Cast Iron Pan Clean-Up


This is how your beloved cast iron pan should look before it gets put away in the cupboard.  Clean, shiny and like new.


But how do I get all of this caked-on food off my pan without soaking it in soap and water or using a scrub brush?


The answer?  Kosher salt/coarse salt.  Throw a generous handful -ok don’t ‘throw’ it, maybe sprinkle it – into the bottom of the pan,


add a couple of tablespoons of water,


and start working those arm muscles and scrub, scrub, scrub with a paper towel!  You do not want to use your fingertips to do this.  Per usual, I am saving you the pain and humiliation by telling you about my experience firsthand…you can thank me later…  I f you did use your fingertips, it might feel a bit like rubbing them up against the coarsest sandpaper you can find, vigorously.  Yup, ouch.


And they look like this after your done, only picture blood mixed in.  Not a pretty sight.


Anyhow, back to scrubbing the life back into your beautiful pan…once it’s cleaned up, shake in a few drops of oil and smear around the entire inside of the pan.

IMG_0368Until it looks as lovely as this!  Now you can safely put it away without worrying about rust or critters moving in…

BBQ’d Hamburgers


The flavor bomb of these simply made crowd-pleasers is incredible!  Tastes like you spent years trying to come up with the BBQ sauce combo and eats like a grilled hamburger.  Great way to spice up the menu for the week!

Let the savory adventure begin!



In a large bowl mix together 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs,


1/2 of a large onion, chopped,


1 pound of ground beef,


1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.


Mix together with the best kitchen tool you own, your fingers! Pretend your fingers are a pitchfork and kind of churn the meat and other ingredients together.  This will allow for a more tender, airy burger.


Form into 4 patties and brown in butter over medium heat in a cast iron pan.



In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar,


3/4 teaspoon salt,


1 cup ketchup,


2 tablespoons white vinegar,


2 tablespoons yellow mustard


and whisk all together.


Place hamburger patties in a 8 x 8 inch pan and pour the BBQ sauce over them.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes.


Servings: 4

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

Make Your Bed

every morning!

Yup…every morning.


Why would you go through this rigamarole every day?  Why not leave the bed as it is and jump back into it that night?  It’s just going to get messed up again, right?

  • It indicates an extra touch of mindfulness, insight and thoughtfulness that reflects refinement.
  • It also shows consideration for others, so as not to burden them with extra work.
  • It’s the right way to start your day; you will have accomplished the 1st task of the day.
  • It makes you proud of your bed, your room, your home.
  • It shows pride in your home.
  • Because it’s difficult to get out of bed some days.  It’s hard to feel motivated. Because motion creates emotion and this simple task will kick start it all for you.
  • Little things matter and if you can’t do the little things right, than you’ll have a hard time doing the big ones right.
  • Lastly, because if you have a bad day, coming home to a made bed is a promise that tomorrow will be a better day.




Yeah, it’s easy to do, a cinch to learn the different birds in your region and will make your day welcoming old friends and new to your yard!


So, how do you become a “birdwatcher”?  How do you get to know all the different species of birds out there, whether they are male or female, what their songs are, etc?  Will it take a huge investment of time, energy and money?

Here’s a list of the items you’ll need in order to become proficient in bird recognition:

  • Your eyes
  • Your ears
  • A birdfeeder (you can’t go wrong with whatever one you choose that you like and that is within your budget, but it doesn’t hurt to do a little research before you buy, so check out this site…)
  • Birdseed (here’s a quick guide to the different kinds available)
  • And this fantastic book…which you can find here


The book is so easy to use.  It will make you an expert on every book in your yard, quickly.


The book is color-coded with a little bird icon on the left-side indicating the color of birds you’ll find in that particular section.  It then shows full-color photographs of the birds of that color and gives information on their song, their behaviors, their habitat, nesting, etc.

Every time we see a new bird come to our feeder we grab the book, which is right near the kitchen window, and look it up by its color and thumb through all the photographs to find what we’re looking for.  It’s fun, educational and will excite you!

There is also another fun resource out there for learning about bird types and their songs.  It’s called the Identiflyer and it’s a portable birdsong identifier.  It comes with different audio cards which picture birds of a region which you insert into the player.  Then you press the button near the bird whose song you want to hear and Presto!

You are on your way to becoming an expert Birdwatcher!

And goodness that cup of morning Joe will taste even better now that you can admire all the beautiful birds, and their songs, as they fly in and grab their breakfast at the birdfeeder by your kitchen window…



Your Part to Help the HoneyBee

Not everyone out there has the interest, wherewithal, space, etc to be a beekeeper.  And yet, there are so many of you that are in the know about the plight of the honeybee and the effect this would have on our food supply and want to do your part to help.

Now you can…

What am I talking about here?  Well, the honeybee’s life has been in danger due to parasites and pesticides. And a world without the honeybee would be a disaster.  About 65% of all of our food is available to us because the honeybee pollinated a part of it.  Imagine a world without 65% of the food available to us now?


So, where do the parasites come from?  The parasites find the bees when they are mass-shipped with other honeybees to locations around the country to pollinate crops.  The exposure to other bees makes them highly susceptible to catching parasites, diseases and weakening their immune system.  We cannot do much about this phenomenon, as beekeepers need to earn their keep and we can’t control what they do.

But the pesticides…that we can all control.

Try to allow as minimal a quantity of pesticides as possible in your yard.  Use natural methods of weed control:  bark mulch, stone, landscape cloth, weeding.  Use grass seed vs. Chem-Lawn.  Use organic bug and fungus and mold deterrents on your trees and shrubs and plants.

Stay away from NEO-NICS!

What are neo-nics?  They are a chemical in fertilizers and gardening dirt, loam etc. that kills bees and other pollinators.  They are especially in Ortho products.

Cross Your Ankles…


like thus….


not your legs!

It is more ladylike to cross your ankles and it prevents you from getting varicose and spider veins.  And anything you can do to avoid that…why not?!

Also, you may experience lower back pain and neck pain, it could elevate your blood pressure and will mess with the nerves in your feet….all from crossing your legs!


This End Up!


Bet this one will give you a brain cramp!

You know that thing you’ve been routinely doing one way your entire life?  Without even giving it a second thought?  Well, go ahead and start doing it completely the opposite way and see if it doesn’t mess with your mind a bit!

Peel a banana the opposite way than you have been.  I know. I know.  It’s counterintuitive.

But it’s the proper way to peel it.  Watch any video of monkeys eating bananas and that’s the end they start with…hey, since monkeys do it this way, it’s gotta be proper, right?!

Why start with this end up?

Although you wouldn’t think so, it is so much easier to peel this way.  And when you break into it you’ll be able to grab the little black nub on the bottom of the banana, the seed.  And lastly, you’ll avoid all the stringy bits you find when you dig in from the top of the banana!

My Luncheon Taco

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This is my great secret.  This here recipe is one that I have been making 2-3 times per week for the past 5 years and have perfected beyond belief.  Every bite is incredible and every day before lunch I salivate thinking about eating it.  And I do.  Eat it almost every day.  And I love it no less.  The love just keeps on growing and growing…

Here goes…

Let the savory adventure begin!


Start with your favorite sauté pan.  Heat on medium-low.  Add about 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and a “pat of butter” (about 1 teaspoon). Once sizzling, add 2 of your most beautiful, freshest eggs, whisked with 1 tablespoon half and half, or whole milk. Then sprinkle liberally with Lowry’s seasoned salt. (see above)IMG_0207

I then add quite a few dashes (7-8) of my favorite hot sauce, Cholula’s.


Start moving your eggs around with a heat-proof spatula, to ‘scramble’ them.


Once your eggs are cooked, then you can hit them with a teaspoon of kosher salt.  Not before, because salt during the cooking process can toughen your scrambled eggs.


Here comes the star of the show!  The green salsa!  Yum.  These eggs are so exciting because of the salsa that you incorporate into them.  So, don’t be shy.  Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons worth of your favorite green salsa (mine is Frontera’s) onto the eggs and fold into them with the spatula.


Next is the pièce de résistance – the cheese!

Now you can probably use monterey jack or your favorite cheddar or even pepper jack here.  But, none of those will deliver the velvety texture that broken up pieces of Land o’ Lakes american cheese do for these eggs.  Don’t overdo it with the amount, however, or you’ll end up with a slimy mess.  Yech!  Just half a slice of American cheese, broken up and incorporated with the spatula, off heat.


Now on to the vehicle for the scrumptious eggs.  The flavorful tortillas.  These are the best, and believe you me, I have tried so many.  Most are too thick or have sugar added, etc.  Olé has the best corn tortillas, hands down!

Ok. Now that you know how much I love these tortillas, let’s cook with them!  Take 3 tortillas and place them in the bag they came in and microwave for about 10-20 seconds, to where they become soft and pliable.


Place on a baking sheet and fill the inside with a shredded Mexican cheese blend. Oh. And this magic seasoning. Chipotle Chile Pepper.  If you’ve never used this before now, you will become obsessed with it and it’ll end up on your favorite chocolate bar!


Toss the cheese and generous sprinkling of chipotle pepper together, using your fingers.


Fold it over in half and stick in under the broiler


for about 2 minutes per side, until crisp and brown spots appear on the tortilla.

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Open it up, load it up with the eggs, and add more green salsa on top.  Enjoy with an amazing glass of homemade Mexican Iced Tea!

Servings: 3

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!



Rhubarb Torte

Ok, so there’s been a theme this past month with my recipes….any guesses?


It’s so hard not to make rhubarb desserts when your plant is so abundant this time of year and it’s fresh and beautiful and oh-so-tasty.

This dessert is sure to impress your guests.  It is light and fluffy and is surprisingly a cinch to make!


Let the sweet adventure begin!



In a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons white sugar to 2 cups of all-purpose flour.


Whisk to combine.


Cut in 1 cup of cold salted butter with a pastry cutter, until coarse crumbs are formed.


Pat into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.


Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.



In another large bowl, mix together 6 egg yolks into 2 cups of white sugar,


add 7 tablespoons of all-purpose flour,


1 cup of heavy cream and


1/4 teaspoon salt.  Whisk together.  Add 5 cups of rhubarb (diced) and


pour over the crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until the custard is set.



Beat 6 egg whites until stiff…stiff!


Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar,


1 teaspoon vanilla,


1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, and


1/4 teaspoon salt.  Fold with rubber spatula, gently.


Spoon over baked custard filling.


Spread evenly over torte.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes,


until golden brown.



Servings: 12

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!