tex-mex chicken and black bean soup

Chicken Black Bean SoupSometimes recipes will sit in my Living Cookbook database for a long time before I get around to trying them. Other recipes get made right away when I come across them. Terry had marked a number of recipes in the November issue of Cooking Light for addition to the database. This recipe caught my attention.

It includes chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and bell pepper. Spices include chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. The nice thing is that you simply throw everything in the crock pot and leave it. I chopped up the chicken at the outset rather shredding it at the end as the recipe specified, so when it was time to eat all I needed to do was serve it.

The recipe made for a nice hearty autumn supper.

paprika chicken

paprika chickenI saw this recipe for paprika chicken on Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network program. The recipe called for a whole chicken cut up; I used boneless leg meat. The recipe called for onions, which I omitted as usual. I pretty much followed the recipe with respect to the seasonings, browning the chicken, and using bell pepper, tomato paste, broth, and sour cream.

The recipe took less time than the recipe specified because I used boneless chicken rather than bone-in chicken pieces. It turned out quite well.

Terry enjoyed it, which is always the most important thing.

cod in spicy Thai sauce

The source recipe for this meal was pan-roasted cod in spicy Thai broth. It appeared in the October 2014 Coastal Living, and was excerpted from the then just-released The Pollan Family Table.

cod in spicy Thai sauceThe broth contains coconut milk, lime juice, garlic, red curry paste, dry white wine, fish sauce, sugar, coriander, ginger, and tamarind paste. I failed to put coconut milk on the shopping list, and so used leftover condensed milk I had in the refrigerator. I bought the lime and failed to use it. That’s me. I couldn’t find tamarind paste so I used a quarter of a package of tamarind soup mix.

It was supposed to be a broth. It came out a sauce. It was marvelous.

I cooked the cod on the stove top rather than in the oven.

The overall result was superb. I rarely give a recipe five stars in my database, but this was one.

rotini with alfredo sauce and sausage

rotini with alfredo sauceI was looking for something simple for a Sunday dinner and so I put this together with Terry’s help.

I cooked my new favorite pasta, rotini, in boiling water. In this case I used three-color rotini. I sliced up two mild Italian sausages and cooked them in a frying pan. I drained the rotini, put it back in the sauce pan and added half a jar of Alfredo sauce. I cooked under medium heat for a few minutes.

I put the rotini and Alfredo sauce on two plates and topped with the sausage. A quick, simple Sunday dinner.


I have loved halibut since I was a youngster. There was a restaurant that we went to when I was growing up, and whenever we went there I ordered halibut.

halibutI have been fixing halibut at home all of my adult life. My method has changed little over the years. I baste it with a mixture of lemon juice, white wine or cooking sherry, and spices. If I am feeling lazy I will use Old Bay, which is quite good and the classic seafood seasoning. If I am not feeling lazy I will make my own seasoning mix. Most recently I used granulated onion, granulated garlic, medium hot chili powder, Italian herb mix, and freshly ground pepper. It worked out well.

By the way, I am very specific in the way I load my loaded baked potato. I start with light butter, add freshly ground pepper, then grated cheddar cheese, which I top with sour cream, on top of which I sprinkle Greek seasoning, and then fresh green onion from the container garden.

The two together make for a marvelous Saturday dinner.

Chicken Marsala

chicken marsalaI strayed a long way from this recipe, from which I started. I only used one kind of mushrooms (fresh white), not three. I seasoned the chicken with Harris Ranch Lemon Garlic seasoning. (Yes, sometimes I do use a spice other than Penzeys. Not often, though. In any case you can’t season the chicken with only salt and pepper. Good heavens!) I used light butter to sauté the mushrooms.

I did follow the recipe suggestion of serving the dish with mashed potatoes, a way in which Chicken Marsala is often served.

It made for a really nice Saturday dinner.

pepper-curry chicken sauté

pepper curry chicken sauteIt had been a while since I had made an Indian dish for dinner, so on a recent Saturday I pulled out this recipe for black pepper-curry chicken sauté. I didn’t follow the directions, but I did use the specified seasonings: ginger, garlic, pepper, and curry powder. I omitted the cloves. Rather than preparing the spices as per the recipe, I mixed them in a bowl and then tossed the chicken pieces in the bowl. For aesthetic reasons I used white pepper instead of freshly ground black pepper.

I cooked the chicken in a cast iron skilled and added the light coconut milk. I served the mixture on top of basmati rice.

It worked out well.