Sunday 27 December 2015

Champagne Custard Shooters!


 I love champagne and if you follow my blog or Facebook know that! So when New Year is about to explode with fireworks, I'm pulling a few bottles of Champagne out of the cellar and popping the cork! And.....I go one step further I'm combining my favorite bubbly with my other favorite...... "dessert"!!

Saturday 26 December 2015

Chicken Tenders with Champagne sauce!

This delicious dish can be prepared in about 30 minutes and can be made ahead and reheated! The champagne sauce is so flavorful and presentation so beautiful, makes this a perfect dish for a small dinner party,

The cream sauce is seriously out of this world, so tangy with a hint of champagne flavor that melts in your mouth....AMAZING!! Coupled with the browned up bits from searing the chicken, this sauce is EPIC!! I may try it next time with angel hair pasta!

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Chocolate Almond Torte

On Christmas Eve or Christmas day, this is perfect— a flourless, chocolate-almond torte for dessert. I can tell you everyone went silent at the table, when I served this delicious dessert and the silence was followed there any left? Can I have another slice?

Wednesday 16 December 2015

John Howie Five Cheese Twice Baked Potato

"Recently voted Readers' Choice "Best Steak" in Seattle Magazine". Chef/restaurateur John Howie's definitive NW steak house, serving custom-aged USDA Prime steaks, American Wagyu Beef, Australian "A5" Full blood Waygu beef, Japanese "A5" 100% Wagyu beef, fresh seasonal Pacific fish and seafood's, wild foraged mushrooms, and locally sourced fruits and vegetables. John Howie Steak features two wood fired grills, mesquite charcoal and apple wood that add subtle flavors to the foods. The wine list features a "Best of Award of Excellence" from Wine Spectator. You can enjoy classic and seasonal specialty cocktails, or the world’s finest single-malt scotch, bourbons and fine cognacs in the lounge. There are two beautifully appointed private dining rooms that are available for meetings or special occasions. 

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Tomato Basil Crab Bisque- JJ's

Holiday planning week two! This bisque is amazing!! Plus more options to ponder!

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Beef Piroshki appetizers

Today is December 2, and I am planning to do Holiday appropriate recipe each week until December 31!! Yay! I will also give you other options and links to think about for your Holiday planning.

Monday 23 November 2015

JJ's favorite Cranberry Sauce

Nothing beats the puckery-sweet jolt of cranberry sauce. It's a sharp knife that cuts through all the starchy food on the menu. 

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Bacon - blanketed Turkey

 I could not resist posting this beautiful bacon blanketed bird from the blog Runaway Spoon. I have never posted any other blog on my page, but, this one is very special and worthy. I believe my readers will love it. He has perfected this technique and with his detailed instructions, I believe you can do it too!














Monday 9 November 2015

Basil mashed potatoes


I love potatoes in every form, Wee Bear, not so much! However, when it comes to Thanksgiving, mashed potatoes are a must! My family has alway's had basic mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, but, wait a minute. Enter a puree of potatoes with basil, and Parmesan? Or, how about Horseradish mashed Potatoes or Perfect mashed Potatoes with Onion Butter? 

Sunday 1 November 2015

Boarding House- Potato Dill Soup

 I am big fan of soup, especially in the Fall and Winter month's. During the holiday's, I always serve a soup course, and my family looks forward to tasting what I have created for them! This soup is a recreation of one of my favorite soups. In Issaquah, Washington, where I lived for 13 years a long time ago, there is a little restaurant within a historic grouping of stores called Gilman Village. For over 32 years the Boarding House Restaurant has been serving homemade soup, salads and sandwiches and the Potato Dill is the house soup...always available! I always find it hard to leave without having a piece of their signature dessert, warm granny smith apple crisp...baked daily and served with fresh whip cream!  Mmmmmm

Sunday 18 October 2015

Scary Brain Vegetable Tray!

The Comfiest, Easiest Halloween Costume

If you’re still on the hunt for a last minute Halloween costume, I've got an idea. Go out and buy glow-in-the-dark stars and planets that are usually on a child’s ceiling and stick them onto a black shirt and black pants. Woo Hoo!! You’re the solar system. Easy, comfy, and cheap. You could literally walk around in your sweatpants.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Quick Halloween snacks for young children

Young children  like things on the spooky side — but not too spooky.  They still have fun with plays on words and things that are not quite what they seem!   Imagination sells so you can slide in some healthy food with fun names!

Sunday 11 October 2015

Zombie Caramel Corn and more!

Just about everyone loves 

Caramel Corn and cheesy corn, truffle corn, margarita corn.... I feel like I am always talking about weird popcorn concoctions, but I do like to test many kinds of flavored corn.  I say, no this isn't that great, and then I eat so much that I am sick. And that process will just sort of repeat itself over and over again. But pretty much everyone agrees on caramel corn and it is easy to make!

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Quick Halloween Cupcakes!

When the calendar turns to October I get a little excited....or  crazy. I love all new Halloween stuff that hits the stores, costumes, baking stuff and name it! I can hardly wait to create some scary, cute and totally festive Halloween treats. There are so many cool things out there and I want to buy it all and start creating!!  And if you've been reading here for any period of time, you  know I consider myself the Temptress of Halloween.

Wednesday 30 September 2015

Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce in the slow cooker!

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Easy two ingredient "Pumpkin muffins"!

The other day, I had some unexpected company and needed a quick breakfast muffin. At first I thought I'd run to the local bakery, then I remembered "THE" pumpkin muffins. It had been years since I made them! It was back in the days BEFORE Pinterest and Facebook! Yes, my fellow internet addicts, we did have a way of exchanging recipes back then. Pumpkin muffins have two ingredients. It seems like overkill to do the step by step but, heh, why not!

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Stewed Chicken Dijon

When it comes to Fall, I love soups, stews and braising. Fireplace on and the aroma's of my Fall dish drifting throughout my home.

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Sweet corn soup

In this Summer or Fall recipe, I pay tribute to peak-season corn at its sweetest!

Sunday 30 August 2015

Ten top nutritious produce

Today, I am off to a farmers market I do not usually go to. I am going to the Ballard Farmer's Market! On my list is not the usual Kale, I'm buying Romaine!

Fresh Basil, Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad

We wait for it all year long, and now we can shout from the rooftops: BASIL IS HERE!

The other day, I decided to take advantage of the overload of tomatoes, corn and basil that is over flowing in our gardens at this time of year. I decided to make this delicious salad for a dinner with my dear brother Greg and his gal friend Susie who came to spend a night with us. I could eat this salad everyday, and I think they pretty much agreed with me!! 

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Transportation themed quilt- so adorable!

This cute little quilt is very quick to make as it is pre printed! Go to Michael Miller fabrics to purchase. You can cut them apart and use them how you would like. I made this new born quilt for my grandson Cooper and a soft fabric crinkle book as well! I purchased my crinkle fabric from American Felt and Craft.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

How to paint a terracotta pot- Sports team theme

 Are you ready for some football? I can tell you I am!! I am more than excited to start another fun season! My football loving family is too!!

Sunday 9 August 2015

Minnie Mouse Party ideas!

Recently I gave a MAGICAL Minnie Mouse Birthday party for my grand daughter, Madison. She loves "Mouse"! There are so many ideas for a fabulous party, I am giving you a couple ideas, just to get your mind going in a creative direction!

Sunday 19 July 2015

Three Amazing Sauces for burger's and fries!

When I was young I used to dip my french fries in tartar sauce or this pink concoction of mayonnaise and ketchup. Fast forward.......

These days, I don’t eat a lot of french fries or burgers, but when I do I like a aioli or a more complex flavored sauce to dip my fries in or smear on my burger. It’s not quite as simple as my ketchup and mayo of my youth but, it’s 1000 times better and I just can't get enough of it when it's time for burgers and fries!

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Double cooked French Fries

When done well, French fries are truly remarkable—crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. Truly delightful!

About a week ago I created a Slider Bar for my 4th of July party, one of the side's was these delicious fries in which I used a double cooking process that I think is the best! This approach to preparing French fries has set a new standard by which other fries are judged, in my opinion!

Monday 13 July 2015

Cole Slaw by JJ

Last weeks blog showcased my "Slider Bar" , that was so much fun! I have been bombarded with e-mails for various recipes used! I didn't know where to start, so, don't be mad if this one is not "THE ONE'! I will get to all of the components of this fun event in the next few weeks, hopefully in time for your event! If you need a recipe sooner, feel free to e-mail me and I will send it to you in fee;-)

Sunday 5 July 2015

Party Trend- Food "Bar" idea's!

Lately, some of the most popular party planning ideas seem to center around the next “bar” idea. And no, I don’t just mean alcohol and beer…I mean food too! We’ve all seen the “candy bar” idea for kids parties, weddings and the ever popular “popcorn bar", but what about some new ideas too?

Just yesterday, July 4th I hosted a really fun party for friends and family. I decided to do a "Slider Bar", oh my.....I realized how much work there is to making a really tasty slider bar! I made many of the sauces, the coleslaw, the potato salad and putting together all the cheeses, and toppings is really time consuming. I always plan ahead and do as much in advance as possible to free me up to enjoy my guests. However, in this case, much needs to be done all at the same time! My friends and family jumped in to help, NOT because I asked, but, because they were having fun participating! It was really fun!

Now here are some fun ideas I incorporated into my "Slider Bar"!

Tuesday 23 June 2015

How to create the perfect Western Themed party!

This picture was taken of my Mom around 1947. My Dad took the picture on one of their hunting trips. Notice there is a deer walking behind Mom. She is so beautiful, she should have been a pin up girl! I copied many of these and posted them all around at the party and blew one up to poster size on good photo paper, for a souvenir for Mom!You can download the template on Martha Stewart website for free!

Monday 8 June 2015

Cowboy cupcakes! How to make!

Last week end I hosted a "Western themed" party for my Mother who turned 95!! My large family all pitched in and helped with the decorating and set up. However, because of the size of the party, I had Carolina Smoke in Bothell, Washington cater the party. More details of the party will be in my next blog " How to throw a Western themed party"! I thought these cute little cupcakes deserved their own blog! 

Saturday 30 May 2015

Baked Baby back Ribs by Tink!

Who ever said you needed a grill to cook good ribs? My daughter Holly (aka Tink) just relocated from the Seattle area into a beautiful home in Scottsdale, Arizona. She, her husband Nate and daughter  Madison Lee are extremely happy in their new neighborhood, and love that they no longer have to wipe their feet every time they enter the house! They love the area they chose, close to many fine restaurants, splash pads (for Madi), museums etc. However, they are still doing some remodeling to make it personally theirs! They are building an outdoor kitchen, complete with BBQ rotisserie,  outdoor burner, pizza oven, refrigerator and lots of storage for grilling utensils. In the mean time she decided to host Memorial day.....WHAT? You can't have opening day to Summer without a BBQ? She told me not to worry, she would bake baby back ribs in her new ovens......a skeptical Mom enters...


Monday 25 May 2015

Best Ever Hot Chocolate Fudge Sauce!

If the title "Hot Chocolate Fudge Sauce" wasn't tempting enough...maybe this photo will help!

 When I started searching around for a recipe, a few years ago, I obviously wanted something that was "The Best Ever" hot fudge sauce. Even though I live about 5 minutes from two grocery stores, I was sick of the overly sweet hot fudge of today, I wanted the fudge I used to have at the Bartell's drug store in Renton, Washington at the soda fountain.......yum! A friend of mine had made a delicious "Best Ever" hot fudge sauce for a dinner party she had. I asked her about the recipe she followed. She used a recipe in Epicurious..... luckily, I had what I needed for the  recipe. The next hurdle? This couldn’t take forever. I wanted an ice cream sundae almost immediately. This recipe takes about 10 minutes working time and 20 minutes total. Some recipes required cooking the sauce for an hour. That wasn’t going to work for me!

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Pico De Gallo! Ole!! We're in Mexico!

One of the saddest culinary sights to witness is watching pre-made salsa plop from a jar into a serving dish. The tomatoes, suffocating under a sodium-laden sauce, splat unceremoniously. You can almost smell the chemical tang in the air. The tortilla chips run to hide.....

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Rosemary Flank Steak with Balsamic Glazed Onions

Bright rosemary, tangy balsamic and sweet onions - this simple dish has it all. You can have it on the table quickly, leaving you more time to relax with your family and friends.

I was going to wait to post this recipe until Father's Day, however, some recipes are simply too good and too deserving to hold on to!

Thursday 7 May 2015

Key Lime Pie Bars

For Mother's day or any day, these delightful bars will take you away from your home and transport you to the Florida Keys beach! These bars very simple to put together! The hardest part is waiting for them to chill in the refrigerator, before you bite into one! I use a graham cracker base for my bars, as I do with my Lemon Meringue Pie, which I have not posted (note to self!) Since Key limes are not easy to come by in most locations, I use Nellie and Joe's key west lime juice

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Black Bean and Quinoa Tacos- Healthy Cinco de Mayo

 "Cinco de Mayo has come to represent a celebration of the contributions that Mexican Americans and all Hispanics have made to America."

Cinco de Mayo is nearly here and guess what? is bikini season!! YIKES!!! It seems there is always a celebration in the works to take you from your healthy goals.  Christmas, New Year, Valentines, St. Patricks day and let's not forget your sister's important birthday or some other event....what are we to do? Well, I have a healthy solution for you today. Black bean and quinoa tacos for Cinco de Mayo....and guess what they are easy, fast and oh so yummy!! I can hardly keep my mind off them, they are so good!

Monday 20 April 2015

Mocha Cheese Cake Torte

Mother's Day is coming soon and this cheese cake torte is perfect for Mom's special day! It has a rich chocolaty flavor with a hint of coffee and for that bakery finish, I garnished with whipped cream rosettes and a coffee bean! YUM!

Speaking of coffee beans, I just found a delicous boutique coffee company. A friend gave me a bag to try and boy oh boy did it go over big!! BLUECAF coffee roasters roast their beans within 24 hours of your personal order, so made to order! 

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Crispy Cheddar baked Chicken!

Put a little Spring in your step and on your plate!

Remember those envelopes for oven baked chicken and pork called Shake & Bake?  I remember in the 70's they were all the rage. Well, now you don't need them! And this is just as quick!!

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Zucchini Tomato Strata

This amazing  dish is perfect for Easter Brunch or Easter supper, my Zucchini Tomato strata can be made ahead! This strata.....really a savory bread pudding is amazingly easy and can be made the night before and baked in the morning!!

Saturday 21 March 2015

Chicken Breast with Honey mustard sauce

Today, I’ve got two words for you: Honey and Mustard.

But not just any mustard. Don’t be confused… not all mustard's should be considered equal. You want to use good quality mustard, and definitely not the yellow kind you schmear on a burger bun or zig-zag over a hot dog. I mean whole grain, stone ground, natural mustard or good quality Dijon mustard. Mmmmmmm I love this stuff! Whoever decided to pair it with honey is just plain genius! 

Monday 16 March 2015

St. Patrick's Day!

SEVEN St Patrick's Day recipes for you to ponder! Enjoy!


The queen of Corned beef and cabbage Jane, makes this delicious dish every year for her family. We have enjoyed this yummy recipe every year!

Sunday 8 March 2015

Hungarian Goulash with spaetzles and German Red cabbage!

Hungarian Goulash (Gulyás)

Hungarian goulash is a prime example of how a few simple ingredients, cooked properly, can yield an amazing flavor.  Though many variations of Hungarian goulash exist, I am hoping this one passes the test with my daughter-in-law and her Hungarian parents!

Friday 27 February 2015

Making a blanket for a cancer patient

There are many more squares on the back, I didn't take a picture.

If you have been wondering where I've been, I'll tell you. The day after arriving home from our island paradise, I went to work on a new project that I have been spearheading for our Desert Mountain community. The project came to me just before leaving and I embraced it as a community service project.

Monday 16 February 2015

Jamaica Inn's Chef Maurice- a trip to the local market

 When I think of Jamaica, white-sand beaches, lots of sunshine and thumping reggae first come to mind. But I also think of the delicious cuisine, the fertile soil and deep-blue Caribbean waters which provide a rich array of fresh fruits, vegetables and fish that star in dishes served here at Jamaica Inn. We stay here three weeks every February in a cottage on the sea, and today, this is where I am writing this week's blog from.

Photo credit- Jamaica Inn

 A few days ago Wee Bear and I took a trip to the Ocho Rios local Farmer's Market. It’s full of color, fresh vegetables and fruits and lot's of community spirit! Jamaica Inn set up a field trip with the Inn's Chef Maurice leading us through this interesting and beautiful market.

 Nelson our pilot drove a group of fourteen, 2 minutes away from Jamaica Inn  to the local farmers market.

Sunday 8 February 2015

Brookster's for your Valentine!!


This Valentine’s Day, skip the store-bought heart-shaped box of chocolates. Instead, make your own delicious Brookster's! What is a Brookster you ask.....well

It's not quite a cookie, not quite a brownie, but with the best elements of both. They're called Brooksters! Are you still wondering what a Brookster is right now? It’s a mini Brookie..... which is a brownie cookie.  In other words… delicious! 

Friday 6 February 2015

Mango Lassi Smoothie

I should make more smoothies. They are ready in an eye blink, full with vitamins and fruit and they can easily replace dessert or be an essential part of a healthy breakfast. We are in Jamaica on our annual holiday. I always seem to eat lighter and healthier when I'm here. Lot's of fresh vegetables and fruits, Yummy! Today I am sharing a smoothie I make with my favorite of all fruits, the mango!

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Superbowl Essential menu!!

Superbowl XLIX

Five days to touchdown! With a big event like Super Bowl Sunday on the horizon, you want to make sure your snack game and half time dinner is on point. 

Wee Bear and I LOVE our SEAHAWKS!   Whether you are hosting or bringing snacks to your Super Bowl Party, I have some AMAZING noshes for you!  Warm up the couch, it's time for football and extra points for Super Food! 

Score a touchdown with my assortment of easily prepared, quick to serve yummies, and no matter who's winning, you will be a winner! Chili, sliders, cookies and more!!! Don't miss out on this TASTY MENU!!!