I hope you’re having a WONDERFULLY relaxing and happy 4th of July – Stay safe and don’t forget to hydrate! It’s HOT out there.

18 ounce banana cake mix plus any ingredients to prepare it according to package directions
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 banana, THINLY sliced
4 tablespoons NUTELLA hazelnut spread

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 9 inch deep baking dish.
  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Spread batter in prepared pan.
  • Dot batter with NUTELLA.
  • Using a knife swirl the Nutella into the cake mix.
  • Layer banana slices in a single layer on top.
  • With your fingers or the back of a spoon press banana slices down into the cake batter.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until tester comes out of center clean.
  • Cool in pan 15 minutes.
  • Frost as desired.


This is a modified recipe reminiscent of RAO’S famous lemon chicken. Everyone cleaned their plates and went in for seconds.


4 chicken breast steaks, 1/4 inch thick
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • Melt butter and oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and stir 30 seconds.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken breasts in flour, shaking off excess.
  • Add chicken breasts to hot butter. Sear each side 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
  • Serve over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes and drizzle sauce over top.

1 cup FRESH lemon juice
1 cup key lime juice
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup HOMEMADE chicken broth
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2-3 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • Whisk together the lemon juice, key lime juice, avocado oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper in a large saucepan.
  • Simmer 5-10 minutes until sugar is dissolved and heated through.
  • Put the cornstarch in a small bowl and ladle out about a 1/2 cup of lemon juice mixture to whisk into the cornstarch.
  • Add cornstarch mixture to the saucepan, whisking until combined. Simmer 5-10 minutes until desired thickness.


A new twist to the traditional green bean casserole.


3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 small shallot, FINELY diced
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/3 cup WHOLE milk
2/3 cup HOMEMADE chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups (12 ounces) frozen green beans, thawed
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup French’s fried onions, crushed FINE

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease a 8×8 baking dish. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and garlic, sautéing 1 minute until soft.
  • Whisk in flour until smooth and golden.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk and chicken broth, simmering and stirring constantly 2-3 minutes until thickens.
  • Stir in Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in cheese until smooth.
  • Fold in green beans, stirring to combine.
  • Transfer to baking dish.
  • Sprinkle crumbled fried onions evenly over.
  • Bake uncovered 30 minutes until bubbling and golden.

NOTE: For an even deeper flavor, switch out the chicken broth for your favorite lager beer.



1 1/2 pounds dried beans (I use a combination of navy, pinto and black beans)
1 smoked ham hock
2 tablespoons salt
8 cups HOMEMADE stock
1 pound QUALITY ground beef
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, small diced
1/2 pound salt pork, cut into small cubes
1/2 bacon, diced
1 can hominy, chopped small
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup PURE maple syrup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup jalapeño ketchup

1 tablespoon Coleman’s dry mustard (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 cups dark brown sugar

  • Soak beans overnight, sort out the bad ones and then drain off the water.


  • In a large dutch oven cover the ham hock with 8 cups HOMEMADE chicken stock. Simmer 1-2 hours until meat is falling from the bone and liquid has cooked down to about half. Add meat to the slow cooker.
  • Cover the beans and chopped hominy with the ham hock broth in a large dutch oven. Add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 25-30 minutes until softened. Drain (but reserve liquid) and add beans to slow cooker.
  • Whisk together the molasses, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper, jalapeno ketchup and mustard if using. Pour into slow cooker.
  • While beans are simmering brown the ground beef with the onion pieces. Drain and add to slow cooker.
  • In the same skillet brown the bacon and salt pork until JUST crisp. Drain off grease and add to slow cooker.
  • Stir everything together until well mixed. Add enough of the reserved ham hock liquid to just cover the beans, stirring to combine.
  • Cook on high for 1-2 hours and then on low for 5-6 hours. Stir occasionally, adding just enough water to keep beans from drying out.


HONEY ROASTED RIBS adapted from Cook’s Country

Cut the racks into thirds to allow them to fit into the plastic bags while they marinate. The used marinade is then boiled and transformed into a glaze for the ribs.

This recipe turns the humble into the extraordinary and perfectly tender, meaty, crusty, sticky, honey glazed, finger licking great ribs that leaves your family reaching for more ribs until the plate is empty so be sure and make plenty.

5 – 6 pounds baby back ribs (2 racks, 2 1/2- to 3-pounds each), trimmed, membranes removed, each rack cut into 3 equal pieces

1 1/4 cup QUALITY honey
5 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Dijon mustard, optional
1 bunch green onions, white parts minced, green parts sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, FINELY crushed
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Divide ribs between two 1-gallon zipper-lock bags.
  • Whisk honey, liquid aminos, vinegar, mustard (if using), scallion whites, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne together in bowl.
  • Divide marinade between bags, seal, and turn to coat ribs evenly with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, turning bags ­occasionally.
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325.
  • Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set wire rack in sheet.
  • Add enough warm tap water to cover entire bottom of sheet (about 2 cups). The water gives off extra steam keeping the ribs extra moist and prevents the drippings from burning.
  • Transfer ribs, meaty side up, to prepared wire rack; reserve marinade in refrigerator.
  • Tent ribs loosely with foil and bake for 1¼ hours.
  • Uncover ribs and continue cooking until just tender, about 1 hour longer.
  • Bring reserved marinade to boil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook until thickened to glaze consistency, about 5 minutes.
  • Brush ribs with 1/3 cup glaze, return to oven, and continue to cook 15-30 minutes until glaze begins to bubble and ribs are brown.
  • Transfer ribs to cutting board (leave hot water and sheet in oven to cool), tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Cut ribs between bones, add to Dutch oven, and toss to coat with remaining glaze.
  • Transfer to platter and sprinkle with scallion greens and ½ teaspoon salt.
  • Serve.


For years I made this simple and classic Bisquick coffee cake from the back of the box, but I doctored it up my way. So recently I went looking for Bisquick’s original recipe and was surprised to find MANY versions of it by several bakers. The only thing I found in common was the use of Bisquick and most people did what I’d been doing for many years ~ double the ooey gooey streusel!

2/3 cup Bisquick®
2/3 cup PACKED brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
1/3-1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3-1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  • Combine the baking mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly.
  • Fold in nuts and raisins, if using. Set aside.

2 cups Bisquick®
2/3-3/4 cup WHOLE milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 LARGE egg
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

1 tablespoon QUALITY ground cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Grease a DEEP 9-inch baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, combine baking mix, sugar, cinnamon, milk, and egg together, mixing well.
  • Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish.
  • Spread the topping evenly over the cake batter.
  • Use a knife to swirl the streusel topping into the cake.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Pour a cup of coffee and enjoy!


  • BISQUICK is the ONLY baking mix that works EXACTLY right in this recipe. Substitute other brnads at your own risk 😀
  • For really ooey and gooey streusel double the amounts.
  • When I’m feeling a bit naughty I soak the raisins in a spiced rum first. Be sure to drain them well before adding them to the streusel.

Here are the links to a few of the similar recipes I found.

MY BAKING ADDICTION’S  Yield 8-10 servings
This version of the same basic coffee cake gets its tang from sour cream and has a little twist using either pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice instead of plain cinnamon PLUS a bit of a crunch from pecans though I prefer walnuts.

⅔ cup Bisquick mix
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup unsalted butter, cold
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

  • In a medium bowl, stir combine ⅔ cup Bisquick, ⅔ cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until well combined and only small pieces of butter are visible.
  • Stir in the pecans. Set aside.

2 cups Bisquick mix
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
⅔ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining Bisquick, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Stir in the sour cream, milk, egg, and vanilla until well combined.
  • Spread half of the cake batter into the bottom of the greased cake pan.
  • Sprinkle evenly with half of the streusel.
  • Top evenly with the remaining cake batter, followed by the rest of the streusel.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.


This is another recipe from an old antique recipe box that became an instant keeper for our family. The flavorful meatballs and light delicate sauce make this a refreshing meal for any time of year.

Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Rest Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hr 30 minutes Servings: 12

1 cup torn croissants
½ cup WHOLE milk
2 LARGE eggs
1 LARGE onion, FINELY grated
+/- 1 tablespoon FRESH grated ginger
+/- 1 tablespoon FRESH ground salt, to taste
1-2 teaspoons FRESH ground nutmeg, to taste
2-3 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1 ½ teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
3 pounds LEAN ground beef

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Grease a LARGE baking sheet. 

  • Combine bread pieces, milk, eggs, onion, ginger, salt, nutmeg, garlic, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Let stand 10 minutes until bread absorb all the milk.
  • Stir until just mixed and add ground beef mixing until well blended.
  • Shape mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place on the prepared pan. 

  • Bake 20-30 minutes in the preheated oven until browned.
  • Set meatballs aside to rest while you prepare the gravy.

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced onion
5 tablespoons WONDRA flour
4 cups HOMEMADE beef broth
½ cup sour cream
1 dash cayenne pepper
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sauté onion until tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Whisk in flour and cook 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
  • SLOWLY add broth; cooking and stirring gravy 5-10 minutes until smooth and thickened. Blend in cream, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. 

  • Gently layer cooked meatballs into the gravy and SLOWLY simmer, heating through 5 minutes or so, but DO NOT BOIL.
  • Serve over wide egg noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.

NOTES: These meatballs freeze wonderfully!



1 tablespoons avocado oil
1 pound QUALITY bacon 
6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
5 tablespoon raw slivered almonds
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey 
1 large shallot, THINLY sliced (see notes)
2 heads romaine, chopped
3 cups mixed chopped radicchio, frisée and trimmed fennel
1 tablespoon FRESH thyme leaves
1/4 cup FRESH chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • When hot, cook the bacon slices in batches in the hot oil, turning them regularly and adding more slices, one by one, as the first slices brown and shrink.
  • When crumbly crisp and browned to your desire, about 10 to 12 minutes, transfer bacon slices to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain, (reserving the drainings for the dressing) all BUT 1 tablespoons of fat from the pan. 

  • Add the garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring often until the edges of the garlic start to turn golden.
  • Add the almonds and continue cooking, 5-7 minutes, stirring, until both the garlic and almonds look golden and toasted.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper towel-lined plate also. Do not discard the pan drippings. You will use them in the dressing.

  • In a large bowl, mix the red wine vinegar and honey with a whisk until dissolved then add the shallot, season with salt and pepper. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Pour in  5 tablespoons of the warm pan drippings from the skillet while straining it into the vinegar mixture.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, whisk again.
  • Drizzle vinaigrette over bowl of greens and herbs, tossing well.
  • To serve, top the salad with the crispy garlic and almonds then crumble the bacon over it tossing it again as desired. 


  • I often will crisp additional shallots for the top of the salad.
  • I also add a handful of halved grape tomatoes and/or chopped hard salami when I have it on hand.



2 LARGE eggs
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
PINCH of sea salt

  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and butter.
  • In a small bowl, mix flour and 2 tablespoons sugar; add to egg mixture and mix well. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour.
  • Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Stir batter.
  • Fill a 1/4-cup measure three-fourths with batter; pour into center of pan.
  • Quickly lift, tilt and rotate pan to coat bottom evenly, cooking until top appears dry; turn pancake and cook 15-20 seconds longer or until bottom is cooked.
  • Remove to a wire rack.
  • Sprinkle with PINCH sugar.
  • Repeat with remaining batter and sugar, greasing pan as needed.
  • When cool, stack pancakes with pieces of waxed paper or paper towels.
  • Serve HOT with FRESH melted butter.


3 cups green enchilada sauce
12 small corn tortillas, lightly fried
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pan fried until cooked through
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded Taco blend Monterey jack cheese
1 cup sliced scallions
1/2 cup sliced or chopped black olives (OPTIONAL)
1/4 cup FRESH chopped cilantro
Crumbled queso fresco or Cotija cheese
lime wedges

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray a 9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Heat butter in large skillet until melted.
  • GENEROUSLY season to taste the chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add chicken breasts to skillet, searing 3-4 minutes on both sides until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken, reserving drippings. Add a small amount of avocado oil as necessary.
  • Cool chicken slightly and shred into pieces.
  • Add the tortillas to the skillet in a single layer and fry until crisp, allowing to dry on paper towels.
  • Pour verde sauce in shallow bowl.
  • Pour 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of baking dish.
  • Dip four of the tortillas in sauce and place in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Top with half of the shredded chicken and about half of the shredded cheese, about half of the scallions and olives if using. Sprinkle a pinch of the cilantro on top.
  • Dip four more tortillas in enchilada sauce and layer onto the chicken.
  • Top with the remaining chicken, and most of the remaining cheese, olives, and scallions and another pinch of cilantro, saving a small amount of each for garnish. Set that aside.
  • Top with remaining tortillas.
  • Drizzle remaining verde sauce over top.
  • Bake 20 minutes until warmed through and bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Top with remaining chopped cilantro, scallions, queso fresco.
  • Serve with sour cream and lime wedges.


1/3 cup walnut pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
1 LARGE lemon, juiced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
6-8 cups torn romaine lettuce
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced optional

  • Coat the apple pieces in the lemon juice.
  • Whisk together the yogurt, apple cider vinegar, poppy seeds, FRESH ground salt and pepper together.
  • Toss together the lettuce, onions, celery, chicken, apples and walnuts.
  • Drizzle with dressing and toss together.
  • Serve immediately.


1 cup uncooked Basmati rice
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons chili powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2-3 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
1/4 cup minced scallions or red onions
1 can seasoned black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

GARNISHES: sour cream, grated cheese, minced onions, salsa, avocado chunks, lime wedges…

  • In a LARGE non-stick skillet, combine water, chicken broth, chili powder, FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and rice.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low, cooking 15-20 minutes until tender.
  • Add beans during the last 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add chicken.
  • Recover and let sit 5 minutes until chicken is heated through.
  • Add a scoop of fritos to the plate and top with a spoonful of the rice mixture.
  • Top with garnishes of choice.