Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

“Do your squats. Eat your vegetables. Wear red lipstick. Don’t let boys be mean to you.” ~ Unknown

Photo by Li Sun on Pexels.com

I don’t know whom to credit with the above quote, but it sounds like excellent advice to give my daughters. We’ve been going towards a more plant-based diet lately and I fixed one of our favorite dishes — Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp. Because spaghetti squash has very little flavor on it’s own, it takes on the flavors of the spices and whatever else is included in the dish.

Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 medium sized spaghetti squash

1 lb. raw shrimp, shelled

1 c. heavy cream

4 T. butter

salt and pepper to taste

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. smoked paprika

1/2 t. rosemary

1 T. flour

1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400. Prick the skin of the squash all around with a fork. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lightly oil the flesh of the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on a baking sheet and bake 30-40 minutes. Set aside and let cool. When cool, scrape the flesh out into a bowl. Place the shelled shrimp on a plate covered with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and rosemary. In a oven safe skillet, melt the butter. Stir in the shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes on each side on medium heat until no longer clear and shrimp appears slightly pink. Remove from pan and add to bowl of cooked spaghetti squash. In skillet, add heavy cream and flour to remaining butter in pan, stirring to combine. Preheat oven broiler on high. Turn heat to low and stir with a whisk approximately 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and spaghetti squash and toss to combine. Continue cooking on low until sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Broil under high heat for about 5-7 minutes until cheese starts to turn golden.

Here are some tips that might help make this meal easier to prepare:

  • Cook the squash the evening before or earlier in the day to allow it time to cool and make it easier to scrape the cooked flesh into a bowl.
  • You can use any type of flour – I used whole wheat because that’s what I had on hand.
  • When oiling the flesh of the squash prior to baking, I used a can of olive oil spray for just a light misting, otherwise too much oil causes the squash to become squishy (and who wants squishy squash?)
  • The cooked squash should be still slightly firm when done, requiring a bit of force behind the fork scraping it into the bowl.

Again, I refuse to cook anything too time consuming and this is about as consuming as I get. My daughter’s boyfriend at first wasn’t sure he’d like it, but seeing as how he ate about half the pan, I think he decided it wasn’t so bad after all. He said he was 97% sure he’d like it as he hasn’t eaten anything I’ve cooked that tasted bad, but there was still that 3% that might have been “ugh .. .. ..”

So now that you’ve eaten your vegetables, go put your lipstick on, do your squats and refuse to be intimidated by the boys.

Take care!

Baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip

If you really want to make a friend, go to his house and eat with him. The people who give you their food, give you their heart.” ~ Cesar Chavez

Obviously, I cannot have everyone come to my house to eat. There is neither enough room nor enough chairs. So I share the recipes; then you can have a bit of my heart in your own home.

It’s cold weather time, which means time for cold weather food – warm soups, hot dips, warm sandwiches, aromatic things which make you sigh with contentment. I made baked spinach and artichoke dip the other evening while I was speaking with my daughter on the phone. She sighed and stated that her husband loves it, but it makes so much that she rarely makes it. Hellooooo? Then make it and invite friends and family over!!

Baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 can whole artichoke hearts, drained

1 10-12 oz bag frozen, chopped spinach

1 8 oz. block cream cheese

1 c. shredded mozarella cheese

1/2 t. salt

1 t. ground pepper

1/2 t. red pepper flakes

1/2 t. smoked paprika

1 c. Mayonnaise

1/4 c – 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare 9″ pie plate with a thin film over olive oil. Cook the bag of spinach as directed, drain and squeeze out excess water with paper towels. While spinach is cooking, chop artichoke hearts. Soften cream cheese in microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Combine cream cheese with mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese, stirring until smooth and creamy. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika to cheese mixture and fold in. In pie plate, stir together artichoke hearts, spinach and cheese mixture until evenly distributed. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and turn broiler to High. Sprinkle dip with Parmesan cheese and return to oven to brown the cheese on top. Watch carefully as it will occur quickly and you don’t want to burn it, just achieve a nice golden brown color – about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with tortilla chips, wheat crackers or pita bread.

That right there, my friends, is a lovely way to end a day. Friends, food, comfort and conversation.

In all actuality, I am getting ready to go for a run and I will probably have some leftover dip as a snack when I return!

Bon appetit!

Hashbrown Casserole

“Casseroles are those intensely comforting foods, prepared and baked in the same dish, that inspire fond memories or dark recollections.” ~ Karen Steele

Photo by Anna Guerrero on Pexels.com

Per my usual, I forgot to take a photo of the actual casserole whose recipe follows below.

It had been a long day. The offspring had been to the orthodontist’s office to have her braces tightened and bands placed. I was tired. Her mouth was sore.

This was a night that called for easy to bite into and chew . . . comfort food!

Hashbrown Casserole

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1# ground beef

1/2 a small onion, chopped

1-2 T. minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups frozen hashbrowns, slightly thawed

1 c. chicken broth

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1 c. cottage cheese

1/2 – 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. In a skillet**, combine the hamburger, onion and garlic. Cook until ground beef is no longer pink. Stir in 1 c. of chicken broth, the can of Cream of Mushroom soup, the hashbrowns and cottage cheese. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

**I use a cast iron skillet so I can brown the meat and stir everything else in yet still slide it in the oven when it’s ready.

Navigating the taste preferences of a teenager can vary from day to day. At the risk of receiving a snappy response, I suggested this meal and was rewarded with a “that sounds really, REALLY good!” Yes! Success!! I was quite pleased that she had two servings at dinner.

Leftovers were consumed the next day and were just as tasty as when it was first made!

What are some of the comfort food casseroles that you remember from YOUR childhood?

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

“My favorite fall or winter lunch is big steaming bowls of soup.” ~ Ina Garten

It is September, yes? Time to get out the fall decor, and colors and . . . menu.

I love potato soup as a basic, comforting bowl of warmth. It reheats well and tastes delicious. When your child has just gotten braces and her teeth are hurting, it doesn’t require much effort to chew. It also contains some of my favorite ingredients: cheese, sour cream, and butter.

I started my day off easily — watering the plants and talking to them, checking on the tomatoes in the garden, feeding the kittens and playing with them, and then running errands before it got too hot. I spent a few minutes cutting and chopping and frying and . . . voila! Dinner was in the crockpot with nothing to do but go about the day and come home to finish it and enjoy the flavors.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2# potatoes diced**

4-5 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1/2 a red onion, diced

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1-2 T. butter

3 c. chicken broth**

Salt and Pepper to taste

3/4 c. sour cream

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c. heavy cream

Directions

Using a 5 quart crockpot, combine the potatoes, onion, bacon, butter, thyme and chicken broth. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low 6-7 hours or until potatoes are tender. Mash with a potato masher until the potatoes are almost a pureed consistency, leaving some chunks. Stir in sour cream, cheddar cheese and heavy cream. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or turn crockpot off and let sit 5-10- minutes before serving.

** here are some tips and/or trade-offs if you like to play around with a recipe.

  • You can use red potatoes, russet potatoes, white potatoes, any potato you prefer, each will alter the flavor ever so slightly. I prefer the Yukon Gold for appearance and flavor.
  • You can use store bought chicken broth or chicken stock. In a pinch you can also use three chicken bouillon cubes and 3 cups of water. I often make my own chicken broth by boiling chicken to be used in other dishes and storing the broth in the fridge or freezer.
  • The onion can be red, yellow, or vidalia – the taste again will differ slightly depending on the variety chosen.
  • Retain the grease from frying the bacon and add to the crockpot for an extra smokey flavor.
  • If you have slightly less than 2# of potatoes, throw in a couple ribs of celery, diced finely to add mass, texture and taste to the soup.
  • Cheddar comes in a variety of flavors – sharp, mild, extra sharp. The flavor again will vary depending on the cheese. Explore by using Pepper Jack or Swiss.
  • If you like spicy, try adding a finely diced jalapeno to the soup.
  • Fresh thyme is packaged in small, clear boxes in the grocery store’s fresh vegetable section. I just throw the entire sprig in the pot and fish it out with a fork when done cooking.

Food is a creative way to explore tastes and textures. Again I really prefer the Yukon gold potatoes, the red onion, homemade chicken broth (it just tastes richer), and sharp cheddar cheese. Pepper Jack runs a close second, but seeing as how this batch was being consumed by a new braces wearer – I made it to suit her tastes more than mine.

After stirring the sour cream, cheese and heavy cream into the crockpot and setting it on warm, we took the dog on a walk which was just enough time for the flavors to meld. The weight is slightly heavy with the density of the potatoes and cream, but the sensation of the warmth as it goes down is one of the most comforting tastes and feelings in the world.

Gratitude & Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta

“The moment one is capable of feeling grateful for both pain and pleasure, without any distinction, without any choice, simply feeling grateful for whatever is given . . . .because if it is given by God, it must have reason in it. We may like it, we may not like it, but it must be needed for our growth. Winter and summer are both needed for growth. Once this idea settles in the heart, then each moment of life is gratitude.” ~ Osho

lower Bains Gap Falls

I’m still spinning a bit but I’m slowly starting to settle down. Maybe it was a bit of foreshadowing before we left to go to Missouri but my Essential Rewards order came in the mail from Young Living. (** for those unfamiliar with Essential Rewards or Young Living, I’ll share more details tomorrow). I had ordered a bottle of Sara as I had never tried it. Described as a “soothing scent to be used during difficult or emotional times”, little did I know it would be coming in handy sooner than I thought.

People reach to different things for comfort when they are stressed. For some it is alcohol, or food, or drugs or companionship or solitude. My comfort items are: solitude, food (to a degree), my oils, and self care. Physical activity (walking, running, hiking, weightlifting) and warm baths are all manner of self care in my mind because those things focus on my well-being and my health.

Food, on the other hand, has the possibility of being another stressor if there’s too much available or if lackadaisical boredom sets in. Perhaps I should clarify that it isn’t so much eating the food that is calming as it is cooking the food. It isn’t uncommon, when I am stressed, to find myself scrolling thru new recipes looking for something new to try.

Mt. Cheaha

Sunday was a wonderful day on the Richter scale of self-care. It started with church (spirit), followed by a hike up Mt. Cheaha (mind/body), included a wonderful dinner of Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta (body), an episode of Yellowstone (mind) and a warm bath with a few drops of Sara oil (body/spirit).

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1# shrimp, shelled and deveined – your choice of size
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • 1/2 # pasta, your choice – angel hair, linguine, spaghetti, bowtie, etc.
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 c. Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. Thai sweet chili sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Combine the ingredients for the sauce and refrigerate while the pasta and shrimp are cooking. (If you prefer it less spicy, omit the crushed red pepper flakes. Even without, the Thai sweet chili sauce gives it just enough of a kick to get your attention.) While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Place the shrimp in the pan along with the minced garlic and sprinkle with salt, pepper and smoked paprika to taste. Stir well to coat. Cook on low/medium heat on each side until pink. Remove to plate. When pasta is cooked, drain and turn into large bowl. Add shrimp and sauce, stirring to coat pasta with sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Water is my people. . . my tribe. . . it males me feel whole. Must be my sign of Cancer.

Today was a shorter hike to the waterfalls near here. Muddy from the frequent short bursts of rain, but still beautiful, still refreshing and invigorating to be out in the fresh air – so fully alive and grateful for this live I love.

Chicken Ranch Enchiladas

“If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope he likes enchiladas, because that’s what he’s getting.” ~ Jack Hardy

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One of the recipe sites I frequent is one of those wonderful ones, where you select the number of servings you wish to make and it automatically adjusts the ingredients — love it, it makes my heart sing. It can be amusing as I’m not quite sure exactly how to get 2.67 chicken breasts, but . . . ooookay.

With all the emotional crap going on this month (and we’re only halfway thru – God love us!), I needed an anchor — something that grounds me and helps me maintain my equilibirum when life becomes chaotic. That would be . . .

COOKING!

I have modified the recipe a wee bit as it was waaaay too salty for us simple folks, but other than that, I didn’t tweak it much. Enjoy!

Chicken Ranch Enchiladas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts, frozen
  • 1 packet of Ranch dry salad dressing mix
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1 t. each, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika
  • 1 c. chicken broth (low sodium if available)
  • 1/2 c. fresh salsa
  • 1/2 c. ranch salad dressing (not the powder, the real thang)
  • Cheddar cheese for sprinkling
  • 8 flour tortillas

Directions

Place the chicken breasts, the spices – including the dry salad dressing packet – and the chicken broth in a slow cooker on low for about 4 hours. the chicken will easily flake with a fork when it has completed cooking.

Place the flour tortillas on a plate with a wet paper towel covering them. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm them up for easier separation and rolling.

Preheat the oven to 350. As the oven heats, remove the chicken breasts from the crockpot and shred the meat. Set aside. Combine the fresh salsa with the liquid ranch dressing. Take 2 T. of the chicken drippings from the crockpot and stir into the salsa combination. Set aside. In a 9×13 baking dish, pour the rest of the chicken drippings from the crockpot into the bottom of the baking dish. This will be used in place of enchilada sauce.

In turns, take a flour tortilla and place in the baking dish. Spoon about 2 T. of chicken into the flour tortilla, top with salsa combination, sprinkle with cheese and roll. When all tortillas have been filled and rolled, top with another sprinkle of cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

The recipe originally called for a packet of taco seasoning, which is what we did . . . but it was soooo salty. I’ll not make that mistake again.

We topped ours with guacamole, sour cream and fresh salsa. They were so delicious that Jo ate leftovers for lunch. (That girl does not normally do leftovers, so that says A LOT!)

Orange Chicken

“Chinese food tries to engage the mind, not just the palate. To provoke the intellect.” ~ Nicole Mones

Oh my gosh! Would you look at THAT!! I remembered to take a picture before we ate it all – (insert proud sigh of satisfaction *here*)

If you haven’t figured it out by now, and you’ve read my previous blog posts . . .I LOVE to cook. I like trying new recipes, making old favorites, sharing food with friends and playing in the kitchen. Heck! The kitchen floor and steps is where we re-pot our plants. My oils are stored in the kitchen. The kitchen is the heartbeat of our home.

But I digress.

With Sam being at his dad’s for a few weeks, Jojo and I have more lee-way with meals and happenings because we aren’t hung up on tastes and textures. I like Chinese food, Jo really LIKES Chinese food. She frequently has a hankering for Orange Chicken, so I made some.

It was easy, tasty and I had everything on hand except the noodles – a quick trip to Walmart solved that problem. I made an exception and did the preparation a little differently to see how it all worked out but I will note those changes after the recipe.

Orange Chicken

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 boneless chicken breasts, thawed and cut into bite size chunks

1/3 c. flour

1/3 c. cornstarch

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c. orange juice

1 T. white vinegar, rice vinegar would be better but white will work

1 T. soy sauce

1/4 c. sugar

1/8 t. Ginger

1/8 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. red pepper flakes

1 1/2 t. cornstarch

zest from one orange

sesame seeds (garnish)

green onions (garnish)

coconut oil for frying

1 package rice noodles

Directions

Put the coconut oil in a 10-12 inch skillet and heat. While the oil is heating, place the chicken chunks in the beaten eggs and let sit. Combine the 1/3 cups of cornstarch and flour and blend. Dredge the chicken thru the flour mixture and place into the hot oil in the pan. Cook on medium heat until golden brown on both sides. While chicken is cooking, in a small saucepan, combine orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Stir on low-medium heat until sugar is dissolved. In a small bowl, combine remaining cornstarch with 1 T. water and stir until it makes a paste. When sugar in the orange glaze is dissolved, stir in cornstarch paste. Turn temperature to low to allow it to thicken. Meanwhile, remove cooked chicken to plate lined with paper towels to drain oil. Place rice noodles in hot pan used to cook chicken and cook on low breaking up noodles with spatula, you may need to add a bit more oil. When noodles have cooked (about 2 minutes) add drained chicken, and orange sauce to pan, stirring on low to blend flavors. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, orange zest and green onion.

Doesn’t sound too difficult . . . right? And it wasn’t. The changes I made are outlined below:

  1. I used coconut flour rather than white all-purpose flour because I had it and I wanted to use it. I actually debated between coconut flour and almond flour, but I went with the coconut flour for absolutely no special reason.
  2. Rather than dredging the chicken through the flour/cornstarch mixture, I combined the dry ingredients in a ziploc bag (a ‘la the old ‘Shake-n-Bake’ method). I zipped the bag and shook it to combine the ingredients, then opened it, plopped the chicken from the egg mixture into the bag, zipped it and shook it like no one was watching. (Because, in reality . . . . no one was watching! I was completely alone in the kitchen,)
  3. I used coconut oil to fry the chicken and the noodles, but you could use vegetable oil or olive oil.
  4. Ginger — I was completely out of ground ginger. (I think I took it to Missouri and forgot it there.) I used ginger oil 2-3 drops instead, and now typing this I just realized I have fresh ginger root in the fridge. *sigh*
  5. I noted in the recipe that I used white vinegar. Rice vinegar would give this a more authentic flavor, but the white vinegar worked fine.
  6. I was too hungry and too tired to garnish anything, hence the lack of sesame seeds or green onions in the photo above.

**A note on using oils in place of spices —

Because oils are concentrate of the product, you would never use the same amount of oil to replace a dried version of a spice. I regularly use oils in my cooking: Ginger, Clove, Lemon, Lime, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, and Peppermint.

Young Living has oils designated as safe for dietary consumption marked by the white “Vitality” label. If you would like more information about ordering oils or becoming a Young Living subscriber, you can click here to get to my personal website.

Creamy Chicken and Rice

“Cooking well doesn’t mean cooking fancy.” ~ Julia Childs

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

If you’ve read any of this blog, especially the recipes, you’ll know I’m all about comfort food. Chicken. Rice. Bacon. Cream of mushroom soup. Nothing fancy, really. Just good, filling food that makes you sit back and sigh with contentment when you’ve finished eating.

Creamy Chicken and Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1# chicken tenders

1 box wild rice mix w/ seasoning

1/3 c. sour cream

1/2 can Cream of mushroom soup

1/3 c. chicken broth

1/2 yellow onion, sliced

1/2 # bacon

4 T. butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with slices of bacon, along the bottom, and sides, overlapping as necessary. Top with slices of onion and dot with 1/2 the butter. In a bowl, mix the rice, seasoning packet, sour cream, soup and chicken broth. Spread the rice mixture over the onion and bacon. Press the chicken tenders into the rice. Top with the remaining butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes, remove foil and bake a further 15 minutes. Let cool.

Not only was this a people pleaser in general, but it passed the picky eater test as well. It pairs well with salad, and any leftovers are great for lunch the next day, or a late night snack. If you’d like to make this without the bacon, grease the dish before putting the onions and rice in. I will say while I am not a big bacon fan, it does lend a smoky flavor to the dish that would be a definite loss without it.

Enjoy the weekend and stay safe.

And well fed!

Oven Nachos

“This is a chip and cheese conversation . . . nachos! ~ Chuck Steele, Jr.

Who doesn’t like nachos? Tasty. Quick. Easy. Cheesy. People pleasy.

(Sorry, I got on a rhyming kick for a second.)

Today was a working day for me, and I needed something quick and easy to make for dinner. Kid-friendly as well (you know . . . for that picky eater.) What better thing to make than nachos? I’ll post the recipe below, and you decide.

Oven Baked Nachos

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1# ground beef

Salt

Pepper

Garlic Powder

Smoked paprika

Onion Powder

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

10-12 ounces tortilla chips

1 cup Colby Jack shredded cheese

1 cup Mozarella shredded cheese

Tomatoes, green onions, avacado, cilantro, sour cream, black olives, guacamole or salsa – for garnish

Directions

Set oven to 350. Brown hamburger in skillet, adding seasonings to taste. I don’t actually measure, I just sprinkle until it looks good. Spread tortilla chips on a pizza pan or baking pan. Drain any grease from hamburger, and sprinkle meat on top of tortilla chips. Spread black beans on top of meat. Top with the shredded cheeses. Bake for about 12 minutes. Serve with the garnishes listed above, or whatever you like.

I used the tortilla chips with a “hint of lime” because 1) that’s what was in the cabinet, and 2) the kids prefer those over plain tortilla chips. I had a can of black beans on hand, however you can substitute cannellini or pinto beans or even chili beans – just use what you have on hand, don’t fret about it.

I liked the fact that this was one of the easier recipes I’ve made and would be comfortable letting the kids make this for dinner. My picky eater on hearing what was for dinner, proclaimed he wasn’t going to eat it. On arrival to the table, however, his story changed and he had two helpings AND asked to have these nachos for his birthday dinner later this year.

Mmmm Hmmmm . . . .

Tilapia Caprese

Definition of caprese:

:a salad consisting of slices of mozarella, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil or Italian dressing

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caprese
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I did it again.

I fixed a delicious and beautiful dinner and forgot to take photos. I believe that because I’m so hungry when I fix it and it looks so good, I don’t want to waste time taking photos when I could be sitting down to eat.

And while Caprese actually calls for Mozarella as you can clearly see from the definition above, I substituted Parmesan for two reasons: 1) It holds up to heat a bit better, and 2) It’s what I had on hand in the refrigerator. And there was butter rather than olive oil. And Italian seasoning in place of the basil.

Okay, so it’s like an Americanized Caprese.

Anyway, let’s just get to the recipe, shall we?

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

4 Tilapia filets

1 Roma tomato, diced

4 T. butter

1 t. fresh minced garlic

2 T. fresh grated Parmesan, plus more to sprinkle on top

1 T. Italian seasoning

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375. Place the Tilapia filets in a buttered baking dish, sprinkling with salt and pepper to taste. In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic and diced tomato to the pan stirring until the garlic is opaque but not browned. Remove from heat and stir in Italian seasoning and 2 T. grated Parmesan, stirring while cheese melts. Spoon sauce over filets evenly and sprinkle with a bit more Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes until cheese starts to brown.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a very picky eater, and again. . . this recipe was a winner. He scraped his plate clean and got a second serving.

I’m thinking tomorrow of making a sausage, onion and butternut squash casserole. Perhaps some homemade bread as well. We’ll see.