Friday, April 4, 2014


It is hard to believe that a year has passed and my husband will be celebrating again on Monday!  We are thankful for each year that we have and feel very blessed to have each other.

He can never think of anything he wants for his birthday except for my carrot cake!  While this photo does not do it justice, and it would be much prettier in a layer cake formation, I make it a sheet cake so that it is easier to serve and share.  I cannot photo a slice of it since we will be having the official "cutting" tonight at our dance club.

I thank Dorie Greenspan for this recipe and you can google and get the recipe if you want to try it.  It may take a bit more work than a boxed cake mix, but it is well worth the time.  I do not care for carrot cake, but I like this one!  It is chock full of carrots, coconut, walnuts and craisens.  Only one word for that - YUM.

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband and I wish him many, many more! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ina Garten's Deviled Eggs!

This is appetizers week in our Ina Garten Fridays group!!  I chose her deviled eggs because we love deviled eggs and I never deviate from my old family recipe so I thought I would branch out and try something different.  I'm so glad I did!  I love these and I am sure my DH will love them tonight for dinner also.

With just these ingredients, you can impress your guests or yourself, with some delicious deviled eggs.

Ina's recipe says to hardboil six eggs.  (I only did five because that was all I had and mine turned out a little fluffier than they probably should have, but delicious just the same).  If you don't know how to boil eggs, please take a minute to learn.  If your eggs turn out green, you have overcooked them.  To make perfect boiled eggs every time, I put my eggs in cold water and put them on the stove, bring to a boil.  As soon as they begin boiling, I take them off the stove and cover and let them sit for 15 minutes.  At this point, they are perfectly cooked and beautifully yellow inside.

Now, mash those yellows up and add 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup grated taco cheese, and a couple tablespoons of finely chopped green onion.

To save time and wash up of more utensils, I always put my filling in a baggie, cut a small hole on one corner, and mash out through the hole to fill the egg.  Is super easy, no mess, and looks almost as pretty as piped ones.  Enjoy!!
Here are a few of my blogger friends that also have First Friday recipes.
  May 2:  SSS   June 6:  Main Course   July 4:  Dessert/Other August 1: Appetizer/Drinks   Sept 5: SSS  Oct 3:  Main Course Nov 7: Dessert/Other  Dec 5:  Appetizer/Drinks 
SSS= Soup, Salad, or Side
Want to join our group?  If you’d like to blog each month, email Alyce at for further information.  If you’d like to join in just once in a while, click on the linky at the end of the post and follow the prompts the first Friday of any month.  Please link Ina recipes only!  Thanks!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Kitchen My World - Let's visit Belize!

This month in our group that virtually travels to a different country each month, it was my choice.  I chose Belize because my wonderful son and beautiful daughter-in-law went there on their honeymoon and loved the country.  I wanted a "taste" of what it might be like to visit there.  As I googled to search for native Belizian recipes, red beans and rice and bread pudding kept popping up so I thought. . . why not?

I like to start my blog with a joke that is relative to the country we are visiting.  I hope you like this one!  No offense intended.. . just good fun!

Two Belizians were riding their bikes across a university campus when one said "where did you get such a great bike?"
The second Belizian said, "I was walking across town yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on a bike, threw it to the ground, took off her clothes and said "take what you want."
The first Belizian nodded in approval and said, "good choice.  The clothes probably wouldn't have fit you anyway."   

I added a "cocktail" to our dinner (which we rarely do as we are not big drinkers, but do enjoy a glass of wine occasionally). Surprisingly, it was very good.  Even my DH enjoyed it!  If you haven't discovered coconut water I highly recommend it.  I have a glass every day.  I have tried most all brands, and my favorite is this one called O.N.E.  Delicious and hydrating.

 We love red beans and rice made the cajun way, so I thought this might be something we would really enjoy as well.  I was right.  It was delicious and flavorful.  The coconut milk in the rice made it extra creamy.  We try to have at least one meal each week that is meatless, and this was a wonderful way to do just that.

 And then we had to have dessert so my Belizian choice for that was bread pudding.  It was not the same as my normal bread pudding.  A bit crunchier.  But it was rich and delicious.  The coconut milk added a lot of flavor.  I substituted Craisens for the raisens.  And added whipped cream. . . at our house everything is better with whipped cream on top!!
All in all, we were very glad we visited this countries' recipes this month.  Check out what the others made at

For the recipes, click on these links:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies!!

Hello and happy Friday!

This week in our Ina Garten Group we did desserts.  I'm going to a "A Day at the Races" party tonight and I thought what a great time it would be to just make some brownies to take and share.  Plus, if I don't share them, I will eat them all and that much chocolate and butter and sugar cannot be good for anyone!  These beautiful brownies have a pound of butter in them and almost two pounds of chocolate!  I actually halved the recipe and put them in an 8x8 pan so I had to cook them longer than the recipe called for.  Really, what dessert could be better than just some good ole brownies!!  These brownies are rich. . . I'm sure I could not eat a square as large as Ina says to cut them.  I ended up cutting each brownie into four pieces.

After a pretty bad winter for us here in the south, our weather looks great for this weekend and I am planning to enjoy every minute of it I can.   My entire mood lifts when the sun is out.  I get a little gloomy in the cold winter months.

Hope everyone out there is having a great weekend.  Enjoy, laugh, love, and play!!

You can get the recipe by clicking on this link:

Here are a few of my blogger friends that also have First Friday recipes.
  April 4:  Appetizer/Drinks    May 2:  SSS   June 6:  Main Course   July 4:  Dessert/Other August 1: Appetizer/Drinks   Sept 5: SSS  Oct 3:  Main Course Nov 7: Dessert/Other  Dec 5:  Appetizer/Drinks 
SSS= Soup, Salad, or Side
Want to join our group?  If you’d like to blog each month, email Alyce at for further information.  If you’d like to join in just once in a while, click on the linky at the end of the post and follow the prompts the first Friday of any month.  Please link Ina recipes only!  Thanks!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

MKMW - Virtual Visit to The Czech Republic! Potato Pie

Not a good photo here.  Our group this month decided on Czech Republic recipes.  I googled and there were a lot to choose from.  I decided on this "potato pie" because we love potatoes.  I served it with a crockpot Boston Butt smothered in sauerkraut and some whole green beans.

If you do not know where the Czech Republic is located, it is in Europe surrounded by Poland, Slovakia and Germany.  The capital and largest city is Prague.

I enjoy our monthly group because it is diverse.  We all enjoy choosing the different countries and trying recipes from them.  I have made some good recipes and some bad ones.  But every recipe teaches me something about a country that I might have known nothing about.

As for the potato pie, it was a very easy and economical dish, but rather bland.


3 eggs
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup milk
3-4 large potatoes, peeled and grated
3 T. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 T. bacon fat

Beat the eggs, salt, and pepper well.  Add the milk.  Add the grated potatoes the stir in flour and baking powder.  Heat bacon fat in a large skillet (iron is best) and pour in potato mixture.  Dot with butter.  Bake uncovered in a preheated 400F degree over for one hour or until golden brown.
Delicious served with sauerkraut and pork.

Check out our group at

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ina Garten's Sundried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This month in our Ina Garten group is main dishes.  I chose a chicken dish.
Normally, I would not even think to buy chicken that has the skin on it.  And if I did I would promptly pull it right off.  But this recipe called for chicken breasts skin on so that you could stuff underneath the skin with the goat cheese and sundried tomatoes.   Ready to go in the oven!!

 The chicken breasts I bought were really large so it took a lot longer to cook than Ina's recipe called for.  She said to cook for 40 minutes.  Mine took a little over an hour.  This recipe is delicious.  I highly recommend it.  The breasts are so tender and juicy.

I served this with green beans and some ranch baked potatoes.  We really enjoyed it.

You can get the recipe here:

Our hearts go out this week to our group friend, Chaya, whose daughter passed away.  I have been blogging with Chaya for over six years now.  Our group wanted to reach out to her in some way so I am offering up this prayer for her.

Dear Lord, I pray for Chaya who has lost her daughter.  I ask that you surround her family with your love and hope.  Send them peace and grace.  Please give them the strength they need to go through each day and comfort them as only you can.  I pray that Chaya and her family will be filled with wonderful and joyful memories of their loved one. Bring them the divine assurance that only can come through your love.  Amen.

Here are a few of my blogger friends that also have First Friday recipes.

  • Mary - 

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    MKMW - Let's travel to Poland!

    In our My Kitchen My World group we visit different countries each month and choose a recipe from that country.  This month is Poland.  There are so many wonderful Polish recipes out there that it was hard for me to choose.  I wanted to do something with kielbasa so I chose this cabbage and kielbasa dish.  We really enjoyed it.  We first had a cup of my chicken corn chowder (see post below) and then followed that with the cabbage dish.  It was sweet and yet a pop of heat from the red pepper flakes.  My DH really enjoyed it.  He went back for seconds. . .. and maybe thirds!  As you can see, it is all made in a skillet making it a one dish meal for easy cleanup!

    A topping of bacon really brings out the flavor of the cabbage and kielbasa.  You could also add diced potatoes to the mix.  I left out the caraway seed because we do not care for it.

    Check out what all is going on in our group by clicking on this link.  We welcome new members so come join us!  It is fun to experiment each  month with something new.

    Now get you some kielbasa and try this dish!

    Original recipe makes 6 servings   


    1. In a large skillet, fry bacon over medium high heat until browned, turning once. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings, and place on paper towels.
    2. Stir water, sugar, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, seasoned salt, and caraway seeds into drippings. Add cabbage, and gently stir. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
    3. Add kielbasa to the pan. Cook, covered, for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Crumble bacon over top, and serve hot.

    Chicken and Corn Chowder

    I think because the weather here has been unbelievably cold, I have been in soup mode.  Last week I made Ina Garten's Leek and Potato soup.  Yesterday I made a chowder that I have not made in probably 25 years.  We really enjoyed it for dinner last night so I thought I would share with you.  It's really creamy and tasty.

    Here is the recipe.  I used rotisserie chicken for easy and I only added two russet potatoes to mine.

    Original recipe makes 8 servings    

    1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir carrot, celery, onion, and garlic into hot butter until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir flour into mixture to make a paste; cook until lightly browned and flour gives off a slightly toasted smell, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully, flour burns easily. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside to cool, about 15 minutes.
    2. Stir white and yellow corn, potatoes, chicken, and 3 cups of chicken stock in a large soup pot over medium heat. Whisk remaining 1 cup chicken stock into vegetables and flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir mixture into ingredients in soup pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until thick, about 15 minutes.
    3. Stir half-and-half, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper into chowder. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Ida Garten's Fridays - Soups, Salads, Sides!

    It's the day after New Year's and after a wonderful meal last night with some of our close friends, I am ready to begin 2014!  Yes, I ate the collards and the peas, but not the hog jowl. Will bacon in the collards suffice for my good luck this year?  I hope so! I figure the year will be pretty much what I make of it and I anticipate a good one.  It is 9:30 this morning and I am sitting here enjoying a most delicious bowl of potato soup.  It's our Fridays with Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) and we are checking out some of her delicious dishes.  I chose her potato soup.  It is very cold here this week and it just sounded warm and comforting.  I made a few adjustments however making the recipe a bit simpler and using ingredients I had on hand.  I left out the leeks, but definitely will put them in next time!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS.  May you always have "enough."  Put the past behind you, love, laugh, forgive, enjoy and make commitments you can look forward to!

    You can check out Ina's recipe for this wonderful soup here:

    Check out what the other cooks made of Ina's this week by clicking on the links below.

    If you made an Ina Garten soup, salad or side and you want to join in the linky below please do.  And if you want to join our group, leave a message with our leader, Alyce.

    Friday, December 27, 2013

    Christmas Stollen?

    Christmas at our house this year was a quiet one.  We did the family thing earlier in the month so good friends had us over for dinner both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so they are a blessing to us.  I made Rachel Ray's five minute fudge wreath to give to a few of my neighbors this year, and then I made this yeast free stollen for another neighbor.  I kept a tiny piece for Chandler and me to try and he loved it so much I made another one just for us on Christmas Day.  It is delicious and so easy!  Looks a little rugged because it is more like a biscuit than a yeast roll, but delicious nonetheless.  Chandler loved the name of it and kept telling me the police were coming soon to take me away since I had "stolen" bread in our house.

    Stollen is a German Christmas tradition dating back to the 14th century.  My research found that Germans baked these loaves at Christmas to honor princes and church dignitaries.  They also sold them at fairs and holiday festivals.  The Catholic Church did not allow butter and milk ingredients during advent so they were originally made without those.  It wasn't until the 17th century that bakers were allowed to add milk and butter.  I cannot imagine how dry the dough must have been without milk!  The lump on the loaves represented the humps of camels that carried the gifts to the Christ Child on the very first Christmas.

    Check out My Kitchen My World to see what other bakers in this group chose as a traditional Christmas treat from around the world.

    2 + 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt 
    1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    1 large egg 
    1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    1 teaspoon lemon zest
    1 cup candied chopped fruit
    1/2 cup almonds (I used walnuts instead)
    6 tablespoons butter, melted
    3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.
    2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
    3. Cut the cold butter into small chunks, then blend it into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives used scissor fashion to form uneven crumbs.
    4. In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese, egg, vanilla, almond, and zest. Toss the fruit and almonds with the flour mixture until evenly distributed. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened.
    5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it two or three times until it holds together. Divide in half. Roll each piece of dough into an 8 x 7 oval about 1/2-inch thick.
    6. Fold each piece of dough in half lengthwise, leaving the edge of the top half about 1/2-inch short of the edge of the bottom half.
    7. Use the edge of your hand to press the dough to seal about 1-inch in back of the open edge; this will make the traditional stollen shape.
    8. Place the shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet and bake until light brown around edges about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center.
    9. Remove the stollen from the oven, and transfer to a rack. Brush each one with 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle heavily with confectioners’ sugar.
    10. Once the stollen are cool, brush with butter again and sprinkle with sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve. Plastic-wrapped stollen will keep well for 2 weeks or so at room temperature.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013

    Beatty's Chocolate Cake from Ina Garten

    This is the second time I have made this wonderful cake and it will not be my last.  If you love choocolate like I do, you will love this.  Ina never fails on richness and elegance.  I would not hesitate to serve this cake to my most honored guests.   I plan to make it again at Christmas.  It is easy, moist, and just delicious.  The icing is addictive.  I love that it includes buttermilk.

    Beatty's Chocolate Cake
    Butter, for greasing the pans
    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
    2 cups sugar
    3/4 cups good cocoa powder
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 cup buttermilk, shaken
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee 

    DirectionsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
    Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
    Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Chocolate Frosting6 ounces good semisweet chocolate1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
    Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake

    If you made an Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) dessert and you would like to leave your link here please do.  Click on the link at the bottom of the post.  Join our group!  The more the merrier they say.  We cook only once per month.  Next month will be Ina appetizers.  What a perfect time to join with the holidays coming up!

    Also check out what the others in this group made this month.

    An InLinkz Link-up