Mom’s Rice Pudding

I think everyone has a few recipes that remind them of when they were growing up and the comforts of home and mom’s (or dad’s) cooking.  To me, there are a few favorite recipes, but one recipe that I remember so well is my Mom’s Rice Pudding.  This to me is comfort food.  I distinctly remember when I felt under the weather as a child or the snow was blowing in the winter, Mom’s Rice Pudding would be in the oven.  Rice baked in a wonderful custard with raisins and sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.  As the years go by ….. Mom’s Rice Pudding is still one of my favorites!

Rice Pudding 1

Mom's Rice Pudding
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 3 beaten eggs
  2. 2 cups milk
  3. 1`/2 cup sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 cups cooked rice
  7. 1/2 cup raisins
  8. Ground nutmeg and cinnamon
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients; mix well. Add rice and raisins. Turn into a one quart baking dish or 10 x 6 baking dish. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes, stir. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until a knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Can be served warm or cold.

Chicken Wings with Jalapeno Pepper Sauce

Are you game day ready with your Super Bowl menu?   If you are still looking for another great recipe to serve during the game – Chicken Wings with Jalapeno Pepper Sauce is the recipe for you.  Go Team!

chicken wings jalapeno 1


Chicken Wings with Jalapeno Pepper Sauce
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  1. 1 - 12 oz. bottle chili sauce
  2. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  4. 1/2 cup white vinegar
  5. 1/4 cup catsup
  6. 1 medium onion
  7. 5 jalapeno peppers, seeded
  8. 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  9. 2 teaspoons salt
  10. 32 chicken wings (approx. 5 - 6 pounds)
  1. Combine first nine ingredients in container of an electric blender, process 30 seconds or until mixture is well blended.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil. Cut wings in half or purchase pre-cut wings. Place on foil lined sheet, spoon 1/2 of the sauce over wings. (Depending on number of wings you are cooking, you might need two sheet pans), Bake 30 minutes. Turn wings and top with the remaining sauce. If it appears to be too much sauce, reserve remaining sauce and refrigerate. Bake another 30 minutes or until fall of the bone tender.
  3. If you like your wings to be crispy, remove wings and place on a rack on a baking sheet, return to the oven and bake an additional 10 - 15 minutes, watch carefully. Serve warm with ranch dressing and celery sticks.


Crusty Pepperoni Bread

Most quick bread recipes you see are for sweet breads, this is a savory quick bread.  Another recipe gem from a family friend.  Perfect to serve along side a bowl of soup, as an appetizer (slice thin and add to any cheese tray), or dipped in your favorite marinara sauce.  Quick, easy and exceptionally good.

pepperoni bread1

Crusty Pepperoni Bread
A hearty quick bread
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  1. 3 cups flour
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  7. 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 cup milk
  10. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  11. 1 cup diced pepperoni (4 oz.)
  12. 1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Italian seasonings; set aside. In a mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and eggs at low speed until smooth. Add milk and oil; continue beating until blended. Stir in pepperoni and olives. Add liquid mixture all at one to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Pour into a greased 9 x 5 inch bread pan. Bake 375 degrees for 55 - 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted come out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Bacon Pops

What I thought would be a great addition to brunch turned out to be so successful I would add this to any breakfast, brunch or tailgate.  I always knew cooking bacon in the oven when preparing large quantities was easy.  However,  this time I  wanted bacon to be finger food and decided to thread the bacon on a stick.  I cut each piece of thick cut bacon in half, then threaded each piece on a six inch wooden skewer.  Brushed them all with maple syrup (you will see the syrup on the first piece on the top row), then I sprinkled the bacon with a brown sugar,ground  nuts and cayenne mixture.  In the oven it went …

bacon pops 1


and out came the most delicious bacon pops…

Bacon pops 3

Bacon Pops
Yields 22
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  1. 18 oz. package, thick cut bacon
  2. 22 six-inch wooden skewers
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/3 walnuts or pecans, ground
  5. 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  6. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soak skewers in water for 15 minutes. Cut bacon in half crosswise. Thread each piece of bacon on one skewer. Place skewers on rack in a foil lined cookie sheet. Combine brown sugar, nuts, and cayenne pepper. Brush each skewer of bacon with maple syrup. Try to avoid getting the end of the skewers coated (the skewers will be easier to serve when not sticky). Sprinkle each slice of bacon with brown sugar combination. Bake in preheated oven until the bacon is golden, approximately 35-45 minutes. Remove from rack when cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  1. These would also be a wonderful addition to a Bloody Mary bar.






Last Minute Broiled Shrimp

I am sure my schedule recently mirrors your schedule.  Getting back to a routine after the holidays, packing away all of the holiday decor, and trying to stay on a normal healthy eating schedule all seems to be a worthy goal.  Well, after a long week working and avoiding the grocery store, it was time to open the freezer and see what I could find and what I could make for dinner in under an hour.  First thing I did was find a bag one-half full of shrimp leftover from the holidays.  I tossed the frozen uncooked shrimp in a colander under cold running water while I put a few ingredients together.  I had made a recipe similar to one that required threading the shrimp on skewers, well I decided I did not have the time or the energy to thread shrimp on skewers.  Out came my small cast iron skillet.   In a small bowl I mixed the topping ingredients and mixed in the shrimp.  I let them marinate for approx. 20 minutes, then poured the mixture into the skillet, popped it under the broiler and our came the most delicious shrimp.  A great way to start the new year in my kitchen.


Last Minute Broiled Shrimp
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  1. 1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  2. 6 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, minced
  6. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  7. ground black pepper
  8. lemon wedges
  1. Mix together the olive oil, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp. Combine and let the shrimp marinade for 20 minutes at room temperature. Pour into entire contents of bowl into a cast iron skillet. Preheat broiler to high. Cook the shrimp 3 minutes, stir, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through. Serve hot with lemon wedges. Serves 3 - 4.

A Passion for Entertaining’s Most Viewed Recipe of 2016

I am always interested in the recipe that is viewed the most on my blog.  Peppadew Goat Cheese Appetizer is the most viewed recipe of 2016.  I must admit, it is one of our favorites and evidently it is also a reader favorite.  If you have not tried this appetizer, give it a try, I do not think you will be disappointed, perfect to serve for you New Year’s celebration or while watching your favorite college bowl game.   I wish you all a prosperous New Year, with great friends, great foods, and great finds! 


When I was in Atlanta last week, I had an amazing Peppadew appetizer at one of the BBQ restaurants we visited.  It was so good, I came home and  tried my hand at recreating it.  I served my creation this past weekend and all agreed it was delicious. A Peppadew is a sweet piquant pepper grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa.  Interesting how combining a few basic ingredients, you can produce such fantastic results. This appetizer is very unique and if you are not familiar with Peppadews, what a good time to give them a try.  It is very easy to make, you can make this ahead and pop in the oven when your guests arrive.  I served this with water crackers.

peppadew appetizer


Ten Minute Appetizer Tray

If you are like me, during this time of the year, it seems like each day brings a new and interesting kitchen challenge.  This time, I needed an appetizer and I needed it fast.  After leafing through my recipes, nothing really inspired me and time was running short.  Well, one quick trip to the store and my appetizer was almost done.  With a shopping list in hand, I dashed to my local store.  My list read like this – 3 dried fruits, 3 cheeses, 2 meats, olives, nuts, crackers, and jam.   Here is how I tackled my list at the market – first I headed to the dried fruits, in my cart went dried pineapple, dates, and cranberries,  Off to the cheese section – cheddar with cranberries, Stilton with ginger and mango, and a nice piece of gouda with the red wax. Stopped by the olive bar and picked up 8 oz. of assorted pitted olives, crackers – I looked for three distinctive shapes, sticks, squares, and rectangles.  Picked up a few roasted cashews, one package each; sliced dried chorizo and sliced prosciutto  and one jar of fig jam.  Quick, easy and out the door.  When I got home, out came my holiday tray and quickly layered the tray full of my finds.  My appetizer was ready – no cooking required and absolutely delicious.  


Jelly Roll

This recipe brings back memories when I was growing up.  Having a Jelly Roll was a holiday staple and I remember my mom rolling the thin cake in a sugar covered towel.  I think kitchen memories are some of the best you can have.  No doubt, whatever kitchen memory you have growing up was a labor of love.   I think the popularity of the basic Jelly Roll has diminished over time; I think it is one of the best desserts you can serve.  It is not too sweet,  easy to prepare and always looks beautiful with every slice.  I like to use red currant jelly, my mom always used red raspberry jam, the choice is yours…..the resutls will be delicious!


Jelly Roll
Serves 8
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  1. 6 eggs, separated
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  6. 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  10. Confectioners sugar
  11. 1 - 12 oz. jar raspberry or red currant jelly
  1. Line a greased 15x10x1 in pan with parchment paper, spray parchment with cooking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Separate eggs, let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and water on high speed until thick and lemon-colored, approx. 5 minutes. Slowly add 1 cup of sugar. Add extracts. Combine flour, baking powder and salt - slowly add to egg yolk mixture.
  4. Add cream of tartar to egg whites and beat until soft peaks form. Slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beat on high speed until soft glossy peaks form.
  5. Fold 1/4 of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture, then fold in remaining egg whites.
  6. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
  7. Bake 18 - 22 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool on rack 5 minutes. Invert cake on a kitchen towel that has been dusted with confectioners sugar. Gently peel of parchment paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style starting with the 10 inch side of the cake. Cool completely on a wire rack. When cool, unroll cake and spread evenly with jelly. Roll up, dust with confectioners sugar.

Slow Cooker Chili

With all of the holiday activity going on, who has time to make dinner?  My secret weapon this time of year is my slow cooker. Fix it, forget it, and come home to the wonderful aromas of dinner without all of the last minute preparation.  This recipe I have been making for years, when our children were young and it seemed like we were never home, this was a staple.  With both of the kids participating in team sports, it seemed like they were always looking for a healthy delicious meal.  This Slow Cooker Chili is one of my go to recipes; our favorite is to serve it over pasta, topped with grated cheddar and a dollop of sour cream.  This recipe is the perfect base for so many meals, tonight it is chili on a baked potato (it also is a terrific topper for your nachos) – yum!


Slow Cooker Chili
Serves 10
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  1. 3 pounds lean ground beef
  2. 2 - 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  3. 2 onions, diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 3 tablespoons chili powder
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1 teaspoon oregano
  9. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  11. 3/4 cup beef broth
  12. 16 oz. can kidney beans (optional)
  1. Brown beef with onions and garlic. Combine beef mixture and all remaining ingredients in your slow cooker, stir well. Cook on low 8 - 10 hours.

Cranberry Nut Bread

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I was thumbing through my recipes and I came across another family favorite.  I remember always having Cranberry Nut Bread during the holidays.  I think my favorite memory of this bread was on skiing trips.  I grew up very close to a ski resort and every Saturday and Sunday would spend the day skiing with my friends.  My mom always packed goodies for me to eat and one of my favorites was cranberry bread slathered with cream cheese and put together as a sandwich.  These were highly sought after as my friends were always hoping she would pack extras (and she typically did).  Always great with coffee, tea or my favorite; sandiwiched with cream cheese.  Perfect to bake one for now and freeze one for later.


Cranberry Nut Bread
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  1. 4 cups flour
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 cups sugar
  6. 2 cups chopped pecans
  7. 2 cups chopped fresh cranberries (coarse chop)
  8. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  9. 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  10. 2 oranges, grated then juiced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 2 - 8 1/2 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add cranberries and pecans, mix. In a 2 cup measure, melt butter, add grated orange peel and juice from both oranges. Add enough water to make 2 cups. Add liquid and eggs to dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated. Divide dough between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for one hour or until tester comes out clean. Cool slightly and turn out of pans to finish cooling.
  3. Freezes beautifully.