I don’t know about you, but as we “mature”, I find it more and more difficult to give my husband a birthday present. What I mean is, something other than the standards. Things like socks, shirts, or his favorite meal. I still do all of those things but wanted to do something he would really enjoy.

We went to a beautiful vineyard with fantastic wines in Eden, Maryland. Bordeleau Vineyards and Winery.    It was fantastic! Our close friends and our children where on hand to make it a party. He got some wonderful cards and gifts and drank some great wine. Our daughter brought the most amazing marshmallow doughnuts from a bakery in Baltimore. It was a fantastic day and he loved it. I still had one other card up my sleeve.

I just happen to know the captain of “0 Dark Thirty” and his wife. He charters fishing trips from Taylors Island, Maryland.  A beautiful boat, and he knows these waters like the back of his hand. I contacted his wife and she had him contact me. A fishing trip was born. This information I didn’t divulge until the day of his birthday. He was so excited, but I was too.  I found a birthday present he would always remember and would definitely enjoy. No boring socks here….haha!

That’s Captain Bruce Abbott and my husband Joe, holding our dinner for today!



The bottom right is my husband kissing his fish. One of our friends came from Connecticut just for this trip. I think it is safe to say, he and his buddies had a fantastic day. Many thanks to Captain Bruce Abbott. Check out his Facebook page. I added the link above. If you find yourself in this area book a fishing trip with the “0 Dark Thirty”. You’ll have memories to last a lifetime and a fantastic day.

I have a beautiful rockfish fillet;  I am going to cook it on the grill. It’s simple and very tasty. Should you find yourself the beneficiary of a rockfish fillet you might want to give this one a try. By the way, rockfish are also known as striped bass. Striped bass or “stripers” are also called rockfish because they like to nestle in the nooks and crannies of reefs and ledges.

Here’s the recipe. I can not wait for dinner! I am going to have it with a salad and a stuffed artichoke casserole. My friend Barbara gave me that recipe, and it just so happens, it will be my next blog. So don’t forget to come back y’all!




  • Rockfish or Striped Bass fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. Line a large sheet pan with non-stick foil. Use plenty of foil and you will be using it at the end to encase the entire fillets.
  2. Place the fillet or fillets on the sheet pan, skin side down, after rinsing and patting dry with paper towels.
  3. Lightly brush the meat side of the fillets with olive oil.
  4. Put small thin pats of unsalted butter across the top of the fish. (These will melt and distribute over the fish during cooking.)
  5. Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning across the fish. Keep in mind that too much can be overpowering. I like to see it but not completely cover it.
  6. Sprinkle lightly, the herb de Provence over the fish
  7. Place very thinly sliced lemons on top of the fish. (If you aren’t a lemon lover you can omit this step)
  8. Lightly add some fresh ground pepper
  9. Bring the foil up and over the fish to cover it. You will want to do this loosely, but completely enclose it, so you can check the process easily
  10. Place on a hot grill, checking after the first 15 – 20 minutes.
  11. When the fish flakes easily and is opaque, it’s done. (Ours took about 18 minutes.)

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D





Has anybody out there heard of  intermittent fasting? I honestly thought that is what I was doing,  or did! In other words, I don’t eat all the time; I eat intermittently. Well the intermittent fast is definitely not what I do. It is also, NOT A DIET.

My hairdresser, as big around as a pencil, just told me she just started following this. First of all I asked “why?”. She is so tiny! I must have been her size when I was born! Her response, “I just want to lose my tummy weight”. Okay, I get it. Bathing suit season is here, or supposed to be. Time for shorts and those cute tops and dresses that bare all. I was intrigued so I started looking into this fast.

I began to research this fast method and found this website. It explains it in simple language that anybody can understand. It honestly makes sense.

Basically, you are giving up one meal. That’s an automatic reduction in calories. If you concentrate on proteins and low carbohydrates, there is no possible way you can’t lose pounds. While it doesn’t tell you how fast you lose the weight, it is inevitable that you will lose weight.

The article goes on to explain the fed state versus the fasting state. “When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.” This is science I can get behind as a nurse.

There are other benefits as well. It helps simplify daily life, causing less stress, since there are only two meal times to prepare for. “Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life”. This may also be a key to reduce the risk of cancer.

In my opinion, this approach to a healthy lifestyle makes sense. I don’t want to forsake flavor. I don’t want to starve myself. I do want to live a long and healthy life. I also want to be able to enjoy food since I love to cook and eat.

When I think about it, there are days that I only get to eat two meals anyway. Maybe it’s my timing that has been off. As I look back on my younger years when I was thin, I may have only eaten one meal a day. When I was at my thinnest I remember saying frequently, “I forgot to eat; I’m hungry”. Now there’s a revelation!

I don’t think I have found the fountain of youth, nor the quick loss weight cure. I do think this is food for thought. No pun intended! I am going to concentrate on my timing and try to work on giving my body and my insulin levels a break. The “Daily Fast” is my fast of choice. I’ll let you know how it goes.

There are multiple articles on this subject. Form your own opinions and get back to me. If you decide to try intermittent fasting I would love to hear from you.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

Quotes taken from “The Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting” by James Clear


What a beautiful day; this is what Spring is all about. I had all the windows open, curtains blowing in the breeze, and a sweet 74 degrees. It was too pretty to be inside. I love sitting outside and letting the sun warm my skin. It’s so rejuvenating! So a quick dinner was essential. This one could not be quicker or easier.

Our neighbors came over yesterday for a glass of wine and a chat. She loves to cook as I do. Naturally our conversation turned to food. She let me in on her method for slow roasting salmon. Her choice of seasonings was different from mine. As she said, you could use anything and it would still be good. It is definitely about the slow roasting.


If you haven’t discovered non-stick, aluminum foil, you need to purchase and give it a try. You can thank me later! I used it to line a half sheet baking pan. I pre-heated my oven to 300 degrees. I brought a large piece of salmon to room temperature. Then I lightly coated it with olive oil. Generously, it was salted and peppered. It was cooked for 20 minutes. It came out perfectly moist and tender. If you like your fish a little more well done, add an additional 10 minutes. Once out of the oven I generously sprinkled chili powder over the entire fillet.


This would be perfect with rice, or a thin sliced potato and any green vegetable. I chose to make Zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) with a smoky tomato sauce. It was a nice compliment to the chili topped salmon.


This is an excellent way to cook salmon. Thanks Myndi! I hope everybody gives this one a try.


  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 large salmon fillet, at room temperature
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • chili powder


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees
  2. Lightly coat the entire surface of the fillet with olive oil, using a brush or your hands.
  3. Generously season the fillet with kosher salt and pepper.
  4. Place the fillet on a non-stick foil lined pan. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Note: if you like your salmon more well done, add an additional 10 minutes.


Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminun Foil (Click on the link below)










Is anybody else out there tired of the cold and rain? I guess in some areas you folks are still getting snow. Mother Nature is going through naturepause or something. Seriously, I’m on the verge of needing medication or another vacation on an island somewhere.

I had to light a fire because it’s damp and cold. There’s not much else to do since I’m stuck inside. I said to myself, why not make some bread? So that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to make a loaf of Egg Bread EGG BREAD or CHALLAH and I think I’ll make some of my grandmothers yeast rolls Grandmom Minnie’s Yeast Rolls.


I love to bake bread. It makes the whole house smell so inviting and warm. It also reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen when I was little. It’s amazing how certain scents evoke such pleasant memories. Like the smell of a rose; it reminds me of my mother. It’s one of those days for reminiscing.



Know what goes good with homemade bread? Why soup of course! It’s doesn’t matter what kind. It just has to be good and one of your favorites. I have several I’ve posted, one of my favorites is vegetable soup. WEEKEND IN ANNAPOLIS and Vegetable Soup. I love to make it in my Instant Pot. Of course if you are a good planner, the Crock Pot is also a great method.

I’m praying for mother nature and I ask that you do too. Maybe if we all pray real hard she will come out of her funk.

Send me some of your favorite soup recipes. Nothing better than a tried and true recipe that has been passed down. Keep smiling and find some sunshine inside. Bake a loaf of bread or make a recipe that brings back good memories.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxox

Viki D

nothing to “TRIFLE” about

I hope everybody had a wonderful Easter. I know we did! What better way to spend a holiday than with your family? We had a full house and it was amazing. It was so nice having everybody under one roof to celebrate.

We, traditionally, have homemade ravioli for Easter. We’ve been doing it since I have known my husband and nothing has changed. So far we have enlisted the oldest daughter and now my grandson. He did a fantastic job! Of course, my sister-in-law, husband, and myself, have been doing it for a long time. Easter Weekend and Ravioli I must say, I was so grateful to have my sister-in-law Dawn here to help. We haven’t been able to cook together for a while because she lives in Michigan. We had some fun!!


I always make my homemade bread. EGG BREAD or CHALLAH Our oldest son, Ryan, would never forgive me if I didn’t. Of course Caesar salad is another tradition. I have a recipe that my husband and I made together years ago.  Unfortunately, that one is hush, hush, for the moment. I get asked for that one all the time. For now it’s in the vault. More to come on that!!!

Every good meal needs a good dessert, especially during the holidays. Dawn and I used to make this one all the time. In fact, both of us had that “aha” moment at the same time, “TRIFLE”. It’s easy, light, and quite a table stunner. Made with cake cubes, pudding, fruit, and Cool Whip.


I’ve made it with different fruit, puddings,  and cake bases. You can tailor it to suit your taste buds too. Our trifle was 3 layers so all of the ingredients are divided into thirds. I happen to have a trifle dish but any pretty clear glass bowl will also work. Assemble all of your ingredients before you start. You will also want to make your pudding ahead of time so it sets up. I use Jello sugar free-fat free instant puddings. Again, use whatever pudding you like.


  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 pre-made angel food cake, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 large box of Sugar Free, Fat Free lemon pudding, prepared ahead to thicken (I use skim milk)
  • 1 quart of strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1 pint of blueberries, washed
  • 2 bananas, sliced thin
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple, no sugar added, drained
  • 1 large container of Cool Whip (I use Lite) thawed
  • 1/2 cup of sliced almonds


  1. Line all of your ingredients in front of you.
  2. Start with 1/3 of the cake cubes and line the bottom of your bowl.
  3. Next cover the cake cubes with 1/3 of the pudding.
  4. Use 1/3 of each fruit and lay on top of the pudding layer.
  5. Spread 1/3 of the Cool Whip on top of the fruit.
  6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the sliced almonds on top of the Cool Whip.
  7. Repeat these layers two more times.
  8. On the third layer of Cool Whip I like to dollop and swirl the remainder in little clouds and add a large berry to the top just to make it pretty.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.

I would love to hear and see your combinations, so please feel free to share with me.

Until next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

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