What are you having for dinner? (wanna share your recipe?)


I am having:
Roasted Smashed Potatoes topped with
Duxelles and sprinkled with
Nutritional Yeast and a side of
Steamed Peas.

For the Roasted Smashed Potatoes:
Scrub some small potatoes.
Boil in heavily salted water until tender.
Cool overnight (or if you can’t wait like me then put them on a plate in the freezer while you get the other stuff ready.)

Fancy word for like a mushroom hash
Dice some mushrooms (about 1/4 lb.)
Mince about 1/2 onion (and a few shallots if you have them)
Melt a lot of butter in a skillet (like 1/4 c.)
Cook the mushroom bits until they start to get small, add the minced onion and cook moderately until they are all cooked up how you like it. Season with salt and pepper (nutmeg if you want). Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425.

Make the butter for roasting the potatoes:
Melt about 3 T butter with about 4 T olive oil. Add minced rosemary (plus thyme if you like), salt and pepper. Set aside.

Smash the potatoes on parchment or foil on the baking sheet with a pot or bowl. This part is tricky and some might fail, just do your best and try to keep them patty shaped. (The recipe said to add baking soda when boiling the potatoes but I forgot to do that and not sure if that helps with the smashing part.)

Drizzle or brush potatoes with butter mixture. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Turn at about 30 min (takes some finesse)

To plate:
Top smashed potatoes with duxelles. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and a little more minced rosemary. Serve with peas on the side.


I made tomorrow night’s dinner tonight, and it looks amazing!

Ratatouille: Preheat oven to 375.
Thinly slice aubergine, zucchini, yellow squash, and Roma tomatoes. 1-2 of the first three and 5-6 of the last, depending on size. Set aside. In a wide oven safe pan make the sauce:
Dice an onion and bell peppers (I didn’t have any). Sauté in olive oil until soft with a little color. Add sliced garlic for the last minute or so. Add a big can of crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 13 chopped basil leaves. Let the sauce simmer down a bit while you make the seasoned oil:
Into a good amount of olive oil add minced garlic and 13 more chopped basil leaves. Add thyme and parsley if you have it, unlike me. Season with salt and pepper. Now prepare the dish.
Create a pattern (like eggplant, squash, tomato, zucchini) and place the veggie slices side by side in the wide saucepan from the outside in, like concentric rings. Drizzle the herb oil over the veggies. Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes until the veggies are soft, remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Supposedly tastes best when allowed to rest for a day.

I looked up Ratatouille in my ancient French cooking encyclopedia, “Larousse Gastronomique”, and there is a short entry, basically the same except the bell peppers are sliced too and the whole thing is just mixed together and cooked on the stove top, with no fancy concentric circles, in a tomato sauce flavored with onions, garlic, and a bouquet garni. Oh, and the aubergines and marrow squashes are salted and pressed first. Says eaten hot or cold.

But this one is so pretty! I think I will eat with rice and fancy green olives. 😋. Looking forward to it! Before and after pictures:


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So the first time I made this I was about to give up and thought it wouldn't work and surprise.....in the last couple minutes it pulled itself together and was great. The only must is the 85% lean beef. The fat from the beef is what helps thicken the sauce and you cant get away with any less fat in the beef.

30 Minute Skillet Shepherds Pie

8 cups frozen shredded hash browns
4 Tablespoons Butter - melted
1.5 pounds 85% lean ground beef
1 onion chopped fine
1.5 teaspoon minced fresh Thyme
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups low sodium beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups frozen pea and carrot medley - thawed
Salt and pepper

Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat broiler. Toss potatoes with 2 Tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon salt and .25 teaspoon pepper. Put the potatoes in a bowl, cover and microwave for 7-10 min.

While potatoes are cooking cook beef and onion in a heatproof skillet over medium high until the beef is no longer pink - about 5 min. Drain in colander.

Return beef mixture to pan and add thyme and flour. Stir until incorporated, about 1 min. Stir in broth and Worcestershire and cook until sauce is thickened (6-8 min.) then add the peas and carrots and simmer until heated. Salt and pepper to taste.

Scatter potatoes over the top and brush with remaining butter. Broil until the potatoes are golden brown, about 3-5 min.



I made duxelles again but this time I made it with:
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
8 shiitake mushrooms, diced
Salt and pepper

And ate it with rice.

So delicious!


Yummo, @OliveJewel! My Ma would make creamed mushrooms on toast, in the days when all we could find was canned mushrooms, I thought I had died and gone to heaven when she made that for lunches upon occasion. My brother didn’t appreciate them, all the more for my Mom and me!


This was Sunday dins with the family and BFF. Not a lick of left overs, it was so good, I served it with cauliflower mash (large cauliflower cooked in boiling salted water til soft, drained, mashed with some fancy pants butter from France that I had, a package of Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese, and a couple of spoons of sour cream). My grandson took the tiniest portion of the mash, ended up with seconds and thirds: Creamy Shrimp & Scallops with Sun Dried Tomatoes • My Pocket Kitchen


Shrimp Po’boys 🦐

The easiest/fastest way to make these is just to marinate in hot sauce, (my fave is Crystal), dunk in virtually any kind of fry batter (tempura is a bit light, but a lil bit o’ masa corn flour will thicken/crispy & avoids the whole dairy issue I have -and gluten for that matter- but seriously any kind of wet/dry fry batter is bonzer, including crab cake mix w/ a bit of buttermilk) and deep fry. So fast & easy.

Marinate for 10min, dip in batter, fry, serve on crispy rolls w/mayo (&/or lettuce, tomato, pickles, jalapeños, whatever). Done & Done.

I don’t have a deep fryer, so these ones go “backwards”, because hot sauce and seasonings burn and get super gross in a hot pan (that boiled in oil prevents by some kind of alchemical magic). Also the house fills with smoke. And your lungs will hurt for a couple days from all the caustic & volatile oils. It’s nowhere near as bad as the first 2 days in making molé, but it’s still in the range of accidentally melting a bunch of plastic in the oven by forgetting to check it before preheating. Cough. <hack. cough. eyes streaming> Which I’m sure noooooone of us have ever done. <whistling>

po’boys v.2

- Shake up shrimp but good in a ziplock bag with 3:1 corn starch & masa flour (seasonings later)
- Pan “sear” in a screaming hot skillet/wok with just a tiny bit of oil
- Set on paper towels to drain
- Shake over any seasonings (I use Old Bay) whilst still hot/wet/grabby
- serve in a crispy roll with Mayo & hot sauce (and any veg/fillers)

Note: The asian method of soaking shrimp in water with a double pinch of baking soda (to “plump up” the shrimp before steaming, so they’re bursting with wow and “pop” in your mouth) that reeeeally doesn’t work in most pan-searing of shrimp? (Because to get the crispy seared edge you need dry surfaces, not shrimp bursting with juices) And also works für scheisse in any kind of sauce/butter absorb absorb absorb (too full to absorb jack). Actually works great, here, because of the crispy coating providing a barrier between most of the shrimp and the pan. So the “sear” is less an actual sear, and more searing temps, that cook shrimp so fast they’re delicate and all but melt in your mouth. Crispy crunchy on the outside bursting with juicy/pop & melt in your mouth inside.