Pappardelle With Crawfish, Tomatoes And Basil. New Music From AlphaCub.

Put yourself in a springtime mood with this bright and cheerful pasta dish. Meaty crawfish are tossed in a spicy fresh tomato sauce brightened with lemon zest and basil then served over pappardelle. Mario Batali recommends lemon basil if you can find it. You can also substitute shrimp for the crawfish.

Pappardelle With Crawfish, Tomatoes And Basil


5 pounds crawfish, boiled, cooled and tail meat removed (about 1 1/2 cups after cooking)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 jalapeño peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped
1 pound pappardelle
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Bring 6 quarts water to boil in a large pot and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook pappardelle according to package directions then drain.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil until very hot. Add garlic and jalapeños and cook until garlic is light golden brown, about 1 minute.

3. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook until very soft, about 10 minutes. Lower heat to a simmer and add crawfish tails then Toss to coat then add basil and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Recipe from Simple Italian Food by Mario Batali

I can’t put my finger on what makes me so obsessed with ‘James Dean’, new from Toronto-based artist AlphaCub. It unfolds slowly with that beautiful, hurt voice and haunting synth sharing the stage.

Oh help me carry my soul”

Check out AlphaCub on Facebook where you can keep tuned as to where to buy the music.


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Quick Shamrock Cupcakes

Are you looking for a really easy and quick way to dress up some cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day? Just grab a shamrock cookie cutter and some green sugar and you are good to go.

Quick Shamrock Cupcakes


Your favorite cupcakes frosted with white icing
Green sanding sugar


1. Place a small shamrock shaped cookie cutter on top of cupcake. Pour sugar in and carefully lift off the cookie cutter.

Oh, look. Everyone is wearin’ the green! Just in time for baseball season in Boston…it’s a green monster.

If your cupcakes don’t make you smile, this new song from Andy Cook will. I’m all tangled in that guitar.

Check out Andy Cook on his Website where you can learn of upcoming shows in the US and buy the music.


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Tofu Stroganoff. New Music From Deanna Petcoff.

I really love Beef Stroganoff. I thought this recipe for Tofu Stroganoff was intriguing and certainly a lighter option to try. The result was a tasty dinner with subtle flavor kicks from the sherry and pickled onions.

Tofu Stroganoff


2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon paprika
1 lb firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1⁄4 cup dry sherry
2 cups vegetable stock
12 pickled onions, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups white button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons sour cream, plus extra to garnish
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Prepared quinoa, to serve


1. Combine the flour and paprika in a plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Add the tofu and shake to coat.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu and cook until golden brown on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

3. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the sherry and cook for 30 seconds, then transfer tofu to a bowl.

4. Pour 1 cup of the stock into the pan drippings and bring to a boil. Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

5. Return the tofu to the pan with the remaining sherry and stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through and the sauce has thickened.

6. Remove from the heat and whisk a little of the sauce into the sour cream until smooth and of pouring consistency. Add back to the pan and stir to combine.

7. Serve stroganoff over quinoa with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped chives

Serves 4

Recipe from Bowl Food

‘Terribly True’, new from Deanna Petcoff, gives me chills. Her voice sounds so sad and the anguish of the lyrics really resonates.

Check out Deanna Petcoff on Facebook where you can keep tuned for where to buy her music.


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New England Pork Pies And Colcannon. New Music From ENNOR.

Have you ever had Pork Pie?

I first tried one on a trip to England over 20 years ago. My husband and I visited a small village shop and picked up the fixings for a picnic. Cheese, rustic bread, and some pork pies. We sat on a green across from the thatched cottage that had belonged to his grandmother and enjoyed our lunch. It’s a lovely memory…and the pork pies were fantastic.

We live in New England and pork pies show up regularly at local farmers’ markets. My husband really enjoys them, so I saw this recipe and decided that I had to take a stab at making some at home.

Today’s pork pie recipe is very straightforward and yields deliciously moist pies in a tender crust. Ritz crackers are apparently the secret ingredient to the filling. They add richness and a punch of buttery flavor. The finishing touch is a thick beef gravy poured into the vent hole before serving.

New England Pork Pies

Ingredients for dough:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup sour cream
1 egg, plus 1 lightly beaten egg for brushing
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt

Ingredients for filling:

22 Ritz Crackers
1½ pounds ground pork
1¼ teaspoons salt
1¼ teaspoons pepper

Ingredients for gravy:

1½ cups beef broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch


1. To make the dough, whisk melted butter, sour cream, and 1 egg in bowl until combined. Process flour and salt in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter mixture and pulse until dough forms, about 10 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Turn out dough onto counter and form into a 4-inch disk. Wrap disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. (If chilling longer than 30 minutes, allow dough to soften on counter for 30 minutes before rolling.)

2. To make the filling, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400℉. In a food processor, process crackers until finely ground, about 20 seconds. Combine pork, salt, pepper, and cracker crumbs in a bowl and knead until fully combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Using 1/3 cup dry measuring cup, portion out 6 pieces of dough (3 1/2 ounces each). Set pieces of dough aside and cover with plastic. Roll remaining dough into 11-inch circle on well-floured work surface. Using an inverted 6 or 7-ounce ramekin as guide, cut 6 circles for tops of pies, rerolling scraps if necessary. Set tops aside and cover with plastic.

4. Spray six (6 or 7-ounce) ramekins (measuring 3 1/2 inches wide and about 2 inches deep) with cooking spray. Roll each 1/3-cup dough portion into 7-inch circle on well-floured counter. Line ramekins with 7-inch dough circles, letting excess dough hang over rims. Press dough along insides of ramekins as best as possible and try to flatten to even out thickness.

5. Divide filling among dough-lined ramekins (about 1/2 cup each). Place reserved dough circles over filling. Roll overhanging bottom dough inward and crimp together with top dough. (I found it difficult to get them to look as pretty as they are in Cook’s Country Magazine, but I was happy enough with my pies’ rustic appearance).

6. Brush tops of pies with beaten egg. Use a paring knife to poke hole in center of each pie to create a 1/2-inch-wide vent.

7. Place ramekins on parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tops of pies are deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let pies cool for 10 minutes.

8. To make the gravy, whisk broth and cornstarch in small saucepan until cornstarch is dissolved. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.

9. Lift pies out of ramekins, loosening edges with paring knife if necessary (do not invert the pies and be careful since the juices inside are very hot). If vent holes have shrunk during baking, widen with paring knife so gravy can be poured in. Pour gravy into vent hole of each pie until pie is filled (there will be gravy left over for serving). Let pies cool for 10 minutes. Serve, passing remaining gravy separately.

Note: To make ahead: At end of step 6, poke vent holes in pies but do not brush with egg. Wrap pies tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, do not thaw pies. Unwrap frozen pies and proceed with step 6, extending baking time to about 1 1/4 hours.

Recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine

The perfect side dish is a classic Irish colcannon….just in time for St Patrick’s Day. This version shines with its finishing drizzle of melted butter and sprinkling of bacon. Over the top good.



1 medium head cabbage (about 2 pounds), shredded
4 pounds medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cups whole milk
1 cup chopped green onions
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter, melted
Minced fresh parsley
Crumbled cooked bacon


1. Place cabbage and 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Keep cabbage warm.

2. In the same pan, combine potatoes and reserved cooking liquid. Add additional water to cover potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, place milk, green onions, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil then remove from heat.

4. Drain potatoes. Place potatoes in a large bowl and mash. Add milk mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in cabbage.

5. To serve, drizzle colcannon with butter then top with parsley and bacon.

Serves 12

Recipe from Taste of Home

I think that Cornwall bred now London-based band ENNOR might fancy some pork pies after a long journey back from Atlantis. This catchy, folksy song is the perfect springboard into our week.

Check out ENNOR on Facebook where you can keep tuned on where to buy their music.


Posted in Main Courses, Pie, Pork, Vegetable | Tagged | Leave a comment

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake. Listening To Cory Cooper.

Q: What do you call blueberries playing the guitar?
A: A jam session.

Dense and buttery, dotted with moist, lemony berries, this Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake is gonna be your jam. The cornmeal lends such fabulous texture.

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake


4 oz butter, softened
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups blueberries
Streusel (recipe follows)


1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line bottom of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and zest. Add a third of the flour mixture, all of the sour cream, and another third of the flour, beating until just blended after each addition.

4. Mix the rest of the flour with the blueberries and gently fold into the batter.

5. Spread the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with the streusel.

6. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then use parchment to lift it onto a cooling rack.



1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbs flour
2 Tbs cornmeal
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 Tbs butter, cut into small pieces


1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and combine with a fork to form small clumps.

Recipes from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

‘Out Of The Ashes’, by LA-based artist Cory Cooper combines 80’s style electronica with powerful, comforting lyrics. We all get stronger when we have people in our lives to lift us higher.

“I want to thank you
for giving me your love”

Check out Cory Cooper on Facebook and his Website where you can buy the music. You can also trade your email address for a free download of ‘Out Of The Ashes’.


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Bacon And Spinach Pizza. New Music From Let’s Mars.

A few years ago I posted about some dizziness I was experiencing. A few days later a local friend who reads the blog, but that I rarely see, sent me a note to ask how I was. I guess I forgot that I left her and everyone else hanging. The dizziness resolved and I obviously went on to live for years…:)

On New Year’s Day of this year I wrote another personal post about some general sadness I was feeling. The amount of private messages I received was very touching and just the act of getting my thoughts down was cathartic. Thank you! xx

You will be happy to know that I have turned a corner through many hours of personal reflection, tapping into books/podcasts/websites that address increasing well being and having the pure love of my family and friends. I have made it my mission to control how I respond to things that I cannot control. It has been powerful…slow going…but I am seeing progress.

So much thinking about myself is making me hungry!

Bacon And Spinach Pizza?

Oh yeah!

And the spinach makes the bacon healthy.

Shaved Parmesan and bacon are dreamy together. Using a purchased crust, store-bought fully cooked bacon and ready made pizza sauce mean all you have to do is assemble the za and pop it in the oven. Delicious pizza in 15 minutes.

That makes me happy. I hope it makes you happy, too.

Bacon And Spinach Pizza


1 prebaked 12-inch pizza crust
1/3 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach, thinly sliced
8 ready-to-serve fully cooked bacon strips, cut into 1-inch pieces


1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Place crust on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread with sauce then top with 1/2 cup cheese, spinach and bacon. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

3. Bake until cheese is melted, 8-10 minutes.

Serves 6

Recipe from Simple & Delicious Magazine

This new song from Let’s Mars is making me happy.

“Things are gonna get better”

Check out Let’s Mars on the band’s Website where you can keep tuned on where to buy their music.


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Pasta Carbonara

It’s March!

Feel like some carbs?

You can’t go wrong with Pasta Carbonara. This version is particularly wonderful with its hint of heat in the silky, garlic-scented sauce.

Pasta Carbonara


Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti or rigatoni
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 large egg yolks
Freshly grated Romano cheese
Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, for garnish


1. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Brown the pancetta for 2 minutes then add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes longer. Add the wine and stir to loosen up any pan drippings.

3. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water which helps to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling when added to the pasta.

4. Stir pasta into the skillet with pancetta and oil. Pour the egg mixture over and toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and add a large spoonful of cheese and pepper and salt to taste. Continue to stir the pasta until it soaks up the egg mixture and thickens, 1-2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and extra grated Romano.

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe from Rachael Ray

#FirstWorldProblems always makes me smile. White whine, they say.

‘First World Problems’, new from NY-based Sam Levin, is a funny riff on the term set inside a wicked hot beat.

“Maybe we should all think twice before complaining”


Check out Sam Levin on his Website where you can learn of upcoming east coast US tour dates and buy the music.


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