My BLTE, not your BLT!

What, no egg on the BLT?

I grew up eating bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwiches with an over-hard fried egg in the sandwich.  This was the way Mom always made them and I thought that was the way everyone ate them!

This is probably our favorite sandwich in the summer time next to a burger!  The egg added to a BLT makes a huge difference.  It's great for an easy delicious supper and not much else is needed, maybe some potato chips and a good garlic dill pickle. 

BLTE’s were new to Bill until I prepared it one evening for supper after we were just married.  He LOVED it!   It’s a very filling, delicious sandwich!

There’s nothing like a great fresh Beefsteak tomato from the garden on a BLTE!



6 slices bacon, fried crisp
2 eggs, fried over-hard
2 large slices tomato
Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
4 slices bread, toasted


Fry bacon crisp.
Break eggs in skillet; puncture yolk, fry till done on one side, flip, fry on other side.
Assemble the 2 sandwiches.


How do you make your BLT?

Spicy Pork Tenderloin

We really enjoy roasted pork tenderloin.  It’s versatile, easy and makes a good and easy dinner.

This one is a spicy dish packed with a combination of delicious flavors, thanks to Dijon mustard, orange juice, honey, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and lots of pepper.  It smelled sweet as it was roasting and I was afraid it would taste sweet ~ never fear, it turned out wonderfully with no sweet taste, just spicy goodness!  Love the aroma of the fennel!

Pork tenderloin is always a good choice when trying to come up with a meal that will please most people.  It reminds us of Mom’s great home cooking and the great flavors in this one will bring you a smile from everyone at your dinner table!



¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground allspice
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 pounds pork tenderloin


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, whisk together the first 9 ingredients.
Place the meat on a roasting pan and brush some sauce over it.
Bake until thermometer registers 160 degrees, about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
Slice and serve.


It’s spicy and delicious!!!

I Won Linda’s Cookbook ~ My Kind of Cooking!

Woo hoo!!!  I won, I won!

I am thrilled to say that I won Linda’s excellent cookbook, My Kind of Cooking!!!  The great thing with Linda’s cookbook is that ALL of the recipes are made with either 3-4-or 5 ingredients ~ they are hassle-free recipes.  It’s a wonderful thing! She has a drawing for it every month and you must check it all out at her interesting blog, My Kind of Cooking 

See that delectable dessert on the cover of her cookbook?  It’s Butterscotch-Pecan Tart. You will be drooling at all the fantastic food photos, believe me!

The recipes are easy, making it great for a no fuss home-cooked meal.   Just to name a few of her recipes:  On Vacation Dip (yum!), Better than Baked Potatoes (this is a must try ~ I’m wondering how it works), Cabbage Casserole with Alfredo sauce, Tam-Tam Chicken (can’t wait to try this), Southwest Crescents (black beans!) and Doughnut Sundaes (sounds sinful to me and is another one I can’t wait to try!)

You know how aggravating it is to read a recipe out of a cookbook while trying to assemble it and the page suddenly flips over?  Well, that is not the case with My Kind of Cooking.  Its spiral bound and lays flat for easy recipe reading! 

I made her tuna salad.  The mix of ingredients intrigued me and I was flat out amazed!   The olives give it zing, the cottage cheese makes it creamy and the Italian dressing ties it all together.  It is good, REALLY GOOD!  

Here it is:

Italian Tuna Salad

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 teaspoons Italian dressing
2 (3 ounce) cans tuna in water, drained
¼ cup cottage cheese
8 green olives, sliced

In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and dressing.  Mix well.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well.
Makes 2 servings.

Bill looked at My Kind of Cooking also and “After Work Stroganoff” caught his attention.  It’s filled with browned ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and ketchup. It is easy ~ and fast also when you need a meal ready quickly.  It smelled so good when cooking and it was delicious.  Bill fell for it hook, line and sinker and so did I.

After Work Stroganoff

1 pound ground beef, browned
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup ketchup

In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.  Mix well. Cook over low heat 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve over noodles.
Makes 4 servings.

By the way, when you visit her blog, you will notice that Linda has a segment called “Fast Food Friday” on Passion Radio 95.7 FM every Friday between 8:15-8:30 a.m. MDT.  Click on “radio” and you will hear via the internet.  She has a terrific radio voice and a great sense of humor also. 

My Kind of Cooking is now my “go-to” cookbook for delicious easy unique dishes.

Linda thanks again for the cookbook!  I am honored to have it and will enjoy it immensely!

Now, all of you hop on over to Linda’s website and check out her cookbook!

Roasted Zucchini and Squash with Fennel

I had some zucchini and summer squash in the refrigerator and was preparing to stir-fry them last night.  Then I changed my mind and decided to roast them.  And after tasting them, we were glad I did.  Sometimes, it’s a good thing to change your mind!

Have you ever roasted fennel?  It’s sort of amazing how the fennel undergoes a transformation into a sweet, caramel flavor and then the garlic infuses the zucchini and yellow squash.  Add some salt and pepper, sprinkle with lemon zest and Voila!  You have a great side dish for dinner.  I served it with a green salad with a vinaigrette dressing and pork chops.

Summer squash plant
This is simple and a great combo of flavors.  Not only were the vegetables delicious, they are nutritious and the calorie count was right on spot!

Zucchini plant
Fennel plant

Roasted Zucchini and Squash with Fennel


1 zucchini, cut into small spears
1 yellow squash, cut into small spears
½ fennel bulb, cut into chunks
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Coat baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
Place vegetables on baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil and toss.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bake for about 25 minutes until fork tender.
Top with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese, if desired.


John Besh's Red Beans and Rice

“Being a chef here in New Orleans is more an act of stewardship than a job," Besh writes.

My New Orleans:  The Cookbook by John Besh is a masterpiece!  It is a cookbook of anecdotes and humorous stories while being filled with amazing recipes and exquisite photographs.  It is no small cookbook either, it weighs over 5 pounds!

John Besh is the owner and executive chef of Restaurant August in New Orleans as well as owning 5 other restaurants in New Orleans.  He was raised in rural southern Louisiana and spent his childhood hunting and fishing.  Besh has 4 sons and loves to take a break from the restaurants to continue the family tradition of fishing.  He said he wants his sons to understand the origin of local foods and the knowledge of food at its source. 

I’m sure he does a great job of fishing and hunting and as a chef but he has outdone himself with this cookbook.  He shares his love for New Orleans, the food, the people, the customs and the great history of the area.  It contains over 200 recipes and stories about his hometown with a wide range of recipes such as:  Strawberry Ravioli with Meyer Lemons and Pistachios, Belle River Crawfish Pie, Green Onion Sausage and Shrimp Gravy, Green Tomato and Pepper Jam, Roasted Red Gypsy Peppers, Arugula and Country Ham; plus, Hot Blueberry Pie, Crispy Fried Oyster Salad with Louisiana Caviar, Cane Syrup-Creamed Sweet Potatoes and Beignets.  

My New Orleans Cookbook

The cookbook is beautifully laid-out with unique chapters as well, including Feast Days, The Urban Farm, Mardi Gras, Crawfish and Rice, Thanksgiving, Oyster Season, Reveillon, Gumbo Weather and Chanterelles and Blackberries; just to name a few. 

With his narrative bringing the cookbook together, he has raised it to a phenomenal level.  It is a worthy testimonial to the region, the fishermen, the hunters, the farmers, the cooks and all lovers of food.  This is absolutely an outstanding cookbook to peruse!

Here’s what John says about red beans and rice:

“Time is the key to making successful red beans:  they need to cook slowly and well.  Using flavorful fat is another secret.  Just as my grandmother did, I keep the fat from every batch of bacon I make, and I save the fat that solidifies on the surface of chilled chicken soup and roast chicken drippings, too.  Just a little bit adds big flavor.”

Now for the recipe:

John Besh's Red Beans and Rice

2 onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
1 pound dried red kidney beans
2 smoked ham hocks
3 bay leaves
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups white rice

Sweat the onions, bell peppers and celery in the bacon fat in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat.

Once the onions become translucent, add kidney beans, ham hocks, bay leaves and cayenne.  Add water to cover by 2 inches.

Increase the heat and bring the water to a boil.  Cover pot, reduce heat to low and allow the beans to simmer for 2 hours.  Periodically stir the beans to make sure that they don’t scorch on the bottom of the pot, adding water if necessary, always keeping the beans covered by an inch or more of water.

Continue cooking the beans until they are creamy and beginning to fall apart when they are stirred.

Remove the ham hock meat from the bones, roughly chop it and add it back to the pot of beans.

Season with salt, black pepper and Tabasco.
Serve with white rice.

This is my kind of red beans and rice!


By the way, did any of you happen to watch his “Iron Chef” performance?

Mom's Spinach Balls

This is another of Mom’s recipes.  It’s simple and makes a delicious dish.

OK, maybe the name doesn’t make your mouth water but, read on.  Spinach is not the only ingredient in them.  There is stuffing mix, Parmesan cheese, butter and seasonings all mixed together, formed into meatball-sized balls and baked.  This dish works well as a side dish but makes a really savory appetizer along with your favorite dip. 

I remember when Mom first made them years ago.  These little spinach balls disappeared fast and I thought there were about as good as candy.  Even if you don’t like spinach, I bet you will like these as there is not really a strong spinach taste.

One thing that is great is that the spinach balls may be made ahead of time and frozen.  If they are solidly frozen, allow a little longer baking time.  They’re great!

Spinach Balls


2 packages chopped spinach, cooked and drained well
2 cups Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix
1 onion, chopped
1¼ sticks butter, melted
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Slightly cook spinach and drain very well. 
Mix all ingredients together.
Take up mixture with a scoop.
Round into meatball-sized balls.
Place on cookie sheet and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.


Italian-Style Cod Fillets and a Foodie Blogroll Contest Winner!

I was surprised on June 14th to find an email from The Foodie BlogRoll saying that I was selected as that week’s winner for the “Mrs. Peacock’s Brittle” giveaway. Then, several days later, I received Mrs. Peacock’s Peanut Brittle in the mail. It is without doubt one of the best I have eaten. The peanuts are delicious ~ encased in a rich, buttery brittle for a great crunchy treat. It is a mouth watering temptation that I find hard to resist!!!

I enrolled with Foodie shortly after I started blogging. It’s a great site with a huge collection of incredible food blogs by interesting people who are like me with their love of food, cooking and recipes.  I highly recommend that you visit and join this site; while you’re there, enter the contests for a chance to win a great prize!

Thanks again, Foodie Blogroll! 

Now for today’s recipe ~

The local grocery store had cod on sale the other day so I knew immediately what dinner would be that night.  It is a mild flavored fish that is available all year.  Cod is in the monkfish and halibut family, being a deep sea fish of the Arctic waters.

Cod is a tasty fish; it’s so tender, sweet and flaky.  In this recipe, it cooks up in a delicious tomato and mushroom sauce.  This is one of the simplest ways to prepare cod and yet it is full of flavor.  It’s an excellent source of Omega-3’s and is delicious served with salad and brown rice!

Here’s the recipe:

Italian-Style Cod Fillets


1-1/2 pounds cod fish fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
½ small onion, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese


In a large skillet, heat oil.
Add onions and cook for 1 minute.
Add mushrooms and cook on medium-high heat until slightly golden.
Place tomatoes in the mushroom mixture and combine well.
Remove half of the tomato/mushroom mixture to a small bowl.  Set aside.
Place cod fillets on top of the tomatoes in the skillet.
Place remaining tomato mixture over the fish fillets.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until fillets flake easily with a fork.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Serves 3-4


Happy Father's Day!

What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it ... Dad

~~Author Unknown.~~

This Father's Day I congratulate all of the father's out there; especially Bill, the love of my life!  


Paula Deen’s Hoecakes

"Want to make a Hoe Cake? Follow directions below except have a nice clean garden hoe and a large roaring fire. Rub some lard on the hoe, then heat it in the fire. Place the flattened dough on the heated hoe and hold it against the fire and bake it without burning it. Try it and see if you can do it. It is a challenge. Or, do as my grandmother did and bake it in a pie pan and make someone in your house feel special." Cliff Lowe

Bill was in Savannah in 2003 visiting with the Savannah Tourism Bureau to set up a convention when they took him to Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons, for lunch.  He was lucky to meet Paula and she autographed her cookbook, “The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook” for him (me!)

It’s an awesome cookbook that I really love, filled with many wonderful recipes.  Bill mentioned that the hoecakes were delicious; I saw the recipe in the cookbook and knew I had to try it! 

Later, we both enjoyed the incredible buffet at The Lady and Sons ~ great Southern veggie dishes such as collard greens and black eyed peas, tomato-stewed okra, lima beans, the best fried chicken you’d ever want to eat, desserts to die for such as key lime pie, peach cobbler, gooey butter cakes; and of course, her delicious hoecakes.  If you’re ever in Savannah, be sure to go there ~ the price is right also!

Hoecakes are easy to make even if you don’t have an open fire and a hoe near you at the moment!  Any skillet works well but, especially an iron skillet on your stove is excellent for this hoe cake recipe I’m about to give you. 

Hoe cakes, Johnny cakes, journey cake, Shawnee cake, corn pone and batter cake.  They’re all regional names but it’s all the same finished product.  The journey cake version comes from being easily prepared, carried and eaten by travelers.  Native American probably taught the Pilgrims how to make Johnny cakes.  And the stories go on and on…
Here’s Paula’s recipe:



1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
¼ cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
Oil or butter for frying


Mix all ingredients well except for frying oil.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls into hot skillet.
Use approximately 2 tablespoons batter per hoecake.
Brown until crisp; turn and brown on other side.
Drain on paper towels.
Leftover batter will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Makes about 17 cakes.

Pam’s note:  If you do not have self-rising flour or self-rising cornmeal, substitute as follows ~ 1 cup flour (cornmeal), 1¼ teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt.  Serve with honey, syrup, molasses or applesauce or just butter.

Try them, you’ll love them!

Stone-Ground Garlic Grits with Cheddar and Mozzarella

“What’s with that white stuff on my plate? I didn’t order that with my eggs and sausage!” That’s what Bill used to say when he ordered breakfast down South. No more! He now loves grits as much as I do and even asked me to cook up some grits last night for dinner.

Most people around here are not familiar with grits or else shudder at the thought of it.  There’s baked grits, grits with a glob of butter, shrimp and grits, bacon and grits and then there’s stone-ground grits.  That’s the way to go but if you’ve followed my blog, you may recall it is not available here so I order the stone-ground grits from Nora Mill

Stone-ground grits are crunchy delicious with a little garlic and cheddar cheese.  This time; however, I added mozzarella cheese.  Don’t water it down and make it like cream of wheat and no sugar, please!  Think of grits as a side dish and dress it like a baked potato: cheese, onions, bacon, chives, green onions, sautéed mushrooms, jalapeño peppers or hot sauce.    

Here’s what Nora Mill advises for leftover grits:  Pour into a glass and chill.  The next day, slide them out, slice and fry them like mush for breakfast.  It’s great!

Stone-Ground Garlic Grits with Cheddar and Mozzarella


1 cup stone ground grits
1 teaspoons salt
3 cups water
1 tablespoon garlic powder (I use more)
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated


In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.
Stir in grits and garlic powder and return to boil.
Reduce to low heat.
Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add more water as needed, being sure not to make it soupy.
Add cheeses.
Continue cooking on low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until cheese is melted and grits are creamy.

Start cooking and dress up your grits!

Tangy Tilapia

Most people are fans of tilapia and it is one of the most versatile, mild-flavored fish that I can think of.  The price is usually right and is readily available.   It is un-fishy and tends to take on the flavor of whatever sauce you use.

There are more uses for tilapia than just dining on them.  They are becoming the plant control method of choice due to their consumption of undesirable plants and algae.  Arizona stocks tilapia in the canals that provide water to Mesa and Phoenix, among others.  The water is purified by the tilapia ingesting the vegetation and detritus.  Arkansas stocks many public lakes and ponds for the same reason and to the enjoyment of anglers as well. 

This citrus tilapia is filled with just that ~ lots of good lemon, lime and orange flavors blended with honey that combine perfectly with the fish.  There’s a hint of spiciness with the garlic and chili powder.  What I really like is adding the panko bread crumbs before baking; it gives the fish a little crunch texture on top and I love the way this blackens a touch due to the honey. 

Tangy Tilapia


1½ pounds tilapia
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon orange zest
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup honey
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup panko bread crumbs


Melt butter in micro or a saucepan.
Add the remaining ingredients, except salt, pepper and bread crumbs.
Blend well.
Place fish in a baking dish.
Pour sauce over the fish.
Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

It’s refreshingly delicious!

Mushroom Strudel and The Berghoff

Mushroom Strudel was, for many years, one of the most popular appetizers at The Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago; and for good reason, it's amazingly delicious! 

First off, here’s a little info about the restaurant:  The Berghoff has been described by many as a Loop institution, as “historic,” a “cultural icon,” and a “must eat there.”  Few establishments were loved more than The Berghoff with its traditional German fare!

The original Berghoff Restaurant closed in 2006 after 107 years of serving its guests with a long, interesting history.  Herman Berghoff came from Germany in 1856 and later brought his brothers and a brew master.  They started brewing beer in Ft. Wayne, Indiana in 1887.  Herman wanted to expand the market for the family’s beer and did just that by selling their beer at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893.  It was a hit; they then opened a café and bar selling sandwiches and beer in Chicago

The bar remained opened during Prohibition by selling near beer, which is now Berghoff’s Root Beer, and eventually turned into a full-service restaurant.  Once Prohibition ended, The Berghoff was issued Liquor License No. 1.  The Berghoff was one of the last restaurants to have a men’s only bar.  That ended in 1969 when 7 members of NOW (National Organization for Women) sat at the bar and demanded service.

The Berghoff was definitely one of our favorite restaurants in Chicago and we along with many other folks were saddened by its closing.  Around 2006, the restaurant was remodeled and reopened as The Berghoff Catering and Restaurant Group, or “17 West,” by members of the Berghoff family with a somewhat changed menu.

Back to the strudel ~ the filling for this mushroom strudel can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, and the strudel is easy to assemble and bake.  Once it’s baked, it keeps well.   

Sautéing the mushrooms
 Ready to roll 
 Ready for the oven

So, here is the recipe from The Berghoff Family Cookbook:

Mushroom Strudel


2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
4 cups sliced portabello mushrooms (12 ounces)
3 cups coarsely ground white button mushrooms (9 ounces)
2½ cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (7½ ounces)
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
1 cup Madeira
2/3 cup chicken broth
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup thinly slice scallions
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

To assemble:

4 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
1/3 cup (5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (½ pound)
Oregano or other green herb, for garnish
Edible uncooked mushrooms, for garnish

Make the filling:

In a large skillet, heat oil, add onions and celery, sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Add all the mushrooms, sauté 5 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in 4 tablespoons of butter until melted, then add flour and mix until mushrooms are well cooked, about 3 minutes.  Do not allow to burn.
Stir in wine, simmer for 5 minutes.
Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes more, stirring often.
Remove from heat.
Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.

When cold, mix in eggs, bread crumbs, scallions and basil. Adjust seasonings.
This recipe makes approximately 5 cups of filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble the strudel:

On a clean, flat surface, lay out one sheet of phyllo dough and brush with melted butter.
Place another sheet on top and brush with melted butter.
Repeat this process with the remaining two sheets of phyllo, saving some butter for the top of the strudel.
Spoon mushroom filling lengthwise down center of the stacked phyllo sheets and sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
Roll up securely and place the strudel roll, seam side down, on a baking sheet.
Seal the ends tightly by crimping together.
Brush the top of the roll with melted butter and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and heated through.
Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

Slice the phyllo roll into eight thick slices.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Garnish with green herbs and/or uncooked mushrooms

Guten Appetit!

You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen

You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at:
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at:


Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!



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