I am in need of some serious house cleaning. My house isn’t dirty or anything, there is just some clutter right now. Clutter apparently drives me coo coo for cocoa puffs. There are cooking magazines and notes on recipes in one corner of the living room, read and unread books in a pile near the bed, and a shameful pile of shoes that need to be put away until next summer in the near the closet. Halloween needs to come down and I need to prep the small assortment of Thanksgiving decorations I have before the barrage of Christmas decorations next month. Yeah, I’m already feeling the pressure. Lucky for me, there seems to be an extra week in November that I hadn’t realized was there.

Now just to sneak in that bit of time for a deep clean before the real holiday rush hits to make up for the mud bath my ever loving pup gave the kitchen last week during all the rain.

Do you get all wonky when things are out of place or cal you just let it roll? Please tell me that I am not the only one who occasionally goes all OCD while brushing their teeth and ends up cleaning the entire bathroom or answers the phone on the steps and ends up spending the next two hours tracking down every stray dust bunny in the house…. Lie to me if you have it.

As far as soups go, there is nothing cluttered about this one. It is simple and clean. The flavors of the fish are strong against the simple warming broth. I sprinkled some pop band bake bread sticks with Parmesan cheese and fresh thyme, pressing gently, before folding, twisting and baking. Perfect.


California Cioppino

from BHG Special Interest Publications Soups

This has to be the easiest soup I have made yet. Literally 5 minutes of prep and 30 minutes later soup. The simple flavors make the large chunks of fish and scallops the main attraction. Serve with hearty bread or bread sticks to sop up all of the broth.


  • 1 lb fresh skinless salmon
  • 1 lb fresh cod
  • 1/2 lbs sea scallops
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped plum tomatoes
  • 4 cups fish or chicken broth
  • 2 teas fresh oregano, minced
  • 1/4 teas anise seeds, crushed (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fennel leaves


Rinse the fish and scallops; pat dry. Cut into 2″ pieces. Set aside.

In a 6 quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the fennel and cook about 10 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, broth, oregano, and anise seeds if using. Bring to a boil and stir in fish and scallops. Bring back to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered 6 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and scallops are opaque.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in freshly minced oregano. Ladle into bowls and serve with fennel leaves.



  1. Haha – you’re not the only one! It definitely bugs me to have things out of order…

  2. You are definitely not the only OCD one! I go crazy when things are not in order. I just did laundry last week and I still haven’t had a chance to fold them all and put the clothes in its rightful place and it is driving me CRAZY!

    Now this soup – I can definitely get on board with this! Scallops, check! Salmon, check! And I love that rustic spoon of yours!

  3. No your not crazy, I have two kids who love to follow me around when I’m cleaning and make more destruction right all over again…bless their little hearts :/

  4. Girl, I am the same way. I was going crazy this morning when my wanted to get out a puzzle. It meant having to clear off the coffee table, which lead to dusting, which meant finding a place for the magazines, which went on and on for awhile…. too much clutter!
    Soup helps calm things down though! Hubby would love all the seafood in here.

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