• Smooth-As-Silk Honey Glazed Salmon!

    D found this recipe and we positively loved it!

    The sweet and spicy heat combination goes wonderfully with a perfectly cooked salmon. Can’t go wrong. Enjoy!

  • Scrumptious Sauce for enchiladas!

    D found this recipe for a smoky enchilada sauce and it is out of this world!

    The flavors punch through J’s muted tastebuds with a smoky, tomatoey richness. D made the chicken enchiladas with flour and corn tortillas and we liked the corn best. Whichever you choose, we think you’ll love this recipe. Enjoy!

  • Super-Savory Spicy Burger!

    D started with this recipe for lamb, switched the lamb for ground beef, and then amped up the spices.

    Flavorful! The flavors burst through J’s dulled taste buds and D enjoyed it too!

    Here is the amped up recipe ingredients. Go to the link above and follow those Instructions but with these amounts. (For example, note that D’s amped up recipe uses 1/2 lb of ground beef with the amounts shown below).

    1/2 lb ground beef

    1 tomato

    1/2 small red onion

    Handful of cilantro

    1/2 tsp red chili flakes

    4 cloves of garlic

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp black pepper

    1/2 tsp cumin

    1/2 tsp paprika

    Red pepper was left out

    Hope you enjoy this rev’ed up recipe as much as we did!

  • Delicious Deli Hoagie!

    This Deli Hoagie is an old favorite that D picked up from working in a NJ Deli. I (J) love the crunch and combo of flavors and it’s a pretty dish. People say the red wine vinegar and oregano make it great. (J can’t taste the oregano but I love the vinegar pop of flavor). Family, friends and visitors have enjoyed this sandwich. We hope you do too!


    Hoagie Roll

    1 lb of deli meat (we like rare roast beef)

    1/4 lb of provolone cheese (or your choice of other cheeses)

    lettuce shaved very thin

    onion shaved very thin

    tomato sliced

    red wine vinegar

    vegetable oil


    oregano, salt, pepper

    Split rolls lengthwise. Spread mayonnaise on top and bottom. Pile 1/4 lb of meat and cheese on bottom. On top of roll, put tomato, lettuce, onion, oregano. Sprinkle oil and vinegar on the top tomato, lettuce, onion. Salt and pepper to taste. Put to halves together and eat!

    Makes 4 sandwiches

  • Yummy Yogurt-Marinated Pork Chops with White Wine-Shallot Sauce

    The sauce in this recipe is the star!

    The carmelized shallots reduced nicely in the white wine and butter sauce and the hint of mustard … oh my … hard to describe! The flavors came across medium-strong for J (tastebud-challenged) but full-flavored for D. The marinating of the pork chops in yogurt is supposed to tenderize them and it must have done their work because these were nicely tender. If you want a way to spice up your pork chops, try this recipe!

  • Sunny Shrimp Ceviche!

    This recipe is PACKED with vibrant flavors! We used it as-is and the color, crunch, zest, cilantro, make for a fantastic taste experience for someone who has dulled taste buds – or someone who doesn’t! If you have ingredients on-hand for guacamole, pick up some shrimp and jalepeno, and you can pivot to make this wonderful dish. Enjoy!

  • Great Greek Meatballs with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce!

    This recipe surprised us with the depth of flavors:

    D followed the recipe but added garlic and added half lamb to the ground chuck. The combination of the feta meatballs with the mint-infused cucumber sauce, and the onion and cucumber pieces, nestled in the toasted pita pieces made for a delectable (great!) mouthful each time. Pretty dish, great textures and layers of flavors. To get even more of the sauce flavor, we both would take a bite and then add more sauce to that spot. You can’t get enough sauce in our opinion!

  • Silky Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce!

    D discovered this lovely recipe recently:

    The sauce is the star. It is creamy with dill and mustard notes. I can taste the flavors with the recipe as is, but I (J) recommend adding more mustard and dill for those with dulled taste buds.

    D made asperagus and baked potato as well, and the sauce tasted just as good on those! For a beautiful and flavorful dish, try this one out. Enjoy!

  • Beautiful Biscotti (Cranberry Orange)!

    D chose to make the cranberry orange biscotti from these recipes:

    J can taste the orange and cranberry flavors and the biscotti crunch makes for a lovely dessert. Not exactly sure why. Maybe citrus or tart flavors are still tastable? (Is tastable a word?)

    D added more flavor and some visual excitement by dipping them in chocolate. What’s not to like?!

    So for those of you who have lost some of your taste buds who yearn for something more than just sweet, you might try this recipe to see if the orange, cranberry, and maybe chocolate flavors poke through for you. Enjoy!

  • Heavenly Ham and Asparagus Strata!

    Silky, creamy, ham-filled, quiche-like goodness! Not super strong flavors for me (J) but still very tasty. This recipe is a winner!

    D added twice the thyme and we loved it. The semi-crisp bread-cube crust on top, combined with the ham and cheese and the rest, made for a sumptious bite. D made plenty because this is a dish that tastes just as good as a leftover. Enjoy!

  • Mmmm Mexican Street Corn!

    This Mexican Street corn recipe is MMM MMM Good! For someone who has dimmed tastebuds, there are some nice flavor notes and textures in this recipe:

    D used a serrano pepper instead of jalepeno and that gave it a nice punch of heat – but not too much – for us. In step 2, intead of using crumbled queso fresco, D used cotija cheese. Feel free to double the amount to 1/2 a cup if you like extra cheesiness. D did! Hope you enjoy!

  • Sweet soy Ginger Salmon Bites!

    D developed this recipe from bits of others and it is so yummy! Love the marinade/sauce. For J, the flavors border on the subtle side but are still quite enjoyable. The Nori sheet under each portion and the sesame seeds in the marinade/sauce give the bite a crunch. The ginger, honey, scallions and soy sauce combine for an enjoyable mix of flavors, spiked by the desired amount of siracha for heat. After you remove each portion from the muffin tin and let cool, you can eat with fingers or with a fork. Hope you enjoy!


    16 oz salmon fillet, skin removed, cubed in 1/2″ pieces

    2 tbsp sesame oil

    1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

    1 tbsp siracha – or season to taste

    2 tsp grated ginger

    2 tbsp honey

    2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

    2 scallions sliced thin

    1 cup cooked rice

    Nori sheets

    Spray muffin tins with oil. Line each with 2 sheets of snack-sized Nori sheets. Put one tbsp of cooked white rice in bottom of each cup (on top of Nori sheets). Marinate cubed salmon for 1/2 hour with half of the marinade. Save the other half for drizzling.

    Pile cubed marinated salmon in muffin tins on top of rice. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until salmon is done. Remove and drizzle with remaining marinade.

  • Perfectly Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

    D just discovered and made this recipe and the flavors were yummy!

    The combination of lemon, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and garlic (which is hard for J to taste), was so good! D replaced the cherry tomatoes with the sliced regular-sized tomatoes . Be generous with those slices of tomatoes because for those of us with dulled taste buds, they shine through. D used the exact amount of red pepper flakes the recipe called for and the heat was perfect for us. (Thus the title!). Hope you enjoy!

  • Truly Tabbouleh! (with couscous)

    This has been a favorite of ours for years and since J lost his taste buds, it’s especially been a good recipe. It uses couscous instead of bulgur. The pungent parsley, mint, and onions topped with the lemon juice give a wonderful punch of flavor. Enjoy this favorite of ours!


    1 cup couscous

    2 cups chopped green onions

    3 cups chopped parsley

    1/4 cup fresh mint

    1/2 cup lemon juice

    1/3 cup olive oil

    1 1/4 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

    Cook the couscous.

    Chop together the tomatoes, green onions, parsley and mint. Beat into this mixture the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

    Combine the chopped mixture into the couscous until well-blended.

    Serves 6-8

    Note: If fresh mint is not available, use dried. Soak in lukewarm water for 10 minutes then drain.

  • Helluva Honey Mustard Chicken!

    If you want a crispy chicken thigh with a zesty sauce, try this Honey Mustard Chicken recipe:

    D didn’t cook the veggies with the chicken and the sauce and chicken were excellent as a stand-alone with separate vegetables. She pan-fried the chicken to a wonderful crispiness, juicy inside. The clever thing about this sauce is the use of cilantro stems! They don’t wilt when cooked but provide some cilantro flavor. The lime zest, mustard and honey then add for lovely layered flavors. A helluva flavorful recipe! Enjoy!

  • Super Soy-Ginger Salmon Pasta Bowls!

    This pretty dish is packed with flavor that D enjoyed and J can taste! Woo hoo!

    Note that D replaced the recommended pasta with orzo, which we loved. And she used a slightly underripe avocado to give the slices some definition.

    D loved the combined flavors in the marinade that she used also as a sauce (per the recipe) – and J could taste them too! Haven’t sorted out exactly what J was tasting but the combination somehow pushed through so J really enjoyed the dish.

    D put a nice cook on the salmon, tender and moist on the inside, and with punch of thin serrano pepper slices and cilantro, the whole dish was mouthwateringly good. The cucumber, avocado, cilantro and sesame seeds gave the disk a very nice texture.

    Which brings us to cilantro. Why is J able to taste cilantro? Not sure. Maybe it’s not technically an aromatic? Dunno. But he can so D put plenty cilantro in the dish.

  • Potent Peanut Butter Pork Chops!

    When D first made this tasty dish we fell in love with it! Mixture of sweet and heat over pork chops. As always, when cooking pork chops, be careful not to overcook them (so too dry). Add chilies to your preferred heat. My ability to taste ginger has dropped significantly but I can still taste a little of it so this dish still packs a punch for me. Enjoy!


    1. Combine the following into a saucepan and gently combine into a sauce

    • 2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter
    • 1/8 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon red pimentos
    • 1/4 cup coconut milk
    • two diced Thai chilies
    • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
    • 4 garlic cloves chopped finely

    2. Pan fry 2 pork chops with salt and pepper

    3. Spoon the sauce over the top of the pork chops and serve

  • Sumptuous Fried Spring Rolls with Sweet/Hot/Garlic Dipping Sauce!

    D has been making these fried spring rolls and dipping sauce for years and they are a family favorite! These are the best fried spring rolls I’ve ever had, homeade or restaurant and when combined with her dipping sauce, out of this world! Add more chili pepper for more heat in the sauce. Add mint, cilantro or basil to spring roll insides if you want extra flavor. Enjoy!

    Recipe: (Recipe requires a trip to your local Asian market)

    Fried Spring rolls


    • package of soy been thread noodles
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 lb ground pork
    • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp
    • XX shallots (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
    • Cilantro, mint, basil (optional)


    1. Soak two bundles of soy bean thread noodles in warm water for 15 mins.
    2. Scramble 2 eggs. Make 2 thin sheets of egg by swirling half the eggs at a time in a hot oiled pan. Cut cooked egg into shards and set aside.
    3. In a large pan, cook the pork until no longer pink.
    4. Add 1 Tbs dried shrimp.
    5. Add shallots if using.
    6. Add 2 Tbs fish sauce, 1 tsp sugar and one tsp freshly ground pepper.
    7. Drain the noodles and cut onto smaller pieces before adding to the pan .
    8. Finally add in the egg shards.
    9. Roll mixture in spring roll wrappers adding cilantro, mint or basil leaves before sealing.
    10. Deep fry til golden.

    Hot sweet garlic sauce


    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup white vinegar
    • 4-5 garlic cloves (minced)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground chili pepper


    1. Boil 1 cup of sugar with one half cup white vinegar and one half cup water
    2. Add in 4-5 garlic gloves minced
    3. Add 1 tsp salt.
    4. Boil until reduced to syrup consistancy
    5. Add 1/4 tsp ground chili peppers to finished syrup before serving

  • Beautiful Baked Chicken in Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce!

    D had some parmesan cheese and cream and found this rich, flavorful recipe. The mixture of spices and parmesan cheese in the creamy sauce made us eat up every last drop of the sauce with a spoon! D used chicken tenders in place of the drumsticks and they worked out great. The sauce is so good, she’s already looking for other ways to use it! Flavorful chicken and dumplings anyone? Enjoy!

  • Tasty T-Bone Steak!

    Even though steak is not what people would maybe call a great big flavor, I still find a lot of enjoyment eating steak and tender, juicy T-Bone is one of the best. Luckily we have access to great T-Bones at good prices. Below is one D cooked to perfection (as usual).

    She uses the technique of searing on the outside and then finising in the oven to the right temperature.

    D really has this technique down!

    If we want to spice things up, we’ll use a steak sauce but often it stands on it’s own. Enjoy!

  • Bodacious Bloody Mary Prawns!

    This recipe has layers of flavor reminicient of a bloody mary cocktail. It even contains vodka! (Cooked off). It’s tangy, colorful and low cal.

    Add more hot sauce to taste. Consider chopping up more of the celery to spread on top before serving, for an even stronger flavor and crunch. The more you reduce, the more punch in the flavor. Bonus! – the celery dip is also perfect for a wings dip! Enjoy!

  • Gobsmacking Guacamole!

    Guacamole is healthy and packed with fresh ingredients and flavors. Unfortunately with the loss of much of my tastebuds I can’t taste all that I used to, but I do still enjoy it with D. I can taste the tomato, a little of the garlic, the onion and the lime. I like the look and texture as well. Plus it’s so nutritious! Enjoy!

    1 avocado

    1 lime slice (about 1/6 of a lime)

    1/2 roma tomato (or whole small one)

    one medium-sized garlic clove

    one green onion

    pinch of salt

    If you use 2 avocados, double the other ingredients.

  • Tantalizing Tortilla Soup!

    One of D’s absolute best dishes is the tortilla soup she makes a version of this recipe:

    It is mouth-wateringly good! The pasilla chilies give the tortilla soup such a distinctive and wonderful flavor, not to spicy but a rich taste. Then the sour cream, cheese, carmelized onions, and lime give the soup so many wonderful layers!

    Here are the changes she makes to the recipe:

    We prefer her deep-fried soft corn tortillas to tortilla chips. Cut the corn tortillas into strips and deep fry them. One way to make the crunch last is to dump a portion of them in just before eating, then add more later, as you work through the soup, keeping the crunch. If you love crunch like I do, the extra work is worth it!

    After carmelizing the onions, D doesn’t blend them. I like how it provides a big carmelized onion bite in certain spoonfuls of the soup. A sweet surprise!

    The first picture below shows the ingredients before adding. The second shows them after adding the ingredients. Just looking at the picture makes me hungry for the soup again!

    This recipe hits on all points for me. Layers of flavors, bright lime, creamy sour cream, guey cheese, sweet carmelized onions, on top of the pasilla chilies base – with luscious avocado and crunchy deep-fried corn tortillas to top it all off. Amazing dish! Hope you enjoy!

  • Gorgeous Grilled Spiced Chicken Skewers with Cucumber Sauce!

    In our search for great big flavors we found this wonderful recipe:

    D used the recipe in the link above, but with a few changes as noted below:

    Spiced Grilled Chicken Skewers

    • 1 1/2 lb. chicken tenders
    • 2 tbsp. canola oil
    • 2 tsp. curry powder
    • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
    • Salt and black pepper

    Cucumber sauce

    • 1 grated cucumber
    • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped
    • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1 tsp dill weed
    • salt and black pepper

    Step 1

    Same as recipe in above link – but we didn’t have naan.

    Step 2

    Replace step 2 in the recipe with this recipe for cucumber sauce:

    Mix yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper together. Refrigerate until needed.

    Serve cucumber dip with chicken.

    The spices in the chicken were fantastic: spicy, flavorful, but not overwelming. The chicken took on a wonderful color from the smoked paprika and grilling. D nailed the cook of the chicken which was tender and juicy. D’s decision to go with the cucumber sauce really worked for us. We dipped each bite of the chicken in the sauce and it made for a fresh counter-point to the strong chicken flavors. Truly memorable dish! Hope you enjoy!

  • Fun Fish Tacos!

    One of the weird side-effects of my taste-bud-reduction is that I no longer can taste the strong fish flavors that others can. So for example, sometimes catfish can have a strong ‘catfish flavor’. It doesn’t register for me now, so I enjoy catfish much more than I used to. Weird, right? What better way to enjoy fish than in Fish Tacos? Here’s a recipe that D used to make fish tacos, but she inserted fish that we happened to have on-hand:

    I enjoy the crunch, the fish, the sauce, the cheese, and the tomatoes, for a complete, flavorful dish. Hope you enjoy too!

  • Mouthwatering Rolled Swirled Meringue Roulade with Praline Whipped Cream!

    Since I can taste sweet very well, desserts are still favorites. Here’s a recipe that D made recently that we both enjoyed:

    The picture below shows it result before it’s rolled. Very artistic don’t you think? Then when you roll it, it looks like the picture in the link above. In addition to the dessert flavors, I loved the chewy texture of the Meringue. We hope you will too!

  • Sumptious Spaghetti Bolognese!

    One of the food textures I enjoy is pasta that is at just the right cook – slightly al dente. One of the flavors I can still taste well is tomato-based sauces. I also still enjoy savory flavors, though they are dimmed for me. One dish that fits all of these criteria is Spaghetti Bolognese. Here’s a receipt that D made recently. So tasty!

  • Phantastic Pralines!

    Even though I lost most of my aromatic flavor sensing, I can taste sweet, sour, salt, and bitter quite well, and savory to a lesser degree – I think (still trying to figure that out). So sweets are definitely still a favorite. Along those lines, D makes praline pecans and they are tasty! Here’s an example recipe:

    If you’re trying to figure out which foods are still enjoyable to you, explore different sweets. The only problem for me is, I like them TOO much sometimes. 🙂

  • Succulent Snow Crab Legs!

    We discovered how to open snow crab legs from a youtube video and since that time we have loved snow crab legs. Here’s a video on how to open the crab legs:

    Here’s a recipe on how to prepare snow crab legs:

    The clusters are easy for us to find and they’re reasonble at food stores near us. Crab legs don’t technically have big flavors for me but dipped in butter and salt, they are still a favorite for us. D added in corn on the cob to make use of the butter and we have a fantastic pairing! Enjoy!

  • Crunch-tastic Crispy Tacos!

    Crunch is a big part of our enjoyment of food. When I lost some of my ability to taste, crunch took on a bigger role. To that end, D has explored different ways of making crunchy and flavorful dishes. One of her stand-bys is Crispy Tacos.

    You make the taco meat using your own mixture or store-bought. Then you make or buy soft tacos. Put the meat in the soft tacos and then deep fry them to your crunchy pleasure! Add your desired taco ingredients and enjoy!

  • Poppin’ Pesto Pasta with Meat Balls!

    The creaminess and pesto flavor made this recipe one of our very favorites we’ve tried recently:

    We found ourselves making lots of yummy sounds as we ate this dish and when we finished we were already planning on the next time we would have it! So good! The sauce is rich and tasty with the cream and pesto packing a punch together. D added plenty of torn basil at the end for extra basil flavor. She used rotini pasta in place of fussili pasta and the pasta was just as good.

    Consider using Thai basil in place of regular basil to switch up the flavor.

    If you want some heat, change the sausage to medium or even hot sausage.

    Finally, you can add more parmesian than the recipe calls for, depending on your taste for it.

    If you want a creamy, flavorful, easy-to-make dish, try this pesto pasta with meatballs. It’s truly a wonderful dish! Enjoy!

  • Jumpin’ Jambalaya!

    We thought Jambalaya would be a big-flavored recipe and we were right! Here’s the one we used:


    Jalepeno, cayenne, and cajun seasoning are what gave it the pop for us. To add some extra heat, D added Ro-Tel (diced tomatoes and peppers).

  • Beautiful Bulgogi Pork!

    D made this dish using the following recipe:

    except she used Seoul Bulgogi Sauce instead of making the Bulgogi sauce.

    It was tasty for both of us. Sweet is of course easily detected by people like me who have lost much of their aromatic sensing ability, so anything sweet is tasty. But it also has great texture with the carrots, cucumber and scallions and the pickled cucumber can be a strong flavor, depending on how much they are pickled. I can’t taste the sesame seeds unless they are heavy in the recipe so you may need to up the amount of sesame seeds also. Similarly, those of you like me who need stronger flavors, may want to increase the amount of scallions as well.

    Play around with the amount of Sriracha in the sour cream and Sriracha sauce (a clever way to add a light color with the Sriracha flavor). I like no more than a 2 out of 5 on a heat scale so D is careful with how much she uses.

    Using a store-bought bulgogi sauce and pre-pickled cucumbers, this flavorful quick recipe could be even quicker.


  • Lip-smacking Larb!

    We tried this cold, flavorful, colorful recipe for larb pork wrapped in lettuce leaves and really enjoyed it:

    It is a visually pretty dish with enough heat (chili heat), brightness (lime) and crunch (lettuce) to make each mouthful a pleasure. Prep time is on the low side and the ingredients are easy to find (for us). Make sure not to overdue the herbs if they have any bitterness. It is a light meal and low cal. You can make with chicken but D prefers pork.

    D didn’t use rice powder called for in the recipe but did use the recommended amount of lime – and it was a bit much. If D makes it again (a distinct possibility!), she’ll use less lime next time. As with all dishes with chili peppers, you can dial in the amount of heat you want by the number of peppers and whether you include seeds or not.

    Enjoy your Larb!

  • First post!

    After J lost much of his taste, especially for aromatics, D began to explore recipes to find food J can taste and that D likes. It’s been quite a journey, and it’s still ongoing. After months of trying, we’ve started to see a trend, but we’re still searching. Cooking to make big flavors is complicated. This blog is our attempt to try to keep track of what we’re finding out, and we thought, ‘Hey, maybe others might find it useful.” What to call such a blog? How about Great Big Flavors!

    Some thoughts about loss of taste. J can taste four of the five primary flavors very well: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. J can taste umami a bit. Aromatics are much harder to smell and taste. But it turns out there are other recipe sensations that are as important to enjoyment for J: texture and color. The look of the food goes to proper preparation and plating.

    The main food textures for J are hard, soft, liquid, solid, creamy, crumbly, crispy, etc. There’s a detailed discussion of food textures here. Bottom line – the right textures can make or break a recipe for us.

    Of course, in general, how much any of us like a food is very subjective. So this is our journey it trying to find foods with big flavors that we like – and hopefully you will too!

    Here we go!

    D & J

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