Jun 182016

I’ve been on a cookbook kick lately and when I saw this the other day I couldn’t resist it. I love that it has a collection of “the best of the best”.

14633739 Food & Wine: Best of the Best, Vol 15 by Mary G. Burnham (Editor), Food & Wine Magazine
Here, in one definitive volume, is Food & Wine Magazine’s collection of the most exceptional recipes from the 25 best cookbooks of the year.

115 Delicious recipes, all vigorously tested by the cooks at Food & Wine, for everything from salads and soups to pastas, chicken and desserts.

The latest dishes from superstar authors such as Jacques Pepin, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali & Nancy Silverton along with simple, fail-safe wine pairings.

More than 20 exclusive, never-before-published recipes, including Smoky Eggplant Dip, Braised Chicken Thighs with Green Olives, Crispy Fresh Salmon Cakes and Lemon Cloud Cake.

There are so many recipes in this book that I want to try. I went through the book pretty fast because I wanted to check out all the recipes, so I’ll have to go back through it and mark them with Post-it tabs. There’s something for everyone in this cookbook, even desserts.

A few of the cookbooks and their recipes are:
A Girl & Her Pig by April Bloomfield~ Merlot Braised Smoked Pork Belly with Apples

Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid~ Kachin Chicken Curry

Baking Out Lou by Hedy Goldsmith & Abigail Johnson Dodge~ Old School Raspberry Bars

The Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perlman~ New York Breakfast Casserole

Michael Symon’s Carnivore by Michael Symon & Douglas Trattner~ Spicy Sriracha Chicken Wings

Simply Mink In Your Kitchen by Ming Tsai & Arthur Boehm~ Chile Miso Pork Stew

I think this is a great addition to any cookbook collection.


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jun 112016
Crock Pot Chicken Thighs With Vegetables
Adapted from this recipe
1 cup chicken broth
12 medium chicken thighs
1 1/2 tsps leaves dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground curry powder
1 package mixed vegetables

Rinse chicken and remove skin, leaving the bone in.

Place a layer of thighs in the bottom of the crock pot.

Sprinkle with seasonings. Repeat until all thighs are in the pot.

Pour a cup of chicken broth down the side of the pot, being careful not to disturb the seasonings.

Cook on low setting of crock pot for 6 hours.

Add mixed vegetables, recover and cook for 1 1/2 hour or until vegetables are heated through.

I had a pack of 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs thawing in the fridge so I checked online to see what I could make with them and found this recipe. The original recipe called for turmeric which I thought I had, but I didn’t, so I used curry powder instead. I had a bag of frozen vegetables in the freezer which had peas, baby carrots, baby corn, and sugar snap peas so that’s what I used.

The original recipe said to cook on high for 4 hours, but I like cooking with the crock pot on low, so I cooked it for 6 hours. After I added the vegetables I cooked for an hour but they were still not warm enough, so I cooked for another 30 min. or so.

This was SO good! The seasoning on the thighs stuck really well and I thought it was perfect. If you don’t like your food really spicy you might want to cut back a little on the seasonings.

The chicken was mostly falling apart and it was all very tender. You could eat the chicken and vegetables without the broth, but I added quite a bit and it was more like a soup or stew.

This was really quick and easy to prepare, and was very yummy. I liked it so much I had it the next day for lunch. I will be making it again.




Hosted @ Kahakai Kitchen

May 302016


This week at I ♥ Heart Cooking Club it’s time to make a recipe with ingredients grown locally. Black-eyed peas are grown in Florida during this time so I chose this recipe. I love black-eyed peas!

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Soup  (adapted from this recipe)
1 lb. boneless country pork ribs, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1-in chunks (I used boneless pork chops)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 white onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp. Winn-Dixie crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cider vinegar  (I used white wine vinegar)
1 tbs. dark brown sugar
6 oz. Winn-Dixie dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
2 bunches green kale, (about 1 lb.) stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
Season pork generously with salt and pepper

Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat until hot

Add 2 tbs of oil and pork and cook, turning occasionally, for about 6 minutes, or until browned all over

Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a plate

To pot, add remaining 2 tbs of oil, onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes

Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until onions soften

Add vinegar, sugar, 1 tsp of salt, and 10 cups of water and bring to a simmer

Return pork and any of its accumulated juices to pot

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes

Stir in black-eyed peas, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, or until peas have softened slightly

Working in batches, add kale, letting each addition wilt before adding next

Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until pork and beans are tender

Season soup with salt and pepper

Ladle into bowls and serve


I had all the ingredients on hand and the pork chops were getting close to the “use by” date so I cooked them the way the recipe said and then stored in a baggy in the fridge until I was ready to make the soup. I  added it back to the pot when the recipe said to. I was afraid being cold for a few days would make them tough, but they simmered in the soup and  were so tender and yummy. I thought this soup was amazing, but my son thought it was a bit too spicy, so next time I make it I’ll cut back on the red pepper flakes. I’ll also use less kale because we both thought there was too much compared to the amount of peas. I made cornbread to go with the soup.

This is another “will make again” recipes!

Also linking to:
May 142016

001 collage (1)

This week at I ♥ Heart Cooking Club we’re making any recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi. I decided to make:

Seriously Zesty Bread Salad (adapted)

5 oz.  rustic bread,stale or fresh (I used ciabatta)
Salt and pepper
2 small cucumbers (15cm long), cut into 2cm pieces (I used 1)
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges (I used 1)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (I used 1/4, and cut them up in small pieces)
1 red pepper, cored and cut into large pieces (I used 1/2)
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped (I used dill)
2 tsp sumac (optional)(I didn’t use this ingredient)
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (I used 1/4)
1 garlic clove, crushed (I used 1/2)
1 1/2 tsp red-wine vinegar (I used 1 tsp.)
3 tbsp olive oil (I used 1 1/2 tbs.)

Preheat the oven 325F

Spread out the bread on a roasting tray, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with some flaky salt

Bake for 20 minutes until crispy and golden, then leave to cool

Mix all the other salad ingredients and adjust the seasoning to taste. Just before serving, mix in the toasted bread, using your hands


YUM! I loved it! It was light and fresh and one of the best tomato/cucumber salads I’ve ever tried. I loved the toasted bread, it gave the salad a nice crunch. It was simple to make and had easy to find ingredients. I plan on making this again!


I’m linking this recipe to:

I ♥ Cooking Club

Weekend Cooking

Souper Sundays 

Apr 292016


Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 28 oz. can Rotel (diced tomatoes & green chilies)
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 package taco seasoning

Combine all ingredients except chicken in slow cooker and stir.
Place chicken breasts on top.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Prior to serving, remove chicken breasts, shred them, and return to soup.
Garnish with low-fat sour cream & shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, etc.
Serve with warm corn tortillas.

Oh boy did I adapt this recipe!
1. I used 3 large breasts.
2. I left out the can of tomato sauce and the onion.
3. I added a package of ranch dressing mix.
4. I used two cans each instead of one of the 3 beans and the corn.
5. I used 2 taco seasoning mixes.

When it was time to take the chicken breasts out and shred them, I took half the soup (no chicken) out of the slow cooker and put it in a container to freeze.

I garnished with sour cream, chopped onion, shredded mild cheddar cheese.

When I want it for dinner again I’ll take it out to to thaw, add a pound of browned ground chuck and reheat it.


This was really good, lots of taco flavor and the ratio of the ingredients was perfect. I was going to eat a hard crusty bread with it but we had some left over cornbread from the night before and Anthony said he was going to eat that instead. So I did too, not sure I’d like it with the soup. I shouldn’t have worried, they were really good together. Anthony buttered his and then crumbled it up in his bowl. I just ate mine buttered, but did occasionally dip it in the soupy goodness.

This got a thumbs up from both of us.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads


Hosted @ Kahakai Kitchen

Apr 232016

The other day my daughter Kilah and I drove to a new shopping mall, I’ll post about that in a week or so. Anyway, while driving home, Kilah told me there was a store nearby that she’d never been to but would like to go. Well, of course I was curious so we checked it out. The store was The Fresh Market. It’s similar to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

I really loved how they displayed everything, and the lightening  really made it have a comfy feeling. I don’t remember seeing any fruits or veggies but Kilah does. I guess I was just engrossed with the all the different kinds of coffee they had, that I forgot to take a photo of. The meat section was amazing, and they had rows and rows of nuts, cheeses, wine.  Here are a few photos I took:








wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Apr 162016


Mexican Taco Salad

Taco Casserole (adapted from this Betty Crocker recipe)

1 lb lean ground beef
1 can (16 oz) Old El Paso™ refried beans
1 jar (16 oz) Old El Paso™ Thick ‘n Chunky salsa
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ 40% less-sodium taco seasoning mix
2 1/2 cups coarsely broken tortilla chips
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped (didn’t use)
4 medium green onions, sliced (I used a yellow onion)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives (um, nope)
1 cup shredded lettuce

Heat oven to 350°F.

In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

Stir in refried beans, salsa and taco seasoning mix. Reduce heat to medium. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

In ungreased 2-quart casserole, place 2 cups of the broken tortilla chips.

Top evenly with beef mixture.

Sprinkle with bell pepper, onions, 1 cup of the tomato, the cheese and olives.

Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Top baked casserole with lettuce, remaining 1/2 cup tomato and remaining 1/2 cup tortilla chips.


This was really really good. Even my son who doesn’t like any kind of taco stuff other than the taco salad I made, liked this. He’s not a fan of tomatoes that are baked so did say next time he’d like the tomatoes added after it was baked. I love them baked so I’ll probably just leave them out of half when I make it again. If you like stuff like this, give this a try. It was so good.


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads
Apr 082016


This week at I ♥ Cooking Clubs, we are saying G’day to Curtis Stone. We can make any recipe from online or one of his cookbooks to welcome him to IHCC.

Since I LOVE Brussels Sprouts and am always looking for new ways to make them, I decided to try this recipe but adapted it a bit:

Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved and tough outer leaves removed
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/3 cup diced Spanish chorizo
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small heavy skillet, stir the caraway seeds over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a powder.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then add the Brussels sprouts, scallions, and chorizo and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are tender and beginning to caramelize. Mix in the ground caraway. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.





I can’t tell you how much I love Brussels Sprouts. Yes I can, a lot. A whole lot. A bunch.

So, I didn’t have any caraway seeds so I substituted curry. Yum! I also couldn’t find any fresh Brussels Sprouts so I used a bag of frozen, and I couldn’t find any bulk chorizo so I used chorizo sausage. I probably could have found these ingredients if I had wanted to store hop, but I didn’t. And I don’t think this could have tasted any better if I’d followed the recipe exactly as it’s written. It was yummy.

I had never had Chorizo before and wasn’t sure if I’d like it, especially with Brussels Sprouts, but this was so good. My son doesn’t like Brussels Sprouts at all and I couldn’t get him to try them, but he did try the chorizo. He liked it, said it was good other than it was tainted by Brussels Sprouts 🙂

I’ll be making this again, but will cut the recipe in half, maybe even in thirds, since I’m the only one that eats it. This was a win!

Also linking to
wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Mar 192016

08179569-be5b-4ee8-968b-2842b0e5426aKung Pao Pork Stir Fry

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
About 1 lb of boneless pork chops, sliced into chunks
10 tbsp Panda Express Kung Pao sauce
Half a bag of Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry frozen vegetables (2.25 cups)
1/2 onion cut in chunks

Put olive oil, garlic and a small part of the chopped onion in a large frying pan or wok to heat on medium.

Chop pork into chunks, removing large parts of fat as necessary.

Add to pan with olive oil and 2 tbsp of Kung Pao Sauce.

Once pork is cooked through, add remaining onions, frozen vegetables and remaining Kung Pao Sauce.

Stir and fry until vegetables are cooked and sauce is bubbly.

Serve with brown rice or noodles as desired.


We thought this was just ok. It didn’t have the kick we thought it would, the sauce was a bit too runny, and it didn’t have enough veggies. If I make it again, I think I’ll use chicken (just because I love chicken), use a thicker sauce, and double the veggies. Overall it was ok, but I think these changes will make it even better.

I know the photo makes it look like there was plenty of veggies, but that’s because I didn’t put many pork chop chunks in my bowl.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads
Feb 202016


This week at I ♥ Cooking Club we’re making any recipe by any of the IHCC chefs that you can eat in a bowl

I decided to make Giada’s One Pot Chicken Stew, and adapted it to suit us, of course.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
Crusty bread, for serving


Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat.

Add the celery, carrot, and onion.

Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme.

Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.

Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf.

Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.

Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts.

Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces.

Return the chicken meat to the stew.

Bring the stew just to a simmer.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread.


So, I changed this recipe up a bit by putting all the ingredients into the slow cooker at the same time (instead of making it on the stove) and setting it on low for 8 hours.


It turned out great and was very good. I couldn’t find any fresh basil at the store, so I used dried. The conversion called for 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons, but that seemed like way too much, so I only used 1 tablespoon.  That was plenty. Next time I’ll make sure I have fresh though, just to compare it.

We ate it with crusty bread and it was really yummy. It was quick and easy too, so I plan on making it again.

wkendcookingHosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Souper Sundays2

Hosted @ Kahakai Kitchen

Feb 062016

001 collage (1) (1)

This week at I ♥ Cooking Clubs we’re making Oodles Of Noodles with Ellie Krieger. After doing quite a bit of searching, I decided to make an adapted version of her Family Favorite Minestrone.

Family Favorite Minestrone
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced (1/2 cup)
1 large carrot, scrubbed well, then diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
28 ounces canned, no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
48 ounces (6 cups) no-salt-added vegetable broth or chicken broth
15 ounces canned, no-salt-added small red beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dried, whole-grain elbow pasta
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish


Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften.

Add the zucchini, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, then add the beans and pasta.

Uncover; increase the heat to medium-high just long enough to return the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pasta and vegetables are tender.

Divide among individual bowls; garnish each portion with the cheese.

Serves 6


So yummy!

I’ve only eaten Minestrone a few times, and that was canned. This recipe was so much better. I loved it. It was easy to make and didn’t take much time and it tasted so good! The next time I make it I think I’ll add garbanzo beans, corn and baby spinach. We had a French Baguette (you can see it in the first photo behind all the ingredients) to go with it and it was a very satisfying meal. I took the photo before adding the cheese, just so you could get a good look at the soup. I adjusted the recipe a bit by adding 2 cans of un-rinsed beans instead of one rinsed (I added the other can after the picture), and used plain Parmesan cheese. Also, I was going to use vegetable broth but the store only had chicken and beef with no-salt added.


Jan 302016

Since I live at least an hour from any city that has a Whole Foods, I’ve never been to one. I usually just go to where I need to and go back home. Once in a while we’ll roam around a bit to see what we can see. That’s how I found a Trader Joe’s a few months back, and then yesterday after my son had some drs. appts. in Tampa, we decided to go to some pet stores we’ve never been to (don’t you love GPS?) and passed a Whole Foods and stopped on the way back to check it out. That store is amazing! I loved it! They’re a bit more expensive on some things, but we saw some food we’ve never seen before like 4 strange varieties of sweet potatoes. We bought one of each to try them. I also found Kiss My Face products. I love this brand and can’t find them anywhere in the area I live. I bought a bottle of their deep moisturizing lotion for 50% off! I’ve also been looking for Garam Masala and found some there.

I was surprised to see that they had so many different departments. Their meat looked amazing as did the seafood. If we had been going straight home I would have bought some. They also have a floral section and cheese shop, but what surprised me the most was their buffet style food tables. They had one for soup, one for all kinds of different foods, and one for olives. What? Yes, they had an olive bar. I was amazed at how many different types of olives they had. Neither one of us knew there were that many different varieties of olives. When we told my daughter about it she said the same thing. The soup bar was amazing too and we smelled every one of them. There was one that smelled over the top yummy and I plan on making it soon. We didn’t get a photo of all the bars (wish we had) but we did get one of the olives. There’s even a little section where you can sit down at a table and enjoy the food. We were there around noon and quite a few people were eating their lunch there.

If you haven’t been to a Whole Foods (and Trader Joe’s) before, you really should find one and go. I love them both.

whole foods olive bar


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Saturday Snapshot

Jan 162016


This recipe is from Nestle’ Toll House Semi-Sweet Morsels Best Loved Recipes



*Photo from the book*

Layers Of Love Chocolate Brownies

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Nestle Toll House Baking Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut in pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet White Morsels
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
3/4 cup Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease an 8 inch baking pan
Combine flour, cocoa and salt in a small bowl
Beat butter, granulated sugar & brown sugar in a large mixer bowl until creamy
Add two eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
Add vanilla extract and mix well
Gradually beat in flour mixture
Reserve 3/4 cup batter
Spread remaining batter into prepared baking pan
Sprinkle pecans and white morsels over batter
Drizzle caramel topping over top
Beat remaining egg and reserved batter in same large bowl until light in color
Stir in semi-sweet morsels
Spread evenly over caramel topping
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until center is set
Cool completely in pan on wire rack
Cut into squares
Makes 16 brownies


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jan 012016

Every year for New Year’s Day, I make a pot of black eyed peas, cornbread and cabbage. This year I wanted to make them a little different so I searched online and found these recipes @ Mommy’s Kitchen

Southern Black Eyed Peas
1 – (16 oz) package dry black-eyed peas
4 – cups water or
2 – cups water and 2 cups chicken broth
1 – tablespoon vegetable oil
1 – ham hock
2 – cups cubed cooked ham
salt and pepper to taste
1 – pinch garlic powder
1/2 – 1 onion, diced
1 – (14.5 ounce) can whole or stewed tomatoes (pureed)

Sort through your peas for any pebbles or stones.

Cover the peas with water, you want to make sure there is enough water so they don’t dry up.

Soak peas overnight.

Drain the water from the peas and place peas in a crock pot.

Add the 4 cups water or broth and water, onions, seasoning, tomatoes, ham hock and ham.

Stir well to mix.

Cover and cook on high for 5 hours then turn to low for about 2 hours or until the peas are tender.

Remove ham hock and any meat from the bone and add to the peas.

Ladle into bowls and serve.

23489665064_3cdd621b03_z (1)




Southern Pan Fried Cabbage
3 – 4 – slices bacon, cut into pieces
1/4 – cup vegetable oil
1 – teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 – teaspoon ground black pepper
1 – head cabbage, cored and sliced or cubed
1 – small onion, chopped
1/2 – cup water
1 – pinch white sugar
2 – beef bouillon cubes crushed or granules

Place the bacon and vegetable oil into a large pot over medium heat.

Cook for about 5 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.

Add cabbage, onion, sugar, salt, pepper, water and crushed bouillon cubes to the pot; cook and stir the cabbage as it cooks.

Cook until tender but still crisp, about 10 – 15 minutes on medium heat.

I’ve never soaked beans overnight and was a bit worried about them being bloated in the morning, but they weren’t. For the recipe, I used 2 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken broth. I’ve also never put any kind of tomatoes in beans, but since I love me some maters I was excited to see how they’d turn out. For the cabbage I used 1 large bouillon cube and crumbled it up. Man oh man, both the beans and cabbage were soooo good! My son ate two big bowls which surprised me since he’s not really a fan of tomatoes, and I always have to nag him before he’ll eat cabbage, but he tried it without me asking him to. And he ate it all!

We both loved these two recipes and I’ll  definitely be making them again.


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Dec 262015


Celebrating Family and Friends: Recipes for Every Month of the Year
by Kay Robertson

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Reprint edition (April 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476795738
ISBN-13: 978-1476795737

From New York Times bestselling author, star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, and matriarch of the popular Robertson family, comes a savory new collection of recipes that gives you and your family plenty of reasons to sit down together and share a meal, love, and laughter.

Miss Kay is a master of the back-country, home-cooked meal. She has been cooking ever since she was a little girl and has perfected her skills through years of practice on the Robertson clan. After sharing some of her family’s favorite recipes in Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen, Miss Kay has gone back to her cupboard and pulled out more of her down-home, mouthwatering recipes, this time grouping her recipes around reasons to get together—New Year’s Eve spreads, special Mother’s Day meals, Fourth of July picnics, Christmas dinners, church potlucks, and everything in-between.

In addition to more than one hundred recipes, Miss Kay opens her heart to share hard-won wisdom and special memories, along with beautiful full-color photos and family pictures. And true to the Robertson faith, you’ll find scriptures sprinkled throughout Miss Kay’s newest collection of recipes.

Take a peek into the off-camera life of America’s favorite duck-loving family, the foods they love, and the wisdom and legacy that make a family strong.

This book is full of recipes for every month of the year starting with January. It has all the big days like Valentine’s Day, Mother & Father’s Day etc., but it also has recipes for other days like Wedding and Baby Showers, Picnics and Summer Fun, Grandparent’s Day, Family Reunions and Potlucks.

This is a book that I’ll go to from time to time when I need a recipe for a special occasion, and I would definitely recommend it to others.

I’ve made a pot of Black Eyed Peas every year for New Years day with only a few years missed. So when I saw this recipe in the book, I wanted to keep a copy of it and maybe give it a try because it has more ingredients than the one I have. I don’t know about your but it sounds really good to me. Check it out:

A Pot Of Black Eyed Peas
1 lb. dried black eyed peas
1 tbs. bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1 large or 2 small ham hocks
1 med. onion , chopped (about 2 cups)
2 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 green bell peppter, diced (about 1 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups chicken broth or water, plus more as needed
2 sprigs (3 inch) fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp. cayenne, or to taste

Place the peas in a large bowl and add cold water to cover by 3 inches
Let soak at room temperature overnight
Drain, rinse, and drain again
Heat the bacon drippings or vegetable oin in a large pot
Add the hock and sear until browned on all sides, about 1 min. per side
Remove from the pot and set aside
Add the onion, celery and bell pepper
Cook, stirring often until tender, about 5 min.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 min. more
Add the drained peas and enough broth or water to cover them by 1 inch
Return the ham hock to the pot and push down into the peas
Add the thyme nad bay leaves
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partioall cover, and simmer until the peas are almost tender, about 30 min.
Make sure the top of the peas don’t cook dry
Add more broth or water to keep them slightly submerged as they cook
Stir in the vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne, and continue simmering until the peas are tender and the liquid is thick and creamy, 10-20- min more
Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves
Remove the hock and pull any meat from the bones (discard bones)
Finely chop the meat and stir into the peas
Check the seasoning and serve warm

It’s od to think that dried peas and beans can get too old, but they can. If they don’t get plump and tender enough to bite after soaking, then no amount of cooking wil make them fully tender.

A note from Miss Kay:
Black eyed peas are only one type of field pea. Try this recipe with others that you like, such as crowder peas or purple hull peas This dish is a must on New Years Day!


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Dec 122015

One of the things I really wanted to do the week we were in NYC for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, was to go to Donna Bell’s Bakeshop, owned by Pauley Perrette (Abby on NCIS) and two of her friends.

As you can see on the window, the shop specializes in all-natural Southern baked goods and savories. We went first thing in the morning and we each got a breakfast sandwich, and they were yummy!

The bake shop is named in honor of Pauley’s beloved late mother.

They also have a few items they sell on the website. If you’d like to read my review of the book, go here







wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Nov 072015



I love lentils and don’t know why I don’t make them more often. When I saw this recipe @ South Your Mouth, I pinned it right away and added the ingredients to my cozi app under Shopping (if you haven’t tried this app, you should. It’s awesome!)

 Italian Lentil Soup with Sausage
15.5-oz bag Hurst’s Garlic & Herb Lentils
1.25 – 1.5 lbs. Italian sausage (I bought two packages of  this sausage and used 6 links)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced celery
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water

Remove casings from sausage (if applicable). Brown and crumble sausage over medium to medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large pot until cooked through (take care not to let the pot scorch or burn). Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pot and set aside.

Add olive oil, carrots, onion and celery to pot and sauté until onions become translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Take a picture so you can show your friends you just cooked a classic French mirepoix. Boom.

Add garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth, water, lentils (with seasoning packet) and sausage to pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 40 minutes or until lentils are tender. Turn off heat and let soup rest, covered, for 20 minutes before serving.

So did we like it?
You know when you take the first bite of something you pretty much know whether you’re going to like it, love it, or not like it at all? Well, when I took my first bite of this soup, I thought I wasn’t going to like it. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten soup with sausage in it and it threw me off. It didn’t taste like chicken :). That’s what I usually have in soup. But a few spoonfuls in and I was really loving it and am glad I made it. There was plenty left for dinner the next night and for my son to take to work. Like I said, I love lentils and this soup is a great way to make sure I eat them more often. My son thought it was good too, so it’s going on my dinner rotation list.

Just an FYI, if you decide to try this keep an eye on the liquid. After cooking it for the 40 min. it was a bit low so I added more chicken broth/water. My son likes his soup not so soupy and always uses a slotted spoon to get his soup out of the pot, so I didn’t have to add much.


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Oct 312015


Better Homes and Gardens: Soups & Stews Cook Book
by Better Homes and Gardens, Doris Eby

Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Better Homes & Gardens Books
First Hardcover Edition edition (August 1978)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0696012855
ISBN-13: 978-0696012853

Over 200 tasty recipes – from appetizers to meal-makers. Plus stocks, noodles, and dumplings from scratch.

Delicious soups and stews for every occasion. With special “adapt-it-yourself” recipes for cream of vegetable soup, cold fruit soup, and stew and stock from on-hand ingredients. Bonus – sensible tips to help you take shortcuts, make substitutions, and serve soups with flair.

With colder weather about to hit us, soups and stews are always a hit.

The contents of this book are:
Satisfying Soups and Stews

Meal-Mate Soups which has hot and cold soups

Whole Meal Soups and Stews which has meat and poultry, fish and seafood, vegetables

Soup Making Basics has stocks, noodles, dumplings, crackers and croutons

At the end of each section there are “Quick” recipes
There are tips throughout the book.

I loved soup when I was a kid and have eaten Sirloin Burger Soup and Beef Stew on and off as an adult, but I’ve only in the last few years started liking soup and stews again. This cookbook has so many recipes that sound really good, but also a bunch that I’ve never heard of before and sound some that sound a bit strange. For example, there is a recipe for a Salami-Bean Chowder and Apple Raisin Soup which are hot soups. Cherry Wine Soup, Cottage Cheese-Tomato Soup and Orange- Apricot Soup which are cold soups.

Some of the other stranger ones are Chicken Cider Stew, Lentil-Pepperoni Soup and Chilled Beet Soup. Yuck!! I can’t stand beets.

Anyway, there are beautiful photos throughout the book and I think this is going in my permanent cookbook collection.

My husband loved Brunswick Stew, and there is a regular recipe in this book and a quick version. I’m going to share the quick version since that’s the one I’d make.

Quick Brunswick Stew
1 large onion, cut in thin wedges
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1- 16 ounce can stewed tomatoes, cut up
1- 16 ounce can sliced potatoes, drained and cut up
1- 12 ounce can whole kernel corn
1- 10 3/4 ounce can condensed tomato soup
1- 8 ounce can lima beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
2- 5 ounce cans boned chicken, drained and cut up

In a large saucepan cook onion wedges in cooking oil until tender but not brown.

Stir in undrained stewed tomatoes, sliced potaotoes, undrained whole kernel corn, tomato soup, lima beans, salt & pepper

Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Carefully stir in the chicken and continue cooking until heated through.

Makes 6 servings

This is one of the cookbooks that belonged to my husband’s aunt


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Oct 242015

I’ve been buying Jalapeno Pimento Cheese for about 25 years, and then all of a sudden a few years ago it disappeared from store shelves. Then one day I was hopping from one pin to another on Pinterest and saw apin for it. Such a small thing but it made me really really happy. So of course I had to make it and see if it was as good or better than I used to buy.

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese

4 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well until combined.

unnamed (2)

unnamed (1)


It tasted good but was very dry.

I’ll have to figure out what to add to it to make it thinner.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads