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Sheila’s Goat’s Milk Ice Cream

Peggy, Raechel, Sheila and I met at The Simple Farm last Thursday for their last market of the summer. No worries, they’ll reopen in October when the cooler weather returns.

You might remember Raechel from my craft classes. Raechel was pregnant when she came to her first craft. Then at next class she brought her beautiful newborn baby girl, Brooklyn.


We were so happy to see Raechel and 7-month old Brooklyn at the market. How adorable is this little cherub!?!


Sheila bought a few cartons of fresh goat’s milk and a jar of The Simple Farm’s Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce.


Best of all, she shared it with us by making Goat’s Milk Ice Cream and letting us drizzle the amazing caramel sauce all over it!

Oh my, was it good! Thank you, Sheila for sharing your farm bounty with all of us!!!

Sheila Drizzle

Beautiful Sheila drizzling away.

Steve Drizzle

Steve, very excited to be drizzling Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce into his bowl of homemade ice cream !

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July 9, 2014   3 Comments

Sheila’s Potato Salad

Besides the deliciousness of this old-fashioned potato salad recipe, I also love that when Sheila sent me the recipe she named specific brands of mayonnaise, pickle relish and seasoning salt.

All three of the brands are true Red, White & Blue Americana, all created in the early 1900′s!


Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise

In 1905, Richard Hellmann from Vetschau, Germany, opened a delicatessen on Columbus Avenue in New York City, where he used his wife’s recipe to sell the first ready-made mayonnaise. It became so popular that he began selling it in bulk to other stores. In 1912 he built a factory for producing Mrs. Hellmann’s mayonnaise. It was mass marketed and called Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise. It was so successful, Hellmann closed his delicatessen by 1917 to devote full-time to his mayonnaise business.


Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

The seasoning was originally created by Lawrence Frank, original owner of the Tam O’Shanter and Lawry’s The Prime Rib Restaurant, where the seasoning was used and sold to patrons of Lawry’s. In 1938, Lawry’s began marketing its seasoned salt in retail stores.


Vlasic Dill Pickle Relish

Frank Vlasic immigrated from Poland to Detroit in 1912 and started a small creamery with savings from his factory job. His son Joseph acquired a milk route in 1922, which eventually grew into the state’s largest dairy distributor. In 1937, Vlasic was approached to distribute a home-style pickle, later marketing their fresh-packed pickle in glass jars. A star was born!

mix box centerpiece

The mention of a “milk route” reminds me to show you one of my 4th of July “Americana” centerpieces.  Made with three Vintage Milk Dairy Porch Delivery Boxes.

In case you’re too young to know what these are, they are boxes that were left on people’s porches and a milkman delivered milk and other dairy products right to the door. Here is a little history from the Historic New England exhibit – From Dairy to Doorstep.

After World War II, change came to the milkman. The milkman was a familiar character in the neighborhoods of small towns and cities alike, and dairy products now held an unquestioned place in the American diet. Yet, refrigerators, supermarkets, suburban sprawl, and automobiles threatened home delivery. Consumers chose to live in different places and get milk in different ways. In fact, by the end of the 1950s, home delivery fell into a decline and never recovered. By the early 1950s, reliable power refrigeration replaced ice boxes and revised the homemaker’s job of buying and cooking for the household. Perishable foods like milk could now be bought in greater quantity and kept longer without spoiling, more meals could be made from leftovers, and frozen foods could replace fresh. The milkman did not have to arrive every day in order for the family to have unsoured milk.

milkman boxes

I am just barely old enough to remember the milkman. These boxes (purchased on eBay) make me really happy!


Speaking of happy – check out this lovely spread of food. The potato salad is in that huge yellow stoneware bowl in the upper left corner. YUM!

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July 8, 2014   6 Comments

star burger

16 burgers

For the 4th of July party main course(s), I made beer-boiled and grilled brats, oven roasted BBQ chicken thighs (recipe to follow) and chile-cheese stuffed burgers.

fireroasted chile cheese burger

Far and away, the burgers were the star. (Look for Sheila’s Old-Fashioned Potato Salad recipe tomorrow.)

Tram and Julie

Tram and Julie, filling their plates with burger and brat.

5 inch circle

This recipe makes enough burgers for a crowd. It can easily be halved or quartered. One thing you’ll need is a 5-inch template to form the burgers with. The center green area of this plate is exactly 5-inches, so I used it as my guide.

grill area

The Grill Pit – where the Magic Happens!


Chile & Pepper Jack Stuffed Burgers

6 Anaheim chiles
4 large jalapeño chiles
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
12-ounces shredded pepper Jack cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 pounds ground beef, divided into 32 three-ounces portions
16 hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls, split and lightly toasted

Lettuce leaves, onion and tomato slices, sweet pickle relish, mustard and ketchup, for serving

on the flame

Roast the Anaheim and jalapeño chiles on either the grill or stovetop until blacked on all sides.


To prevent the jalapeños from falling through the grates, use a stovetop-roasting grate, which can be found at kitchen stores such as Sur La Table or ordered online from HERE.

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July 7, 2014   3 Comments

Tram’s Key Lime Pie

We weathered the storm, put everything that blew down, back up and had a wonderful pot-luck 4th of July BBQ/Pool Party.

dining table

I’ll be posting photos along with not only my recipes but the delicious recipes from the guests as well.

What better place to start than with dessert? All of the desserts were brought by guests, which makes them all my favorite!

We’ll begin with Tram’s Key Lime Pie. Tram and Steve brought Zak & Zoey, and they were the hit of the party, of course. No one could resist either one of the adorable nearly 4-month-old sweetie-pies.

Unfortunately, Heidi Klum ruined the party for Zoey. How on earth could a supermodel ruin a party for a baby, you ask! Tram, thoughtfully, dressed the twins in outfits that I had given them. The outfit I gave Zoey was from the “Truly Scrumptious Clothing by Heidi Klum” baby clothing line.

Zoey looked adorable, but the outfit was either pinching or scratching or somehow irritating her.  The otherwise sweet-natured Zoey was very unhappy. She screamed bloody murder until the outfit was finally removed but by then she was so wiped out that the only photo I got of her was of her sound asleep on my bed. Poor little Zoey!


Zak, on the other hand, was the life of the party!


Every woman in attendance had their hands on him at one time or another, as seen here with Sloane, proudly showing him off, while Papa Steve is showing off his burger and brats.

Tram and Steve

Tram and Steve hamming for the camera as they dish up their dessert plates.

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July 6, 2014   4 Comments

colorful summer salad and a tomato tip

tomato halves

I’ve seen this cool tip for cutting a bunch of cherry tomatoes at one time all over the internet and on Pinterest. I’ve used it for sometime now, but keep forgetting to share it with you. It not only comes in handy for this salad but is especially fabulous for THIS RECIPE and any other recipes calling for roasted cherry tomatoes.

Summer Squash and Salmon Salad

Summer Squash and Salmon Salad

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds zucchini, ends trimmed and then thinly sliced
2 tablespoons pepper jelly
3 pound salmon fillet, skin on
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
6 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 avocado, diced
1 cup chopped pecans


In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Add the zucchini, toss to coat and let marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.

coat salmon

Spread the pepper jelly on the flesh side of the salmon. Heat a grill or broiler to high.

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June 30, 2014   3 Comments


I don’t recall if I’ve ever shared this before but I will now confess….

hot coffee

… I don’t drink coffee. I’ve never like it. I love the smell, I adore coffee ice cream, but I knew that if I was to become a coffee drinker, I’d need to load that bitter liquid up with sugar and cream and I don’t see the point of starting each day off with that!

creamy coffee

Most mornings I start my day with water, now and then with juice and if someone offers, I’ll have hot tea. Not in the summer, but other times of the year. That’s the other thing I don’t get, how can people drink steaming hot coffee when it’s 100 degrees out? It is often 100 degrees out by 9 AM here in AZ!

Iced Coffee – that has sounded like something I might enjoy, once in a while, when I need a kick-start. Not too often, since it too, is loaded with cream and sugar.

Today is that day, I’ve been up since 4:15 and I am already dragging. I can’t be dragging today, I have too much to do. Iced Coffee! I’m gonna give it a try.

I’m going with the simplest recipe possible for this first try. One thing I do know is that it is best to start with cold brewed coffee. Since I don’t drink coffee, I don’t make the best tasting coffee, so I bought a bottle of cold brewed coffee at Trader Joe’s.

My verdict?  It was OK, maybe a person who likes coffee would like it more. I’m going back to the drawing board and I’m going to make something more exciting. I’ll keep you posted. Until then, here is my simple iced coffee “recipe.”

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June 28, 2014   No Comments

BPP Pizza

Last night’s beautiful Arizona sunset. No filters, no Photoshop, just pure natural beauty!

AZ sunset

This quick and easy pizza has some of my favorite Italian ingredients and they can all be found, along with the pizza dough, at Trader Joe’s.


Burrata, a luscious cream-filled fresh mozzarella cheese.


Pancetta, Italian-style bacon, already diced into “cubetti” pieces. Actually, I don’t know if the word “cubetti” has anything to do with the diced pieces, but it is convenient!


Prosciutto, this package is actually from Costco and was in my freezer, so don’t be alarmed with the “use by” date. Prosciutto can always be found at TJ’s too.

TJ pizza dough

I prefer Trader Joe’s whole-wheat dough, but while pulling a package from the back of the case (looking for the freshest bag – a selfish little thing I always do with fresh packaged food) I accidentally grabbed the plain dough. The reasons I like the whole-wheat better are two-fold, it is easier to work with due to the texture and I think the taste is superior.

The only other ingredients you need are a little olive oil, a medium ripe tomato and a smidgen of freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.

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June 27, 2014   5 Comments

perciatelli pasta

I have a new favorite variety of pasta.


Have you ever had or heard of perciatelli pasta? I hadn’t until I enjoyed it in a wonderful cold pasta salad that my cousin, Michelle, made for a family gathering. The only place I’ve been able to find it is at Fry’s, but it’s possible I haven’t looked hard enough.

perciatelli top view

Perciatelli, also know as bucatini, are hollow pasta strands that are thicker than spaghetti. Spaghetti, fettucini, or linguini may be substituted in the recipe.

lump crab

The lump crabmeat I prefer to use is the Phillips brand, which can be found at Costco.

Perciatelli Pasta with Crabmeat and Peas

Perciatelli Pasta with Crabmeat and Peas

1 pound perciatelli pasta
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and light green parts, reserve green tops for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley, divided

Cook the perciatelli in a large pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.

green onion

While pasta water comes to a boil, cook spring onions in 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.

saute green onion [


June 25, 2014   2 Comments

for my dad

My dad loves pot roast. Winter, spring, summer and fall – no matter the temperature, he wants me to make pot roast.

slow cooker pot roast

The 1971 invention of the slow cooker (also known by its brand name Crock-Pot) made it an even easier meal to make. No heating up the entire kitchen when you use a slow cooker. Still, eating a heavy pot roast when it’s 106 degrees outside doesn’t appeal to most. Not an issue for Dad!

Dave was out-of-town this past weekend, so I indulged my dad by making his precious pot roast for our Sunday supper.  I do my best to change it up each time to try to keep it exciting since I make it so often throughout the year.

This time I reverted to a very classic pot roast recipe … well not so much the recipe … more the technique. Allow me to explain.

In 1963 House & Garden Magazine published a recipe by Elizabeth (Betty) Wason, an American author and broadcast journalist. The classic technique I took from her recipe was the way she floured the meat.

pound in flour

Instead of dredging the beef in seasoned flour, Betty beats the flour into the meat with the side of a plate, which creates a thicker crust and a smoother gravy in the end. It’s rather cathartic, beating in the flour with a dish, similar to that satisfied feeling one gets when kneading bread dough.

If you’re not up to pot roast in June, bookmark this recipe and remember to make it this fall or winter. I am hopeful that the fall or winter is the next time I’ll be called to make it … but it’ll probably be much sooner. Oh well, gotta give the people what they want.

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June 24, 2014   No Comments

pineapple mojito wine cooler

Pineapple Lily1

After not posting a new recipe for over a week – I think the best way to get back into the swing of it – is with a cocktail!

Pineapple Mojito Wine Cooler3

Yes, and not just any cocktail, but a bright refreshing summer-time cocktail. Something you can envision yourself enjoying poolside or with your toes buried in a sandy beach.

Now that’s the way to start a new week. Happy Monday!

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June 23, 2014   4 Comments