Category: Recipes/Cooking

Can’t buy cavatelli in Missouri so I guess I have to make it! Ordered a machine from Amazon- it came and was plastic (picture showed wood wheels) so I returned it and bid on an old fashion machine (no longer made) on E-bay. Hard to believe that dinner could come from flour and water. Brings back memories of Mary Steve! It was very good.



Brown Butter Stone Fruit Compote:
Amaretto Syrup:
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes:


For the fruit compote: Add the butter to a high-sided saute pan over medium heat and allow to brown. Once browned, add the apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches, sugar and vanilla bean. Stir to combine and cook until the fruit softens and the sugar has dissolved, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean before serving.

For the amaretto syrup: Pour the amaretto into a saucepan and heat through over medium heat. Keep warm.

For the pancakes: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the ricotta, eggs, milk, lemon zest and juice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Heat a large saute pan over a medium flame. Once heated, add 1 tablespoon of the butter. After the butter stops bubbling, pour most of it out of the pan and gently wipe the pan with a dry paper towel, leaving a thin film of fat. With a large spoon, gently ladle pancake batter into the pan, about 2 tablespoons per pancake. Cook the pancakes until bubbles begin to appear on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the reverse side, about another 2 minutes. Add more butter to the pan as needed.

Layer the pancakes on a platter with the fruit compote between each layer. Top with more compote and drizzle with amaretto syrup just before serving.

I cheated (did not have ricotta) so I added lemon juice and zest to a pancake mix (Classic Cup- KC’s best). I cut the recipe in half- used 1 fruit of each (just Linda and I) and only about 1/8 Amaretto (just a drizzle).  If your fruit is really sweet- I’d cut the sugar down as well. I am not a cooked fruit person so I made sure there was some texture still in the fruit- this is excellent! 

(Recipe from Guy’s Ranch Kitchen- Eric Greenspan)


Had to replace several beds this year as the wood rotted. The main bed was replaced with cinder block and then 4 metal beds.

I planted zucchini, yellow squash, spaghetti squash and cucumbers in the back bed- most died as our weather went from spring to 90 degrees! We replaced several plants. Also planted an asparagus bed and rhubarb bed. We have 6 different peppers, broccoli, eggplant, 2 kinds of cabbage, onions, shallots,  several lettuces, kale, spinach and 12 tomatoes, san marzano’s and 3 grape tomatoes. We also put in chard, dill, basil, chives, parsley, mint.

I made my first homemade Ranch with our herbs in it! Yummy! This is a recipe from Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines.

Garden Recipes/Cooking

Light and fluffy sweet cream ricotta pancakes that will literally melt in your mouth! Author: Melissa Stadler, Modern Honey Recipe

Serves: 4


1 cup Ricotta Cheese

¾ cup Buttermilk

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 cup Flour

4 Tablespoons Sugar

½ teaspoon Baking Powder (can use 1 teaspoon if you want a thicker pancake)

¼ teaspoon Salt Butter (for skillet)


1. In a large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla until combined. 2. Carefully fold in flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir until just combined, avoiding over mixing. 3. Heat skillet over medium heat. Place pat of butter onto skillet and wait for it to sizzle.Pour batter in ½ cup portions and cook until golden brown on each side.

Berry Maple Syrup: In saucepan over medium low heat, add butter and let it melt.

Add syrup and berries and heat for about 3­4 minutes until it starts to bubble.

Remove from heat and serve with pancakes.

Made with my homemade ricotta- YUMMY! Less guilt eating pancakes that have protein in them and little sugar.


So easy and so tasty…even without the “whey”- this bread is good! Recipe in previous post.


Tried to recreate mom’s dinner from Maitre D’.

“Ricotta Gnocchi, house made, butternut squash, sage brown butter”

Liked the Gnocchi, got a great scalded on the brown butter, squash was good but I thought the dish was too rich- I would like the Gnocchi and butter and call it a day!


1 gallon whole milk
1 cup cream
1 quart buttermilk

In a very large, heavy duty pot add the milk, cream and buttermilk.  Heat over medium/low heat stirring only occasionally so the milk doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. On the pot, clip on a candy thermometer or use an instant read thermometer.   Heat the milk mixture to 200 degrees F.  Remove from the heat and let the mixture stand for 30 minutes.  Place a wire mesh strainer over a very large bowl or pot. Pour the mixture through a wire mesh strainer that has been lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Gently stir the curd to release the liquid or whey from the ricotta.  Cover the ricotta completely with the ends of the cheesecloth.  Leave in the strainer and place in the refrigerator overnight or for 24 hours.  Transfer ricotta to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.  Ricotta will last for about 7-10 days.  Yield:  3 – 3 1/2 lbs.

I will then turn it into Ricotta Gnocchi (It has to sit in fridge for 24 hours). Going to try store bought ricotta and homemade to see the difference. The difference in taste is very noticeably as well as the texture. Homemade is wonderful and so easy.

I will also try Ricotta Pancakes- heard they are wonderful and full of protien. Homemade ricotta is suppose to be very smooth and wonderful tasting- I’ll let you know how this endeavor turns out!

I will use the whey to make…Crusty Bread.

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water (substitute Whey here for a sourdough flavor)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours.  Overnight works great.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.


Kris was in Kansas City visiting her favorite sister (Ha Ha). We took her to Cascone’s and let her try Italian Nachos. She loved them!


Found this on line- not sure if this is how they make them but it is worth a try…

Italian Nachos


1 package won tons (found in the produce section) cut on the diagonal, to make triangles. (Deep fry till crisp)

1 lb. ground Italian sausage (browned and drained)

1/4 cup banana peppers

Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup sliced black olives

grated Mozzarella cheese for garnish

Alfredo Cheese Sauce

4 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

3 tablespoons flour

2 1/2 cups half and half

2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese


In a medium saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add garlic and then whisk in flour. Cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half and half a little at a time. Cook until thickened, for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add 2 cups of Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. Cover. Set aside. (If sauce gets too thick, blend in a little milk, or more half and half.)

Heat a heavy saucepan or deep fryer filled with oil to medium. (It should take about 20 minutes for oil to heat) Cook won tons until light brown. It only takes a few seconds, per side. Drain on paper towels.

Pile the won ton chips on a large serving platter. Drizzle with warm cheese sauce. Add sausage, tomatoes, olives and peppers. Top with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese , melt cheese in oven.



Found a new recipe- will have to try since these are mom’s favorites!



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Have been so bored with eating the same things- I decided to scope out my cookbooks and adventure into some new recipes. So far they have all been wonderful.


First night we has cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes- very good.

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Second night I made an Ann Lund recipe- Herb and mushroom stuffed flank steak. We served it with quinoa & rice. Took less than 15 minutes to make and Linda licked the plate. Rice takes 90 seconds to steam in microwave- Kris loves this. We did make the horseradish sauce to go with it.

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Today I made beef stroganoff… this would be good without the meat too unless you don’t eat dairy- the sour cream makes this dish! This comes from the “BlueBloods” cookbook.


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Time 10 minutes Serves 8

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 and 1/2 tsp.)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 pound penne pasta
2 cups packed baby spinach, washed and stemmed
2 small jarred roasted red pepper, diced
1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, diced
How to make it

Combine the Parmesan cheese, parsley, mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper with a hand mixer or in the bowl of food processor or in a blender until the dressing is smooth.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain the pasta into a colander, run cold water over it or submerge it in ice water until chilled through, and drain well. IN a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, spinach, roasted red peppers, and smoked mozzarella.



I was talking with my sister and she mentioned how much she missed pizza. But guess what? There are still some healthier ways to eat them. Let me introduce you to Flatout Pizzas (you can also use tortillas or pitas). These are in my health/fitness program. When baked in the oven, they are like thin crust pizzas and make a perfect serving size. Cravings averted!

Family Fitness/Health Recipes/Cooking



Unsalted butter, for greasing the pie plate
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Two 15.25-ounce cans apricots, drained and gently rinsed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Lemon-Vanilla Whipped Cream, for topping, optional
Lemon-Vanilla Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9- to 10-inch shallow pie plate.

Combine the egg yolks and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until ribbons form when you lift the beater just slightly out of the batter, about 3 minutes. Add the flour, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and beat until thoroughly blended, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Slide the prepared pie plate into the oven to preheat for 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg whites and salt in a small bowl for 30 seconds; add to the batter and beat with the mixer on low speed until just incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Combine the apricots, lemon zest and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl, and gently stir until the apricots are thoroughly coated. Remove the pie plate from the oven, pour in the apricots in a decorative pattern, and top with the batter.

Bake until set in the middle, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm with a small dollop of the whipped cream, if using.

Lemon-Vanilla Whipped Cream:
Add the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip just until soft peaks form.

Yield: 6 servings

We are not apricot people so I did blueberries, we also did not use whip cream or powdered sugar- put a few to many but it was very light and satisfying-YUM! And super easy to make.