Friday, May 23, 2014

Vodka, Italian Sausage and Penne Blush

1 pound Italian Sausage, crumbled, cooked and drained. Keep warm and set aside.
1 pound Penne
1/4 cup butter
1 cup Vodka
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup parmesan cheese
3 tsp. red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
salt and pepper to taste.
Parsley for garnish.

Boil pasta in a large saucepan for 12 minutes. You want to al dente. Meanwhile heat butter in a large Dutch Oven or skillet on medium. (you want it large enough to hold all the ingredients) Add the Vodka and allow to simmer for 3 minutes, then add the cream, tomato paste, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and cooked sausage. Allow to simmer 4 minutes. Toss in cooked pasta, stir until heated. Serve hot and garnish with parsley.

This recipe serves 4,  I make it for the two of us and freeze left overs. We like more sauce,  so we doubled on the sauce.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I took a few moons off, worked on our house, (which is still a work in process) and have been doing some traveling. Over the next few weeks and months I will post some of our adventures, and especially the great and not so great meals we had along the way. I'm also going to post some tried and truly delicious, dishes I've made.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Now For The How To Do It

Roasted Cod, Asparagus and Low Carb Pasta

Sandi's Cucumber and Dill Sauce
1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped fine
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons celery leaves, diced fine
2 teaspoons capers, garnish

Roasted Cod Fillets
4 6 ounces Cod Fillets
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons white wine, divided
8 tablespoons blackened seafood spice, divided
8 asparagus spears
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Herbs De Provence
salt and pepper, to taste

Dreamfield's Fettuccine Toss
2 cups Fettuccine , cooked al dente and drained
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Italian spices
1 tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

This meal has under 11 digestible carbs so enjoy

Low Carb Time!

Roasted Cod, Asparagus, Low Carb Pasta & Sandi's Sauce

Low Carb Yummy Dinner

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June, 2011

Well it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, mainly due to some personal issues. However after 10 years we finally were able to take a vacation. Below you will see some pictures we took and wanted to share with you.
We arrived in Long Beach the day before we were to leave on the Carnival Paradise Cruise Line. We stayed the night on The Queen Mary. As you can see, it had many different movie stars who cruised on The Queen Mary when the ship was sailing. We had a wonderful time and the suite we had was most likely one of the most expensive in it’s day. There was no balcony’s but portholes. They have refurbished the ship and added wonderful restaurants and a great lounge with entertainment. We ate in the Chelsea Chowder House. (D) had the fish sandwich and loved it. I had the Clam Chowder. It was the best Chowder I’ve had on the West Coast. I complimented the Chef. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
It was nice being next door to our ship. We simply walked off one ship and were able to VIP board on the other. I am now spoiled. If we cruise again, we will only go VIP and have a balcony. Since we probably will not cruise again for a while it is nice to dream. We are dreaming of a Hawaii Cruise.
The cruise was four days and very nice. It’s nice to be given something like this. We left out of Long Beach CA and sailed to Catalina Island. Well let’s say we were supposed to go to Catalina Island but due to bad weather we weren’t able to dock. So we cruised to Esenada, Mexico a day early. I didn’t leave the ship as I was very happy just enjoying the stateroom and the ship. ( D) on the other hand did some exploring. The weather was still pretty gloomy with rain and fog. But it did not dampen our spirits. One of the most exciting events on this cruise was to have dinner at the Chef’s table. We took some pictures of what was served however this is just a few of the great dishes we were served. We started out with a tour of the galley where we had champagne and appetizers. Then one of our table mates was celebrating their 26 anniversary so she elected to make one of the desserts we enjoyed with dinner. I have included the recipe for the chocolate cake and think you will enjoy it. I have also included the Menu Items we were served. And there was an endless amount of wine which was paired with our different courses.
Our Executive Chef Agnelo D’Souza :
Ahi Tuna Tartar, Wasabi Crisp
Duck Pot Sticker-Steak Taco
Avocado Cheesecake
Beef Carpaccio (Parmigiano, Condensed Tomato, Balsamico Gelee)
Fried Calamari (Charred Lime and Lemon Preserve)
Fire Roasted Tomato and Poblano Chili Bisque (Grilled Corn, Cilantro Drizzle)
Chopped Mediterranean Salad (Shaved Pumpkin, Feta Cheese Crumble)
Fillet of Chilean Sea Bass (Wine Stewed Shallots and Chives Vinaigrette, Leeks Emulsion, Peas Risotto)
Aged Filet Mignon (Onion Streusel, Homemade Three Pepper Mustard)
A Special Made Chocolate Melting Cake
Special Surprise From The Chef.
Banana Cake Bite With Spun Sugar
Melting Brownie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Chocolate Truffle Topped with Strips of Vanilla Fudge
Thank heavens this was the last night of our cruise, because after all this food we almost needed to be carried to our suite. We didn’t eat until the next evening. 

This was the top Suite when The Queen sailed. 
Things sure have changed.

Our ship the Paradise.

All Aboard!

Melon Bisque.

This was so good.

Our Steward was so talented. Every night a new towel animal for us to enjoy.  Ducky!

Dumbo the Elephant.

The Hanging Monkey.

The Chef's Table. (D) and I are front right. Yes I'm hiding.

Fried Calamari.

Chilean Sea Bass.


A Heart with Chocolates for our last night. We loved this cruise.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Super Diet Dr. Pepper Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

This is the easiest cake I have ever made. No eggs no oil and if you want you can use sugar free icing in place of the powdered sugar and semi-sweet chocolate. Serve with Breyers Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream.
Tip: You can use any Diet Soda you want.

1 box sugar free chocolate cake mix
12 ounces diet cola
1 package cream cheese softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy
8 ounces Whip topping mix, thawed and divided
6 squares semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly and transfer to a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray; bake in the oven until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (Refer to cake-mix box for pan size and approximate bake time.)

4.BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add peanut butter; mix well. Blend in 1 cup COOL WHIP; spread onto cake.

MELT chocolate as directed on package. Mix with remaining COOL WHIP; spread over cake. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Serve with ice cream.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Super Sunday Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts

24 Chestnuts
24 toothpicks
2 cups low sodium soy sauce
24 slices Precooked Bacon
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
1 cup teriyaki sauce

1.Soak the water chestnuts and toothpicks in the soy sauce for 2 hours.
2. Remove the water chestnuts from the soy sauce.
3.Mix the soy sauce, hoisin sauce and teriyaki sauce together. Set aside.
4.Wrap the precooked bacon around the chestnut and secure with a toothpick
5.Baste the bacon wrapped chestnuts with the mixed sauces before putting them in the oven. Baste again when you turn them over half way through baking. Baste again when you take them out of the oven.
6.To bake: place the water chestnuts on a rack in a shallow pan and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, turning them over once. You want the bacon crisp.
7.To broil: place on a broiling rack and broil for 5 - 6 minutes.
8.Heat the basting sauce and serve as a dip on the side.
9.Tip; you can use raw bacon however you may need to cook longer. The precooked bacon takes less time.

Super Cherry Tomato Stuffed with Tarragon Chicken Salad

12 cherry tomatoes
2 Poached Chicken Breast , skinned, boned and shredded
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 teaspoons tarragon
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon peel
chives, garnish
1.Wash tomatoes. Using a small grapefruit spoon or paring knife, scoop out the center of the tomato. Turn the tomatoes upside down to drain on paper towel.

2.To prepare chicken breasts without using any fat, choose poaching. Heat them in barely simmering water for a few minutes, then let stand in the liquid until cooked through. 12 to 14 minutes. They will stay moist and tender -- perfect for cold salads. Remove chicken from liquid and let cool completely.

3.Whisk together mayonnaise, tarragon, salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon peel.

4 Shred chicken with two forks, into small pieces.

5.Fold chicken into mayonnaise mixture.

6.If tomatoes are unable to stand up, shave a small bit of the tomato off. This will help when ready to plate.

7.Equally stuff the tomatoes with the chicken salad. Plate and garnish with the chives. Chill until ready to serve.

8.Before serving pierce the stuffed tomato with a decorative skewer or long cocktail pick.

Super Easy Super Bowl Snack

12 Ham Slices
1 Medium Size container whipped cream cheese
1 tablespoon dill
1 tablespoon garlic, minced fine
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
36 Jumbo green pimento stuffed olives

1.Mix dill, garlic and Parmesan Cheese in cream cheese, and spread mixture evenly on all of the Ham Slices.
2.Roll ham up and slice in three or four pieces. Place Ham Roll spiral side up or on the Ham Roll side. Top each piece with an olive and pierce with a decorative cocktail pick.
3.Cover loosely with food wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Super Bowl XLV (2011) February 6

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
It's that time of year again! Super Bowl time. That means Super Appetizers. I am making a few old ones and a couple of new ones. Below is an old favorite of ours. These homemade chips are well worth the few extra steps it will take. I never use the bag chips when I make Nachos or serve my homemade Salsa.

Homemade Fried Tortilla Chips
10 6-in flour tortillas
Canola oil
kosher salt

1.Cut the flour tortillas into 6 wedges each.

2.Heat oil, and carefully drop a few wedges at a time into hot oil.

3.Fry until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon and remove chips. Transfer chips to a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle chips with kosher salt while chips are still hot. When chips are room temperature store in an air tight container.

Tip: Other seasonings can be used as well. Parmesan cheese, seasoned salt, garlic salt or taco seasoning are other choices. Once you make these easy to prepare chips you will never but the store brands again.,

Monday, January 17, 2011

Creamy Cheesy Potato, Ham, and Broccoli Chowder

As you know I’ve not been blogging for the past few months. The holidays snuck up on us. Vegas weather turned very cold as did many other areas in the country. We have also had more than our share of rain. The mountains are covered with the last bit of snow. However I predict the cold will return. We got up to 70 today which I think is also a record.
We are football fans, college and pro. This past weekend we did not move from in front of the TV watching the four games. We only have the playoffs left this Sunday then the Super Bowl. I am not a fan of the Pro Bowl so we won’t be watching that one.
I have been writing recipes and testing them out. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my warm comforting dishes I enjoy cooking in the winter. Haven’t decided on my menu for Super Sunday but will post when I decide.
February will be a month full of events. Last two football games, Chinese New Years and Valentine’s Day. I am going to try some new dishes for all of them.
Until next time I hope you enjoy my Creamy Cheesy, Potato, Ham and Broccoli Chowder.
Enough cold water to cover the
5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
14 ounces chicken broth
1 cup broccoli florets, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper
2 cups Velveeta, cubed
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup ham, diced small
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup bacon, crumbled
fresh parsley, minced

1.In large pan add cold water and potatoes. Cook until tender. Drain potatoes and return to pan

2.Set aside 1 cup of the cooked potatoes.

3. Add chicken broth, broccoli, onion, carrot, and celery simmer until tender.

4.Add basil, salt, pepper and Velveeta. Simmer until cheese is melted.

5.Stir together flour and half-and-half; stir into soup. Cover and cook 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

6.Blend until smooth. Add ham and the one cup of potatoes that were set aside, and heat. Ladle into bowls.

7.Garnish with cheddar cheese, bacon and fresh parsley. Serve immediately

Note: If chowder is too thick add a little more chicken broth. To thin, thicken with a tablespoon of flour.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hang On Sloopy Grilled Dogs

4 all beef hot dogs
4 hot dog buns
16 dill pickle slices
1 small white onion, sliced into rings
yellow mustard
4 tomato slices, cut in half
yellow mustard
1 cup cheddar and Mozzarella cheese, shredded

1.    Slice hot dogs length wise.

2.    On heated outside or inside grill , grill hotdogs until heated and each side has grill marks.

3.    Place hot dog rolls on grill until toasted.

4.    Start by layering the dill pickles, onions, tomatoes and top with grilled hot dogs.

5.    Squirt mustard on top and sprinkle shredded cheese to finish.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We love the Bucks and Burgers

Creamy Cheesy Stuffed Burgers for Two and Football

Go Bucks!!
Ok we are into football season, which is my season. So I will share one of my favorite tailgate or couch day burgers with you.
I make a variety of different ones, so let me share my first of many with you.
Ohio State is 4 and 0 so there is a bunch of celebrating going on in our house.
These two recipes are easy, fast and tasty. So whether you are a fan of football or not I think you will enjoy these.
Creamy Cheesy Stuffed Burgers for Two;
1 pound ground beef (at least 80/20 fat ratio)
½ cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons dill
1 tablespoon shallot minced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Four slices sharp cheddar cheese
Gently roll equal amounts of ground beef into four balls.
Flatten into four patties
Mix remaining ingredients and set aside
Heat your outside grill. Or if using an inside grill follow manufactures instructions. (On this particular day the wind was blowing so hard, we couldn’t safely start our charcoal grill) so we heated up the George Foreman grill, which is my stand by. You can also use a hot skillet, if grills aren’t an option.  
Divide the cream cheese equally between two of the patties. Place the second patty on top and pinch the two burgers together.
We like Medium Rare so we grill the burgers on each side approximately 4 minutes. For the last minute, melt two slices sharp cheddar on each burger.
Toast buns and serve immediately. We our purist when it comes to these burgers and don’t care for any condiments, but feel free to add whatever you like.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

R-J Update

As you know I have been following this story all summer long. Now it seems Karma may be turning the corner on this group. This is still a story in progress, however R-J may have unknowingly been a victim of their own making. One Judge in Las Vegas has stated that R-J website "implied" consent to use the articles by not de activating their copy and paste feature on their website, plus they have numerous links "implying" consent to share their articles at the bottom of their website.   

Righthaven judge: Review-Journal ‘implied license’ defense may have merit

Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 | 11:39 a.m.
Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC has suffered a legal setback, with the newest federal judge in Las Vegas ruling one of the Righthaven defendants may have a meritorious defense in arguing the Las Vegas Review-Journal provides an "implied license" for the online reposting of its stories. To read the full article go here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We will return as soon as Mercury go direct on September 19. (Mercury has been retro for the past few weeks.) Hope you backed everything up on your computer.


We will return as soon as Mercury go direct on September 19. (Mercury has been retro for the past few weeks.) Hope you backed everything up on your computer.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

RJ Shame on You

I am back early to put this article out and ask anyone who is connected with the Las Vegas Review-Journal whether on line or a subscriber to boycott their sites and newspaper. I have canceled everything.
Here was my comment to Steve Green.
"What is going on here? What's next? Students being sued for using articles to make their point when quoting sources in their research papers? This is a witch hunt. I have canceled my subscription to the LVR-J newspaper. I would like to post your article on my blog site and ask for a boycott of this newspaper.

Thank you for being on top of this. Freedom of speech? What happened to us?"

Sandi Vanthoff

From The Las Vegas Sun
“Consumer group offers help to defendants over R-J copyright suits
By Steve Green (contact)
Published Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010 | 9:26 a.m.
Updated 8 minutes ago
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an influential group that works to promote freedom of speech and consumer rights on the Internet nationwide, announced Wednesday it will try to help some of the defendants that have been sued by Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas for posting material online from the Las Vegas Review-Journal “ (Please go here to read the whole article)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Time Off

Hi everyone, I wanted to post one last time before heading for my break, holiday, vacation, meditation or just some down time for the next few weeks. I will return September 13 with a weekly post on what I want to express and some great recipes I have been working on. But before I go on hiatus I wanted to post some information concerning a test group I was involved in, concerning low fat vs low carbohydrates. The results are in and I am not surprised. I have followed Atkins for years. I sold the product, ran a business and was a full blown spokeswoman for this way of eating. So the study makes me happy. I am in a comfortable place with my weight. I am very careful of what I eat. I eat what I want and portion control.

Low Fat vs Low Carb. Study Complete


Most of you know that for the last few decades, the government agencies concerned with health care have beamed forth a strong and unwavering message: reduce your total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake to achieve a healthy weight and decrease your risk of heart disease. The message has been so unrelenting that the terms “healthy” and “low fat” seem inextricably linked, but the rationale for a low-fat diet is based on two overly simplistic ideas that we now understand to be incorrect.
Wrong Idea #1
Because fat contains 9 calories per gram, more than twice the 4 calories per gram of both protein and carbohydrate, the assumption has been that reducing its intake should be the easiest way to promote weight loss. And, so goes the logic, eating less fat should also allow you to eat a greater total volume of food and therefore feel more satisfied. This logic is expressed in the axiom “You are what you eat.” In other words, if you eat fat, you must get fat. The corollary is that if you eat less fat, then you’ll easily lose body fat. Many Americans have embraced this seemingly intuitive strategy hook, line, and sinker, only to fail to lose weight or to maintain weight loss.
Cutting Fat Doesn’t Make Us Thinner
As a nation, our consumption of total fat and saturated fat intake has remained relatively steady and even trended slightly downward over the last two decades. So why are about two-third of adults overweight or obese? And why are we experiencing an epidemic of diabetes? And why has metabolic syndrome become a significant health threat to tens of millions of Americans? Not because we failed to pay attention to dietary recommendations focused on lowering fat. Rather, we replaced fat calories with an abundance of carbohydrate calories, without understanding that many people have a metabolism that cannot process the additional carbs.  Basically, the low-fat approach has backfired.
Wrong Idea #2
A second reason for the major emphasis on reducing dietary fat, saturated fat and cholesterol is based on the belief that consuming fatty foods will lead to increased blood cholesterol levels, which, in turn, will increase the incidence of heart disease. This belief system, often called the “diet-heart hypothesis,” has shaped nutrition policy in this country for the last 40 years. But despite decades of research and billions of taxpayer dollars earmarked to prove this hypothesis, there’s little evidence to support its basic premise.
The largest and most expensive study on the role of fat in the diet was the Women’s Health Initiative, in which almost 50,000 women aged 50 to 79 were tracked for an average of eight years. Researchers assigned participants either to a low-fat diet that reduced total fat intake and increased the intake of vegetables, fruits and grains, or to a control group of people who could eat whatever they wanted. Multiple research papers reported on the results of this colossal experiment. A low-fat eating pattern revealed no significant effect on weight loss or the incidence of heart disease, diabetes or cancer. You can see why the low-fat dietary approach to weight control gets a failing grade.  Atkins Web Site July 2010