I know everyone probably has had their fill about the royal wedding today between Prince William and Kate Middleton.  I, personally, was getting annoyed with the news programs inundating us with every microscopic detail.   I think the only thing they didn’t cover were the style and color of her bloomers. But I confess, the first thing I did this morning was flick on the television to check out Kate’s dress.  As I watched the royal couple ride in their carriage, I shed a tear.  I always cry at weddings so I didn’t feel too dorky.   (You should have seen me bawl when Jan and MarciaRead More →

Like most people, I cooked and served a wonderful meal for my husband and me this holiday weekend.  The guest star on our plate was an agave-basted ham. My ham was a little too big for two people so now I have an abundance of leftover meat.    I started hearing a voice in my head similar to Bubba from Forrest Gump giving me ideas for my leftovers “You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it.’  Ham-kabobs, ham Creole, ham gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple ham, pepper ham, ham soup, ham stew, ham salad, ham and potatoes, hamburger, hamRead More →

About a month ago, my husband, Earl, and I went to dinner with one of Earl’s coworkers, Eric,  and his wife, Laura.   While eating dinner, Earl, Laura and I started discussing our love of reading.  (Eric kept his mouth full during this conversation, since he only likes books with pictures.  Just kidding…he doesn’t like any books). As we continued talking, we realized that our reading interests were very similar.  I’m not sure who thought of it first but we decided we needed to start a book club.  We rattled on about books we were interested in reading and different friends who may want to joinRead More →

Ahhh, spring is here.   New exciting crops of vegetables will soon be at our fingertips.  Our grills will be sizzling making dishes we missed over the long winter.  And I will have a big pot of soup on the stove? Yes, I said soup!  This spring weather is taking its sweet time getting here in the Midwest and I need to keep warm.  This morning it was in the 30’s and the cold is just biting at my soul.  So as much as I would love to be grilling asparagus and brats, I have to continue to make my winter fare until Mother Nature comesRead More →

Can you recall the first sandwich you ever ate?  Most of us will probably say, Peanut Butter and Jelly. When I grew up, it was the standard sandwich in my lunch box and I never tired of it.  I liked it the old fashion way with smooth peanut butter, grape jelly and white bread.  Even the thought of it right now makes my mouth water. I recently was given the honor of throwing a birthday party for my niece.  I wanted the food to be kid friendly but still interesting to the group of adults in attendance, my in-laws!  When it comes to food, theirRead More →

As much as I stand on my soapbox about being conscientious when making ingredient substitutions, sometimes I really surprise myself and think waaaay outside of the box or plains in this case. I had my heart set on beef bourguignon this week.  I had some beautiful mushrooms, carrots and pearl onions all ready for my recipe.   I went in my freezer to pull out the beef chuck roast that I KNEW was in there.  To my surprise, I didn’t have beef chuck roast, I had BISON!!! Why the heck do I have bison?  I had gone to dinner with some high school friends and oneRead More →

Living in a small town sometimes will make you a creative cook.  You have to substitute ingredients depending on their availability or distance to the closest store.  It can be as simple as using cheddar instead of Monterey jack or maybe Yukon potatoes instead of Idaho potatoes.  In cases like that, the flavor profile in your recipe won’t be altered radically. There are times when I put my little foot down and say I just can’t do it.  I don’t want to compromise the whole essence of the recipe by changing an ingredient.   Some recipes are designed to have a specific flavor profile so youRead More →

We all know about them but many of us are scared to eat them.  The secret vegetable that grows in the dark..  They don’t have bright beautiful colors like the other vegetables so they must be bad.  And let’s not forget they carry the stigma of being called a fungus.  Poor dull Mushrooms, you never had a chance. As a former picky eater, I will admit that I got caught up in the mushroom’s bad reputation.  They couldn’t possibly taste good with that lackluster appearance. Plus everyone knows that only bright colored vegetables are nutritious and mushrooms are drab! But I am here to tellRead More →

When I think of the food I prepare (and like), I don’t think I could ever be categorized as a beef and potatoes gal. And luckily for me, I didn’t marry a beef and potatoes guy so he doesn’t mind the lack of the combination in our house. Don’t get me wrong we aren’t anti-cow (I don’t want the cows writing in.  I’m not anti-potato either but I’m not worried about offending them since they can’t write letters.) Back on the topic, I should cook more beef dishes at home because for the most part preparing a steak or a burger is pretty simple.  IRead More →

For the most part, I use dried pasta in my dishes.  It tastes great, easy to make and inexpensive.  I don’t think it is for every recipe especially ravioli.  Something gets lost in the processing of store bought ravioli.  You lose some of the flavor, the freshness and the love.  That it is why Ravioli is one pasta dish I insist that is made fresh in our house. It isn’t just the taste that is important.  It is the whole experience.  The meticulous process of making the pasta sheets and filling each one is extremely gratifying to me. I will confess that I don’t makeRead More →