Sunday, March 4, 2018

March 2018 Newsletter


Be An Instrument of His Love...

If the days we live, never experienced rain, sadly there would never be a rainbow... Trials come into our lives carrying the potential for triumph...
So when the road gets rocky, look on High,
And await a time of blessing to be brought to and through you.

Be an instrument of support to those with trials...
Be a blessing to those you come in contact with each day,
Having learned from the rain in your own life...
For without the rain, there would be no rainbows.

All the answers are found on High...
The Maker of the Rain & Rainbows awaits...
The Giver of the Blessings & Triumphs...
Exercising our Faith...Be an Instrument of His Love...
Seeking the Blessings, Triumphs & Rainbows.

Paula Smith February 2018


Butter Baked Fish
1 lb. boneless fish fillets ( I used Corvina )
1/2 cup butter
Breading Mixture, combine: 
2/3 cups crushed crackers (I used Ritz & Club crackers)
1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp. Dried basil
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Melt butter in 13x9 pan. Preheat oven to 350.
Dip fish fillets in melted butter on both sides & then Cracker mixture on both sides. Lay in 13x9 baking dish. Bake 25-30 minutes until flaky & cooked through.

Three Tomatoes Trattoria

Williston, VT
Servings: 4-6 people

1 lb. Penne Pasta (I use linguine or linguine fini)
2 - 3 boneless chicken breasts or 8 b/s chicken thighs, large dice
1 tabl. garlic, minced
2 tabl. olive oil
10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup peas
2 cups artichoke hearts, quartered and strained
1-1/2 cup Marsala wine
2 tabl. butter
1 tabl. parsley, chopped

Cook pasta according to directions. Strain through colander and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

Heat large saute pan. Add olive oil and saute garlic. Add chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute with chicken. Season with salt. Turn off heat and add Marsala wine. Turn heat back on slowly to avoid flaming. Reduce wine for one minute and then add peas, artichokes and butter. Add cooked pasta and toss evenly until coated. Add some of the pasta water if the sauce is too dry. Finish with parsley and adjust seasoning with salt. 

Paula  My notes, I used a bit more Marsala and used 1 cup of chicken stock in lieu of the pasta water. I also added a pinch of Herbs De Provence

per Donna: The "sauce" in the restaurant version was just a little darker...I used sweet was still fabulous though!!!! I used canned artichoke hearts, however, frozen would work too. I used frozen petite peas right out of the freezer. I also finished it with freshly grated parm.

shared by Nancy
Roasted Garlic, Herb and Cheese Quick Bread

Makes 1 loaf


2 whole heads garlic 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper for the garlic 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons Clabber Girl baking powder ½ teaspoon Clabber Girl baking soda 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2eggs 1 ¼ cups buttermilk 5 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese 2 ounces shredded Asiago cheese


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Trim about ¼ inch from the top of the garlic bulbs and place each one stem-side down on a separate 6-inch square of aluminum foil.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring corners of aluminum foil up to form a pouch around each bulb; bunch together to seal. Place directly on an oven rack and roast for 40 to 50minutes or until garlic bulbs are tender and golden brown. Let cool slightly, then squeeze cloves gently from the skins. Place in bowl and set aside. (Note: This can be done 1 to 2 days in advance.) Lightly spray the inside of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine allpurpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, fresh herbs and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Form a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the cheeses and roasted garlic cloves. Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.

— Chef Brittany Molinder, reprinted with permission from Clabber Girl Corp.,
The easiest one pot recipe ever. Simply throw everything in and that’s it! No cooking, no sauteeing. SO EASY!


8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
16 ounces baby carrots
16 ounces green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and pepper.
Place chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots and soy sauce mixture into a 6-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, basting every hour. Add green beans during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
OPTIONAL: Preheat oven to broil. Place chicken thighs onto a baking sheet, skin side up, and broil until crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
Serve chicken immediately with potatoes, carrots and green beans, garnished with parsley, if desired.


Warm Banana Pudding
Paula George

6 Bananas sliced thin
1 box Vanilla wafers
Layer in 2qt casserole and prepare pudding. Pour pudding over and serve
3 cups milk
1/4 - 1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. butter
Scald 2 2/3 cups of the milk. Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt;
stir in remaining 1/3 cup milk. Whisk, adding to scalded milk and cook over
low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth.
Continue cooking vanilla pudding for about 5 minutes to thoroughly
cook cornstarch. Cool vanilla pudding slightly;
stir in vanilla & butter; pour over bananas & vanilla wafers.
Vanilla pudding recipe serves 6.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

February 2018 Newsletter...Robert aka Bobby Chuck


In loving memory of Robert...aka Bobby Chuck

Robert Charles Smith, 38, died on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 in a tractor accident at his home. He was born in Florence and had lived in the Chattanooga area for the past ten years, and had returned to the Shoals area in the fall. He was an outdoors-man who enjoyed kayaking, fishing, hunting, disc golf and attending concerts. He spent a couple of months in Colorado camping and riding his motorcycle. He worked as a raft guide on the Ocoee but was looking forward to calmer water on the creek.
Visitation will be at Greenview Funeral Home on Saturday, February 03, 2018 from 1-2 p.m.  A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 03, 2018 in Greenview Memorial Chapel with Bro. Kevin Johnson and Rev. Robert Sparkman officiating.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Robert and Mary Stringfellow and Louie and Dorothy Hill Smith.
Survivors include his mother, Brenda Stringfellow Smith; father, Richard C. Smith (Paula); brother, Richard H. Smith (Kirstie); a niece and nephews all of Florence; his beloved cat, Nugget and a host of relatives and friends in several states.
Robert was a free spirit who loved his family, friends, and life. He will be truly missed by all. The quickest road to happiness is the scenic route.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your favorite animal charity.




is not always what we a child, we are happy, go lucky and think everything will always be at its best.
We don't understand or realize the sacrifices that our parents made to provide a better life for us.
It's a given that we will always be dressed in style, wearing the newest fashions...summer vacations filled with fun and adventure.
Years pass...we begin to realize that there is more to life than just a good time and being a kid.
Hmmm, maybe that laptop, first car will have to wait...might even have to get a job to help with the expenses.

We dream of what our lives will bring, will I marry the love of my life? live in an exclusive neighborhood? have all the material
things my heart desires?
We learn that there are steps and measures that have to be taken to acquire is not just a bed of roses handed
to us on a silver platter.
People come and go in our lives...some travel to different places, others leave this walk of life; maybe even those that we
thought would always be there.

We seek love and happiness...sometimes we travel off the beaten path...stumbling, falling into relationships that aren't what
we were seeking.
Yet, there is always opportunities for love in those relationships, these are the ones that we should nurture and cling to...
making love and happiness a vital part of our every day lives.
Those relationships that aren't what we were seeking should be stepping stones, opportunities that we learn from, always
striving to make a better life.

From birth, to childhood, to adolescence to adulthood...we travel...a constant learning process, different doors of opportunity
open...and others close unexpectedly.
Yet, I always want to strive for the best life has to offer...learn something from life's lessons; know and share love with family
and friends.
Being honest, open, loving and giving in my realm of life; whether daughter, wife, mother, sister or friend...always making a
difference in my life and the lives of others. Wanting them to feel life is better, our paths having crossed.

Paula George-Smith
May 20, 2009

And, you, Robert Charles Smith...traveled the road to happiness...taking the scenic route.
God's Speed, Robert. 12/20/1979-01/31/2018

Pho aka Fuu Broth
& Pho Bo Tai

My first attempt...for Robert
by Paula Smith

3 lb. beef short ribs or oxtail
3 lb. soup bones
1 lb. Beef chuck, rump or brisket
4 medium onions, peeled
4-6” piece of ginger
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup rice cooking wine
2 tsp. Peppercorns
6 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
12 whole cloves
2 - 1” pieces yellow rock sugar
2 tsp. Kosher salt
8 qt.water

For finishing broth:
1 lg. Onion, cut in strips
6 or 7 scallions, sliced thin
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped coarsely

Brown ribs/oxtails & soup bones in a large skillet. Remove to stockpot.
Brown the 1 lb. piece of beef & add to stockpot. Quarter 3 of the onions, slice ginger lengthwise with peel on.
Brown in same skillet & add to stockpot. Add remaining ingredients through water.
Bring to boil; reduce to simmer & cook for 1-1/2 hours, uncovered. Remove the 1 lb. piece of beef, rinse & drain.
Refrigerate. Continue simmering the broth for 4-5 hours. Skimming occasionally to remove fat & impurities.
Strain broth through cheesecloth. Return to stockpot & add the onion, scallions & cilantro.
Add the chilled meat, shredded. Bring to low boil & simmer 15-20 minutes.
When ready to serve, increase to rolling boil.

While broth is simmering, prepare noodles.
I used 1 package small rice sticks.

Additional ingredients:

Filet Mignon
Eye of round
Petite Shoulder Tenderloin
Freeze meat 15-20 minutes, slice meat very thin (about 1/16 inch thick)

Bean sprouts

Platter with:
Lime wedges
Thai basil
Scallions, sliced thin on a diagonal
Thai Chile’s or Jalapeños sliced thin

Hoisin Sauce
Sambal Chile paste

In large serving bowls, place noodles & bean sprouts. Top with slices of raw beef.
Ladle several cups of broth into each bowl. Serve immediately. Have optional add-ins available when served.


A favorite of Robert's that he got the recipe for & began making for friends.


From the kitchen of Paula Smith

1 large graham cracker crust, I use the 10" extra servings crust

8 oz. cream cheese softened
2 cans condensed milk
3/4 cup key lime juice (I use Nellie & Joe's)
Zest of 2 limes

1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup toasted almonds or macadamia nuts optional

Beat together cream cheese & 1 can of condensed milk until smooth, add remaining can of condensed milk,
key lime juice & lime zest. Beat until well combined. Pour into pie crust, cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Toast coconut in skillet until light golden color. Cool.
In cold bowl, with cold beaters, make whipped topping. Beat cream until peaks form,
beat in confectioner's sugar & extract. spread over chilled pie filling.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut & toasted almonds or garnish with slices of lime, if you prefer.


An old classic, but another favorite recipe that Robert had requested from me.

•1 stick margarine, (4 ounces)
•2 cups flour
•2 cups sugar
•1 cup buttermilk
•flaked coconut, about 2 cups
•5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
•1/2 cup shortening
•5 egg yolks
•1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•1 cup chopped pecans, or walnuts
•1-1/2 package cream cheese, softened (12oz)
•6 cups confectioners' sugar, (1 pound)
•1 stick butter, softened (8 Tbs)
•1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cream margarine and shortening; add sugar. Add egg yolks and beat well.
Combine soda, salt and flour; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla. Add coconut and nuts. Fold in egg whites.
Pour into 3 or 4 greased and floured cake pans; bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Frosting: Beat cream cheese & butter until smooth; stir in sugar. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in coconut. Spread on cake layers;
sprinkle top with chopped nuts.

Requested by Robert for his Venison Roasts

A long time favorite:

Spicy Beef Roast
Paula George-Smith

3 lb. round tip roast
1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper
3 cloves garlic minced
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dry mustard
Optional add ins: 1 large onion cut in strips
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 lg. bell pepper, cut in strips

Rub the cracked pepper and garlic into the roast. Place the roast in a crock pot,
make several small slits in top of the roast. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over roast.
Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.


Monday, January 22, 2018

January 2018 Newsletter

January 2018 Newsletter

Food for Thought: 

My heart heart heart heart sings! For you, My Friend!
"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4).

...revised 2011  Paula George 2004

My heart ACHES, watching that friend or loved one, their body afflicted in this life.My heart ACHES, watching that mother...spouse, filled with anguish and fervent prayer, ministering to his/her loved one.My heart ACHES, watching that caregiver, feeling despair, questioning their limited knowledge for the afflicted.
My heart PRAYS, blessings daily, health restored and happiness for that friend or loved one.My heart PRAYS, courage, strength and a heart full of love for this mother...spouse as they minister.My heart PRAYs, knowledge, compassion and medical breakthroughs to those chosen caregivers.
My heart REJOICES, watching that friend or loved one, a Warrior,through it all.My heart REJOICES, watching that mother...spouse, encompassing their friend/loved one with a heart full of love.My heart REJOICES, watching that caregiver, continually striving,seeking a cure.
My heart SINGS, praises to Great Spirit, knowing that friend or loved one,that mother...spouse, that caregiver...Are carried through each day.My heart SINGS, granted blessings, answered prayers, healing; and the Greatest Gift, LOVE.My heart ACHES, My heart PRAYS, My heart REJOICES...and with each breath, My heart SINGS...
Love you all with ALL MY HEART,Paula

Cajun Corn and Crab Bisque

This is the recipe that I started with from allrecipes and made my changes. My changes are marked with an asterisk.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ready In: 50 Minutes
Servings: 8
"Traditional seasonings and ingredients from Louisiana's Cajun country make this creamy soup of fresh crab, corn, onions, celery, and garlic a hit."
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped *(I have used the variety of orange, yellow, red mini peppers)
1 large celery stalk, minced
1 TBSP Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels *(I use 1 pkg. Green Giant shoepeg corn in butter sauce)

2 bay leaves * (they called for 1)
2 cups milk
2 cups half & half * (they called for heavy cream)
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
Additional chopped green onions
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; then gradually whisk in the flour. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, whisking constantly, until a golden roux forms; set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Combine the onion, garlic, and celery and cook 1 minute. Add the Cajun seasoning to taste. Stir in the broth, corn, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, then pour in the milk, cream, and additional cajun seasoning (optional). When the mixture begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer 7 minutes. Stir in the roux, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending thoroughly. Continue to cook, on low heat, whisking until mixture thickens. Stir in crabmeat, green onions, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


1. Make roux with butter, flour & oil. add onion, bell pepper, celery & garlic...I cooked about 5 minutes. add broth, milk, half & half, Cajun seasoning, corn, bay leaf...simmer about 10-15 minutes. Stir in crabmeat, green onions and worcestershire. Simmer 6-8 minutes more. Season with salt & pepper to taste. I also served mine with fresh chives on top.

Linguine with Clam Sauce
Clam Vongole my version from LaPorta's in Alexandria, VA

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup Clam juice
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp. Crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. Fresh ground black pepper
Salt to taste
3 cans chopped clams, drained
Zest of a lemon
1/4 cup minced parsley 
12 oz. linguine cooked al dente
2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
Fresh grated Parmesan 
Minced parsley 

Sauté onion in EVOO. Add garlic & sauté 1 additional minute. Add wine, Clam juice, thyme, salt & peppers. Cook down for about 5 minutes. Add clams, zest, & parsley...bring to boil. Stir in pasta & cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat, stir in butter. Plate & garnish with fresh grated Parmesan & additional minced parsley.  

Vodka Cream Sauce
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. dried red chile flakes
1/3 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 to 2/3 cup heavy cream
In medium skillet, heat olive oil, add onions & sauté until translucent. Add garlic & cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, oregano, thyme, chile flakes, broth & vodka. Cook until reduced by half. Stir in cream & cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes.
Tomato Grit Cakes
2 cups chicken broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes w/green chiles
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1-1/2 cups quick cooking grits
Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil, stir in grits. Reduce heat & cook until thickened 10-15 minutes.
Stir in:
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Spray a small sheet pan with cooking spray. Spread grits onto pan, about 1" thickness. Refrigerate until firm.
Cut rounds with 2" biscuit cutter. Dredge in seasoned flour.
Heat 1/2" canola oil in large skillet. Add grit cakes in single layer. Cook until lightly Browned & heated through. Place on paper lined baking sheet & keep warm in 200 degree oven.
Sautéed Shrimp & Andouille
1 lb. 18-20 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined w/tail on
1/2 lb. andouille sausage, sliced on a diagonal
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
 Season shrimp with Old Bay. Melt butter in large skillet. Add sausage and cook 5-7 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Add shrimp to same skillet & cook 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through. Do not over cook the shrimp.
On a bed of fresh baby spinach. Place a grit cake, top with a couple of shrimp & sausage slices. Repeat 1 or 2 more times. Spoon warm Vodka Sauce over the top & garnish with fresh parsley.

Beef or Venison Tips

By Tim H. Martin
Beef or Venison Tips & Rice with Wine Gravy
— Recipe Courtesy of Chef Paula George
• 2-2 1/2 lbs. sirloin tips or venison tips 
• 3 tbls. olive oil 
• 1/3 cup all purpose flour 
• 1 pack McCormick’s (actually McKenzies, aka trinity ) Seasoning, Beef Stew Blend 
• 2 cloves minced garlic v1/2 cup red wine 
• 2 cups beef broth • *Salt, and pepper, to taste 
*Note: Taste testing before using salt is a must, especially if beef broth contains salt!
Place flour and pepper in a sealable container. Add sirloin or venison chunks, seal and shake to coat meat.
In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium-high and brown the meat in two or three batches.
Add McCormick’s (McKenzies seasoning blend in frozen section) seasoning and garlic to the pot and sauté, stirring meat until well coated.
Add the wine and scrape bottom of the pot.
Add the broth slowly and stir well.
You can either transfer everything to a crock pot at this point or continue cooking in Dutch oven on the stovetop’s lowest setting for 5 to 6 hours until tender. Stir often to prevent bottom from scorching.
Serve over rice or hot buttered noodles.

Lemon Cake Cookies ...These are just substitutions to the ingredients you add to any boxed Lemon Cake mix. 
1 box Lemon cake mix
For the water: an equal amount of sour cream or yogurt
For the oil: an equal amount of butter (not margarine)
For the eggs: egg yolks only

Add enough a.p. flour to make a stiff dough, about 1 cup.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.

Using a scoop, drop the cookies onto a lightly greased cookie sheet or use parchment.

Bake 10 - 15 minutes. Cookies should not brown.

Cool on the pan a few minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely.

These are best with a light glaze of frosting thinned with water or confectioner's glaze.

Note: You can use the zest of 1 lemon in the dough and the juice for the glaze.

Also, if you don't have a scoop, roll the dough in parchment or wax paper to a log about 2 1/2". Cover with plastic II use a plastic produce bag)and refrigerate
Show mo

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Prosciutto, Sage & Pear Cream Sauce...& more...

Prosciutto, Sage & Pear Cream Sauce

1 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 slices Prosciutto, cut into thin strips
2 Tbsp. Sage, julienned & divided
1 tsp. Minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine (I used Moscato) 
1 cup heavy cream
1 Bosc Pear, peeled, quartered & sliced thin
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan 
S&P to taste ( I used fresh ground  Himalayan Pink Salt & fresh ground pepper) 
1 package Buitoni  tortellini or ravioli ( I used the chicken/prosciutto tortellini tonight) cooking only 7 minutes. 

In medium size skillet, heat butter & EVOO over medium heat. Add shallot, prosciutto & 1-1/2 Tbsp. Of the Sage. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Add garlic & cook one minute longer. Add the wine & boil for 1 Minute. Stir in Pear, heavy cream, & Parmesan...bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer 2-3 minutes. Add prepared tortellini or ravioli & heat through 1-2 minutes. Garnish with remaining sage. 

Sautéed Spinach, Mushrooms & Shallots

1 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped fine 
1/2 tsp. Minced garlic
8 Oz. Sliced mushrooms
1 lg. Bag spinach, about 8 cups
S&P to taste

In medium skillet, heat butter & EVOO over medium heat. Add shallot & cook 1 Minute. Add mushrooms & cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic & cook 1 Minute. Add spinach, toss to wilt & turn off heat when mostly wilted. Add S&P to taste. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

December 2017 Newsletter

December 2017 Newsletter


Sunrise, Sunset

The Master...brush in Hand...stroking an array of colors;
Signifying the break of day...a Sunrise.
Only He can capture the true beauty of Nature...
The Master's Hand greets each day...a Sunrise. 

The Master's palette...brush in hand...strokes an array of colors;
Signifying His Majesty...capturing the true beauty of Nature...
Creating the true beauty of Nature from once a blank canvas.

The Master...brush in hand...stroking an array of colors;
Signifying the close of day...a Sunset.
Only He can capture the true beauty of Nature...
The Master's Hand closes each day...a Sunset.

The Master...only the Master Artist...
Brush in Hand...strokes an array of colors;
Blending from His Palette...revealing the true beauty of Nature. :

Paula 11-13-2009


yield: SERVES 4


2 6oz cans wild salmon, skinless and boneless (I used one big can of salmon)
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
2 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3/4 cup panko
1 small red bell  pepper, finely chopped 
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
light olive oil for frying

In a large bowl, gently combine all ingredients until mixed well. Form into 6-8 small patties.
Heat a non stick pan over medium heat. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil in pan and spread around. Gently place each patty into hot pan and cook on first side for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully flip, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until second side is browned.
Once cooked, set aside and sprinkle coarse salt over salmon cakes. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

Serve with Chipotle Ranch Dressing 

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp lime juice
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dill
1/4 tsp. Chives 
Blend all together until smooth. 

 Per recommendations from some online friends, I plan to add this recipe to my Thanksgiving menu. Recipe is from Eating
 Sizzled Green Beans with Crispy Prosciutto and Pine Nuts
2 lb green beans, trimmed
2- 1/2 tsp EVOO, divided
2 oz proscuitto thinly sliced into ribbons
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp minced fresh sage
1/4 tsp salt divided 
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 C toasted pine nuts
1-1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add beans, return to a boil, simmer until crisp-tender, 3 - 4 minutes. Drain.
Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the prosciutto; cook, until crispy, 4 - 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
Wipe out the pan, add the remaining oil. Add the beans, garlic, sage, 1/8 tsp salt and several grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are browned in places, 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice and the prosciutto. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.
To toast the pine nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring 
constantly  until fragrant and browned, 2 - 4 minutes. 

Momma’s Ambrosia

Momma’s Ambrosia

Alberta George 

2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
4 Naval oranges, peeled & sectioned
2 bananas, sliced
2 red delicious apples, cored and chopped
1 cup green seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup fresh shredded  coconut
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 jar maraschino cherries with stems, drained

Cut & prepare first 5 ingredients. Toss lightly with orange juice. Refrigerate 1 hour. Add coconut & pecans, toss lightly. Garnish with maraschino cherries in serving bowl. 


French Onion Chicken

Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
30 mins
Saucy one pan French onion chicken with juicy pan-seared chicken smothered in caramelized onion gravy and three kinds of melty Italian cheese. This 30 minute meal will be a staple in your house! 
Author: Tiffany
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced into rings
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons beef broth, divided
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian blend herbs/Italian seasoning (OR ¼ teaspoon dried basil + ¼ teaspoon dried thyme + ½ teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • fresh thyme or parsley and cracked black pepper for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to bake at 400 degrees OR broil on low. In a large oven-safe skillet (see note) over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions and 3 tablespoons beef broth and saute onions for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally so the onions don't burn, for about 15 minutes longer until browned and very tender. Use tongs or a fork to transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  2. While onions are cooking, prepare the chicken by drizzling with oil, then seasoning with salt and pepper (to taste) and Italian herbs. Once onions have finished cooking and are removed from the pan, cook chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side (don't clean out the pan between the onions and chicken) until browned on both sides. (Chicken may not be fully cooked through yet, that is okay).
  3. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm and return the onions to the pan. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir for 1 minute over medium-high heat. Add beef broth and continue to cook, stirring throughout, until mixture comes to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return chicken to pan and spoon some of the sauce over each piece of chicken.
  4. Top chicken with one slice of provolone each, then one slice of swiss, then ¼ of the Parmesan cheese. Transfer skillet to your preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through completely and cheeses are melted.
  5. Spoon some of the onions and gravy over the top of the chicken, garnish with thyme or parsley and cracked black pepper, and serve.
If you do not have an oven-safe skillet, you can use whatever pan you do have for the stove portion of the recipe, then transfer everything to a casserole dish or similar baking pan for the baking portion of the recipe.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Momma's Chicken & Dressing ... & More...

Momma was the one that always made the dressing, she taught me in later years & I have passed on her method to Josh although I am still the only dressing maker at this time! 

Momma's Classic Chicken & Dressing

3 bone in chicken breasts
3 bone in chicken thighs
1-1/2 qts. Water
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup butter
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
6-8 cups crumbled cornbread
2 slices bread or 2 biscuits, crumbled
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. POULTRY seasoning
2 Tbsp. Rubbed sage

Bring chicken pieces with salt & pepper to boil. Cook until tender. Remove chicken pieces, debone, and shred meat into bite size pieces. Reserve broth.  

In skillet, sauté onions & celery until tender. 

In large bowl, crumbled breads, seasonings, & sautéed veggies. Stir before adding broth. Add enough broth to make it VERY moist. Stir lightly, the less you stir at this point, the better the texture. 
Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture for gravy. 
Turn into a buttered 13x9 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until golden. 

Chicken can be added to dressing or used to make another casserole. 

Gibletless Gravy

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups reserved broth
Reserved dressing
S & P to taste

Melt butter & add flour, sauté until lightly browned. Add reserved broth & dressing, simmer until thickened, stir frequently. Season to taste.

Poulet de Normandy 

3 cups crumbled Cornbread 

1/2 pkg. Pepperidge Farm Cornbread stuffing 


  1. Combine Cornbread,  stuffing mix, butter and broth and set aside.
  2. Mix onions, celery, mayonnaise and salt.
  3. Add mayonnaise mixture to stuffing mix and mix well.
  4. Put 1/2 of stuffing mixture in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
  5. Spread chicken over this layer then top with the remaining stuffing mix.
  6. Beat eggs in milk and pour over all.
  7. Refrigerate overnight.
  8. Take out 2 hours before serving and spread with the mushroom soup.
  9. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  10. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Friday, November 3, 2017

November 2017 Newsletter



Nature Speaks...

I see Your Smiling Face in the beauty of the rose,
Your Voice as You whisper in the gentle breeze that blows.
The Warmth of Your Love surrounds me from the brilliant sun.
Peace and Tranquility abound as nature shows what You've done.
Everywhere we look, Your Presence can be seen.
From lofty mountain tops, to spacious meadows green.
Your Power and Your Majesty permeate my soul within
When I stop and let all Nature speak to me again.
Paula 1985


A new found favorite of my son, Josh & his family

Gordon Ramsey scrambled eggs
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons butter, diced (ice-cold)
2 tablespoons creme fraiche (or sour cream)
freshly ground sea salt and pepper (you can use regular salt if you need to)
3 chives, snipped 

Break the eggs into a cold, heavy-based pan, place on the lowest heat possible, and add half the butter. Using a spatula, stir the eggs frequently to combine the yolks with the whites.
As the mixture begins to set, add the remaining butter. The eggs will take about 4-5 minutes to scramble – they should still be soft and quite lumpy. Don’t let them get too hot – keep moving the pan off and back on the heat(as the bottom of the pan stays heated even after taking it off of the stove). 
Add the crème fraîche (or sour cream) and season the eggs at the last minute, then add the snipped chives.

yield: Makes 4 to 6 main-course servings
This dish was the surprise of the year. The ingredients might seem ordinary, but trust us — it's fantastic.

  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk 
  • 1 3/4 cups Mexican salsa verde such as Desert Pepper Trading Company or Frontera (sometimes called tomatillo sauce; from a 16-oz jar) 
  •  1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz) 
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (from a 2-lb rotisserie chicken, skin removed) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 6 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips (not low-fat, baked, or flavored; from a 16-oz bag) plus broken chips remaining in bag (about 1 cup) 
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 oz) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 

Stir together sour cream and just enough milk to get a thick pourable consistency.
Bring salsa and broth to a boil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat. Add chicken, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until chicken is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in 6 cups tortilla chips and cook until chips are softened (but not mushy), about 1 minute.
Transfer chilaquiles to a large platter. Sprinkle with feta, cilantro, and 1 cup broken chips and serve immediately, with thinned sour cream on the side.
 NOTE: Can also top individual servings with an egg fried to your liking. 
Additional toppings...sliced jalapeños, avocados, strips of red onion, sliced black olives. 


Rib Gumbo

5-6 cups dry rub rib meat, pulled from bones & shredded
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oil or bacon grease
2 med onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp. Minced garlic
1 cup  crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. Dried thyme
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
1 Tbsp. Cajun/Creole seasoning such as Zatarains or Tony Chachare
4 bay leaves
1 qt. Chicken stock/broth
2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra

White rice
Chopped green onions
Hot sauce such as Crystal, Louisiana, Chipotle Tabasco

Prepare roux with oil & flour over medium heat, stirring constantly until VERY dark brown. In same stockpot or Dutch oven, sauté onions, celery & bell pepper until tender about 10 minutes, add garlic & cook 1 additional minute. Add tomatoes, S&P, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, Worcestershire &  chicken broth; bring to boil. Add rib meat & okra; reduce to slow boil and cook for 1 hour.
Serve over white rice with chopped green onions for garnish.
Hot sauce

This was a favorite & soup of the day, every Tuesday when I worked at LuVici's.
White rice
Chopped green onions
Hot sauce such as Crystal, Louisiana, Chipotle Tabasco

Roasted Veggie Panzanella

My Way adapted from Ree Drummond recipe

Here is what I did...

Chopped veggies in about 1" pieces, & roasted ...1 butternut squash, 1 sweet potato, 3 parsnips, 3 carrots drizzled with olive oil S&P at 400 for about 35-40 minutes. Another sheet Pan of 1 Japanese eggplant,  1 larger zucchini, 2 Roma tomatoes, 1 red onion, 1 white onion, 1 head of garlic (cut across top so I could squeeze out when roasted & reserve for dressing) EVOO, S&P. Roasted 20-25 minutes & moved Garlic to other pan for finishing baking. Cool to room temp. Cut veggies in about 1" squares or pieces. 

Make Italian Cornbread. 

2 Tbsp. Shortening in 10" cast iron skillet, melted over med heat..

Combine 1 cup self rising yellow cornmeal, 1/2 cup SR flour, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1 egg , 2 Tbsp. Chopped sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, 1/2 tsp. Dried oregano. 
Add 1/4 cup melted shortening to hot skillet, cook 1 minute on stove top & transfer to oven 400 degree & bake 20 -25 minutes until golden, cool & cut into 1" squares. Place on baking sheet, drizzle lightly with EVOO & bake 10-15 minutes until crisped.

Dressing: 1/4 cup EVOO, 1 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar, roasted garlic chopped, 1/4-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper. Shake in jar to combine. 

Add croutons to roasted veggies, drizzle with dressing & toss lightly. Add 4 ounces fresh mozzarella mini balls & 8-10 Basil leaves julienned. Toss again lightly. Cover with plastic & let sit 1 hour before serving. 

Italian Lemon Creme Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
Zest of 1 lemon (zested very finely - I like to use my microplane)
1¼ cups water
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil

To make it more decadent: use milk in lieu of water & butter in lieu of oil

Lemon Creme Filling:
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese or mascarpone, softened to room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
4 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream

Vanilla Crumb Topping:
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup confectioner's sugar
¼ cup cold butter
½ tsp vanilla extract

confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10” round cake pan or 9" springform pan.

Mix the lemon zest into the cake mix. Then add the water, eggs and oil. Stir to just mix. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, testing for doneness. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.. Continue to cool on wire rack until cake has reached room temperature.

Make lemon cream filling by mixing cream cheese and confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in lemon juice. Whip cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the lemon/cream cheese mixture gently by hand to mix.

Make crumb topping by combining flour and confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter and dribble in the vanilla extract. Use your hands or a pastry blender to mix cold butter into the flour and sugar. Break butter into smaller and smaller pieces as you incorporate it into the dry ingredients. Be sure not to press the mixture together. You want to end up with a very crumbly consistency with pieces no larger than a pea. (If you have trouble making small crumbs, put the bowl into your refrigerator to chill for a few minutes.) Also, do not mix with an electric mixer or it will likely turn into shortbread dough. Chill this crumb topping until you are ready to use it. The topping does not get cooked.

When the cake is cool, slice it in half through the middle and remove the top. Spread about half of the lemon creme filling onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully replace the top half of the cake. Spread the remaining filling over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the cake and press it onto the sides all the way around the cake.

Chill for at least 3 hours. Serve each slice topped with sifted powdered sugar.