32 posts categorized "Menu Of The Week " Feed

Menu Of The Week

Powder boxxxx

My mother and I have been having so much fun making different mayos and dressings with our blender stick. It is sooo dang easy. She told me about a roasted garlic and blue cheese dressing she made, I was drooling. Being salad season right now, I wanted to make an entree salad highlighting this dressing. I have to say this salad and a bowl of Chloe's ice cream (which we are living on) was delish and a perfect summer dinner.

Do you like my latest find, it is a powder box? It is quite big, I love the bright colors. We are having our father's day today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I will up-date you on baby Logan next post xoxo


Blue Cheese Salad


tomatoes, cubed

bell pepper, I like orange, sliced into thin slices

roasted chicken, shredded into pieces

roasted garlic

Red onion, thinly sliced

my mothers roasted garlic blue cheese salad dressing

extra blue cheese

You could mix this all onto one big bowl or make composition salad, where you put the spinach on a plate and arrange the veggies and chicken over then top. Then drizzle with dressing and top with extra blue cheese and roasted garlic.


Fresh Herb Muffins

Chloe's Espresso Ice Cream

1 cup cold half/half or  whole milk

1 cup cold heavy cream

1/2 cup coco powder

1/2 cup evaporated cain or sugar

1 TBL. instant espresso powered

Whisk all together. Do not worry if all the coco powder does not whisk in, it will mix in while it is in the ice cream machine. If using electric machine pour into machine and run 1/2 hour. Should be fairly firm, transfer to container and set in fridge.

Pantry Menu Of The Week


I confess, when I am the weakest and wanting to go out to dinner, instead of making it, is when I have been running all day. After a busy day away from home, cooking is the last thing I want to do. But I find having a full pantry helps me suck it up and cook dinner. I rely on my pantry when money is short. When I see some goody at Target (I really do not need) and use my last $10.00 of grocery money (shock), tell me I am not the only one who does that  ;-) Plus I find they are budget friendly recipes.

This menu of the week is based on pantry items. I love pasta con la sardine, but I find most recipes much more time consuming then I want to put into it. Also it has fennel bulbs, saffron, pine nuts, which are all a bit pricey. I decided to use ground fennel seeds to give me the flavor, leave out the saffron and splurged on the pine nuts. But I used less (I look for deals on them and then keep them in the freezer). I also simplified the recipe. I know currants, sardines and fennel may sound weird but it really is an amazing combo.

Since the winter is citrus season, I am making a lot of salads with them. I love this green onion vinaigrette, by pureeing it, it makes a creamy vinaigrette. The only drawback to this vinaigrette, is it does not do well sitting around for a long time. I think the honey cake would be delish served with some fresh citrus to, like grapefruit.

I hope this inspires you to look at your pantry and see what you can add to it, how you can use it better, to use it to make your life easier xoxoxo

PS. Photo of my mother's house

Pantry Pasta Con La Sardine

1 pound pasta

1/3 cup dried currants

1 can of sardine in oil, drained

1 lemon, zest grated, then juiced

2 garlic cloves finley chopped

1/2 a bunch of Italian parsley leaves, ruffly chopped

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, I use panko

1/4 cup pine-nuts

1 TBL fennel seeds, grind up to a powder (a coffee grind works best)

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1. Start pasta to cook.

2. While pasta is cooking in a dry hot pan, toast pine nuts and put them in a large serving bowl. Now toast bread crumbs, BUT set them in a separate bowl and set aside. You will add them to the pasta when you are ready to serve.

3. To pine nuts add 1/8 of a cup (a big bloop) of olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, currants, ground fennel seeds, crumble or chop sardines, parsley, some salt and pepper.

4. Add cooked pasta, toss all together, taste and see what is needed. If pasta seem dry drizzle a bit more olive oil. When ready to serve toss in bread crumbs and serve with Parmesan cheese.

Romain salad w/ orange and green onion vinaigrette

Spears of romain set on a plate with slices of peeled orange on top, then dress with dressing. You could add a few chopped green onions, toasted nut, sliced avocado or parmesan shavings over the top.

Green Onion Vinaigrette *Note

1/2 cup olive oil

juice from 1/2 lemon or to taste

3 green onions, trimmed of ends

1/2 small garlic, peeled

1 tsp. of Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a processor or blender and blend till smooth.

*note, feel free to adjust all these amounts to suit your palette. You can also use orange juice instead of lemon.

Honey Cake

Menue Of The Week

October tea 2

Well I am battling a cold and ear infection, so I am living on the couch in the library, hiding from my family hoping they do not get sick from me. Strangely enough, I am hungry and am sad I can not cook. So if I was well this is what I would be cooking today. I will be back, when I am better.

Also thank you for all the kind comments on my new header. I am thrilled you love it as much as me xoxoxo

Lamb Chops and Ragu` with Malloreddus

Carrots with Honey and Balsamic

Roasted Apples with Almond and Muscovado Crumble and Marzipan Ice Cream

By the way Cannelle Et Vanille is one of my favorite food blogs, check out list of recipes. But I will warn you, you will want to make everything !!!

Menu Of The Week


For my home-brewing hubby's birthday, I decided to do a menu using a different beer in each dish. I was not sure if the girls would like it, but I have to say they LOVED everything. I also have to say that I think David's favorite part was picking the beer !!!!

Beer marinated grilled buffalo steak *

Mac and Cheese with ale

(I just substituted one cup of milk with beer in my mac and cheese recipe)

Cabbage, carrot, green onion slaw with pilsner vinaigrette **

Stout cream cheese brownies



1/2 cup pale ale

1/8 cup soy sauce

1 TBL. pepper

3 roughly chopped garlic cloves

mix all in a zip-lock baggie and add steaks

** Pilsner vinaigrette

1/2 cup mild flavored oil

1/8 cup pilsner

1 TBL honey or agave

3 TBL. cider vinegar or to taste

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 TBL. Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste



PS. Tracey at Frugal Luxuries Foodhas a great post on the secret to good pie crust. Check it out xoxox


PSS. Jody asked about the picture. This is the Glass Bridge of Chihuly glass at the Glass museum in Tacoma. The photo is looking above my head.

Menu Of The Week


Okay coconut and bacon, does not really sound good together does it ? I was not even planning on posting this soup until my family went crazy for it. So I guess that meant it was good ;-) The coconut is not really a pronounced flavor or at lest it should not be. It just added to the sweetness of the pumpkin (or in this case the banana squash I used). Pair that sweetness with the salty, smokey flavor of the bacon and it really sings.

You can freeze this soup but do not do the bacon part. Uncooked bacon freeze well. So freeze the soup and the uncooked bacon. Then bake or cook the bacon as you heat up the soup.  

I still do not have my lap top up and running. Also hopefully I will be having Thanksgiving this week (amidst all the Christmas decorating going on) so bear wiht me a bit more. Lots to share xoxoxo

Coconut Pumpkin Soup Garnished with Bacon

6 cups peeled, seeded pumpkin or winter squash, roughly chopped in large pieces

1/2 large onion, roughly chopped in large pieces

3 garlic cloves

3 cups broth

1 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

if you like heat, some chili powder

1 tsp salt and some pepper

1 can of coconut milk

8 slices of bacon cooked *


In a large soup pot added pumpkin, onion, garlic, spices, salt, pepper and broth. Then finish covering veggies with water. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 40 minutes or so, till pumpkin is tender.

Puree with a blender stick or in food processor, till smooth. Add can of coconut milk and simmer on low 15 minutes. Taste to adjust spices and if too thick, add some water. Crumble bacon over each bowl of soup. Serve with a big salad and lots of bread.

*cooking bacon. I bake mine, 350 for 40-45 minutes in the oven just before I start the soup.

I think Pies Baked In Tiny Jars, would be a perfect end. Enjoy !!!!!!!!!


Roasted Red Pepper Stew

Falll 2007 

It has been very stormy here lately. As you can see, this picture is the road to my house. I love stew on a cold day. Plus I can make a double or triple batch and freeze the extra for another day. This stew was a big hit the other day. In the summer when peppers are cheap, I dry cubed peppers for winter use. If you have not dried peppers, they are so much better homemade.  

Also if you have never used smoked paprika before, I highly recommend it. It is sooo much more flavorful then regular paprika. I am lucky enough to get it in my bulk section. My favorite is El Rey from Spain.

I added some orzo (rice shaped pasta) in the end, to fill out the stew. Also I added a cup of pureed broccoli. As I have posted before, I hate broccoli and find ways to hide it. I just pulled out a small baggie of frozen broccoli, (I had pureed and froze earlier) and stirred till it melted in the stew.

Lastly, do not skip the part of browning the meat. I know it is a hassle but it will not taste as good, if you do not do it.

Roasted Red Pepper Stew

1 1/2 pounds cubed stew meat

flour with a pinch of salt and pepper to coat meat

1 onion, finely chopped

3 TBL. dried red peppers

1/3 cup dry sherry or wine or 1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 TBL.smoked paprika

3 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed

2 TBL. salt and 1 tsp. pepper


3 red peppers, to roast

1 cup orzo

In a heavy soup pot, heat oil on high. Coat each piece of meat in flour mixture and set in hot oil. Do not crowd pan, brown two sides of meat and pull out and set aside. Keep browning and adding oil as needed, till all meat is browned. Add onions and saute a minute or so, then deglaze pan with sherry. Re-add meat and cover with broth. Add spices, dried peppers and garlic. Cover and simmer on low heat for two hours or more. Till meat is very tender. While meat is cooking, roast peppers.

When meat is cooked, turn heat up to medium high. If there is not much liquid add a cup or two of water. Then add orzo and cook ten minutes. Keep an eye on the pasta, stirring or it will stick to bottom of pan. Add chopped roasted peppers. Serve with a lot of bread and a big salad.

Since this stew has Spanish paprika and peppers, I think this Spanish rice pudding would be a wonderful dessert xoxoxoxo


Menu Of The Week


Picture 035


I have not done a "menu of the week" for a while. This is actually two meals out of one, Roasted Ratatouille. There are a zillion ways to make ratatouille but I really love this method, but then I love roasted veggies in general and you will see a lot of recipes on my blog. I could write a recipe but I think Chocolate and Zuccine has such a  wonderful post about it.

I make a double batch, but it is important you do not fill your pan too much with veggies, because then they tend to steam, as oppoised to roast. So I do two pan and half way through switch them around. It might take a little bit longer to get it nice and crisp but you will have enough dinner for two meals.

First night, toss ratatouille with pasta, cheese and some fresh herbs. If the pasta seams dry, drizzle in a bit more olive oil.

Second night, make sandwiches with grilled sausages topped with ratatouille and some grated cheese.

I would serve a nice big salad, maybe a Cesar salad. Lemon is a really nice compliment to ratatouille.

For dessert I think these Girl Scout Samoas clones would be really fun to make xoxoxo

Menu Of The Week


Wondering what I eat on just a plain-old week day for dinner? Well this meal is exactly the type of basic meal I eat all the time. (I just had it last Wednesday and it was good). I LOVE one bowl pasta dishes. They are amazing, easy and veryyyyyy budget friendly. If you have any leftover meat, you could chop it up and added it. But you do get protein from the nuts and cheese. I often have my hubby grill an extra steak or chop for this very type of thing.

I also love this type of dish because I can do most of my work earlier in the day. I might be the only one, but by dinner time I am dragging. I like to cook what I can earlier. At noon (right after lunch) I do all the roasting. I just keep the green beans in the large bowl I am serving them in on the counter. 

And yes, this is a "budget" dish IF you get a deal on your cheese and nuts. Also if you picked raspberries in the summer and filled up your freezer, then the dessert is a good deal too.

Budget tips:

I buy Romano cheese instead of Parmigiano-Rggiano. First, it is usually cheaper. It also has more bang-for-your-buck and a much more intense, salty flavor. Since I can not afford the good stuff, the Romano's intensity helps. I love this cheese sooo much, a small wedge of this with some dried figs is my idea of heaven.

Buy nuts when on sale and store in freezer !!!!!


Roasted Garlic/Green Bean Pasta

1 pound frozen green beans, (I like the thin, french ones)

1 head of garlic, roasted

1/3 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts or walnuts

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1  pound cooked pasta

To roast green beans:

Pre-heat oven 375. Toss green beans, still frozen in 4 TBL. or so of olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Oil will freeze, but it will be fine. Spread beans out on a large cookie tray. Roast to your liking. At lest 1/2 hour or more (if you like them supper crispy like me).

While cooking beans toast nuts and roast garlic. Just wrap you pre-pared garlic in a square of foil and set off to the side of the oven to roast.

When ready to eat, toss beans with cheese, garlic, 1/8 cup olive oil, another tsp. of salt, pepper and hot cooked pasta. If pasta still looks dry add more oil. Serve with fresh Romano cheese


Silken Raspberry Mousse

(with some bittersweet chocolate-chips on the side xoxoxox)

Menu Of The Week


Did you know you could bake ravioli's, I mean instead of boiling them. I did not and I think it is really cool. It all started because I was looking for an easy dish for Chloe to make. I am focusing on teaching Chloe some recipes for dinner, that she can make all by herself and does not need me. I saw this idea and thought it would be so simple for Chloe. I got one of those big bags of frozen cheese ravioli's at Costco. We used jarred red sauce but next time I am going to teach her how to make a simple meat sauce. All we did was layer some sauce, then the ravioli's still frozen, some cheese and sauce again, till we ran out of ravioli's.

The reason I am posting this, is because I think it is pretty brilliant. Maybe it is only me, but when I boil ravioli's, tortellini's, ect. sure enough some break, I get filling floating in my water, ect, yuck !!! By baking them, they cooked beautifully without the boiling, without the breaking pasta, without the mess.

We also made these wonderful apricot marzipan bars. I was able to unmold them because I used one of those silicone baking pans. If you do not have those, you can just cut them into bars.

Baked Ravioli's

1 large package fresh, not dried (can be frozen and not defrosted) cheese ravioli's

Sauce and cheese    

Preheat oven to 350

In a large deep baking dish pour some sauce, then a layer of ravioli's, then some cheese, repeat again till you run out of ravioli's. Cover with a heavy lid or wrap tight with foil. Bake 35 minutes or if ravioli's are still frozen 60 minutes.

Apricot Marzipan Bars
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) soft butter

3/4 cup almond paste or marzipan

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg

8-ounce jar apricot jam

1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds

Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" pan.

Beat the butter, sugar and almond paste until blended. Add the extracts. Mix in flour, salt and baking powder. The dough will be crumbly. Add the egg and mix until blended. Reserve 1/3 of dough, then use the remaining to line the bottom of the greased pan.

Spread jam over the dough. Crumble the reserved dough over the jam. Sprinkle with almonds and sparkling sugar.

Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, till they're golden brown and the jam is bubbly. Remove from the oven, cool for 30 minutes, then cut into bars or unmold if using silicone pan.

Menu Of The Week


I thought I better post something other then Christmas ideas, before I drive you all bonkers. I  will admit I have been decorating and crafting so much, my cooking has been on the back burner a bit. I have been meaning to share this fun recipe for a while. In the month of October I am hunting widow. It use to be really hard because the girls missed David sooo much and cried for him. But now they are older and just use to it. We try to do fun girly things while David is not around.  I wanted to do a surprise meal that the girls would love and never expect me to make. I came up with pigs-in-a-blanket, BUT ones I would eat. I will not each cheapy hot dogs wrapped in refrigerator crescent rolls (let me say, so I do not sound like I am judging those who do. But I can taste the hydrogenated oils, lots of salt, fake stuff). So I came up with a gourmet version of pig-in-a-blanket, fries and caramelized chocolate, banana and marshmallow sandwich.

I hope you enjoy my version of junk food ;-)

Gourmet Pigs-in-Blanket

8 hot dogs, I love Fearless Franks

(By the way about the cost of the franks, are much cheaper in my store. Also I am planning to write some posts after the holidays about how I can buy things like fearless franks, when I keep saying I am on a tight budget )

puff pastry

Dijon mustard

smoked cheddar cheese

Make a slit in the hot dogs with out going all the way through the sides or bottom. Inserts thin slices of cheese. Defrost puff pastry and cut length-wise 8 strips. Brush one side of pastry with Dijon. Wrap pastry like a curly-q around hot dog, with mustard side against the hot dog. Set a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set hot dogs, cheese side facing up. Bake as package directs (which is usually bake 20 minutes at 400 ) and serve with mustard to dip.


Sweet Potatoes Fries

Peal and cut in large Julienne strips sweet potatoes. In  a large bowl mix some olive oil (enough to coat the amount of sweet potatoes you cut) salt, pepper, dried garlic and smoked paprika. Bake at 400 till crispy on the out-side and tender on the in-side. Probably will take an hour.


I did not make this dessert but wished that I had, Caramelized Chocolate, Banana and Marshmallow Sandwiches

Menu Of The Week


I adore garlic, I can never get enough. My hubby says forget the perfume and rub a little olive oil and garlic behind my ears. I am allergic to perfume, so that is okay with me ;-) This dish is sooo easy and will feed a crowd (you can halve the recipe) and will impress everyone without doing a lot of work. I like the touch of tarragon, parsley and nutmeg. But only use fresh nutmeg, the dried stuff is just too sweet. Also do not leave out the white wine, it makes a big difference in the dish. I serve it with lots of bread for dipping, a big simple green salad and roasted beets and/or carrots with a grapefruit glaze. You see this a lot in my menus. I like a big rich dish but then something bright and light to contrast all the richness.

The desert is really special and different. Plus this is a chocolate version.       I make clafoutis a lot. A clafoutis is a cross between a baked pancake and custard. They are wonderful for breakfast to. Clafoutis are cheap (because I keep frozen fruit in my freezer) and easy. If you have not make clafoutis please try it, it will become a regular in your family.

Chicken with 60 cloves

olive oil

8 chicken drumstick and thighs (or 16 of either)

1 large onions, chopped

6 sprigs parsley

3 TBL. chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried

3/4 cup dry white wine

Salt and pepper

1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

60 cloves garlic, unpeeled or 3- 4 large garlic heads

In a large baking dish cover the bottom of a heavy 6-quart casserole with onions, add the parsley and tarragon, and lay the chicken pieces on top. Pour the wine over them, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and nutmeg, and tuck the garlic cloves around and between the chicken pieces. Cover the top of the casserole tight with aluminum foil and then the lid (this creates an air-tight seal so the steam won't escape). Bake in a 375°oven for 1 1/2 hours, without removing the cover.

Serve the chicken, pan juices, and whole garlic cloves with lots of bread.

Roasted carrots and/or beets with tart grapefruit glaze

Chocolate Cherry Clafoutis

2 cups pitted fresh, canned or frozen cherries (or other fruit, such as raspberries)

1/4 cup butter, 1/2 stick

1/2 cup chocolate chips

3 eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

optional a dash of cherry liquor

1/2 cup sugar or evaporated cane

pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven 350.

In a microwave bowl add chocolate and butter and microwave one minute. Stir till melted and let cool to room temp.

In an deep greased baking dish spread fruit.

In a blender add flour, milk, eggs, sugar, liquor if adding it and salt. Blend a few seconds, scrape down side and blend again. Then with blender running, slowly add chocolate/butter. Pour batter over cherries and bake 45-55 minutes or until center is cooked. Let cool and enjoy. 

Picture of the old entrance of my house

Caramels and apples


This Autumn meal was a big hit last weekend. I cooked apple chicken sausages (from Costco) in a caramelized onion sauce with lots of mustard. It would be very good over mashed potatoes, but I made an oven baked risotto. Which is not as yummy as real risotto. But the real thing is a bit too rich for this dish. Think of this recipe as an easy and delish rice dish.

To keep in the apple theme I made an apple slaw. I made it with a vinaigrette instead of a mayo dressing because the sausage dish is rich and a  vinaigrette would balance the meal.

Dessert is fun and veryyy easy. A quick caramel sauce is just melting caramels with heavy cream. You could use anything for toppings, but we love toasted pecans and chocolate !!

There is a wonderful fall bounty at Gumbo Lily

A lovely post about the importance and beauty of journaling at Junie Moon


Apple Sausages with Caramelized Onions

1 large (or two medium) onion, thinly sliced

1 TBL. olive oil

2 TBL. butter

1 TBL. Balsamic vinegar

3 TBL. Dijon mustard

1 tps. of maple syrup

8 apple chicken sausages

salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan over medium-low heat saute onion in butter and olive oil till very soft and caramelized. About 1/2 hour. Add balsamic vinegar and sausages and turn heat up to medium. Cover and cook till sausage are cooked. Pull sausages out and set aside. Add mustard, syrup, salt and pepper. Taste sauce and adjust to your liking. Should be very mustard with a slight sweet taste. Also if it does not seem saucey enough you can add a little water. Serve sauce over sausages.

Baked Sage Risotto

Apple Slaw

1/2 head of cabbage, finely shredded
1 apple, grated
1 large carrot, grated
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

2 green onions, finely sliced

Quarter the cabbage, remove and discard the central white core. Shred the cabbage by cutting very thin slices along the length of each quarter. You can use the shredding disk of the food processor for this. Place shredded cabbage, carrots, apple, green onion in a large bowl and toss. In a small jar combine maple syrup, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously, pour over veggies and toss.

Apples with Caramel Dip

Put in a sauce pan 20 unwrapped caramels and 1/8 cup of heavy cream.

Set sauce pan over medium heat and stir till caramels are melted.

Serve warm with apple slices and a bowl of chopped toasted nuts and a bowl of chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips. Dip apple slice in caramel and then in nuts and chocolate.


Menu Of The Week


I hope you do not mind another veggie pasta dish but that is what I have been craving lately. We love this pesto, green bean, potato and pasta dish. Now potatoes and pasta together may sound a bit strange but really they are very yummy together.

You all may know this but pesto freezes really well. I like to make big batches of pesto in the summer. I freeze the pesto in ice cube trays and then transfer the cubes to freezer bags. Also if you do not have a lot of basil you can use half spinach.

A yummy tomato and mozzarella salad on the side is a perfect complement. If you are feeling the need for some meat you can make the salami version.

Zucchini's are starting to come to the market. I love my zucchini cake with lime curd and whipped cream fraiche. You can make the lime curd a couple of days ahead to save some time.

I think this meal is a wonderful healthy way to highlight summer veggie !!! 

Pesto Pasta with Potatoes and Green beans

This is basically a pasta tossed with pesto, cooked potatoes and green beans. There is several way to cook the veggie. You can steam or roast in the oven or stir fry your potatoes and green beans. I have made it all three ways and it is yummy but I love the roasted way the best. It is what sounds good to you at the time.

Mozzarella Tomato Salad or

salami version

Zucchini Cake with Lime Curd and Whipped Cream Fraiche

Picture by Beatrice Emma Person

Menu Of The Week


I was reading abour Eye Of Wonder  uncooked tomato sauce and it made me think of our BST pasta. This is a recipe we make a lot in the summer. BST pasta is like BLT but I used spinach instead of lettuce. So here is my tribute to a BLT sandwich (with an Italian twist). An easy one bowl dish.

For dessert I love Lucullian Delights chocolate tart with orange marmalade and pine-nuts. Well who does not like chocolate and orange together, a match made in heaven. It is a very easy dessert. You make a chocolate dough, fill it with marmalade and pine-nuts and bake. With a glass of sparking wine, perfetto !!!!

BLT pasta

1 pound of pasta (like penne)

3-4 ripe tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 strips of bacon, you can use pancetta too

1 bag of spinach

1/3 cup olive oil

1 TBL. balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

5 basil leaves, torn into pieces

1 cup (or more to your liking) fresh mozzarella, cubed

At least 3 hour before dinner cube tomatoes and mix in a bowl with  olive oil,  balsamic vinegar,  garlic, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Cover bowl with a plate and let is macerate on counter.

While pasta is cooking, cook bacon in a pan. Save some bacon fat and wilt spinach. It only take maybe a minute. Add spinach and cheese to tomatoes, then cooked pasta. Crumble bacon over top and toss.



Tart crust:
1/3 cup salted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1  1/2 cups flour
4-5 TBL cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder

1 jar of good orange jam or marmalade
1/2 cup pine nuts

- Blend butter and sugar well in a bowl and add the egg yolks. Mix it well.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder and the baking powder into the bowl and mix it into a dough.
- Set the dough in a pan and push it down. My tart pan is so big that I need all the dough but if you have a smaller one you can use a part of it to decorate the tart.
- Spread out the orange jam and distribute the pine nuts on top of it.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven 350 for about 30 minutes.

Menu Of The Week


I saw this yummy recipe posted on Posie Gets Cozy for seafood gratin and I am sooooo glad I tried it. We all thought we had died and gone to heaven. I use scallops, cod and mussels (it was on sale). This is a keeper recipe. Thank you Alicia xoxoxox

Since the recipe is a bit involved I wanted to sever it with a meal that I could make ahead. I got sourdough bread. The day before I steamed artichoke. I made a lemon sour cream sauce for the artichockes intead of a lemon ailoi beacuse the seafood gratin is soo rich. I like the tang of the sour cream and lemon.

For dessert I think the espresso ricotta cream with chocolate espresso sauce is a nice ending to such a  rich dinner. Next time I might try adding some chopped toasted hazelnuts. 

Lemon Sour Cream Sauce

1/2 mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 garlic clove finely chopped

zest of one small lemon

juice of half lemon

salt and paper to taste.

Whisk all together

painting by Tod Williams

Menu Of The Week


These are three favorite recipes of my families.

Chloe adores the candied salmon. I call it candied because when you grill the salmon all that sugar caramelizes. You can also bake it but it is not as good. The sugar does not caramelize.

My husband loves the spinach and garlic. We joke I do not need perfume but a little garlic behind my ears !!!

My MIL loves a flourless chocolate cake I make with cherries. I get morello cherries at Trader Joes. They are a dark sour cherry but just slightly sour.I have used several different recipes. This time I altered a recipe from Alpineberry Chocolate Intensity. It was sooo good.

I also wanted to say if you ever do not understand something about my recipe, please feel free to e-mail me.


Candied Salmon

Salmon fillets or a whole fillet

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 minced garlic cloves

1/2 tsp. freshly grounded nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste


To make paste put sugar, mustard, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix and then slowly add enough bourbon to make a thick paste. Coat salmon fillets with paste. Grill salmon or bake uncovered at 400 for 15-20 minutes.


Garlic Wilted Spinach

3 TBLS. olive oil

3 minced garlic cloves

1 large bag of spinach, 10 oz

salt and paper to taste

juice of half a small lemon

In a pan over medium heat saute garlic for a minute or two, till somewhat tender. Then add spinach handful at a time till all spinach is wilted. Pull off heat add salt, pepper and juice to spinach.


Cherry Flourless Chocolate Cake

1 cup bittersweet chocolate (preferably 62% cocoa), finely chopped or chips
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup juice from cherries
6 large eggs
1 tsp cherry liquor (you do not have to use the liquor if you od not have it)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup cherries, I use morello from Trader Joes. You can use jarred sour or sweet cherries

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line the bottom with a parchment round and butter the parchment. (If you're using a pan with a removable bottom like a spring form, make sure to wrap the pan with 2 or 3 layers of foil.)

In a saucepan over medium-high heat stir butter, salt, sugar and cherry juice until the butter is melted and add chocolate. Pull off heat and stir until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and liquor vigorously until blended, Then very slowly chocolate mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly.

Strain the batter through a sieve (to catch any cooked egg bits) and then pour batter into prepared pan. Randomly set cherries in batter. Set cake pan in a large roasting pan and fill the pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the center is shiny and set but still a bit jiggly. Transfer cake pan to a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes.

Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a cardboard round on top of the pan and invert the cake onto it. Remove pan and carefully remove the parchment paper. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours before before serving.

Painting by Leif Nilsson

Menu Of The Week


This menu is very easy and quick, which is really nice to have in ones arsenal. I came up with this sauce a couple of winters ago. I missed tomatoes and all there was on-sale was plum tomatoes (which by the way are a $1.00 pd. at Safeway this week). Sadly they are not very flavorful. So I roasted the tomatoes which caramelizes the sugars in the fruit and concentrates the flavors. I do the tomatoes after lunch and set them aside till dinner. I also like to keep some roasted veggies in the fridge to have on-hand. So you can do this part a-head. You could even put all the ingredients in the blender and pull out at dinner time. I will say you do need to make sure your tomatoes are soft and ripe. If you buy them too firm, no amount of roasted is going to help. So let them sit on you counter for several days first.

This sauce is a very creamy and rich, without the cream. You can serve it with pasta and dress it up with shrimp and veggies if you want. You could also add a splash of red wine or vodka. So feel free to play with it. Also use raw garlic. The bite of garlic helps balance the sauce.

The sorbet is wonderful. I made it with frozen raspberries and pushed the sorbet though a strainer to remove the seeds. Hope you find it yummy.


Roasted Tomato Ricotta Sauce

10 plum tomatoes cut in half, length wise

1 cup ricotta

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

8 basil leaves

3 garlic clove cut in several pieces

3 TBLS olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

To roast tomatoes

Pre-heat oven 3.25. Set tomatoes on a cookie sheet, cut side up. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes and sprinkle some salt and sugar on tomatoes. Roast tomatoes 1  1/2 hour to 2 hours, till tomatoes have collapsed and tops caramelized.

To make sauce.

In a blender or food processor put tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Blend till smooth.

Mix cooked pasta with sauce. The hot pasta will warm the sauce. Serve with more cheese.


For dessert this veryyyyyy simple fruit sorbet !!!

Image by Cindy Revell

Menu Of The Week


Well with all the craziness of the past week, dinner has been a bit scary. I was so glad I had some meals in the freezer. I wanted to share my quick, easy version of Swedish meatballs. These are not as amazing if I made them from scratch but this is yummy and easy. It is just meant to be a good dinner, when you do not have time to make it all from scratch.

One of the things I keep in the freezer is uncooked meatballs. I will get the big packs of ground beef and make a huge batch of meatballs. The girls and I sit around rolling all these meatballs. Freeze them on cookie sheet (so they do not all stick together in the baggies) and when frozen transfer them to freezer baggies.

You can make this in a crockpot in the morning or in a pan on a stove. Also I do not like can cream of mushroom soup (sorry) but I have found mushroom gravy from Pacific foods. It make a nice healthy substitute.

I pour one carton of mushroom gravy in a pan, add some chopped fresh or dried dill and some fresh grated nutmeg*. Add frozen meatballs (do not defrost) cover and simmer an 1/2 hour. I cook rice in the rice-cooker while the meatballs are simmering. When meatballs are done, I pull the pan off  the heat. I gently scoop meatballs into a bowl. Then I whisk in a 1/2 carton of sour cream in gravy and add more dill. Pour sauce over meatballs and serve with rice and veggie.

For a quick dessert, sprinkle chocolate granola over ice cream.

When ever I am temped to be lazy and not cook dinner, I try to remember if I do not blow my money on bad, quick food, then I can go out to and have a proper yummy dinner down the road. This and being prepared helps me.

*About fresh nutmeg: It has a peppery quality, but dried nutmeg looses that pepperyness and is just sweet. So in savory cooking only use fresh nutmeg. If you do not have fresh nutmeg, just leave it out. 

Picture by Jean Delville

Menu Of The Week


Happy Saint Paddy's day to all. My girls love Saint Patrick's day because it is the one day a year I make corned beef, even thought it is not very Irish. Actually I make the same meal pretty much each year. It is what the girls want. I do a basic corned beef in the crockpot and sever it with lots of mustard on the side. We make a soda bread and the cheesey potatoes are a must. Actually my girls will eat those cheesey potatoes everyday if I would let them. I hate cabbage cooked with corned beef it is too slimy for me. Plus I tend to like my veggies raw. So I just chop up some cabbage, sometimes add some chopped apples too and make a tangy sour cream dressing. If the chives are up in my garden I add those. For my dear hubby who brews his own beer I make my easy chocolate mousse with dark stout. I actually make a plain batch for the girls and stout one for us. You will see I add a bit of sugar to the recipe to balance out the stout a bit. If you like beer but not stout you can use an ale. Just do not use a light beer it will got lost in that chocolate.


May you be blessed with
warmth in your home,
love in your heart,
peace in your soul
and joy in your life


Corned beef in crockpot with spicy mustard on the side.

Cheesey Potatoes

Chopped fresh cabbage salad with Sour Cream Dressing

Irish Soda Bread
makes 2 small loafs

2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups white flour
½ cup rolled oats, chopped in a processor (Do not use instant oats)
½ cup sugar or sweetener
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
I tsp. anise seeds
½ cup currants
¼ cup molasses
1 stick of chilled butter
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 egg

Pre-heat oven 350°F. Combined dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in butter. Add wet ingredients to dry, mix and add currents. Scoop half on a buttered cookie sheets.
This is a fairly wet dough, so you just sort of plop it on the baking sheet.
Kind of like a big drop biscuit. Bake about 30-35 minutes until cooked in the center when inserted with a toothpick.


Chocolate Mousse with Dark Stout


I cup dark chocolate, chopped in small pieces or chips

(you can use any chocolate, I just like dark with the stout)

1 egg

pinch of  salt

¼ cup sugar

¾ cup heavy cream

¼ cup dark stout


In a blender put chocolate, egg, salt and sugar, do NOT blend yet.

In small sauce pan bring milk and stout to just before boiling point, pull of heat. Quickly pour milk over chocolate and blend one minute until is chocolate melted.

Pour into small cups and put in fridge till firm.

Menu Of The Week




Here is my man's meal. It was David's birthday a week ago and he always has the same request. A steak and control of the remote. I even let him play around with my lap-top (aren't I nice). This is meal I make a lot for him on his birthday or Fathers day. David has the same addiction for blue cheese as I do so I always try to work that in. I call this a martini steak because I made a marinade similar to a martini and added the green olives and blue cheese to make it heavenly.

David also loves potatoe gratin and I have several versions I make. But this is a family favorite. You make a garlic infused cream and toss your potato slices in the cream and bake. 

Spinach is also a requested from dear hubby. A little salt (from the bacon) and little sweet (from the apple and balsamic) . Yummy.

The mousse is a dark chocolate/espresso version of my 60 second white chocolate lemon mousse. I tell you I make a zillion different versions of this. It is sooooooo easy, sooooo fast. It is a total no-brainier but feels like you have slaved for days. I love it when that happens.


Martini Steak

1/4 cup liquid from green olive jar

1/4 cup gin

1 TBL. Vermouth

1 tsp. ground pepper

2 tsp. crush garlic

Wedge of blue cheese

Sliced green olives

Mix first five ingredient in a baggie and add steak. Marinate steaks in fridge for 2-8 hours.

Grill steak, add sliced olives and crumble blue cheese on top of steak and serve.


Potato Gratin


Spinach Salad with apple slices and Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette

9 slices thick-cut bacon

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1/3 cup olive oil

4 TBL. balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fry bacon. Remove bacon from skillet and set aside to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet. Heat remaining drippings over medium-high heat and add the sliced onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining ingredients and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.


Quick Espresso Mousse

1 cup dark chocolate, chopped in small pieces or chips

1 egg

pinch salt

1 tsp. coffee liquor

1 TSP. instant espresso powder

1 cup heavy cream

In blender add chocolate, egg, liquor and salt. Bring heavy cream to just before boiling and pull off stove.

Quickly pour cream over chocolate and blend in blender for 1 minute. Pour into small cups or wine glass and refrigerate for a couple of hours.


Menu Of The Week




I was wanting to make some chowder this week (it is soo cold) but of course I have to do things different. I was thinking how I could jazz up this dish and am very happy with the results. Although pancetta and roasted garlic always makes life happier (just like glitter, which I am covered in from making 35 Valentines cards }:-o.

I digress, I wanted to say that you could use any cheese but just pick up something that is fairly flavorful. You want it to hold up to all that garlic and pancetta. I would sever this with bread and I think this Romaine Salad with Oranges and Walnuts would be yummy.

For the perfect end Espresso Jello. Now that should keep you warm on these cold night !!!

Italian Potato Chowder

1 garlic roasted, cloves

1 inch slice Pancetta, cubed in small cubes

1 onion finely chopped

1 carrot finely chopped

½ cup dry white wine

1 bay leaf

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley, save ½ for the end of cooking

2 cups broth

3 large potatoes, cleaned and cubed

1 cup grated smoked provolone cheese

Milk or heavy cream

OO (olive oil)

Sauté’s pancetta on high in a splosh of OO, till it has rendered fat and crisped. Pull out pancetta and set aside. Turn down stove to medium heat and sauté onions and carrots in pancetta fat for a few minutes, till is starts to soften.

Turn heat back up to high and when everything starts to brown deglaze pan with wine. Turn back down to med-low and add broth. Add bay leaf, ½ the chopped parsley, potatoes. And enough water to cover potatoes. Simmer half hour or till potatoes are very tender. Now add milk or cream. Amount depends on a couple of things. First how much liquid there is and how brothy you want your chowder. If you want your chowder really thick take 4 TBL of flour put in jar with lid and add ½ cup of cold water and shake really good. Then pour through a strainer (to catch lumps) and simmer a minute or two. Then add grated cheese, parsley, pancetta and squeeze garlic from cloves into soup. Stir and serve !!!

picture by Maxfield Parish (thank you Jody xoxo)


Menu Of The Week


There are a zillion versions of Puttanesca sauce and this is my version. Feel free to play with it to your liking (and what you have in your house at the time) although I want to point out a few things. You are baking this sauce for a while, so you do not want to loose all the strong yummy flavors. I only use half of the olives and parsley in the cooking and I add the rest and the capers at the end so you do not loose the salty, herby punch that cut through this rich sauce.

Also about the fire roasted tomatoes. Now I am on a budget and do now want to waste my money on things that do not need to be wasted on (then can buy good cheese with my left over money) but these fire roasted tomatoes are worth the money and add a layer of flavor to your dish the regular tomatoes will not add. If you have not tried them, give one can a try and see what you think. This dish is basically a braised dish, so it is low (heat) and slow (time). I have made it with boneless, skinless chicken breast. It cooked 40-50 minutes at 350. Be careful not to over cook. Even though I am home all day, I am a morning person and I do what I can in the morning. So I make the sauce, let it cool, put it over the chicken and then all I have to do is in the evening pull out the pan and set it in the oven to bake.

Oh lastly about the olives, my girls love good old pain-jane black olives. Dear hubby and I love the rich calamata olives. So as a compromise I use half and half. So use what you love. Also I use a lot of cappers (I am addicted to capers) again suite to your taste.

Baked Chicken Puttanesca

8 Chicken thighs or legs

1 onion, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

I can fire roasted tomatoes (pull of skin and roughly chop. Use tomatoes and sauce, throw away skin)

1 cup olives (roughly chopped)

1 TBL red wine vinegar

1/2 cup red wine (or broth)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

cappers to taste

salt and pepper to taste

1 TBL cruched red pepper flakes, if you like heat. We are wimps in my house so I use smoked paprika

In a pan heat a splosh of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté about 10 minutes till tender, add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Then deglaze pan with wine. Pull pan off stove. Add 1/2 chopped olives, 1/2 the chopped parley, vinegar, red pepper or paprika and salt and peppers to taste.

In another pan heat another splosh of olive oil over high heat and brown skin of chicken. Set chicken on a large baking pan with a heavy lid (or wrap it tightly with foil). Cover with sauce and put lid on (or foil). Bake at 325 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Depending on your oven and how cooked you like your chicken. Add rest of olives, parsley and capers to sauce and serve.

I would serve this over orzo pasta and a simple salad with a lemon zest vinaigrette. I think the fresh lemon is always a good foil to anything rich or salty.

Lemon Zest Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil

zest from one lemon

juice of half of lemon

1 tsp. of finly chopped fresh garlic

1 tsp. honey

salt and pepper to taste

This Raisin Bread Pudding would a be a perfect end.

A time frame for this meal, so you will not being cooking it all at once.

Morning :

make sauce and pour over chicken. Set in fridge till ready to bake.

make vinaigrette

wash lettuce and prep any veggies, you might want to add.

Evening :

set chicken in oven

Make bread pudding and bake

20 mintues before eating make orzo.

Mix salad just before you eat

Enjoy !!

Painting by Bob Ransley

Menu Of The Week


I was asked by a friend (actually a couple) to post my Thanksgiving menu. I said well I never make the same thing twice and she said that was the point. Life is to crazy right now for me to write down all the recipes. So I found recipes similar and I will tell you how I would change them. I always pick menus were I can make part of it ahead of time. I do not like to be a crazy cooking woman on the day. So am making this weekend (we are have Thanksgiving next weekend) the cheese cake and pie crust for the freezer. At the beginning of the week I will make the cranberries sauce and roast the pumpkin for the pie. A day or two before will chop all the veggies I can and roast and peel the chesnuts. I would love to hear what others are making, if you care to share. The girls will be making these sweet Martha’s squirrels with a treat in them for each place setting. And also Mrs. Staggs wonderful cornucopias that we will tuck our napkins in. Thank you Mrs. Staggs. Enjoy all !!

First course

Pumpkin Bisque

Main course

deep fried turkey

sour cream mashed potatoes


well I hate making gray, so I am buy the pre-made stuff from the gourmet grocery store !!

rye bread stuffing with dried apricots, pecans, and maple sausage

red wine cranberry sauce

green beans with chestnuts

balsamic roasted veggies

I will make this but with more than carrots. Probably peppers, onions, parsnips, pumpkins.


pecan pie with whole wheat crust

pumpkin cheesecake


Menu Of The Week


Well this meal was another big hit. Especially the zucchini fritters. The only thing that I would change is to run your green onions first through the processor. If you are grating the zucchini, you might as well do the green onions at the same time. It is silly and labor-intensive to hand slices them (well in my opinion). You could use any dried fruit for the chops but I have bing cherries I dry every summer to use. After a rich and somewhat sweet dinner, I picked Alpineberries lemon bars. It seems like a nice, bright end to the yummy rich meal. Enjoy !!!!!

Honey Cherry Chops

veal or pork chops

1 cup dry white wine

1 bay leaf

6 sage leaves

3 whole cloves

1 cup broth

1 cup dried cherries or cranberries

2 TBL. honey

Salt and pepper both sides of chops. In a large fry pan (you do not want too crowd your chops) heat a couple of TBLS olive oil on high heat. Brown each side and remove chops. Deglazes pan with wine. Add bay leaf, sage and cloves. Boil a couple of minutes till wine cooked down to 2 tbls. Then turn down heat add broth and add chops and cherries. Cover and cook about 8 minutes, till meat is cooked through. Then stir in honey. Serve sauce over chops.

Zucchini Fritters Recipe

Alpineberries Lemon bars

Menu Of The Week


    This week I am going to give a hodge-podge of ideas.

A warm drink the girls and I have been enjoying is a cup of hot milk with a tsp. of almond extract and a bit of maple syrup (for sweetness). Top with a dish of cinnamon. I also make a drink I called Butterscotch Milk which is a hot milk with a spoonful of coconut  sugar but you can use brown sugar too.



     Lastly I made this soup for my girlfriends and it turned out so good. I mean really good! You need roasted sweet potatoes, so I suggest a few days before you make sweet potatoes fries (that is what I call them for my girls)  with your dinner and make extra to set aside.


Sweet Potatoes fries.

Cut sweet potatoes in wedges peeled or unpeeled according to your taste. Toss sweet potatoes in enough olive oil to coat fries, some salt, smoky paprika and granulated garlic. Set sweet potatoes in a wide pan so they are not crowded. Roast sweet potatoes at 350 until they are soft and edges are crispy. About a good hour or so.



    You can use other sausages, but linquica is my favorite. It is already cooked so you are sauteing it only to render a bit of fat and to crisp it up. Feel free to add, change, etc. the spices to your suiting. It could be made much spicier for those who like more heat, such as hot curry, red pepper, etc.

Curried Sweet Potatoes Linquica soup

1 link of Linguiça

2 cans of garbanzos (I Like Trader Joes the best, cheap but perfectly cooked and not slimy)

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic, cloves finely chopped

a generous cup of roasted sweet potatoes, cut in small cubes

2 cups broth

2 tsp. smoky paprika

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. sweet curry powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

salt and pepper

1/ cup yogurt

Cut Linguiça  into small cubes and sauté in stock pot until it is crisp and releases some oil. Pull out sausage but leave fat and set sausage aside for later. Add a TBL olive oil to the fat from the sausage and sauté onions until soft, add broth, beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spices and then cover with water and simmer about 15 minutes. Then with one of those puree sticks (or you can mash with a potato masher) puree about a 1/3 so you have it creamy but still lots of whole beans and veggies. taste. When you are ready to serve you add the Linguiça and yogurt. Important do not boil soup after you have added yogurt. Heat slowly or the yogurt will break and become grainy.

Painting by John H. Burrow

Menu Of The Week




I had a family member come to visit us that we have never meet. I always like to check with visitors if they are allergic to any food or anything they really hate. This lady hated any veggies. She was a plain meat and potatoes gal. Not really my forte but I tried to make a meal that she would love but also my veggie loving MIL would enjoy. I have to say the meal was a hit. I know the pie was a big hit!!



Rosemary Roasted Pork Loin

Make a rosemary rub* and spread that over the meat. If you have time do this earlier in the day do so, so the meat can absorb the flavors. Lay thick slices of 1 onion on a flat pan, like a jelly roll pan. If you are lucky to have rosemary bush cut a nice long piece and lay that over the onions. Set meat over the rosemary and bake at 350˚F till internal temp is 160. Probably about an hour. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

*Rosemary Rub

Mix together in a bowl

4 generous TBL. of finely chopped fresh rosemary

4 garlic cloves finely chopped or smashed

1 TBL salt, I tsp pepper

1 TBL olive oil



Whole wheat rolls



Cheesy potatoes

Pre-heat oven 350˚F.

Grate 6 large potatoes, half an onion, and 3 cup cheese (I like sharp cheddar) in a food processor. Mix in a bowl with 2 eggs, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and paprika to your taste. Butter a large gratin dish. Pour in potatoes and bake one hour.



Steamed green beans tossed in a bit of butter, lemon zest and lemon juice from half the lemon



Green salad with sliced pears, crumbed blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette



Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie


1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt or combo
1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 TBL vanilla
2 egg
4 cups (or till pie filled) peeled, sliced apples ( like to use a combo of at lest 4 different kinds of apples. You can also use pears)


1 9" unbaked pie shell, frozen or chilled in the freezer for at least 30 minutes


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together sour cream, honey, maple, salt, vanilla and egg in a bowl. Add apples. Pour filling into a pie shell, add crumble topping on top. Bake 40-50 minutes till crust cooked

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (I used Rapadura)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Mix all ingredients together in a mixer with a paddle until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Wood relief by Geraldine Waddington

Menu Of The Week

Orange -Mustard Pretzel Crusted Pork-Chops  

Another big hit in my house. My girls loved the pretzel coating and the orange added a fresh zing to all those salty pretzels. I think sweet potatoes are a great foil to the orange. We served a green salad on the side. And well, what can I say about banana espresso pudding !!!!!!!!


Orange -Mustard Pretzel Crusted Pork-Chops


4 pork chops

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

zest from 1 orange

juice for 1/2 orange

2 cups crushed pretzels

Pre-heat oven 350°F. Mix Dijon, orange zest and orange juice. Coat both side of pork chop with mustard, then coat with crushed pretzel. Set chops on greased pan and bake in 350 oven for 40-50 minutes until the internal temp 160°F.

baked sweet potatoes

Banana espresso bread pudding

Menu Of The Week


Hello Ladies, I am a bit behind things this week. Thank you for the kind word's to Aubern'e. It made her smile !

I will post about my trip but for now here is the menu of the week. You know how we have all these small traditions that make up of life. Well one of them for me is Susan Branch Autumn and Christmas book. I always pick a perfect day were I can linger and be left alone. I make sure I have something yummy and a cup of tea in one of my pretty vintage tea cups (that goes with the season of course). It is like when you see an old friend you have not for a long time and you pick up right were you left off. This book are a treat to me and I make sure I enjoy every minute. Although the be real here, I have been stressed lately and picked a day this year that was not the best. But I was feeling I needed a little lift. If I was rich I would make sure everyone owned a copy. I am sure the world would be a much better place. If by some chance you have not seen Susan’s books please run to the library and check them out. Here is a yummy fall dinner of Apples, Sweet Potatoes Pork Chops, Zucchini Cornbread and Hot Chocolate for dessert. I like this cornbread because it is a great way to hide zucchini. If you have a picky family, peel the outside (green part) off and then they will never even know it is there. My girls love hot coco and drink a lot and I appreciate having homemade coca mix. I know it is fresher, healthier and cheaper !!



Menu Of The Week


This dinner was a big hit, this weekend. Even the beets. And the pound cake, well it was perfect. I gave you info about making a pound cake. Just remember to make sure you have really creamed that butter and mixed it well with the egg. Becuase when you add the dry you want to just mix in it but not over mix it.

Grilled pork chops

Oven roasted potatoes in olive oil, sea salt, pepper and fresh chopped rosemary.

Dijon Balsamic Roasted Beets

Take roasted beets and carrots (you can roast the carrots whole with the beets) and cut in large cubes. Saute' for a minute over high heat with some butter and a TBL. of olive oil (to keep butter from burning). Then add a couple of TBL. of balsamic vinegar and cook another minute. Pull off heat and stir in some Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

A wedge of gorgonzola cheese (or blue cheese) and sliced apples

For dessert Vanilla Bean Yogurt Pound Cake with Pear Sauce

You can make the cake with all white flour, but I am trying eliminate as much white as possible.


Vanilla Bean Yogurt Pound Cake

1 ½ stick of butter (¾ cup) room temp.

1 cup vanilla sugar, plus 1 TBLS

3 eggs room temp

½ cup yogurt (or buttermilk)

1 TBL. vanilla ect.

¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup all purpose white flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

Pre-heat over 325, cream butter and 1 cup sugar till light and fluffy. Add egg one at a time. Then yogurt and vanilla. Scrape bowl good and make sure egg and butter is well mixed. Sift dry ingredient  together and add to egg and just mix. Pour in a prepared loaf pan (well buttered and floured) and sprinkle remaining TBL. of sugar on top. Then bake 45-60 minutes till center is just cooked. Let cool a minute or two then flip over on to plate.

painting by Janet Kruskamp

Menu Of The Week


Even thought it does not feel very fall like, I wanted to make a fall feeling dinner.

Braised Pork Butt

I made a pork dish very similar to this but I added pumpkin. Last year I cubed, peeled uncooked sugar pie pumpkins. I frozen on cookies trays and then put them in freezer bags to keep unhand to throw in stews, ect. So add frozen pumpkin to pan when you add meat before braising.

You can make this with any dried white beans, but if you can get your hands on cannellini beansplease use those. They are much more melty and soft. I make a double batch. You can freeze the cooked beans or make Bruschettas. Take some of the beans and some greens sautéed with garlic, yumm.

For dessert I took Martha's recipe for Buttermilk pie  and only made the filling. I took a large pan and laid a layer of sliced fresh peaches and pour the filling over the peaches. I baked at 300 with a Bain-Marie(remember low and slow) for an hour or 2 till center was cooked. If you really want to make it special add this caramel sauce!!


tuscan painting by Ruth Baderian

Menu Of The Week


On the weekend I like Dh to grill (it gives me a break or if I am feeling like cooking then I can make a more elaborate meal). With the end of summer coming and the bounty of veggies this time of year I am eager to make lots of veggie dishes. You could easily leave out the steak and still have a wonderful meal. I saw this recipes for the stuffed zucchini with gazpacho sauce and thought that was perfect for this time of year. If it sounds like to much work you could make the zucchini without the sauce or make the sauce and serve over a quick veggi stir-fry. I wanted to say I did not bother par-boiling the zucchini. That seems like to much work for me and an unnecessary step. I just cooked it about 35 minutes and it was fine. Serve this with a simple grilled steak, some corn on the cob and a bottle of merlot, perfect. Ohh well it is not perfect till you have dessert. Since that grill is all ready fired up grill some fruit. If you really want to make it extra special ahead of time make some cornmeal cookies to. Now that is perfect !!!

Simple Grilled Steak.

I just rub my steak with olive oil, some finely chopped rosemary and garlic, salt and pepper.


Grilled Corn with Lemon Basil Butter

If you do not know how to grill corn, here is info.

Lemon Basil butter

Mix one stick of soften butter with 5 leaves of basil, finely chopped and zest from one lemon.

Stuffed Zucchini with Gazpacho Sauce

Dessert Grilled Fruit

just take fruit like halved peaches, plums, nectarines. Sliced pineapple or halved bananas. Based with honey and grill till honey starts to caramelizes. A minute or two.

Pitcure above Harvest is by Angela Morgan

Don,t you just love this picture !!!!

Menu Of The Week


I am hoping to once a week (or once every couple of weeks, depending on what I can come up with) to post a menu. I know how it is to come up with something new to cook. We all need inspiration once in while. I made this dinner this weekend and we all LOVED it. Although it may have something to do with all that fat !! But I made sure we had a light meal the next night , to make up for it. Now about the cream corn, you will see that I baked it slow and low with a bain marie. Oh what is a bain marie ??

Food History


Bain-Marie (Mary's bath) refers to the method of placing a pan of food in another pan with water in it to stabilize the heat reaching the food (water bath). The term was originally used in alchemy, and was named after Moses's sister, who was an alchemist.

Although I did not set the pan in the water. I put the pan on the top rack and another small pan with water on the rack below. The reason is by cooking this low and slow and having the bain marie it keeps the custard very soft and silky. Custard can get grainy and break when cooked at a higher heat and I find the steam in the oven really helps this from happening to. So even if you have your own corn pudding recipe, try cooking it like this and see if you like it.

The hamburger, you can make any old hamburger (This is just how we like it. We like garlic in everything) and just wrap the bacon around it.

Now after all this rich cream corn and salty bacon, you need something to balance it all out. I think the spinach is perfect for this. I made the dressing just barley sweet to balance out the meal. Also you will see I have a very small ratio of vinegar to olive oil. This is one of my (many) pet-peeves. Most salad dressing are far too vinegary. Well at lest in my opinion. So play with everything to suite your taste. I think this meal is a brilliant balance between rich, salty, sweet and clean.

Cream corn

3 cups of corn (fresh cut off the cob or frozen. You can mix in the corn still frozen. It will be fine)

2 1/2 cup heavy cream

3 eggs

1 tsp. garlic powder

slat and pepper to taste

grated parmesan cheese

Whip eggs and cream together add garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix in corn and pour in a greased 8x12 (or closest size) pan. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Slide bain marie in lower rack. Bake at 300 for two hours or till set in center.

Bacon wrapped burger

Makes 7-8 burgers.

Mix 1 1/2 pound ground beef with finely chopped garlic clove, 1 TBLS. soy sauce, pepper, paprika. Make patties and take one slice of bacon and wrap around burger. Then grill or fry in pan.

Spinach Salad with honey balsamic

Dressing: 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 TBLS, balsamic, 1 TBLS. honey, salt and pepper.

Toss spinach, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion and avocado with dressing.