Saturday, August 21, 2021

Sherried Cream of Mushroom Soup

 This was a hard post to write.  Just cause I had to remake the soup a couple of times so that the finished soup matched the concept I had in mind when I started it. 

The soup tasted great, each time, but honestly, it didn't look all that great.  

The theme this month for Soup Saturday Swappers was Mushrooms. 

And I wanted to add a little something.  So I floated a spoonful of sherry on top of the bowl and stirred it in and my mouth thanked me.  

It did, really...

Sherried Cream of Mushroom Soup

Personally and please don't throw things, but I love canned cream of mushroom soup.  I know it's full of mystery ingredients, but I like it.   

I based this soup on a recipe I got from a TV chef called Fred Wix.  He had a very popular segment on the noon news back in Salt Lake City many years ago.   

Fred rapturously extolled the incredible flavor of Vidalia Onions on one segment, and when I spotted the onions in a local supermarket I bought them.   And made the dish just as he'd outlined, it was full of onions and fresh mushrooms.  It was a hit, at least with me.  

I've since made it many times, tweaking and twiddling along the way.  And then it hit me, I could make this into an awesome soup.  

So I did.  

I then made the mistake of using my immersion blender to break up the mushrooms, which made for a rather unappetizing look, even though it tasted amazing.  But mushrooms do tend to go a rather yucky looking brownish grey when you do that. 

Lesson learned.  The next time I made the broth creamy, and didn't brown the mushrooms.  So good, and perfect, at least for  my taste.

Sherried Cream of Mushroom Soup

It was perfect with a buttered roll for dinner. 

Sherried Cream of Mushroom Soup


Sherried Cream of Mushroom Soup

Sherried Cream of Mushroom Soup

Yield: 4-6 Servings or more as an apertif
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 30 Min
This light, delicate and rich soup is perfect served as a light lunch or dinner or as an apertif before a large meal.


  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion - softball size - sliced or diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 oz. butter mixed with 2-3 tablespoons flour to form a roux
  • 1 clove garlic -sliced or mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh marjoram leaves
  • 4 tablespoons butter for sauteing the mushrooms and onions - 2 tablespoons butter for each one.
  • Sherry for topping - approximately 1 tablespoon per bowl or serving.


  1. Saute the onions until translucent but not browned in two tablespoons of butter.  Add the garlic clove and heat through.   Add the onions and garlic mixture to 4 cups of good chicken broth.  Let simmer until the onions are done a little more, then using an immersion blender, mix well.  Add the fresh herbs and simmer for a few minutes.
  2. While the stock and onion mixture is simmering, wash and slice the mushrooms and cook them over low heat with two tablespoons of butter.  Do not let them brown, just cook through. Set aside for a minute.
  3. Make a roux and whisk into the chicken and onion stock.  Let it come to a boil, and simmer for a couple of minutes, so that the flour is cooked.  Turn off the heat and add the cream and the mushrooms.  Turn the heat on low and let heat through. 
  4. Serve in individual small bowls and top with about a tablespoon of sherry or a soupspoon full.


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Monday, August 16, 2021

Mexican Rice in a Toaster Oven

I've made this version of Mexican Rice for years.  In fact, I'll make a batch just for me, and eat it all.  My late husband didn't care for rice that much, so I made it to my taste.  Which as we all know, if you're making something just for you, you should make it to your taste as well. 

And while I made this in my toaster oven, you can make rice this way in a regular oven as well.   In fact when I used to volunteer at the Senior Center and we served rice, I'd bake it in the regular oven, and it always worked out.  

But this is Multicooker Monday, and so I decided to make rice in the toaster oven.  And it worked, really well. 

There are two steps to my Mexican Style rice, but you can totally omit the browning portion, but I don't think it tastes as good.  

Mexican Style Rice

Here's few pictures of the process. 

Browning the rice

Mexican Style Rice

After the water and salsa has been added

Mexican Style Rice

The rice in the toaster oven container

Mexican Style Rice

And the finished rice

Mexican Style Rice

Mexican Style Rice in Toaster Oven

Mexican Style Rice in Toaster Oven

Yield: 2 Servings
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 35 Min
This makes two generous servings. You can also double or triple the recipe. It makes a great side, or as a filling for a burrito.


  • 1/2 cup white rice  ( I like converted rice for this)
  • 1/2 cup jarred or home made salsa
  • 3/4 cup water - divided  in half or so 
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)
  • 1/2-1 tsp. EVOO
  • Non stick spray


  1. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the EVOO.  Pour the rice in and let brown a little, keeping a close eye on it and stirring often.  
  2. While it is browning, spray a pan that can go in the toaster oven with a little non-stick spray.
  3. Continue to cook the rice in the pan until evenly browned.  Turn off the heat and pour in the 3/4 cup water.  It will bubble and steam, but that's ok.  Add the 1/2 cup of salsa and stir through.  Pour into the pan which has been sprayed with the non stick spray.  If it looks a little dry, add the additional 1/4 cup of water.  Place a piece of aluminum foil over and seal the pan well.  Place into the Toaster Oven and set the temp to 375 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.  Take out of the oven, remove the foil and fluff with a fork, and replace the foil.  You can serve this with refried beans, top with cheddar cheese or use as part of a filling in a burrito.

 Note:  You do not need to brown the rice first for this dish, but it does taste better.  

If cooking regular rice, you don't need as much water, but an extra 1/4 cup of water per half cup of regular rice will ensure that the rice is fully hydrated and cooked.  A little of moisture will escape in the form of steam. 

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Multicooker Monday

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Monday, August 9, 2021

Corn and Pepper Medley Pierogi Casserole (with Seafood) for Baking Bloggers

 It's time for Baking Bloggers and I'm ready.   Sue Lau of Palatable Pastime is our hostess and this month we were tasked with making something with corn.  As Sue said,  "Join us in baking up some sweet corn in our recipes.
You can use fresh, frozen or canned sweet corn in your recipe"
, but it had to be baked, hence the name of the group, Baking Bloggers.

I missed the past couple of months of Baking Bloggers,  I'm still trying to get my head together over suddenly becoming a widow.  Not an easy task.  

However, I happened to have the ingredients for this on hand and decided to throw it all together and see how it turned out. 

Corn and Pepper Medley Pierogi Casserole

I googled ideas and got some inspiration from here, this lady added pierogi's, and made a casserole.  

I immediately jumped on that one, cause I've got lots of Pierogies in my freezer, from the last time I made them.  

I may have found a new way of eating  Pierogies.  Although my favorite way is probably still the classic one.  But this comes a close second. 

I made a single serving, cause there's only me now to eat it.  And since I had made some large pierogi's two was more than enough for me.  I think you can use commercial Pierogi's if you wish, I'm sure it will be just fine. 

Because my Pierogi's were homemade, they're thicker and more substantial than commercial ones.  Which meant that I felt the need to cook them first before baking them in the casserole.  And it was a good thing.  That thick outer shell actually could have cooked a little more, it was kinda chewy, but delicious.  

I also happened to have a couple of crab legs and a few cooked shrimp in the freezer, so I added them in the last few minutes of the bake.  

Corn and Pepper Medley Pierogi Casserole

I'm so glad I did, they enhanced the entire dish to an absolutely amazing meal.  

In fact, I'm thinking of doing a repeat this coming week.  I still have some crab left...  

Corn and Pepper Medley Pierogi Casserole

Corn and Pepper Medley Pierogi Casserole

Yield: 1 serving (although it can be doubled or quadrupled very easily)
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking - Adapted from several online recipes.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min
This was such an awesome casserole, quick and easy to put together and baked beautifully in my toaster oven. No need to turn the big one on in the summer heat. This is substantial enough for a hearty appetite.


  • 1/3 cup corn - fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup mixed red, green and orange peppers - frozen works great here
  • 1/3 cup Heavy cream
  • 2-3 frozen pierogies - homemade or commercial
  • Optional:
  • 3-5 shrimp - cooked and shelled
  • 1-2 crab legs - meat only
  • Non-stick spray


  1. If using a conventional oven, preheat to 350 degrees. If using a toaster oven, you can wait to heat the oven until you place the casserole dish inside.
  2. Spray a heavy pan with some non-stick spray, and heat the pan over medium high heat. Add the corn and pepper medley, and saute' for a couple of minutes, just til the pepper softens a little.  Add the cream and heat to boiling. 
  3. While the corn and pepper medley is saute'ing, heat some water to boiling for the pierogies.  If using homemade ones.  If using frozen commercial pierogies you can skip this step.  Let the home made pierogies simmer for a couple of minutes, take out and let drain.
  4. Spray a baking dish with some non-stick spray and place the pierogies into the dish.  Pour the corn mixture over top, and if desired, place a lid or piece of aluminum foil over top. 
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes.   If adding the seafood, uncover and place the seafood on top for the last 5-7 minutes and let heat through. 
  6. Serve with a nice chilled glass of white wine if desired. (I like a mildly sweet wine rose wine myself.)

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Baking Bloggers: Baking with Sweet Corn


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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Cornish Game Hen for one

 I recently became a single person, not by choice but by the death of my husband.  I don't say this to garner sympathy, but as a simple statement of fact.  

I'd been used to making food for us as a couple, and loved the convenience of making enough food for multiple meals, freezing a lot of food for easy future meals.  I still have lots of Spaghetti Sauce in the freezer.  It was one of my go-to, easy to get on the table fast meals. 

But I won't be doing much of that anymore.   While I'm fond of Spaghetti, it's really not something I want on a weekly basis, and in fact, I have about a year's supply of it in the freezer right now.  

I'm in a new phase of my life now, and I thought I'd go ahead and share meals you can make for one or two people.  

I love a little Cornish Game hen, and used to make them on a semi regular basis, until the day my husband told me that he really did not care for them.  So I stopped buying them.   

I think this is a perfect, semi indulgent meal for one person, and depending on the sides, enough leftovers to make another meal. 

Or throw a couple more hens into the oven and have company over.   If you feel like having company that is. 

I personally love adding a touch of sweet to poultry of any sort and this recipe takes full advantage of that.  I also got to use some of the Mango Chutney I'd made and frozen a few months ago.   However, it would be totally awesome with some bottled commercial Mango Chutney as well.

Cornish Game Hen with Chutney

I roasted the hen first, and then added the chutney to the breast area, and roasted it an additional 10 minutes or so at 400 degrees.  Just long enough to caramelize the chutney a little and brown the chicken.  

After it was cooked, I let it rest a good 20 minutes, and then cut it in half with my kitchen shears.  I had some chicken gravy in a packet, I also added some more chutney to the gravy, and let it simmer a bit.  While the chicken was resting, I made up the gravy and also baked a small Yorkshire Pudding wrap.

I roasted some broccoli, while the Yorkshire pudding was baking and had an amazing dinner, perfect for one person.  

Cornish Hen with Chutney

    I did still have the other half of the hen, so a couple days later, I added the meat, which I'd taken off the bone, to the leftover gravy, and added even more chutney.  I enjoyed it served over some Basmati rice and steamed broccoli. 

Cornish Hen with Chutney and rice

Cornish Game Hen with Chutney

Cornish Game Hen with Chutney

Yield: 1-2
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 Hourinactive time: 20 MinTotal time: 1 H & 30 M
This little Cornish Game Hen is a perfect size for one or two people. Adding Chutney to the hen as it roasts, adds a lovely fruity note.


Roast Hen
  • 1 Cornish Game Hen
  • 1/4 cup Mango Chutney
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 packet dry chicken gravy mix, that makes 2 cups.
  • 1/4 cup Mango Chutney


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place chicken in a shallow pan with a rim.  Salt and Pepper the outside and roast for 45 minutes or until a thermometer reaches 165 degrees and the juices run clear.   Remove from oven, and spoon the 1/4 cup chutney over the breast, smoothing it out evenly.  Turn the oven up to 400 degrees and place the chicken back in the oven.  This allows the chutney to add the flavor and caramelize a little.  If needed, you can add a little water to the pan. 
  2. Remove from oven and let stand for about 15-20 minutes before carving or cutting it up.  This ensures that the meat is moist and tender.  And it's also easier to handle.
  3. Serve with your choice of carbs and vegetable. 
  1. Mix the gravy according to directions, and cook til thick.  Add the 1/4 cup chutney and heat through.
  2. Serve with the Cornish game hen.

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Saturday, July 3, 2021

Mini Mushroom Burger Bites

 This week we're featuring Mushrooms for Sunday Funday.   And I decided to go for something I remembered sampling at the Cowichan Exhibition over many years ago.   So long ago, I'm not admitting how many years. 

I'd tried a sample of a mushroom burger at a stand promoting a vegetarian lifestyle and fell in love.  So, I decided to have some fun for today's event.

I probably buy and consume a pound or more of fresh button mushrooms every week.  I love mushrooms, and stick mostly with the white or button mushrooms, although if I can find baby portobello's I'll certainly grab them.  Our little town doesn't have a lot of choices, mushroom wise.  But that's OK, cause these little mushroom burger bites work so well with just plain old white button mushrooms. 

I also cooked and added some mung bean to the basic recipe, I was trying to amp up the protein level a bit.  

I ate some with just mango chutney on top, 

Mushroom Burger
And some with Mango and Thai Green Curry Paste.  I liked the one with the Green Curry Paste the best. 

Mushroom Burger

Check out some more fun recipes from some fellow bloggers. 

Mini Mushroom Burger Bites

Mini Mushroom Burger Bites

Yield: 12-16 appetizer size patties or 6 meal size patties
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 15 Min
These are rich and full of mushroom flavor and are great paired with Green Thai Chile paste and Mango chutney.


  • 1/2 cup mung beans, cooked in enough water to cover
  • 8 oz. chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 small onion (think tennis ball size)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz. sliced mushrooms, sauteed in butter, chopped
  • Ghee for frying.
  • Buns
  • Thai Green Curry Paste
  • Mango Chutney
  • Butter Lettuce


  1. Cook the mung beans til tender, about 25 minutes, set aside.
  2. Chop the mushrooms up, then process them along with the onion and cooked mung beans in a food processor til well mixed.
  3. Add the eggs and bread crumbs and mix together, let sit while you saute the remaining mushrooms.
  4. Saute the remaining mushrooms, and chop them up, and stir into the mushroom mixture. 
  5. Melt the ghee over medium heat and spoon some of the mushroom mixture into a round form or make a patty.
  6. Fry til golden brown on the outside, and serve on a toasted bun with some butter lettuce (if desired), and top with some Green Thai Curry Paste and some Mango chutney. 

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Friday, June 25, 2021

New Monthly Post

 I've been trying to figure out how to say this, so I'll just say it plainly. 

I'm a widow, a brand new widow, and I've gone from cooking for two people and friends to mostly cooking for one, myself. 

For the first time in many years, I'll get to cook meals that cater to my taste, and not my husband's taste.

He was as he put it, 'not very adventuresome' when it came to trying different foods.   And I cooked mostly for him. 

We had Taco's every single Tuesday, and he would happily eat that, every single week.  I rarely ate the same kind of taco's as him.  I like a lot of variety, so I'd make various kinds of Taco's, from Margarita Shrimp Taco's

Margarita Shrimp Tacos

to Grilled Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa 
Grilled Fish Tacos

and my latest fun taco, which is a baked taco, and was totally delish as well, Tacos de Jocoqui.  I also made some Slow Cooker Carnita's, most of which is currently residing, or resting if you will, in the freezer.  In single serving bags.

So where am I going with this?  

It's simple.  I'll be redoing some of my recipes to make them into single meals, as well as some that you can basically freeze and take out when you just want a good meal, and don't want to eat a commercial frozen dinner. 

I love cooking, but honestly, some nights I'd just like to grab something out of the freezer and heat it up. Easy peasy.

I plan on posting these 'Meal Makeovers' around the first of every month.  If I'm making a redo, I'll include the original recipe, and if it's a new one, I'll of course tell you how to make it for a family. 

Do expect more seafood recipes, along with more Danish recipes as well. 

Happy cooking, my philosophy is simple, If I can't have fun in the kitchen, I don't want to play.  

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Sunday, May 30, 2021

Slow Cooker Carnitas

 I made a big batch of Carnitas the other day, and decided to go ahead and update an older post.  And just share pictures of this porky goodness.

Carnitas Tacos

Carnita's are a personal favorite of mine and I love ordering them in Mexican restaurants so I can compare them with mine, and maybe pick up a few new ideas.

My understanding about how Carnitas are made traditionally come from an old article I read many years ago.  And I've tried making them the traditional way and OMG they are delicious, however, sometimes you don't have either the time or inclination to stand over a pot simmering away on top of the stove, stirring them occasionally.  Here's how I remember the 'traditional' method:  Cut the pork butt into small 1" pieces, and simmering with a little water, orange juice until the water evaporates, usually takes about 2 hours.  As the pork cooks, the fat renders out, and the pork actually 'fries' a little in it.  Continue to cook over low heat until the pork is browned and crispy.  Serve in warmed tortillas with chopped onion, cilantro and queso fresca. 

And they are delicious.  However, I don't always want to do them that way.  And I've found that the broiler on my oven, works great when it comes to browning and crisping up the pork. 

 I used my crock pot or slow cooker if you like and cooked a whole pork butt (which is actually the shoulder), in a little water and orange juice.  I also added a couple of bay leaves, Cumin, Oregano, some onion and jalapeno. Not too traditional but it tastes good. 

One thing to remember is that the orange juice also works as a weak meat tenderizer.  So you don't need to cook it as long as you might think.  Also the little bit of sugar in the orange juice also helps the caramelization or browning of the meat.  

I also like to eat them either on a flour tortilla with my own refried beans and lots of toppings, including my own home made Créme Fräiche..  I also like them tucked into a crisp corn tortilla.   They're good just by themselves, on a plate.  I'm not fussy, anyway you like them, is good for me.

Carnitas Tacos

 What can I say, pork is good food, at least for this omnivore.


Slow Cooker Carnitas

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Yield: 6 + servings
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 3 Hourinactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 4 H & 10 M
These Carnitas are better than the restaurant, easy to make and delicious to eat as well.


  • 3# Pork Butt
  • 1 cup chicken stock- homemade works great here.
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin (more to taste)


  1. Place all ingredients into slow cooker, set on high for 2 hours.  Remove the meat, cut into smaller pieces and return to pot and let cook 1-2 more hours on low. 
  2. Remove from heat, drain, reserving the cooking juices. 
  3. Break the meat up a little, and spread it on a single layer on a rimmed baking pan and place under broiler until it browns and crisps up.
  4. Serve on a tortilla with fresh tomatoes and grilled onion slices, top with some queso fresca if desired or just a sprinkle of Monterey Jack cheese. 

Nutrition Facts



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All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2021, with all rights reserved thereof.

Check out my cookbooks on Amazon.  You can also email me at if you'd like an autographed copy of any of the books.   

All are available as paperbacks or as a downloadable e-book.  

All the ebooks are currently on sale.
 Simple Shrimp Recipes - 25 + Appetizer, Entree and Dipping Sauces.
 Nibbles and Bites - A Compilation of Appetizers, Canapes and Finger Foods
  Hygge - Danish Food and Recipes

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