Falling for Dessert

I have a strict rule around here . . .

No baking in July or August!

Well, ok, I’m exaggerating . . . but I do avoid using the oven during the hottest months of summer. Honestly, I think that makes it all the more fun to return to baking once the chill of autumn is in the air!

And what did I choose as my first baked item for fall 2012? Biscotti! The recipe came from dear friend and frequent commenter, Paulette. She featured it on her blog a little while ago and I immediately jotted “Paulette’s Biscotti” at the top of my list of “recipes to try”. She doubles the recipe, but I didn’t. I confess I am a bit of a chicken on that score. When I’m making something for the first time, I usually consider it a test and faithfully follow the recipe. Oven temperatures can vary or the baking powder may be close to it’s expiration date. I figure if all heck breaks loose – at least it’s only a single batch wasted.


The biscotti dough mixes up fairly quickly and then you form it into loaves. Here are mine just before I popped them into the oven . . .


Is there anything better than dessert cooling in the kitchen? Baked to a nice golden color, as per Paulette’s instructions! 🙂


Sir Beads and I have been enjoying a couple of these, every evening, along with a cup of tea. They’re almost gone now (Loud sob, here!) Why oh why didn’t I listen to Paulette and make a double recipe??? They’re soooo GOOD!!!


Wish I could hand you one – right through the screen!

But, you can make your own if you like! 🙂

Just stop by Paulette’s for the recipe.



The Way to a Woman’s Heart . . .

Is through her stomach?

Wait . . . That’s not how the old saying goes . . . is it?

Well, I guess I’m adapting it a little. 😉

But seriously, kids, is there much in life that’s more wonderful than being called to the table to enjoy a good meal – which you did not have to prepare?

Sir Beads (a.k.a. dear husband) surprised me by cooking dinner on Saturday. The menu? Pasta and Meatballs – but not just ordinary meatballs! Oh my, these were tender, moist, melt-in-your-mouth meatballs. Oh la la!!! Magnifico!!!

Although I have no Italian heritage, somehow my stomach is 100% Italian, so this dinner was right up my alley. 😀

I had to capture his culinary masterpiece with the camera. (I know you can imagine the delicious aroma in the kitchen!

That’s steam misting above those tasty morsels.

AND there were leftovers (more than are shown here, enough for 2 more meals).

Enough salivating, Crystal. How about the recipe?!?

I’ll do better than that that – I’ll include the “video link” to the recipe from Chef Fabio Viviani. If you are unfamiliar with him – prepare to be charmed and thoroughly entertained!


(Special thanks to my sister Nancy for originally sending me the link.) 🙂

‘Til next time,



Clenna Continues to Cook!

Greetings Kids!
Here in New England, This past weekend was truly the nicest of the year – crisp air, blue skies, and temps around 70º!

I was a happy camper! 😀

On Saturday, we took a drive to Cape Cod and spent some quality time with the family. Sunday turned out to be chores day but with such beautiful weather, we flew through that old “to-do list” in record time.

How about you? What were you up to?


Clenna sent us another money-saving recipe!

Well, I’ll let her tell ya about it . . .

Clenna says:

“I found another one! It looks very easy and seems very economical.”

Dorito Shepherd’s Pie


1 lb. ground beef, browned, drained

2 packages instant potatoes, four cheese flavor (betty crocker is good)

1 can corn

Doritos (any flavor, but I prefer nacho cheese)

Shredded cheese such as cheddar or colby jack


Find a casserole dish and start layering with ground beef, then mashed potatoes, cheese, corn, more ground beef, potatoes, cheese. Then crush Doritos on top and bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.

Recipe from here

“Also called ‘David’s Junk’. (But I didn’t like that name so I renamed it!”)


(Thanks so much , Clenna, for sharing the recipe! (Your name for it is much better!) 😉



It’s Soup

There was a 1970’s TV commercial for Lipton Soup Mix, where a child would expectantly ask his Mom: “Is it soup, yet”?
Mom, who was busily stirring a pot on the stove would at first reply:

“Not yet.”

Eventually, after more stirring, she would triumphantly exclaim: “It’s SOUP“!


Ok, so now you are saying . . .

Nice bit of trivia, Crystal, but where are you going with this?

Fair question. I do go off on a tangent sometimes! 😉

I’ve been thinking of soup because Kelly sent me a great recipe for Clam Chowder that I’d like to share with you today. Kelly is famous for this chowder. In fact, when she does a yearly fundraiser for the Samoyed Dog Rescue, the group always requests it. When they send out the rsvp list, it’s already filled-in for Kelly – “Kelly and clam chowder”. They don’t let her choose what she’s going to bring! 🙂

Since I’m a New England girl, I was practically raised on clam chowder. It’s so good on a cold day but to tell you the truth, we eat it when it’s 90 degrees, too!



Kelly’s Clam Chowder

Prepared in a slow cooker!


2 cans condensed Clam Chowder soup
2 cans condensed Cream of Potato soup
2 cans Cream of celery soup
2 cans of minced or chopped clams drained
1 quart of half and half


Mix all soups and clams together; add the half and half.
Cook in a slow cooker for 4 hours on high, or 8 hrs. on low.
Fried, crumbled bacon may be added to the recipe. (Kelly omits this and I would too – not because I don’t like bacon but because it’s non-traditional in New England chowder.)

Kelly tells us that this recipe is from Noah’s Ark, a restaurant that was in the St. Louis area, at one time.


It’s been cold and snowy here for days . . .

Hope your weekend is warm and toasty and maybe includes – some soup!



Sharing A Laugh

Way, way, back in the olden days, even before there were blogs . . . 😉

There were women saying funny things in newspapers and books.

One of them was Peg Bracken, and I’d like to feature her in this edition of Friday Favorites.

Peg wrote several books including the “I Hate to Cook Book” and the “I Hate to Housekeep Book”. Later, they were combined into one hilarious volume, where the accent is on comedy, interspersed with words of wisdom and some pretty good recipes, too.

Here’s a brief snippet illustrating her priceless sense of humor:

Hope you have lots of laughter in your weekend!

Smiles and Hugs,