Friday, May 29, 2009

Verre de Mer?

I'm trying this morning to put together an application to sell my work in sea glass at a festival in Pennsylvania this fall. The application is due Monday, or I would not have added this task into my crazy busy week. To say nothing of adding the extra expense.

I don't do elaborate things with sea glass. I think each piece needs to be viewed/ held/ experienced as singular and fascinating. It's supposed to take 30+ years of tumbling in the water to produce a smooth, frosted piece of glass. I respect that passage of time. I doubt that anyone else selling at the festival shares my frame of mind, and I'm already feeling defensive!

I had to apply also for a PA Enterprise Registration, and on the spur of the moment I elected to use as my business name "Verre de Mer," which I thought I made up. It means 'glass of the sea' and it's pronouced |vair duh mair|. I only thought to check this morning, two days after the Ent Reg app, and I see that there's already a Verre de Mer on the West Coast. Honestly, I didn't even think it was a "real" phrase. It's supposed to be 'verre de la mer' in true, grammatical French.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I just took my first practice Miller Analogies Test, and I got a 69%. That's a D! And here I was, thinking I was pretty smart.

It has been a busy week. I applied for one scholarship last week and one this week. I have put together my application for graduate school, requested transcripts from three colleges, and scheduled my sitting for the MAT. For tomorrow morning. Aaaugh!

I'm reading the appendices from the study guide, and not remembering a single name from mythology, trying to devise a formula for remembering what a rod is in measures and how that relates to a mile, and wondering why I've never heard of a gill (capacity) before. A pint is 4 gills, apparently. A barrel is 31 gallons. Honestly, why on earth would it be 31?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


We visited a friend of the family on the way home from the Outer Banks. He and his partner acquired a half-million-dollar-plus home last year. It's in a New York City neighborhood that is only just now becoming desirable. And the home, previously used as a boarding house, was in terrible shape.

It =is= a very nice house.

They shared that, last winter (their first in the house), they kept their thermostat at 55 degrees. And that they'd had to climb through the rafters, eradicating raccoon and squirrel nests (and feces).

It sure put rehabbing our kitchen into perspective.

Today I'm at my sister's house, acquired the same time as my friend's house, and within 100K of the price of that home. All the detail was stripped from my sister's house, a Victorian. Paneling was put up on far too many walls. But now it's looking nice around here. It was looking nice at my friend's house as well. However, I am more-than-ever glad that we downsized.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I actually had a hollyhock come up from seed. I pointed it out to my husband before we went away. Next to an old dead tree stump, the little sprout seemed to want to be moved. I asked where he thought I should put it, and his response was, Leave it where it is. It's fine.

Today my husband cut it down, all of a sudden believing it to be a weed. And when I got angry, he advised that I show less anger, as he had tried to do when our son lawn-mowered some plants of his about 10 years ago.

The thing is, our son didn't advise him, if he had wanted to move his plants, to leave them right where they bloody well were. And my husband is not a child, in need of coaching and parental instruction.

Do you know how hard it is to grow flowers from flipping seed?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Creme Brulee French Toast (slow cooker)

(Creme brulee French toast)
6 oz sweet bread
2 c milk
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

Cut bread into 1" cubes. Spread in slow cooker bowl.
In large bowl, whisk together milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Pour over and press bread lightly to moisten.

Cover and chill 4 hrs. Pull and place in slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hr.
(You may want to serve w/caramel ice cream topping; I did not.)
Serves 4

Coffee Creme Brulee

(Brandy-coffee creme brulee)
1 1/3 c heavy cream
3 Tb sugar
1 tsp instant coffee crystals
3 med egg yolks
2/3 Tb brandy
2/3 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
Arrange 4 small ramekins in metal baking pan.

Combine cream and sugar in heavy pan and bring almost to simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add coffee crystals. Whisk to dissolve.

In med bowl, whisk egg yolks. Gradually add cream mix, then brandy and vanilla, whisking constantly.

Strain into 4-cup measuring cup and pour into ramekins. (I just poured into the ramekins, skipping the straining bit.)

Into pan pour enough hot water to reach halfway up ramekins.
Bake 35 min.

Remove custards from pan and chill uncovered 3 hr, then cover and chill overnight.

2 Tb brown sugar

Preheat broiler.
Arrange custards on cookie sheet. Press 1/2 Tb brown sugar through strainer evenly onto custards. (Again, I did not bother to strain.)

Broil 6" from heat until sugar caramelizes, about 4 min (watch for even browning).
Refrigerate 1 hr to harden tops.
Serves 4

Cheesy Asparagus

(Asparagus w/cambozola sauce)
1 Tb olive oil
3/4 lb asparagus
1 oz cambozola (I used 1 Tb blue cheese w/1 Tb brie, since there was no cambozola — a mixture of camembert and gorgonzola — to be found)
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 Tb pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375.
Toast pine nuts. Snap asparagus. Chop thyme.

Combine olive oil, 1/2 cup water, and salt & pepper in large saute pan. Bring to boil. Add asparagus to pan, cover, and cook 5 min.

Uncover and raise heat to boil off water. Saute asparagus in olive oil another 5 min.
Meanwhile, melt cambozola w/cream in saucepan. Add thyme and season w/pepper.

Arrange asparagus on dish and pour sauce over. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
Serves 2

Tomato Salad

(Morrocan tomato salad)
2 large tomatoes
2 ribs celery
1/4 c fresh parsley
3 Tb capers
1 1/2–2 chili peppers
2 1/2 pickled peppers (jarred)
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp paprika
2 Tb olive oil

Chop parsley. Core tomatoes and cut into 1 1/2" cubes. Place in salad bowl.
Trim celery and chop coarsely. Add to bowl.
Drain and add capers and chopped parsley.
Chop chilis. Chop pickled peppers. Add to bowl.

Blend cayenne, paprika, olive oil and salt to taste. Pour over salad.
Serves 3

Pork Quesadillas

(Mole pork quesadillas)
1 c onion
3 cloves garlic
2 Tb olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp flour
1/3 c chicken stock
2 Tb semisweet chocolate chips
2 c pulled pork (as set aside from previously posted recipe!)
4 tortillas
cooking spray
1 c Monterey Jack cheese
2/3 c pimento-stuffed olives
1/2 c red onion

Preheat oven to 300.
Chop onion and thinly slice red onion. Mince garlic, grate cheese, and slice olives.
Put oil in large skillet and cook onion and garlic 4 min. Stir in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and oregano and cook 1 min. Stir in flour and broth.

Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Stir in chocolate.
Stir in pork and heat through.

Coat one side of one tortilla w/spray. Put, sprayed side down, on wax paper. Sprinkle w/ 1/4 c cheese. Top w/pork, olives, and red onion. Fold in half.

Cook quesadillas in large skillet over med, two at a time, turning once, 4-6 min.
Put on cookie sheet and keep warm in oven.

To serve, cut quesadillas into 3 wedges each.
Serves 6


And finally, some of the wrecked/sunken/sinking boats and shipwreck remains that we saw this time. Oh, how I love the Outer Banks.

Next year, we're thinking maybe New Zealand, then back to Cornwall (Isles of Scilly) the year after that, for our 20th anniversary. Assuming we both still have jobs.

Final Food

Three cheers for Sheila at the Atlantic Coast Café. She offered to make me a dozen muffins at the end of our stay, because the café puts out only two or three each day, and I'd been in on three separate occasions to clear them out. For the record, the chocolate-cappucino muffins that are made here are out of this world.


Some of the cool critters we've been seeing. That last one is a ghost crab; you can barely see him (hence the name).

Lifesaving Stations

I picked up a poster indicating where lifesaving stations used to be along the OBX. I found a few. The yellow-and-green one is in Nags Head. The first one is Chicamacomico, where I bought the poster. The one being rehabbed is Oregon Inlet Station, which is now under the aegis of the NC Aquarium.

It turns out that the design elements in the OBX stations were inspired by the cover of a turn-of-the-century Sears catalog.


We went to the Pea Island Refuge, where they keep bunches of turtles. I think there were more this year than last.

Top Dog, and Cat(s)

The owner/chef at Top Dog has a piggy bank (actually, just a box with a slot) on the wall. It is meant for donations to help feral cats.

The two in the pic above are in fact feral. They're all over the place on the Banks.

The owner/chef catches them and takes them in to be fixed. He is 'at war' with the SPCA, which catches them and puts them down. And with a neighbor, who caught a really cute feral kitty in a possum trap, which killed the kitty. :(

Thing is, there are thousands of cats and dogs who are put down weekly by agencies like the SPCA, and it's not even "about" the cats and dogs. It's about the lack of reponsibility and maturity among pet owners. That's just the way it is, the same way we as citizens of the U.S. feel comfortable about roadkill.

Anyway, I dropped some money in the box.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


We're packed and leaving the house... but I still have more to say, and more pictures to post. I'm still on vacation until tomorrow!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beach Collection

Did you know that when a scallop shell is whole (still attached to its mate), the two sections are completely different colors? I didn't. You learn something new every day. The light-to-white top shell is paired with a gray-to-black bottom.

Our collection is mostly soaked and brushed at this point. We found three pieces of sea glass, one of which has smoothed edges but has not been tossing around for anything like 20-30 years. The white piece is the oldest; it has the most burnish to it.


We've seen one (late) hammerhead shark, and one shark sign.

The bathroom upon which said sign marks the door is one that contains numerous pics of scantily clad women, I'm told. The ladies' just has painted palm trees.


Every time we come to the OBX, there are more kitesurfers out there. I really don't know how much longer it's going to matter that you can't fish from closed sections of beach (where protected species are actively nesting/breeding). Watersports may soon have the edge, methinks.

Honestly, the only turn-off about coming down here is that, for the last two years or visits, the hostility and bitterness voiced about beach closures take your breath away. It's not that little pieces of the beaches are closed that matters, it's that, frankly, it's not so much fun to be around people spewing about the situation.

There's a big brouhaha now about the exact wording of the original grant of park lands to the people. Being 'originalists' about the exact wording of our U.S. Constitution would mean that we are still a slave-holding nation. The idea is that you let new knowledge and new science take hold, instruct, and thrive. Enough's enough, let the birds make out.

Traditional Hatteras Architecture

Beach boxes and historic family homes. The one with the scrollwork on the porch is for sale (in Wanchese on Roanoke, not on Hatteras).

Recent Hatteras "Architecture"

These are absurd, resource-hogging mansions, intended for tourists who "need" nine or more beds and baths.


We loved four eateries this time: The Fish House, in Frisco; Cafe 12, in Avon; Top Dog, in Waves; and Dirty Dick's, in Hatteras.

The Fish House has amazing tuna bites in buffalo sauce...just a little buffalo sauce, and the bites are in an astonishingly light and thin batter.

Cafe 12 has the best green-beans appetizer I have ever eaten anywhere. I thought it had shallots in it; Vic thought it was garlic. But when we inquired, we were told it was Cavender's Greek Seasoning, which we ran out and bought. Also, the Hatteras Flat must be tried to be believed (it's a sort-of pizza, but not). Order one for two, as they're huge.

Top Dog has terrific everything: seafood, wraps, burgers, specials, fries, and options, such as "Naked Style." The owner/chef is a great guy, and more on him on another day.

Dirty Dick's has the most delicious she-crab soup imaginable.

Plus, on Ocracoke, stop at the Flying Melon, not at Howard's Pub! It's a little further down the road, on the other side. Their desserts are to die for, and their crab cakes ain't too shabby, either.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Monday the weather was dramatic; lots of wind pushing the sea onto the shore, and lots of storms.

Vic and I played games most of the day. We brought 7 or 8 and played 6 of them. I won 3, one ended in a tie, and one — which is played cooperatively, so everyone wins or loses — we lost. Then Vic said he was done! Hmmph. I think he realized that I was going to win the day.

New Inlet

We went kayaking again yesterday. We also stopped at the Pea Island Refuge and got a flatwater guide that explains what you might see if you're kayaking.

It turns out that what I saw last time was a skate, not a ray, and that what Vic saw last time was a burrfish, not a puffer.

This time, we saw an osprey nest, with osprey; a jellyfish, yet to be identified (not a man-o-war, and not a cannonball, the two most frequently spotted jellyfish in these parts); and a hermit crab. We saw egrets, ibises, laughing and herring gulls, and pelicans. We may have seen terns, sanderlings, and willets — we weren't close enough to be sure.

I slept like a log last night.

Saved, or Sentenced?

Walking toward the beach over an ORV ramp, I saw a tiny creature in a tire track. It was a turtle. He was trying to climb a ridge of sand, way over on the west side of the ramp, headed east.

We've seen instructions on how to handle baby sea turtles — help them to the sea. And we've seen instructions on giving aid to land turtles when seen in roadways — help them to the other side. Vic insisted this was a land turtle.

We took him to the other side of the ramp and put him down. We crossed over a hill and saw water to either side of the ramp, in ditches. We went back and got the turtle and placed him near the water on the east side of the ramp. We hope we did the right thing.

Have I said, I love turtles?


On Sunday we saw, among other things, a birdie and a pony (obviously wild, as he's not groomed nor well fed, but not, we think, a typical wild OBX pony — maybe just one who escaped a while back).

That was the day, Mother's Day, when we went to Roanoke Island, which is divided between the cities of Manteo and Wanchese, like Cape Ann is Gloucester and Rockport.

We were too late to see the art show at the Festival Park, but we'll go back to see it. We did get to visit the Dare County Airport's World War II exhibit, which was fun for Vic.

We ate at Striper's, a place we usually love but that this time was underwhelming. But we did have a glorious time touring Roanoke. We saw more cool stuff in Wanchese, which is not typically considered a tourist spot, than in Manteo. Both of the pics are from Wanchese.

Flourless almond cake

(Honey-almond cake)
1 1/2 c whole or slivered almonds
1/2 c honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tb honey (add'l)
1/4 c sliced almonds
4 eggs
cooking spray

Leave out eggs 15 min to get them to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350.
Toast almonds. Separate eggs.

Coat a 9" springform pan w/spray. Line bottom w/parchment paper.
Process almonds to get about 1 3/4 c ground.

Beat 4 yolks, 1/2 c honey, vanilla, baking soda, and salt on med until well combined. Add almonds and beat on low until mixed.

Beat 4 whites in separate bowl on med until very foamy and doubled in volume but not stiff, 1-2 min.
Fold whites into yolks and scrape mix into pan.
Bake 22-28 min and let cool 10 min.
Drizzle with 2 Tb honey and sliced almonds.
Serves 8-10


(Kentucky cappucino)
2 oz bourbon
2 oz coffee or hazelnut syrup
8 oz heavy cream
2 tsp instant coffee
4 oz club soda
whipped cream
dark chocolate shavings

Mix in blender first 5 ingredients.
Pour into 2 glasses and top w/whipped cream and chocolate.
Serves 2
(It was kind of weird to have the cappucino flavor in a cold drink, but we decided that we liked it.)

Lemon-Strawberry Tart

(Strawberry-lemon tart)
1/4 c pecans
1/4 c light brown sugar
1 c flour
1 stk butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Pulse pecans with brown sugar until finely ground (not paste). Add flour, butter (COLD), cinnamon, ginger, and salt and pulse until large lumps form.
Press mixture over bottom and up sides of tart pan (flour fingers).
Chill 30 min.
Bake tart shell in lower third of oven about 25 min. Transfer to rack to cool. Remove from pan when cool.

2 large eggs
1/2 c sugar
3 Tb lemon juice
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 qu strawberries
1/2 c strawberry jam

For CURD whisk 2 eggs, sugar, and lemon juice in small saucepan. Add 1/2 stick butter and zest, then stir over med heat until pudding-like.
Transfer to small bowl, press plastic wrap onto surface, and chill at least 2 hr.

Cut stems off strawberries.
Spread curd in crust. Stand berries in curd.
Strain jam into saucepan and warm briefly to thin. Brush jam over berries.
Chill at least 1 hr.
Serves 8-12

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back in the Day

I'm reading a bio of singer Sam Cooke and a vivid autiobiography by Peter C. Cavanaugh (WTAC DJ, Flint), plus we're watching Mad Men, a DVD package provided by my sister. All of these transport me to a certain era that I was too young (Cooke and Mad Men, anyway) to appreciate.

Two of the three references above are to music, of course, the music of my youth. Still, it took until Alanis Morrissette (sp?) and You Oughta Know that an emotion expressed was absolutely right on the money, in matching my psyche (even if, thankfully, the emotion was quite transient for me). I laughed out loud the first time I heard that song.

Did you ever hear Sting talking about the Police's Every Breath You Take? He says that the song's about a stalker. I was disappointed to hear that — I had always understood it to be about a fleeting feeling, of the type that you resist acting upon.

Anyway, my reading material this time is happier than last year's (Katrina and post-Katrina New Orleans, in recovery). But I did pick up two books on slavery and how slavery contributed to the way of life of African-American port and shore workers, ca. the Civil War.

Erosion, Part II

Now that walkway is hanging over what's left of the dune. This is right across the street from Buxton's Island Perks. Image #1 is Saturday, and Image #2 is today.

Notice at bottom how the two supports/braces behind the steps are completely free, and the steps are now twisted, about to fall away.

Fool Me Twice

I was wrong, I was wrong. Uncle Eddy's is right across the street from where it used to be, on a larger lot. And Shoreline Beach Mart is also, it appears, a seasonal business, 'cause now it's open.

Last year all these seasonal places were open already when we got here. And we came a day later this year; not sure what's going on with scheduled openings.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

"If you were to get an would be pigeonholed into Educational Management of some sort."

This was one response to my post in March about what degree to pursue. The other response (as well as the one quoted above) was in favor of a degree that included licensure.

I promise that I'm not just being contrary, but I think that the first thing I'll do is apply to an M.Ed. program at Endicott. I'm not ruling out a degree (LMHC, MSW) that includes a licensing piece. I just want to pursue the M.Ed. now, to have that exposure to the principles and realities of management.

I think that someday I hope to start my own facility, providing respite/child care to folks who struggle to parent children with mental health issues. Not sure exactly whom I'll be able to employ, however!

Island Hopping

Our trip to Portsmouth yesterday was satisfying and exhausting. But the shell selection was not as great as in years past. The wind was blowing hard, and you had to search the gullies that it created on the beach.

I don't think we found one whole whelk, tho' the tour operator handed us one (not sure he found it while over there yesterday; it was a bit too clean!).

I found a whole scotch bonnet; Vic found three. I found 2 whole olives and several partial ones. Vic found countless "cockles" (our word for them; I'll have to check my new shell guidebook to see what they actually are). He's excited and plotting a new hosta garden that will be bordered by shells.

I got to drive the ATV this time. It was wicked fun.

Tackle Shops

Tackle shops around here have suffered some from either the beach closures, the publicity around the closures, or the general economic downturn. One, Shoreline Beach Mart up in the Rodanthe area, was a surprise. Another (the only other one we've seen closed down), Frisco Tackle, was already for sale last year, before the beach closures became an issue.

There is a food pantry offering hot meals, and we didn't see that last year. However, there's also a new kiteboarding resort — within 3 miles of the food pantry.

Sadly, Uncle Eddy's is no more. It used to be a tiny putt-putt golf course and ice creamery on a narrow point in Buxton. It's being converted into a bank.

It turns out that The Blue Whale, which always has an astonishing variety of hot sauces, is a seasonal business and only opened this year on May 1. Who knew?

Pulled Pork

(Pulled pork [slow cooker])
3 lb boneless pork shoulder (We used the cheapest boneless pork we could find, and it turned out to be a pork loin roast, on sale.)
1 c sweet onion
6 cloves garlic
12 oz bottled chili sauce
2 Tb brown sugar (We hope to replace the sugar next time w/2 chipotle peppers because this recipe, while tasty, was too sweet.)
2 Tb cider vinegar
1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 hamburger buns

Chop onion. Mince garlic. Trim fat from pork. Cut if necessary to fit slow cooker.
Put pork, onion, and garlic into cooker.
In med bowl combine chili sauce, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire, chili powder, salt & pepper. Pour over pork in cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 10 hr.

Remove pork and shred using 2 forks. Skim fat from juices; add them to moisten pork.
Put 2-c portions of pork in containers; leave 2 c for buns.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Yesterday we went kayaking. I saw a ray, both blue and hermit crabs, pelicans zooming over my head, and fish jumping from the water. Vic saw a puffer fish!

There are two more boat launches on Hatteras (that we've found; there may be more) where we want to paddle. Hope to see at least one turtle.


Vic and I are scheduled to jaunt over to Portsmouth today. We're pretty excited, and hoping that the weather doesn't prevent the outing. The tour operator seems confident.

How many whelks, olives, and scotch bonnets do you think we'll find? The sea has been fairly rough this week, so I'm not sure we'll do as well as we did in years past.

Yesterday on a south-facing beach we gathered more scallop shells...I think we have enough of those now, LOL. I picked up still another shelling guidebook (and a book on recollections of slavery, and a book on a Lake Michigan shipwreck, and two books reflecting on aspects of Hatteras life, and a cookbook, plus a DVD on local shipwrecks). It seems I can't help myself.

A word or two on cookbooks: For those of you not in the know, the recipes posted here are ones that I try in the kitchen, that turn out well enough to be recommended. I'm going to have to go back and tag all of them "recipe," plus find out exactly where I got each one from. I tend to transfer recipes to Excel so that I can cut amounts consistently and easily. Thus I don't have the pages in front of me when I'm making the food.


Weirdly, what used to be marshland on the sound (as at top) is now, in spots (shots #2 & #3), mud. Even at high tide.

Once more, I wish I had a way to channel a journalist who'd be reporting on this stuff. What entrance got silted over, or what is interfering with tidal movement of water?


(Cheesy mushroom-stuffed zukes)
4 small zucchini
1/3 c olive oil
3/4 c onion
3/4 c mushrooms
1 1/2 cloves garlic
1/2 c cream cheese
1 1/2 eggs
1 c shaved Parmesan
1 c parsley
2 chili peppers

Preheat oven to 350.
Chop onion. Dice mushrooms. Mince garlic. Chop parsley and chili peppers.

Heat oil and cook onion until wilted.
Add mushrooms and garlic, cover, and cook until mushrooms give up liquid. (Note: I didn't see the word "cover" and just cooked until mushies were more mushy — never saw any liquid.) Cook over high, stirring, until liquid evaporates.
Add cream cheese, eggs, 3/4 of the Parmesan, parsley, salt & pepper, and chilis. Continue to cook and stir for 10 min. (It felt weird to add the eggs to a hot skillet, so I pulled it off the heat until the eggs were well stirred in.)

Let cool while cutting zucchini in half lengthwise. Use an ice cream scoop, a spoon, or a melon baller to scoop till shell is 1/4" thick. Discard pulp.

Stuff zukes w/mixture and sprinkle w/remaining Parm. Arrange in baking dish and bake 10 min. (Zukes were still semi-raw, which I like, but you might prefer to cook longer.)
Run under broiler to brown.
Serves 4


(Broccoli w/Parmesan fritelle)
2 Tb+ unsalted butter
1/2 cup–size Parmesan cheese block
1/2 large broccoli head or 1 broccoli crown
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 Tb fresh sage

Preheat oven to 350.
Grate Parmesan. Chop sage.
If not using crown, cut florets from broccoli head in 1 large piece. Peel skin from stems, trim bottoms, and halve lengthwise.

Line cookie sheet w/foil, and butter foil well. Sprinkle cheese in thin layer and cook about 5 min.
Quickly slide foil off sheet and let cool on rack or counter.
When cool, pry cheese off foil and crumb into bits.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Add broccoli crown, or stems and florets. Cook 8 min. Drain and stand on warm serving platter. Scatter stems, if using, around florets and season all w/salt & pepper.

Melt 2 Tb butter over med-high. When just light brown, add lemon juice and sage. Swirl the pan about 30 sec and pour over broccoli. Sprinkle dish w/Parmesan.
Serves 2


(Steak au poivre stroganoff)
1/2 Tb pepper
12 oz beef tenderloin
1 1/2 Tb olive oil
4 oz baby bella/crimini mshrms
2/3 c beef broth
1/2 Tb brandy
1/4 c whipping cream
1/2 Tb Dijon mustard
1/2 pkg wide egg noodles
1 oz fresh parsley

Cut steaks if necessary. Halve or quarter mushrooms. If using boullion, make beef broth. Chop parsley.
Put pot of water on to boil.
Grind pepper over both sides of steaks, pressing it in.

Heat 1/2 Tb oil in large skillet over med-high. Add steaks and cook at least 4 min (rare) per side.
Meanwhile, when water boils, add noodles.

Transfer steaks to plate and tent w/foil.
Add 1/2 Tb oil to skillet and saute mushrooms until browned, about 4 min.
Add broth and brandy to boil 2 min.
Add cream and boil 3 min. Whisk in mustard.

Drain noodles and return to pot. Toss w/parsley and 1/2 Tb oil. Season w/salt & pepper.
Slice steaks and place on noodles. Spoon sauce over.
Serves 2