Friday, September 4, 2009

V-6 juice

Nothing tastes as good as homemade tomato juice and this V-6 juice is one that I make every year. I use it in soup and chili. but mostly I keep a quart of it in my refrigerator to drink for breakfast or any time I want a glass of fresh tasting juice.


22 lbs tomatoes
3/4 cup celery
" " Peppers, green
" " carrots
1/4 cup Parsley
1/2 cup onion
I put my jars and lids and rings in my canner and bring them to a boil to sterilize while i'm preparing my vegs for the juice.


22 lbs tomatoes
3/4 cup celery
" " Peppers, green
" " carrots
1/4 cup Parsley
1/2 cup onion
I put my jars and lids and rings in my canner and bring them to a boil to steralize while i'm preparing all the vegetables for the juice.

Put tomatoes ( I peel them by dipping them first in boiling water for about 30 seconds and then in ice water to slip the skins right off)
and other vegetables into a large stock pot and bring to a boil, simmer until all are soft and then strain through a china cap.

Dip jars out of boiling water and add 1 teaspoon canning salt to quarts, 1/2 teaspoon canning salt to pints. Bring juice back to a boil and fill jars to within 1/2 inch of the top. Set seals and screw rings on tight.

Process for 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Remove from canner and let cool.Then listen for them to seal as they cool off.

One of my fondest memories of living with my grandparents was laying in bed and listening to all the jars seal that we had put up that day. Bon Appetit` from The Ocassioanl Cook

Friday, July 17, 2009


These homemade Maraschino Cherries are fabulous! I used Rainier cherries instead of the Bing cherries that are called for because they're sweeter. I'm including a great recipe for White Chocolate & Cherry cookies along with the recipe for the homemade cherries. I think these will make terrific cookies or a pineapple upside down cake.


3 lbs firm tart red cherries
8 cups cold water
2 tablespoons ascorbic acid, crystals
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 tablespoon almond extract


Remove pits from cherries. Combine 8 cups water and ascorbic acid. Stir until crystals are dissolved.
Add cherries to the solution. Don't allow the fruit to remain more than 20 minutes. Rinse fruit; drain well.

Combine 1 1/2 cup water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Stir in food coloring and add the cherries.
Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Cool completely, allowing cherries to soak 24 hours.

Next day, bring to a boil and then stir in almond extract.
Pack hot cherries into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Shake jars to get firm pack.
Bring syrup to a boil and ladle hot syrup into jars. Process in water bath for 15 minutes for 1/2 pint jars.

* 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup sugar, divided
* 1 cup cold butter, cubed
* 1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, drained
* 12 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate, finely chopped, divided
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 2 teaspoons shortening
* Coarse sugar and red edible glitter

In a large bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Knead in the cherries, 2/3 cup white chocolate and extract until dough forms a ball.
Shape into 3/4-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with a glass dipped in remaining sugar. Bake at 325° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a microwave, melt shortening and remaining white chocolate at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
Dip half of each cookie into chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and edible glitter. Place on waxed paper until set. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chicken a la King

This is a restaurant recipe. I serve it over biscuits and also use it to make chicken pot pies. The pastry I use is added. It is so easy to work with and tastes better than any pastry I have ever used for the pies.


2 oz clarified butter or margarine
3 Tbs. onion, minced
¼ cup green pepper, small dice
4 Tbs. flour
1 can butterball chicken broth
2 cups hot milk
1 sm. can sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup light cream , hot
2 Tbs diced pimiento
2 ½ cups cooked chicken, cut into ½" cubes
¼ cup Sherry Wine ( cooking Sherry)

In 1 oz of the clarified butter, saute` onions and green pepper just until translucent, do not brown.
Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook the roux gently for a few minutes , but do not let it brown.
With a whip, stir in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly as the sauce thickens.
Stir in hot milk. Simmer for 15-20 minutes to cook out the starch taste and to reduce the liquid slightly.
Saute` the mushrooms in the other ounce of clarified butter, very quickly, without letting them brown.
Add them to the sauce.
Stir in the hot cream and add the chicken cubes and pimiento.
Bring just to a simmer. Add Sherry, salt, and pepper to taste.
Serve in patty shells or over rice or use to make pot pies using the recipe for the pastry below.

Process in a food processor to the consistency of cornmeal;
2 sticks cold butter
2 cup plain flour
Add: 1 cup cottage cheese, creamed
Mix thoroughly and roll out into crusts for pot pies
May be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week and used as needed
or frozen until used.
Incredibly tender and tasty! No matter how much you work it,
it will remain tender.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


About 15 years ago I had the pleasure of discover-
ing a New Orleans Chef, Gigi Patout, who put a new twist on an old favorite of mine. Cabbage rolls with lagniappe (pronounced "lah-nyahp"), a southern Louisiana word meaning "a little something extra", and these definitely have something extra! They can be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated or frozen, and re-heated the next day. Serve these up with a big ole pone of cornbread and watch 'em disappear before your very eyes! The secret to this delicious dish is not cooking the rice before you add it to the meat mixture.

Bring a large kettle of water to a boil Core a large head of cabbage and place it in the boiling water, base side down. Remove each leaf as it loosens with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

In a large bowl, mix together:
1 pound ground chuck
1 teaspoon each of salt, cayenne, and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup each chopped green onions and parsley
Add up to 2 cups raw rice.(I use only 2/3 cup)

Line a roasting pan with a single layer of cabbage leaves. Form the mixture into rolls about 3" long and 1" thick and wrap each
one in a cabbage leaf, tucking in the ends to seal the moisture in and lay then in a single layer in the roasting pan on top of the
cabbage leaves, seam side down.

Mix together:
2- 8 oz. cans Rotel tomatoes
32 ounces tomato sauce ( I use a quart of Beefamato juice)

Pour over the cabbage rolls and cover with a layer of the remaining cabbage leaves. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about and hour, or until done.
To test for doneness, remove a cabbage roll and taste the rice. It should be tender. If the liquid in the pan gets below the level of the cabbage rolls, add a little water or more tomato juice. When done, transfer cabbage rolls to a platter with the leaves and thicken the broth left in the pan slightly. Pour over the cabbage rolls and serve.

NOTES: I sometimes use wild rice in place of the long grain white rice.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I made this at the request of a friend who had had this salad at a family restaurant once and although I didn't think the taste of corn in mayonnaise would be a taste I would like, I was very pleasantly surprised. And the friend said it was tha "bomb", which, i'm told, meant it was "delicious" LOL


* 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
* 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
* 2 tablespoons chopped green onion with blades
* 1/3 cup mayonnaise

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 4 servings. I tripled the recipe to serve about 10 people.
NOTE: I used a plum tomato because they are meatier, but any kind will work well, just get all the seed out.




* 2 cups fresh or frozen sweet corn
* 3/4 cup chopped tomato
* 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
Publish Post

* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1/4 cup prepared ranch salad dressing

In a large salad bowl, combine vegetables; stir in dressing. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 8 servings

It's almost time for some outdoor cooking and eating and I learned a great trick last year about making corn on the cob.

Instead of boiling it in water. Try soaking the ears in water, husks on, for about 30 minutes to an hour. Then with the husks still on, pull off the brown silks at the end and put the ears in the oven on 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. When done and you pull the husks off, all the silks come off with them and the corn is ready to slather with butter and salt or your favorite herb.

I prefer chili powder or just plain cumin and butter. Absolutely outstanding! Give it a try at your next cookout.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Dandelions in a Jelly Glass
(or Mother's Day Dinner)

Long years ago, when I was young,
I whiled the happy hours
with siblings, as we romped among
the early spring wildflowers
.In May we gathered dandelions,
competing with each other,
and coveted our precious finds,
presenting them to Mother.

Her eyes lit up, and how the praise
did warm each little heart!
When lunch time came, our gold bouquets
such sunshine would impart,
In a jelly glass as centerpiece,
evoking mood so cheerful.
Our childish bickering had to cease,
no eye continued tearful.

Today, my daughters, city bred,
with manners fine and proper,
By highest, loving motives led,
have spent hours shining copper
And polishing the silverware-
the table must be gracious.
Appointments laid with utmost care,
My heart's not here ~ the spacious
Sunny halls of my old home,
and pastures red with clover,
Are calling me once more to roam
through childhood days long over.

I tell the girls that I'll be pleased
to decorate the center.
At last their call comes, much relieved,
the dining room to enter.
My loving children lead me in
and stopping, stare aghast;
They look and then they look again,
at dandelions ~ in a jelly glass?

In loving memory of the author, my friend and mentor, Grace Luella Peterson Perry

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Breakfast Casarole

This is a great breakfast casserole for a Sunday Brunch or at any time, especially for a large family gathering. It has all the items for breakfast in it and everything will be hot at once instead of having to wait to cook eggs last while everything else gets cold. It's also a great time saver and wonderful to take to church for a potluck breakfast.

Breakfast Casserole

Enough cubed bread to cover the bottom of a 9" X 13" casarole dish, I like sourdough but any kind of bread may be used
1 pound ground mild sausage
6 eggs) beaten
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced, cooked, red potatoes ( peelings may be left on if you desire)
1 1/2 cups combined grated Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses

Cube the bread and place it in a buttered 9 x 13 x 2-inch casserole. Fry the sausage until it's almost done; drain off the fat. Mix the eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Layer the sausage over the bread, and top with a layer of potatoes. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Pour the egg mixture over the casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tomato Casserole

This is a delicious side dish, that is wonderful for church potlucks,and can be tailored to however many you are going to serve. Make it ahead and either cook it or warm it up when you get to your destination. Or maybe you need something that does not need to be hot when you bring it...

Tomato Casserole

1 sleeve Ritz crackers crushed coarsely
4 large tomatoes (Tennessee tomatoes are the best)
Chopped onion
Parmesan cheese or one of the cheese combinations
Salt and Pepper

I usually use a 2 qt white Corningware dish buttered. Peel tomatoes and slice thickly. Make layer of tomatoes, sprinkle salt and pepper, few chopped onions, cover with Ritz crackers, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and top with four or five pats of butter. Continue layering until all the tomatoes are gone, ending with the Cracker layer and topped with butter. Bake uncovered at 350 until hot--about 30 minutes if at room temperature or more if refrigerated.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I think the South Carolinians have it perfected! I have eaten a lot of hot dog chili in a lot of different parts of the country, but, I think this is the best, BY FAR, and wanted to share it with you. A really good cook from SC gave it to me.


Put in a pot and cook till it's pink constantly mashing so as not to have lumps;
1 lb. ground beef

then add: 1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 cup worcestershire sauce
about 1 cup water
about 1 cup ketchup

Cook on simmer until it has boiled down to the desired thickness.

When making hot dogs, add minced fresh Vidalia or Texas sweet onions. Voila`! the best hot dog chili goin. ( just the humble opinion of a dyed in tha wool country girl )Hope ya'll enjoy this taste treat! Bon Appetit`

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

California Waldorf & Chicken Salad

. If you love the original Waldorf Salad first made at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, you're really gonna love this one! It's one of the ways I can get myself to eat my spinach. And after that I'll tell ya a great way to make chicken salad too.....

California Waldorf Salad

1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt or sour cream( since I'm not a yogurt fan, I use sour cream)

1/3 cup Hellman's real mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

1/2 cup Thompson's white, seedless, raisins

3/4 cup halved red seedless grapes

1 cup apple, small dice

1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts

4 cups baby spinach, washed well and dried

Combine the yogurt or sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, zest, curry, and honey or sugar and set aside.

Mix together the celery, raisins, grapes, apple, and nuts in a large bowl. Add about half of the dressing, and stir to combine. Just before serving, add the spinach and toss to combine. Add more dressing if needed. This will serve 4-6 people.


A great way to make a very tasty chicken salad is to combine 3 parts diced, cooked chicken, and 2 parts diced celery and mix in some purchased coleslaw dressing like Marie's. The tangy sweetness is a perfect compliment to the chicken and celery. I love it on the flatboard "everything" crackers or toasted rounds of "everything" bagels.

You can, of course, add anything else you like to your chicken salad that you desire. I just like the simplicity of the chicken and celery alone.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mama Mora's "Gravy" (Spaghetti Sauce)

This recipe was sent to me by my then, MIL from Sturno, Italy. back then I spoke no Italian so my DH had to translate it for me. There are a couple of nuances that IMO make this recipe taste wonderful. According to what another chef friend told me, the Northern Italians use sugar to cut the acid in the tomatoes, but the Southern Italians use the seeds of the herb, "fennel", to sweeten them.

Another thing that is important is to use " plum" tomatoes. Mama called for POPE brand crushed tomatoes and they are very hard to find anymore, I have been able to find a brand called, CENTO , but look for the small plum tomatoes on the label picture, those are the ones you want to use. I have used other brands of just regular crushed tomatoes and they're not as good.

I also always use fresh herbs ( basil and oregano & parsley) and I use only the leaves of the herbs, never the stems. Dom interpreted the "spaghetti sauce seasoning" as dried Italian seasoning so thats what I use.Oh, and if you use the Italian sausage it already contains fennel seed, so I usually only use about 1/2 teaspoon and I smash them with a rolling pen.


Use half ground pork and half ground veal or " Hillshire brand" Italian sausage, mild or hot. ( Gauge this by how much meat you want in the gravy, I usually use equal ammounts of all three.

1 large can "Cento brand" crushed tomatoes ( just make sure they are "plum" tomatoes.

2- 6 ounce cans tomato paste ( the Cento brand I found had a 12 ounce size )

2 ounces olive oil

6 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 sweet onion ( I use texas sweet)

1 bunch, leaves only, fresh oregano

1 bunch fresh basil, leaves only, minced

half as much fresh parsley as basil, leaves only, minced

Italian seasoning ( I use about 1 teaspoon)

Fennel seeds ( I use about 1/2 teaspoon and smash them with a rolling pin)

1 teaspoon paprika

Mix crushed tomatoes, fennel seed, basil, parsley,oregano, paprika and Italian seasoning in large pot and simmer.

Fry in the olive oil, the fresh garlic and minced onion, but do not brown, then add meat and cook till done.

Strain out the meat and add to the simmering tomatoes.

In the remaining grease in the skillet, add the tomato paste and cook until it changes color, then add to the simmering mixture. Simmer on low 3-4 hrs. I've been usisng a crock pot so I don't have to watch it and letting it simmer all day on low.

I make all the italian dishes that call for "sauce" ie... spaghetti, ziti, lasagna, eggplanat or veal parmesan,etc... with it.

NOTES: Dried herbs may be used. I just prefer to use fresh ones as I think it makes the "gravy" taste better.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese like Boston market

Mac & Cheese has always been a favorite of mine and now I've found a new way to make it that is the best I've ever had. The addition of Chicken broth really sets it off.

Macaroni and cheese like Boston Market

2 cups of elbow macaroni (cooked)
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk or (sometimes I use a large can of Pet evaporated milk)
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube in 1 cup of boiling water
1 1/2 cup shredded Mild Cheddar
1 cup cubed Velveeta type cheese
1/2 tsp salt (according to how salty the bouillon and cheeses are, you might not need the extra salt.)
pepper to taste

In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour til smooth. Gradually add milk and bring mixture to a boil,
add bouillon and stir for 2 minutes (or until mixture starts to thicken). Lower heat to a simmer
and add cheeses and salt & pepper. When the cheese is melted mix together with cooked macaroni.
Place in a greased casserole dish & bake 30 min @ 375ยบ (I like the top of mine brown & bubbly).
You could easily put this in the crock instead of baking it.

Makes about 6 servings.

NOTE: If you want thicker mac and cheese, just add the chicken bouillon cube to the milk and omit the water.

OVEN FRIED CHICKEN With Lemon Pepper Gravy

Fried Chicken has always been on of my favorite dishes, but frying is just not the best way to eat food anymore. This is so close to the taste of fried chicken you'll hardly be able to tell you cooked it in the oven. And one of the best things about it is not having to deal with the grease or the clean-up when you're done. I love the flavor of lemon pepper on my chicken but if you want just plain ole' country fried chicken, omit the lemon/pepper seasoning.

Oven Fried Chicken With Lemon Pepper gravy

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon garlic powder over chicken and place in a ziplock bag. Let sit at least two hours in fridge or overnight. I let mine sit overnight.

Place 1/2 stick butter and 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a shallow baking dish and put in a 425 degree oven to get hot.
(Make sure the pan is large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces without any of them touching each other and make sure the oils are good and hot before you add the chicken pieces)

Combine 1/2 tablespoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 cup all-purpose flour in a large ziplock bag.
Rinse chicken parts and pat dry with paper towels and place in bag with flour mixture. Shake well to coat all pieces.
Remove hot pan from the oven and arrange the chicken in the pan, skin side down, making sure none of the pieces touch each other.This is an important step to make sure the meat stays crisp and doesn't make any steam.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, turn chicken so that the skin side is up and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes more, until nicely browned and juices run clear.Remove to a platter and let cool at least 10 minutes. Make gravy.

Lemon Pepper or Country Gravy

Scrape baking pan and place 3 Tablespoons of the accumulated cooking fat and browned bits into a sauce pan. Add 1/2-2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning. Stir in 3 Tablespoons flour and cook 1-2 minutes until well combined.
Stir in 2 cups cold milk and continue cooking and whisking until gravy boils and thickens. Cook about one minute. Season with salt if necessary.

NOTE: If making plain country gravy, omit the lemon pepper seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


And you will too. They're a cupcake with the icing inside instead of on top! Actually it's a cheesecake filling. You can use this recipe for the cake or use a cake mix of any kind. The cheesecake filling can also be flavored/tinted to any color desired. Flavor the white with coconut or use red food color( to make pink) and strawberry flavoring for Valentine's day, Lots of possibilities.Even a white cake mix and chocolate flavored filling. Just mix in a teaspoon of cocoa or some melted chocolate chips into the filling. Have fun with this one!

MOON ROCKS (350-35 minutes)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all together and fill cupcake tins 1/2 full. Add 1 teaspoon
filling to each cupcake and top with rest of cake mixture.

FILLING: Cream together, 1 pkg cream cheese, 1 egg and
1/2 cup sugar

NOTE: When I make these, I use the "Texas size" muffin tins and it makes exactly 1 dozen perfect cupcakes.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Homemade pizzas are not something I usually make, but this recipe is soooo easy, and you're only limited by your imagination. You don't even need any yeast! All you need is some flour and a few other ingredients to make a batter that turns into a great, thin crust. What's even better is you can have it whipped up and served before you can call a pizza place and get one delivered and you can put any toppings you want on it.

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
My first one was like a bacon cheeseburger. I fried up about a pound of ground chuck with a small chopped onion, drained off the grease, and sprinkled it on top of the crust I had mixed up and baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then I squirted some mustard, and chopped pickles on top, sprinkled 1/3 pound of crumbled up, crisp bacon all over and added 2 cups shredded american cheese. Popped it back into the oven on broil and baked just until the cheese was nicely melted and slightly brown.(about 3 minutes)

You would make a traditional one by adding some pepperoni slices or cooked Italian sausage, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional), baking 20 minutes, drizzling on 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce and adding
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese or pizza cheese .

Another good one would be shredded cooked chicken, 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, baked, then drizzled with ranch or italian dressing, adding 2 cups of mozzarella or any other kind of cheese.

Let everyone choose their own toppings for a fun Supper Bowl Day!

Here aare the directions for the crust.
1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2 Grease and flour a pizza pan or 10 x 15 baking sheet (with sides).
3 Combine flour, salt, oregano, pepper, eggs and milk and mix well.
4 Pour batter in pan and tilt pan around until bottom of pan is evenly coated.
5 Sprinkle the cooked toppings over the batter.
6 Bake for 20 minutes.
7 Remove from oven and drizzle on pizza sauce or other condiments.
8 Sprinkle evenly with cheese.
9 Bake for about 5 more minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Blueberry Scones

I'm not sure how many of you have tried these delicious little fruit filled biscuits, but when I first tried this recipe I was very disappointed in the way they cooked up. So I sat about making them so they were as nice and high as I wanted them to be and also as sweet.

The butter should be frozen solid before grating. I chill the flour, sugar mixture before use. While the recipe calls for 2 whole sticks of butter, only 10 tablespoons are actually used (see step 1). If fresh berries are unavailable, an equal amount of frozen berries (do not defrost) can be substituted. Any fruit can be used in place of the blueberries. ( I especially like raspberries, so I buy the frozen ones to use in my scones. Cut larger berries into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces before incorporating. Refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrapped in foil, in an airtight container.

To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. Heat until warmed through and re-crisped, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen. See final step for information on making the scone dough in advance.

Makes 6-8

16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole (see note above)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or any other fruit you desire (about 7 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling ( I also use 1/3 cup on top of the fruit when making the scones and then the tablespoon on top with the butter before baking.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest ( I omitted this but some of you may like to use it)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper
from each stick of frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter , the flour, and the 1/2 cup sugar in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of additional butter and set aside.

2. lightly grease an 8" square or round cake pan. ( I use a round one and the scones bake up perfect.)

3. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest , if used, in the bowl with the grated butter and flour/sugar mixture Toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

4. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times,
until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

5. Divide the dough in half and press one half into the prepared pan, then top with the blueberries jor other fruit and spread it evenly over the top of the dough. This is where I add the extra 1/3 cup of sugar. I sprinkle it over the top of the fruit evenly.

6. Now spread the other half of the dough over the top of the bottom dough with the fruit and brush the melted butter over the top. Then sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of sugar on top.
Using a floured bread scraper or spatula, I then score the scones by cutting them into eighths if in a round pan, or into 6 scones by cutting across the square pan once through from side to side and then twice through from the other side
NOTE: Cutting through the dough before baking to score it is not necessary unless you want your scones to break apart easily in proportioned pieces.

Bake 18 to 25 minutes.until tops and bottoms are golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

To Make Ahead:
Scones may be refrigerated or frozen before baking, If refrigerated, bake as directed. If frozen bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until done and both top and bottom are brown.


Vietnamese food has never been something I wanted to learn how to cook. And, stir-fry, even though it fills me up for the moment, never seems substantial enough to quell my appetite for very long. But after becoming acquainted with a Vietnamese cook and eating a dish she prepared for me, one I can't even begin to pronounce, I am excited about sharing it with you. This is a satiating meal .................the whole family will enjoy, especially if it's accompanied by a couple of egg rolls.

When served this meal for the first time, I eye-balled the large Wok with trepidation. How could this pot full of rabbit food, with not one tidbit of meat to be seen, feed the five people who were seated around the table? How could one feel full without any meat? Or biscuits and gravy? Can you tell I'm a southern country gal used to meat and potatoes at every meal?

My Bigmother always taught me that "good manners" required I eat whatever the hostess prepared and convince her that I enjoyed it! And even though I felt this was going to take monumental acting skills , I dug in with the gusto of a "hound dog", and before the meal was over, had eaten my fair share of this delicious fare. This is probably the best "stir-fry" I have ever had and I make it regularly. It takes more "prep" time than it does
the 4 or 5 minutes needed to "cook" it and is the perfect meal for the hot, dog-days of summer we experience here in Florida. As I stated before, I can't begin to pronounce it's name so I just call it..........


Clean and cut, "julieanne-style", 1 cup carrots
Clean and cut crosswise into little rounds, 1 pkg. green onions ( bulbs & blades)
Clean and chop finely, 1 head Napa cabbage

Cook in half water and half chicken broth: 1 pkg. angel hair pasta, al dente ( drop pasta into rapidly
boiling water-broth liquid for 3-4 minutes) Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking action. Drain again and set aside.

In a Wok, or large skillet, heat to very hot, 1 Tablespoon Sesame oil ( reg veg oil may be used but I think the sesame oil gives it a unique flavor)
Add: carrots and toss, cooking for 1 minute
Add: green onnions and cook, tossing continuously, for 1 minute
Add: Napa cabbage and cook for another minute
Add: cooked, drained, pasta
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
and cook, tossing, until just heated all the way through and serve.

If you feel this is not a substantial enough meal, lay 1-2 eggs rolls on the side of each plate before serving.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Now This, is a Cake!

When Bigmother made cakes they were sometimes 10" high. Having 3-4 layers of cake and 2-3 layers of icing. One of my favorites was her Jam cake with caramel icing. It tastes like a cross between a spice cake and gingerbread to me and when I make it now, I leave off the icing and bake it in 2- 5" X 9" X 3" loaf pans. The first recipe for caramel icing is the one she always used. The second one is a bit easier to make.

1 cup butter
2 cup sugar
3eggs, beaten
3 cup flour
1 teaspoon each of, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup blackberry jam
1 cup nuts, optional
1 cup raisins, optional
Cream butter and sugar. add eggs and buttermilk, add jam, add spices to flour and mix together.
stir in additions of nuts and raisins.
Pour into 8-9" cake pans
bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. makes 3- 4 layers, frost with caramel icing

In a saucepan put:
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
Stir, cooking until all is melted. Boil without stirring 3-5 minutes or to the soft-ball stage ( 238 degrees F)
Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until cool and thick.
Double for more layers on cake.
Melt in a saucepan: 1/3 cup butter.
Add 1 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 cup cream.
Cook to 238 degrees f. ( soft ball stage)
remove from heat and beat in 1 box powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.. Beat until thick enough to spread.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I love the Pasta e Fagioli soup they serve at Olive Garden and a friend of mine gave me this knock-off recipe for it. It's really delicious and filling on a cold day, especially with a grilled cheese sandwich. Although they're not called for I also add potatoes to mine and then actually it's more like vegetable beef soup I still call it my.........


1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 lb ground chuck
or stew beef
3/4 cup onion , chopped
1/2 cup carrots, slivered
2 cups red potatoes, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 small can. tomatoes w/green chilies, canned, diced

1 can dark red kidney beans, drained

1 can white kidney beans, drained
32 oz. beef broth ( I make mine with Knorr's beef boullion cubes)

1/2 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 sm. jar spaghetti sauce flavored w/ meat ( I use Ragu`)
1/2 cup dry pasta ( elbow, shells, twists, etc...)

Saute` beef in olive oil in large pot till it starts to brown. Add onions, carrots, potatoes,celery and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent but not brown. Add drained beans to the pot. Also , add beef stock, oregano, pepper, spaghetti sauce and simmer about 45 minutes. Add dry pasta and simmer another 8-10 minutes or until pasta is done but not soft.

Serve with cornbread or for a really impressive service, cut the tops off individual french hard breads, about 1/3 down. Scoop out bread from inside and fill with soup. Serve scooped out bread on the side.


When the snow is piled knee deep to a tall indian, it's time for some soup! Especially after you've been outside shoveling snow. Or just on a cold winter morning, this soup will make a great meal and really warm ya up. You might want to mash a few of the potatoes to make it thicker , and I add 1 Knorr's chicken bouillon cube to mine for extra flavor. A dollop of sour cream on top is great too.


2 1/2lbs Red Potatoes, the small ones (approximately 15 chopped into 3/4" - 1" pieces)
1/2c minced onion
1/4c Land O Lakes butter, melted
2 to 3 tsp flour (for thickening)
1/2 tsp salt, pepper,& garlic powder
1/2 pkg. Oscar Meyer real bacon pieces...(2.8 oz bag) ( I prefer real bacon, about 4 slices, crumbled)
8 oz pkg shredded Monterey & cheddar cheese..(already mixed bag) ( I used mozzerella only)
14 oz can chicken broth
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 bunch green onions plus tops, sauteed` in a little butter (for garnish)
sour cream (optional)

Boil potatoes and set aside, saute onions in butter, thicken with flour to make a roux , add chicken broth and cream.Fold in the potatoes and cheese, add bacon and simmer on low just long enough to melt the cheese.