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Fabulous summer meal – fresh, locally grown corn and Paprika Chicken hot off the grill!!


paprika chicken

6 tablespoons plain yogurt

3 cloves garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons ground paprika

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon hot chile paste

1 pinch cayenne pepper

8 pieces of chicken


1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon ketchup

1/4 teaspoon hot chile paste

1 pinch paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together yogurt, garlic, 3 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon hot chile paste and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.

Mix in chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

Heat outdoor grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

Remove chicken from the bag and transfer to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Pat chicken dry, season with salt and pepper.

Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, sherry vinegar, ketchup, 1/8 teaspoon hot chile paste, pinch paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Grill chicken, skin side down, for 4 minutes with the lid closed. Turn chicken and grill with the lid closed until well-browned and meat is no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes.

Spoon sherry vinegar mixture over cooked chicken and serve.


Recipe adapted from The Dining Guide, May 2016




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While cleaning out our garage for the Home Tour, we came across an old electrical smoker that had belonged to my husbands Father. Covered in dust and not used since it moved with my Husbands other belongings 15 years ago, we decided it was one of many possessions it was time to let go.

Lacking the sentimentality and being rather wary of plugging it in after such a long time of disuse, I decided to attain the same subtle smoky effect by using cedar papers to wrap lightly seasoned fish for an easy, delicious dinner.


cedar wrapped fish


1 cup mango, diced

3/4 cup English cucumber, diced

1/4 cup red onion, diced

3 tablespoons mint, chopped

3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons lime juice


4 fillets of firm white fish

cedar papers, soaked

In a medium bowl, combine mango, cucumber, red onion, mint, cilantro and lime juice, season with salt and set aside.

Season fish with salt and pepper and place one fillet in the center of each paper. Fold paper edges towards each other until they overlap, secure with cotton string.

Heat pan over medium-high heat, place packets seam side down on cooking surface and grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

To serve, open packets and spoon salsa over fish.


Recipe adapted from Cedar Papers




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My husband had been curious about homemade crackers and had mentioned several times he would like to try and make some. I presented him with a large plate of these Chickpea and Sesame Crackers, thereby removing the time and effort it would have taken him to reach the tasting process.


chickpea and sesame crackers

1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups flour

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 egg white

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Heat oven to 350F.

In a food processor, pulse chickpeas until coarsely chopped. Add coriander, salt, pepper, flour and butter and pulse to combine. Gradually add 3 tablespoons of cold water until dough forms a ball. Add parmesan and pulse to combine.

Divide dough and form into two 1-inch-thick disks. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disk to an 1/8-inch thickness. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. With a knife, cut into 1-by-3-inch rectangles and place 1/2 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Let crackers cool on sheets.


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart



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My husband fully appreciates a smooth, elegant tumbler of bourbon, making this cocktail a pertinent choice to start the Fathers Day weekend celebrations.


marmalade whiskey sour

20 ounces bourbon

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon superfine sugar

1/2 cup orange marmalade

1/4 teaspoon angostura bitters

ice and maraschino cherries for serving

Combine bourbon, lime juice, sugar, marmalade and bitters in a pitcher. Stir vigorously until sugar is dissolved.

Fill glasses with ice, top with bourbon mixture and serve each with a maraschino cherry and a drizzle of cherry liquid.


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart



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This is the short rib recipe I made once our air conditioner had been fixed and cool air was flowing afresh in our home.

our air conditioning heroes

our air conditioning heroes


syrah braised short ribs

Season eight short ribs with salt and pepper, sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon each of chopped parsley, oregano and rosemary. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add 1/2 pound chopped bacon and cook until crisp, transfer to a roasting pan. Add 2 cups chopped onion and 1/2 cup each of chopped carrots and celery to the skillet and brown over moderately high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups Syrah and 1 cup beef broth, boil and pour over the ribs. Cover and braise in a 325F oven for 4 hours, until the meat is tender. Transfer the ribs to a platter. Strain the sauce, skim off the fat and boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups. Season with salt and pepper, pour over the ribs and serve.


Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, October 2009



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I had arranged to take a friend dinner following her surgery, which happened to coincide with the hottest day of the year, and, we quickly discovered, our air conditioner not functioning. Unthinkingly, I chose to make a dish that needed to cook in the oven for 3 hours, which although allowed me ample time to prepare the rest of the menu and to roast the vegetables I had planned to accompany the Short Ribs, also further increased the uncomfortable heat. Thankfully the air conditioning was fixed by that evening and it was pleasant to be inside the house once again, cooking and caring for family and friends.


classic pimiento cheese

1/3 cup mayonnaise

4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons dried mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

1 (12-ounce) jar diced pimiento

8 ounces shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese

8 ounces shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese

Stir together mayonnaise, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, sugar, salt and pepper, until smooth. Stir in onion. Fold in pimiento and cheeses. Cover and chill 8 to 12 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes and stir well before serving.


Recipe adapted from Southern Living, September 2015


short ribs

1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 1/2 pounds bone-in short ribs

Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, dry mustard and ground red pepper. Pat ribs dry, rub with spice mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 325, place ribs in a roasting dish, cover and bake for 3 hours or until tender and a thermometer registers 200F. Place ribs on a cutting board, cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, August 2015


lemon pie bars

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup butter, softened

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Heat oven to 350F.

Mix 2 cups of flour and confectioners’ sugar together. Cut in the butter, mix well. Press the dough into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown.

Beat together eggs, sugar, 1/4 cup flour, lemon juice and lemon rind for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the mixture over the baked crust.

Bake the bars another 20 minutes, or until the lemon topping has set. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar once cool.


Recipe adapted from allrecipes



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I fell in love with Indian food after my first taste of Butter Chicken, and enthusiastically attempted to make it at home.


butter chicken

3/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vindaloo spice

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed

1 stick salted butter

2 onions, finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2/3 cup chicken broth

1 cup cream

rice and cilantro to serve

In a large bowl, mix the yogurt with the vindaloo spice and lemon juice. Add the chicken thighs and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Add the chicken and its marinade along with the crushed tomatoes and stock to the casserole and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 20 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer until the sauce is flavorful and the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and serve with rice and cilantro.


Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, May 2016



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This summer was my daughters fifth to attend horse camp, which she looks forward to each year. Every morning during the week she is out at the barn, she packs a change of clothes and shoes, a huge bottle of water and a lunch – for which these Mini Frittatas were perfect.

elise and kelp "horse camp"

– riding bareback at the barn


mini frittatas

6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons sour cream

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Heat oven to 375F. Place paper liners in a muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, combine spinach, ricotta, sour cream, Parmesan and cheddar.

In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk, hot sauce, cumin, black pepper, lemon pepper and parsley. Stir egg mixture into spinach mixture.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove from tin.


Recipe adapted from allrecipes



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“A family meal beats social networking and neighborly conversation as the number one way to increase civic responsibility – those who eat regularly with their loved ones are more likely to vote, get involved in community activities and volunteer” (from a joint study by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship as read in the Readers Digest).


family meatloaf

1 pound ground pork

1 pound ground beef

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 package dry onion soup mix (I made my own by mixing 2 tablespoons beef granules,  1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes and 1/4 teaspoon each of celery seed, paprika and black pepper)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons steak sauce

1 onion, chopped

Heat oven to 350F. Mix together pork, beef, cheese, onion soup mix, eggs, ketchup, steak sauce and onion, until well combined.

Press into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until cooked through and no pink remains.


Recipe adapted from allrecipes



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I finally liberated the duck breasts from the freezer and searched for recipes, after my son had asked numerous times to try it. I attempted two different methods, and although both gave directions to pan sear the breasts in a skillet, the sauces were quite different and both immensely delicious – complimenting the moist, crispy duck perfectly.


black currant lacquered duck breast

1 duck breast

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons grated ginger root

1 tablespoon honey

1/3 cup black currant jam

3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Heat oven to 375F. Score the fat side of duck breast in a crosshatch pattern. Season well with salt and pepper, then place in an oven safe skillet, skin side down. Place the pan over medium heat, cook for about 8 minutes or until much of the fat has rendered and the skin is crisp and brown.

Turn over the duck breast, transfer the pan to the oven, cook for 6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150 to 160F. Transfer the duck to a plate to rest while you make the sauce, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the duck fat.

Return the pan to the stove over medium heat. Stir in the shallot, cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, then add the ginger, honey, black currant jam and apple cider vinegar. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to a bubbling, syrupy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Return the duck breast to the pan, skin side down, over medium-low heat. Brush the sauce over the breast to coat evenly. Turn the duck breast skin side up, spoon sauce over the top for about 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. Let rest for 5 minutes in the pan before slicing. Serve with remaining sauce.


Recipe adapted from The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, June 2016


although I neglected to photograph the sauce, it was delicious and well worth the effort

although I neglected to photograph the sauce, it was delicious and well worth the effort

2 duck breasts

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Score a diamond pattern in the skin of each duck breast. Sprinkle with salt, let stand for 15 minutes.

Combine the orange juice, chicken broth and sherry vinegar in a medium bowl. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves, cook, without stirring, until liquid turns a golden amber color, about 5 minutes. Stir in juice mixture, stir until hardened sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, cook until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in orange rind.

Place duck breasts, skin side down, in a large skillet. Place pan over medium heat, cook 10 minutes or until skin is golden brown, occasionally pouring off excess fat. Flip breasts, cook 4 minutes for medium or until desired degree of doneness. Place breasts on a cutting board.

Pour off fat from pan, place pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, cook 45 seconds, stirring frequently. Add orange liqueur, cook 15 seconds or until liquid nearly evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in juice mixture. Bring to a boil, cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove pan from heat, add butter, stirring until butter melts.

Cut duck breasts across the grain, serve with sauce.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, December 2015



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