OK, I’m finally doing it.
After rants, raves, and requests … I’m finally publishing my first cookbook.
With a twist.
I’m not just publishing MY recipes.
I’m including some of the best recipes from my friends and family members.
So, about you…
I’d love for you to contribute 2-3 great recipes so I can choose the ones that fit best in the cookbook.
My new cookbook is titled, “The Tastes of Traditions: A Year Round Blend of Festive Family Favorites from Friends & Family!”
I’m specifically looking for recipes that work great at ALL the year-round family and friend festivites.
- New Years
- Valentines (think romantic dinners)
- Mothers Day
- Fourth of July Picnics
- Summer Cookouts
- … and a whole lot more.
Plus, I’m also going to include some great warm and happy stories about fun or touching memories you have from past celebrations.
Think of this book as “Betty Crocker meets Chicken Soup for the Soul!”
If you’re interested in contributing recipes to the book, simply enter your name and email address below. That will add you to our contributors list — AND forward you to the page where you can submit your recipes.
If you have any problems submitting, just let me know.
PS: OK … simply enter your name and email address below to get started.
STEP ONE: ENTER YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS >>>
Say good-bye to dry, boring burgers! And, hello to a burger that makes your taste buds dance. All the juicy goodness between two buns will have your family begging for Blue Cheese Burgers with sautéed onions.
Once I made the mistake of buying a cheaper Blue Cheese. Surely, they are the same, right? Not hardly!! There are somethings you just need to pay for and know it is worth it. The nicer cheese has a more robust flavor so you only need half as much.
If you don’t like blue cheese at all try these with you favorite cheese. They are mmmmmmm good.
1 lb ground beef
1/4 c worcestershire sauce
3 cloved chopped garlic
Sautéed onion ingredients:
1 onion – yellow, sliced
3 tbs butter
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/8 c worcestershire sauce
Mix the egg and worcestershire sauce together. Add the garlic and pepper to the egg/sauce mix. Pour over meat and mix with your hands. Make into your patties.
Set that aside. In a non-stick skillet melt the butter and add the olive oil after the skillet has reached medium heat. Add you onions as they turn translucent add the worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Turn the fire down a bit and let them simmer until most of the juices are gone. This concentrates the flavor. Set aside.
Fry the patties in a skillet. The hotter your skillet is, the less juices you lose in the cooking process. So brown each side to seal and then lower the heat to medium to complete cooking to your desired doneness. Resist the urge to smash the burgers with the spatula. Do NOT do it. It removes all the yummy juices and give you a dry nightmare!
As you take the patties out of the skillet top them with blue cheese and sautéed onions.
You are now ready to build an “out of this world” burger experience. Enjoy!
Close to PF Chang’s. Really good.
- 3 tablespoons oil – canola oil
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cup water chestnuts, chopped
- 1 1/3 cup mushrooms
- ¼ c tablespoons chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 8-10 leaves iceberg or ruffled lettuce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce – less sodium
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon hot mustard
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1-2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste
Stir Fry Sauce
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Hoisin Sauce
- Make the special sauce – disolve the sugar in water in a bowl.
- Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
- Mix and refrigerate this sauce until you’re ready to use.
- Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
- Add desired amount of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to serve over wraps.
- Bring oil to high heat in wok / large frying pan.
- Sauté chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done.
- Remove chicken from pan and allow to cool.
- Keep oil in the pan.
- As chicken cools chop water chestnuts and mushrooms to appx the size of small peas.
- Prepare the stir fry sauce. Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, Hoisin sauce and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
- When chicken is cool, mince like the mushrooms and water chestnuts.
- Pan on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
- Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to pan.
- Add the stir fry sauce to pan. Sauté the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce.
- Top with the Special Sauce.
I love to enter a space that is filled with the spicy aroma of Fall. This aroma conjures memories of happy family times. It is a distinctive combination of citrus, apple, cloves and cinnamon. One thing I do each year to create this warm aroma is make my own Potpourri.
Home Brewed Potpourri
The way I accomplish this on any day of the week is simple. Each time I peel an apple, orange, peach or mango, I chunk the cores, peels and leftovers into my Potpourri Mix bag in the freezer.
When we are home for the evening, I grab a handful of my Potpourri Mix and throw it in a sauce pan, cover it with water and put it to a low simmer on the stove.
To the mixture I add half a stick of cinnamon, a dash of cloves (if you have whole cloves – drop a few into the pot) and nutmeg. You can even use last year’s Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Leave it simmering all evening and enjoy. Occasionally, check the pot to make sure there is enough water to keep it from burning.
Let this aroma fill your home and heart with incredible scented memories.
4 or 5 legs and thighs with skins on OR a whole cut up chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
Water to cover the chicken
2 -3 boxes of low sodium Chicken Broth
4 tbsp water
Flour – all purpose
2 tsp salt
Fill a large soup pan half full of water. Start to boil and add salt and pepper. Add chicken. If chicken is not covered with water, add some more water to cover the chicken. Allow to boil until chicken is done. Remove chicken from broth. Set broth aside. Skim some of the fat off the top of the broth and discard the fat.
Debone the chicken. Throw away the skin and bones – unless, you have a lucky dog at your house. Add the chicken back to the broth in the pan. Add the additional boxed broth to the pan. This just makes it so you can make more dumplings.
Beat eggs with water very well. Add flour and salt to egg mixture until sticky, yet forms a ball. Then, add flour until not so sticky.
Start with 2 cup of flour. You made need more. You want a ball of dough that is not sticky. When you are making it you will know.
Roll out dough as thin or thick as you like. I like them fairly thin. Cut and add to boiling broth. Stir and add some more. Stir and add some more
Cook for 10 minutes more. Then, serve and enjoy. They taste just like Mom’s.
Hot and Sweet Pork Chops in the Crock-Pot
4 – 6 Extra Thick (1.5 in) Pork Chops
1 Packet of Taco Seasoning
1 Jar Picante Sauce
1 Jar Apricot/Pineapple Jelly (sometimes peach/pineapple) If you can’t find this, buy one of each and use half of each.
Coat each pork chop in Taco Seasoning. Cover the bottom of a heated skillet with canola oil. Brown each pork chop in the skillet. This locks the juices inside the pork chop.
In a bowl, mix the hot sauce and jelly.
Prepare your crock pot. Place a liner in the crock pot. (I love these things. It makes the cleanup so much easier than scrubbing the pot.) Spray inside the liner with Pam. Spread your pork chops out in the crock pot. Pour the hot sauce/jelly mixture over the pork chops.
Don’t cook the life out of them – 2 hours should be plenty.
Serve with or over rice and a side salad.
4 large Portabella Mushroom Caps, whole
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Onion, chopped
1 Banana pepper, chopped – or other sweet pepper
2 Yellow Squash, rough cut – or okra
1 head of Garlic, minced
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp New Orleans Cajun Seasoning
2 Bay Leaves
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp water
1-2 lb Shrimp peeled and deveined – you can use fish also
Salt & Pepper
Remove stems from Portabellas and set caps aside. Chop stems.
Almost cover the bottom of a medium hot skillet with EVOO and add onions, chopped mushroom stems, banana peppers, squash and garlic. Add salt and pepper. Simmer and sweat them down. Do not brown. Add ½ Cajun seasoning. Pour in tomatoes and add remaining seasoning (some like a spicier creole.) Throw in bay leaves. Stir. Place whole mushrooms on sauce and let simmer covered for 10 min. Take mushrooms out, removing sauce from the mushroom and place mushrooms in a warming oven to keep them warm.
Mix cornstarch and water in small bowl. Slowly, add enough cornstarch mixture to the sauce to make it bubblely and thick. You may not need it all. Add the shrimp and stir. Continue until shrimp are done. This will only take 2 to 3 minutes – until shrimp are white.
Fill each mushroom cap with the Shrimp Creole and top with Mozzarella.
Many serve Shrimp Creole over rice. Either way, you will love it.
French bread loaf
7 Tomatoes diced
1 Garlic head finely minced
½ Onion diced (if you like)
Basil leaves roughly torn as much or little as you like
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Black pepper freshly ground
Mix all ingredients – except for French bread and 1 clove of garlic - together in a bowl. After making the tomato mixture let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors marry.
While that is sitting and getting yummy, slice the French bread on the bias as thick as you prefer. Drizzle with EVOO. Turn the oven to Broil. Toast the bread slices until lightly browned. When you remove the bread from the oven, use one whole garlic clove and rub over bread.
When you are ready to serve. Place tomato mixture on the already toasted bread. Garnish with extra basil. Enjoy!!
4 cups frozen loose packed shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
Pam – butter flavored
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 cup shredded cheese – I use Mexican mix with 4 cheese pregrated
¼ cup onions, chopped
½ cup mushrooms, sliced
½ cup milk
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 425. Press hash browns between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Spray a 9 inch pie dish with Pam. Press hash browns into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Spray the top of hash browns with the Pam, also. Bake for 25 minutes. While that is baking spray non-stick skillet with Pam and cook onions; then, add mushrooms and ham. Cook until onions and mushrooms are soft and not crunchy. Set aside and let cool. In a separate bowl place eggs, milk, salt and pepper; do not mix yet. Remove hash browns from the oven and reduce the heat to 350. Spread ham, mushrooms and onions over the hash browns. Sprinkle cheese in next. Beat the egg mixture until frothy. Pour over the stuff in the pie plate. Bake for 20 minutes.
Yields 6 servings.