A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

A Very Merri Kitchen

A Very Merri Kitchen

A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.


Halloumi Cheese Sticks and Sweet Chili Sauce

Halloumi Cheese Sticks and Sweet Chili Sauce

Recently I made some fried Halloumi croutons to go in my tomato soup. When I posted it, a friend mentioned that she likes Halloumi fried and served with sweet chili sauce. Since I had both the cheese and the sauce, tonight I decided to fry […]

Fermented Ginger Turmeric Carrots

Fermented Ginger Turmeric Carrots

I’m still working on using that turmeric I bought at Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica! I decided to give fermenting a try, using this recipe from The Wild Gut. First I had to buy a fermenting kit though, and I decided on The Easy […]

Blueberry Peach Lemonade

Blueberry Peach Lemonade

I came across this recipe in Pinterest (of course) and I had the last of some blueberries in the freezer that I wanted to use up so I pinned it.  Then today I made a peach pie using some homecanned peaches I had made. I had reserved the syrup after draining the peaches and decided to use it to make the blueberry simple syrup for this lemonade.

I made a few changes from the original, but you can find the original on Damn Delicious here (I love her recipes!).

I had almost two cups of syrup from the peaches and so to make two cups I had to add just a little water.

Into a saucepan over medium heat, and I added 1 cup of sugar and stirred frequently until all the sugar was dissolved.


I measured out my remaining blueberries which just happened to make 2 cups (whew). And then I added them to the saucepan as well.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.  I let them go about 10 minutes, tasting at about 5 and letting it go longer because I really wanted that blueberry flavor to shine.

Meanwhile I started juicing lemons.  I wanted 1 1/2 cups of juice, and it was probably around 5 lemons.

I poured the blueberry peach syrup through a fine mesh strainer, pressing the blueberries to get all the juice.  Then I tasted the blueberries and they were delicious because they were infused with that peach syrup flavor.  So I put them in a little bowl and mashed them and I’m going to mix with some butter for toast tomorrow.

Back to the lemonade!  After it cooled a bit I poured the syrup into a pitcher (isn’t the color amazing?).

Added the lemon juice, and tasted.

When I tasted it, I thought it was far too sweet. I added some ice water, then realized later I actually was supposed to add a LOT of ice water—no wonder it was sweet, it wasn’t finished yet!


Blueberry Peach Lemonade

2 cups peach syrup drained from canned peaches (add water to make 2 cups if necessary)

1 cup sugar

2 cups blueberries (fresh or canned)

1 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-5 lemons)

2 cups or more, Ice water to taste.

Mint to garnish.

Heat peach syrup and sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Add two cups of blueberries, bring to a boil, and let the mixture simmer to your taste.  I wanted a lot of blueberry flavor so let it simmer 10 minutes.

Drain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing the berries to extract all the juice.  If you like, reserve the mashed blueberries and mix with butter for your toast the next day.

Let the mixture cool, then pour into a pitcher and add the lemon juice.  Add ice water to taste, and let it chill in the fridge.

Serve over ice, garnished with mint.


Lemon Ginger Turmeric Drink with Mint

Lemon Ginger Turmeric Drink with Mint

I am still trying new recipes in order to use up spices I bought in Costa Rica. Primarily turmeric, but I also have some black pepper.  Those were both from Finca Luna Nueva, a biodynamic farm and eco-lodge where we stayed.  I also bought some […]

Cinnamon Turmeric Iced Tea

Cinnamon Turmeric Iced Tea

I’ve been pinning all kinds of different recipes using turmeric.  I bought some of Finca Luna Nueva’s turmeric while vacationing in Costa Rica, and have been trying to make sure I use my food souvenirs instead of waiting for ‘something special.’ (check out Finca Luna […]

Grilled Lemon-Oregano Marinated Porterhouse Cut Pork Chops

Grilled Lemon-Oregano Marinated Porterhouse Cut Pork Chops

I posted this originally back in 2016, but just provided a link to the recipe that I originally used.  But, I’ve been making it regularly since then, and have my own way of doing things, so I decided it was time for a new post.

Since I like these grilled, I’m usually making it during the season where I have herb pots full of fresh herbs to use.  So I use freshly cut oregano in my marinade.

I like lots of garlic, so use at least 4 cloves of minced garlic, along with the juice of about 1/2 a lemon, vegetable oil, and salt and pepper.

Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then add in the garlic to make the marinade.

Place the chops into a non-reactive dish or a ziploc bag and add a handful of fresh oregano.  You might want to crush the oregano slightly before adding.

Pour over the marinade, and turn the chops to coat.

And grill!  These are a Porterhouse cut I get from a local rancher, and are bone in, and quite thick.  Grill them like you would grill a thick t-bone.

This is a great marinade.  The flavor doesn’t overwhelm, it just enhances the meat.  And it is incredibly moist—often a challenge when it comes to pork.

Grilled Lemon-Oregano Marinated Porterhouse Pork Chops

1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil (rapeseed or canola are fine)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Generous handful of fresh oregano, crushed lightly

2 Porterhouse Cut, bone in, pork chops (at least 1 1/2 inches thick)

Wisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and stir in the garlic.  Place the chops and the oregano in a non-reactive dish and pour over the marinade.  Turn to coat.

Marinate at least two hours, turning occasionally.  You can marinate starting in the morning, but I wouldn’t do overnight.  The lemon juice does a bit of cooking.

Preheat your grill to high, and grill as if you were grilling steak—approximately 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the cut.  My last chops I did 7 minutes on one side, and 5 minutes on the other.

These were so perfectly seasoned from the marinade that I didn’t even season with salt and pepper again before grilling.


Baked Egg in Avocado

Baked Egg in Avocado

I have been eyeing eggs baked in avocados for some time. This morning I decided to give it a try for breakfast. I looked up a few methods and recipes online, and got started. It’s really hard to call this a recipe though. After slicing […]

Herb Pots, Tomato Plants and What’s Been Happening in My Kitchen

Herb Pots, Tomato Plants and What’s Been Happening in My Kitchen

April and May is always a busy time of year for us.  We go to Texas nearly a month for spring migration birdwatching, and of course when we get back it’s all about getting ready for the summer.  So I haven’t been posting much because […]

Crunchy Whole-Protein Tortilla Chips

Crunchy Whole-Protein Tortilla Chips

I often crave salty, crunchy things, but try to keep a check on things like chips.

I’m a fan of Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, and have been trying a few of their other products like cinnamon raisin bread and these sprouted grain tortillas.

This is only the second time I have made these, so I’m still tweaking the process a bit.  But the basics are to lightly coat the tortillas with olive oil, sprinkle generously with coarsely ground salt, and bake.

The first time I made these I coated the tortillas with olive oil and then cut them individually.  This time I cut several tortillas in a stack first.

Then I brushed on a light layer of olive oil, and ground salt over them.

I think the better way would be to coat the whole tortillas individually, salt them, and then restack and cut them.  I’ll try that next time.

After a couple of different trial times, I’ve settled on 9 minutes at 400 Fahrenheit.

And immediately remove to baking racks so they cool and get crispy.

The chips are sturdy enough for a dip (homemade ranch here) or guacamole.  Now that I have the baking part down, I will probably experiment with different spices like a taco blend or za’atar.

Since they are a whole protein, I find I am satisfied much more quickly than with standard chips, and I also satisfy the salty, crunchy craving.

Crunchy Whole-Protein Tortilla Chips

Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Tortillas

Olive Oil

Coarse salt – sea salt will do

Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit

Brush the tortillas with a thin layer of olive oil.  Grind a generous amount of salt over the tortillas.  Stack the tortillas and cut into eighths.  Place the individual wedges on a baking sheet, leaving space between them.  Bake for 9 minutes, test for crunchiness, and remove to racks to cool.  For 3 tortillas I had to do three different baking sheets.

Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Cap

Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Cap

I do love a stuffed portobello mushroom.  Yesterday I felt like pizza flavors.  So I did this: Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Cap 1 3-4 inch portobello mushroom cap 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tsp garlic paste 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 […]