Monday, May 21, 2018

What Are You Grilling for the Holiday?

Memorial Day is a big grilling day in our house and many others.  My husband leaves the inside cooking to me and I leave grilling to him.  After 43 years and counting,  it's the perfect plan. I love that he still likes getting creative with his grilling.  We have found the Costco meat department has a wonderful selection and the steaks he bought for this meal were of fine top of the line restaurant quality.  The butcher comes out from the counter to answer any questions you may have and is happy to cut the size meat or roast you need.  

One of my favorite side dishes that compliments steak beautifully is pictured below and my husband makes it beautifully each time. Cut Granny Smith or Gala apples and fresh pineapple into bite size pieces and place in a foil pan.  Sprinkle with golden raisins, cinnamon and light pats of butter. Place the foil pan on the heated grill. Stir and watch carefully (so it doesn't burn) for about 15-20 minutes.
This could also be served as a dessert topped with vanilla ice cream.  Great for Summer.  Bon Appe'tit!

Costco steaks.
My husband Michael's grilled fruit dish♡

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Farmers Market to Your Table

Farmers Market Delights

 Support your local farmer's and benefit from healthy, wholesome produce and beautiful flowers for your home. Our local Farmer's Market just opened for the season and I made my way through pesto stands, freshly made apple cider donuts with your choice of powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar, and picked up fresh and locally grown tomatoes, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, flowers and more.  Did I mention the smoothies and hot brewed coffees?  You can find everything you need for a tasty harvest breakfast at Farmers Markets. Fresh eggs, syrups and potatoes for hash browns plus all the vegetables you need for tasty omelets. If you haven't visited your local Farmers Markets, you don't know what you are missing.  

 Here is a very simple recipe to make homemade tomato sauce for your family and friends using those fresh tomatoes from your market or your own garden. This recipe will make a quart of sauce...modify for your needs....

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (I use jarred ready to use chopped garlic I can keep in the fridge)
20 medium ripe plum tomatoes, washed, cored and cut into quarters
 Fresh basil (you can use dried)
Small bag of tomato paste (I am a huge fan of Amore Tomato Paste in a tube that you can reseal after you have used the portion you need)
tablespoon sugar, teaspoon salt & pepper, chopped onion (optional).

Use a Dutch oven or large pot, cover bottom with olive oil and add chopped garlic and onion.  Brown on low-medium heat until fragrant.  I use my freshly washed hands, take each tomato and squeeze into the pot until all tomatoes are in pot.  Add tomato paste, basil, salt, pepper and sugar and stir occasionally while cooking over low heat for 60-90 minutes.  After the tomatoes have cooked down, I pour into my blender or food processor and blend into smooth sauce for 30-45 seconds.  Use immediately on pasta of your choice or freeze the sauce for use at a later date. Will refrigerate for 3 days.  It's a great way to support the farmers in your area and feed your family a healthy meal.

If you are planning a get together this week,  you can make this sauce ahead of time.  All you need to do is heat it up and add to the pasta of your choice.

Support your local small businesses today!


Monday, May 14, 2018

Grilling Steak Indoors or Out

Tonight I'm grilling on my Cuisinart indoor grill. This is probably one of the most valuable cooking tools I own in my kitchen.  The plates are removable and dishwasher friendly.  One side holds the griddle plates I use to make pancakes and grilled cheese while the other side holds the grill plates.  The grill side I use for steaks, burgers, chicken or whatever your heart desires.

These are Angus strip steaks that I topped with a light coating of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), and seasoned on both sides with garlic salt, onion salt, and lemon pepper seasoning.  Grilled 8-9 minutes on each side and served with fresh green beans.  I pay more for my organic fresh green beans this time of year but it's really worth every penny!

The sizzle of steaks on the grill is hard to resist. After the steak is finished cooking, let it rest on a plate for 5-6 minutes.  This will ensure the juices distribute inside the steak and stay inside once you cut into your meal. 

The flip side of the grill makes great grilled cheese sandwiches.

Just a pinch of simple spices and seasonings can make a difference in the taste. What are you grilling tonight?


Friday, May 11, 2018


My sister in law sent this poem to me after my Mom passed away unexpectedly years ago.  Each time I read it when I am missing her the most, it lifts my spirit.  May you all have a lovely Mother's Day weekend with memories that warm your heart and soul.

A Mother's Love🌹

As a child I learned to live and laugh,
But most of all I learned how to love.

Many people come and go in our lives but a
Mothers love never leaves us.

Her nurturing ways, her kindness,
Her gentle spirit lives on.

The love I knew as a child, I felt all my life.
For without my Mother's love,
I wouldn't be the person that I am today.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mother's Day

Celebrate the special women in your lives this weekend, whether it be your Mom, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, neighbor or co-worker.  Go out of your way to give them a smile and see what a difference it makes in their day.  Surprise them with their favorite coffee, a bouquet of spring flowers, a meal you prepared for them, maybe a book they would enjoy while taking some time for themselves, a gift card to a local garden shop so they can buy their flowers and vegetables to plant.  Or give them a card with a heartfelt message telling them they mean a lot to you.  It's the little things that make life long memories.  A sweet memory of mine is visiting my Grandma each Thursday for years when our children were younger. Before their school years, we would visit with their cousins and Grandma would make hot dogs and baked beans with pringles as a side.  The children would play in Grandmas house that had so many special memories to me from when I was a child.  Grandma would bring out the basket of toys from the closet that she kept for all of her great grandchildren and it brought excitement each time they saw the basket.  After my children started school, I continued to see Grandma and either take lunch to her or we would go out to lunch.  After some time, Grandma had to sell her home and live in assisted living where I continued to visit Grandma weekly until she sadly passed away.  There were times with work, school and sports commitments it was hard to keep the schedule, but I am so happy I made the time.  These visits and lunches are memories that bring a smile to my face when I think of them.  They made a difference to my Grandma, and she always told me how she looked forward to our visits and chats.  It's the simple things that make a difference.  

To all of our special women in our lives, may you have a happy weekend and thank you for all of you do and the difference you make in our lives💟

I want to wish my daughter Kaitlyn of the blog, Kaitlately the most wonderful 1st Mother's Day.  You are a loving, generous and special Mom to our baby grandson whose happiness shows the daily love he sees because you show him never ending happiness and joy.  And a Happy Mother's Day to our daughter in law, Lisa of blog Balancing Lisa, who dedicates her being to making sure our grandson and granddaughter have all they need in the world to be the loving and kind children they are! You both make us so very proud and you are loved beyond words!  And to my dearest Mom, I thank you for all of your love, and having great patience raising a large family in the loving home you and Dad provided, always watching over us and keeping us safe, and for pressing our dresses and shining our shoes before church each Sunday and holidays.  I still feel your arms around me and I love and miss you every day! xoxo

Monday, May 7, 2018

Easy Baked Burger Sliders

When I'm in a hurry for an easy meal that I can put in the oven and let it bake while I catch up on other household tasks, I use this baked burger sliders recipe.  Basically toss your ground beef (or ground turkey if you prefer) into a large bowl, add seasonings of salt, pepper, onion salt, and I always use a couple shakes of The Spice House Back of the Yards.  It adds such great flavor to steaks, chicken and burgers.  It's ingredients include tellicherry pepper (a super flavorful pepper), garlic, salt, shallots, bell peppers and parsley all freshly ground in a jar!  Check The Spice House out online for flavorful spices and recipes that are guaranteed to enhance your cooking and baking.

If I am feeding 5-6, I pat the burger mixture into a lightly sprayed pan.  If you're cooking for 1-2 people, I suggest using a brownie size pan.  Place into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake about 45-50 minutes or until they look done.  If you're adding cheese, top with cheese and place back into the oven for a minute until it's melted.  Using your pizza cutter, cut the burgers into squares and serve them on slider buns found in the bread aisle at your grocer.

Great sides are pasta salad, either homemade or store bought, baked beans, green beans or corn on the cob. I hope you enjoy this easy supper tonight!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

$1,000 Mint Julep

The 144th annual Kentucky Derby is set to take place this Saturday, May 5, 2018.  There are mint juleps, and then there are $1,000 mint juleps.  According to Fortune, that $45.00 per sip. (Savor!) According to the Fortune article, it should take about an hour to sip the julep through a straw, as this method helps mix the sugar and mint together.  The higher prices julep is served in metal cups, made with Woodford Reserve. This year, there will be a pewter cup for an extra $1,000 or the silver and gold plated cup for $2,500 if you really want to splurge.  These drinks have sold out each year they have been sold at the Derby, as benefits go to the Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program. 

The recipe to this julep cocktail is:

2 ounces Woodford Reserve, 2 leaves of Kentucky Colonel mint and 1 teaspoon of Kentucky Sorghum syrup from Woodford County Kentucky. Kentucky Sorghum can be purchased on Amazon.  It comes in a 42 ounce jar selling for $29.99.  It's a natural sugar melted down, having the consistency of honey.  The syrup can also be used in your homemade gingersnap recipes. 

Pick your horse, grab your hat, make a big mint julep and may your horse win!