Never Fails To Surprise And To Please

This Decorated Cookie Cakes recipe has oatmeal but these are not the typical oatmeal cookies with spices. This cookie is iced and layered and iced. It has a deliciously surprising flavor, vanilla with a hint of almond. No almond meal or nuts. I acquired this recipe, given to me years ago, and have never come across anything like it since.

Decorated Cookie Cakes

The cookies are decorated and it is time to let you in on the secret.

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Old Family Recipe Portuguese Beans with Linguica

Portuguese Beans With Linguica

This is the time of year my dad put together a big lunch for his customers, farmers and ranchers. He would do most of the food preparation himself. Yep, there could be a huge crowd. One item on the menu was Portuguese beans. So, the question is do I have my dad’s recipe or his mother’s recipe? Or are the recipes the same? Anyway, get your pound of pintos soaking, and don’t eat the last of the linguica!

Why am I thinking about these beans? Aside from the thoughts of the yearly luncheon, my brother made another batch of linguica. He is still working to perfect the recipe! And someone shared her prepared Portuguese beans and linguica with me recently. Just delicious Melissa! Let me see how my dad’s recipe compares!

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A Breakfast Bar Or Cookie

Date Nut Bar

Packed with goodness! This was my choice for an energy bar in the 60’s, BUT you will have to eat two to get the calorie count of most energy bars of today. I was hooked the first time I made this Date Nut Bar!

Have you heard of Mineral King? Beautiful place chosen by Disney to develop a resort in 1965. This resort project fell through. Kathryn and I planned a day hike in Mineral King about this time. This bar never tasted so good.

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A Comfort On A Cold Gray Day

Sausage And Navy Bean Soup

Sausage and Navy Bean Soup

It’s rainy and cold this morning. I had planned to share a cookie recipe today  … a breakfast cookie! But this can wait until tomorrow. I am going to put together a rich soup instead. And because it is last minute I won’t be soaking the beans overnight. The soup is a bit Italian. What a comfort it will be! Pair this with a country bread and it’s a complete meal. If you like add a small glass of red table wine.

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A Visit To Vermont

Sour Cream Pancakes With Blueberry Maple Syrup

Sour Cream Pancakes and Blueberry Maple Syrup

Vermont always comes to mind this time of year. If it isn’t the taste of their maple syrup it’s the picturesque view of their snow covered villages or ski slopes in mind’s eye that take me there. The love of this country was conveyed to me many times by a friend who skied these beautiful snow covered slopes in the 60’s … a magical time to say the least. Ella Fitzgerald, can’t forget her Moonlight In Vermont. She gets me there too.

Today I’ve made moist pancakes that can be eaten without syrup. Yep, my best friend, Marg, (Marg’s excuse-her father was a dentist) and my daughter prefer them that way! But for those who want to imagine themselves snowbound in a Vermont cabin overlooking fields of glistening snow I have a syrup for you. OK, you can tell I live in sunny California!

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A Recipe Change Up

Chicken and Dumplings My Style

Chicken and Dumplings My Style

My mother is from Arkansas. In 1939 she travelled to her new home in California. She brought with her a southern style of cooking which included recipes for fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes, and chicken and dumplings. Vegetables and fruits were mainly canned to preserve. This seems to be in vogue again today!

As a child I had a very difficult time eating chicken. I was generously given the drumstick … Every child’s favorite it seemed. But I could see every vessel and tendon … Even more so with stewed chicken and dumplings. The taste was delicious but…. I was being a kid!

What I have done here is create more of a shepherd’s pie with chicken. Rather than placing the biscuits or dumplings, mother used the same recipe for both, into the chicken dish I have included them separately. I loved my mother’s biscuits! She liked to make them thinner than most would, pressing the dough thin before cutting. This created a biscuit that was less cakie. If baking biscuits separately not as a topper, she would dip each in bacon drippings, lightly coating both sides before placing into a baking dish and popping into the oven. Yep! Still love this taste today. But for those who are not bacon fans butter works.







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