I was on a roll writing today–1,500 words of The Kindling: Book Four, which is a big deal for un-prolific me–when dinner time rolled around. So I extricated myself from the middle ages and hung up my pen and paper (or something like that) to make dinner for my guys. Though I overcooked the tuna a bit, the peach salsa made up for my wandering mind that couldn’t fully shake free of the sticky situation in which I had placed my poor hero and heroine. But after dinner…

Tuna Steaks with Peach Salsa

1 large peach, pitted and diced

1 large tomato, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 tbsp minced jalapeno

1 tbsp minced cilantro

1 tbsp honey

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

4-6 oz tuna steaks (or other fish)

1) 30 minutes prior to preparing fish, combine peach, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and honey in a medium-sized bowl and refrigerate

2) To shallow bowl add cornmeal, salt, and pepper; set aside

3) To large skillet, add olive oil and butter and heat over medium-high; dredge tuna steaks in cornmeal mixture and place in skillet; cook 3-4 minutes each side or until fish is just cooked through; remove from heat, top each tuna steak with peach salsa, and serve

Servings: 4


A pizza crust topped with beef, black beans, red bell pepper, corn, and tomatoes. What’s not to like? Although Black Bean and Chicken Tostada Pizza remains one of my favorite pizzas, this one comes pretty close. Definitely a keeper.
Beef and Black Bean Mexican Pizza

DOUGH (or you can buy pre-made pizza dough)

1 tsp active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp olive oil


1 lb lean ground beef

2/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1/3 cup matchstick carrots

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper

1/3 cup frozen corn, thawed

1-14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 tbsp taco seasoning

3/4 cup quartered grape tomatoes

1 cup salsa (I used mild)

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 green onions, sliced thin


1) Dissolve yeast in water and let sit 10 minutes

2) To large bowl, add flour, salt, and olive oil; stir to combine; add water-yeast mixture and stir until dough comes together (I do this by hand); place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise 1 hour


3) Preheat oven to 450 degrees

4) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add ground beef and onion and cook 5-6 minutes until beef is lightly browned; reduce heat to medium and stir in carrots, red bell pepper, corn, black beans, cilantro, and taco seasoning and cook 5 minutes; stir in grape tomatoes and immediately remove from heat; set aside

5) Lightly oil large circular pizza pan; roll out pizza dough to fit pan; bake crust in oven 3 minutes

6) Remove crust from oven and evenly spread with salsa; spoon beef-bean mixture over salsa; bake in oven 8-10 minutes until crust is golden; scatter cheese and green onions over top and bake additional 2 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven, slice, and serve

Servings: 4


Since we were having friends over for dinner and a respite from cold-weather casseroles seemed in order, I decided to make a free-for-all (buffet style) meal of tacos. Don’t be intimidated by the number of garnishes listed. Choose the ones you like and have at it. I will say, though, the pineapple was a very pleasant addition to the array and definitely ratchets tacos up a notch. Enjoy!

Shrimp and Fish Taco Free For All1

Shrimp and Fish Taco Free For All2

2 tbsp ground cumin, divided

2 tbsp ground coriander, divided

2 tbsp ground paprika, divided

2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp sea salt, divided

1 tsp ground black pepper, divided

1 lb jumbo shrimp (peeled, deveined, and tails removed), cut into 3 pieces each

12 oz fish (I chose cod), cut into 3/4″ square pieces

1 cup grated monterey jack cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce (I used iceberg for the crunch)

1 firm but ripe avocado, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 cup diced fresh pineapple

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 cup light sour cream

1 cup store-bought salsa

2-3 scallions, sliced thin

1-4 oz can sliced jalapenos, drained

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1 lime, sliced into 8 wedges

olive oil cooking spray

18 corn tortillas

2 tbsp olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2) Divide first 6 ingredients between 2 large zip top plastic bags; shake to mix; add shrimp to one bag and fish to other; shake again to coat shrimp and fish; refrigerate

3) Put cheese, lettuce, avocado, tomato, pineapple, corn, sour cream, salsa, scallions, jalapenos, cilantro, and limes in small individual serving dishes; arrange dishes on side table or counter for serving

4) Lightly spray skillet over medium heat with olive oil spray; warm both sides of each tortilla in skillet, 20-30 seconds, until soft and lightly golden (spray more olive oil every few tortillas); transfer tortillas to paper-towel-lined plate; when all tortillas are warmed, stack on serving dish, cover with aluminum foil, and place in oven to keep warm

5) To large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil; add fish and, stirring gently and often, cook 4-5 minutes until done; transfer fish to medium-sized bowl, cover with aluminum foil, and place in oven to keep warm

6) To large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil; add shrimp and, stirring often, cook 3-4 minutes until done; transfer shrimp to medium-sized bowl

7) Set out dishes of fish, shrimp, and tortillas alongside garnishes and serve free-for-all style

Servings: 6-8