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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

Jun 29, 2013

My First Date With Bobby

I've been a big Bobby Flay fan for years and have cooked many of the recipes out of his Bold American Food Cookbook. The Big Guy and I still count many of the dishes out of that book amongst our all-time favorite recipes. About six months ago I bought his Mesa Grill Cookbook and hadn't cracked a page in it until just now and I think I'm in LOVE! And now I'm on a mission. Bobby and I have some more dates...lots of them.

Having now read it cover to cover, I've found that there are tons of great recipes in it and I love it so much I told myself that I was going to cook every, single recipe in the book. The truth is, I tell myself that every time I buy a new cookbook and IF I'm lucky I manage to make a half dozen or so dishes out of it before it becomes a dust collector.
     Well this time I really, sorta, kinda mean it because this book is full of pictures of dishes that look and sound amazing. And how can you not love looking at that face?!?

Anyway, to get the ball rolling, last night I made the following:  Sophie's Chopped Salad  (Sophie is Bobby's daughter by the way) and it was delish!  So good in fact I had the leftovers for breakfast today.
     For the entree I made his Red Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon with Black Bean Sauce and Jalapeno Crema. (Note to lay folk: "Crema" is Bobby's cool word for "sour cream." I usually prefer "Creme," but because this is Bobby's gig, we are going to call it "Crema". Got it? Good.) I'm not a person who uses the phrase OMG, but if I did, I'd be OMGeeing all over it. We loved the glaze; it was just the right amount of sweet and hot and when the sugars in the honey hit my smoking hot cast iron skillet it made a nice crust that held the moistness in. Mine was cooked perfectly, about medium on the edges and just a shade past medium rare in the center. Sadly, I had to kill The Big Guys salmon ~ to well done. Because of his bone marrow transplant, he has strict diet restrictions and all meats have to be cooked to well done. Boo-hoo, I know.

The black bean sauce was spicy and flavorful...Four thumbs up. I had a feeling the Jalapeno Crema would be nothing to write home about and all I thought it did was make a spicy dish spicier. Since I was roasting peppers anyhow, I decided to roast a couple of Serranos and make Bobby's Mango-Serrano Crema. I liked it a lot...more than the jalapeno crema and although spicy too, the mangos added a cool factor. With my leftover mango I made a mango salsa and put a dab on the salmon. (My recipe, not Flays).

For a side I made Creamy Green Chile Rice. It involved roasting poblano peppers and then a lot of cream was boiled and reduced down and stirred in at the end, which resulted in a nice creamy texture instead of that old gummy rice you sometimes get with Mexican food.

So that's about five recipes down....I think that leaves about 145 to go. I'm posting the recipe for Sophie's Chopped Salad, so click on the "Soups-Salads-Sides" tab to see it. It really is a GREAT salad for summer, so make it, then let me know if you love it as much as I did!
     Thanks Bobby! Love ya, call me, mean it! ♥

(All photos were taken by me by taking a picture of the picture in the cookbook. My camera was dead last night and I got a crappy picture with my phone so I won't embarrass myself by posting it.)

Jun 16, 2013

My Inner Picasso

Yep, I'm pretty much devastated. I just figured out that I am probably never going to be a world renowned artist. You see a few weeks ago I created a masterpiece and kind of figured that painting must be a hidden talent that I had no idea I possessed.
     This is how it happened: For Mother's Day The Know-It-All gave me a gift certificate to go to this artsy-fartsy wine bar, drink a bunch of wine and paint a Warhol worthy picture of martini glasses.  I was almost even the teacher's pet for the night and practically everyone thought my picture was the best. 

A few of the samples. Mine is the best one...the one in the upper left, in case you didn't know.
Since then I have been thinking that I have this amazing God-given talent that has been buried deep within me and that Pablo just might be my daddy.
    I've been dreaming about painting, even while awake and have been thinking that I am on the verge...the verge of being discovered. Kind of like a super model on a street corner; only a little older and heavier, with boobs and a set of cheap brushes.

So a couple of days ago The Know-It-All, Dr. J, and I returned to the class for another night of painting and sipping.
     I couldn't wait to stand before an easel with a Dixie paper plate full of primary colors and show the world my hidden talent. Well it turns out....*Big sigh here,* that I sucked. I think a kindergartner must have taken over my body because I went from Picasso to preschooler in one brush stroke. Waaaahhhhhh! Waaaahhhhhh!

I will be the first to admit that I have more experience looking at martini glasses than I do looking at poppys, so my martini masterpiece is obviously more fabulous than my flowers. Plus I like martinis more than poppys.

But you be the judge...I'm pretty critical of my obvious artistic abilities, so maybe I shouldn't hang up my flat brush just yet. What say you?

The Big Guy stuck a knife in my heart when he looked at my poppys and said, "honey, don't quit your day job." It was kind of like telling Dr. Kevorkian to give CPR to a guy with a self inflicted gunshot wound. You know he's only trying to help but the poor bastard is going to die and now I'm afraid that my brand-spankin'-new dream of being an artist is dying a slow death as well.

But you never know because art has a way of getting better with age. Maybe in a hundred years in the back of some old box, in some dusty garage someone will pull out an old original painting of some poppys, with a barely legible signature that says "Coco," and they will recognize it for the priceless masterpiece that it is.

But just in case that doesn't happen there is an upcoming class where we will be painting margaritas. I'm thinkin' I 'm gonna be damn good at this one! 

Coco, Dr. J and The Know-It-All, getting ready to create their Poppy masterpieces!

Jun 9, 2013

The Light?

The following is a post that I wrote for The Big Guy's Caring Bridge page and I thought it was worth sharing, for a bunch of reasons...1) I'm pathetically behind on keeping up with THIS page, 2) some people just like to read shit about that whole "seeing the light" thing, 3) I'm just showing off what an AMAZING man I have, in case you ever doubted me, 4) my friend Kathy said it could be the start of my next novel, and 5) it is pretty good reading.  Here you have it: 

Since everyone keeps asking us the BIG QUESTION, I thought I'd address it.
     In Larry's twelve minutes of near death experience, did he see “the light?”
    The answer is…no…he did not. He didn’t see any light, any old relatives, or anything else for that matter.
     On the upside he says he didn’t see any flames either. That’s good news, I’m assuming.

But this is what he does remember:  Meghan (the superstar of nurses) brought in the platelets. He told her that he had to pee first.
     He came back from the bathroom and sat on the edge of the bed and Meghan hung the platelets.
     Shortly after that he started having difficulty breathing and he told her so. She asked him if he was alright and he said, “no,” that he thought he needed to lie down.  He lay down on the bed and immediately his breathing worsened.    
     He remembers grabbing his chest and then he says he remembers cute little Meghan climbing on top of him and straddling him.
     And that is the last thing he remembers.
     (I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that any middle-aged man who has a hot little nurse straddling him is probably going to have a coronary.  Anaphylaxis reaction or not. Just sayin'.)

He says he remembers that it was about 5:30 AM.

The ER doctor called me at 6:27 AM and I got to the ICU at about 7:30.
     When I walked into the room and saw six nurses around him pushing pumps and taking vitals and charting, I felt strangely calm.
     He was clearly unconscious and on life support, but I still knew that he would be alright. Maybe it was shock. Maybe it was stupidity, but I knew that he would be OK. 
     I don’t really think of myself as someone who is as cool as a cucumber, but I think I was less panicked than anyone else in that room.
     Maybe it was because I just knew.
     I walked up to his bedside and took his hand and told him I was there. I did my best not to cry when I spoke to him because I didn’t want him to know that I was upset (understatement of the year). One of the nurses told me that she thought he knew I was there because his pulse rate suddenly changed.  I’ve been known to have that effect on him. 

Sierra, Aaron, Eliza, Robert, Ashley, and Jeff all arrived shortly after that. We all sat around for the remainder of the day and watched the ventilator breathe for him, wishing that he would move…a hand, a leg…something.

The next day, at around 7:30 AM, a full twenty-six hours later, the ICU nurse attempted to wake him up. She said that he started to panic and that he seemed to fight against the ventilator, so she gave him some more Michael Jackson Juice (Propofol) and put him lights out again.

Sierra and I arrived at about  8:30 that morning.  As the nurse began to wake him up for the second time she told us to talk to him and let him know we were there.
     Sierra, being a nurse herself, was telling her dad that he was on the ventilator and to not fight against it. To breathe. She asked him to follow simple commands and he did, to our relief.
    Me, being clueless and speechless, pretty much just rubbed his arm, like a robot, and silently prayed.

Larry says that when he started waking up on the ventilator he looked at the clock and saw that it was about 10:30 and he thought that he had been out for five hours, when in fact it had been about twenty-nine hours.
     Once he was fully awake he had to spend another three hours on the ventilator while they made sure he was breathing on his own.
     It was during this time that they gave him more platelets, explaining to us that they wanted him on the vent in case he had another reaction; so that he had an “open airway.”
     He may have been breathing on his own for those three hours but I can assure you that Sierra and I were holding our own breaths.

He was so amazing during this time.
Twice he threw up (from nausea) while on the vent. He regained his cool; so much that the nurses and respiratory therapists trusted him not to freak out so they unrestrained his hands.
     He was only able to communicate by nodding or blinking and he assured us that he would not do anything crazy, like try to pull the tube out. We were all in awe of his composure, but I felt like I was having my own panic attack at that time.

When you are married to someone for more than thirty years you can pretty much communicate with your eyes. Shut up…let’s go…I love you…not now…don’t you dare…You don’t even have to talk.
I desperately wanted this moment to be one of those times, but it wasn't.  Staring into his eyes I had NO IDEA what he wanted to say to me, but yet I could tell he had questions. I could see frustration, pain, and confusion and it killed me that I couldn’t understand what he was trying to ask me ~ or maybe tell me.

If the ventilator hadn’t been making that breathing noise for him you would have heard my heart breaking.

I couldn’t watch when they extubated him. The sounds of him coughing and the hoarseness of his barely audible voice made a huge lump in my own throat that I had to choke down. I’m a sissy that way and my “Caregiver” card should probably have been revoked right then and there.

God help him
, I was thinking. Then I realized that He already had.   

So to answer your question…no…he didn’t see the light. But I did. And he was in it.

Day Zero aka Transplant Day

For more about Larry's journey you can follow him at

Jun 3, 2013

Denver Dining: First Round

I know that there is nothing more annoying than that person who has to take pictures of their food, and NOBODY can touch their plate/food until that annoying person gets finished taking said pictures.  
I am that person. Suck it.

Denver has such a great dining scene that if there is an upside to being here for the next few months it is that I have time to hit all the great places ~ meaning that I've pretty much been eating my way through Lodo (Lower Downtown, for those of you not in the Denver-Cool-Kids-Know).
My entree: delicious melt-in-your-mouth artichoke and goat cheese pasta. 
The day before The Big Guy went into the hospital we went to Rioja with Griff and Nancy. We all had an amazing dinner, but since this is mostly about me, I'll share my entree's and pictures.  I had the Goat Cheese and Artichoke Stuffed Pasta in Artichoke Broth, with Truffle and Queso de Mano. Our entire meal was ahhhh-mazing; from the appetizer to the crazy raspberry dessert.

There is a raspberry meringue under that crazy mound of spun sugar.

Then a week or so later, on "Day Zero," Denny and Karen came to town to lend their love and support and we died and went to heaven at Ocean Prime.  

My Halibut, with fennel, sun dried tomatoes, shiitakes in a garlic cream beurre blanc

Of course we started in the bar with martinis ~ we were celebrating Big's new birthday, after all. From the truffle popcorn to the tuna tartar to the entree's of halibut (mine) to the sea bass (Denny's) to the scallops (Karen's)...everything was sensational. The chocolate peanut butter mousse was the perfect ending to a stressful day.
Dessert, at Ocean Prime.
The next morning we hit thee hot spot for breakfast: Snooze. Oh my Gawd, the Velvet Elvis pancakes went perfect with a hangover, or so we heard, so Dennis ordered them...for me and Karen. Red Velvet pancakes, peanut butter cream cheese frosting and bacon maple syrup, bananas and peanuts! Yes you heard me....bacon maple syrup!

The Velvet Elvis

Karen and I also shared the Shrimp and Grits Benedict. YUM!  This place is worth the wait. Go early, just go!
Eggs bene with shrimp on a red pepper grit cake
This is where I stopped being one of those annoying people who take pictures of their food because I FORGOT to snap my next two places. Anywho....

My daughters, the Know-It-All and Hates Everything were coming to town for the weekend and if there are TWO things that I know that Hates Everything will eat it's tacos and pizza, probably in that order.  
    For lunch I decided to take them to Pinche Taqueria, which was the next place that I wanted to cross off my list. Well, Hates Everything hates everything on the menu, so she just orders the chips and salsa. Really. I'll admit the menu is funky, but it's simple and it's real Mexican (check it out here) and there must be a legit reason that their food truck has an obsessive following. I ordered her the queso a la plancha, which is pretty much a cheese taco, which she did not love. The Know-It-All and I ate our way through the rest of the taco menu, except for the beef tongue taco. 

The following day I took the girls to Osteria Marco, which has to-die-for-pizza, not to mention panini's, pasta, and salads, among other things. Anyhow, Hates Everything takes one look at the menu and says she doesn't want anything because there is nothing on this menu that looks good. She's killing me here! Where did I fail this child??? 
     I order the wild mushroom and robiola pizza, add house made sausage and I am in hog heaven. The Know-It-All is now on some crazy diet so she shows restraint and orders a salad, although I would have given up my first born (oh wait, that's her) if she would have ordered the fig, goat cheese, fontina, speck and arugula pizza, because I am dying to try it. I HATE people with will power when it comes to food! Mostly because I have none.
     Anyhow, because Hates Everything passes, I mentally go ape-shit for a second and then call our server back to the table and order her a cheese pizza, which is pretty much just a cheese pizza, only with really good cheese, because I just ain't having it. We are in the BEST DAMN PIZZA JOINT in Denver and she wanted pizza five minutes ago! If I were Catholic I would be saying a whole bunch of hail-mary's just to keep myself from killing her. Buuuuuut, at the last minute she saved herself because she didn't hate it! Hall-e-freaking-lujah!

But back to being one of those annoying peeps....My sister is coming to town and Lola, Zengo and Root Down are next on my list.
     More pictures to follow, because you know.... I AM one of those people!