Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorite recipes.

Bosc Pears Poached in white wine, butter and Lemon on wilted baby spinach.

This delicately flavored salad balances nicely against county style barbeque ribs and boiled new red potatoes.

4 - 5 portions

  • 3 - 4 Bosc Pears
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 tbls Butter
  • 1/2 cup White Wine*
  • 16 oz Baby Spinach
  • 1/3 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 1.5 oz Raisins (a small box)
  • corn starch

Rinse the pears and pat dry. Cut each pear into six slices and remove the core. Put sliced pears into a glass pie plate. Zest about a teaspoon of the lemon onto the pears, halve the lemon and squeeze the juice from both halves onto the pears. Cover with plastic wrap* and place in the frig to keep cold.

Prepare meal you plan to serve and about 15 minutes before it's ready, pull the pears from the frig.

In a suitably sized non-stick pan over medium heat melt the butter and add the pears.

SautÚ the pears for about a minute then add the wine and cover tightly.

While the pears are poaching, put a bed of baby spinach in the glass Pie plate and add a about 1/3 of the almonds.

Check the pears occasionally. When pears are tender (a sharp knife will pierce the pear with a little reistance) remove from pan with a slotted spoon and put on top of spinach.

Make a slurry of corn starch with cold water and add to the wine sauce to thicken. Remember, this is a slightly thickened sauce, not gravy.

Add the raisins and cook for about a minute.

Pour the sauce over the pears, the hot sauce will wilt the spinach, add the remaining almonds and serve.


I use a Riesling, but have found any respectable white wine will work.

If you don't have plastic wrap, use a zip lock bag big enough to hold the pie plate and zip it closed.

Wilted spinach Salad

This is a great spring or summer salad. Serve with Pork Tenderloin barbequed over Mesquite wood chips and grilled Yukon gold potatoes.

4-5 generous portions to go with your favorite meal.

  • 1 lb fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbls spoons bacon fat
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 4 - 5 strips thick (country style) bacon
  • 3 small cloves garlic
  • 3 tbls spoons wine or cider vinegar
  • 1 tbls spoon lemon juice
  • 1 tbls spoon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 hard boiled eggs

Cut three or four thin slices off the onion making rings.  Dice the rest.

Wash spinach and remove stems. Dry on paper towels, put in serving bowl and add ╝ cup diced onions, add pepper and mix thoroughly . Put spinach in frig to chill.

Slice/dice bacon into ╝ wide pieces and brown in skillet. Don’t over cook, when done, drain on paper towels.

Transfer 3 tbls bacon fat to new pan deep enough to hold spinach.

Separate onion slices into rings and add to the bacon fat. Brown onions and thinly sliced garlic cloves over  medium heat, till lightly browned and soft. Don’t over cook!

Turn off heat and add vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Mix thoroughly. Set-aside until 5 minutes before serving meal.

Dice hard-boiled eggs and mix with drained bacon pieces.

Just prior to serving, heat vinaigrette mix to a temp just short of a boil.

Reduce heat and add spinach mix. Toss thoroughly and return to serving dish immediately.

Don’t leave Spinach on heat to long or it will turn to mush.

Top with bacon and hard boiled egg mix and serve.


  • This is really a great salad any time of the year.  But freshness counts.

Irish coffee

Kathy and I celebrated our 37th Annual St. Patrick's Day party / dinner with family and friends. Always a feast of lamb stew, plain and fancy soda breads, buttered carrots, cucumber salad and several cabbage slaws. The dinner is topped off with some very fine Irish Coffee.

These are the basics

  • Irish Whiskey
  • dark brown sugar
  • heavy cream
  • whip cream (either you make or the canned variety
  • strong black coffee
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Put 1 generous teaspoon dark brown sugar in clear stemmed glass coffee cup.

Add one generous shot Irish Whiskey.

Pour coffee to with in 3/4 inch of top of glass.

Carefully add about 1/2 an ounce of the heavy cream by pouring it over the back of cold spoon.

Top with whipped cream and grated nutmeg.

Serve to your friends and enjoy.

Peach Glazed Pork Chops

This relatively quick to prepare meal will convince your family that you are a Gourmet chef. Just be careful not to over cook the chops. Serve with boiled new red potatoes lightly buttered with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley and a baby spinach salad.

Serves four generous portions.

  • 1/4 tsp white pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 -3 tbls lemon juice
  • 1 cup peach preserves
  • 16 oz frozen peaches (or fresh if in season)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh Thyme
  • 1 tbls Dijon mustard
  • Apx. 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1small scallion finely diced
  • 4 thick cut bone-in pork chops
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Simmer preserves, white wine, thyme, white pepper, lemon juice over medium heat until reduced by half (about a cup), 3-5 minutes' stirring frequently.

Reserve about 1/2 a cup and set aside. Add the frozen peaches to the remaining glaze and simmer until peaches are soft and glaze is thickened. About 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mustard, cover and keep warm.

While the glaze is simmering, add olive oil to a pan large enough to hold the chops on medium high heat. Once it begins to shimmer, add scallions and cook until they are translucent and just beginning to brown on the edges.

Add chops, lightly salt and pepper and cook until browned on both sides and the internal temperature reaches about 145 degrees. (You need a quick read thermometer.)

Reduce heat to low, brush with reserved glaze, cover and cook 1 more minute. Transfer to a platter, cover and let rest about five minutes.

Pour peach glaze over chops and serve.



  • If you don't have a quick read thermometer you should invest in one. They are relatively inexpensive and essential to cooking meat correctly.
  • Substitute Red Current jelly and fresh red currents for a different version of this meal.
  • While I haven't tried it, I'd be willing to be be that this would also be great on boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Most people know this, but cooking the wine cooks off most of the alcohol and leaves only the flavor behind. Don't be afraid to serve to teetotalers and children.

Mary Jo's Pork Butt

Pork so tender it will melt in your mouth. Serve the roast on a bed of your favorite rice with Arugula and Romaine Salad dressed with a red wine vinaigrette. Your family will love this tasty dinner.


Serves four generous portions.

  • Apx. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion diced
  • 4- 5 cloves garlic - diced
  • 4-5 lbs boneless pork butt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • fresh ground pepper

Heat extra extra virgin olive oil in a medium high heat deep skillet or 2 quart sauce pan until it is shimmering.

Add diced onion and garlic to oil and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, 2 - 3 minutes.

Add the roast to the pan and give it a good sear on all sides. ( it might help to cut the roast in half if it's particularly large)

Mix chicken stock, vinegar, Soy sauce and sugar in small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup and mix thoroughly.

When the roast is browned on all sides pour the chicken stock mixture over the roast.

Add bit of ground pepper to taste.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for approximately 2 hours or until roast is falling apart.

Remove the roast to a serving platter, cover loosely with tin foil and let rest about 10 minutes.

Ladle off any fat from the sauce in the pan and stir up any browned bits (frond) from the bottom of the pan. Add any juices from the roast on the serving platter to this mix and pour sauce into a gravy boat and serve over the roast and rice.

Set the table and enjoy.


  • I use low fat low sodium "box stock", you can use bullion cubes and water if you wish. Watch the sodium.
  • You'll notice I'm not adding any salt to this recipe. The Soy Sauce will be salty enough.

Bow Ties and Brats

This is a quick, easy hearty family meal. Farfalle (bow tie) Pasta teams up with Bratwurst and veggies to fill you up any night of the week. Add a simple green salad with an nice vinaigrette and your family will be asking when are we having this again?

Serves four generous portions.

  • 4 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion diced
  • 4- 5 cloves garlic - diced
  • 1 package Bratwurst (5 - 6 links)
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 8 oz Farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbls corn starch

Heat 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil in a medium high heat skillet until it is shimmering.

Add diced onion and garlic and a healthy pinch of sea salt to oil and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, 2- 3 minutes.

Cut Brats into 3/4 inch pieces and add to onions and garlic and cook until no pink shows.

Remove meat from skillet and drain on paper towels and pour off any excess oils from the pan.

In a 2 quart sauce pan bring water and 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil to a boil for the pasta, cook as directed on the package. Make sure the pasta in Al Dente, don't over cook it. (don't add salt)

Reduce the heat to medium and deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Make sure to stir up all the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan. ( I use a wooden spoon for this) Add the wine and the butter and blend into the stock. Let simmer about 10 minutes.

When the pasta is done, drain and set aside. (don't rinse the pasta)

Make a slurry of the corn starch in a small measuring cup and slowly add to chicken stock. Only add as much as is need to slightly thicken the mixture. We're not going for gravy here.

Return the meat to the mix and add the pasta and stir until completely mixed. The un-rinsed pasta will continue to thicken the sauce.

Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas and corn, salt and pepper to taste and stir mixture completely. Cover and simmer another 5 or so minutes, again, stirring occasionally.

Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy


  • Substitute any fresh or frozen vegetable you like in quantities that suit your taste
  • Use any pasta you have on hand.
  • I use "box stock", you can use bullion cubes if you wish. Watch the sodium.
  • I use a dry wine, but just about any inexpensive white will work.


Jim Nannery


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