My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Monday, April 30, 2012

Red Bell Pepper Jam

There have so many request lately for recipes for pepper jelly and pepper jam that I thought it easier to post the recipe than reply individually. I hope no one minds. I don't make pepper jelly for two reasons: I can always find it at the grocery, and I like pepper jam better and I can't find it at the grocery. I made a batch of this a few days ago when my grocery had sweet red peppers on sale. I can't believe I bought red peppers when in a few months I'll have ten people begging to give me peppers. My favorite way to have this is spooned over cream cheese and eaten on a cracker, while you sip your bourbon. Very Old Southern!

Yield: 2 half pints
print recipe

6 sweet red peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar

Combine peppers and salt; let stand 3 to 4 hours. Rinse with water; drain.

Combine peppers, sugar, and vinegar in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until mixture forms a light syrup, stirring occasionally.

Pack hot mixture into hot jars, filling to 1/2-inch from top. Carefully insert a knife between peppers and jar to remove air bubbles, and wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw bands.

Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes. Serve with cream cheese and crackers, chicken, or port. Store in refrigerator after opening.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

Mathew 9:35-38
The Message

Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. "What a huge harvest!" he said to his disciples. "How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!"

Is this how He sees us now, aimless and confussed, or are we harvest hands?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pecan and Walnut Pie

You are right, another Derby recipe This is a wonderful pie to add to your dessert table along with Traditional Derby Pie. Pecan pie is wonderful, but Pecan and Walnut Pie is exceptional. It's also allowed at Christmas, Thanksgiving, The Fourth of July, or just because you want pie.

This can be made up to 1 day in advance; store covered at room temperature.

8 servings
print recipe

1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup walnut halves
1 piecrust (store bought refrigerated rolled or homemade), fitted into a 9-inch pie plate

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large fowl, whisk together the corn syrup, brown sugar and granulated sugars, eggs, butter, vanilla, and salt. Mix in the pecans and walnuts.

Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill with the nut mixture and bake until the center is set, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Henry Bain Sauce

Most folks associate this sauce with Kentucky Derby parties. I have no idea why because it is fabulous any time you have beef, chicken or pork. If you are having Standing Rib Roast or Beef Tenderloin for your Christmas dinner give this simple and easy sauce a try. You will not be disappointed.

This has long been a favorite of all Kentuckians. Henry Bain, who during his 40 year career rose to headwaiter at the Pendennis Club which was established in 1881, in Louisville Ky. It was while he was headwaiter that he created his famous sauce.

For decades the Pendennis Club membership was only open to white males; although that policy has long changed. However the image of an elite, restricted club still is common in the minds of Louisvillians. The Pendennis Club is located on Muhammad Ali Blvd, Louisville, Ky., beautiful old building.

Once you try it you will not be without it in your house. Also makes a great marinade for chicken or pork. Add a 1/4 cup to your next meatloaf or hamburger patties. Stir some into your Kentucky Burgoo just before serving. You will find endless uses for this fabulous sauce.

Henry Bain Sauce
Print Recipe

17 ounce Major Grey's chutney, or homemade mango chutney
1/2 bottle pickled walnuts (optional)
1 14-ounce bottle Heinz Ketchup
1 10-ounce bottle A-1 Sauce
1 10-ounce bottle Worcestershire Sauce
1 12-Ounce bottle Heinz Chili Sauce or homemade
Tabasco sauce to taste, it takes more than you think

Pulse chutney with walnuts, if using, just a few pulses. Mix well with other ingredients. Store in sterilized bottles. Keeps indefinitely. Serve with any beef or chicken.

Cook's Note: Thinned with oil and herb vinegar it snuggles up nicely to Bibb Lettuce.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hot Brown Panini With White Cheese Sauce

With the Kentucky Derby less than two weeks away, I'm in Derby mode. This may not be the traditional Hot Brown but it sure is good, and fun. Don't worry if you don't have a panini maker, these can be prepared in a preheated grill pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side over medium high heat until golden brown.

If you need additional recipes for the Derby search the blog for Kentucky Derby.

8 servings
print recipe

2 tablespoons melted butter
16 (1/2-inch-thick) Italian bread slices
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
3 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
4 plum tomatoes,sliced
3 cups warm White Cheese Sauce, divided
13 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

1. Brush melted butter evenly on outsides of bread halves. Place, butter sides down, on wax paper.

2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Swiss cheese on 1 side of each of 8 bread slices; top evenly with chicken, tomato slices, and 1 cup warm white Cheese Sauce. Sprinkle with bacon and remaining cheese; top with remaining bread slices, butter side up.

3. Cook sandwiches, in batches, in a preheated panini press 2 or 3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with remaining 2 cups warm White Cheese Sauce for dipping.

White Cheese Sauce
3 cups

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat; whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Whisk in cheeses, salt, and red pepper, whisking until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Derby Spread

This is from the archives, but some things never change. How wonderful that Derby Day is just around the corner, which means Spring really is here. Everyone in Kentucky gets Derby fever. It really doesn't matter if your entertaining is formal or casual, one appetizers you will always find on the menu is Derby Spread. When served on beaten biscuits or on hoe cakes, it is as close to the spirit of traditional Kentucky as we can get in an appetizer.

Derby Spread
serves lots
printed version

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound good Roquefort or bleu cheese
1/2 cup good bourbon - you will need the rest for Mint Juleps

Cream butter and cheese; add bourbon slowly. Shape into a ball. Refrigerate 24 hours. Serve with crackers, beaten biscuits, or tiny hoe cakes.

How easy was that!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pecan-Goat Cheese Truffles

What is it with me and goat cheese lately! It seems everything I make has goat cheese attached in some way. Maybe because goat cheese has about 80 calories and 6 grams of fat per ounce, compared to cow's milk cheese. which has 100 calories and 10 grams of fat. Or, people who are lactose intolerant can often enjoy goat cheese because it's easy to digest. I think it's because its just plain good.

Are you looking for a great little snack or something to add to your Derby Party tables that is a little off the norm. This could be it!

This is one of those make as much or little as you want or need recipes.

Stir together equal amounts of goat cheese and cream cheese, stir in minced sweetened cranberries and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Shape by rounded teaspoons into balls; roll in chopped toasted pecans.

Watch these little yummies disappear!

print recipe

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kentucky Burgoo For A Crowd

Today is a very special day. Today is Joyce@OctoberFarm's birthday. She is turning the "new forty". Please drop by and wish her a Happy Birthday. Check out her new ring while you are there. Beautiful! She truly is one of the best people I have known in my life, not to mention a fabulous friend and cook. We all know when she cooks she feeds the neighborhood, so I thought this would be an appropriate dish.

This is Mr. J.E. Wuersch's recipe that he used for his annual burgoo dinners over 50 years ago. That information is from the Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs 1976 Cookbook. You do the math. This is really an old recipe.

To prepare this you will need a large iron kettle, 12 to 15 gallon capacity. It should be placed outside over a wood fire-hickory wood, if possible.

144 servings(that is correct 144 servings)
print recipe

5 large soup bones with meat
several marrow bones
3 pounds bacon
2 large chickens
10 pounds potatoes
3 pounds onions
4 pounds, navy or great northern beans, soaked overnight
2 pounds dried lima beans, soaked overnight
1 pound dried split peas, soaked overnight
2 cans peas
3 pounds apples
2 bunches celery
1 pound green beans
1 medium heat cabbage
3 or 4 bunches carrots
1 dozen ears corn or 3 large cans corn
1 bunch turnips
2 gallon tomatoes or 14 no. 2 cans
4 green peppers
4 red peppers
1 or 2 cups okra
parsley salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, a few hot pepper pods

Cook meat and bones for 3 or 4 hours in water. White meat is cooking, cup up the vegetables. Remove meat and bones from water. Cut meat and chicken from bones and put back in kettle. Add vegetables and seasonings. Cook, stirring often to prevent sticking, for 4 or 5 hours. If it thickens too much, add more hot water. The longer it cooks the better the flavor.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chicken Mango Chopped Salad

I know its Sunday and I should be posting Saint and Scriptures Sunday, but I wasn't very together yesterday. This is pretty heavenly.

Do you love mangoes as much as I do! I would have to say it really is my favorite fruit. I found this recipe in a magazine a few years ago and have loved it. Since I tore the page out of the magazine I'm not really sure, but I think it was Coastal Living. Of course there have been a few changes because that's what we do.

about 4 servings
print recipe

1/4 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken, white and dark meat is best
4 cups chopped Napa cabbage
2 cups peeled, pitted and chopped mango
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped red onion

Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl.

Combine chicken and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing, tossing to coat. Serve immediately.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chicken, Mushroom, and Wild RIce Soup

We are in for a cold and rainy couple of days, which says soup to me. Plus I have a neighbor couple that have health and age issues so I like to share. This will warm up the bones. I have cut the recipe in half if only making it for me, but there is always someone who would appreciate a nice container of homemade soup.

14 cups
print recipe

2 (6-ounce packages long-grain and wild rice (I use Uncle Ben's)
10 cups chicken broth, divided (homemade is always best)
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
/2 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons dry white wine, sometimes I use sherry,not cooking sherry
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (I use white and dark meat)
Garnishes: fresh parsley leaves, freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring rice, 4 cups chicken broth, and one (1) seasoning packet from rice mix to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (Reserve remaining seasoning packet for another use.)

2. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add mushrooms, onion, and celery, and cook, stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes or until tender.

3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, one minute, or until thickened and bubbly. Gradually whisk in remaining 6 cups broth, and cook, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thicken. Whisk in half-and-half and wine. Stir in mushroom mixture, chicken, and rice. Cook stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heat (DO NOT BOIL.)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Peach-Pecan Muffins

I looked high and low for this recipe a few weeks, months, years, ago. I have no idea how long ago, I think my mind has gone. Something was going on at church and I needed muffins. I ended up asking my friend Joyce@OctoberFarm for a recipe, and that was wonderful. Of course this morning I found my recipe. I hope you enjoy these, but the real reason I'm posting it is so I will know where to look for the recipe the next time I need it.

12 muffins
print recipe
Pecan Streusel

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1 cup frozen sliced peaches, thawed and diced
12 paper baking cups
Vegetable cooking spray

1. Prepare Streusel: Stir together pecans and next 4 ingredients until crumbly.

2. Prepare Muffins: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Stir together butter, milk, and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Gently stir in peaches.

3. Place paper baking cups in 1 (12-cup) muffin pan, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle with Pecan Streusel.

4. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Field's Special

Years ago when I was in the restaurant business an annual trip to Chicago for the largest restaurant show in the world was a must do. This was held at McCormick Place. Unless you have attended you have no idea how much food you can eat while walking around and how bad your feet can ache. One or two days out of the week we would have to take a break and shop. One of my favorite stores was Marshall Field's Department Store. Back when they really were department stores and had fabulous restaurants.

The popularity of this unusual item - a cross between an open-faced turkey club and a wedge salad kept this on the menu for over 60 years. When is was finally retired to make room for something more contemporary, people just kept ordering it anyway, so back on the menu it went. Try it and you will see why I had to have one at least once during each visit.

Field's Special
Serves 4
print recipe

Thousand Island Dressing (can be made days ahead)

1 cup good mayonnaise
1 cup chili sauce (don't forget your homemade)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 slices bacon
4 large slices deli-style rye bread, bottom crust removed
2 tablespoons, unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 head iceberg lettuce
8 (1-ounce) slices Swiss Cheese
12 (1-ounce) slices turkey breast
4 tomato slices
4 slices hard boiled egg
4 pitted black olives

To prepare the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Spread each slice of bread with butter. Place 1 slice of bread on each of 4 plates.

Reserving 8 large outer leaves of lettuce, core the rest of the head of lettuce and cut into 6 lengthwise slices. Place 1 slice on each piece of bread (reserve the remaining 2 slices for another use0. Place 2 slices of cheese diagonally atop each sandwich. Top each with 2 of the reserved whole lettuce leaves.

Arrange 3 slices of turkey over the lettuce, then pour 1/2 cup of the dressing over each serving of turkey. Add a slice of tomato and top with a slice of egg. Secure the olives to sandwiches with toothpicks, spearing them into the egg and tomato. Arrange 2 slices of bacon next to each sandwich.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Succotash is one of my favorite vegetables year round. This is entirely acceptable made with canned,fresh, or frozen vegetables. Yes, even leftover vegetables. Succotash takes its name from the Narragansett word msickquatash, meaning "boiled kernels of corn".

4 servings
print recipe

1 cup cooked corn kernels
1 cup cooked lima beans or chopped green beans
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoons paprika
Chopped parsley or thyme to taste
I like a little freshly ground black pepper also

Combine in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bacon-and-Bourbon Collards

Can you imagine, all my favorite foods in one pot, bacon, bourbon, beer, and collards. Don't worry about all the alcohol, this cooks for over an hour. The alcohol will be gone and only the wonderful flavors left behind. All you need is a skillet of cornbread.

10 servings
print recipe

4 thick slices bacon
3 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 (12-ounce) bottle ale beer
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup good Kentucky bourbon
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
6 pounds fresh collard greens, washed, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1.Cup bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add bacon, and cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Saute onion in hot drippings 3 minutes or until mixture is reduced by one fourth.

2. Add collards, in batches, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until wilted. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook 1 hour or to desired degree of doneness. Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Goat Cheese and Strawberry Grilled Cheese

Do I have the right month? I think this is National Grilled Cheese Month. If not this is still a wonderful healthy change from the "regular grilled cheese". You even get a bonus of fruit and veggie!

3 servings
print recipe
1 (4-ounce) goat cheese log, softened

6 whole grain bread slices
4 1/2 teaspoons red pepper jelly
3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
6 large basil leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh watercress or arugula
Salt and pepper to taste

Spread goat cheese on 1 side of 3 bread slices. Spread pepper jelly on 1 side of remaining bread slices; layer with strawberries, basil leaves, and watercress. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining bread, goat cheese side down. Cook sandwiches in a large lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium heat 2to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Classic American Coffee Cake

Ultra-moist and rich, with a nutty, brown sugar layer in the center. Haven't made this for a few years, mainly because I couldn't find the recipe. I'm giving you the cranberry and pecan version, but in the summer substitue fresh blueberries and sliced almonds if you like.

Classic American Coffee Cake
8-10 servings
print recipe

1 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon table salt (not kosher salt)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 scant cups fresh or frozen cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-cup, fluted, nonstick Bundt pan with nonstick spray.

Combine the melted butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, and vailla in a large bowl and mix well,> Stir in the flour, wheat germ, salt, and baking powder and mix until just combined, do not over mix. Fold in the cranberries.

In a separate bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon and toss to mix well.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle on the nut mixture. Cover with the remaining batter. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until firm and golden brown on top. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so, before inverting onto a plate to unmold.

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

This was my meditation for the day on Thursday this week. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Make yourself a blessing to someone. Your kind smile or pat on the back just might pull someone back from the edge. - Carmelia Elliott

Someone will be helped today by your kindness. Compassionate attention assures others that they do matter, and every one of us needs that reassurance occasionally.

Offering words of encouragement to them, or a willing ear, can be unexpected gifts. They will be deeply appreciated.

The real gift, though, is to ourselves. Helping someone in need benefits the helper even more. Our own closeness to God and thus assurance about our own being is strengthened each time we do Gods work - each time we do what our hearts direct.

We are healed in our healing of others. God speaks to us through our words to others. Our own well-being is enhanced each time we put someone else's well-being first.

We're on a trip, following different road maps, but to the same destination. I will be ready to lend a helping hand to a troubled traveler today. It will breathe new life into my own trip.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Red-Skinned Potato, Olive, and Caper Salad

I love red-skinned potatoes. They are so full of flavor, especially when fresh from the garden. They also make the best potato salad ever. You can also use fingerling potatoes.

Serves 4-6
print recipe

2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 1/2 ounces capers (if salted, soak in cold water for 30 minutes and drain)
7 ounces of large green olives, pitted
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 1/2 fluid ounces extra virgin olive oil (little less than 1/2 cup)
Freshly ground black pepper
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons white celery leaves

Place potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add salt, bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes, until tender. If you have a large mortar, smash the garlic with a little salt, then add half the parsley and roughly smash. Add the capers and olives and do the same to give them a coarse, roughly broken up texture. If no mortar use the flat size of a large knife.

Drain, peel and cut the potatoes in half while still hot, add the vinegar and oil. Cool for 10 minutes, then add the olive and parsley mixture. Season with salt and pepper, and toss in the rind, celery leaves and remaining parsley.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Baked Peach Crumble

Do you need to use some of the frozen or canned peaches from last summer? I am working my way through the freezer. This is so easy the kids or non-cooking husbands can make it. Perfect for a week-night dessert.

Baked Peach Crumble
serves 6
print recipe

1 cup sliced peaches, fresh, frozen, or canned
1/2 cup butter, melted
10 graham cracker squares, crushed
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Place peaches and juice in an 8-inch pan.
2. Mix together the remaining ingredients.
3. Cover the peaches and juice with the crumble mixture.
4. Bake in 375 degree F. oven for 25 minutes.
5. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Asparagus Sesame Salad

Asparagus season is here! I could eat asparagus 3 times a day this time of year. The wonderful thing about this salad is it can be served warm or cold. Speaking of cold, what happen to spring! It is 32 degrees here this morning.

I'm linking this to Carole's Chatter - Food on Friday. Let's go visit!

Asparagus Sesame Salad
4-6 servings
print recipe

1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
4 teaspoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Cook asparagus until just tender in a small amount of lightly salted water, 3-5 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, whisk together in a small bowl the remaining ingredients.

Toss the asparagus with the dressing while warm. Servee warm or chilled.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

I happen to think about this when inventorying my canned goods. I have several jars of roasted red peppers from last summers canning. This is a recipe I haven't made for a long time, but still remember how wonderful it is. It is adapted from and old edition of Joy of Cooking.

Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
about 1 1/2 cups
print recipe

Mash together to a paste:
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
Transfer to a blender or food processor and add:
One 6 1/2-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
6 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of ground red pepper (optional)
Blend until smooth

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Edie's Macaroni and Cheese

How many Mac and Cheese recipes do you think are out there, five hundred, maybe more. That's fine, some of them are fabulous, some not so much. My friend Edie is on the mark with this one. I have funeral food to prepare for tomorrow and this is my choice. You just can't have a Southern funeral without Mac and Cheese.

I love this one because you don't have to cook the macaroni separate from the sauce, it all cooks together.

This is Mac and Cheese so don't be using low fat and no-fat stuff, you'll mess up the stick of butter theory.

Edie's Macaroni and Cheese
6-8 servings
print recipe

2 1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups dry macaroni
16 ounces cottage cheese (at least 4%)
Lots of shredded cheddar cheese, one large block at least (extra sharp is my favorite)
1 stick of butter
Salt and Pepper (House Seasoning is better)

Melt butter in casserole dish while oven heats to 350 degrees F. Put all ingredients in casserole and pour boiling water over all. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Deviled Ham Spread

Remember those little tins of deviled ham from the grocery. I loved those things. This is even better, and I know what I'm eating. Just one little idea to use up some of the left-over ham from Easter Sunday.

You can use this for a sandwich, spread on crackers, mixed in your deviled eggs, stuff celery, or right out of the dish.

Deviled Ham Spread
about 1 1/2 cups
print recipe

1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham
5 tablespoons butter or mayonnaise (I use equal amounts of both)
3 tablespoons chicken or ham broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste

Combine in food processor and process to a paste.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Resurrection!

What a beautiful Easter Morning! I'm off to Sunrise Service. Have a wonderful Easter Day.

John 20:1-18
The Message

Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting "They took the Master from the tomb. We don't know where they've put him."

Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Simon Peter arrived after him entered the tomb, observed thee linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. The the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciple then went back home.

But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus body had been laid. They said to her, "Women, why do you weep?"

"They took my Master," she said, "and I don't know where they put him." After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn't recognize him.

Jesus spoke to her, "Women, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?"

She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, "Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him."

Jesus said "Mary".

Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" meaning "Teacher!"

Jesus said, "Don't cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, 'I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.'"

Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: "I saw the Master!" And she told them everything he said to her.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Muffins for Easter

Happy Easter everyone! Yesterday and today I'm making muffins for after Sunrise services tomorrow. Sunrise and Good Friday services are my favorite during Easter, mainly because they are not as crowded. Regular services are great too because you see people you haven't seen since Christmas. Yes, Lent is over and my "smart mouth" is back.

These are the muffins the good people at church will be enjoying very early on Easter morning. Any of these would make a nice addition to your bread basket for Easter dinner.

Cranberry-Walnut Mini Muffins
Blueberry Sweet Muffins
Bran Muffins (Sweet Muffin Mix)
Peach Muffins - This is a recipe from Joyce@OctoberFarm that I'll post later

Summer Salad

The gardens are going crazy! The early warm weather and lots of rain is great. I stopped by David's produce stand on Wednesday to check on all his beautiful stuff. He had baby kale ready. I was all over that, a big bag. Radishes and scallions ready by the the weekend.

Several people I have talked to and on the net are cooking out for Easter. Great idea with the weather so nice. This would be a great salad for any meal you're planning.

Summer Salad
serves 4
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1 bunch red radishes, trimmed, scrubbed, and thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (include some of the green)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 cups plain yogurt (I prefer Greek yogurt)
Kosher salt and freshly ground white or black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until well-chilled.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Linguine With Tuna Sauce

If you're too busy to blog then you're too busy to cook. This will take the worry out of "what's for dinner". Something easy and delicious!

Linguine With Tuna Sauce
4-6 servings
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4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 (7-ounce, or slightly larger) can of tuna in water, drained and flaked
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound linguine, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons olive oil

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook until it starts to brown. Slowly add the wine, stirring at the while. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the tuna, cheese, and pepper. Put the cooked pasta into a large bowl, toss first with the olive oil, then with the sauce. Transfer to separate heated plates and serve immediately.

Pasta Pie

This is one of those recipes you can make when you think you have nothing to cook. There is certainly nothing outstanding about any of the ingredients. Probably you will have them on hand. But, the end result is wonderful. This would be a great brown bag food, or to have on hand for the weekend.

Don't be afraid to adjust the herbs or spices to suit your taste. When I made this a few days ago I had no ham, so I used some of the fabulous Parma salami that my friend Joyce (October Farm) sent in her last "care package".

Pasta Pie
serves 6-8
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1/2 pound egg noodles, broken into pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
roasted red peppers for garnish

Cook the noodles until they are not quite al dente (they will cook more in the oven). Drain, rinse well in cold water, and drain again. In a small saucepan, saute' the garlic in the butter over moderate heat until limp (do not brown) and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the eggs well and add the reserved garlic and butter as well as the ham, cheese, parsley, thyme, oregano, paprika, salt, cayenne. Tabasco, and black pepper. Mix the noodles into the sauce, then pour into a buttered pie pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until firm and nicely browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until well chilled. Cut into slices, garnish each slice with two pieces of roasted red pepper, and serve cold.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pineapple Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake

One of my friends at church gave me this recipe, but ask me not to use her name on the blog. Now she is in her mid 70's and really sweet so I don't think it has anything to do with the CIA or FBI, but I will respect her wishes. I have not made this but have had a big piece. Wonderful!

"And I had but one penny in the world, thou should'st have it to buy gingerbread.
William Shakespeare in Love's Labor's Lost

Pineapple Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake
8 servings
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3/4 cup butter, divided
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
2 cups coarsely chopped FRESH pineapple
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup not water
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Tilt skillet to coat sides. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 cup brown sugar. Arrange pineapple on bottom of skillet; set aside.

2. Stir together flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/2 cup hot water, molasses, and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar. Whisk in egg.

4. Add butter mixture gradually to flour mixture, stirring until well blended. Pour batter into prepared skillet.

5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a round platter. Scrape any sugar mixture left in skillet over cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mashed Potatoes With Herbs and Roquefort Cheese

Isn't this begging to be served with your leg of lamb or baked ham for Easter! It's also great with roasted chicken, grilled steak, or chops. On holidays we don't worry about the heavy cream and lots of butter.

6-8 servings
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4 pounds russet or Idaho potatoes
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter (14 tablespoons)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 or 3 gratings fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup mixed fresh herbs (any combination of parsley, chives, chervil, thyme, rosemary, or tarragon, chopped
8 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled

Peel and halve the potatoes and place in a kettle of lightly salted cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, or centers are easily pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, return to the stove to rid the pan of any water left in the bottom. Cover.

In a medium saucepan, scald the milk and cream together over medium heat. Add the butter and continue cooking until the butter is melted. Do not let mixture boil.

Push the potatoes through a ricer held over a large pan; or mash them by hand with a potato masher. Stir the potatoes over medium heat and gradually pour in the scaled milk mixture. Mix until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.

Add the salt and pepper, and nutmeg and fold in the herbs. Serve the potatoes warm sprinkle with the Roquefort cheese.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kentucky Cream Cake and Frosting

My friend, Betty Rose, and I are making all the muffins for after Sunrise Services on Easter Sunday at our church. I'm praying only 20 people show. I'm telling you this because I have no idea what I might post this week. It might be something new, from the archives, stolen from another blog, who knows. Hang in with me!

This is an old recipe that I haven't made forever. Perfect for any occasion. Beautiful for Easter.

Kentucky Cream Cake and Frosting
about 8 servings
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1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
5 egg yolks, reserve whites
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coconut
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
5 egg whites, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, butter, and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time. Beat well. Add flour and baking soda, alternating with buttermilk and vanilla. Next, fold in the coconut, walnuts, and beaten egg whites. Place in preheated oven to bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Cake is done when it is springy to the touch and tester inserted in the center comes out clean.


1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a small bowl cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar and use to frost cake. Garnish the top with chopped nuts.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sad Day!

I've been blogging for over 2 years now and I'm just tired of it. Tired of all the wonderful friends I've made and their sweet comments. Wonderful new recipes, heart warming stories and beautiful photos.

I think its time for me to do nothing. Let my brain turn to mush and my butt get wider. Not run my smart mouth all over the net. Who needs new friends. I'm finished with blogging.


See you tomorrow!

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

Palm Sunday

Luke 19: 41-48
The Message

When the city came into view, he wept over it. "If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it's too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They'll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn't recognize and welcome God's personal visit."

Going into the temple he began to throw out everyone who had set up shop, selling everything and anything. He said, "It's written in Scripture,

My house is a house of prayer;
You have turned it into a religious bazaar."

From then on he taught each day in the Temple. The high priest, religion scholars, and the leaders of the people were trying their best to find a way to get rid of him. But with the people hanging on every word he spoke, they couldn't come up with anything.