Mushroom Wine Sauce

Here is alight tasty sauce I came up with that compliments a grilled or sautéed steak.  You can prepare this easily while on a camping adventure and it is a good choice for entertaining at home as well.   –  Chef MJ

Want more recipes like this?  Check out my NEW cookbook on this blog site!


16 oz          baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup     onion, diced

4 cloves    garlic, minced

6 tbsp.      butter

3 oz           tomato paste

20 oz        unsalted beef broth

1 tsp          dried spice herbs de Provence or thyme

2 tsp          cornstarch

2 tsp          water

1/4 cup     red wine

salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Rinse mushrooms briefly, pat dry and slice in 1/4″ wide slices.
  2.  Cut onion, medium diced.  Chop garlic, fine minced.
  3.  Heat a large skillet with butter on the stove top over MEDIUM heat, add diced onions.
  4.  Saute’ onions for 2-3 minutes then add the minced garlic, set heat to LOW for 1 minute.
  5.  Add tomato paste, saute’ on LOW for 1 minute.
  6.  Add broth, herbs de Provence or thyme and wine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7.  Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the sauce.  Turn heat to MEDIUM.
  8.  Stir until sauce thickens and lightly coats the back of a spoon.
  9.  Serve over grilled steak and/or mashed potatoes, or as pictured here over cooked noodles.



Instant Pressure Pot Chicken Chile Verde

No need to heat up your kitchen or RV with this quick, easy Instant Pot recipe… and this is so good. Serve the chile verde over rice or on its own with some baked zucchini chips.

If you have extra sauce, grab a small bag of baked tortilla chips or some raw vegetables and enjoy!

This recipe happens to be an exception to the IP 1 cup minimum liquid guideline as the tomatillos provide some of the liquid.

Instant Pot 6 quart Can be prepared in 3 quart or 8 quart IP also, just scale the recipe to stay below the maximum fill line.

Package leftover portions in freezer zip top bags. Refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Serves 6

4- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters
1 jalapeno pepper
2 Anaheim pepper or mild Hatch chile
2 poblano pepper
8 medium tomatillos, cut in half
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup baked tortilla chips or homemade baked zucchini chips
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 limes cut in wedges



Insert the stainless steel IP insert into the Instant Pot.
Rinse and dry chicken, peppers and onion, set aside.
Cut the onion and peppers into quarters, set aside.
Peel the wrappers off the tomatillos. Wash the tomatillos well under running water.
Cut the tomatillos in half, set aside.
Season chicken with spices, salt and pepper.
Place stainless steel liner in the IP. Turn IP to SAUTE.
Add chicken to the Instant Pot, top with tomatillos, onions and peppers.
Saute’ and stir ingredients for 5 minutes.
Close IP and the steam vent.
Select the MANUAL mode, high pressure for 25 minutes.
When pressure cooker time is complete, release steam with the quick release method.
Remove chicken from the IP and set aside on a plate.
Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables and natural juices in the IP, then return the chicken to the pot.  Turn off heat.

NOTE:  Serve chile verde in soup bowls.  Top with sour cream, grated cheese and chopped cilantro.

Instant Pot Cinnamon Rolls

cin cake wedge

These cinnamon rolls are delicious, gooey and delightful!  Use half of the ingredients for each batch…

Ingredients  (makes 2 batches of 8 rolls) 

16 oz            Pillsbury Hot Rolls Mix (dry mix in a box)

1                    egg

1 cup            hot water (120 – 130 degrees F)


1 cup             brown sugar

1 cup             butter

4 tsp              cinnamon

2 tsp              vanilla

baking spray

Glaze  ( for 2 batches of rolls)

Prepare Pillsbury Hot Roll mix dough according to package directions for sweet rolls on the side of the box.

After kneading the dough on a lightly flour cutting board, let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

Divide dough in 2. Stretch 1 portion of dough to 3 1/2″ x 10″ long.

Combine the filling ingredients in a medium sized bowl and create a crumbly paste.

Add filling paste evenly on top of the dough then log roll the cinnamon rolls lengthwise, cut into 1″ slices.

Prepare a 7″ round disposable foil pan with baking spray. Place topping mixture in the foil pan (see pic).

Place roll slices over the topping. Cover the rolls lightly and let them rise for 20 minutes.

Pour 1 1/2 cups of water in the IP stainless steel pot liner and place in the IP.

Cut steam vent holes in a second 7″ round foil pan (see pic), place pan in the IP with the slit side of foil pan upwards, creating an elevated rack.

Prepare a foil sling that is 3 x the width of the stainless steel liner, fan fold foil lengthwise x4 to forming a sling, then center the sling in the Instant Pot.

After rolls have risen, uncover and place the 7″ foil pan of rolls in the foil sling. Place a paper towel over the rolls and cover (but do not seal the pan of rolls) lightly with the disposable lid provided with the 7″ pans, reflective side down.

Roll the foil sling ends down to the top of the covered pan of rolls (see pic). Close IP lid and steam vent. Set IP to MANUAL 23 minutes HIGH pressure. Let steam release naturally for 10 minutes then use the quick release.

Lift pan with rolls from the IP using the foil sling ends.

Place a dinner plate serving side down over the rolls and flip the pan over. The rolls will self glaze.

cin rolls preparing dough and topping  cin roll steam rack   cin roll sling with rolls  cin disposable lid

Apple Cinnamon Mug Cake

A quick, easy, delicious breakfast muffin or dessert you can microwave and enjoy as a single serving in a matter of minutes!

Serves 1

Ingredients – batter

4 tbsp        gluten free or other flour

1 tbsp.       brown sugar

1/2 tsp       cinnamon

1 tbsp.       coconut oil

3 tbsp.       water

pinch         sea salt

coconut oil baking spray


1/2             apple, peeled, cut in small dice

1 tbsp.       brown sugar

1 tsp          ghee or softened butter

1/2 tsp       cinnamon

1/4 tsp       flour

1/2 tsp       vanilla


  1. Lightly coat a medium sized microwave safe mug with coconut oil.
  2. Add batter ingredients to the mug, stir to combine coconut oil and butter.
  3. Thoroughly blend the oil and butter with the dry ingredients (no clumps remaining).
  4. Microwave on HIGH for 20 seconds.
  5. Combine filling in a small bowl and spoon on top to the batter.
  6. Microwave on HIGH for 40 seconds then let the mug cake rest for 1 minute.
  7.  Microwave on HIGH for 15 seconds, let rest for a minute then enjoy!


Wilderness Tea Party – Glacier

A leisurely afternoon of tea and small bites filled the afternoon of nearly half the group of 125+ RV folks that met up in Babb, Montana mid June 2018 for fun and adventure in Glacier.  Ladies wore various types and styles of hats and berets while men wore a creative variety of more ‘manly type hats’ for the most part.  Everyone enjoyed the  casual free time catching up with friends and acquaintances and meeting new folks all while relaxing, sipping  tea and sharing both laughter, adventure stories, their hobbies and interests.

Many of those attending brought delicious finger foods, candies, decorated accents, teas, and jams to share. A group offered and came together to lend a hand in set up and clean up afterwards. What an awesome time!  The variety of small delights was amazing with homemade gingersnaps, banana bread, carrot pineapple cake, deviled eggs, crackers topped with a cucumbers and dill, decorated brownie bites and much more.

The carrot pineapple cake recipe is a cake I’ve made for years and a blue ribbon     winner at the Ventura County Fair in CA each of the 3 years I entered it in various  baking categories (cakes, breads, muffins)!  The recipe is moist full of flavor, freezes well  and keeps perfectly fresh on the kitchen/galley counter (in a zip top bag) for a full week.



Cherry Season at it’s peak!


Traveling in our RV through some of the western regions of the United States, we arrived in Coeur d’ Alene at the end of June 2018.  Our plan, to visit our son and his family; welcoming them as they arrived at their new home  the same weekend.  My husband Jeff and I had been on the road for a couple of weeks now, our starting point on the RV trip, our home in Camarillo, CA.

After settling in and visiting the family for a day, the grandkids and I gathered around one of the two huge cherry trees in their front yard that were bearing an abundant quantity of cherries.  Pie cherries and Bing cherries. We believe the ‘pie cherries’ are Mount Hood cherries, slightly amber with a blush of red, slightly tart with overtones of sweetness.  We targeted the low hanging ripe fruit for a cherry cobbler to serve for an evening dessert shared with manyfamily members that had arrived in town.  The cobbler was delicious and so we decided to pick more cherries and make French vanilla cherry cupcakes for the following day and a bowl of cherries to have for snacking during the week.