serves 8

5-6 lbs "point cut" beef brisket
10 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed with butt of knife
1 1/2 diced onion
2 T chili powder
4 t ground cumin
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
3 C water
2 - 14.5oz cans whole peeled tomatoes with juices
1/2 can whole chipotle chiles en adobo
2 bay leaves
6 T molasses
brioche rolls or tortillas

Season brisket generously with salt and pepper. Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Leave the skillet on the heat.

Add garlic, onion, chili powder & cumin to drippings in the skillet and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vinegar and boil until it's almost gone, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in water and pour the mixture over the brisket.

Crush the tomatoes through your fingers into the slow cooker; add the tomato juices, chipotles, bay leaves & molasses.

Cover the cooker; set it on LOW and cook the brisket until it pulls apart easily with a fork, about 8 hours.

Leave the meat in the slow cooker and use 2 forks to pull it apart and stir it evenly into the sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove & discard bay leaves. 

Pile the meat on the halved brioche rolls or tortillas.

Brioche Rolls

"Let them eat cake!" - Marie Antoinette

makes 8 - 1/2 lb rolls

1 1/2 C warm water
1 1/2 T yeast (or 2 pkts)
1 T salt
8 lightly beaten eggs
1/2 C honey
1 1/2 C (or 3 sticks) unsalted melted butter
7 1/2 C flour
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 T water)

Pour water into large bowl and sprinkle yeast on top for 5-8 minutes. Add salt, eggs, honey and melted butter. Mix in flour stirring with a wooden or bamboo spoon until mixed. Place in oven at 100 degrees to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and punch down. Place in refrigerator to chill. Use within 5 days.

Dust surface of cold dough with flour and cut off 1/2 lb (orange sized) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching surface of the dough around the bottom on all four sides, rotating a quarter turn as you go.

Place onto pizza stone and allow to rise for 1 hour and 20 min or 45 min in a 100 degree oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 20 min before you want to bake it.

Brush the top crust with egg wash.

Place in center of the oven and bake for 35-40 min or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before slicing or eating.


This is a kid pleaser for sure!

8-10 servings

3 C cooked spaghetti
2 T butter
1/3 C Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/2 C chopped onion
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 lb ground beef or sausage
1/4 C chopped green pepper (optional)
8 oz or 1 C canned or fresh tomatoes chopped
6 oz tomato paste
1 t sugar
1 t oregano
1 t garlic salt
1/2 C mozzarella cheese

Cook spaghetti and drain. Stir in butter into hot spaghetti. Stir in Parmesan cheese and 2 well beaten eggs. Form spaghetti mixture into a "crust" in a greased 10" pie plate.

In a skillet cook meat, onion and green pepper until vegetables are tender and meat is brown. Drain off excess fat. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, garlic salt & ricotta. Heat through. Turn meat mixture into spaghetti crust.

Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts.


My sister Kenzie made these tonight. She did a great job because they were so good to munch on while sitting on the porch talking in the cool night air.

makes approx 2 dozen

3/4 C diced fresh strawberries
3/4 cup diced rhubarb
TIP: if you can't find fresh rhubarb, buy a bag of frozen and thaw it in the fridge overnight.
1 T cornstarch
6 T sugar
3 t orange zest
2 1/4 C flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 C cold butter
1/4 C chilled shortening
3 T ice cold water
3 T orange juice
1 beaten egg yolk
1 T whipping cream

Combine strawberries, rhubarb, cornstarch, 2 T sugar and 1 1/2 t orange zest in bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, salt, and remaining 1/4 C sugar in large bowl. But in butter and shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 t orange zest. Drizzle with ice cold water and orange juice. Stir with a fork until combined and crumbly. Knead mixture lightly and shape dough into a disk. Divide dough in half.

Roll half of dough to 1/8" thickness on a heavily floured surface. Cover remaining dough with plastic wrap. Cut with a 2 1/4" round cutter, rerolling scraps as needed. Place half of dough rounds 2" apart on a pizza stone or greased baking sheets. Top with 1 rounded teaspoonful strawberry mixture. Dampen edges of dough with water and top with remaining dough rounds, pressing edges to seal. Crimp edges with a fork and cut a slit in top of each round for steam to escape. Repeat procedure with remaining dough and strawberry mixture.

Stir together egg yolk and cream. Brush pies with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. Freeze pies for 10 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


serves 4

To make rosemary oil:
In a food processor or blender, combine until smooth:
1/4 C olive oil
2 T rosemary leaves
2 T chives
salt & pepper to taste
Refrigerate leftovers up to 1 day.

To make quesadillas:
6 flour tortillas
approx 2 C shredded mozzarella
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 T pepper
8 thin slices prosciutto
rosemary oil
Preheat grill to high or use a grill pan on the stove at medium heat. Spray hot grill pan with non stick spray. Place a flour tortilla on grill. Quickly sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese, a couple of slices of red onion, sprinkle with salt and season generously with pepper. Cover with another tortilla layer and repeat. Top with a final layer of tortilla and brush with olive oil. Grill until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Turn and grill the other side 2-3 minutes. 

Place on a serving platter and cut into quarters. Top each quarter with a slice of prosciutto and drizzle with the rosemary oil.


This was my sister's Kenzie birthday breakfast yesterday and has been dessert ever since.

makes 24 bars at 209 calories each

2 sticks unsalted butter cut into chunks
1/4 C packed light brown sugar
1/2 t salt
2 C flour
3/4 C seedless raspberry jam
1 pint or 2 C fresh raspberries
8 oz package softened cream cheese
1/2 C sugar
1 T flour
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 T lemon zest
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t vanilla
powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 baking pan with 2 foot sheet of foil, leaving extra foil extending over ends. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed until it just begins to blend and soften slightly, about 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and salt, beat on low speed until well mixed, about 30 seconds to 1 minutes. Turn the mixer off. Add 2 C flour. Beat on low until flour is incorporated. Increase speed to medium, mix until ingredients form an even cohesive dough.

Break dough into small chunks and distribute in prepared pan. With your fingers, press dough into an even layer. Bake 20 minutes then cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.

Spray a thin layer of nonstick spray onto edges so that the filling won't stick.

Spread jam evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with raspberries. With a lemon zester, remove peel from lemon, making sure to avoid bitter white pith.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Mix in sugar and 1 T flour until blended. With mixer running, add egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Pour batter evenly over berries. Tilt pan back and forth to distribute evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour. Cover and transfer to refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. It's ok if the top cracks some as it cools.

Use foil to lift bars from pan. With a knife or metal spatula, support the sides of the bars while you gently peel foil downward and away from sides of bars. Cut into bars, peel foil from bottom and transfer to cutting board using side of a long knife or a spatula.

Optional: Sprinkle very lightly with powdered sugar.


serves 4

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4" strips
3/4 t ancho chile powder
1/2 t garlic salt
1/4 t ground cumin
1/8 t lime zest
2 T lime juice, divided
1/4 C sour cream
2 T milk
1/2 ripe, peeled avocado
2 C packaged angel hair cabbage slaw
1/2 C thinly sliced green onions
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
1 T oil
1/4 t salt
8 corn tortillas

Heat large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with chile, garlic & cumin. Coat pan with non stick spray. Add chicken to pan and cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan. 

Combine zest, 1 T juice, sour cream, milk and avocado in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Combine remaining 1 T juice, slaw, onions, cilantro, oil and salt; tossing to coat.

Heat tortillas in a medium heat skillet. Divide chicken mixture evenly among the tortillas. Add 1 T avocado cream to each along with 1/4 C slaw to each tortilla.


Gave my sister a choice of desserts of what to make for her 25th birthday. This is what she chose.

10 servings

2 frozen Sara Lee pound cakes
2 1/2 C cold milk
1/3 C instant espresso granules
2 boxes (28g each) vanilla instant pudding
4 C homemade whipped cream
(4 C heavy whipping cream & 1/3 C sugar & 1/2 t vanilla: whipped until thick)
1 1/2 squares semi sweet chocolate, shaved or grated
1/4 t ground cinnamon

Cut the thawed pound cakes into 1" cubes and place half of the cubes in your trifle or other bowl. 

Whisk together milk and instant espresso; let stand 5 minutes. Reserve 1 C of the milk mixture. 

Add pudding to remaining milk mixture and whisk until it begins to thicken. Gently fold in all but 1 C of the whipped cream.

Pour half of the reserved milk mixture evenly onto the cake cubes in the trifle bowl. Layer with half of the pudding mixture. Then grate or shave 1/3 of the chocolate squares over the pudding mixture. 

Add remaining cake cubes then the rest of the milk mixture, layer with the pudding mixture then another 1/3 of the chocolate shavings. 

Top with the reserved 1 C whipped cream. Then sprinkle the remaining chocolate shavings and cinnamon on top. 

Serve immediately or place in refrigerator until ready to serve. 


2 servings
427 calories per serving

2 (3oz) square ciabatta rolls
1 garlic clove, halved
1/2 lb ground chicken
1/3 C plus 2 T marinara sauce
/12 t chopped rosemary
1/2 t chopped thyme
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/8 t pepper
1/4 C shredded part skim mozzarella cheese OR 2 (1/2") slices of fresh mozzarella
8 basil leaves 

Preheat broiler.

Cut rolls in half. Place bread, cut side up on baking sheet or pizza stone. Broil for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove bread from pan. Rub each slice with cut side of garlic. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine chicken, 1/3 C marinara, rosemary, thyme, red pepper, salt and pepper. Divide into 2 portions, shaping each into a 1/4" patty. Heat an oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan: cook for 3 minutes. Turn patties and place pan in oven. Bake for 8 minutes. Top each patty with 2 T cheese or with a slice of cheese and bake for an additional minute.

Layer bottom half of each roll with 2 basil leaves, 1 patty, 1 T marinara, 2 basil leaves and roll top.


This will be perfect for your July 4th get together especially because it's super easy to prepare and oh so delicious! With a little help, your kids could make this for you.

Canaan & I couldn't stop eating the strawberries and blueberries, before they were even made into a dessert. Be sure to pick out some good, sweet fruit at your local grocer or farmer's market for this treasure. 

serves 4

6 freshly diced strawberries, washed & hauled
1 pkg cranberry or raspberry Jello
1 C or more homemade whipped cream 
(Just whip approx 1 C heavy whipping cream and 1/3 C sugar or sugar substitute until it forms soft to heavy peaks. You can even add a little vanilla or other flavoring, if desired.)
1 C fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry

Divide the strawberries among 4 serving glasses.

Prepare the Jello in a large measuring cup or bowl according to the package instructions. Pour over the strawberries just until it reaches the top of the strawberries. There will most likely be left over Jello.

Whip the cream. When the gelatin is set, place approx 1/4 C of whipped cream onto each layer of Jello/strawberry mixture.

Top with approx 1 T to 1/4 C fresh blueberries.

Serve immediately.

TIP 1: If it's for the 4th of July, think about adding one of those paper U.S. flags (the ones on a toothpick) to each of the glasses before serving.

TIP 2: Make the bottom layer in individual glasses and store covered in the fridge until the next day. Just top with whipped cream and blueberries before serving.


As most of you know, I collect vintage cookbooks and love to cook from them but occasionally I make up my own recipes. I can't believe how good my take on a healthy soup and grilled cheese is!

When Canaan & I were at the cabin last week, I made condensed tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I didn't like the canned soup any more than Canaan did and I found myself breaking up the grilled cheese sandwich into my soup just so I could get the soup down. I knew I could make a much better soup and so this is how I came up with the idea for this meal. It's SO good! Can't wait to make and eat it again.

Serves 4

3 C chopped tomatoes
2/3 onion, chopped
3 whole cloves
1 1/2 C chicken broth
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 t salt (opt)
1 t or more sugar

In a pot over medium heat, bring tomatoes, onion, cloves & chicken broth to a gentle boil for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat. 
Blend well in blender then run through sieve and press out liquid with the back of your spoon. Discard solids.
Rinse out pot, then melt butter over medium heat, stir in flour to make a roux. 
Cooking until medium brown. 
Gradually whisk in some tomato mixture so no clumps form. Then stir in rest.
Season with sugar and salt.
Serve immediately with Grilled Cheese Croutons.
Store leftovers separately from the croutons in the refrigerator. 

serves 4

4 or more slices French bread or any other white or wheat bread
2 1/2 t melted butter
1/4 to 1/2 t garlic salt
shredded cheddar or colby cheese

Cut bread into slices at least 1 inch thick.
In a bowl, combine butter & garlic salt. Brush over one side of bread slice. 
Place on baking sheet and sprinkle each with a pinch of cheese. 
Broil 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

TIP #48: Crushing crackers or other

I usually crush crackers and whatnot for different recipes with a meat tenderizer or if I'm desperate with a hammer (which my Aunt Susan S. taught me how to do during Hurricane Rita).

When we were at the cabin for Memorial Day, my friend Chrisy J. taught me that you can use a rolling pin to crush things in a ziploc bag while we were making the coating for the fried chicken. Thanks, Chrisy!


WOW! These are good! Even if you don't like strawberries, you might even like these.

prep time: 25 minutes
Makes 12
calories approx 209 per scone

2 1/2 C flour
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 stick butter, cut into chunks
3/4 C chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 C dried strawberries (optional)
2 T snipped basil
2 lightly beaten eggs
1/2 C 1/2&1/2

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I've also used a food processor to do this. Gently toss in fresh and dried strawberries and basil. Make a well in center of flour mixture, set aside.

In another bowl, stir together eggs and 1/2&1/2. Add to flour mixture all at once. Using a large spoon, gently stir  just until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead by folding and gently pressing it 5-7 times, turning dough a quarter turn after each fold. Transfer to grease baking stone or sheet. Pat or lightly roll dough into 3/4" thick circle. Cut circle into wedges and pull apart slightly OR just leave in a circle and cut after it's cooked.

Brush wedges with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 16 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Reheat 15 seconds in microwave. 


Migas comes from the Spanish word meaning crumbs. It's a classic Texan breakfast especially in the Austin and San Antonio area. I miss all those locally owned restaurants there!
Originally it was eaten during Lent, without the chorizo.

serves 4

8 large eggs
1 t salt
3 T oil
4 - 6” stale corn tortillas, broken into bite size pieces or cut into strips with pizza cutter
1 small link Spanish chorizo sausage, chopped (opt)
1 ripe plum tomato, halved, seeded and chopped (opt)
1 small chopped onion
1 clove minced or chopped garlic
½ C shredded Monterrey Jack or Colby cheese
handful fresh cilantro, chopped (opt)
pepper to taste

Crack eggs into bowl and add salt. Beat lightly.
Heal oil in skillet over medium heat. Add tortillas to skillet. Cook turning until golden and a little crisp about 3 minutes.
Add chorizo, tomato, onion and garlic. Cook until onion is soft about 4 minutes. Pour egg over & pause to let eggs heat slightly then stir very slowly so the eggs cook evenly into large fluffy curds. Cook continuing to stir for 2-6 minutes depending on how set you like your eggs. When eggs are still just soft, remove pan from heat and fold in the cheese and cilantro. Season to taste.
Serve with salsa and flour tortillas, if desired.

I did not add in cilantro, tomatoes or chorizo. And I only made 1/2 a recipe.


Lime Sherbert

1 (3oz) pkg lime Jello
1 C hot water
½ C sugar
2 C milk
1 C 1/2&1/2
¼ C lemon juice
1 t lemon zest

Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Add sugar, milk, 1/2&1/2, lemon juice & zest. Mix thouroughly. Put into 2qt flat dish and put into freezer. Freeze until firm. Break into chunks with wooden spoon. Turn into chilled bowl and beat until fluffy and smooth. This can also be done in food processor. Return to cold tray and put in freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours.


This is one of Julia Child's recipes from her Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Because she's a wee bit wordy, I condensed it for you...and me. This is SO good! 

serves 4, about 1 quart
approx 141 calories per serving (1 C)

1 (1lb & 14 oz) can OR 2 (1lb) cans apricot halves, drained
2 egg whites
½ C sugar
2 T lemon juice
2-3 drops almond extract

Puree apricots, adding enough of their juice to make 2 C, set aside.
Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks, set aside.
Beat sugar and lemon juice into apricot puree for several minutes. Taste, if it needs more sugar then add and beat again. Note: Be careful that your sugar proportions shouldn't be more than ¼ part of the mixture because your sherbet won't freeze properly.
Whip in egg whites with mixer.
Add almond extract.
Turn into a flat pan. Cover and freeze 2-3 hours. Scrape into mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer. Recover and freeze again for an hour. Beat it again. Turn it into a serving bowl. Cover and freeze again for several hours more before serving.
Let soften for ½ hour in refrigerator before serving.


WHAT WE'RE MUNCH'N ON? FRESH SALSA with tortilla chips

Fresh Salsa

Makes approx 4 C
Takes approx 15 minutes to make

¼ medium sweet onion
1 small garlic clove
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
1/4 - 1/2 C loosely paced fresh cilantro leaves (I put about 1/2 C)
2 lb tomatoes
1 lime
1 ¼ t salt
2 avocados, cut into bite size chunks
serve with tortilla chips

Pulse first 4 ingredients in food processor until finely chopped. Add tomatoes in batches and pulse until well blended. Transfer to large bowl. Squeeze juice from lime over salsa and stir in salt & avocado. Refrigerate leftovers.

WHAT WE'RE SNACK'N ON? Strawberry Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Chips


12 servings (6 chips & 3 T salsa for 138 calories)

2 T oil
6 (6") whole wheat flour tortillas
2 t sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 C finely chopped peeled ripe avocados (about 2)
1 C finely chopped strawberries
2 T minced fresh cilantro
1 t minced seeded jalapeno pepper
2 t fresh lime juice
3/8 t salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chips: brush oil evenly over one side of each tortilla. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over oil coated sides of tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 12 wedges: arrange wedges in a single layer on baking sheets or stones. Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp.

TIP: make ahead. Just cool completely and store in air tight container.

Salsa: Combine remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.

Serve with chips.



6 servings

  • 30 saltine crackers
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 T dry potato flakes
  • 1 t seasoned salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C oil
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Place crackers in a large Ziploc bag; seal bag and crush crackers until they are coarse crumbs. Add flour, potato flakes, seasoned salt, and pepper to bag and mix well. Beat egg in a shallow dish or bowl; heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. One by one, dredge chicken pieces in egg beat, then place in bag with crumb mixture, seal bag and shake to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook chicken in skillet for 15 - 20 minutes, turning frequently, until golden brown and juices run clear.

So I completely forgot to take pictures since we all were so hungry for it on Memorial Day.
I appreciate my MIL Latayne for cooking it for us. It was the best fried chicken I've ever had!



12 oz pkg chocolate chips
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 T butter
2 C dry roasted peanuts
10 ½ oz pkg mini marshmallows

Over a double boiler, melt butter, chips and milk until melted. Remove from heat. 
Mix with marshmallows and nuts in a large bowl. Put in wax papered lined 12x9 pan.  OR you could drop spoonfuls onto the waxed paper.
Chill 2 hours. Cut.


makes 5 cups

12 oz pkg frozen blueberries
1/2 C fresh lemon juice
3 family size tea bags
3/4 C sugar

Bring blueberries and lemon juice to a boil in large saucepan over medium heat and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour through wire mesh strainer into a bowl, using back of spoon to squeeze out juice. Discard solids. Rinse saucepan clean.

Bring 4 C water to boil n same saucepan and add tea bags; let stand 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Stir in sugar and blueberry juice mixture. Pour into a pitcher; cover and chill 1 hour. Serve over ice.



makes not quite 5 C
hands on time: less than 5 mintues

crushed ice
3/4 - 1 C lime simple syrup (below)
1/2 C fresh lime juice
3 1/2 C chilled club soda

Fill large pitcher with crushed ice. Pour lime simple syrup and lime juice over ice. Add club soda and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Lime Simple Syrup

makes 1 1/2 C
hands on time: 10 minutes

Stir leftovers into unsweetened iced teas.

1 C sugar
1 T lime zest
1/2 C fresh lime juice

Cook sugar and 1/2 C water in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lime zest and lime juice. Cover and chill 1 hour.