Sally's Raspberry Almond Bars ~

These bars are fabulous.  I make them in an 8 inch square pyrex dish.  But, my friend Sally, who inspired this recipe says to triple the recipe and make them in a half sheet pan.  I would only do that if I were going to make them for a crowd.

I get 16 squares out of this recipe and that's enough for me, a few friends and some for the freezer.  They freeze well and taste yummy.

Here's the recipe:

Raspberry Almond Bars

1/2 cup butter
1-12 oz. package vanilla or white chips, divided
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup sliced almonds (I don't use these)

In a saucepan, melt butter. Remove from the heat; add 1 cup of the chips (do not stir).

In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy; gradually add sugar. Stir in chip mixture and almond extract.

Combine flour and salt; add to egg mixture just until combined. Spread half of the batter into a greased 9-inch square baking pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt jam; spread over warm crust. Stir remaining chips into the remaining batter; drop by teaspoonfuls over the jam layer. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 1 dozen


Pioneer Woman's Easy Apple Tart...

Doesn't this look like it could have come from a French Bakery?

Well, it didn't, but it did come from a great cook.  The Pioneer Woman site has some great recipes and this one is super simple.
All it takes is three ingredients, puff pastry from the store, good apples and powered sugar.  Voila.

You can find the recipe (if you want to call it a recipe), here.
But before you go looking it up, just remember to slice your apples super thin.  And get good baking apples.  Yum, thank's PW.


Roasted Green Beans ~ Adapted from Foodie Birdie

I love good green beans, but tend not to make them.  I grew up on them, so I guess I tossed them aside when my choices were broader than just plain old green beans.  I went on to more trendy aparagus or brussel sprouts and never looked back until recently.

I had delicious green beans at a wedding recently and found them superb, so much so, I couldn't wait to pick them up at the grocer's this week.  So, without too much fanfare, I bid you this recipe found online.  It's fresh, it's easy and my, it's so good.

Roasted Green Beans
1lb green beans
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 lemon, juiced and zested

Preheat oven to 425.
Heat the olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic over medium heat until the garlic browns. Turn off the heat and remove the garlic with a slotted spoon. Add green beans to the pan, toss to coat, and transfer to a baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Toss with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve garnished with lemon zest.
Serves 4

Oh, I forgot to zest the lemon, but you get the picture ~


Shrimp Scampi over Linguine ~ adapted from Ina Garten

This is one of my favorite Shrimp dishes.  It's so easy and I love just love all the lemon and garlic in the sauce.

Ina Garten is one of my favorite chefs, mainly because her food and presentation of a recipe are fabulous.  She uses really good ingredients and may be a little heavy handed with the butter she uses, but for me it's all good.  As Julia Child said, "everything in moderation".

I put asterisks where I adapted the recipe.


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 3/4 pound linguine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • *1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves* (*I used chiffonard of fresh basil)
  • 1/2 lemon, zest grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes


Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often.*Add 1/2 cup white wine.  Remove from the heat, add the (*basil) parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.


Baby Red Bliss Potato Salad with Bacon, Eggs, Red Onion and Celery ~

Baby red bliss potato salad ~

I have been eating potato salad since I was little.  I am, afterall, half Irish.  The problem I find with potato salad, is there are a lot of mediocre recipes out there.  So, I set out on a mission a few years back to maKe really delicious potato salad.  And with this recipe and techniques, so can you.  My family and friends love my potato salad and it's requested whenever we have summer get togethers.  I can't think of a nicer compliment.

First, remember, potatoes need to be cooked slowly so they don't get too soggy.  Bring your water to a boil and turn it down to low.  Another tip, check the potatoes after 15 minutes, with a very thin blade of a knife.  Once the knife goes through the potato without any hesitation, your potatoes are cooked.  If you cook your potatoes correctly, you have won most of the battle with potato salad.

Secondly, dice your salad ingredients small, very small.  No one wants to bite into a big piece of onion, or a bland piece of potato.  So dice your potatoes about 1/2" cubes.

Also, putting less mayonaise in to start is an almost guarantee you'll do well.  You can always add more, but you can't remove it.  ;)

Here's the recipe:

5 pounds of baby red bliss potatoes.
6-8 eggs
5 large stalks of celery, finely chopped
1/2 large red onion, small diced
6 slices of bacon, slowly cooked and chopped
1& 1/4 cup of good mayonnaise
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
1 T. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Place potatoes in bottom of a large dutch oven. Place the eggs on top of the potatoes, gently. Fill pan until the water covers everything by an inch.

Bring water to a boil, and turn down to a low simmer immediately. Set timer on 15 minutes and remove eggs and set aside. Take a very thin paring knife and slide into the largest potato. It should slide through without any hesitation, to be completely done. Keep heat on low and check potatoes every few minutes. When a knife slides through the potatoes easily, drain and set aside to cool.

Chop celery, onion, eggs and bacon and add to a large bowl.
Finely dice the potatoes when they are cool enough to handle.
Place potatoes in the bowl with the veggies, bacon and eggs.
Add salt and pepper and stir. In a separate bowl, mix mayo and mustard. Pour over potato salad and gently fold everything in until
it's incorporated.

Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight.
After a few hours, check potato salad for too little mayo mix. If a little dry, then add a couple of tablespoons of mayo and a bit of mustard. Adjust salt and pepper also.

Enjoy ~

Bill Granger's Carmel Chicken ~

This chicken looks so good, you almost want to take a bite of it off this page, don't you.  And trust me, it's delicious and so, so easy.

There is no marinating all day or even overnight, no brushing with sauces, or dry rubs either.  Nope, it cooks on the stove top in about 20 minutes and it looks this fantastic.  No fuss at all, just browning the chicken, adding onion and garlic.  Add a couple ounces of soy, brown sugar and fish sauce and voila.  And it tastes even better than it looks, if that's possible.

It's from Bill Granger's recipe of Carmel Chicken.  And even a novice can make this dish.

Here's the link:

You'll love this dish, you'll love his recipes...

Enjoy it with basmati rice and served over greens if you want.  But remember, it's fabulous any way you serve it.


Filet Mignon with Mushroom reduction...

When I want a steak, it's rare.  Both rare that I really want a steak and even more rare because I love steak very rare.  Filet mignon fills that bill, because it's small and fat free and it melts in my mouth like butter.

I pan sear or use a grill pan to cook it three minutes on one side and flip it, cooking it for about 2 minutes on the other.  See, I told you that I love it very my steak very rare.  And you can cook it longer, but it cooks pretty fast so don't let it go more than 3 minutes per side.
Oh, I don't salt steak until it's done and resting.  But, I grind black pepper heavily on the raw steak.  And  bring the steak out of the fridge about an hour before you plan on cooking it.  Let it sit on the counter with the pepper on it, to come to room temperature.  It makes sense doesn't it? 
Also, while the steak was resting,  pan seared some sliced mushrooms in a little butter and added a little cream to the pan at the end.  Then put them all in a blender and whiz for a minute, it will puree nicely.  I love this puree for my steaks.  And mushrooms and steak?  It's a heavenly match.  Trust me on this one, it is.  ;)

Enjoy ~