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June 29, 2017

This cherry pie is perfect for holidays...or any occasion honestly!  The filling is so simple.  There are just a few ingredients mixed together, and then you have a cherry pie.  If you want to make this pie extra special, you can do the lattice pastry top.  I included the instructions in the tips section.  The next time you have a special occasion or holiday, I recommend making this cherry pie for a sweet ending to your event.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I use my double crust pie recipe (here) for this pie.  For the lattice, follow these instructions once you have the pie dough for a beautiful presentation.

Lattice Instructions - Roll out the remaining disk of dough into a 12 inch round.  With an old-fashioned crimper, sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut into 1-inch-wide strips.  Lay about half of the strips on the pie in one direction, about 1/2 inch apart.  Fold back every other strip half way.  Lay a strip perpendicular to the first ones.  Unfold the strips back over the new strip,...

June 27, 2017

Bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches remind me of summer.  Summer makes me think of biting into tomatoes that are ripe and juicy (fresh from the garden).  With the 4th of July holiday upon us (for those of us in America), this salad seems like a great idea for the occasion.  One of the reasons it is so great is that you can make it ahead of time, so that you can enjoy the festivities without the time constraint.  I grew up in the middle of America, and this is a classic Midwest dish that you might see at potlucks and gatherings throughout the region.  This salad is simple and delicious.  It will set off fireworks of flavor in your mouth!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

You can substitute the bacon for turkey bacon if you so desire.

I use miracle whip in this recipe, but feel free to use any mayonnaise that you like.

Mrs. Dash is a seasoning blend (no salt) that you can find at most grocery stores in the states.  If you want, you can substitute Mrs. Dash for a different seasonin...

June 22, 2017

Rhubarb is a vegetable that is most often used in baked sweet desserts.  To me, it brings to mind a plant that I would find in grandma's garden - somewhat old fashioned, but still delicious.  I have a few rhubarb plants in my garden, because my family enjoys eating the baked sweets that I make with their stalks.  One of the desserts I make is the rhubarb upside-down cake.

This cake is sweet and goes great with the tartness of the rhubarb.  This recipe is from my mother-in-law, and it is a family favorite that I wish to share with you.  If you have never had rhubarb, this is a great recipe to introduce rhubarb to your palate.  Also, whipped cream compliments this cake perfectly, so give it a try!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

Rhubarb is often found in the produce section of the local grocery stores during spring and early summer.  The ones that I see here are red in color.  The rhubarb that I grow is green (with a little red).  It all tastes the same, so buy whatever is available....

June 20, 2017

This is a great summer side dish that compliments any main meal.  I personally like to make this delicious green bean dish when I am serving grilled meat.  This side is a bright and flavorful combination of good-for-you vegetables.  I find that sometimes vegetables can be boring (especially if you do the same things with them) in looks and taste, but not so with this recipe!  The garlic and red pepper add great flavor and a spicy kick that your mouth will enjoy immensely.  You and your family will savor these green beans and potatoes in a chunky tomato sauce - so much that you may even forego the meat!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

Tender young green beans work best for this recipe.

To peel tomatoes, you score the skin by making a small 'X' on the bottom side with a sharp knife.  Place the tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds.  Remove the tomato with a slotted spoon.  As an option, you can submerge in ice water if you want to cool it off quickly or just wait until it is cool eno...

June 15, 2017

Along with most of the worlds population, I am addicted to chocolate.  Every once in a while (or everyday), I have to feed my craving!  These little chocolate cupcakes are perfect for a chocolate fix.  I found this recipe in Southern Living magazine, the April 2017 edition.  If you crave intense chocolate, you will enjoy the original recipe.  I was curious to see what the outcome would be with a few changes to the original recipe.  Instead of dark chocolate, I used semi-sweet chocolate chips.  My family liked these cupcakes even better than the original ones!  I topped the cupcakes with whipped cream and a few raspberries.  It was scrumptious.  The raspberries, chocolate, and cream complemented each other perfectly.  You can't go wrong with chocolate!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

You can substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for the dark chocolate chips.  You can also do a combination of the two chocolates, if you prefer.  Just make sure that you have 1...

June 14, 2017

Summer is the perfect time to get together with friends and family.  Food plays a major part in this ritual.  I love to cook for people; it is my way of showing that I care.  I enjoy making them an assortment of yummy dishes.  Not too long ago, I decided to have an early summer gathering.  Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate, so we could not host it outdoors.  My plans, however, were flexible.  I decided to bring summer inside and share the warmth of good food despite the rainy day.

One of the food concepts that I love comes from the Spanish - tapas, or small plates.  It's basically appetizers or very small dishes that you can put together to make a complete meal.  It provides a lot of food variety as well as allows you to control your portion size.  It's a gathering of different kinds of food.  I've included pictures to show examples of this concept, and how I decided to arrange things.  I hope to inspire you to create your own gathering of food, f...

June 13, 2017

This bean dip makes for a wonderful snack!  It is full of flavor, and it looks beautiful too.  There are only a few ingredients, so this dip is simple and easy to prepare.  You can also use it as an appetizer when entertaining guests.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

If you are not sure your food processor can mince the garlic well, do it by hand with a sharp knife.  Once garlic is minced, add according to directions.

After adding salt and pepper, taste test the dip.  Add more if needed.

Preparation time is 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 (7 ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained

  • 1 large garlic clove

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Place the basil, balsamic vinegar, cannellini beans, roasted red bell pepper, and garlic clove in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  With the processor on, s...

June 8, 2017

This is my father's favorite pie.  When blueberries are in season (often in June - near father's day), I make him a blueberry pie!  The ingredients are simple, but the results are amazing.  Serve this beautiful pie with some vanilla ice cream for a real summer treat.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

Fresh, in-season blueberries work best for this pie.

Make sure you place your unbaked pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.  The juices from the berries may overflow, and this will protect your oven.

Do not despair if the berry juice discolors your pastry.  It will simply make your pie look rustic!

If you serve your pie warm, the juice my overflow from the pie.  It is fine!  If you prefer your filling to be more intact, wait to serve until it is completely cool.

Preparation time is 25 minutes.  Cook time is 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 6 cups (3 pints) blueberries

  • 1 tablespoon fresh...

June 6, 2017

Every once in a while, I crave a good juicy steak, and this recipe does the job perfectly!  I found this simple and delicious recipe in the May 8, 2017 edition of People magazine.  This recipe was created by Jessica Seinfeld.  She gives perfect instructions for preparing steaks, and the blue cheese butter is scrumptious!  Fast and easy to be prepare, you will not be disappointed with this yummy dish.

Bon Appetit!

Preparation time is 35 minutes.  Cook time is 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (1 1/2 pounds, about 1 inch-thick) bone-in rib-eye steaks

  • 1/4 cup (2 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2 ounce crumbled blue cheese (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Let steaks stand until room temperature, about 20 minutes.  Stir together the butter, blue cheese, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper in a small bowl.  S...

June 1, 2017

This is the recipe I use when I make a double crust pie.  I found this gem in a magazine in the late 80's and have been using it ever since.  I am the first to admit pie crusts can be a challenge, and my advice to you is to make a lot of pie.  Practice makes perfect.  Please refer to my earlier blog post on pastry dough tips as most of the tips apply with this recipe too.  I have a few additional tips below specifically for the double crust pastry in order to help ensure success in your pie making endeavor.  

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

Before placing the second pie dough over the filling, moisten the edge of the pastry in the pie plate.  Do this by dipping your finger in water and running your moistened finger on the pastry edge.  I usually have to dip my finger in the water several times throughout the process.  

Make sure to gently pinch the two crusts together.  You may want to trim any excess pastry edge.

I like to fold the rim of the pastry dough away from me - to...

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