Chicken Breasts with a Spicy Rub ~ Ummmm, mmm!

 This is good, I mean really good!

This rub did not let me down.  It’s a fragrant, spicy rub, which was a winner for us, and is now my favorite rub for chicken.

For even cooking on the grill, I pounded the chicken until it all had the same thickness.  Then I pressed the rub into the chicken and let it set for about 10 minutes before Bill started grilling it. 

I know next to nothing about cooking on the grill ~ you’re on your own with that.  But, I have to tell you; while the chicken was cooking, Bill called me out on the deck to get a whiff of the aroma drifting in the air outside.  Ummm, mmm!!!  It smelled divine!

This rub is so tasty and spicy, with just a little heat; it rendered the chicken darn near perfect.  It was a hit for us!

Grill ready

Chicken Breasts with a Spicy Rub


2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
Parsley, for garnish
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Extra-virgin olive oil


Pound chicken breasts to even thickness and pat dry.
Lightly brush the chicken on both sides with olive oil.
Mix together the first 7 ingredients and apply to chicken.
Let stand 10 minutes or so before grilling.


But then ~ thinking about it ~ maybe it was Bill’s grilling expertise that made the chicken so good… 

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

Pommes de Terre Byron, a.k.a. Golden Potato Pancake

No matter how you say it, “potato” or “Po-TAH-to,” it makes me happy, happy!

Potatoes go back to 500 B.C. when the Incas grew them, ate them and worshipped them.  They even buried potatoes with their dead, and hid them in concealed bins in case of famine or war, and dried them to carry on their long journeys.  It all makes sense to me…

Heaven to me is a large baked potato, topped with a little butter and salt and pepper or this dish of baked potatoes, which is a traditional French dish, adapted from a recipe by Julia Child and Jacques Pépin for a “golden potato pancake.” 
It may not be pretty, but it’s heavenly delicious!

Ready to bake
Broiler ready
Voila!!!  Ready to enjoy...

Pommes de Terre Byron


3 pounds of russet (Idaho) potatoes, about 5 large
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
½ cup crème fraiche or sour cream
2 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (about 2/3 cup)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Bake potatoes until soft.
When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes and roughly chop them into ½” to ¾” chunks.
In a 10” skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.
When butter stops foaming, add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Turn potatoes to thoroughly mix in the seasonings, oil and butter.
With a spatula, flatten the potatoes to a smooth, solid layer.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5-8 minutes.
Close to end of cooking time, shake the pan quickly to loosen the potato cake from the sides and bottom of pan.
Place the skillet in preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is crusty and lightly colored.
Remove from oven and let rest for a minute or so.
Invert it onto an oven-safe serving platter or baking sheet.
Carefully move oven rack to top position and turn on broiler.
Spread top of hot potatoes with crème fraiche or sour cream.
Sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
Place under broiler and broil until the potato mixture is golden and blubbling, about 3-5 minutes.
Carefully remove from oven and serve.

Bon appetit!

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

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’m a little late to the Red Velvet Party, but I’ve arrived with a tray of delicious cupcakes…

Several years ago, I cut out, and saved, this recipe from our local newspaper, The Northwest Herald, and finally got around to making the cupcakes recently.  Red velvet is a buttermilk batter, incorporating cocoa, and may be dark red or bright red, depending upon whether it is colored with red food coloring or beetroot.

Supposedly, Red Velvet Cake was first made at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the 1920’s; however, according to Southerner’s, it may have been a southern thing long before then.  Many years later, in 1989, a resurgence of the cake’s popularity was attributed to the film, “Steel Magnolias,” in which the groom’s cake was a red velvet cake in the shape of an armadillo (a southern tradition.)

These cupcakes have just the correct amount of chocolate in them and are springy and light, exactly the way I like a cupcake.  And, the cream cheese frosting on top is, “just like icing on a cake!” 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for the cake:

2 cups flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 (1-ounce) bottle red liquid food coloring
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Ingredients for the frosting:

½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


For cake:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl; using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and butter until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the pans and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting:

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, 3 minutes.
Frost the cooled cupcakes.

 Velvety mouth-watering they are!

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

Simply Stuffed Pork Chops

The butcher had thick meaty pork chops on display the other day, which were begging me to stuff them and bake them, so I eagerly obliged.

This is a savory bread stuffing, that helps the chops retain their moistness, making them tender when baked.  They’re easy to prepare, they make a great presentation, and most everyone thinks they’re delicious. 

During the holidays, I might add dried cherries, chopped apples, Triple Sec, Italian sausage and maybe even chopped pecans. Stuffed pork chops are simple for everyday fare, and special enough for guests.  Juicy thick-cut stuffed pork chops…yum!

Stuffed Pork Chops


2 tablespoons butter
4 (1½ inch thick) pork chops
2 cups bread crumbs
¼ cup chopped onions
¼ cup chopped celery
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
1/8 to ¼ cup vegetable broth


Melt butter in a medium hot skillet and add celery and onions.
Sauté until soft.
Remove from heat and add seasonings, combining well.
Mix in breadcrumbs and pour a small amount of broth in, stirring well, until the mixture is slightly soft. 
With a thin-bladed knife, slice horizontally through the pork chop, about ¾ of the way, making a pocket and leaving the sides intact.
Divide the stuffing into fourths and stuff each chop.
Place in a baking dish that is coated with cooking spray, or lightly oiled.
Cover tightly with foil to keep them from drying out.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, removing foil during last 10 minutes to allow chops to brown slightly. 

This is a simple hearty meal!

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

Creamy Lima Beans Deserve Some Respect ~

Lima beans just don’t get the respect they deserve! They have been demonized as a bland legume ~ the butt of many a joke.  And, I am here to extol their virtues…

I think they’re delicious, even with just a little salt and pepper, nothing more. When cooked, lima beans are soft and mild with a creamy texture on the inside. They have an earthy-like nutty flavor.  Plus, they’re healthy for us, containing fiber, protein and many minerals.  Perhaps, the folks who dislike them have only experienced the canned, mushy lima beans, found on grocery shelves?

Should you be a lima bean non-believer, hopefully this recipe with will change your mind!  The sour cream adds a little tang, the pimento adds color, and if you want to save some calories, substitute low-fat sour cream.  

As a fan of the late Nora Ephron, you may remember in her semi-autobiographical novel, “Heartburn,” her bizarre recipe for lima beans and pears.  As much as I love lima beans, I would never, ever try that dish, as I loathe pears…

Lima Beans in Cream Sauce


3 cups fresh or frozen lima beans
¼ cup onions, chopped
2 tablespoons pimentos
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup sour cream
Salt, to taste
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
Parsley, for garnish


In a large saucepan, bring water too a boil.
Add lima beans and cook, covered for about 12-15 minutes, until tender. drain well.
Meanwhile, sauté onions and pimentos until tender.
Add seasonings and sour cream.
Warm thoroughly on low heat.
Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Serve, and…


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

Tomato and Herb-topped Tilapia

Tilapia was in the refrigerator; tomatoes were taking up counter space ~ ~ ~ this is my concoction...

I don’t know about where you are, but here; this summer, we have had the reddest tomatoes I’ve ever seen.  They are a good source of Vitamin E, potassium and other minerals.  And, fish is supposedly the ultimate brain-food, being high in Omega-3 and vitamins. Combined, they make a healthy, nutritious dish.

I rounded out the tomatoes and tilapia with braised green beans and brown rice. Take the hassle out of your dinner by making this quick meal!

Tomato and Herb-topped Tilapia


4 tilapia fillets
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, minced
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tomatoes, sliced
nonstick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Lay tilapia in baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine basil, onion powder, thyme, and garlic.
Sprinkle over fish.
Top with tomato slices.
Drizzle olive oil over all.
Bake, about 20 minutes, until fish flakes easily with fork.

I’m talking about good!

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

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake

If there would be one thing I’d like to hoard, it would be cherries.  And I’d be in paradise if I had my own cherry orchard!

Photo credit:  Cooking Light

Cherries are not only delicious; they’re healthy too, being in the top 20 of antioxidant foods. They’re chock-full of vitamins and fiber, aiding in the fight against cancer, pre-diabetes and neurological diseases. They could possibly aid in a good night’s sleep due to their concentration of melatonin. 

 My parents both suffered, from time to time, with pain, stiffness and swelling of their joints from arthritis.  I remember them including cherries in their diet as a way of reducing the inflammation.  Dad was adamant that it helped.

Besides all of the above, they’re even a pretty, fun decorative image on everything from tablecloths to swimwear!

Photo:  Napa Valley Vintage Home

Photo:  The Fashion
Cherry earrings too!

The bags of cherries in the freezer, led to making this delicious coffee cake.  This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe and one you must try if you also have a cherry fetish.  

Frozen dark sweet cherries may be substituted for the sour cherries, or canned tart cherries may be used.  Let the frozen cherries thaw before using.  This recipe makes a lot of crumb topping and I used every bit of it; you may not want to.  The sour cherries add a bit of tartness and sweetness in every bite that’s perfect for breakfast, brunch or just a snack!

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake                     

For the topping:

4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for pan
¾ cup flour, plus more for pan
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Stir together all ingredients and set aside.

Ingredients for the cake:

1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted, drained well and patted dry


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9” round baking dish, dust with flour, tap out excess.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. 
Beat until just combined.
Pour into prepared pan, and smooth with an offset spatula.
Dot top with cherries.
Sprinkle with crumb topping.
Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Let cool before slicing.


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda, at My Kind of Cooking She always gives us good tips and good and easy recipes also!

A Simply Egg~cellent Sandwich

My grandfather, Goff, ate 2 scrambled eggs:  fresh eggs from the hen house; with just about every meal, for as long as I can remember, and he lived well into his 80’s.  He definitely loved them ~ and, I do too, although I don’t eat nearly that many!  

Grandma & Grandpa - Maude & Goff
50th Anniversary ~ 1963

This is a simple recipe for a lush, delicate, tasty egg salad sandwich.  And, I imagine, by now, you’re probably saying, “Really, a recipe for an egg salad sandwich?” There are a lot of folks out there, who have never made egg salad for a sandwich.  So this is for them, and you too.  Sometimes, I add a couple of tablespoons of chopped pimento-stuffed green olives.  

By the way, I came across this “Sandwich Personality Test,” what your favorite sandwich says about your personality and love life.  

“Egg salad enthusiasts are often the center of attention.  They are entertaining and crave adventure.  The best words to describe those who love egg salad sandwiches are:  charming and energetic.  Egg salad sandwich lovers are the “universal romantic” and are often compatible with all sandwich lovers.”

An egg salad sandwich seems like heaven to me ~ deviled eggs on bread…

Egg Salad Sandwich


6 eggs
1/4 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste


Place eggs in saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and let stand in hot water for 18-20 minutes for hard-cooked eggs.
Remove from water. Cool, peel, and chop.
Combine all in a bowl and chill.
Serve on your favorite bread and sprinkle with chives.

It’s simply a satisfying sandwich!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind Of Cooking for her tips on Tuesday and yummy recipes on Friday!

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
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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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