South Jersey Museum of American History

There’s an Antique toy train exhibit from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm today and ends February 5, 2015.
For history buffs, there’s a eclectic variety of subjects to view.

Event: Antique Toy Train show, today 1:00-5:00 pm and ends February 1, 2015.
Also, Glass from Pa, NJ, Florida and Georgia, Pre-Columbian: the Paleo- Indian through the late Woodland periods 15,000 yrs of tool evolution, artifacts from ghost towns ( Washington, Oswego, Friendship, Quakerbridge), farm equipment, Colonial , and Pine Barrens.

Although I have not yet visited this museum, I’m thinking this would be a fun thing, for families, home-school children, to coincide with American History.

As I sit reading about this museum in the ” Ticket section of the Star Ledger, while in my Living Room, although cozy on a Wintry Saturday, I’m ready to put on my winter boots and take a drive to explore.

Happy New year 2015, How’s the weather on January 8 where you live?

Hello and Happy New Year!!

We spent New Year’s Eve doing English Contra Dancing in a nearby town just 10 minutes away. There was an intro dance lesson from 07:30 to 8:00 pm for beginners. It had been quite awhile since both my husband or I had danced the Contra dancing, mainly because I worked evening shift. The request for attendees was to bring a dessert to share for 11:30 pm. I decided on pumpkin cake which I baked in a Bundt pan, and glazed with white drizzle frosting.

When we arrived, there was a table to pay the entrance fee, and across the room were a set of long tables on which we saw 2 big punch bowls, one with ice water, the other a fruit punch concoction, and some bowls w/ snacks and packaged cookies. We thought this was where “the dessert to share” goes, so my husband put the pumpkin Bundt cake there.
About 1 1/2 hrs later,I noticed that our Pumpkin cake was moved to the outside of the main hall to another table.
To do Contra dancing, there is an experienced “caller” who announces each of the dance steps, she explained the moves beforehand and called out the changes in dance steps.
Some of the terms, are, ” ballast and swing”, ” hands four”, ”
Alamand ” , ( taking your , current partners hand and turn around). At the beginning, the ladies and gentleman ( or gals and guys) line up in 2 long rows and then the dances are broken up into sets of 4 or 6 all down the line. Your partner for the particular dance stays the same, but during the dance, you change positions moving along down to the right, until you get to the end of the line and then reverse.
I found that 1. this is good exercise, better than any aerobics class or “Body Burn” DVD exercise, and 2. I preferred to rest and catch my breath and dance about every other dance. I did one set of the English Country dance in which there was many ” ballast and swing”, that I became dizzy just as the dance ended and Was walking to the chair area.

Another few things, I have done for the New year is sign up for some programs with our local library, culinary classes and a new book club. I plan to sign up for computer classes,as well.
There is a new book club with a cookbook theme called, ” the Bite club”. They started last month. The cookbook for January is Mark Bittman’s Food Matters. Once you pick up the book from the Reference library desk, there is about 3 weeks to read it and be prepared to discuss the book. It is optional to cook a recipe from the month’s cookbook. I plan to read and find something for the members to taste. I’ll post and let you know in a future writing here.

The week, the USA is experiencing Polar Vortex:

How is the weather where you live?
Last weekend, the temperatures were a comfortable 40’s to 60’s. While visiting a relative, a cousin mentioned that colder weather was on it’s way.
Here in the Northeast, both Monday and Tuesday was the warm- up of 20’s. My own rules for dealing with colder temps are wearing the ” Cobbie Cuddlers” brand of long johns and long sleeve top. Then a regular patterned long- sleeve top, a lightweight sweater is the final layer, along with the thermal winter coat with hood.
Wednesday dawned with slightly colder temperatures, and I would have gladly stayed indoors in the evening. Last week, I signed up for a Culinary class at the library to learn how to use Royal Icing to make decorations for cakes and cupcakes.

Today, was the coldest day. Early morning temperatures for 6:00 or 7:00 am was in single digits, 9 degrees with a windchill of 2 degrees or lower. Knowing that my week had been busy thus far, I decided to stay home indoors. Parts of our townhouse are drafty near the windows where the living room sofa is and also in the kitchen with the glass patio doors. One of these years, we’ll arrange to have new replacement windows and Patio door. When my husband got home from errands and appointments, I asked to try putting the boxed plastic that originally designed for a patio door, just use this and see if it makes a difference. It helped a little; I still rely on the space heater placed next to the sofa in easy reach. To decrease on the electric heating bills, the Electronic thermostat is only set at 70, and 68 at night.

October, fall weather is here, recipes to warm you up

October Recipes:

Our neighborhood is having an OctoberFest party,and it was suggested to bring a side dish, the main entree will be “Brats” in assorted flavors accompanied by mustard and relishes. Thinking of something a little hearty and sweet and sour, here’s Bavarian meatballs. I’ll make these appetizer size.

Bavarian Meatballs


1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs ( add spices parsley thyme,or lemon pepper)

1 egg slightly beaten

2 tsp horseradish

1 TBSP ketchup

1 tsp salt or Lite salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup water

3 TBSP bacon drippings


Mix first 9 ingredients. Form into balls 1 1/4 inches in diameter and brown on all sides, in bacon drippings, turning with your trusty long -handled sauté spoon/ spatula. Drain.

Next, prepare this mixture of sweet and sour goodness.

2 raw medium potatoes, grated

2 apples, peeled and quartered

2 cups sauerkraut ( love this stuff!)

1 onion sliced

1/4 cup sweet white wine

2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/8 tsp caraway seed

Grease casserole with bacon drippings. Layer first 4 ingredients in casserole. Mix remaining ingredients; por over. Top with meatballs. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serves 4.

To double the recipe to serve 8, use 2 lbs ground beef. Make smaller size meatballs as appetizer size.
Will keep warm in a crock pot for the party.

RECIPE: Quick Herb Rolls using canned Refrigerator Biscuits

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 tsp parsley flakes

1/2 tsp Dill-weed

1 TBSP onion flakes

2 TBSP Parmesan cheese

1 ( 10 or 11 oz. ) can refrigerator biscuits, ( buttermilk variety)

Melt butter in 9 inch pan. Mix herbs and cheese together and stir into butter. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes. Cut biscuits into halves or fourths and swish around in herb butter to coat all sides. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes. This may be prepared several hours ahead and refrigerated. Serves 4.


Cookbook: ” Southern Accent” 1976 edition.
In the quaint historic town, there was a wonderful bookstore called ” the Bookworm”, situated in a 100 plus year house, with delightful reading nooks tucked in beside windows on the upper floors. It has since moved into a much smaller location, has less charm.

Collingswood, Spend a Saturday in July to visit this wonderful town in Jersey!!!

A must see on. Saturday is the town  of Collingswood, a great place to get out and enjoy the fresh air, wearing comfy shoes to walk and explore the many blocks of intriqing places.

One place you must visit if you live in Jersey or near Philly is The town of Collingswood. It is Main Street, USA.

What are the draws? I’m sharing my thoughts, perhaps you would like to see it yourself.

It has been a tradition, I learned, for many years there is a farmer’s market, with representatives of many New Jersey farms selling their fresh produce.
Are you wanting something that you rarely find in a supermarket grocery store?
Zucchini blossoms, no problem.

Arts and Culture:
” Second Saturday Event”
Tonight, the town is having a special event from 6:00 to 9:00 pm , ” A Free Open Air Arts Walk.
On every block of Haddon Avenue, Art and music will be on display.
Dozens of one night exhibitions of jewelers, potters, painters, crafters and artists.
Retailers will offer deals, giveaways and discounts on services.


Antiques abound. It is fun to walk along Haddon Avenue and explore. My favorite place is a cottage, set back from the main road called,” The Painted Cottage”, the owners collect antique furniture, and refinish in white paint, or aqua, silver, pink or sage colors.   In past visits, I’ve dreamed of buying an antique dresser or dressing table/ vanity or wooden desk and satisfied my want by photographing the pretty images. This old style wooden furniture was designed with elaborate carvings that you seldom find in the Big Box type Furniture Stores.

There’s another favorite antique store that I love to browse with my husband. In the display window, the last time we went, there was a small slate board, antique, written in white chalk were the words, ” The First I- Pad”. We smiled and pointed it out and I remarked that as a child, I drew on a handheld chalkboard just like that one. In fact, I still have it!!!

The Restaurants

What to choose is the question. There’s Thai, Latin American, Asian Fusion, Japanese, Mexican, two Indian , American, ” The Pop Shop”, for fountain sodas, shakes, burgers, and belly busting breakfasts, along with several Italian restaurants.

In a review on, a few write of ” That’s Amore” serving a delicious meal called, ” Sunday Gravy made up of meatballs, pork and sausage and a rich red gravy. Growing up in my house, both of my parents referred to mom’s homemade as Sauce of which I have her recipe posted on this blog.

Cincinnati Chili,

Howdy folks. Here I am.  Summer officially arrives on June 21, on Saturday, however we are getting a taste of it both today and tomorrow with heat index of 93 and 95 to 100 tomorrow.  Whew, Do what you can to stay cool, Crank up the A/C, wear a cool neckerchief, Bought one of these at a “craft sale”, make your own ice pops, take a dip in the pool.

With all of this talk on heat, let’s have some chili.


Cincinnatti Chili


2 pounds ground beef

3 large onions chopped ( 3 cups)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

1 cup beef broth

2 TBSP chili powder

2 TBSP semisweet chocolate pieces

2 TBSP vinegar

2 TBSP honey

1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardomom

1/4 tsp ground cloves

16 ounces fettuccine, broken into 4-inch lengths

2 15 1/2 ounce cans kidney beans

2 cups shredded American cheese ( 12 ounces)


In a 4 1/2 quart Dutch oven cook beef, 2 cups onions, and garlic until beef is brown and onion is tender.  Drain fat.


Stir in remaining ingredient  except, Fettucine, kidney beans, cheese, and remaining onion. Bring to boilong;reduce heat.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.  Skim off fat ,( pouring into empty food can.)

Cook fettucine; drain.  Keep warm.  In a 2 quart saucepan heat kidney beans: drain.  Keep warm.

To serve divide fettuccine among 8 plates.  Make an indentation on center of each fettuccine portion.


Top with meat sauce, beans, remaining onions and cheese.


Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Info:

768 calories, 49 grams protein, 77 g carbohydrates, 30 g total fat,(14 grams saturated), 136 mg cholesterol, 1123 mg sodium, 1151 mg potassium.


Three way means chil, spaghetti, and grated yellow cheese.  Four way is three way plus beans or onions.  Five way , you get everything, chili, spaghetti, cheese, beans and onions.

Happy New Year!

What are your traditions to ring in the New Year?

On my years, we spend the day in Philadelphia, to watch the Mummers. There is a parade outdoors all day, and many string band performers and Mummers ‘ clowns in the parade, but we prefer the indoor show at the Convention Center by The Fancy Brigades. it starts officially at 12 :00 p.m., arrive earlier and you get to do the Philly ” strut” aback and forth motion with you feet, with one of the Fancy Brigade captains leading the guests. We missed this portion this year.  Better yet, I got to try on the sequined costumes from prior years’ performances.  For those moments , I almost felt like a kid again playing dress up.   Further down in the post, I will share Some Mummer’s photos.  please come back to visit my blog.

Do you make resolutions?

I had a very busy year for 2013, taking care of members of my family that live in another town, so for thus year, my wish is that  I can handle all the challenges that come my way.  I hope to get the chance to use the gift  card That I got last year for a local spa.  I spend most of my days off at my mom’s house.

Trying on a prior year's Mummer sequined costume

Trying on a prior year’s Mummer sequined costume


  Preparing for Thanksgiving, choosing recipes

My sister’s favorite appetizer is stuffed mushrooms.

Here’s are the names of recipes that  I posted at  an earlier date, that I might use for Thanksgiving.  This morning, I was unsuccessful in copy and pasting using my I-pad.

Enjoyed my day off after a long weekend working, we went to lunch , Election day Chili at a local church fund raiser, they had little tables set up with red and blue tableclothes, baskets with cornbread , and butter and Tortilla chips. The chili was very good. Dessert was m & m cookies or macadamia nut cookies.

Corn casserole, posted on March 12, 2013.

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Sweet Potato pie

Jiffy French Dressing for Salad and two lunch salads, October 4, 2013

Life is Beautiful  is the title that I choose for my blog  when I started it.

Lately , I put other family members first and have less time for myself, my husband  and my house working a full -time job.  It has caused me to delay my own check-ups, the first being my dental cleaning, was due in December.   Each month, I knew this, yet I had to bring mom for many follow -up visits both in January and February for the dentist.   until now, I spend every week house sitting ,and  working alongside the  ” Visiting Angel” coming to mom’s house; and during the months of July and August, taking my sister three times a week for Physical Therapy, left no chance to take them to the beach even for one day.  Also, getting their porch fixed and selecting and ordering porch railings  a priority.( expect a phone call any day this week that ready for installation.  As long as it comes before the weather turns colder.

After I received a follow-up phone call,In August from my dental receptionist,  , asking  where are you? I said , “taking care of my mothers house, I don’t have time for my appointments” . I now in the process of getting a crown on a molar tooth For a cavity.  This will cost big bucks.

At home,  we prepare foods that  are good for a couple of days in a stew pot, like lentils , with carrots, sweet potato  in a tomato based broth, but I post a lunch salad recipe this morning.

Jiffy French Dressing  ( not associated with the store box mixes)

Blend well:

1 Tbsp sugar or Sugar substitute,

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Put into a 1 – pint Screw-top jar.  Add

1 cup salad oil ( canola oil , lower in cholesterol I buy what is on sale. )

1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice

Cover jar tightly and shake vigorously to blend.   store in  the refrigerator.  Shake well before using.

Makes : 1 1/ 4 cup French dressing


Salad for one person

Ring- Around salad

For each salad, place on a salad plate, 1 lettuce  leaf , washed.

In center of lettuce, place 1 slice pineapple , well -drained,

Around the slice of pineapple, arrange

6 orange sections

Place in center of pineapple, one apricot half , cut side up.

Fill apricot with 1 tsp jiffy French dressing

6 raisins.

Makes 1 salad

Peach and Cottage cheese salad

For each salad, place one crisp lettuce leaf on salad plate,  and top with 2 peach halves ,

Place the peach halves close together, rounded sides down . Then arrange from the center of one peach half to the center of the other

1large green pepper ring .

Inside green pepper ring, place 1/4 cup cottage cheese and shape into a mound .  Circle cheese mound with 2 or 3 rings of green pepper.

The design is of a cowboy. The peach halves are the rim of cowboy hat, the cheese forms the crown, and pepper rings are bands around the sombrero.  If desired, drizzle over the top of the ” hat crown,  Jiffy French dressing.

When it’s time for lunch, Choose  a pretty plate from your cabinet, it does not have to  match. I have a set of 4 clear glass salad plates and a few brightly colored plates that  I purchased at Home Goods/ or Marshall’s. 

I have a favorite plate that has the colors pink and green and beige, pink flowers from a well-known pattern, I purchase dishes in sets of Two.

Hamburger soup, September 6, 2013

What memories do you have of school lunch or lunch as a kid?

I am reposting a recipe from blogger, ” Syrup and Biscuits” for Hamburger Soup,

One, sounds economical , and two, includes fresh veggies  and canned diced tomatoes.

 School Lunchroom Hamburger Soup

yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ground hamburger meat joins lots of good vegetables for a soul-warming, gullet-pleasing, uncomplicated, big ‘ol bowl of soup.

4 large  carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 onions, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 to 4 clove garlic, minced
3 pounds ground beef (85/15)
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 quart stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 cups whole kernel corn, fresh, frozen or canned
1 (15 oz.) can LeSuer very young small sweet peas, drained
salt and pepper to taste

Heat large soup pot and add olive oil. Sauté carrots, celery and onions for 10 minutes or until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Throw ground beef on top of all those beautiful vegetables and cook the meat until pink is gone. Don’t you dare drain away all that good juice after the meat is cooked. There’s very little fat in 85/15 ground beef. What little bit is there is going to add flavor.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, stock and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well.

Add bay leaves. Return to simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Polynesian Burgers

Polynesian Burgers

Alright, so it’s is officially summer, the 2nd day and my mind is conjuring up all kinds of cool, fun menu ideas.  Burgers seem to be one of the favorites among Americans for picnic food.

If your are like me,with ketchup and pickle relish as the  “de-riguer” ,taste-bud loving choice,  in this recipe, how about stepping beyond your  comfort zone for a different taste with your burger!

This recipe has an Twist in taste  with and Island flair.

1 1/2 pound ground turkey

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs ( or make your own fresh from leftovers ends of bread)

1 Tbsp lite soy sauce

1/2 tsp ginger

1 (9 oz.) jar ( 1 c.) prepared sweet and sour sauce

1 ( 8 oz. ) can crushed pineapple in it’s own juice, drained

6 sandwich buns ( I like whole grain )

Heat your grill. ( outdoors- or use grill pan on your gas indoor stove.) In a large bowl, combine turkey, bread crumbs, soy sauce,ginger and 1/4 cup of the sweet and sour sauce; mix gently.   Shape into patties.

When read to barbecue, oil grill rack.   Place patties on gas grill over medium-low heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches from medium coals.  Cook 9 to 13 minutes or until no longer pink , turning once. 

In a small saucepan, combine remaining sweet and sour sauce with crushed pineapple.   Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thoroughly heated.   Serve burgers on sandwich buns with sauce.

Yield 6 sandwiches



Recipe book found at a church market sale.

 International Foods Program , 1994 Clifton “Success” High School Project Cookbook

Yields 6 sandwiches. 


Breakfast Chicken With Biscuits

Breakfast Chicken:

Serve for breakfast or brunch or when” you”re hungry for chicken”.

I found a yellow “post-it ” note with the words “breakfast chicken, p 51″, in my mother’s familiar handwriting in pencil; all of these years, her trademark is that she has always has sharpened # 2 pencils  both in a pencil cups and in her purse in an old eyeglass case

1 pound chicken fillets ( about 4 fillets)

2 cups water for soaking chicken

1 teaspoon salt

14 teaspoon black pepper

self-rising flour

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup hot water for simmering chicken


Soak the chicken  fillets for 15 minutes in the water and salt.  Rinse, lay on paper towel, and sprinkle with the pepper.  Coat the fillets lightly with self-rising flour.  Place in a pan and fry in hot oil until lightly browned on both sides.  Drain off the oil, add the hot water to the pan, and simmer the chicken for 5 minutes.

Makes enough to fill 12 2-inch biscuits  ( to serve 4 to 6 people).

Old Fashioned Soda Biscuits:
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk
Add the baking soda to the bowl along with the flour and then mix, shape , and bake biscuits as in the preceding recipe.
Makes 12.
Southern recipes cookbook: “Mama Dip”s kitchen 1999.
I was intrigued to read about her southern upbringing, starting to cook at the age of nine  for her brothers , sisters and father while they worked on the cotton farm.  I recall my first cooking around the age of nine both at home with my mother and in 4-H club called “All Thumbs”.
My mom tells me that she got this cookbook while working at Baker and Taylor books.

My Day

May 15, 2013. My Day off goes like this.

I wake up to kiss Pat as he leaves for work. I lie in bed, hoping for another half hour of rest. The sun is shining very brightly this morning through the closed blinds and sheer floral curtains.
I think, I need to start my shower, however the Master bath needs removal and repair/re-grout of the floor and tiles; the contractor had suggested to refrain from using this bathroom. 
In the second (guest) bathroom inside the tub is Bulk toilet paper, a bag of Nina’s books,and Reader’s Digest.  Then, I decide that I need to start a load of laundry but first I’ll have a quick bowl of cereal. Another day, another time, there will be a chance to sit outside at the Patio table with my breakfast and enjoy the outdoor sounds. 
Once downstairs, as I approach the sink/counter, I see that the floor below still needs sweeping.  Monday started off with a busy work-week,including both an early morning Team Leader meeting and staff meeting followed by an eight-hour shift. 
Instead of reaching up in the cabinet for my bowl for cereal, I reach down to move the kitchen slice rug, and see spots on the floor. First I sweep, then get the Swiffer that needs refill sponges,so I dampen a paper towel add dish soap and gently stoop down and give it a scrub. There, that will do. I don’t want to overdo it and strain any muscles, I have a 12 hr shift tomorrow at both Parsippany and Muhlenberg. 
I look over to the rest of the kitchen. The cute card table has things on it, it was intended to sit and eat there, currently there’s a stack of cookbooks jam from Sussex County fair with pretty fabric covers,a bag of pistachios, orange cranberry chutney , a bag of jasmine rice (should be moved to the upper cabinet and place in a plastic bag.), a Betty Crocker’s
” new” Boys and Girls Club book from the late 1960s , a bag of dried blueberries trail mix with cashews cranberries and almonds, and a cookbook called healthy meals. It was 915 I sat down to write this,  I did prepare my bowl of  half rice Chex cereal ,half Raisin Bran with vanilla Eating my cereal one spoonful at a time and sip my tea from one of my favorite mugs a Hawaiian theme that I got in the big Island in the 1998 trip with the CAC. I like to stir in A tsp of wildflower honey from the local Griggstown market. As I pause, I hear the ticking of the kitchen clock outside the home and rumble of the lawnmowers and the Weedwhacker’s of the landscape company. It’s a sunny day I ask myself if there’ time for a ten minute walk. Th e house after picking up/fish flounder and package of chicken drumsticks, Perdue , 5 La yogurts,  oatmeal, an organic plastic wrapped Zucchini. Yesterday morning before working evening shift at old Bridge I went to target store for Lysol spray bathroom cleaner with hydrogen peroxide three bottles were on sale plus Efferdent mint dentures tablets .  The  family were practically all out with two tabs left and they were breaking them in half and did not tell me nor did Mom buy any when she went shopping on her senior bus. When mom shops she thinks of meat and cake and pasta sauce and only allowed two grocery bags anyway.

It’s 9:45 AM I have to take a quick shower and at the same time start the lingerie on Coldwater wash. I’m still in my PJs. I have to quit right my bill for the car payment due the 19th and pack the car with the blue flowered tote bag  with file folders , bring the small red cooler with the chicken and fish and your perishables and look around and see what else. Alas, I want to cook something at least some pasta salad or an entrée for this evening for Pat and I. While busy at my mothers’ house, I must remember to be home before 7 PM there’s a webinar ,,  I’d like to listen in. 
Well, it’s 9:46 PM exactly 12 hours later and I did not make it home in time for the 7 PM webinar. what I did accomplish at my mother’s house was to take her to her bank to deposit the monthly checks that came in on May 1 and today is May 15 and to take her down to the borough Hall  to write a check for her taxes that were due May 1 , late also.
Joan, the Visiting Angel was there from 11:15am to 3 :15 pm.  After I gathered the laundry and sheets off one bed, Joan started the laundry. Once I sorted through my sister’s books and magazines, and placed them in two new plastic containers, Joan did the vacuuming.   There was excess green salad from my mothers lunch, so while Joan suggested I take it home, I sat down to eat it. After all it was already 1:30 pm; I eat and talk with Joan. By this time, mom is in the spare room napping. 
Sister is laying down on her bed,since I had things on her rocker when she got home; then she had a big headache. Once Joan finished cooking dinner,neither was ready to eat.  Mom did not feel well this afternoon, mentioning diarrhea; I bring the soiled laundry downstairs and start a load, around 6pm. Three hours and neither has touched their plates of food on the kitchen counter.  Now, I package both meals up in plastic left-overs containers. Mom, is sipping Chamomile tea in her tea mug, When I first prepared it in the microwave since Joan was cooking at the stove, mom said it was too hot and added cold water to the mug. Later,after return from the bank and Boro Hall, she asked me to warm up the tea. 

It’s May, and the temps are forecast to drop to 30 degrees next week.

Well, today is May10 th, and I’ve got two “Early Girl” type Tomato plants already planted in the ground.  

According to the literature, May 15, is the date  to start planting your annual garden plants in the ground; called ” the last average frost date” 

Eek, I just read on a weather forecast through “Facebook “from Adam Joseph on the Philadelphia news page that a frost is impending on Monday coming; the temperature with drop from 80 degrees to 30 degrees.

What is the plan ? Protect those tomato plants.  Check all the resources ( on-line , of  course, Google is my BFF).

Steps to take when frost or freeze threaten tender plants:

    • Bring Indoors: Frost-tender plants in containers should be brought inside during cold weather. Dig up tender bulbs and store them in a cool dry place.

    • Protect Tender Sprouts: Cover tender plants overnight with an inverted bucket or flower pot, or with a layer of mulch. Be sure to uncover them in the morning when the temperature rises above freezing.
  • Cover Shrubs and Trees: Larger plants can be covered with fabric, old bed sheets, burlap, or commercial frost cloths (avoid using plastic). For best results, drape the cover over a frame to keep it from touching the foliage. Fabric covers help to trap heat from the soil, so make sure your cover drapes to the ground. Uncover them in the morning when the temperature rises above freezing.

Irrigate during the potential frost


people claim that watering the frost off plants

prevents frost damage. This is partially true.

As mentioned above, watering plants helps

raise their temperature and the air around them

to that of the water. In addition, as water

freezes, heat is released; 80 calories for each

gram of water that freezes. Therefore,

watering plants before they are injured from

frost can help keep their internal temperature

above freezing. A single application at the

coldest part of the night (generally just before

sunrise) may be enough on 30- to 32-degree F

nights. On colder nights it may be necessary

to apply overhead irrigation for an extended

period of time, allowing actual ice formation on

the plants. In this case, irrigation must

continue until morning temperatures rise above

32 F and the ice melts. It is important to note

that once frost damage occurs, watering does

not help.

Resources:   Understanding Frost

From Cornell Cooperative Extension, Chemung County

eve of Cinco de Mayo, my Mexican hat

My Mexican hat!

My Mexican hat!

My Mexican Hat   Stand by your principles.  I like to think that I am practicing Green Living.  One of the ways that we spend  ” free time”, is attending flea markets and White Elephant sales. Last fall, I arrived on day two of the sale by Princeton Medical Center’s Ladies Auxiliary  in the last 30 minutes. Walking quickly around the perimeter of the huge Airplane hanger, I spotted the area with hats and tote-bags. When the Sale came to an end, the volunteers announced that each person had five minutes to gather “Free items”.  I was nearby and ran over to the hat collection where I had spotted  a couple of Large sombreros’ , Eeeh, I said with glee, “I’ve got them !!!!”  Also, there was a decorative” bird-cage” that I had been viewing with discernment, during the sale; I liked it , but not willing to shell out bucks for it.

¡esto hay que celebrarlo!


  Pollo con Calabacitas

Chicken with Squash and Corn

3  Tablespoons vegetable shortening or butter ( I use Canola oil)

1 chicken 2 1/1 pounds cut into serving pieces salt to taste ( prefer a salt substitute)

1 teaspoon cumin ( 0r cumin seed , crushed)

1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut into quarter-inch slices, (about 5 cups)

1 cup finely chopped onion 2 1/2 cups fresh corn “off the cob” , (scraped from about 4 ears) or two packages 10 ounces each frozen corn

2 small hot green peppers , chopped, optional

1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled and cored

1.  Heat the oil in a large casserole and add chicken.  Sprinkle with salt or salt substitute, and cook until chicken loses its raw look.  ( I use chicken herb seasoning).

2. Add the cumin, coarsely ground pepper. and minced garlic, and cook stirring occasionally  ten minutes.   Add the squash and onion.   If the corn is fresh off the cob, add it.   Do not add the frozen corn if used until later. Add the hot green peppers and tomatoes and cover. Do not add other liquid.; as the mixture stew it will add quite a bit of liquid.   Cook for one hour. 

3.  If frozen corn is used , add it now.  Either way, uncover the casserole  and cook 30 minutes longer. Serve with rice or boiled potatoes.

A , now it’s time for an authentic Mexican beverage!


3 ounces Tomato juice

1 teaspoon grenadine syrup

(or less to taste)

Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

1 ounce of orange juice



1 1/2 ounces Tequila

Lime wedge ( my favorite part! I love the sour taste.)

1. In a Beverage shaker, Combine the tomato juice, grenadine, lime,and orange juices, and salt and Tabasco to taste.   Add ice cubes and shake rapidly.

2.  Strain the mixture into a glass and serve the Tequila on the side.   It is drunk in Mexico, by sipping the tomato mixture alternately with the Tequila.  Many non-Mexicans prefer to add the Tequila to the tomato mixture before shaking the cocktail.   Serve with the lime wedge and additional salt.

Note: Tabasco sauce is a Yankee addition to the recipe.    In Mexico, small , hot, chopped green Serrano chilies are used as the fiery seasoning.    A genuine sangrita is highly seasoned.  



Visitors, Welcome to my Blog!  You are welcome to post a comment.


Giving a shout -out to Mountain View , California! Hello Google!

Barbecue Sauce and the fun of visiting small towns with quaint book shops

A pretty view through the lace curtain at a quaint book shop in Cranbury, N.J.

A pretty view through the lace curtain at a quaint book shop in Cranbury, N.J.

It’s Friday, and I’m thinking BBQ for the weekend as in Pork spare ribs,  and some home-made barbecue sauce.  Spring is here in , yet in the Northeast, the temperatures are still quite chilly.   This is funny. While I still need some kind of hat, I can’t bear to put on my winter red hat; today, I’ve got to bring down some of my collection of baseball caps, something to cover my head, yet not quite a summer hat.   You , know those, wide-brimmed , straw or fabric hats.

Wishing on wearing once again, my warm weather  collection of short sleeve tees, my favorites, the “Life is Good”  in a couple of weeks perhaps.

Let’s get cooking!!!!

Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

3 stalks celery, chopped (perhaps dices)

2 bay leaves

1 clove  garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp chopped onion

4 TBSP butter

4 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon paprika

Dash of black pepper

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain.

Recipe from:

Cookbook: “This Little Higgy went to marke#

This cookbook has an intriquing Introduction,

” The Higginbottom ancestors immigrated over time to Water Valley , Mississippi from England by way of Barbados, Virginia. They fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and by 1870 were ready to head west.  By 1880 , most of the family of John Higginbottham and wife Lucy Ann and their twelve children had arrived and settled in Dublin, Texas. ”

Note: A nice outing, is visiting a used book sale, or flea market.  My hobby is to keep a sharp eye out for things “Made in the USA” , cookbooks included.  I like to learn about other parts of the country and what their ancestors prepared.  Another book , I came across, is a Southern recipe book,  I enjoy reading through those pages. I discovered this cook book while I was at the Cranbury bookshop, a quaint book shop set up in a very old 1800’s style house.  Although a little chilly for an old house, bring a sweater along with you , so you can pull up a chair, and browse through the pages of a book  or two.  There are nooks a cranny’ by the windows with  chairs set up for your to sit and read.

Well, a picture is better, if I can't take them all home!

Well, a picture is better, if I can’t take them all home!


Easy Chocolate chip cookies

Easy Chocolate chip cookies

Makes 2 to 3 dozen

1 package yellow cake mix

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup chopped pecans

1 (6 ounce )bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

Mix all above ingredients and form into balls.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheetat 350 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes.

“These cookies are so good and so quick!”

Substitutions: butterscotch chips, Yum, butterscotch is a close second  favorite to  chocolate.

White chocolate chips, ( I love to see a mix of these when combined with macademia nuts, Delish!)

peanut butter chip, and whatever your local grocery store has on the shelf!

Holy Saturday- Easter Basket Blessing, a church tradition

The Holy Saturday Easter Basket Blessing is a traditionally Polish occurrence,and our Roman Catholic church is performing this at 12:oo Noon today at mass. 

The alter of St. Augustine of Canterbury church with the Easter "food " baskets ready for the blessing.

The alter of St. Augustine of Canterbury church with the Easter “food ” baskets ready for the blessing.

I’ve checked to see what is included in a traditional basket for blessing.  We will be driving to Mendoker’s bakery in Jamestown this morning, for small Easter cakes to put in the basket. We have everything else. 

Slice of ham, ( symbolizes the Resurrection, Christ’s victory over death), Bread loaf or Rye bread slices,  ( symbolizes the Bread of Life) salt, ( Prosperity & Justice)  pepper, (bitter herb of Passover), horseradish , (The Passion of Christ) cheese , candle, basket ribbons, and a linen cover. ( My linen closet has a pretty selection of Easter theme colors. ) 

I’l take a picture of our basket that we’re making up and post at a later date!!

Here are some of the Easter baskets.  Ours is the white basket with the pink and white plaid linen.

Holy Saturday Easter "Food" baskets to be Blessed by our priest.

Holy Saturday
Easter “Food” baskets to be Blessed by our priest.

The alter of St. Augustine of Canterbury church with the Easter "food " baskets ready for the blessing.

The alter of St. Augustine of Canterbury church with the Easter “food ” baskets ready for the blessing.

Here is information from another website called Polish Easter customs and Polish music, religious: 

traditional Polish Easter basket for the 
Easter Blessing (Święcenie pokarmów)
  The tradition of preparing a special Easter basket to be blessed by a local priest has been practiced by Poles throughout the ages. It is reported that as many as 95% of all Polish families continue the custom today. The custom is also maintained throughout Polonia and has even been embraced by those not of Polish descent.
  It should be noted that the Easter basket is first lined with a linen or a lace napkin which extends beyond the ‘basket’s rim and covers the food placed inside as the basket is carried to and from church. The food is later uncovered for the blessing. Here is a list of items that are traditionally included in the Polish Easter basket and are an integral part of the Polish Easter blessing:
  • Eggs, colored or plain (jaja, pisanki): Hard-boiled eggs symbolize new life, a basic theme of the Easter celebration.
  • Bread (chleb): The “staff of life”. In some cases, special loaves marked on top with a cross are baked for the occasion. The importance of bread as a symbol of life cannot be stressed enough.
  • Meat and sausage (mięso, wędliny): kielbasa, a slice of ham or roast meat are usually included. Meat symbolizes the resurrection, Christ’s victory over death.
  • Horseradish (chrzan): Horseradish represents one of the bitter herbs which foretold the Crucifixion. It is also an acknowledgement that in life one must accept the bitter with the sweet.
  • Vinegar (ocet): A small container of vinegar stands for the bitter wine that Jesus was given while hanging on the cross.
  • Salt (sól): Salt is an important food preservative that has always been essential for survival through Poland’s long winters. Like bread, its importance cannot be overstated.
  • Pepper (pieprz): Like horseradish, it is one of the bitter herbs of Passover.
  • Easter cakes (babka, mazurek, placek, chalka, sernic): The forty-day period of self-denial is over, and it is once again time to enjoy life’s sweetness!
  • Wine (wino): A small quantity of wine is sometimes included. Wine represents Christ’s blood shed on the cross.
  • Easter Lamb (baranek wielkanocny): Usually made of butter (but is can be made of almost anything) is added last where it prominently guards over the other precious items in the basket. The lamb, representing the sacrificial Pascal lamb, usually wields a red banner with a gold cross proclaiming victory of life over death.
  • Box twigs (bukszpan): This is an evergreens shrub with tiny green leaves used for decorative purposes. Sprigs of pussy willows are also very popular.

Well, I can cross this off of “my bucket list”.  Next year , if I have the day off, I’d like to do this again.  Growing up, My mother would speak about it, saying, she did not have time to cook a whole meal and bring it down to the church.  She had a misconception of what the basket consisted of.  Thanks to the world wide web, and  a conversation with a staff member, I learned this year that it was not a entire meal, but a sampling of foods each representing something about Jesus Christ’ Passion.  She said that the food that they bring are the Kielbasa, loaf of bread, the horseradish, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, butter, and these things they eat for lunch that same afternoon.

I shared with my mother that Pat rick and I made up a basket for the blessing, and she seemed not interested.  She said the Polish church did that.  That’s what makes this world go round.   We are all individuals  that can make up their own mind what new experiences to try.

Here's our Easter "Food" basket that was blessed.

Here’s our Easter “Food” basket that was blessed.

Today is Friday and meatless day

Who wants to swing on the tire swing?

Who wants to swing on the tire swing?

For those of you who are Christian, this is a time of Lent! One of these things means the process of fasting,abstaining from meat on Fridays of Lent.

Fast and fabulous cannelloni bean salad

Into a medium sized bowl:

1 can cannelloni  beans. (high in fiber,good for you) rinsed and drained

Fresh cut-up vegetables of choice: or what you have on hand in yor vegetable drawer of fridge.

Handful ofcherry tomatoes, cut in half

Cucumbers,sliced, then cut each slice into fours

Celery, 1 stalk, cleaned with vegetable peeler, and cut into small pieces

Bottled salad or marinade, ( I used balsamic olive oil marinade).

Mix all together.

Next, I opened up a can of tuna with vegetables, mixed with, mayo,

And added some chopped black olives.

Cold brown rice salad:

Saute one or two strips of a red bell pepper and 1 stalk of celery chopped in a small

Skillet with 1 tablespoon of canola oil (lower in cholesterol).

Boil in medium size sauce pot, a bag of brown rice, 1 cup. To directions on box.,boil for 10 minutes,in this case, (success boil in bag brown rice),serves 4.

Mix into the drained brown rice,the previously sautéed chopped red bell pepper and green celery, add the spices that you prefer.

Spices: lemon pepper seasoning,1/4 teaspoon, celery seeds,salad dressing, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar,

Two Root Coulis- Using Celery, the youth and beauty food

I’ll have to say that this book is my “bible ” of sorts when it comes to health. Whenever I have a few spare moments , I read a section or two and bookmark recipes to try; I even underline important nutrient information.

Two Root Coulis- With celery

1 celery root (about 1 lb ,peeled and chopped

2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 carrots , peeled and chopped

2 cups vegetable broth

Place potatoes in medium saucepan, add cold water to cover.  Bring to boil, cook until tender ( 15 minutes).  Drain and mash using a food mill, electric mixer, or hand-held masher.

In a second saucepan, combine celery root and carrots.  Add cold water to cover.  Bring to boil and cook until tender (about 15 minutes).  Drain. Combine the two mixtures.  Puree’ ( with blender).  Serve vegetable or pasta. 

Variation : Substitute parsnips ( a close relative) for carrots. ver hot steamed veg

Note: A coulis is a thick puree.

From the Super zfoods book, by Frances Sheridan Goulart.

Marchman Corn bread using a Cast Iron SKillet

March 19, 2013

Winter just does not want to leave us yet. Yesterday parts of the Northeast New Jersey had snow accumulating from 1 to 3 inches, and the lower part had the freezing rain.  Well, we finished more than an hour and half later than usual and with freezing rain coming down on top of the snow I decided not to drive home and stayed overnight at a Hotel.  It was quite nice.  Relaxing and watching t.v.  HD ( High Definition) was a plus.  

Plans for appointments in the morning had to be canceled for a family member.  Enjoyed a great breakfast of scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, yes , I Indulged ( as long as only every once in a while) fresh orange and juice. Finished with a cup of hot tea.

Once I checked out of my hotel room, I drove to Home Goods, my little luxury,  to walk around and see housewares displayed so cleverly in different bright  colors.  Who needs  a cow , hand soap dispenser?  I do. I like to take photographs of the local dairy farm, it is fitting to place this in the kitchen along with a timer of same theme.  Polka Dots , I thought would be a fresh change for the warmer months with  latest” in- style “color for spring being  green,  pillow cases with   green polka dots fit into my decor.  I always like to stroll down the aisle and check out the utensils, slotted spoons, spatulas being my favorite skillet tool.

Marchman Cornbread

Serves 6

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP sugar

1 cup milk

2 eggs

3 Tablespoons oil (no cholesterol brand)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Find your mother’s or perhaps your grandmother’s cast iron 10 inch skillet and pour 1 TBSP oil into it. 

Pop it into the preheating oven so it will be sizzling hot when the batter is ready(wait until it is). 

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.   Add oil and mix well. 

Beat eggs and milk together and add to mixture in large bowl.   It may seem runny but don’t worry.  POur batter into the hot skillet and set your timer for 15 minutes, or until the top is a lovely light brown.  Cut in generous wedges, douse with butter. Yum. 

Recipe by Josephine Marchman Nash ,

” This Little Higgy Stayed home”  cookbook .

Recipe Corn Casserole

The best Corn Casserole

Serves 6

1 can ( 16 oz ) yellow cream style corn

1 cup biscuit mix

1 egg, beaten

2 Tablespoons salad oil

1/2 cup milk

1  can (4 or 5 oz) green chili peppers, drained and cut

6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese ,sliced


Combine first 5 ingredients, mixing well.  Spread half of the mixture in greases 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan.

Cover with green chili peppers and sliced cheese.   Spread remaining batter over all.   Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes in 400 degree oven or until browned.

By Harriet Lang Worsham of the cookbook ” This Little Higgy Stayed Home” .

Happy Sunday everyone!  I’m counting the days until the official start of spring. One thing is certain,  my ” sock-liner” socks have just been put away because I don’t expect to see any cold temperatures into the 20 degrees range from now on.   Bring on Spring!!! Easter will be here in just four weeks.

Saturday Evening Supper menu:

Turkey and Cheese  Pie

Frosted Cauliflower

Honey Biscuits ( No recipe)

Turkey “n” cheese Pie

This is a ” Made over ” entrée!  Original recipe was beef “n” cheese pie.

To lighten the recipe , I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, and low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.  For those on low-sodium dietary restrictions, use garlic powder instead of garlic salt.  As We do not care for onions, we omitted the onions.


1 1/4 pounds ground beef ( I substituted ground turkey)

1/3 cup chopped onions or 3 to 4 tsp instant minced onion

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1 8 ounce can cut green beans ,drained

1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes

 1/4 tsp garlic salt 

1/4 -1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls ( substitute what you have on hand, we had honey biscuits, which were sliced in half and placed on the bottom of the glass pie dish).

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese


1 8 ounce can ( 1 cup) tomato sauce with mushrooms ( I used plain tomato sauce, you could add a small can 4 oz. size  of cut mushrooms , stems and pieces. 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.   In large fry pan , brown your meat, onion, and green pepper; drain fat.  Stir in tomato sauce, green beans garlic salt and salt.  

Simmer while preparing crust. Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles in ungreased 9 -inch pie pan. ; press over bottom and up sides to form  the crust.  Sprinkle with paprika, parsley and remaining cheese. 

Bake 20 to 25 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. 

Refrigerate left-overs.  Makes 5-6 servings.

Frosted Cauliflower:

1 large head of cauliflower ( or frozen cauliflower)

boiling salted water


1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1/4 cup shredded  ” low-fat” sharp cheese

Precook cauliflower for 12- 15 minutes in boiling salted water

Or Steam in the top of a Steamer  pot 

Drain and place in an ungreased shallow baking pan.  Sprinkle with salt. 

Combine mayonnaise and mustard.  Spread over cauliflower.

Top with cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, ir until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Serves 4. 

Tip:  Cauliflower may be reheated by wrapping in aluminum foil and baking at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. 


Recipes adapted from this cookbook that I purchased at a library/ town sale.

“Home Cookin for the King of the Road” 1976  ( from issues of Road King Magazine – which is the first time I’ve heard of. ; )

Observe Lincoln’s birthday, the sixteenth president

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the official day. 


As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.

Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”


The spirit that guided him was clearly that of his Second Inaugural Address, now inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…. “

” Famous quote:

With malice toward none, with charity for all”

As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.

Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The spirit that guided him was clearly that of his Second Inaugural Address, now inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…. “

” Famous quote:

With malice toward none, with charity for all”


As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.

Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Cookie Crumb Coffee cake

Crumbled cookies make a different fun topper for Hurry Up Hot Breads!

2 cups packaged biscuit mix

1/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons soft butter or margarine

2 eggs

2/3 cups milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup fine vanilla cookie crumbs (9 cookies)

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup broken California walnuts

3 Tablespoons butter, melted


Combine the first 6 ingredients.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl often.

Turn half the batter into a greased 10 x 6 x 1 3/4 inch baking dish. ( do they still sell this size? This is from an early 70’s cookbook.

Combine last 4 ingredients; mix til crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup mixture for topping;sprinkle remainder over batter into pan.

Spoon remaining batter over. ; add reserved topping.

Bake at 350 degrees F. 30 minutes until done.

Quick fish dinners

These recipes, I  gathered together one morning . I typed and printed out to bring to my mom’s house for the  Visiting Angel  lady to cook. I put this in the plastic binder pages.   She choose the first recipe to cook that day. The recipes from the “Keep it simple collection of the U.K. ” are easy, quick and taste delicious with just a few ingredients.

   Quick Fish Supper ( pg 48)

2 servings                             260 calories per serving

6 oz (18 g) cod or haddock fillets

½ bay leaf 2 slices lemon

4 oz ( 120 g) cauliflower florets

4 oz ( 120 g) courgettes, sliced

4 0z ( 120 g) leeks sliced

3 0z ( 90 g) carrots sliced Salt 2 0z

( 60 g  Cheddar or double Gloucester cheese, grated

1 oz ( 30 g) fresh breadcrumbs

Pinch of mixed herbs

1 medium tomato sliced

1)      Place the fish in a pan, cover with cold water, add the bay leaf  and lemon. Poach gently for 5-10 minutes until cooked .  Drain the fish, remove and discard the skin, flake the fish.

2)      2. Plunge the cauliflower, courgettes , leeks and carrots in boiling , salted water .   Boil for 8 – 10 minutes until just cooked, drain.

3)      Mix together the hot , flaked fish and  vegetables, transfer to a flame-proof dish.

4). Stir together the cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs, sprinkle over the fish and vegetables.  Cook under a preheated grill until beginning to brown .  Arrange the tomato slices on top of the breadcrumbs and grill for a further 2 minutes. Exchanges per serving: 3 ½ protein 3  Vegetable  ½ bread


Recipe: Cod  in a Parcel

Serves 2                                    130 calories per serving

10 0z (300g) Cod fillet

3 Tablespoons chopped dill

2 Tablespoons chopped spring onions

1 Tablespoons soy sauce

½ clove garlic crushed

2 sprigs of dill

1) Cut a piece of baking parchment big enough to enclose the Cod, lay it on a baking sheet.

2) Sprinkle half the dill and spring onions over the center of the parchment, lay the cod fillet on top.

3) Mix the soy sauce and garlic together then pour over the cod and sprinkle with the remaining dill and spring onions.

4) Fold over the parchment to completely enclose the fillet and bake at 350 degrees F, (180 degrees C.)   for 25 to 35 minutes.

5) Carefully unwrap the parchment and check the fish is cooked , it should flake easily when tested with a fork .  Cut the cod fillet in half and transfer to a warm serving plate.  Garnish with the sprigs of dill.

Exchanges per serving: 4 protein , ½ vegetable.  

Fish and Pasta Surprise

Serves 2                         435 calories per serving 2 x 4 oz (120g) Finnan Haddock

1 medium can chopped tomatoes ( 14 oz/397 g)

½ small onion thinly sliced

2 oz ( 60 g) sliced 6 oz (180 g) broccoli, cooked

6 0z (180g) drained canned sweetcorn 6 0z(180 g) cooked macaroni hot

2 oz (60g) hard cheese, grated

Salt and pepper

1)      Place the haddock in an ovenproof casserole and spoon the tomatoes over the fish

.2)      Arrange the onions, mushrooms, broccoli, and sweetcorn in layers over the tomatoes.

3)      3) Mix the macaroni and cheese together and spread evenly on top of the vegetables , season with a little salt and pepper.

4)      Cover and cook at 350  degrees F. ,( 180 degrees C, Gas 4 ) for 30 -45 minutes .

Exchanges per serving:  4 Protein, 4 Vegetable 2 Bread

Recipes: Simply the Best From the Keep it Simple collection ,  Published 1990 by Weight Watchers ( U.K.) Ltd. 


Cooking with Zucchini- Stove top casserole

Good morning. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have a free morning, I’m at the computer, and looking out the window at the sunshine, sipping some green tea.

While talking with mom on the cordless phone,  our conversation went like this.  I was reading a blog recipe aloud where they mentioned Sea Salt as the ingredient for the salad dressing .  (lemon, white vinegar, and sea salt).  Mom asked,” which one is better Sea salt  or Table Salt? ” If there’s a question, Google has the answer. She was amazed , how fast the computer works.

Sea salts retain the trace elements while table salt has been processed to remove trace elements and include additives.

Table salt is processed to remove trace elements while sea salts, in general, leave these in.  These minerals are indeed important in our diets, but in sea salt they exist in what the Mayo Clinic describes as “insignificant amounts.” Chances are you are getting the same minerals in greater quantities in the fruits and vegetables that you eat.

Mom then posed the question about Salt mines. Where are they located?

Google again.

“The oldest salt mine known to date located in Azerbaijan, Duzdagi mine”

“In order to understand these interactions, CNRS researcher Catherine
Marro and her team have been exploring the Araxes basin (Turkey, Iran,
Azerbaijan) for the last ten years or so. The archeologists have been
focusing particularly on the Duzdagi (4) salt mine situated in
Azerbaijan, more specifically beside the old medieval Silk Road linking
Tabriz (in the north west of Iran) with Constantinople.”

“To the researchers’ surprise, intensive salt production was carried out in this mine at least as early as 3500 BC.”

The economic and symbolic importance of salt in ancient and medieval
times is well-known. Recent discoveries have shown that salt most
probably played a predominant role in protohistoric societies, in other
words those that preceded the appearance of writing.  How is salt
obtained? The two most widely used techniques are based on the
extraction of rock salt, in other words a sedimentary deposit containing
a high concentration of edible salt (2), and the collection of sun-dried
salt in salt marshes, for example.”

Mom then said, “Well those mines are older than the Coal mines of Pennsylvania. ”

Stove Top Casserole

zucchini 4 cups sliced

Vegetable oil 3 Tablespoons

Garlic cloves, 2 crushed

salt and freshly ground pepper

spaghetti sauce, 1  16 ounce can, heated

mozzarella cheese, 3/4 pound thinly sliced

oregano, 1 teaspoon, crushed

basil 1/4 tsp

In a large Teflon skillet, saute zucchini slices, 1 cup at a time in 1 tablespoon oil with garlic.

Cook until almost tender and a little brown; drain on paper towels.  pour off any excess oil; then layer hot zucchini in skillet, season lightly with salt and pepper , and spreading each layer with some of the hot spaghetti sauce and sliced mozzarella cheese.  Cover top layer with cheese and sprinkle with herbs.   Cover and cook very slowly until mixture is just bubbly and cheese is melted.

 Serves 6.

Reference: The Zucchini Cookbook by Paula Simmons.

Sloppy Jose’s

Celery.  I remember what my mother’s kitchen used to look like when she cooked.  She always had the stalk of celery sitting upright in a clear glass jar right next to the sink on the left.    She liked to add celery to lots of foods that she lovingly prepared as a matter of routine.  On a many a day , you hear the whirring sound of  glass jar blender  mincing the celery after she chopped it on her wooden cutting board.  The same cutting board remains. Fresh Parsley from the garden was also displayed in a small juice glass ( the kind grandma used to keep from the jelly jars. Grandma used  to put her own decals on those glasses.  Her favorite was the “Bubble Ladies”, aka the 60’s era.

Well , it certainly feels like winter outside today. When I look at my window, I see remnants of a light snow shower on the windshield of the car’s of the neighbors who have to left for work yet.

I’ve got my boots ready, to play in the snow but perhaps we’re lucky today, and the snow will stay in the northwest of the state and New York, and Pa. 

You came here for a recipe , didn’t you.  Well, here’s something to warm you up on a cold winter’s day!

Sloppy Jose’s

south of the border sloppy joe

1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

dash pepper

1 tablespoon shortening

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup

6 buns , split and toasted. These can be hamburger buns.


Brown beef with onion and celery, and seasonings.; stir to separate meat.

Add soup.   Simmer to blend flavors.

Serve on buns.    Makes about 3 cups.

From : A Campbell cook book , Cooking with Soup. 

Salt Substitutes blends:

Super Healing salt #2

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp marjoram

1 tsp celery seeds

1 tsp garlic flakes or powder

1 tsp onion flakes or powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp cayenne or 1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp lecithin granules (optional)

1/2 tsp ascorbic acid powder or crushed vitamin C tablet

General Directions ( for all salt substitute recipes)

In a seed /spice mill, electric blender, or with a mortar and pestle, grind the dried ingredients until powdery.

 Stir in powdered ingredients.

( Experiment with proportions to suit your taste.) Spoon into an empty spice jar.  Cap tightly and keep dry.  Keeps for 3 to four months.  These recipes make 6 Tablespoons ( except as noted otherwise. )

Christmas Revisited:

Retro red Christmas stockings, my dad’s, my sister’s and mine. That’s a Santa puppet hand sewn by my mother!

This year, the living room at my mom’s house is barren of Christmas decorations. :(

On a positive note, Today, I brought over to the Sacred Heart cemetary a Grave Blanket of evergreens and a Bid red festive Bow , for my father’s grave. There was still fall leaves in among the Vinca vines that are still alive from earlier in the year.

The American flag is missing from my Father’s War Marker.  I noted that other graves including my Grandfather’s ( for Uncle Ronnie had American flag at my grandparents grave marker.  My grandfather did not fight in any war, said my mother today!

She doesn’t have any family to help her except me.

I finally got my Christmas tree decorateddyesterday.

This is a glimpse of what is still downstairs in the basement.

Do you have your first Christmas stocking?  Do you collect Christmas stockings?Happy Ruby Tuesday everyone!

Super Oven Pancake

Super Oven Pancake, Use your Iron skillet for this tasty recipe.

1/4 cup Butter

2 eggs , slightly beaten

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup milk

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Confectioners’ sugar or syrup

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. 

Melt the butter in a 9 inch IRON skillet placed in the oven while the oven is preheating. 

In a bowl combine the eggs , flour milk and cinnamon.  Beat but not until smooth: Leave a little lumpy ( like traditional  pancake batter). Scrape into the hot skillet. 

Bake at 425 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with Confectioners Sugar on top or syrup.

Makes 2 to 3 servings. 

From the “Ivy Hall Cookbook”

I’m absolutely liking many of the recipes  that I read in this cookbook.  With our thrifty ways, we found this cookbook at a book sale for 50 cents;  the cookbook is locally written, too.

Cookie recipes: Blondies and New England Chocolate chip cookies


The flavor of Butterscotch has been one of my favorites since I was a kid spending time after school with my Grandma P.

 Of course, for me, I’ll eat or sample anything  with brown sugar!!! :) Nowadays , this has to be a once in a while indulgence or wait for a real “Blue Moon” or the belt has to go up a notch, Tehe!!


2 cups packed brown sugar

2/3 cup margarine or butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces

1 cup chopped nuts


Heat sugar and margarine, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Cool SLightly.

Stir in eggs. one at a time , and vanilla. 

Stir in flour, baking powder and soda.

Spread in a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle with chocolate and nuts.

Bake in a 350 degree F. oven  25 to 30 minutes until done.   Cut while warm. 

Makes 36

New England Chocolate Chip Cookies


A twelve ingredient recipe that serves 12.

Macaroni and Tomatoes

2 1/2 lb lean ground beef

2 TBSP  Vegetable oil

2 large onions, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

3 large carrots, grated

2 (2 -lb.-3-oz.) cans Italian style tomatoes, with juice

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp oregano

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

2 (10-oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, slightly thawed

Grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot brown the beef on the oil for about 5 minutes.  Add the onions, celery, and carrots, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, salt, oregano, pepper, and garlic powder.

Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover.  Simmer for one hour.

When the sauce is done, stir in the macaroni and spinach; mix thoroughly.

Transfer to 2 13 x 9 x 2-inch casseroles.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

12 to 14 servings.

From : The Ivy Hall Cookbook, Trinity CHurch, Princeton

Hurricane Sandy, my story

Hurricane Sandy: Monday October 29, 2012

Well, here’s my story,

It’s 7:00pm and our electric power is out.  I’ll backtrack from here to the start of the day.

Despite Governor’s Christy’s persistent warnings to all New Jersey residents to stay home Monday morning, I went into work because I am a  Registered Nurse with the Blood Center of New Jersey.

I had set the alarm for 4:44am in order to leave my house at 0:630 am. I looked out the window thinking it’s not raining yet but I can hear the rustle of the wind in the trees.  ( last evening, on, the forecast said rain both in my town and Parsippany from 6 am to 9 am, a Squalls from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m, heavy rains from 4:00 p.m).  I knew I had to go to work nevertheless this scared me. ” How was I going to drive home I asked myself”, and prayed.

Breakfast was as usual for the early shift, my sweet husband makes oatmeal with cinnamon and banana slices and a cup of English breakfast tea. to go.

Once in my car,  for once the roads on a Monday morning were without rush-hour traffic.

Once at work, I busied myself in the Quality Control preparations and forms to be completed before the first Platelet donors arrive at 0:730 am.  Donna S. was my Apheresis technician. One of the two appointments came in at 0:730 am, a triple platelet donor.  Once checking the Parsippany donor center voice mail, I learned that a frequent donor, Claude D. was available: I called him at 0:820 a.m. and he was here it seemed within minutes.  Donna put him on the Amicus machine, knowing that two 09:45 am donors were due in.  Our Boss, Jerry was calling on the phone and I relayed the same about adding donors in this morning slots. (appointments).  Just as my boss informed me that East Orange was trying to move the 7:15 and 7:30 donors , from the large glass windows I see an Apheresis donor Nadine K. It was 09:50 a.m.

I said, ” Look what the wind blew in ,” I added, ” I get to say that today”, I giggle to Nadine. She said, “yes. That’s right”, as she filled out her forms.

My boss called again to say that My team member , Dawn H. is coming  in to work because they’re asking as many donors as they can to come in earlier. Dawn arrived at 10:30am . Dawn with her pleasant demeanor said that she was just eating breakfast when Jerry asked her to come down to Parsippany to help with the Apheresis donors. ” I know that you came quick “, I said , “You didn’t have time to tie your hair back like you had it yesterday”. She looked at me and smiled, and left the room returning in a few minutes.

We finished all of the donors at 2:00pm, and was told that the pick-up was at 2:30pm.  After 2:30pm, still not here, so I called, and Asked if I was to be here “all by my lonesome?”.  Jack, Traffic Manager called me back and said that Mike B. was on his way in a couple of minutes.  I called Mike on his cellphone  and he said, ” 20 minutes more, then he said, ” I’m closer than that, I was joking’.  He’s been working with me a long time, we’re both at the Blood center over fifteen years.

Once I set out on the road, I took the following route on the advise of one of our apheresis donors that Route 287 would have too many “cross-winds blowing, Sandy will blow your car all over the road.” I took Route  287 to Rt 24 to Rt 78 to  the Parkway entering at  exit 141.  The roads were empty, I was not surprised and the wind was blowing my car.  It’s a good thing that the rain was not heavy just yet.  I called my husband on my cell phone.  He said that he was on his way home from work as well  and  by our house it was raining heavier.


Once I got home and parked the car, before getting out , I snapped a few photos; I wanted to capture the essence of the hurricane at home. Then I was warmly greeted by my husband. “Here”, handing him the camera, Please video me with my work schedule in hand, Ocober 29, 2012 for RDC/Parsippany with a note taped onto the page for the directions of a different route home.”. He then video the trees surrounding our court.

As i got out I spoke to my neighbor.

Using my ingrained Girl Scout skills with the motto ingrained in my head , “Be Prepared”, I thought< ” there’s things i want done before the power goes out. Will likely lose power by8:00PM.

My priorities , Boil some water for a cup of tea, hot coca and cookies, cut up some fresh carrots and cook them up to eat for the next few days. Wash laundry (pj’s ,socks, and necessities) at the very least.

I got changed into comfy clothes.

While I write this , I have my Dollar store mini Booklight in hand.  The power has been out since 6:30pm. I hear the closed front door shift ever so slightly from the strong winds. Then eerily I hear the same from the Patio door over and over.

To Be Continued>*****



I was upstairs on the computer, when the electric power went out at 06:30 p.m.  Coincidentally ,I had just read on “” that Mary J. Bianchi ‘s power was out in Pennsylvania.   I should have known that we were going to be next.  In the dark, I got up from the computer and walked into the hallway and stood by the Guest bathroom doorway which has white moulding that I could just barely see in the darkness.  Pat was downstairs ,got the flashlight and came upstairs to get me.

Luckily, just moments before, Pat had put our dinner plates into the microwave.  While I was sitting on the couch with a flashlight in hand, I said to Pat, ” why are you opening the microwave oven ‘s door?”. He said, ” Our dinner is in there.”  For dinner that evening, we had warmed up ” stuffed cabbage and mashed sweet potatoes  from the Pa. Dutch market and some of my fresh boiled carrots, tender, yum.

I next went to the clothes dryer to check on the clothes that I had put in the dryer.  Thank God most everything was dry except for a few socks which I hung on the clothes rod to air dry.

At 7:00 p.m. with my cell phone I had called my mom’s house to tell mom and Nina that our power was out.  I gently explained to get ready for a power failure, ” Line up your sweaters and warm clothes and get a hat to wear to bed”.  My sister, Nina, said, ” why now?, I can see my winter hats.” I said, ” Because if the power goes out, you won’t be able to see in the dark.” ” Oh’, she said. She put the phone down and quickly returned with her P.J.’s on and long clouds robe and winter hat.  Mom, got on the phone to talk to me, and I advised to get the flashlight by the desk in the living room. ( we had made sure that their flashlight had batteries and extra batteries on the desk mas well.)  She went to the desk, and said, ” It doesn’t work”. Pat spoke to my mom and said “It works, try the switch.” . I hung up.I continued to write this story by the bright light of my mini booklight while siting on the couch.   At 7:20P.M. I decided to call mom back.  Mom answered the phone and said ,” the power is out”.  My sister came to the phone, she said, ” It’s dark, I can’t see to take my medicine”.  “Go to the desk and try the flashlight again.” I said.  She got the flashlight to work.  Nina said, ” There’s not T.V.” Yes, with the power out, there’s no t.v. , ” I’ll go to bed”. From my end of the receiver, I hear them talking as they walk by the phone. After shouting into my phone several times, I hung up, trying their cell phone, but it went to voice mail because it was not turned on.

It’s 8:40 p.m.

I just finished reading out loud the first part of my story to Pat.   While I was reading, I’ll describe the sounds I heard from Hurricane Sandy.

Pat, ” It’s the wind”.  “Sing , “The answer my friend is  Blowing like the wind”.  What song is that?” I said.  Pat, ” A church song”. I thought of the Bob Dylan song.  Pat sang, ” Love is flowing like a river.” Pat yawns loudly.  Then pat said, ” Whispering Woods is doing more than whispering tonight, It’s Roaring.”  Ha ha, I laugh.

The wind outside sounds like this. Seemingly endless rolling in waves like the oceans.  There was one huge, swift rustling sound after another, and another. Alternatively, the inside of the house, the front door creaks as it gently is pushed by the breeze.   No’ “I’m not scared”. ” Although , this could be recorded for a great scary movie.”  Sitting on the floral couch in the living room, the only light now is the jar candle with ocean blue scent.and this small mini book light. in which I’m using to both write and read this aloud.

Stay Tuned.  ****

9:20pm H. Sandy sounds. Standing in our Master bathroom, the wind storm just made the sound as if a train rushed by loudly heard despite my husbands’ battery operated electric toothbrush in use.  ‘Oh” , I say, ” Wow” hear that.  Pat said, ” Roaring and whistling through the trees, rushing like waves”, gently softly spoken by Pat.

09:30 p.m  “It’s time to say goodnight.  I hope mom and Nina stay safe through the night.”

Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup

This afternoon, I was looking for a carrot soup recipe in  my classic cookbooks,  ( basic  – “Betty Crocker”, and Good Housekeeping Cookbook), and did not have success.  I’ve actually collected many more books.   I suspected, I ‘d have to check my Vegetarian type cookbooks.   Ahh , success.

From the Moosewood Cookbook from my mother’s collection is the following recipe.

Carrot Soup

45 minutes to prepare                                                      4-5 servings

2 pound carrots, peeled and scrubbed, and chopped

4 cups stock or water

1 1/2 tsp salt

optional : 1 medium potato, chopped ( for heartier soup)

Bring to a boil.  Cover and Simmer 12-15 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.

Next, Saute  in 3-4 TBSP butter with a little salt, 1 cup chopped onion, 1-2 small cloves crushed garlic, 1/3 cup chopped cashews or almonds until onions are clear.

Puree everything together in a blender until smooth.   Return the puree to a kettle or double-boiler and whisk in one of the following:

You choose:

1 cup milk

1 cup yogurt or buttermilk plus a little honey

1/2 pint heavy cream

or  3/4 cup sour cream

Now heat this very slowly, ( this means on low flame and keep a careful eye on it, so as not to scorch your pan!)

Here are seasoning combinations to choose from:

2 pinches of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp dried mint, dash of cinnamon


or 1/2 to 1 tsp thyme, marjoram, basil,

or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger root, sautéed in butter plus a dash of Sherry, (add just before serving.)

Garnish with grated apple or toasted nuts or sour cream.

For my afternoons’ soup creation, I chose the nutmeg , and cinnamon combination.   I tasted a couple small spoonfuls and it is delicious.   I put the rest in the fridge for later or tomorrow’s supper.



Outdoor Wednesday

During the dog days of summer, two pooches enjoy a cool boat ride on the channel near Pt Pleasant!


Paddle Boarding along the inlet by Pt. Pleasant


Come join in the fun and link up to:

 A Southern Daydreamer’s Outdoor Wednesday.

I had such fun spotting water -themed pictures for the meme , “Watery Wednesday, that I was surprised when I googled that the group is no longer active  :(    But will have fun with Outdoor Wednesday!

Potato Provencal, recipe

Once the dog days of summer have left and September’s cool weather is here, I ‘m ready to get back to the kitchen and start baking more often with my oven.

There is so much variety when your taste buds tell you to make potatoes.   Red skin potatoes have a thinner skin and are a little quicker to peel than a baking potato,or a  sweet potato.

I don’t recall how this cookbook called, “A taste of Heaven and Earth, a Zen Approach to cooking and eating”, came into my house; perhaps one of my mom’s book collection.  With this title, I think I’ll do some yoga poses after I’m finished, a  Sun Salutation, tree pose, dog or cat pose.   I love the spa close to my house, they have a very serene spa classroom; I just wish they were open on a Wednesday!

Now, its recipe time!

This casserole dish is rich with a variety off Mediterranean flavors.


1 pound new red potatoes.sliced 1/3 in thick

3 TBSP olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 medium  red onions,sliced thin

1 TBSp crushed fresh lovage or fresh sage( eek what is lovage?)

1 TBSp chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp tamari

freshly ground pepper

4 tomatoes, thinly sliced in half (about 3/4 lb)

1 cup pitted and halved black olives ( on Sunday after a baby shower, I took my mom shopping to a Dollar store and she wanted me to buy a can of olives!-however, I said, Pat said our pantry is full!)

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese ( as my co-work ,Italian Frank just said yesterday that fresh grated Cheese is the best, have you read the pre-grated variety container?-all the additives!)

Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Cook the potatoes by steaming them for 5 minutes or until halfway cooked and still firm.  Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a small skillet.  Saute’ the garlic, onions, and herbs over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  When the onions become translucent, remove from the heat.   In a medium bowl, carefully mix the cooked potatoes with the onions.  Season with tamari and freshly ground pepper.

Assemble all the ingredients in a 2 quart casserole ( mine is a yellow Pyrex that my grandmother gave to me):

Place half the potatoes and onions in the bottom of the dish, cover with half the tomatoes and olives, and top with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Continue layering in this order until all ingredients are used.

Bake in the oven, covered loosely with foil, for 30 minutes.  Uncover and continue to bake for 20 minutes, until brown on top.  Garnish with parsley.

Serves 4.

Cookbook: A taste of Heaven and Earth   by Bettina Vitale

This Casserole dish

Scenic Sunday

red lighthouse and sailboats on lake Erie in Wisconsin

Going up in a Hot air Balloon at the Fair-Skywatch Friday

Yesterday was opening day at the Hunterdon County 4-H and agricultural  Fair. “What language did you just speak?” the  hot air balloon man said as I climbed into with first one foot, then another (Ha, Ha, Ha). What I was really saying very fast was,  “I’m feel like I’m an Olympic athlete  (thinking gymnastics-pommel horse) trying to the climb up into this thing.”  First, I put one foot up, then I quickly (split second) realized, my best way was to get on my knees (the leather edges of the balloon’s basket were very soft), hold on to the ropes, and hoist myself up, and then step down. “Hooray, I’m in.”  All of this happened very fast. The prior riders had to stay inside the balloon’s basket to provide weight until both my husband and then I got in.  My husband is taller, so he practically stepped in with ease.

Let me backtrack to the beginning.

As soon as we parked the car, and started to walk along the gravel road, a rep from the balloon company asked us if we wanted to try the Hot Air Balloon ride.  I asked, “How long are you up there?” He said, “About 30 seconds, then the balloon slowly comes down.  Pat is always game to try new things, and said, “Yes, we’ll do it!”, and the man said to gather over there to wait.  I’ll get in line, but there’s still time to change my mind, I thought. There was hardly a line.

I’ll have to say that the hardest part was climbing into the hot air balloon basket!!! I had imagined that it might feel like a giant rocking chair swaying in the sky to the wind’s, I was hoping, gentle breeze.  To my amazement,  I was correct. Of course, this was a trial, and the hot air balloon was tied securely on three sides to three heavy pick-up trucks.

Hot Air Balloon at the Hunterdon County fair

I was holding on to the camera, and my husband asks, “Have you taken a picture yet?” No, I say, as I’m clutching very tightly to the camera string, I might drop it. “Pass it to me,” he says. So here’s my picture too.

I’m up in the hot air balloon, “Smile for the camera”!

Would you like to see how enormous the fair is?  This is the “bird’s-eye view”!!

A “bird’s-eye” view or “hot air balloon eye”-view of the Fair!!

Look at all those tents, red and white striped ones, and there’s an enormous amusement ride to the right of the photo.

Can you see the heavy ropes secured to both the hot air balloon basket and the two pick-up trucks?

Hot air balloon and the cable and ropes.

In the photo above, there is one of the pick-up trucks, a dark green truck that the hot air balloon is secured to with cable lines.

The balloon company workers are wearing the light blue tee shirts.  Very nice and helpful guys.  You must listen and follow their instructions of when to climb in and when to climb out of the balloon’s basket.   They are pretty strong, too, when my mother had her turn in the hot air balloon, they lifted her out of the basket.

a view inside the hot air balloon!

Of course, I zoomed in , while standing on the ground to get this shot of the interior of the balloon.  While I was on the hot air balloon, it was exactly that , Hot!!!!  , I felt the heat, but I didn’t look up!

Here’s the Hot Air balloon company ‘s mascot

 In Flight Balloon adventures is the name of the company.

This little dog was so cute, and very friendly to us.  He was well trained to stay inside the pick-up truck, too.

Let’s get our walking shoes on and get this party started.

Here’s me with one of the llamas!!

Did you know that llamas are used on farms as guard animals, “guard Llamas” .  They protect against  wild  coyotes.    I can see why, these animals seem cuddly cute but they are very tall compared to a sheep.

This teen is showing this llama in Dressage and an obstacle course on Saturday night.

two 4-H ‘ers at the entrance to the The cow barn!

Come on, we’re going to take a little closer look at the cows!  Cows are my favorite farm animal!! You can call me cow paparazzi!!

Cows at the Hunterdon county fair.

There is a tent where judging of the cows take place as well.

Cow and the pink sign above has birthdate info.

the cow’ s name is ” Layla and is one years old.

 " Think it, Love it, Do it, Live it  "

4-H sign, ” Think it, Love it, Do it, Live it “in the sheep barn

Do you know the 4-H Pledge?

I pledge

my head to clearer thinking.

My heart to greater loyalty

my hands to larger service

and my health to better living

for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

“It is a common practice to involve hand motions to accompany these spoken words. While reciting the first line of the pledge, the speaker will point to their head with both of their hands. As the speaker recites the second line, they will place their right hand over their heart, much like during the Pledge of Allegiance. For the third line, the speaker will present their hands, palm side up, before them. For the fourth line, the speaker will motion to their body down their sides. And for the final line, the speaker will usually place their right hand out for club, left hand for community, bring them together for country, and then bring their hands upwards in a circle for world.”

(from Wikipedia).

Both my sister an I belonged to 4_H clubs from the age of 9 years through high school; each year, we  entered our cooking and sewing projects  and in our teen years did twirling demos and competitions.

Saturday recipe and dessert

Saturday , August 11, 2012

Blue skies and lush green farmland in Wisconsin

Casserole Recipe:

Cheddar Biscuit Barbeque

1 and  1/2  lbs ground beef

1 cup onion, chopped

1 16  oz. can barbeque beans or pork and beans with molasses

1 can condensed tomato soup

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or your preference)

1 can refrigerator buttermilk biscuits


Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet.  Drain off the fat. ( I use an empty tin can which I later place in garbage when it solidifies).

Then stir in beans, soup, and seasoning (Chili powder, salt,paprika,garlic powder).  Bring too a boil.  Spoon meat mixture into a 2 quart casserole or 9 inch square baking dish.  Arrange biscuits over the meat mixture.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

Cookbook:  Home Cookin for the King of the Road 1976,

By Mrs. F.W. Kimbel , Shelbina, Missouri

Side Dish:

Deluxe Potatoes:

1 2 pound frozen hash browns

1 can cream of potato soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 tablespoon chopped onion

*green pepper to taste

1 8 ounce carton sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

*parsley and paprika

milk (optional)


In large mixing bowl,add all ingredients and let stand 45 minutes until they can mixed together.  Pour into lightly greased 9 x 13 pan sprinkle with parsley flakes, and paprika.  Bake uncovered at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Add a little milk during the baking if necessary.

By Mrs. Ar Schaap, Worthington, Minnesota

Quick Dessert:

Lemonade Pie

1 16 ounce can frozen lemonade

1 large container whipped topping

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 graham cracker crust for 9 inch pie pan ( or ready made graham cracker crust).


Mix all ingredients together and pour into crust.  Chill in freezer.  ( add 2 drops of green food coloring for eye appeal).

Wishing I was at the Wisconsin State Fair again!

Ruby Tuesday 2

Welcome Ruby Tuesday 2  readers!!!!

Last month a circus came to town where I was working!!!

Keller Miller Circus- most travel with campers connected with pick-up trucks, in the old days circus traveled by train.

The “Big Top” , the Keller- Miller Circus visits Mine Hill, N.J.

“Keller Miller is the sign on the trailer, Mine Hill, N.J.

Hope you enjoy these photos  with “Red” for Ruby Tuesday 2!!! of the outside of the circus.

I know you may be curious as to the show itself, the clowns and the animals.    What I di see, as I stood in the parking lot of the Civic Center building,  was  the back of two  large elephants as they were entering the tents.   Also, there was a Tiger tent on the grounds, and we  made jokes all day,  that the Tiger was coming to the Blood Drive!!! LOL.

As I was working a mobile Blood and Platelet drive on a Sunday, I did not visit the inside of this circus!!

Country Meat Loaf

Here is a Classic Meatloaf recipe coming from the pages of my well-worn Good Housekeeping cookbook; this and my red soft cover Betty Crocker cookbook sit among newer cookbooks on my kitchen shelf.

Country Meat Loaf

2 Tablespoons salad oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

3 white or whole-wheat bread slices

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 medium carrot, finely shredded

1 1/2 teaspoons salt 

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 egg

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1.  In a 2 .quart saucepan over medium heat, to hot salad oil, add the chopped onion , and celery.  Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon.

2.  In a larger bowl, tear bread slices into small pieces; add onion and celery mixture.

3.  To the bread and onion mixture add the lean ground beef, shredded carrot, salt, pepper,, egg, and one half of the can of tomato sauce.  Stir thoroughly to mix.

4.  In 12′ by 8″ baking dish, with hands, shape ground beef mixture into 8″ x  4″: set aside.

5.  In cup with spoon, combine the light brown sugar, cider vinegar, prepared mustard, and remaining tomato sauce.  Mix thoroughly.

6.  Spoon sauce over meat loaf in baking dish.  Bake in 350 degree F. oven 1 1/2 hours.  Serve meat loaf warm; or  cover and refrigerate  to serve cold.


I adapted the recipe as my own preparing the following way:

In my large stainless steel bowl, I placed 1 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix ( beef pork veal),  followed by 1 stalk celery, finely diced, 1 tiny carrot shredded,  I omitted the onion, 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup dry ( uncooked ) oatmeal, 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 TBSP brown sugar, 1 tsp Lite salt ( has comb salt and potassium,- look for the little light blue container on your grocery shelf. ).  If I had that kind of time, I ‘d certainly  make mine own breadcrumbs, But I think making the meatloaf is Mrs. Homemaker enough!   I could have put that old  blender to use besides my strawberry banana yogurt smoothies, Ha ha!

WIth the oven at 350 degrees, I came up with the idea, to bake  brownies at the same time in a 8 x 8 inch baking pan for 30 minutes.  I first set the timer for 30 minutes and came upstairs to Type this recipe.  I went back downstairs to my kitchen with 3 minutes 27 seconds to spare for the brownies! Yeah! Once removed from oven, I set the brownie pan atop one of my stove burners, and checked my refrigerator for what chocolate goodies to place on top of my brownies while still warm.  I started with one- half, mini semi-sweet morsels, and on the other half, I sprinkled a few cinnamon chips. Licking my lips, I  decided that  Butterscotch sauce would taste decadent sweet and poured some on the on the second half as well as some more mini chocolate chips.  I covered the entire pan with tin foil , so as to let the chocolate chips melt on top of the Brownie cake!!

I can’t wait to taste this after dinner.   Yes, I’ll wait that long.It’s only 4:00pm.


The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Copyright 1980

First Day of Summer recipes- Fruit Frappe and Banana Split Sundae

 With June 20 being the first official day of summer, temps reaching the mid 90’s.     It’s the perfect time to share some cool treats.   This morning at 7:00am the temperature was already at 70 degrees, and an hour later it was 74 degrees.   Lest I begin to sound like Ms. WeatherGirl, I’ll share the recipes in a few minutes.  Speaking of which, do you remember “Color Forms”?  I had a ” Miss. WeatherGirl ColorForms .   We delighted in playing with those vinyl clothes for the weather-girl , creating a story  using our own imagination!  


Sherbert makes this dessert cool and refreshing!

3/4 cup boiling water

1 package ( 4 serving size) sugar-Free JELL-O Brand Lime flavor gelatin

2 cups ice cubes

1/2 cup lemon or lime sherbert

Pour boiling water into Blender container.     Add gelatin and blend at low speed until completely dissolved about 30 seconds.   Add ice cubes.

Stir until partially melted and blend 2 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened.    Add sherbert and blend.    Serve AT ONCE as beverage or poir into individual dishes and chill until set, at least 30 minutes.

Makes 1-1/2 cups or 5 servings.

Other suggested combinations:

Orange flavor Sugar-Free Jell-O gelatin and orange or lemon sherbert.

Lemon flavor Sugar-Free JELL-O Gelatin and lemon,lime , orange or raspberry sherbert.

Recipe: Cut-out from a JELL-O box that only has an 800 number for questions  ( pre- dates web sites!!!!)  I was looking through my old Pink recipe notebook this morning.

Banana Split Sundae

2 squares semi-sweet chocolate (2 0z)

1/4 cup Light corn syrup

1/4 cup Eagle Brand sweetened Condensed Milk

1/4 tsp vanilla

Ice Cream  ( The flavor is your choice!)

2 tsp peanuts

2 small ripe bananas, quartered


1.  Place chocolate in a 2 cup measure.

2.  Micro-cook, uncovered 100% power 2- 3 minutes in the microwave oven, until melted, STIRRING once.

3.  Stir in corn syrup and milk and micro-cook, uncovered 100% 45 seconds- 1 minute or til heated through.

4.  Stir in vanilla.

Scoop the ice cream of your choice into pretty ice cream bowls.  I’ve got swirl edge pink dessert dishes!!! :)

Serve warm atop the  ice cream, sprinkle with nuts, arrange bananas  around the ice cream!   :)

Skywatch Friday

Hudson River from the grounds of the Vanderbilt mansion, Hyde Park, NY

Here is my photo  for the weekly photo meme called ” Skywatch Friday”.

We spent a fall weekend visiting the area of Hyde Park, New York .   The photo above is on the grounds of the Vanderbilt mansion.  From the edge of the mansion’s property we could see this  beautiful view of the Hudson river and the panorama of the New York mountain ranges  in the distance is breathtaking.

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit one or more of the  National Historic sites including  Vanderbilt mansion , Franklin  D. Roosevelt National Historic site, included his Presidential Library and Museum.

To view more pictures of the sky from around the world, please visit:

In search of a recipe with beans , and how not to burn the kitchen.

Good Morning, I woke up this morning listening to the sounds of the birds out my window.  Knowing I have the whole day to myself, I immediately start thinking of ideas of what to cook from scratch.

The first cookbook that came to mind to read was ” The Whole Food Catalogue” by Nava Atlas.    Fetching a piece of notebook paper, I start to jot down page numbers of interesting recipes.  I settle on Navy Beans, I happen to have a bag of the dried beans.  In my kitchen, I keep a  list of calcium rich foods, navy beans included.   My Whole Food Cookbook, reports that Navy Beans are very nutritious, high in potassium, phosphorus,iron, zinc, and the B-vitamin complex compared with other legumes.

First , I measure 1 cup of the dried beans and add it to my stainless steel pot  filled 2/3 full of water and I add 2 Tsp of baking soda.  I had just read on-line about  precooking  the beans with a little baking soda eliminates the gas.

My entry for Facebook reads : ”  now cooking Navy Beans on the stove to make a soup I found on-line; and my Next new recipe is : Mangu- boiling Plantains and mashing a D.R. recipe one of my co-workers told me about.”

Well this is funny.  After setting my kitchen timer for 25 minutes, I walk back upstairs to my desktop computer and start browsing on-line for another recipe.  But before I left the kitchen, I cast a glance at the two green plantains sitting on top of the counter  next to the stove and I add to my notebook paper list ( we are a frugal family and  have not submitted to I-pad3 frenzy or I-phone).  ” Need – to cook the green Plantains , Mangu recipe.  I type in my Google reader, “Mangu recipe”, and   jot down the basic recipe.  I hear the kitchen timer go OFF.  I have a few minutes, I think to myself.  I switch back to look at another Navy bean.  As I’m about to  recipe copy and paste onto a word document, the home telephone rings. As I get up from the desktop computer to go get the phone, I now smell the boiling navy beans.  It is my mother calling, as I rush down the stairs to the kitchen to see my stainless steel pot boiling up to the top with foam, I turn off the heat.  Whew, I say to my mother, “It’s a good thing you called, I would have burned the beans. Saved!!!

Here is the Navy Bean Recipe: ( Which I’m modifying )

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Onion [about 1 cup, chopped]
2 Carrots [about 2 1/2 cups, sliced]
3 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 Yukon Gold Potato [skin on, chopped]
2 TBSPTomato Paste
4 cups Vegetable Broth [or water with good quality veggie bullion]
Sea Salt [to taste]
1 TBSP Smoked Olive Oil
2 1/2 cups Navy Beans [cooked till very tender*]
6 Collard Green Leaves [about 3 cups, sliced thinly]

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes, add carrot + garlic and sauté a few minutes more. Add remaining ingredients + bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Season with sea salt to taste.

What to do with 2 green Plantains:   make a Mangu

Making Mangu is the same process as making mashed potatoes. You will need green plantains, salt, butter (or ghee), and an onion (you can also add cilantro when you saute the onion). You can buy green (make sure they are green with no yellow coloring) plantains.  These, I found at my local big Vegetable/Fruit market but you can also find at an Asian Supermarket.

  • 4-6 green plantains (not ripe)
  • a little more than 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • sea salt to taste

Cut plantains into chunks, place in large pot, cover with water and bring to boil.  Once water starts to boil, plantains should be done within 10 minutes.  Another recipe source  says boil for 25 minutes.  Plantains take longer to cook than potatoes. (You’ll know when they change a deeper yellow color and you can easily insert a fork into a piece.)

Once plantains are done. Remove cooked plantains from water (save 2 cups of the water to add while mashing).

Mash cooked plantains.

[This is where I get out my trusty Hand -held “potato masher”, he he. I like simple kitchen tools.  There’s not much fancy about me in the kitchen.  I still have my Grandma’s apron hanging on a hook on the Pantry door, just dreaming,  no,  my soft, faded, blue and  pink pattern   ” Grandma’s ” apron is hung on  a  tall baker’s shelf/ with a single wine rack.]

Gradually add  water, 1/3 cup olive oil and salt.  Continue mashing and mixing until smooth (some lumps are okay- the plantains will stiffen as they cool).  Top with  sauteed onions and serve immediately.

Everything came out delicious. I sample both the soup and the mashed planntains with a little butter and Lite salt.

We’re headed out to a Bruce Springsteen concert.  I made a quick menu for a tailgate party I’ll share in another post.  It is quesedillas with pulled pork and Shredded cheddar and mexican cheese,  sliced cukes on the side, Marble cake for dessert, and bunches of green grapes.

Recipe: Bombay Sliders

Spice up your ground turkey with  curry powder, cumin, fresh  ginger, cilantro, hot chili powder or hot Hungarian paprika, and ingredients such as plain yogurt , mayonnaise and ketchup.

Recipe courtesy of 3/07 Bon Appetit magazine
Dinner rolls work well as buns for these mini burgers. Allow three burgers per person and top with tomato, red onion, and cucumber slices.

Makes 4 servings (3 burgers each).

1 cup mayonnaise, divided (I used 1/2 cup mayo)
6-1/4 teaspoons curry powder, divided (I used 3-1/2 teaspoons)
1-1/2 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used 3/4 tablespoon)
1-1/2 tablespoons ketchup (I used 3/4 tablespoon)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds ground turkey
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (I used 1 tablespoon ginger paste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon hot chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 small dinner rolls, cut horizontally in half, lightly toasted preparation

Mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, and next 3 ingredients in small bowl for sauce. Let stand at room temperature while preparing sliders.

Place turkey, next 6 ingredients, remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 4 teaspoons curry powder in large bowl. Mix with fork or hands just until blended (do not overmix). Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Using wet hands, form each portion into patty about 1/2 inch thick.

Preheat broiler or heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. If broiling patties, brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange patties on sheet. Broil (or cover patties in skillet and cook in batches) until cooked through, pressing patties down lightly with spatula before turning over, about 3 minutes per side (or 4 minutes per side if cooking in skillet).

Place patties on bottom halves of rolls. Top each patty with sauce. Cover with roll tops. Place 3 sliders on each of 4 plates and serve.

Ruby Tuesday 2 meme

F.W. Woolworth building. Do you remember Woolworth's?

Do you remember shopping or perhaps eating a sandwich at the counter at Woolworth’s?  Going back many years, my mother’s first job at the age of 16  was at Woolworth’s.  She walked there after school, and worked the counter, and restocking and ordering for her department.

At "West side Gravy, it reminds you of simpler times, with the comforts of home.

Eating at the West Side Gravy will remind you of simpler times with the comforts of home.

Inside the former Woolworth’s building is a restaurant called , “West Side Gravy” with Chef Alex Capasso.  Chef Capasso has earned ” the top 25 restaurants in New Jersey for three consecutive years for The Blackbeard and his latest endeavor is starting a restaurant in his own hometown.

Some of the entrees are Buttermilk Fried chicken,  Meatloaf with mashed potatoes peas and West Side gravy,  West Side mac N’ cheese.

For dessert, I’d choose the  Orange Creamsicle cake, or the warm apple pie tart with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.  For the chocolate/peanut butter lovers , there’s a dessert called Chocolate Peanut butter cup.

Ruby Tuesday 2

Please join   to share you photos/ images that you’ve captured in shades of red.

I am so glad that someone else has the time and aspiration to resum this fun meme.  Thanks you Magical Mystery Teacher and Gemma Wiseman!!

Recipe: Chai Tea ,homemade

Instead of buying one cup of Chai Tea at  coffee shops like Star Bucks ,  You can make your own Chai Tea concentrate and enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

The ingredients you’ll need:

cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, star anise, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, orange zest, tea bags, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla.


  • 4-½ cups Water
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1 piece Fresh Ginger Chopped
  • 7 whole Cardamom Pods
  • 2 whole Star Anise Pods
  • 10 whole Cloves
  • ¼ teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Freshly-ground Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Orange Zest
  • 10 teaspoons Green Or Black Tea Or 10 Tea Bags
  • ⅔ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

Bring the water to a boil. Add the spices and tea, remove from heat and let steep 15-20 minutes, depending on how strong you want it. Strain and add the brown sugar, honey, and vanilla. Stir to combine.

Mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk, heat and enjoy or pour over ice.

For a stronger flavor, mix 2 parts concentrate with 1 part milk or half-and-half (if you’re like me).

Recipes-with Stuffing mix

Recipes -with Stuffing mix Using Stove-top Stuffing mix or Pepperridge Farm Stuffing mix.      Please scroll to bottom for home-made stove -top stuffing mix. 

Stuffin’ Burgers     
Combine and let set until moist: 1 cup stuffing mix 3/4 cup milk 1 tablespoon instant minced onion (dried onion)
Mix with: 1 lb either ground beef or ground turkey either: 1 bouillon cube (beef for hamburger or chicken for turkey)OR mixture of 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tespoon msg (I used Accent), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Shape into patties. Broil, grill, or pan fry. (  By Wavette of SPFP forum)
ZUCCHINI AND GROUND BEEF CASSEROLE 6 c. sliced zucchini 1/4 c. chopped onion 1 lb. ground beef 1 tbsp. butter 1 pkg. Stove Top stuffing mix 1 1/2 c. water 1 c. cream of chicken soup 1 c. sour cream 1 c. shredded carrots Cook zucchini in a small amount of salted water in saucepan for 3 minutes; drain well. Brown onion and ground beef in butter in skillet, stirring until ground beef is crumbly; drain. Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions, using 1 1/2 cups water. Combine soup and sour cream in bowl. Add zucchini, ground beef and carrots. Spoon half the stuffing into greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Layer ground beef mixture and remaining stuffing on top. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.
I found this one this weekend and fixed it for our Church Homecoming yesterday. I thought is was very good. I was looking for zucchini recipes since they are coming in droves in our garden, but I would imagine any vegetable would work .  reposted from :
Rachel A Genuine Georgia Peach
Stuffin’ Meat Loaf
2 lbs ground meat 1 cup barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s) 1 cup Stove Top Stuffing 2 eggs, lightly beaten.  Mix  together and cook in a preheated oven at 350   degrees Faherenheit  ( F ) for 1 hour.   I cook my a little longer but that could be my oven.
reposted from View PostPat in Mississippi
Make-your  own , instead of buying store , “
stove- Top “brand
Put in a zip lock bag:
3 cups breadcrumbs ( using grater attachment) if making your own
1/2 tablespoon parsley
2 Tablespoon dried onion  or    TBSP powdered onion
 2 TBSP  dried celery  or  1  TBSP celery salt    ( or use Mrs. dash for a no salt recipe )
1 tsp thyme
1/ 2 tsp. pepper
 1/2 tsp t1/2 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp sage — If you like a sage stuffing.  I don’t use it all the time and just mark my bag “Sage”. 1 1/2 TBL powdered boullion or 1 1/2 cubes boullion, crushed (or you can replace the water with broth when cooking the stuffing  to eliminate this ingredient)
Directions for cooking: Bring 1 1/2 cups water (or broth) and 1/4 cup butter to boil in a saucepan.  Stir in contents of bag; cover.  Remove from heat.  Let stand for 5 min.  Fluff with fork. EDITED THE BOULLION AMOUNT!!!  1/27/09  9:40 p.m.  The original was for the 2x amount I’ve been making!!!  Sorry.
the above recipe from Chicken in  the Road forum,  Cindi. P.    Jan 27,  2010 under  title   “Just Recipes” , ” Chicken  in a Bag”

The Great Depression-Tales of Wildcat, PA

The sisters

My mother Jeannette in yard of home in Weston Place, PA.
My mother Jeannette in yard of home in Weston Place, PA.
My, my grandfather looks handsome in his suit with his brother -in -law
My, my grandfather looks handsome in his suit with his brother -in -law

During today’s celebration of my mother’s birthday, she talked about growing up during the Great Depression of the late 1920’s and 1930’s.   Wildcat  was the name of a village in Girardsville, Pa.  They lived in coal-mining towns.  The first place they lived was Lost Creek # 2, a coal mining village.  That makes me a coal-miners granddaughter. You may recall the  movie with Sissy Spacek ,  Coal Miners  Daughter.

Wildcat,Girardsville, Weston Place and Lost Creek #2

They walked to school  It was far! She said,  they walked across a field and up a hill, possibly two miles or more.   No such thing as buses.   It snowed a lot.  The front door was level with the ground.  Once when my maternal grandfather opened the door,  he saw that the snow that had fallen overnight was  so high, that it was over my mother’s head, a child of 7 yrs old or so.

Growing up in the Great Depression, they didn’t have much.  They didn’t have boots to walk in the snow to school.  She said , they used tin cans.   The tin cans used for boots were the size to fit their feet;  they would stomp on th mash down to fit the foot shape.  I cannot imagine this.  Sounds like a snowshow of sorts. And by the way, sounds like school was not canceled for snow.

So by now, my dear readers , you must realize how much easier that we have it today.  If you need boots, you have an multitude of places in which to shop for boots.  My mother was not concerned with style such as the now Australian boots Uggs that many young women parade in during the winter months.

Her parents picked wild mushrooms in the forest and strung them on a string and  hung straight across in the kitchen to dry.  They also picked Huckleberries , blueberries and canned them.

When her parents were first married and she being the oldest recalls some of these details of the house.  In Lost Creek # 2, they lived in a “double” house with her maternal grandmother and grandfather from Lithuania.   My mom said that her grandmother  worked hard all of the time at home.   She made sauerkraut in large wooden barrel, it was kept in the basement.  My mouth waters for a taste of that sauerkraut.  She  baked bread, in the coal stove as well as” Coshi”, A potato mixture that was baked in a large oblong pan.  She remembers the nice crust on top of the “Coshi” (pronounce- co-she-). A dish called Kapoosta was cooked, made of pork and cabbage. ( recipe is in this blog: the link   ).

My mother’s father, my grandfather emigrated from Italy as a child of six years old by ship with his mother  to Ellis Island in New York.   Being that he had a taste for Italian foods, “an Italian stomach”, my grandmother learned to cook that traditional Italian dish of Polenta.  It was served with tomato sauce.      She also cooked pasta for lunch on Sundays.  Once living in Weston Place in their own house, they would visit the gradmother each  Sunday  and have pasta again for supper.  Her Uncle Tommy also lived in the house before he was married.  His preference for the pasta was fresh made, so when  she recalls looking out the window and upon seeing his car, the pasta was put on to boil.

My great grandmother, called grammy also raised chickens, and 1 rooster.   Mom  can remember hearing the rooster make his call “cock -a-doodle-do” in the early morning hours.  Great grammy  had a back yard shed where her she   made her own whiskey.  She remembers  peeking in there and her grandmother saying to her to shoo away from there.   She served it to people.  This may have been during Prohibition or just lack of shops to buy liquor.

There were no grocery stores.  There was a train tracks that ran in the front of the house;  they would hop on ( it moved slow, she recalls ) and head to the town of Shenandoah.  There was limited groceries there.

At the  front of the house , her grandmother planted flowers. Her mother in later years did not like the hobby of planting  flowers.  But my mother did carry on that knack for growing plants.  My grandfather loved the year she planted zinnia flowers outside our back door, the multi-colored hues of lavender, pink and yellow.  And in succeeding  years ,Zinnias were planted there for grandpa.  I degress.

In the back yard was her vegetable garden and the chicken coop, rooster, shed for  whiskey making, and a coal hole.   There was a hole to dig for coal right in the backyard.  She remembered watching a man from Philadelphia come with a truck to buy the coal.  The kids would sit and watch.      Since there was no indoor plumbing at this house,  they went outside to the  out house, one for kids and one for adults.  There was also a  “Bathhouse”  for the adults.  The kids had their baths in the kitchen in a wooden tub.

My mother has an old kerosene lamp.  I asked her what it was used for.  She said it was to light the way in the coal mines.  My great grandfather and grandfather both mined the coal and also wore miner’s caps with a light on.

Here is a link to Lithuanian Heritage food:

These are recipes that both my mom and grandmother and even my great-grandmother from Lithuainia prepared in a coal -stove while growing up.   Mom said that the potatoes-Koshie tasted best from the coal stove!


Many of these tidbits of family life were told to me while speaking to  my mom on the telephone and I jotted down the notes.

February 21, 2012

Mom remembered a section in Pennsylvania where they raised goats, ” The Italians”, she said, the folk called it ” Nanny Goat Hill”.

Grace asked ,  ” Was it a farm?’

Mom, ” As a baby I was allergic to milk, and had goat milk in my bottle”.

February 28, 2012

Mom said that growing up , they always had a ” radio” shaped like a clock”.  ” Grandma Pusavage had a Beautiful clock, wooden. 

In Lost creek #2 , the Rooster would wake them up.

Then she talked about the family. Uncle Tommy and Uncle Kayo were “young”, I ask  ” In their teens?”when mom lived there in the house.

Grandma Prosper was the oldest and married living in her mother’s house with Jeanette (my mom).

Mom than tells me that “they ran way to Detroit to get married with an old car. There was work there (in Detroit).

Grace, I asked , ” When did she come back ?”

Mom, ” then they lived with Grandma Prosper ( Our great Grandma Prosper ?).

” When we were  little kids, they got married by a priest.  Mom said that She and her younger sibling stayed home while their parents went to the church for the ceremony. Mom mentions Rita Sebastian (Her Godmother ) and Tony Tirone ( her godfather) accompanied our Grandma and Grandpa Prosper to get married. ( perhaps the witnesses).

She says Rita had 6 children, Nancy and five boys.

Family History: The Lithuanian side

Great grandma Pusavage emigrated to the United States with her brothers. Mom tells the story that , “The brothers came to the United States to avoid being sent to the Russian army”.  The brothers were older than “great Granny”, and they settled in Staten Island.  One of the brothers name was John.  mom stated , ” they were so tall.”

Great grammy’s father died in Lithuania and her mother remarried.

Mom remembers that great grammy’s brothers came to visit (in Pennsylvania). ” they visited Eva Simenivoch ‘s house first.  Eva was a step sister that came to America.  There are then references to who lived in Frackville, and who lived in Shenandoah, “the Valley”.  Eva had a daughter , Josephine, who was the same age as Our Grandma (Anna )Prosper. Josephine was a beautician at a beauty parlor. She had a granddaughter, her age would be about 70 yrs old now.

Great grandma Pusavage also had a sister who was a teacher.   She was sent to Russia ( Siberia) and they never heard from her again. At that time Russia domineered Lithuania, and Poland, the early 1920’s. ( a guess).

Mom said she was born at home. The Dr’s name was Dr. Cook.  When Dr. Cook came to visit, ( Dr’s made House calls ),” he could bring anything in the house, they had dogs, but when Dr. Cook was leaving with his Dr’s bag, the dog bit the Dr. !!!!”.

Grandma Proper like Buckwheat. ” She cooked everything from memory, no cookbooks” !  Grandpa A. Prosper made pancakes with apples in them on the weekends grandpa was off.

At this time,  mom also  tells me  ” A lady had a small store that sold fudge.” Fudge was 2 cents a piece.

Once I found  out about Grandma and her Buckwheat pancakes,  I myself set out to look for Buckwheat pancakes in the grocery store.  I found a blend of Buck- Wheat and another flour in the Whole Foods supermarket. We made the pancake on our iron skillet several times.

On another telephone conversation,  Mom said, ” As kids, there was a lady in Pa had a little candy store. You could buy pieces of fudge for 2 cents.   ” When we got two pennies, we bought fudge.” mom ” I used to like the white one.” I ask, ” vamilla”. Mom said , ” yes”.  They lived in a town called Weston Place when she was age 10,11 12, and 13. When she was a Sophomore in High school they moved to Chester , Pa.

When my mom was in her Sophomore year of High School, 1942, they left the rural area of Lost Creek #2 and Weston Place, so that her father could work in the Chester shipyards during World War II.

Mom said that she like the rural area versus McCaffery Village section of Chester, Pa.  She was too shy to hang with the kids.  The teens were ” noisy kids” and Irish, There was an Irish church nearby to McCaffery Village.   While mom was waiting for the school bus, she would walk to a different block on a corner to catch the” town bus”for school.    In MacCaffery Village, Mom would ask uncle Al, ” where are you going?, He would say, I’m going to visit friends”.  They were girls.

Mom’s first job was working at Woolworth’s.

Mr. O’Toole was the manager.  Mom worked there after school everyday.  She walked up from Chester High school into the town of  Chester, Pa on Main street.

She worked behind the counter in cosmetics.  When she was promoted , she worked in the cellar , kept inventory ( on paper).   Mom stated that she took care of all the stock that came in.  Make-up, candy, lipstick, stationary.  I asked if it was like the “Dollar Stores ” of today. She said , “yes”.

After mom graduated High school in 1945 , she got a different job in a company and that is were she met her lifelong friend Dorothy Falkosky Sacharok.  She stayed working there until  mom’s  family moved out of Pennsylvania to Bound Brook , New Jersey in the late 1940’s.  Another relative was already living in Bound Brook, working in American Cyanamid. Grandpa Prosper went to John’s Manville to check out a job there, but he did not stay.  He saw in the air all the white particles floating around so much that it looked like snow and he decided it was not a healthy or safe place to work.

There is a short  story about a  cousin to my mom.    Elizabeth was a sister to Grandpa  ( Anthony) Prosper, and married to Benjamin Antonelli.   One of Elizabeth’s  children was crippled with Polio.  One day when Grandpa P. went to the house to visit, he said” Where’s Nicky?” . The mother stated that she put him in a ” Home”. Grandpa then went to the “Home” and took him out . He said, ” Nicky’s your son, you take care of him!!!”

Another son of Elizabeth’s ” Alfred” became a teacher, and Frances and Eugene.

Well, Stay tuned, to more little stories, or call me/ e-mail to add yours!!!


If there is anyone reading this that lives in Pennsylvania in these towns, I’d appreciate a comment.   I’d like to know if the coal mines are still operable.   When I did a map search of the streets,  I can  see the vast area occupied by the mines..  My mother recalls a kind of dust in the air living near the coal mines.

Again,  Comments are welcomed.   Many people stop by from other countries and if you’d like to share your story or your great grandparents story of those years,  please  drop me a line under comments.

Addendum:  May 18,2009

 This writer sees that many come to this blog with an  interest in the photo of 1920’s suit, 1930’s suit,  grandfather suit.         Your  Comments are welcomed.

Please sign my guestbook  at my other new blog .

My parents wedding

My parents wedding

Look at the coal transport system overhead!

Look at the coal transport system overhead!

My mom's school photo, age 6

My mom’s school photo, age 6

My mothere's brother , Undo, (Anthony)

My mothere’s brother , Undo, (Anthony)

Generosity of Spirit: 5 Wonderfully Expressive Egyptian Phrases

Originally posted on Landscapes of Cairo:

Arabic is a remarkably expressive language in which many words and phrases often have no English equivalents by virtue of their reflection on the values and wisdoms specific to speakers of the language. While many are available and vary from one Arabic speaking country to the other, many acquire a cross-border popularity. In addition to the many quirks and humorous expressions used by Arabic speakers, there are also several wonderfully expressive phrases most particularly heard and used in Egypt. Whereas we tend to think of generosity as entailing more materialistic gestures, these phrases denote a different type of generosity- that of the spirit.

1. Na’eeman (نعيماً):
Usually said to someone after they shave, get a haircut or take a shower, the term is derived of the Arabic words ne’ma (نعمة) and na’eem (نعيم) (blessing and paradise) and is used to sort of congratulate someone on looking cleaner or fresher.


View original 146 more words

June, It’s been a long time

Hello, blog friends and followers.  How have you been?   It’s been a long time since I blogged. I do still like to write and take pictures, have been doing this all year except other priorities have kept me from downloading photos and writing.


My proclamation:

I, lovesclassics, solemnly swear that I will in the next Six months find time for myself to express and create  on this blog.  I have many more stories to tell about my mom growing up in Pennsylvania. Believe it or it, I still like to jot things down on paper, notebook paper, and like those little pads of ” sticky notes”, I keep yellow and blue ones in the car, just under the dashboard radio. During this hectic life, as I go about my day, when I think of something , or as I get a call, yes I have a fairly new, , gasp new car with” blue tooth” capabilities, , I jot things down  The trick here , is to keep referring to these stickies notes.

Sometimes, you will find me getting out of the car , small purse on right shoulder, and little blue stickie In Hand to ” get what’s on my list” , “” stick to the list, now don’t veer off.  Oh wait,here’s something I need.  Ask yourself,  ” Is it a need? , or , is it a want?.”

Previous Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 123 other followers