Category: <span>Recipes/Cooking</span>


fried shallots

  • 3 large shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/4 cup` flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • 1 1/2 lbs green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups half and half, or cream
  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (I used Shitake)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup dry Sherry
  • 1 heaped cup shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • dash of fresh grated nutmeg, or more to taste



  • Note: you can fry the shallots first, or while the casserole is cooking. Fill a saucepan with 2 inches of oil and heat on medium high until hot, or a clip on thermometer reads 325F
  • Mix the flour and salt together, then gently toss the shallots in the flour, carefully separating the rings as you add them.
  • Fry the shallots, in batches, until golden, it should take under 2 minutes if your oil is hot enough. Drain on paper towels. Note: remove any brown bits from the oil in between batches, so they don’t burn.


  • Heat the cream to a simmer, then remove from the heat and add the dried mushrooms, stirring well. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Trim the beans but leave them whole. Blanche them in a large pot of boiling water for a total of about 3 minutes, just to take the raw edge off, they will still be crunchy.
  • Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Drain the beans and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking and set their bright color. Add more ice if necessary to keep the water cold, then drain the beans on a clean towel.
  • Puree the mushrooms and cream in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. You may still have some texture to your sauce, that’s ok, just get it as smooth as you can.
  • Melt butter in a medium pan and add the flour to make a roux. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes over medium heat, but don’t let it take on color.
  • Add the sherry to the pan and stir or whisk well until blended, let the mixture cook for a minute, stirring or whisking constantly. Then add the mushroom sauce and whisk until the mixture comes to a simmer and is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, but you will likely need more. Add a dash of nutmeg to taste. (Don’t skip this step, the flavor is so wonderful.)
  • Layer half your beans into your casserole, then drizzle half the sauce over the beans, nudging the sauce down and around all the beans. Repeat with the remaining beans and sauce. Try to get the sauce evenly distributed.
  • Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Note: tent the casserole loosely with foil about halfway through if it browns too much. Top with the fried shallots and serve immediately.


 Prep Time10 minutes
 Cook Time1 hour
 Total Time1 hour 10 minutes


    • 1.5 cups wild rice blend
    • 1 small leek (chopped and rinse well)
    • 1 bell pepper -diced
    • 1 carrot -grated
    • 1/3 cup vegan white wine
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/3 cup dried cranberries -for garnish
    • 3 cups low sodium vegetable stock or water
    • 2 leaves bay
    • 1 sprig rosemary
    • 1 sprig sage
    • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 3 sprigs fresh oregano
    • 1 tbsp dried oregano
    • 1 pinch red pepper flakes or to taste
    • 1 splash water (or 2 tsp olive oil)


    • Heat up a large deep skillet or pot over medium low flame. Add a splash of water (or a drizzle of olive oil) and the chopped leeks. Sautee with a pinch of sea salt until translucent.
    • Stir in the grated carrot, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Add the wild rice mix and stir well to combine. Allow it to toast together with the aromatics for a couple of minute.
    • Add in the chopped bell pepper and one cup of the cranberries. Pour in the wine and simmer until reduced by half then add the vegetable stock (or water). Stir and taste for seasonings. Add more sea salt to your taste if desired.
    • Bring the rice to a simmer, cover with a tight lid and cook on low flame for 50 minutes.
    • Turn off the flame but do not remove the lid. Allow the rice to sit covered for 10 to 15 minutes and continue cooking in its own steam.
    • Discard the bay leaves and the woody sprigs from the herbs. Use a fork and gently fluff up the rice.
    • Serve warm or cold garnished with the remaining cranberries and fresh herbs.



  • 1 kabocha squash (or ½ butternut squash), halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cheese pumpkin, approximately 10 to 12 pounds
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • ¾ pound smoked bacon, cut into ¼-inch-thick batons
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • ¾ pound black trumpet mushrooms, or any mushroom of your choice
  • ½ pound Gruyere cheese, grated
  • ½ pound Fontina cheese, grated
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 4 cups cups half-and-half
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 10 sage leaves, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Rub the inside of the kabocha squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place flesh-side down on a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil and bake until cooked through (check with the tip of a paring knife), 40 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside to cool.

Turn the cheese pumpkin upside down and, using a sharp knife, carefully remove a circular cap approximately 10 inches in diameter. Cut the sourdough bread into 1-inch-thick slices and toast. Lightly rub the toasted bread with the cut side of the garlic, then dice each slice and place the pieces in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crispy. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Toss in the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the diced bread.

When the cooked kabocha squash is cool enough to handle, remove the flesh with a spoon and cut into a rough dice. Add the squash, Gruyere, Fontina and walnuts to the bowl with the bread and mix the stuffing well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the half-and-half with the ground spices, sage and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper and fill the cavity with the stuffing.

Pour the half-and-half mixture into the pumpkin until the liquid reaches the rim. Return the cap to the pumpkin and place it on a foil-lined baking tray. Bake until the pumpkin is cooked through, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Serve warm, scooping out a bit of the pumpkin flesh from the sides, along with the stuffing.












Here’s the basic recipe for the spinach dip I brought in – I actually don’t measure everything, I usually go by taste. (Erin’s Recipe)
1 packet of Knorr’s Vegetable Soup/Dip Mix
16 ounces of Sour Cream
1 10-12 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 small can of water chestnuts, diced (or whole and you can chop them)
1 cup mayonnaise (I used Plain Greek Yogurt instead)
1 tablespoon hot sauce (Frank’s or Texas Pete)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 chopped green onion (optional)
2 sourdough bread loves (whole not sliced)
–          Take the thawed spinach and press in between paper towels to remove water
–          Add all the ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly
–          Let stand overnight in the refrigerator
–          Before serving, take one loaf of bread and cut an oval out of the top
–          Fill with dip
–          Cut other loaf up in cubes and serve

Sausage Stuffed Peppadews (Culver receipe)


3 links mild italian sausage


  •  peppadew peppers
  1. Preheat grill on HIGH 10 min. Cover grill grates with nonstick grill foil.
  2. Remove sausage meat from casing; discard casing. Stuff 1/2-1 tsp meat (depending on size of peppadew opening) into each peppadew.
  3. Reduce grill to MED. Grill stuffed peppadews, sausage-side down, 8-10 min, turning frequently, until peppadews are nicely browned and sausage temp reaches 165 degrees. (Check by inserting thermometer halfway into sausage.)


Scrumptious Scottish Scones- They are magnifique!



2 eggs

⅔ cup oil

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup carrots, grated

½ tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 ¼ cup flour

1 cup grated zucchini, drained

Mix eggs and oil, add dry ingredients, finally add carrots and zucchini- put in greased and floured 8×8 pan. Bake 350 till toothpick comes out clean.

This recipe is light, not too sweet and uses up all that zucchini! This is one of Linda’s favorite cakes.


My herbs are hugh and plentiful…tonight I made a salad and homemade Ranch dressing. I have tried many recipes but this one is really good.

The vinegar and Worcestershire add a great depth- so yummy!

Homemade Ranch Dressing


  • 1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley OR 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced dill OR 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk until smooth. Stir in parsley, dill, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Blend well and adjust seasonings, to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. If consistency is too thick, thin out dressing with a splash of additional buttermilk.


  • If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by pouring 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice (or white vinegar) into a 1-cup liquid measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup up to the 1/2-cup line with milk (whole milk is preferred but low-fat/skim milk will work). Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes and stir before proceeding with recipe.
  • To make Ranch Dip (instead of dressing), use a total of 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 3/4 cup sour cream, and eliminate the buttermilk.


I used a little less spice in the flour but follow exactly and you will have the tastiest, cruchest chicken sandwich you have ever had. Puts Chick-fil-a to shame. Ina said it is her take of Shake Shack’s chicken sandwich. Only downside- you do have to deep fry which is smelly and messy but so worth it. I uised chicken tenders instead of breasts- still pounded even and cooked 4 minutes instead of 5 minutes.

Fried Chicken Sandwiches


2 cups buttermilk, shaken
1 shallot, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 jalapeno pepper (with seeds), halved lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 (48-ounce) bottles canola oil
6 potato hamburger buns, toasted, for serving
Buttermilk Herb Mayo, recipe follows, for serving
6 Bibb lettuce leaves
Kosher dill pickles, such as Claussen, thinly sliced, for serving

Buttermilk Herb Mayo:

1 cup good mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s 2 tablespoons buttermilk, shaken
1 teaspoon good white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, shallot, garlic, jalapeno, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and
1 teaspoon black pepper. Place the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of parchment paper and, with a rolling
pin or a meat mallet, pound them until they are evenly 1/2 inch thick. Slice each piece of chicken in half crosswise so you have 2 pieces approximately the same size. Place the chicken in the marinade, making sure each piece is well coated, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to (but not more than) 24 hours.

2. When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Set a wire rack on a sheet pan and place them in the oven.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, celery salt, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper and set aside.

4. Pour oil into a medium (9-inch round by 4 1/2-inch high) Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, until it is 2 inches deep. Clip on a candy thermometer and heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, lift the chicken from the marinade, dredge it in the flour mixture, submerge it again in the marinade, then again in the flour mixture, lightly shaking off the excess. Transfer the chicken to a plate or sheet pan until ready to fry.

5. When the oil is 350 degrees F, carefully lower 3 pieces only into the oil with tongs and adjust the heat to keep the oil at 350 degrees F. Don’t crowd the chicken! Cook for 5 minutes, turning once to brown evenly. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the sheet pan in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Sprinkle all the chicken with salt and keep warm for up to 15 minutes, until ready to serve.

6. To assemble, place the bottom of each bun on a plate, spread with some of the Buttermilk Herb Mayo, then a lettuce leaf, 4 pickle slices, then a piece of chicken. Spread the underside of the top bun generously with more of the mayo and place on top of the chicken, mayo side down. Serve while the chicken is still warm.

Buttermilk Herb Mayo:

7. Whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, scallions, parsley, chives, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.



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.