See what's on our table for Scarborough Fare

See what's on our table for Scarborough Fare


Company's coming...

Is my house in perfect order? Nope. Can I even see the surface of my dining room table? Nope. Have I vacuumed the floor yet? Nope. Have I even opened the door to my guest bedroom? Nope. But... do I have a grand menu planned? You bet 'cha! My morning tomorrow will be a bit busy. I have to go to work tomorrow at 4 pm... and I've got quite a bit to do just to have the house look comfy and inviting before I leave for work. Well, it already looks inviting and comfy... just not quite so tidy.

So... I'm looking forward to meeting my house guest for this weekend. He is going to teach me how to make a generation tested chicken dish from his family's heritage. It should be a lot of fun. This will happen on Saturday, I believe. On Sunday, my husband wants a piece of the action. We will be recreating a Paul Prudhomme recipe of Basque Chicken and Shrimp in Wine. Whatever order we do these two meals, we'll be clucking by the end of the weekend with all this chicken. The boys will be eating a wonderful batch of homemade Pasta Fagioli I made the day before yesterday. This will be their dinner tomorrow evening. It's had enough time to blend all of its simple but brilliantly combined ingredients perfectly. It tastes amazing. I don't know why I don't make this simple comfort food more often. I hope it's a good titillating tongue-awakener for my guys for what's ahead over Saturday and Sunday. I'm excited. Now... all I really need to do is remember to take pictures. Between my husband and I, we should be able to cover most of the events of the weekend.

Promise... photos of good lookin' food comin'. Really! I wouldn't lie. Oh yes, and maybe a picture or two of people as well! The food is fun, but what makes it so special, is the company we are allowed to share it with. Whether I am eating alone, or with my dear sweet husband... or with a room full of people... the thing that makes me so very happy is the smile that the first bite of the meal brings to anyone's face, including my own. Is there anything sweeter?

Penny Sue


I need to get serious about this ... eh?

I made the Beef Lentil soup that I saw on Giada DeLaurentis's Everyday Italian program at I looked it up on the website and printed it out. It was so easy, and oh, so full of good wholesome flavor. That's what I love about her recipes... simple, comforting ingredients that go together with ease. Gotta love Giada! My husband called it a "keeper". That is short language for "make this again, ok?" I am new to this blog thing about food, and I'm thinking that I need to keep my camera in the kitchen, and then, if I should "happen" to see it, I'll take a pic here and there of the foods and memories I'm making.

This is a pic of some navy bean and ham soup I made a short while back. My maternal grandma, Grandma Wood, used to make this soup every once in a while. It used to be a joke with us kids that whoever found the piece of ham in their bowl was the winner. It wasn't necessarily a "full of meat" kind of soup back then as Grandma Wood raised three children during the worst of the depression era. One of whom was my Mom. But I gave this recipe a "non-depression-era" twist... especially with the extra veggies too along with extra amounts of ham. It still had the wonderful flavor I remembered. It was so comforting. I just felt like a kid again.

I made the next soup, Classic Chicken Noodle Soup, the very same day. I'm one of those that figures that doing things in mass quantities seems easier when many of the main ingredients are the same. So... I made chicken noodle soup too. It was fun. I never boil my chicken for anything. I oven roast it, or use left over roasted or grilled chicken. There is so much more flavor in the pieces of chicken. Plus, I can use all white meat if I just buy breast meat. I absolutely abhor boiled chicken. Only for stock, if I'm desperate. But... anyone out there can use whatever you like. It won't hurt my feelings.

I have company coming the second to the last weekend of January. He is the friend of my husband and is going to cook in my kitchen with me. He's going to teach me how to make something he calls "bot boy". I look forward to hearing his story about his "bot boy". It's one of those recipes that has come down through the family for years and years. I'm honored that he's going to share it with me. I'll share what I'm allowed on my blog. Being that it's a family recipe, I might have to leave certain information out of the mix. :) Just kidding. I don't think it's gonna be a problem. His name is Phil, and he loves to cook. I have had the great opportunity to taste a couple of his fixin's. He sent home some "bot boy" with my husband a while back, and a week or so ago, he sent some beef chili. Both were amazing. I think my husband has some reservations about someone coming in and using my kitchen. I think I'm going to surprise him. I think it's very cool to have someone come in and share with me their story through food. I'm thrilled. I told my husband the only reason I get un-nerved when he cooks in my kitchen is because he's like a tornado. Stuff flying everywhere. But, that's ok too. I told him not too long ago that it would be fun if we could do something together for this blog. We'll see. :)

The very last weekend of the month of January is my son's birthday (the 30th) and on Monday (Feb. 1st) my husband is turning 49. I will be making "favorites" or "special requests for their individual birthday dinners, as tradition demands. If I were to guess, my son will ask for Chicken Marsala... my husband???? I have NO idea!

Oh, did I ever tell you that my son told me.... "Mom, you should have opened a restaurant." What a kid! Gotta love the wisdom that comes from the mouth of babes. Instead, I opened a gift shop... but some day I truly hope to be able to sell my own food. I love to make a few certain candies, I love to make sauces - like spaghetti, bbq, and many others. I love to make homemade pie fillings from our home grown fruit. We've had our own peach trees, cherry tree, plums, apples, and pears for years. Fresh fruit in season makes some awesome tasting baked goodies... whatever your favorite might be. Pie, cobbler, crisp, turn-over, or jelly.... I've done that too.

I apologize again for not having very many pics to share... but I will get serious about taking pics of everything I make. I do understand that with a food based blog it would be a good idea for pics of food.

Have a blessed day,
The Happy Home Cook,
Penny Sue


Happy January 1st, 2010... (Woo-hoo!)

Hey there, I realize that I have started this blogspot page with a certain intent, and I hope to accomplish this intent in the near future. However, there are a couple of things I need to share. I am on my own 5 out of 7 days. My husband works out of the area, which causes him to live elsewhere during those 5 days. A 3 hour commute is just not an option. So... he's home 2 of the days of the week... however his schedule ends up working out. However, the amount of pics I have on hand are very limited, because before now, I didn't have the motivation or inspiration to take pics of our dinners or dining table. So, I'm hoping to grow in this area of development. :)

I would like to share our table with you from tonight... and from last year. I don't have any pics from tonight... which is kind of silly. I had to work until 9 pm, and we were both so tired, there wasn't anything fancy done for dinner tonight. I have to work tomorrow as well... but that's ok. Life goes on. I do have a pic or two from last year... (or was that the year before?) The table is really here, but, you just can't see it... but who cares? We were celebrating another year together! Whether there is food on our table or not, it was nice to be at our table together, as husband and wife, and close out one year and look forward hopefully and positively towards the next.

This has absolutely nothing to do with our "table" except it's just outside the view of our bay window, and it something very beautiful to look at from our dining room table. This is a pic from a January 1st...!

Tomorrow, I'm cooking a recipe from the network. It's a beef lentil soup by Giada DeLaurentis. It looked amazing. I prepped all the ingredients today, and will make the soup tomorrow.

God bless you all, and may you have a very blessed new year!
Penny Sue