Happy New Year to YOU!

May you all have a 
fantastic 2012 that is filled with:

Good Health




Happy New Year!!!


Cranberry-Maple Syrup and Merry Christmas!

Your pancakes will really be perfect on Christmas morning when drizzled with this mouthwatering cranberry-maple syrup! 

This syrup is a cross between a colorful jam and viscous syrup.  Crushed cranberries provide an interesting texture with a tart flavor, mingling with the sweet sticky maple syrup.  Four ingredients are all it takes.  Cook the cranberries in the maple syrup, until they pop, then crush the cranberries with a potato masher.   The aroma as it cooks is mouthwatering. 

I saw this recipe somewhere on the internet a while back, but don’t remember where.  It’s a great recipe ~ so try topping your waffles or pancakes with this fruity syrup!

Cranberry-Maple Syrup


1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup fresh cranberries
½ teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon butter


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring syrup, cranberries and orange zest to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer, until the cranberries have popped, about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and crush cranberries with a potato masher or spoon.
Add butter and stir until dissolved.
Serve warm
Keeps well refrigerated in a covered container.

By the way, it makes a great little homemade gift for your family and friends!

Here’s wishing all of you and your loved ones a blessed Merry Christmas!

A little smile
A word of cheer
A bit of love from someone near,
A little gift from one held dear,
Best wishes for the coming year…
These make a Merry Christmas!

John Greenleaf Whittier

Hugs to you all,

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes. 

Fried Apples My Way

Oooops!  Forgot to take pic after cooking!

There is a bushel full of theories about the origin of apples, but we all remember the story of John Chapman, or Johnny Appleseed as the legend goes, who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1774 and died in Ft. Wayne, Indiana in March, 1845. 

He was liked for his kind, generous ways and for planting apple seeds along his travels around the country ~ over a 50 year period, buying and selling land and developing thousands of productive apple trees.  His dream was to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry.  

                                           Johnny Appleseed, postcard, 1972

I’ve always been crazy about apples ~ especially, baked apples, until I made fried apples; they’re even better!  Fried apples are not quite apple pie but a close second.  Perhaps, most folks think of fried apples as a dessert; but in my mind, it's a side dish.  This is a simple, seasonal food that is packed with flavor.

Cook the apples just until they are fork tender.  They can quickly surrender and turn to mush, so watch them closely.  It’s as easy as apple pie!

Fried Apples


4 apples:  2 Granny Smith and 2 Honeycrisp
½ teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar (I use Splenda)
Dash salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Dash nutmeg


Melt butter in skillet.
Drizzle lemon juice over apples.
Cover and cook about 15-20 minutes or until tender.  (Watch closely; they can turn to mush quickly).
Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg, and toss.
Serve warm or room temperature, maybe with a dollop of whipped cream.

Be sure to take time to check out my friend, Linda’s, great blog @ My Kind of Cooking for helpful tips and yummy recipes.

Corn-in-a-cup From Stephen’s Unorthodox Cookbook

Wednesday morning Haiku for you…

claims he eats like wren

while cooks spam from can superb

and that’s no bird seed!

Before Google
After Google

I’m a little late with this, and had intended on posting it in November but; if you follow my blog, you will remember it was a hectic time at our house then. 

Stephen was inspired to make corn-in-a-cup after having it at Jack-n-Grill in Denver.  I love corn and the name intrigued me, and then I realized that he really didn’t give measurements or directions for it.   

I took the plunge, anyway, and whipped the dish together quickly and snapped a couple of photos.  How hard could cooking it be?   A cup of corn, some chile powder, hot sauce and parmesan, easy, easy and actually, pretty good. 

Then, I had second thoughts about it:

If you’re acquainted with Stephen’s blog, The Obsessive Chef, you’re aware of his colorful, entertaining writing and his cookbook is no different.  “Unorthodox” is the word that comes to mind!  I agree with Stephen though, it’s good to “think outside the box” when cooking and exact measurements aren’t needed most of the time, unless you are dealing with baked goods. 

What I’m trying to say is --- this is not your standard cookbook!  Stephen is a little long-winded and rants too; for example:  about the proper temperature for cooked pork.  He stated a blogger roasted herb-crusted pork loin to 165 degrees.  I am “old school” with my mother and Grandma lecturing me about cooking pork until no longer pink (Beware the danger of trichinosis ruining your intestines!)  Since that’s actually no longer a danger, Stephen says, the FDA lowered the temperature to 145 degrees.  

I eat beef, as in a roast like prime rib, and hamburgers, and all steaks only until “warm” with the “bloody red juices” flowing; however, on the packaging for the pork loin roasts I buy, it says cook until thermometer reaches 160, which is what I do; we refuse to eat “pink” pork in this house.

Now, back to the corn and my second thoughts; I decided to Google “Jack-n-Grill” for the recipe.  The photo of it there looked nothing like my first attempt, so I made it again with the parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top, as in their photo.  It really made little difference taste wise, other than a tad more parmesan flavor, but I liked the texture better as the cheese wasn’t thoroughly melted in the corn.  In the end, Stephen’s right ~ cook it your way; experiment and have fun cooking!

Anyway, I think Stephen is a unique individual ~ he makes me laugh!   That’s what’s so great about him, you just never know!  You may not agree with everything he says, but you will have many laughs and maybe a rant or two yourself, if you read the Obsessive Chef’s cookbook, ACook’s Book for Cooks.   It’s filled with delicious creative recipes like this corn dish and like this lima bean dish and it may, or may not have a list of ingredients with exact measurements!

Here’s Stephen’s corn recipe:

Corn-in-a cup

You will need (per serving):

1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels or 1 cup canned, drained and rinsed corn kernels
1 Tbs butter
Hot sauce to taste
Chile powder to taste
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the corn.  Add the other ingredients and heat through.  The corn doesn’t really need to be “cooked,” just made hot.

I’ve been a “blogger friend” of Stephen’s for a long while so, believe me, you will be entertained with his remarkable cookbook ~ his wit and his “spicy” outlook on cooking and life in general!

And try this corn ~ it’s great!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes. 

Crispy Sesame Chicken

Sesame seeds on oven-fried chicken?  Crispy chicken without a grease-filled iron skillet? 

This recipe got my attention, when I saw it in my America’s Best Recipes cookbook, and I had to try it!  The recipe includes grated Parmesan cheese and dry breadcrumbs, along with sesame seeds for the breading.  Use skinless chicken and it’s even healthier.

I can tell you this chicken ROCKED!   It turned out very crispy and juicy and smacked of good flavors.  Just try it --- I bet you will think so also!

Crispy Sesame Chicken


1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon pepper
1 (3 to 3½-pound) fryer chicken, cut up, skinless
¼ cup butter, melted


Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.
Dip chicken in butter.
Dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
Place in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done.
4-6 servings

Yum!  Tender and crispy too!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes. 

Baked Salmon with Mushrooms and Garlic

I really like salmon ~ whether it’s straight out of the can or fresh and grilled or baked.  But, I’ve never combined it with mushrooms until now and it definitely won’t be the last time. 

The origin of the recipe is a mystery to me; one of those in my “must try” file.  Whatever, it’s delicious!  The blend of ingredients compliments the salmon excellently.   It’s a tasty salmon dish that goes great with a helping of rice and broccoli, for a good side dish!

Baked Salmon with Mushrooms and Garlic


1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound salmon filets
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Lemon wedges for garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place mushrooms in baking dish that is sprayed with a cooking spray.
Salt and pepper salmon filets and layer over mushrooms.
Combine breadcrumbs, onion, garlic and parsley.
Sprinkle over filets.
Stir together olive oil and lemon juice.
Slowly drizzle over filets.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until tender and breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
Remove filets to serving platter and spoon mushrooms over the top.
Serve with lemon wedges.

I hope you try this and like it as much as I do!

Take time to check out my friend, Linda, and her great blog @ My Kind of Cooking for helpful tips and yummy recipes!

WOO HOO!!! I’m Soooo Happy to Be Back!

I’ve missed all of you, and thought of you often!  I have been on the internet very little since late October and here is the reason why… 

Close to dinner time on October 25th, Bill told me to call the paramedics because he was having difficulty breathing.  During his hospital stays, he had several lung and heart procedures; was diagnosed with pericarditis, resulting in pericardial window surgery.  He is very thankful as well as happy ~ and I am too ~ to say that all test results were good and he is recovering well.  I knew 4 days ago he was returning to his usual self when his sense of humor returned!

And now that I’m back, I’ve got a tasty Chicken Marsala recipe for you.  I really like Italian dishes, and the depth of flavor in this one will surely have you repeating the recipe many times.  This is a lighter version of Chicken Marsala, without the usual ingredients of butter, flour and cream.

It’s a simple Marsala sauce:  reducing Marsala wine to a thin syrup with mushrooms and braising the chicken breasts in the sauce for a delicious savory dish.  It’s a fairly quick dish that is tender and filled with flavor!  I hope you try it!

Chicken Marsala


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, fresh, sliced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon oregano
¾ cup Marsala wine
¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons chicken base, low-sodium


Heat oil in skillet.
Place chicken in skillet and brown on both sides.
Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
Add mushrooms, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano.
Sauté for 3 minutes.
Add wine, broth and chicken base to skillet.
Stir well to blend.
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Return chicken to skillet.
Spoon sauce over chicken.
Cover and cook until temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Pour mushrooms and sauce over chicken and serve with pasta, rice or garlic mashed potatoes.


Take time to check out my friend, Linda, and her great blog @ My Kind of Cooking for helpful tips and yummy recipes!

I'm Taking a Break

Due to family concerns, I will be taking a break for several weeks.  

I will miss you but I will be looking at your blogs from time to time.  Here's wishing you all the best.

Happy blogging and Happy Halloween!

Till later...

The Best Lemon Pound Cake ~ I’m Telling You the Truth!

On my September 27th post, I told you I would be baking the Lemon Pound Cake recipe from the Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook that Bill had been yearning for.  I finally got around to baking it and now I’m trying to figure out what took me so long…

You know how foodies say, “I swear, it’s the best I’ve ever eaten?”  Sometimes I try the recipe, sometimes I don’t.  Everyone’s taste is different and you just never know; however, I can honestly say, “this Lemon Pound Cake is the best pound cake I have ever eaten in my life.”  And Bill echoes the same.  NO LIE!!!  It is outstanding!!!

Here’s what Kathleen King, the owner and founder of Tate’s Bake Shop, says about her cake, “The lemon flavor really comes through in my lemon pound cake.  It keeps well and freezes well, and is exceptional on its own or with fresh berries and cream.”

Here’s what I say about it:  Enjoy it on its own!   If you love lemon and love pound cake, you will fall hard for this one!  It’s so good that after having a slice of it, I gave samples to family and neighbors, and had to lock the rest away to keep it out of my hands.  

It has a tantalizing tart/sweet thing going on ~ an amazing tangy lemon favor with just a little bit of sweetness!  It is the absolute perfect combo of ingredients and 4 days later, it was still as fresh as the first day and then it was gone…  

Lemon Pound Cake                             

2¾ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
½ cup fresh lemon juice, from about 4 lemons

                        ~ ~ ~               ~ ~ ~               ~ ~ ~

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a 10-inch Bundt pan with lots of pan spray and sprinkle it with granulated sugar.  (Flour will leave an unattractive residue on the cake.)

To make the cake:

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and lemon zest, mix them together.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Mix sour cream and lemon juice together.
Add flour and sour cream mixture alternately, finishing with the flour.
Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

Lemon Glaze:

½ cup fresh lemon juice, from about 4 lemons
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water

To make the glaze:

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir.
Cook over low heat without stirring till the sugar dissolves.
Turn heat up to medium and cook mixture until it becomes syrupy.
Don’t overcook it or the syrup will start to turn brown.
When the cake is baked, cool it for 10 minutes in the baking pan and invert it onto a plate.  (Place the plate against the bottom of the pan and turn it over.)
Slowly pour the glaze over the cake and let it cool.

It is the best pound cake EVER and will be on my holiday dinner table!!!


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes. 

Note:  I received no compensation for posting this.  It’s just my opinion; it’s a wonderful cookbook with the best pound cake recipe ever.

Crusty Cheddar Garlic Pepper Biscuits my Way

Biscuits aren’t fancy but believe me, these biscuits are as about as flavorsome as you can imagine a biscuit would be ~ crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside.  

Over the years, I’ve tried many variations of this biscuit and never achieved a “great” crusty top layer until by accident recently.  Here’s how it went:

Normally, in recipes for cheese-garlic biscuits, the biscuits are baked and then brushed with the garlic butter when they come out of the oven.  But, one evening in a rush, I brushed them with the butter mixture when I realized they needed more baking time ~ they just weren’t the golden brown they should have been and I was afraid they may not be baked through on the inside.  

So back in the oven they went and when they came out and I bit into one, Voila!  I was shocked!  They were a beautiful golden brown, tender inside with a very crusty, cheesy, garlicky top!

We swore they were the best!  Make the batter, drop the biscuits and bake a while.  Pull them out of the oven; brush with a butter, garlic, pepper and parsley mixture.  Then return the biscuits to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or so.  They’re perfectly delicious and you won’t be able to stop at one!

Cheddar Garlic Pepper Biscuits

For biscuits:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons butter, cold
1¼ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk OR ½ cup sour cream whisked with ½ cup milk

For basting:

2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Dash salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
Mix flour, baking powder, garlic powder and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
Cut in the shortening and cold butter into the flour mixture using a fork, pastry blender or your fingers until the dough resembles coarse crumbs.
Mix in cheese.
Stir in buttermilk until just moistened.  Do not overmix.
Drop dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about ¼ cup for each biscuit.  Or, use a kitchen tablespoon and heap it extra large.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Stir together melted butter, garlic powder, salt, pepper and parsley in a small bowl.  With a light hand, brush over warm biscuits.

Bake for another 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve immediately
Makes 12 biscuits

They are so crunchy delicious that they will become your “go-to” biscuits like they are mine!!!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes. 

Crunchy Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia plus… a Surprise Visit from Fairy Hobmother

I used to be leery of eating fish way back when and only ate fresh bluegills that Dad and friends caught at the lake.  With time, I tried more varieties.   

So, I was pleased to have my first tilapia experience at a restaurant with my boss and co-workers when I was in the working world not so long ago.  I saw tilapia on the menu but had never heard of it.  I was curious and then thankfully someone before me ordered it.  I was saved a lot of embarrassment as I would’ve definitely called it “till-up-eeee-uh!”

This dish is delicious with a capital “D!”  The crouton crumbs are crunchy to begin with and combining them with the cheese and cayenne pepper makes a perfect crunchy topping for the slightly firm flaky texture of the tilapia.  It’s a quick dish to prepare that we really like.  It’s a winner!  And I hope you will try it and think so also!

Crunchy Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia


4 tilapia fillets
¾ cup finely crushed garlic-flavored croutons
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons dried chopped chives
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning, or to taste
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons each, olive oil and melted butter


Combine croutons, cheese, chives, chipotle seasoning and salt.
Set aside.
Coat tilapia fillets with butter and olive oil mixture on both sides.
Lightly coat both sides of tilapia in the crouton mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until tilapia is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.


One thing I’m not leery of is the Fairy Hobmother ~ you’ve probably seen her sprinkling her fairy dust like crazy all over the web lately! 

Recently, I left a comment on my friend Linda’s, My Kind of Cooking, great blog and soon after, was happy to see the Fairy Hobmother’s dust had landed in my email ~ in the form of an Amazon gift card for $25.    The funny thing is, I had just been looking at Amazon, considering something I can’t tell you about now for a Christmas gift.  So, Woo Hoo!  I’ve started my Christmas shopping early for a change!

If you too would like a visit from the Fairy Hobmother, simply leave a comment here on this post and you never know…   Fairy Hobmother just might visit you with an Amazon gift card of an undetermined denomination!

Good Luck to you and thanks again, Fairy Hobmother, for your generosity!  

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: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook


Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!



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