Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

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Somewhere in the journey from making childhood mud pies to adult culinary disasters there emerged a gigantic love for cream toppings.

I simply love anything like Heavy Cream, Whipped Cream, Sour Cream, Clotted Cream, and even fake cream in aerosol containers.

And then whilst traveling in France through my job taking printers overseas I was served something called Creme Fraiche. It is now my love over all the others – even whipped cream. Clotted cream comes close (I had that in England at the Hyde Park Hotel in London for high tea). What a job I had huh? I must admit the work for a large printing association introduced me to the world.

Back to Creme Fraiche (pronounced Krem-fresh). If you have not heard of it, it is a luxurious topping for just about anything you can think of. Fruit first of course since they are a natural pairing, but even meat will be enhanced by this delightfully smooth almost-whipped-cream-but-better-topping.

I make my own and have a recipe that is probably long gone and mostly forgotten and maybe my recipe isn’t even for Creme Fraiche after all. But I tell people it is. And it’s so good it is guaranteed to add to my (your) reputation as a gourmet cook!

And here is the recipe:


One Cup of Sour Cream

One Cup of Heavy Cream

Yep! That’s it!

Equal to Equal. How hard is that?

Now mix the two in a glass dish until well blended. Then allow the mixture to sit uncovered for four or more hours until everything is smooth and of a non-runny texture. No need to stir. No added ingredients. Just wait.

When the mixture is just the right consistency – not runny but thick and creamy like sour cream, you can cover and refrigerate for use as you wish.

And as you use your newly found luxurious deliciousness be sure to go back and spread the top of the topping out so it is smooth and with no pockets to get watery.

Note: Now I know most Creme Fraiche recipes only include heavy cream and buttermilk and mostly for longer hours. I never have buttermilk on hand but I do always have sour cream. And finding heavy cream at the market is sometimes a challenge but I can always find heavy whipping cream. And that’s all it takes.



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Once upon a very long time ago, when I was but a wee bit of a girl, my parents took me and my little brother to semi-professional ball games at a local park. It was a way to cool off in the evenings since we lived in Florida and had no air-conditioning in those good old days.

To us kids, those parktime excursions were wondrous, not only for the star quality of the young athletes in their dashing uniforms, but for the air of excitement and the vendors who went up and down the stands hawking, “Get your hot dogs here! Get your peanuts here!”

And Dad would buy us each a bag of warm wonderful peanuts. I think they were maybe 10 cents a bag. But what I recall is the delightful aroma.

The memory of those rich fragrant little bags of nuts stayed with me for years until I found out how to make my own replica in my own kitchen. Since then I have been giving tins of them for gifts, offering them up when company comes (before and hopefully after Covid), and keeping batches of them in my freezer.

Now, if you are allergic to peanuts, feel free to burn this page. But if you are not, just follow the recipe for Dor’s Home Roasted Peanuts.



One pound of Raw Blanched Peanuts (I get mine at a local Farm store, but I am sure you can order them online too).

Regular salt and if you have it,

Seasoned salt (usually more powdery than regular salt so it sticks better to the peanuts)

1 1/2 teaspoons butter (I use coconut oil but butter is fine too – it’s just to give the salt something to stick to).


Preheat the oven to 350 F

Pour all the raw peanuts into a rimmed pan. I use the bottom of my broiler pan.

Put the pan full of nuts into the oven and the timer on for 6 minutes.

After 6 minutes, stir them up and move them around for more even baking.

Time them again for 6 minutes. Repeat.

Repeat the 6 minute timing and shuffling for a total of 3 or 4 times.

When the peanuts look golden and brown enough, immediately remove from oven and stir in the butter all around to give the peanuts a light coating (just enough for the salt to stick to). If you use 2 teaspoons of butter it will probably be too much.

Now simply start salting to taste. I start with the stickier Seasoned Salt, generously apply and stir around. Then the regular or sea salt – apply and stir.

Serve warm or serve right out of the freezer. Mostly, ENJOY!

The taste of these peanuts is totally different than anything store bought. They are as close to the Ballgame Peanuts of my childhood as I have ever found.

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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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There is nothing like homemade peanut brittle, if you are not allergic to peanuts that is!  My neighbor gave me a box many years ago and I was immediately addicted.  The problem was that everybody in my family was addicted too!  So, that luscious stuff was gone in a matter of minutes.

I begged  my friend to give me the recipe.  “There is no recipe,” she said – an obvious fib, so I kept up the campaign.  I suppose she tired of the nagging because, she finally said, “O.K., you can come to my house and watch.”

Did I mention that I now make ten pounds of that peanut brittle every Christmas?   Here’s how I learned to do it in my friend’s kitchen:


1 Cup of Sugar

1 Cup Corn Syrup (Light)

1 Pound Raw Blanched Peanuts Note: These are sometimes difficult to find.  I get mine at an Amish country store.

1 Tbs. Butter

1 tsp Vanilla

¼ tsp Salt

1 generous tsp Baking Soda (have it measured out, in the spoon, and waiting to be added at the last minute).

Grease a cookie sheet.

Put the sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt in a big saucepan and bring just to the bubbling point.

Add the peanuts and Stir.

Bring the mixture back to bubbling and  reduce the heat to a slow simmer.

This is the Easy Part:

Set your timer for 20 minutes.

Stir every couple of minutes.

Plan on stirring frequently, but you can leave for a minute or so at a time. I do little things to keep me busy so I don’t get bored – like putting things away or tidying up the counter, or filling the dog’s water dish.  Between each little chore, I STOP AND STIR.  That’s the key to “pretty peanut brittle.”   

O.K. – 20 Minutes have gone by and you have done your job stirring.

Now comes the hard part.

Look at your mixture and assess its readiness.  Is it a beautiful golden brown color?  Or does it look too light?  If it’s too light, keep simmering and stirring a bit more.  Now, does it look just right?   YES?  Then it’s time to work – and you must work FAST!

1)       Turn the heat off!

2)      QUICKLY dump in the teaspoon of baking soda and stir it in as fast as you can!

Spread it Thin and
Aim for the Edges

3)      QUICKLY spoon the mixture onto the pan as evenly as possible.

4)      Use your spoon to spread the mixture around,  trying to reach the outer edges of the cookie sheet.  You are aiming to thin and flatten so you don’t wind up with great big thick chunks.

Breaking It All Up

Whole Slab of Peanut Brittle
Came Out of the Tin

Allow the peanut brittle to thoroughly cool.  You can probably pick up the whole sheet  at once.  Swipe the bottom with a paper towel to remove any excess butter.  Now just begin to break up the slab into bite sized pieces and store them in a beautiful holiday tin.

Best wishes to you and yours for  a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!   I hope  your brittle will be brittle and a lovely honey colored brown.


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They say you can never go home again, but that’s not true around these parts. People inevitably come home.  They yearn for their relatives and friends, the countryside and town, the familiar byways and back roads, old landmarks and watering holes, and the wonderful, comfortable, familiar way it was. It’s where their memories are of fun and feeling, love and nurturing, and of course, great food.

The locals call it “The Homeplace”.  It wasn’t long after we moved to rural Virginia, that I heard that term.  I love it and have always wanted to use it somewhere, and here it is!


The recipe below was from one of my favorite friends here.   I told her we had over- planted the vegetable garden and the neighbors were sick of refusing our zucchini gifts.   She was eager to help, so here is her recipe and the first in a random series on Virginia Views.


3 Eggs

1 Cup Oil

2 Cups Sugar

2 Cups Grated Zucchini

3 tsp Vanilla

3 Cups Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

3 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Baking Powder

1 Cup Chopped Nuts

Beat eggs until foamy.  Add oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and nuts.

Bake at 325 degrees 1 hour to 1 hr/15 minutes.

Makes three standard size loaves.

Guaranteed DELICIOUS!

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