Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Strawberry Mousse Cake or Pie
1. Chop fresh strawberries coarsely in a food processor to make 3-3 ½ Cups (3 for a pie and 3 ½ for a cake.)

2.  Soften 1 T. gelatin (1 package) in ¼ C. cold water for 5 minutes.  Nuke for 20 seconds and stir until dissolved.

3.  Beat 1- 8 oz.  block of cream cheese with 1 C. white sugar and the warm gelatin until smooth and creamy.

4.  Stir in the chopped berries until well blended.

5.  Whip 1 C. cream until stiff.  (1 ½ C. for a cake)    Beat in 1 generous T. of instant vanilla pudding mix or Ultra Gel.

6.  Fold into the strawberry mixture and blend.

7.  Pour into a 10 inch pie crust (I used this Pie Crust or pour over a yellow cake baked in a 11x15 inch pan. (see my favorite yellow cake) You can poke large holes in your cake if desired.   (This is too much for a 9x13 pan) Chill until set. 

8.  You can make a strawberry sauce to spoon over the pie or cake by crushing some strawberries, adding some sugar  and a little Ultra Gel to thicken if desired.

The Best Yellow Cake
I have tried a lot of yellow cake recipes and this pleasantly surprised me and is similar to my favorite Chocolate Cake . It is simple to stir up and very moist.  It works great with this recipe. 

1. In a largish glass bowl bring 1 C. of water to boil in the microwave
2.  Stir in 2 1/4 C. white sugar

3.  ½ C. vegetable oil (I like light olive oil)

4.  2 large or extra-large eggs.

5. 1 tsp. salt

6.  4 tsps. baking powder

6.  2 tsp. good vanilla

7.  Beat in 2 1/4 C. of flour and 1 scant cup whole milk.  This batter will be somewhat thin. Beat with a hand mixer for at least a minute to develop some gluten. 

Bake 350 until the center is firm and the cake is lightly browning .  Bake in a 11x15 inch pan or two 10 inch round cake pans.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016


When spring comes my heart turns to asparagus.  We picked it on the ditch banks when I was a kid and I learned to love it, especially creamed on mashed potatoes.  But this Asparagus Quiche is a close second in my heart.  This year I found a quiche without the crust and thought I would give it a try because it is loaded with fat as it is and the crust makes it downright wicked.  I also changed the half and half to whole milk and actually didn't miss any of those fat grams.  

Crustless Asparagus Quiche
1.  Soften but don't melt 1 T. butter and rub it around the bottom and sides of a 10 inch pie pan.

2.  Spinkle with 1/2 C. of soft bread crumbs chopped in a processor.  You could probably use Panco. 

3.  Grate 6 oz. Cheese.  I like Swiss in quiche but you could probably substitute others.  Sprinkle in the bottom and sides of the pan. 
4.  Add 4-5 slices of chopped bacon if desired.  Precooked works great here.

5.  Trim a bunch of asparagus (3-31/2 cups) into 2 inch pieces and steam for 1 or 2 minutes.  This is just a blanch as it will cook more in the oven.  Scatter over the cheese.

5.  Beat together 5 eggs, 1scant tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and  1 1/2 C. Whole Mile (use half and half if desired)  Pour over the top.  Bake 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the center is set.  I usually cut a hole in a piece of foil to keep the edge from getting over brown.

 I didn't put the foil on soon enough for this and the edges got a little dark but it was still good.

The leftover pieces reheat beautifully in the microwave and taste even better the next day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


These are my favorite cookies.  They are reminiscent of some my mother used to make.  I like to try to remove some of the butter and add oil in a cookie recipe and this worked nicely.  My husband doesn't like coconut so I made half without it and they were good. 

Beat together until creamy:
½ C. soft butter
¼ C. oil (I use light olive oil)
1 C. White Sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

1 ½ C. flour
1 1/2  C. quick oatmeal
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 scant tsp. salt

Stir in:
1 C. shredded coconut
2 generous C. corn flakes
1. C. toasted almonds or pecans or walnuts
1 12 oz. pkg. Chocolate chips or less if desired

I like to make big cookies here so Bake 350 for 12-13 minutes.  Sometimes I like a little underbaked cookie but not these because I want the crunch.  They should be nice and brown on top. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


16X20 oil on linen canvas board.  From my photo.  On Cape Cod, the city of Sandwich near the Dexter Grist Mill.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


1.  Peel and slice 7 medium apples

2.  Toss with:  ¼ tsp. salt, 1 T. corn starch 1 tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg and 2 T. melted butter ½ C. dried cranberries or raisins if desired.  (you can also add 1/3 C. of caramel bits, which are very good here.)

3.  Put in the bottom of a Pam sprayed crock pot.

4.  Mix together the topping:  ¼ C. melted butter, ½ C. brown sugar, ½ C. rolled oats, ¼ C. flour,  ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ C. broken pecans or walnuts (optional)
5.  Sprinkle over the apples and bake on low for 2+ hours.  Check to see if the apples are soft in the middle of the pot, bake longer if not. If you want the top crisper take out the pot and put it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.   Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


These are a perfect little piece of something reminiscent of Snicker Pie but much easier and also like one of my favorites but without the snickers  Oreo Cheesecake bites

These Snicker Bites are awesome!  The recipe came from here  but I changed a few things, making them small bites instead of bars because they are so rich.

1.  Melt 2 T. butter and add 20 finely crushed Oreo cookies.  
2.  Press into the bottom of a 9 inch pan which has been covered  including up the sides, with foil sprayed with pam.  
3.  Beat 2 blocks of room temperature cream cheese with 1/4 C. of sugar and 2 tsps. vanilla and 2 eggs.  It will take 2-4 minutes to get it smooth and creamy. (I questioned so little sugar but it is perfect because the candy adds so much sweet)
4.  Fold in 14 fun size Snickers chopped into small pieces or 28 mini bars cut into 4 pieces each.  
5.  Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes. (they will be lightly browned on the edges and top)  Cool 
6.  These are good as is or you can melt 1or more C. milk chocolate chips or semisweet, if you prefer, and frost the tops after they have been cut into 1 1/2-2 inch squares.  They freeze well.  

Update:  I made these again recently and used Milky Way bars.  Then I toasted about a cup of almonds and chopped them quite coarsely  and after painting on the melted chocolate I dipped them in the nuts.  Wow!


Friday, November 20, 2015


I have not been a big fan of Kale because it just seemed too scratchy and tough but I wanted to give it a try because this looked like it had possibilities but I made some changes.  The lemon dressing was good.  I liked the honey better and you might want to make it sweeter. (I did after my husband said it was too sour.)  I added the apples but can see other fruits.  The star of the show was the pecan topping.  I think I will use this on other things.  I like the pecans visible, not too fine and a little more Parmesan.  The kale softens a lot by adding the dressing at least 15 minutes or so before serving.  I didn't add the bacon but my husband would love it.

Salad - toss together :
1.  About 12 ounces of Kale, coarse stems removed and chopped small.
2.  2 apples in bite sized pieces or pears, grapes, oranges or a combination...and avocados are nice. 
3.  1/2 C. dried cranberries
With Avocados

Dressing - mix together:
1.  1/4 C. olive oil
2.  1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
3.  1 T. honey (or more if you like sweet)
3.  1/8 tsp. salt and pepper
I like to make a double batch of dressing and keep it ready for making little salads for my husband and me.  

Pecan Topping :
1.  1 C.  pecans,  walnuts or even cashews
2.   1/2 C. coarse grated Parmesan cheese
3.  2 T. olive oil
4.  A pinch of salt and pepper 
I put this all in a small processor and chopped for 10 - 15 seconds.  You don't want it too fine.  (I had made a double batch and tossed some with some hot thin spaghetti...WOW!)

Toss the dressing as desired and let sit for 15 minutes or more before serving. I like to serve this in individual servings with the nut mixture sprinkled on the top and bacon if desired.  

This is a larger, richer version Creamy Lemon Dressing that I made the second time.
1.  Juice  2 lemons about 1/2 C.
2.  Add  2/3 C. light olive oil
              1 generous tsp. fine grated lemon peel
              1/3 tsp. salt or more to taste     
              Some generous grates of black pepper
              1/4 C. honey                      2 tsps. ultra gel
Ultra gel is a thickening agent that you can get at most grocery stores now.  I know Walmart has it and it has many handy uses.  It keeps the ingredients emulsified. Put everything into a pint size wide mouth container and blend with and immersion blender or in a regular blender. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Some time back one of my brothers contacted me to see if I had the Apple Cake recipe that my mother used to make with "the sauce".  I said I didn't think I had it but then I remembered a recipe book that her Wellington church group had compiled and wondered if it might be there.  The book is very dog eared with no front or back cover and I found the page easily because it was covered with dried grated apple splotches.
It is the recipe at the top right of the page.  Called Apple Pudding. It is so moist that it is reminiscent of a steamed pudding.  I simplified the mixing a little and changed it just a bit.

1.  Put 1 Cup sugar and 1/4 C. melted butter into a medium bowl and stir in 1 T. cider vinegar.  
2.  Coarse grate 3- 4 medium apples to make 2 packed cups.  I didn't peel them.  After coring them I cut them into 4 pieces and grated them with the peel side out and at the end there would be most of the peel left to throw away.  Stir each cup into the sugar quickly to keep them from oxidizing.
3.  Add:  1 egg
               1 tsp. cinnamon
                1/2 tsp. nutmeg
                1/2 tsp. salt
                1 tsp. baking soda
                 1 Cup flour
4.  Add: 1/2 C. chopped nuts, raisins or dried cranberries if desired.  I loved the cranberries and of course the nuts.  
5.  Bake in an 8 inch sprayed pan for 30-35 minutes at 350 or until the center is firm.   It makes about 6 servings so you might want to double it.  I am sure with our group we always did at home.

 1.  In a medium saucepan mix together:
                    1/2 C. butter
                    1 C. sugar
                    1/2 C. half and half or evaporated milk
2.  Simmer on low until thick about 10 minutes or so.  I added about 1/4 cup of Kraft Caramel Bits at this point (optional) and 1 tsp. of vanilla.  Serve over the cake with a scoop of ice cream.  WOW!   I should find out what else is in that recipe book.