Francesinha Portuguese Croque Monsieur

The Little Frenchie

Francesinha Portuguese Croque Monsieur

This looks like a sandwich you eat while watching or discussing the game, football to be exact. This is true. BUT I’ve also heard this sandwich with fries is a traditional lunch around the Porto area in Portugal. OK maybe it doesn’t look like this exactly. 

There are two schools of thought about the origin of the Francesinha. One suggesting this was first seen around the 19th century. And the second that this was developed as a take on the French croque monsieur around the 1960’s. Whichever, it was fun to recreate.

This recipe is mine and concocted from suggestions of what is often used in the little frenchie. The list of ingredients is endless. I chose some favorites. Actually, the whole list was from my favorites but I wasn’t looking to make a foot long sandwich! As it turns out this sandwich is easily two servings. So, what is on this suggested list! You’ll see!

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Old Fashioned Soda Fountain Drinks


Old Fashioned Soda Fountain

These are icy cold, richly refreshing and perfect for the hot days ahead. The secret ingredient? Frozen fruit or ice keep these cold and thick until the last gulp or spoonful. They all have ice cream, the slow churned version with half the fat. We could talk about substitutions here but for this post I’m using ice cream. Into calorie counting? The Root Beer Ice Freeze has 50 calories, the Blueberry Cream Soda Freeze 75, and Strawberry/Berry Milkshake and French Silk Milkshake Freeze 125. All 8 ounce drinks.

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Tortilla Dish From My Past

A Recipe Decades Old But Still Works

Tortilla Dish From The Past

A Blast From The Past! Remembering the first time I made this is easy. Dan, my brother, arrived home after an exhausting football practice and was anything but happy about dinner.  It was decades ago and casseroles were not a family favorite … And a tortilla dish with mushroom soup! I remember the pre-dinner discussion that day but forget the outcome. ‘Though I can tell you … This is one delicious tortilla dish! And with these delicious dress ups how can you go wrong. Yep Dan, that’s your fav hot sauce!

My recipe card now turning yellow around the edges states, Ropes Tortilla Dish. I’d like to give credit to my best high school friend’s family for this recipe but Margaret has yet to confirm. So, have I correctly labeled this recipe! Admittedly, the basic recipe is still intact but I have changed up ingredients and measurements. I like to think I’ve kept this recipe all these years, too many to admit, because it is my best friend’s family recipe … And delicious!

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Portuguese Sopas – A Repost

Portuguese Sopas

I previously posted this Portuguese Sopas (pronounced soupish) Recipe in January. Over these next 8 weeks, the season for Portuguese Festas, this celebratory dish originating in the Azores will be made in cities throughout the United States. 

This hearty dish has a unique flavor and is not always successfully duplicated at home. My brother, who put the recipe together for my post, helped with the cooking for these Portuguese Festas in Visalia for a number of years. It’s one thing helping to put food together for hundreds, and then another converting to a small dish accurately just by taste testing. He has completed many taste tests in creating this dish. I’ve tested this latest recipe. It’s exactly as I remember!

Try this delicious meat dish with cabbage. I absolutely love it! Be sure and use day old bread for the exact taste. Visit the Post of January 8, 2014 Spicy Portuguese Sopas

If you are interested in Tremoços, the little treat typically given out at the drink booth, I have this recipe too! It’s my Second Cousin Margaret’s recipe for 70 pounds but I know this can be tweaked easily for a smaller group. Yep, she made this 70 pounds for the Festas and actually made up to 300 pounds at one event. Let me know!

Hint of Orange Banana Nut Bread

With Black Walnuts

Hint of Orange Banana Nut Bread

Ripe bananas in our home are quickly made into muffins, bread, cake or pancakes. You will rarely see a banana with brown spots in our fruit bowl. In fact, we prefer eating a slightly green banana in our cereal.

Fruit makes a quick recycle in my kitchen today. No time for fruit flies. Fruit was never a turn-on in my early years. My father’s business was closely associated with ranchers and farmers. We had an abundant fruit bowl thanks to his generous customers. But in our warm house with open windows the fruit took on a less than appetizing appearance. Crates of over-ripe strawberries were made into jam. Peaches and tomatoes were canned. Watermelon and cantaloupe were eaten as quickly as possible. Freezing some fruit was done too but only after we acquired a deep freezer. It was just too much information for me then. Today I see how lucky we were. And how appreciated my dad was by his customers.

The habit of recycling fruit moves much faster today in my kitchen, and I have passed the habit onto my children. So, after the fruit smoothies my daughter and I made last week (with bananas just ripe) the overripe have been made into this delicious bread.

I’ve added a hint of orange flavor with orange zest and orange extract. It’s amazing. The crust is slightly crunchy and the texture of the bread is moist and not heavy. Black walnuts add a flavor that is just right. I’m not a fan of black walnuts as a snack but in this bread they add just the right taste change to make this extraordinary.

I hope you’ll try this recipe. It’s one of the best banana nut bread recipes I’ve tasted.

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Naked Chocolate Chip Cookies

At least six Recipes In One

Naked Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s all my daughter’s fault! Where are the chocolate chips!

This basic chocolate chip cookie recipe was my favorite for 25 Years before my daughter came along … embedded in my memory to pull up at any time. My two oldest sons had been eating these chocolate chip cookies for some years without any complaints … after school finding these warm cookies with milk. (Almond milk is now the fav.) Steve would leave behind a few uneaten walnuts but everyone agreed these were delicious cookies fully loaded. It’s still a mystery why but this cookie recipe became three one day! And now six!

What you see is one of my daughter’s favorite cookies. Chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips or walnuts. So, with that day each of my four children let me in on their favorite chocolate chip cookie version … to this day only one (me too) enjoys the fully loaded.

This is a very simple recipe with just a few pantry items. And if you don’t have chocolate chips let me help you pick from your pantry other items you might have. Thank you Missy for making this such a versatile recipe. Now my basic cookie recipe!

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Berries Smoothie – Day 3

Berries Smoothie





Your choice of berry for this treat! I used my all time favorites, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry and raspberry.



It’s no surprise my daughter has chosen a smoothie as a go-to snack. Her food choices very early on were healthy, simple, mostly raw, and always always fresh.

We always remember, too, the importance of an attractive dining experience to enhance every bite … or slurp. What do you think of this glass tumbler! It’s BPA free and dishwasher safe. Check out this product … sold on Etsy. We love new and unique products! Yes, the straw is glass!

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Strawberry Banana Pineapple Smoothie

Day One Of Our Three Days Of Smoothies

Strawberry Banana Pineapple Smoothie

Here’s a favorite smoothie! And happens to be vegan too. 

My daughter is here for a visit and we’re making her go-to snack … Such an improvement over pseudo-cheese and celery, a creative healthy? snack of the 50’s. Sorry mom.

We like it icy … load up the ice! Naturally sweet with fruit and just a little lightly sweetened almond milk. Smoothies are just a delicious nutritious treat.

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