In the kitchen with Jo: Italian chicken stew

Italian chicken stew

Pinterest is often an excellent place to troll for recipes because first you see the photo of the dish.  I generally get an image in my head of what I want a certain meal to look like so even if the recipe got five stars, I won’t bother investigating if the picture is not what I had in mind.  Years ago, when I went searching for a how-to on carnitas, I was looking for pork that was made crispy, more dark brown than beige.  For me, Irish stew had to look like meat sitting in a bowl of Guinness.  … [Read more...]

In the kitchen with Jo: simple tri-tip steak

Tri tip steak

During the school soccer season, I coach, so in addition to the girls’ club practice schedules, there’s that.  From 3-8pm every day, all bets are off and I’m in the car, on the pitch, or managing issues associated with sports that involve the kicking or hitting of a ball.  But every now and then, the stars align, the heavens open up, and I find myself staring at an hour on a random Thursday afternoon with no commitments on the board.  On the miracle spectrum, it’s not Lourdes or the loaves and … [Read more...]

In the kitchen with Jo: birthday balsamic brussels sprouts (with pistachio and capers)

roasted brussels sprouts

It's my birthday and I love alliteration. I realize that brussels sprouts have been around for a long time.  I remember as a kid thinking they were adorable little heads of cabbage.  I didn't eat them, but they were cute. Lately, those diminutive things have been showing up on nearly every menu in town, and when they are, I order them.  Don't have a bad thing to say about a single one.  Perfectly crunchy, beautifully roasted, tangy with some balsamic - you simply can't go wrong.  And I … [Read more...]

In the kitchen with Jo: Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

Ted Cruz politician

There is so much I want to say about the ongoing government shutdown but it’s almost impossible to know where to begin.  Let me give you one thought, and then we’ll get into a new recipe: We all know bullying is bad, like we all know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The color pink, everywhere we go, reminds us to check our breasts.  A reminder to never bully?  To teach our kids never to bully?  Ted Cruz.  His behavior and actions, with the help of the Koch brothers (and others, for … [Read more...]

Thursdays in the kitchen with Jo: buffalo chicken sandwiches

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

August this year in Southern California feels more like October.  Daytime highs in the low 80s, cool breezes at night.  I’ve jinxed it now and I’m sorry.  It’ll likely be Africa hot next week, but still, I’m enjoying having the A/C off most of the time.  Even so, it’s still better to slow cook in the crock pot then have the oven on all day.  I’ve discovered also that you can forget to thaw those chicken breasts and still pull off a savory dinner with almost no effort or time.  Case in point: … [Read more...]

Thursdays in the kitchen with Jo: CPK’s chicken tequila fettuccine

Friday nights, we go out to dinner as a family.  When the girls were young, it was California Pizza Kitchen, El Torito, Baja Fresh.  Later, we went crazy and added The Counter.  Lately, we’ve branched out, dipping our toes in tapas, $u$hi, and southern BBQ.  But CPK, for so long, was our fall back – a solid restaurant where the food was exactly, and consistently, what you expected.  I ordered the vegetarian pizza (loved the Japanese eggplant), the husband -- Chicken Tequila Fettuccine.  When … [Read more...]