Friday, August 11, 2017

August 2017 Newsletter

August 2017 Newsletter

Food for Thought...

The Year was 1684...

The year was 1684...the ship was filled with immigrants and Puritans traveling to the "New" America...passengers
seeking a new life, a land to prosper, marry and build a life for their families. Young men filled with vigorous
dreams...beautiful young women that captured the young men's fancy. Mothers and fathers, grandmothers
and grandfathers all ready to become a part of this new land, this "New" America.  English, Scottish,
Dutch, French and other descents could be found among the passengers.
The young Englishman, Richard had become captivated by the young vixen, Paula...there was an
attraction that he couldn't describe...sneaking glances, brief moments with one another...yet, the moment
they looked into one another's eyes, they knew. Fate had brought them together, this was meant
to be. They would risk all to be together...this was not infatuation, this was love.
The journey being long...people people do. What was it about this young woman? Something
they couldn't quite put their finger on...yet, they knew there was an oddity, a vixen spirit. Soon word
spread that she was a "witch"...Richard's family was devastated when they heard this...they wanted
only the best for their son. This young man that had so much ahead of him, so much to offer, any
woman would be proud to walk with him. Yet, Richard, was also a stubborn young man; he knew what
he wanted and knew this young vixen spirit would be was meant to be. The captivating look she
gave him each time they met...the light sparkling in her eyes, the golden hues of her hair...Richard
was enthralled...she "must" be his!!! Stories continued to spread among the passengers, what could
they do? what should they do? Can the Captain isolate this woman to protect the other passengers?
Something has to be done. A "Witch" ...something had to be done!!!Richard had already made up his mind,
he knew his heart...he approached the Captain of his intent.
Late that night, Richard stopped by Paula's cabin and told her of the animosity stirring among the
ship's passengers. She was frightened that so many had learned her secret...surely they would seal
her fate and death would come. Richard took her into his arms, declaring his love...his protection. "You
will be safe, my Angel, you will never have to worry...I will always love and protect you."
Their lips met and sealed their future...revealing that hidden love, those hidden desires, an inkling
of what was to come. They scurried to the Captain's quarters, declaring their love and intent to
marry. The Full Moon and array of Twinkling Stars set the stage for their ceremony...on the deck
of the ship that night, the Captain performed the ceremony. Richard and Paula exchanged their
vows, becoming one...ready to continue this venture to the "New" America  as husband and wife,
The next morning, the news traveled fast...the young Englishman, Richard, had taken the young vixen,
Paula,  to be his wife. His reputation, education, and worldly stature brought an abrupt end to the stories that had
surfaced regarding Paula. Surely this astute young man would not marry a witch, he was a man of
wealthy stature, education and highly admired by the majority of the passengers.  Days of sailing
passed...some still questioned the reasoning behind  Richard's decision ...yet, Richard and Paula knew...
fate had brought them together...each day brought new awakenings of their love. They were filled with
love, passion...this was what they both wanted, a love that was expressed with no remorse,
given freely and fully to one another. Nothing would match the passion they shared. They were meant
to be, this was a match made in Heaven.
Soon, they would be arriving in this "New" America...Richard and Paula anticipated a "new" chance
for happiness in this "New" America. Richard would become a great businessman...they
wanted for nothing monetarily. There was nothing lacking in their fairy tale life of romance.
His knowledge and expertise preceded him and they became one of the first affluent couples in
"New" America...they wanted for nothing. Their love, their passion, his business ethics gave them
the life many only dreamed about.
But, alas, sometimes dreams are short lived...Richard and Paula lived a full life...a successful life.
Unfortunately, Paula became ill...this magical love, fairy tale romance would only last for a short
time...yet each day overflowed with love and passion that few people ever know or realize. That
cold December morning, Richard came home from the office and found Paula snuggled under the
covers. He crawled in the bed beside her, taking her in his arms. "You're safe, My Love...just rest your head
upon my shoulder" ...Paula snuggled into his embrace, feeling the warmth and safety of his love.
Her breathing became shallow, although she was warmed by his love...she found herself struggling
for breath. She snuggled against him, felt his breath on her, his kiss that confirmed his love. Breathing
became more difficult, more shallow. "Richard", she whispered faintly, " we have shared something
many will never know in their lifetime; we have known love, we have known passion...we have been
truly loved" she whispered as she took her last dying breaths...
Richard's heart was breaking..."Don't leave me, My Angel Baby" ...."Don't leave me!"
Paula's eyes were growing weak, her breath more shallow...her last look was directly into Richard's all-knowing look..."YOU are my love, YOU are my life, I will never forsake you, nor leave
you. As eternity goes on, we will meet again, My Love...we will continue our love...we will know love
when we are old, we will recognize one another and Know...this is only a continuance of our love...
and once again, I will be your wife in another lifetime..."

Centuries of time passed...1950 & 1951 brings the birth of babies in different parts of America. A baby boy
named Richard comes into this another part of the country a baby named Paula is born.
Their lives are blessed through the years, each of them marries...have children and go about their lives.

2001 brings sadness to both...each of them losing their respective spouse.
Richard continues with his work, he is highly respected in his profession. Children are grown and
moved away and he knows there is a part of life missing...he wants to know love and share his life with
another. Paula, who now lives in North Alabama also goes on with her life...she continues writing and
works as a chef (fulfilling her passion of cooking). Children are grown and moved away, yet, there is a
void; although she is a basically happy person...she needs more...desires more. Having known love,
she wants to fill that void and know love again...share her days and nights with another.

2008, Richard has seen a few women in the past several years...but nothing has "clicked"...he knows
what he wants in life. Paula also has seen a few men...again, nothing has "clicked". Fate is guiding
both of them, although they are unaware of what will be. Computer age opens a new chapter in
their lives. Richard comes across a profile on a dating site...e-mails a note to Paula asking would she
like to meet. Paula responds and they talk several times...making plans to meet.
2009, a couple meets...Richard and Paula "know" this is what they have been searching for...numerous
happenings and obstacles come into the picture; yet, they "know". Time has brought them to this
place, this meeting...and opportunity to renew their love, their passion, their lives.
"Years have passed, Sweetie...but once again, we have been given this opportunity to love and be
loved...a continuance of our love. We won't let this opportunity escape us, I love you, Richard."
"I know, Angel Baby, this is our second chance...we have known this love in another lifetime. Come here,
My Angel, let me hold you...You are safe, You are loved...I love you, Paula."


Another Cannoli Dip


10 servings
 2 cups ricotta cheese
 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Beat ricotta cheese and cream cheese together in a bowl until smooth; add sugar and vanilla. Continue to stir mixture until sugar is completely incorporated. Fold chocolate chips through the cheese mixture.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 10 minutes.

Serve with waffle cones broken into chip size pieces, Cinnamon graham 
Crackers or Pita chips. 


Brownstone's Bloody Mary Mix
Posted by CaptainBasil

Since I recently wet everyone's appetite for a Bloody Mary, I thought I would share the recipe that we use.   

Brownstone's "Bad Ass" Bloody Mary

For the Mix:
32 oz Tomato Juice
1 oz. Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 oz. A1 Steak Sauce (We just use a store brand)
1/2 TBS Jerk Seasoning (I recommend googling a recipe and making your own.)
1 tsp. Celery Salt
1 tsp. to 1 TBS Prepared Horseradish (We go heavy because we love it.)
1/2 oz. Tabasco
1/2 oz. Cholula Hot Sauce (Frank's Redhot works great too)
1 oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice 

For the Bloody Mary:1 1/2 oz Vodka
5 oz. Bloody Mary Mix
Garnish as you please. 
(I suggest a tooth pick with 2 or 3 olives and a slice of Hot Italian Soppressata.)
Other garnishes... celery stalks, lemon or Lime wedges, skewered veggies.

These would be great for a Heavy Appetizer/Hors d'Oeuvres Dinner/Cocktail Party...Italian Meatball Buns, Antipasti Platter, Fruit & Cheese platter, Roasted Vegetable Skewers, Cannoli Dip with Cinnamon Pita Chips...Sparkling French  Lemonade (a new found favorite) , Wine & Beer.  

Italian Meatball Buns

  • 12 frozen bread dough dinner rolls
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce, warmed


Let dough stand at room temperature 25-30 minutes or until softened.
Cut each roll in half. Wrap each portion around a meatball, enclosing meatball completely; pinch dough firmly to seal. Place on greased baking sheets, seam side down. Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake buns 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with oil; sprinkle with cheese and basil. Serve with marinara sauce. Yield: 2 dozen.

Commanders Palace Garlic Bread

1 14-inch loaf of French bread
1/2 pound of butter
8 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dry dill
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a small saucepan, heat the butter with the minced garlic. While the butter is melting, cut the French bread lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. When the butter has melted continue to heat until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the dill to the garlic butter.

Brush the garlic butter onto the bread, this is your first layer. Sprinkle the cheese onto the bread. Dot the remaining garlic butter onto the bread.

Place the bread in the oven cook the bread for 15 to 18 minutes or until the bread begins to brown. Slice the bread and serve immediately.

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter

 EatingWell Test Kitchen
“For this recipe, convenient store-bought potato gnocchi are tossed with delicate ribbons of zucchini, shallots and cherry tomatoes that have all been sautéed in nutty browned butter.”


    • 1 pound fresh or frozen gnocchi
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 medium shallots, chopped
    • 1 pound zucchini, (about 3 small), very thinly sliced lengthwise (see Tip)
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley


  • 1Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook gnocchi until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  • 2Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add shallots and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, nutmeg and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the tomatoes are just starting to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and parsley. Add the gnocchi and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
  • Tip: To make “ribbon-thin” zucchini, slice lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or a mandoline slicer.

Saturday, July 8, 2017




Reflecting Independence
by Paula George
June 26, 2006

As Independence Day approaches, many thoughts and memories travel through my
mind and heart.

Thoughts of the freedoms, others have sacrificed home and lives for bringing us
to this point in time.

Families divided, others brought closer as they faced enemies seeking to destroy
these freedoms.

Goodbyes said as loved ones shipped to foreign lands, never to return, yet;
giving their lives to protect their homeland.

Unfortunate the divisions in our own homeland, families divided, others
reunited...infiltrated within by...

Outsiders...taking advantage of our freedoms and government, unwilling to accept
our land according to the laws it was founded upon.

Only taking of the opportunities...unwilling to become an intricate part of the
Independence we have because of lives sacrificed.

Reflections still remain that I have the opportunity to live in "freedom" and I
am a "citizen" of the "Land of Independence".

Refections of those who serve in our military forces...those near and
far...those past and present...those willing to sacrifice home and family to
protect our freedom and homeland..."Reflecting Independence".


El Toro cheese dip was a favorite in Florence, Alabama. It's great with a big basket of tortilla chips.
This is my version, as I recreated it per Ricks taste buds!
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 - 1/3 cup dried minced onion
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red/cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp cumin
1 lb original Velveeta cheese
1 -1/2 cups milk

Microwave Directions
Melt Velveeta in a large microwave-safe bowl
Mix dry spices into melted cheese
Heat milk, slowly stir into melted cheese, reheating cheese as needed

Crockpot is slower, but can just dump and stir occasionally.

Serve promptly!

Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil
Adapted from recipe that I found online...
1 lb. Dutch yellow potatoes
4 ears of corn, cut in thirds
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced
1-1/2 lbs. Shrimp, peeled & deveined, tail on
1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/3 cup melted butter
Fresh parsley for garnish

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water for about 13 minutes. Add corn last 5 minutes. Drain.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Place drained potatoes & corn, shrimp, sausage, onions, garlic on baking sheet. Sprinkle with Old Bay. Drizzle melted butter over. Toss to coat. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley & serve. 

Cobb Salad Quesadillas
Southwestern Cobb Salad Quesadillas
In this recipe, two favorites converge to make one fantastic salad.

Makes: 4 servings (3 cups salad, 3 quesadillas)

Total time: 45 minutes

1⁄2 cup purchased ranch dressing
2 tsp. adobo sauce (from canned chipotle chiles)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz. each)
Salt and black pepper
3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1⁄2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1⁄2 cup avocado, diced
1⁄2 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed
1⁄2 cup jarred roasted red bell pepper, sliced
1⁄2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1⁄2 cup corn chips, crushed
3 burrito-size flour tortillas
1 1⁄2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Olive oil

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 688 cal; 25g total fat (11g sat); 75mg chol; 1730mg sodium; 65g total carbs; 8g fiber; 34g protein

Preheat grill to medium.

Stir all ingredients for the dressing together; cover and chill.

Brush chicken with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Grill 4–5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Slice into strips.

Toss chicken strips with all salad ingredients (except the dressing); chill while assembling quesadillas.

Assemble quesadillas with cheese. Fold over, brush with oil and grill, covered, 1–2 minutes per side, or until cheese melts and tortillas brown. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges, toss salad with dressing, and serve. (Store any leftover dressing for up to 1 week.)

Neva, one of the servers at the restaurant told me about this recipe that she tried over the weekend. I cooked b/s chicken breasts in the crockpot and had this last night.
 Chicken,Artichoke & Cheddar  Melts
2 cups chopped/shredded cooked chicken (Cooked chicken in the crockpot with Montreal Chicken Seasoning)
1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained & finely chopped
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise (Duke's)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion, or a little more to taste!
1 Tbsp. Dijon or grainy mustard (I used Country Dijon made with Whole Grain Mustard)
8 slices Sourdough or Rye bread ( I used Whole Wheat Bagel Thins), lightly toasted
8 slices sliced Sharp Cheddar cheese, cut diagonally.
Combine chicken, artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, onion, & mustard; mix well. Spread mixture
evenly over toast; top with cheese. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 6 minutes until hot and cheese is melted; about 6 minutes. Top with remaining toast & serve. Instead, I ate mine as open face sandwiches.
Tonight, I had a scoop of the Chicken/artichoke salad with crackers, delicious that way also! Lots of options, use Rotisserie chicken so you don't have to heat up the kitchen...or add your own little tweaks such as sundried tomatoes.

These comments are from their cookbook: "At Magnolia we decided to make our cake not quite a traditional yellow cake or a traditional sponge cake, given the use of whole eggs in our recipe. We're sure you'll agree this recipe is moist, delicious and makes a beautiful layer cake or cupcakes for birthdays or any celebration. Frost with pink buttercream icing and lots of colored sprinkles as we do, and feel as though you're at your seventh birthday party all over again!"
SERVES 16 , 1 3 layer cake


Cake Batter
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter extract
Buttercream Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon butter extract
1Preheat oven to 350°.
2Grease and lightly flour three 9 inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
3In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
4Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition.
7Divide batter among the cake pans.
8Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
9Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
10Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
11If you're making cupcakes, line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
12Spoon the batter into the cups about three-quarters full.
13Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 to 22 minutes.
14Remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on a rack before icing.
15When cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice top and sides of cake.
16To make the icing - place the butter in a large mixing bowl.
17Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla.
18Beat until smooth and creamy.
19Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (you may very well not need all of the sugar).
20If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.
21Use and store icing at room temperature, as icing will set if chilled.
22Can store in an airtight container for up to three days.

I made this for Rick's birthday, adding 1 teasppon of butter extract to the cake and the frosting. This cake has a wonderful consistency! I will definitely make it again!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Veggies!

  • Creamy Polenta
    Adapted by me...
    1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, plus more to serve sea salt, to taste black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, halved
  • 1/2 cup green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

    1. In a large sauté pan heat the garlic over low for one minute while stirring almost constantly. Add in the water and bring to a boil.
    2. Add in the polenta one 1/3 cup at a time, stirring constantly to avoid clumps. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook while stirring until water is absorbed and the polenta is softened. Add more water as needed.
    3. Remove from the heat and add in the butter and cheese, and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Scoop polenta into a bowl and cover.
    4. Wipe the pan clean and return to the stove. Heat the oil over medium heat and toss in the snap peas, onions, corn, tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes or until vegetables are cooked al dente. Finish with a squeeze of lemon.
    5. Divide polenta into four bowls, top with vegetables and more cheese and black pepper.
    6. Eat warm! 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Easy breakfast Bakes

Easy Breakfast Bakes!
Sausage Crescent Bake

2 pkgs. refrigerated crescent dough
1 lb. country pork sausage
1- 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese (cubed)

Brown sausage in a skillet. Drain fat.

Stir in cream cheese and cook on low until melted. Mix well.

Spread 1 pkg. cresent roll in bottom of 13 x 9 pan. (Pinch seams together.)

Pour sausage mixture over and spread evenly.

Place the other pkg. crescent roll dough over top of sausage to form top crust.
Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cut in squares to serve.

Egg & Sausage Casserole with Crescent Rolls


■1 lb. pork sausage
■1 (8 oz.) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
■8 eggs, beaten
■2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
■2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
■1 t. dried oregano

1.Place sausage in large, deep skillet. Cook over med-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, set aside.
2.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 9×13 pan.
3.Line pan with crescent roll dough and sprinkle with crumbled sausage.
4.In large bowl, mix beaten eggs with cheeses. Season with oregano. 
Pour over the sausage and crescent rolls.
5.Bake 30 min. or until knife in center 
comes out clean


Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil

what an easy way to have a Shrimp Boil!!! Easy prep, easy clean up & SO tasty! ENJOY!

I will definitely be making this again. So much easier, cooking & clean up & SO tasty!

Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil
Adapted from recipe that I found online...
1 lb. Dutch yellow potatoes
4 ears of corn, cut in thirds
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced
1-1/2 lbs. Shrimp, peeled & deveined, tail on
1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/3 cup melted butter
Fresh parsley for garnish

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water for about 13 minutes. Add corn last 5 minutes. Drain.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Place drained potatoes & corn, shrimp, sausage, onions, garlic on baking sheet. Sprinkle with Old Bay. Drizzle melted butter over. Toss to coat. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley & serve. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017


June 2017 Newsletter 

Food for Thought: 
June 3rd always reminds me of Momma's birthday...and of Momma no longer being here.
Unaware You’d Leave So Soon
By Paula George Smith
November 5, 1993
The years flew swiftly by, and we didn’t take the time to grasp them within…
Yet memories of days gone by, will always remain within my heart.
Unaware you’d leave so soon, we should have spent those days more wisely.
You held my hand, taking unsure steps; falling down, you’d pick me up again.
Rebellious days through childhood and youth, your love did not depart.
Unaware you’d leave so soon, I would have spent the days more wisely.
From Momma to Grandma, you knew the love in each one’s grin…
And cherished them, as Grandma’s should, you carried that love within your heart.
Unaware you’d leave so soon, we should spend the years ahead more wisely.
Addie Alberta Taylor George Richardson
June 3rd, 1920 - November 5th , 1988

Food for your tummy! 
Being from Pensacola, seafood has always been a favorite of mine! Fiesta Shrimp Dip has to be one of my absolute favorites! I always double or triple the recipe, it's that good!

Fiesta Shrimp Dip
"Some Like It South" Pensacola Junior League Cookbook
Fiesta Shrimp Dip
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. lemon juice
1-5/8 oz. pkg. Italian dressing mix (like Good Seasons)
1-1/2 cups shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined and chopped (I cook my shrimp in water with
onions, lemons and Old Bay seasoning)
Blend well cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice and dressing mix. Fold in shrimp. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers or chips.
Yields: 4 servings
p.s. you might want to double or triple the recipe!!! 

Another favorite is grilled fish or sauteed fish! Here's one of my favorites!

Spicy Grilled Fish
4 red snapper or orange roughy fillets (6 ounces each)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil and thyme 
Optional Seasoning: Use 2 Tbsp. Caribbean Jerk seasoning.
Brush oil over fish. In a small bowl, combine the seasonings; 
sprinkle over fish and press into both sides. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. 
Grill fillets, covered, over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side 
or until fish flakes with a fork. 
I use my grill basket for ease in turning fish.
Yield: 4 servings. 

Not to forget...

> Jack Daniels Tipsy Grilled Salmon
> 1 lb. salmon fillets
> 1/3 cup Jack Daniels
> 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
> 2/3 cup brown sugar
> 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
> Mix last four ingredients. Pour over fish and 1-2 hours. Grill
over medium coals or broil for 4 minutes per side.

Paula's Caramelized Onion Dip
Paula George
3 large sweet onions, peeled and cut into strips
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
16 oz. sour cream
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. horseradish
In large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat; add onions, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until onions are caramelized(about 45 minutes) and golden brown. Set aside and cool. Mix remaining ingredients in large mixing bowl until smooth, add onions, beat with electric mixer for 1 minute to combine and chop the onions. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving. 
Great served with tray of crudites, chips or crackers for dipping. 

Paula's Smoked Salmon Spread
Paula George
1 lb. flaked smoked salmon (Alaskan Smoked Salmon, preferred)
1 lb. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp. dried dill
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. worcestershire
2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish (or more)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Delish, served with flatbread or "good" crackers to spread on. 


Monday, May 29, 2017

Strawberry Pecan Cake

Recipe: Strawberry Coconut Pecan Cake
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 12 servings
1 box white cake mix
1 (3 ounce) box strawberry gelatin
1 cup toasted coconut
1 cup chopped toasted pecan
1 (16 ounce) container of frozen strawberries, thawed, mashed and divided
4 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 (1 pound) box of powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup toasted coconut
1/2 teaspoon of strawberry extract
About 1/4 cup of the remaining mashed strawberries, more or less
Extra toasted coconut, for garnish, optional
Fresh sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with Baker's Joy or non-stick spray; set aside. Lightly toast 1-1/4 cups of chopped pecans in a dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Remove, set aside to cool, and add 1-1/4 cups coconut; toast until very lightly browned and set aside to cool. You'll be using some of both of those in the cake and in the frosting, and if you'd like to garnish the top of the cake with coconut, do a little extra and reserve for garnish.
Add the cake mix, gelatin, 1 cup of the toasted coconut and 1 cup of the toasted pecans to a large mixing bowl; stir to combine. Add 1 cup of the mashed strawberries and the eggs, oil, and milk; beat at medium speed with an electric hand mixer until well blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the icing, use a mixer to cream together the butter and sugar. Fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of the toasted pecans and coconut and the strawberry extract. Add only enough of the remaining mashed strawberries to make the icing spreadable. Spread over the cooled cake. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
Cook's Notes: I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic White cake mix, which is my favorite packaged cake brand. You can also make into a layer cake by using two 9-inch round cake pans, or three 8-inch pans. Spray pans generously with Bakers Secret and don't forget that tip about how to make your cake layers more even. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes rest in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to completely cool. I make two or three 8-9 inch round layers most of the time.

This recipe has been around since the 60's, or that's how long I have had it! Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

April 2017 Newsletter


Food for Thought:

Morning Breaks

Morning breaks with a crispness of spring in the air...
A light breeze whispers gently to attend my every care.
Abundance of sunshine warms my face, my heart, my soul...
Knowing Spirit's Hand and Guidance is fully in control.
Looking out, I see Mother Earth unfolding a day of beauty fair...
A glimpse of things to come, blessings fo
r me to share.
My thoughts turn to family and friends, what their day will unfold...
I ask Spirit's Hand to Guide them, as each one He will Hold.
Whisper gently to their cares, Warm them deep within...
Fill their day with Nature's Beauty, as Morning Breaks again.



1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup stuffed pimento olives, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onions, garlic, and pepper in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ground beef and olives and continue stirring to break up and brown the meat. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. When beef has browned, add tomato sauce gradually while stirring. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer to incorporate sauce.

Zatarain's Yellow Rice, prepared according to directions.

Black Beans w/Piloncillo and Cumin

1 lb uncooked black beans
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (low salt)
2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
3- 1-oz piloncillo cones (Or 4 oz of brown sugar mixed with 2 oz molasses)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 small serrano or jalapeno chile seeded and diced
Rinse beans and discard any debris. Place beans in the bottom of the pot and cover with the stock. Bring beans to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cover. Simmer on the lowest heat possible for about 3 hours.

Add additional water if stock simmers away too much. Add in additional ingredients and simmer for another hour, or until beans are soft and the liquid has simmered away. If there is still too much liquid, turn beans up to a slow boil until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Serve picadillo...
beans over bed of yellow rice (topped with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar and diced green onions) ...
a piece of crusty bread and you have a very filling and tasty meal!!!

ETA: I serve the picadillo to the side of the beans over the rice!!!

Sarge's Brown Rice

I'm sure many of you have visited Sarge's Restaurant/Steak House in Frank Ewing, TN.
My first trip was in the early 90's and I have been making this side dish since that time.

My version of Sarge's Brown rice:
2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp. Dale's seasoning
1 tsp. Kitchen bouquet
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Whisk together.

Saute 1 bunch green onions, chopped in 2 Tbsp. butter.
Add: sauce
4 cups cooked white rice
Heat until heated through and sauce has thickened.

The recipe is from an Amish restaurant that sadly went out of business.  DH fiddles with the ingredients but it is always good no matter how he varies it  

from an online friend


1 can of clams (he uses 3 small or the big one from SAM's when we can find them)
2 cups potatoes (he uses red ones with skin left on
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup real butter
1 Tlbs. chicken base or bouillon cube equivalent
1 tsp. salt (he uses some celery salt and seasoned salt)
1 tsp. pepper, freshly ground
1 12 oz. can chicken broth (he makes his own usually)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk (he uses half&half sometimes)
4 cups of milk (or enough for desired thickness)


Cook potatoes and celery in the clam juice til almost soft.  
Add clams and carrots; cook for 5 minutes.
Saute onions in butter.
Stir in flour.
Combine with clams and veggies.
Add chicken base, salt, pepper and chicken broth.
Add canned milk or cream and milk.
Heat til very hot but not boiling.

Sometimes he throws in some white or blush wine if it's too thick...  it's a good basic recipe to play around with 

Enjoy !!! 
Creamy One Pot Chicken & Pasta
Adapted from an online recipe that I had seen previously. 

2 Tbsp. Butter
1 lb. b/s Chicken breast, cubed
1 Tbsp. EVOO
2 cloves minced garlic
8 oz. sliced Baby Bella's mushrooms
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp. Flour
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1-1/4 cups half & half
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes 
1 Tbsp. Flour
6 oz. linguine, broken in half
3 cups spinach
1/3 cup Pecorino Romano, divided

Over med to medium high heat...

In large sauté pan, melt butter...add chicken and sauté until golden and no longer pink. 
Add EVOO, garlic, mushrooms & sun dried tomatoes. Sauté 3-5 minutes. Add flour, cook an additional minute. 
Slowly add broth, half & half...stir to combine thoroughly. 
Add linguine, stir to separate. 
Cover & reduce heat. Cook 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked through.
Remove from heat, stir in spinach & 1/4 cup of grated cheese. 
Serve immediately & garnish with remaining cheese. 

 Apple Dumplin's
adapted by Paula George
These remind me of the ones served by Wendy's YEARS ago!
2 to 2 1/2   cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
6 Granny Smith or other cooking apples, cored, peeled
sugar, approximately 1/2 cup, for sprinkling apples
butter, cut in small pieces.
Syrup:2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups hot water
1/4 cup margarine melted
heavy cream or ice cream, optional
PREPARATION:Combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add milk, stirring to make a soft dough. Roll dough into a 1/8" thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface; cut into 8-inch squares. Place 1 cored, peeled apple on each square. Sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons sugar and a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg to taste;dot with butter. Moisten edges of each dumpling with water; bring corners to center, pinching edges to seal. Place dumplings 1 inch apart in a lightly greased shallow baking dish. Combine 2 cups sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg,2 cups hot water and 1/4 cup butter or margarine; stir to dissolve sugar. Pour syrup over dumplings.Bake at 375° for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.Serve hot with cream or ice cream. Makes about 1/2 dozen apple dumplings.
p.s. I bake mine in a cast iron skillet