Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.


Kansas City Style Sticky Spareribs

Growing up in the South ribs were a pretty common commodity at dinner, picnics and barbecues. In Texas the golden trumpet of barbecued meats was the brisket. While here in California is seems the beloved Tri-tip takes 1st place. I have never cooked ribs before, […]

August Resolution to Make

Photo: courtesy It amazes me that a single event can seem so far in the distance and then sneak up on me before I know it. Last Christmas I made a goal to be prepared. Unforeseen circumstances crushed that goal into tiny particles of […]

Watermelon Lime Granitas

The Summer sun is upon us and it is relentless. Thank goodness for pools and sprinklers. There is nothing more refreshing in the dead heat of summer than cool sweet juicy watermelon. “When I was a kid” watermelons used to have seeds. We would have contests to see who could spit them the farthest. Then we would worry if we happened to swallow one because of the stories that the seed could sprout and grow in our stomachs. I also believed in the bogeyman and if I saw someone kissing on TV I would turn into a frog. Such were the times. We did not have a pool but we did have long sheets of plastic for a slip-n-slide. After rain storms we would take our skim boards into the back alley to skim the puddles. If if flooded we set sail on inner tubes in the street. To really cool down we used to walk down the street to the 7-Eleven for Slurpees. We tried making our own but it never worked just right. Except for the time when we put the liter bottle of Cherry 7-up in the freezer. I imagine that is how it happened when Granita was first discovered.

Granita is a icy frozen treat similar to the Italian ice, French sorbet and the American slushy or snow cone. The granita, traditionally made of coffee, is eaten as a refreshing and light dessert or between courses to cleanse the palate. It is uncertain exactly where the granita first originated. China has been cited for creating the first ice creams. Even so, the claims of Italy, France and Spain as the first to introduce water ices as far back as the 13th century are all together questionable. There are myths that Marco Polo brought the idea of cultivating ice and ice creams back to Italy from China but it is all undocumented speculation. In any event Italian ices eventually made its way to Europe and then on to the Americas.

Source: Woman’s Day
6 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1?4 cup sugar
1?4 cup lime juice

Purée watermelon in a food processor. Add sugar and lime juice; pulse until sugar is dissolved.

Pour into a 13 x 9-in. metal baking pan. Freeze 2 1?2 hours, stirring each hour, mixing ice crystals into the middle oXf the pan.

To serve: Let granita stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. Scrape into chilled glasses and serve at once

Barbecued Corn Relish

Do not let this summer season go by without trying Barbecued Corn Relish. This recipe happens to be a companion recipe to grilled salmon flavored with barbecue sauce; however, I thoroughly enjoyed the corn relish on a taco salad. You could also serve it up […]

Boiled Eggs Tips and Tricks

My favorite way to eat eggs is soft boiled with a runny yolk and a piece of toast to dip or mixed with a side of grits; it is part of my southern upbringing I suppose. Hard boiled eggs can be equally tasty sliced in […]

Blueberry Scones Over Melted Peaches

Blueberry Scones with Melted Peaches

I have longed for summer fruit since December. The stock of homemade jams and frozen fruit vanished before the new year. I was fortunate to discover a U-Pick strawberry and blueberry field close by.  The kids went hog wild filling up buckets of fresh picked berries. We ate as many as our tummies could stand, blended some into smoothies and froze the rest.  I’ve been waiting for the peaches in the backyard to ripen so we could make blueberry scones with melted peaches; a modern take on the southern peach cobbler.

Source: unknown
1 pound fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (1/2 pound frozen)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
1 2/3 cups flour
3 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tbsp
2 tsp granulated sugar or raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8X8 or 9X9 square pan.

In a large bowl combine the peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Toss; set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt.
Using your fingers or a pastry blender, blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the blueberries and toss. Add 1/2 cup cream. Mix with a fork until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface. Gather the dough and pat into a 1-inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges.

Pour the peaches into the prepared pan. Arrange the wedges on the top. Brush with 2 tablespoons of cream and sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake until scones are golden, about 50 minutes to an hour. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

– To bake just the scones arrange wedges on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
– Substitute apples or nectarines for the peaches.

Pannenkoek Dutch Apple Pancakes

Last month I met some friends for breakfast at a local cafe. As a self-proclaimed pancake luver I decided to try the Dutch Apple Pancakes with sauteed apples. I was unsure with my decision because I am not a fan of the goopy sugary apple […]

Potatoes and Asparagus Omelet

On Saturday or Sunday morning I like to make omelets as a way to use up left over vegetables. Ideally to make this recipe for potatoes and asparagus omelets use precooked cubed potatoes and steamed asparagus to cut down on cooking time. If leftovers are […]

Ratatouille: A Simple Peasant’s Dish


Ratatouille is a traditional French Provencal vegetable dish starring tomatoes and roasted vegetables. There are plenty of theories out there on the proper way to prepare Ratatouille. Some simply roast the vegetables for a light clean presentation. Others including Julia Childs chose to layer the vegetables in a thick tomato based sauce as seen in the Pixar movie “Ratatouille”. While Julia’s version may be breathtaking it is stretch for novice cooks to achieve the uniform look of the dish. For time and patience sake we believe in the chop it, toss it together and bake approach.

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
3 tomatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small aubergine (eggplant), halved, quartered then chopped
1 courgettes (zucchini), halved then chopped
1 yellow squash, halved then chopped
2 bell peppers (preferably red and yellow), chopped
Few sprigs fresh thyme leaves or a generous dash of Herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the onions, garlic and tomatoes into a baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in the eggplant, zucchini, squash and peppers over the tomatoes. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs by running your fingertips down the stem. Sprinkle over the vegetables. Cover with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside the dish.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese and a serving of polenta, couscous or white beans. Serves 4-5

-Toss vegetables with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup Kalamata olives.
-Layer the vegetables on pastry dough for a yummy Ratatouille tart.
-Drop rounds of biscuit dough with chopped bits of sausage mixed in.
-For a Southern flare toss in a 1/2 cup of okra.
-Stuff the vegetables into halved green peppers. Top with a small slice of Monterey Jack cheese, a dollop of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Lemon Sponge Puddings

There is a path by our old house that lingers near a home with a lemon tree in the back yard. What is so special about this tree is the fruit that grows on it. The lemons are the size of oranges and harbor a […]