Grilling Dinner Menu: Cantanzaro Herbed Chicken

I get gifts! One I got this year was a box of assorted large bottles of spice mixes. I’ve enjoyed each unique blend, especially the Peruvian one, since it’s been a while since we have been able to frequent our favorite Peruvian restaurant here.

Tonight’s menu features the Cantanzaro spice mix. Cantanzaro is a city in Italy.  So there are a lot of herbs this Italian girl recognizes: marjoram, basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano. And garlic, lots of garlic. But the kicker is the lemon and lemon peel.

It’s all very fresh for summer and great for grilling.

On the board tonight:

  1. Grilled Cantanzaro Herbed Chicken Breasts
  2. Grilled peppers and onions (toss sliced onions and favorite mix of peppers with olive oil, salt, pepper and grill in a grilling pan)
  3. Cucumber-Tomato Salad (recipe here)
  4. Gelato (recipes here)

Continue reading

My Life Is Weird

Had an interesting weekend.

You know…the ducks were one thing…but reptiles are a bridge too far.

Respite Open Thread: My Life Is Weird

I found this guy while gardening. He/she crawled right into my hand. Luckily I have a 13-yr old niece who is wild about reptiles (and has a bearded dragon). I texted her a photo, she told me it was a chameleon. Clearly well taken care of and very, very lost. Continue reading

Book ‘Em, Daffy

I TOLD you ducks were shady.

So, of course, this came across my FB feed yesterday:

Respite Open Thread: You Do The Crime

This guy is my new hero:

Mark Luther: For everyone inquiring, these two fellas, now named Denzil and Beau, were owner surrenders that were being rehomed to Oinking Acres Farm Sanctuary here in Indiana by a couple that recognized they were not equipped to care for them properly! With the owner unable to self-transport, I volunteered to go and pick them up! However, they were Jumbo Pekins (size of a Goose), and they wouldn’t fit in any carrier! So we got crafty and made a box seat for to keep them contained for the drive!

Seems he does this tranport a LOT:

Respite Open Thread: You Do The Crime 1

Oinking Acres Farm Rescue doing their best to rescue and educate:

More ducks!!! I got a call today about 3 ducks in need of rescue. We quickly arranged transportation, huge thanks to my friend Mark! He is becoming quite the expert in duck wrangling 🤩 We definitely need more kind hearted, selfless people like Mark in the world.

These big babies were rescued off a neighborhood pond. Domestic ducks CANNOT fly. They are NOT a wild animal. They cannot survive on their own. Please please please stop dumping your ducks!! These guys were lucky enough to have been rescued before they were mauled or eaten by a wild animal.

Another big thank you to my friend Mark who has been transporting ducks for the third night in a row 😂😂🌟🦆

Book ’em, Daffy!

(x-posted at

This One Is Hot, Hot, Hot

Somehow,  I made an extremely spicy Green Chile. The peppers were marked as hot, so I should have suspected because normally they just assume you know green chiles are on the hot side. These were on the super-hot side.

Someone sent me this recipe when I was asking for recommendations. It’s simple and turned out great. The only substitution I made was beef for pork. I’m not a big pork fan. Bacon, sausage and pepperoni are about it.

I used a boneless blade steak, which worked perfectly. I kinda wished I would have popped it on the grill when I roasted the chiles.

Continue reading

Tomato Season: Mortgage Lifter

I came home after being out of town for a week to an abundance of ripe and ripening tomatoes.  I only planted four plants, but I think it will get us through the winter.

This large tomato is a Mortgage Lifter. My local greenhouse carries a very few tomatoes and they are always unusual heirloom varieties. Last year it was San Marzano – and they were amazing. I think I’ll try to start some from seeds next year.

This year it was Mortgage Lifter and Amish Paste tomatoes.

This is the first ripe Mortgage Lifter – about the size of a softball – heavy – just under a pound. Definitely the biggest of this year’s varieties. Continue reading

Birthday Gelato: Vanilla and Hazelnuts

I decided a few days ago that gelato would be a fun birthday treat. I decided on vanilla with hazelnut chocolate spread and chopped hazelnuts.

I have made Hazelnut Gelato before (recipe here) and it’s yummy. But I wanted guests to have the option of plain gelato, a variety of chopped nuts, chocolate sauce and the hazelnut spread.

The key to a great vanilla ice cream or gelato is using the best vanilla extract you can find, or really splurge and use vanilla beans. Continue reading

Grilled Steak w/Spicy Blueberry Sauce

I created this after having it at a restaurant one night, never really had a recipe. Told my mom about it and she asked me to give her the recipe, so then I had to make a recipe.  It’s really good stuff.  Mix it with cream cheese, serve on crackers. I’m sure it would amazing on ice cream, but we never seem to have enough leftover to try that.  😊

I actually tried this on NY Strip tonight and it was very good. I used the last of my sirloin working on a Mongolian Beef recipe.

Grilled Sirloin with Spicy Blueberry Sauce

  •  2 cups frozen blueberries (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tbsp
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you want it)
  • pinch of chili powder
  • 1lb Sirloin, cut into 4 pieces
  • Fresh ground pepper (opt)

Continue reading