Tuesday, August 20, 2019


I saw this plant online and knew immediately that I had to have it.  I showed my mother-in-law how cool they looked when they bloomed and she bought us each one!  

Jul 17, 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019


3.4oz instant vanilla pudding mix
1.5 cups milk
8oz tub cool whip
4 granny smith apples
5/6 snickers candy bars
caramel sauce

Mix pudding and milk and refrigerate until set.  Fold in cool whip until combined.
Core and slice apples, chop into 1" chunks.  Cut snickers bars in half long ways and then chop into 1/2" pieces. 
Fold apples and snickers into pudding mixture.
Drizzle the top with caramel sauce, if desired.

*We have a peanut allergy in our house so next time we may try this with twix candy bars.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


frozen chicken patties
shredded mozzarella
spaghetti or pizza sauce
fresh basil

Cook chicken patties in the oven as directed on package minus about 7 minutes.  Once patties are almost done, top each one with cheese and then sauce and allow to finish cooking.
Once done (heated through and cheese melted) place patties on a bun and top with fresh basil.

Sunday, August 11, 2019


I saw this idea online and decided to try it out for my son's birthday breakfast.  They were really good and a neat way of warming up the store bought doughnuts that aren't fresh and warm right off that belt.  We added sprinkles but thought they'd taste even better with some whipped cream or ice cream!

I put these doughnuts in a Belgian waffle iron for about 2 minutes.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


2 boxes vanilla wafer cookies
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3 bananas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened - room temp
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
whipped cream

Finely crush 50 vanilla wafters in food processor (should equal 2 cups) and combine with butter.  Press into bottom of greased 9" springform pan.  Stand up cookies around edge of pan, pressing gently into crust to secure.  Bake crust for 10 minutes at 350*.

Dice two bananas and combine with lemon juice and brown sugar in a saucepan.   Cook over medium high heat for 1 minute and set aside.

Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth and creamy, add sugar and beat until well blended.  Mix in one egg at a time, add vanilla and gently stir in banana mixture.

Pour batter into crust.  Place springform pan inside another cake pan (I used a 9" silicone cake pan, it stretched around the springform well).  Place the cake pans in a casserole dish and fill to the rim of the outer cake pan with water.  Bake for about 50 minutes at 350*.  Cool on counter while still in water bath for about 1 hour.  Remove inner cake pan from the outer one and place cheesecake in the fridge overnight to chill.

To decorate, crush cookies and sprinkle on top.  Pipe cool whip around edges and top each slice with a slice of banana and cookie. 

cheesecake just out of the oven

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


1/4 pound each pepperoni, genoa salami and ham, diced 
8 slices provolone cheese, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
splash red wine vinegar to taste
french baguette
olive oil

Mix together the 3 meats, cheese, onion, mayo, seasoning and vinegar well.  Place in a dish and sprinkle with a little more italian seasoning.

Slice baguette and lay on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven at 425* for about 5 minutes until toasted.

*If desired you can add 1/4 cup of diced banana peppers or even chopped up lettuce and tomato.


(2) 8oz boxes almond paste
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/3 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon almond extract 
dash of salt
almonds, whole or sliced

Mix all ingredients (except almonds) with an electric mixer until combined.  Place dough in a pastry bag (I used my pampered chef easy accent decorator) and pipe out 3" diameter cookies onto a cookie sheet.
Add a whole or sliced almond to the center of the cookie.
Bake at 375* for about 15 minutes or until golden.


caramel sauce (I prefer ghirardelli brand)
milk (I use 2%, your choice or even almond milk)
1 tablespoon caramel syrup (I prefer torani brand)
1 shot cold brew

Drizzle caramel sauce around inside rim of glass.
Fill glass half way with ice.
Fill glass 2/3 with milk.
Add caramel syrup.
Add cold brew.
Drizzle more caramel sauce over ice.

Monday, July 22, 2019


Aloe maculata/saponaria = soap aloe is native to Southern Africa.  The juice from it's leaves is traditionally used as soap by locals in it's native country.

On June 3,2019 I took some seeds from the flower shown in the photo above and attempted to grow them in a plastic bag.

On July 4, 2019 I finally saw green emerge from the seeds in the bag!

On July 15, 2019 I planted 8 babies.

What the adult plants look like at the original residence on July 22, 2019.

soap aloe babies Aug 20, 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019


1 shot salted caramel vodka
1 shot kahlua
2 shots heavy cream
salted caramel sauce

Rim glass with salted caramel sauce and then salt.
In a shaker combine vodka, kahlua and heavy cream.  Shake well and pour over ice in rimmed glass.


Raviola is an Italian pastry that I absolutely loved while living in Sicily.  It is warm sweetened ricotta inside a flaky crust.  It was sold at coffee shops and served as a breakfast item.  I haven't really seen anything like it in the US so I attempted to make my own and I'm pretty happy with the results!

1 package puff pastry
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
dash of vanilla extract

Using a rolling pin, roll puff pastry out on floured cutting board making it slightly larger than it is.  Cut into 6 even squares.
Mix ricotta cheese, sugar and vanilla extract together and scoop evening among squares.
Fold one corner of square down to meet opposite corner and use a fork to seal the edges.
Beat egg in a bowl and brush tops of pastry with the egg.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown at 425*
Once slightly cooled but still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Monday, June 10, 2019


2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound beef for stew
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic paste or 1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons ginger paste or 1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1" slices
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala or pumpkin pie spice
4 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups jasmin rice

Season beef with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large pan and cook beef over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until browned.  Remove and set aside.
Add onions to same pot and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender.  Add garlic and ginger to onions, cook another 2-3 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste and cook another minute.  Add curry, garam masala, beef stock and beef back to pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add carrots and potatoes to beef mixture and simmer for 30 more minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile prepare rice according to package directions.
Add soy sauce and sugar to beef mixture just before serving.
Serve beef mixture over rice.