Saturday, December 26, 2015


Victorian table Christmas tree in my sun room, which is now a 'snow room'.

Country Christmas tree cut from our property.

My little Christmas kitchen tree.

Christmas Eve with our daughter

Christmas Eve with my husband

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Fondue is a Swiss, Italian, and French dish of melted cheese in wine. It is made and served in a caquelon or fondue pot. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish in the 1930s.

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
Gruyère is a hard yellow whole cow's milk cheese named after the French area of Switzerland known as Gruyères. 
Swiss Emmentaler another whole cow's milk cheese and is made in Emmental, Switzerland. 
Appenzeller, is the top of the line, and is also a whole cow's milk fruity cheese, also made in Switzerland. A good substitute for Appenzeller, if you cannot find it, is Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese..
Gouda is named after the Dutch city of Gouda and is one of the oldest cheeses that is still made today.
Kirsch is a colorless, dry brandy. It is made from the fermented juice of black morello cherries.
Fontina is an Alpine cheese originating in Italy.

1 large clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
6 oz  Swiss Gruyère cheese
6 oz Swiss Emmentaler cheese
6 oz Swiss Appenzeller cheese or Jarlsberg cheese
6 oz Dutch Gouda cheese
1 ½ cups dry white wine
2 T cornstarch
1 T fresh lemon juice
3 T kirsch brandy
¼ t nutmeg 
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt

Rub fondue pot with garlic clove and discard.
Grate the cheese with a box grater into a large bowl and set aside.
Add the wine to the fondue pot and heat until it starts to bubble.
Add the cornstarch and whisk to smooth out any lumps.
Slowly add the grated cheese, a handful at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until all the cheese is melted and mixture is creamy and smooth.
This will take about 15 minutes.

Add lemon juice, brandy, nutmeg, cayenne, and salt.
Stir for another minute.

Serve with chunks of crusty bread and sliced apples.

Serves 4

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Almost everyone loves a good meatloaf, especially one with a bourbon and maple glaze.Make the glaze first and then set it aside while preparing the meatloaf. If the meatloaf cracks a little during baking, fill in the cracks with a little more glaze before slicing. 

¾ cup ketchup
¼ cup chili sauce
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup Kentucky bourbon
2 T dry mustard
1 t hot sauce

Place the above ingredients in a saucepan and whisk to combine.
Heat to a low boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until it thickens.
Set aside.

1 T extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs lean ground beef
¾ cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 T dry mustard
½ cup chili sauce
½ cup ketchup
2 T Worcestershire sauce
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 t dried thyme
1 t sea salt
½ t finely ground black pepper

6 slices thin bacon, cut in half

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. 
Add the onion and celery and sauté over very low heat for 10 minutes. 
Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. 
Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add the ground beef, bread crumbs, mustard, chili sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, Parmigiano, beaten eggs, thyme, Seasoning salt, and pepper.
Mix all ingredients together gently by hands.
Form and pat into a firm loaf shape on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan.

Spoon some of the glaze on top of the meatloaf. 
Arrange cut pieces of bacon on top and brush with a little more glaze, saving the rest for later.

Bake for 30 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.

Brush with the rest of the glaze and bake another 40 minutes or until the center registers 160 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer.

Let meatloaf rest on a platter for 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4