Thursday, December 31, 2009

What are you doing New Year Eve


Many of you who live or grew up in Black communities in the United States have probably heard of "Watch Night Services," the gathering of the faithful in churches on New Year's Eve. The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year. Some folks come to Church first, before going out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Year's Eve event. Like many others, I always assumed Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious celebration, but my grandmother said no there more to the
story, enjoy the whole story of watch night as told by my grandmother.

December 31, 1862, also known as "Freedom's Eve." On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law. Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863, and all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were praying and shouting and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God. Black folks
have gathered in churches annually on New Year's Eve ever since praising God for bringing us safely through another year. It's been 141 years since that first freedom's eve and many of us were never taught the African American history of watch night, but tradition still brings us together at this time every year to Celebrate "HOW WE GOT OVER".

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

24th DAY OF CHRISTMAS(Roast Beef Sandwich)

Open face broiled Roast Beef Sandwich


4 hoagie buns, split
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons prepared coarse-ground mustard
2 pound deli sliced *roast beef
4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
8 slices provolone cheese
salt and pepper to taste
* you can use any combination of meat and cheese.


1. Preheat oven on broiler setting.
2. Cut rolls in half, and toast in a bread toaster. Place on a baking sheet. Spread each half with mayonnaise and mustard. Layer with roast beef, tomato, red onion, Provolone, salt and pepper.
3. Broil 3 to 6 inches from heat source for 3 to 5 minutes (keep a constant eye on it) until cheese is bubbly and is beginning to brown.
Add a bowl of soup for a very filling dinner.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

23th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Chicken Stew)

Spicy Crockpot Chicken Stew


2 baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.), peeled and cut into chunks (3 1/3 cups)
1 (10 oz.) package frozen sweet corn
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (1 cup)
1 green bell pepper, thickly sliced
1 onion, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12.5 oz.) jar salsa
2 teaspoons kosher salt
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, halved (about 1 lb.)
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 10.5 oz.)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 (6 inch) fresh corn tortillas, cut into strips


Place potatoes, corn, celery, carrots, bell pepper, onion and garlic in crockpot. Stir in salsa, salt, cumin, chili powder and pepper. Distribute chicken evenly on top of vegetables and pour chicken broth over chicken. Mix tortilla strips into stew. Serve warm. Cook stew on high for 4-6 hours, transfer chicken to a plate and shred with two forks into bite-size chunks; return to clockpot. Mix tortilla strips into stew. Serve warm

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

22th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Bake Chicken)

Honey Baked Chicken


1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces or thighs and legs
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup *prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
* Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place chicken pieces in a shallow baking pan, skin side up. Combine the melted butter or margarine, honey, mustard, salt and paprika and pour the mixture over the chicken. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hours, Cover for half of the cooking time and then uncover, basting every 15 minutes with pan drippings, until the chicken is nicely browned and tender and the juices run clear.
Serve with rice or noodles

Monday, December 21, 2009

21th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Pork Chop)

Fried Pork Chop


1 cup vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine flour, seasoning and pepper in a paper or plastic bag. Place pork chops into the bag, and shake to coat.
2. When the oil is nice and hot, shake off excess flour from pork chops, and fry in the hot oil. Cook on each side for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden on the outside, and juices run clear.
Served this with apples sauce and mac-n-cheese.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

20th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Chicken Casserole)

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/3 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cup frozen broccoli flowerets
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast half (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1.Heat the oven to 375°F. Stir the soup, water, rice, onion powder, black pepper and broccoli in a 2-quart shallow baking dish.
2.Top with the chicken. Cover the baking dish.
3.Bake for 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. Top with the cheese. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes. Stir the rice before serving.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Black Bean Chili

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup thick and chunky salsa
1 (15 ounce) can canned diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Garnish: sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

Combine all ingredients except garnishes in 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours. Top individual bowls with sour cream and Cheddar cheese.


Tuna Casserole

1 (16 ounce) package macaroni
1/2 cup can green peas
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk or water
4 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained
1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
ground black pepper to taste
1 cup crushed potato chips


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
3. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix macaroni,  1 cup cheese, peas, tuna, and mushrooms, mix the soup and milk together and add.
4. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish, add  remaining 1 cup cheese and crushed potato chip on top.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is bubbly.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

17th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Sloppy Joe)


1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
2-3 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup cheese
8 hamburger buns, split


1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, and green pepper; drain off liquids.
2. Stir remaining ingredients except the cheese, mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. top buns with sauce and cheese.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

16th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Cajun Rice)



1 tablespoon oil
1 16 ounce package kielbasa, cut into 1⁄4-inch rounds
1 14.5 can diced tomatoes
1 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes and chilis
1 cup water
1 8-ounce box jambalaya, Spanish, or fiesta-flavored rice mix
1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)


Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the kielbasa and cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice mix. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for the time specified on the rice package. Add the shrimp and stir. Cover and cook until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the hot pepper sauce (if using). Spoon into individual bowls.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Spicy Beef Vegetable Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 (30 ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
3 1/2 cups water
1 (16 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables or fresh carrots and potatoes
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup sliced celery
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon pepper


1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain.
2. Transfer to a slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the vegetables are tender.

Monday, December 14, 2009

14th DAY CHIRSTMAS (Chicken and Rice )

Chicken and Rice Casserole

6 - 8 chicken breasts (or any pieces of chicken you like)
2 cups Minute Rice
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 onion, diced 1 c. celery, diced
1 bag frozen peas and carrots (or can use canned, fresh, etc.)
2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tsp black pepper Water
2 cup water

Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray. Pour rice into pan. Add soups,water, onion, celery, veggies and seasonings. Stir together. Salt and pepper the chicken and place on top of rice mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40-50 minutes or until chicken is done. (Baking time depends upon the chicken and bone-in pieces may take longer to cook.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

13th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Pot Roast)

Crockpot Pot Roast

1 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of
mushroom soup
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1/2 cups water
5 1/2 pounds pot roast
3 Tablespoons of flour
3 Tablespoons of oil


1. Seasoned the roast with salt, pepper, and flour, browned the roast on all sides in a hot skillet with oil.
2. Mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water.
3. Place pot roast in crockpot and coat with soup mixture.
4. Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

12th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (tacos)

Ground Beef Tacos

1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/4 cup onion, diced
3/4 cup salsa
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1/3 cup cold water
2 cup lettice
1 tomatoes dice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1.In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with onion; drain fat.
2.Stir in salsa, taco seasoning, and cold water. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
3.In a small skillet, heat tortillas 1 minute on each side. To assemble tacos, layer ground beef, lettice, tomato,and cheese inside a folded tortilla. Serve immediately
Service with corn and Spanish rice.

Friday, December 11, 2009

11th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Spaghetti Casserole)

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

1 pound pk. spaghetti
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 10 -15 minutes or until al dente; drain and reserve.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a large skillet, brown ground beef until no longer pink; drain reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Set beef aside. In skillet saute onion, green bell pepper and garlic until just soft. Combine browned beef, spaghetti sauce , oregano, salt and pepper with onion mixture; mix well.
Mix together spaghetti and meat mixture, pour into 9x13 pan. Top with cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

10th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Red Beans and Rice)

Crockpot Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

2 cups dried red beans
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 ham hock
1 pound Andouille or Kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced
*2 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice

1. Pick over the dried beans, and soak them in water overnight.
2.The next day, drain off the soaking water, and place the beans
in a crockpot. Cover with water, and stir in first 8 ingredients.
Push the ham hock down into the beans cover with lid and cook
on high heat for 5 hours.
3. Discard bay leaf stir in sausage and *salt and season to taste. Simmer for 20
minutes and serve over rice.
* add only after the beans or fully cooked.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Rotisserie Chicken)


*1 whole chicken (5-6 lbs) or 2 whole chicken ( 2-3 lbs)
*butter flavored cooking spray
*salt,pepper, and any season you like on your chicken
*aluminum foil

Spray chicken and inside of crockpot.
Sprinkle chicken with seasoning.
Roll foil into balls and place in bottom of crockpot.
Place chicken on top of foil balls(breast side up).
Cook on high 4 to 6 hours

Cook on high, it will not turn out the same if you use low.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

8th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Mac & Beef)

Skillet Mac & Beef

1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 small green pepper, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 can (10 3/4 ounces)Condensed Tomato Soup
1/4 cup water
1 can dice tomatoes
3 cups elbow macaroni cooked without salt and drained
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

* Cook the beef, onion, green pepper, and Italian seasoning in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the beef is well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat.
* Stir the soup, water and tomatoes into skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Salt and pepper to taste and Sprinkle with the cheese.

Monday, December 7, 2009

7th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Chicken Creole)

Crockpot Chicken Creole

3 lbs. chicken thighs
1 cup celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt and  pepper to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste
*2 cups rice, cooked

Place chicken in bottom of  crockpot, combine remaining ingredients  and  add to crockpot. (DO NOT ADD RICE)  Cook on high 4 to 5 hours or on low 7-8 hrs

*Cook rice according to package direction. Spoon Creole mixture over hot cooked rice.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

6th DAY OF CHRISTMAS (Meatball Stew)

Crock pot Meatball Stew

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound fresh baby carrots, quartered
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
1 package (12 ounces) frozen fully cooked meatballs
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 can (10-1/2 ounces) beef gravy
1 cup water
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

Place the potatoes, carrots, onion, celery and meatballs in
a 5-qt. Crock pot. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
Pour over meatball mixture. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours
or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Yield: 6 servings.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas is in the air

WOW!! it's the 5th day of Christmas already so let get cookin', because we all are so busy, this time of the year I would like to share some of my one pot meal, crockpot and casseroles recipes.
I wanted to create a countdown to Christmas in a creative crafty way, I decided to create a homemade Advent Calendar filled with 24 recipes that are quick, easy and fast to prepare, along with a few of my family favorite Holiday goodies.
Do you make an Advent Calendar or have a special way your family celebrates the countdown to Christmas? I would love to hear your ideas! Here are the instruction of an Advent Calendar ideas I used to create my countdown to Christmas.

I saw this cute homemade advent on the web freebies for mom.
Homemade Advent Calendar

Supplies needed:

A large circle punch (in scrapbook supplies at craft store) or a jar or glass for tracing
Scrapbook or festive holiday gift wrap
2 Muffin Tins
A picture frame stand or a place to prop your finished tins
I began this project by punching out 48 circles. On half of these write the numbers 1-24 and on the other half you can write fun activities to do with your children in anticipation of the big day.
Break out your trusty calendar and jot down the activities for each day to remind yourself what you need to plan for and what supplies will need to be purchased to accomplish the activities.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Thanksgiving leftovers are as much a part of the holiday tradition as the feast itself. Every year I save the carcass of our turkey just so I can make up a big pot of yummy Turkey Carcass Soup. It is very easy to make, give it a try and just enjoy and get ready for the biggest Holiday Season of the year.


Simmer carcass in 6 cups water for 2 to 3 hours,
1 lg. chopped onion
3 celery stalks diced
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
2/3 c. raw rice
1 pkg. *frozen mixed vegetables

When carcass is cool enough, take all the meat off the bones and discard bones.
Skim off any fat. Add all other ingredients and simmer until rice and vegetables are done.

*Use or add any fresh vegetables your family enjoy or you have on hand.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Everyone have a great Thanksgiving Dinner and be thankful because this is the day that the LORD has made.
I am thankful for my family, my health, my friends, a roof over my head and to be surrounded by my love ones during this Holiday Season.

Sweet Potato Pie

3 - Frozen Unbaked 8” Or 9” Single Crust Pie Shells
4 - Pounds Uncooked And Unpeeled Sweet Potatoes
1/2 - Cup (1 Stick) Butter
2 - Cups Sugar
3 - Large Eggs
2 - Cups *Evaporated Milk or Whole Milk
1 - Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 - Teaspoon Salt
1/2 - Teaspoon cinnamon

Boil the potatoes until tender. When you stick a
fork in them it should go in easy but you don't
want them to fall apart. Let the potatoes cool and then peel them.
Blend your sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl with a blender to remove strings,
repeat this three our four until you have remove just about all the strings
Next cream the softened butter with sugars. Add to the blended sweet potatoes
and continue to mix while adding the eggs one at a time. Finally, add your milk,
vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt and mix thoroughly.
Finally, pour mixture evenly into your three frozen unbaked pie shells. Bake for
1 hour and 30 minutes at 350 degrees on your center oven rake.

*I use Carnation Evaporated Milk


A Thanksgiving Dinner seems to be incomplete without a lip-smacking dessert. To complete Thanksgiving Dinner we must have a great dessert here is my recipe for my grandmother famous SWEET POTATO PIE.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I like to know what your family call it. It's always dressing in my family whether it's cooked in or out of the bird. Some say that a lots of working class people (African American) have the tendency to say dressing but whatever you call it, it's my favorite part of the meal. Let's hear what your family call it, this should be fun I will give a gift to one lucky person just for commenting. I will have one of my grand baby pick a name at 6:00 pm East Coast time on BLACK FRIDAY and post your name, all you have to do is sent me your information and I will sent it out with Monday mail (11/30/09).


3/4 pound Chicken Giblets, *cooked and chopped
1 (9 x 13) **cornbread, already baked
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup bell pepper chopped
1/4 c. butter
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 or 11/2 tbsp. sage, to taste
Salt, and pepper to taste
2-4 cups giblet juice

Saute onion, celery and bell pepper in the butter until done but not brown,
Crumble cornbread in a large bowl. Add celery,onions, bell pepper, giblets and
poultry seasoning. Add giblet juice gradually. In between adding giblet juice, add sage and salt and pepper to taste, continue adding juice until cornbread is very moist. Bake in a 9 x 13 pan at 375 degrees until top is golden brown. This recipe can be stuff into bird.

*Boil the Chicken giblet (gizzards) in a saucepan on high heat with about a quart of water, add one celery stalk cut up, one medium onion cut up, one teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours or until tender. Discard celery and onion, and coarsely chop giblets. Reserve 4 cups of liquid.

**If you use a corn bread mix, don't use Jeffy or any mix that has sugar and add an extra egg to your corn bread mix.


Today I am featuring another family traditional Thanksgiving Dinner recipe, without this side dish it not Thanksgiving. The DRESSING or STUFFING, whatever you call it, it's my favorite part of the meal.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Today I am featuring another family traditional Thanksgiving Dinner recipe, the starch side dishes featuring MAC AND CHEESE, this is my niece favorite


5 cups cooked elbow macaroni (approx 4 cups uncooked)
4 tbsp butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups whole milk (lowfat milk alters the texture!)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Boil your macaroni according to package instructions. Do not overcook it. Drain macaroni in strainer.
Place macaroni, butter, salt,
pepper, 1 cup sharp cheese, cheddar cheese in casserole dish.
Mix eggs and milk in a bowl and then gently stir into mixture. Sprinkle with paprika
Cover everything with aluminum foil and cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Uncover and add extra cup of sharp cheddar cheese across the top. Bake uncovered until it turn golden brown about 15 minutes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


11/2 pound smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked turkey wings, or smoked neck bones)
5 bunches collard greens - rinsed, trimmed and chopped (4 bags of *pre-washed greens
2-3 cups water (just to cover the meat)
5 cups chicken stock or (low sodium chicken stock in the can or cartons)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 onion coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste

In an extra large pot, bring ham hocks and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Immerse greens in a sink full of water and wash well to remove sand and grit. Lift out, drain water, fill sink, and repeat the procedure approximately 3 or 4 times to ensure they are clean and free of sand, grit and insects. Cut out the thickest part of stems that runs down the center and coarsely chop the greens.

Increase the heat under the hocks to medium-high; add about 1/3 of the greens to the pot. Cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, until wilted. Add remaining greens in two more batches, until all the greens fit into the pot.

Stir in the broth, garlic, vinegar, sugar, black pepper, and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally about 2 hour or until the greens are tender. When done taste and adjust **seasoning.

Remove ham hocks and cut meat from bones. Dice and add back to the greens. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a serving bowl. If desired, pass the juices (also known as pot liquor) for dipping cornbread.

*wash your pre-washed greens just one time (yes they need to be wash).
** If it need a little salt, this is the time to add the salt.


2 pounds green beans, cleaned and *snapped or 2 (14.5 ounce) cans cut green beans, drained)
1/4-1/2 pound thinly sliced ham
10 small **red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place the ham slices in a large pot. Add about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until ham is tender.Remove ham from pot and cut into small pieces.
Return to the pot and add the beans, potatoes and onions. Season with pepper. Add a bit more water if needed, but not too much. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are very tender, about 1 hour. (Cooking time will depend on the age of the beans.)
Taste the beans and add salt if needed but, since country ham is very salty, additional salt will probably not be necessary.
If there appears to be too much broth, cook on high without the cover until some of the moisture evaporates. Add butter to beans and stir until melted; replace lid and cook an additional 10 minutes. This will keep, covered, over low heat until serving.

Notes: If you use country ham it is a little salty.

* any boiling potatoes will work, Yukon Gold are great also.
**snap off the ends and discard them, an any diseased or browny parts.
snap them in half and wash

Green Bean Casserole

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Dash ground black pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
1 1/3 cups French's French Fried Onions

1. Mix soup, milk, soy, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2-quart casserole.
2. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25 minutes or until hot.
3. Stir. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

TIP: Use 1 (16 to 20-ounce) bag frozen green beans, 2 (9-ounce) packages frozen green beans, 2 (about 16-ounce) cans green beans or about 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.


Today I am featuring my family traditional Thanksgiving Dinner recipe for our vegetable side dishes featuring fresh greens and string beans and a traditional Green Bean casserole for my daughter it her favorite.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


5 pounds yams (or sweet potatoes), peeled and cut to large bite-sized pieces
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a large pot over medium heat, place potatoes. Top with butter, cinnamon, vanilla,lemon juice and sugar, cover and simmer, for 35 to 45 minutes until tender. Gentle stir throughout cooking, until mixture is thick and syrupy. Mixture will thicken slightly as it cools. Remove from heat and serve warm.

If sauce looks very liquid, removed the potatoes, as they are fully cooked, and simmered the remaining liquid with the cover removed until it caramelized and then poured it back over the potatoes.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let's get COOKIN'

The side dish for your Thanksgiving Dinner. I hope you will try and enjoy some of my family favorite recipes.

This year the candied yams recipe is predicted to be the top side dish this holiday season, according to a Black Homeowner News poll. Yams are slowly becoming more common in US markets, the yam is a popular vegetable in Latin American and Caribbean markets, with over 150 varieties available worldwide. Yam are excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of potassium and vitamin C, B6, riboflavin, copper, pantothetic acid and folic acid. My first side for Thanksgiving Dinner will be my grandmothers famous candied yams

Sweet Potatoes or Yams is the question????????????

The true yam is a tropical vine (Dioscorea batatas) and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato.

Yams contain more natural sugar than sweet potatoes and have a higher moisture content and are generally sweeter than the sweet potato. The yam tuber has a brown or black skin which resembles the bark of a tree. The yams are darker-skinned and has a thicker, dark orange to reddish skin with a purple or red flesh, depending on the variety.

Sweet Potatoes are yellow or orange tubers are elongated with ends that taper to a point and are of two dominant types. The paler-skinned sweet potato has a thin, light yellow skin with pale yellow flesh which is not sweet and has a dry, crumbly texture similar to a white baking potato.

When buying yams or sweet potatoes, choose firm ones with no cracks or bruises. The flavor of raw potatoes might be altered if they're kept in a refrigerator. They should last for two weeks or more if stored in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place and handled with care. If the temperature is too warm -- above 60° F. -- they'll sprout sooner or become woody. Once cooked, sweet potatoes can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Like potatoes.

Monday, November 16, 2009



1 (12 to 14 pound) turkey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onions
2 celery stalks
Several sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, rosemary, or sage
1 bay leaves

Special equipment: large roasting pan, pastry brush or bulb baster, instant-read thermometer


Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and remove the other racks. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

1.Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
2. Pat turkey dry from all moisture. Place the bird on a v-shaped roasting rack salt and pepper
the cavity.
3. Slice the onions, and chop celery, Stuff all inside the turkey along with some of the herbs and 1 bay leaf. Pin the wings behind the turkey.
4.Turn the turkey breast side down, and season with salt and pepper. Tie the legs with butcher twine, and place in *roasting pan.
Take 1/2 of the softened butter and liberally massage turkey, being sure to cover the entire birds, breast and thighs.
5.Tent turkey with aluminum foil place turkey in preheated oven, after 2 hours, remove the foil from the turkey and use a pastry brush or bulb baster to baste turkey with the reserved butter and some of the pan drippings, cover loosely with the foil tent. Bake until the skin is a light golden color, **roast for 3 ½ to 4 hours. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting is not necessary, but will promote even browning.
6.Allow turkey to rest for at l5 minutes before carving (or removing stuffing if stuffed)

*Use a shallow roasting pan
** Bake 20 minutes for each pound



Do you know that a "frozen" turkey is fresher than a so called "fresh" turkey?
I always buy a frozen turkey because the so called fresh turkeys can sit in your store for days uncooked. The frozen turkey have been frozen immediately upon preparation.

Let's get Roasting!

Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
Place the bird on a v-shaped roasting rack, breast-side down and pat dry with paper towels,use a shallow roasting pan (If you use a deep roasting pan, you wind up steaming the meat). To prevent the meat from drying out, loosely cover with a thick sheet of aluminum foil, butter on on the inside to prevent sticking. The last hour or so,remove the foil and turn the turkey to brown the breast.

Baste, baste, baste.

Don't rely on the little plastic thermometer in some turkeys to pop out. If you wait for it, the turkey will overcook. Instead stick an instant read thermometer several inches down through the skin between the thigh and the breast so the tip ends up about an inch above the joint. The turkey is ready when the thermometer reads 165 degrees F. If you are not prepared to use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the turkey and the stuffing in the bird, that is okay but the stuffing should be cooked outside the turkey," I alway cook my stuffing outside of the turkey".

Let the cooked turkey "rest" after it have been removed from the oven. While the turkey cooks, the juices are forced away from the heat to the middle of the turkey. Cover loosely with the aluminum foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes after it is removed from the oven. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the turkey. A moist turkey is easier to carve.

If you need your oven to reheat or cook side dishes, it's better to serve the turkey at room temperature with hot gravy than to reheat it. Reheating dries out the meat. The interior of a large turkey will stay quite hot for at least an hour.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


This is the brine recipe my sister makes every year for her holiday turkey, give it a try.

1 1/2 cups, Kosher salt*
1 1/4 cups, brown sugar
10 whole cloves
3 teaspoons, black peppercorns
1 1/2 gallons (6 quarts) apple juice or cider (non-alcoholic)
the peel from one orange or one tangerine (colored part only - not white pith)
[optional: 3 teaspoons, dried thyme and/or 3 teaspoons, dried sage]

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive pot, bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes (partly covered). Allow brine to cool completely.

Rinse turkey under cool running water, inside and out (remove giblets from body cavity). Pat turkey dry with paper towels, then immerse turkey in cooled brine.** Turkey should be completely submerged in liquid (place a plate on top of the bird if necessary to keep it covered with the liquid).

Cover the pot and refrigerate for 8-10 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove turkey, rinse, pat dry, and roast as usual. [See note under “basic technique” for extra step to get crispiest skin.]

* Kosher salt is the ONLY type of salt to be used in making brine (it is sweeter and more pure than ordinary table salt).

**Be sure the container used for brining turkey is non-reactive: use enamel, glass or crockery or stainless steel - never cast iron or aluminum. The pot should be just large enough to contain the turkey (so the brine will be sufficient to cover the bird).


To get a flavorful turkey, you must start with a brine. Brining adds moisture and flavor to the turkey and helps to keep it from drying out

Supplies: To properly brine a turkey you need to start the night before you plan to cook. You will need a container large enough to hold your turkey and enough brine to cover it. You'll also need *Kosher salt, water, sugar, and enough room to refrigerate it. A large stainless steel stock pot or even a 5 gallon clean plastic bucket would make excellent containers. Whatever container you choose the turkey needs to have enough room to be turned so it should be big. Both Reynolds (Oven Roasting Bag for Turkeys) and Ziploc (XL Storage Bag) make very large food safe sealable bags that are great for brining.

Turkey: Now let's get to the turkey. Wash the bird, inside and out, in cool running water, completely thawed, and should not be a self-basting or Kosher turkey. Self-basting and Kosher turkeys have a salty stock added that will make your brined turkey too salty. A fresh turkey works best, but a completely thawed, previously frozen turkey will work just as well.

Brine Ingredients: To make the brine, mix 1 cup of Kosher salt in 1 gallon of water. You will need more than 1 gallon of water but that’s the ratio to aim. Add up to 1 cup of sugar per gallon of brine, then bring the whole thing to a boil for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Make sure that the salt and sugar is completely dissolved. Be sure to allow it to cool before immersing the turkey.

Set-up: Place the turkey in a bucket or pot (plastic, stainless steel or enamel – not aluminum or other “reactive” metal) pour in enough brine to completely cover the turkey with an inch or two to spare. You do not want any part of the turkey above the surface of the brine. Now you put the whole thing in the refrigerator. Cover the pot and refrigerate for 6 hours - or up to 24 hours

Keep it Cool!: Don't have room in the refrigerator? Try a cooler. A cooler big enough to hold your turkey and makes a good container for your turkey and brine. If the weather is cool, but not freezing you can put the whole thing outside until you need the turkey. If the weather is warm fill a a zip top bag with ice. Place this in the cooler with the turkey and brine and it will hold down the temperature during the brining process.

Rinsing: When you are ready to start cooking your turkey, remove it from the brine and rinse it off thoroughly in the sink with cold water until all traces of salt are off the surface inside and out. pat dry with paper towels, and roast as usual. Safely discard the brine.

Brining makes an exceptionally moist and juicy (but not watery) turkey. This is way I have the Perfect Turkey year after year, just follow my steps and you will to.

* Kosher salt is the ONLY type of salt to be used in making brine (it is sweeter and more pure than ordinary table salt).

Tips: After rinsing your turkey, allow the turkey to stand, refrigerated, for 6 hours or overnight. This resting period has the added advantage of evening the degree of brininess throughout the meat (it will be less salty on the surface of the meat, more evenly brined throughout), and resting produces a slightly more tender result.

If salt is a concern (the entire turkey will absorb only 10-15% of the brine)

Friday, November 13, 2009


Let's get started preparing the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

How Much to Buy
Buy 1 pound per serving when buying a bird 12 pounds or less. Buy 3/4 pound per serving if a bird is more than 12 pounds.

Buying Fresh Turkey
Fresh turkey is highly perishable. Buy fresh turkey just one or two days before you plan to cook it. Prestuffed fresh turkeys aren't recommended because you have no way of knowing if sanitary methods were followed when the bird was stuffed.

Buying Frozen Turkey
Choose one that's solidly frozen, has no damage to the package, and no pockets of frost under the wrap.

Thawing Frozen Turkey
To thaw in the fridge, place the bird on a tray and allow 24 hours thawing time for every 5 pounds (3 to 4 days). You can also thaw in cold water, allowing 30 minutes thawing time per pound. Be sure to change the water every 30 minutes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Thanksgiving is the day America sets aside for family and friend for remembrance. It’s a day of turkey and pumpkin pie but if it was not for a persistent female magazine editor, we may not have the day to celebrate today. It was Sarah Josepha Hale who really pushed hard for a permanent national Thanksgiving celebration.

Most stories of Thanksgiving history start with the harvest celebration of the pilgrims and the Indians that took place in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the autumn of 1621. The next ‘thanksgiving’ celebration did not occur until 1623.

In 1668 the Plymouth General Court tried to bring some order to the celebration by declaring November 25th to be Thanksgiving. It was a proclamation that only lasted within the colony for five years.

The first national celebration of Thanksgiving occurred in 1777. This one-time only event occurred at this time also as a way to celebrate the American defeat of the British at Saratoga.

In 1789 George Washington made the first Presidential proclamation declaring Thanksgiving a national event. The first Thanksgiving held under this proclamation occurred on November 26 of that year. The pattern was set.

When Thomas Jefferson’s was President, he decided against the idea of Thanksgiving. At this time, many were against the idea of taking a day to honor the hard times of a few pilgrims. And so it went for nearly sixty years, until Sarah Josepha Hale came to bat.

Sarah Josepha Hale was a magazine editor, Hale wrote strong editorials in many of the popular magazines of the time she also wrote letters to anyone and everyone (including Presidents, Governors, Congress members and others) who might help her cause. She was concerned with her belief that the country needed to set aside a day to give thanks ‘unto him from who all blessings flow’.

Finally she struck the right chord with Abraham Lincoln and in 1863, Hale saw her dream realized as the President declared the last Thursday of November as a national day of Thanksgiving.

During Roosevelt’s administration, in 1941, Congress declared the fourth Thursday in November to be the legal Holiday known as Thanksgiving.


Thanksgiving is time when family and friends come together for a great home cook meal, this year let's do it right with a great Thanksgiving Dinner. okay for all you cooks who only cook on Holidays and for everyone who loves great tips. I will cover how to prepare the perfect Turkey and a few of my favorite holiday sides. Let start with the history of Thanksgiving, and get ready to take notes for the best home cook meal.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!"
Veterans Day Quotes by Maya Angelou

At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes "Present Arms" at the tomb. The nation's tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath and the playing of "Taps."

Grandma Apple Pie


1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Flaky Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
3 tablespoons ice water

1. Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.
2. Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
3. Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate. Fill with desired filling and bake.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Making the perfect apple pie

I gave everyone my quick Apple Pie recipe, today I will share my grand mother's recipe. I am sure it the same one everybody grandmother makes.
No matter how good the filling, the crust is the showcase: a good homemade crust takes a pie to new heights.
There are four basic ingredients in a pie crust: flour, fat, water and salt. You can come up with all kinds of tasty variations just by changing your basic ingredients, as long as you stick to the ratio of three parts flour, two parts fat, and one part liquid. To make a perfect Apple pie you must have the best pie crust recipe. So let get cookin'

Sunday, November 8, 2009



Prepare your pastry for a two crust pie or used pre-made pie shell.
8 cups thinly sliced apples
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Wipe, quarter, core, peel, and slice apples; measure to 6 cups.
placed them in a large bowl, sprinkled lemon juice over the
apples to keep them from turning brown, add vanilla and tossed
with the rest of ingredients. Pour filling into pie shell, dot top with
small pieces of butter or margarine. Cover with top crust and cut
vents with a sharp paring knife.Place on lowest rack in oven preheated to
450 degrees F (230 degrees C).Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven
temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes
longer. Serve warm or cold.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The History of Veterans Days

World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The actual fighting between the Allies and Germany, however, had ended seven months earlier with the armistice, which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. Armistice Day, as November 11 became known, officially became a holiday in the United States in 1926, and a national holiday 12 years later. On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.

In 1968, new legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.


We will start the month off with some good old fashion Apple Pie recipes in Honer of Veterans Day, and then we will talk Turkey. I will share some of family favorite Holiday recipes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes


2 1/2 cup Aunt Jermima Original Pancake Mix
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vinegar. Combine the dry ingredients, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Try maple pumpkin syrup. Mix 1/2 c. pure maple syrup with 1/2 c. or so pumpkin puree and a pinch of cinnamon. Heat it up until warm. Adds the perfect touch to these pancakes!These are good any season but taste best on cold winter mornings. You can use canned or cooked fresh pumpkin.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No Bake Pumpkin Pie

This is a very easy pie the base is cooked up on the stove with lots of spices, condensed milk, and egg until thick and creamy. Pumpkin puree is folded in, and then this rich filling is poured into a graham cracker crust. The fridge does the rest. Garnish with whipped cream and candied ginger. Give it a try you will add to your top 10 pie list


* 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
* 1 (.25 ounce) package unflavored gelatin
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree


1. In a heavy saucepan combine gelatin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in condensed milk and beaten eggs, mixing well. Let stand one minute, then place on burner over low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes, or until gelatin dissolves and mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
2. Stir in pumpkin, mixing thoroughly, and pour mixture into graham cracker crust. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Double or triple this roasted pumpkin seed recipe, depending on how many cups of seeds you have. One large pumpkin will generally yield 1 cup or pumpkin seeds, and smaller pie pumpkins will yield about the same amount. Toss a salad with these seeds, sprinkle over a chicken dish, or serve as a snack.


1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 scant teaspoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste
paprika, for more color, if desired
a little salt, depending on saltiness of the seasoning
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil

Rinse seeds well and get as much of the pumpkin pulp off of them as possible. Some of the small pieces are going to adhere, but they won't hurt the seeds at all, and might even add a little more flavor. Pat dry with paper towels. Don't let them dry completely on the paper towels, because they might stick!

Toss pumpkin seeds with seasonings. Combine butter and Worcestershire sauce; stir into seeds until well blended and coated.

Heat oven to 300°. Roast, turning from time to time, for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until nicely browned and crunchy.

How to Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc and unsaturated fatty acids which are effective help for prostate ailments.
Cut a fresh, well-ripened pumpkin in half. Remove the membrane and seeds.
Remove most of the pulp from the seeds (leaving some pulp on is okay because it adds to the flavor; for the same reason, do not rinse the seeds.

Heat oven to 300.
Spread 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a shallow pan.
Sprinkle seeds over oil in single layer.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over seeds.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned; cool.
and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant coconut cream pudding mix
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cups vegetable oil
5 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, and spices.
2. Stir the oil, eggs and pumpkin.
3. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.
Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes, then remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

Try 1/2 cup chopped dates or 1/2 chopped Pecans or both

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The History of Pumpkins

Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico, dating back over 7000 years to 5500 B.C.
Native American Indians used pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries before the pilgrims landed. When white settlers arrived, they saw the pumpkins grown by the Indians. Pumpkin soon became a staple in their diets, too. They also brought seeds back to Europe, where they quickly became popular. Just like today, early settlers used pumpkins in a wide variety of recipes, from desserts to stews and soups. In addition to cooking with pumpkins, they also dried the shells and cut strips to weave into mats.
This week I will share some of my Pumpkin recipes try them you will enjoy.


This cookies are yummy give them a try.


1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cream together butter and the brown and white sugars in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and orange extract.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice; stir flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Add the rolled oats, pecans and cranberries and mix thoroughly. Using a small ice cream scoop or teaspoon, drop rounded scoops of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.
4. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 42 cookies

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Columbus Day

The answer to this week Test your knowledge on Columbus
1 Santa Maria
2 1792
3 Trinida
4 3rd voyage
5 Hispaniola

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter and when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier. Autumn is also associated with the Halloween season. Here in Southern California the oncoming season is hard to fathom. Warm weather has us still craving salads and cold soup. This is a great time to pull out some of my Autumn reciepes and few Halloween party treats. Let have some fun with this year harvest crops and spooky eye ball soup

History of Columbus Day

The first recorded celebration honoring the discovery of America by Europeans took place on October 12, 1792 in New York City. The event, which celebrated the 300th anniversary of Columbus' landing in the New World.
San Francisco's Italian community held their first Columbus Day celebration in 1869. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison urged citizens to participate in the the 400th anniversary celebration of Columbus' first voyage. It was during this event that the Pledge of Allegiance, written by Francis Bellamy, was recited publically for the first time. Colorado was the first state to observe the holiday in 1905.
In 1937, President Roosevelt proclaimed October 12 as "Columbus Day" and in 1971, President Nixon declared the second Monday of October a national holiday.

Test your knowledge on Columbus

1) Which ship did Columbus command on his first voyage to the New World?

Santa Maria

2) When was the first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the United States?


3) The Santa Maria was shipwrecked off the coast of this present-day island:


4) During which voyage was Columbus led back to Spain in shackles?

2nd voyage
3rd voyage
4th voyage

5) Columbus declared himself governor of this island:

Puerto Rico

I will post the answers on Columbus day

Friday, September 25, 2009


If you love to grill, try this Buffalo Wings they are great

3 pounds chicken wings
1/2-cup lime or lemon juice
3/4 cup Jerk Marinade (recipe follows), divided use

Use a sharpened cleaver to chop between the wing and leg sections of the chicken wings and separate. Place in a large container, pour over lime or lemon juice, and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry and place the wings in a large non reactive container.

Pour over 1/2 cup of the Jerk Marinade and ensure that all the wings are coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove marinated wings from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling and let stand at room temperature. Discard marinade left in container from wings.

Place the chicken wings over medium-hot coals and grill for about 15 minutes on one side. Turning once. Baste with the remaining 1/4 cup of the Jerk Marinade and grill for an additional 10 minutes, or until wings are browned to your taste.

Transfer to a serving platter and serve.


This marinade works equally well with chicken, fish or ribs.

1 teaspoon ground Jamaican pimento (allspice)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (green and white parts)
4 Scotch Bonnet peppers or 6 jalapenos, stems removed and cut in halves, retaining seeds
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon salt
Pinch of garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender of food processor. Process or blend on the liquefy setting for 2 minutes.

Pour into a jar and refrigerate until ready for use. Jerk marinade will remain good indefinitely as long as it is covered and kept refrigerated. Makes 1 cup

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chicken Wings and Health

No doubt about it, if you are going to enjoy true Buffalo-style wings in all their glory, you will be eating the skin. The skin is indeed the fatty part, comprised of 17% fat, yet it also lends the most flavors along with the sauce of choice.

If the oil is hot enough when you fry the wings, much of the fat will cook off into the frying oil while sealing in the juice of the meat, leaving a nice crispy skin.

Baking is also an alternative. Bake until crispy on a rack inside a baking pan to catch the drips, and then dip into hot sauce mixture.

If you are watching your fat intake and must avoid the skin, some markets carry skinless drummettes, both fresh and frozen. Try baking them and dredging in a hot sauce, but you'll also want to forego the traditional butter that is mixed in with the hot sauce.


Spicy chicken wings are cooked in the crockpot with honey and barbecue sauce, along with spicy seasonings.

Crockpot Wings

* 3 pounds chicken wings (16 wings)
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 1/2 cups any variety barbecue sauce
* 1/4 cup honey
* 2 teaspoons prepared mustard or spicy mustard
* 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
* Tabasco to taste, optional


Rinse chicken wings; pat dry. Cut off and discard wing tips then cut each wing at the joint to make two sections. Sprinkle wing pieces with salt and pepper; place wings on a lightly oiled broiler pan. Broil about 4 inches from the heat for 10 minutes on each side, or until chicken wings are nicely browned. Transfer chicken wings to crockpot.

In a bowl, combine barbecue sauce, honey, spicy mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Pour sauce over chicken wings. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or on High 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Serve directly from slow cooker, keeping temperature on LOW. Makes about 30 chicken wings.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Wings Cooking Tips and Storage

Poultry is one of those meats that requires very careful handling to avoid foodborne illness. Use fresh poultry within two days of purchase or freeze immediately. Thaw poultry in the refrigerator or microwave, never on the counter. Wash all poultry before using and pat dry with paper towels.

It is the skin that carries most of the dangerous microbes. Be sure to thoroughly wash all surfaces that have come in contact with the poultry, including sinks and cutting boards. Do not touch other foods after handling poultry without washing your hands and/or the utensils used. Refrigerate leftovers immediately and do not let them sit at room temperature more than 45 minutes.

Cooking Tips
The standard method for preparing Buffalo-style wings is to deep-fry them, then dip in a mixture of melted butter and liquid hot sauce. The specific red pepper sauce used is an issue that is hotly debated by wing fans. Some prefer Durkee (formerly Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce), yet others swear by Crystal. Both of these hot sauces are readily available in most grocery stores.

To be authentic, you'll need to accompany your hot wings with fresh, crisp celery and blue cheese dressing, both of which are said to help ease the heat of the hot wings.

Chicken Wings Storage
Plan on about five wings per pound, depending on size. Four to six wings per person makes an adequate serving. Keep in mind that the dummettes will take a little longer to cook than the double-bone joint and plan accordingly. Raw wings may be frozen up to nine months. Cooked wings may be frozen up to one month.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This is the original spicy Buffalo chicken wings recipe from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY. You can adjust the heat by adding more or less cayenne and Tabasco.

There are many Buffalo chicken wing recipes out there, but if you want to taste the "real" thing give this a try. The chicken wings are deep-fried in the original recipe, but the hot oven works fine for the home version.

Makes 6 Servings of Buffalo Chicken Wings (6 per person)
Cook Time: 25 minutes


* 36 chicken wing pieces (one wing makes 2 pieces - the "flat" and the "drum")
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
* 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 6 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce (Frank's is the brand used in Buffalo)
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
* celery sticks
* blue cheese dressing


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

1. If necessary, cut whole wings into two pieces. In a bowl toss the wings with the oil, and salt. Place into a large plastic shopping bag, and add the flour. Shake to coat evenly. Remove wings from the bag, shaking off excess flour, and spread out evenly on oiled foil-lined baking pan(s). Do not crowd. Bake for about 20 minutes, turn the wings over, and cook another 20 minutes, or until the wings are cooked through and browned.

2. While the wings are baking, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan, and over low heat bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and then turn off.

3. After the wings are cooked, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the hot wings and toss with a spoon or spatula to completely coat.

These are always served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing on the side.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I will share some History of buffalo wings and some of my favorite recipes and a few that are a most try, ranging from jerked wings to Oriental flavors. So even if you can't handle the hot stuff, I will have chicken wing recipes for you also.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The fourth version of the legend of Buffalo Wings is the one my father tell's around a big plate of buffalo Wings.

He said it was reported by Calvin Trillin of the New Yorker magazine in 1980. Trillin reported on an African-American named John Young who said he developed a special "mambo sauce." a hot chile sauce.Chicken wings in mambo sauce became the specialty at his Buffalo restaurant in the mid-sixties. He registered the name of his restaurant, John Young's Wings 'n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving Buffalo in 1970. "If the Anchor Bar was selling chicken wings nobody in Buffalo knew about it then," according to Young. Trillin checked with a local poultry distributor and found that both John Young and Frank Bellissimo were buying a lot of chicken wings in the middle sixties but no sales receipts were saved. The wings Young sold, however, were prepared a little differently. They were not cut in half (the tip is removed first usually in Buffalo wings) and were served breaded with the sauce covering them rather than being tossed in the sauce. In 1980 they were still being served that way in John Young's Wings 'n Things (he had returned to Buffalo by then) and in a restaurant owned by his brother, Bird Land.


There are four legends about the origins of the first Buffalo wings.
Nobody seems bothered about the variations in the stories of how things happened, though. What is clear that is was the early to mid-1960s and it was in Buffalo, New York

* Most people who have even thought about the origin have heard and believe the first version of the legend . Teressa and Frank Bellisimo owned the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY. In this version, she invented Buffalo chicken wings in 1964 when her son Dominic and his friends came to the bar looking for a quick late night snack. "Mother Teressa" (Buffalonians take their wings very seriously) was preparing to make chicken stock with a bunch of wings and, improvising, stuck them under the broiler (later they switched to deep frying), sprinkled them with a hot sauce she concocted from a commercially available base (Frank's), took some celery sticks off the antipasto dishes, put some blue cheese dressing (the house dressing) in a small bowl and served them.
* All the principals are now deceased, but Dominic, who took over the bar from his parents, told the story differently to Calvin Trillin (1980) of the New Yorker magazine. According to Dominic, it was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again. So, according to this version, Dom did not stop by with his friends, he was trying to be the good host at the bar. It was still Terressa who came up with the idea.
* Frank told a third story. It involved a mis-delivery of wings instead backs and necks for making the bar's spaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, he says he asked Teressa to do something with them. Although the details are a little different, none of the tellers ever seemed too upset about the other versions. After all, the bar was a family affair and so were the wings it has become famous for. It was Frank who was memorialized in the 1977 City of Buffalo proclamation of July 29 as Chicken Wing Day, though.

Buffalo Wings History

Of course, our ancestors used all parts of the chicken. Usually the wings, back, and neck were used to flavor soups and stocks. Commercialization of the poultry market and modern refrigeration methods permitted consumers to begin choosing their favorite parts -- usually breast, thigh, and leg portions -- with the rest of the parts ending up in soup factories. Thus, chicken wings fell a bit out of favor until an enterprising restaurateur came up with a chicken wing recipe that would soon sweep the world off its feet.

1992 - This was a good year for the national spread of Buffalo wings. The first national pizza chain, Domino's, introduced them in their restaurants in Buffalo,New York.

Nov. 1994 - Domino's goes national with buffalo wings.

Feb. 1995 - Pizza Hut follows with national distribution of wings.


I will share some History of buffalo wings and some of my favorite recipes and a few that are a most try, ranging from jerked wings to Oriental flavors. So even if you can't handle the hot stuff, I will have chicken wing recipes for you also.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Labor Day

Labor Day is not just the last big barbecue day of the summer, more importantly it is a time to recognize the contributors America’s working men and women, as well as the achievements of the organized labor movement. Since 1800, other countries have celebrated this day on May 1 however, the first worker's parade ever took place in September in the early 1800‘s. Since then, this day has been celebrated the first Monday in September.
A fun day to enjoy relaxing activities with your family and friends. My mother and father told use that where they lived, the community usually host a big weekend celebration at the park that actually starts on Thursday with activities for the entire family. This includes a live DJ and a dance and talent contest for the youth, a spectacular gospel fest with special guests on Sunday afternoon, and a huge parade with marching bands and colorful floats on Monday. This was also the perfect opportunity for town kids to “strut their stuff” with their coordinating outfits and cool dance steps. After the parade, they spend the day at the park where there’s lots of good food, fun, and celebrations morning ‘til night. they really go all out for this!
Many families host their annual family reunions which brings out of town guests back for all the festivities. Class reunions are also held over this weekend which everyone enjoy because they have an opportunity to see old class mates that they hadn‘t seen in years. Since there’re so much going on, many take vacations during this special time. This makes this holiday the biggest summer event of the year and it seems to get bigger and better each year. I truly enjoy Labor Day, this year our family is having a old fashion fish fry at the park.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's a Hush Puppies

Hush puppies are finger-shaped dumplings of cornmeal that are deep-fried and traditionally served with fried catfish. Also know as corn dodgers, they are especially popular throughout the South.
There are several interesting stories of the origins of hushpuppies. My dad told this story, an African cook in Atlanta is said to have given the name hushpuppy to this food. When frying a batch of catfish and croquettes, a nearby puppy began to howl. To keep the puppy quiet, she gave it a plateful of the croquettes and said, "hush, puppy." Since the name was cute, it stuck. My husband said this is the story his dad told. This same story but it is attributed to a Creole cook. Hunters and trappers could be on the trail for days at a time. At suppertime the hunting dogs would get hungry, so the hunters would mix a batter out of cornmeal or flour and cook it in grease on the campfire. Then they would throw the fried dough to the pups, telling them to be quiet, shut up, or "hush."


4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups milk
1 cup water

In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil to 350° F or until a small amount of batter dropped into the hot oil sizzles and floats. Do not let the oil get too hot or the center of the hushpuppies will not cook thoroughly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, egg, salt, baking soda, milk, and water. Mix until batter is smooth and free of any lumps. Batter should be stiff (if batter is too dry, add milk; if batter is too thin, add cornmeal).

Using two spoons, push a small amount of batter into hot oil (370° to 380° F).
After about 10 seconds, hushpuppies will float to the top and begin to brown. Fry for approximately 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning to brown all sides.

Remove from oil and place hushpuppies on paper towels; continue cooking the remaining batter (fry in small batches, adding 4 to 6 hushpuppies to the oil at a time).

They can be held in a 200° F oven until serving time (approximately 30 minutes). Serve hot.

Makes 2 dozen hushpuppies.


The pound cake, most known as a rich cake, originally contained a pound of each of the main ingredients, including flour, sugar, and butter. That’s where the pound cake gets its name.
When I was a young girl, my grandmother didn't have a mixer she would beat this cake by hand and folded the dry ingredients in a little at a time before baking. She said it needed 300 strokes so we used to count as she mixed. She would bake it during the week for Sunday dinner,also she would bake one for my dad's Friday Fish Fry.

1,2,3,4 POUND CAKE


1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour sifted (to day we use Swans Down Cake Flour)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon orange zest, grated
1 - 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat on medium speed 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk and flavorings, creaming by hand until smooth after each addition. Spread batter into prepared 10-inch bundt pan. Bake until tester inserted into cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on rack.
Glaze with OLD-FASHIONED BOURBON GLAZE: Combine sugar, bourbon, zest and enough orange juice to make a thin glaze. Drizzle onto cake.

Mouthwatering Fried Catfish


Enough Catfish fillets, about 3 or 4 medium
pieces per person.

1 cup Yellow Corn Meal (This should be enough
to coat the catfish fillets)
2 tsp. seasoned Salt
½ tsp. paprika
1 tsp. black pepper
¾ tsp. onion powder
Crisco or your favorite cooking oil.
(Enough to cover the Catfish).

You can use fresh Catfish fillets, or you can use the farm raised variety available in the supermarket freezer section.

Rinse the fillets thoroughly, trim the Catfish of any skin or membrane, pat dry with a paper towel. If using fresh Catfish skin the Catfish and then wash thoroughly. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Roll the Catfish fillets in a mixture of corn meal and seasoning. A quick way to coat the fish in the corn meal and seasoning
mixture is to place it in a plastic or brown bag and just shake it.

Drop into deep fryer at 325 degrees. Fry until it turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Dump onto paper towel and allow to drain. (I use a deep fryer although a frying pan will work just as well)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


The secret to frying Catfish is cooking it at just the right temperature. A good test to determine if the oil is hot enough is to toss a one-inch cube of bread in the oil. If the cube becomes golden brown in less than a minute, the oil is ready.
When you first drop the Catfish into the hot grease it will seal in the moisture and flavor, this is my dad secret to best fried Catfish on west coast.

Monday, August 3, 2009


My favorite dish is a good old fashion CATFISH DINNER.
When we were kids my Dad would have a Friday fish
fry once or twice a month and invite our family over
for dinner. We would play broad games and the older
people would play cards. My Mother would make the
sides and my Grandma would bring her delicious
123 pound cake. My Dad could fry up the best Catfish
you have ever had. Our family and friends never
missed a chance to come over for his famous fish
fry’s. My Dad love’s to tell story, one of them was
about Catfish. Catfish was once considered the
food of the poor and folks turned their nose up
at this fish, he would say if you turned up your
nose at my Catfish you were just being uppity”
because his Catfish is toe tapping and mouthwatering
good. One of the characteristics of Catfish that I enjoy,
is it does not have a fishy smell or taste, it has a mild
sweet taste. For the best down home dinner on the
West Coast; try my Dad’s famous mouthwatering Fried
Catfish serviced with my Mom’s hush puppies and coleslaw
Top off with a sliced of my Grandma ‘s pound cake.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


The month of August was designated as National Catfish Month by Congress in the late 1980s, so how about some Catfish recipes. Catfish was once considered the "food of the Poor," Fried catfish is nearly an iconic as hush pups, sweet tea and pork.
If you've turned up your nose at this surprisingly healthy (and easy to get fresh) fish, you're just being -- as my mama would say -- uppity. Rural fish lovers, especially in the southern states, dote on the sweet flavor of catfish,it is the most widely eaten American fish. U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is the No. 1 farm-raised fish in America. More catfish is produced in the United States on a yearly basis than all other farmed fish combined.
In a time when Americans are more and more concerned with the origins of their food, U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish has become one of the safest choices in seafood, because the fish are raised in freshwater ponds and fed a strict diet of wholesome grains.
Catfish can be used in any recipe calling for a non-oily white fish, but most southerners prefer it dredged in cornmeal and fried. This month I will share my father's mouth watering fried Catfish recipes and other family favorite from soup to grill Catfish.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Easy, Eggless Strawberry Ice Cream

Ice cream can be made from just a few ingredients--cream, milk, eggs,
sugar, and flavorings. This recipe is made without eggs, the ingredients
for this divinely creamy strawberry ice cream are a snap to mix and
freeze in a ice cream maker. There is something extra-special about
homemade ice cream.


* 2 cups whole milk
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1 cup white sugar
* dash of salt
* 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 cups mashed fresh strawberries
* 2 drops red food coloring (optional)


1. In a large bowl, combine the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla, strawberries,
and food coloring. Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl of an ice cream maker,
and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. If you have a small ice cream
maker use 1/2 the mixture.


Strawberry shortcake, which originated from the Native Americans who baked
crushed strawberries into a cornmeal cake. strawberry shortcake is a dessert
to round out light summer meal.

Strawberry shortcake

* 3 pints fresh strawberries
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 4 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/3 cup shortening
* 1 egg
* 2/3 cup milk
* 2 cups whipped heavy cream

1. Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.
3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt.
With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.
4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20
minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.
5. Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the

Shortcake though it's most commonly a rich biscuit, shortcake can also refer simply to a The classic American shortcake is a large, sweet biscuit that is split in half, then filled and with sliced or chopped fruit (traditionally strawberries) and softly whipped cream.
If it's to hot to bake, you can buy some shortcake, but it's hard to fine, try angle food cake or pound cake. It's not shortcake but it's makes a taste dessert.
On hot summer days, homemade strawberry ice cream is both refreshing and fun.
Marinated strawberries in balsamic vinegar create a surprisingly delicious and sophisticated. The best dessert for a hot summer day for my family is Strawberry, These berries aren’t just delicious, strawberries are rich in nutrients, like other bright-fruits and vegetables They’re a great source of vitamin C.
When selecting strawberry biggest berries aren’t always the best tasting. At the market,look brightly colored strawberries that are smaller but still plump; their flavor will be more and delicious. Try my reciepe for a great summer dessert.


July's birthstone is the ruby which symbolizes contentment.
The flower is Larkspur or the Water Lily.
The horoscopes are Cancer and Leo.
The dessert of choice for my family is Strawberry shortcake
and homemade strawberry ice cream.

Friday, July 10, 2009


1 (16 ounce) package pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped roma tomatos
1/2 cup chopped cucumber (remove the seeds),
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 (8 ounce) bottle zesty Italian salad dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions drain and place in a large bowl; add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

1 (6 ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced
1 cup of shrimp, or crap


This recipe is easily multiplied for a crowd. Everyone in my family asks me to bring this to our functions in the summer.

1 (16 ounce) package macaroni
3 cans tuna (drained)
11/2 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped sweet pickle raises
1 green bell pepper, chopped (or 1/2 red & 1/2 green bell pepper)

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, and rinse. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, and mustard . Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
In a large bowl, combine pasta, celery, onion, sweet pickles, and green pepper, . Stir in dressing, and mix well.
Refrigerate until you ready to serve.

This can be served as meal or a side.


To make the Perfect Pasta for your Salad, Cook 1 pound of pasta. Select a 16-ounce box or bag of bite-size pasta. I recommend farfalle (bow ties), fusilli (corkscrews), penne, ziti, rotelle (wagon wheels), macaroni or my favorite small shells. Cook the pasta in a gallon of boiling water seasoned with 2 tablespoons of salt (that's right, 2 tablespoons!) until just tender. Drain but do not rinse the pasta. Instead, dump it onto a large-lipped cookie sheet to cool and dry. Don't worry if the pasta sticks together. The dressing will break it up.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Cool, delicious cucumber salad. For a pretty salad, peel only half of each cucumber, leaving strips of skin on each.

4 or 5 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried dill, or to taste

1. Toss together the cucumbers and onion in a large bowl.*
2. Combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
3. pour over the cucumber and onions. Stir in dill, cover, and refrigerate until cold.

This can also be eaten at room temperature, but be sure to allow the cucumbers to marinate for at least 1 hour.

*Don't make the vinegar solution first and then chop the cucumber because it's important that the vinegar solution be hot to ensure proper flavoring.


This is a delightful, and unusual strawberry salad. Pepper and vinegar enhance the sweetness of fresh berries.

3 pounds fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss berries with sugar and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and pepper. Pour over berries and toss to coat. Divide berries among 8 serving bowls and serve. Enjoy!


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 red apple, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, juice reserved
1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped pecans
fajita seasoning to taste or your house seasoning

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chicken and cook until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink inside, approximately 20 minutes. Drain, cool and chop.
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, apple, onions, relish, mayonnaise, celery, pineapple (with just a little juice for flavor), cilantro, pecans and fajita seasoning to taste. ENJOY

Try grilled chicken or a whole rotisserie chickens

Monday, July 6, 2009


How do you know when your watermelons are ripe?
The best method? Look for the curly tendrils on the stem near where the fruit is attached to turn brown. If they look half dead, it's ready for picking.
You can also check the underside of the melon. A ripe fruit will have a cream- or yellow-colored spot from where it sat on the ground while ripening in the sun.

Did you know? Thumping on the fruit and listening for a "hollow" sound isn't particularly accurate. Sometimes, that hollow sound actually means the melon has turned to mush inside.

History of Watermelon

One of the tastiest ways to keep cool in summer is to munch on ice cold watermelon. No summer picnic is complete without watermelon. There's more to this fruit than its sweet, red center.

Watermelons are in nature an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and B6. They are also a great source of potassium, and extremely low in sodium. Watermelons are a great snack for both children and adults, for the reason that they contain
practically no fat. Historians say watermelons first grew in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. They were a source of water for thirsty traders, who began to sell the seeds in cities along the ancient Mediterranean trade routes.
Cultivation of watermelon spread throughout Africa and, by the 1600s, watermelon made its way to Great Britain, Spain, China and beyond. Watermelon arrived in North America courtesy of European colonists from African slaves.
During the Civil War, the Confederate Army boiled down watermelons as a source of sugar and molasses.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


If there's one food that really captures the essence of summer, it's salad. All kinds of beautiful, ripe produce are overflowing from gardens and orchards. When fruits and vegetables are at the peak of their season, there's no need to do anything fancy with them - they're just begging to be tumbled into a salad bowl and enjoyed in their raw, natural glory. Let's share some of my salad recipes for July.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I know everyone loves Ribs for the 4th, but I always BBQ some chicken give my Lemon Chicken a try, you will need to double the recipe I found everyone loves Chicken.

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towels. Stir together the lemon juice, soy sauce, ginger, and black pepper in a bowl; pour into a large, resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken breasts, seal the bag, and massage to evenly coat chicken with lemon juice mixture. Place in refrigerator to marinate at least 20 minutes, or up to 24 hours
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Lightly oil grill grate.

Drain and discard marinade from the bag, and place chicken on preheated grill about 4 inches from heat source for about 6 to 8 minutes on each side Cook until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear,


This is great for a BBQ, I double the recipe and use a cooler and everyone can help them self, this is better than soda any day.

Old-fashioned Lemonade

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cup boiling water
1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice
4 ½ cups cold water
Ice cubes
Lemon Slices

Place sugar, boiling water, and lemon juice in a 2 quart pitcher and stir vigorously with a spoon until sugar is dissolved. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Add cold water, ice cubes and lemon slices. Stir. Pour over ice cubes in a 10 to 12 ounce glass.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.


Here is my favorite recipe for potato salad. I vary
this recipe from time to time based upon my mood and what I have in the refrigerator. I encourage you to do the same.

Potato Salad


10 - 12 whole russet potatoes
4 to 6 hard boiled eggs chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped
½ bunch celery chopped
¼ cup pickle relish
1 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup yellow mustard
2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to tasted


1. Boil potatoes with skin on for 30 - 45 minutes. When fork can be easily inserted. Potatoes are done.
2. Pour hot water out and run cold water over potatoes to cool them off for 5 minutes.
3. When potatoes are cool, peel off skin and cut into bite sized pieces. If you overcook them, they don't really hurt
the recipe since the extra potatoes just mixes in with
the creamy portion of the mixture.
4. Stir all ingredients gently except for the paprika.
After all ingredients are well mixed, pour into a bowl.
Add the paprika across the top.
5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve
serve 16-20

Try 1/2 cup of slice black olives or 1/4 cup of sheered carrots or 1/2 cup of chopped green or red bell pepper or dell pickles chopped in place of sweet relish.


1/2 pound sliced bacon
1 1/2 pounds ground round
1 (15.5 ounce) can pork and beans
1 (15 ounce) bake beans, drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can white beans, drained
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup barbeque sauce
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, crumble, and set aside. In the same skillet, cook and crumble the ground round until evenly browned. Drain.
In a large deep casserole dish or Dutch oven, combine the bacon, beef, baked beans, pork and beans, and white beans. Stir in the brown sugar, barbeque sauce, and onion soup mix until well blended.
Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour in the preheated oven.


Burgers may be the basic of all picnic menus, but they needn't be boring. Jazzed up with spices and seasonings or topped with your favorite condiments, a good burger is hard to beat. From basic lettuce, tomato, and pickle to sautéed onions or bacon, the possibilities are endless. Burgers just taste better when cooked on the grill and enjoyed outdoors.

Building a better burger is easy when you follow these suggestions:
Make sure the grill is the appropriate temperature too hot, and the burgers will burn on the outside before getting done on the inside. Medium-low to medium heat is best.
Keep the lid closed while cooking. A closed lid retains heat, shortening the cooking time and thus keeping the burgers moist.
Use beef that is no leaner than 85% Fat is needed for the burgers to be moist and flavorful.
If using ground turkey or chicken, add a little broth or olive oil to keep them moist.
Use a gentle touch overworking the mixture will produce a tough burger. Mix ingredients just until combined.
Don't form patties too thick or too thin A ¾-inch thick patty is ideal for even cooking. To keep patties from swelling in the middle, make small indention in the center.
Always clean and oil the grill grate This prevents burgers from sticking, extends the life of your grate and helps put those beautiful grill-marks on your patties.
Turn burgers only once and never, ever, press burgers with the back of a spatula: the sizzling sound may be fun to make, but the pressure releases all of the flavorful juices.
Cook burgers properly for safety's sake; cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (170 degrees F for poultry).
To check the temperature, insert the thermometer into the patty horizontally for an accurate reading.

What cookin' for the fourth of July

What’s the Fourth of July with out a barbecue? You’ll love this star-spangled menu. It includes our best-ever burgers, creamy potato salad, baked beans and an eye-catching cake decorated like Old Glory - all designed to feed a gathering of 10-12