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, Wyoming
Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Mar 26, 2013

Here Kitty, Kitty

Our house is a geriatric home for all critters, big and small. We don't put our old animals down; we put them on a liquid diet, give them a lap blanket and sign them up for BINGO.
     I've made no secret about the fact that I WILL chew Elvis' food if need be and that I am saving one my kidneys for him, just in case. But don't get me started about Elvis. This is about Cassie.

Now before you start hatin' on me for trying to give my cat away let me go on the record as saying that I am not the kind of person who gives her animals away for no apparent good reason. Rabies are not even a good reason.

You see I am an animal lover. Some people may have even called me a crazy dog lady once or twice, which I won't deny.  I kinda love my cat too but call me a crazy cat lady and I will hiss at you and scratch your freakin' eyeballs out. Don't you do it!

Here's another thing that you may not know about me:  I am not the type to ask for help. Even if my arm were stuck in the garbage disposal up to my elbow I just always kinda figure, I got this, no help needed, I can chew my own arm off and get my own Band-aid. 
     But for now we have a date with the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute in Denver, so I've had to buck up and ask someone to flip the switch on the old disposal, if you know what I mean.

Over the past week or so conversations with my Well Meaning Friends (WMF) have went like this:

WMF:  If there is anything I can do, just let me know.
ME:     Really, thank you. Seriously? Do you mean that?
WMF: Yes, just let me know. Anything.
ME:     Well yes, since you asked there is something you
             can can take my cat.

This is where WMF will take a step back and say: 
          a)    I'm sorry I can't, I already have two cats and
                 they don't get along with other cats.
          b)    I'm sorry, I'm allergic to cats.
          c)    I'm sorry, my dog hates cats, he'd probably eat it.
          d)    I'm sorry, I can't have pets where I live.
          e)    All of the above.

And these people love me and I love them back, but whaaaaat? Nobody wants my old matted up, she-devil-cat?

So meet Cassie.
I think the old gal is about 154 years old in cat years. She came to us back in the early 1990's, a tiny fur-ball of a stray. I fed her with an eye dropper and put her in my briefcase and took her to work with me.
     She grew into a mouse killing machine and for years I had the pleasure *coughbullshitcough* of waking up to a little "present" from her. Yes she loves me.

In her heyday she was fifteen pounds of Jack Russell-eating-hell cat. Most dogs who visited our home left with one of her claws as a souvenir, embedded firmly in their butt-sniffing noses. Years later those same dogs still have the scars to prove that they met Cassie and to this day they still tip their hats when they walk past her. An occasional tail twitch from her is the only confirmation that she may have even acknowledged their existence.

This is Butch when he was a baby, circa 1996. 
Don't you just LOVE my Dalmatian looking sweater?

Cassie may be the master cat of cool but she is also a grudge holder. She once waited years, I'm telling you years to get even with Butch, our Rottweiler, for his puppy terrorizing ways. On the day she found him pinned to the deck because his collar had gotten hung up on a board, she opened up a can of cat-whoop-ass. I found her perched squarely on all 150 pounds of Butch, shredding his ears while giving him a deep tissue massage at the same time. Butch was howling like a baby basset hound.

Now the poor old gal is on her last wobbly leg and I would never, never, think of disrupting her happy home if it weren't medically necessary.

Cassie and Paisley ~ 2011

This story does have a happy ending.  I sweetened the deal by offering to furnish the food, treats and cat litter.  My sassy, spy, beautiful, eighty-something-year-old Aunt Lil stepped up to the cat-food plate and offered to let Cassie live with her.
     I hope I didn't forget to mention to her that the 5 AM yowling is part of the package and that Cassie is a sore loser at BINGO so she'd better watch her back. Unless it needs a scratchin', that is.

Call me Aunt Lil, you still want her, right?

Cassie's next victim ~ Aunt Lil 2007~ ♥ ya Aunt Lil!

A killer mussel recipe coming up next...stay tuned to The Sauce!

Mar 16, 2013

Grouper: The Homely Fish Is Pretty On The Plate

Now about that Creole Grouper...

Every once in awhile I get lucky and make a dinner that is something to write home about.  Get your pen and paper out because this is one of those dinners. 
     It's my own creation and once again was born out of necessity.  The "necessity" being that it was necessary for me to whip up a dinner for guests when I was down to the last of my produce. All I had onboard was a shitload of peppers and a few tomatoes that were trying to die on me.  It turned out to be a keeper and now I've been making it about once a week, usually at the END of the trip when all that other fussy produce has gone to that great compost pile in the sky and I'm down to the peppers and tomatoes ~ shriveled as they may be.

Anyhow, I've made this dish with Mahi-Mahi and Grouper but any white fish works well so name your poison. I prefer Grouper.
     Start with whatever varieties of peppers that trips your trigger. I go for red, green and yellow bells, Poblanos and jalapenos. Add some sweet onions and garlic and saute them down until they are soft and all relaxed and then add some fat, juicy tomatoes.
     Keep on cookin' it until the tomatoes give up their goods and every one in the pot looks all fat and happy. (Read: saucy and thickened.)

Give the fish a little massage with some olive oil and season it with Creole seasoning. You can use a store bought one if you like or you can make your own using paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried thyme and oregano, salt and pepper.

 Take the pepper mixture out of the pan, wipe the pan clean and then heat it back up and sear the grouper on one side until it's cooked about half way through. Put most of the peppers into a baking dish, top with the fish, cooked side up and them put the reserved peppers on top of that.

Pop it in the oven and bake it for 5-10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. I serve it with Jalapeno and Monterey Jack Grits or with a Green Chile-White Cheddar mashed potato.  Either way, it's the shizzle and reminds of us of the wonderful flavors of Puerto Rico!

Here I am showing it with grits and yes I know, thank you very much, that these are shitty pictures and won't win me any food photog awards. Don't let that scare you...The Big Guy said it was the "best Creole ever" and he knows because he stayed in a Holiday Inn Express once. Just ask him.
Authors note: I may or may not have been standing over him with a knife and an offer to kindly remove his spleen, which by the way is not a necessary organ.)

Click on the "Seafood" tab at the top of this page to see the recipe. 

Mar 7, 2013

Good-bye Pisces

We knew this day would come. It’s the day when we pack up our flips flops and prepare ourselves for what comes next. I wish I could tell you that we got another wild hair and this time decided to join the circus...because...well because I can juggle and The Big Guy can lift a Clydesdale off the ground with one hand and arm wrestle a lion with the other, but no. Not even.  Reality's a bitch and she's not just knocking on our door, she's kicking it in.

So today we head home, for what is likely to be a very long time.  I’m so grateful that we have had the opportunity to spend three years in the Virgin Islands onboard our boat, but it's time to take care of The Big Guy and his health and well being comes first. 

We have enjoyed sharing this great adventure with friends and family who have been our guests onboard Pisces.  Together we have seen amazing sunsets and beautiful beaches. We have swum with turtles, stingrays and dolphins and dove shipwrecks and reefs. I've beach-combed to my hearts content and have dragged more conch, coral and sea fans back to the boat than is probably necessary or legal.

This past week as a grand finale and a farewell to us, dozens of pink flamingos flew over as we were leaving Anegada. It was truly breathtaking; the bright coral colored birds against the blue sky and turquoise water was a spectacular sight.  Karen at least thought to grab her phone and try to snap a picture, though this doesn’t do it justice because it was crazy beautiful!

And then there’s been the food and island drinks. We will miss ice cold Carib’s, Corsair’s pizza, Coco Maya’s duck confit nachos, Potter’s Anegada lobsters, the Soggy Dollar’s Painkillers and my own Creole grouper. (Recipe and pictures coming next blog...I promise.)  
     We have made friends with the locals and Big finally has that whole hand-shake-knuckle-bump-fist-grab-shake-it-out-thing down. Dock guys and waitresses know us by name. We are practically locals so it feels like we are leaving family behind.

Anyhow, turn the page.

Pisces is for sale, but for now she will go into a charter fleet while we move on to the next phase of our lives. It’s the uncharted waters that scare me, jumping into an unknown abyss, but no one, not ANYONE, you hear me, is tougher than The Big Guy and no one believes in him as much as I do.

The sea will always be calling to us and we will answer her call once again.