Really Great Things #27

Really Great Things

Really Great Things

Hola, como esta? Mi es muy bien despite the blizzard and state of emergency Maine is in the midst of.

Here is issue #27 of Really Great Things:


I am from St. Louis, which is known for lots of really great things, like the Gateway Arch, Anheiser-Busch, toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake.  So, I was quite excited to see this cookie recipe from Pastaria, a restaurant in Clayton, which is a suburb of St. Louis.

I don’t cook a lot of salmon because I only eat wild fish as opposed to farm-raised and I’m usually reluctant to pay the price for wild salmon, which was $20 a pound here, last time I checked. But the next time I cook salmon, I might make it this way.

These are just too…too, there are no words for the cuteness.

Have you ever made your own fondant?

Gingerbread houses always make me think of either Christmas or Halloween. I love the idea of miniature houses for Valentine’s Day.

These are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

I love a frozen coffee. If it has a kick, even better.

I have pigeon-holed certain foods, like sweet potatoes, as only good for desserts and side dishes like sweet potato heaven or roasting and inserting into quesadillas. But this recipe has me changing my thinking.

My two favorite fruits in one delicious cocktail.

I’m not a big video person but sometimes it’s easy to learn a new recipe by watching a video.  Learn how to make this tequila specialty drink.

Not Food

Did your password make this list?

I don’t think I’ve ever told you that one of my favorite pastimes is beachcombing. It’s a great day if I find a sea urchin or two. I generally display sea urchins in glass bowls or on a windowsill. I never thought of doing this.

We’ve been blessed during this blizzard to have not lost power (I’m now knocking on wood). I have a gas stove so I can use my stovetop during a power outage but those of you with electric ranges might be interested in learning how to make something called a rocket stove during a power outage.

Tell me in the comments what your really great things are this week?











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Weekend Menu Plan + Dangers of Liquid Eyeliner

What do you think?

What do you think?

Good evening mi amo! Here’s my weekend menu plan and don’t you love this image? I found it on Instagram this morning.

I hope you are well. I am good. I will keep this brief as I’m not planning on a lot of cooking this weekend.

Mr. 46 and Mr. 11 are going tubing on a nearby mountain tomorrow morning while I shop. I think we’ll meet up for lunch.

I was planning to make garlic lime chicken and couscous and steak and salad and baked potatoes for Saturday and Sunday dinner. But I’m changing that all around.

It’s supposed to start snowing tomorrow afternoon. Depending on who you listen to coastal Maine will either get 3 to 5 inches or 6 to 12. So, we’re going to want bowls of steamy instead of grilled meats.

I’m going to make some sort of pasta dish Saturday night, perhaps Pasta con Broccoli or Garlic Shrimp Weeknight pasta.

Sunday is my birthday :) I’m going to be 45. So 46 and 11 are planning to take me out for sushi. But in the morning I’m going to throw together a chicken chili in the slow-cooker to have for dinner Monday and Tuesday.

Most of you readers here are way under 45 so would you like to know how it feels? Pretty good actually. 45 is not the scary number you think it is when you’re a mere lass or lad of 25 or 30 or 35.  I still feel like a teenage girl only with more wisdom and confidence as well as a dose of stretch marks and a C-section scar. I still like the color pink and glitter. I still like to read and drink Coca Cola. I still like talking to cats.

Tell me what you’re cooking this weekend.


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Easy Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers

Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers are an easy meal and rely on a garlic chili paste marinade for flavor.

Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers are quick enough for a weeknight meal if you remember to marinate the chicken ahead of time and relies on a garlic chili paste marinade for flavor.

I found this recipe for Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers with Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce at What Sweet Eats. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I will make it at least once more to determine which way we really fall with it. In my opinion, one can never have enough chicken marinades.

Mr. 46 said the chicken was bland. Mr. 11 loved them and asked me to make it again, high praise from a middle-schooler. The heat from the garlic chili paste was milder than I expected.

I followed the recipe for the sweet chili marinade to a T except for doubling both the marinade ingredients and the chicken. Jessica’s recipe calls for a pound of chicken. I made two pounds. With a growing middle-schooler, a husband in construction and me with limited hours to cook, it’s just foolishness for me to cook a pound of chicken at a time. Truth be told, I like to cook a minimum of at least three pounds of chicken. That ensures two dinners and sometimes a leftover or two for lunch.

You serve the chicken skewers with a sour cream dipping sauce sauce, which I did tweak. The recipe calls for a yogurt dipping sauce using Greek yogurt as a base, which I abhor so I swapped it for sour cream. It also uses two tablespoons of chives, which I rarely use unless I’m having a homemade ranch dressing fit. So I swapped cilantro for the chives.

If I make the sauce again, I’ll cut the recipe at least in half. We used maybe a quarter cup of sauce and there was a lot left. I would also reduce the amount of honey next time. The recipe calls for one Tbsp and it was much too sweet. This is coming from a sugar junkie. If I thought it was too sweet, it really, really was. Maybe if I had used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream it wouldn’t have tasted so sweet, I don’t know.

Once the chicken is done marinating, skewer it and put in on a grill on medium high heat for five to eight minutes a side or until cooked thoroughly.


This is how Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers look when you first put them on the grill.

This is how Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers look when you first put them on the grill.


Easy Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into one-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil or olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 6 Tbsp chili garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper


  1. Mix oil, honey, chili garlic paste, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Transfer mixture to a large resealable bag and add chicken. Shake to combine.
  3. Marinate for at least two hours to overnight.
  4. After marinating, skewer four to five pieces on each stick
  5. Grill over medium high heat, 8 to 10 minutes then flip and cook for five to eight minutes more or until thoroughly cooked.

Sour Cream Dipping Sauce


Easy Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers are quick enough for a weeknight and economical.

Easy Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers are quick enough for a weeknight, economical and kid-approved.

Your turn, tell me your favorite marinade recipe in the comments.

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Really Great Things #26

Really Great Things

Really Great Things

The Super Bowl is coming up. Maybe you need a nacho cheese recipe?

Lemon Meringue Pie is my most favorite pie in the whole world. I have good memories of standing next to my mother at the stove handing ingredients to her so she could keep stirring the lemon curd mixture. And then when I got older, I would stand at the stove, wooden spoon in hand, and stir and stir and stir. So I was most excited to see that a new to me blogger, Giramuks Kitchen, had created a Lemon Meringue Cocktail. All I can say is Mind Blown.

If you’re a whiskey sour fan, how about adding lavender to the mix?

Sticking with liquor, this one can help you lose weight.

I’ve never bought an ice cream maker so I”m always looking for a good no churn recipe.

Do you remember that space-age cartoon The Jetson’s? Check out these space-age kitchen accessories.
I need a “top brewer,” a faucet which dispenses coffee instead of water although that sounds like a Keurig.

Sweet potatoes and cilantro are two of my most favorite things to eat. Must make this.

I am not a cake person but this looks totally amazing.

Your turn! Tell me in the comments what your really great things are this week.

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3-Ingredient Pasta Sauce Fail

3-Ingredient Pasta Sauce

3-Ingredient Pasta Sauce, Marcella Hazan’s famous recipe, is one to skip.

You know those recipes that are so good you tape a copy to the inside of a cabinet door so you always have it at your fingertips? 3-Ingredient Pasta Sauce Fail is not that recipe.

The sauce, made by simmering a 28-ounce can of peeled tomatoes, an onion peeled and cut in half and five Tbsps of butter is the brainchild of the late, great Italian cook Marcella Hazan. Her recipes, including this one, was been featured in The New York Times and numerous other laudable publications. It won’t, however, be making another appearance in my kitchen.

What didn’t I like? The flavor was the biggest offense. The sauce tasted bland and smelled odd. I followed the recipe to a T. I even followed Hazan’s suggestion for using San Marzano tomatoes, which are twice as much as other brands ($3.49.)

Also, be warned if you do try it, the recipe, which ran in the NYT states the yield is for a pound of pasta. I used it for a half pound of pasta and I still didn’t have enough sauce to give the noodles a good coat.

Perhaps you’re wondering why I posted a recipe I wasn’t happy with. Everywhere I looked on the web in researching this sauce was praise after praise about how good it was. There were so many five-star reviews I was skeptical. I felt I had a responsibility to report my bad experience.

Plus, I’m going to be 45 a week from today and my mind is not what it used to be. I could easily, in two months, forget that I had tried this recipe fail. This post gives me a reminder not to try it again.

So tell me, have you ever tried this miraculous 3-ingredient pasta sauce? Tell me what you thought. Leave a comment below. Or, link to a recipe for a sauce you like.

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