)
My husband has been after me to try curry for years and now that I have I’ve decided I need it in my life forever! I mean honestly, what was my problem! Curry is delicious!
This recipe is so incredibly easy, it will make an excellent weeknight dinner! AND the ingredients are so simple, you’ll be able to make it without a recipe!
I know Indian food is usually served with Basmati rice, but I am going through an “I’m sick of making rice” phase so we served this over really good egg noodles. My husband has told me thirty times that noodles were the correct choice. Who am I to argue?
6 boneless chicken thighs (use bone-in if you like them better)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion thinly sliced
4 carrots peeled, sliced down the center & cut into largish chunks
2 cans chopped tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1.5 Tbsp minced ginger
2 Tbsp minced garlic (measure with your heart, I always use more)
1.5 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 Tbsp Turmeric (more if that’s your thing. See how nice I am?)
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk)
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
Salt, pepper, granulated garlic & cayenne pepper
Season chicken thighs generously with salt, black pepper, granulated garlic & cayenne.
Heat oil in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and brown 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add more oil if necessary. Add the carrots then reduce heat to medium-low and cook 4-5 minutes until a little soft & brown in spots. (This means putting them in the pan and not moving them around a lot!)
Add the onions and cook 3-4 minutes or until softened.
Add curry powder, ginger, Turmeric and garlic and cook about 20 seconds.
Add tomatoes, chicken broth and cream (or coconut milk). Return chicken thighs to the pan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover slightly and simmer 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees. (For a thicker sauce, remove the chicken and simmer uncovered about 30 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the chicken back.
Adjust seasoning if desired. Stir in some of the cilantro but save some to garnish with as well.
This is such an unexpectedly light, delicious Fall dish!
I’m about to show you JUST HOW NICE I am! Rather than bore you with a lengthy blog on how to make this delicious recipe, I’m just going to post the photos of the steps and then the recipe. (You can thank my friend and one of Louisville’s most fun radio personalities-JESSE RASMUSSEN from MIX 106.9. -He HATES having to read a long, boring blog just to get to a good recipe!)
Poof! You’re welcome!! Let’s all say it together now, shall we?
THANK YOU JESSE!!!! (cough)
Step ONE: Boil and puree your butternut squash:
Okay I lied (just a little bit). When you boil your lasagna noodles don’t forget to salt the water. When they come out, it helps to place them on an oiled sheet pan. I actually rubbed olive oil on my noodles (front and back) so I could layer then on top of each other. It just made everything so much easier to work with AND it keeps them flat.
Next you make your fillings and set them aside:
Then coat the bottom of your lasagna pan with about 1/4″ of the butternut squash sauce.
Now begin your rollups. First the cheese mixture.
When they’re in the pan, cover them with sauce and freshly grated Parmesan Cheese. Cover LOOSELY with foil before you put this in the oven. (You will bake it a while and then take it out and add the Mozzarella to the top.
1 medium/large butternut squash (peeled & cubed)
32oz. Chicken broth
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Turmeric
2 Tbsp. red garlic (use granulated garlic if you can’t find red garlic)
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. Smokey Paprika
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 box lasagna noodles
1 lbs. Sweet Italian sausage (Leave the meat out to make this a vegetarian dish)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 bunch fresh Sage
8 Oz. frozen chopped Spinach
8 Oz. frozen chopped Kale
Zest on 1 lemon
16 Oz. full fat small curd cottage cheese
8 Oz. Ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
1 cup heavy cream
16-32 Oz. Grated Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the diced squash into a pot and pour in enough chicken stock to just barely cover it. Boil 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Remove from heat. Add in spices and cheese. Using an immersion blender, purée all ingredients. (Yes, you can use a regular blender as well.)
Prepare the noodles according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown the sausage & sauté the onions. Stir in freshly chopped Sage at the end. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a bowl, add the cottage cheese, ricotta, heavy cream, egg, Pecorino-Romano cheese, cracked pepper, lemon zest, garlic & Italian seasoning. Drain the thawed, frozen spinach and then squeeze out as much moisture as possible before adding it to the cheese mixture. Combine well.
Carefully drain the pasta and separate the noodles. It helps to coat a sheet Pan in olive oil and then lay the noodles flat on it. You can rub a little olive oil on each to prevent sticking.
Coat the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish with the butternut squash sauce. Now begin assembling the rolls. Lay one noodle out flat, coat it with a layer of the spinach/cheese mixture, then sprinkle on a layer of the sausage & onions. Starting from one end, carefully roll the pasta. Place the roll, seam-side down into the baking dish. Keep making the rolls and placing them until the dish is full. (Should make 9 to 12 rolls depending on how much filling is used.)
Once all the rolls are in the dish, coat the top with more of the sauce. Use enough to completely cover the pasta.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil. Top with Mozzarella. Bake 5-10 minutes for cheese to melt and brown a little. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
For the longest time I used to completely ignore and intentionally bypass social media “Influencers” the minute they started hawking products. I dunno why, but it really turned me off.
Several years ago I received a writing assignment from one of the magazines I work for. Low and behold the subject was “local social media influencers”. I got to pick a few of my favorites to interview and boy did I have fun.
Everyone here knows that I absolutely adore two basic things: cooking and sharing! Therefore, it only made sense for me to pick my favorite celebrity chef, Damaris Phillips, my favorite local social media icon, Morgan Tyler (used to be called: “The Southern Yogi”) and my favorite local fitness personality & philanthropist: Allison Knightlinger Cardoza.
I have to say I chose these women because of their overall positive uses of their respective social media platforms. What I found in each of them was a true passion (and honestly) about what and why they were sharing. This was one of the only pieces of writing that I became furious over how much my editors cut out for Ad space! I absolutely loved this piece and the unique inspiration each of these women has to offer. I was livid at how they hacked up such an important article.
Why am I even telling you this?
A little over a year ago one of these women turned me onto a female owned & operated company called, Nuvita, which produces some of the highest and purest quality Full Spectrum CBD oils I have ever encountered. Just like a ton of others, I have always been interested in the health benefits of CBD, but confused about which are worthwhile and authentic products.
Let’s be honest. CBD oils are expensive. Nothing is more infuriating than shelling out a ton of money on a product only to find out that it’s not what it claims to be. Been there. Done that.
Over a year my husband and I took a chance with Nuvita ONLY because Morgan told us about it and we trust her. What attracted me immediately was something called “CBN Infused Full Spectrum CBD Oil”, which is a natural sleep aid and pain reliever.
Now before I ago further let me assure you that all of Nuvita’s products are hemp derived and contain less than 0.3% THC. (THC is the component in marijuana that causes one to feel “high”. These products do NOT do that.)
According to the instructions, we started off with half a dropper each night just a couple hours before bed. The first time I took it I expected not to like it because a lot of CBD oils have a super strong taste. I was pleasantly surprised that it had no taste whatsoever. I also didn’t notice any weird effect like immediate drowsiness. It didn’t make me sleepy at all, HOWEVER, from the very first night both my husband and I slept the entire night through. (Something I honestly haven’t been able to do for years.)
After about a week, we increased our dosages to a full dropper. What we realized in comparing notes is that we both felt like we were sleeping deeper, dreaming more and awaking completely rested. The bonus for me was that I realized I was feeling calmer during my days, which is incredible since I work four to five jobs and seem to be in a constant state of anxious flurry. My husband is a body builder and he has noticed he is less stiff and sore in the morning.
So it has now been almost a year. Hubs and I swear by ALL of the Nuvita products, but we continue to NEVER run out of our CBN oil. (Did that a couple of times and we definitely noticed a huge difference in our sleep quality.) We started out with the little bottle (15mL), then we graduated to the 30 mL and now we only buy the largest one (60mL). Yes. It’s pricey for us, but we both feel like it’s entirely worth it. The benefits far outweigh the cost.
We really believe in this company. (Did I mention they are rooted in service and every month they give a portion of their profits to charity? Yup, right now they are very involved in helping to fight human trafficking.)
Because we think they’re terrific AND because we actually use their products, I asked if I could work with them. (Yes, of course! I DO need ANOTHER job! LOL!) So if you’re interested in trying any of their products, you can click through AND you can use my very own code (it’s my name: Bobbe) for 10% off each order.
I encourage you to click through the link: Nuvita CBD and check out their products-(they even make a CBD oil for your pets!) Don’t forget to use my code “Bobbe” to get your discount and YES, if you use my code to buy something, I get a small percentage of each sale and THAT helps me in a MAJOR way! 🥰
Every time I make scallops I cannot believe I know how to make scallops! They are so expensive and when ordered in a restaurant, there is never enough. (See that photo up there? My husband scarfed the entire thing down in about two minutes and still wanted more. A restaurant usually plates about FOUR scallops per person.)
The secret to this recipe is being prepared. Do ALL of the preparations in advance, including your side dishes. (I made fresh pasta and a side of asparagus.) Scallops cook very quickly, so you’ll want to have everything ready so you can plate them up when they’re ready.
So to recap: zest the lemons, squeeze the juice, chop the parsley and garlic (or use “squeezey” cheater garlic like I did), measure the wine and chicken stock and have your butter handy. Also, have a platter with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil nearby. You will put the cooked scallops in there to hold as you finish them.
Lastly and most importantly, DRY THOSE SCALLOPS WELL before you attempt to sear them. The slightest bit of moisture will prevent a good sear. Get your Pan hot, hot, hot before you start. Also, once you get them in the pan, resist the urge to check them for at least two minutes.
Let me know how it goes! ❤️
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 pounds scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
FOR THE LEMON BUTTER (GARLIC) SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter (Use real butter. Don’t be a slacker.)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
Zest of two lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (reserve one tablespoon for garnishing)
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. (I mean thoroughly. I usually put them between two paper towels and then rest them on a food friendly kitchen cloth. They need to be very dry in order to brown.
Working in batches, add scallops to the skillet in a single layer and sear. Season with salt and pepper. Turn them over once and leave them until golden brown and translucent in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the lemon butter (garlic) sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet. Add garlic and cook, whisking frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in wine, lemon juice and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in the parsley at the end.
Serve scallops immediately with lemon butter sauce, garnish with a little of the reserved parsley.
I think I’ve been working on this meatloaf recipe since I was in my twenties. This is a tad labor intensive but it’s entirely worth it.
By now, we all know I’m a bit of a weirdo (and a perfectionist) when it comes to cooking. The way I make my meatloaf is a tad different than most in that I do not mix my ingredients in a bowl. (This is born from my experience with catering for large groups. It’s impossible to mix the ingredients for meatloaf for 100 in a bowl, so I always use a huge baking sheet.) The first time I tried this method at home, it worked so beautifully, I’ve not used a bowl since. The reasoning behind it is pretty simple. It’s just easier to get the meats and the seasonings uniformly distributed using this method.
I used to substitute oatmeal for breadcrumbs in my meatloaf recipes until that one time I forgot to put them in and it ended up being the best meatloaf ever. Now I skip them completely. Instead, I use extra eggs to hold everything together. Yes, the consistency going into the oven is slightly more wet, (and more work) but it works out just fine.
Wait. Did she just say, “…more work”? Relax. It’s just a couple of extra steps to siphon out the liquid as it builds up during baking. (Doesn’t that sound appetizing? Here, your turkey baster will be your friend.)
Meatloaf Ala Bah Bah
1 1/2 lb. ground beef (80/20 for best flavor)
1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. ground mild Italian sausage
1 Pkg Lipton Onion Soup mix
1 medium onion diced however you like it
1/2 c. minced fresh parsley (Take the time and use the FRESH stuff. It DOES make a difference!
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Ketchup (I like Primal Kitchen’s Sugar free)
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Rays Hickory & Brown Sugar is yummy)
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On a large baking sheet, break up the ground beef and spread it, then break up the sausages so they are evenly distributed. If a baking sheet scares you, use a bowl, but trust me on this…a baking sheet allows for easier mixing and even distribution of ingredients.
Sprinkle the soup mix, onion, parsley, Italian seasoning, olive oil, ketchup, eggs and salt and pepper evenly over the meat. (Basically everything but the Barbecue sauce.)
Using your hands, mix all of it together and then spread it back out across the baking sheet once more.
Drizzle thin streams of the barbecue sauce over the meat. Salt and pepper once more. Mix again and then form it into a loaf inside a standard loaf pan.
Put the meatloaf into your freezer for 20 minutes.
Put into preheated oven, uncovered for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, turn temperature down to 375.
Using a turkey baster, remove the juices that have accumulated. Brush on a thin coating of Barbecue sauce. Return to oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, siphon the juices once more, re-apply the barbecue sauce, cook for 5-10 minutes more. Repeat siphoning juices and applying barbecue, then broil on high for two minutes.
Let the meat rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes before serving.
I have always been that person who thought cilantro tastes like soap. That is, until I started living with my husband, who is a fanatic over the stuff…
I have always been that person who thinks cilantro tastes like soap. That is, until I started living with my husband, who is a fanatic over the stuff. At any given moment during the year, we have not one, but two bunches sitting in water on our counter; so over the summer I decided to give in and start using the stuff and now I am hooked.
I adapted this recipe from something similar that called for parsley instead of cilantro. I imagine it would also be great with fresh chopped basil or even rosemary.
I love this recipe because it’s unexpectedly creamy and it smells incredible! Prep time is just a few minutes and you can assemble this dish ahead of time if you need to- just pop it in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
Start off with with cod fillets. We buy ours frozen from Trader Joe’s. Once it’s thawed, be sure to pat it dry on both sides so the melted butter will adhere to it.
Next melt about 4 Tbsp real butter (none of that no fat, low fat, fake butter crap! Use the real stuff!) We buy Amish butter. You can’t beat the freshness.
Now for the dredging stations: 1) This is about 3/4 cup of flour, mixed with a generous amount of smoky paprika, salt and pepper and one of my favorite spice blends: Essence of Emeril.
2) Next, I zested one very large lemon and squeezed its juice (about 3 Tbsp, I said it was large!). For fun, I also zested a Meir Lemon. Then add about 1/4th cup chopped fresh cilantro. When your butter has melted, add it here.
Here it is with the melted butter.
Dredge each piece of cod, both sides in the butter/ cilantro mixture and then the flour. The original recipe called for dredging only one side but I always do both. I suppose you could leave out the flour entirely, but the dish will not turn out as creamy. (It will, however, still be delicious!)
Spray your baking dish with coconut oil (or whatever you have on hand-or leave it out. I forgot this step tonight. It made no difference.), then lay out your fish. Pour the remaining butter/cilantro mixture over the fish. Here, I usually toss in a little more cilantro and sprinkle a little more paprika.
PS: This stuff? It’s your friend when you don’t feel like chopping. Find it at the grocery where you buy fresh spices.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until flakey.
We made roasted butternut squash, zucchini and baby Roma tomatoes as our sides. These just go in at 400 degrees coated in olive oil, salt and pepper. All on one sheet pan. I make then before I bake the fish, the cover with foil and let them rest.
Fresh out of the oven.
The thought occurs to me that I could have mixed the tomatoes in with the squash. I like to keep the zucchini whole, however. It’s a texture thing for me.
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
4 cod fillets (6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Zest of 1-2 lemons
Preheat oven to 400°. In a shallow bowl, mix lemon juice, cilantro and butter. In a separate shallow bowl, mix flour and seasonings. Dip fillets in lemon juice mixture, then in flour mixture to coat both sides; shake off excess.
Place in a 13×9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice, cilantro, butter mixture. Sprinkle on a little more paprika & lemon pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes or until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork. Garnish with more fresh cilantro & lemon zest.
I made this for dinner last night. It’s easy, healthy and takes very little time. Perfect week night meal!
NOTE: Today is your lucky day! I am sparing you a lengthy explanation about what I think about this recipe! The ONLY thing important to know is that my measurements for butter and olive oil are complete approximations. I tend to be very heavy handed with butter and this recipe can take it!
Garlic Shrimp with Fresh Veggies.
Ingredients Half stick of butter (or MORE!) 4-5 TBSP (or 6 or 7 see my note above) olive oil 3 Tbsp chopped garlic 1-2 lbs raw shrimp (peeled & deveined) We like the Argentinian Red Shrimp from Trader Joe’s (find it in the frozen aisle) 1 package fresh English peas (Kroger has them now) 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (keep them whole) 4-5 cups fresh spinach Salt & pepper to taste
Optional: Angel hair pasta (I used @ 1/4 of box, but use however much you want or leave it out)
Thaw and dry the shrimp well. Place in a ziplock bag with enough olive oil to coat it (not drown it) and the fresh garlic. Be sure and mix it around so the shrimp is evenly coated with the garlic. Let this sit on the counter while you’re sautéing the vegetables.
Boil and drain the pasta making sure to reserve one cup of the cooked pasta water. (Put a lid on it to help it stay a little warm while you continue to work.)
Place your skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil, then add the peas and whole tomatoes. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Sauté for about 6-8 minutes, then add in half the spinach stirring constantly until the spinach wilts and turns bright green. Remove everything from the pan and set aside. (You will add it back after the shrimp is cooked.)
Put the pan back on the heat, add another pat of butter, let it melt, then dump in the shrimp. Spread it evenly over the pan, sauté for a couple of minutes, turn the shrimp over and continue sautéing until the shrimp is opaque. (About another minute) Quickly add the vegetables back to the pan along with the remaining raw spinach. Turn the spinach until almost cooked, then remove the pan from the heat and slowly add in the pasta. (Use the pasta water to help incorporate it.)
More on the Favorite Chef contest and what’s going on. I’d love you to click through to the contest and read my story and why I want to win!
About a month ago I was contacted about the “Favorite Chef” contest. The criteria was simple: love of cooking. The contest was open to food bloggers and Chefs and novice Chefs and foodies alike. It first caught my attention because the prize is a two page spread in Bon Appétit Magazine!
“Holy cow!” I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t THAT be the coolest EVER!” So, I entered. I had to answer a lot of questions, submit photos of myself and my work and then wait to see if I was accepted.
Poof. I was accepted but THEN?! I learned that there is MORE to the story. In addition to winning the photo spread, the winner gets $50,000.00! When the contest began that number was $20,000, but they have since increased it! (gulp!)
So the contest began on the 16th. It’s entirely based on people voting online for their favorites. To be honest, when this all started I thought I’d do well the first day but then there are so many talented Chefs competing, I would drop off into oblivion.
YOU ALL! I am currently in the number ONE spot in this contest! I have cried my eyes out so much over your support. I can’t even express properly how MUCH your willingness to vote and share has meant to me. -Even if I end up not winning, I have already won. (Sounds SO corny, but it’s true!)
That being said…please continue to vote daily! Everyone gets one free vote per day. I have figured out that this contest is about longevity. If my sweet people vote daily all the way through, I WILL win….and I will cry and cry and cry HAPPY tears.
Thank you isn’t enough. But here I am. Thank you!
If you haven’t voted today, please click through and do it. (Thank you in advance!) Also while you are there you can click on the word, “Group” to be taken to the list of my competitors. BUT FIRST please READ my story about how I got started and WHY I want to win.
Then after ALL of that if you are so inclined, you can click on the Facebook icon and share it to your social media pages. PLEASE!