WHAT?! How much for dinner?

Rack of lamb
Rack of lamb I made for Easter dinner. I think we’ll be eating in more and more.

This past weekend we took two couples out to dinner. They are friends as well as clients. I looked at the restaurant’s website to view the menu before we left. I always do that so I don’t take forever deciding what to order.

I was shocked! Prices have gone up since we last went out!!!

This restaurant is nice and known for their delicious food and impeccable service. It’s expensive but not ridiculously so — until now.

My favorite dish is their Dover Sole. Last time I was there, it was in the mid $30s. This past weekend I about lost it when I saw the hefty price tag of $55! I thought, I’ll skip an entree and go with the shrimp cocktail appetizer instead. Nope. $47!

I told my husband we needed to take out a loan to take a party of six out to dinner! Maybe get a HELOC. He said he’d ask his boss for the company credit card.

We were pleasantly surprised when both couples decided to split their entrees with their spouses. We did the same. Also, nobody ordered wine or drinks, but stuck to plain old tap water. Whew! I wonder if they were as shocked at the prices as us? Or, they felt sorry for us. In any case, what decent, kind people.

Also, I talked my husband into splitting the sole with me, so all was good!

What’s the biggest sticker shock you’ve seen since inflation has hit? Is it food, gas or ????

What’s healthy and tastes good?

quesadilla with spinach and avocado
My plant-based quesadilla with spinach and avocado.

My husband absolutely loves this quesadilla I came up with during our quest for a plant-based diet. I have given up going full on plant based because it’s does not agree with me. I get really shaky with low blood sugar. I’m sick of lentils and tofu. So I bake chicken, grill sea bass and the like to add to my daily veggies.

This quesadilla is absolutely delicious though. Here’s what goes in it:

First I sauteĀ“ spinach in avocado oil and put the spinach on a plate. Then I use the pan to heat a tortilla on both sides. I found the most amazing tortillas at the farmer’s market. (The one in these photos is store bought and not nearly as good, because we ran out of the farmer’s market ones quickly.)

Next I sprinkle a quarter cup blend of finely shredded Mexican cheese on the tortilla and one slice of havarti. I top that with spinach and a quarter of an avocado in chunks.

Top it with pico de gallo or salsa and drizzle sour cream.

I let it cook until the cheese is melted and the tortilla crisps to a golden brown. Then I fold it in half.

spinach and avocado quesadilla
I kept this one in the pan a little longer to brown a bit more.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? Do you have any simple recipes to share that I can add to my plant-based repertoire? Do you create your own recipes or use already written ones?

A little home cooking

sausager and peppers in a pan
Sausage and peppers

Sausage and peppers is one of my go to recipes. I’ll make it every few weeks in a big batch that we can heat up and enjoy for several days. I learned how to cook sausage and peppers from a friend who came from large Italian family in upstate New York. It wasn’t something my mom ever cooked when I was growing up.

I start with sweet Italian sausage and put it in a roasting pan with water at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Then I turn over the sausage and add more water if necessary and cook for an additional 20 minutes. The water begins deep enough to cover the sausages halfway.

Sausages in a roasting pan with water.
This is what the sausage looks like when it’s all done.

While I’m waiting for the sausages to cook, I prep my peppers and onions. I usually use three peppers and one onion. I heat the olive oil with garlic, cumin and oregano. I learned in a cooking class years ago that it’s best to heat the spices in the oil to get more robust flavors. Then I saute the onions until they’re transparent.

onions and peppers being sauteed.
The onions are done and I move on to saute the peppers.

The final step is slicing the sausages into bite sized pieces and throwing it all together in the pan to sear the sausage and meld all the delicious flavors. When I prep the veggies, I also start rice in my rice cooker

What are some of your go to meals? Did you learn your recipes from your mom, cookbooks or from friends? Another signature dish of mine is oxtail soup, which my mom taught me and I discovered in one of my Great Grandmother Nellie’s cookbooks

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