Friday, July 30, 2010

My new favorite drink! At least for this week!

My sister introduced me to the Manhattan. I loved it right off. Of course, when it comes to alcoholic beverages, I am not hard to please! This is my version of an old standard, I hope you like it.

Fill a glass to the rim with crushed ice.
3 oz. of  Canadian Club
1 1/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1 oz. grenadine
2 Cherries for garnish
Stir and enjoy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My son's Pillows of Happiness! Potato Gnocchi

 Source:     Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence Food Network

This potato gnocchi dish is one of my son's favorite dinners. After he came back from his lacrosse camp today, I asked what he would like for dinner! His request, potato gnocchi! After playing 6 games in 102 degree temperatures, how could I refuse him!

My Tribute to Aunt Elva's Macaroni and Cheese!

As I mentioned before, I loved my Aunt Elva's Macaroni and Cheese. This is my interpretation of her recipe. This is so simple, but it is soooo good! It is one of the most requested recipes I make. At one party, a member of the band that was playing, asked who made the Macaroni and Cheese. He said it was the best he ever had!!! I was so thrilled! I hope you try it and I really hope you like it!!!


10 oz. elbow macaroni pasta
14 oz. of really good sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 oz. of melted butter
3 cups of whole milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Butter a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
3.  Cook pasta in salted boiling water for 6 minutes and drain.
4.  Mix cooked pasta, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese together.
5.  Put macaroni mixture in the casserole dish.
6.  Pour melted butter over the top of the macaroni.
7.  Slowly pour the milk in one corner of the casserole.
8.  Bake for 55- 60 minutes.


My Grandma's Tomatoes

Ever since I was little, every holiday or family reunion, my grandmother would make her wonderful tomato casserole. It was one of the dishes everyone expected to be there along with my Aunt Elva's macaroni and cheese, and my Mother's mocha chocolate cake.
Every time I make my Grandma's tomatoes, I remember so many things about her. Her laugh, her perfume
(she always smelled so good), the way she talked to my Grandfather, Fatty (this was his nickname, but he was always thin. I heard he was chubby when he was young, hence the nickname, but I never knew him that way!) It is now my Dad who makes the tomatoes for all the holidays. They are too good to only have them at holidays, so I make them all the time. They are especially delicious as left overs! I hope you try these for yourself and start a new tradition for your family!


About two pounds of homemade stewed tomatoes made with sauteed onions and celery
2   14.5 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes, heated up so a little bit of the liquid evaporates.
1    TBS. Sugar
1/2  C chopped onion
1/2  C chopped celery
1/4  lb. plus 2 TBS butter
1   1 lb. loaf regular sliced white bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes (or about 16 slices)
5  oz. extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
1   4 1/2 jar of whole button mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Lightly grease a 2.3 liter casserole dish
2.  Place tomatoes in the baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar and salt and pepper ( I use about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of salt and
     pepper). Cut any large pieces of tomato into smaller pieces.
3.  Saute the onions and celery in the 2 TBS. of butter until translucent (about 8 - 10 minutes on med. low)  Do not brown.
4.  Add the onions and celery to the cubed bread and add salt and pepper to taste (I usually use about 1/2 tsp. of each) Mix lightly.
5.  Melt the 1/4 lb. of butter and add it to the bread cube mixture, mix together.
6.  Put the bread cube mixture on top of the tomatoes evenly.
7.  Put the grated cheddar cheese evenly on top of the bread cube mixture.
8.  Add the mushrooms evenly over the grated cheese.
9. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 50 minutes. At about 35 minutes you may want to put a lid or foil on the casserole so
    the cheese doesn't brown.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    My son wanted doughnuts!

    Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown on the Food Network. Click on the picture for the recipe!

    These are the delicious doughnuts my son made today with his friends! I love it, when he wants something, he will just make it on his own even yeast doughnuts! The only thing my son would do different is add a little more sugar (add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more)to the dough.

    Asian Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    Recipe courtesy of Annette Gladys
    Asian Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps
    I love the idea of lettuce wraps without the mess of the sauce dripping down the back of your hands while you eat. I also love little bites that you can just pick up and eat without having a plate. That way you can keep your drink in one hand and have the other free to nibble on all the food at the party, plus you don’t have to sit down to use a knife and fork to eat anything! How wonderful is that!


    1 pound ground chicken
    2 TBS. Vegetable Oil
    6 oz. Shitake Mushrooms, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 inch fresh peeled ginger, grated
    6 oz. canned water chestnuts, chopped
    3-4 tsp. Chili Garlic Sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee), add even more if you like things more spicy!
    5 tsp. Thai Style Chili Sauce (I use Kikkoman)
    3 TBS. Rice Vinegar
    3 tsp. sesame oil
    1 tsp. Cream Sherry
    2 TBS. Oyster Sauce
    3 TBS. Hoisin Sauce (I use Koon Chun-it is a little bit sweeter than some other ones)
    4 oz. Bean Sprouts, roughly chopped - about 1/2 - 3/4 inches long
    Juice of 1/2 - 1 lime
    30-36 belgium endive leaves
    4-5 oz. cream cheese at room temperature, optional

    Lime zest from 2 limes
    1 green onion chopped finely, green part only

    1.  Add oil to hot skillet on medium heat.
    2.  Add the ground chicken and brown.
    3.  Add the shitake mushrooms, garlic and ginger to the browned chicken and cook for about 4-5 minutes until
    the mushrooms are soft.
    4.  Add the the water chestnuts, chili garlic sauce, thai style chili sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, cream sherry,
    oyster sauce and the hoisin sauce to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for about 4 minutes until the
    flavors combine.
    5.  Add the bean sprouts and lime juice, cooking for about 2 -3 more minutes. Turn off heat.
    6.  Take cream cheese and place about 1 tsp. of cream cheese in each endive leaf from base to top. Spread
    evenly or pipe on each leaf from a pastry bag.
    7.  Place about 2 tsp. meat mixture on just the top half (the larger part) of each leaf. (The cream cheese will
    show at the base of the leaf.)
    8.  Garnish each one with some of the green onion and lime zest.

    Place on a platter and enjoy!

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Here I am as one of the 16 Finalists in the Philadelphia Cream Cheese/Paula Deen talent competition in Savannah!
    My son's favorite: Arugula Salad with Parmesan cheese curls!