I remember sitting in the family room as a kid with my mom while she watched Dynasty and Falcon Crest. My Dad would affectionately refer to the evening soaps as “The Jerk Shows”. Hardly age appropriate programming for me but I always looked forward to those nights. Not because I wanted to find out what Krystle and Alexis were up to, but rather, for the big bowl of homemade popcorn my mom would make. Right before the shows would begin, she’d pop-up a batch of kernels on the stove and then drizzle the crunchy bits with melted butter, and finish it with a generous sprinkling of salt. Next she’d flip the cap off of a bottle of Diet Rite and pour it over ice and we’d head to the TV. To this day when I smell diet pop jumping off of ice cubes, and homemade popcorn cooking on the stove, I think of those evenings.

Continue reading “Doodle-Pop”

Prosciutto, Parmesan & Pine Nut Stuffing

My mom, like so many mothers, is a wonderful cook and always willing to share a recipe with me. Sometimes we’ll talk about a party menu like two giddy teenage girls rehashing a homecoming dance. “Do you know what were a huge hit? The stuffed mushrooms! They were so easy to make that I was embarrassed to take the complement”. So, it’s no surprise this came from my mom as she has years of experience and an ocean of food loving friends that like to share their ideas, tips, and recipes with one another. She isn’t sure of the exact origin but thinks it came from a Minneapolis newspaper…”I think I got it from Janet Miller, she got it out of a newspaper.” Continue reading “Prosciutto, Parmesan & Pine Nut Stuffing”

Quick Pickled Red Onions


I see pickled veggies on restaurant menus all the time but I hadn’t tried making them because I was intimidate by the pickling process. I assumed it involved a labor intensive canning technique for which I’d need to buy a bunch of new tools, only to find them gathering dust in my hobby graveyard. I was completely wrong.  Continue reading “Quick Pickled Red Onions”

Breathtakingly Simple Vanilla Ice Cream

It was 95 degrees outside, sunny, and humid. The air was heavy and the smell of sunblock and a fresh cut lawn filled our lungs. Thankfully, our friends have a gorgeous pool and generous hearts, and offered to host a a BBQ. I agreed to bring dessert and on a hot and humid day I wasn’t about to turn the oven on.

Continue reading “Breathtakingly Simple Vanilla Ice Cream”

Mac & Cheese to Serve a Crowd

I make this recipe often for parties because Mac & cheese is a dish that everyone loves. This version has great flavor and texture. It works well as side dish or even as a main course with a big salad. The best part is that it can be prepped ahead and then combined in a slow cooker with very little effort. Enjoy!

Mise en place

6 cups pasta, uncooked (~1.5 lbs)

6 Tbl unsalted butter

16 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed

2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 cups milk (1 pint = 16 oz)

1 cup heavy cream (1/2 pint = 8 oz)

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

  • Cook pasta in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and place in the slow cooker or chill for later assembly.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pasta and stir until well combined.
  • Cook on high for 1-2 hours (or until melted through) stirring every 15 min
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Cloud Cookies

I’ve been making these cookies a lot lately and they are always a hit anywhere I bring them. Imagine a cupcake colliding with a cookie. The soft sugar cookie combined with the fluffy vanilla frosting make for a blissful combination. The only frustrating part is that they don’t stack well, but the flavor and texture makeup for any packing misfortunes.

Cloud Cookies
Cloud Cookies

Mise en Place:

1 box white cake mix (with pudding in the mix)

2/3 cup cake flour (you can use A.P. if that’s all you have)

2 large eggs

1/3 cup canola oil

2 T sour cream


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl sift together flour and cake mix
  • In a small bowl mix eggs, oil and sour cream.
  • Add egg mix to flour mix and beat until combined.
  • Chill for about an hour
  • Scoop, roll, press onto a baking sheet
  • Bake until you see the slightest hint of brown on the edge (about 10 minutes but every oven is different so you’ll have to check. You want them soft.)
  • Cool completely before frosting.


While the cookies bake make the frosting.

1 ½ stick unsalted butter, softened

3 c. powdered sugar

Pinch of salt

2 t. vanilla (or more)

Milk/cream to thin out (shouldn’t be necessary if butter is soft enough, sometimes I just add a bit more vanilla to adjust)

  • Whip it like crazy until nice and fluffy
  • Spread onto the cookies.
  • Add sprinkles right after you frost.