Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Dumping some pictures of my winter meals on my blog.

Spring is here, which means Tennessee weather can't make up its mind. Three nights of hard freeze means the buds on our one lilac bush are freezer burned and probably the crabapple trees out front.

It seemed a good idea to cut some of the beautiful spring bulbs before 17 degree lows arrived. 


I wish so much that I had our daughter's talent for arranging beautiful vase bouquets but I usually just plonk them in. These went right on the dining table where  we can enjoy them at meals and on the bathroom sink in the old Jersey Farms milk bottle that has held my bathroom bouquets for decades.

Now that I've shown some pretties I'll slip in this one of raw New York strip steaks because I have a whole winter of meals I took pictures of and never got around to using. My apologies to my vegetarian friends!

I fix less and less beef these days but twice this winter Publix had their Greenwise strip steaks on sale and this is my simple way of prepping them, whether cooked inside in a black skillet or if RH grills them out. I salt and pepper them, rub with brown sugar and leave them uncovered in fridge on an old enamel pan for 24 hours.

The steaks always have to have mushrooms (Shitake are my favorite) and this time I remembered to get a log of my tarragon butter out of the freezer to top them with.

And yes we both like it medium well now. When we were first married I would order steak rare and love every bloody bite. I don't know what happened. And I always try to have fresh parsley simply because I learned years ago from James Beard that mushrooms need to be topped with acres of fresh parsley.

And I try to remember to drizzle on a little of this balsamic reduction sauce that is wonderful on so many things, just a little sugar stirred into balsamic vinegar and cook till reduced. I don't use my expensive balsamic for this.

My life is becoming all about simple meals now so if we have hot bread with steak we don't have potatoes, and vice versa.


But there always has to be a salad. (I love the taste that a little bit of heavy cream gives when stirred into a vinaigrette.)

That is, unless there's fresh asparagus and Mama is too tired to make a salad. (And if there's no fresh parsley on hand, oh I miss my big summer pots of herbs on my kitchen porch!)

 Most of the time RH and I both leave enough steak on our plates to make hash for an easy supper the next night.

With enough potatoes and onions and all the leftover mushrooms and drippings from the steak pan the night before (the tails, Tamar Adler calls these little spoonfuls left in the pan), it doesn't take much meat to make a good meal for two. 

But always a salad, even a thrown together one.

By the way, have you ever tried Stonewall Kitchen's Country Ketchup? It is so good and no high fructose corn syrup in it.

Most of our meals though are either chicken or fish/seafood. Pacific Wild caught sockeye salmon is almost always in my freezer, from Costco, and I have a dozen ways of fixing it. This looks like one of my easy ones.

You probably can't see much of it in the picture above but I'm using my Wallace LaReine wedding silver there after hearing on a food podcast that a study showed that when people ate their meals with heavy silver they enjoyed their meal more. So maybe we should use our good stuff for our everyday meals, right? I keep a place setting for two on an easy to grab shelf in my china cabinet now--not that I always remember to get them out.

Here's one of my favorite recipes, Shrimp with Scallions and Orzo.

It may not look very pretty because a food stylist I'm not, but it is delicious. Here's a link to the recipe. 

And here's what I add to Bon Appetit's recipe:

a tablespoon of soy sauce

a bottle of clam juice

fresh chopped cilantro 

red pepper flakes

a teaspoon of tumeric

a little vegetable broth to make it a little more risotto like

and lemon to squeeze over it

It's so good cold the next day for lunch too!

You can tell how exciting my life is now when I dump a bunch of meal pictures on my blog with no real story to go with them so thank you to anyone who read through this.

Actually, I have a bunch more. About a half dozen of Tieghan's Half Baked Harvest recipes that I've made this winter. Maybe I'll share them at Dewena's Window soon. 

Many thanks to blog friend Melanie for leading me to Tieghan on Instagram! Melanie, have you listened to The Skinny Confidential podcast where Tieghan was guest? She was delightful! When I learned that she's a Gilmore Girls fan I knew we had one thing in common. That's a start, right?


  1. Hi Dewena ~ I think food and recipe posts are exciting, even if it doesn't seem your life is that way at the moment! You make such wonderful dinners and your place settings are always so lovely. That's where I am lax. At least I use "real" plates and cloth napkins, nothing paper! ;-) I made Tieghan's chicken broccoli casserole last night and it was delicious. Sorry to say, I have no listened to the podcast you mentioned. I just haven't been able to get into podcasts. (I don't like audio books either.) You'll have to let me know which of her recipes you've made and liked!

    1. Hello Melanie, sorry to be so late with replying. I had to buy a new Mac and have since been either distracted from blogging or fumbling around trying to sign in again to create new posts. At last tried to sign in by replying here which gave me the option. We'll see if it solves my problem.

      I do thank you for introducing me to Half Baked Harvest! I just made her One Skillet Saucy Chicken (did ground beef version instead) Tortilla Enchilada Rice Bake recipe for the second time for company in town and love it.

      I have never read or listened to books either, although my eyesight may someday change that. But podcasts get me through kitchen and cooking duties by suppertime. I start one when I'm too tired to be working and it distracts me and I manage to finish my end of the day chores. I listen to favorite food podcasts from Bon Apetit and Splendid Table (public broadcasting station), The Sporkful, Good Food, and The Genius Recipe Tapes. Of course I stop constantly to jot down notes of recipe tips or new ingredients I want to try when I listening to them. I just can't stop trying new recipes! And then I have a few favorite interior design podcasts too as well as sermons from two churches. Podcasts also help get me through boring sessions of folding laundry and making beds. I don't listen with ear buds, never could stand having them in.
      I have my favorite albums playing in the morning while I'm working around the house but it takes more than music to get me through my end of the day chores. That's what life at almost 80 looks like for me!

  2. Hello Dewena,
    I'm always interested to read and see what people are eating. The steaks look delicious. Coincidentally, we're having a family birthday party on the weekend and I bought strip loin steaks to grill. I think I'm going to try your method of seasoning them ahead of time. I have some rub mix purchased in the Yukon last summer and I'm going to sprinkle that on - it has some sugar in it.
    Seeing the variety of plates you use to serve your food is interesting, too. I do love a pretty table.
    I listen to no podcasts, and like Melanie above, I don't like audio books either. I wonder if it has to do with being a visual or an auditory learner. I am definitely the first one! But Half-Baked Harvest has some great recipes on IG!
    I hope the cold temperatures have eased and your garden is happier.

    1. I hope your steaks turned out well, Lorrie. It is hinkhelpful to do as much the day before as possible. I love a pretty table too and yours are always lovely! We do eat with our eyes first, don't we.

      That is so strange! I am just like you and Melanie in not using audio books at all. I think I may have to try them though in order to get through more books as my eyes get worse.

      I thought of you recently, Lorrie, when I learned of the devastating mudslides in Equator. I hope that none of your friends there were affected. The news came in a very sad week for people in Nashville area. Sometimes I wish I wouldn't turn on the news in the morning for fear of hearing more bad news. I hope that all is going well there with you and that your new kitchen is closer and closer.

  3. Dear Dewena,

    All your dishes look and sound mouthwatering! Like you, I have had to simplify our meals, too. When the ingredients are fresh and seasonal, taste is not sacrificed, is it? The steaks, coated with parsley topped mushrooms and tarragon butter must be delicious, I bet in part due to the brown sugar rub. The shrimp with scallions and orzo would be my first choice, as I rarely eat steak and prefer cod to salmon. I love asparagus, but it's hard to find here, on the island, except for the wild kind, which is very long and thin and has a different taste to it. But, like you, there is always a salad to refresh and cool down the palate.

    Your daffodils are so pretty, even if they were practically plonked into their vessels! Flowers have that ability, don't they? I've had the pleasure of cutting Fofo's freesia now for a month and simply have them in a large glass, sitting on the top shelf of my desk, where I work, and every time I enter the room, their sweet scent makes me smile!

    I also don't listen to podcasts or audio books; I'm too much of a visual person, preferring to watch videos of interviews, especially ones hosted by Dr. Mark Hyman. I have never heard of Half-Baked Harvest but I will check the page on IG.

    Thanks for sharing all your beautiful photos of your scrumptious dishes!


    1. Poppy, the shrimp dish is my favorite too! I could eat it weekly if I had good shrimp in the freezer and I actually prefer orzo to pasta when making a dish like this, just love the silkiness of orzo.

      Every time over the years you have written about the freesia in Crete (or the almonds in flower) I have sighed with pleasure. I have never even seen freesia or more importantly I have never smelled them. Enjoy some of Fofo's for me, please!

      Oh Poppy, I much prefer video too! But you have to "watch" video/YouTube etc. I reserve that for evening when I'm sitting or at lunchtime. But of course I can't watch videos when I'm cooking and cooking or driving. And there's no TV in my kitchen. At Valley View my kitchen was open to the family room and I could see television while I was working. Nice in one way but not so nice when RH was watching the news or wrestling or racing or a guys' action films, so I'm pretty happy with the kitchen here being separate.

      Hugs to you!


    1. Thank you so much, Trudy! I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful too!