It’s been awhile since I’ve added a recipe and I know the kiddos love carnitas!  Here ya go.  Super simple and your house will smell divine.  Any dutch oven will do, but I love the Wagner Ware.


  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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4-5 lb. pork shoulder
2  green bell peppers, diced or thinly sliced
1  red bell pepper, diced or thinly sliced
3-5 Jalapeno peppers, diced
2 medium brown onions
1 lb. chorizo
3 juice of lemons
2 cups orange juice (may substitute papaya, guava, mango, pineapple)

1.  Brown pork on all sides in a dutch oven.  Salt and pepper while browning.
2.  Cover top of browned meat with chorizo and lemon juice.  Smother with onions and peppers.  Add orange juice.  Cover and bake in 350 degree oven and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
3.  When meat is done, remove from pot and shred, removing any fat or gristle.  
4.  Return meat to pot with vegetables and mix together until well blended.  If there is too much liquid it can be drained off at this time.

Serve with corn or flour tortillas as tacos or burritos.
Also makes a great tamale filler with less veggies.

Sourdough Waffles

I’ve been making sourdough for a few months now. It has pretty much changed my life.  With a little planning (feeding and rising overnight), I have a fresh loaf of this fermented goodness.  

In feeding my sourdough starter every day, I need to discard part of the starter.  Sometimes I feed it to the chickens (who go crazy for it) and sometimes I use the discard in baking. Let me just say that sourdough discard makes the best waffles ever! I like this recipe because I don’t need to let the batter rise overnight. Keep in mind that if you need to double the recipe, you will want to feed your starter and not discard for a couple days to have 2 cups.

Sourdough Waffles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 cup discarded sourdough starter (unfed)
1/4 cup grape seed oil (or whatever oil you have ie, sunflower, coconut)
3/4 cup milk

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg and then mix in the sourdough starter, oil and milk.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Sometimes I will need to add a little more milk to get the right consistency.
  5. Pour the batter on the waffle iron and cook until golden brown.  

    Notes: Store leftovers and pop in the toaster to refresh.

Lavender Lemonade

Peaceful moments: On a warm day make this lavender lemonade and then sit on your porch and enjoy the sounds of spring/summer while sipping this wonderful concoction over a tall glass of ice.

Lavender Lemonade

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
5 cups waterphoto
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs. dried lavender buds
1 cup lemon juice

1. Boil 2 1/2 cups water and add sugar until dissolved. Add lavender buds, cover, and steep for 15-20 minutes.

2. In a pitcher, add 2 1/2 cups water and lemon juice. Strain lavender mixture to remove buds and add liquid to pitcher.

Serve chilled over ice.

Lasagna Soup

I was browsing through Pinterest and lasagna soup came up in the feed.  This sounded so good to me on this rainy day!  I started searching through all of the lasagna soup recipes and combined a few of my favorite parts into this lasagna soup.  So simple.  Make this one for a quick meal on a cold night.

Lasagna Soup

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Olive oil
1/2 lb. lean ground beefIMG_7732
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
32 oz. chicken broth
1 – 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 – 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
10 lasagna noodles
1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
8 oz. ricotta cheese

1.  Start water to boil with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions.  You can cut into bite-sized pieces at this time or after cooking.
2.  Meanwhile, pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large cook pot (I use a Dutch oven) and fry ground beef and sausage until there is no longer any pink in the meat.  Remove meat and set aside.
3.  Add onions and garlic to pot.  You may need to add a little olive oil.  Saute until softened.
4.  Add cooked ground meat, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and all spices.  Simmer over low heat.
5.  Your lasagna noodles should be done.  Cut into bite-sized pieces if you haven’t already.  Add to your cook pot.  At this time you may want to add some lasagna noodle water (about a cup) to cook pot to reach desired consistency of your soup.  Let simmer until nice and hot.
6.  In a medium bowl, mix together shredded mozzarella, shredded parmesan, and ricotta cheeses.  Add a few tablespoons of chopped parsley or basil to the mixture, if desired.
7.  Serve soup in shallow bowls with a dollop or two of the cheese mixture on top.


Our Meatloaf

My mom makes a great meatloaf.  There is usually an ongoing battle of either meatloaf with Saltine crackers/catsup/tomato paste OR oatmeal/barbeque sauce.  Which one is the best?  I think this recipe that is a little of both worlds.  A simple meatloaf recipe on the blog for the kids’ reference.


1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. pork sausage (Italian, hot, or breakfast – it does matter)
2 eggs
1 med. brown onion, diced
2-3 celery sticks, chopped finelyIMG_7579
2 med. carrots, diced
2 cups rolled oats
8 oz. barbeque sauce
1 Tbs. chili powder
2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
2 Tbs. granulated garlic
2 Tbs. cumin
Catsup for the top
salt and pepper

1.  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl by hand.  Turn into an ungreased 9×13 baking dish.  Form a loaf in the middle of the pan, taking care to keep the loaf away from all sides.  A shaped and flat loaf help to cook faster and more thoroughly.

2.  Bake uncovered at 350° for 45 minutes to an hour.

3.  Remove from oven and pour catsup or barbeque sauce over top and bake until sauce is hot (about 10-15 minutes).


Lavender Lemon Zucchini Cake

FullSizeRender 46.jpgSo your garden is overflowing with zucchini and you’re wondering what to do with it all.  Or maybe a few of your neighbors have gardens that are overflowing with zucchini and they brought you their zucchini…and pretty soon your counter is overflowing with giant zucchini.  Either way, this lavender lemon zucchini loaf can make quick work in freeing up your countertop and providing a winter’s worth of delicious mini treats.  Bake it and freeze it.  Or maybe give a mini loaf back to your kind neighbors.  This recipe makes two loaves OR six mini loaves.

Lavender Lemon Zucchini Cake

4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (or substitute 1 cup applesauce instead of the oil)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups shredded zucchini
zest of 2 lemons (reserve 1 tsp. lemon zest for glaze)
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. dried lavender, chopped finely (optional)

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.   Prepare 2 loaf pans with cooking spray and a dusting of flour.  Alternatively, you can make six mini loaves.  I love the mini paper loaf containers if I’m giving them away.  Check the packaging on the mini paper loaf containers for prepping instructions.  Mine didn’t need spray nor flour.

2.  In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and lavender buds.  Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, beat eggs until smooth.  Add oil (or applesauce) and sugar until smooth.  Add buttermilk, zucchini, lemon zest (minus reserved 1 tsp.) and lemon juice.  Mix well.

4.  Slowly add dry mixture into the batter until thoroughly combined.

5.  Pour batter into your prepared loaf pans.

6.  Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

While loaves are cooling, prepare the glaze.

For the glaze: Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, milk and lemon zest together.

Drizzle over each loaf.  Let cool before serving.

Note about shredding zucchini:  I use a spiralizer made by Veggiespize.  I like that it has an easy-to-use hand crank and it has three interchangeable blades.  I use the shredding blade that makes noodles like angel hair pasta.

Lemon Snowbars

I love this lemony bar and I challenge you to have just one bar.
I think I’ve had this recipe since high school.  A classic and easy lemon bar.

Lemon Snowbars

1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbs. lemon juice – Meyer, if you have it
2 Tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
powdered sugar for dusting on top

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square pan.
  3.  Sift together 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup powdered sugar.
  4.  Cut in butter to pea-sized pieces.  Pour into greased pan.  No need to press down.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until golden.
  6. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and lemon juice until it thickens a bit and smooth.  (About 8-10 minutes.)
  7. In a separate small bowl, stir together 2 Tbs. flour and baking powder.  Add to the egg mixture.
  8. Your crust should be ready.  Pour the egg mixture over the baked layer.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Sift powdered sugar over the top and cool.

Pomegranate Linzer Cookies

Traditional jam-filled Linzer cookies for Christmas.  I make them with homemade pomegranate jelly but usually they are made with raspberry jam and almond flour.  Wilton makes a Linzer cutter and you can find the traditional recipe on the back of the packaging.  One more thing to note: Cookies are usually baked and then jelly added between the sandwich.  I like to add the jelly first and then bake.

Pomegranate Linzer Cookies

1 cup shorteningimg_4491
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour, sifted
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup of pomegranate jelly
Powdered sugar

In your mixer combine shortening and sugars until creamy.  On slow speed mix in egg yolks, milk, and vanilla and set aside.  In another bowl sift together all dry ingredients and then combine with your shortening and sugar mixture.  Chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thinly roll out dough on a well-floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch.  Cut out cookies using your fluted cookie cutter.  In half of your cookie squares, cut out a small hole in the center.  Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jelly onto each whole cookie.  Top with the cut-out cookie and gently press edges together.

Bake on parchment paper or an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies.


Beef Palace Meat Marinade

The Beef Palace is a butcher shop where I grew up and has been there forever. I came across this recipe for a meat marinade and it has to be at least 35-40 years old. Enjoy!

Beef Palace Meat Marinade

1 cup dry red wine
3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 juiced lemon
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup oil

Whisk all ingredients. Pour over steaks and seal seasoned steaks in a zip lock bag until ready to grill.

Peanut Butter Cookies

You can’t go wrong with this standard peanut butter cookie recipe. Note that I like to roll the peanut butter ball on a plate with a little bit of sugar.

1 1/4 cups flourFullSizeRender
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 375°.

  1. Dry whisk together flour, soda and salt in a small bowl.
  2. In a mixer, beat butter and peanut butter together. Beat in both sugars and then beat in egg and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients.
  3. Prepare a small plate with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Also have a small cup with water and a fork handy.
  4. Roll in palms about 1-inch of dough and then roll dough ball in plate of sugar. Place on ungreased jelly roll pan. Dip fork into water and then make hash marks on each dough ball with the tines.
  5. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for a minute, then remove cookies to wire rack.

Store and eat them right out of the freezer.

World Peace Ribs (or steaks)

So called, because if everybody had these ribs, there would be world peace!

24 oz. lemon juice
6 jalapeños, diced small
4 Tbs. salt
3 racks ribs (OR 4 lbs. of steak – I like to use Tri-Tip)

Additional Ingredients:
need depending on meat choice below
12 oz. lemon juice
12 oz. light Mexican beer (Corona)

1. Add all marinade ingredients together in stainless steel sauce pan and heat to boiling. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

For ribs:
Need the additional 12 oz. of lemon juice and 12 oz. of light Mexican beer (Corona).
2. Place 3-4 racks on baking sheet (jelly roll pan). Pour 12 oz. of lemon juice over ribs. Pour 12 oz. of beer over the ribs. Salt and pepper. Tent ribs with foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours or more.
3. Place ribs on hot BBQ and baste with World Peace sauce. Grill until brown on both sides.

For steaks:
Need an additional 12 oz. of lemon juice.
2. Marinade steaks in 12 oz. of lemon juice for 1-2 hours.
3. Salt and pepper. Put steaks on grill and baste with World Peace sauce. Grill until brown on both sides.

Cranberry & Ginger Relish

This is one of my favorite cranberry relish sides. No cooking over the stove; just a food processor and a couple of minutes is all you need. I used to only make Cumberland cranberry sauce for the holidays until I tried this one. Now I have to make both. I adore this fresh relish and I especially love it as a sandwich spread after the holidays. I froze fresh cranberries just so I can have this all year.

Cranberry & Ginger Relish

1 (12 oz. bag) of fresh whole cranberries
Cranberry Relish1/2 cup pomegranate arils (optional)
1-2 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
1 Tbs. orange zest
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup finely minced crystallized ginger

1. Rinse the whole cranberries and add to a food processor.

2. Finely chop the crystalized ginger and set aside. (Note: Do not use your food processor to chop the crystalized ginger. Depending on the age of the ginger, it will either jump around and avoid the blades, or will become a gummy mess. Trust me on this. Just use a sharp knife.)

3. Pulse the cranberries a few times. Add the zest, sugar and ginger to the cranberries and pulse until the consistency is relish-like. Add the chopped ginger and pomegranate. Pulse a few more times to blend.

Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

There you have it. So easy and so delicious.

French Onion Soup

4 onions, sliced
1 baguette
8 oz. Gruyere cheese
4 oz. Parmigiano cheese, grated
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour
2 qts. beef broth

  1. Place onions in a heavy-bottomed pot with 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Meanwhile, slice baguette into 1/2-inch rounds. Lightly brush slices with olive oil on both sides and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, turn baguettes and bake another 10 minutes.
  3. Shave 2 oz. of Gruyere cheese (for the bottom) and set aside. Grate the rest of the Gruyere. In a bowl, combine the Gruyere and Parmigiano cheese.
  4. Remove lid from onions, turn up the heat to medium-high to carmelize onions, stirring continuously. Add 2 Tbs. butter and 2 Tbs. flour to make a roux. Add 2 cups beef broth and whisk until flour is completely dissolved. Add the remaining beef broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Line ramekins with shaved Gruyere crutons and ladle soup on top. Top with

Homemade Kettle Corn

I’m adding this for my mother-in-law who was asking about a recipe for kettle corn. You can make a big bowl at home. xoFullSizeRender

As we settle in for the evening, we only have to decide on regular corn or kettle corn. Both are delicious. This recipe makes a lot of corn, but my dog and I like to snack on it the next day.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup sugar

In a heavy-bottomed pot, add 1/4 cup oil and 3 kernels. Place heat on high. Wait for the kernels to begin to pop. When the 3rd kernel pops, add the rest of the kernels and sugar. Put lid on the pot and shake. Popcorn is ready when 2-3 seconds elapse between popping.

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

2 cans refrigerated crescent dinner rollsIMG_7529
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Chop the pecans and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the remainder filling ingredients together.

3. Unroll one can of crescent roll dough. Do not separate the dough at the perforations. Working on parchment paper with one entire sheet of dough, press all the perforations closed. Your dough sheet will be approximately 8×13.

4. Spread filling on top of sheet of dough. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the filling.

5. Unroll second can of crescent roll dough and repeat No. 3 above.

6. Place second sheet on top of filling. Cut stacked dough into 8, 13-inch strips. (We like to use a pizza cutter.) Twist each strip 5 or 6 times. Shape each piece into a coil and place on jelly roll pan. The twisting of the dough will help to keep the filling inside and also a caramelized edge.

7. Bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Berry Cobbler

You can use almost any berry for this basic cobbler recipe. I picked a few apples from my tree today and made an apple and strawberry cobbler that brought smiles in the house.  I usually use boysenberries, but if you have a bunch of fruit in the fridge that is going to go bad before you can eat it, cobbler is the solution. A peach cobbler with ice cream on top will make your day!

Berry Cobbler

4 cups fresh berriesIMG_7512
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbs. butter, cut up
1 cup Bisquick or biscuit mix
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup milk or water
1 1/2 tsp. sugar (for topping)

1. Butter an 8×8 pan.
2. Mix first 6 ingredients and pour into prepared baking dish.
3. Add butter pieces over the top of the fruit mixture.
4. In a small bowl, mix Bisquick, 2 Tbs. sugar and milk. Dollop over the fruit mixture. I don’t worry about spreading around – it will spread during the baking process.
5. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp. sugar over the top.
6. Bake at 425° for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Berry Cobbler Fruit

Green Apple and Strawberry Cobbler. Just need to add the Bisquick mix on top.


Pomegranate Salad Dressing

You can substitute any jelly or jam for this salad dressing, but pomegranate is my new favorite.

Pomegranate Salad Dressing

3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3-4 Tbs. pomegranate jelly
1/2 tsp. chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together. That’s it! Store in the refrigerator and use within a week.

Silver Dollar Waffles

I grew up with waffles and my mom would fry up bacon and lay the slices of bacon on the top of the batter. When the waffle iron lid is closed, the batter envelopes the bacon into the waffle. One year, on April Fool’s Day, my clever mom put strips of cloth on top of the batter. Imagine trying to cut through a waffle with cloth inside! Happy April Fool’s Day!

This recipe is from scratch and my favorite. I prefer smaller waffles, rather than one giant waffle.

Silver Dollar WafflesSilver Dollar Waffles

1/2 lb. bacon
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbs. sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Lay the bacon strips on a jelly roll pan and bake the bacon in the oven at 350° until done, but not crispy.

2. Using a whisk, sift together flour, baking powder and sugar.

3. In another bowl, beat together eggs, milk and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir together.

4. Pour batter into the waffle iron and lay the strips of bacon on top of each waffle. Close the lid and bake according to your waffle iron directions.

Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

MY favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin cookies. Yes, I like them even more than chocolate chip. Even more than peanut butter (and I really like peanut butter).

photoBy far, the best recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies is from Martha Stewart. Maybe it’s the addition of wheat germ. Maybe it’s the sweet raisins. Maybe it’s that this cookie spreads out into a big cookie. Maybe all of the above. What I do know is that I l.o.v.e. them and I wouldn’t even dream of changing the recipe one bit. Okay, maybe one small change: I use golden raisins and I like to store the cookies and eat them right out of the freezer.

Make these oatmeal raisin cookies and I’ll be right over.


Your Favorite Bagel

This recipe produces a bagel that will rival any bagel you might buy on Saturday morning at your local coffee shop. You will be very surprised at how easy it is to make delicious made-to-order bagels with your favorite toppings.

4 1/2 cups bread flourIMG_6995
3 tsp. active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
3 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. fleur de sel salt
Optional: 1 cup honey
Toppings: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dehydrated onion, garlic, cinnamon, or your favorite

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Warm 2 cups of water (120°) and add to dry ingredients. Stir together until mixed into a firm, smooth dough. If you’re using an KitchenAid, mix with dough hook for 3 minutes. Let dough rise until doubled (approx. 1 hour). Punch dough down and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper or cornmeal.
  4. Start a heavy-bottom pot of water to boil.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Dip your finger into a small bowl of flour and push into the middle of the dough ball and stretch a little or twirl dough ball on your finger to make a bagel shape. Place all bagel shapes onto a piece of parchment paper on your countertop.
  6. Optional: Add honey to your boiling water. [The honey adds a nice, sweet crust but not overpowering. However, you can use plain water.]
  7. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, lower a bagel into the boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes. Turn the bagel over in the boiling water and boil for another 2 minutes. Remove bagel and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or corn meal. Sprinkle toppings onto bagel.
  8. After all bagels are prepared on baking sheet, bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until golden brown, rotating your baking sheets after 10 minutes.


Soda Cracker Pie

I made soda cracker pie the other night and every bite reminded me that this is one of my favorite pies. Soda Cracker Pie recipes can be found in cookbooks from the late 1800s. This is my grandmother’s recipe and she would serve it with tea after dinner. It’s a great last-minute dessert and it takes just a few minutes to whip up.


Soda Cracker Pie

3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
14 small squares Saltine crackers
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup walnuts, chopped
whipping cream, one small carton (Cool Whip is too sweet for this pie.)

In mixing bowl, beat egg whites, sugar and vanilla until stiff.

In another bowl, slightly crush 14 small squares Saltine crackers. Stir in baking powder and walnuts. Fold into egg white mixture.

Pour mixture into greased pie tin. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

Cool completely. To serve, add a dollop of whipped cream.

Lavender Ice Cream

Lavender ice cream tastes like a surprise: sweet and exactly like it smells.

Lavender Ice Cream

4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp. dried lavender

In a heavy saucepan, warm the whole milk, heavy cream and the dried lavender. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and strain out the lavender flowers. Cover to keep warm.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Slowly add the remaining warm milk mixture, constantly stirring.

Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and heat until it coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat and place the saucepan into a bowl of ice water until it has reached room temperature. Alternatively, place custard into a bowl and refrigerate until cool.

Process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

Herbes de Provence


1 tsp. basil leaves
2 Tbs. lavender flowers
3 Tbs. oregano leaves
1 tsp. rosemary leaves
1 tsp. sage leaves
2 Tbs. savory leaves
3 Tbs. thyme leaves

Combine all dried leaves and crush to desired consistency.

Use air-tight container and store in a cool, dark place.



Æbleskiver – Danish Pancake Balls

It is our family tradition to have Æbleskiver for holiday morning breakfasts. The kids love them and we always serve with homemade jam. You will need an Æbleskiver pan. Tradition started with my step-father, who was born and raised in Denmark, home of the Æbleskiver.

2 cup flourAebleskiver
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs

1. In a small bowl add dry ingredients and whisk together. In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar well. Sift the dry ingredients into the large bowl of eggs and sugar. Add buttermilk and beat until batter is smooth.

2. Heat Æbleskiver pan over medium heat and melt 1 tsp of butter in each hole. Fill hole with batter and let fry, turning ball with a skewer to fry on all sides.

3. Sift powdered sugar over the top and place on platter in warm oven until all are done. Serve with jam.

Brussels Sprout Mac ‘n Cheese

I grew Brussels sprouts for the first time last year. Even though I battled pests on the leaves (aphids and cabbage worm), the sprouts were perfect. Add to a skillet of mac ‘n cheese? You bet!

Brussels Sprout Mac ‘n Cheese

8 oz. elbow macaroni
2 1/4 cups almond milk
5 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup flour
10 oz. white American cheese slices
2 oz. gruyere cheese, grated
2 oz. pecorino cheese, grated
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 357 degrees.

2. Cook macaroni according to package directions, al dente, drain and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, grate the gruyere and pecorino cheeses and add spices. Set aside about 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and 4 slices of white American cheese for the top.

4. Melt butter in a large iron skillet (#12) over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the milk and whisk until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Slowly add cheeses from bowl and 3-4 slices of white American at a time until all incorporated and melted. Stir in macaroni and Brussels sprouts. (You can core the Brussels sprouts if you prefer, but we don’t.)

5. Top with remaining white American slices and reserved grated cheeses. Sprinkle bread crumbs over cheeses.

6. Bake in iron skillet for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Cake with a Twist

This is for Caitlin. I told you it was easy peasy! 🙂

Lemon Cake with a Twist

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist lemon cake mixLemon Cake with a Twist
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cont. lemon frosting OR  1/2 pint whipping cream

1. Heat oven to 350°. Line two 8-inch square pans with trimmed parchment paper, making sure the parchment hangs over the edges. Use two pieces of parchment, placing one  way and the other placed other way. All four sides will have parchment hanging over the edge. You will use the parchment later for pulling the cake out of the pans, so make sure there is about an inch of parchment to grab.

2. Make cake batter as directed on the box and pour evenly into the two pans. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

3.  In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice well. Poke each cake every inch or so in a grid pattern with the end of a chopstick. Evenly pour the lemon mixture over the top of each cake. Refrigerate cakes for 2 hours.

4. Remove one cake from the pan by placing your serving dish over the top of the cake pan and quickly invert. The cake should fall onto the serving dish with rounded side down. I like to use a square plate. Carefully peel away the parchment.

5. For lemon frosting: Place frosting in a small bowl and microwave for 10 or 15 seconds. For whipping cream frosting: In mixing bowl, pour in whipping cream and whip until soft peaks form. Add about 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of lemon juice and whip to mix. Add more to taste. Spread first cake with half of the frosting.

6. Remove second cake using the parchment paper “holds.” Place on top of the first cake, rounded side up. It’s tricky because the cake is a little sticky and you’re peeling away the parchment. A large spatula may help. Frost cake with remaining frosting. I don’t usually frost the sides, but you can if you’d like.

7. Garnish and serve.

Clam Chowder Bowl

Clam Chowder Bowl

1-1/2  lbs. fresh clams, chopped (see Notes below)
1          lb. bacon, finely chopped
2          med. onions, diced
2-3       med. potatoes, chopped
4          Tbs. butter
3/4       cup flour
2-1/2   quart clam juice
1          quart heavy cream or half and half
2-1/2   Tbs. chicken base
1-1/2   tsp. white pepper
dash    Tabasco
1/2       cup lemon juice
2          Tbs. fresh garlic, finely chopped
1/2       cup parsley
2           cups celery, diced

1. In a skillet, sauté bacon until it starts to brown and then add the onions, garlic and 3 Tbs. of butter. Cook until onions are translucent. Add the flour to make a roux.

2. In soup pot, saute celery in 1 Tbs. butter until celery is tender. Add the potatoes, clam juice, pepper, Tabasco, lemon juice, and chicken base. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked.

3. Add cream and parsley. Bring to a slow boil. Add roux very slowly, stirring constantly, to thicken.

4, Add clams.

5. Simmer 5 minutes and serve.

To serve in bread bowls: Cut tops off bread bowls and scoop out insides, leaving enough “bowl” for the soup. Cut bread from the inside of the bowl and place on baking sheet to toast. Also toast lid.

NOTES: Use 1 can – 3.3 lbs.- Chopped Sea Clams from Costco. Save the juice from the can and use as above (it will be all the juice you need).

Fruit Salad with Vanilla Mint Syrup

I was reminded that I haven’t added any recipes in a while. Sorry kiddos.

The syrup for this recipe is amazing! Years ago a co-worker brought this fruit salad in for a breakfast meeting. I remember she served it in a large pasta bowl (big and shallow) and she poured a little extra juice on top. Beautiful presentation of this refreshing salad. Thank you, Barbara, for sharing with me!

Fruit Salad with Vanilla Mint Syrup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Zest from one orange, cut into strips (can use a carrot peeler)
Strip of zest from one lemon
1 vanilla bean, split
1 cup sugar
6 sprigs of mint, plus leaves, cut across into thin strips
2 cups water
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, quartered and cut up (or 2 cans of pineapple chunks)
2 baskets strawberries, hulled and halved
1/2 ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
2 pkgs. blackberries

1. Combine the orange and lemon zest, vanilla bean, sugar, 5 sprigs of mint and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand at least 2 hours. Strain (save syrup).photo2

2. Meanwhile, prepare fruit and combine in a large bowl. Refrigerate until next step.

3. Pour the strained syrup onto the fruit and refrigerate for 2 hours. Strain again (save syrup – can be used again). Stir in the remaining sliced mint and garnish with a mint sprig.

Can use a variety of fruits, but these are great. I would recommend using firm fruits because you want a clear syrup for future use. Don’t use bananas.

Refrigerate the saved syrup to use over additional salads. I like to refrigerate it in a carafe and pour a little in my lemonade. Syrup is good for a couple of weeks.

Basic White Bread

This is the recipe we use for everyday bread. Make a loaf every three to four days.


3 cups flourBasic White Bread
2 Tbs. yeast
3 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups water
Optional: 3 Tbs. gluten

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bread pan.
2. Mix dry ingredients. Then Add honey and water.
3. Mix well and then knead until smooth and springy. Let rise in bowl until it doubles in size. Punch down and let dough rise again until it doubles in size.
Punch down and roll into loaf shape and put into bread pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

I found this awesome glass bowl at the swap meet for just a few dollars. It has French writing on the bottom and is very heavy. The lid from an already-owned pot fit perfectly. Hubby uses it exclusively for bread.


Rising Dough

Pear Fruit Leather

Hi friends.

Sharing my super simple recipe for fruit leather today. We received a huge box of various fruits, candies, nuts, etc. for Christmas. The pears were individually wrapped and were amazing. However, the pears began to ripen faster than we could eat them. Time to fire up Guinevere, my awesome Excalibur dehydrator, and make some pear fruit leather.

Pear Fruit Leather

3 pears
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. lemon juice

Pear Leather 001c

1. Wash and dry the pears. I do not like to peel the pears – hello, all sorts of nutrients and fiber here – but I do core them. So, go ahead and core the pears. Cut up into pieces and add to your food processor.

2.  Add the cinnamon, honey and lemon juice. Puree until you have a nice consistency. You may want to add a little more sweetener at this time.

Pear Leather 002c

3. Pour pear mixture onto the non-stick dehydrator sheets for your dehydrator. Using an off-set spatula, spread out on the sheet to about 1/4 inch thickness.

4. At this time, you can add any other ingredients. I sprinkled toasted pecans, flaked coconut and chia seed.

5. Dehydrate on 135° for 6 hours. You will know the leather is done when it is dry and not sticky to the touch.

6. Let cool on sheets. When cool, pull off of the sheets and cut into strips. You may want to roll up on parchment paper. Store in an airtight container. Can keep up to a year in the refrigerator.

Peach Leather 003c

This recipe is for pear leather, but you could adapt it for any other fruit leather. If you want to read more about homemade fruit leathers, visit the Cooperative Extension Studies website.