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Quick spicy tomato and bacon linguine

Dinner in 30 minutes

Dinner in 30 minutes

Now that you have been cooking for days and are exhausted but the thought of going out to dinner and getting dressed up is too much – try this easy and delicious dish.  This linguine dish is so good it would be great for a family meal but also perfect for company.  This has been a favorite of my family for years.   Open a nice bottle of chardonnay, pour yourself a glass and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

  • 1/3 pound thick sliced bacon, chopped
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. sweet onions, roughly chopped
  • 6 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 2 t. dried basil
  • parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound fresh linguine, cooked according to directions


Sauté bacon until almost crisp.  Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel.  Leave  2 T. bacon drippings in pan and add olive oil, water and onions.  Sauté for 3 minutes.

To pan, add tomatoes, wine, garlic, bacon and red pepper flakes.  Sauté for 3 minutes.

Finally add basil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve over pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Serves 4-6.

The Flavors of Fall

Flavors of Fall

Flavors of Fall

Please join A Simple Celebration this month as we focus on fall entertaining and comfort food recipes.  The temperatures in Florida don’t fall much this time of year, so we have to try hard to simulate a change of season through home decor and yummy recipes.

We will be showcasing fall table-scape ideas and recipes for soups and chilis in the weeks to come.   Anyone who has had Vicki’s Chicken Tortilla Soup will be excited to know her recipe will be coming out later this month.  Vicki said, “That soup is so easy to make, I’m almost embarrassed to post it.”  Once you’ve tried it, it will definitely be one of your “go to” dinner choices.

So crank up the air conditioner, close your eyes, and pretend the trees outside are turning color.  Or, if you are lucky, you don’t have to imagine fall, it is right outside your door!

Hot ‘N Spicy Shrimp Dip

Hot 'N Spicy Shrimp Dip

Hot ‘N Spicy Shrimp Dip

It’s Friday night.  We’ve been eating (mostly) healthy for the month so far.  Let’s reward ourselves with a simple appetizer and a glass of wine.  This recipe’s ingredients have been adjusted to make it a healthier version:

  • 1 can artichoke hearts (14 oz.), drained and diced
  • 1 can medium deveined shrimp (4 oz.) or fresh cooked shrimp, roughly chopped
  • 1 –  3 ounce package low fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup low fat mayo
  • 1/2 cup salsa (fresh or your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 green onions sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients except green onions and put in a pretty pie or quiche plate.  This link is to a very nice quiche dish that comes in red, white, or blue:

Bake for 20 minutes.  Serve with vegetables, vegetable chips (we like Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips) and whole wheat crackers.

Aussie Shrimp & Avocado

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Credit for this outstanding dish goes to Vicki’s Australian friend, Paula, who is an awesome cook.  Paula made this dish while Vicki was visiting “down under.”  This dish has been served at many a simple celebration.

  • 2 lbs. medium to large shrimp, peeled (leaving tails) and deveined
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon drained capers
  • Salt (such as Australian Pink Salt or Cyprus White Flake Salt)*
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • Good quality Italian olive oil

Heat 2 – 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large fry pan.  Add shrimp and garlic and cook until just done (the shrimp will turn pink and curl).  Once cooked put it in a medium bowl and let cool slightly.  Add parsley, capers, and dill.  Stir to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add enough olive oil to moisten the dish (this can be done early in the day).  About 1/2 hour before serving, remove dish from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.  Add avocado.  You may need to add additional olive oil.

Serve with rice pilaf, a simple salad (recipes are on our side dish page) and a baguette.  This dish goes well with a nice, crisp Chardonnay.

Serves 6

* William-Sonoma sells a salt trio pictured below.  They make a huge difference to any dish you prepare.|salts|52|best|0|viewall|24||5&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Feature_Recipe_Rule-_-

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Grilled Herb Pork Tenderloin … So Good … Too Easy

Image 1This is our first recipe designed to have you serve great food for a small simple celebration of 4 to 6 people.  Serve this with our grilled pineapple, black bean salad and rice pilaf recipes which will be posted soon!

  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 3 lbs. total)
  • 1 t. dried rosemary
  • 1 t. dried sage
  • 1 t. Italian seasoning
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 t. ground fresh pepper
  • 2 t. kosher salt
  • 3/4 t. crushed red pepper

Put all rub ingredients into a small bowl – herbs, garlic, salt, & peppers.  Place rub all over pork and work it in with your fingers.  Put tenderloins in refrigerator overnight or leave on counter for one hour prior to cooking.

Heat up gas or charcoal grill.  Grill for about 20 minutes or until instant meat thermometer reads 155℉. If you do not have grill access, sauté  tenderloins in olive oil until brown, then place in preheated 375℉ oven until instant thermometer reaches 155℉.  Let meat sit for 5 minutes before slicing.  Slice pork into 3/4 inch slices.

Grilled Pineapple – A Succulent Side Dish


During our recent vacation with friends and family, one night we had grilled pineapple as part of the dinner.  It was so popular, that any time a person would go to the store, they picked up another pineapple – resulting in three dinners with a side of grilled pineapple.  One of our friends even had the left overs for breakfast!   Take Vicki’s advice when she says, “the secret is to have a very big, sharp knife.” This was said after she almost lost a finger to a dull knife.

Pick up one ripe, whole pineapple.  Give it the sniff  test – you should be able to smell the pineapple’s aroma.

Cut the pineapple into 8 equal sections, keeping skin and top intact.  Oil the grill.  Grill pineapple on both sides until you see obvious grill marks (10-15 minutes).  You won’t taste anything sweeter.  Goes great with any simple celebration of chicken, shrimp or pork, and don’t forget to serve it along with our fabulous fish tacos!

Fantastic Fish Tacos


Time to put down your delicious Margarita and get started on cooking dinner (if you’ve had two Margaritas, better call for take-out).  The way to make these tacos fabulous is to use the freshest fish available.  We used Wahoo while in the Bahamas recently, but any thick, white fish will do such as Grouper or Mahi-Mahi.  The beauty of these tacos is that all three parts of the recipe use a lot of the same ingredients which cuts down on your shopping list and almost everything can be made in advance of the party.  The fish can be grilled before your guests arrive and kept warm in a warming tray or low oven.  Assemble just before eating……

For 8 servings


  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. fresh fish
  • 4 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 c.  + 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 T. chili powder (spicy if you prefer)
  • 1 t. chipolte chili powder
  • 2 t. ground coriander
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 16 – 6 in. flour or corn tortillas ( or a combination)

Combine all marinade ingredients and place on fish.  Let sit in refrigerator for about and hour.  Take out about 1/2 hour before grilling.  Heat up grill and grill fish for a total of about 4 minutes, turning once.  Grill tortillas quickly until grill marks appear.  Let fish sit for a few minutes.  Cut into 16 – 24 pieces. Put 2 tortillas on each plate.  To assemble taco – place fish,  slaw, pico de gallo and cream lime sauces on tortillas.  Serve with multi-colored tortillas chips that have been warmed in the oven for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees.

Pico De Gallo

  • 1 c. diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 T. minced red onion
  • 2 T. fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 T. minced jalapeno
  • 1/2 t. red wine or sherry vinegar

Combine all ingredients


  • 2 c. shredded cabbage
  • 1 T. fresh lime juice
  • 2 t. sugar (can also use honey)
  • 3 T. minced red onion
  • 2 t. jalapenos
  • 2 t. fresh minced cilantro

Mix together at least 2 hours ahead

Cream Lime Sauce

  • 1/2 c.  sour cream
  • 1 T.  fresh lime juice
  • Zest from one lime

Mix together and let meld in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Your simple fiesta celebration is now in full swing!

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