Wednesday, July 27, 2016

White Peach Sangria........

In the summer, there is nothing better than a nice chilled glass of White Peach Sangria. White peaches will soon be in season and it's the perfect time to make up a pitcher for your summer BBQ. Buy a good bottle of Riesling, something you enjoy drinking. If you don't, your Sangria won't taste good either. You can use any kind of fruit, blueberries, strawberries, whatever you like. 

White Peach Sangria
One 750-milliliter bottle Riesling
3/4 cup Simple Syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup raspberries
1 apple, diced
1 white peaches, sliced into wedges
Combine the wine, Simple Syrup, orange juice in a pitcher. Add the raspberries, apples and peaches and stir. Chill, covered, at least 1 hour and up to 24. Serve over ice. 

Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Keep covered in the refrigerator up to 1 month.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Till next time.......


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Kruschiki.........

Well, I first tasted them years ago at a neighbor's home. I was hooked. I could have eaten her whole cookie tin of them and not shared a one. They are that good.  You might wonder what Kruschiki are. Kruschiki are a Polish delicacy, little twisted "bows" of sweet dough, quickly deep fried and covered with powdered sugar. They are sometimes called "angel wings”. The name is of Russian origin, and makes its way to Poland via the Ukraine, where Russian and Polish cultures intertwine. If I have erred on the origin, please forgive me, but that was the story told to me. I mean really folks, is there anything better than fried dough topped with powdered sugar? 
Till next time.......

Monday, July 25, 2016

Olive Tapenade...........

This is that something different you've been looking for. Buy some of those mixed olives at your grocery or deli or you can just use black and green pitted olives. So good. Your guests will love you.
Olive Tapenade
1/2 cup green olives, pitted 
1/2 cup black olives, pitted 
1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 1 anchovy fillet, optional 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 clove garlic, smashed 
1 lemon, juiced 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
Crackers or toast, for serving. In a food processor, combine the green and black olives, anchovy if using, oregano, garlic and lemon juice and pulse, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until everything is a coarse paste. Drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing until combined. Serve with crackers, toast or as a Bruschetta. You want it to be coarse, not a smooth paste.
Till next time.......

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Italian Herb Bread.......


Remember when the Bread Machine craze was on and everyone had to have one. Well, I have one and for me, it is often a life saver. It keeps me from running to the store in very cold or very hot weather. It also provides a nice loaf of bread when I run out. This recipe is an Italian Herb Bread and definitely worth trying. So dig out that bread machine that you haven't used in years and give it a try!!
Italian Herb Bread

1 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon of dried basil or rosemary
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
Add the ingredients to a bread maker pan in the order listed.
Use white bread cycle with a light or medium crust setting.
Note: I find it helpful to warm the pan first before adding the ingredients. It helps the yeast to work better.
Till next time........

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Baked Onions..........

Summer is here with all that miserable heat! But, so are the fresh veggies. If you have never had a baked onion, now is your chance. They are so easy to make and add a special side dish to your dinner. 
Baked Onions
Get one of those smaller, round white onions. Slice the top and the bottom off and peel it, and with a small spoon or a melon baller, carve out a cavity in the top of the onion. Put one of those beef boullion cubes down in the cavity and a pat of butter on top. Then, close up the foil tightly around it and put the whole thing in the oven. Cook in the foil at about 350-400 for about an hour. (Same way you'd do a baked potato). The juices from the onion will be contained by the foil and the bouillon flavor will permeate the whole onion. (You can put the foil pouch in a dish to be safe, if you want to. No one wants to clean an oven). It will taste a little like French Onion soup in flavor. Really nice side and very convenient.
Till next time........

Friday, July 22, 2016

Books..........

Reading is good brain exercise and can lower brain decline by 32%. Isn't that reason enough to read a book? It can reduce stress by 68%! It will improve your reading skills, spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Reason enough to start your children reading early. It provides entertainment for several hours and is cheaper than a movie. So do yourself a favor, grab a book, a cup of tea or coffee and improve your mind while having a great time.
Till next time.......

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Raspberry Jam......with Tomatoes........

Tomatoes will soon be coming on strong and you don't know what to do with all of them, Right? Well, cast your eyes on this recipe. Not only raspberry but think how good strawberry would be!!

Frozen Raspberry Jam  
5 cups chopped peeled fresh tomatoes
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 packages (3 ounces each) raspberry gelatin
Rinse three clean 1-pint plastic containers with lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.
In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, sugar and lemon juice. Cook and stir over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Skim off foam if necessary. Add gelatin; stir until completely dissolved.Immediately fill all containers to within 1/2 in. of tops. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Wipe off top edges of containers; cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 3 hours or until set, but not longer than 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 12 months. Thaw frozen jam in refrigerator before serving. Yield: about 5-1/2 cups 
Note: 2 tablespoons: 82 calories, 21g carbohydrate 
Till next time........

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Heat........

Are you tired of this terrible heat we are having? I find it unbearable. I have never liked the summer heat, but as I age, I find it also makes me light headed. So I stay inside, grab a bottle of cold water and amuse myself in the air conditioning. I also find that unfortunately, I don't go very many places because of the heat. This is the hottest June on record. We are going to be facing 100F+ heat index and the climax of the heat will be 110F heat index. Definitely time to stay inside for people.
Till next time.......

Cantaloupe Blueberry Dish...........

Melons and blueberries are in season now and what better way to enjoy the flavors of the season? The blueberries are so sweet this season, no sugar needed. 
Cantaloupe Blueberry Dish
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
2 Tbsp honey (I like Clover Honey)
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 cups cantaloupe cubes
Squeeze lemon and put juice in a bowl. Add honey and cinnamon till well blended. Add blueberries and cantaloupe cubes and toss gently together to coat with lemon honey mixture. Serves 4.
Till next time........

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Easy Puff Dumplings.......

How many of you grew up eating puff dumplings or biscuit dumplings? If we had gravy, stew or soup, we had biscuit dumplings. So good. Maybe it was because it was wartime and the dumplings were filling. All I know is; it was delicious and I never went to bed hungry. This is the easy version of those long ago dumplings.




Puff Dumplings
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk
Stir ingredients until soft dough forms.
Drop by spoonfuls onto boiling stew; reduce heat. Cook uncovered 10 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes. (Do not lift the lid!!)
Till next time........

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Overnight Sticky Buns........

Here is another version of the sticky buns using a Bundt pan and thawing the rolls first. Choose the presentation you want.

 Sticky Buns
24 Rhodes Yeast Dinner Rolls, thawed but still cold
1/2 box butterscotch or vanilla pudding mix, non-instant
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
Cut dinner rolls in half and dip in dry pudding mix. Arrange rolls in sprayed bundt pan, alternately with pecans. Sprinkle any remaining pudding mix over the top. Combine brown sugar and butter. Heat together until butter is melted and a syrup is formed (microwave about 1 1/2 minutes). Pour syrup over rolls. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap. Let rise until double in size or even with top of bundt pan; 8 hours or overnight. Carefully remove wrap. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Cover with foil the last 15 minutes of baking. Immediately after baking, loosen from sides of the pan with a knife and invert onto a serving plate.
Till next time........

Overnight Sticky Buns........


What could be easier than overnight sticky buns? You do what little work there is the night before. Then pop them in a preheated oven and your family/guests will think you have worked so hard on their lovely breakfast or brunch.
Overnight Sticky Buns
1 stick butter or margarine (1/2 cup)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 small pkg. vanilla pudding mix (NOT instant)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
18 frozen dinner rolls
Grease a 9x13” pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan, and place the frozen rolls over the nuts. Melt butter and add brown sugar, cinnamon, and pudding mix. Pour over rolls. Cover and set in a cold oven overnight. Remove from oven in the morning, and preheat the oven to 350º. Then bake for 30-40 minutes, or until rolls are cooked through. Serve warm. Makes 18 rolls
Till next time........


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Egg Roll Filling........

I became addicted to homemade egg rolls the first time I tasted them. Yes, I know, they make them fresh in the Chinese Restaurant; or do they? Somehow, the ones you make at home taste better. Maybe because they aren't frozen.







Egg Roll Filling
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 pkg cole slaw mix
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 cup chopped green onion
2 cloves finely minced garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
16 egg roll wrappers
1 egg, lightly beaten
Oil for deep-fat frying
Sweet-and-sour sauce
In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain well. Stir in the coleslaw mix, water chestnuts, onions, soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger, salt, and pepper. Saute until cabbage is crisp-tender. Position an egg roll wrapper with one point toward you. Place about ¼ cup sausage mixture in the center. Fold bottom corner over filling; fold sides toward center over filling. Roll toward the remaining point. Moisten top corner with beaten egg; press to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry egg rolls, a few at a time, for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with a sweet-and-sour sauce.
I like an Orange Chili Sauce or Duck Sauce.
Till next time.......

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bravo's Dipping Oil.........

Have you been to Bravo's Cucina Italiana? It is one of my favorite places to go. Before you get your order; they bring out this herb bread and dipping oil. So good. Here is the recipe for the oil straight from Bravo. This is the real deal and not a copycat recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Dipping Oil
12 oz Blended oil
1 oz tomato paste
3/4 tsp dry rosemary
3/4 tsp dry thyme
3/4 tsp dry basil
4 oz boiling water
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 oz sun dried tomato
1/2 tsp chopped parsley
1/2 oz salt and pepper
In sauce pot, heat oil and add dry herbs. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool. Reconstitute sun dried tomatoes in water for 5 minutes and drain. Add together all oil, garlic, tomato paste, sundried tomato, salt and pepper. Blend very fine for 45 seconds and refrigerate to 41 degrees. Store in refrigerator covered for 30 days.
Till next time........

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Chicken Pineapple Rumaki.........

One of my favorite appetizers is Rumaki. I don't care what you put in it, it is always good. It usually consists of chicken livers, water chestnuts wrapped in bacon and marinated in soy sauce and either ginger or brown sugar. 
It is a make ahead hors d'oeuvre of mock Polynesian origin. It was popular in the 1950's and 1960's. You can warm it in the oven just before serving. Your guests will be delighted.

Chicken and Pineapple Rumaki
Vegetable oil, for the pans
3 small boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
15 pineapple chunks
1 pound bacon, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and then set a rack on top. Lightly oil the rack.
Toss the chicken and scallions with the soy sauce, sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Meanwhile, wrap each pineapple chunk in a half slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Arrange them on the rack set in the baking sheet.Wrap each piece of chicken and 2 pieces of scallion with the remaining bacon, securing each with a toothpick and arranging on the rack.Bake the chicken and pineapple Rumaki until the bacon is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve the Rumaki on a platter, sprinkled with the sesame seeds.
Till next time..........

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cannoli Dip.........

Do you love Cannoli as much as I do; but sometimes, you just don't have the time to make them? Make Cannoli Dip instead. Your friends will love you for it.
Cannoli Dip
2 cups whole milk ricotta
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange liqueur 
(or 1 Tbsp orange zest)
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Strawberries, for serving
Mix the ricotta, confectioners' sugar and liqueur in a bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips. Crispy wonton triangles, cinnamon pita chips or your favorite cookies for dipping. 8 appetizer servings. 
Till next time.........

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Angel Biscuits.......

Who doesn't like a delicious, fluffy and warm biscuits? Well, I for one love them. Angel biscuits are a bit different; in that they have yeast unlike your normal baking powder biscuits. I like a tall biscuit, so I roll the dough to about an inch thickness. But if you like one less tall, just roll the dough thinner.





Angel Biscuits
1/4 cup warm water
1 pkg. active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablesppons sugar
1/2 cup shortening, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
To the bowl of a food processor, add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to mix. Add the shortening and pulse a few more times until it forms little pebbles in the flour. Not too much now. Add the buttermilk and yeast mixture and pulse until it forms a sort of sticky ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead two or three times, just to form a ball and roll out to about 1 inch thick. Using a 2-inch cutter, cut out the biscuits and place them in a greased pan. While the oven preheats, let the biscuits rise slightly (about 20 minutes). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 400F. Eat while warm and enjoy.
Till next time..........

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Egg Strata.........

One thing about a Strata, you can make it for just one person and it's just as good as if you make it for 12 people. It's fun to make the night before, stick it in the fridge and then bake it off in the morning. What kind is up to you. Just add some ham, bacon, sausage, onion, herbs or even fruit and make it a sweet strata. What could be better than a blueberry strata for breakfast with a few more fresh blueberries?
Till next time.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Chocolate Truffles............

What's your favorite candy? 
Chocolate Truffles just has to be right up near the top of your list. They are so simple to make and make a great gift. Put a few in a nice candy box and give as a thank you, birthday or a just because gift. What the heck, make a few for yourself as well. The cayenne is optional, but I really like cayenne with chocolate. Especially in hot chocolate to drink.
Chocolate Truffles
7 ounces, weight Bittersweet Chocolate
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a small saucepan. Pour the heavy cream and the salt into the pan and set over medium heat. Once the chocolate starts to melt, stir until the mixture is very smooth. Move the pan to the refrigerator and chill until firm, approximately 1 hour. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and cayenne together. Set aside. Once the chocolate is firm to the touch, use a small 2-teaspoon cookie scoop to form balls. Use your hands to quickly roll the balls and smooth out the creases. Your hands will get very chocolaty, so you may want to wear plastic gloves. Place the balls in the bowl of cocoa powder and roll around to thoroughly coat. Then store them in an airtight container until ready to serve. Serve the chocolate truffles at room temperature. Set them out on the counter about 30 minutes before serving. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Till next time.........

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Yorkshire Pudding...........


Yorkshire Pudding is a gift we got from the British. You can cook it in the fat from a beef roast or in cupcake tins for individual puddings. You can eat them with jam or jelly or pour some gravy on them as you would mashed potatoes. 
Yorkshire Pudding
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons beef fat
Whisk the eggs and milk into a large bowl until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine salt and flour, then add gradually into the egg mixture. Whisk quickly until the flour is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Cover it with plastic wrap and let stand for at least one hour, but no more than three. Collect the fat from the roast.If you’re collecting the fat from a fresh roast, the best time to do it is after the roast has been in the oven for an hour, and while the roast rests. Whisk 1 tablespoon of beef fat into the batter until it’s bubbly and smooth. Transfer the batter to a large measuring cup or pitcher. Measure 1/2 teaspoon of beef fat into each cup of a standard muffin pan. Once the roast is out of the oven, set the oven to 450 degrees. Place the pan into the oven to heat for 3 minutes. Quickly remove the pan from the oven, close the door, then divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups so ech are about 2/3 full. Return the pan to the oven then bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pierce each pastry with a skewer to release the steam and prevent collapse. Serve immediately.
Till next time......

Friday, June 24, 2016

Gyros...........

Gyros are one of my favorite sandwiches. Not that I want to eat one every day; but when I do, I really enjoy it. It is lamb strips, with tomato, onion, sometimes lettuce and a tzatziki sauce. The sauce is a combination of plain Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, minced cucumber, dill, salt and pepper. It is an amazing sauce. All of this is then put in a grilled Pita bread. They are a bit sloppy to eat, but so worth it. Find your nearest good Gyro shop and enjoy. Not all Gyro shops are the same. Ask around and find a good one.
Till next time..........

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Apple Sausage.........

A friend of mine from "across the pond" introduced me to this breakfast meat from his area. I had never heard of it before. Just take a lb of pork sausage (any kind) and add a small cored and grated Granny Smith apple to it. Mix well. It just adds another layer of flavor it to it. You don't even have to peel the apple!!
Till next time.......

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Lobster Roll.........

You can laugh if you want to but when I went to Maine the first time; I did not know what a lobster roll was. I was thinking maybe something like a egg roll w/lobster. I truly had no idea. So before leaving, I had to stop and get one. Just to say I had eaten a Lobster Roll. So coming back to the Inn from Kennebunkport I stopped at a little place on the side of the road. They soak the lobster meat in butter and then fill the grilled bun. As you can see, the roll is full. I was quite pleased to say the very least. It was so yummy! In Maine, lobsters are quite cheap. At that time, you could get two large lobsters on a plate for dinner for $9.95!! That included steamed corn on the cob and rolls. Any place else it would have been three or four times that price.
Till next time.........

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Turnovers..........

Nothing like an apple raisin turnover to brighten your day. Just take an apple, dice it, put it in a skillet with a little water and brown sugar and some raisins. Then cook till the apples are done. Take some puff pastry and cut it into squares, add some fill and bake. So good. There really isn't a recipe. Just puff pastry and some fruit. (your choice of fruit or pie filling). Experiment and have some fun making your own turnovers. Put a glaze on them if you like.
Till next time........

Monday, June 20, 2016

Oreo Cookie Frozen Dessert...........

Summer is here, in full force and what could be better than a frozen dessert. This is the best of both worlds, chocolate and ice cream.

Oreo Cookie Frozen Dessert
1 package (15-1/2 ounces) Oreo cookies, crushed, divided
1/2cup butter, melted
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1 8 oz container of cool whip
In a large bowl, combine 1 pkg cookie crumbs and butter. Reserve a few crumbs for garnish. Press cookie mixture into a greased 12” cheesecake pan or 9x13 pan. Mix ice cream and cool whip and spread over crust. Sprinkle reserved cookie crumbs on top and freeze until firm or overnight. Serves 12.
Till next time..........

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pineapple Rumaki..........

You've all heard of Rumaki with chicken livers. But let's face it; not everyone is thrilled over eating chicken livers. So for your next party try Chicken Pineapple Rumaki.
Chicken and Pineapple Rumaki
Vegetable oil, for the pans
3 small boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt and  ground black pepper
15 pineapple chunks
1 pound bacon, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and then set a rack on top. Lightly oil the rack. Toss the chicken and scallions with the soy sauce, sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Meanwhile, wrap each pineapple chunk in a half slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Arrange them on the rack set in the baking sheet. Wrap each piece of chicken and 2 pieces of scallion with the remaining bacon, securing each with a toothpick and arranging on the rack. Bake the chicken and pineapple Rumaki until the bacon is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve the Rumaki on a platter, sprinkled with the sesame seeds. Crisp bacon is a MUST! I guarantee these will be the hit of the party!!
Tip: Soak the toothpics in water if you don't want them to burn.
Till next time.......




Friday, June 17, 2016

Raspberry Vinaigrette.........


If you want something refreshing this summer for your salads, give this fruity vinaigrette a try. It makes one cup, so you don't have to worry about having a lot of it around. I can tell you, it won't last long.

Raspberry Vinaigrette
Puree:
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Whisk in:
1/3 cup raspberry wine vinegar
2 Tbsp minced shallots
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Puree the raspberries and jam in a food processor and strain with a sieve, discarding the seeds. Transfer puree to a bowl and whisk in the next 5 ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Then enjoy on your favorite salad.

If that seems like too much work, you can always buy Panera Bread's Raspberry Vinaigrette. It is fat free and has only 5 grams of carbohydrates in 2 Tablespoons of their vinaigrette. You know if it is Panera's, it's got to be good.
Till next time.........

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lettuce Mandarin Salad............

I am so trying to be good in my food choices. I want to drop several pounds this year.  I figure this summer is a good time to do it. All those great fruits and veggies will help. This is my supper for tonight with 4 little shrimp on top of it. 
Till next time.........

Monday, June 13, 2016

Indoor S'mores........

Summer is here and campfires will be burning throughout the summer. But what if you can't go camping? Why can't you still enjoy a camping dessert? Well, you can! Just follow the simple directions below.

Indoor S'mores 
1 3/4 cups of graham crackers
1 stick of butter 
1 cup of chocolate chips (I used semi sweet) 
3 marshmallows for each cup (you could also use the mini ones)
Butter your muffin tins WELL or use aluminum cupcake papers. Melt the butter in the microwave and combine with the graham crumbs using a fork. Press onto a muffin tin and bake for 10 min or until golden brown. Top each cup with chocolate chips right after removing from the oven (so that they melt). Set aside. When you are ready to eat or serve, place 3 marshmallows on top and place in the oven on broil (high setting) for just 45 seconds. Don't let them broil for longer than that because they will burn!
Enjoy your S'mores!
Till next time.......

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Orange Crates & Glass Blocks.......

How many of you remember the revered orange crate? Yes, oranges used to come packed in wood crates to the grocery stores. They were generally thrown out by the stores and of course the neighborhood children were there to get the "free wood". The girls would make a vanity out of two crates and a top or bookcases to hold a multitude of things. The boys were more into making scooters with old roller skate wheels race cars, wagons and swords. AND no one ever got hurt with them. You could make a guitar out of an old wooden cigar box and different sizes of rubber bands, with a handle made from old orange crate wood. The children also made a bookcase or desk for homework. If you painted them or stained them, they even made it college dorms. But alas, the wood crates were changed out for cardboard ones, that were useless to make anything out of.
These are glass blocks that also made their way to the college dorm rooms. With a board put across two of them you had a bookshelf. Put another tier of them and you had a bookcase. Yes, I know, people don't do that anymore, but when I grew up, this was very economical and it worked. Children and young adults now miss out on the creativity that was born out of necessity.
Till next time.........

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Southern Pimento Cheese Spread.........

If you live in the South or have lived there, you know what this spread tastes like. Make a grilled cheese sandwich out of it or tea sandwiches, or just spread on crackers and you will love the taste.
Southern Pimento Cheese Spread
2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional) 
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimento, drained
salt and black pepper to taste
Place the Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, minced jalapeno, and pimento into the large bowl of a mixer. Beat at medium speed, with paddle if possible, until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Till next time...........








Friday, June 10, 2016

Camper's Favorite Dip.........

Summer is finally here and so is the camping season. While you are sitting around the campfire, relaxing among the trees and waiting for the meat and veggies to get done on the grill, you need something to snack on. This is perfect for that. Dig out an aluminum pie pan and start to layer this crazy good dip.
Camper's Favorite Dip
8oz pkg of cream cheese
1 (15oz) can of chili w/beans
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
A bag of Scoop corn chips
Spread the softened cream cheese in the bottom of a nine inch aluminum pie pan, top with the chili w/beans and cheddar cheese. Heat on grill until cheese is melted, about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve with corn chips.
Till next time........

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Baklava...........

Baklava is that gooey honey, nutty, crispy and sweet pastry that we all love. But have you noticed that no matter how much you love it, two bites are usually enough. It is so rich and sweet, it is hard to eat. But those 2-3 bites that you do manage to eat; are divine. There is just no other word for it.
Till next time.......

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Recycle Veggies...........

Want to save a little money this summer? Recycle some of your veggies, like scallions, celery and Romaine lettuce. Yes, you can regrow these items with little effort and you will have half of your salads at not cost! Cut off about an inch or so of your scallions and put it in water to just cover the bottom of the onion and it will regrow itself.

Celery is another veggies that will regrow itself. Just cut off the bottom and put it in water. As you can see, before long you will have more celery to use as you want. And it is always fresh! You can't ask for more than that.


You do the same with the Romaine lettuce and it will definitely cut down on the price of it and you will have fresh lettuce whenever you want it.
Till next time.........

Monday, June 6, 2016

Tomato Pie..........

Have you heard of tomato pie? With the summer tomatoes arriving before long, think about making a tomato pie. It is a pie crust with scallions, tomatoes, basil and cheese goodness. Serve it up with some nice greens and it is a perfect summer supper. This is best at room temperature. So it can be made ahead and just warmed up a little before serving. You can spice it up by using different cheeses, like Mexican Blend or Pepper Jack for one of the cheeses.



Tomato Pie
2 - 3 fresh Tomatoes, sliced or cubed and drained.
8 fresh Basil leaves, finely chopped.
1/2 cup Scallions, chopped.
1 Pre-Baked Pie Crust, 9 inch.
1 cup of grated Cheddar Cheese.
1 cup of grated Mozzarella Cheese.
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise.
Salt and Pepper to taste. Slice and chop the Basil, set aside. Slice and chop the Onion, set aside. Slice and cube the Tomatoes, place in colander to drain. Sprinkle the Tomatoes with Black Pepper. Sprinkle on the Salt, stir and let continue to drain. In a separate mixing bowl, add the Cheddar Cheese. Add the grated Mozzarella Cheese. Add the Mayonnaise, stir until combined, set aside. To assemble the Pie, place chopped onions in bottom of crust. Sprinkle with the chopped Basil. Add the drained Tomatoes, spread around evenly in crust. Top with the Cheese mixture, spread almost to edges of pie crust. Bake at 350º for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm and Enjoy! Makes 6 slices.
Till next time.........

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Corn Salsa.........

It's summer time and time for picnics galore. Mayonnaise does not keep well in the heat. So why not bring something that will. This corn salsa is so good. The lime juice really brings out the freshness. This does have a bit of a "kick" to it. Use 1/4 of a green pepper instead of the Poblano for less "kick".
Corn Salsa
1/2 small Poblano chile pepper, seeded
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears), or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 small Jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Preheat a grill to medium high. Brush the poblano with 1 teaspoon olive oil and grill, skin-side down, until charred but still firm, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly; peel and finely chop.
If using fresh corn, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes; drain. Mix the corn (if using frozen, add it here), poblano, jalapeno, cilantro and red onion in a bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, the lime juice, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Till next time...........

Friday, June 3, 2016

Italian Dressing........

I have tried many Italian Dressings and none of them was I fond of. So many of them have ingredients I can't even pronounce and are thick from emulsifiers and preservatives. Yuck!!
Anyway, while browsing the recipes I found this one. It is said to be a family favorite. I made it this afternoon. Then I had a lovely salad for my supper with this dressing. So good. It will be my favorite from now on! 
Italian Dressing
1 1/3 cup olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Add all of the ingredients to a salad shaker, mason jar or other container. Close with a tight-fitting lid and shake for about 10 seconds to combine. Let it sit for 2 hours and let the flavors do their thing. Leftover dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Till next time.......

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Memorial Thank You.........



Today, a time to remember
 those who gave all.
God bless them &
Thank you so much.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

White BBQ Sauce.......

Our summer season for grilling starts this weekend, with Memorial Day. We all love a good BBQ sauce. Most of them are tomato based. But Bob Gibson from Decatur Alabama, concocted a white BBQ sauce back in 1925. It is different from any other sauce, but in the South, it is considered a household staple. Give it a try and see what you think. Cut up some chicken pieces and get to grilling. This sauce is good on pulled pork, burgers and chicken and for marinating, basting and dipping.


White BBQ Sauce from Alabama.
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp restaurant ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Creole mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne OR 2 tsp prepared horseradish
Whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate up to 1 week.
Till next time.........



Friday, May 27, 2016

Corn Hole (Bean Bag Toss) ..........


How many of you have played Corn Hole as a child or adult? I grew up playing this game. Here is a sample of what the game board looks like. You can make the board as plain, fancy or funny as you want to make it. Sometimes there is a clown head and the hole is the mouth. There are 8 bean bags or corn filled bags in two different colors. You stand at the given line and toss the bag to sink it in the hole for 3 points. A bag on the wood is only 1 point. You take turns tossing the bag. The first person to get to 21 wins. This game is popular because it is age and gender friendly. As they say in the South, Ya'll kin play! With Summer coming up maybe this is the time to bring out the board and get everyone involved in a fun game.
Till next time...........

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Southern Cheese Dip (Charleston Style)..........


With football season not too far away, I was looking for a dip that was different. This one fit the bill perfectly.  Sometimes you just get tired of the same old food and REALLY need a change. You will love this warm dip.
Southern Cheese Dip (Charleston Style)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 dash cayenne pepper
8 butter crackers, crushed, such as Ritz
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Corn chips, crackers or bagel chips, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch pie pan. Top the mixture with the cracker crumbs and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon. Serve immediately with corn chips, crackers or bagel chips.
Till next time........

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Baked Apples.........

Got some apples that need used up? Well, in my house, that means baked apples or apple crisp. It may be an old fashion dessert but it's still delicious and wonderful.
Baked Apples
4 large baking apples
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Wash and core apples, leaving enough of the core at the base of the apple to contain the filling. Combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans in a small bowl. Roll log shapes of the mixture and press enough into each apple to fill the core. Fill a 2-quart baking dish with about 3/4 cup water, or enough to cover the bottom. Place the apples upright in the dish. Bake until the apples are soft and the filling is browned, 1 hour.
Till next time.......