Small Plates

How far can you remember back?


My first memories are at 2 years old.


I am in my parent’s newlywed apartment- second floor of a three story walk-up. On the left.


 Enter living/dining area. Parquet floors. Large picture window looking out on the front lawn. Television on a gold metal cart in the corner on an angle. Captain Kangaroo on the tube. And Mighty Mouse. I love him. He can save the day. Large gold lamp on low table. Pretty. Modern sofa with no pillows. Black. Good for jumping but scratchy. Single bedroom off the dining area. Parent’s bed to the right as you walk in. My crib against the wall opposite the end of the bed. Dull wall color. Bad lighting. Overhead. One window. Gauzy curtains. The window is open and the fabric is moving. I like it.


It’s early. The daylight is dull. I want my mother.


I stand up in my crib and see that she is on ‘that’ side. I swing my leg over the railing and drop down. I can’t remember which side she’s on by the time I hit the floor. I move to the left. I reach up and wake my father. He yells. Loudly. And swats at me hitting my head.


I’m stunned. I swallow my breath. I open my mouth and nothing comes out. I feel something bad- it’s called fright. I can’t move. My first nightmare is with my eyes wide open.



Where is my mother? I need my mother, and swoosh, there she is. Scooping me up. Safe. Happy. Safe.


We are on our way into the galley kitchen with her whispering in my ear. I like her, and the kitchen.


All appliances to the right. Metal cabinets. They’re shiny and have a nice sound when they open. Click.


Single window with red and white curtains. I like the curtains.


There’s a clock that looks like a cat with his tail swinging. I like that cat.


The table is shiny aluminum-rimmed with a sticky top that has silver and grey swirls and little red bubbles. It feels smooth. I see funny faces in the swirls. The table has extensions that pull out- and up, clicking into place. I think this is very clever. The flatware pulls out of a drawer on the side. All the silverware is so organized. I could look at it for hours.



My mother lets me get my own fork before putting me in the hard beige booster seat on the red plastic covered matching chair. There are two.


She puts my small red plastic plate in front of me. I love the color. The scrambled eggs smell good.


I push it on the floor. As a show of love, and to see what sound it will make.


I like the sound.


My mother gently asks me not to push my plate off the table again.


I think,’Love Mommy’, but say nothing, just smile, and she smiles back.


That simple. I would do anything for her.


These days I continue to show my love on small plates, with small bite-size food, sometimes even on small red plates.



But, somehow, no one pushes it on the floor…


Booster seats optional. 


Beef Tips with Gorgonzola SaucePINIMAGE

Beef Tips with Gorgonzola Sauce

Steak Preparation

  • 2 beef steaks- the cut is your choice

  • 2 Tablespoons Salt

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Pepper

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Onion powder

  • Olive Oil

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter- salted


  • 1 Cup of Gorgonzola cheese- grated

  • 1/4 Cup cream

  • 1 Tablespoon butter-salted

  • 1 teaspoon ground rosemary

  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour


  1. Cut the steaks into just a bit larger then bite-size pieces (they will shrink when they cook).

  2. Mix the dry ingredients together and put them into a large zip-lock bag.

  3. Place the steak pieces into the bag. Zip closed, and shake to cover the meat. Let this rest for at least 1/2 hour (we are tenderizing the meat). Make the sauce as follows:

  4. Melt the butter over a low heat so that it doesn’t burn- just melts.

  5. Add the cream and bring to a gentle boil.

  6. Add the grated cheese and stir to combine.

  7. Lower heat to simmer.

  8. Whisk in the flour. Return to simmer, add the rosemary, stir, and then take off the heat. It will be runny but will come together as it sits.

  9. Pour the cheese sauce into a container that has a pouring lip- like a glass Pyrex measuring cup. Cover to keep warm.

  10. In a new larger skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter that was listed for the steak prep.

  11. Add a few tablespoons of oil, blend, and increase the heat.

  12. When the oil is very hot, place the steak bites into it and brown on all sides.

  13. When nicely browned, lower the heat to medium high, and continue to cook the steak for an additional 5-7 minutes, turning often.

  14. Remove the steak from the skillet and place on paper towels to soak-up excess oil.

  15. Remove the covering from the sauce and stir to blend again.

  16. Pour some sauce on a plate and place several steak bites on top.

  17. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary for garnish.


Crab Stuffed MushroomsPINIMAGE

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

 Ingredients & Preparation (makes 8)

  • 8 large capped mushrooms- stemmed and cleaned

  • 2 Cups crab meat

  • 1/4 cup mayonaise

  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  • 1 teaspoon smokey paprika (often times labeled as Spanish paprika)

  • Your favorite barbecue sauce


  1. Place the mushrooms on a lined baking tray.

  2. Combine all the other ingredients.

  3. Stuff the mushrooms.

  4. Place under a broiler until the tops are golden.

  5. Remove from heat and cover. The ingredients will continue to ‘come-together’ for the next few minutes.

  6. Drizzle a little of the barbecue sauce on  a plate. 

  7. Uncover the mushrooms and place on plate.

  8. Garnish with a few cherry tomatoes, or splay a yellow pepper like I did. 


You’re Welcome

  • Journey McGuire - My first memory was seeing some kids wiener at nap time so you definitely have me beat.ReplyCancel

  • Vashti Quiroz-Vega - Yum! That looks scrumptious and so classy! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - You’re welcome! And if you try it give me a jingle with any suggestions. I’m not kidding. A pinch more of this….a tad of that… etc.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Graham - What a precious memory (and post) You stirred all kinds of memories and emotions. Nicely done – I enjoyed the ride.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - How nice Carol. I wanted to share the recipes and I thought,”What’s the first plate I remember?’ and it was a small red one, so there you go… a post!ReplyCancel

  • Rasma Raisters - Such wonderful childhood memories and such delicious food.ReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Love this! So many of my memories include food . . .
    My first memory was when I was two as well. I was trampled by a mad mama cow and saved by my heroic mother. And then she and I were saved by my highly enraged father. True story. And the only casualty was one red leather cowboy boot. Then tears and cuddles and treats. ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - You have an amazing memory and I really like your small plates idea.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - They are delish! Hope you try them. If you do, give me jingle and tell me what needs to be tweeked.ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - Looks delicious! ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It was! If you make it- give me a jingle and suggest any changes you might like!ReplyCancel

  • Carollynn Hammersmith - Oh gawd, I just gained 10 pounds reading these recipes, which means I will have to try them…soon.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - hA! Good for you! If you find something needs tweeking give me a jingle.ReplyCancel

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