Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Strawberry Season

They say the strawberry season will be very short.
Got mine today and will make my jam to-morrow.
I like to make some sauce with my berries too for the winter
to put over deserts. I freeze some but they never stand up like
raspberries that are frozen. They do make good strawberry short cake
in the winter months though.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cinnamon Buns

I made cinnamon buns for the first time last week.
My husband said they were better than Cobs.
We ate a few and then put some in the freezer.
Well sorry we ate them as well. They were easier than
I thought and I'm sure loaded with calories. But so worth it.
I will put the recipe up soon for those who want to make them.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Watermelon Twist

8 cups chopped seedless watermelon (about 6 pounds)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)
2 tablespoons sugar, plus 2 tablespoons more, if needed1/2 cup vodka, (optional)Mint leaves
  1. Working in batches, puree in blender watermelon with lime juice and sugar until smooth. Add more sugar, if needed.
  2. Transfer puree to a pitcher; add vodka, if desired. Cover; chill until ready to serve.
  3. Stir; pour into tumblers, over ice. Garnish with mint.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Garlic Shrimp with Basil, Tomatoes,



total time 10 minutes serves four
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked pasta whatever is your favorite.


  1. Heat olive oil in medium skillet until almost smoking, then add shrimp and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Remove with tongs or slotted spoon, leaving oil behind in skillet.
  2. Allow oil to cool for a minute, then add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and reduce over high heat for 3-5 minutes until at least half has evaporated. Add tomatoes and most of basil and continue cooking until tomatoes begin to lose their shape. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Return shrimp to pan and cook until just heated through. Serve with cooked pasta

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Basil Infused Lemonade/ Gin or Vodka

makes 2 quarts
1 cup rinsed, lightly packed fresh basil leaves
2/4 cup sugar
7 cups water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, (for me, it was 3 1/2 extra large lemons)
sprigs of fresh basil to garnish
In a 2 1/2 to 3 quart glass measure or bowl, combine basil leaves and sugar. With a wooden spoon, crush leaves with sugar until thoroughly bruised, about 1 minute. Add water and lemon juice. Stir vigorously until sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Pour through a fine strainer into a 2 quart pitcher. Serve in a glass with ice and garnish with sprigs of fresh basil. If you want to add gin or vodka it makes a great cocktail.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Churros Recipe
We bought a churro maker while living in Spain.
These are so delicious.

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.
  2. Heat oil for frying in deep-fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pipe strips of dough into hot oil using a pastry bag or churros maker. Fry until golden; drain on paper towels.
  3. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll drained churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pickeled Beans


  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch fresh dill weed
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Sterilize 6 (1/2 pint) jars with rings and lids and keep hot. Trim green beans to 1/4 inch shorter than your jars.
  2. In a large saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water and salt. Add garlic and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. In each jar, place 1 sprig of dill and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Pack green beans into the jars so they are standing on their ends.
  3. Ladle the boiling brine into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Discard garlic. Seal jars with lids and rings. Place in a hot water bath so they are covered by 1 inch of water. Simmer but do not boil for 10 minutes to process. Cool to room temperature. Test jars for a good seal by pressing on the center of the lid. It should not move. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly. Let pickles ferment for 2 to 3 weeks before eating.

Beans pickled

Garlic shrimp /balsamic vinegar

Barbecue or pan fry.

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • skewers


  1. In a large bowl, mix the vinegar, oil, garlic, basil, salt, and ground pepper. Place the shrimp, bell pepper, and onion in the bowl, and gently toss to coat. Cover, and allow to marinate at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat a pan grill over high heat. Alternately thread the shrimp, onion chunks, and pepper chunks on skewers.
  3. Place skewers on the pan grill, and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until shrimp is opaque.

Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue Sauce

For shrimp/steak/chicken/pork

Makes 6 cups

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup tomato paste (10 ounces)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

In a large saucepan on low heat, saute the onions and garlic with the vegetable oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in the fridge.

Do ahead: This sauce freezes excellently, for months at at time.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Bake Potatoes /or Dip for Chips

  • 1 (2.1-oz.) package fully cooked bacon slices
  • 1 (16-oz.) container sour cream
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup sliced fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • Garnishes: cooked, crumbled bacon; sliced fresh chives; freshly cracked pepper
  • Bake potatoes

  • Microwave bacon according to package directions until crisp; drain on paper towels. Cool 10 minutes; crumble. Stir together bacon and next 4 ingredients. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours before serving.

Olive Garden Italian Dressing

I tried this and it's just like the Olive Garden Dressing.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a blender until well mixed. If this is a little to tart for your own personal tastes please add a little extra sugar.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Lemon-Gin Martini


  • 24 ounces (3 cups) gin
  • 4 ounces ( 1/2 cup) dry vermouth
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Small ice cubes
  • 32 strips lemon zest (from 4 lemons)


  1. Stir together gin, vermouth, juice, and ice in a pitcher. Pour into glasses, leaving ice in pitcher. Garnish with zest.