BBQ for Memorial Day!

What are your plans this weekend?  Will you be cooking out?  If you do, try my Smoked Mac and Cheese to go with your favorite recipes, whether it is burgers, ribs, or your favorite pulled pork recipes.

Include this, our favorite BBQ sauce, with your menu and it will be a crowd-pleaser.  Our peeps love it and request it every time we cook out.  I found this one a while back in a magazine, gave it a try, and have been making it ever since.

Tennessee-style Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup

One 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 cup packed light brown sugar (I use splenda)

1 cup apple-cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp paprika (I like to use Smoked Paprika)

1 1/2 tsp. onion salt

1 tsp dry mustard

 1 to 2 tsps hot pepper sauce (use your favorite-Tabasco, Louisiana, Red Hot, etc)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Cook and stir over low heat until the sugar melts and the ingredients are blended.  Simmer for about 10 minutes on lowest heat.  Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.  Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

And a BIG THANK YOU for all those who have served in the Military in the past, present, and will serve in the future!  Happy Memorial Day!


never happened before….

I have never had draw like this before….

I mean,   one right after the other…… I actually have three of these beautiful cookbooks to give away and selected…….

winner #1….Christi


winner #2,,,Tibi


and winner #3…Natalie Manley




Random.Org selected in order, #4, #5, and #6 all in a row and in that order!!!HA! So, there you go!  I will get your cookbooks to you sometime this weekend or the first of next week!

Congratulations and more recipes and giveaways to come!  

Thanks to all my followers!  I hope you are enjoying some of the recipes!

Cookbooks Rule!

I don’t know about you, but I love cookbooks!  I really love the cookbooks that have stories that go along with the recipes, where the recipe came from, history about the place, the cook.

Such is “Homemade with Love-Simple Scratch Cooking from Jenny’s Kitchen.”  The photographs will make you drool.  They will make you hungry,  They might even make you want to cook again.  Or for the first time ever.  She gives hints, tips and easy to follow instructions.  The photography is what I call “home-grown” stunning.  


Have I convinced you that you want a copy?  Well I have two that I’d like to give away.  If you would like a copy of this delightful book to add to your collection, just leave a “reply” below and just say so!  It’s that simple.  Two winners will be selected on Friday, May 24th.

Beef Brisket Pot Roast

Boys Howdy, did hubby like this one!  And this one could not be easier.   If you like brisket, and you are used to eating it smoked, bbq fashion, give this recipe a try.  It will not disappoint you. 


Beef Brisket Pot Roast

4-5 pound beef brisket (the only one I could find was the one in the package with the seasoning mix – I just threw away the seasoning mix and rinsed my brisket)


1-2 Tbsp olive oil

3 large onions, sliced

5 garlic cloves, minced (less if you are not a huge fan of garlic)

1 sprig of thyme (mine hasn’t grown in the garden yet so I just used a tsp of dried thyme)

1 sprig of rosemary (I used 2 sprigs)

3 bay leaves

2 cups of beef stock (I had beef broth so that is what I used)

2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 pieces ( I didn’t have any like I thought so I left these out)

1 Tbsp mustard (optional)

1.  on the side of the brisket where the layer of fat is, score through the fat (not the meat) in both directions, about 1/4 inch apart. Salt the brisket and let brisket set at room temp about 30 minutes (I skipped this as I was in a hurry to get it on before church)

2.  In an oven proof  pot (dutch oven with oven proof lid) add the olive oil and heat on medium high heat.   You do not want it to sear on high heat. Pat the brisket dry and place it fatty side down in the dutch oven cooking for 5-8 minutes until fat side is nicely browned.  Turn it over and do the same on the other side.   If the roast seems to be cooking too fast, cut the flame down to medium.

When the brisket has browned, remove and set aside.  Turn heat up to high and make sure there are a couple of tablespoons of oil in oven.   If not add some olive oil.  Add the sliced onions.  Saute, stirring often, until the onions re lightly browned, 5-8 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.  

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Add bay leaves, rosemary (leave on stem – you can take stem out after cooking) thyme.  Move onions and garlic to sides of pot and nestle brisket inside.  Add beef stock and bring stock to a boil.  Cover with lid and place in oven.  Cook for 3 hours,  Flip brisket every hour so it cooks evenly – (I flipped mine twice and then left for church – it cooked fine)

If you are using the carrots that I did not use, add them after 3 hours.  Cover and cook one more hour.  or until the carrots are cooked through and the brisket is falling apart tender.


My brisket cooked a total of 4 hours and 15 minutes.  It sliced beautifully.  I strained the juice and onions; I placed the onions in one bowl; I added a Tbsp of grainy deli mustard to the juice and stirred it which thickend the broth.  I then drizzled some of the juice on the roll, put some of those onions which almost spread on the bread, added some more mustard. layered that tender, sliced brisket, and hubby said it was like eating heaven!  Tender, juicy, moist.   

Give it a try!   Let me know if you like it!!!! 

Baked Apple French Toast Muffins

We have been celebrating hubby’s birthday for this weekend and I have been preparing some new recipes for him.  For breakfast, I made him these lovely French Toast Muffins, and I can just imagine the wonderful things you can do with these.  He wants raisins in his next time.  I want dried cranberries in mine.  He also wants some chopped pecans in his.  

Make these – they are quite lovely – both in taste and in appearance!   See what additions you come up with to put in yours. 


Baked Apple French Toast Muffins

1 loaf French bread, cut or torn into ½ inch cubes (about 12 cups of bread)

1 Apple, peeled, cored, and diced small

2 ½ cups milk

6 large eggs

½ cup granulated sugar (can use splenda sugar)

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


For the Cinnamon Streusel Topping:

¼ cup cold butter

¼ cup light brown sugar (can use Splenda Brown Sugar)

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt


  1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
  2. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.   Add about 1 cup of bread cubes to each muffin cup.  Carefully pour or spoon egg and milk mixture evenly over each muffin tin.  You may need to press down on the bread cubes after you pour a little mixture on and then pour more on.  Pour slowly or you will have a mess.  Cover the muffins with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  To make the cinnamon streusel, in a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix together with our hands, until you have a crumbly mixture.  Remove the muffins from the refrigerator and sprinkle thte muffins evenly with the streusel topping. 
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.  Serve with maple syrup and butter if desired. 

It’s Strawberry Season!

Since strawberries are plentiful right now, and since strawberries are huge in size and very sweet right now, and since hubby and I have three strawberry plants that are actually producing the cutest, sweetest strawberries that we eat as soon as we pick them (we should have planted more!) I am posting a strawberry recipe in honor of these little cuties! 

Strawberry-Jalapeno Spread

(Great also served over cream cheese and served with crackers!)

Makes 4-(8-oz) jars or 2(16-0z) jars

If you are going to use them soon, put in jars and refrigerate.  If you are not going to use them soon, then you will want to seal the jars with a hot water bath and let the filled jars cool to seal the tops (canning style).

2 jars (18-oz each) of strawberry preserves (do not use jam – it makes it too runny)

1 (12-oz) jar jalapeno slices (Mt Olive or Old El Paso brand or whatever brand you can find) , drained

     * Mt Olive is usually found in the pickle section and Old El Paso is usually found in the Mexican foods

Place the drained jalapenos (may use more if you like yours “hotter”) in a food processor along with the preserves.    Pulse to chop the jalapeno slices to desired size. 

Place in pan and heat until mixture is hot and preserves are melted.  Place in jars. (Remember, if sealing, you will want to prepare jars with hot water bath before filling.)  Put in refrigerator, or seal jars. 

These make great gifts! And once you start nibbling on this over the cream cheese, you just can’t seem to stop.  Yup, it’s that good.   Give it a try.  It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s just plain great tasting.   Happy weekend!     

Ham it up!

Do you serve a sauce with your ham on the side?  When all the peeps are over and we have a ginormous ham, I would be horse-whipped if I did not serve this flavorful Mustard Sauce to go with this ham.  Most of the family loves this sauce and the first thing they ask is, “you did make the mustard sauce, didn’t you, Grammy?”  And also, “where are the rolls to sop up the sauce with?”

Try it once, and you won’t serve ham, or left-over ham sandwiches without it.  For that matter, it is great on turkey sandwiches, also!  Give it a try and come back and let me know how you liked it!  My recipe card is worn out. I need to make another one or laminate this one so I don’t lose it.  I should know it by heart!

Mustard Sauce to go with Ham (or Turkey)

1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (this works well using Splenda brown sugar also)

1/3 cup prepared mustard (just regular yellow mustard)

2 eggs

2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1.  In a small, heavy saucepan, with rotary beater, beat sugar, mustard, eggs, and butter.  Gradually beat in vinegar.  (A whisk and a very powerful arm works just as well)

2.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened – about 10 minutes.

3.  Serve cooled, or at room temperature.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Don’t forget to use leftover sauce on your sandwiches with your leftover ham or turkey!

An apple a day…..

This recipe is a favorite from a small cookbook I have had for years and years and has recipes from various Inns from around the US.  This one really struck my fancy and I have made it quite a few times.  You can tell when you get to this recipe as it is well worn.  

Washington Apple Cake comes out of the oven with that crispy, crunchy, split top and smells incredible.  But when it cools, and you add the Cream Cheese Icing, and slice you a square of it, or maybe two, (and believe me, you will want two) you are in heaven.  Don’t wait too long to make it.  This is an easy recipe, yet full of flavor, and with apples, it has to be good for you, right?

Washington Apple Cake

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup cooking oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans if you prefer)

4 cups thinly sliced pared tart apples (5 medium)


Beat eggs with a mixer until thick and light.  Combine sugar and oil; pour into eggs with mixer on medium speed, combine well.  Stir together flour, cinnamon, soda, and salt; add to egg mixture with vanilla; beat to mix.  Stir in nuts.  Spread slices apples in a buttered 13x9x2-inch pan.  Pour batter over apples, spreading to cover.  (batter may be thick, but that’s ok – it cooks up so good!)  Bake at 350 degrees preheated oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and cool.   Spread with cream cheese icing.


Cream Cheese icing:

Soften 2 3-oz. packages cream cheese.  Beat until fluffy.  Beat in ¼ cup melted butter; then beat in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.   Spread over cooled cake.  Refrigerate.   Makes 12-15 servings.

Mother’s Day winners….

First, I hope all of you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I so enjoyed reading all the posts on the contest!  What wonderful memories we each have.  I hope each of you have a restful, quiet enjoyable Sunday with more reminiscing.

Winner of prize 1, the fabulous Chef’s knife, 


#11….Denise!  Will send home to you!  Enjoy and be careful…this thing is sharp!

Prize 2 is going to have soft hands and a wonderful smelling kitchen!


#9..Natalie…You can get yours Sunday!

and Prize 3….That irreplaceable Immersion blender….


#6…Tiny!   If you don’t have one,  you will love it. I will get this out to you today!

Congratulations, winners!  Stay tuned….more recipes, more giveaways, and guest posts from followers! 

Happy Mother’s Day Early!

I don’t know about you, but I love everything there is about Mother’s Day.  I love the fact that I am a mother.  I love the fact that I was able to take care of my own mother in her final days.  I love the fact that my girls are all mothers now and it is great to watch payback! (Teeheehee)  Seriously, I really enjoy seeing the wonderful mothers they have become, and I know that their grandmothers would love to see that their influence is coming out in their grandchildren, and it is because of their teachings and stories and hugs and kisses and hopefully there’s a little of me in some of that.  Enough of the soppy stuff!  

           Time for a Mother’s Day give-a-way!  Because it is Mother’s Day week, as I like to think of it, because we get to look at pictures and get all teary-eyed, laugh, cry, and think about crazy times with siblings, it’s time to honor our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, wives, friends.  That means, if you win, you can keep it yourself, or give to your mom, grandmother, sister, or friend!  And there are three prizes we are giving away! 


           First, you will surely want this!  I shopped at one of my favorite stores, our local Williams-Sonoma, (if they don’t know me by name, they should – they have enough of my money!HA)



This Wustohf 6” Gourmet Chef’s knife will make your world rock!  You can chop, dice, slice, (but don’t slice your fingers) and have fun with this knife.  I have a Wustohf and love mine.  This one is light-weight and feels great in your hand.  I tried it out in the store.  I try all their stuff out.  I have a lot of their table cloths.  I catch them on sale.  In fact, I have a lot of their stuff in my kitchen! You should, too!


       And if you like to smell good, and like soft hands, and like your kitchen to smell incredible, you will love the second give that will be given away that came from Williams-Sonoma also…..



 This hand soap, It’s companion, the lotion, and this wonderful candle that will bring this Williams-Sonoma Limited Edition “Bois Blanc White Wood with Essential Oils blended with White Pine and Jasmine onto your hands and into your kitchen with absolutely beautiful scents!  You may just ask to wash those dishes so you can use the lotion!


           And third, this……..


Cuisinart Immersion Blender – I think it Cuisinart actually calls it a “SmartStick Two Speed Hand Blender”.  If you like to blend your soups, or if you like to cream your potatoes, you will love this.  I have always wanted one, and since I received mine, there’s no turning back!


          To enter, just leave a comment on this post and share a fond memory of yours – either growing up with your mom, grandparent, sibling, cousin.  Let’s go down memory lane!     You have until next Wednesday, May 8th , Noon, to comment!  We want to be able to get these gifts out in time to make your Mother’s Day a little sweeter!  Good Luck and Happy Mother’s Day!