Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pork Schnitzel at Sawtooth Hotel and Redfish Lake

Our last day in Idaho took us back to one of our favorite places, Redfish Lake and Lodge in Stanley.

Charming lodge right on the lake.
My cute little "Redfish" baseball cap.
Gorgeous mountain views from the beach.

A busy day full of swimmers, boaters and kayaking.

As we headed back home from the lake, we stopped at the famous Sawtooth Hotel and had dinner out on their rustic open deck, taking in the sun setting and reliving our weekend.

As this was our first time at one of Dick and JoAnne's favorite stops, they certainly did not disappoint.  The menu is all local, fresh ingredients and the atmosphere is both historic and charming at the same time.

We all shared and immensely enjoyed our chilled La Crema Chardonnay, antipasto salad and their Pork Schnitzel cutlets, complete with a lemon, caper and butter sauce.

Desserts offered nightly are fresh from Stanley Baking Co. & Cafe.

Pork Schnitzel With Lemon-Caper Cream

Courtesy of


1 (12 ounce) pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2 inch circles ( boneless loin chops work well also)
1/2 lemon, juice of
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon dijon-style mustard
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons canola oil or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying

    Lemon-Caper Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup jarred lemon curd
1/4 cup small caper, drained, room temperature


Pound pork circles between pieces of plastic wrap to flatten to 1/4 inch thickness.
Sprinkle both sides of medallions with lemon juice.
Combine flour and poultry seasoning in shallow dish. Coat medallions with flour mixture; shake off excess flour and set aside.
In a deep pie plate, beat the eggs and mix in the mustard.
Place bread crumbs in another pie plate. Dip the pork medallions into the egg mixture; coat well with bread crumbs.
Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
For the cream sauce, melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan.
Add shallots and sauté over medium heat until fragrant (approximately 2 minutes).
Remove saucepan from heat; add the wine, chicken broth and cream.
Return saucepan to heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes to reduce by half.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy skillet.
Add half of the medallions; fry over medium-high heat on both sides for 1-2 minutes or until no longer pink.
Transfer to a plate and tent with foil. Repeat with remaining oil and medallions.
Remove sauce from heat and stir in lemon curd & capers.
Serve with buttered spaetzle and garnish with lemon wedges

Friday, July 25, 2014

Gloria's Shrimp and Avocado Dip, Grumpy's and Lululemon

Day 2 of our Idaho adventure started with us downtown for some famous designer shopping and even more famous burgers.

Unfortunately, my girls have discovered Lululemon yoga and workout clothing line.  Very upscale and I will also admit, very cute.  What makes it worse is that the clothes are really adorable on the girls, which they also have realized...well, don't you know they had a Lululemon boutique in Ketchum...who knew?

So, as I typically do...I caved.  I agreed to buy them one shirt and headband each and then they were on their own with the allowance funds they had.

"Grumpy's" weclcoming sign.
Next, it was on for some lunch at Grumpy's in Ketchum.  Famous for for their burgers, beer and everything else on their menu, it definitely hit the spot after our shopping trip.

JoJo, Gloria and Pam
As I have previously mentioned, JoAnne and Dick have a remarkable group of friends that they not only see during the winter months, but they all also have summer homes in Ketchum.  JoJo's girlfriends are all wonderful ladies and incredible cooks, which I have been fortunate enough to have some of their recipes.

Wonderful flat iron creekside dinner.
For dinner that night, we did potluck with a group of their friends and grilling by the creek.  The night was perfect and we even had a visit from a deer.  We grilled up some flat iron steak and bbq baked beans.

Sun setting on the creek.
One of the appetizers we had by the creek was Gloria's Shrimp and Avocado Dip that JoAnne made for everyone.  Oh my gosh was it delicious.  I'm sure I embarrassed myself, as I could not stay away from the bowl.

It was so good, when we returned back home, I couldn't wait to make up another batch of it for our evening debriefing last weekend.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did - Cheers!

Gloria's Shrimp and Avocado Dip
Courtesy of Gloria

(Serves 24 or as salad for 8)

*** I cut the recipe in half for our little family group and it was plenty.

(This is the full recipe/portions below)

2 pounds bay shrimp
2 avocados cut in chunks
1 medium onion chopped


1 C vegetable or olive oil
1 C white wine vinegar
1/2 c Lemon juice
1 T Salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix & marinate  for two hours or more.

Serve with toasts:
Sliced baguette with Olive oil and garlic powder; toast
*** We used ours as a dip for cantina tortilla chips (like a ceviche)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sun Valley Pecan-Crusted Chicken in Idaho

Our family had the pleasure of taking a quick weekend trip to visit Dick and JoAnne (Aunt JoJo) at their summer home in Sun Valley, Idaho last week.

Sun Valley welcomes United Airlines' direct flight from Denver - love it !!
The Sun Valley / Ketchum / Hailey communities are truly beautiful, charismatic and filled with culture, art and incredibly quaint, culinary wonders.  Upon arriving we headed to Despo's "Mexican with Altitude" for a late dinner in Ketchum.  Excellent margaritas, salsa and shrimp tacos.  My daughters even loved their made-to-order bean and cheese burrito for one and the carne asada street tacos for the other.

Sun Valley Lodge
The next day we started off touring the breathtaking Sun Valley Lodge and its beautiful resort.  They have anything you could think of for both summer and winter stays, complete with ice shows, concerts, sports and family activities, not to mentioned the shopping village that has everything you could imagine.

The tranquil lake in front of Sun Valley Lodge
We then headed into town late afternoon for all the items needed for our happy hour platter, wines and JoAnne's amazing Sun Valley Pecan-Crusted Chicken, made famous by Chef Jeff Keys Vintage Restaurant
in Ketchum.  He even wrote a beautiful cookbook (that I immediately ordered and it arrived yesterday, thank you very much) featuring his world class dishes from the restaurant.

It was a perfect and most welcoming evening.  Great food, wines, laughs and conversation......

Our wonderful happy hour complete with roasted garlic, Cambazola cheese
and mango salsa paired with Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc
All happy hours should be enjoyed while dancing.

Beautiful sunset from their deck.

Sun Valley Pecan-Crusted Chicken with Sour Cream Mustard Sauce,
 Tomato and Black Currant Chutney,
Baked Yukon Gold Gorgonzola Smashed Potatoes and Caesar Salad

Sun Valley Pecan-Crusted Chicken
from the "Vintage Restaurant" cookbook by Jeff Keys

For the Pecan Saltine Cracker Crumbs:
1-1/2 cps coarsely ground pecans
1-1/2 cups ground saltine crackers

Mix the ground pecans and saltine crackers in a medium size bowl.  Set aside.

Four the Sour Cream Mustard Sauce:
1-1/2 cups sour cream
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

Blend well in a small bowl and set aside.

For the Dijon-Mustard Butter Rub:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

For the Chicken:
(4) 5-ounce boneless and skinless chicken breasts

To make the chicken, lightly pound each breast to about 3/8 inch thick.  Take each chicken breast and coat one side with the painting of the mustard butter.

  Put the breast, mustard-butter-side-down, in the saltine cracker crumb mixture.  Give it a firm press so the crumbs adhere.  Repeat for the other side.  Do this to all of the chicken breasts and put them on a platter until you are ready to cook.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  To cook the chicken, melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 12-inch saute pan.  When the butter is hot, add the chicken breasts.  Cook them for about 3 minutes.  They should be turning a nice, crispy medium brown color.  Turn them over and cook for 3 more minutes.  Remove the chicken breasts to a baking sheet, saving the crumbs that remain in the saute pan.

Put the baking sheet int eh oven and cook the breasts for about 5 more minutes.  While the chicken is cooking, add 8 tablespoons of the Sour Cream Mustard Sauce to the saute pan that the chicken cooked in; blend the crumbs and juices from the chicken with the sour cream mixture, just before the chicken is done cooking, heat up the sauce until it is just bubbly.

Take the chicken out of the oven and place 1 breast on each plate and serve with a dollop of the Sour Cream Mustard Sauce.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Bake

We are in the final countdown - 30 days until school starts.  Can I hear a Hallelujah?!!!  The back to school "wish list" has already started and we have done some essentials shopping already, in preparation for the upcoming first day of school.

I am already looking forward to the school (last minute) projects, working in the concession stand, shopping for days to find the "perfect" homecoming dance dress and of course the next seven months of volleyball seasons.  

We only have three years left of our girls' high school experiences and memories and I am already getting saddened by the thought of graduation day, so I truly do treasure every crazy moment that we have right now.

In preparation of upcoming homework-volleyball-late school nights, I put together this dish as a pantry purge dinner idea - awesome flavors and so, so easy!!  This was great as an alternative to taco meat but would be equally wonderful on lettuce with accompaniments as a taco salad also.

Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Bake

4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (about 4 cooked chicken breasts)
1 - 15 oz can enchilada sauce
1 - 12 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed well
5-6 (sandwich size slices) of cheddarella cheese (or your favorite shredded cheese) - enough to cover top of beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix shredded chicken and enchilada sauce in a bowl.  Spray 9"x 11" casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Spread chicken/sauce mixture evenly in dish.  Top with black beans and finish with sliced or shredded cheese to cover beans.

Bake in oven approximately 30 minutes until bubbly and heated through.

Serve on warmed corn tortillas with your favorite taco fixings.

Shredded chicken mixed with enchilada sauce.

Add layer of black beans.

Cover with one layer of cheese.

Finished product - amazing tacos!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fry Sauce and A New Toy

Today is my one year anniversary.  Today, one year ago was my first blog publication.  How is it that time can go so incredibly fast...I will never understand.  Well, a lot has definitely happened in this past year and so much more is yet to come.

In celebration of this anniversary, and Father's Day, and Mother's Day and our actual wedding anniversary, we purchased a Traeger Smoker and Wood Pellet Grill or as my daughter called it, a cute little train???

We took this smoker/grill for a test run this weekend and had a carnivore fest in preparation of family coming out to see us.  Oh my goodness this smoker kicks butt - literally!!  We made the most incredible pork butt pulled pork in its finale for tonight's dinner.

For its inauguration, we did our Friday Night Daddy Burgers and added Gorgonzola cheese to the beef mixture along with Worcestershire sauce and McCormick's steak seasoning - mmmmm!!!

The best part of our new toy is it will work in the middle of winter and less cooking for mama - wahoo!!

Of course you cannot have burgers without fries, so I baked up a batch and we made our own fry sauce. We first learned about fry sauce during one of our Idaho trips and have been hooked ever since.  You will never want ketchup again after dipping in this delight.

Fry Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth and well blended.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled and ready to use.

1 Year Ago:  Colorado and Pickling Cucumbers

Friday, July 18, 2014

Turkey Chili

When I was a little girl my favorite song was "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" by B.J. Thomas.  I even had a little square glass wind up music box with a watercolor sketch on it of a little girl in her raincoat and galoshes under an umbrella that I would wind up and play over and over again.

Today, I still love that song and watching and listening to the rain...but no one warned me of a typical Colorado rain.  When it rains, it rains...and when it pours, it REALLY pours here.  We have had 90 degree days, a 4:00 pm cloud cover and rain and then right when we are going into our REM sleep, a flash in your eyes, a crackle in the clouds and the skies open up with the loudest rumble you could imagine.

It is virtually impossible to figure out what to wear each day, truly remarkable weather and certainly no drought or water shortage here.

The only drawback is we have been limited as to when we can enjoy our backyard to eat outside and let the dogs bask in the sun as they love to do so often.  The good news is my husband's tomato plants have taken flight and are well on their way to becoming homemade salsa!!

For those rainy, dreary afternoons you just want a warm bowl of yummy, so I dug up JoAnne's (my sister-in-law) friend's Turkey Chili recipe that we have been making for years.  JoAnne (a.k.a. Aunt Jo Jo) has a remarkable group of girlfriends that she has shared some their recipes with us.

Sandy's Turkey Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped yellow, red or orange bell peppers
1 pound ground turkey
1 (28-ounce) can crushed organic tomatoes, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce (my husband likes "Frank's" Red Hot)
11/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

In a large skillet, saute onions, garlic and bell peppers in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add ground turkey and cook until browned.

Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve with sour cream and shredded sharp cheese.

Stay dry my friends....

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Grilled Vegetable Salad

We just finished up our six months of student driver practicing, since our girls received their driver's permits on New Year's Eve.  My husband and I have tried to remain very cool, calm and collected during these driving outings.  I must admit that my husband has been much better at this than I have.

I am the worst passenger seat driver when it comes to my girls.  They are actually very good at this whole driving thing, I am just a nervous wreck, especially now that they are driving my new car.  I think it has gotten to the point now that when I try to give them motherly driving advice, they only hear "whaa-whaa-whaa" (like the trombone effect from Charlie Brown's teacher).  

I was so worried about them that I got the dealership to throw in at no extra charge, a back-up rear sensor that goes off if they get too close to something while they are backing up.  So now maybe they will listen to the constant beeping of a warning signal in the car while in reverse, instead of getting annoyed at me.

We have also told the girls that they cannot get their own car (to share) until they have both learned their way around town, from here to there and can find their way back home.  So, not only are we giving driving lessons, we are now teaching geography.

You would think that would be easy, yes?  Not so fast....I finally figured out why they weren't completely getting it at first...and it's our own fault (not an easy admission).  When my husband and I were growing up, we didn't have portable DVD players, cell phones, iPods, Kindles, or even walk-mans (I'm dating myself here) at that time.  All we had was the window at our side to look out of, stare and wonder "are we almost there?".  We took in every street name, landmark, tree and sign.  We knew exactly where we were at all times.

Today, kids, teens (and even some adults) are traveling with their heads facing down, enthralled in some electronic device.  It's no wonder they don't know how to get from A to B, they haven't been looking up and out.  Well, there's nothing like a little wager on the table to motivate a couple teenagers.  I'm here to tell you, they are learning very quickly now.

This grilled vegetable salad has absolutely nothing to do with driving lessons, but we made it last week and it was really good.  I have had this recipe forever and always keep going back to it, especially during the summer grilling months.

Thought for the weekend, "Get out there and see the world"...leave the electronics at home.

Grilled Vegetable Salad
Courtesy of Down Home with The Neelys

1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch rings
1 yellow bell pepper, quartered, seeds and ribs removed
1 red bell pepper, quartered, seeds and ribs removed
***I also added 1 zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 pound feta cheese

1 medium clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat grill to medium.

In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to a platter. Sprinkle with basil and feta.

In a small bowl, mix garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over vegetables.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Quick Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad, S'mores and Right With The World

I'm happy to report that all is right with the world again...after a month in our new home, we finally have our new regulation size volleyball net up in the backyard, tiki torches are thoughtfully placed throughout with their oil and our water feature fountain is back up and running after being in storage for three years, after our California move.  Yes, life in our back yard is finally getting back into a groove again.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup S'mores by the light of
our tiki torches on the patio and life doesn't get any better.

Great, go to, quick fix, weeknight dinner.
Quick Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad
Courtesy of Pioneer Woman

1 pint red grape tomatoes
1 pint yellow grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 heaping tablespoon jarred pesto
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 head iceburg lettuce, cut into chunks (I used my leftover romaine lettuce on hand instead)

** I also added (1) avocado diced and our left over grilled tri-tip steak, sliced in bite size pieces and topped it off with crumbled feta cheese.  This would be really great with left over grilled chicken also.  I'm sure I'll be trying that version out really soon.

Halve the tomatoes and add them to a large zipper bag with the sliced red onion. Add the olive oil, balsamic, parsley, pesto, sugar, garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the bag, getting all the air out. Place into the fridge until ready for dinner.

Place the iceberg lettuce (or lettuce of your choosing)  in a large bowl and pour on the tomatoes. Toss and serve! (The dressing from the tomatoes becomes the salad dressing.)

My daughter's monkey even approved of the salad.
After dinner, all was right with Angus also, he equally
loves my daughter's monkey.