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Pumpkin Jelly Roll


3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract divided
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar divided
1 package {8 oz} cream cheese softened
6 tbsp butter softened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 15×10-inch jelly-roll pan {I don’t have one so I just used a 9×13}
with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper. Sprinkle a clean kitchen towel with 1/4 cup powdered sugar.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer,
beat eggs, sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla until smooth. Add in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly into
prepared pan. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and flip cake
onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off the paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with the narrow end.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Beat cream cheese, butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla
in a bowl until smooth. Carefully un-roll cake and spread filling over cake.
Re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

YIELD: 1 loaf (12 Servings)
PREP: 20 mins COOK: 15 mins

**added 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin and a dash of cinnamon to the filling!  Awesome!

Mango Rice

This is a great side dish to your favorite fish.  Tonight I am serving it alongside some grilled Ahi tuna.

2 cups Jasmine rice

4 cups water

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 tbsp whole cloves

1 tbsp peppercorns

1 mango, peeled and diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup sliced green onions

Put the spices in a spice bag or cheesecloth. In a large saucepan put the spice bag, rice, water and salt.  Bring to a boil and then turn to low, cover and cook until the water is absorbed. Remove the spice bag.  Fluff with a fork and then fold in the mango, cilantro and green onions.  Serves 6-8.IMG_0540

Quick and Easy Trifle

trifle1I have been making this quick dessert for so many years that I can’t remember who gave me the recipe!  My kids grew up loving it and requesting it often.  You can use whatever fruit is in season, i.e. strawberries, blueberries, peaches, blackberries or even a mix of several.  Just change the kind of jam you use to match the fruit.

1 5-5 ounce Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding

3 cups cold milk

1/2 cup jam

1 prepared angel cake

1 pint fresh fruit

1 8oz tub Cool Whip

Cut the cake into bite sized pieces.  Make the Jello pudding according to package directions.  Heat the jam for 45 seconds in the microwave.

To put together start by putting half the cake into a clear glass dish. (Looks prettier this way!) Slice half the fruit onto the cake parts.  Drizzle with the heated jam and then pour over half of the pudding.  Add the rest of the cake followed by more fruit and the rest of the pudding. Top with Cool Whip.  That is it!  Simple, fast and delicious!


Summer is upon us and I need to get back to blogging!  There are a few potato salad recipes already on my blog but I have just improved upon one of my favorites so here it is!

5 pounds red potatoes, boiled to fork tender with skins on, cubed

4 stalks celery, diced

1 green bell pepper. diced

1 6″ cucumber, peeled and diced

1 cup finely chopped parsley

6 green onions, sliced

1 can black olives, chopped

3 tablespoons horse radish

4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 cup of mayonnaise

salt and fresh ground pepper

Mix everything together adding more mayonnaise if necessary.  Chill for a couple of hours before serving.  If you really like horse radish you can add a bit more.  Surprising how one different ingredient can change the whole thing!!  Enjoy!potato

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sorry I haven’t been adding to my blog lately!  We have been on the road and traveling quite a bit these last few months.  I am now preparing my menu for our annual Christmas get together with Vic’s golf group.  Following is the menu, all recipes are on the blog with the exception of the onion tarts.  I will put that one on as soon as I make them!

Grilled Shrimp Appetizer

Carmelized Onion Tarts

Lobster Bisque

Another Au Gratin Potato Recipe

Prime Rib with Horseradish Sauce

Homestyle creamed Corn

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Salad with Champagne Vinegarette

Chocolate Jelly Roll Cake (with cranberries)

Assorted Adult Beverages!


Carne Asada Marinade

So, we are off to Costa Rica in a few days and one of our neighbors there, an ex-pat from California, has said the only thing he misses is good Mexican food!  I told him that the next time we visited I would make him some California style Mexican food.  I will be cooking up some of my refried beans, Mexican rice, guacamole and salsa.  To top it off I will be grilling some carne asada and pollo asada.  Since the meat is not available marinated in Costa Rica, I have come up with a really good marinade.

Mix together all of the spices, put in a zip-lock bag, add the liquids and refrigerate for a few hours…

1 teaspoon each of the following spices:

salt, pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chile powder, oregano, cumin, paprika


1 can beer, 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 4 cloves smashed garlic, 2 limes (cut in half and squeezed) 1/2 cup olive oil

Peach Upside Down Cake

I usually do this with pineapple but today I had a few nice peaches so here it is!

Prepare a 9″ by 11″ cake pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Spray the sides with non-stick cooking spray.  In the bottom of the pan put one stick of melted butter. Swirl around to evenly coat the pan bottom.  Evenly distribute 1 cup of packed brown sugar.  Peel and slice 5 large peaches.  Arrange on the top of the brown sugar.  Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon over the peaches.

peach2Now mix up your favorite cake mix or make one from scratch….

Sift together:

3 cups flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

Set aside.  In your mixer bowl put one cup of room temperature butter.  On medium speed, mix until the butter is smooth.  Next add 2 cups of sugar and beat until light and smooth.  Add 5 whole eggs, ONE at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Scrape the sides of the bowl after each egg addition.  Measure 1 1/4 cups  of milk.  On slow speed add the flour and milk in three additions, alternating between the flour and milk.  Start and end with the flour.  Add 1 tsp vanilla.  Spoon over the fruit and spread evenly.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let rest for 15 minutes then run a knife around the edge and invert on to a serving plate.  Goes great with vanilla ice-cream!


Grilled Pork Loin

photo (8)Super easy and moist!  I used to make this years ago when my kids were little and while on camping trips.  Use a disposable aluminum pan for easy clean-up.


4 lb pork loin

1 stick butter

1 pkg Lipton’s dry onion soup mix

2 bottles of your favorite beer

Put the pork loin on an elevated meat rack in the aluminum pan.  Add the butter, beer and soup mix to the pan.  Preheat half of a two burner grill and put the pan on the side with no direct heat.  Close the lid.  In about 15 minutes, check to see if the butter has melted and then baste the roast.  Check every 15 minutes or so and baste each time.  Insert a meat thermometer and continue checking and basting until the temperature reaches 160 degrees.  Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes. I like to pour a glass of wine and sit outside while the roast cooks….

This recipe is inspired by a local restaurant that I enjoy going to for lunch with my daughter Victoria.  Last week I had their simple baby greens salad as a starter and I loved the dressing.  I came home and started looking at recipes for the right blend of items and this is what I came up with….

6  tbsp.  champagne vinegar

4 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 cup honey

1 cup canola oil

salt and white pepper to taste

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard and honey.  Slowly whisk in the canola oil in a steady stream.  Season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate a couple of hours before serving.  Simple but a real keeper!