Saturday, June 23, 2018

Egg McMuffin with Truffle Artichoke Tapenade

After a week of free breakfast with made to order eggs at the Best Western Driftwood in Idaho Falls and a breakfast buffet at the Hyatt Place in Salt Lake City, it was hard to come back to a slice of wheat toast for breakfast.  So when we picked up a pack of Thomas’ English Muffins since that was what was on sale when we returned, I had to make myself an Egg McMuffin one day and even gilded the lily with some truffle artichoke tapenade courtesy of Olivier. 

With fresh English Muffins from Model Bakery and local eggs from the Farmer’s Market, this can easily be my next Eat Local Dish too!!


English Muffin
1 Egg Scrambled
1 tbsp of Olivier truffle artichoke tapenade

Price:  $1 for 1 serving = $1 – better than anything from the Dollar Menu

Friday, June 22, 2018

Beet, Fig, and Blue Cheese Spinach Salad – Eat Local #9

I might have gone a little overboard at the Farmer’s Market this week after being away for so long.  $23 worth of donut peaches, $6 for first harvest figs, $5 worth of beets, chard, and baby spinach, and $5 for a bag of crimini mushrooms.   There goes my grocery budget for the week but at least a day of eating well and eating local, killing two birds with one stone. 


1 Bunch of Beets
1 Bag of baby spinach cleaned
1 pint of figs cleaned and cut into quarters
Blue cheese crumbles
Lemon juice
Olive Oil
Sea Salt


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2.  Scrub and trim ends off beets, reserving the beet greens

3.  Place trimmed beets in aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt and crimp edges to form a pouch

4.  Roast in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes (when you remove, toothpick should be able to pierce it but be careful when opening pouch as it will be hot)

5.  Once cooled, you can rub skin off with paper towel and cut into wedges

6.  Make a light dressing of equal parts lemon juice and good fruity olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt

7.  Place beets, figs, and sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles over a bed of baby spinach and top with dressing
Price:  $10 for 4 servings = $2.50 a serving

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pan Fried Rib Eye Steak with Garlic Asparagus – Eat Local #8

Seasonal veggies are always easy to get there, but our local Farmer’s Market has really expanded with more exotic mushrooms and local fish and meats that makes it easier now to eat local, perfect to work towards that New Year’s Resolution.  Since these rib eyes are thinner than those from Costco, I could just pan fry it, skipping the transfer to the oven to finish them off.  Of course, if you like your meat a little more cooked, you can still finish it off in a 400 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes depending on thickness and wellness to your liking. 

It is getting to the end of asparagus season at the market since it is a spring vegetable, so were pencil thin.  Garlic is available year round and I get my Meyers lemons straight from my mom’s tree. 


2 Rib Eyes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch asparagus
6 cloves of garlic


1.  Remove meat from fridge about 15 min before cooking and sprinkle with salt on both sides

2.  Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a pan

3.  Add the almost room temp steaks to the pan and cook for about 5-8 minutes on each side (do not move it while cooking) until it develops a nice crust on each side

4.  Remove from pan and cover with aluminum foil and let it rest  for 15 minutes before serving to redistribute the juices

Price:  $16 for 2 servings = $8 a serving

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Braised Halibut with Carrots and Coriander

Time is just flying, the year is almost half over, summer is tomorrow and it’s already halfway to Christmas.  I have checked 3 more states off my list of the 50 to visit in the U.S. with a stay in Idaho Falls, Salt Lake City, and 2 day trips to Yellowstone in Wyoming. 

Despite having a break from cooking, I do miss having home cooked meals where I can determine what and how much of each ingredient goes into my food.  A trip to Costco netted me some beautiful halibut and black cod.  Halibut can be a tricky fish to make though especially when it comes to the thinner tail piece which can be easily overcooked. 

Poaching in theory sounds like a great idea but I was afraid of losing its flavor so when I saw this braised halibut recipe that they claim is fool proof in an article earlier this year, I filed it away to pull out when halibut season arrived.   Searing one side ensures even cooking top and bottom while the braising and light steam helps finish it off without drying it out. 

Price:  $14 for 4 servings = $3.50 a serving

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day BBQ – Thankful

Up until a few days ago, my life had been at a standstill waiting for test results.  Because of that, I actually did not plan on doing a BBQ especially since we were going to a BBQ for a family reunion just the day before.  Thankfully, the results came back in my favor and I am able to breathe again and therefore am having a simple BBQ lunch. 

Normally, the following is a sample of what I would cook up - but since I cannot eat beef this Memorial Day due to religious reasons that eliminated half the main menu I normally have.  So playing it by ear, I am aiming to have the following for the sake of last minute simplicity. 

BBQ Sausage

BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Grilled Corn

Mushroom and Turkey Kielbasa Kebobs

Kale Chips

Rainier Cherries

As you all are firing up the grill this Memorial Day, do not forget to reflect what you are thankful for and also the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Since it happens to also be National Burger Day, this red white and blue flavors of Thanksgiving burger is perfect to give thanks to our fallen soldiers this Memorial Day -

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Big Blue Turkey Burger

Since I had made fresh cranberry sauce for my Thanksgiving in May, I decided to continue with that train of thought and flavors of Thanksgiving through this weekend.  This turkey burger seemed so fitting in so many ways.  It is red, white, and blue, to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and is the reason for this Memorial Day holiday.  Secondly like Thanksgiving, you want to remember to give thanks and express gratitude to our fallen soldiers. 

Big Blue Turkey Burger Rachael Ray Show Recipe -

Notes:  I did make a few adjustments based on what I have on hand.

1.   Since I was using dill pickles, I added fresh dill to the burger itself. 

2.  Instead of chips, I used fried onion pieces that you normally put on green bean casserole which I bought an extra can of during Thanksgiving

3.  Instead of adding blue cheese into the burger itself, I melted it on after the burger was cooked giving it a bigger kick

Price:  $9 for 2 servings = $4.50 a serving


Friday, May 25, 2018

Thanksgiving in May, Gratitude Year Round

By now, everyone knows that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday but aside from the feast preparation, it goes by way too fast.  So I have been making a conscious effort to celebrate it twice a year, once in November with everyone else and once halfway through, in May.  As a result, I froze half a bag of fresh cranberries from November with the intention of making fresh cranberry sauce now. 

This year as May is about to come to a close, I have an extra reason to be thankful and that is a benign diagnosis to a month and half long health scare.  It was another reminder to not take things for granted, to live life fully, and to be grateful for the simple things in life.  As I was sitting at the gardens at Wild Flour Bakery in Freestone this past Sunday afternoon, noticing an elderly gentleman sitting in one of their Adirondack chairs reading his book with a cup of coffee next to him, I could not think of anything better. 

So as I am enjoying my individual serving of Thanksgiving on my plate, I am grateful for those simple things and the importance of gratitude year round.