My grandmother, with whom I share the same middle name, used to sing a little song to me when I was little prior to tickling me with her fingers (which posed as a bee), "There once was a bee who lived in a tree; and all he could do was bzzzzz sting, sting, sting sting...." (then the tickling ensued).

This site is in memory of her and the warmth all grandmothers and mothers give in making good food and creating memories in the kitchen.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lightened-up Pumpkin Bread and a Pumpkin Spread


This pumpkin bread is lightened up so you can afford to lather up the spread on these slices.
Years ago, I found this recipe in a healthy cooking Taste of Home cookbook. Proving to my children they couldn't taste a difference in this recipe compared to the ones full of fat, I gave them a blind taste test. Each one picked the less fattening version as tasting better. Yay!

Whether you want to try this one or use your favorite stand-by recipe, you must try the spread. I'm afraid my children don't eat pumpkin bread without this now. It makes a lot, so we usually run out of bread before spread. So begins the cycle. Make more bread. Run out of spread. Make more spread for the leftover bread. Repeat.

Lightened-up Pumpkin Bread (courtesy of Taste of Home)

2 1/4 c. sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/3 c. cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. canola oil

1. In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk, applesauce and oil. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

2. Transfer to two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.


Pumpkin spread

1 16 oz. container of Cool Whip
1 large (5 oz. ) pkg. Instant Vanilla Jell-O pudding mix
1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin
1/2 - 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In a large bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Skillet Burgers

1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 small onion, chopped
1 T mustard
3/4 c. ketchup
salt and pepper to taste
1 can Chicken Gumbo Soup

Brown hamburger and onions together. Add mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper and soup and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve on buns.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Flank Steak Tacos

Perfect for busy nights (if you plan ahead and marinade the steak in the fridge the night before). Let the steak sit in marinade the day before, then pull out and grill on the BBQ. Also, throw your tortillas on the grill after the grill is turned off to heat them up. Flip once then they are ready to assemble. Serve it with whatever you want. We like cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce.... endless options. 



Marinade

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
One 2-pound flank steak (about 1 1/2 inches thick), fat trimmed

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Easy Shrimp Lo Mein

Oh my goodness. I think I just found a recipe to go on our rotation. We love this. And I love how quick it comes together in just 15 minutes. 

Assemble the Sauce and set aside. 

Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, or more, to taste 
  • 4 teaspoons sugar 
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil 
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste

Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned 
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 10 - 12 large shrimp, uncooked


  • In a large pot of boiling water, cook spaghetti noodles according to package instructions; drain well. 
  • In a large wok or frying skillet, heat olive oil in medium high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in snow peas about 2-3 minutes. 
  • In separate frying pan, add 2 T butter, salt and pepper and shrimp for 2-3 minutes until shrimp are fully cooked. 
  • In a big bowl add the vegetable mixture and the noodles together. Stir in the sauce and the shrimp. Toss and serve immediately.



Friday, January 23, 2015

A Wonderful Spinach Salad

I rarely meet a salad I don't like. In fact, they excite me.
Recently, I went with a couple of friends to eat lunch at this cute bistro and ordered the spinach salad.
What a refreshing change this little salad was. I know, it's not all that unique, but I was expecting the typical fruity, red-tinted vinaigrette with strawberries. However, it came out with a creamy dressing adorned with oranges and most likely a goat cheese -- which I also love.

Reflecting upon how much I really enjoyed that salad, I later called the bistro and asked them what kind of dressing it was. They politely told me it was a poppy seed dressing. I immediately thought of this dressing:

So, you can imagine the next time I went to the grocery store, I bought it! It was the perfect dressing. Who knows if that's what they used, but I was able to recreate the recipe and add a little variation of my own. In fact, I don't know that it is anything like it other than the spinach and recipe clone. But, here's what has been making me giddy this week for lunch -- accompanied by my caffeine free diet Coke, of course. 

Spinach Salad -- Makes One Lovely Serving
1 bunch of baby spinach
2 thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 c. sliced mozzarella cheese
1/2 can of mandarin oranges (save the other half in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch)
Grilled Chicken Breast, sliced thinly
Top with Litehouse Poppy Seed Dressing

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Mother-in-Law's Tasty White Bread


I have yet to taste a better loaf than this recipe makes. The first time I tried it was when my fiancé (now husband) brought a freshly baked loaf, made by himself that is, to me. He is picky about his bread and knows a good one when he finds one. I like to think he has the same skill at picking out a wife.

White Bread (make in Bosch. If using a Kitchen Aid, half the recipe) Yields 5 to 6 regular loaves

3 T yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1 T sugar
5 c. hot milk
6 T Crisco Shortening
6 T sugar
2 T salt
14 c. flour

Let yeast rise in the warm water for five minutes. While that rises, heat the milk. Add the milk, shortening, sugar and salt to the Bosch mixer. Add a few cups of flour to lower the temperature. When it's not too hot for the yeast, add the yeast then the remaining flour. It usually takes more than the 14 cups. You will know when it's enough when the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl.

Let rise until double in size or when the dough is above the bowl (I place a thin, damp cloth over the bowl to help it rise).

Transfer dough onto lightly floured surface and separate into 5 or 6 loaves depending on how large you want them. Knead them for a few minutes until they are the desired shape. Place them into well-greased loaf pans.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and take them out of their pans to cool.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Outback Chicken


Outback Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thick
1/2 to 1 tsp. seasoning salt
6 slices bacon, cut in halves
1/4 c. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. honey
2 T corn syrup
2 T mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. dried onnion flakes
1 c. shredded Mozzarella
1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt; chill 30 minutes. Cook bacon till crisp; set aside. Mix next 5 ingredients; set asisde. Brown chicken in a little bacon grease for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Place in 9-inch pan. Pour half of sauce on chicken; spread to cover. To pith bacon, mushrooms, then cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes, or until juice runs clear. Serve with extra sauce.