Real Simple's Guide to a Month of Easy Dinners


I'm gonna try and take this on...we'll see how long it lasts. Get your appetite ready!

Week one:

Tilapia with Peppers and Olives

Serves 4 Hands-On Time: 20m Total Time: 20m


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 6-ounce tilapia fillets
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a second large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the peppers and onion, stirring often, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the olives, parsley, lime juice, and 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the fish.

Spicy Orange-Glazed Drumsticks with Green Beans

Serves 4 Hands-On Time: 15m Total Time: 45m


  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian section of the supermarket)
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 corn bread muffins, warmed


  1. Heat oven to 400ยบ F. In a small bowl, mix the marmalade and chili-garlic sauce.
  2. Season the chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Roast on a foil-lined baking sheet until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes, brushing with the marmalade mixture during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the green beans until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain and toss with the butter and 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the chicken and muffins.

Beef and Bok Choy Stir Fry

Serves 4 Hands-On Time: 20m Total Time: 20m


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, quartered
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the steak with 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, turning often, until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the steak to a plate.
  2. Wipe out the skillet. Add the bok choy and 1⁄4 cup water and simmer, covered, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and sugar. Add to the bok choy in the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the steak and any accumulated juices and cook, tossing, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Umbrellas and Chairs for 6, please!

this picture pretty much sums up the whole weekend!

me and 5 (let's just say) older women, including my cousin, trekked our way down to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida for their annual girls trip. i'm glad that i was able to attend this year. these girls can hold their own! i was right there with them eating, drinking and of course shopping!

what a way to end the summer!

Turkey and Hot Sausage Chili


Courtesy of Mr. Emeril Lagasse


* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 pound ground turkey
* 12 ounces hot Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
* 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
* 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
* 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
* 1/2 cup chopped, roasted and peeled green poblano or Anaheim chiles
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 (12-ounce) lager beer
* 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with their juice
* 2 cups cooked pinto beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese, garnish
* Tortilla chips, accompaniment


In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, sausage and Essence, and cook, stirring, until the meat is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, and chilies, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt, and cook for 1 minute. Add the beer and tomatoes, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Remove from the heat and add the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

To serve, ladle into large bowls and sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup of cheese. Serve tortilla chips on the side.

*NOTE: When working with chile peppers, always wear rubber gloves and be careful not to touch your eyes or skin. Wash all utensils and cutting surfaces well with hot, soapy water before proceeding.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

* 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 tablespoons salt
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon black pepper
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch

Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Don't Stop Believing


It was wet and we were surrounded by old fogies who thought they were still living the dream listening to Night Ranger and Journey in their El Caminos (and yes someone did bring out their El Camino for the night). You can only imagine the type of crowd watching at the show.

I was expecting more Filipino pride at the concert, but I did spot a Filipino flag in the crowd...that'll do donkey! And I definitely thought I knew more Journey songs...not so much...and didn't know that they had a new album out. That could probably explain why I paid what? $20 to hear about 5 or 6 songs that I could actually belt out and one song that I could lose my voice to...Yes, Don't Stop Believing...

Supper Club: Repast


This month's supper club was at Repast. The food was okay..the gin and tonics were amazing and the company was (as usual) so much fun! I ordered the green plate special, which on Thursdays, was a burger with fries and it included a salad and a dessert. All for $15! I need to make it there on Wednesday nights when they have shrimp and grits. The burger was okay, but I should have ordered the delish!

As always, it's so much fun seeing new faces at Supper Club and the smiling faces I love to see every day!

The Thrill is Gone


I finally got to see BB King live! J. Wo and I got there late (due to the fact that we didn't know we were driving almost to Alabama to see him), but the 45 minutes we were there were great. Good wine, good food and good music!

I tried posting my voice memo on here, but there was an error so I found this 1970 performance on you tube.

I also got this pretty sweet poster designed by Hatch Show Print in Nashville, TN.