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by on September 17th, 2014

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Award winning mushroom!




A Top Chef winner I am not, neither am I a Chopped Champion, Cutthroat Kitchen, MasterChef or even Worst Cook in American winner. BUT, I did win two recipe contest with my recipe for Italian Stuffed Mushrooms. This was way, way back in the 70′s; I can’t believe I have never posted this recipe before.

I put together this recipe back in the 70′s when we lived in Louisville. It all started with a contest (I love contest and I love competition) and me trying to come up with something original to enter; I didn’t want the usual sausage stuffed or crab stuffed mushroom so I just started putting together some ingredients and came up with this and 40 years later still use the same recipe.

After winning these contests and these was the only ones I ever won, I started sending recipes to Southern Living Magazine. For every recipe they printed (and I think they printed 5 of mine), they sent me 50 recipe cards that said “my recipe printed in Southern Living magazine” and then at the end of the year, they sent me the annual cookbook which also had my recipes printed in it. This was one recipe they printed. I started this recipe with some chopped up onion, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and italian season and some garlic powder, I also added some Italian seasoned bread crumbs. I don’t know why anyone would bother counting carbs in this recipe; the bread crumbs are only 25 carbs for all the filling. So put them in if you want to.

I’m sitting here typing up the recipe still in disbelief that I never shared this with you. I never really made this for any of my catering jobs (maybe once or twice) because I like to serve these right out of the oven and never cared for the way mushrooms looked when they sat in the oven too long. If you make these, and I hope you will, you can make the filling the day before, fill the mushroom caps and cook right as your guest arrive.

A funny thing happened the first time I made these and I’m almost ashamed to tell you but ya know the little package of preservative stuff that comes in with the already cut pepperoni; well, when I was putting the slices into my food processor to chop up I was in a hurry and forgot to look for that little package and it was shredded with it’s contents into my pepperoni.  I had to start all over with the chopping and I have never made that mistake again.

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by on September 12th, 2014

Watermelon Feta Squares

Little bites of watermelon.




All summer I tried to find a good watermelon. Why is it I can eat watermelon at someone else’s home and it is red, sweet and everything I want from a watermelon. Then I buy one and it’s more pink than red, barely sweet and even the sprinkling of salt I always give it does not improve the taste.

This watermelon I bought for Labor Day but it never got cut so I needed to find a use for it other than throwing it in my food dehydrator. Don’t get me wrong dehydrated watermelon is delicious and I will probably be making some with my leftover watermelon. (This melon still didn’t meet my expectations for a summer watermelon.)

Pink Avocado Catering in Austin catered my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding three years ago. They do some really unique bites of food and this idea came from their blog my daughter sent me last week. Of course they didn’t  give a recipe so I had to just make up one. I hope you will give it a try and if you do please leave comments below and I hope you can find a good watermelon.

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by on September 7th, 2014

Almond Butter Cookies

These are low carb and delicious.



I love my little button plate.  I bought two of these at the Biltmore Estate gift shop. I can’t go anyplace without bringing back a souvenir to remember the trip by.


Over Labor Day I was looking for a delicate little cookie to serve beneath a pile of sweetened strawberries and cream when I came across this butter cookie recipe from a low carb site. Usually my first instinct is “yuck, low carb desserts and baked goods are terrible.” Of course I always have a supple of almond flour and the other ingredients are just waiting to be used so, why not give them a try.

My husband got the first one off the cooling rack and he almost choked on it. I have to say it is because he put it in his mouth all at once. I’m usually not much of a taster because I want someone else to try it first; kind of like that last bit of milk in a carton and I don’t want to be the one to find out it has soured. So, I’m forced to come in and try one myself. By this time, they have cooled to a nice crispy cookie and I’m thinking they are delicious and will work perfectly for the dessert I had planned for dinner that night; and they will be perfect with a nice cup of tea in the morning or any tea time pause during my day.

I’m already thinking of ways to change these up; maybe add some orange extract and orange zest or some lemon extract and zest or even coconut extract and finely grated coconut would be wonderful.  Thank you Linda for this recipe. According to her calculations these are 1g carbohydrate per cookie.

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by on September 2nd, 2014

Fried Avocado with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Crunchy wedges of avocado!




Labor Day has come and gone and I hope everyone had a happy one. Avocados, I’m sure made an appearance at probably 80% of the gatherings yesterday.

I never ate avocados as a kid, or even as a young adult; and it probably wasn’t until we moved to Texas that I really started buying and eating them and then it was just guacamole for a long time. Finally I started venturing out and trying different ways to use it.

While in Vancouver/Victoria/Seattle last month I didn’t really see avocado on a lot of menus. While we were doing our food tour in Seattle (Savor Seattle Walking Food Tour) and walking up and down those VERY steep streets our guide, Samatha (she was great), asked if we could swim in a sea of food what would our favorite food be; I said guacamole and everyone (including a family from Germany) said ohhhh yeahhhhh!

We have done three food tours now and this one is the first where everyone had headphones to wear. They were great because as we hiked up and down all those steep streets getting to our next destination, everyone could hear Samatha over all the street traffic; and once we got to the location we didn’t need them as either one of the chefs or restaurant managers would explain to us about their restaurant and the foods we were eating.

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by on August 28th, 2014

Chocolate Cream (Dream) Cake

Dreamy beyond your imagination.




What is it about dreams that’s so fascinating. I have never figured out why I dream the things I do while I’m stacking the ZZZZZZZZ’s. I’m sure everyone has had the dream where you fear someone is chasing you and you can’t get away or you go to school with your pj’s on and how embarrassed you were.

The dreams that use to disrupted my sleep the most were my catering dreams where I forgot to buy the food and got to the party with no food cook and only an hour before the guests arrived and while I’m quickly trying to throw something together I’m telling myself “WAKE UPPPPPPP” this is only a dream. No matter what my dream is it’s gone in a wink as soon as my eyes are open. My husband, on the other hand, dreams in technicolor and the most elaborate involved dreams you have ever heard; dreams he can’t even interpret and he can go on for 15 minutes telling me every detail of the dream.

This chocolate cake just happens to be the dreamiest chocolate cake and you could not even dream up something this delicious. I saw Laura Calder of French Food at Home (Cooking Channel) make this and knew I had to give it a try. She calls it Chocolate Cream Cake; I think this is the cake you may dream about or in my case it may be the cake that keeps me from going to sleep.

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