Category Archives: What’s For Dinner

It’s What’s For Dinner: photos, inspiration, recipes

Shrimp Skewers


This is my version of BBQ’d shrimp skewers.  I love bacon wrapped shrimp… and I love bacon wrapped tomatoes… so why not combine them.  I wrapped the shrimp in a quarter piece of bacon (partially pre-cooked in microwave), and alternated grape tomatoes on the skewer.  I painted spicy BBQ sauce on over the entire skewer and grilled until the shrimp were cooked through and the tomatoes just lightly blistered.

I served it with a cheesey polenta… and enjoyed. 🙂


Cauliflower Grapes

We have always been big meat eaters, but lately we have been truly enjoying great vegetable dishes, as not only sides, but main courses.


This dish is surprisingly simple for all it’s intense flavors.

I cut up some cauliflower, and loaded onto a cookie sheet with a handful of red grapes, and sliced onion.  I drizzled olive oil over the lot, salt, and tossed to coat.

I baked it at 400F for 20 minutes, then using a spatula turned everything over to evenly brown.  I let it cook for another 5 minutes, then add some shelled pistachio’s… salted the other side, and roasted for another 5 minutes.


In the meantime, I made a simple yogurt sauce of plain yogurt, mustard, lemon, and salt.  I plated the yogurt sauce, and topped with a salsa verde… and the cauliflower mixture.  I served with a griddle warmed flour tortilla to scoop up the yogurt sauce.

It was a fabulous dish… totally company worthy.


Seared Scallops with Butternut Squash / Sage Puree and Prosciutto crisp


Seafood is our go to  celebratory meal.  So when we were in Flagstaff, we picked up some beautiful fresh scallops from Whole Foods for a delightful seared scallop dish.

First I roasted a butternut squash in the oven at 400F until golden brown and tender.  I sautéed some onion and garlic, then added half the roasted butternut squash, cubed into chunks.  I seasoned with sage, thyme, and salt, then added about a cup of chicken broth to make a thick broth.  After that reduced a bit, I added just a splash of cream, then  puree’d it to a smooth consistency.

I sautéed prosciutto pieces to crispy…. and seared the scallops in the prosciutto oil.

To plate, I put a nice smear of butternut squash puree on the plate, added the scallops and topped with herbs and fresh tomatoes, garnishing with my prosciutto crisps.

Yum!  Worth of a celebratory meal.

Carnitas Ravioli’s

I just love this time of the year.  It is filled with great friends and great food… my favorite things.  We troll recipe books to find new and different recipes to try over the holiday season, so our menu’s are filled with fun and interesting new dishes.

This recipe called for carnitas, a mexican classic – that slow cooked delicious tender pork – in an italian preparation, that traditional ravioli pocket.  It sounded like exactly what we were looking for.. fun and interesting.

We added onion, garlic, butternut squash, bacon, chipotle chile, and sage to the carnitas mixture for an amazing filling for our carnitas ravioli’s.


We served it with a poblano cream sauce, and topped with fresh cilantro and tomato.

The result – yumminess!



Poached / Glazed Salmon

I love this recipe… and it’s author for that matter.  Eric Ripert is a master of all things seafood.  His handling and respect for fish is unparalleled.  Some of my best fish recipes come from him.

poached salmon_IR.jpg

I am not a halibut fan, so I used salmon.  His recipe is ……   here.

This recipe is so easy to make, and so delicious to eat.  It’s a simple poach in a water, flour, vermouth, lemon & orange juice poaching liquid.  The recipe calls for 5 seconds… but my fish isn’t as fresh as his, so my poach was more like 8 minutes.

I love the simple sherry vinegar / dijon mustard vinaigrette that acts as a glaze and sauce over the top.  It provides such wonderful balance.  Definitely a repertoire recipe.  Enjoy.

Zucchini Pie


I have made spaghetti pie in the past… but I had a bunch of zucchini and summer squash in our refrigerator, so I decided to make a zucchini pie.  It was a beautiful presentation and made a really nice dinner… and an even better lunch the next day.

I sautéed bulk sausage to cook, and set aside.

In the same pan, I sautéed chopped onion, garlic, red/yellow mini bell peppers, and spinach.  Then I added spiralized zucchini.  Since zucchini has a lot of liquid, I added about 2T flour to the sauté.    I added the cooked sausage, and 3 whisked eggs (off heat), + 1/2 c. milk, 1 c. grated cheddar cheese, salt, and red pepper.  I put mixture in a greased sauté pan and baked for 10 – 15 minutes until set.

I would definitely make again.


Cheesey Polenta with Butterfly Shrimp

shrimp polenta_IR.jpg

For us, cheesey polenta and meat sauce is comfort food.  It’s soothing, warm, and yummy.  Add butterfly garlic shrimp and it’s even better.

I made up a simple batch of polenta with 4 parts liquid (water or chicken broth) to 1 part polenta.  Once the liquid came to a simmer, I poured in the polenta and stirred until it started to come away from the side, about 10 minutes, then added the good stuff – butter, cream, and cheese.

Tomato – meat sauce over top…. pan seared garlic shrimp… and it’s what’s for dinner.  Gooey oohey deliciousness.