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Showing posts from February, 2011

Helen’s Lasagna

Was there such a thing as a “foodie” back in the 50’s?  If there was, I was definitely one of them at a young age because this dish really got my attention. 
I vividly remember going to visit some family friends, Helen and Charles, on Catawba Island, by Lake Erie years ago when I was young.  Swimming and boating on Lake Erie was great but what I really loved was the lasagna that Helen made.  Mom did not cook this type of food when I was growing up and it was love at first bite for me.  She had to get this recipe!
Even though this lasagna recipe is a little time consuming; believe me, it is well worth the effort.  It has thick layers, is super cheesy with a great tomato sauce and lots of spicy meat ~ Italian sausage, pork sausage and ground beef. 
The result of Helen’s recipe is amazing and the best lasagna ever!  I love Italian food and so does Bill.  I forgive him now of years ago driving all around Europe ~ only to end up at the border of Italy several times ~ and never actually visi…

Chicken Breasts Dijon

I like to try different ingredients with chicken as it’s so versatile and I’m a huge fan of Dijon mustard so this recipe is a winner for me. 
This is a simple recipe that ends up being a savory gratifying dish.  The Dijon mustard, chives and lemon juice add a piquant flavor to the chicken cooked with the mushrooms.  A tablespoon of capers adds a bold taste. 
Serve with a crunchy salad and cheese grits for a fast mouthwatering weeknight meal.  Chicken breast Dijon has the best taste ever!

Chicken Breasts Dijon
4 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon coarse ground pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons chives, chopped 2 tablespoons lime juice 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard ¼ cup chicken broth 1 tablespoon capers
Heat 1 tablespoon each, oil and butter in a large skillet. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken breasts until browned and no longer pink…

Murphy’s Law and Chicken Noodle Soup

As per my last post, you may know we are proud grandparents now.  Matthew was born Thursday, Feb. 10th and went home from the hospital on Saturday.  As Murphy’s Law would have it, Bill contracted the flu on Sunday, Feb 13th and passed it on to me Wednesday.
That took care of our week ~ no visiting precious baby Matthew and little cooking.  He had his first doctor’s appointment and passed with flying colors with a gain of 5 ounces.  Bill and I are cured so that means we will be making up for lost time this week in seeing “our sweet little guy.”
Thanks so much to all of you for your kind comments on my last post about Matthew.  I truly appreciate them and I see that many of you are grandparents also.  I’m so happy to join you in that!
Kind of off the subject but, since Feb. 2nd, we’ve gone from a blizzard and 21-inches of snow to negative 9 degrees, to 60 degrees to a thunderstorm yesterday.  The saying in Chicago is “if you don’t like the weather, wait a day”.  Can your area top this wea…

Our Great Valentine Gift ~ 4 Days Early and Appalachian Stack Pie!

I am thrilled to say that I have been a Grandma and Bill a Grandpa since 4:25 a.m. Thursday, February 10th!  This is our first grandchild and we are looking forward to many years of loving and spoiling him. 

Our younger son Matt, and his wife, Kathy, are the proud parents of Matthew, who weighed in at 6 pounds, 6 ounces and is 19 inches long.  He’s tiny, adorable and perfect. 
Mom and baby, and Dad also, are doing great and I know Matt and Kathy will be wonderful loving parents.  The world is already a better place now that Matthew has arrived!

He is the absolute best Valentine’s Day gift ever!  And speaking of Valentine’s Day, I have a great recipe for a Valentine’s Day treat!
Maybe you’ve heard of or even enjoyed Appalachian stack cake.  It’s usually filled with dried apples and lots of spices.  With wedding cakes being so expensive, the legend goes that stack cake was a community-baked wedding cake.  The dough for the cake was rolled into 9-inch very thin layers and baked in cast-iro…

Here’s Johnny ~ Marzetti, that is…

Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!  It’s cold outside!!!  It’s 0 degrees with -13 degree wind chill as I write this with forecaster’s predicting -10 degrees for tonight.  Single digit days and negative nights ~ that’s the Midwest for you…   
These are the days to warm up from the inside out and Johnny Marzetti is a perfect dish for doing just that.  Mom cooked this great dish in the winter when I was growing and it was one of my favorite meals. It was originally a dish of few ingredients; mainly elbow macaroni with tomato sauce, ground beef and cheese.  Now, it’s like gossip with the changes cooks make. 
I was born in Columbus, Ohio so I am proud that Ohio lays claim to Johnny Marzetti.  The dish originated in Columbus in the 1940’s by the owner of Marzetti’s restaurant and was named after his brother Johnny.  It spread to other parts of the United States as variations of the recipe were published in magazines and cookbooks during the mid-20th century.
The Johnny Marzetti concoction I make now includes d…

Caramel Chocolate Trifle and the Game

The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, making Bill very happy!  He has always been a die-hard Packer fan even though he was raised here in northern Illinois.  

Bill asked me yesterday if I knew what the “G” stands for in the Packer logo.  I bet you are like me and assumed Green Bay.  It makes perfect sense, right?  Wrong!  The funny video below is New York Giant Tiki Barber quizzing the Green Bay Packer players.   I don’t feel so bad now that I know most of them don’t even know what it stands for.  They definitely know more about football and lived up to the "G" last night!  Here’s what the “G”stands for:

Our "hostess with the mostest" of the Super Bowl party we attended asked me to bring a dessert.  I knew Carla really meant a CHOCOLATE dessert.  From above, this trifle looks like chopped bits of candy but, a look at the side view shows all of its delicious layers!

This trifle is stacked with devil’s food cake chunks, chocolate pudding, a whipped topping and caram…


SNOWTHUNDER ~ amazing ~ snowing with zero visibility while thunder boomed and lightening lit the sky!  Not to mention the howling wind all Tuesday into yesterday noon.  And then to see mountains of snow from the drifting!

Our driveway finally got plowed out from 5-6 foot snow drifts last night at 7:00 p.m.  They do a great job of clearing the roads here but this storm was just a bit too much.  The roads here and in the surrounding counties were closed and some still are this morning.   

Northbound Lake Shore Drive in Chicago was a nightmare.  Hundreds of motorists were stranded for 12 hours after several accidents on the beautiful stretch of highway right in the city.  Many cars were almost buried and snowmobiles arrived to rescue stranded people.  It was a bad day to be on Lake Shore Drive or anywhere around here for that matter.  

There is a lot to discuss with this blizzard and is one we won’t be forgetting soon.  It was the third-largest snowfall in Chicago history and I hope when …

The Winner Is...

Thanks to all of you who entered the great CSN Giveaway for a $20 gift certificate!  I used and...
CONGRATULATIONS TO: Monet @anecdotes and apples
Visit her blog and see how good she cooks and bakes.  She is a great writer on top of all that!

Monet, please contact me at to receive your CSN gift certificate.

“He toasted his bacon on a fork and caught the drops of fat on his bread; then he put the rasher on his thick slice of bread, and cut off chunks with a knife, poured his tea into his saucer, and was happy.”

~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

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