Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Yes, I did say amazing!!!

It has been my experience, over the years, that when you bring peach's into the house the fruit flies magically arrive with them! Annoying to say the least!

As you can see in the above picture, the little fruit flies have met their water-loo!

The concoction in the bowl consists of red wine vinegar and two or three squirts of liquid dish soap...that's it! I place plastic wrap over the bowl, secure it with a rubber band, and then poke a few holes in the top. Cheap, easy, and it works!

As you can see the peach's are free of fruit flies...they are all in the magic bowl!

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Salad Again!

The hot summer weather means more salads at our home...quick & easy is the name of the game!

Chicken tenders are a nice compliment to a green salad...the tenders thaw quickly in this hot weather and cook up in a blink, using extra virgin olive oil & dipped in Italian bread crumbs.

I almost always have romaine lettuce on hand and that is the base of the above salad...then you just start adding salad "goodies"...such as tomatoes homegrown by Courtney and Matt...Graceland Fruit dried cherries, candied pecans, green onions, goat cheese with dried cranberries, french fried onion pieces and finally topped off with cherry vinaigrette from Six Lugs that I have mentioned many times on this blog!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peach's & Cream!!!

It just doesn't get much better than this!!! My Grandma Bessie introduced me to pure whipping cream on strawberries years ago and that was such a taste treat!

My Mom, Dad, and Uncle raised cows when I was a young girl, so we had the real deal cream and that was to die for. Oh the memories of those cows and the milking that needed to be done...what a process it all was. I can remember the hay being put up for winter and there always seemed to be a snake hiding away in one of the bales, just waiting for me I am sure...and I always provided a little drama!

Once in awhile the cows would escape and invariably Mom & I would be home alone and we would chase the critters and pray they would return inside their fence...some interesting times for sure!

Now we slice peach's and pour on the whipping cream and I go back in time for a brief moment and enjoy the fond memories!

How blessed I feel to have had Dad, Uncle Alfred & Grandma Bessie in my life and I continue to be blessed with my Mom!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pretty Pink Hibiscus

I just love the pink & white hibiscus plants that Norma Champagne/Matheson gave me several years ago, they bring along with their blooms many happy memories of a talented and fine lady!

I just couldn't resist posting a couple pictures of the saucer sized beauties!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Leftover Peach Martini Cupcake Batter.......

Maggie was ready for a little sugar fix...but she will have to wait awhile!
Daddy fed Maggie her food while the rest of the family consumed way too much sugar...but what fun we all had!

I prepared eight of the peach martini cupcakes and used the rest of the batter to make just plain cupcakes that would delight children...won't be long Maggie and you will indulge in a sweet now and then.

Our family had a great time on Sunday at the Fruit Dessert Throwdown and we look forward to the next throwdown in September!

Did anyone notice that Maggie's outfit was color co-ordinated with the cupcakes???? Truly wasn't planned, but how cute!!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Peach Martini Cupcakes

Yet another Family Throwdown...just we three ladies signed up for the fruit dessert event yesterday. Caribe made a delicious peach cobbler with a maple glaze, Courtney made a beautiful layer cake with a peach filling, and I made Peach Martini Cupcakes!!!!

The idea for these fun little peach martini cupcakes was not my original idea but that of Hoosier Homemade and she was inspired by the authors of Hello, Cupcake! What in the world did we do before blogs?

As you can see the cake batter is baked right in the martini glasses (that Courtney picked up for me at the Dollar Tree). I used a white cake mix that I doctored up a bit and added fresh, diced peach's to. I filled the glasses about 1/2 full with the batter and placed on a large cookie sheet in a pre-heated oven (325 degrees) and baked for about 23 minutes. I did grease the glasses a bit before adding the batter.

Allow the glasses to cool completely on wire cooling rack.

Now comes the fun part...place a bit of water in a bowl or on a plate and carefully dip the edge of glass (a little at a time) in the water and then dredge in sugar. When this is complete it is time to open a can of store purchased cream cheese frosting...remove from can and place in a bowl that is microwave safe. If desired, color the frosting with your color choice (mix thoroughly). Place in microwave for 10-15 seconds. This allows the frosting to get quite fluid and now spread on the cupcakes.

You can allow your creativity to shine on this particular project...little paper umbrella's are a cute touch. I also had candies and straws on hand but didn't want to over-power the presentation.

Our family has enjoyed the Throwdowns this summer so much that we are going to continue having them once a month.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Salad With Gorgonzola & Caramelized Pears

I had my heart set on making this salad but time was short so the pears didn't get as caramelized as I had hoped...so please give yourself plenty of time if you decide to prepare this tasty salad!

The cinnamon/sugar coated pecan recipe can be found in yesterday's post and believe me, you could have a snacking good time with these!

As you can see from the photo's, there are two variations of this salad and we much prefer the vinaigrette on the yellow plated salad!

The idea for this recipe came from a Pillsbury publication some time ago...I have way too many recipe clippings, cookbooks, food magazines, recipe cards, etc....or do I????

Vinaigrette #1 (not to be confused with #2 that is my favorite)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix together and place in fridge to combine flavors....

Caramelized Pears

2 - 4 tablespoons butter
3 - 4 firm, but ripe pears (peel, core & slice into eighths)
1 - 4 teaspoons sugar (depending on sweetness of pears)

In a large pan, melt the butter over high heat, add the pears & sugar. Cook & stir for about 10 minutes until the pears are tender and caramelized. Remove from heat and cool slightly.


6 - 8 cups romaine lettuce (or you can use spring greens)
1/2 cup red onion, sliced (or green onions)
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Vinaigrette #2 (our favorite)

Cherry Vinaigrette from Six Lugs which I have referred to many times on this blog.
It is delicious and handy when time is an issue!!!

I chose to assemble the salad on individual plates but you could surely prepare the salad portion and mix with pears & pecans and serve in a large salad bowl.

This will be on the menu again this fall when the pears are ripe in our neck of the woods!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Spiced Candied Pecans

Certainly not my best photography, but trust me, these pecans are delicious and so easy to prepare!

The addition of a little cinnamon makes for a tasty pecan!

Spiced Candied Pecans:

1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 pound pecans (halves)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (more or less to your individual taste)

Whip the egg white and water together until frothy.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, salt & cinnamon.

Add the pecans to the egg white mixture, tossing lightly to coat nuts evenly. Spread the pecans on a parchment lined large cookie sheet.

Place in a pre-heated oven (250 degrees). Bake for about one hour, tossing the pecans every 15 minutes.

Enjoy the pecans by themselves or top a salad or whatever!!!!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lemon Basil Pasta With Chicken

This particular dish is a modified version of a Pioneer Woman recipe. If you are not familiar with Ree Drummond (the pioneer woman), you would no doubt delight in her site! She is a busy mother and wife, loves to cook and has a cookbook published, home schools her children, lives on a working ranch....busy & talented to say the least!

I opted for chicken tenders that I dipped in Italian bread crumbs and fried quickly in olive oil.

Lemon Basil Pasta:

1 pound Penne Pasta, cooked according to package directions, don't over-cook
1/2 stick butter (I used unsalted)
3 whole lemons, juiced
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Half and Half
1 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
A handful of basil leaves, chopped (saving a nice "top" for garnish)

Cook the pasta , drain and reserve about 1 cup of pasta water and set aside
Melt butter over medium heat, add the lemon juice & stir until combined
Pour in the cream and half and half, stirring until hot
Now add the cheese and whisk until melted
Season with salt & pepper and add chopped basil
If necessary, for consistency, add a little of the reserved pasta water

Combine the pasta and sauce and serve in a pasta bowl or individual plates...garnish with the chicken tenders and reserved basil or parsley

This is a quick and easy dinner that I will prepare again, using a bit less lemon juice

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Condiments Galore!

In the above picture you will notice chopped cherry tomatoes, mustard relish, crispy chopped bacon, and hot garlic pepper jelly.

A closer look at the chopped cherry tomatoes & mustard relish.

And now the chopped green onions and goat cheese...yum!!!

French fried onion bits.

Crispy potato sticks...
An abundance of chopped romaine lettuce.

Not pictured but a favorite of mine...Courtney's caramelized onions!!! You can see a photo of them on yesterday's post.

The above condiments were used on the recent hot dog wraps.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hot Dog Wraps???

This past Sunday, three of our family members participated in a hot dog throwdown...Matt came out on top with his version of a delicious coney dog. Tyler took second place with a hot dog topped with coleslaw and I brought up the rear with a hot dog wrap! Yes, a hot dog wrap...interesting!

Ben stopped by Paradise Meats in Kingsley last week and purchased quite a selection of meats, including butcher made jalapeno/cheddar hot dogs. In thinking about presentation, I decided to think outside the box (or bun in this case). While grocery shopping I spotted some chipotle chili pepper tortillas and placed them in the cart...why wouldn't hot dogs be tasty in a wrap?

Condiments galore...an interesting and delicious hot garlic pepper jelly (a gift from Stella), caramelized onions (prepared & canned by Coco), shredded romaine, chopped green onions, goat cheese, french fried onion rings (in the can), potato sticks, chopped tomatoes, chopped bacon and a mustard relish (a gift from Kathy).

I put the works on my hot dog wrap and found it to be quite a treat...I do think that I should have cut the wrap in half before placing the "goods" on but all in all I enjoyed the creation!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini

What to you do with all the zucchini???? Make these delicious zucchini "boats" of course, you won't be disappointed!

I would scoop a bit more of the pulp out the next time, but all in all, this recipe is a keeper!

I adapted this recipe from Annie's Eats and if you have never visited her site, you must...it is amazing or should I say she is amazing!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats:

2 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, seeded & diced
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or a bit more if desired)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/4" of the shell. Reserve 1/2 of the pulp and set aside.

Over medium/high heat, in a skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute' the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the chopped mushrooms and reserved zucchini and continue to cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and crumble, cooking until done. Stir in the onion, garlic, and mushroom mixture and mix. Add the vinegar, tomatoes, and basil. Cook for 2 minutes and drain any excess fat, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To the cooled turkey mixture, add the Parmesan, egg, salt & pepper.

Fill the zucchini boats with the mixture and place in a glass baking dish. Pour water in dish to about 1/4" high.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Watch the water level in dish so that you always have water in the bottom.

Remove from oven and serve...garnish with parsley or basil.