Thursday, December 25, 2008

Found My Recipe

I finally found my lost recipe. I had placed it on top of my desk upstairs and had not done any work at that desk for over a week. I had hoped to post this in time to make for any Christmas parties you might be going to, but it will work just as well for a New Year's Eve Party.

Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Mini Sandwiches

2 packages Hawaiian Rolls
1 lb. shaved ham
8 oz. shredded Swiss Cheese

3/4 C. melted butter
1 1/2 T. Poppy seed
2 T. dried onion
1 1/2 t Worchester sauce
2 T. Dijon mustard

Preheat ove to 350 degrees F. Slice rolls in half and place bottom half in a baking pan or dish. Put ham and then cheese on the rolls. Put half of the glaze over the ham and cheese and top with the top half of the rolls. Apply the rest of the glaze on top of the sandwiches and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Merry Christmas everyone.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lost Recipe

Have you ever lost a recipe? Of course, you have and so have I. Today, as a matter of fact. I have this really good recipe for small ham sandwiches that I wanted to give to everyone and now I can't find it. I just saw it earlier in the week and put it someplace safe so I could put it on here this weekend. You guess it, it is so safe I can't even find it now. I'll keep looking and you keep checking back here. I'll post it as soon as I find it. Sorry.


Sunday., December 21, 2008

I'm still searching for that recipe. Boy, when I put something away for safe-keeping, I sure do a good job.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Candy and Cookie making

I will be making Christmas candy and cookies this weekend and also next weekend. I'm trying a new cookie recipe and if it comes out good, I'll post the recipe later. I know so many of you do as I and make candy and cookies for Christmas, so I thought I would pass on a little tip for you to use when you are measuring out sticky substances in your measuring cups.

Before measuring out the sticky substance, fill your measuring cup with hot water. Pour it out, but don't dry it. Immediately add your ingredient, such as peanut butter. Once it's measured, watch how easily it comes out of your cup.

It's another windy day in Indiana, the windiest since Tropical Storm Ike came through in September. Technically, it was a Tropical Storm since it was in Indiana, but can't tell me we didn't have hurricane winds. Wish me luck in getting my treats finished before we lose power. I wasn't so lucky last time.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Cookbook sale price ending soon

This weekend will be the last days that my cookbook, Masters & Disasters of Cooking will be on sale. Next week, the price goes back up. Hurry and order your copy today for delivery before Christmas. Click on the link at the right side of this page to order.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tea and Cookies

I was reading the newspaper this week and noticed an article announcing that a ladies' group at a local church was holding a Christmas Tea. I visioned in my head a group of ladies sitting at a table with an antique lace tablecloth, a fire burning in the fireplace, plates of cookies at each setting, and steam rising from each tea cup that sits in it's own matching saucer.

Doesn't that sound inviting? It could happen and you could host it. Have you ever hosted a Cookie Swap? It's very simple, you invite your friends over and tell them to bring a batch of their favorite homemade cookies.

Food is served, but not the cookies, unless you plan ahead and made extras. Food can be anything from snacks to a full buffet meal. After everyone has eaten, you gather your guests around the table full of the cookies they've brought. Don't forget to tell them to bring an empty container for the news cookies they'll be taking home.

Each person tells something about the cookies they've brought, maybe even sharing the recipe. After that, everyone takes a turn going around the table and taking about three cookies from each batch until all the cookies are gone. Everyone should take home about the same amount they brought. It's a fun afternoon for all that attend. There's really no set rules on how to do a Cookie Swap, so be creative. Oh, and don't forget to tell everyone to bring several bags of their favorite tea to sample, too.

I haven't started my cookie or candy making yet. I have that planned for the weekend of Dec 20. This year is going to be a Chocolate Christmas for me. All the candy and cookies I make this year will be chocolate. But, I'm still trying to find a good chocolate cookie recipe to make this year.

I'm going to enjoy a cup of tea,

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Give a Gift Basket

One of my favorite holiday presents to give is a Gift Basket. I give at least one, if not more each year at Christmas time. The great thing about gift baskets is that you can personalize them to match the recipient. The one I have given the most often is a Wine basket and I am making one up this year to give to a friend.

Gift baskets can be fairly inexpensive to make, but beautiful when done right. I did a search today for Wine Gift Baskets on Google and what I found were baskets varying in price from $29.00 to over $200.00. You can bet that my basket did not cost $200.00, but it sure will look expensive.

Let's take a look at my basket. I spent $4.00 on the basket at Wal-mart, $1.00 on the shredded tissue paper at The Dollar Tree, $2.00 on the wine glasses from The Pottery Barn, and $9.00 on the wine at Wal-mart. The wine I bought was from a local winery and very good. In addition, I added a romantic movie from Wal-mart's $5.00 bin (can you tell I love Wal-mart) and added some chocolates to finish it out. I'm not sure of the price of those because I already had them at home. Once everything is arranged in the basket, I put it in a gift basket bag that I got at The Dollar Tree for $1.00 and I'm finished. Total cost $22.00, plus whatever the chocolates cost. Oh, and I usually buy a big bow to put on it from the Dollar General Store for a dollar or two.

Once it's put together, it is beautiful. I'd love to show you a photo, but I haven't assembled it yet. The only room in the house I have to store my gifts is a room that is closed off from from the heat and I don't want a frozen bottle of wine.

As I said, you can personalize your basket in any way. I've seen baskets for a car buff that is in a bucket with all kinds of car wash soap and waxes, keychains, anything for a car. Then, there's one that I did for a friend's birthday that was a big bowl filled with popcorn, cheese flavored salt, and a DVD. If you have someone who is hard to buy for, I guarantee there is a themed basket out there for them. The sky is the limit when it comes to making a Gift Basket.

Need some ideas? Just do a Google search and see what you come up with.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgivng and Deviled Eggs

I want to take this early opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. After the holiday is over, I should get back to my regular posts. I ran into a roadblock during Novel Writing Month and didn't get as far as I hoped, but I am still at it. More on that roadblock to come later, hopefully.

Today, I am preparing Thanksgiving dinner for my husband and myself. He has to work the whole four-day Thanksgiving holiday and I have two family dinners to attend on Thursday, so we decided to celebrate the holiday today. As with every Thanksgiving, I have a full day of cooking and baking ahead of me, so I have a preparation hint for you today if you are going to make Deviled Eggs. Almost everyone has Deviled Eggs for their holiday meals.

To help make cleanup easier when making Deviled Eggs, put the cooked egg yolks in a zipper bag. Seal tight and mash the yolks until they are all broken up. Add the remainder of your ingredients to the bag and reseal. Mash some more (kids love to help do this) to mix the ingredients. When thoroughly mixed, cut the tip off of one corner of the bag and squeeze the egg mixture into the eggs white halves. If you have cake decorating tips, you can use those also to make it fancy. Once you're finished, just throw the bag away for an easy cleanup.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and don't eat too much.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Chocolate Lovers Dream

Chocolate cake in 3 minutes? That could be a dangerous thing, but it's true. It's a mini chocolate cake microwaved in a coffee cup and it really works. I fixed one a few nights ago and it wasn't bad. Even though I like chocolate, it was a little too much chocolate flavor for me. I think the next time I prepare it, I will cut back on the cocoa a little. So, this recipe is for all of you chocolate lovers out there.



1 Coffee Mug (microwave safe)
4 tablespoons flour (that's plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons
chocolate chips (optional) mini chips would be the best
1/2 t. vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Stir in the egg and mix thoroughly. Add the milk and oil and mix well. Finally, add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Busy month

This is a busy month for me. Besides preparing for Thanksgiving in a few weeks, I always participate in the National Novel Writing Month every November. Unfortunately, my posts may be sporadic this month. For today, I will give you a couple more kitchen hints. These are about bananas.

Peel a banana from the bottom instead of the top and you won't have to pick the stringy parts off. If you leave bananas connected when you bring them home from the store, they will ripen faster.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Christmas Gift Idea

For a limited time, I have knocked $1.00 off the price of Masters & Disaster of Cooking. This would be a wonderful holiday gift to give to your favorite cook who also loves to read.

Masters & Disasters of Cooking contains comical stories about both my cooking and baking successes, as well as my complete disasters. All of the stories are accompanied by a masterpiece recipe.

To order your copy in time for Christmas, just click on the name of the book above or on the link above the picture of the book on the right side of this page.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cooking Chicken in a crock pot

Marian asked how to keep her chicken from coming out like mush in a slow cooker. I know what you mean about overcooking. I'm always afraid I'll get choked on a small bone because the chicken just falls apart. It took a little research, but I think I have come up with some suggestions for you, Marian.

Chicken is already a tender meat and it can be easy to overcook it, especially in a crock pot. White meat always cooks faster than dark meat just because of it's texture. When using white meat chicken pieces with the bone in crock pot recipe, never cook it more than 6-7 hours, but dark meat takes longer and should be cooked 8-9 hours.

Unless your recipe says otherwise, chicken pieces should be placed on top of vegetables in the crock and not so much in the juicies. While the juices help keep the chicken moist, it also helps cook the chicken to it most tenderness, thus falling apart.

One suggestion that I found said that an old "Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook" said to use frozen whole pieces of chicken. I checked my "Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook" for this tip and could not find it. I've never put frozen chicken pieces in a crock pot before, but I have put in frozen boneless ribs and cooked them all day. They came out completely cooked and tender, but not falling apart. If using frozen chicken pieces, remember that the internal temperature of chicken should reach 170 degrees for it to be done.

My last tip for using a slow cooker is not specifically for chicken, but for all dishes. I highly recommend using Reynolds™ Slow Cooker Liners. They make cleanup so much easier. I use them every time I use my slow cooker.

Good luck on your chicken dishes, Marian. I hope my suggestions will work for you.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baked Lemon Chicken

Molly asked for a Lemon Chicken recipe that doesn't require frying. Here's what I have, Molly. It's quick and simple to prepare. I hope you like it.



1 chicken, cut up
2 T. lemon juice
3 T. oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. dried thyme
2 T. chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Remove skin and fat from chicken pieces. Arrange pieces in the baking dish. Combine ingredients and pour over the chicken. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until browned.

Friday, October 10, 2008


My employer is working everyone overtime for the next 5 days. Good for the wallet, but bad for my back and feet. Instead of a full recipe, I am going to post a quick cooking hint.

Reheating Pizza

Heat the skillet on top of the stove to medium-to-low temperature and place a slice of pizza in skillet until it is warm. This will keep the crust crispy and you won't get the soggy crust that happens when you microwave it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Looking for a recipe?

Are you looking for a certain recipe, or an idea for something with a particular ingredient, or do you just have a cooking question or problem? If so, I'd like to try and help. Email your questions to me at

Hopefully, I can offer some assistance, or at least some moral support.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

I am a Couch Potato

I had a productive business conference last week. I networked with some important people and was able to put faces with names that I had only seen on my emails. But, the most important part of my trip was, of course, the food. I only stayed one night, so my options were small. I did discover one thing I didn't like and one that I did.

For dinner, I ordered a Blue Cheese Burger with Sweet Potato Chips. As much as I like Blue Cheese as a dressing, a slice melted upon my burger was not as tasty as I had hoped it would be. The Sweet Potato Chips were just the opposite. I wasn't going to order them at first and just opt for the French Fries, but the ladies I was with said they were wonderful. I ordered them and they were right. These were fried, but once I got home and did a little research, I found that they can be baked and you can sprinkle them with a variety of spices, herbs, or toppings each giving a different taste.

I think the best thing is that the baked Sweet Potato chips are so much more healthy than the greasy potato chips that I love to munch on while watching television. Now, I can be a different kind of "couch potato" by enjoying a healthier version.

Below, I have put both a fried recipe and a baked recipe, depending on your preference.


Sweet Potato Chips

2 medium size sweet potatoes

Wash and slice pototes into thin slices, usually about 1/8 inch. The thinner you slice them, the crisper they can be.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, or parchment paper works fine, too. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Lay potato slices on the cookie sheet and spray again with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for about 15-30 minutes, no need to turn the chips over. Since oven temperatures vary, check often to keep them from burning. When done, remove from oven and sprinkle with toppings, if desired.


These can be fried in a deep fryer or in a skillet on the stove. The oil should be around 350 degree and clean oil should be used. Place the potato slices carefully in the hot oil. Fry until a golden brown, usually 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. While chips are still warm, sprinkle with any of the toppings below, or one of your own choosing.

There are a variety of toppings that people have told that they like. The chips that I had at the restaurant didn't have any toppings on it and they were great.


powdered sugar
cajun spices
granulated sugar
brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg mixture

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eating out

I'm leaving tomorrow for a two-day out of town business conference. I don't know what restaurants we will be going to, but I hope to come home with ideas for some new dishes. See you when I return.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pizza and Football

I want to thank Mindy Wilson for interviewing me on her Groovy Inclinations blog. I received so many nice responses and the main comment was about the pizza cookbook that I have in the planning stages.

It's hard to concentrate on more than one project at the same time, but it looks like I may have to do just that. In the future, if you see a romance novel written by me and the characters are enjoying pizza, well you'll know what two books I was working on at that time.

Right before sitting down to write this entry, I was going through my all of my pizza recipes. You can't imagine how hungry that made me for pizza. And, what a perfect day to make some. There's football on all afternoon (Go Colts!) and a couple pizzas for my husband and I to munch on during the games would hit the spot. Yes, I know it's much easier to have pizza delivered, but it wouldn't have that great homemade taste, not to mention prepared just the way I like it.

Below are a couple simple recipes for dough and sauce. Now, if we just don't lose power today because Hurricane Ike has made his way to the Midwest.


Basic Pizza Crust

1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. lukewarm water
1 T. yeast
1 t. salt
1 T. vegetable oil or melted margarine

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix the yeast with the lukewarm water until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside. Combine the salt and vegetable oil/melted margarine and gradually add the flour. Mix well.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to desired size and thickness. Place it on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Take it out and while still hot, spread the sauce and add choice of toppings and cheese. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve.

Very Basic Pizza Sauce

1 lg can tomato sauce
1/4 C. olive oil
1 t. oregano
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/8 t. garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan and heat on top of stove until just warm. Spread on top of crust, add toppings, and bake. I tend to like extra oregano on my pizza and usually sprinkle a little on top after I add the mozzarella cheese.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I've Been Profiled

I am very pleased to announce that myself and my cookbook, Masters & Disasters of Cooking has been featured on a blog. Mindy Wilson has posted an interview with me on her Groovy Inclinations blog. I hope you all will clink on the link and visit. Thanks.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Short cuts

It's Labor Day weekend. The end of a long summer and a day for family cook-outs. I'm no different. My brother is grilling ribs tomorrow and I was thinking of making a dessert to take. I got thinking about all the short cuts we take now when it comes to cooking. I don't think I have made real mashed potatoes in years, but instead make instant when come out just as good. Then, there is slaw and potato salad. It's so much easier to pick up a container from the deli at the market. Although, I still think my potato salad is better than the deli's.

Then, there's dessert. It's so easy to use to ready-to use crusts when making a pie. Again, I think my homemade crust is better, but so much trouble to make. At Christmas, I used to make cut-out sugar cookies with my daughter when she was young. Now, I can buy a cookie mix or a tube of cookie dough to slice. Even easier are the cookies that are already cut and you just place them on the baking sheet.

What made me think of this is when I was at the market yesterday evening. I had just paid for my groceries when the clerk said something to the lady behind me about the huge pie she was getting. I looked on the moving counter and I admit, it was the biggest pie I had ever seen and boy did it look good. I think it was a caramel topped apple pie. I can't even imagine all the work it would take to make that from scratch.

I do love to bake and I always make pumpkin pies at Christmas from scratch, with the ready-to-use crust. But, with it being so hot on this Labor Day weekend, I would be crazy to run the oven to bake a pie. So, on the way to my mom's tomorrow for our cook-out, I think I will stop by the grocery store and see if they have any of those pies left.

Have a great holiday weekend and I can't wait for the cooler weather of fall.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Garden Harvest

I know I was supposed to post last weekend after returning from my business trip, but you know how tired you can be after a long drive. I had hoped that I would have eaten some fantastic dish while I was away and could come back to tell you all about it. Unfortunately, I ate fast food most of the week in my hotel room.

What I did come back to was neighbors and friends supplying us with fresh vegetables from their gardens. I definitely welcomed that because we weren't able to put a garden out this year due to my surgery in the spring. So, what I have included today are two of my favorite recipes using zucchini. The first one is how my mom fries zucchini. I could eat every slice, if I let myself.

The second recipe is for Zucchini Casserole from my late aunt. She used to fix several of these at a time in disposable aluminum pans and freeze them to fix when she had company. I sometimes fix and freeze one to bake when we get home from a vacation so I don't have to cook supper that evening.

Fried Zucchini
4 eggs
3/4 C. milk
1 1/4 t. salt
2-3 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
2 1/2 C. flour
vegetable oil

Mix eggs, milk, and salt together to make batter. Dip zucchini into the batter and then roll in flour to coat. Fry in hot oil until lightly brown. Drain on paper towel, then service warm.

Zucchini Casserole
2 C. grated zucchini
1 C. grated carrots
1 C. diced onion
1- 8 oz. container sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 stick butter or margarine
1 pan of baked cornbread

Mix sour cream and soup together. Set aside. Crumble half of the cornbread on the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer zucchini, onion, and carrots on top of cornbread. Pour sour cream/soup mixture on top of layers. Then, crumble the rest of the cornbread for the top layer. Melt the butter and drizzle it over the cornbread. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Out of Town

I had planned on posting a new recipe this week, but I have an out of town business trip and will be gone all week with no computer access. I'm feeling the withdrawal already. I'll make some notes while I'm gone and try to get something new posted next weekend.


Sunday, July 13, 2008


Yes, it has finally happened. I am blogging about a diet. So far, so good, too. I started a week ago and as of yesterday morning, I had lost 6 pounds. Weekends are the worse time for me when dieting, so I expect when I weigh Monday morning, those six pounds will have reappeared. My biggest challenge will be in another week when I have an out-of-town business trip for five nights. Eating three meals out everyday will take a toll on my diet. I'll watch my carbs and try to eat salads, grilled or baked meats, and lots of veggies, if possible. And, unless I can rent a laptop, I will be without a computer for the whole trip. I think I'm more worried about computer withdrawal than my diet.

I'm sorry, I have no recipe for today. The only thing I have cooked in the past week was putting a roast in the slow cooker. My husband has done all the cooking this week.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Grilling out for the 4th of July

I'm a little late getting this posted, but it's a long weekend and not everyone will be grilling out today. My husband has to work today, so we won't be grilling out until Sunday. The recipe I have for you today is an all purpose barbecue sauce. I know with all the different bottled sauces out there that it is so easy to pop the top on one of those, but this homemade sauce is just the best and it is so quick and easy to make. This is a hand-me-down recipe that my mother used for as long as I can remember. She and I have used it on chicken, hamburger, pork, and just about anything you can barbecue. Because it does have so much sugar in it, you do have to watch it closely on the grill to keep it from burning. It is also great to use in the slow cooker. I'm fixing a barbecue pork loin in our slow cooker for supper tonight and I will be using this sauce.

The use on anything Barbecue Sauce

1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. catsup
1/2 C. lemon juice
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
Garlic Powder

Layer all ingredients in order listed above in a large measuring cup. Sprinkle garlic powder on top and mix well. Apply to meat just before it is done.

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July and don't forget our troops that are serving our country.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What's for dinner tonight

Yes, I borrowed Rachael Ray's tag line, but I love her and it's perfect for what I am about to write. It's been a while since I've cooked dinner because my husband is home and he's been doing it, or we're both too tired to cook and end up eating a sandwich. Tonight, I cooked, and I cooked healthy.

Every time I go to the doctor, he preaches to me about eating more vegetables, so tonight I took his advice and made Roasted Veggies. I actually have two different recipes for this. One is a Weight Watchers and one is a South Beach Diet recipe. Tonight, I combined them and added a new seasoning. To go along with the Veggies, I fixed Salmon Patties. Both are so easy to make that I felt just like Rachael Ray while I prepared them tonight. I only wish I had a staff to clean the kitchen and do the dishes afterward like she does.


Salmon Patties
1 can Salmon
1 sleeve saltine crackers
2 eggs

Crush crackers in a food processor and mix with salmon and eggs in a bowl. With hands, form patties and fry on medium heat with a little olive oil until golden brown. If you don't like the odor of Salmon in your home, try preparing them outside on the grill.

Roasted Veggies

1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1 red bell papper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 C. baby carrots
1 C. fresh green beans
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut all vegetables into bite size pieces. In a casserole dish, put all veggies and drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. My new ingredient is to sprinkle the mixture with a little Mrs. Dash original flavor. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir often. Just about any fresh veggies that you like can be used in this.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Frying eggs

Last week, my mother and I went out to eat for breakfast to a nationally franchised restaurant. I won't say which one because we have gone to several restaurants and have had the same thing happen. Why can't chefs fry eggs the way we order them?

Mom and I usually order our eggs medium cooked. Without fail, the eggs still have the whites still runny. I can't stand eating eggs that are not done. This time though, we thought we would outsmart the cook and order our eggs well done. When the food came, Mom's eggs were so well done, they were unrecognizable as eggs. Seriously, I even said something to the waitress about Mom not getting her eggs. Mine on the otherhand, were not cooked well done, but rather medium. The waitress noticed this and said she would take them back. I said no, I would just eat them that way, hoping that maybe they would be okay. I was wrong. As soon as I cut them with my fork out ran the uncooked egg white. We learned our lesson and will probably order scrambled eggs from now on.

Both of us should have sent the eggs back, but who wants to wait any longer for their breakfast. I really shouldn't complain too much about over-cooked eggs. If any of you have read the story in my "Masters & Disasters" cookbook, you know I ruined eggs so bad once for my husband's breakfast that he took them to the trash can and pushed them in before even sitting at the table.

Below is the recipe on how to fry and eggs correctly.

Fried Eggs

2 eggs
1 T. butter

Melt butter (or margarine) in a skillet to medium heat. One at a time, break eggs into a small bowl and then pour into the skillet. For medium eggs, cook until the whites are set, then turn over and cook until the whites are set on that side and a film forms over the yolks, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Breakfast for Two

I promised that I would post one of my husband's recipes and this morning he made breakfast and it was wonderful. He made a Frittata.

4 large eggs, beaten
1 c. frozen shredded hash browns
1/4 c. chopped onion
5 slices bacon
shredded cheese

Fry bacon until crisp, crumble and set aside. Drain most of the grease from the skillet and add hash browns and onions. Cook until almost done, then add beaten eggs and bacon. Once the eggs are done, serve on a plate with shredded cheese on top. Serves two.

I believe that normally a Frittata is baked, but this way is so much easier and fast. He's a wonderful cook and breakfasts are his speciality. Although, he is outside grilling pork chops right now for dinner. I love this guy. 


Sunday, June 15, 2008

I want my kitchen back!

I am still recovering from my surgery of three weeks ago, and as such I cannot do any housework yet. I am relying on my husband for that. I love him dearly and he does do a wonderful job, but right now my kitchen is a mess. Because I am limited on what I can do, all I have accomplished is doing dishes and fixing an easy breakfast each day.

I suppose I shouldn't complain too much, he is doing the laundry. He also is working part time right now, so his time is somewhat limited, too. But, the kitchen floor hasn't been swept in two weeks, the garbage can is over-flowing, and I can't see my countertop. I could get broom out to sweep, but I can't bend over to push it into the dustpan. I could ask my mom to come over and help, but I am the type of person who hates to ask anyone for help.

I have three more weeks before I am released to go back to work. Surely, by then I will have my kitchen back. Since I am not really doing any cooking this week, I don't have a recipe for you. I'll have to pick out one of my husband's dinner items and post it soon.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hospital Food

I recently was in the hospital for some surgery and once I was given the okay for solid food I gave the food service department a try. You always hear horror stories about how bad hospital food is, but in talking to patients of various hospitals it seems that the quality of the food has gotten better. This was not the case for me, at least with the sandwich I ordered. It was a Chicken Salad on whole wheat. I really can't say it was bad, but it could have been better, more flavorfull. For breakfast the next morning, I had a Ham and Cheese Omlet and I have to say, it was pretty good.

Oh, but that sandwich. Maybe it was because I like chicken salad so well, that I was disappointed. Below, I have put my recipe for chicken salad, that can also be found in my cookbook, Masters and Disasters of Cooking . Hmmm, maybe I should send it to the Food Service Department at the hospital.

Chicken Salad

1 1/2 C. cooked chicken, diced and chilled
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. seedless grapes, sliced in half
1/2 C. almond slivers, optional
1 t. salt

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together. Chill. Serve on a bed of lettuce, or as a sandwich on bread or pita pockets. Makes about 10 servings.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I want to wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day. I hope all of you were waited on all day and had no cooking to do. My day was nice. My husband had to work until noon and my daughter had to go to work around 9 am. I had several hours to myself and enjoyed every minute of it. Friday, my husband and daughter went out to eat to celebrate Mother's Day since their hours for work today overlapped.

Once my husband got home, we along with my brother, took my mom to the local casino for an afternoon of gambling. Actaully, we were only there for a couple hours and that was enough. I never win and neither did my mom or brother, but my husband started out with twenty-dollars and came home with fifty. Not a bad day and he bought my supper on the way home, so no cooking for me this evening. 

Tonight, I'll make some buttered popcorn and spend the night watching the season finale of Survivor.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

I won first place!!!!!

We had a Derby party at work on Friday. Well, sort of a party, we had to work all day, too. A contest was held for the best Derby hat and I won. Since I didn't have a hat to start with, I had to go buy a cheap straw hat and decorations. Do you know how hard it is to find a small toy horse, even around here. I went to two Walmarts, a Dollar Tree and two Dollar General stores. I ended up having to print a racehorse from the Internet. I put play money behind the picture and glue all to the front of the hat. Surrounding it, I place fake red roses. I'll post a picture soon. It was raining when I left work Friday and since I didn't want to get it wet, I left it at work.

The party part of the day was a pitch-in lunch at noon. There was so much food. I made a pasta salad and am including the recipe here. This is one of those dishes where there really isn't a recipe, but instead you throw everything together. I'll list the ingredients below, but you're on your own with the measurments. You really can't go wrong with it.

Pasta Salad

cooked pasta, any type
chopped carrot
chopped green pepper
chopped tomato

Equal amounts of sugar and mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip)
add a little milk if it's too thick. If it's not sweet enough, add more sugar.
Pour over pasta. Chill before serving.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Kentucky Derby

I live in southern Indiana and in close proximity to Louisville, Kentucky. With all the festivities that Louisville has for the Derby next Saturday, I thought it would be timely to have two local Derby favorite recipes. The famous Derby Pie is a copywrited recipe, but there are tons of knock-off pie recipes and I have included my recipe. It would be hard to go to a restaurant this week in Louisville and not find it on the menu. The other recipe below is for the favorite drink at Churchill Downs, the Mint Julep.

I've never been to the Kentucky Derby. It's far too expensive and crowded for me to go. I enjoy sitting at home and watching it on television. I have been to Churchill Downs where the race is held. It's beautiful there in for the spring meet with all the flowers and tulips in bloom.

So, next Saturday afternoon you can celebrate the Kentucky Derby in style with a piece of imitation Derby Pie and a Mint Julep.

And, they're off..........


Kentucky Chocolate Nut Pie

2/3 C. sugar
3 eggs
1/2 t. salt
1/3 C. white Karo syrup
1 t. vanilla
1/3 C. melted butter
1 C. pecans
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake for 60 minutes. Makes one pie.

Mint Julep
2 C. water
2 C. sugar
crushed ice
Sprigs of fresh mint

Make a syrup by boiling the sugar and water together for about five minutes. Let syrup cool slightly and pour into a container with 5-6 sprigs of mint. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Make one Mint Julep at a time by filling a cup with crushed ice, 1 T. of the syrup, and two ounces of Bourbon. Stir well and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shake, Rattle & Roll

That's how I woke up this morning.... to a 5.2 earthquake. It's been a while since I experienced one, but this was my fourth. Thankfully, we had no damage.

Spring has finally arrived. As I type I can hear the spring peepers out in our pond. Sometimes when we sit out on our porch, the sound of them is deafening. I don't have any recipes today, but in honor of Spring, I'm going to go dig out a really good recipe for a spring meal and try and post it this weekend.

Until then,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Breakfast To Go

I need your help. This time I want your recipes. Recently, my company transferred me from a local office to a regional office. My commute went from 20 minutes to 90 minutes. Needless to say, I don't have much time in the morning to eat breakfast. Sure, I could run by a fast food place and grab an egg and biscuit combo, but that gets expensive, not to mention full of fat.

What I am looking for are some easy recipes that I can either fix the night before or quickly in the morning to eat on my drive to work. If you have any such recipe, please feel free to post it in the comments section of the blog, or email them to me directly at and I'll include them in future posts here.

Thanks a bunch. I'll look forward to your recipes.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Snowed in

They said on television that it's been ten years since this part of Indiana has had as much snow as we are getting right now. By tomorrow afternoon, we could have as much as ten inches. If that happens, we'll be snowed in with drifts of up to two feet in our driveway.

Why is it when you're stranded at home, you crave certain foods? My daughter wanted pumpkin pie and is in the kitchen making one right now. Her first, as a matter of fact and her orders were that we were not to help her unless she asks. So far, she only had one question. Although, I got in a bit of trouble when she over heard me asking my husband if she had checked the oven and then pre-heated. "I can hear you, and I did that already." So, even though I'm a little nervous about turning the kitchen over to her, she's old enough to cook and should learn more kitchen skills.

She's using the recipe from the can of pumpkin, but below I have listed my grandmother's recipe for pumpkin pie. I don't think there's anything better than a recipe that has been handed down from mother to daughter. I picked up one of those spiral-bound journals the other day and plan on recording the recipes of some of my daughter's favorite dishes that I fix and give it to her when she moves out someday. This pumpkin pie recipe will be included.

Grandma's Pumpkin Pie
2-15 oz. cans of pumpkin
4 eggs
3/4 C. evaporated milk
3 T. flour
2 C. sugar
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon

Preheat over to 350 degrees f. Beat eggs, sugar and milk together. Add spices and flour. Mix well. Pour into two pie crusts and bake for about 1 hour.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I'm happy to report that we now have hot water again. My husband did a wonderful job of installing our new water heater, even though he's not a plumber. Of course, he couldn't have done it with out my help. LOL


Friday, February 29, 2008

Life Without Hot Water

Two weeks ago, our hot water heater quit working. My husband and I decided to wait until our next payday to pay cash for a new one rather than put the purchase on a credit card. So, I have had an interesting two weeks without the luxury of hot water.

At first, it was kind of fun having to heat water on the stove to wash the dishes. I poured the hot water into the sink and then rinsed with cold water. I soon found this combination didn't work well, as it didn't take long for the rinse water to cool down the soapy water in the sink. Next, I used a large plastic bowl in the sink for the hot water and rinsed with the cold next to the bowl. That worked well, except for washing the pots and pans. Our alternative method to wash our skillet was to boil water in it, wipe clean, and rinse. It wasn't perfect, but it did get the job done.

Laundry wasn't too much of a challenge. Most detergents nowadays work well in cold- water washes. The worst part of no hot water was when it came to bathing. Luckily, my mother doesn't live too far away and going to her house for a quick shower made a hard task work out well. My husband did experiment with heating water on the stove for an actual bath. That turned out to be a trial and error endeavor. I thought the bath water would cool off before he could get a second pot of hot water in there. I was wrong. He said it turned out that his bath water was too hot and he had to add more cold.

Tomorrow, we plan on heading to Home Depot to purchase our new water heater, I can't say the last two weeks have been easy, but we did manage. I still have dirty dishes piled high in the kitchen. There's only so many dishes you can wash at a time in a plastic bowl. So, by tomorrow night we will be back in business with hot water again. No more trips to mom's to shower. No more mornings where I have to pour cold water over my head to wet my hair down, and no more rinsing my mouth with cold water after brushing my teeth. I don't think I will ever complain about water being too hot again.

I gave a lot of thought about what kind of recipe I should put with an article about not having hot water. I came up with my recipe for my favorite coffee at Starbucks where it's only served at Christmas time. I get my craving for it at other times and had to come up with a recipe so I could enjoy it anytime.

Peppermint Mocha Cappuccino

1 small peppermint patty -- unwrapped and quartered
2 t. milk
1 C. hot brewed coffee
Whipped cream

In large microwave-safe mug place peppermint patty pieces and milk. Microwave on High for 30 seconds or until candy is melted. Stir in hot coffee until mug is almost full. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with red sugar crystals. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


"Mom, will you make me a sandwich?" How many times have we heard that around the house? Sandwiches are usually a quick fix when we're hungry, but don't want a full meal. Most people think of sandwiches as something you have for lunch, but they can be served at any meal, even for breakfast.

If prepared properly, sandwiches can also be healthy, too. Multi-grain whole wheat bread is the best and can add flavor. Instead of regular mayonnaise, using low-fat or light can reduce calories and fat intake.

Just about any ordinary sandwich can be fancied-up by removing the crust, cutting them in smaller pieces, or making them smaller like finger sandwiches.

What kind of sandwiches can be served for supper, the heartiest meal of the day? It should be something that will fill you up and not leave you still hungry when you leave the table. I've included one of my favorites below. The second recipe is my version of a vegetable sandwich that is served at a restaurant where I usually eat for lunch during business tips.

Pizza Pita

4 Pita bread rounds
1 C. pizza sauce
4 oz. pepperoni slices
1 1/2 C. Mozzarella cheese
2 T. Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. chopped onions
any other pizza toppings to your liking

Preheat oven to 400 f. Spread pizza sauce inside of the pita pockets. Add remaining ingredients and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Vegetable Sandwich

Swiss cheese
sliced tomatoes
sliced cucumbers
green pepper rings
shredded carrot
Honey Mustard dipping sauce

Assemble vegetables on the Croissant and add a little of the dipping sauce. Serve with fresh fruit and flavored iced tea and you can't beat this for a wonderful lunch.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Be Sinful With Chocolate

     Ah, Valentine's Day, the holiday of love, greeting cards, and sweets. You walk through the stores and see all the wonderful food and candy displayed right under you nose. Remember, as a child how excited you got when you received one of those boxes of candy hearts with the messages on them, and who can forget the valentine Day parties at elementary school? But, when you got older your idea of a perfect Valentine's Day changed. Jewelry, flowers, and chocolates were not your hopes.
     After the Christmas holiday period, most of us find ourselves trying to stick to a diet and chocolate desserts in February are the last things we need. However, this year for Valentine's Day, why not take a break fro the diet and indulge in a wonderfully sinful chocolate dessert made in a crock pot. Yes, that's right, in a crock pot.
     When people think of cooking in a slow cooker, they usually think of dinner. But, a crock pot can be used for any meal, even dessert.
     So, plan that romantic evening with your partner by getting the crock pot going, take a bubble bath, and afterward enjoy your chocolate dessert with the person you love.

Happy Valentine's Day.


Turtle Cake

1 box brownie mix
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
10 unwrapped caramel candies

Wad up some aluminum foil and form into a ring. Place it in the bottom of 5-quart crock pot. Pour 4 cups of hot water into the crock and turn to high heat.

In a bowl, combine brownie mix, water, oil and egg. Beat until blended well. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Stir.

Butter the inside of a 2 1/2 quart soufflé dish that will fit inside of crock. Dust the bottom and sides of the dish with sugar. Pour the brownie mixture into the dish. Partially push caramels into the batter, leaving at least 1/4 of it above the batter. Completely wrap the dish with aluminum foil and tie with a string to make a handle to lift it with. Place on top of aluminum foil ring in bottom of cooker. Place lid on and cook on high for 4 1/2 hours. When done, remove dish, string, and foil and let cool for about 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or warmed chocolate sauce.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

My beloved Indianapolis Colts didn't make it to the Super Bowl this year,  but the next best thing happened. The NY Giants made it and their quarterback, Eli Manning is the brother of Colts quarterback, Peyton Manning. So, I'll be cheering for the Giants on Sunday.

I've never been one that goes to a Super Bowl party. I usually just whip up some game day food and snacks for myself and my family. A favorite of mine to fix on football Sundays is a baked Pizza Sandwich. It's really easy to make and my family loves it.

Baked Pizza Sandwich

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
2 eggs, separated
1 T. Parmesan Cheese
1 T. vegetable oil
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
8 oz. sliced pepperoni
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 4-oz. can sliced mushrooms
1/4 c pickled pepper rings
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 can sliced green or black olives, or both
1 15-oz. can pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a greased cookie sheet, roll out the dough into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle. In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks, Parmesan chees, oil , oregano, garlic powder, and pepper. Brush the mixture over the dough, then add pepperoni, mozzerella cheese, mushrooms, pepper rings, green peppers, and olives. Roll up the dough like a jelly roll and pinch the seam to seal. Tuck the ends under.

Place the seam side down and brush the dough with the eggs whites. Immediately put into the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.  Slice the sandwich and serve with warm pizza sauce. Variation: you add or eliminate any ingredients to match what you like on your pizza.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My First Cookbook

I am very pleased to announce the release of my first cookbook, Masters & Disasters of Cooking by Carol Preflatish.

Masters & Disasters of Cooking is a collection of stories and recipes of some of my best and worst cooking experiences. From Breakfasts to Desserts, this book is full of comical anecdotes about my personal cooking mistakes and perfect masterpieces, all accompanied by my best recipes.

You can order the cookbook at  I hope you enjoy the stories and recipes. Thank you.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Coming Soon

I have recently published my first cookbook and hope to have an annoucement by the end of the weekend telling where you can purchase it. Please check back in a few days for more information.