Author Archives: TempInnKeeper

About TempInnKeeper

Margot loves people and is very energetic and organized. She is also a quick study. Her background includes having renovated, owned and operated an 1887 Victorian bed and breakfast in Paso Robles, CA for 5 years. Her guests loved her and she loved her guests. What a perfect combination. Margot’s marketing skills and love of people also was used in her career as a Realtor and in participating in many charitable non-profit organizations. Margot loves to cook and to offer concierge services to people. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland.; has lived all over CA. including Beverly Hills, in the Silicon Valley area, Paso Robles, the San Joaquin Valley as well as in Sun Valley, ID. She has traveled extensively throughout the world; is a CAL alumni (go Bears!); and also speaks French fluently and Spanish semi-fluently. Her interests are people, cooking, arts, books (look at the blog book club and join if you wish), travel, sports, gardening, painting, music, playing classical piano and animals. Margot Van Horn 208-721-3551 PO Box 3788, Ketchum, ID.

Oven Baked Fresh Pork Hocks and Veggies Serves 3

Oven Roasted Pork Hock plated

Oven Roasted Pork Hock plated

pork-hocks-roastedOven Baked Fresh Pork Hocks

This is a German inspired dish.  It’s called Eisbein in Northern Germany and Schweinshaxe in the southern part.  My inspiration is not totally authentic because I’ve added more root vegetables to it;  for fall time cooler weather this is a perfect dish.  It’s nice to serve for the family and even guests.  Not only is it quite healthy, but it’s also super economical.  The dish shown here cost me $13 (including the sauerkraut and optionals) for 3 generous servings.  And that cost is here in the Sun Valley, Idaho region where prices are a bit more than in other lower lying areas.  If you wonder from where the “hock” comes, let me tell you: it’s the part of the pig where the foot was attached to the leg.


  • 3 Fresh Pork Hocks
  • 1 or 2 onion(s)-sliced thin
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, halved or quartered
  • 1 leek sliced thin
  • 3 celery sticks roughly chopped or even diced
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 Tsp. juniper berries or some rosemary (I used about two small sprigs but you can use dried as well—maybe 1 Tsp. full) and 1 Tsp. or more of fresh lemon juice or you can use some gin (use your discretion for this)
  • 4 C. or less of heated beef stock (if cumin is your thing, you can add a little of that to the stock)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Additions if you wish
  • 3 white potatoes – quartered or in large chunks
  • 3 carrots peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 3-4 Brussels sprouts—quartered
  • 1 parsnip- peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 turnip peeled and cut in large chunks
  • Serve with separately heated sauerkraut and if you didn’t use the potatoes in the dish, those can be cooked separately and served with the “kraut” and the hocks.


  • Pre-heat oven to 425
  • In a roasting pan that you can easily cover, spread the onion, celery, garlic cloves and leek on the bottom.
  • Place the pork hocks on top of the veggies and pour the olive oil over the hocks and pepper and salt both sides but make sure the hocks are rind side up before placing in oven.
  • Pour on 1 C. beef stock
  • Place in 425 oven and bake for about 25 minutes or till the rind is crispy.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven down to 350.
  • At this point of the recipe, I did check every half-hour to make sure the stock had not totally evaporated. If so just add more.  Also you can baste the meat every half-hour.
  • Probably all of the stock has evaporated which mine did; so add 2 more C. of beef stock. Add the juniper berries or fresh lemon juice and rosemary sprigs (or gin), the 2 cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.  I also added the optional parsnip and turnip at this stage.
  • Cover and bake for 1 hour.
  • Then add the optional potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts. You might need more beef stock at this point so add another cup.
  • Cover and bake for another hour or until the meat is easily removed from the bone. However, don’t over cook or the hook will become tough.



4 dinners in August for a wonderful group of 8


Accolades first; Menu below

“Margot-You need a halo! The food is unbelievable.  Thank you! I am getting too fat!  See you Friday.  XXOO Jean”


I am so grateful for your Delicious food and feel so spoiled

Thank you-I won’t be losing weight.

The meal was beyond delicious.



Fabulous fantastic dinner!

Thank you-we are so thrilled and spoiled-


Thank You-


“And thank you!!! We are rolling home many pounds heavier and we are all 

So appreciative of your meals 

You spoiled us and I can only imagine how much work that was for you.

And that cake!!!!


Thank you!


Menus for the dinners

Dinner One:(Think Italian) Sun. Aug. 16

Oven Baked Salmon with Cashews & Spicy Yogurt Sauce and Dill Mustard Sauce

Asparagus and Prosciutto Strata

Mixed Salad with Margot’s Lemon Dressing

Margot’s Homemade No Churn Coffee Ice Cream

Buttery Italian Almond Rounds (cookies)

Melting Moments (cookies)

Chocolate Truffles

Balsamic Strawberries


Dinner Two :(Think USA) Mon. Aug. 17

Rick’s Slow Cooked Pork

Turkey Sausage and Potato Salad

Corn, Arugula and Tomato Salad


Vanilla ice cream


Dinner Three: (Think Indian) Tues. Aug. 18

Curried Cornish Chicken Thighs

Curried Pink Lentils

Roasted Coconut Carrots

Mixed Salad with Jicama and Mango

Linzer Torte

Vanilla Ice Cream


Dinner Four: (Think Louisiana) Fri. Aug. 21

Frogmore Stew with homemade Louisiana Seafood Cocktail Sauce

Pickle Back Slaw

Chocolate Dump Cake

Vanilla Ice Cream


Pork Steak, Economical & the Easy and Delicious Way for a Dinner Fix


 pork steak

Pork Steak, Economical & the Easy and Delicious Way for a Dinner Fix

6 servings


Pork steaks present such an economical value and can be so tasty. Here is a very easy way to fix them and I am sure that you will enjoy them greatly. A side of fried potatoes or even a potato salad along with coleslaw would be a perfect accompaniment.



  1. 6 Pork Steaks or 3 large ones like the one I cooked (shown in picture)
  2. 1/4 C. Butter
  3. 1/4 C. Soy Sauce
  4. 1 Bunch green onions or one medium regular onion, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter and mix in the soy sauce.
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic until lightly browned
  3. Place the pork steaks in the skillet, cover, and cook 8-10 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove cover and continue cooking 10 minutes or to an internal temp of 145 degrees in the chops.

pork steak

Want a recipe? Take a look at

Baked Trout with Sour Cream Parmesan Sauce


 all in one pan end result


Baked Trout With Sour Cream Parmesan Cheese Sauce

Serves 4

I love Idaho trout and yesterday, I was in the mood for just that. I also was in the mood for an easy dinner fix and that’s what this was. I sliced some new baby potatoes very thin and added some olive oil and sliced onions plus herbs and put them in aluminum foil which I folded to close. I did the same for some broccoli crowns but you could have used squash, whatever. The trout I made as this recipe calls for and left the aluminum foil open. Into the oven it all went and voila, 25 minutes later a glorious meal. I made the trout with the larger amounts written for the sauce but actually wished I had only used 1/2 of the amounts because frankly that was too much sauce for me. So, that’s why I put the amounts of the ingredients the way I did. If you like a lot of sauce use the larger amount and if you are not a huge sauce person, go for the lesser amounts.


  • 1 pound trout fillets
  • 1/2 to 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Paprika


  • Place fish in a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, cheese, lemon juice, onion and salt; spread over fish. Sprinkle with paprika.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Pork Chops-stove top and baked featuring cumin and mustard; easy and delicious


cumin baked pork chop

Pork Chops—stove top and baked featuring cumin and mustard— easy and delicious

This particular recipe serves 4 however it can just serve one or more than 4 if you have a very large skillet.


  • 4 8-ounch thick pork chops
  • 1 Tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 Tsp. grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tblsp. crushed cumin seed or ground cumin will do as well
  • 1 Tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tsp. canola oil and another generous tsp. or more for the iron skillet (or any skillet that can be used stove top as well as in the oven)


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a small bowl mix the salt, mustard, cumin, black pepper and 1 tsp. canola oil
  • Spread the mixture above on both sides of the pork chop
  • Stove top, heat the other Tsp. canola oil in the iron skillet
  • Put the pork chop(s) in the heated skillet and brown for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Put the skillet in the pre-heated oven and bake until the chops are just cooked through—about 12 minutes but it can be before, so watch carefully. You don’t want your chops to be tough.
  • There you go—easy and delicious.
  • Now, that you have the basic recipe, try to imagine other variations to spread on your chops and let me know what you like the best.

Bon Appétit—From Margot’s Table to Yours and



Cookies, Cookies–Warning–Dangerous: Can’t Stop Eating These



1 cookie med. close

Shortbread Cookies—–Warning—- Dangerous: Can’t Stop Eating These

Easy to make and they are the freezer kind, but of course are called refrigerator cookies. Shouldn’t they be called Freezer Cookies? Go figure?!!!!

So, once you make the dough (in your processor or if you prefer, in a bowl with your electric mixer) you roll the dough into two logs and freeze them for at least 2 hours or up to one month. One roll makes at least 30 delights so I bet you’ll easily have some cookie dough left over to make into yummy cookies some time later unless you are baking for a large crowd. Below, look for variation possibilities.

Ingredients: makes 60 cookies

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 Tblsp. plus 1 Tsp. lemon zest (or whatever you choose)
  • 1 Tsp. fresh lemon juice (or whatever you choose)
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Granulated sugar (maybe 1/4 C?) for rolling the dough in before baking

Directions (easy and if you don’t have a food processor, you can use a bowl and electric beaters):

  • In a food processor, pulse the flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt and lemon zest until combined.
  • Add the butter pieces and process till crumbly.
  • Add the egg yolks and lemon juice.
  • Pulse until dough comes together. (If it hasn’t done that to your satisfaction, use your hands to form the dough into a cohesive ball)
  • Divide the dough in half and form with your hands each half into a 1 ½ inch wide log.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until firm—- 2 hours or up to 1 month.
  • 2 cookie logs

Baking Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  • Place parchment paper on your baking sheet(s).
  • Spread granulated sugar on a paper towel and roll the log(s) in the sugar. If you still want more sugar on the log, use your hands to place more on the log.
  • With a sharp knife, slice the log(s) into 1/4 inch thick slices and arrange them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. These cookies really don’t spread so you are safe from their melding together.
  • Bake until the cookies are golden brown around the edges (about 15 minutes). They’ll be sort of white on the tops but as long as they have some brown edging, they’ll be perfect. If you are using more than one baking sheet, rotate them half way through the baking cycle.
  • Transfer the baked cookies to a wire rack or onto paper towels to cool.
  • To store, cover and keep at room temp for up to 5 days. They also freeze well.
  • Hint: want orange flavored cookies? Use orange juice and orange zest. How about lavender buds, crystallized ginger, ground almond, ground pecans? Use your imagination to alter these cookies to your very own taste and make sure to comment on what you have invented. I can’t wait to hear.

Bon Appétit: From Margot’s Table to Yours

Want some more recipes? Easy to find on Margot’s blog: Want someone to help you with small time entertaining or cooking?—email me at:

1 cookie med. close

Margot’s Beet & Beet Salad and Greens


beet in basket #1 beet salad

Margot’s Beet and all about beets

Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette and Nuts—serves 4

Lots of us don’t like beets because of the poor maligned red beet. Well, frankly I sort of agree. I am not crazy about the red beet unless it is very fresh and mild tasting. I do however like the other colored beets which are now so prevalent in our grocery stores. So, here is a recipe for a salad that you can vary to your heart’s content and totally ignore if you just want to eat the roasted beets by themselves. Additionally, DO NOT THROW AWAY THOSE BEET GREENS—because they too are delicious. No waste here!!!! As a little aside about the benefits that beets offer free of charge to our bodies think about this: they are a powerful antioxidant, reduce inflammation, are packed with vitamins and promote a healthy circulation and cardiovascular system. Some say that they are nature’s Viagra. So, now, will you eat beets?


  • 1 bunch medium sized beets-preferably sized about the same-stem cut off but leave about 1 inch worth on each beet; scrub beet thoroughly.
  • Fresh lettuce, kale, spinach whatever kind of greens your heart desires
  • Scallions—one bunch will do (optional)
  • Baby tomatoes (optional)
  • White mushrooms (have you noted how healthy mushrooms have all of a sudden become) (optional)
  • 1 medium sized orange and/or 4 tangerines or 1 lemon (you will zest and juice these except for the tangerines which you might want to juice and zest but also you will use some for segments in the salad.)
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • Fresh thyme (optional)
  • S&P to taste
  • Honey (optional)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (but they can be pecans as well)
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles (optional)


To roast the beets do the following:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  • Place each beet in 2 pieces of foil, sprinkle some olive oil and S&P on them wrap well in the foil. Put foil opening at the top and place on a baking sheet.
  • Bake from 45 minutes to 1 ½ hour—depending on how fresh the beets are. Around here, mine get done in 45 minutes. To test if the beet is done, carefully open the foil (watch out for the steam) and stick a sharp knife into it. If it goes in easily, it’s done.
  • So now, you can if you wish take the skin off (try a paper towel or a sharp knife), slice it and place more butter or olive oil on top and devour.
  • But if you are going to save the beets for your salad, put the beets in the tin foil in your frig to cool. They’ll stay good for several days.
  • I slice mine horizontally however it’s up to you how you wish your beets to look in your salad. You might like to cut them in cubes.

While the beets are cooking, make your vinaigrette:

  • In the olive oil, add the zest of one orange, or lemon or even two tangerines.
  • Also, add the juice of one orange,one lemon or 2 tangerines.
  • You might want to add some honey—but I didn’t.
  • You might want to add some thyme
  • You might want to add some S&P
  • You can whisk this, put it in the blender and just shake it well.

I also added some homemade croutons that I had made from my beer bread recipe. So good!!!!! Later for that. But of course you could add cooked couscous, lentils, whatever. Anyway, I am sure that I don’t need to tell you how to assemble your salad—so just go for it and use your imagination. I love pretty colors and often take pictures of my food presentations. I would love to see some of your pictures so don’t forget to send me some.

This salad could be a whole meal or just a light side to a lovely dinner you’ve invented.

beet greensbeet greens

OK—now for your well washed beet greens:

  • Cook uncovered for about 2 minutes in a pot of lightly salted boiling water.
  • Drain in colander under very cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, chop coarsely.
  • In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Stir in some garlic and red pepper flakes (I use these lot) and stir them well in the heated olive oil (about 1 minute and till fragrant).
  • Stir in the greens, season with salt to taste and cook just until greens are hot and taste good.
  • I serve them with a side of lemon wedges.

Once again: NO WASTE HERE!!!!! and so healthy.

Bon Appétit-From Margot’s Table to Yours

For more excellent recipes visit and email for small group catering needs or even for help inventing in the kitchen.