Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’


I have been missing out all these years…


A cast iron skillet makes cornbread (among other things) so much better!





I know, I know, …where have I been?!
Everybody, EVERYBODY has a cast iron skillet.
Except me.

But now, (thanks to my daughter, who helped me see the benefits) I will be getting one.
Very soon.
Maybe even before I unpack all those boxes from our move? . . .

Happy cooking,


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Apple Sauce

I love apple season.



I buy the bags of apples marked .99 lb



I stick my nose in the bag and smell that
wonderful scent of apples…

I must look funny, but I don’t care.



I feel inspired to bake…
apple pie, turnovers, bread, and . . .



Apple Sauce.



This is my first year making apple sauce.
My friend just happened to mention that she
was making apple sauce, and because she’s such a wonderful cook,
I asked her how she made it.



I always thought it would be a complicated process,
too difficult for someone like me who usually does
the quick & easy recipes.

But I couldn’t believe how easy and simple
the entire process was.



I just washed, cored, and cut the apples into big chunks.
Yes, that’s right… you don’t have to peel them!!!
That alone is what inspired me to try this recipe.



I combined a half cup of brown sugar,
a sprinkling of ground cinnamon (about 1 tsp)
and tossed the apples with this mixture
along with 10 Red Hot candies.






I then added 2 cinnamon sticks,
one tablespoon of vanilla,
and 2-3 star anise
to the big pot (with the one inch of water).





Just before the water began to boil,
I poured in the apples,
and covered the pot.

I waited til the water boiled,
then I turned the temperature down to a very low simmer
and left it on the burner for about 2 hours,
stirring once in a while.



The whole house smelled of cinnamon and apples!


When the apples were of apple sauce consistency
…you might like yours more chunky or less chunky…
I turned the stove off and let them sit until
they weren’t hot any more… just warm.



I had never had warm applesauce…
but I just couldn’t wait to try it!

… so …  I did

and it was delicious!!

I was surprised how good it tasted.
I guess I really didn’t expect it to be better
than the store-boought.
But it was!!


This weekend I went back and bought another 2 bags of apples.


Guess what I’m doing today?  🙂


I froze most of the apple sauce I made
so it will stay fresh longer,
and I plan on making some to put in pretty jars
to give away.

Fun to make, good to eat, and great gift idea!

If you like apples,
now is a good time to take advantage of the sales!

Have a blessed week!



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Whenever I’m on the road,  away from home,
I try to find time to go to local Historic Downtowns…
I love going in and out of little shops,
(although I mostly do window shopping).



My favorite has to be the little antique stores…
I especially enjoy when I get to go with my daughter
because we both love history and we ooh & ahh
over the old stuff, wondering who it belonged to
and what their story was.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed getting are Cookbooks…




I never pay more than $3 for one…




I found these for .10 each at a Library Book Sale.





I’ve been looking for this one for a long time!
Couldn’t believe it was only $2.50.



I took the book jacket off and I like the hardback cover so much more!




I was so excited when I found this one…
I’d been looking for a Rachael Ray cookbook for ages.





These magazine-style ones are usually between .25-$1.00.
I got this one because it had lots of cheesecake recipes…

(My husband loves cheesecake, and I love him, so…)



Next time you’re driving through a small town,
check out the historic downtown…
you might find something that you can take home 🙂

Happy Hunting!

Have a blessed weekend!


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Today is a rare day…

I’m home.
I’m alone.
I had time to bake a cake.




I’ve had this recipe for many, many years…


(It says Washington Apple Cake, but you can use any kind of tart apples)

I just love the smell of apples & cinnamon through the house
when this cake is in the oven.



Apples and cinnamon… yum





Simple ingredients:





Core, peel, and slice the apples.




I can’t help but love how these apples look.
(I guess I’m always looking through the lens of a camera) . . .





Place the sliced apples on bottom of pan.  You don’t have to make them all lay
a certain way because you won’t be flipping this cake over (like you do with
Pineapple Upside Down cake).





Mix the eggs with the sugar & oil, then add the dry ingredients and mix well.




Spread this mixture (it will be thick) over the apple slices:


Put in oven at 350 for around 50 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


The moist bottom with apples and cinnamon-y goodness is another one
of those best parts of this cake.


But the top crust is still my favorite part!


Have some.
With Whip Cream.
Or better yet…
With a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.







Here’s the recipe:

A P P L E   C A K E


3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cup flour
2 tsp cinnamon (less if you don’t like cinnamon)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I did NOT put in nuts since I don’t eat them – they are a migraine trigger)
4 cup thinly sliced tart apples

Beat eggs with a mixer until thick and light.
Combine sugar and oil;  pour into eggs with mixer on medium.
Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt;  add to egg mixture with vanilla.
Beat to mix.
If adding nuts, stir them in now.

Spread apples in buttered 13×9 pan.
Pour batter over apples, spreading to cover.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 min. (time will vary depending on your oven).

OPTIONAL:  You can spread or drizzle this icing over the Apple Cake:
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Soften 2 cream cheese squares (3 oz each).  Beat until fluffy.
Beat in 1/4 cup melted butter.
Beat in 2 cup of 10x sugar and 1 tsp lemon juice.





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Corn Casserole

This is a good, old-fashioned recipe…

My family loves it, and I wanted to share it with you.

If you don’t already have a good corn casserole recipe, try this one… You won’t be disappointed.




Here are the simple ingredients.

You can add a small can of jalapenos or green chilies if you want some heat in it.
Some recipes also call for grated cheddar cheese (I tried it, but even though I love cheese, I prefer this recipe).





1 c sour cream
1   14 oz can corn, drained
1   14 oz can creamed corn
1/2 c  butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix first 7 ingredients.
Pour into buttered 9″ square pan
(I use a slightly larger rectangle ceramic country dish)
Bake 1 hour.
Serve with heated maple syrup, if desired.
Enjoy!  🙂

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Cornish Hens

When you’re craving a nice
home-cooked meal but don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen…
May I suggest…


I had never made Cornish Hens before.


There were two in the package and they were much smaller than a chicken.


I was busy cleaning and didn’t have a lot of time to spend making dinner at the stove. I wanted something I could just put in the oven and forget about for an hour or so.


I cut some potatoes, onions, sweet peppers, and carrots, and placed them on a baking sheet along with the hens.

I made a rub/dressing with garlic, onion powder, paprika, salt, thyme, olive oil, red wine vinegar, splash of hot sauce, and rubbed everything with it.


The house smelled great and before I knew it, dinner was ready!


A one-pot dinner. Easy & simple.
If you like, you can make a salad to go with it, or some rice.


It was delicious.

Have a great week everyone!

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If you’re ever in Sarasota, FL . . .

I highly recommend you plan to stop at this restaurant.


I chose the buffet,
Just because I can try all the different
Everything is homemade,
and you can taste it!!


They also have a beautiful gift shop upstairs with all kinds of items you will just love to look at!
Quilts, one-of-a-kind little things,
And a whole section just for
Vera Bradley items…


This one was my personal favorite,
But I was good and put it back.

The day we were there they had all their Christmas items on clearance…


The displays were so beautiful!
I bought some vintage ornaments that ended up being only $2!!


They also have a “Country Store” section in the front with lots of goodies to take home, like homemade cookies, jams, apple butter, rolls, and so on.

Have I made you hungry??
I am!!

Have a good weekend everybody!!


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Latin Cafe

My husband & I recently went to south Florida. You can really get some good Latin food there! We went to a supermarket and were amazed at the hot foods available for purchase at very low prices. Here are just a few snapshots I got…

These are Cuban tamales.

Pork rinds. The real thing, not the ones you buy in a bag like chips! These are so good!!

Fried pork chunks! What can I say?!

These are whole picnic pork roasts. Very popular for making Cuban sandwiches and for family get-togethers.

At the cafe, I chose a Venezuelan Arepa. It was so good! It’s made with white cornmeal, and the filling was cheese, avocado, and fried plantains.

My husband chose the traditional Cuban sandwich with fried green plantain chips. It was delicious as well.

We had fun looking at all these different options and eating some, too! I highly recommend any of them!

Happy food tasting,
Daisy 🙂

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Most people love a good cappuccino.
It’s not as hard as you may think, and it’s wonderful on a cold day.

Some people call it a cappuccino, others know it as “Cafe con Leche“,
but it’s basically the same thing.


The only ingredients you need are:
Espresso coffee, Milk, sugar, and water.
That’s it!


First thing you do is fill the lower part of your espresso maker with water… just below the “valve” thing-y.  (You can tell I really know the technical names for all the espresso machine parts!)




Place the “basket” in and fill with espresso coffee.  Some people like to really fill it as much as possible (for stronger coffee), but I just lightly fill almost to the top of basket.




Close the top tightly over the bottom, careful not to spill the coffee.

Place on burner with heat just high enough to cover bottom.

Open lid so you can see the very first trickle of coffee when it comes out — this is an important step!  This is not the time to move away from the stove.




Meanwhile, in a glass or heavy cup, pour about 1/3 cup of sugar in.

In a nice big mug, heat up to “scalding”, about 3/4 cup of milk.
I like to use whole milk for this, but it’s perfectly fine to use skim or low-fat.





Make sure you stand there and watch when the first trickle begins…





Pour about 1 Tablespoon of that first trickle into the sugar.
Now you will use a lot of “elbow grease” to stir this sugar with a spoon as quick as you can, until it starts to resemble a paste…  (if you need to add another tablespoon of coffee, go ahead, but BE CAREFUL not to add too much! If it gets too thin, you won’t have that thick foam on top later)




As you turn your hand quickly, the sugar and coffee will be incorporated and you will get a nice, light-colored pasty concoction…
It will take about 2-3 minutes.




Pour the coffee into the sugar mixture, and stir very slowly.




You will have a beautiful frothy mixture of coffee and sugar.

This is actually Espresso… you can pour this into one of those tiny coffee cups that look like a doll tea set, and drink it.
WARNING:  It’s very strong and if you’re not used to it may keep you awake for three days!




Now pour the coffee & sugar into the scalded milk… stirring very slowly…
You’re making a masterpiece here, so take your time.




The top of your creation will look so good, it will look like a Barista make it!




And now there’s only one thing left to do…

Enjoy!!! 🙂

During the Christmas season, I like to have mine with Panettone.
It’s a perfect match.


Happy brewing,


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Black Beans

I’ve often been asked how I make Black Beans.  So…


I thought I’d share the recipe since I made some today.

It’s easy & quick and Very Delicious!!
(Just had to add the caps there 🙂



In a heavy saucepan, on medium heat setting, heat 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil.
Add 6 Tablespoons of Sofrito and cook, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce,
one large bay leaf, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add a tiny pinch of sugar and
1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have on hand).
Add 2 cans (15 oz each) of plain (unseasoned) Black Beans undrained.
Bring to a boil.  Cover.  Turn heat to low/med.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
(Don’t walk away… you don’t want them getting too hot and sticking to the pan.)

Serve over white rice or as a side dish.  Serves 3-4.
If you’d like to prepare enough for 6-8 servings, use the large cans and increase the sofrito to 2/3 cup, tomato sauce to 1 small can, and balsamic vinegar to 2 Tablespoons.  Enjoy!



If you have more time, you could cook the dry beans for 2 hours instead of using canned beans (or cook in your Crock Pot on high for 6 hrs or until softened).
I used to cook it in a pressure cooker for 25 min.  This is only for dry beans, not canned beans!  We don’t want you to end up with Black Bean paste!


Happy Cooking!


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