Time to Ring in the New Year!

New Year's Eve is here people and this little cocktail will not let you be nodding off as the New Year approaches!

Champagne may be the drink of choice for many on New Year's Eve, but save the bubbly for another time and try this unique drink...

A Midnight Martini is a dark, easy to make martini with strong coffee flavor ~ chilling the espresso before making ~ is an important element to the drink.

Although, the martini is sweet enough on its own, the simple syrup adds a nice little froth to it. 

It's the perfect cocktail to keep you going into the wee hours!

Midnight Martini Cocktail


2 ounces Grey Goose vodka
1 ounce espresso or strong coffee (cold)
1 ounce Kahlúa
Healthy splash of simple syrup
Orange twist for garnish


Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake it hard for 10-15 seconds.
Strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with orange twist.



Christmas Wishes for You

If I could make a Christmas wish for you,

it would be for

peace and happiness,

and good health too.

Not only now,

but for the

whole year through.

Merry Christmas,


Peppermint-Candy Sugar Cookies

The scent and flavor of peppermint 
is prominent in my mind 
when I think of Christmas, 
and this little cookie isn’t afraid to flaunt its 
great peppermint taste!

The recipe is adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookie Cookbook.  It’s a twist on basic sugar cookie dough that is shaped into balls, then rolled in crushed peppermint candy, before baking.

Crush the candy in a plastic bag to avoid having a mess, and bake the cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, to avoid another mess.  

To make larger cookies:  form rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into balls before rolling in crushed candy; bake for about 14 minutes.

The cookies have a refreshing taste and a festive look.  For an extra holiday kick, I added a little dose of peppermint extract.

They bake into a crisp cookie with a good little crunch ~ they’ll almost melt in your mouth, really!

Peppermint-Candy Sugar Cookies
Printable recipe


 1½ cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
4 ounces flat round peppermint candies, about 28 discs
2 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
With a mixer on medium speed, beat butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts until just blended, scraping down sides of bowl.
Reduce spead to low and beat in flour mixture until combined.
Refrigerate dough until firm, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, place peppermints in a resealable plastic bag and finely crush with a meat mallet.
Transfer to a shallow bowl and mix with sanding sugar.
Form rounded teaspoons of dough into balls.
Roll in crushed-candy mixture to coat.
Place 2” apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake until edges are starting to brown, about 11 minutes.
Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
(Gently break off any bits of melted candy from edges of cookies, if necessary.)
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container, between sheets of waxed or parchment paper up to 1 week.
Makes about 30 cookies.


Walnut Buttermilk Quick Bread

A whiff of this freshly-baked bread is 
just enough 
to remind you of the bread 
your mom made 
from scratch.  

It’s chock-full of succulent walnuts embedded in slightly sweet dough that’s spiced just right with cinnamon. 

It’s a quick and easy bread to pull together ~ a simple recipe that proves you don’t have to be a baking pro to make it.  

This walnut bread is dense, moist and delicious, with the only problem being, I should’ve doubled the recipe and made two loaves.

Toasted for breakfast is the way I like it!

Walnut Buttermilk Quick Bread
Printable recipe


3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup walnuts, rough chopped
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1⅔ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour an 8” x 4” loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients through cinnamon.
In another bowl, combine egg and remaining ingredients.
Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake 55 minutes to 1¼ hours, until a toothpick inserted in center is dry.
Let stand for 10 minutes.
Remove bread from pan and transfer bread to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Cool completely before slicing.



Cranberry-Sauced Chicken

This robust sauce takes chicken
 leftover turkey
from ordinary to extraordinary 
and will 
revive your faith in fowl!

Cranberry sauce combined with Robusto Italian Dressing, balsamic vinegar, sherry and onion soup mix blends into a tangy sauce to top the chicken breasts.

What you end up with is tender, flavorful tasty chicken, with a tangy sauce that is the right combination of sweet and tangy.  It’s proof that cranberry sauce shouldn’t just make an appearance on the holiday table.

Here’s hoping you give this a try, it’s delicious and easy too!

Cranberry-Sauced Chicken

4-6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
⅓ cup Wish-Bone Robusto Italian Dressing
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Arrange chicken in a 13” x 9” baking dish.
Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, and stir well.
Spoon mixture over chicken.
Bake for 1 hour or more, until chicken is cooked through.



Bourbon-Pecan Pie

Not much
can be better than a pecan pie ~
unless it’s a pecan pie with a healthy splash of 

You can overwhelm a recipe by using too much liquor, just a touch intensifies flavors; moreover, using a less-expensive bourbon that has not aged, will make your pie filling thin instead of deep and complex.  

The rich nutty flavor of pecans, the buttery distinction of dark caramel, and the spicy woody taste of bourbon, make this pie a rich delicious experience that’s a great finish to any meal or treat any time of the day.

This is a great recipe for one of my favorite pies!

A perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Dessert, but I’m saving a slice for breakfast…

Bourbon-Pecan Pie
Printable recipe 


Crust for one 9” pie*
¾ cup granulated sugar
1½ cups dark corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons flour
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons bourbon (I use Maker’s Mark)
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a hand mixer, combine sugar, syrup, salt, flour, and eggs, mixing well.
Stir in remaining ingredients and pour into unbaked pie shell.
Line pie crust edge with foil, if needed to prevent excessive browning.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out relatively clean.
Remove from oven and place on cooling rack, allowing pie to rest for about 3 hours to set.
*Link to my pie crust recipe


On this Thanksgiving Day

it seems more important than ever

to count our blessings.

May God bless you and yours


Peace, Good Health, Prosperity and

Much Happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce w/Red Wine

I like a tiny bite of  turkey and a healthy serving of dressing with my cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving time but ~ 
not all cranberry sauces are created equal!

We try to appease everyone around our Thanksgiving table whether it’s with the canned jellied version or whole-fruit cranberry sauce with an assortment of add-ins like this great recipe.


This dish is pretty and tasty and should be served around the year.  

If you like pomegranates, a  little wine and seasonings with your cranberries ~ this recipe is for you…

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce w/Red Wine
Printable recipe


1½ cups fresh cranberries
1 cup pomegranate seeds (equal to seeds from 1 pomegranate)
1 cup red wine
¾ to 1 cup sugar (I use Splenda)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients in a a medium-sized sauce pan over high heat.
When mixture starts boiling, reduce heat and simmer.
Cook until cranberries pop and sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
Chill until serving time.



Cheesy Creamy Broccoli Soup via Dottie

There must be a zillion cheesy broccoli soups out there.  I could never decide on which one to try, so didn't until...

Dottie, over here, at Family Plus Food Equals Love, started "Soupy Tuesday."  I told her I'd like a good cheesy broccoli soup recipe, and she delivered!

This is basically a rich cheese sauce, made with milk, instead of heavy cream; bits of broccoli, a little onion and garlic for extra flavor.  As a huge plus, it's "soup" in under 30 minutes; awesome for a homemade soup!

I can truly say this is a perfect cheesy broccoli soup, because I know what the "unperfect" ones taste like.  It's delicious, so rich and creamy ~ perfect for this time of year!  

It's sinfully delicious and just in time for soup season, thank you Dottie!

Cheesy Creamy Broccoli Soup
Printable recipe 


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
¾ pound (12-ounces) Velveeta cheese, cut into ½" cubes 
1 package (10-ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
Salt to taste*


Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat.
Add onions and garlic, cook and stir 5 minutes or until onions are tender, do not burn garlic.
Add flour, cook 1 minute or until bubbly, stirring constantly.
Stir in milk.
Bring to boil, simmer on medium-low heat 1-3 minutes.
Add remainder of ingredients, stir well.
Cook 5-8 minutes or until Velveeta cheese is completely melted and soup is thick and heated through, stirring occasionally.
Pour into cups or bowls.

*Remember:  Cheese has salt, you can always add but it is hard to take out.  If it is too salty, add a potato, cut up into chunks, that will absorb the salt.


Pan-fried Spicy Tilapia w/Cucumber Salad

This weeknight dinner wasn’t fancy, nor fussy, just delicious with the pairing of pan-fried tilapia and cucumbers!

It had been a while since we last had tilapia so it was time to fry some up.  Lots of spicy seasonings were in order, with cornmeal for added crunchiness.  Adjust cayenne pepper to your heat preference.

I serve the cucumber salad with fish year round because it’s delicious and knows how to perk up a meal.

The salad is composed of crisp and cool cucumbers smothered in a sour cream sauce, with enough white wine vinegar for a little bite.  

Red bell peppers and green onions are incorporated for taste and eye appeal ~ and a smidgeon of sugar doesn’t hurt either ~ it keeps it on the delicate side.

This is a quick meal that isn’t short on flavor...

In other words, it’s pretty close to perfection and good enough for company!

Pan-fried Spicy Tilapia w/Cucumber Salad
Printable recipe


1½ pounds fresh tilapia fillets
1 tablespoon each, butter and vegetable oil
¼ cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
½ teaspoon each, salt and seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over low heat.
Pat fish dry with a paper towel.
On a shallow plate, mix together cornmeal and seasonings.
While butter melts, dredge fish in cornmeal mixture.
Increase heat to medium high, heat for a minute until butter turns a golden brown.
Add fillets to pan and sauté about 3 minutes on each side until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Transfer to serving plate and serve with Cucumber Salad.

Cucumber Salad


1 large cucumber, sliced thin
¼ teaspoon each, salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
¼ light sour cream
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar, more or less


Combine all ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving with tilapia.


The Giveaway winner...

Savoring Time in the Kitchen

Susan, please contact me at pams.kitchen@outlook.com with your mailing address.

Thanks to all of you for participating in the giveaway and for your kind comments on my blogiversary!

6 Year Blogiversary and ~ a Giveaway for You!

Woo hoo!

Today is this blogs 6th anniversary!

Way back on October 29, 2009 was my first post.   It doesn't seem that long ago, but looking at the whole picture, it has been 730 posts and a fantastic wild ride! 

I've learned a lot over the years ~ how to make everything from Apricot Glazed Pork Chops to Zucchini Fettuccine, there's Homemade Gravlax, Mom's Quick Streusel Coffee Cake, and Chiles Rellenos thrown into  the mix; with Bill at my side as my awesome grill chef and taster tester!

A couple of my most popular recipes being Bubba's Summer Sausage Recipe and my Italian-Style Baked Chicken Breasts.  Thankfully, Bill, Jr. has overlooked me calling him "Bubba" here over the years ~ must be all the good food he gets here!  ☺

But, that's just part of the picture:  What I have really learned over these 6 years is that, it's really about all you great bloggers out there in the community who have kept me motivated and persevering.  I've been awed by your great recipes and photographs!

I truly appreciate the time you take out of your busy day to read my posts, and leave me a comment.  You're the best!!!

In honor of the occasion,  I have a great giveaway of a cookbook (imagine that!) for you...

Since this is the Midwest, with us living in a NW Chicago 'burb, I have a cookbook for you, written by Chef Susan Goss and Drew Goss, the owners of West Town Tavern, a former restaurant in Chicago.  It was a great restaurant serving comfort food here for 11 years, when they up and closed shop, relocating to New Orleans.  At least they escaped the cold, snowy winters here!

West Town Tavern cookbook is divided into seasonal chapters, plus an extensive pantry.  Recipes range from Iron Skillet-Seared Rib Eye Steak to Warm Bread and Butter Pudding with Raisins, Roasted Pecans and Crème Fraîche (please invite me over for that one, if you make it!)

Here's a sampling of the awesome cookbook:

To enter the cookbook giveaway:

1.  MANDATORYIf you could invite any 4 people, living or dead, over for dinner around your table, who would they be.  You don't have to invite relatives or loved ones because they'd probably be there any way.   (For the record, I'd invite Bill Clinton, Peter Robinson, Rod Stewart and Martha Stewart.)

2.  The giveaway will remain open until midnight CST Friday, November 6, 2015.

3.  The winner will be chosen by a random number generator and announced on Saturday, November 7, 2015.

4.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Good luck to you all and thanks again for being here!

Great Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Pork Loin


That’s what this incredibly delicious roasted pork was!

Mom, and Grandma, always roasted pork in a covered pan, maybe with a little liquid added to the bottom of the pan ~ so did I, until now…

Begin with a fully pre-heated oven before placing the pork into the oven, to give the meat a nicely browned crisp exterior.

Rub the meat with an herb mixture, then transfer it onto a rack in a shallow uncovered pan; adding no liquid to the pan, and pop it into the oven for roasting. 

Ummm mmm!  The drippings from the roasted meat are packed with delicious flavor, perfect for making gravy for mashed potatoes.

This was undoubtedly some of the best pork we’ve ever had ~ great seasonings with a great crust, producing tender moist roasted pork!

Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Pork Loin
Printable recipe

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste
2 pounds boneless pork loin roast


Preheat oven to 350°.
Using a mortar and pestle, crush garlic, rosemary, salt  and pepper, making a paste.
With a sharp knife, pierce meat in several spots and press the garlic paste into the openings.
Rub the meat with the remaining garlic mixture.
Transfer the pork to a rack in a roasting pan.  
Roast, uncovered, for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145° to 160°, or until desired degree of doneness.
Let roast 10 minutes on cutting board before carving.


Italian Sausage w/Onion and Jalapeño Chowchow

In the nick of time, I discovered this recipe yesterday, before our evening meal…

The weather has been a little unusual here lately, in the low 70’s, so it’s still grilling season until the deck is empty in another week or two, making way for snow.

Bill grilled delicious spicy Italian sausages last night and I made the recipe that I saw here on Nee's blog and here on the Food and Wine site, to accompany it.
I may be a little lazy ~ I adapted the recipe slightly by sautéing Vidalia onions and jalapeños in a large skillet, instead of using skewers, and charring them on the grill; then, cooked the sauce in the same skillet.  

It’s a year-round relish to side with sausages cooked indoors, especially since heartier food in this neck of the woods gets a bit humdrum toward the end of winter.  

This chowchow is a chunky tangy tart-sweet relish:  I can think of a lot of other uses for it ~ hot dogs, sloppy joes, burgers, omelets, a topping for whitefish or salmon, or shrimp, it could be mixed with tuna salad, chicken salad, or pasta, or stirred into rice for a little kick, you get it…
Onion and Jalapeño Chowchow
Printable recipe  


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Vidalia onions, large chop
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup grainy mustard
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 pounds Italian sausages


Heat oil in a large skillet.
Sauté onions and jalapeños until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.
Transfer to a plate and set aside.
In the skillet, combine vinegar, sugar, both mustards, caraway seeds and turmeric.
Bring to a simmer, add onions and jalapeños, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes. 
Stir cornstarch and water together, add to skillet, and stir mixture until slightly thickened.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with sausages.

Note:  The chowchow can be refrigerated  for up to 1 week.  


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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