March 21, 2018


Dearest Beignet Lovers:  Here is a creative twist on the classic beignet.  The dough is rolled into a ball -- sort of like a hushpuppy.   The balls of dough are deep fried in canola oil in a dutch oven.  They are then sprinkled with a healthy dose of powdered sugar and then sprinkled with more powdered sugar for good measure.   The finishing touch:  serve them with orange marmalade!

I would truly love to take credit for this lovely idea, but, alas, I cannot.  We ate at Another Broken Egg Cafe last month when we were in Miramar Beach, and received complimentary beignets served with orange marmalade.  They were absolutely, no question, the very best part of the breakfast.

They are more dense than a traditional beignet, but are such pretty little ball shapes, onto which you can  spoon the lovely orange marmalade.   

This recipe makes a lot of beignets and could easily be adjusted for less people.  It is also a little work intensive, since you will be deep frying in batches.  I had to watch my oil very carefully, as well, to make sure it didn't get too hot because the beignets will get done on the outside and still be a bit doughy on the inside.

If you have the inclination and time to make these, they are truly worth it.



3/4 cup of water - lukewarm
1 package of Rapid Rise Yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup of evaporated milk
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
Canola Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
One jar of Orange Marmalade for serving


1.  With a whisk, combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl.   Let it sit for approximately 10           minutes until the yeast dissolves and is frothy.

2.  Add the evaporated milk and egg and mix together.

3.  Add the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together.  Then add the yeast mixture and butter to the flour mixture.  With the dough hook, mix until well incorporated.  When it is incorporated, the dough will come clean from the sides of the bowl.

4.  Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in a bowl coated with oil.  Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place until doubled in size.

5.  When dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured surface and pinch off pieces of dough and form into balls.  (Approximately the size of a medium cookie scoop).

6.  Fry beignets in canola oil in a dutch oven.  You will know when the oil is hot enough by placing a small piece of dough into the oil, and when it begins to sizzle, the oil is ready to start adding in your beignets.  Fry them until they are golden brown on each side.

7.  When the beignets are done cooking, remove them from the oil and place them on a paper-towel lined plate.

8.  Sprinkle the beignets generously with powdered sugar.

9.  Serve with orange marmalade.

(Be sure to keep an eye on your oil so that it doesn't get too hot.  If it gets too hot, it will cook the beignets too fast on the outside and not get quite done in the center.)


March 16, 2018


Pizza is one of my favorite foods to eat.  I like deep dish, thin crust, homemade, and even frozen  pizza.   I do not like greasy pizza.  The only meat I care to eat on pizza is pepperoni.   I am open to pretty much any kind of veggie.   This pretty (and delicious) pizza has pepperoni, green pepper, red pepper, mushrooms, and fresh mozzarella cheese.

While we were at Miramar Beach last month, we ate at Grimaldi's Pizzeria.  We ate there on Valentine's Day, and we really liked it.  We went back again with friends after playing golf at Baytowne Golf Club.

Their pizza crust is absolutely perfect.  While mine was not quite that perfect, it was very tasty!

I was inspired by Grimaldi's pizza, and, so;  I made this homemade pizza.  Their pizza is not made in a cast iron skillet, but on a pizza pan.  I liked the idea of doing it in a cast iron skillet.

I hope you are inspired to try to make a homemade pizza.  This pizza is very rustic looking and will hopefully be enjoyed by family and friends!

As an aside, I  seldom measure when I cook.  When I bake, I measure everything as precisely as I possibly can, but when I cook things like pizza or pasta or make soup, I just sort of add things and "eyeball" things.  I think I will remember exactly what I did, but I don't.  I have tried to recreate this pizza to the best of my memory.  I hope you can follow along with my recipe below, and if you should decide to make it and have questions, feel free to ask me.




3/4 cup of warm water
1 package of active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
Olive oil for drizzling

1 can of diced tomatoes
Italian seasoning (or basil and oregano)

1/2 large green pepper, cut into pieces
1/2 large red pepper, cut into pieces
Button mushrooms, washed
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
More Olive oil for drizzling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1.  Add water to a small bowl.  Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

2.  In a stand mixer using the hook attachment mix flour and salt together.  Add the yeast mixture until a soft dough forms.  Transfer dough to counter top and knead the dough until it is smooth.

3.  Drizzle olive oil in a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl and cover with a clean dish towel.

4.  Set the bowl in a warm place and let rise until the dough is doubled in size.

5.  While dough is rising, using a food processor, process canned diced tomatoes.  Add in seasonings and pulse to mix seasonings in.

6.  Drizzle olive oil on bottom and sides of a cast iron skillet.  Spread dough across the bottom and up the sides of the skillet.

7.  Spread tomato sauce over the top of the dough.

8.   Place pepperoni,  green pepper, red pepper, mushrooms, and fresh mozzarella cheese on sauce-covered pizza dough.  Drizzle with Extra Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.

9.   Bake in a 350 degree oven until pizza crust is done and cheese is melted.


March 6, 2018


Dearest readers:  Instagram is full of inspiration these days.  I have a bookcase full of cookbooks, but time and time again, I look to Instagram for my inspiration!!  There are so many wonderful food bloggers out there that continue to inspire me every day.  Some blogs I mostly enjoy for their remarkable photographs.  And I enjoy reading some for their "out-of-the-box" recipes using ingredients I've never heard of, let alone, ever tried.  Some of the beautiful baking blogs are so much fun to scroll through or check out for their absolutely stunning decorating skills.  And that doesn't even touch upon my other passion, which is knitting and to a lesser extent crocheting.  Instagram abounds with amazing talent.

I have been inspired lately by the cast iron skillet recipes that are trending now.  I was in the line at the grocery store, and there with all the other magazines was a magazine with recipes solely devoted to Cast Iron Skillet Cooking.  So  . . .  I thought I would give it a try.  My cast iron skillets mostly sit in a lower cabinet and are seldom used.  The smallest one gets used for cornbread, and I bought the largest one for frying chicken.  But I prefer to fry my chicken in an electric skillet . . . what??  Just like my mother fried chicken.  And it turns out perfect every, single time.

So I dusted my cast iron skillets off, and so far, I've made three different recipes using them:  Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken and Orzo in Lemon Butter Sauce, and a pizza (in the que.)

I have a confession:  I've never used Orzo in a recipe.  (I know who has never used orzo?  Me!)  When Hubs began to eat dinner, he said the texture of this dish was a surprise because he was expecting the texture of rice!  It does make sense because it looks a lot like rice, only larger.

This recipe is absolutely full of flavor, and with the cast iron cooking, it can all be done like a casserole.  Actually, it is pretty much a casserole in a cast iron skillet.  I flashed fried kale  and sprinkled it on top after the "casserole" came out of the oven.

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, orzo, lemon, butter, extra virgin olive oil, capers, garlic chicken broth, and salt and pepper.  And if you would like an easier, healthier version, just add the uncooked kale into the casserole and bake it rather than frying it.

Flash fried kale.  Pretty, right??


.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

.  3 cups chicken broth  

.  2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

.  2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

.  1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic

.  1 large lemon

.  1 cup orzo

.  1/3 bottle of capers

.  salt and pepper

.  kale

.  canola oil


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Heat olive oil and butter in the bottom of a No. 8 cast iron skillet.  Salt and pepper chicken breasts on both sides.  Fry the breasts in the skillet until they are golden brown, approximately three to five minutes on each side.  Remove chicken from the skillet.

3.  Add four slices of lemon and cook the lemon on both sides until golden.  Remove lemon from skillet.

4.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Next add chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet.  Squeeze in the juice of the other half of the lemon and add the orzo and capers.  Bring to a boil.  Add chicken and lemon slices back into the skillet.

5.  Place skillet in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken tests 165 degrees F in the center part of largest chicken breast using a meat thermometer.

6.  Heat canola oil in a skillet and add approximately two cups of kale.  After canola oil is hot, add kale and fry for a few minutes until it has a crunchy consistency.  Remove from heat and remove to a plate lined with a couple of paper towels.  Sprinkle on top of casserole after it comes out of the oven.

7.  Serve to FAMILY AND FRIENDS!  


March 2, 2018


We just got back from a month at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.   We ate out a lot;  to the point that I don't want to eat out for awhile now.  Thank you very much.

I am a homebody for sure, and it feels amazing to be back home and in my kitchen.  This is our fourth year going to Destin for the entire month of February.   The weather was a bit of a mixed bag.  The first two weeks were cool and rainy and/or overcast.  The second two weeks brought a lot more sunshine and warm temperatures.  I actually got to sit by the pool for the first time since we've been going in the winter.  And what does that have to do with Chicken Pot Pie?  Well, absolutely nothing!

 I am ready for some homemade comfort food, and I think this Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie is the perfect choice!

I have always used pie crust for my chicken pot pie.  My grandmother made chicken pot pie with homemade biscuits.   I thought it would be a great idea to use puff pastry!

I used boneless,  skinless chicken breasts cooked  in the slow cooker.  I like that the chicken is more or less "poached" and very tender.   Always be sure your chicken is cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  I am reminding you, dear reader, of this because I didn't time exactly how long my chicken was in the slow cooker.  It was in several hours, until it is so tender it can be pulled apart with a fork.

I added in potatoes, carrots, and peas.  Without further ado, here is the recipe:


Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie

1 sheet of Puff Pastry
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
32 ounce box of chicken broth
1 heaping cup of russet potatoes, diced
1/2 cup of baby carrots, diced
1/2 cup of frozen peas
4 Tablespoons of Corn Starch 

1.  Cook chicken in a slow cooker on low for several hours until the chicken is done.  The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  Remove chicken from slow cooker and cut into pieces (or shred with a fork). Set aside.

3.  Strain the broth from the slow cooker into a 10-inch cast iron skillet.  Heat broth on top of the stove and add in a slurry of 4 tablespoons of corn starch and 1/2 cup of water.  Slowly pour the slurry into the chicken broth and whisk on low heat until the broth is thickened. 

3.  Peel and dice potatoes, and cut baby carrots into (coin) pieces.  Place them in a pot of salted water, and boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are done.

4.  In a separate saucepan, cook 1/2 cup of frozen green peas according to the directions on the package.

5.  Add chicken, potatoes, carrots and peas to the thickened broth.

6.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

7.  Roll out thawed puff pastry on a floured surface.  Place on top of the mixture in the cast iron skillet and fold any edges under.

8.  Bake the pot pie in the preheated oven for approximately 35 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown.