Friday, October 9, 2020


Whether you are "empty nesters", newly weds or single, this scaled down recipe for individual potatoes au gratin is easy, tasty and reheats well too!! This recipe makes 6. 

2 large russet potatoes
1/2 cup grated Colby Jack cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream PER PORTION
1/2 cup finely chopped ham or crisp bacon

Peel the potatoes and put them in the food processor along with the ham (or bacon). Pulse the potatoes and ham just until you get pieces about the same size as medium hashbrown chunks. Remove from the food processor and stir in the cheese and salt and pepper.

Spray your cupcake pan with cooking spray and fill each "well" to the top (patting down VERY lightly). 

Pour 2 full tablespoons heavy cream over EACH portion. Cover with foil and bake at 375° for 40 minutes (take the foil off the last two or three minutes and put them under the broiler to get some color).

Remove from oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes before lifting them out of the pan with a large spoon.

These are deliciously creamy, cheesy and "ham-y"; they will go with almost anything. Recipe makes six portions. One portion is perfect for children, but adults can easily eat two portions.... well, WE can anyway 😉

IMPORTANT:  I like to use a Texas size muffin pan, but a standard muffin pan will work too. If you are using a standard cupcake pan, put a baking sheet under the pan because the cream tends to bubble up a little during cooking.


Monday, October 5, 2020


This recipe is not only super quick, super easy and super tasty, but it is very pretty!! It's great for any special occasion, and it goes together in the wink of an eye, so it's also great for a week night meal!!

2 cups whipping cream
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatine
2 tablespoons COLD water
1/4 cup BOILING water
3 level tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small cup, mix unflavored gelatine with 2 tablespoons COLD water. Stir and let it sit for a minute while you heat up the water.

Add the boiling water, stir and set aside while you whip the cream.

In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, sugar cocoa powder and vanilla. Whip until soft peaks form.

After soft peaks start to form (and while still beating) slowly drizzle in the dissolved gelatin, then beat the mixture on high till stiff peaks form.

Put mousse into dessert dishes and chill, at least, one hour.

Note: This recipe fills 8 normal size dessert dishes.

NOTE FOR EMPTY NESTERS:  I cut this recipe in half and it is perfect for the two of us.......for two nights. It keeps VERY well (covered) in the fridge.


Friday, October 2, 2020


Picky-picky husband loves these little omelets with diced ham and cheese in them, but I like them with chopped mushrooms, broccoli and bacon. Either way, two mini-omelets make a very filling (and fun) breakfast. 

 Another reason I like this recipe is that it can easily be doubled for a crowd with no standing over the omelet pan while your company is waiting for you!!


EASY BAKED MINI-OMELETS        (makes 12)

1 pound of breakfast meat cooked and drained (ham, bacon or sausage)
1 cup favorite veggies, sauteed (optional)
8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk (or cream if you're feeling self-indulgent)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (depending on how salty your meat is)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Preheat oven to 375° and spray cupcake pan with vegetable spray.

Whisk the eggs, milk, oil, baking powder and salt and pepper together until smooth.

Divide meat and vegetables evenly between the 12 greased cupcake wells; top with a little cheese.  Pour enough egg mixture in each well to come very close to the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes (my electric oven takes 22 minutes exactly). During this time, they will really DOME UP like a cupcake, but after you take them out of the oven, they will slowly flatten back down as they cool.

Remove from oven and garnish with another pinch of cheese (I use a little sharp cheddar). Let the mini-omelets rest in the pan for 5 minutes before you take them out (they will easily lift out of the pan after 5 minutes).

NOTE: Use your imagination regarding veggies you want to use in this recipe, just remember the veggies have to be pre-cooked.

NOTE: These little muffins stay warm for quite a while and they reheat VERY well in the microwave. They would be a fantastic addition to any brunch table because they are still tasty at room temperature.

EMPTY NESTERS TIP: When I make these for just the two of us, I cut the recipe in half, which gives us 2 mini-omelets each and a couple to snack on later.