How to Use this Blog

This blog is designed to be used like a cookbook. I've put tags on each recipe so you can go to the section on that topic just by clicking on the word in the cloud or the list. Some recipes are under more than one category to help you find what you're looking for.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

It’s time.  For the next month or so you will be cooking your fool head off.  You will cook things you only cook on holidays and eat more than you eat any other time of the year.  

This is your magic weekend.  The calm before the storm, so to speak.  It would be a good time to clean out the fridge.  You could make a game out of it.  Wager someone how old the oldest expiration date will be.  You should also check your spices.  

You will need to buy new sage and/or poultry seasoning.  Definitely get a new box of baking powder. And yeast. These things all have expiration dates and if you only bake at the holidays your current supply is out of date.  Do this now before the store runs out of sage. I have seen it happen. There is nothing more pathetic than trying to find sage at the Seven Eleven the night before Thanksgiving. (clue: They don’t sell sage there. However, they probably DO sell beer and you’re gonna need a lot of it if you try to put dressing without sage on your table.)

I have noticed that cake mixes don’t yield as much cake as a few years ago.  I don’t know when they slipped in this change but I noticed a year ago that a two-layer cake isn’t as tall as it used to be. You could mix up two boxes and bake three layers.  You’ll get a slightly bigger cake than usual but it’s all a matter of whether you want to look limp and feeble or hale and hearty for the holidays.

The alternative is to make it from scratch.  I may try this but it has emerged that our family is a PIE family, not a cake family.  So, I may not even fool with it.

I have most of the classic recipes here on the blog index.  Look for  the "Thanksgiving" label.  When you click on it you will get everything in that category--- from How to Cook a Turkey to a new cranberry relish recipe I love.  It's not in any kind of order so Quiche shows up before Turkey--keep scrolling. Cooking a turkey is one of the oldest recipes so it shows up at the very end.  I put some breakfast choices for those of you who have overnight guests. I’m not sure if I put a sweet potato pie recipe here.  I got into BIG trouble one year trying to foist off Sweet Potato pie as a Pumpkin pie.  I think I permanently lost Elizabeth’s trust over that one. LET ME JUST SAY……..I Don’t think you can tell the difference and you’re not inviting Elizabeth over for dinner, anyway.

Remember my favorite tip:  In cold weather you can use your outside BBQ grill as a second refrigerator.  Just as long as it has a heavy cover, that is--to keep the raccoons out. And watch for the afternoon temperature…it might get warmer than your ice box.

You can tell I’m old because I just used the word “ice box.”

 Have a GREAT Thanksgiving/Hanukah/Christmas!

PS--Hey!  You still have to click on the "Thanksgiving" part down there on the bottom left.  It's the little orange highlighted word.  Otherwise, you are stuck with "Summer Slaw".  This is not automatic.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Summer Slaw

Go figure.  I just made the best slaw I've ever made in my life and it's the dead of winter.  I swear I was ready to put on my swimming suit and look for a party.  It's the ginger that makes it taste like summer.  And, forgive me, I don't have the exact measurements tied down.  I kind of made it as I went along.  I made some - tasted it- loved it and kept going.  Maybe you could do the same thing.

Get a package of ready cut cabbage and carrots.  One package.

Grate just a minuscule amount of ginger on a microplane into a big bowl.  Be careful that you don't use too much or it will overpower the slaw. Then grate a about 1/8 a  peeled apple on the same microplane.  This clears the ginger out of the blades.  Add the juice of 1/4 a lemon.  Add about 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Mix all of this together.  Then add the slaw cabbage and mix well.  Taste.  Then start over with mixing another batch of the ginger, apple, lemon and sugar in a cup and add that to the slaw to taste.  It will probably take it all.

It's the ginger.  I don't know a slaw recipe in the world that has ginger in it.  And I love it.  No mayo.  Very fresh.  Don't hold it over too long.  It should make you feel like you just stepped out of the garden and are ready to go swimming.  Even in winter.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Party Sandwiches

Sometimes people call these little sandwiches sliders but I don't know why.  Maybe they slide down your throat?  Whatever.  I don't go to a lot of parties.  I got the recipe from Laquita at church.  Everything she cooks is good and I steal her recipes all the time.  It's so bad that her recipes are about all I have for church suppers-It's so bad that I have to ask her what she's taking to the monthly church potluck to keep from duplicating one of her dishes.

These are tasty.  They're small and easy to handle.  They're about the equivalent to a half or a quarter of a "real" sandwich.  And they're easy to make ahead of time.

Here's how:

Mix up:

2 sticks butter, melted
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

You can mix this ahead anytime you want and even leave it in the refrigerator to have whenever you want it.

Take a package of rolls-- I use the sweet Hawaiian rolls.  They are baked in such a way that each roll is connected to all the others.  I take a serrated knife and slice horizontally through the whole "loaf" of individual rolls; it makes it easy to spread the butter on the whole thing this way.

spread each roll on the bottom with the butter.  Put ham and swiss cheese or whatever kind of filling you want.  Spread more butter mixture on top.

Heat at 350 degrees until the cheese melts.  Serves either hot or cold.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


It helps to make it in a really cute pie plate.  I had run out of pie pans by this time.

Quiche is the perfect holiday breakfast and lunch food.  To start with, it works for either meal.  And you can make it ahead.  Then it can sit there in your fridge for days and days patiently waiting for its turn to shine.  You can ignore it until you need something classy and substantial, something healthy and light.  It's protein without being heavy. And you can dish it out one serving at a time if you want; in fact, it's almost better that way--especially if you do it MY way.


To make your Quiche better than anyone else's, start with a puff pastry dough.  Get it from the freezer case at the store and thaw at home.


  • package of puff pastry (they come with two crusts, use only one of them, and put the other one back in the freezer)
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk or half & half (You could also use whipping cream but it's almost too rich this way)
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup grated swiss cheese
You can also add other veggies to it like broccoli or halved grape tomatoes (on top, not inside).  I once added some left-over pico de gallo and it was fantastic. Quiche is very welcoming

  1. Preheat over to 425 degrees
  2. You might have to roll the puff pastry out a bit to get it big enough to make crust big enough for the pie pan.  Once you have it, lay it loosely over the pan.  Don't mash it together like other pie crusts.
  3. Mix the milk and egg well with the spices
  4. Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry until crisp.  Add the onion and fry that until soft.  Take off heat, drain and cool.
  5. Mix the cheese, bacon and onion together and fill the pastry.  Pour in the egg mixture carefully.
  6. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes
  7. Reduce oven to 300 degrees and bake for another 35-40 minutes until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
When you are ready to serve the quiche you can serve it hot out of the oven.

Or you can cut one slice and re-heat it on a pre-heated pizza stone in a 350 oven.  (This is best achieved by letting the stone heat at 400 degrees for a long time then reducing the oven just before you put the quiche on the stone).  This will have the effect of crisping the bottom crust while heating and softening the filling.  It's actually better this way.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


My guest blogger today is Sarah, the pancake queen--here for spring break. She found this recipe on Pintrest.  Go, Sarah-

Yesterday, was National Pancake Day so in honor of it I was put in charge of making pancakes. This is the recipe I found for Vanilla Cinnamon Buttermilk Pancakes.
Vanilla Cinnamon Buttermilk Pancakes
Serves around four

The ingredients you will need are:

2 cups of flour
3 TBSP of white sugar
1 1/2 TSP of baking soda
1 TSP of baking powder
1/4 TSP of salt
2 cups of buttermilk
1 1/2 TSP of Vanilla Extract
1/2 TSP of Ground Cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup of melted butter

You will also need:

Two medium mixing bowls
A whisk
A skillet or griddle
A spatula
Either PAM or butter to coat skillet or griddle

Let's get started!

STEP 1: Melt butter on the stovetop and set aside to cool slightly, but do not allow it to cool too much because it will solidify.

STEP 2: In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Use a whisk to combine.

STEP 3: In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and egg. Whisk to combine. Slowly pour the melted butter into the mixture. NOTE: Make sure your butter has not solidified. If it has, microwave it for a few seconds.

STEP 4: Slowly, pour in one third of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until it is well incorporated. Repeat until you have used all of the wet ingredients. Be careful to not overmix. If you overmix. your pancakes will not be light and fluffy.   

STEP 5:  Set the batter aside and heat up an warm skillet or griddle on medium- high heat. Once heated, coat skillet or griddle with PAM or butter.

STEP 6: Pour 1/4 or 1/3 cup of batter on the skillet or griddle. Pour the batter in a small neat circle.

STEP 7: Let pancake cook for about two minutes on each side. When the outer edges of the pancake turn a golden brown and begin to bubble, it is time to carefully flip.
NOTE: If you are using a griddle with a lid, you can put the lid down and not need to worry about flipping the pancake. Just cook it for two minutes or until it is a soft golden color.

Granny's note here:  my genius granddaughter invented something here:  she didn't have to flip the pancake this way!  it cooked on both sides at the same time.  the top barely touched (if at all) the top of the pancake and only added heat.  But beware of adding too many fat chocolatey add-ons or it could get messy.

STEP 8: Remove pancake from griddle or skillet, and either place pancake in the oven on the lowest setting to keep warm until ready to serve, or eat right way.

(Just for the record: I am a much calmer and patient than my grandma in the kitchen.)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Stabilized Whipped Cream

Sorry about the drab technical term.  There's no better way to describe it.  This is a recipe for taking whipping cream and give it a little UMPH! to help it last through a long weekend or a hot summer picnic or survive under the weight of a layered triffle.  Basically, it's just regular whipped cream fortified with a little gelatin.  This recipe makes it really stout.  It's the baker's equivalent of three cans of hairspray on your hairdo. It's your secret battle plan.

You can find unflavored gelatin either with the Jello or sometimes with the baking stuff like yeast.

1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  Chill the mixing bowl and beaters for at least 15 minutes before using.
2. Place water in small microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the water.  Let the gelatin soften for 5 minutes
3.  Dissolve the gelatin by microwaving for a minute at very low power 30% power.  You may need to hit it again.  The trick is to get the gelatin dissolved but not hot.  Let it stand until it's room temperature but still liquid.
4.  Put the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in the cold bowl and start mixing it until the cream starts to set up and shows marks.
5. Add the gelatin slowly, beating constantly.  Beat until stiff peaks form.
6.  Use immediately.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Spatchcocking a Turkey

First, let's take a moment to appreciate what a glorious word "Spatchccoking" is. I have no idea where the word came from.  It sounds vaguely Hungarian.  I had never heard of this technique until Elizabeth saw it in a Parade magazine a month ago and sent me the link with the thought, "What do you think?".  Ever the adventurous one, I agreed that we should give it a try.  And we are transformed, reformed, converted, ready to change our ways.

It does take a certain leap of faith and willingness to  change the way you cook.  You will not end up with a Norman Rockwell version of a turkey.  You will have a flattened version, much like if a truck ran over your turkey while you weren't looking. But the meat will be juicier and the bird will play well with others instead of hogging the oven. It cooks in half the time.

Here's what you do to spatchcock a turkey. 

First things, first:  Remember that turkeys are big birds. 
Basically, you remove the backbone and then lay the bird flat on a cookie sheet, as flat as you can get it.  The instructions I got called for kitchen shears but I knew better and got the biggest searrated knife I owned and the firmest grip I could muster and grabbed that bird with its tail in the air and it's wings holding balance on the counter and just reamed the knife down, sawing hard as I went.  You gotta watch not only the knife but the sharp edges of the bones as you cut through the rib cage.  Repeat the same process.  You're basically just cutting the back out, leaving the breast and wings as you are familiar with them.  You will need to cut through the breast center to flatten it; no need to cut through it completely, just enough to release it.  Pat around on the bird to assure yourself lyou have it as flat as you can get it.  Tuck the wings underneath themselves. 

Rub butter all over it.  Or olive oil.  Salt and pepper.

You will notice how big this bird is.  Turkeys are like that.  That's why we serve turkeys for big meals like Thanksgiving instead of chickens. You don't see anybody pigging out over a chicken. This presents a problem for your oven. 

You may not have, indeed--you probably will NOT have room for a big bird.  Instead, I got two small turkeys.  Here is a picture of one of them before and after:

I cooked them both at the same time.  Yes, there was room because they lay very flat and I used both shelves.  The recipe calls for 450 degrees for 90 minutes.  This sounds wrong but it works.  You can trust me.  I did it at my house, in my oven.  And you are looking at the picture of the turkey that came out of my oven set at 450 degrees.  This gave us a whole lot of extra time.  I cut up the turkey and covered it with foil and set it aside.  I think I set it in a roasting pan set on warm with a little water in the bottom for steam and let it rest there for about 30 minutes while we used the oven to heat the casseroles and the rolls.

I do believe this was the lowest stress Thanksgiving meal I've ever cooked.  And I am not known for my stress-free Thanksgivings. But they are tasty.