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by on July 2nd, 2015

Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese


It’s watermelon time again! and just in time for the 4th of July.

It’s that time of the year again and I’m hoping you are taking advantage of all the different types of watermelon that are available. One memory I have of watermelons when I was kid was that my grandfather use to haul watermelons in a 18 wheeler; not sure where his driver took them to but just knew we would be eating some good watermelon. 

Back in the 50’s and 60’s when we were go to Florida every summer with our grandparents we either didn’t have Interstate highways or either he took the back roads. I’m sure the 50’s and early 60’s we had to take the rural roads to go from Missouri to Florida. Anyway, I guess my point is that driving through all the small towns along the way there were always farm stands and we always would stop at one the closer we got the Jacksonville Beach (our usual destination). My grandfather would have to taste anything he was going to buy, especially peaches and watermelon. I remember him “thumping” watermelons to test for ripeness.

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by on June 27th, 2015

Peach and Cherry Custard



I Scream, You Scream, We all SCREAM for Blue Bell!

Ok, Blue Bell, you’ve had months to get back on the shelves and we are all growing impatient.  I wanted some ice cream last weekend to go with a dessert I was making for company and I was at a loss to know what brand to buy. I’ve bought Blue Bell since moving to Texas and as far as I’m concerned there is no others that compare. Maybe Hagen Daz but who wants to pay twice as much for a cup of ice cream.  

So, I have decided if I can’t have Blue Bell I will just make my own. I have many ice cream recipes on the blog that I love; and I like to come up with one or two more to try in the summer months when nothing else sounds better for dessert than a bowl, cup or cone of ice cream.

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by on June 22nd, 2015

Walnut Lavender Scones


The scent of the lavender will sweep you away.

You will not be raising your pinky while you are having tea with these scones.

A few years ago (many years ago in fact) at a tea conference I learned two things that stuck with me. One, you never split a scone and put your jam and Devonshire cream on it and put it sandwiched back together (you eat the halves separate); and two, when you drink tea you REALLY aren’t suppose to hold your pinky out. Of course, you can eat and drink however you want but I guess that is correct tea etiquette. Hey, when I drink my tea sometimes it is in a cup with no handle.

I wanted to bring back some lavender from our trip to France a couple of years ago but didn’t; so when I saw this dried culinary lavender in a spice shop in Austin, I just had to buy some. Then, it took me about a year to get around to trying my scone recipe using the lavender to make the most “scentful” walnut scones I have made. And, it didn’t hurt that I had some lavender growing right outside my back door to get in the picture. Picture perfect.

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by on June 17th, 2015

Huancaina (Peruvian Spicy Cheese Sauce)


What better to go with a spicy cheese sauce than plantain chips.

I’m always on the look for new dips or sauces to make and this one is great. This recipe has been made twice in two weeks, once for lake trip and once when my son came for his 20th class reunion.

One of the most famous sauces in Peru is Huancaina (wan-kay-eena) served with cold sliced potatoes, raw vegetables or fried plantain chips. I vote for the plantain chips.

Several years ago we dined at a Peruvian restaurant in Washington, DC. Cute little place with all the pictures on the wall hanging crooked and there was actually a reason for that and it had something to do with feud with either Mexico or Spain but I don’t remember. Like I said it was years ago. 

So, back to the restaurant. Back then we probably ordered something pretty safe and the waiter asked us several times if we had tried this or that and when we said no, he brought samples out for us to try; one being tongue. Instead of the usual oil with bread to dip it in or bread and butter we were served this pink (this recipe isn’t pink) butter type mixture with bread to spread it on. I never forgot what he told me was two of the ingredients — saltine crackers and milk. 

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by on June 12th, 2015

Pavlova with Fresh Fruit


A little tutu dessert for u.

Are you one of those people who always turns down dessert in a restaurant?  Usually I am only because I’m too full to enjoy it.  I will never give up desserts; I don’t make them all the time but when I do, I’m not only going to eat it, I’m going to enjoy it. Life is too short to say I’m NEVER going to eat certain things.

If you didn’t already know it, Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after a famous Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, and it is believed to have been created in her honor after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand back in the 20’s.

I like to make individual meringue shells and they look like puffy little tutus that are filled with whipped cream and fruit.

This is a perfect little dessert for any summer time gathering or do it just for yourself. My meringue shells were made the day before and were put them in an airtight container to stay crisp until the next day. I chose kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries to fill mine.

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