Author Archive


This recipe is from Joan Lamberson, a unique lady that was a mentor and friend. Joan is not longer with us, but  I have made this recipe many, many times and have never been disappointed.  Quick breads can sometimes be dry, not this one. The first time I made this for my husband, he politely told me he did not care for zucchini, but would “try” this loaf.  He ate the whole loaf.



3 eggs

2 C. sugar

3 C.  self-rising flour

1/2 C. nuts

1 C. oil

2 C. grated zucchini

1 T. vanilla

1 T. cinnamon

2 small loaf pans  -  350 degrees -  for 1 hour

Beat eggs, oil and sugar: add flour, cinnamon and vanilla. Do not over mix! Fold in zucchini and nuts. Pour into greased and floured pan and bake.

Crab Cakes and White Wine

Make this simple meal for a gourmet dinner for two.

This is the only frozen crab cakes I have found in the grocery that is actually edible.  I know you will like this brand. It is pricey, but as it goes, you get what you pay for.

Make this pairing and add a salad or pasta.  You will have a superb and quick meal  for less than half the price you would pay at a high end restaurant!


ist1_3141517-wineWine: Pinot Grigrio – Dellatorri, Italy.  White Wine 2007. (Kroger)


crabcakeCrab Cakes: Handy Handmade (2) crab cakes or

Handy soft crabs (2), wild caught. (Food City)

Soup and Beer

Beer and Soup! Are you kidding?

Off the Shelf Food Pairings that you will actually like!

Click here!

Flying Dog Pale Ale - Doggie Style



Shrimp Bisque

shrimp bisque

I created this recipe using a few techniques from Paula Deen and Anthony Bourdain. Sounds scary, right? Results -

A better shrimp bisque than you can find in any restaurant in this region. A bold claim I will not often make. The secret is in the stock and is much easier to make than you may think.

Best shrimp to use: Fresh, of course but,  UNCOOKED shrimp WITH Shells from your local Kroger will work.  The brand -  Key West, Premium Select, Large. You can find these  in the frozen seafood section.

Shrimp Stock

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, with leaves, chopped

4 – 5 cups water

twist of lemon peel

salt and pepper to taste

bay leaf

shells from peeled shrimp

1 cup of white wine ( Barefoot – Sauvignon Blanc)

Slowly bring all ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan. Partially cover, and cook at medium heat for 25 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly and puree in blender with steel blades.

Shrimp Bisque

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup small diced onion

1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)

1/2 teaspoon old bay seasoning

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1 cup half-and-half

4-5  cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (white if available)

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Chopped chives for garnishing

Using a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once oil is hot, add the onions. Saute until onions are a very light caramel color. Add garlic and heat for 1 minute. Add shrimp, 0ld bay seasoning and heat for one minute, stirring gently. Add chicken broth, and thyme. and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Season with  kosher salt and pepper to taste.

In a clean large pot enough to hold stock, combine 4 tablespoons of butter with 4 tablespoons of flour to form a roux (use a wooden spoon).  Add half-and-half , then strained shrimp stock using whisk, until thick.

Combine the chicken broth mixture with the roux.  Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until shrimp are just cooked.

Town House Restaurant

Warm Bordeauz Punch

Town House

132 East Main Street

Chilhowie, Virignia


Executive Chefs John B. Shields and Karen Urie Shields

Town House, Chilhowie Restaurant is my first review for several reasons. Town House stands alone in food class. I am not a regular guest and suspect this is true for many of you. Let’s explore why such an exclusive restaurant may not be for everyone.

Town House Chef’s John and Karen Shield offer an experience that enhances the very best “togetherness” food and wine offer.  Town House is best approached as an experience and an opportunity to taste cuisine that cannot be found in our region or even near. As you eat the very small portions, you must remember this as you will be disappointed, or washing dishes, when the $175-$300 bill arrives.

The event “Christmas in Bordeaux, a four course dinner, with two wine pairings (per course), was worth the price of admission ($125) per person. The opportunity to taste the  wine paired expertly by Katherine Rose of Wines of Distinction, Abingdon, Virginia, and Sommelier Charlie Berg greatly enhanced the experience.  As the small restaurant was sold out, we were not alone. In case you are not sure and most are not, Bordeaux is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. 88% of wine produced in Bordeaux is red, with sweet white wines, dry wines, rose and sparkling making up the remainder.

The Experience: A warm punch Bordeaux punch was a perfect beginning, followed by braised stem of broccoli (brie, pistachio, roasted apples, parsley), bay scallop (pork belly, bitter grapefruit, reduction of saffron, whole roasted pineapple (duck foie gras, bay leaf, quinoa, honey) and fallen soufflé (red wine, sweet spices, toasted chestnut).

Katherine Rose of Wines of Distinction gave individual explanations of the Bordeaux . These wines can be found at her shop, but you will not find them in the supermarket. Prices range as you can imagine, but some can be purchased around $17.

My favorite pairing came with dessert. The 2004 Chateau Margaux ‘Pavillon rouge,’ Margaux enhanced the ginger in the fallen soufflé sorbet magnificently.   As you follow along you will see this does always happen, so a magnificent pairing is not so common.

Fallen Souffle

We all know wine enhances the flavor of food, but I have left  dinners in my pre-sensual palate days, still trying to figure out how the wine recommended had actually enhanced anything but my bill.  I choose my own wines and you can learn too, just follow my blog.

The service was slightly less attentive than expected, but adequate.Town House is out of the price range and palate pleasure for many, but those who want a special experience in the food world, go forth and taste.


Rating 5 out of 5

Next review: Black Rooster, Marion, Virginia.