Wednesday, April 27, 2016


This barbecue sauce gets its kick from hot sauce and its smokey smoothness from Kentucky bourbon. I find it more economical to buy a whole chicken and cut it into 10 pieces (breasts cut in half, crosswise).
I save the chicken back in a plastic baggie and freeze it for making chicken stock later. 

BBQ Sauce
1 T extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups ketchup
¼ cup honey
¼ cup unsulphured molasses
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup unsalted butter
3 T brown sugar
2 T prepared yellow mustard
2 T hot sauce, optional
¼ t hickory liquid smoke
½ cup Kentucky Bourbon

1 whole chicken, 3 to 3½ lbs, cut into 10 pieces 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
Stir in the ketchup, honey, molasses, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, butter, brown sugar, mustard, hot sauce (if using), hickory smoke, and bourbon.
Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare a grill with charcoals on both sides with a drip pan in the center.

Season the chicken pieces to taste with salt and pepper.
Prepare charcoals on each side of the grill with a drip pan in the center.
Place the chicken pieces, skin side down, in the center of the grill.
Cover and grill for about 45 minutes, turning the pieces over after 25 minutes.
After chicken has been grilling for 45 minutes, generously brush the chicken pieces with the sauce and grill another 5 minutes.
Turn over the pieces and brush again with sauce and grill another 5 minutes.

Serves 4 - with extra BBQ sauce for another meal

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


When I was a child, I remember my mom making a 1-2-3-4 pound cake. I wonder how many of you remember that cake recipe? 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour, and 4 eggs.
This is based on that recipe but with the addition of lemon juice and zest, half of the sugar, and a little less flour, and sour cream . . . for a super moist lemony cake.

1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 t lemon extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream

2 ½ cups pastry or all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 t sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle, cream butter and sugar.
Crack eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup.
While mixer is still running, add eggs, one at a time. 
In the same small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, buttermilk, and sour cream.
Gradually add this to the mixer.

Sift flour with baking powder and baking soda into a bowl then add the salt and slowly add to mixer.

Mix until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl once in between.
With a rubber spatula, transfer batter to a greased loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

Lemon Icing
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 T unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 T whole milk
2 t lemon extract

Mix the above ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
When cake is cool, spread the top with the icing.
Let the icing set up before slicing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


The word succotash is derived from the Narraganset Indian word meaning 'broken' or 'fragments'. My mom always made succotash with lima beans, corn, butter, milk, salt, and pepper . . . and that was all. That is still mine and my son, Brandon's favorite way to have it. When you add other vegetables, such as red bell pepper and green beans, it makes a very colorful dish. Succotash became popular during the Great Depression because it was a poor man's staple. A Creole or Cajun version would include okra. Some other recipes include bacon. Make your own version of succotash.

2 t grape seed oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
Handfull of green beans, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 ears of corn, kernels removed or 3 cups frozen corn, thawed and drained
3 cups frozen lima beans, thawed and drained
1 t fresh thyme leaves
½ t cayenne pepper
2 T unsalted butter   
1 cup whole milk
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, bell pepper, and green beans. Cook for 5 minutes, while stirring.
Add the garlic and cook another couple of minutes.
Add the corn, lima beans, thyme leaves, and cayenne pepper.
Cover with a lid and let simmer 5 minutes.
Remove lid and stir in the butter and milk.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Simmer another couple of minutes until heated through.

Serves 6

Saturday, April 16, 2016


I have been making these delicious hors d'oeuvres for more than 45 years. My daughter always wants these at Christmas time, but they are perfect anytime of the year. You can make them in advance, freeze, and then bake them a few minutes before guests arrive. Shred good quality sharp cheddar cheese with a box grater. Pre-packaged grated cheese contains cellulose (wood pulp) and potato starch. Manufacturers put it in cheese to keep it from clumping. 

4 oz freshly shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese (half an 8-oz stick of cheddar)
6 T unsalted butter, softened
1 t paprika
½ t dry mustard
½ t sea salt
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
36 to 40 small-size pimento stuffed Manzanilla olives, thoroughly drained

Place the shredded cheese and butter in a mixing bowl and allow softening to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Add paprika, dry mustard, and salt.
Slowly stir in the flour. 
Mix with a wooden spoon until pieces of cheese disappear and mixture is smooth and deep yellow in color.

Pinch off small pieces of dough, about a teaspoon full, and flatten in palm of your hand to a circle about 1 ½ inches in diameter.

Place a well-drained olive in center of dough, bringing edges together to cover olive completely.  
Roll gently between palms of hands.
Place on a baking sheet and refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. 
Serve hot.

Makes 36 to 40

*   After forming cheese and olive balls, they may be frozen for future use.
     To serve, bake frozen, about 30 minutes. Do not thaw before baking.