New Foods! Your photos and stories.

Last week I challenged you to cook something you’ve either always wanted to cook but never have, or just try something new for the fun of it. Whether you’ve always wanted to try it or not.

Scallops I’ve tried before, but only once actually. But I’ve wanted to cook them at home since every cooking competition show in the world seems to think they’re some kind of staple.

So I did. I cooked scallops.   I didn’t brine them like Joel of Well Preserved told me to because I just plain couldn’t be bothered.  These were a starter to a much larger dinner and brining the scallops would have put me over the edge.

They turned out well regardless.  I heated a non stick pan to HOT, HOT, added some oil and butter and let it get HOT, HOT.   While that was happening I dried my scallops with a paper towel and seasoned them with salt and pepper.  Then I dropped them in the pan.  I cooked them for a couple of minutes on one side and a few on the other.

I took them out of the pan, added a bit more butter to the pan so it would melt and then spooned the juices in the pan over the scallops.  Topped with salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon and some grated lemon rind.


I’d still rather eat lobster or crab. But these were good and about as easy as cooking gets.

Some of you … did not go the easy route. Some of you made 7 new things last weekend!  I was SO impressed with how many people took this assignment to heart and made something new.

My sister is always stunned at how many times she comes over and I say I’m just cooking something I’ve never tried before  She says she never tries anything new.  But if you don’t try new recipes you’ll never have new things to add to your “go-to” repertoire.  There are a lot of disgusting dinners, but it’s worth if if you can find that one thing you really love.

Without further delay, here are the results of the homework assignment.



Congratulations to all. You all get an A+.

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←


  1. Tracy Gaydos says:

    I wish I would have seen this, too! I grilled my first stingray and it was delicious. Funny, my whole life I thought they were inedible and everyone I knew threw them back, but now when I go fishing, I’m actually hoping for at least one.
    No bones, mild, white and tender. Picture a scallop that’s two feet across!

  2. Dee says:

    Inspiration for sure! Karen you are a motivator and leader! Is there some way the recipes can be posted and shared? Ravioli using won ton skins is an answer to a pray.
    Congrats to all that posted.

  3. Feral Turtle says:

    Catching up on my email and this just made me super hungry!!

  4. Amie Mason says:

    Oh Karen. If your into Masterchef Oz – you need to try scallops with pork belly from the first season. I think it was Julie Goodwin’s recipe.

  5. Joel MacCharles says:

    You’re scallops look great – even without brine! Seriously, they look great.

    Thanks so much for the shoutout – it’s much appreciated. But I still want a scallop.



  6. BarBee says:

    I took my kindle to bed, & had to wake my husband up to see our chili colorado. He was official official stirrer & taster.Thanks Karen! That was fun!

  7. stephbo93 says:

    I ate a plum. I washed it first. That’s about as close as I got to cooking last week. Your scallops look scrumptious though. They are the best type of food– looks like you slaved over them for hours, but in reality very simple. Good job!

  8. Elle Bee says:

    I was always late with homework, nothing has changed. I made quiche last night. And I made s’mores last week before the assignment. We have never had them before! I’ll send you pics just because I should show my work..

  9. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Kangaroo..but they are cute..I thought you’re not supposed to eat cute kitties and puppies..and kangaroos..I want Dixie’s scones right now with my coffee..Yes I did cook something..some idiot distracted me and it burned..not pretty..or yummy..Great job everyone!

  10. Shauna says:

    I want to congratulate everyone on not only taking on a new cooking venture, but also their photography skills. I suck at taking pictures and these all turned out so lovely.

    Just heard a fabulous sounding recipe on NPR yesterday – blueberry dumplings. only takes 15 minutes and you don’t need an oven. I’ve printed out the recipe and will definitely be trying.

  11. Lynn says:

    Mean and cruel! No recipes? I just finished breakfast and got hungry again looking at all the beautiful food…..

  12. Jeannie B. says:

    I truly was going to try to make something new, something I’d never cooked before. I went through two cookbooks and couldn’t find a thing that I hadn’t already done. But now, looking at all these scrumptious photos, I realize that I’ve never cooked purple carrots, kale or, heaven forbid, kangeroo. Plus, it was way too hot to turn on the oven. I was going to scoop some French vanilla ice cream into a wine glass, sprinkle a teaspoon of instant coffee on top and drizzle a tablespoon of whiskey overtop. But, heck, I’ve done that before too.

  13. Shel says:

    I didn’t cook anything new last week because I was in Japan EATING all kinds of new things! (some of which I will not eat again…let alone cook…because I still have no idea what it was!) But right before that I made some very delicious salmon cooked on a cedar plank on the grill.

    • cred says:

      I’m envious- I loved the experience when I visited Japan. Definitely a few things I would never eat again but some things you won’t ever see in a Japanese restaurant in the west- sadly.
      The Japanese are true foodies and make some amazing (and some weird) stuff.

  14. Leslie says:

    Drat! I forgot to tell you … the first project in Cooking With Eggs campaign was a Peaches and Cream Custard (this would have been more seasonal if I’d used rhubarb, but someone surprised me with some off-season peaches and I went with it). I used duck eggs (we have ducks), and I seeded a vanilla bean myself for the first time ever. Can you tell I’m really not a baker? But with all the birds I have (ducks and chickens and turkeys) I’m making a point of learning recipes that use a lot of eggs. I ALMOST made pasta for the first time ever … using your recipe … it’s on the list!

    • Karen says:

      Leslie – Do duck eggs taste different than chicken eggs? ~ karen!

      • Leslie says:


        Duck eggs (and the ducks that lay them) are AMAZING! The yolks are huge and seem to stay creamier when cooking, and they have a somewhat richer flavor than our chicken eggs. I like them fried, particularly on sandwiches.

        Nutritionally duck eggs are supposed to be much better than chicken eggs, and some people who are allergic to chicken eggs are not allergic to duck eggs. Bakers love duck eggs because they make fluffy things fluffier and creamy things creamier. I don’t bake much, but I make the fluffiest pancakes ever with duck eggs, and am eager to try making duck egg mayonnaise sometime soon. And, of course, duck egg Hollandaise sauce. Oh, and duck egg lemon curd. And …

        Even though our two mature ducks don’t lay huge eggs (in the 70 -75 gram range, usually), they have laid every single day, even through winter. The only exception was they have each taken one broody break. My mature ducks were advertised as Rouen, but the females lay way more than that breed should so I think they are a production cross. I’ve only had the first pair for about a year, and the second pair is their offspring (her eggs are bigger than her mom’s are).

        I like the Rouens enough that I am now raising a couple of Pekins, bunch of Khaki Campbells and a lot of Runners. The Pekins are beautiful and calm, but the Runners are super flighty and seem to influence the Campbells to be more flighty, too.

        One caution is that drakes (at least the Rouens) can be very aggressive with female chickens. That is NOT good.


        • laura says:

          Totally agree with Leslie! We have a egg off at the cottage last weekend using duck vrs chicken in the french toast. no contest. one duck egg is like 2 chicken eggs, dramatically darker richer yolk and much less egg white. They would be perfect for making custard based pies with meringue toppings.

          A soft poached duck egg a top a lemony spinach or ceasar salad with fresh shaved parm, mmmmmm. sign me up! time to add another bird or two to the flock!

        • cred says:

          Thanks for the detailed duck info- I plan to have backyard hens when we move but would really love a few ducks, too. I will take your experience in consideration when choosing the duck variety.
          I grab duck eggs from our local farm store when I can and really like them. I find the flavour pretty similar but I guess that those ducks are getting the same or similar feed as chickens do. It would be interesting to taste duck eggs that are free-rangin’ and mostly eating pond vegetation and the like.
          I’d read that duck eggs are more nutritious (as you’d said) and significantly higher in fat- which would explain the creamier and fluffier results.
          I did make duck egg mayo and it was really good.

  15. Kudos to all the folks who tried something new! I am totally jealous – we entertained 13 teenagers on Saturday at my daughter’s 18th birthday party and on Sunday we recuperated, so I didn’t try anything new. However, since I’m feeling left out, I wanted to give you a link to a blog post I did about a really great new dish I tried a while back called grillades – hearty and fabulous!

    • Tracy Gaydos says:

      I love grillades! My mother made them all the time and every time I get to New Orleans I try to have them.

  16. Kristin D. says:

    The key lime pie:

    Very good & held together well. Calls for dried egg whites so they’re safe for low temp but they had a chemical taste.

    • laura says:

      I make pie meringues all the time with regular egg whites and have never gotten sick (as well as spending a childhood eating them too). Next time use the real stuff, you’ll be fine!

  17. Dagmar says:

    Okay Karen, I know that you are just *dying* to know whether I sat and ate at a table. I did. But it was the coffee table, so it’s sort of cheating ( our bar stools don’t exist, because we returned them when they made holes in our floor). So I actually can’t sit at our table because we have to chairs.
    ….Dixie, can I come over for some scones. I am droooooling.
    I am amazed at how amazing we can all be when we put forth a little effort. Some amazing stuff everybody, thanks for sharing. Dagmar

  18. I wish I had known about this! I made a sour cherry crisp with cherries from my very own yard. I was probably a little more proud of myself than I deserved to be, but it was the first dessert I made with fruit I produced myself.

  19. Susan S says:

    Wow the photos made my mouth water and it’s early in the morning! Your next challenge will have to be to include the recipe with each photo. I would love to make some of those wonderful foods. Thank you to everyone who shared their cooking and photographs.

  20. Diane says:

    I actually stirred the honey INTO the peanut butter before putting it on toast! WooHoo! I can cook…

  21. Jodi says:

    Is it weird that now I want scallops and coconut sesame rice for breakfast? YUM!

  22. Thera says:

    Wow good job all! Karen you forgot the risotto, it too seems to be a staple!

  23. Angela says:

    People eat kangaroo? Yikes!

  24. Cathy says:

    Great post, Karen!
    I worked at a seafood restaurant and our scallops were served with a bit of garlic butter. We also cooked with Dry Sack sherry which gives a wonderful, nutty flavor to food.

  25. KarenJ says:

    I’d be game to try it but don’t think it’s available in Canada – or is it? (this is an ‘ask Karen thing’).

  26. marika says:

    Wow there is some really interesting and delicious looking food there! You also inspired me to make seared scallops this week. Similar recipe but I de-glazed with white wine and added some lemon zest and fresh herbs to the massive amounts of butter.

  27. Lea Studebaker says:

    I totally forgot about doing this, but I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered subconsciously because Tuesday at Midnight I started baking (I never bake unless its toll house). I had a huge bag of sliced almonds and some fresh honey and I wanted it in something baked. So I just started mixing and adding and came up with Almond Honey Oat Bars…Wish I would have sent in a picture because they looked/tasted great! They had apple cinnamon oatmeal and dried fruit in them, so delish!

  28. Dava says:

    I would love to see the muffletta salad recipe!

  29. Angela says:

    Wow, I feel famous!! Although I didn’t make the pesto (I have issues getting good basil at our military grocery store), I DID grind the chicken myself because the military grocery store was out of ground chicken. Love my KitchenAid!! Oh, and you HAVE to try the Sweet Cinnamon Scones from the Pioneer Woman! They are AMAZING!!

  30. Marti says:

    Wow, that is very impressive! I love to try other people’s ideas, so I hope some of these folks comment and it ties back to their blogs with recipes.

    Although I’m guessing the “kangaroo with” meal will have to wait until another day.

    So Karen, even if you make them yourself, scallops are STILL boring? What is up with all the people who claim to like them so much? Maybe… they’re just lacking any real sense of taste… because otherwise, it makes no sense.

    • Amie Mason says:

      Hi Marti,

      If you can’t get your hands on Kangaroo (which is super yummy), you could use beef, venison, goat or even pork. They all go with black-bean really really well!. I’ll be sharing the recipe on my blog soon,

      Karen, hope its ok to plug my blog, and not too cheeky. Thanks for sharing my experiments – made my day!

  31. Alisha says:

    Ohhhh man! I wish I had known about this. I get a CSA veggie box every week and for the first time in my life I had fresh favas. I made them into a pasta with Italian Sausage and were soooo good I bought more! I love seeing people get creative and make things they’ve never tried before.

  32. Mike says:

    I steamed some yams. Those things are delicious no matter what you do to them.

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