Asparagus and mushrooms with pasta

I have transitioned into thinking of my pasta as an accompaniment to my vegetables. It does not always end up that way, but that is how I start thinking of my meal. I do this with risotto as well. So I will see the asparagus and mushrooms together and decide to make the vegetable dish a heftier meal by adding a little pasta — which also means adding Parmigiano and you have “Yum” to put it in Dean’s words.


  • 1/4 c chicken stock or water
  • 6 cremini mushrooms or a handful of whatever kind you have laying around sliced or roughly chopped
  • 10 asparagus washed, tough ends removed and cut into 1 1/2″ sections
  • salt/pepper
  • creme fraiche (optional)
  • olive oil
  • Pasta of choice, shorter the better for this dish
  • Parmigiano
  • lemon wedge


Put water on to boil. Add salt and pasta and cook until al dente.

1-2 T olive oil into skillet set on medium (Magic chef #5). Saute mushrooms until they release their water approximately 3 minutes, add the asparagus and chicken stock and gently simmer until asparagus is tender, approximately 7 minutes. Salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons  creme fraiche if desired, make sure it distributes well. There will be a light liquid sauce.

Reserve a little water from pasta in case you need some extra liquid. Drain pasta, add to saute pan with vegetables and toss. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a 1/8 Parmigiano. Serve in warmed bowls. Make sure there is extra Parm on the table, good salt, fresh pepper and lemon wedges.

Good marinade for pork ribs

I had practiced what I preach: take something out of the freezer in advance to thaw and then you are obligated to cook it. Problem was, I didn’t have the time to slow cook the pork ribs which is the preferred method. So instead, I made up this marinade, let the ribs sit in it for a while, then grilled them.

Dean was skeptical, he thought they’d be tough. I basted the daylights out of them while they were on the grill, God forbid I feed Dean tough ribs and get ridiculed indefinitely for it.  I reduced the remainder of the marinade on the stove top so it was good and cooked through and a nice sauce….

While consuming these tasty ribs, Dean said,  “This marinade is something my Dad would like.” I thought that was a good thing. You don’t know Dean’s dad, but trust me, that is a good thing.


  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c vermouth or dry sherry
  • 1/2 c oyster sauce
  • 1/3 c sugar or less if you use honey
  • small knob grated ginger
  • 1-3 Tbs Chinese Garlic Hot Sauce to taste


  • Mix it all together combine it with ribs in plastic ziplock and let marinate for 2-8 hours.
  • Cook on the grill turning several times and basting for 8-12 minutes depending on size and your fearlessness of rare pork.

Eat. They are surprisingly tender and delicious.

So refreshing, so cuke!

When it is hot, I like the cool and refreshing cucumber salad that is so super fast, it faster than fast.  Except for the chilling time. Which you probably could skip if you were in a pinch, but they do taste better if they are allowed to chill in their vinegar-mix for a little while.


  • 1 Cucumber washed, peeled either entirely or in fancy stripe mode as in the above picture.
  • Slice as thinly as possible.
  • Put into a bowl, cover add 1/4 c rice vinegar and cold water to cover
  • Add some salt
  • Refrigerate for about an hour if you have the time. These keep well for a day or so.
  • I added chopped garlic chives, you can also add slice white onion that has been rinsed. A little fresh ground white pepper is good too.

Here is a picture of it with my Squash, Ham, Onion, Parmegiano Quiche that we had for lunch today.