Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions are probably one of the easiest things to make. This recipe does not call for traditional “canning” as in using a water bath. Instead these will keep in the refrigerator for easily a month or so due to the vinegar brine.

  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. kosher or regular salt
  • 2 tsps. black peppercorns
  • 4 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced and separated

Divide the sliced onions among 4 pint size canning jars. Add the peppercorns evenly between the 4 jars.  In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Pour the hot brine over the onions. Seal and refrigerate. The onions will be ready to eat in a few days. Great on salads and sandwiches!

Praline Mousse

This recipe comes from Southern Lady Magazine,
super easy and very delicious!
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup caramel topping, such as Smucker’s or Ghirardelli Brand
  • 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup cold whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped praline pecans*
  • Garnish – toffee bits or toffee brittle

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, caramel topping and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until well combined – about one minute.

In a separate medium bowl, whip the cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture until combined, then fold in the praline pecans until just combined. 

Spoon into 9 approx. 3-ounce sized dishes or glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with toffee bits or brittle, if desired.

*I used Heath Brand english toffee bits instead of the praline pecans for those who cannot eat nuts.


Mustard Potato Salad

  • 2 1/2 lbs. white potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1-2 medium dill pickles diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley – roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • approx. 1 tbsp. juice from the dill pickles

Boil the potatoes until fork tender. Drain and set aside to cool. When completely cooled, peel and cut the potatoes into bite-size cubes. Add the celery, onion, pickles, herbs and salt and pepper. Lightly toss together. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard and pickle juice in a small bowl. Add to the potato mixture and toss to completely coat. More mayo/mustard can be added if you prefer a heavier coating. Chill and serve.

Egg Bites

A delicious and nutritious alternative for carb friendly breakfasts or just an anytime healthy snack

This recipe has a lot of wiggle room.  The quantity of eggs used can be reduced and the ingredients can be changed. I chose scallions and peppers, but other ingredients could be substituted such as fresh spinach, chopped bacon or sausage. I would shy away from mushrooms as they add moisture which could affect the consistency of the eggs while cooking. I used a large size muffin pan but I would suggest a regular size and always one with a non-stick finish.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare non-stick muffin pan by spraying liberally with cooking spray.

12 eggs

1/2 bell pepper finely chopped

3 scallions finely chopped including the greens

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parseley

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

Pepper as desired

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until completely blended.  Add in the chopped vegetables, cheese and seasonings. Blend well. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin to about 1/2 full. 


Place into preheated oven and bake for approx. 20-30 minutes. Eggs will puff up while baking. Do not overbake.  Remove from the oven, the eggs will shrink while cooling.  When they have shrunk down, carefully run a sharp knife around the egg bites and remove to a platter and serve.

Note – if the eggs are not removing easily, use a small spatula to slowly scoop under the egg bites to loosen from the pan.  Also the egg bites can be frozen and reheated for use at another time.  Simply thaw and reheat in the microwave for approx. 40 seconds.  

















Coconut Shrimp

This is a delicious recipe from “Sally’s Baking Addiction”


1/3 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached
34 Tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil*
optional for topping: 1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Serving Sauce (Optional)

  • 3 Tablespoons Thai chili sauce
  • 6 Tablespoons orange, peach, or apricot jam or preserves


  1. Dip the shrimp into the flour, then the eggs, and then dredge the shrimp into the coconut mixture, pressing gently to adhere. You want a lot of coconut on each shrimp. Set the coated shrimp aside on a plate as you coat the remaining shrimp.
  2. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the coconut shrimp in batches such as 7-8 shrimp at a time– do not crowd them in the pan. Flip after 2 minutes and fry the other side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. We prefer ours a little darker, so I fry each side for about 2:30-3 minutes.
  3. Place the finished coconut shrimp on a plate lined with a paper towel as you fry the rest. Sprinkle with finely chopped cilantro. Mix dipping sauce ingredients together and serve with shrimp.
Frying the shrimp in oil

Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like your chocolate chip cookies thick and still somewhat soft, this is the perfect recipe. Use the mega size chips for that extra chocololate-y-ness
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (extra large chips or chocolate chunks)

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.  Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mis in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 15 – 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.



Gingerbread House Cake

This is more of a how-to rather than a recipe.  The idea for this cake when was spurred I saw a similar image in a magazine. It can be done using your favorite recipe for gingerbread cake, or you can simply purchase a pre-made vanilla cake with white frosting. I was short on time, so that’s exactly what I did here. I made the little gingerbread houses by cutting them freehand from gingerbread cookie dough and baked them. Then, I adhered them by pushing gently into the frosting on the cake to go completely around. I put a few on top then garnished with rosemary sprigs and cranberries. You could sugar the rosemary and cranberries as well. That is it!  I would recommend that the cake you make or buy should be taller rather than a typical 9″ two layer cake. If you are baking your own, I would recommend using 8″ or even 6″ pans and make three layers. 

Ginger-Carrot Bisque

1/4 cup, plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped

2 large onions, chopped

1 tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup half and half

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots and onions. Cover and cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Mix in ginger and coriander. Add 2 cups stock. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer soup until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes. Puree soup in small batches in processor or blender. Add remaining 3 cups stock and half and half to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until warmed through. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with small amount of parseley.


Oma’s Meat Croquettes

This is a recipe handed down from my Dutch Oma. A delicious treat that is very common in Holland

1 approx. 2 lb. chuck roast

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. each of paprika and nutmeg

1/4. tsp ground black pepper

For the roux –

6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 cup flour

1 cup reserved meat broth

2/3 cup milk

For deep frying –

vegetable oil

bread crumbs, about 2-3 cups

3-4 eggs 

Place the chuck roast into a large pot and cover with water. Low boil until meat is easily pierced with a fork, usually over an hour or so. (This can be done a day in advance and placed in the refrigerator with the liquid until ready to continue with the recipe). Remove the meat to a cutting board. Discard any large pieces of fat and/or grizzle. Reserve one cup of the broth and discard the rest. Finely cut and chop the meat until it somewhat resembles ground meat, see photo below.

Place in a large bowl. Add the chopped onion and the parsley, lemon juice, salt and seasonings. Mix all together thoroughly into the meat mixture and set aside. Make the roux – melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, when mixtures begins to thicken, stir in the broth. Continue cooking and stirring. When this begins to thicken, add the milk and continue to stir. Roux will slowly thicken to almost a paste-like consistency. Remove from heat. Mix the roux into the meat mixture and combine completely. Place the meat mixture in the refrigerator until chilled and firm, 2-3 hours.

Place eggs in a medium bowl and whisk. Place bread crumbs in another medium bowl. Remove meat from the refrigerator and using your hands, shape about 1/2 cupful amounts into a cylindrical shape or ball, followed by dipping in the egg wash and then roll in the bread crumbs to coat completely, repeat with one more egg wash and bread crumbs. Place on a baking sheet.

Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium to medium high heat. Enough oil to submerge one or two croquettes. Carefully lower one croquette at a time into the hot oil and allow to cook until the croquette is a golden brown color. Remove to a paper towel lined platter. The croquettes can be kept warm in a low oven.

Serve warm with a sharp mustard and some crusty bread. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

Moist and flavorful this recipe is a winner. Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

3/4 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup apple cider

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a loaf pan using cooking spray. If you are using a formed pan such as the one I baked above, be certain to coat the designs well and dust lightly with flour, shaking our the excess.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until combined. Mix in the pumpkin, oil and cider. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix together with a spatula or spoon, there will be a few lumps, do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using. 

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. 

Allow the bread to cool slightly on a wire rack. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack.