1 LARGE egg
1/2 cup WHOLE milk
2 tablespoons minced dried onion
4 tablespoons chili powder, divided 2 + 2
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed FINE
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork sausage
2 cups shredded Velveeta
2 cans Progresso Tomato Basil soup
2 cups homemade chicken bone broth
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the egg, milk, minced onion, 2 tablespoons chili powder, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper until well blended.
  • Stir in crackers until evenly mixed.
  • Add beef, sausage and cheese, mixing gently, but thoroughly.
  • Shape mixture into 1 inch balls and place on greased baking sheet.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes until browned.


  • Combine soup, broth, brown sugar and remaining chili powder in a slow cooker until well blended.
  • Gently fold in meatballs.
  • Cook 2-3 hours covered on low until meatballs are cooked through and coated well in cheese sauce.
  • Serve with pasta of choice.


1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs, FINELY ground
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup AP flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
4 thick boneless pork chops
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup apple cider
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey

  • Combine the bread crumbs and almonds in a shallow bowl.
  • In a second shallow bowl combine the flour, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • In a third shallow bowl add the beaten eggs.
  • In a LARGE (so you don’t crowd the chops) skillet melt the avocado oil and butter together.
  • Dip each chop into the flour, then the eggs and finally the Panko mixture. shaking off the excess after each dip.
  • Add to hot oil. Cook chops 3-4 minutes per side until golden and crisp. Remove chops to a plate and keep warm.
  • Discard oil.
  • Add apple cider to the same skillet and warm.
  • Add cream cheese cubes and honey, blending until smooth.
  • Adjust seasoning.
  • Serve over chops.


This is a CHEESECAKE FACTORY copy cat recipe that makes a WONDERFULLY delicious appetizer OR a main dish that no one can resist!

2 RIPE tomatillos, roughly chopped
4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained REALLY well
2 green onions sliced thin
2 tablespoons FRESH cilantro, roughly chopped
1 ½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until combined, but still a little chunky.
  • Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill for AT LEAST 1 hour.

1 LARGE Roma tomato, diced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon FRESH minced cilantro
½ teaspoon lime juice
FRESH ground sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

  • Place all ingredients in a small bowl and toss.
  • Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon water
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon onion powder
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

  • Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix until well combined.
  • Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

1 ½ cup frozen sweet corn
½ cup butter softened to room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup corn masa harina flour or corn meal
2 tablespoons AP flour
1 ½ tablespoon avocado oil

  • Add 1 cup of the frozen corn to a food processor until it’s coarsely pureed.
  • Add the pureed corn, softened butter, sugar, and salt to a medium bowl, mixing until combined.

  • Add masa and flour and mix until no flour streaks remain.
  • Add the remaining ½ cup of frozen corn kernels, and mix until corn is evenly distributed.
Measure ½ cup portions of the mixture and use your hands to form them into 3-inch wide patties.

  • Add the avocado oil to a large skillet and preheat over medium-low heat.
  • Add the patties to the skillet and cook 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
  • Flip and cook the other side 5-7 minutes more until golden brown.

Sour cream
Avocado, diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped


  • Add the salsa verde to your platter and spread it evenly.
  • Heat the platter in the microwave for 1 minute.
  • Place the corn cakes on the warmed salsa verde.
  • Distribute the Pico De Gallo and Southwestern Sauce evenly over the top.
  • Dollop with sour cream, and garnish with chopped avocado and cilantro.
  • Serve immediately.


3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon cooking sherry
1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 LARGE eggs
scant 1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups neutral oil

  • Whisk together the sherry and liquid aminos in a large bowl.
  • Add chicken and toss to coat. Let stand 15-30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl beat eggs with the cornstarch and baking powder until it is a smooth batter.
  • In a large skillet or wok heat oil to 350°.
  • Dip chicken in batter.
  • Fry until golden.
  • Discard oil.

1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4-1 cup homemade chicken broth
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 SMALL can crushed pineapple , drained, but reserved

1 LARGE lemon, sliced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Combine reserved pineapple juice and enough broth to make 1 cup.
  • Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, broth mixture, lemon juice and seasoning.
  • Heat oil in the same skillet or wok.
  • Add lemon slices for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly add cornstarch broth, cooking and stirring constantly until sauce becomes clear.
  • Pour over chicken and serve immediately.


2 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
2 stalks celery, cleaned and thinly sliced
3/4 cup toasted almond pieces, divided 1/2 and 1/4 cups
1 can small water chestnuts, drained and chopped or sliced
2 mini red pepper, diced
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup + 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
Paprika, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 2 quart baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl combine the chicken pieces, celery, green onions, red peppers, water chestnuts and Parmesan cheese.
  • In a smaller bowl whisk together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice and FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Fold cream cheese mixture into the chicken mixture.
  • Spoon mixture into prepare baking dish.
  • Bake covered 25 minutes.
  • Uncover, sprinkle with remaining almonds, Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake 5 minutes more.
  • Serve hot.


8 chicken thighs
2 tablespoons butter
1 small red onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, FINELY chopped
2 tablespoons FRESH, FINELY chopped parsley
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
3 cups homemade chicken bone broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt butter in a dutch oven.
  • Quickly sear chicken on both sides and set aside.
  • Add onion, celery, parsley, salt and pepper, to taste, stirring until vegetables are tender.
  • Sprinkle with flour and mix well.
  • Add broth, vinegar and cider, stirring to blend and bring to SLOW boil. Cook until slightly thickened.
  • Nestle chicken pieces into vegetables.
  • Cover and bake 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

2 cups AP flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon COLD butter
1 LARGE egg at room temperature, lightly beaten
2/3 cup WHOLE milk

  • Combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Cut butter in until coarse crumbs.
  • Whisk egg and milk together.
  • Stir milk mixture into dry ingredients JUST until moistened.
  • Increase oven to 425°.
  • Drop by mounds over chicken.
  • Bake uncovered 10 minutes.
  • Cover and bake 10 minutes more until toothpick comes out clean.


  • Boneless and skinless is my preference and requires less initial baking time, but if you really like a crispy skin go for it.
  • I also often add in carrots or butternut squash if I have it.


BE SURE AND READ THROUGH THE RECIPE FIRST. The Arancini takes the longest and requires the most attention so be sure and start with the rice!

ARANCINI makes 18 balls Adapted from Joanna Gaines
Total 2 hours and 50 minutes including cooling and chilling times Active 60-70 minutes

1 quart homemade bone chicken broth
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup small-diced Vidalia onion (about 1/2 medium)
2 garlic clove, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup (4 ounces) Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 LARGE eggs
3 cups Neutral oil, for deep-frying
2 cups Marinara Sauce, for serving

  • Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a large pot.
  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and sauté, stirring, until translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and sauté 10 to 15 seconds, until tender.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the rice, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Season to taste with the FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Ladle 1 cup of the stock into the rice mixture and stir constantly until the rice soaks up all the liquid, about 5 minutes.
  • Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting the rice soak up the liquid before adding more.
  • When all the stock has been added, cook, stirring constantly, until all the liquid is absorbed and the risotto is thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and add the Parmesan, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until well combined.
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the risotto out on it to cool for 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully chilled, for at least 1 hour.
  • Make a dredging station of the panko, flour and eggs. Be sure and season the flour and panko with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Shape the risotto into 1 1/2-inch balls, using gloves or lightly spraying your hands with olive oil to keep the balls from sticking. 
  • Freeze the risotto balls on a sheet pan for 10 minutes.
  • Dredge each risotto ball in the flour, coating it well, then dip it in the egg mixture, letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Roll the ball in panko to coat it well. Refrigerate while the oil heats.
  • Pour 2 inches of oil into a large pot. Have a wire rack lined with paper towels ready. Heat the oil to 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer.
    Working in batches, use a slotted spoon or spider to lower a few arancini at a time into the hot oil. Do not add more than can float freely in the hot oil. Fry 4-6 minutes until deep golden brown.
  • Drain them on the paper towel-lined rack and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot with marinara or divide among plates and cover with the sauce.

CHICKEN FLORENTINE serves 4 Adapted from Joanna Gaines

2 tablespoons avocado oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 LARGE  shallots (1/2 cup minced)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup QUALITY dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH parsley
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon

  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  • Season the chicken with the FRESH sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Place the chicken in the skillet and cook 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a plate to cool and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter in the same skillet.
  • Add the shallots and garlic, sautéing and stirring often, until just softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Let simmer 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half.
  • Add the cream and cook, stirring often, until the mixture can coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the spinach and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir until the spinach is wilted.
  • Cut the chicken against the grain into diagonal strips 1 inch wide, 2 to 3 inches long, and return it to the skillet.
  • Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.


Soft and chewy oatmeal cookies sandwiched together with a delicious orange vanilla buttercream to create the perfect dessert.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup PACKED light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick or old fashioned oatmeal

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Cream together butter and sugars 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add in eggs and vanilla, mixing until well combined.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until JUST combined.
  • Add in oats and mix until incorporated.
  • Use a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to drop dough onto prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown, turning baking trays half way through.
  • Allow cookies to sit on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk

  • Beat butter on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Turn the speed down to low and gradually add in the powdered sugar. Continue mixing on low speed until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated.
  • Add in vanilla extract and milk and mix until well combined.
  • Turn mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for an additional 3-5 minutes. If needed, add in a little more cream 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.


To assemble the cookies, pipe or spread the cream filling on the flat side of half of the cookies and put the remaining cookies on top.

NOTE: To makes small cookies, use a medium cookie scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) of dough per cookie and bake for 10-12 minutes.


8 ounces elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 cup half and half
1 cup WHOLE milk
4 ounces Velveeta
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups medium sharp cheddar, divided 1 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Lightly grease baking dish or individual ramekins.
  • Prepare macaroni per package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Gradually whisk in flour until smooth for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in salt, pepper and granulated garlic.
  • Gradually together the half and half with the milk.
  • Whisk milk mixture into the flour mixture.
  • Cook, whisking constantly 8-10 minutes until thickened.
  • Stir in Velveeta until smooth.
  • Stir in Swiss cheese and 1 1/2 cups of the medium sharp cheese until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and fold in macaroni.
  • Pour into prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 20-35 minutes. The longer you bake it, the crustier the top gets.


This is an old family recipe that was extremely common in the midwest amongst many a farmer’s wife back in the day. My great grans even made her own noodles and would drape them all over the dining room to dry. She also started with a chicken from the yard as well as veggies from her garden.This was a family favorite long before supermarkets.

I never thought to ask, just accepted that it was that way, but this dish was always served in our house over fluffy mashed potatoes with homemade butter, which is A LOT of carbs! But, I can’t think of serving it any other way! I admit I buy packaged noodles and butter, but the rest is all scratch made.

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
2 carrots, rustic chopped
2 stalks celery, rustic chopped
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, quartered
3-4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 + 1/4 cup FRESH chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 pound wide egg noodles
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 LARGE shallot, chopped
Fluffy mashed potatoes

  • Place chicken pieces, 2 rustic chopped carrots, 2 rustic chopped celery stalks, 1/4 cup parsley and onion pieces into 4 quarts of salted water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Strain through a colander and reserve broth.
  • Pick the chicken pieces, discarding the debris.
  • In the reserved broth add the sliced carrots and celery with the diced shallot and remaining parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes until veggies are tender.
  • Increase heat slightly and add noodles and chicken pieces, simmer 10 minutes until noodles are done.
  • Whisk the flour into 1/2 cup water until well blended. Add to simmering broth, stirring to combine and simmer 5-10 minutes until broth thickens.
  • Season to taste and serve over fluffy mashed potatoes.


Substitute chuck roast for chicken.


1/2 cup FINELY chopped green onion
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup beaten eggs (about 2 LARGE)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 pound QUALITY ground beef

  • In a large bowl combine green onions, oats, eggs, red pepper, salt and pepper along with 2/3 of the lemon zest.
  • Add ground beef and mix well.
  • Form into 1 inch meatballs.
  • Lightly coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray or avocado oiland heat over medium high heat.
  • Brown meatballs on all sides, turning occasionally.

1/2 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup homemade chicken broth
2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
Juice of 2 Meyer Lemons
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Combine the jam, chicken broth, liquid aminos and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Season to taste.
  • Bring to a simmer, cooking until slightly reduced and beginning to thicken.
  • Toss meatballs in glaze and serve over rice or pasta.


If you are anything like me, you have a drawer or a box full of recipes from newspapers, magazines, old maiden aunts, grandmothers, friends and every potluck you ever went to and said I have to have that recipe! I remember one potluck at church several years back that I asked for a recipe and she instantly pulled it out of her pocket. Obviously I wasn’t the first to ask! Those are the recipes I like, the ones that bring a memory to mind like Lonnie handing me that recipe card.

Now while I kept her combination of spices and seasonings intact I did make changes that made it more palatable to my family. For example hubby doesn’t like cooked mushrooms so I either have to eliminate them or substitute for something else. but sometimes I’m a little sneaky and they’re in there, but just not so he can tell. One son doesn’t like tomato pieces, but loves tomato sauce, his old girlfriend won’t eat cooked carrots, and on and on! So I always keep a list of likes, dislikes and allergies and am constantly altering recipes to fly by the seat of my pants.

This recipe has been floating around so long in the box of scraps that I have no idea where it originated which based on all my changes doesn’t matter, but reminds me to keep that box. Some days I feel like an archaeologist, but come up with oldies that were favorites and will now be revived.

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper*
1/3 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach leaves**
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 bunch green onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, softened or 2 ounces grated mozzarella
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 slices sourdough bread, staled and crumbled
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1+1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 egg white, beaten

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter add 1 teaspoon olive oil in skillet.
  • Saute’ garlic, bell pepper and mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in spinach and cooked until spinach is completely wilted. If using frozen stir until well blended.
  • Drain well.
  • Combine cream cheese, flour and spinach mix until well blended and set aside.
  • Between 2 sheets of wax paper flatten each chicken breast to 1/4 inch and set aside.
  • Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and mix until crumbly.
  • Divide the spinach mixture equally between the chicken breasts.
  • Carefully roll each chicken breast.
  • Using a pastry brush coat each chicken bundle with the beaten egg and then roll in coating mixture.
  • Place seam side down on a small baking sheet or stoneware pan (I prefer the stoneware pan for a crisper, non-greasy chicken)
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown in color and juices are clear.


  • I like to make this recipe back to back on my weekly menu with Twisted Pepper Steak to make the red pepper usage more efficient, use jar (olive oil soaked) red peppers or I substitute a jar of pimentos in a pinch.
  • You can use frozen chopped spinach, but it must be drained well and then drained a few more times until dry!!