Scallops with Caper Sauce over Veggies


I may not have posted in a month, but I am getting this in just in the knick of time to enter this month’s Food ‘n Flix hosted by Caroline Makes. This month Caroline hosted the movie Burnt. This had been on my to-watch list, but I hadn’t seen it yet, so this was a great opportunity to watch the movie and let it inspire me.

This movie is about Adam, a chef who lost everything he had because of his addictions. But after cleaning himself up, he decided he wanted to earn his way back in the fine dining scene in London.

Obviously, this is a foodie movie. There was so much delicious food in it. But there were a few things that jumped out at me and made it onto my idea list:

  • oysters
  • shrimp
  • summer vegetables on a bed of ricotta
  • Burger King
  • tarragon sauce
  • halibut
  • scallops
  • omelet


I decided to make something I haven’t ever made before and went with the scallops. While not restaurant quality like the food in Burnt, my dinner was extremely satisfying. The combination of the capers, fat, and lemon was very tasty. Now imagine how delicious this would have been had Adam made it for me.

My inspiration from the scallops came from one of the many dishes you see being prepared in the kitchen. There were a ton of choices!


Scallops with Caper Sauce over Veggies

– 1 zucchini, julliened
– 2 carrots, julliened
– 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
– 3 tbsp unsalted butter
– 12 scallops
– 2 tbsp capers, drained
– 1 shallot, minced
– 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
– 1 lemon
– salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once hot add the zucchini and carrot. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Pat your scallops dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat your skillet back up. Add the 2 tbsp remaining of olive oil. Once hot cook the scallops 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove the scallops and set aside, keeping warming.
  4. Add the butter to the pan. Once the butter begins to boil and turn brown, add the shallot and capers. Cook for 1 minute. Take off heat. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the sauce.
  5. Place vegetables in a bowl. Top with scallops. Spoon butter sauce over the dish. Sprinkle with cilantro.
  • serves 2

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp


I’m squeezing this in right at the last minute here, but I participated this month in Food ‘n Flix’s challenge, this month hosted by Deb at Kahaki Kitchen. This month Deb had us watch Beetlejuice, entirely appropriate for the month with Halloween in it. If you want to check out the announcement post, go here.

It also happens that Fandom Foodies is having #burtoween this month, sharing food inspired with all Tim Burton movies. That’s being hosted this month by Witchy Kitchen.


I was inspired for this month’s recipe from Beetlejuice’s black and white striped suit. The squid ink pasta noodles, which are absolutely delicious, but look quite freaky being dark black, are representative of Beetlejuice’s signature outfit.

I made the squid ink noodles from scratch, though I actually had a box of premade squid ink noodles in my cabinet. But I hadn’t made noodles from scratch in awhile and decided to go crazy this month. I followed Serious Eats instructions on how to make these noodles.

Squid Ink Pasta and Shrimp


  • 10 oz fresh squid ink noodles
  • 10 oz cleaned shrimp
  • 5 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 bunch basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water seasoned with salt to a boil.
  2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir, cooking for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes, chicken broth, 2 tbsp water, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the noodles to the boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. While the noodles are cooking, cook the shrimp in the sauce for 3 minutes.
  6. Drain the pasta. Save the pasta water.
  7. Add the noodles, butter, half the basil, 1/2 cup of the saved pasta water, and lemon zest. Toss with the sauce. Cook for several minutes, to reduce the sauce to a desired consistency.
  8. Top with parmesan cheese and remaining basil.
  • serves 2

28505354112_28f6a7b8ba_m         vqggqar

Chicken Fried Steak


I am a bad blogger. I have been awful about blogging lately. Nothing seems to encourage me to do it. But, I like doing it, so I will keep trying.

This meal was made for Inheritance Recipes. The idea of Inheritance Recipes hosted by Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla Blog is to make and share recipes that have been inherited through either family, friends, or ancestry.


This past weekend I was at my boyfriend’s house. He was getting home late from work, so I decided to surprise him with a dinner that makes me happy: chicken fried steak.

There are two meals that my mom makes when I come home, either chicken parmesan or chicken fried steak. These are the two recipes that remind me of home and that my mom knows I loved more than anything as a child. Chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes is so filling, so fatty, and so delicious. The boyfriend was super happy with the meal and I was reminded of more innocent and easier days.

I served the chicken fried steak with the obligatory mashed potatoes and some delicious green beans with pistachios.

Chicken Fried Steak


– 3/4 cup milk
– 1 egg
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp ground black pepper
– 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1 lb cube steak (4 steaks)
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

– 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
– 4 cups milk
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or more to taste)


  1. For the steak, take two shallow bowls. In one, combine the milk and the egg. In the other, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and remaining spices.
  2. Season the cube steaks with salt and pepper. Working one piece of meat at a time, first coat in the flour mixture. Then dip the meat in the egg mixture. Then coat in the flour mixture again. Set aside on a clean plate and repeat with the remaining steaks.
  3. In a cast iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil and butter. Once hot, add the steaks. Cook 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Set the steaks aside on a plate covered with a paper towel.
  4. For the gravy, heat the leftover grease in the skillet. Sprinkle the flour over the grease and cook to create a golden-brown paste.
  5. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until the gravy is thick, 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and whisk together. Add as much pepper as you like! I like it peppery.
  • serves 4

Coconut Scones with Coconut Nutella Glaze


I hadn’t baked any treats since I moved into my new house. The first delicious treat that came from my kitchen (and it’s MINE because I bought a house!) are these scones. I had intended to follow the recipe I had found to the tee – but then as I pulled them out of the oven and saw my jar of Nutella peaking out of the cabinet, I just knew there was a way to include the deliciousness of the hazelnut chocolate spread into these scones.

I’ve been eating these for breakfast all week and they somehow still remain perfectly moist (not too dry, but the very right texture for scones.)

Coconut Scones with Coconut Nutella Glaze
(original recipe)


1 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar + more for sprinkling on top
1/2 cup shredded coconut
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 large egg
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp skim milk
1 tbsp Nutella



  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and coconut together in a bowl for a mixer. Beat the cold butter into your dry ingredients using a mixer)
  2. Whisk the coconut milk, eggs, and coconut extract together in another bowl.
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until well combined.
  4. Fold the pecans into the batter.
  5. Scoop portions of the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat sheet. Your scoops should be about the size of a ping pong ball.
  6. Sprinkle the tops of your scones with sugar. Bake for 17 minutes.


  1. Mix together the coconut milk, extract, powdered sugar, milk, and Nutella until smooth.
  2. Drizzle over the scones while they’re still warm.
  • makes approximately 1 dozen scones

This recipe is being shared with We Should Cocoa (hosted by Tin and Thyme), Tea Time Treats (hosted by Lavender and Lovage, Travels for Taste, and Jo’s Kitchen) , and Treat Petite (hosted by Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer.)

We_Should_Cocoa_V3 TeaTimeTreatsNEW LOGO SHINY

Farro Soup


Okay, okay, okay! I really am going to try to start blogging again. And to prove that, I’m sharing a recipe that isn’t even made for a food blog monthly roundup (though I am going to be linking it places.)

I don’t really know why I’m making soup in the summer in the desert, but it worked out that it was cooler tonight than it has been.

I don’t have much to say – except that this recipe was good. I served it with these rosemary breadsticks.

Farro Soup
(original source)

3/4 cup farro, uncooked
3 pieces pepper bacon
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp rosemary, minced
8 cup chicken broth
1 cup grape tomatoes, diced


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the uncooked farro. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Chop the bacon into pieces. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-heat. Cook the bacon until the bacon is cooked all the way through.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, and rosemary and saute with the bacon for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth and the tomatoes into the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil.
  5. Once the soup is boiling, add the farro. Cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.


I’m also going to post this here, based on the comment of the original source of the recipe I was inspired by:

“Copyright law does not protect recipes that are mere listings of ingredients. Nor does it protect other mere listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions. Copyright protection may, however, extend to substantial literary expression—a description, explanation, or illustration, for example—that accompanies a recipe or formula or to a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook.”

Federal Courts have also ruled that even certain recipes in cookbooks are not protected by copyright:

“The DISCOVER DANNON recipes’ directions for preparing the assorted dishes fall squarely within the class of subject matter specifically  [481] excluded from copyright protection by 17 U.S.C. § 102(b). Webster’s defines a recipe as:

a set of instructions for making something . . . a formula for cooking or preparing something to be eaten or drunk: a list of ingredients and a statement of the procedure to be followed in making an item of food or drink . . . a method of procedure for doing or attaining something.

WEBSTER’S THIRD NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY 1895 (Merriam-Webster 1986). The recipes at issue here describe a procedure by which the reader may produce many dishes featuring Dannon yogurt. As such, they are excluded from copyright protection as either a “procedure, process, [or] system.” 17 U.S.C. § 102(b).

Meredith fashioned processes for producing appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts. Although the inventions of “Swiss ‘n’ Cheddar Cheeseballs” and “Mediterranean Meatball Salad” were at some time original, here can be no monopoly in the copyright sense in the ideas for producing certain foodstuffs. Nor can there be copyright in the method one might use in preparing and combining the necessary ingredients. Protection for ideas or processes is the purview of patent. The order and manner in which Meredith presents the recipes are part and parcel of the copyright in the compilation, but that is as far as it goes.”

(Publ’ns Int’L, Ltd. v. Meredith Corp. (1996) 88 F.3d 473)


never copy and paste recipes verbatim that I find online or in cookbooks. I never steal the creative commentary that would be copyright protected.

I post the original source of the recipes I follow as a nod and a thank you to the blog where I found the recipe. I can either continue to post as I do, or I can stop posting the links to where I found the recipe. But no offense, there’s nothing particularly creative about Italian Farro Soup, especially when the blogger I linked admits to having taken the recipe from an unsourced magazine.

I’m sorry I find this very annoying. And while I generally do not rant in my blog, I will not remove the recipe list but I will remove the blog link if ever so necessary.

Food n Flix Roundup: Popeye

Wowzer did I ever drop the ball this month, the month I was hosting Popeye for Food ‘n Flix. I have had some life changing things happen this month that have kept me from the kitchen, but all is okay now. The craziest part about it is I did make a dish for this month’s movie, I just didn’t like it enough to post it.


My favorite scene in the movie is the music break where the characters sing Everything Is  Food. And my favorite line from that is “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” I had decided to make a spinach turkey burger (it wasn’t very good and I never got around to doing it again.)

This movie had quite a few food references, hamburgers, spinach, sweet peas, olive oil, hamburger soup, fish – so many options!

So despite not having anything to show for myself this movie, I do have the roundup of all the amazing Popeye dishes that came out of the movie!

Turkey & Spinach Burgers

Our first Popeye inspiration was sent in by Amy of Amy’s Cooking Adventures. Amy shared this wonderful look Turkey & Spinach Burger recipe. Amy ties together three major food inspirations from the movie into these burgers: olives from when Olive Oyl spills the olives, spinach because Popeye, and Wimpy with the burgers. She even used the leftovers to make a delicious hash the next morning! I’ll pay you Tuesday for that (turkey)burger today?

DSC_0022 (2)

The next recipe was sent in by Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Despite not enjoying the movie, Camilla managed to muster together enough inspiration to make this delicious Spicy Spinach Chowder. Despite Popeye not liking his spinach, Cam’s boys do! And she used that spinach Popeye inspiration to make a delicious seafood and spinach chowder.


The next dish is Spinach Salad with Sweet Peas, Strawberries, and Maple-Balasamic Vinaigrette shared with us by Debra at Eliot’s Eats. Using inspiration from Popeye and his spinach and both Olive Oyl and Swee’Pea’s names, Debra created a delicious salad that seems perfect for these summer days.

Bacon Cheeseburger Chowder_024

Our next recipe comes from our leader-in-chief who keeps Food ‘n Flix running strong, Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. Heather shared with us a bowl of Bacon Cheeseburger Chowder, “It’s a Soup Burger. These are difficult times . . . burgers can’t be choosers.” Heather had a ton of great ideas of things to make for this film, but this delicious chowder seemed to be the right one to run with!


Kimberly from Coffee and Casseroles shared the next dish: Garlic Mashed Potato Cake. This movie seemed to have pretty split results over whether people who liked it or not, with Kimberly on the side of not. Kimberly made these potato cakes as an ode to a veggie version of a fish cake. Despite not liking the movie much, these potato cakes look great!


The next recipe to share this month is Terri’s Impossible Spinach Quiche, originally posted at Our Good Life. Popeye and his spinach led Terri on a journey to her past, thinking about how she used spinach and even inspiring her to pull out a recipe for this quiche she had written down as a teenager! I love how Food ‘n Flix not only inspires new food ideas, but takes us down old memory lanes!


I am intrigued by Evelyne from CultureEatz‘s recipe this month, Ketchup and Beans Salad with Spinach. While watching the movie Evelyne wished she was tripping on acid (haha!) because of the trippy-ness of this movie. Her inspiration came from the spinach (of course) but also all the ketchup and mustard bottles throughout the movie. Because she had just read about the origins of ketchup, the inspiration hit hard and she made homemade ketchup to use in this delicious looking salad!


The next recipe came from Deb at Kahaki Kitchen: Pasta with Sweet Peas and Spinach Pesto. Deb made the spinach pesto to sneak in spinach for those who hate it, like Popeye himself! Popeye and his family (Olive Oyl and Swee’Pea) definitely inspired this one!

Popeye Hamburger Soup

Our last recipe is shared by Vicki from I’d Rather Be At The Beach. Inspired by the same inspiration as Heather, Vicki made a pot of Hamburger Soup. She didn’t enjoy the movie that much this time around, but at least it yielded good results!


Actually, we have one more recipe left! I somehow missed this entry, but Wendy from A Day In The Life on the Farm made Grilled Carrots with Redskin Potatoes. Despite all the talk about Popeye and his spinach, Wendy recognized the fact that Popeye actually didn’t like spinach and at the beginning of the movie had got some carrots instead. So Wendy ran with Popeye’s food choices on this one!

And that is our monthly roundup! I’m hoping I get my butt in line and start cooking my own meals to share with you all again. Maybe this month will do it for me. Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles is hosting Hotel Transylvania 2. Go check it out! And make sure you continue to follow all the fun with Food ‘n Flix!




Announcing Food ‘n Flix for July: Popeye

Hello from my South Carolina vacation! And while I have been slow at updating this food blog, I didn’t forget that it’s my turn to host this month’s food ‘n flix. This month we’re watching Robin Williams in Popeye. While not really a food movie at all, I’m sure you can find some inspiration! Maybe we’ll get some spinach.


It’s time now to enjoy your summer and watch this movie and get inspired in the kitchen!


1. Watch the chosen film (Popeye). Using the film as your inspiration, use your culinary skills to create something.

2. Post about it on your blog with a link back to this post and post a link to Food ‘n Flix. You can use the Food ‘n Flix logo if you wish!

3. Your post must be current (during the month of July.) The post may be linked to other events. The more the merrier!

4. Have fun with it!

5. Email me at by the deadline and include the following:
a. Your Name
b. Your Blog’s Name an URL
c. The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you’re submitting
d. Attach a photo of your dish (or give me permission to pull one from your post)
e. Indicate “Food ‘n Flix” in the subject line of your email




Hello! I am still here – I swear. I’m just not here very much lately. Everything I have been cooking lately just hasn’t been calling out to be photographed. Pair that with the fact that my camera has been out of commission, I jut haven’t had a lot of motivation to post. But, I was gently reminded that I was hosting Food ‘n Flix next month. Actually, I didn’t forget at all because I’m hosting Popeye and I’ve been looking forward to it. I have been watching all the movies since I last participated, just feeling very uninspired. But I took the gentle nudge and decided maybe I should try to play again.

This month’s movie was hosted by CulturEatz and we watched I Am Love. This movie is in Italian and has English subtitles. Sometimes I find myself having some difficulty watching foreign films, because I have to pay such close attention to understand what is going on. This movie started that way for me, but I really began to get into the movie partway through and had less trouble.

This movie involves much family drama and many meals.

While the ukha was the main dish in the storyline, I went another direction – mainly because it’s so hot here. Ukha, or fish soup with a clear broth, the food Emma’s son Edoardo loved as a child and tied in to the drama of the film, is not appropriate for temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. No soup is suitable for this type of weather. I needed something cooler . . . Something I could tolerate while sitting in front of my fan.


Emma meets Antonio (a chef, a friend to her son, and her lover) at a bar to discuss a dinner he’s going to cook for a business dinner. Emma orders a chinotto from the bar.

I jotted “chinotto” down, but was unsure what it was. Wikipedia tells me (and wikipedia knows everything) that chinotto is a soda produced from the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree. Chinotto is a popular Italian drink and is exported by San Pellegrino.

Though I don’t have access to a myrtle-leaved orange tree, I googled around to find how I could make my own version of chinotto. Because I couldn’t find all the same ingredients (how come my grocery store didn’t have rosemary?) I made some changes. So while not anything near authentic chinotto, the orange drink was still perfect for a hot day in the desert! Hopefully Emma would have at least tried a sip of mine.

Come participate with us this month and then come back to my blog next month for Popeye!



1 bunch of fresh mint
3 cups sugar
1 grapefruit
1 cara cara orange
1 blood orange
1 tbsp black pepper corn
5 cloves
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
seltzer water


  1. First make your ice cubes. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Add half of the mint and let sit for 30 seconds. Place in a ice bath.
  2. Once the mint water has cooled, pour into a blender and blend. Pour the blended liquid into ice trays. Place in the freezer until frozen.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.
  4. Cut the oranges and grapefruit into chunks about the same size. Spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle all the herbs (including the remaining mint) on top of the fruit.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes.
  6. Place the fruit into a pitcher. Mix into 3 cups of sugar with 6 cups of water.
  7. Chill the mixture.
  8. When ready to serve, place ice cubes in a cup. Fill cup mostly full with seltzer water. Add a splash or two of the chinotto to the cup.


City Chicken


As a little girl, my mom often made city chicken. Despite it’s name, there is no chicken in city chicken. As a little girl, that always bothered me. I really loved chicken and I couldn’t understand why a pork dish would call itself chicken except to fool me. The good thing is, I really liked city chicken too (even when I learned it wasn’t chicken.)

City chicken is actually a dish that my grandma made for her family when my mom was little. I imagine the dish came about because pork was more accessible in some areas than chicken. My mom and grandma both grew up in Cincinnati and since Cincinnati definitely has a lot of pork, this dish more than makes sense.

I recently stumbled upon a monthly roundup called Inheritance Recipes, hosted by both Pebble Soup and Coffee & Vanilla. The idea is that each month you make a recipe that ties to your roots. Of course, this is the perfect dish for that!

I served it next to sauteed spinach. My mom used to make a lot of creamed spinach (you know, the frozen kind.) I hated spinach – but really, I think I just hated frozen creamed spinach. So I ‘fancied’ this up just a tiny bit.

City Chicken

1 1/2 lbs cubed pork tenderloin
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
4 skewers, cut down to half the size
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Stick four pieces of pork (approximately) on each skewer.
  3. Put the egg in a flat dish. Place the bread crumbs in another. Season the bread crumbs with salt and pepper.
  4. Roll the skewers in the egg. Then roll each skewer in the bread crumbs.
  5. Set on the baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

ir-mono-blue-600        mix it up

Cookbook Review: The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook by Del Sroufe


PROS: The meals in the book are healthy.

CONS: Be forewarned, this cookbook has nothing to do with Chinese food – who’d have thought! Though you think I would have been tipped off by the falafels and tacos on the cover, but alas, I received this book for free to review and had not paid a whole of attention to the cover until it was time to cook.

Continue reading