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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Potato Hash

When ever I have company come stay, I usually make this for them. It goes together quick and I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen.

I've started making it even if I don't have a guest. It's sorta become my Sunday ritual, just like Sunday Morning. I love that show!! I snuggle up in my recliner with a bowl of my potato hash with two over easy eggs on top, turn on Sunday Morning and all is good in my world.


Notes:  I like red potatoes, but you can use what ever kind you like.
I also added a sweet potato to this recipe, but if you don't like sweet potatoes, you can leave it out.
You can use what ever kind of onion you like. I usually use a sweet onion, but I had a red onion on hand and used that. (why do they call them red when they are almost purple?)
I always use sweet corn, but you can substitute any vegetable you want. One of these days I'm going to buy some fresh asparagus and give this a try!!
You can also eat your eggs anyway you like. I happen to like mine over easy!!!

5 -6 medium sized potatoes
1 sweet potato (optional)
1/2 medium onion
1/2 lb of bacon
1 cup sweet corn
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cut the bacon up into bite size pieces. Fry them up in the frying pan on medium heat until they are cooked. Take bacon out of grease and put on paper towel to soak up grease. Pour bacon grease in dish to use later.

Chop up onion and put in pan that you cooked bacon in until onions are translucent. Take onions out of pan and drain on paper towel.

Add some of the reserved bacon grease to the pan. Add the sweet corn to the pan and stir until cooked. Take corn out of pan and drain on paper towel.

Chop up potatoes into bite size pieces. Add more bacon grease to pan and put potatoes in pan. Salt and pepper potatoes. Stir around a bit.

Cover potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Check potatoes with a fork to see if they are tender. If not, stir potatoes around a bit and then cover again in 5 minute increments until done.

Add other cooked ingredients to pan and heat all up together. Separate into bowls. Cook eggs how you like them and place on top of potatoes.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce

I believe that I have died and gone to heaven!! A heaven bathed in a luscious caramel sauce laced with Bourbon. I know I will be dreaming about this sauce tonight because I can't stop thinking about it's wonderful taste!!

I was looking for a caramel sauce recipe to make and found a lot out there. I read several and decided on this one. I've altered their recipe a little. A little more salt and a little more Bourbon.

I've made caramels before, but my recipe makes them with corn syrup. I wanted to find a recipe that didn't use corn syrup. This one enticed me because it only had 4 ingredients. And corn syrup was not one of them!! I read through the recipe, the instructions and the comments and to be honest, I was a little intimidated. But I thought I would give it a try.

I went to my local liquor store to buy some Bourbon. I'm not a Bourbon or Whiskey drinker and quite frankly didn't know they were kinda the same thing. I've heard the name Makers Mark, so I thought I would go with that one. Brand name, not overly expensive... it works for me!!!

The biggest thing I learned when making the sauce is that you have to be careful and watch it closely. It will go from a deep amber to burnt in a matter of seconds!!! Other than that, it's pretty easy.

I know you will enjoy it as much as I do!! I have to warn you though, you will want to drink the whole bottle!!

My dad would have loved this sauce as he was a whiskey man. Cheers dad.


I used Makers Mark Bourbon Whiskey, but use whatever high quality bourbon you have.
You can use this over ice cream, in your coffee, cheese cake, on bread pudding, where ever you would normally use a caramel sauce.


1 cup sugar (+ 1/4 cup water)
½ cup heavy cream
6 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp bourbon
1 tsp salt


Simmer sugar and ¼ cup water on medium heat, swirling pan NOT stirring for about 15 minutes or until a deep amber color is reached. Watch closely as to not to let it burn.

Turn off burner and remove from heat and add butter. Stir until butter is melted and incorporated into sauce. Slowly add cream while stirring.

Add salt and bourbon and place back on still-warm burner for another minute while stirring.
Transfer to a heat-safe dish or bottle and let cool.

Store covered in the refrigerator and bring to room temp or heat in a warm water bath before serving. You can also just simply microwave the jar for 30 seconds before each use without affecting the texture or flavor.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 20 1 Tbsp servings; per serving: Calories: 51 Fat: 1 g Saturated fat: 0.5 g Carbohydrates: 10 g Sugar: 10 g


Friday, July 26, 2013

Corn Chowder

Monday at the cafe was Corn Chowder day. It was my favorite day for soup!! It was Max's favorite soup day too!! He couldn't wait until I came home from the cafe with leftovers and was very disappointed when there were none.

Max is spending a month with me and the first thing he asked me when he got here was "could we make corn chowder?" "Of course!" I said.

It's' an easy soup to make and when I make it, it's completely vegetarian. That's a big plus in the restaurant business when a lot of your customers are vegetarians.

Max is my 9 year old grandson for those of you that don't know me. He used to come to the cafe and walk around like he owned the place. Max and my other grandson Logan loved to play in the basement. It had all kinds of nooks and crannies. But they also loved to help me in the kitchen. Max is finally old enough that I can start teaching him how to cook from beginning to end with out him losing interest.

So tonight we made corn chowder, and as you can see by the pictures, Max loved every minute of it. From beginning to end.


Corn Chowder

1 stick of butter
1 small onion
1 carrot (8 small carrots)
1 celery stalk
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of flour
3 cups of extra sweet corn
3 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 cups of 1/2 & 1/2
salt & pepper to taste

I use butter. Especially when a recipe calls for it. Never margarine. You must use butter for this recipe!!

I only had heavy cream or 2% milk. I didn't have 1/2 & 1/2. So I used half heavy cream and half 2% milk. You could probably use just the 2% milk, but you wouldn't have the same flavor.

I like my vegetables chopped up small for this soup so that you taste more of the sweet corn than anything else. But you could leave your vegetables in bigger chunks.

I like to use white corn for this because it's nice and tender and sweet. Unfortunately all I had was really sweet corn. Which was good for this soup, but not as good as the white corn. Trust me on this!!

You can use chicken stock for this soup or vegetable stock. I use vegetable stock.

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. While butter is melting chop up onion, carrot, garlic and celery.

 Add the vegetables to the melted butter and saute them until soft. Add the flour and mix until you have a paste.

 Cook this mixture for about 2 minutes to cook the flour taste out. Slowly add the stock to this mixture and stir while you add so you don't get lumps. Once all of the stock is incorporated, add the 1/2 & 1/2. Stir until incorporated. Add the corn. 

Add 1 tsp of nutmeg and salt & pepper to taste. Let cook for about 20 minutes so that the flavors blend together. Serve with bread.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Sangria is like a party in your glass!! Oranges, lemons, limes, Rum and of course Wine were invited to this party, but you can invite anything or anyone you like to yours.

I went on a trip through the wine country in northern California and one of my stops was Sonoma, CA   It was fun exploring and sampling the various wine the area had to offer.  At one of the wineries, I had decided to joined a wine club for a year which meant every month I got two new bottles of wine. The only problem was that they kept sending me a very dry red wine which I'm not real fond of. I must have joined the wrong club!

What do you do when you have wine that you're not real fond of, but you don't want to waste it? You make Sangria with it. It will convert that wine into the most delightful drink you could imagine.

I would make this for my husband and I when we would watch the movie Sideways. Have you seen it? I love it. Anyways, every time they would drink a glass of wine in the movie, my husband and I would drink a glass of Sangria. By the end of the movie....well lets just say you're pretty much lovin life and all is good with the world!!


I use a spiced Rum instead of a clear Rum for my Sangria. Captain Morgan's to be exact. It adds a nice flavor, but you could use a clear Rum if you like.

As far as fruit, you could add peaches, strawberries, grapes, mango's...what ever your favorite fruit might be.

You could use a white Wine instead of  Red wine if you prefer. Most of the wines we got were Merlo's and I'm not real fond of Merlot wine so I would make Sangria out of that.


2 oranges
2 lemons
2 limes
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of Rum
1 cup of Orange Juice
12 oz of lemon lime soda
1 bottle of wine

Cut up fruit in slices and then in halves; squeeze juice in pitcher and then put fruit in pitcher.

Add sugar and rum.

Mix everything with a spoon smashing the fruit as you stir to let out the juices. Cover pitcher with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in your refrigerator.

Right before you are ready to serve, add entire bottle of wine, Orange Juice and lemon lime soda. Stir
mixture together. (I got a surprise when I opened the bottle of wine. I thought it was red, but it was actually white!! Like I said, you can use any kind of wine.)

Serve in glass over ice.


Friday, May 24, 2013


I remember back in the 70's (ok, I'm showing my age) when Granola became the "thing to eat"!! Euell Gibbons was asking people if they had ever eaten a Pine Tree and granola was becoming the rage!!

Granola is one of those foods to take along with you to munch on when you're hungry. You can keep a stash in the car for those long car rides or just to munch on when your on your way home from work when you just need a little something to tide you over until dinner.

I'll let you in on a secret.......

It's really easy to make!! You'll have a batch ready in no time. Ready for your munching pleasure.

I made this batch for my friend Jonathan at work. He's having issues with his cholesterol and so I made  this recipe for him to munch on and hopefully to help with getting his cholesterol in check. Oats are good for your cholesterol.

As far as the cafe, we couldn't keep enough of this on our shelves. You see there was a gym up the street from the cafe and the morning ladies wanted a place to relax after their workouts. So they would come to the cafe and munch on the granola and talk about life over a cup of coffee. Granola and coffee, life was good.......


Notes: You can use any kind of nut you like. I used sliced almonds in mine, but walnuts or pecans or even peanuts would be good.

You can also use any kind of dried fruit you want. You can use just one type, or you can add a mixture of several kinds of fruit.

Granola is great on yogurt, ice cream, as a topping for a coffee cake or just to be eaten by itself. I enjoy it with yogurt!!


3/4 cup oil (I use canola, I would stay away from vegetable oil)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
1 tblsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
8 cups of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup sweet coconut
1 cup almonds (I used sliced, but you can use any kind of nut you prefer)
1 cup craisins (I used craisins, but you can use any type of dried fruit you prefer)

Heat oven to 325 degrees

In a small saucepan on top of stove, mix oil, sugar, vanilla, honey and salt together and heat until sugar is melted. About 5 minutes
Combine oats, almonds and coconut in a large bowl. Once mixture above is ready, pour over oats and stir to cover.
Prepare two cookie sheets with either parchment paper, foil or some kind of lining. I use my silicone mats. Divvy up the granola between the two pans and spread it out.
Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Take pans out and stir the granola and spread back out. Put pans back in oven for 15 more minutes. Take pans out. If the granola is a golden brown, it's ready. If it's not, then back it for a few more minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool. Add craisins.
Store in an air tight container. Will keep for 6 weeks.