This is fisherman's stew. It has a tomato base with vegetables and seafood. You start by cooking up some garlic and onion in olive oil. Remember with soups: you don't need to brown the onion, so just cook it until it is translucent. While the onion is cooking, you steam some mussels for only a couple of minutes. Be sure to discard any mussels that do not open. Then you add a can of tomato puree and some clam juice to the onion-garlic mixture. Add to this 2 sliced zucchinis and some corn. Since corn is more readily available now, I used a variety that has some slight purple color to the kernels. This is cooked for a few minutes until the zucchini is a little more tender, but not soggy. Add salt (a good deal since the canned tomatoes need a bit before you can start to taste a difference), pepper, chives, basil, and a bay leaf. At this point, you can let it simmer for about 10 minutes. When you are ready, you add 1 pound of fish (I used red snapper), scallops (I would have preferred the larger sea scallops but I could only find the smaller bay scallops), and shrimp. Simmer until the seafood is cooked, discard the bay leaf and add in the mussels and some parsley. I ended up supplementing in some garlic powder in the end to kick it up a bit. I also served the soup with a torn-off piece of crusty bread (in this case, a 5 grain baton).
One of my favorite simple, easy and relatively healthy desserts is a fruit parfait. I also like trifles, but I did not want to put cubed cake into this (I think that's the only real difference between the two desserts, but don't quote me on that). Starting from the bottom up, this parfait had lite whipped topping, sliced banana, chocolate pudding (Swiss Miss is fantastic), quartered strawberries, more whipped topping, and a couple of banana coins and a fanned strawberry for an accent on top. This is the first time I have successfully fanned a strawberry, but it was rather easy. You just make a series of successive cuts starting from the tip and going almost to the top, then just spread out the slices a little bit. This dessert could be made in literally 1 minute and it was quite delicious.