The Grace of Fish

Scenes From the Lily Pad

“…I keep looking for one more teacher, only to find that fish learn from the water and birds learn from the sky.”
― Mark NepoFacing the Lion, Being the Lion: Finding Inner Courage Where It Lives

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Steak Porn

via Froggie’s Italian Ribeye with Panzanella


Italian ribeye with sauteed button mushrooms.


After many years of doing restaurant evaluations ribeye has been my preferred cut of steak.  You can use a bistecca alla fiorentina if you prefer T-bone.  My love of basil drives this particular recipe.  I have grilled this for years and finally decided it was time to share it on my blog.

I almost always serve panzanella as a healthy side so adding that recipe as well.  You’ll notice the button mushrooms.  I mixed some leftover herb paste and melted about 4 tablespoons salted butter over a frying pan and then tossed the mushrooms until they were fried and browned.  Elegant add and very delicious.  Then I tossed in a fresh basil leaf into the hot pan until it was fried as well for the garnish.


2 Tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup basil (or just regular olive) oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 (10 ounce) boneless beef ribeye steaks, cut 1 inch thick

Mash garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, and salt in a mortar or small bowl until it is a coarse paste. Stir in the olive oil*, balsamic vinegar, white pepper  and red pepper flakes until evenly blended. Scrape half of the mixture into a separate small bowl; set aside. Spread the remaining half of the herb mixture evenly over the steaks.

Set aside to marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
Cook the steaks on the preheated grill for 7 minutes, then turn over, and coat with the reserved herb mixture. Continue cooking 5-7 minutes more for medium-well, or until your desired degree of doneness has been reached.

Let rest a few minutes. Garnish with rosemary and serve with panzanella or your preferred side.

*Chef’s tip:  You can buy the prepared basil olive oil or infuse yourself if you are ambitious.  Either way, basil is better!


Closeup of herb paste


Whole button mushrooms fried in leftover herb paste and salted butter



3 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (or 4 campari tomatoes, sliced into chunks)
1 English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup parmesan cheese crisps
1 cup restaurant style croutons
1 cup bottled Italian salad dressing of your choice

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion. Add the croutons and parmesan crisps and toss with the dressing. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.


Healthy and colorful panzanella



Source: Cairns

Froggie’s White Chili


4 12 oz cans white beans, drained
2 small cans green chile, fire roasted (mild or medium heat) – don’t drain
1 14 oz can white or yellow corn, drained
1/2 each of yellow, orange and red bell pepper, chopped
2 pounds chicken breast cooked and chunked
3 Tbsp of McCormicks Fajitas seasoning mix (approx half of a 1.12 oz pkg)
2 c chicken broth
3 c half and half
1 Tbsp cracked pepper
1 tsp cumin

Mix everything but the chopped bell pepper into a crockpot.  Fry the bell pepper in a tsp of vegetable or olive oil until slightly cooked (2 minutes, stirring).  Throw in the crockpot with the rest.

Cook on high heat for approximately two hours.

You may add some corn starch thickener if you prefer a thicker soup.  Add it the last twenty minutes of cooking.

Serve with any of the following:  dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, tomatoes, avocado chunks.

Serve with sweet cornbread.

Froggie’s Liquid Gold

I am bowing to peer pressure to share this recipe.  It is simply the best.  The consistency is velvety smooth and it pours like a dream.

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar (you can use light brown sugar too, but the sauce will be a bit lighter in color)
  • ½ cup whipping or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

Brown the butter. Here are instructions if you’ve never done it before. It adds a nutty flavor/aroma. Watch it carefully!  When it starts browning you can basically remove it from the heat. You don’t want to scorch it.



Coat the sides of the saucepan with butter so your sugar won’t crystallize. Add brown sugar and whisk vigorously to combine. Add cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add vanilla and a pinch of sea salt. Stir until combined. Serve warm or allow to cool. Stir vigorously, then store in refrigerator. Mixture will thicken as it cools. After refrigeration, warm slightly in the microwave or on the stovetop.


Froggie’s Liquid Gold Caramel Sauce




1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (use cream cheese in a block or spreadable, don’t use fat-free, light or whipped)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used 1 cup chips and 1 1/4 cups chunks)


Preheat oven to 360.

Cream together butter, cream cheese, sugars. Add egg and vanilla.

Mix dry ingredients together. Add to Sugars. Add chips/chunks.

Chill dough in freezer for up to an hour.  Scoop into tablespoon size scoop, and then flatten slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove and Eat. Stays soft due to the cream cheese, keep in covered container for up to a week, or freeze and it will stay long enough for you to nibble until you get fat)