Nationwide Listeria Outbreak

The modern world still has it’s problems with food and safety. Since this one deals with vegetables and prepackaged vegetable mixes, it could have far-reaching effects. The stores are listed along with what could be a problem item.

And, The Secret Ingredient Is . . .

For quite a few dinner preparations, I had to hide the above fact from my family lest I get early votes on something they weren’t going to try. Cauliflower has actually been the best thing that has happened to our mashed potatoes and once tried, the family doesn’t want to change back. In fact, a few weeks ago, I ran out of cauliflower and made the ‘regular’ mashed potatoes with, well, only potatoes like the normal people do. At the first bite, shocked faces turned to me and demanded, “What happened to the mashed potatoes?” I admitted that there wasn’t any cauliflower to add today.” They finished their dinner but left the table with, “Don’t EVER let that happen, again!”

Beer Batter Bread

This is always a fun bread to make especially since it is simple and you can oversee the children in the mixing but keep track of the beer! Actually, a priest gave me this recipe.

Beer Batter Bread

1 12-ounce can of your favorite beer
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups self-rising flour


preheat oven to 350 degrees. Vegetable oil spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. (You can put this batter into muffin tins, too.) Mix all the ingredients together and put into your prepared pan. Bake for approximately one hour depending on your oven. Every 15 minutes, butter the top of the bread with bits of butter.

Let cool in pan a bit before removing. Great to pull out of the oven about ten minutes before dinner and serve warm with soup or stew.

Saturday Dinners . . .

My husband’s work schedule is not easy to follow or prepare for as it just depends on when he gets off work and how much traffic there is on the way home. That’s why I like the Saturdays he doesn’t work. Dinner can be planned and a special menu can be prepared.

In spite of the rainy season, the Spring vegetables are appearing in the stores so my hardworking husband get steamed asparagus along with sauteed cabbage with red onions and bacon as sides to a bone-in pork chop – a favorite of his. We have cut way back on carbs so enjoy the variety of vegetables appearing on the scene these days.

And, speaking of food and seasonings, I’m sold on the spice/herb store I found a few months ago. Having a choice of new and different spices for cooking makes kitchen time more interesting. The Spice Shop ( also has a colorful catalog for a small mailing fee that not only describes the herbs and spices available, but often includes cooking ideas and a bit of history.

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Flour Tortillas . . . With No Flour

We were blessed in that when we discovered my husband had gluten intolerance, we got in when things were really beginning to advance is recipes and ingredients for the gluten-free diet. Although I have tried a variety of gluten-free ‘flours’ over the year, including mixing my own, I always come back to BetterBatter for most of my baking needs. Besides providing a good product, they have a huge lineup of recipes on their sales site and the ‘flour’ adapts to many recipes.

Pulled pork was on the menu the other night. I had vegetables but needed something to replace the usual bread buns we used to like so checked for a BetterBatter recipe for flour tortillas. From the picture, you can see I was successful. My daughter doesn’t have a problem with gluten but prefers the gluten-free tortillas to the regular ones which is why I always remember to make a double batch!

Anyone working with having to go gluten-free or just curious, here is their link:

Do It Yourself Thanksgiving Pie?

Although it is easier to just buy a pie for the holidays, I’m here to tell you that baking your own pumpkin pie is very easy . . . and tends to taste better, too. I don’t even have to write out the recipe as it is on the back of just about every can of pumpkin in the store. Look for it! There are even two choices on that as there is a pumpkin pie mix which has the spices already in it. I prefer my own spicing so opt for the plain, canned pumpkin. Today is a wonderful time for people who want to bake for the holidays but haven’t mastered all the recipes you long to have come from your own hands and kitchen. Okay with the pumpkin part but have a fear of pie crust. Again, the wonders of the world are as near as your grocery store as you can buy pre-made crusts you just have to roll out a bit and pop into the pie pan of choice.

I do have a hint or two about mixing the pumpkin, however. Before you add the milk or eggs to the pumpkin, put in the spices and mix into the pumpkin and then proceed with the recipe directions. This keeps the spices from either clumping or floating to the surface and making dark spots.

Shhh . . . now this is my secret addition to the pumpkin pie mix . . . a tablespoon of brandy. It doesn’t make the pie taste of the brandy but elevated the taste of the pumpkin nicely.