Thursday, October 29, 2009


Good morning.  Well it's that Fall feeling again.  I guess when the weather turns I just think of cooking different things.  And I will tell you it got plenty cold last night.  Who says California does not have Seasons?  Today I have a recipe that I am sure you have all had at one time or another.  My Grandmother and my Mother made this and it is truly one of the great all time comfort foods.  Swiss Steak with mashed potatoes, green beans and hot crusty bread.  Now who doesn't like that?  When my family all lived at home, they loved this dinner and I made it often.  Not only is it good but quite economical, and today being what it is financially for a lot of people, you can't miss with this meal.  Here is my Grandmother's and then my Mother's, and now my recipe.


1 large round steak (as much as you need for your family) will feed four
1 chopped green pepper
1 onion sliced
1 can chopped tomatoes

Cut the steak into serving sized pieces.  Salt and pepper each piece and then dredge in flour.  Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a chicken fryer or deep frying pan (that has a cover).  Brown the meat on both sides.  Add the tomatoes, onion, and green pepper.  Cover and cook on low heat until the meat is fork tender.
Make mashed potatoes and add 1/4 cup of Parmesan to them.  Cook the green beans till just crisp, dress with olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper.  Spoon some of the juice from the meat over the potatoes.

I  have always liked this meal ever since I was a little girl.  My family always liked it too.  Try it soon.  It will be a hit with your family too.

That's it for today.
Ciao for now

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


AHA! Can you tell that I am in Fall mode?  Almost the end of October and my mind immediately shifts into a different mode as far as cooking goes. It's not too warm to turn on the oven, so you start to cook differently.  (even though it is going to be 86 degrees here in a day or two), but for now, I'm thinking Fall. Colored leaves, Pumpkins, crisp Apples, Apple Cider, lots of baked goodies, you get the drift.  Today I have a recipe for you that I always make for Thanksgiving, Oranges stuffed with Sweet Potatoes.  Can I tell you just how yummy they are?  You can make them anytime, they are so easy, but at our house they are a Thanksgiving staple, along with the Sweet Potato casserole that my daughter makes.  So, here is the recipe.


You can bake your own Sweet Potatoes or use 1 of the large cans of Potatoes (drained).  That will make 4 to 6.

3 oranges cut in half (extra large Navel)*
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
heavy cream
(3/4 stick melted)
1/4 cup brown sugar
Whip the potatoes as you would for mashed potatoes, add the spices and the melted butter and the brown sugar.  Then add enough cream just to make them smooth but not runny.  Add 3 tbls of Rum (not rum extract, Rum)
Hollow out the oranges and spoon the sweet potatoes into the halves, piling up high. Top with 1/2 Pecan piece.  Bake at 350 degrees until hot.
*My sister bakes them in little Pumpkins for variety

I guarantee that once you make these, you will make them again, and you may make them part of your Thanksgiving Dinner too.

They are definitely a crowd pleaser.

Well, until tomorrow,
Ciao for now

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


PUMPKINS, PUMPKINS everywhere.  So now that it is almost Halloween and Pumpkins are plentiful,  it is time for a Pumpkin recipe. I love Fall and this time of year.  And I adore Halloween.  I love to decorate and make Treat bags for all the Trick or Treaters.  It was always a big day at our house.  This year I will go to my Daughter's house and go out with the two girls, Kate and Christina.  I have so many recipes using Pumpkin but this one is for a really good cake.  I have been making it since my Children were little.  It is just as good today as it was back then. I hope you will try it.


Sift together:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix in another bowl and beat:
4 eggs plus 2 cups granulated sugar, then add 1 cup Wesson oil and the flour mixture and beat well.  Add 2 cups of pumpkin (Libby's).
Pour into a greased and floured 13x9x2 baking pan
Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees
Let Cake cool completely before frosting.

1 stick of butter at room temp and 6 oz cream cheese.  Cream butter and cream cheese together then add 1 box powdered sugar.  Beat well.  Add 2 tsp vanilla and 1 cup broken pecans.  Frost cooled cake.
Keep any leftover in the refrigerator (leftover? :))

Make it for Halloween, your family will love it.

(someone inquired about my photo, it was taken this past August at a family Birthday dinner)

Thanks for stopping in today.
Ciao for now


Good morning everyone.  Another hot day in Southern California.  And it is almost November.  But we have to admit we are enjoying it a lot.
Years ago when I first moved to California I had a neighbor who also loved to cook.  He shared some of his recipes with me.  The one I am bringing to you today came from him.  He had gotten it some time before that when he was in New Orleans.  He got it from a friend who worked in one of the famous restaurants there.  I promptly made it for the first time for a Christmas Open House for 25 people.  It was, true to his word, really delicious.  I still make it today.  This recipe serves 25 to 30 people but it is one of those things that you can easily adjust to suit the number of people in your family which is what I have done to bring it to you.  If anyone of you would like the proportions to serve 25 just let me know and I will publish it or send to you.  It is great for a large group.  One pot for the Jambalaya.


1 tbls olive oil
1 cup pork sausage cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 tbls flour
3 cups cleaned cooked shrimp
3 cups diced tomatoes (save the juice)
4 cups tomato juice combined with water (no seeds) the juice from the tomatoes plus enough water to make 4 cups
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tbls chopped parsley
2 cups uncooked long grain rice
2 tbls Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup cooked chicken cut into bite sized pieces.
1/2 cup dry White wine

In a large pot put the oil, cook the sausage, green pepper and onion stirring often for about 10 minutes until soft.  Stir in the flour and stir until smooth, then cook 2-3 minutes.  Add diced tomatoes, tomato juice water mixture, garlic and parsley.  Cook just to boiling point.  Stir in rice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme and red pepper. Add the White wine.  Cover and cook on low for 25 minutes or until rice is tender and almost all the liquid absorbed.  Add and stir in the shrimp and chicken.  Cover the pot and simmer for about 6 or 7 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
*If after adding the rice it begins to get too dry, add some tomato juice.

This is a good hearty meal served with a nice crisp salad and some hot bread.  Don't forget a glass of wine for the adults.

Thanks for stopping by today.
Ciao for now

Monday, October 26, 2009


Hi everyone.  What a weekend! Well, to start off with, I don't know how many of you have known about my pineapple, but 2 1/2 years ago I took the top of a pineapple and planted it in a big pot.  For two years it grew and grew but no pineapple.  After 2 years I noticed something deep in the center and a little over six months later it had grown into an amazing big pineapple.  (pictured above)  This weekend I cut it off and took it to my daughters where we cut it open and ate it.  It was juicy and as sweet as sugar.  It was the most amazing pineapple I ever ate in my life.  But can you imagine?  It takes 2 1/2 years to grow 1 pineapple and each plant gives only one.  Sometimes it may give two.  Just think of the rotation they have in Hawaii to keep us in pineapples.  I can hardly believe it.  The best part of this whole experience was,  that no one thought it would grow.  My son Ed, works for Chiquita Fresh, and all the guys in the pineapple part of the Company said there was no way I could grow one.  Well they don't know me.  So if you have the patience, try twisting the top off of your next pineapple and give it a try.  It was very exciting to say the least. (Also my Yankees won the Pennant!) Just a footnote :-)

Well let's get to today's recipe.  It is so simple and I know that even someone who is not a fish eater will love this.

Filet of Sole
egg wash
White Wine
 olive oil
salt and pepper

Beat an egg and put into a pie dish, salt and pepper the filets and dip into the egg wash on both sides.  Saute quickly in the mixture of  1/2 olive oil and 1/2 unsalted butter.  Remove from pan and cover with a piece of foil (just lay the foil over the top).  Add 1/4 stick of butter and 1/2 cup White wine and juice of 1 lemon to the drippings in the pan. Cook until it reduces and thickens a little, spoon quickly over the fish and sprinkle with slivered almonds.  Serve with Asparagus and roasted little red potatoes.

Cut the Asparagus into 2" pieces and saute quickly in a little olive oil and garlic.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast the Potatoes in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Put them into a shallow baking dish and toss with a little olive oil just to coat, salt and pepper, slivered garlic and some Herbs de Provence.
A meal fit for a King!  Delicious and healthy.

I am going to plant another Pineapple today.  Give it a try.  It was so worth the effort.

Ciao for now

Friday, October 23, 2009


YIPEE! YEA! HOORAY!  My blog site is working AND I found the Brownie recipe in with all my Christmas Cookie recipes.  To quote the author, "there's a recipe around for chocolate brownies: a dry, pale brown thing that really has no resemblance to this dark, fudgy, moist delight."  And she  (Edna McHugh) is absolutely right.  I have been making this recipe since 1971.  There is a little book called "Chocolate Kicks and other recipes for the Chocolate Addict."  The recipes all have Hippie Era names.  And of course, I am the biggest Hippie of them all.  The Sixties Rule!  Anyway, I digress.  I am also a "make it from scratch" person."  Even if you are a run around crazy Mom or a working Mom, you must try this Brownie recipe at least once.  Make it on the weekend.  And.....once you do, watch out, you will be doing it again.  Okay, enough of that, here then is the recipe.


5 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/4 lb of butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 tbls vanilla
1 cup sifted all purpose flour

Set oven at 325 degrees.  Grease a 9" square pan.  Melt chocolate butter and shortening together over hot water or on a very low flame.  Mix thoroughly, let cool slightly.  Beat eggs with salt till light.  Add sugar gradually and beat till creamy.  Add chocolate mixture and vanilla.  Fold in well.  Add flour all at once.  Beat till smooth.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or till done  (DO NOT OVER BAKE)  Cut into small squares while hot.

That's it.  The recipes in this book are all so awesome, Chocolate Joints, Chocolate Weeds, Chocolate Hippies, Chocolate Far Outs.  You get the drift.  I will be bringing you more of them as time goes by.  There are recipes for Cakes, Pies, and Misc. Jazz.  All of them noteworthy to say the least.

When you taste these Brownies, these moist, mouth watering chewy delights, I guarantee you will take the time to make them often.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Good morning.  Well I am still looking for my Brownie recipe.  I want to get it to you all so you can try it on the weekend.  In the meantime I am going to give you a recipe that I first had in a Restaurant in Northern Italy a few years ago.  Pumpkin Ravioli.  I really did not have a recipe but when I came home I put one together with good results.  Since then I have had them at a couple of different restaurants in Los Angeles and have seen them being prepared on The Food Network by two or three different chefs.  I have not tried their recipes, because my family and myself included are happy with the way I make them.  So today I impart to you my recipe.  Very simple but so delicious they really do make your mouth water.  I am making them for dinner Friday night.

2 cups of cooked pumpkin (I used canned) or 2 cups of cooked squash (you can buy it already peeled and cubed at your local market.
6 tablespoons of cream
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 1/2 sticks of butter (unsalted)
6 sage leaves
pasta sheets or wonton wrappers or make your own pasta

Add the cream to the pumpkin (or squash puree'), cook in a saucepan over low heat to cook away some of the moisture.  Add the nutmeg and let cool.  If you use wontons*, (the small size) put about a tsp of the mixture in each, brushing the edges all around with water, fold over to make a triangle and press them down to seal.  If you make your own pasta dough (or use sheets from your specialty market) add a full tsp to each and cut with your ravioli cutter or a knife and then seal the edges pressing down with a fork.  To make your own pasta, 2 cups of flour, 1 egg and enough water to form the dough, knead it until shiny and elastic and roll into sheets.  Fill as directed above.  Drop into boiling water and cook just until they float to the top.  Cook a minute more.  In the meantime melt the butter until it just begins to brown, drop in the sage leaves and cook just for about 20 seconds or so.  Remove ravioli from the water, draining well, and toss them into the pan with the butter and sage.  Coat them evenly and serve immediately.

They are so amazing, I know your whole family will really love them.  Some specialty markets may carry Pumpkin Ravioli.  But they are so easy to make, especially if you buy the pasta or use the wontons, that it is more economical to do so.  And you know what you are getting.  I am a big proponent of "making your own".
*wanton raviolis cook in just a couple of minutes

Try them this weekend for something different.  Thanks for stoppping in today.
Ciao for now


Hi everyone.  Today I have "Grandma's Chicken Caccitore" recipe for you.  There are so many variations of this recipe.  I guess different regions of Italy make it differently.  Most of the ones that I have seen vary, but are really basically the same.  I mean it is Chicken with Vegetables, Tomatoes, etc. all put together so I guess it really does not matter if each one is a little different.  This recipe is the way I know my Mother and her Mother made it.  The good thing about it is that it is one of those dishes that cooks for awhile so that the aroma fills the house and makes your mouth water while it is cooking.  You can serve it with pasta, or just plain.  We always had it with pasta so that is how I will tell you to make it.  Whenever I make it, it reminds me of when my family all lived together.  It always brings memories of my Grandmother and my Mother.  It is definitely one of the "comfort foods".

2 chicken breasts, cut in half
2 chicken legs
2 chicken thighs
1 green or red pepper
1 chopped onion
1 pkg of mushrooms sliced
3/4 cup of good dry white wine
2 cloves of garlic
1  can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
olive oil
salt and pepper

Dredge the chicken pieces (that have been salted and peppered) in the flour and brown them in the olive oil in a chicken fryer or dutch oven.  Remove from the pan and add the minced garlic, chopped pepper, onion, mushrooms and saute for a few minutes.  Add the chicken broth, wine and tomatoes and cook until it begins to reduce, add the chicken and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and cook until the chicken is tender.  Serve with your favorite pasta.

There you have it.  This takes about an hour and a half to get on the table.  A good for you , hearty meal that all of the family will enjoy.  Try it soon.

Thanks for stopping in today.  Tell your friends about Grayce's blog and have them sign up to be followers.

Ciao for now

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Welcome!  I was all prepared to give you the most scrumptious Chocolate Brownie recipe ever.  But alas, I cannot seem to locate it anywhere.  I know it by heart but I cannot be quite sure enough to pass it on to you.  So, today I will search through the mass of cookbooks and when I find it, I will post it for your enjoyment. So from Brownies to Dinner.  I am having company tonight and I don't have a lot of time so I am going to be making this Shrimp and Pasta dish, which I make often.  It is easy, delicious and is a wonderful "Company Dinner Dish".

This serves 4 people
20 Jumbo Shrimp (raw) de-veined and tail off
1 lb Barilla Thick Spaghetti
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lemon
2 tbls drained and rinsed capers
2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
chopped flat leaf parsley

While the pasta is cooking saute the garlic in 3  tabls of olive oil.  Add the shrimp and cook just until pink on both sides.  Don't overcook as the shrimp will get tough.  Add the capers and the red pepper flakes.  Mix about 1/4 cup olive oil or more (to coat the pasta) with the juice of one lemon,  Drain the pasta (al dente) and add the olive oil mixture, toss to mix and then add the shrimp and capers. Toss quickly and serve hot. Top with the chopped parsley.

I always serve this with a Ceasar Salad and some grilled bread.  A nice Pinot Grigio makes it a perfect meal.  Fit for a King and Queen, if you happen to know one.  Sometimes I just make it for myself :).

So there you have it.  Try it soon.  Just a few ingredients, a short amount of time and a wonderful meal is on the table.

Thanks for stopping in today
Ciao for now

Monday, October 19, 2009


Hi everyone.  Back to the old grind as they say.  Kids off to schools, adults off to work.  The hustle and bustle of everyday life.  I told you about my childhood in the beginning of my blog days.  Today I want to share a recipe from those days that I still make today.  Bread Salad or Panzanella.  My Grandmother used to make it with all the fresh vegetables from the garden and the day old bread, (when there was any left over).  She would put in fresh, ripe juicy tomatoes, onions, peas, olives, whatever there happened to be at the time.  There really wasn't a "recipe" as such, more of "what do we have?"  I just know that I could have eaten all of it myself.  With a piece of fish, chicken, beef or pork you have a satisfying meal.  Here is how I make it today.


3 cups of day old Italian bread cut into large cubes
4 or 5 tomatoes (use red, heirloom, ) cut into pieces
1/2 cup black olives
1 can artichoke hearts cut in half
2 or 3 stalks of celery cut into pieces
1 red onion cut into thin slices
about 1/2 bunch bunch Italian flat leaf parsley rough chopped
some fresh basil rough chopped
2 cloves of fresh garlic minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 white wine vinegar or whatever you prefer
salt and pepper to taste

Put the bread chunks on a cookie sheet and into the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, just until slightly browned.  Mix all the vegetables together, add the bread and mix, add the dressing, mix together and serve immediately.

This is a wonderful, hearty salad.  Full of flavor.  It can stand on it's own for a light lunch.  I know if you try it once you will make it often.  Use your imagination.  Add whatever you like.  There are no mistakes to this one.  This is just how I remember my Grandmother making it for us.

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.
Ciao for now.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Good morning everyone.  Here it is, the weekend, already!  Two more weekends left in October.  I'm telling you once school starts, it is like a hurricane is pushing the hands of clock, time goes by so quickly. Everyone feels caught up whizzing around like a witch on her broom.  There does not seem to be a minute to sit and just be, if you know what I mean. Speaking of witches, Halloween will be here in two weeks.  I remember when my kids were younger, dinner on Halloween night was always Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches so that we could get out for Trick or Treating just as soon as it got dark.  Today I have a recipe you may want to try on your little Goblins and their friends this year.  Little mini pizzas.  These are easy and quick.  You can even make them for an after school snack, (and have Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup for dinner :)".


pizza dough, you can buy it at your local Pizza Parlour or buy the kind at your market (that is easy and can be sliced into rounds)
Tomato and Basil
Sauteed Mushrooms
Goat Cheese
Green Pepper chopped finely
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Grated Parmesan
Olive Oil
Pizza sauce

If you buy the refrigerated pizza dough, slice into 1/4" thick slices, on a flat surface roll out to a 4" circle and brush lightly with olive oil.  Use your imagination and top each with a different topping.  Do the same thing with pizza dough you make or buy at the Pizzeria near you. Bake at 400 degrees on the middle rack of your oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  Also great for snacks while watching Football or Baseball.  Make some this weekend.  Or, make them as a snack for when the kids get home from school.

Thanks for stopping in today, have a really great weekend!
Ciao for now

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Good morning.  Thanks for dropping in today.  It is really foggy this morning and that means we are in for a really hot weekend.  It is actually already pretty warm.  Years ago when I first moved to California, we had a family emergency.  One of Al's friends Mother sent over a Casserole for our dinner.  It was such a wonderful gesture.  It was also a really wonderful dinner.  I immediately got the recipe from her and have been making it ever since.  Mitch turned out to be Al's best friend and still lives a block away from him in Irvine. His Mom passed away a few years ago, but I always think of her kindness when I make this dish.  The really great thing is that you make it the night before and bake it the next day.  Make it for your Football Sunday or just so you can get out in the beautiful weather (if you live here) and you will have a great dinner in an hour and a half when you get home.


4 chicken breast (or 2 whole breasts cut into half)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can diced chiles
1 finely chopped onion
shredded cheddar cheese (about 6 cups)
1 pkg of corn tortillas cut in half and then into 6 pieces

Poach the chicken breasts, and let them cool before cutting into 1/2 inch pieces.  Mix the Chicken, the onion, chiles, and the soup together, butter a casserole dish and put a layer of tortillas, chicken mixture, and then cheese.  Repeat 2 more times ending with the chicken mixture and a good layer of the cheese.
(Tortillas, chicken mixture, cheese, tortillas)  Cover the dish tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator, let stand while the oven heats (pre-heat to 350 degrees) and bake for at least 1 hour and a half, or until the cheese is melted and it is very bubbly. Remove from the oven and let it set for 10 minutes before serving.

This is a really wonderful dish.  You almost can't stop eating.  Try it this weekend.  You can be gone or doing whatever and still have a wonderful dinner with your family that night.

Thanks for stopping in today.
Ciao for now

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Good morning.  Well, unbelievable but true, it rained here during the night and is still raining this morning. But with the rain comes warmer weather.  It will be 86 by Friday.  Ah, Southern California.  It's why we love you.

Today I am going to give you a quick one dish meal that is hearty and delicious.  Not quite something my Grandmother's may have made but let's just say, "Italian inspired."  There are a lot of ways to use left over pasta.  Sometimes you can just fry it up in a little olive oil.  If it has no sauce on it you can add an egg, a little cream, salt and pepper and fry in a little olive oil and slice into pieces and top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  Today's recipe is one for left over pasta with no sauce on it or cook up a batch.  Either way, you will have a main dish on the table in no time.


3 cups of cooked pasta (Barilla thick) or whatever you have)
2 tbls olive oil, 1 tbls butter melted
1/2 cup parmesan
2 well beaten eggs
1 cup Ricotta
 1/2 lb of ground beef, 1/2 lb italian sausage or just 1 lb beef
1/2 chopped onion
2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
1 8 oz can cut tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
a pinch of allspice and a pinch of nutmeg
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Melt the butter and mix with the olive oil and pour over the spaghetti.  (if it is left over heat it first, if it is jut made, drain and toss with the mixture).  Stir in the parmesan and eggs.  Pour this mixture into a 9" pie plate and form a crust .  Spread the ricotta on top of this in an even layer.  In a skillet put a little olive oil and brown the garlic and the onion, being careful not  to burn.  Add the ground meat and saute until browned and crumbly.  Drain off all the drippings.  Stir in the undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, nutmeg, allspice and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.  Turn meat mixture into spaghetti "crust" and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake just until the cheese is melted.  Remove from the oven and slice like a pie.  Serve with a tossed green salad, some hot bread and of course a glass of red wine.  Quick and delicious.  I think all of your family will love this.

That is it for now.  Thanks for stopping in today.  It is gratifying to hear so many comments on my blog and to hear how many of you have made the recipes.  Thanks to all of you.

Ciao for now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Good morning everyone.  Ok, today let's talk "the other white meat".  Not only is Pork the other white meat, but it is nutritious, flavorful, and a great change from chicken and beef etc.  When my two youngest children, Ed and Linda were in school, they were in 4-H.  We lived in Irvine, a mile from UCI.  At that time we were able to have a parcel of land for the kids to raise animals.  It started with Ed and Susie, our neighbor, having chickens.  Then it went on to pigs, lambs and a steer.  Linda had goats.  Anyway, when we were involved in the swine program, the piglets were bought at six weeks, raised for six months and then.......oh dear!  Some were shown at the Fair, auctioned off and then......oh dear!  The moral of the story is that we got to eat a lot of really good, fresh pork. So today I give you a wonderful, tasty recipe for STUFFED PORK CHOPS.

4 thick pork chops with a pocket cut into them lightly salted and peppered on both sides
8 oz of herb stuffing or 3 cups of bread cubed
1 diced apple
1/4 cup apple juice
2 tbls butter melted
1 sprig of rosemary chopped fine
1/2 small onion chopped very fine

Mix the ingredients together and stuff into the pork chops.  In a saucepan melt 2 more tbls of butter with 2 tbls of brown sugar.  When melted add 1 cup of apple juice.  Bring to a boil.  Put the pork chops in a large baking dish or chicken fryer, pour the sauce over the top.  Cover and bake for one hour and 15 minutes or until the pork is no longer pink.  Uncover the last 15 minutes, baste with the juice and let brown.  Serve with green beans dressed with an olive oil and vinegar dressing.  While the pork chops cook you can make a quick applesauce.  Peel and core 4 or five apples, chop into small pieces put into sauce pan with water, sugar to taste, cinnamon and butter.  Cook till apples are are soft.  Keep cooking and stirring until it is just chunky.  Serve warm with the chops and green beans.

Talk about a Fall dinner!  Your family will love this.  And the smells from the chops and applesauce, Divine!

Thanks for stopping by
Ciao for now

Monday, October 12, 2009


Hi everyone.  Wow!  Another weekend gone by.  My Yankees took care of the Twins in 3 games and now they will take on the Angels.  They split this year 5 and 5.  Here's hoping they can take of them as well.  It will be exciting for sure.  Today I am going to post my very favorite Scone recipe, courtesy of the Adorable Tyler Florence.  I have tried many, many Scone recipes over the years but this is the BEST.  No question about it.  My very good friend Marti, who used to live in CA. down the street from me, but moved back East to be with her children, asked me to do this today.  So for her and all of you, the very best Scone recipe ever!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus a little to brush on top. (enough will settle in the carton to do this)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Sift the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Using a pastry blender or your fingers, quickly cut in the butter .  The mixture should be like coarse crumbs.  Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream.  Fold together just to incorporate. ( Before adding the cream I zest in some lemon, or some orange or add blueberries or cranberries or whatever you like.)  Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured board, it will be crumbly.  Just press it together and  while pressing give it a couple of rolls on the board, then press out into a rectangle about 12x3 and 1 1/4 inch thick, as shown in the picture above.  Cut in half, then into fours, and cut each into eight triangles.  Brush the tops with the cream and sprinkle with sugar .  Bake for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned.  Tips:  work quickly, don't overwork the dough, and do not over bake.

These are the most mouth watering, delicious scones you will ever eat.  No question about it.  Eat them warm with jam and a cup of tea.  AHHH!

Well that is it for today.  I actually made these yesterday morning so I could take pictures.  I ate two and rushed the other six hot ones over to Glory and Scott who are my neighbors.  She called five minutes later and said "are you kidding me!"  These are amazing.  So there you have it.  Try them tomorrow or on the weekend when you can really savor them without rushing.

Have a great day
Ciao for now

Friday, October 9, 2009


Good morning.  Glad you stopped by today.  I don't know about you but I am ready to make a nice dessert with some fresh berries before the season for these delectable offerings is over.  Fresh berries are so great and you can do so much with them.  We are still getting fresh Strawberries, Blueberries and Raspberries.  Also some really wonderful Peaches.  The Peaches have been especially sweet and juicy this year.  I don't know how far Trader Joe's stores reach, but here in California they are pretty much everywhere, and they have had the best Peaches ever all season.  Today I am giving you a recipe for a berry tart.  I got it out of a magazine years and years ago.  I used to make it all the time for the kids, because it is really easy.  I am going to make it this weekend.  It's just time for some sweets!


Crumb Crust
1 cup almonds (about 5 ounces)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks of cold butter cut into small pieces

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbls cornstarch
2 pints of your favorite berries or mix them up

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread nuts in a baking pan.  Roast the nuts and stir once in awhile so they don't burn.  Bake them for about 10 minutes just till lightly browned.  Remove nuts from the oven and set aside.  Increase the temp. to 450 degrees.  In a food processor , process the nuts until finely ground, about 10 seconds.  If you don't have a food processor use your blender. (Make sure you don't process or blend too long, you want the nuts to be crumbly not form into a paste).  In a bowl, mix the nuts, flour and sugar.  Cut the butter into the mixture until coarse crumbs form.  Pour half of the this into the bottom and sides of the tart pan.  Use your fingers to press into the bottom and sides of the pan.  In a bowl mix the sugar and cornstarch.  Gently fold in the berries.  Spoon the mixture into the crust and gently spread evenly. Sprinkle the berries with the rest of the crumb topping.  Bake until the topping is golden and filling is bubbly.  About 30 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes and serve with Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream or just plain.  Absolutely Yummy!  and so easy.  You could also use Peaches or Plums.

That's it for today.  Have a great weekend.  I am in Heaven.  My Yankees are in the playoffs, so I am getting my fill of sports this weekend.  Baseball and Football  What a weekend!

Ciao for now.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Good morning everyone.  It seems that people are having a difficult time joining as followers, posting comments etc.  That is very discouraging, since the only way to get advertisers to sponsor the blog is that they can see how many people are looking in everyday.  Some people can't get their picture into the spot either.  Why do they make these things so difficult?  If anyone has the answer on the how to for this blog, maybe you could post it on Facebook or leave a comment for others.  I get e-mails from those that know me, but it would be great to hear what others have to say.  Anyway, Jennifer, one of the faithful, asked yesterday for a recipe for BEEF (BIF) STROGANOV.  That was gratifying to see, and it just happens to be one of my favorites.  When I was just 19, I made one of the most expensive purchases of my life.  I bought a 2 book set of GOURMET cookbooks.  They are each over 700 pages long leather bound and imprinted in gold.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I got them.  Everyone thought I was crazy to spend that kind of money on cookbooks.  But the recipes are amazing.  I still treasure those books to this day.  And make a lot of the recipes.  So for Jennifer and all of you that love good food, here is the recipe.

2 1/2 to 3 pounds of top sirloin of beef or filet mignon (must be a good cut of meat)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon flour
2 cups beef bouillon
2 tsp hot mustard (Grey Poupon)
3 or 4 small onions sliced as thinly as possible
6 tablespoons Knudsen sour cream, at room temp
1 lb of Barilla Fettuccine

Remove all fat and gristle from meat.  Cut into narrow strips 2" long 1/2" thick.  Sprinkle meat strips with the salt and pepper.  Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter.  Blend in flour.  Stir in bouillon and bring to boil.  Stir in mustard.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth.  Heat remaining butter in a Wok or a large fry pan.  The butter must be very hot.  Brown the meat and onions quickly on all sides.  Add sour cream to mustard sauce.  Add the sauce to the meat and onions.  Cover pan and keep hot for 20 minutes, on the very lowest setting, or on a hot plate set over lowest possible heat.  The mixture must be kept hot, but must not simmer.  Before serving, heat through over high heat for about three minutes.  Serve over buttered Fettuccine. (Cook the pasta while keeping the meat warm)

(If you put the meat into the freezer for 15 minutes it will be easier to slice)

The flavor of this dish is so incredible.  When my 3 children lived at home, I made this often.  It is really a simple yet elegant dish.  Let me know how you like it Jennifer.  I hope more of you will try this and leave your comments.

Thanks for stopping by.
Ciao for now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Good morning.  Here it is the middle of the week again.  Time flies.  Some one said to me yesterday, "it's almost Thanksgiving."  Then I wrote that recipe yesterday.  Now that is getting scary.  Once Thanksgiving is here the rest becomes one big blur.  I am just getting used to summer being over.  Let's not rush things.  There are many recipes for meatloaf.  I have two.  My standard recipe and my Italian style recipe.  So just for a little variation I thought that today I would give you the Italian style.  Meatloaf with potatoes and carrots happens to be one of those comfort foods.  And there is nothing better than a meatloaf sandwich the next day.


1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 lb italian sausage
about 1/4 cup tomato sauce
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs (Progresso or Contadina)
2 eggs
1 onion
1 green pepper
salt and pepper
2 large Russet potatoes, or Yukon Gold (3)
2 or 3 carrots

Put the beef, sausage, eggs and bread crumbs into a bowl, finely chop the pepper and onion and add to that.  Then add the bread crumbs and tomato sauce, salt and pepper.  Mix all together until everything is well incorporated.  Shape into a round and put into a chicken fryer or a dutch oven.  Cut the carrots and potatoes into pieces and put all around the meatloaf.  Drizzle a little olive oil over the potatoes and carrots and add some salt and pepper.  Bake, covered at 350 degrees for approximately 2 hours or until the meat is cooked and the veggies are tender.  Remove the cover and stir the veggies and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes till nicely browned.

I think you will enjoy the different flavor of the sausage in this version.  Try it soon.

Thanks for stopping by.
Ciao for now

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Good morning everyone.  Thanks for stopping by today.  This weather has my mind whirling with recipes for cool weather.  I always call Fall and Winter dishes comfort food.  It just seems that things that come out of the oven or a couple of hours on the stovetop make you feel, well, comforted.  The wonderful aromas permeate the house for hours and you just don't get that with outdoor grilling.  Don't get me wrong, I love summer and all the wonderful foods that go with it, but now, it's time for those comfort foods.  Today I have a recipe that some of you probably have already made.  I had never made it until a couple of years ago when my friend Marti told me she was making it for Thanksgiving.  I made it as a side dish for our Thanksgiving dinner and let me tell you it was amazing.  The only problem with this dish is that you want it all to yourself.  It is one of those things that you just can't stop eating.  I made a double batch and it was GONE!  Not only is it mouth watering, it also is one of the most simple things I have ever made.

So here is the recipe for CORN CASSEROLE

1 can Niblets corn
1 can Niblets creamed corn
1 stick of butter (melted)
1 cup Knudsen sour cream
1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin mix

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a buttered casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.
That's it!  I guarantee that once you make this, you will make it often.  Serve it as a side dish with Pork Chops, or Chicken, and a vegetable and a salad.  If you have children they will love it.  I hope you will try it soon.  It is just plain Yummy!

Thanks for stopping by.
Ciao for now

Monday, October 5, 2009


Brrrrr.  Fall has hit California.  Yesterday was 68.  Perfect Football weather.  But that was a 25 degree drop from Friday.  We will get more warmer weather again and then Fall will settle in for good.  But it was enough of a shock to the system to have me making BEEF STEW for dinner yesterday.  There is nothing that warms the heart on a cool day better than a hearty Beef Stew with a salad, some warm crusty bread and a glass of wine.  And of course, a good Football game.  This is a family recipe that my Mother made ever since I was a child.  It is full of wonderful vegetables and amazing flavor.  I hope you will make this soon for your family.  The following is enough for 4 four people and for more than four all you do is increase all the ingredients accordingly.


1 1/2 to 2 pounds of stew meat
2 carrots
2 parsnips
2 large Russet potatoes
1 1/2 cups of cut up acorn squash
1 1/2 cups of chipolini onions or pearl onions
1 small bag of frozen peas
1 small onion and 2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
3/4 stick of butter and 1/2 cup of olive oil

Put the flour in a plastic bag, add salt and pepper, add the stew meat, close the bag and shake until all the meat is well coated.  In the meantime, melt the butter with the olive oil.  Add one chopped onion and saute till it starts to brown. Add the meat and brown all sides.  When meat is browned on all sides add 1 cup red wine and enough water to cover the meat.  Stir, getting all the drippings and browned flour up from the bottom of the pan (that is all the flavor).  Add the garlic and the bay leaf.  Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is really tender.  When the meat is almost tender (it will shrink in size), chop all the vegetable in pieces the size of the cooked meat,  and add to the stew.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and simmer until the veggies are cooked. Stir often.  Add the peas and cook for a few minutes until they are warmed through.  Remove the bay leaf before serving.  If the Stew becomes too thick, just add a little water and wine.  You want the stew to be somewhat thick not runny.

Serve with a salad and some hot, crusty bread and of course a glass of Red Wine.  Delicious!  It just makes you feel happy all over.

Thanks for stopping by.
Ciao for now

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I am writing tonight because I have to leave early in the morning.  It looks like we may get some rain on Sunday.  A good day for this dish.  It was 90 degrees today and by Sunday it says around 74.  This is an old Knudsen recipe that I have had for many years, and it is as good today as it was way back when.  I think you will enjoy it, as will all of your family.  It is quick and easy and really delicious.  So here it is, I know you will like it.


One 13x9x2 baking dish
4 frying chicken breasts halved
2 (10 0z) packages frozen broccoli spears or 2 to 3 pounds of broccoli
2 tbls Knudsen butter (unsalted)
2 tbls flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
1 cup Knudsen sour cream
1/2 cup Parmesan
Paprika( just a little sprinkle)

Simmer chicken for 25 minutes.  Skin and bone the chicken
Cook broccoli just till crisp and drain
Melt butter in sauce pan.  Stir in flour and cook until bubbly.  Add broth and Worcestershire sauce, cook, stirring, until thickened
Reduce heat and stir in one cup of the cheese, heating gently until melted
Empty sour cream into med bowl.  Gradually add cheese sauce stirring constantly.  Salt to taste.
Arrange broccoli in bottom of baking dish to cover bottom.  Top with chicken breasts that have been sliced on a diagonal into 1/2 " slices.  Pour sauce over all.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and paprika and 1/2 cup of Parmesan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
Makes six servings

Your whole family will love this dish.  Serve with rice and a salad.

Thanks for stopping in, have a great weekend.
Ciao for now


Good morning.  Ah the cool air this morning coming in through the open bedroom door.  You can just smell and feel Fall in the air.  Even though it will be 85 degrees today.  The change is here, and I am thinking soup.  I love just about any kind of soup, and I make it often.  Just not when it's too hot.  Today may just be the perfect day for some Tortilla Soup.  I have a busy day ahead and when I get home, it will have cooled off and I know that a bowl of soup and some hot Cornbread will be just the ticket.  Most of the soups I make are made from scratch.  Cooking the chicken to make stock, or the beef for a vegetable soup and so on it goes.  But this soup is quick and can be done in less than an hour.  And it is hearty and satisfying.  So do try it soon.


1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of an Anaheim or Poblano chili pepper seeded and chopped
1 tbsp cumin seed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups of cut corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
3 medium tomatoes
28 oz container of chicken broth
2  cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (grab a cooked chicken at the market, it's the easiest and has a lot of flavor) or cook your own.
1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro
2 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Cornbread (make your own or get a quick box one and bake while soup cooks)

In a large pot cook chopped onions, garlic, peppers and cumin seed in the hot oil about 5 minutes.  Stir continuously.  Add corn, tomatoes, chicken broth, shredded cooked chicken and the cilantro.  Bring all to boiling and immediately reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
To serve, ladle soup on top of the chips and garnish each with shredded cheese, extra tortilla chips, lime wedge and fresh cilantro.

A bowl of this soup, a big chunk of hot cornbread slathered with butter, yum, it does not get any better than that.  Make it soon.  So easy,  So good.  Also good to serve for a football party.  Make in a crock pot and let guests serve themselves.  Have chips, cheese and lime in bowls buffet style.  It will be a hit.  (Of course you can double the recipe)

See you tomorrow.
Ciao for now.