Jacques Pepin Sole recipe (modified)

Credit for this sauce and method originally belong to Jacques Pepin, but Sandy made small modifications that fit within her kitchen. 

  • 4 large sole fillets (about 1 ¼ lb.)
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 lemon for juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or parsley for garnish

Sauté scallions and mushrooms in olive oil for 1-2 minutes.

Cut each fillet in half lengthwise, removing and discarding the small strip of sinew from the center of the fillets. With the white side that touched the bones on the outside of the fillets, roll up the fillets, starting at the thick end. 

Gently place the fillets in the saucepan. Squeeze lemon over filets, add wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat, and boil gently for about 3 minutes.

Remove the fillets. Bring sauce to a boil over high heat. Boil for a few minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Add the butter and mix in well with a whisk. Bring to a boil and boil for a few seconds.

Return the fillets to the saucepan and sprinkle on the chives or parsley. Baste the fillets with the sauce, then serve immediately.

The above was good for two.  We served the sole with sliced tomatoes, steamed broccoli and small microwaved Yukon potatoes.  Broccoli and potatoes were prepared simultaneously with the fish.  With water or white wine, the meal was delicious!   

Sandra’s Shepherd’s Pie

According to Google, this “casserole” can be called a Shepard’s pie only if it contains lamb and a Cottage Pie only if it contains beef. Ah well, this is delicious with “fowl”, and we can call it whatever we want!  It is very good.  Serve with a light green or almond & mandarin orange salad.

Ingredients for Potatoes

  • 1 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Ingredients for Filling

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small parsnips, cauliflower or other vegetable of choice
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey or chicken
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour or 1 pad brown gravy mix
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400°.

Make mashed potatoes: In a large pot over high heat, cover potatoes with water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until completely tender, 16 to 18 minutes. Drain and return to pot.

Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until smooth. Add melted butter, milk, and sour cream. Mash together until fully incorporated, then season with salt and pepper and fold in 1 cup cheese. Set aside.

Make turkey/chicken mixture: In a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, carrots, parsnips (if using), garlic, thyme, sage and cook until fragrant and softened, 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine and cook 2 minutes more. Add ground turkey or chicken and cook until no longer pink, 5 minutes more. Add other vegetables, cauliflower (if using), corn, peas. Note: use whatever veggies you have handy and put the hard ones in first.

Sprinkle meat with flour (or brown gravy mix) and stir to evenly distribute. Cook 1 minute more and add broth. Bring to a simmer and let mixture thicken slightly, 5 minutes.  Add parsley.

Top meat mixture with an even layer of mashed potatoes, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until there is very little liquid visible and mashed potatoes are golden, about 35 minute.

Best Biscuits We’ve Ever Had

We saw a T-V cooking show somewhen and wrote this recipe down to try.  Sorry, we can’t remember the name of the show to give credit.  But these are really good, especially lathered in butter!

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cream

Preheat oven to 450.

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Heat cream in microwave for 1 minute.  Add to dry ingredients and mix (should be sticky).

Using 1/3 cup measure, spray with oil and scoop biscuit dough pressing against side.   Drop onto baking sheet lined with parchment.

Put in oven and bake 10-12 minutes.  Brush with 2 tbsp. melted butter.   Cool 5 minutes.


Baked Salmon (in foil)

This recipe turned out to be quite tasty.  It is especially good with fresh salmon! Add a few small potatoes and some sauted bok choy for a really healthy meal.

  • Salmon filets – about ½ lb filet per person (following is per filet)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Green onion, chopped
  • White wine
  • Lemon

Preheat oven to 400.

Debone filets, rinse and pat dry.

Prepare separate aluminum foil sheets just large enough to hold separate filets.  Place individual filets on foil. Put 1 Tbs butter patty on top of each filet. Squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle a small amount of wine over the top of the salmon. Place 1-2 lemon slices and a sprinkle of chopped green onion on top of each.
Wrap up each foil package tightly and place on baking sheet.

Bake 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Set oven to broil. Open foil and return salmon to oven to brown tops.

Serve while hot.

Jill’s Chinese Chicken Salad

This is a great low calorie salad that is easy to make and easier to eat! Enjoy.


3 chicken breasts
1 large or 2 small Napa Cabbages
4 green onions
4 Tblsp. Toasted sesame seeds
4 Tblsp. Toasted almonds
One package of oriental flavored Top Ramen Noodles


2 Tblsp. sugar
1 Tblsp. sesame oil
½ cup vegetable oil (do not use olive oil)
1 Tsp. pepper
6 Tblsp. white vinegar
½ Tsp. salt
1 flavor package from the oriental flavored Top Ramen


Dice chicken breast and cook over medium heat until just done (about 5-7 minutes). Let cool completely, then shred.

Slice up cabbage, removing large spines and retaining leafy sections. Dice green onions. You can put the chicken, cabbage, and onions together ahead of time and refrigerate until ready.

Add the seeds, almonds, and top ramen noodles to cabbage and chicken.

Combine all ingredients for the dressing. Add to salad and toss.

Big Artichokes!

Perhaps the farmers in Monterey County having been tinkering with the genome of the Artichokes! Some of them are getting very large lately, 5-6 inches in diameter! And they are quite tasty too, lots of flesh. They go great with butter or mayo. These beauties are $3.99 each at Whole Foods today. Serve with bean soup and a side of salmon and your heart will thank you.

Chris’s Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

This is a simple make ahead recipe and it freezes well. Use for stuffing your turkey, or simply bake in a casserole dish. Read through the recipe before beginning, you’ll see how simple it is! Chicken or vegetable broth can be used in this recipe. Makes 12 cups (24 servings).


1 (12 ounce) package corn bread mix
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound sausage, cooked and drained
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup vegetable broth
3 stalks celery, chopped


1. One to two days ahead, make one pan of cornbread according to the box instructions. Let this sit out overnight and get a firm (almost hard) crust.
2. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Crumble, drain and set aside.
3. In a sauté pan, cook onion and celery in butter until soft. Remove from heat, allow to cool.
4. In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, sausage, onions and celery. Add sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.
5. In 1/4 cup increments, add chicken or vegetable broth to stuffing mixture. Toss gently until evenly moist.

Loosely stuff in fowl or casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until heated to 160 degrees F.

Phil’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is a lovely creamy soup of toasty butternut squash. A real winner when the Monterey fog rolls in and reminds us that it can get nippy in California.


  • 2 Butternut Squash
  • 4 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
  • 1/2 nutmeg, grated
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Cut squash lengthwise and seed. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast face down on a parchment lined cookie sheet until tender (about 45 minutes).

2. In a soup pot sweat onions in butter until translucent. Add thyme, sage, and nutmeg and season with salt.

3. Scrape squash from peel into pan with onions. Add stock and simmer for 1 hour. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Add maple syrup, cream and cider vinegar.

4. Puree in a food processor (probably in batches depending on the size of your processor).

5. Heat and serve with a dollop of herbed goat cheese and a few drops of chili oil.


Egg Salad for Sandwiches by Sandy

This egg salad is quite tasty and has no mustard!

• 4 hard boiled eggs
• 5 tbsp sweet pickle relish
• 2 tbsp mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp olive oil

Combine and stir all ingredients in bowl. Mash up the eggs. Toast your bread, spread on the salad, perhaps add a lettuce leaf and enjoy!

The above amount makes enough for 3 to 4 sandwiches.

We like Milton’s Healthy Whole Grain bread for the sandwiches, but a good sourdough bread or bagel would be nice too.

Microwave Fudge

This fudge is really good. we had lots of it over the holidays.  And it is sooo simple to make.


  • 3 cup SemiSweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 14 oz. Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup Nuts

Combine all ingredients (except nuts) in bowl.  Microwave on high until 50% of the chips have melted, stirring frequently (approx. 3-5 minutes). Remove from microwave and stir in nuts.  Pour into greased square dish.  Refrigerate until set.

(You can leave out the nuts, if you prefer.  It is delicious that way too!)

Cut into squares and Enjoy!