Vegetarian Philly. 7/20/18

There’s a place here in town where we frequently go for lunch with the kids and grandkids. It has delicious hamburgers and crispy fries. But the thing I always order is their vegetarian Philly. It is like a Philly cheesesteak except without the steak part. Mushrooms make a great substitute.

It has been unrelentingly hot here so a sandwich and a salad seems like a good choice for dinner. Our Philly consists of sauteed crimini mushrooms, onions, zucchini, poblano chiles, and red bell pepper. The cheese is ultra thin Swiss. We bought a baguette for our shrimp dinner on Thursday and use that for our sandwich roll. A little basil finishes it off.

Vegetarian Philly wth a cucumber and tomato salad

I always pull out some of the bread in the center of a roll. It gives a place for the fixings to go, the dressings to soak into, and makes the whole sandwich taste more of its components rather than just bread.

Our daughter’s tomatoes have begun to ripen and they are delicious. I add some Italian dressing to a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and feta cheese. It is the essence of summer!

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Shrimp Scampi. 7/19/18

Tonight John is making a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, shrimp scampi. In our house we have a division of labor when it comes to cooking. John is in charge of all red meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish. I am in charge of all things vegetable. Of course this does not mean the we do not help each other out with components of each other’s dishes. John is an expert garlic peeler and chopper-upper and I have been known to brown meat. My assignment for tonight is toasting bread and preparing green beans.

Shrimp scampi with Frenched green beans

John makes a stock out of the shrimp shells to use in the sauce. He simmers the shrimp briefly and sets them aside while he makes the garlic sauce. I chop up the parsley. The green beans are a sticking point between us. John does not mind big honking green beans but I find them unpalatable. My mom always Frenched our green beans which is to cut them longitudinally and take the string off the string bean. I have a gadget that does just that. So I made big green beans for John and I have the thin ones in the picture for myself.

Dinner is yummy and the bread is especially good at soaking up the sauce.


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Another try at 3 Cup Chicken. 7/18/18

This is the third attempt at 3 Cup Chicken and we are still not getting it to taste the way we are hoping for. So I think we going to put this recipe in the back of the binder or maybe in the recycle bin. It just ends up tasting like an American attempt at Chinese food – all soy sauce and sesame oil. I need to find a better recipe.

3 cup chicken with rice and broccoli

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Portuguese tapas. 7/17/18

Today is our actual anniversary day. Forty-six years ago John and I hopped in my ‘67 Pontiac Tempest and eloped. Pretty exciting!  Back in the day you did not marry out of your religion very much and John and I were doing that big time! So we decided if we can’t please everyone, we might as well please ourselves. Forty-six years later I guess we proved all the nay-sayers wrong!

Anyway, we drove up to Wine Country and had our anniversary lunch at a Portuguese tapas place. We love to try all sorts of different things and eating at this restaurant gave us the opportunity to sample a bunch of stuff.

Ceviche, goat stew, crispy potatoes, and pork sliders

We also tried some octopus salad, tripe, and shishito peppers. It was great fun. For dessert we ordered two small Dixie cup sized ice creams-salted olive oil  and piri piri chocolate.

Olive oil and chocolate piri piri ice creams


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Hot times! Soup and sandwich. 7/16/18

Just too hot to cook? A light, no cook dinner is just what you need. For our hot night  dinner we made a slightly different version of gazpacho than last week. Since we had no fresh tomatoes or salsa I used canned. I also added onion, cucumber, garlic, bell pepper, sherry vinegar, and olive oil to the blender and whizzed it up. The lack of fresh tomatoes was noticeable. I will not make it like this again.


Our accompanying sandwich was an open faced tuna salad. Due to my many years (lifetime!) of dieting I never eat a sandwich with two pieces of bread. I use lettuce as my lid. Toasting the bottom piece of bread makes it stiff enough to be held with your thumb on the bottom and the rest of your fingers on top of the lettuce. In my tuna salad I have mayo, yellow mustard, parsley, relish,capers, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Open-faced tuna salad sandwich

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Make it yourself! 7/15/18

Sometimes doing the easiest thing may be expedient but it is often not the best. Last night for Wildcard Sunday we bought some prepared ribs at the grocery store and a bag of shredded cabbage with a dressing to make cole slaw.

John heated up the baby back ribs in the microwave and we were treat to mostly bones with very little meat for a pretty steep price. The cole slaw dressing was so sweet that we had to do significant fixing to make it edible. In addition I also made another Greek cucumber salad which I think John is getting sick of.

Grocery store ribs, pre-packaged cole slaw, and Greek cucumber salad with feta

My suggestion is “Do it yourself!” and if it seems like too much work or trouble then choose something else instead! A simple egg dish, a thrown together soup, or a tuna salad sandwich is much more satisfying than an expensive disappointment.

This morning we sat down and created our menu for the week. It includes two chicken meals, two seafood meals, two vegetarian meals, and one celebration lunch since Tuesday is our actual anniversary. A trip to the grocery store is imminent. No shortcuts this week!!

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Celebration dinner. 7/14/18

It is not quite our anniversary but we decided to have an early celebration.  No doubt we will be celebrating again on Tuesday. Forty-six years of marriage deserves a lot of celebrating!

We are dining at Navio, the fine dining restaurant at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA. We opt for the chef’s tasting menu. It seems like a lot to eat but the portions are very small. Here are some pictures and descriptions from the dinner.

Amuse bouche-avocade cream, uni, and caviar in a buckwheat shell

Ahi tuna ribbons with mustard fruit, black sesame, and basil

King salmon with pumpernickel, sorrel, and smoked onion

Rabbit with foie gras, morrel mushrooms, and favs bean

Cappuccino coffe mousse with vanilla creme

These were all really good. In addition we had an amuse bouche of hamachi and a pasta dish which was less successful. (I forgot to take a picture!)

It was such a nice evening. The serving personnel were pleasant and we met a nice couple at a nearby table who were celebrating their 12th anniversary.

Happy Anniversary to us!!


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