Did somebody say food? Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Stew 2 lbs boneless chuck cut into cubes ¼ cup flour 1 large yellow onion 2 cloves of garlic, smashed 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks 3-4 Yukon gold potatoes cut into chu...
You may often hear about the Italian tradition of Christmas Eve dinner when they serve seven fishes.  Luckily, I have several friends who are Italian who shared some recipes with me.  I sent these out last year but they bear repeatin...
Now on to another favorite topic, food.  For those of you who are baking—and from what I hear it’s a lot of you—here is that fantastic apple pie recipe courtesy of Patricia Dorph—in case you missed it last year.  Apple Pie...
Let’s no forget Halloween!  Below is a fun treat that I just l-o-v-e, love! Peanut Butter Treats 1 small jar Jiff peanut butter, 1 can of Duncan Heinz cake frosting (vanilla or chocolate) Microwave peanut butter 90 seconds....
Grilled cheese sandwiches.  Here are a couple of my favorites.  BTW, did you know you can substitute mayonnaise (the real stuff) instead of butter?  I recently discovered that many diners use it in place of butter. Grilled Swiss...
TUSCAN STYLE COLLARD GREENS (A LITTLE BIT OF ITALY) INGREDIENTS 2 large bunches local collards 16 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth, divided 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, chopped 2 large leeks, washed,...
Here are a couple of my favorite summer specials – a no-bake dessert, a summer staple, and a refreshing beverage.   I know I included this in my last letter, but it’s still summer so it’s still relevant: Watermelon for Grown...
Here are some fun easy summer recipes to enjoy: Easy Grilled Skewered Shrimp 1 lb. peeled and deveined LARGE shrimp – leave the tail on or off – up to you Two tablespoons lemon juice ¼ cup olive oil 1 tsp. Italian...
If  you are planning a tea-party I wanted to re-share a traditional menu with you: Classic afternoon finger sandwiches: Egg salad Cucumber & cream cheese Smoked salmon & cream cheese Roast Beef Chicken Salad Make the...
Pizza Rustica is one of several Italian Easter pies.  It’s a traditional savory dish and usually takes a day and a half to prepare.  But here is a simpler recipe. Ingredients – for 2 pies…believe me they will fly out of the...

Summer Dessert Recipes

Traditional Peach Cobbler

For the filling:

  • 5 peaches , peeled, cored and sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the batter:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Mix sliced peaches, sugar and salt to a saucepan and stir to combine.
Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice butter into pieces place in 9X13 baking dish.
Put the pan in the oven while it is preheating until the butter melts, then remove pan from oven.

In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Stir in the milk until combined.
Pour the mixture over the melted butter and smooth it into an even layer.
Spoon peach mixture over the batter. Sprinkle cinnamon generously over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 38-40 minutes.  Best if served warm—with ice cream!

Easy Apple Rollup Recipe

Preheat oven to 375

I like to use parchment on the cookie sheet.  Easy clean-up.

  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, cut into 8 (1/2-inch) slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted SAVE 1/2
  • 1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls (unroll them and divide them up on sheet)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice (or mix your own with pinches of allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon)

Mix the apples with half the melted butter, sugar, and spice.

Place one apple slice on each crescent and roll them up.  Brush remaining butter on tops.  Place in oven bake for 10-12  minutes  and you’ve got a fun finger-food dessert.  Please make sure you let them cool for five minutes.

Gotcha! Recipes

Julie’s Alabama Stuffed Peppers

Start with six peppers. Use either yellow, orange or red. The green ones tend to be bitter.
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
Salt and pepper to your taste
Handful of flat leaf parsley
2 medium size cloves of garlic

The only other ingredient you need is a one pound can of Glen Muir fire roasted crushed tomatoes.

Cut bottoms and tops of peppers off so pepper sits upright in roasting pan. Set bottoms aside.
In a chopper or food processor add the egg, garlic, the parsley and the bottoms of the peppers. Puree. It’s important that you use the bottoms of the peppers to give a full flavored taste to this dish.

Mix chuck and turkey thoroughly, add contents from food processor, salt and pepper to mixture. Make sure that you blend it all the way for an even taste. You need to work it with your hands.

Fill peppers. If you have any of the mixture left over, depending on the size of your peppers, form into balls and freeze until the next time you are ready to make the peppers. What could be easier than setting the frozen ball into the pepper? Cover tops of peppers with the lids you cut off.

Pour the fire roasted crushed tomatoes over peppers. Again, depending on size of peppers, the size of the pan and your personal taste for the tomato sauce, you can use it all or freeze the rest.

Bake at 350 for one hour and thirty minutes. I cover mine for the first hour with tin foil and remove it for the last 30 minutes.

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons of onion juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of poppy seeds

Mix first five ingredients in blender for about 30 seconds. Add oil slowly and blend about 30 seconds until it thickens. Stir in poppy seeds. Makes about one and a half cups.

This dressing is particularly good on a mixed fruit salad opposed to a vegetable salad.

Ollie’s Favorite Nutty Popcorn Balls

One fifteen ounce jar of cane syrup
3 tablespoons of butter or margarine
1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 cup chopped pecans
4 quarts of popped corn

Combine syrup, butter, cream of tartar and pecans. Cook over very low heat, stirring until the butter melts. Raise heat to medium. Do not stir until you reach the soft crack stage. Remove from heat.

Pour pop corn into large pan. Carefully pour hot mixture and stir as you’re pouring. A wooden spoon is best to work with. Oil your hands with either butter or oil and fashion mixture into balls. Lay out on wax paper. When cool, wrap in plastic wrap and store in a dry place. Depending on size of balls the yield should be 12 to 18.

Fern’s Favorite Recipes


1 fryer, cut into pieces
1 1/2 1b smoked hot sausage
3 tbsp shortening or bacon drippings
3 tbsp flour
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c water
2 c canned stewing tomatoes
2 tbsp parsley, minced
1/4 green onion tops
2 tsp salt
2 c rice

Brown sausage and chicken in shortening or bacon drippings; remove, and add flour to make roux. Add onions, green pepper and garlic. Cook until tender. Add water, rice, tomatoes, parsley. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low temperature and cook covered for an hour. Serves 8-10

Crawfish Etouffee

2 1/2 lb crawfish tails 1 stick margarine
3 large onions, finely chopped
Parsley finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 c rice

Sautee onions in margarine, about 15-20 minutes, until soft. Add crawfish fat and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until fat comes to the top. Add tails and season to taste. Add just enough hot water to etouffee for desired consistency. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add parsley. Serve over steaming hot rice.

Pepper Apple Chicken

6 boneless chicken breasts
2 c apple juice
2 tbsp butter
2 large apples (I prefer Granny Smith)
1 tbsp black pepper
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tbsp of nutmeg
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c water

Wash chicken and dry thoroughly. Allow chicken to soak in apple juice for two hours in refrigerator. Remove chicken from apple juice (save juice). In a skillet, melt butter. Add chicken, reduce heat from high to medium. Peel and core apples, slice as thin as possible. Turn chicken once after browned; then add apple slices. Spread evenly. Cover and allow to simmer until other side is browned. Add apple juice, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon and pepper. Stir thoroughly and cover. Simmer 20-25 minutes. Mix cornstarch in water. When mixture starts to bubble, add cornstarch. Stir until thick. Serve hot.