Good Grief Cook’s Best Recipes

What to Write? What to write? What to write? I got nothin’! So instead I will share YOUR top 3 favorite recipes from all my years of blogging. BTW-your favorites are for sure some of mine. May love always guide you in the kitchen.

heart cookie

Sweet William’s Fancy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Not one bit surprised that the recipe that got me started writing made the list. Who doesn’t love a perfectly crisp chocolate chip cookie with a soft inside spiked with bourbon?


chicken mole

Shredded Chicken Mole

I love this recipe not only for its easy great flavor, but also for inspiring me to learn more about food photography. This one made the foodgawker list and I could not have been more proud. Hope to graduate from my iPhone to a real digital camera in 2017.


Maple Smoked Pickled Pork Sliders

Last but not least is this porky goodness on a Hawaiian roll. It’s the contrast in temperatures, textures and flavors that makes this one a winner.

Gather the ones you love most as often as you can.

More Happiness in 2017


Will’s Meerkats & Pork Sliders


A couple of blog posts ago I mentioned I found two memory cards among William’s things. The photos I share with you today bring back fun memories of a trip we took to the San Diego Zoo. It was Christmas and William was completing his first corpsman assignment at Balboa Naval Hospital. He was beyond disgusted to be assigned to the OB/GYN department and proceeded to spend the next two years pestering his superiors to transfer him to field medicine at Camp LeJeune. He never gave up and eventually realized his dream of serving his country in the way he wanted to serve.


The Sentry

Back to the zoo, I remember how much he enjoyed the meerkats. We spent the majority of our time laughing over the antics of this gang. He has more photos of the meerkats than any other animal at the zoo. He loved them. I recall us saying he and his dad were like the sentries; naturally protective of the family and ready to take action against predators.


And then there are “the 3 lazy bastards”(gosh I hear his voice like it was yesterday). He actually gave these three names, but that info. shall remain classified. The boy just cracked me up then and he sure is making me chuckle now.


Oh, William. I sure do miss you. I am grateful to have such great memories and to be able to preserve them in this blog. Thank you, son, for these fun meerkat photos and that winning smile of yours.


Here is one of my recent winning recipes. It’s an Asian inspired juicy pork slider topped with 2 kinds of pickled vegetables served on a soft Hawaiian bun. Perfect for a summer party, get ready for some flavor in your mouth and a smile on your face. While I did not win the top prize I was happy to be among the top 10. Check out Smithfield’s Hog Wild recipe contest site for all the other winning recipes from backyard barbecuers to pittmasters.


  • 16 to 24 Ounces Smithfield Fresh Pork Tenderloin
  • 1/2 Cups low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 fresh cucumber, peeled 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup, divided
  • 1 Teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1/4 Cups bottled red raspberry vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 fresh red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 slider rolls, sliced in half horizontally
  • 1/4 Cups hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 Cups fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Place pork in a zippered plastic bag. In 1-cup measure, mix soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil; pour over pork. Seal bag squeezing out as much air as possible. Let pork marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or for as long as overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. In small bowl, combine sesame seeds, brown sugar and ginger; set aside.
  3. Prepare Maple Smoked Pickled Jalapeno Cucumbers:  Place cucumber and jalapeno in a heat-proof bowl. Bring ½ cup water, vinegar, 1/3 cup maple syrup, salt and liquid smoke to a boil stirring to dissolve salt. Pour liquid over vegetables. Let stand 30 minutes. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  4. Prepare Red Raspberry Pickled Onions:
  5. In small saucepan bring ½ cup water and vinaigrette to the boil. Add onions and turn off heat. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.
    Chill until ready to serve.
  6. Heat 1 side of grill to high heat. Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Remove pork from marinade (discard marinade). Pat pork dry with paper towels. Sear pork on hot grill on all 4 sides, turning after 1 minute per side.  Transfer pork to a plate; brush all over with remaining maple syrup and then coat on all sides with sesame seed mixture. Return pork to cool side of grill for indirect cooking. Cover grill and continue cooking pork for 4 to 6 minutes or until it registers 140°F to 145°F on an instant read thermometer.
  7. Transfer meat to a cutting surface, cover with foil and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into thin slices.  During last few minutes of grilling time toast slider rolls, if desired.
  8. Spread bottom half of each slider roll with hoisin sauce. Layer with pickled cucumbers, pork, jalapeno, pickled onions and cilantro.

photo by Will Keys


Two Roads, a Recipe & a Re-Blog

I published this blog one year ago today. While I prefer to bring you new content I think this is worth repeating.

Memorial Day

As always this page is dedicated to my son, but today my father, too. The two best heroes any girl could ask for.


Before we get to the food let’s just take a moment to reflect on what the weekend is really about. God bless America, our fallen Veterans and their families. I hope you are gathering with your dearest friends and family this Memorial Day weekend.

Jezebel Salsa

Jezebel Salsa

Let’s continue on this path of Two Roads and A Recipe. This week we are making salsa. Not just any old tired tomato salsa, but Jezebel salsa. Jezebel??? Yes, Jezebel. You may have heard of the old southern Jezebel sauce typically served over cream cheese and crackers. It is a combination of pineapple preserves, apple jelly, dry mustard and horseradish; a favorite at church suppers and Jr. League cookbooks. My salsa is a fresh pineapple version of that sauce made easy and delicious with the addition of Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard. It packs a sweet heat that really compliments the pineapple and other fresh ingredients. This salsa is perfect served with grilled pork tenderloin marinated overnight in Saucy Mama Pacific Rim Ginger Dressing or if you want to travel a different road and just hungry for a snack….go ahead and try it over cream cheese and crackers.

spread a cracker with your favorite soft cheese and top with some fresh Jezebel Salsa

spread a cracker with your favorite soft cheese and top with some fresh Jezebel Salsa


Have a great cook-out this weekend

Have a great cook-out this weekend

Jezebel Salsa

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1-cup small dice fresh pineapple

1 tablespoon Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard

2 scallions, chopped

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, seeded, minced red serrano or jalapeno pepper*

4 fresh mint leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

In small bowl, combine pineapple and mustard stirring to coat pineapple with the mustard. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serves 4.

*for those who don’t like heat use red bell pepper

Saucy Mama and fresh ingredients are a perfect combination

Saucy Mama and fresh ingredients are a perfect combination