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Creamy Shrimp Sauce

11/20/2019 – Made this and ladled over blackened catfish. It was VERY good and would be great over other things like rice or pasta. Could use other things than shrimp.

Inspired by the recipe at The Big Fat Happy Italian.

  • 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 Cup white wine. [She called for Vermouth.]
  • 1 (14 oz) Can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dash Of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Cup more or less of Heavy Cream
  • 1/8 Cup Chopped, Fresh Parsley
  • 3 Cups chopped Into 1 Inch Pieces
  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan, and add the onion and garlic. Cook for about three minutes and then add the wine. Simmer until the wine is cooked down.
  2. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and the parsley.
  3. Cook for about 15 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Stir in the shrimp and simmer until pink. 
  5. Stir in just enough of the heavy cream to turn the sauce a dark coral pink color. Return to a simmer.
  6. Serve over pasta, rice, or blackened tilapia!

Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut, 2nd batch

11/12/2019 – This is our second prep of kraut with ginger and carrot. The intent was to make it like the first time when I made it while Mary was in Houston. Using the ingredient weights from that prep I built a spreadsheet that computed percentages of each based on the amount of cabbage on hand.

We had two large, dense, heavy cabbages and cut the smaller one in half to use in a roasted dish. I did not get enough fresh ginger to meet the calculated percentage but we are close.

We sliced the cabbage and grated the carrots in the food processor. We installed the small bowl with the knife and minced the garlic and ginger.

1st time
Calc Percents*11/12/2019
Carrot – (below max 3:1 ratio) 10/9 was 30% of the cabbage286.022.86%1000.5
Ginger Root27.02.16%86.71 but only had about 75
Garlic ~ 1 lg clove per 600 gms of cabbage+carrot29.02.32%88.4
1.7% salt summing all the above21.3 76.7
  • The amount of carrot is calculated at 30% of the cabbage
  • The amount of ginger root was based on the weight of the cabbage and carrot.
  • The amount of garlic was based on the weight of the ginger, cabbage, and carrot.
  • The amount of salt was based on the total weight of all four.

These ingredients filled our largest plastic and large stainless steel bowls. It packed into three 1/2 gallon jars with one only 75% full.

Squash Blossoms Fried

11/12/2019 – Tomorrow morning will be hard freeze and kill our winter squash so we picked the Acorn, Butternut, and Spaghetti squash and some blossoms. They turned out better than we expected and will try them again. The batter was especially good. Of all the recipes and instructions on the net, we liked the one here and it inspired this our first ever attempt at frying squash blossoms.

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Pepperoncini Ferment with Banana Peppers, No. 4

10/30/2019 – This ferment is essentially the same as No. 2 and 3 other than substituting a cayenne pepper for the Hungarian Hot Wax. It only made one quart as that was the final lot of banana peppers that have been in the refrigerator for the past 2-3 weeks.

  • Banana peppers from the garden sliced 1/4? to 1/2? thick. Most were yellow with a few orange and a few red.
  • Red Cayenne Pepper from the garden about 4? long sliced 1/16″ thick with the seeds.
  • Yellow onion slices and squares– about 1 part to 3 parts of the peppers
  • 4 tsp Dill Seed per quart
  • 4 tsp Yellow Mustard seed per quart
  • 6% brine

Used the meat mallet to pack them down (collapse the slices) as we did in past ferments. Added the ingredients in two layers.

The jar has the blue, flat, silicone lid with the nipple to let out the gas and has a printed label dated 10/30/2019.

Carrot & Lemon-Dill Sauerkraut, Exp. No. 1

10/16/2019 – We like the last Lemon-Dill Kraut No. 5 with twice the lemon of the original recipe. We also like carrot in kraut so decided to combine the two styles and see how it turns out. We had two larger cabbages and so we made both with the ingredients below. We cut the cabbage and grated the carrots with the food processor. 11/1/2019 – Our first sampling was at room temperature and we liked it. 11/12/2019 – Still good. Will make more.

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French Onion Soup ToTry

Top the French Onion Soup with a slice of toasted bread and a layer of bubbly melted Gruyère. From here.


  • 2 pounds yellow onion (908g) peeled, halved, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (15g)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (15ml)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (2g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (3g)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (10g)
  • 1 cup red wine (240ml)
  • 1 quart unsalted beef stock (32 ounces)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 slices crusty bread or baguette 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 3.5 ounces shredded gruyere cheese (100g, 1 cup)


  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over high heat.
  2. Melt the butter, add olive oil, brown sugar, and salt, stir to combine.
  3. Add in onions and stir to coat, saute and stir frequently until onion begins to soften and lightly brown, 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, cook onions, stirring frequently, ensuring the onions do not burn and are browned, 30 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  6. Add wine to deglaze the pan, stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  7. Increase heat to high, allow wine to boil and evaporate, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Add beef stock, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf.
  9. Bring stock to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer, 30 minutes.
  10. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf, taste soup and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Place bread on a baking pan and broil on high in the center of the oven for 5 minutes, flip and toast another 3 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Add soup to 4 bowls, top with toasted bread slices (1 to 2), and evenly distribute cheese on top of each piece of bread.
  13. Broil on high, about 8 inches away from the top of the oven until cheese is melted and golden, 5 to 6 minutes.
  14. Immediately serve French onion soup.

Chicken & Cajun Sausage Gumbo with Okra

10/12/2019 – This turned out good and Mary liked it a lot. It was made the day before she returned from staying with Piper and Olivia when their parents went to Amsterdam. It was adapted from one here that is from a site that looks like there are a lot more good things. Her recipes provide the weights of all ingredients.

One of the easy aspects of this was that the broth from boiling the chicken was used later as the base for the gumbo. Plus, there will be broth leftover and by chopping more of the veggies than needed the extra broth and extra veggies make an easy chicken soup. Especially if you steal a bit of the chopped chicken to add to it.

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Spinach and Three Herb Pesto ToTry

10/10/2019 Recipe from Southern Living


1 1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup firmly packed fresh baby spinach
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

How to Make It

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.