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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

Dec 13, 2015

Giving Instead of Gifting

NOTE:  I had stared writing this blog post about "Giving Instead of Gifting" the week before our close friend's, the Nicholson's, daughter was in a horrific car accident, but hadn't posted it yet. Now, with what Mike, Karen and Amanda are going through I am adding this to the top of my list.
     My daughter, Savannah (aka Hates Everything) started this campaign for her sister-partner-in-crime-BFF-for-life, Amanda. This sweet girl has life changing injuries and now has needs one can hardly imagine.
     She's tough, she's brave, she is a fighter and she will win this battle! Love ya 'manda! Keep the faith!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

Really... I don't want or need anything for Christmas. (Unless it's wine.) And neither probably do you. So instead of scoring the mother of all deals on another electronic during the Christmas shopping rat race or pouring hundreds of dollars down the drain for the latest, greatest toy, consider giving at least a few of those dollars to a worthwhile cause.

The following charities listed below (with links) are some of my faves that I support on a regular basis and they would all benefit from your generosity.

Hope for Paws: 
I personally tried to adopt a darling little Chihuahua but because I don't live in southern Cal, was not able to do so. That little policy saved Elvis and Gracie from needing their own therapy dogs and kept The Big Guy and I on speaking terms. 
     Hope for Paws is a non-profit animal rescue organization, based in LA. They rescue dogs (and other animals) who are suffering on the streets and in the shelters. These wonderful rescuers foster the animals in their homes until they can find them permanent, loving  families.
     Their goal is to educate people on the importance of companion animals in our society and to stop the cycle of animal neglect and abuse. They do incredible work and I give them a few kibbles each month. 
My own spoiled rotten pups.
Gracie is giving her best "poor me" look. Elvis...he's just cool!

St. Jude Children's Hospital:
If you know a kid, have a kid, want a kid or ever were a kid, you should be emptying your piggy bank each month to donate to this wonderful organization. STAT! 
     St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. 
     As soon as I had kids of my own I understood how important the work of St. Jude is and I have been a supporter for the past 30 years. If you don't know who St. Jude's is you have, a) been living on another planet, or b) are a moron. 

The Dog and Cat Shelter (of Sheridan Co.)
I may be a teensy bit partial to this Shelter since my very own ELVIS PARSLEY was Mr. March 2009. (I have been accused of "buying votes" but prove it, just prove it.)
     Their mission is to provide a shelter where unwanted and abandoned dogs and cats can be humanely housed until adopted to qualified homes. The shelter also cares for lost animals until they are reclaimed by their owners. Their goals are to reduce the number of unwanted companion animals. They work tirelessly so give your money to them...they will truly appreciate it!

A couple of my other favorite charities are:

The Montanta Rescue Mission:
I do know first hand how worthwhile the Montana Rescue Mission is and I'll admit I am not as loyal to this charity as I should be. My soft spot for animals probably gets in the way. 
     You see, back in the 1990's when I lived in Montana and my own kids were under the age of 10 and were not yet complete little shits, it broke my heart to see some of these families so desperate for anything. I saved up all year and at Christmas took all the kids from the MRM (about 25-30) to Target to shop for a new coat and winter clothes. It was a priceless lesson that I got way more out of than I gave.   
     What I learned is that the people at the MRM are truly folks in need. They are NOT the losers who don't want to work and who want a hand out. They are decent people who are down on their luck and who need a hand up.
     If you are looking for something (fairly) local this is a good one. For only $2.05 you can buy Christmas dinner for one of the homeless. I am now officially kicking myself in the butt for not giving more.  I'm pledging...that will change.   

Cal Farley's:
Cal Farley's is one of the nation's largest privately funded child and family service organizations, with an equine based program.
    Their mission is to provide professional programs and services in a Christ-centered atmosphere to strengthen families and support the overall development of children.
    For more than 75 years they have worked to meet the needs of children and NO COST to the people they serve and WITHOUT seeking state or federal funds.
     Many of their programs are "boy and equine" based, with young men and horses growing, learning and teaching together. 
     My few extra bucks goes here and it makes my heart feel good in all the right places. Check it out.

The Tasting Library:
Just kidding! I donate hundreds of dollars each year to this cause. Not kidding. This one is for my own enjoyment and enlightenment and where you should go if you are insistent on buying me a Christmas gift or want to fill my *coughbullshitcough* "Library Card". 

So there you have it. Now instead of spending your money on useless, silly,  and unneeded gifts that will end up being re-gifted, unwanted, or unused do something that matters. Something that makes a difference in someone's life.  

Celebrate our Lord and Savior's birth by giving from your heart. If you can't give from your heart. Give wine. Wine is good. Wine is Godly.  
Live, laugh and love... 

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated…I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by [people] from the cruelty of [human kind]”—Mahatma Gandhi

Nov 2, 2015

Autumn Harvest ~ Cooking Class 126

Our mad pumpkin carving skills!

For my October class I wanted to feature the flavors that bring the taste and feel of the harvest of fall to mind. From pumpkins, squash and sweet potatoes to a hearty soup; roasted beets, pecans, and cranberries; the taste and smell of sage, plus a horseradishy mustard sauce all come to mind. It was a bountiful feast indeed!  

Red and golden beets with burrata, pears, pistachios, thyme and balsamic.
I had planned to do a beet appetizer until my sister sent me a recipe for a sweet potato appetizer that she'd recently had at a party, saying it was one the best appetizers she had ever eaten. I know she knows good food, and I'm not pickin' on her, BUT she is a vegetarian so I also know that she's missing out on a lot of really great appetizers. My top ten list would probably all include some kind of meat or seafood. Immediately coming to mind is a crostini of elk carpaccio with huckleberry preserves that I had in Beaver Creek, Colorado and it was to die for; mussels with chorizo in coconut curry in St Croix that we couldn't get off our minds so we went back for more, a year later. There are the duck confit nachos from Coco Maya, and sushi and crudo from Zengo! She is really missing out!

Anyhow, since my upcoming cooking class was "Autumn Harvest," I decided to give the recipe a try. I didn't expect to be blown away but  I was so wrong (sorry sis, you were right, there I said it, into the microphone), it was fantastic!

You start by giving the potatoes a good blistering in a hot oven. The "salad" is a mixture of pecans, celery, cranberries, parsley and shallots. Add some goat cheese and dress it with a vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard. It's simple, comes together fast and is unbelievably delicious. You know me....I was tempted to add bacon, but was glad I didn't.

You can use yams and/or sweet potatoes; I used both and liked the presentation of the two colors. I sliced them thick and hearty, which gives you a nice mouth full of creamy potato. You could slice them thinner to make them go farther, for a big crowd but if you do I think you would lose some of what makes them so great: the creamy, sweet texture, so go big or go home is my advice.

For our first course we made a Carrot-Coconut-Curry Soup. This is a soup that I first fell in love with last winter. I have been making it all summer long with the abundance of carrots that my friend Linda, has been supplying me with and I love it even more each time I make it. I've tweaked this recipe from a basic carrot soup I found in Bon Appetit, by kicking it up with the curry, some Thai red chile sauce and creme fraiche. Fresh garden carrots make it delicious and the coconut and curry add a nice Asian feel to it while the Thai chile sauce leaves a good kind of heat at the back of the throat. The creme fraiche cools it off and adds a silky richness that leaves you wanting seconds. It's super easy and has only a few ingredients so it comes together pretty fast. Win-win, plus it tastes as good as it looks!

For our entree we whipped up a Pecan Chicken with Creole Mustard Sauce (recipe from the amazing Cabernet Grill) and a stuffed acorn squash, plus we made Butternut Squash Gnocchi.

Cristina and Kim, the Gnocchi Queens

Connor and Scott, the backup Gnocchi team
We finished up the night with a Pumpkin Waffle dessert and a cigarette. Yeah, it was that good.

Here was the full menu...give me a shout if you want me to post any of the other recipes. (The Acorn Squash with Sun-dried Tomato Polenta, is already up.)

PRINT RECIPE:  Blistered Sweet Potatoes Loaded with an Autumn Salad of Pecans, Celery, Cranberries and Goat Cheese

PRINT RECIPE:  Carrot-Coconut-Curry Soup

*Thanks to Kitt for many of the pix!

Oct 25, 2015

A Coddled Egg and an Anchovy Walk Into a Bar

The bartender says, this is a bar and we don't serve Caesar salads in here....yuck, yuck, yuck, or something like that. Yeah, I just made that up.

Anyhow...While I wouldn't exactly call myself an "anchovy hater", I'm not exactly a "lover" either. When asked if I want anchovies with that, I usually take a pass, but if they come on my salad, my pizza, or my bacon I don't pick them off. I just eat them.
When I saw a recipe on Food 52 for a salad with an anchovy dressing I decided I had to try it  ~ ONLY because it had a coddled egg in it and I had never coddled an egg before. I didn't even know how. Or that you could. Or why you would want to. I was asking myself, do you baby it, do you talk nice to it and tell it that it's a good egg and that it played a good game and that it deserves a trophy. I mean what the hell is a coddled egg anyway? Cranky eggs I know; I've been making them for years, but I have never even coddled my own kids (I'm more about an ass whoppin') let alone an egg; so I was all about finding out how. And why.
                                                  cranky eggs ↓

                             eggs begging to be coddled ↓

Now you know.
I had to try it and it turns out that I'm quite good at coddling eggs, and a happy coddled egg loving up on a few anchovies makes for a tasty dressing. 
A perfectly coddled egg ↓
So a coddled egg means that the yolk is still raw and the white is just barely set around the shell. It's still pretty much yucky* but don't let it bother you. (*yucky is a chef term for "gross, but tastes good.")

Put the coddled egg in time out, while you beat up the anchovies. To do that, start by mashing up some garlic; add the anchovies, and using a mortar and pestle, turn it into a paste.
It's gonna be a stinky paste, but just go with it...Trust me!

Add the paste to the coddled egg
Then add the remaining ingredients and whip the hell out of it for whining and this is what is looks like when you whisk it all together. No more coddleing.

This dressing will remind you of an old school Caesar dressing; raw egg, garlic, anchovy, Dijon, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. The twist is the creme fraiche, which I think is the secret ingredient that makes this dressing so genius and so wonderful.

As I said, it's been my favorite salad of the summer and since the grill is usually fired up I've been serving it with a salad of grilled romaine, grilled avocados, summer tomatoes, shaved Parm, and a big chewy, grilled sourdough crouton. If you have a fresh ear of corn on hand, grill that too and cut it off the cob and add it to the salad.
     With summer on it's way out, fire up the grill one last time, coddle an egg and make this salad. It's so worth it.
(Shitty picture, I computer and I haven't figured out the format to send pix from my phone.) Insert cranky egg face here.
(Note to egg coddlers: This dressing is best eaten within the first few turns out coddled eggs, like coddled kids, don't stay happy for too long. I've kept it for a week or so, but notice that the anchovy (smell and taste) gets stronger. It really is delish, so step out of your bottled Caesar comfort zone and don't be afraid to coddle then eggs.)

PRINT RECIPE:  Grilled Romaine Salad with Anchovy Dressing

Jul 8, 2015

Grillin' and Chillin" ~ Cooking Class 123

We were Grillin' and Chillin' for the June SdJ Cooking Class.  
Here was the menu and a few of the recipes.

Grilled and Stuffed Jalapeno Popper Sliders
with Bacon, White Cheddar + Avocado-Ranch Sauce

Whole Copper River Salmon, Stuffed with Lemon + Herbs
Grilled and Served with Dijon-Tarragon Beurre Blanc

Grilled Potatoes in Mustard Aioli + Fresh Herbs


Grilled Bananas, Maple-Rum-Butter Sauce, Ice Cream + Toffee

The Copper River Salmon was a huge hit and many said this was there favorite menu EV-VER! I'll share that recipe at a later date, but for now here are a few of the others. They are perfect for the summer, so fire up the grill and prepare to chill with some tasty hot and cold combos that are a snap to prepare.


Jun 15, 2015

Come to Momma...The New SdJ Digital Cookbook is Born!

Sauce du Jour Culinary Institution: where every crazy chef gets a sharp knife, is the title of my new cookbook. It features ALL of the recipes from the first 15 Cooking Classes, which is 100 recipes. The book is available in digital format so just go the App Store on your iPad and download the free app called Cookbook Cafe. You will then have to create a username and password and log in. From the home page you can type "Sauce du Jour" in the search box and it will bring it up. The book is a steal at $3.99 and you can buy it right through your iTunes account. How cool is that!  

Once you own it, it will be in your "Library" from then on. The site features tons of books; prices range from free to $14.99. You can browse them but if you want the recipes you have to buy them. Some have as few as a one recipe in them (lame, I know) or as many as 120. Mine is definitely one of the biggest collections. I'm an overachiever that way.

You won't find the app in your iPhone apps, so if you don't have an iPad you can get it on your laptop by going to . In both cases you have to create a username and password and then log in. 

I've noticed the website is more confusing to use than the app and I found it harder to find my book. If you type "Sauce du Jour" in the search box, it brings up only two recipes (Basil Pesto and Cilantro Pesto) You can navigate your way to the entire cookbook buy clicking on my name. Or try this link....I think it will get you there. No guarantees. If you buy it online you can pay by credit card. 

Also there is now a widget on the right side of the 
SdJ Blog home page, which will take you there.

                   The cover of the book looks like this! 

So for all you cool people who didn't get to come to the institution you can now bust out $3.99 and get all the recipes from those first 15 classes! 

The following is the blurb which prefaces the book:

The Sauce du Jour Culinary Institution is a fun kitchen where cooking classes take place at a monthly gathering for a group of approximately twelve food-and-wine loving, really cool people. Each month features a different cuisine or ingredient; such as Thai, South American, Tex-Mex, Mediterranean, Southwestern, Bacon, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Pasta, Beer, and more! 

The class is hands on with everyone pairing up and taking on different recipes, covering 4 to 6+ courses per class. The wine flows, the laughter ensues and we eat a lot of damn good food! 

This cookbook includes all of the recipes from the SdJ Cooking Classes 101-115. Most of, but not all of the recipes are created right here in the SdJ kitchen. I'm not above stealing an idea but I do have principals and I would never call it my own if it wasn't so. I am an improvisational maniac in the kitchen, not only because I like to have my way with a recipe, but because I live in the sticks (and/or the islands) so ad-libbing isn't just an egocentric quirk, it's a necessity. 

When I'm not creating my own recipes I like to cook restaurant dishes. I also LOVE me some Bobby Flay so some of his recipes are featured here as well. (Thanks Bobby, love ya, call me, mean it!) That being said, if they aren't my own reckless creations I've given credit where credit is due. Sauce du Jour also has a blog with many other great recipes and stories. It can be found at 

I am a relatively competent cook and a travel junkie who is also a white-knuckled frequent flyer. My friends would say that I am a crazy dog lady, while I prefer to think of myself as a zealous animal lover. I am also a published author, seriously type A, with a touch of OCD; a wife, mother and grandmother of a beautiful little girl named Paisley. She's my sous chef and I'm her Coco and I love her more than truffle oil. 

 I spent three years as a chef on a private charter yacht that my hubs (aka The Big Guy) and I operated in the BVI's. Living on a boat and working in a small galley challenges even the most accomplished chef, let alone some like me who is really just a serious foodie with a sophisticated palate. My cookbook, "Sauce du Jour, The Pisces Collection" is a compilation of about 40 recipes that I often served while on the boat. ( Recipe requests from guests was the inspiration behind it. 

 I write a food blog that has never won any awards but it does have a lot of damn good recipes on it, not to mention some funny stories. You can check it out at I became a published author in 2011. My book, "When the Dust Settled" (Amazon, B&N) is getting great reviews and is soon to be made into a movie. Hollywood just doesn't know it yet! 

Besides being a lucky wife, loving mom, adoring grandmother, and food snob, I consider myself to be a loyal friend, good party planner, wino, a workaholic, seriously sleep deprived, and a shopping fool with a shoe addiction. Oh, and I'm pretty funny too! I hope you enjoy these recipes and have as much fun making them as we did in the SdJ Culinary Institution. Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding any of the recipes I've put here. Cheers!  

Cooker or Caker: Cooker 
Bake/Cook Frequency: Every day 
Baking/Cooking Training: The Sauce du Jour Culinary Institution, where I am the head chef, knife thrower, salad tosser, wine pourer, and pot scrubber. Oh...and I can juggle; for real. 
Favorite Food: I love almost all food, especially seafood, paninis, handmade pasta, and fresh veggies. About the only thing I won't eat is organ meats. I just CAN'T do it so don't even try to serve me liver, tongue, or head cheese. I will cut you! Don't make me! 
Favorite Food Moment: Eating fresh caught lobster on Anegada with my toes in the sand and island beat playing in the background never gets old! 
Favorite Cooking Word: Sauce du Jour, of course! It comes from the question asked every night in our house as I am plating dinner; "so what's the sauce du jour tonight?" 
Favorite Restaurant: Spago, Beverly Hills ~ La Estacion, Puerto Rico, ~ Zengo, Osteria Marco, Denver ~ Joe's Stone Crab, Miami ~ Coco Maya, Giorgio's BVI's ~ Justus Drugstore, Smithville ~ Firefly, Las Vegas ~ Jungle Lobster House, Jamaica and so many more! 
Favorite Chef: My Bobby Flay, Mark Miller, Michael Symon, Wolfgang, Mario, Giada (girl crush). 
In My Town Try: My house! It's always open and something is always on the stove!


Interests: In no particular order: Food, music, cooking, the Caribbean, reading, food, The Big Guy, scuba diving, my dogs, food, chocolate, Paisley, travel, my daughters, food, shopping, trap shooting, writing, oh...and food. Did I mention food? 
Languages: English, this is AMERICA! Speak it!

Books: When the Dust Settled, The Glass Castle, The Poisonwood Bible, The Alchemist, The Liars Club, To Kill a Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights. Most of the classics and so many more. My nose is always in a book! Also, my Bobby Flay's cookbooks, Restaurant cookbooks, Bon Appetit.

Music: I love music; (everything from Texas country to Jazz) maybe even more than food, and I listen to everything except for rap, which instantly bums me out. Gimme some blues, some old country or some classic rock and I'm a happy chef, but put on that rap crap and I'ma goin' postal on someone.

TV/Movies: I'm not a big TV watcher or movie fan because I can't sit still for that long, but my favorite movie is "After the Sunset" and "Chocolat"...thinking....thinking....

Travel: The Caribbean, the US of A, the World

Clubs: None that I'd want to join if I were in them. I don't play nice with others.

I'm thrilled to be able to share the recipes this way! No need to drag papers or your binder along when you travel or if you get the sudden urge to make a recipe when you are at the grocery store and can't remember what all ingredients are in it. Thanks in advance! I'd be honored to have it added to your collection!   
Bon Appetit!