Showing posts from July, 2011

Cowboy Dinner Theater

If you are going to eat your way across the US, then you just have to include a little Cowboy culture. Outside Colorado Springs, CO. is the Flying W Ranch. I was there when I was maybe six. (I hope to be back soon)

It is and outdoor dinner theater and working cattle ranch. They serve a chuck wagon dinner, served outdoors under the stars. Only in the west, right? Along with your barb bq and beans, you get live cowboy music. This is truly an adventure.

Of course being six at the time, anything was adventurous, including going out with the Grandparents, or maybe especially going out with the Grandparents.

Back then they served the meal on tin trays, and we sat at picnic tables with a napkin tucked under your chin, and listened to some real Western music. I remember the trays were hot, but the food was tasty.

Flying W is still there, and it is still a working ranch with the dinner shows. These days you can find them on the web at

From looking at the menu, the …

Lemon Berry Shooters

This is from the Cooking Club of America. They are so good. I just have to share.

 These tiny parfaits pack a lemony burst of flavor in every creamy serving. Your guests will love the presentation, but as an alternative, you also could assemble the parfaits in larger, more traditional serving dishes.

1 (8-oz.) pkg. reduced-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup sour cream

4 tablespoons purchased lemon curd

1/2 cup amaretti, almond or shortbread cookie crumbs

1/3 cup fresh berries

Small fresh mint leaves, if desired

1. Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla in large bowl at medium speed 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth. Beat in whipping cream at medium-high speed 2 minutes or until thickened. Fold in sour cream.

2. Microwave lemon curd in small microwave-safe bowl 5 to 15 seconds or just until slightly pourable. Sp…

Famous Cookie History

Fascinating facts about the invention of Toll House Cookies by Ruth Wakefield in 1930. TOLL HOUSE® COOKIES

Back in 1930, Kenneth and Ruth Wakefield purchased a Cape Cod-style toll house located halfway between Boston and New Bedford, on the outskirts of Whitman, Massachusetts. Originally constructed in 1709, the house served as a haven for road-weary travelers..

Here, passengers paid tolls, changed horses, and ate much-welcomed home-cooked meals. It was also here, over 200 years later, that the Wakefield decided to open a lodge, calling it the Toll House Inn. In keeping with the tradition of creating delicious homemade meals, Ruth baked for guests who stayed at the Toll House Inn.

As she improved upon traditional Colonial recipes, Ruth's incredible desserts began attracting people from all over New England. One day, while preparing a batch of Butter Drop Do cookies, a favorite recipe dating back to Colonial days, Ruth cut a bar of our Nestlé Semi-Sweet Chocolate into tiny bits …

Fun Summer Drinks

Well, most of us are melting right now. The summer heat is hear. That doesn't mean we still can't be creative and fun. So here are some sweet, fruity, creamy drinks to keep you cool and energized.

Kimberly's Cucumber Surprise:

1 cucumber, peeled
1 stalk of celery, 
1/4 green bell pepper
1 T chopped onion
1 small carrot, peeled
2 cups of ice

chop the vegetables and place in a blender with the ice.  if it gets too thick, add just a splash of vegetable broth.

Pour into a tall glass and enjoy.

Key Lime Swing  

1/2 cup key lime juice
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 c milk
1 T sugar
2 cups ice cubes
3 T whipped cream
limes slices dredged in sugar

put juice, yogurt sugar  and milk in the blender add the ice and blend until smooth. pour into glasses, top with whipped cream and a sugared lime slice

Chocolate Cherry Blast  

1 Cup of Black Coffee
1 Cup chocolate ice cream
1/2 cup frozen cherries
2 T cherry juice
2 T milk
whipped cream
fresh cherries

Put coffee ice cream , milk and froze…


I love chocolate haystatcks. What are haystatcks. it's chocoate and toasted coconut. This is so simple.
thanks to


•2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
•7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate


1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Place the coconut in a pie tin or small baking pan, and toast it in the oven until golden brown. The secret to good toasted coconut is consistent browning, so be sure to stir it every 2 minutes until it is an even, light golden color. It will probably take 8-10 minutes, but monitor your coconut carefully.

3. While the coconut is toasting, place the chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it until it is melted, stirring every 45 seconds.

4. Once coconut is toasted and chocolate is melted, stir the coconut into the chocolate, mixing until coconut is entirely coated with chocolate.

5. Using a small teaspoon, drop small spoonfuls of the candy onto the prepared sh…


Ingredients for the biscuits:
• 2 cups all purpose flour • 4 teaspoons baking powder • ¼ teaspoon baking soda • pinch of salt
• 3 oz. cold butter, diced
• 8 oz buttermilk


Combine and sift the dry ingredients. Gently knead in the butter. Add the buttermilk and knead on a floured board just enough to bring the dough together.

It is vital that you knead gently and no more than is necessary or you will develop the gluten in the flour and make the biscuits tough. Good biscuits are as much a function of technique as ingredients.

Form a flat mass with the dough and cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter. Don’t make them too high or the outside could become over browned by the time the inside is cooked.

Place them on parchment paper on a sheet tray and then into a preheated 400-degree oven.

Start the gravy immediately. It should be done close to the same time as the biscuits, which is when they are golden in color.

Ingredients for the gravy:

• ½ pound ground breakfast sausage.
• 2 tabl…

Rainbow Cake

If you are of a certian age, you'll rember getting to make these with our folks. It's a fun project to do with the kids. Looke groovy too, when you cut the cake.

1 pkg. white cake mix

2 (3 oz.) pkgs. Jello (two colors if desired)

2 c. boiling water


Prepare cake in two layers and cool 15 minutes. Poke with fork at 1/2" intervals. Do not remove from pans. Dissolve each package of Jello separately in 1 cup boiling water. Pour each cup over a different layer. Chill 4 hours. Frost. Top with colored sprinkles if desired.

Slow Cooker Sandwiches

One of my favorite cookbooks is Better Homes and Gardens. It has some wonderful easy to follow recipes in all categories. My favorite category is slow cooking. It’s so nice to put things in the crock pot and then have dinner when you get home.

Well, I found some sandwich recipes for the crock pot on their website. Enjoy.

First up Pulled Pork with Root Beer Sauce

1 2 ½ to 3 lbs pork sirloin roast

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon of pepper

1 Tablespoon cooking oil

2 medium onions cut into thin wedges

1 cup root beer*

6 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups root beer*

1 cup of chili sauce

¼ teaspoon root beer concentrates (optional)

8 to 10 hamburger buns

Lettuce leaves and tomato slices

*Do not substitute with diet root beer.


1. Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut roast to fit into a 3-1/2- to 5-quart crockery cooker. Sprinkle meat with the salt and pepper. In a large skillet brown meat on all sides in hot oil. Drain off fat. Transfer meat to cooker. Add onions, the 1 cup root beer, and …

What's in your Water?

Let’s face it, it’s summer and it’s hot. We all know we need to replace our fluids. Drinking soda and a lot of caffeinated drinks will just dehydrate you more. So, that pretty much leaves water.

OK, plain water can be boring, but we need to replenish our fluids on these hot summer days.

Here is how you can make your water fun to drink, add some fruits or veggies.

Mixes include. Lemons and raspberries, or cucumbers and rosemary, or lemons and limes, or strawberries and mango, oranges and pineapples, or melons, and even mint… have fun with it. You might even get a few vitamins out of it.

Start with ½ a gallon of cold filtered water and a hand full of your favorite combo, add ice and refrigerate at least an hour.

Drink and enjoy.

What to do with the fruit left in the bottom. Peel in blend it and pour into a pop cycle tray, and freeze. Yummy and refreshing.

$100 cake

I thought I’d do some investigations, and look for my birthday cake. My Granny and I had birthdays one day apart, so when we were together I used to beg her to make this cake. I don’t know if this is the exact cake, but it was called the $100 cake.

I remember the cake was super moist, rich and dense. A person just needed a small slice to be satisfied.
The story went  back in the roaring 20's a man eating at the Waldorf Astoria enjoyed this cake so much he asked for the recipe, well the cook gave him the recipe, and he was thrilled. When he got a bill for $100 and that is why it’s called the $100 cake.

This may be close, Mom?


1/2 c. butter

4 squares bitter chocolate

1 tsp. salt

2 c. sugar

2 c. cake flour, sifted

2 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

1 1/2 c. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add melted chocolate and eggs. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with milk. Add vanilla and nuts. Put batter in layer pans (greased and floured) and bake at 350 degrees …

The 4 Hour Body

The 4 hour body

This is a fascinating read. Full of unconventional things you can do to lose the extra weight.

It is called The 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss

There are other subjects in the book, but lets talk about the rapid weight loss.

Some of the tips include ice baths, doing squats after eating a big meal, and letting yourself binge once a week, and eating a high protein breakfast.

Let’s look at a couple of them

Getting cold: In a way this makes since. When you’re cold, you burn more calories. Look at the nature shows where the scientists are exploring the arctic. They always take about bringing extra food. Exercise, hiking when you’re really cold, burns more, there fore in order for them to maintain they need to eat more. So the logic says if you want to loose, get cold.

Start slowly. Don’t shock you’re system. Put ice packs on your neck and head. Then move to cooler and cooler showers, and then go for the ice bath.

Eating a high protein breakfast: The book recommends eat…

Cranberry Chicken Salad

Ah the Hot steamy days of July, and anyone with any sense does not want to cook. So let's do salad for supper.

you can get all the ingredients from the super market pre-washed and cooked. so prep time is fast.

a bag of your favorite prewash greens
1 small orange diced
1 cup of dried cranberries
2 cups of cooked chicken breast diced
1 cup walnut pieces. (soak them in maple syrup over night)
1/2 c celery
1 C cherry tomatoes
Balsamic vinaigrette.

combine all the ingredients. chill for 1/2 an hour and then top with dressing right before serving.


California Here I Come....

Here's one. This come from one of our finer grocery stores in my area. The recipe of the day is

California Chicken Salad
Serves 4


3 cups Chicken breast meat, cooked, diced

2 cups Cherry tomatoes, halved

3 Scallions, chopped

1/3 cup Horseradish

1/3 cup Sour cream dip

1/8 tsp Salt

1/8 tsp Pepper

2 Avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced


In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, cherry tomatoes, scallions and sour cream dip. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange avocado slices on four salad plates. Spoon chicken salad over avocado and serve.

The horseradish gives it a kick and the avocados make it creamy.


Are you hungry yet?

Yesterday, I had an “ah-ha” moment. After doing some reading and listening to my hypno session. I occurred to me… I am in control. I am in charge of my eating. I felt suddenly free from the worrying and planning and the second guessing myself whether I was hungry or going to be hungry in the future.

In that moment, I felt lighter, and happy. The first time I tried to do conscious eating, I got a copy of 7 secrets of thin people. I was always worried and second guessing myself, and wasn’t happy. I constantly had to ask myself “how do I feel?” Maybe I wasn’t serious enough to make the change.

A few years later I tried again. I got a copy of “Diets Don’t Work” and slowly started going through the exercise. Yes it was uncomfortable to go through all those exercises, and I worked for a while, but then went back to second guessing and worrying.

See one problem really over weight people have: We can’t stop thinking about food, whether we are hungry or not. So we trick ourselves into eatin…

uh oh spaghetti o's

Let's have spaghetti for diner.  This recipe is easy, because you get to use your crock pot. Everyone loves spaghetti-- kids from 2 to 92.

This is what you need:
1lb of ground meat. at least 80% lean.
1 small onion
1 small green pepper
2 to 3 cloves of  garlic
1 stalk of celery
1 C mushrooms sliced.
1 medium tomato
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 jar of marinara style pasta sauce
2 T Italian seasoning
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 T seasonings salt like Lawry's

chop the celery, pepper onion mushrooms and onion and tomato. Set them aside.
In a large skillet brown the ground meat. at the seasonings, salt, pepper and vinegar.
Turn on the crock pot to warm. add the jarred sauce the can of tomatoes and the ground meat.
add the onions, peppers, mushrooms garlic and tomato to the skillet you browned the meat in at a little salt. slowly cook until the the vegetables are translucent but still have a little crunch.
add them to the crock pot.
simmer for 4 hours. Sit back …

A New Beginning....

Lets face it dieting is ridiculous. Who really weighs and measures each bite of food they stuff into their mouths? OK a few—for the rest of us we’ll do it for a while, but, then we start guessing. Then after a few weeks we’re back to our old eating habits.

I have been on so many diets. Low carb, low fat, no fat, no white sugar/flour diets. I’ve tried giving up bread, milk, and processed foods. I even tried to go vegetarian once. -- All this to try to lose weight.

Every diet makes me a little fatter and a little more frustrated. It’s been 35 years since I started my first “diet”

If you really want to loose weight and keep it off, you need to make a lifestyle change. You want to do this. It’s important to your health and over all well being.

There are some great mental exercises I recommend. They come from “Diets Don’t Work” by Bob Schwartz, “7 Secrets of Thin People”, and my new favorite “I can make you thin” by Paul McKenna.

Paul’s Book also comes with a 25 minute hypnotherapy ses…

How do you feel about Brinner?

How do you feel about "Brinner?". What is Brinner? Brinner is Breakfast food served at dinner time. Some folks will make cinnamon rolls, or pancakes. Carbonara was invented because American service men in Italy in  WWII had to have bacon and eggs. so someone figured out how to make a pasta dish.
I love a good carbonara. I sometime go a little further and add chicken too.

but this is post is Brinner not pasta. Once upon a time one of my favorite cooking shows was Everyday Italian. yum.
Giada did a breakfast for dinner show once, although she didn't call it Brinner.

she served steak, and asparagus topped with a fried egg, Italian parsley chives and a little crumble of goat cheese.
This is my take on that.

Serves one.

1 egg
1 T butter
1 tsp chives.
8 spears asparagus
2 tsp lemon juice
1 small fillet of beef.
1 t olive oil
1 t grill seasonings. like Lawry
salt and pepper
in a small sauce pan. add some water, bring to a boil. add trimmed asparagus and a pinch of salt. …

Don't get all "Choked" Up

There is a small deli in a small town in Northern California that is a staple among the locals. Among the variety of meats cheese, salads, sandwiches and the bottles of  Bob's Really Good Red Wine, they also serve soup.

Now according to the owner of the this local eatery, he buys the soup pre-made. All he has to do is put it in a crock pot in the morning and turn it on. He will rotate the soups depending on the day of the week and weather, but one of  the standards is An Artichoke Bisque.

Once upon a time, I couldn't figure out what the appeal of artichokes were. They have these spiny leaves that you have to scrape between your teeth to get anything out of.  Ah, but then I discovered the hearts. They are good in many things. salads, topped on pizza.... and soup...

So this afternoon I took a cruise around the Internet looking for something that sounds close to what I had at the deli, and I  think this is the winner.

Artichoke Bisque.

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, chopped
2 …