Monday, July 28, 2014

Moving My Blog

I am very computer challenged so I look for the easiest computer related programs. I have found a new site for my blog and I hope you will visit it. This poor blog site will be put to rest for a while.....maybe forever??

Thanks and hope to see you on the 'other side'!!


Because I am computer challenged, I look for the easiest site to work on and I have found another home for our blog while we visit the U.S. I hope you will visit and follow us along on our journey -

This poor old blog that I started so many years ago will be put to rest for a while...maybe forever???

Hope to see you all on the other side..

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stop in Spokane, WA

We are homeless and we are on the road for - I HOPE - a year. So, for the next 12 months I will refer to ourselves as the 'Homeless on the Road' with no disrespect to those really homeless, because we do have a wonderful traveling home to enjoy while we explore the U.S.

This is my first blog in a long time, so please bear with me until I relearn the ropes.

July 19, 2014
On the way to Spokane Thursday, the 17th just before we encountered smoke from the fires, the mountains were so clear and close you could almost reach out and touch them.

Got settled in our site and unloaded the cooking gear and chairs – first grilled dinner on the road –  roasted cod & asparagus with lemon-caper sauce.

Two-Vine Chardonnay was a great match with the dish.

July 19th

Despite the smoke in the air, we had a wonderful day exploring Spokane. First stop a farmers market to get some fresh corn and of course picked up a few extra goodies. Confronted the first reason I’m sorry we are homeless…I can only buy consumable products – no more little goodies to store away until we get home. This is a big hurdle for me. Especially when I saw this little appetizer plate

 I would have bought this in a minute!

Had to satisfy myself with the corn, beautiful Yukon Gold ‘tatoes, and goat Parmesan cheese from Chatteroy Cheese Co., a local cheese maker.  Another product I found is Camelina Gold cooking oil. This oil has a rich full-bodied flavor.

Also, at the farmers market found an herb completely new to me – Lettuce Basil – what a great find and I’m sure going to plant this when I have the opportunity. The leaves are large, so much easier to use in  sandwiches.

From the farmers market we headed downtown to the city library for what I thought was going to be a pictorial display of evolution in this area, but instead were some of the most beautiful pictures of this area and so worth searching for a parking space large enough for a diesel pickup!!



 wish the pictures had turned out, they were so compelling. The pix on the right is of Sun Lakes and I’m going to try and find out where it is.

Bill & Kathy Kostelec are amazing photographers – here’s a brief description of their work.

Next stop Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar -

And a great lunch and one of the best martinis Roy has had. Learned a trick for making his martini (and those of you who know about this, why didn’t you tell Roy??) Here’s their method:

Mist the bottom of a martini glass with vermouth (they used Martini & Rossi), then shake the gin, Bombay was used and pour into the glass. And forget all those flavored olives, he has decided he just loves the simple green olive stuffed with pimento best.

His lunch was -  a Turkey BLT Wrap: Sliced turkey, smoked bacon, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato and basil mayo wrapped in a grilled tomato basil tortilla.


 my lunch: Moroccan Beef – sauteed beef tenders with a touch of Moroccan spices served with grilled focaccia poinits, gorgonzola fondue and balsamic glaze. Just outstanding. I could have eaten the entire dish, but I kept thinking of things I could play with with the leftovers, so backed off and brough half of it home. I’m thinking a flatbread topped with the fondue, greens and the beef chopped up. (addition ideas: cilantro, melted fig jam drizzled, toasted almond…….)

More ideas from Twigs menu I want to play with -

Honey Pecan Trout: Pecan crusted rainbow trout over an apricot couscous topped with an orange-rosemary butter sauce.

Huckleberry Streusel Pizza – pizza covered with sweet cream butter, cinnamon, classic streusel topping, baked golden, then topped with confectioner’s icing, wild huckleberry coulis and finished with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pizza -  herb-oil roasted mushroom medley, roasted garlic cloves, fire-roasted red bells, chives and Mozzarella.

About 8 more ideas……

One more stop to make – Latah Creek Winery is celebrating their 32nd anniversary and we’d never had their wines. Beautiful winery and great tastings matched with their wines.


  Latah winery -

First tasting was cracker topped with Chattaroy’s  Garlic Chevre and a compote matched with a Cab Franc; watermelon salad matched with Huckleberry d’Latah (“The subtle blueberry-like flavors of the huckleberry add nice complexities to the wonderfully intense spice and floral characters of our Riesling”); a pasta salad matched with Malbec; and a feather light lemon cake matched with Riesling. The winery did a superb job of matching the foods with their wines. I’ve been promised the recipe for the lemon cake from the co-owner, Elena Conway, who has 3 cookbooks under her belt. You know I had fun talking with her.
The winery is one of only a few family owned and operated wineries within the State. Mike Conway, with over 34 years of winery experience, and his wife Ellena pair together to run one of the most successful small wineries in this relatively new viticultural region. While Mike assumes the management, winemaking and vineyard tasks, Ellena takes on the accounting, fiscal, tasting room, and gift shop responsibilities. Mike & Ellena announced in 2005 that their daughter Natalie would be joining the family business as the assistant winemaker.

We didn’t taste this, but I did buy it anyway – Wildbeary Huckleberry Lemonade which we have been directed to add some vodka and just enjoy!!!!

As we were checking out with our 2 bottles (had promised ourselves only 1 bottle per winery), on the display case I spotted – a wine bottle filled with M&Ms…..had to have.


Came home and ended the day splitting the other half of Roy’s wrap. Sigh, love these kind of days.
so ends chapter 1 of our travels - we will be here in Spokane for another  3 days and then we head east for another week's stay....but, there are a few more wineries in Spokane to sample. :)


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And Here Are The Cookbooks!!!

Finally, the two cookbooks I'm so proud of are available.

The newest book, a Chef's Journey...Home, was a labor of love.

How do I thank the women in my life who taught me the love of food and cooking? By gathering theirs and other recipes that my family grew up eating and loving and offereing them to all of you.

By sharing these dishes, I hope their memories live on for many generations to come.

Many of my friends, fellow chefs and food lovers, also traveled back in time to remember the foods they loved growing up and share them in the book.

$19.95 To order either book, please go to my website,

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Share a Recipe Cookbook is a compilation of recipes contributed by chefs and cooks from all over the world.

Over 100 favorite comfort food recipes that are inexpensive to prepare for your family. These are the dishes we all made when we were first starting out and had very little money, but wanted to cook delicious meals for our families. The recipes are also those our parents cooked for us when they were starting out.

All of the proceeds from this book go to chef scholarships to help our future chefs. Anyone enrolled in a culinary school is eligible for a scholarship. We've already been fortunate enough to give a $1,000.00 scholarship to a student attending Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas, Nevada.

$14.95 To order either book, please go to my website,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Moving On In Another Direction

My poor old blog has been so neglected and probably will be from now on since I've moved on in another direction as far as sharing recipes with everyone.

I've just completed my 2nd book and it will be out and ready for the world this month. For anyone interested, please go to my website - and find out all about it and the first book.

I hope I see everyone in a kitchen one of these days.....


Friday, April 25, 2008

If You're Ever Passing Thru Goldendale, Washington...

Since the barrel tasting does not start until today (Friday), yesterday we headed south from Yakima to the Goldendale area to check out some wineries. South of Goldendale (small farming town, about 4,000 population) on the Columbia river is where a lot of new wineries are clustered. The most breathtaking views in the world - I may be a little prejudiced because my Grandparents had a ranch on the Columbia until the government took it over for the Hanford Nuclear plant, so I get very nostalgic when I'm in that area, it's so wild, and huge and craggy and beautiful!

Finally got to Maryhill Winery - we've loved their wines for a few years now. I was surprised to find they only started the winery about 7-8 years ago, so guess we found them early on. Their Zins and Syrahs are just wonderful.

They are building an amphitheater to be finished in a month or so and Cosby, Stills & Nash are the first venue slated - would love to come back for that. The theater has its back to the river and the seating and winery itself faces the river...oh my, the view. (can you tell I'm impressed?)

We spent so much time at Maryhill and tried so many wines, we only hit one more, Marshall winery - a dinky little place just getting on its legs. But, oh the winemaker does know what he's doing. His Syrahs are wonderful. Even if we could have tasted more and still made it home without a drunk driving charge, we spent so much time at each place, we then headed home.

But we made a little detour when we got back to Goldendale - ran across a little house with the sign, The Glass Onion out front. So, in we pulled and found a little gem of a restaurant and gallery in the midst of nothing!!

Check out their website just to see how the restaurant came to be and also the photographs that Chef Mark McGowan's wife takes.We each had a bowl of his Spring Pea soup with fresh cream and oh my, it was just delicious. On the menu also, was a spinach salad with bleu cheese, bacon, candied pecans and maple dressing! that caught my eye. I handed our server my ACF card (opens so many doors ) and asked if I might just try a little of the maple dressing and out came a little salad for us to try with the dressing. It was just delicious - the salty bleu and the sweetness of the syrup and crunch of fresh spinach and the nuts. AND, Chef Mark was nice enough to give me the recipe and I will be nice enough to share it with you, too.

Chef McGown's Maple Dressing
He uses it with his spinach salad (including bleu cheese, bacon, candied pecans)

1/2 cup maple syrup
2 T. Dijon
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1 1/2 c. olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 c. brown sugar

With our soup and salad, we had a glass of Cascade Cliff's (a winery we wanted to visit, but alas, didn't think we ought to!) Merlot and it was very good with the salad and dressing, not to mention the soup also.So, that was our day yesterday and what a nice day it was!!

Today, we start drinking (or tasting...) our way thru the Yakima Valley Barrel tasting. So many wines, so little time!

With all the great wines we tried, we almost held to our winery pledge of buying only one bottle per winery on these kinds of trips... almost, had to buy a bottle of Maryhill's Malbec for my birthday dinner coming up... we were rather proud of our restraint!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mother Sauce - Espagnole

Our cooking friend, 'Houseboat Don', wants to learn sauces, so this weekend we’re going to work on one of the mother sauces, Espagnole and its smaller sauces. I’m making the basic brown stock and then the Espagnole sauce and wait for him to be here to work on to the small sauces.

I’m thinking I’ll have some steaks and chicken thawed out and we can just have a taste testing of the sauces – here’s what we'll choose probably 6-8 from:
Marchand de Vin
Perigueux (this one calls for truffles, but if we make it maybe we can play with truffle salt and/or truffle oil - unless Don wants to pop for truffles.... )
Port Wine
I’m using my text book from Culinary school for reference and help in making these sauces – Wayne Gisslen’s Professional Cooking. But there are a lot of sources anyone can use, especially having access to the internet to search.

Started out with a huge problem – I forgot to tell Roy to make sure the beef bones were cut in 3 – 4” lengths. He brought home some real hummers. Meat saw, hack saw, cleaver – nothing was working, so had to resort to an impeccably cleaned table saw. But, even that was precarious, think about holding those slippery little devils safely away from the blade. Finally, between the table saw and a wedge, we managed to get usable sizes.

They are in the oven roasting, then the mirepoix will be roasted and the brown stock will begin. And the adventure goes on. This should be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, 2/12/08
I had approximately 17 lbs. of beef bones
10-12 qts. cold water
1 lb. onions, chopped
8 oz. carrots, chopped
8 oz. celery, chopped
1 lb. tomatoes or tomato puree (I used puree)
1 Bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
8 peppercorns
4-6 parsley stems
1 whole cloves

Roast the bones in a 375 – 400 F. oven until well browned – the browner, the more flavor for your stock. Remove bones from pan and place in a stock pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer. Skim and let stock continue to simmer.

Drain and reserve the fat in the roasting pan. Deglaze the pan with water, scraping up all the goodies on the bottom of the pan and add to stock pot.

Toss the vegetables with some of the reserved fat from bones in the roasting pan and brown well in the oven – again, the browner, the more flavor.

Add the browned mirepoix, the tomato produce, and the sachet to the stock pot. Continue to simmer for a total cooking time of 6 to 8 hours, skimming the surface as needed. Add water to keep the bones covered. I made this stock over two days, 3 hours on Tuesday and brought it back up to a simmer and continued for 5 more hours.

Strain through a china cap lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Cool the stock, vented, in a cold-water bath and refrigerate.

Wednesday, 2/13/08
Wednesday, I continued the stock for 5 more hours. Then on to making the Espagnole Sauce. Now, this is where I took a slight shortcut. My amount of stock ended up being 8 quarts and the below ingredient amounts are based on 6 qts., so I added 1/3 more of everything.

1 lb. onions, medium dice
8 oz. carrots, medium dice
8 oz. celery, medium dice
8 oz. butter
8 oz. bread flour
6 qts. brown stock
8 oz. tomato puree
1 small bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
3-4 parsley stems

Sauté the mirepoix in the butter until well browned. Add the flour and stir to make the roux. Continue to cook, until the roux is browned.

Gradually stir in the brown stock and tomato puree, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and skim the surface. Add the sachet and let simmer for about 2 hours, until the sauce is reduced to 1 gal. Skim as often as necessary.

Strain through a china cap lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Press on the mirepoix gently to extract their juices.

Now, this is where my shortcut comes in – because I goofed! I forgot I needed equal amounts of the Espagnole Sauce and the brown stock to make my Demiglaze! But, I had a little container of wonderful ‘gold’ that I used. I always have on hand a product called “Glace de Gibier Gold” from More Than Gourmet (you can buy on line). I made up the amount I needed and continued with the demi –

1 gallon brown sauce (Espagnole)
1 gallon brown stock

Combine the sauce and stock in a stock pot and simmer until reduced by half. Strain through a chinois (fine china cap) or a regular china cap lined with cheesecloth. Cover to prevent a skin from forming. Keep hot in a bain marie, or cool in a cold-water bath for later use.
Here's my demiglaze and it tastes absolutely wonderful! Luscious looking also! :)

I am now ready for Houseboat Don to arrive and continue with our small sauces.
Next blog with cover the small sauce we make from the Demiglaze, how we use them and more importanly how we all like them! I'm getting so anxious!