Friday, August 29, 2014

Chocolate Extreme Mug Cake

I Was A Top 50 Finalist! 

Chocolate Extreme

Chocolate three ways. A perfect mix of fudgy brownie; rich, molten chocolate; and chocolate chip laden, dense chocolate cake. Chocolate overload.

Chocoholics rejoice!

You can treat yourself to a chocolate overload in less than ten minutes. Yes, I said less than ten minutes. But beware, this is an extreme recipe.

Use Exact Cooking Time and Measurements

Three factors are extremely important in achieving a cake texture that is a perfect balance of fudgy brownie and rich, gooey, chocolate chip laden, dense cake - cooking time, using the exact amount of flour, and using the exact amount of egg.

Recipe Research Found...

  1. Before making this recipe I researched chocolate mug cake recipes. What I found is that all of the recipes have the same basic ingredients. 
  2. The ingredients that vary are the amount of egg used, the amount of cocoa used, and the amount of vanilla extract used. 
  3. The cooking time also changes from recipe to recipe because of the wide range in microwave wattage, 300 watts to 2600 watts. 


1 - 14 ounce microwavable mug
Measuring spoon set
a dinner fork


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons whisked egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips I used semi-sweet chocolate chips. Next time, I'm trying milk chocolate chips.
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract


  I tried mixing the dry and wet ingredients with a spoon and with a fork. The fork worked best.

  • Add all of the dry ingredients to the mug and mix. Level each tablespoon of flour, sugar, and cocoa. Exact measurements are important.
  • Add the egg and combine well with a fork. It gets pretty stiff, but don't quit


  • Stir in milk and oil.
  • Add chocolate chips and vanilla.
  • Stir well.
  • Place the mug in the center of your microwave.
  • Microwave  for the following times:

  1. 1000 watt oven       3:00
  2. 900 watt oven         3:07  My microwave is this size.
  3. 700 watt oven         4:00
Microwave ovens come in many different sizes. If your oven is a different wattage, check the chart at:   to see the correct cooking time for your microwave.

  • Don't worry if the cake expands past the top of your mug. The cake will shrink back into the mug when the cooking stops.
  • Remove from microwave 
Now You Get to Make Some Choices

  1. You can eat the cake hot, warm, or cold.
  2. You can eat the cake in the mug. 
  3. You can eat the cake turned out onto a saucer. Bill and I like ours on a saucer.
  4. What topping do you want: glaze, frosting, whipped cream, or ice cream? Bill likes chocolate frosting, but I like a simple powdered sugar glaze.
Glazed Chocolate Extreme Mug Cake -  Homemade Happiness on a Plate!

Powdered Sugar Glaze

1/2 cup of powdered, or confectioners, sugar
1 Tbsp of milk

Combine the two ingredients and whisk with a small whisk until the mixture is smooth. Spoon or pour over the top of a plated mug cake.

Yield: about 1/4 cup of glaze

Fall Spiced Blueberry Pancakes

Ripe, juicy blueberries.
Fragrant cinnamon.
What do you see or think of when you read these two phrases? I think of spicy, dark blue cobbler, cinnamon spiced blueberry pie, and quick breads combined with aromatic cinnamon.

Wake up your taste buds with the fall flavors of cinnamon and blueberries combined in a tender, golden brown pancake for breakfast. Plus, no one will be able to guess your secret ingredient---just a pinch of allspice. Just a pinch of warm, pungent spice that makes your taste buds say, " Wow! What is that?"


Note: Use a dry measuring cup to measure the liquid ingredients. Trust me. It works.

I like to use the wire whisk attachment for my mixer to fluff
flour with. It is lighter than a regular wire whisk.

  • 2 cups of flour, fluffed in the bag with a wire whip, or sifted. 
  • 2 Tbsp. of sugar
  • 4 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries

  • Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. 
  • Stir to blend
  • Make a depression in the center of the dry ingredients.
  • Place the egg, milk, and canola oil into the dry ingredients.
  • Beat by hand with a whisk just until smooth. 
  • Add 1 cup of frozen blueberries.

  • Stir gently until the blue berries are evenly distributed in the batter.
  • Put about 1 tsp. of canola oil on  a griddle or large skillet and heat over medium heat.  I use the high output burner on my gas stove and set the knob between 2.5-3. Regular burners about 4-5 (medium to medium low).
  • Use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter for each pancake.
  • Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around the edges.
Ready to turn - Full of bubbles and the pancake edges look dry.

  • Turn and cook the other side until golden brown.

Do not flip your pancakes if they are any lighter than this.
Your pancakes will not be completely done and taste

  • Serve your favorite pancake syrup and butter, or whipped topping. Yum! 
Serving Tip: When Bill and I were first married, he thought I was amazing because I served pancakes with warm pancake syrup. Fill a one cup measuring cup with pancake syrup. Microwave for one minute. If you want it hotter, microwave for an additional 30 seconds, but hot syrup is much thinner than warm syrup.
Have a crowd for breakfast? Use a bigger measuring cup. 
Syrup ready to heat in the microwave.

Yield: 11-12 pancakes or 4-6 servings

I like to make this recipe on Sunday. Bill and I eat 3 each. Then, I  freeze five or six left over pancakes for breakfast during the week. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SalleeShares: Battle of Brooklyn

SalleeShares: Beat Bobby Flay - Battle of Brooklyn

This week I watched Beat Bobby Flay:Battle of Brooklyn.

Actually, I watched that episode three times! The main battle between Bobby Flay and twenty-five year old, executive chef Jordan Andino is full of interactions between Bobby, Guest Chefs Anne Burrell and Chris Santos, and of course rising, executive chef Jordan Andino.

I'm getting ahead of myself. Sorry. First is the battle of Brooklyn executive chefs Jordan Andino and Jennifer Cole-Ruiz. Bobby theatrically revealed the star of the battle: whole Arctic char.

Battle Arctic Char

Chef Jordan is full of theatrical energy. He literally dances with energy and flashes big smiles constantly. According to Chef Anne Burrell he needed more than "stealthy, clever, dance moves". However, he needed the time he spent dancing for plating. He was sweating and down to the last second with his plating.

Chef Jennifer Cole-Ruiz is a calm, confident, and focused chef who flashes an occasional brief smile.
She was all business. The focused energy served her well because her dish was plated a minute or two before the round bell was rung. Chef Jennifer watched Chef Jordan rushing to complete plating right down to the final second.

The term "fire and ice" was used to describe the pair of competing chefs.The opposite styles of Cole-Ruiz versus Andino were even more apparent with the two arctic char dishes - raw vs cooked, simple vs complex, professional filleting technique vs amateur filleting technique, calm vs flamboyant, and the list goes on. However, in the end, who made Arctic char the star? Chef Jordan Andino.

Signature Dish Battle - Korean Short Ribs

E.C. Jordan Andino was chosen by Chefs Anne Burrell and Chris Santos to Beat Bobby Flay with his signature dish of Korean Short Ribs.

Talking Smack Battle - Andino vs Flay

  • When Chef Andino talked about being 25 and an executive chef already, Iron Chef Flay answered back with the fact that he already owned his first restaurant at twenty-five.
  • Chef Andino talked about cooking at an early age. Chef Flay provided information  about his own early cooking experience. 
  • Midway through the battle, Iron Chef Flay walked over to look at Executive Chef Andino's cooking food. The young chef immediately walked over to examine Iron Chef Flay's cooking food. Upon returning to their own stations Bobby called over to Jordan, " Hey Jordan, turn up your grill." Iron Chef scores another smack down point!
Anne cheered and called advice to Jordan through out the show. She scored a couple of points herself in the Smack Battle. In an aside to Chef Chris she said, "When chefs are running scared they pull out the eggs." Bobby heard her and replied with, "This egg is liquid gold."

In the end, the Iron Chef used his time wisely and Chef Jordan was again plating at near light speed to get done on time. He also forgot to incorporate his scrambled eggs into his fried rice and put them between the rice and short ribs. Experience and timing won out over youth. 

Who Will Win?

The three guest judges of the blind taste test are: Chef Johnathon Sawyer, Chef Roberto Trevino, and Chef Andy Ricker. 

Both short ribs were judged to be good. However, Jordan's fried rice and short ribs combo was called "heavy". The scrambled eggs had assumed an unappetizing, off color from being layered between the rice and short ribs.

In the end, Iron Chef Bobby Flay won another battle with his Orange Glazed Short Ribs and Kimchi Slaw. The egg in his dish was indeed "liquid gold". 

However, Chef Jordan Andino scored one more Smack Battle point by saying he was only twenty-five and would only get better. I think we are going to see a lot more of Executive Chef Jordan Andino.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Bites

The dog days of summer arrived in central Missouri this week. Every day this week ended with temperatures in the mid nineties. Ninety degree weather and baking do not pair well in my opinion, so I decided to make this Samoa-like, no bake cookie.

I adapted the original recipe by changing the shape of the cookies and adding the chocolate bottom.

Bill and I love the rich sweetness of the chocolate caramel sauce combined with the flaked coconut and oat mixture. Even though one or two bites get eaten immediately by Bill and I, we are in agreement that the bites taste even better the day after I make them.

The lusciousness of the chocolate caramel sauce gets absorbed into each strand of flaked coconut. Then, the coconut caramel flavor creates the perfect union of sweet coconut and chocolate caramel goodness. 

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Bites Recipe

Quick Oatmeal and Sweetened Flaked Coconut


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. baking cocoa
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 cups quick oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 squares chocolate almond bark from a 24 oz package
  • optional: semisweet chocolate chips for decorations.


  • Place liners in a mini muffin pan.
  • Set aside

  • Bring butter, evaporated milk, sugar, and water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. This is your caramel sauce.
  • Boil gently for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the cocoa with a small wire whisk. This can take a minute or two. Now you have chocolate caramel sauce. Yum!
  • Cool slightly.
  • Stir in flaked coconut, oats, and vanilla.
  • Stir until mixture is blended well.
  • Set aside.

  • Place 3 squares of chocolate almond bark in a pastry bag, or zip top bag.
  • Place the open bag of chocolate into the microwave.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Gently squeeze, or smoosh the chocolate squares in the bag. Leave the top of the bag open so the air can escape.
  • Microwave for 15 seconds.
  • Gently squeeze, or smoosh the chocolate in the bag again until the lumps are gone.
  • Microwave for another 15 seconds if necessary.
  • Gently squeeze the chocolate into the bottom of the pastry bag, or corner of the zip top bag.
  • Close the bag.
  • Snip the end off of the pastry bag, or zip top bag. 
  • Squeeze about 1 tsp. of chocolate into the bottom of each mini muffin liner, until the chocolate is gone.
  • Stir coconut oat mixture. 
  • Spoon the mixture into each muffin liner, packing lightly, until full.
  • Place pan into the freezer for five minutes to set the chocolate in the bottom.
  • Ready to eat while soft, or allow to dry overnight. Bill eats one or two soft, but we prefer to wait until the next day when the coconut caramel oat flavors have blended and the bites are firm.

I only have one mini muffin pan and have extra coconut oatmeal mixture left.
I make 10-12 cookies with the extra mix. 

  • Place rounded Tbsp. of mix onto a wax paper lined pizza pan. 
  • Gently flatten.
  • If desired, melt one square of chocolate almond bark in a zip top bag.
  • Snip bottom corner.
  • Drizzle cookies with chocolate.
Drizzled with chocolate bark and ready to eat. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Can Your Burger Beat Bobby Flay?

Do your friends rave over your burgers? Want to see if you have what it takes to beat Bobby Flay? Sept. 30, 2014  is the deadline for the Beat Bobby Flay burger contest. enter your burger and see if you can Beat Bobby Flay with your burger!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mixed Fruit Crisp

Mixed Fruit Crisp with Almond Bark Topping- Sliced and Ready to Serve 

Every May, I swear I am going to stay on my work schedule over summer break. However, by July I have returned to being a night owl - watching late night movies and sleeping in until nine. Now it is August and my night owl ways cannot continue. Summer break is over! Back to school week means quick and easy recipes are being cooked in the Bonham kitchen.

My work routine is tiring me out! No more late night movies and sleeping late! Time to use my quick and easy Mixed Fruit Crisp that is so simple to make that children can make it. Kids love to bake! Let your back to school week be a little easier. Let the kids make Mixed Fruit Crisp for an after school snack, or dessert. Serve cool with vanilla almond bark topping. OR warm with vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients for Fruit Crisp

  • 29 oz. can fruit cocktail, drained
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Oat Blenders cereal, regular or with almonds
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter,softened


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Grease a 9" round cake pan with shortening, or spray with pan coat.
  • Pour the drained fruit in the cake pan and spread into a level layer.
Drained Fruit Mix Arranged in a 9" Cake Pan

  • Place the remaining ingredients into a one quart bowl. Combine until the margarine or butter is no longer in lumps and the mixture is forming lumps, or large crumbs.
Ready to Mix 
 I just reach in with my clean, ring free hand and literally mix the ingredients together by hand. Children love  mixing the topping together like this. Two or three minutes of mixing and the topping is ready to sprinkle on top of the fruit.

Before Baking: Well Combined Topping Sprinkled Across the Mixed Fruit

  • Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.
  • Bake about 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. 
  • The topping should be golden brown.
After Baking: Piping Hot and Golden Brown 

  • Cool the mixed fruit crisp completely. 
  • Drizzle with melted, vanilla almond bark. 
  • Let the almond bark dry for five to ten minutes.
  • Slice and serve. 
  • OR Serve warm with ice cream.

I like to drizzle melted, white almond bark across the cool crisp for an easy decorative topping.

Quick and Easy Topping

  • Put one square of almond bark from a 24 oz. package into a zip top snack size bag.
  • Close the bag.
  • Microwave for 30 sec. and squeeze bag gently
  • Microwave another 30 seconds and squeeze the bag gently to remove any remaining lumps.
Melted Almond Bark in a Zip Top Snack Size Bag
  • Snip off a bottom corner of the snack bag.
  • Drizzle the melted topping across the top of the mixed fruit honey oat crisp.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Country Bob Chicken Thighs for Two

Bill and I had never used Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce until May of this year. We were at a restaurant in southern Missoui tht had bottles of the sauce on the tables. Bill tried it and promptly asked me to find out where to buy it. Now I buy a family size bottle every other month for the two of us.

This five ingredient, oven roasted, chicken thigh recipe will provide you with some golden brown, homemade happiness on a plate! AND it is husband tested and approved.

My busy day recipe will yield two or three servings; eat one thigh tonight and eat one thigh for tomorrow's lunch.

  • 4 bone in chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup Country Bob's Sauce
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice
  • Rainbow medley ground peppercorns (pink, white, green, and black peppercorn mix)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Grease a one quart casserole dish with shortening
  • Place 1/4 cup of Country Bob's Sauce and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  • Mix well with a whisk. Set aside.
  • Place butter in a shallow bowl.
  • Microwave 15-30 sec. to melt the butter.
  • Dip chicken thighs into the melted butter.
  • Place chicken thighs into the one quart casserole dish.
  • Grind peppercorn blend onto both sides of the chicken thighs.
  • Have chicken thighs skin side down.
  • Spoon lemon juice mixture over the four thighs.
  • Place into a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes
  • Turn chicken thighs over, skin side up.
  • Spoon sauce over tops occasionally until the chicken is done.
  • Bake for another 30 minutes,or until the skin is golden brown.
No meat thermometer? Try this test:  Use a dinner fork and pierce the thigh close to the bone. If the chicken thigh slides easily off the fork , it is done. 

Yield: 2-3 servings

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cinnamon Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cake

My sister, Nan has been downsizing her cookbook collection.
In a conversation on Facebook, she asked me if I wanted some of her cookbooks. Now I am never going to turn down an offer of free cookbooks!

Two weeks later, Nan stopped in for a quick visit with Mom and Dad. I had forgotten our conversation. When Bill and I went to Mom's birthday party, I found two large bags of cookbooks waiting for me.

For a week and a half, I have been reading cookbooks from the Hawkeye state, Iowa. Yellow tabs now mark interesting regional recipes that I want to cook and share with you.

Today's recipe is adapted from the Favorite Recipes Tried and True cookbook from the Denmark Congregational United Church of Christ.

Ingredients for Cake

  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened I just set the stick of butter on the counter until it is room temp.
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature Eggs will give you more volume if you let them warm to room temp.
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups applesauce, unsweetened

Ingredients for Cake Topping

  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream 1/12 cup sugar and butter in a deep bowl. My serving bowl wasn't deep enough. The mixer kept trying to send bits of sugary butter out of the bowl. 
  • Add eggs and blend until light colored and fluffy.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa, soda, cinnamon, and salt.

If you do not own a sifter:  Use a small wire whisk and stir the flour in the bag with an upward motion to "fluff" the flour. Next, scoop the fluffy flour into the measuring cup and level the top of the full measuring cup with the flat edge of a butter knife. Do not shake the flour in the measuring cup to level it. 
  • Blend the dry ingredients together with a wire whisk

  • Add a small amount of blended dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture and stir in.
  • Then add part of the applesauce and stir in
  • Repeat the two preceeding steps until all of the dry ingredients and applesauce have been mixed into the butter mixture.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 9" x 9" square pan. I use a nonstick pan and do not grease it.
  • Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the cake batter.

  • Place the pan in the 350 degree F oven. 
  • Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. I baked my cake for 30 minutes. The four center pieces had a custard layer between the crunchy sugar chocolate chip topping and cake that I loved. 

  • Cool completely before cutting. 
  • Vanilla ice cream would be a perfect accompaniment for this cake. 
I did not add any additional frosting. The hubby and I loved the soft, dark chocolate flavor and golden brown crunchy top. 

NOTE: The cake will collect moisture if it is wrapped too tightly with plastic wrap and the baked sugar will not be crunchy.

Yield: 12-16 squares of amazing homemade happiness! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

SalleeShares-Food Network Star Finale

My prediction was incorrect America. Chef Lenny, the Gourmet Cowboy was the winner on Season 10 of the Food
Network Star.
Congratulations Chef Lenny. You looked great dancing with Giada. I am looking forward to watching your show on Food Network.

Chef Luca Della Casa, you will not be forgotten. your on camera charisma, 1000 watt smile, and cooking skills will continue to help you pursue a career in television.

Nicole Gaffney keep working on being natural and you too, will appear on television again. I am looking forward to it.

Hopefully, the popularity of Food Network Star continues and we will be watching an eleventh season in 2015.

Thanks for reading my weekly articles on Season 10. 

Not Quite A Fail - PB&J Oatmeal

You are used to reading food blog posts that feature wonderful,carefully tested recipes. What about the food ideas that do not work out? Surely adventurous home cooks and bloggers have tried an idea that does not work.

Truth time: Some of my attempts to create a new recipe do not work out. This morning was one of those days. Prepare to read about a Bonham Business Breakfast idea that did not create ANY eye appeal.

The Problem - No Sweetener
Bill loves a big bowl of buttery oatmeal that is sweetened with brown sugar. My bowl of oatmeal had no butter and no sugar. Gruel-like is the best description. Why? I forgot to buy my sweetener. What was I going to do? Logical thinking is hard for me in the morning. Especially before I consume at least two cups of coffee.

Birth of a Solution or My Best Morning Thinking

  • Hmmm....grape jam would make it sweet. And peanut butter would taste great with the grape jam. Eagerly, I reached into the refrigerator for the jar of grape jam. The jar of creamy peanut butter was next. 
  • How much was I going to use? Two parts jam to one part peanut butter would sweeten the oatmeal and the peanut butter. 
  • Two rounded Tbsp. of grape jam went into the bowl with the cup of oatmeal and two cups of water. Yes, I super size my morning oatmeal.
  • One generous Tbsp. of creamy peanut butter followed.
  • The bowl of oats, jam, and peanut butter went into the microwave for three minutes. 
  • I removed the bowl from the microwave and stirred to blend the melting jam and peanut butter.
  • The normal oatmeal color changed into...........pale gray. Great that sure looks yummy.
  • Thinking it would look better after completing the cooking time, I placed the bowl back into the microwave.
  • Two minutes later, I removed the bowl and stirred it well. Pale gray became grayier. At least I could smell the peanut butter.
  • Taste test.....barely discernible grape flavor, nice peanut butter flavor,  no sweetness.
What Now?
Brown sugar sweetened the oatmeal. I do eat my almost failed dishes. The grayish, peanut butter flavored oatmeal was much better with 2 Tbsp. of packed brown sugar. 

Note to Self:
Stick with fruit flavored oatmeals. When hungry for PB&J, make a peanut butter and jam sandwich. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Surprise Breakfast for Great Grandma Tucker

Front Center: Great Grandpa Marion Tucker and Great Grandma Ella Mae Tucker 
Back L - R:  Francis, Neal, Shirley(Shirl), My Grandpa Millard, and Roland 

Oatmeal reminds me of my Great Grandma Tucker. Great Grandma started me on the healthy breakfast path when I spent weekends with her. In fact, I cooked my first bowl of oatmeal at Great Grandma's house.

Early one morning, I woke up before Grandma and wanted to surprise her with an oatmeal breakfast. My five year old self carefully crept out of bed and went into the kitchen to begin the morning meal. What could have been a disaster ended very well.

I had carefully watched Grandma Tucker prepare our breakfast oatmeal many times. Feeling very grown up, I began my surprise. Opening the cabinet, I reached in for the oatmeal pan. Slowly,standing on a chair, I took the oatmeal box out of the cabinet. The rolled oats scoop was in the round oats box. One scoop of oats went into the pan of water, just like Grandma did it. Time to get off the chair and move the pan from the sink counter to the stove counter. Carefully, standing on tiptoe, I placed the pan on the counter by the gas stove, pushed the chair up to the stove, climbed onto the chair, and moved the pan onto the front burner. Time to light the stove! Pausing for a moment, I thought about everything I had watchedGrandma do to light the stove. Reaching for a match out of the metal matchbox holder, I lit the match, turned the burner knob, lit the front stove burner, and turned the stove knob to the right mark, Still standing on the chair, I let the oatmeal come to a simmer. Just about the time the oats were done, Grandma appeared in the kitchen.

Her eyes went wide and I knew I had surprised her. "Grandma," I said proudly."I fixed breakfast for you!" Grandma opened her mouth and closed her mouth. I had a vague feeling I had done something wrong, but did not know what. Suddenly,she smiled gently, hugged me, and said thank you.

After breakfast, Grandma told me I was a wonderful,  kitchen buddy. She quietly told me that kitchen buddies waited for each other before cooking. I promised that I would wait for her before I cooked again.

After that morning, my Grandma Tucker started asking me if I was going to be her kitchen buddy before we went to bed. Happily, I answered,"Yes, Grandma. I'm a good kitchen buddy!" and Grandma would say,"Yes, you are!" accompanied with a big hug.

As I grew older,  I realized how dangerous what I had done was. My admiration for my Grandma Tucker's self control taught me a lesson that I didn't fully appreciate until my own daughters wanted to begin cooking.


Monday, August 4, 2014

SalleeShares: Food Network Star Final 3

Alright foodies, my prediction was correct! Sarah Penrod did not make the final 3.

The first challenge was a 30 second promo. 
The four finalists; Lenny McNab, Nicole Gaffney, Luca Della Casa, and Sarah Penrod were told that this would be the most important thirty seconds of their lives. Only three would get the chance to film a pilot. Naturally, all four finalists felt the pressure of the moment. 

Bob Tuschman, Susie Fogelson, and the mentors viewed each finalist's pilot with them and offered a critique. After watching the pilots, I knew Luca and Nicole would be filming pilots. 

However, Lenny and Sarah seemed to be tied.
Lenny looked strained and nervous.No one seemed more surprised to be in the final three than Lenny! His cooking skill and authenticity won him a spot in the final three.

Sarah came across as trying hard to be convincing. Sarah looked stunned to be going home instead of Lenny. 

Robert Irvine was the guest mentor for the pilots. 
All three finalists were a little star struck when they each met Robert. However, Robert was gentle with them. All three pilots are very good!
  • Luca was completely natural with his 1000 watt smile firmly in place.
  • Lenny relaxed and did a great job. 
  • Nicole was a little shaky and serious. In my opinion, she is in third place. 

Who is going to win?
I think the next Food Network Star is going to be......Luca Della Casa. My prediction record is 3 out of 4. will it be 4 out of 5 when the voting stops? 

Make sure you vote for your favorite Food Network Star finalist before August 6, 2014. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

No Fuss Brown Butter Blueberry Pancakes

A bowl of your favorite pancake batter and frozen blueberries are all you need to make No Fuss Blueberry Pancakes. The blueberries thaw as the pancake batter cooks on the buttered griddle. Bill loves the way the juicy, warm blueberries burst when he bites into them!
  1. Heat a griddle or skillet.
  2. Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter in the griddle or skillet and allow it to brown.
  3. Pour pancake batter onto the hot buttered griddle.
  4. Sprinkle frozen blueberries on top of the pancake batter.
  5. Flip pancakes when tops are bubbly and edges look dry.
  6. Cook until pancakes are golden brown.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 until your pancake batter is done. 
Yield: about eight 5" pancakes
Cooking tip: 
   Problem - Pancakes are not done in the center, but golden brown on both sides
Solution - Microwave for 15 seconds. Check centers. microwave for another 
15 seconds if necessary.

My Favorite Pancake Recipe 

My tried and true pancake recipe is from my vintage 1985 Betty Crocker Cookbook. I adjusted the recipe slightly.


1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk, or water
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 Tbsp. of salted butter

  • Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. 
  • Stir to blend
  • Make a depression in the center of the dry ingredients.
  • Place the egg, milk, and canola oil into the dry ingredients.
  • Beat by hand with a whisk just until smooth. 
  • Grease heated griddle with 1 Tbsp. of butter.
  • Use 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake.
  • Sprinkle frozen blueberrie on top of batter
  • Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around the edges.
  • Turn and cook the other side until golden brown.
Makes about eight 5" pancakes.

To double this recipe use:

2 eggs
2 cups of flour
1 1/4 cup of milk, or water
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 Tbsp. of sugar
4 tsp. of baking powder
1 tsp. of salt
2-3 Tbsp. of salted butter.

Follow the same directions.

#blueberries #foodieforlife

SalleeB to New York City

I'm in the top 50! Send me to New York City! Visit Vote Chocolate Extreme Mug Cake.   #SalleeBtoNYC