Archive for the ‘Homeplace Recipes’ Category

No Flour Cookies

Following in the noble footsteps of one of my favorite bloggers, MJ of Emjay and Them, I have embarked upon a wheatless, almost-grainless, eating program.  People like MJ are raving about the Wheat Belly weight loss theory and feeling good too.  I have been doing this now for about 5 weeks and have lost about 4 pounds – also feeling pretty good.

However, being skeptical of almost everything (as noted by the array of vitamins and minerals in my tried and never-true massive collection), I am only teetering on the edge of issuing a rave report about WHEAT BELLY.  Isn’t that the most awful title for a program about healthful eating?

Of course, things like cookies, cakes, muffins, bread and pancakes, etc. that have a flour base are no-no’s  and they naturally become delicacies  to be missed.

But I have a secret remedy!

It’s a tried and true recipe discovered even before reading the first two Wheat Belly books.

FLOUR-LESS Chocolate Chip Cookies

(But, if you are allergic to peanuts, please ignore this recipe.)

1 Egg

1 Cup brown sugar (I use coconut sugar – 1 cup = 1 cup)

1 tsp Vanilla

1 Cup chocolate chips (I use dark choc chips)

1 Cup chunky peanut butter

Mix all.  Drop by minimum Tablespoons onto a parchment sheet or Silpat

Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 10 to 12 minutes.

Note:  If I can only control how many of these to eat in a day, the Wheat Belly routine may just work!  I am averaging SEVEN now and still lost 5 pounds!  Working on decreasing to SIX (cookies that is).




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rumballs10Grandma’s Bake-a-thon.

Sheryl from the wonderful blog called A Hundred Years Ago (taken from her Grandmother Helena’s diary) will be ending that blog after Christmas.  In honor of her grandma, Sheryl has organized an on-line Bake-a-thon!


To participate in the Bake-a-thon, make an old family recipe,

and share the story of why this recipe holds special memories for you.

Rum Balls hold special memories for me.

My mother was a terrible cook.  She preferred to read a book.

Once there was a television commercial that reminded me of Mom. Maybe you remember it. The wife would be reading (like Mom) when hubby would come in shouting, “I’m home!”  She would jump up and splat flour around her face and begin banging pots and pans to look busy as a housewife should be (that was in the old days of course).

Those were the days my family suffered burnt pork chops and charred cookies.  Oh there were some good things we looked forward to like BLT’s or “Beefaroni” – or rum balls.

When it came to holiday delicacies, Mom was the Queen of Rum Balls and I still love them.

The recipe is simple so I love the recipe too

You see, I hate to cook.   Must be genetic.

Here is Mom’s easy, no-bake recipe for all hate-to-cookers out there:


Quantity – about 40

1 Regular size vanilla wafers (a box)

¼ lb. chopped English Walnuts

¼ lb. chopped Black Walnuts

¼ cup Honey

1/8 cup Brandy

1/8 cup Rum

Powdered Sugar 


Crush the wafers. 

Chop the nuts finer. 

Mix all ingredients.

Roll into balls and then roll in powdered sugar.

Stack ’em for an elegant presentation during the holidays! 

Now if you are serving minors, you may want to forego the Brandy and Rum, but I seem to remember the adults saying, “Not to worry.  The alcohol evaporates.”   Hmmm.

Photograph from Webicurean.com .




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Here is a spectacular salad that always gets rave reviews!  I hope you like it as much as I do.

The basic recipe works for approximately six people.  Amounts are pretty much guesswork based on your own preferences, but follow the erratic instructions below for instant success!


Fresh Romaine Lettuce and Spinach (You decide how much)

Can of Dill Green Beans OR Jar of Three Bean Salad (drained)

Slivered Almonds or Sunflower Seeds (for crunch)

One onion sliced in rounds

One can of Mandarin Oranges, drained

Some fresh dill (if you have it)

Ranch dressing


Combine the Romaine Lettuce and Spinach in a large bowl.

Gently mix in the Dill Green Beans or the jar of Three Bean Salad.

Sprinkle in the almonds or sunflower seeds – enough just to add some crunch.

Then on top of the salad arrange the sliced onion rounds and the

Mandarin Oranges.

Add some dill and good sized dollops of Ranch dressing here and there.

Serve in a pretty salad bowl and mix at the table.


P.S.  If you want to make it a more hearty salad, add chicken pieces!

I’ve seen this salad with a combination of mandarin oranges and strawberries too.

Optional:  Add celery chunks, walnuts, feta cheese, or serve with just spinach or just romaine.

It’s like the proverbial “little black dress.”  You can dress it up or down.

Happy Summer!



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Baked Fruit

Baked Fruit

My Dad used to proclaim, “This will stick to your ribs and put hair on your chest!” He called on those old sayings when he made something in the kitchen that was particularly hardy.

And I believed him about the hair thing until I discovered I grew up to be a girl.

Even so, when the weather turns icy and the birds puff up their feathers and look forlorn, I crave hardy stick-to-your-ribs stuff usually beginning with pork and accompanied by apples and cinnamon.

This is not a recipe for pork but for a complementary side dish.  It works for just about any hearty winter meal and may also be a perfectly fine dessert, makes a great leftover, and is ridiculously easy to prepare.  It is also guaranteed to impress the most discriminating guest.

Don’t you love the mouth watering scent of baking cinnamon?  Well, this combination of fruits and spices will sell your house if it is up for sale and tastes as good as it smells.  And it’s another Homeplace Recipe that’s easy-does-it, has very few ingredients, and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. I make it over and over again because everybody loves it, especially in winter.



1 – 16 oz. can apple pie filling

1 – 16 oz. can chunk pineapple (in own juice)

1 – 16 oz. can tart cherries

1 large can (or 2 – 16 oz. cans) sliced peaches 

Drain all but pie filling. 

Place all fruit in a baking dish with 1 tsp cinnamon and ½ tsp nutmeg. 

Sprinkle ½ cup of brown sugar on top.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.



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Fluffernutter 2

They say there are very few truly American foods or recipes,

but has anyone ever thought about the Fluffernutter?


Now I know many blogger folks hail from New England, where the Fluffernutter began,

but this blogger certainly never heard of such a thing.

Have you ever heard of a Fluffernutter?

It’s a sandwich!

And it’s made with peanut butter and marshmallow creme (usually pressed together on white bread).  The term “Fluffernutter” is also used to describe other food items like deserts that include the same peanut butter and marshmallow crème ingredients.

This sandwich even has a history!

It was created in the early twentieth century after marshmallow crème was invented in Massachusetts and a recipe for it was first published during World War I.  It has even been proposed that the Fluffernutter be proclaimed the official Massachusetts state sandwich!

What does Fluffernutter mean?  Who knows?  They say an ad agency coined the term in 1960 as a marketing tool – maybe because of the fluffy marshmallow crème which is sometimes called marshmallow fluff.

A friend told me about this unique sandwich.   She said, “I grew up on Fluffernutters.”  “OhhhKayy,” I said.  What’s a Fluffernutter anyway?

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I have been touring the back country roads in Virginia with my friend, Janet.  Although the scenery is enticing and the shopping opportunities abound, it is sometimes food that winds up in my memory book.  Were you expecting a travelogue?

These little gems were listed on our lunch menu at the Riverfront Restaurant in Chilhowie, Vjrginia (near the Hungry Mother State Park – no kidding!). I had the feeling I might actually be in a foreign country.

Can you guess what these delectable little morsels are?


They are a delicacy of the American South, served as a side dish or an appetizer.

I never heard of them before either.

You haven’t guessed yet?

These charming little medallions are Fried Pickles!   Yup.  You read that right.

And although they are more commonly offered in the American South, they are served at nationwide food festivals and you will find them on restaurant menus and in bars (where they are served as appetizers and side dishes).  Mind you, I am not suggesting you need to be drunk to enjoy them.  I’ve actually heard people say fried pickles are their “absolute favorite terrible-for-me food.”

 How did I ever miss them?

 If this Exotic Food Revue has piqued your interest, you will be happy to know Fried Pickles are “danged” easy to make. 

Recipe for Fried Pickles

You will need:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

1 cup milk

3 cups thin dill pickle slices, drained

Oil for deep-fat frying

Ranch salad dressing, optional

Directions: In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper.  In another bowl, beat eggs and milk.  Blot pickles with paper towels to remove moisture.  Coat pickles with flour mixture, then dip in egg mixture; coat again with flour mixture.

In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees.  Fry pickles about 10 at a time, for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning once.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve warm with ranch dressing if desired.  Yield: 8 servings.

Originally published as Fried Dill Pickle Coins in Taste of Home, August/September 2004

“I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.”
~ Erma Bombeck

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Spinach Strawberry Salad 2


This lovely, elegant, colorful salad will wow your guests every time!  Well, at least it wows my guests every time.

It’s a true country recipe learned leaning over the shoulders of two lovely, elegant, colorful friends.

Believe it or not, we-the-elegant were in a ladies’ poker group and took turns providing dinners.  We were known to spend more time talking about shopping, recipes and local gossip than playing cards until one of our ladies (Viola) would holler, “Are we going to PLAY or NOT?”

This salad appeared at one of our  poker night dinners at a  farmhouse way out there in Fairfield, and the salad was a colossal hit!



¼ cup sugar

2 TBS Sesame seeds

1 TBS Poppy Seeds

1 TBS finely chopped onion

¼ TSP Worcestershire sauce

¼ TSP paprika

½ to 1 cup of olive oil (1/2 is usually enough)

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Blend all of the above in a food processor.   Do not refrigerate.

Toss with spinach just before serving.

Garnish top of salad with sliced strawberries and

 slivered almonds to  taste.

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I have just received a new book on nutrition.

That makes hundreds of books by different authors I have received over time.   Hope dies slowly.  And I thought this, like all the others, would end up being donated and sadly, forgotten.

But this book is different and here to stay for it finally offers secrets to finding the Fountain of Youth!

It tells the story of vegetables and fruits – not just that we should eat them (boring!), but where they started, how they have been changed with man’s manipulations (notice I did not say “woman’s”), and  what we should look for now to regain lost taste sensations and the most life-giving qualities for optimal nutrition.

I am not good at book reviews, but here is a primitive summary:

Mom never taught me that one apple can have a good side and a bad side less-than-optimal side.  Did you know that?

If one side of the apple grew up in the sun, it built a protective coloring for survival (good side).  And if the other side of that apple was covered by shade, it grew up a little pale (bad side).  Oh, go ahead and eat the whole apple, but look for an evenly colored red one next time! And the darker, the better.  I know this does not make perfect sense, so you will just have to get the book.  Review by Dor.

  • But I did learn that color is the standard for buying any almost any vegetable or fruit. Granny Smith apples are an exception because they are the most nutritious but are light green in color. Go figure!
  • Have you ever tried a dark brown tomato?  Delicious!
  • Did you know that microwaving corn on the cob is better for you than boiling?  You can microwave them right in their husks!
  • How about this:  Let chopped garlic rest for ten minutes before cooking to boost its ability to fight cancer and cardiovascular disease!
  • Ounce per ounce there is more fiber in raspberries than in bran cereals.

Oh, but I could go on.

No, I am not getting a commission for recommending it.

The real purpose of this post was to share my own fabulous Homeplace Mandarin Salad recipe with you.  This one is guaranteed to impress even the most finicky salad eater.

Book Eating on the Wild SideOh yes – the name of the book I’ve been raving about is Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing link to Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson.


Here is the recipe for:


Combine Romaine and Spinach (darkest green please!) in large bowl

Gently mix in 1 can of “Dill Green Beans” (drained) or jar of “3 Bean Salad” (drained).

Sprinkle in sunflower seeds – any amount to taste.

Then on top of the salad add sliced onion rounds (darkest red) and

 A can of drained Mandarin oranges, plus

 Some fresh dill if you have it, and

Good sized dollops of Ranch dressing. 

Serve in pretty glass salad bowl and mix at the table.

This is a real winner that gets rave reviews.

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lettuceMy husband, Bill, remembers the strangest things.  He knows the lyrics to old songs I never heard of, or all the words to songs I have long forgotten.  He also recalls rhymes, jokes, and one-liners from waaaay back in time and from eras before he was even born.

We can be driving along or drifting through life in serious contemplation when all of a sudden, off he will go, and he never fails to surprise me.

Yesterday was a quiet, lazy day and we were deciding whether to eat out or stay in for dinner.  We both preferred to stay home but I announced I had run out of ingredients for a proper salad.  Note:  We have salad with practically every meal.

“What do you mean we are out of ingredients? Bill asked.

“Well, I have no tomatoes, no peppers, no carrots, and no dressing. I’m out of everything except lettuce.” I answered.

“Oh well,” said Bill, “We will have a Honeymoon Salad.”


“You know – a Honeymoon Salad.”

“And what may I ask is that?

“Lettuce Alone.”

I am fairly thick about things as obvious as getting it, so this took a minute for registration.  And then I began a round of hysterical laughter.  Let Us Alone!  Honeymoon Salad!  Aha!  I get it!  And then I could not stop laughing.  I was still laughing today when I got to the grocery store for the other ingredients.

I don’t know how Bill remembers such things, but the oddest rhymes, ditties, tunes, and one-liners are lurking in his usually serious engineering mind.  It is almost as if he has lived another lifetime in another era with another wife.

You never heard of a Honeymoon Salad?  Me neither.  Well, I looked it up and it is, indeed, an old old joke.  In fact, in 1856, the London humor magazine, Punch, wrote that “Salad for the Solitary is lettuce alone.”

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One summer, we harvested so much zucchini from Bill’s garden, that I had to leave the extras at my neighbors’ doorsteps.  I would drop a basket, knock on the door and run!

Seriously, we did have a lot of zucchini that season and I was constantly looking for recipes to use it up.  In perusing my favorite local cookbook called “Lexington Cooks,” I found one for Cold Zucchini Soup.

O.K. – sounds pretty gruesome.  I’m not much for cold soup to begin with, and zucchini?  Ughhh.

However, in desperation, I decided to go ahead and try it.


I can’t get enough of the stuff, and now my neighbors are making it too, so I can knock on their doors and I’m even invited in.

Here is the recipe:Zucchini Soup


2 large zucchini, sliced               1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped             1 teaspoon fresh dill or ¼  teaspoon

½ cup chopped onion                       dried dill

3 cups chicken broth                   Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup sour cream 


     Place zucchini in saucepan, reserving 4 slices for garnish.  Add green

Pepper, onion, and chicken broth.  Simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Strain

Vegetables, reserving stock.


     Place sour cream, parsley, and dill in food processor or

blender.  Add cooked vegetables and blend.  Add stock and blend.  Season 

To taste with salt and pepper.  Chill.  Add raw, chopped zucchini for crunch.

  Makes 6 servings.

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