Tuesday, August 7, 2018


This recipe is a wonderful use for all of those extra garden veggies you have this time of year. Tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions, celery and anything else you can think of to add to the soup; this recipe is very versatile (and yummy).

1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 1/2 cups water
2 large tomatoes (I use roasted cherry tomatoes)
1 (15 ounce) can ro-tel tomatoes with juice (I use mild)
4 cups beef  or vegetable broth  (not bullion)
1/3 cup uncooked barley
1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I like 1/2 teaspoon)
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 can rinsed and drained kidney beans (or your favorite bean)
pinch of red pepper flakes if you like heat (optional)

Spray a large soup pot with vegetable spray and sauté the onions, celery and carrots until the onions turn soft and a little sweet.

Put the undrained can of rotel tomatoes

PLUS the two fresh tomatoes into the food processor and blend until smooth, then add to the pot.

Add everything else to the pot and simmer SLOWLY for 45 minutes, that's it; just stir it once in a while.

I'm SURE this could be easily done in the crockpot as well. This is one of those great recipes that tastes even better on day two.


Sunday, August 5, 2018


These chocolate cups are quite tasty and a real show stopper. Great for company because you can make them ahead and keep them in the freezer. Even when they are frozen solid, they are and not brittle; they are the consistency of a GOOD FUDGE !!!

Great for Ice Cream or 
Chocolate Mousse !!!

All it takes to make these are ingredients you probably already have in your pantry:

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 cup finely ground pecans (I used the food processor)

In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated). Stir until very smooth then stir in finely chopped pecans. Insert paper liners into cupcake pans; spread about 2 tablespoons of this mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the paper liners (made the sides and upper edges nice and thick). 

Freeze for at least 2 hours. Carefully peel off paper liners and fill with a scoop of your favorite ice cream or chilled mousse. Makes about 12 cups.

NOTE: I melted my chocolate with the sweetened condensed milk in the microwave (on high); it took about 30 seconds, stirring half way through.

NOTE: Recipe calls for finely ground pecans. I used the food processor to chop the nuts super fine.

NOTE: Make sure you leave the chocolate at the top edge of the cupcake paper nice and thick, so it doesn't break/tear when you remove the paper. Chocolate cups are not super hard/brittle like other chocolate cups.

NOTE: Letting the chocolate cups sit at room temperature for about 3 or 4 minutes before removing the paper liner, makes it easier.


Sunday, July 22, 2018


This blueberry bread is easy,sweet, tasty and super moist. In fact, it stays moist for several days (if it lasts that long).

Blueberry Bread
1 1/2 cups flour plus 1 tablespoon (divided)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Mix flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Beat eggs, sugar, sour cream, vegetable oil, lemon zest and vanilla until smooth and blended.

Add the flour/baking powder and salt mixture into the egg mixture and stir just until blended.

Toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon reserved flour and then GENTLY fold them into the batter.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9" x 5" loaf pan ( I lined mine with parchment and then sprayed it with cooking spray).

Bake in pre-heated 350 oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes (1 hour and 10 minutes if you are using frozen blueberries) or until toothpick tests clean. Let the finished bread sit in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack. Wrap HOT blueberry bread in plastic wrap and let it cool to room temperature.