Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Kabobs

My friend, Ellie, served these when a few of us girls gathered in her urban cottage for dinner. Delicious.

cherry tomatoes

fresh Mozzarella cheese balls

basil leaves

Alternate on wooden skewers.

Mix together 2 Tbls each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Drizzle over kabobs.

Ellie says Kalamata olives could be added.

Beef Stew

Hot and hearty with a hint of apple flavor, you’ll love this stew. Use organic veggies. They’re not just better for you but they taste better.

Beef Stew

real food

1 lb. beef stew meat, in 1″ pieces

2 tablespoons cooking oil

4 cups apple juice, total

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoons thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper

 3 large potatoes, cut

4 carrots, sliced

1 medium onion, wedged

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cold water

Brown all sides of the stew meat in cooking oil. Drain oil. In a large pot combine, stew meat, 2 cups of apple juice, 2 tablespoons water, salt, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Add potatoes, carrots, onion, 2 more cups of apple juice and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Smooth together 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup cold water. Stir into stew. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, continually stirring.

Denise’s Christmas Sugar Cookies

Here are my pink reindeer Christmas cookies. I don’t have a reindeer cookie cutter so I used a horse and a bunny cookie cutter to make these ‘almost look like a reindeer’ cookies.

No contest here, these are the best sugar cookies!

1 cup butter, room temperature

1  1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 almond extract

2  1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Stir in egg,, vanilla and almond extract. When well blended, mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Form into a ball. Cover and chill for 2 hours to overnight.

On a floured surface roll out dough to 3/16 – 1/8 inch thickness. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes, depending on size of cookies.


2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 tablespoons milk

Blend well and frost cooled cookies. Top with colored sugar.

In memory of Denise.

Chocolate Soda

When was the last time you had an old fashioned chocolate soda? Maybe you’ve never tasted this nice summer beverage. It’s easy to make and chocolate lovers will enjoy this!

chocolate sodaFor each glass:

 3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup (I use Hershey’s)

 1  1/2 cups club soda.

Stir those together.

Fill the drinking glass with vanilla ice cream, about 2 small scoops.

The general rule is half ice cream and half soda.

The amount of chocolate can vary from 2 to 3 tablespoons.

Variation: Use coffee ice cream

I know you’ll enjoy this. They are difficult to find where ice cream treats are served. The last time I ordered one was in a small town in the late 1980s. I’m so glad I know how to make them myself! That way I can have one anytime!

Party Mints

These are great for showers and weddings. I made these for my mother’s 90th birthday mints


2  1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 oz. cream cheese

1/4  to  1/2 teaspoon mint or peppermint or almond extract, to taste.

Few drops of food coloring.


Mix well.

Press into candy molds or drop tiny amounts off a teaspoon, as I did in the photo. Another way is to form tiny balls and press your thumb into the centers or flatten balls with tines of a fork dipped in powdered sugar. May add a little more powdered sugar to make mixture easier to work with.  Mints should be about the size of a quarter.


Air dry, uncovered, overnight at room temperature.

Store in airtight container.

party mints




Wild Rice Soup

This soup is one of my favorites that I’ve been making for years.  It’s easy and everyone likes it.


1  –  15 oz. can of wild rice, drained

2 cups firmly packed shredded American Cheese (I use Land O Lakes)

1 can Cream of Potato soup

2 to 3 cups* water

1 cup of half and half cream

2 to 3 cups* milk

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

dash of pepper

Combine everything in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until the cheese has melted.

When serving, garnish bowls of soup with fried, crumbled bacon.

* For a richer, thicker soup use 2 cups



Ginger Lemon Iced Tea

In the city of Nairobi we enjoyed the most refreshingly, tasty drink. If it was on the menu, I ordered it. When I returned home I came up with what I think is a close second.


1  1/2 cups water

2 bags of ginger tea

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons honey


Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and steep ginger tea bags for 15 minutes. Cool. Add lemon juice and honey. Mix well using a fork. Serve over ice.

Rhubarb Sauce

How can something this easy to make taste so good? Serve chilled with sugar cookies, or warm over vanilla ice cream.  Also good in plain yogurt.

4 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

Combine rhubarb, water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Stir occasionally. Simmer 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.

Lovely Cupcakes

This is an old recipe. The cake is dense and moist, giving it that old fashioned texture.

2 cups sifted flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sifted sugar

2/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 egg whites

Combine flour and baking powder. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add the flour mixture. Blend in milk and vanilla.  Fold in egg whites. Mix well.

Pour into paper cupcake liners, filling 1/2 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Lemon Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

1  1/2 cups powdered(confectioners) sugar

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice


With an electric beater, whip together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. May add more powdered sugar for a thicker frosting if you like. Spread on cooled cupcakes. Garnish tops with coconut.