Friday, October 24, 2014

Apple Pie Slab

I love this recipe because it’s easy to make, has all the wonderful flavors of fall and because it looks so elegant when I serve it to my guests.  Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream for a real treat! 

Apple Pie Slab 

1 box refrigerated pie crusts, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
9 cups thinly sliced, peeled Fuji apples (9 medium)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove both pie crusts from pouches. On lightly floured surface, unroll and stack the two crusts one on top of the other.  Then roll both to a 17 x 12 inch rectangle.
Fit crust into 15 x 10 x 1 inch rectangular pan, pressing dough into corners. Fold extra crust under so that it is  even with edges of pan.
In small bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice. Add apples into the mixture and stir well to coat.  Spoon apple mixture into crust-lined pan.
Bake for 15 minutes and then lay a sheet of aluminum foil on top just to protect the apples from getting too brown.  Bake an additional 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool in pan on cooling rack 45 minutes. 
In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk until well blended. Drizzle over pie.  Let stand until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

John and Honey

This is my friend John and his dog Honey. They live on the streets and in the woods and depend on me to bring them warm blankets and food. For those of you who say you can't afford it or for those that look the other way when I ask you to reach in your pocket and pay $2 a month for a magazine full of wonderful recipes....please take a long look at this picture and ask yourself why you look the other way.

I am on a mission. Please take a long hard look at this photo again. It should be very hard for anyone to look at that photo and feel anything but absolute sorrow for another human being that is suffering so much. This is not a drunk or addict. This is a person who lost his job after falling off a ladder and breaking his back and then watching his life crumble around him as he lost his home, family and all he had to pay medical bills and rehab costs so that he could one day walk again.

This post is about my mission to help those less fortunate. This isn't about trying to make other people feel uncomfortable....It's about waking people up and asking them to stop looking the other way. I don’t particularly enjoy begging. As a matter of fact I hate it and it makes me feel very uncomfortable….especially when angry people start throwing insults my way. But God helps me put things in perspective and realize that there are so many out there that begging for their lives and my discomfort can’t even come close in comparison. So if my begging is what it takes, then so be it.

This is not a controversial issue. Please let’s not make it one. This is not about your feelings or anyone else’s. I am not here to hurt anyone. I am on a mission and I have a lot of work to do in making sure that John and Honey and others like them have food and warm clothes this winter. I have a lot of dogs and cats to save. I have done all I can to make it easier to help others but I truly understand if $5 a month still might be too much for some. I have asked that people send me a private message if they truly want to help but can’t. 

People like John and his dog Honey, depend on me for life. The Volunteers from No Kill Groups that rescue dogs and cats from being killed in shelters depend on me to help them buy food, and toys and blankets and veterinary care so that these dogs and cats can live.

Some people depend on me for other things .... like bringing them free recipes and my not saying anything when they turn their heads and look the other way when I ask for help. They take and give nothing in return. But I do have Angels at Welcome Home that support my efforts and give to help me help others. Not because they have much....but because they know what it's like to have nothing.

Which group do you belong to?

For instructions on how to subscribe to the magazine you can click on this link:

Kale Salad with Apple and Pine Nuts

So I wanted to eat something good for me today.  I am fighting a cold and so I needed some extra ammo so to speak!  What better than Kale to fight anything headed your way?  I read that the darker the greens, the higher the nutrient content and the better for defenses for cold and flu season.  But I still wanted something that was full of flavor and delicious, so I made up this wonderful dressing using Star Fine Foods Extra Light Olive Oil, which is also light and healthy.   What a perfect lunch!  I feel better already!  

Kale Salad with Apple and Pine Nuts

2 cups baby kale, roughly chopped
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
½ Fuji apple, diced small
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
1 cup of carrots, julienne or shredded
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup pine nuts

Toast pine nuts in a single layer in a 350 oven for 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully because the pine nuts burn easily.

Remove kale leaves from the tough stalks and roughly chop it. I like to massage my kale because the flavors come out better. Chop or shred your cabbage and add to the chopped Kale. Next add the carrots and the celery.  

Dice the apple and toss in lemon juice, making sure it’s thoroughly coated to prevent apple from browning. Add the apples and toasted pine nuts to the Kale and other ingredients and toss well.  


  • 3 tablespoons Star Fine Food Extra Light Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk the dressing ingredients until combined.  Or use a jar with lid to shake well until they are all combined. Pour a small amount of dressing over the kale salad and allow to marinate for about 15 minutes before serving. 

Photographs are copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shrimp Scampi

I make a lot of seafood dishes here at Welcome Home....especially recipes that call for Shrimp.  I love shrimp because it's so versatile and so easy to add to so many recipes.  I also love that it has a built in temperature gauge! No matter how you cook them, as soon as they turn pink they are perfectly cooked.

I only buy my Shrimp from Aunt Margaret's Crab Cakes and Seafood Specialties.  I love the price I get for the quality and freshness of all the seafood.  I love ordering on line and the discounts he gives to me and all my Welcome Home friends.  Today I made Shrimp Scampi.  Took all of 10 minutes to make...from freezer to table!

Shrimp Scampi

2 pounds of large Frozen or fresh raw shrimp, drained and peeled and de-veined
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper'
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more if you want a kick)
1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 cup dried parsley

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt butter and olive oil together.  Add the minced garlic and cook for about a minute.  Next add shrimp and sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir lightly.

Cook the shrimp until they turn pink...about 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.

Next, add the wine or chicken stock to the butter sauce in the skillet and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat to medium high and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened.

Remove the sauce from the heat and add the shrimp back in the skillet. Sprinkle with dried parsley and toss lightly.  Serve over pasta or rice!

Now you can go to Aunt Margaret's Crab Cakes  and shop online for shrimp and all your fresh seafood.  Click on this link:

Enter the code AM0224 at the time of check out get a nice discount for being a Welcome Home fan!

Aunt Margaret's will send you a big 5 pound box of their jumbo shrimp for a fraction of the cost you can buy it in stores!  This is only 1/8 of the shrimp that came in the 5 pound box that I ordered!

Photographs are the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home 2014

♥ Raspberry Cream Cheese Bread with Vanilla Icing

Raspberry Cream Cheese Bread with Vanilla Icing

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened...
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups raspberries, rinse, dried and chopped. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. With electric mixer cream butter, sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla.

In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend flour mixture with butter mixture just until blended. Add buttermilk and only stir until just combined; do not over mix.

Carefully fold in raspberries. Dough mixture will be thick. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 50 to 60 minutes.                    

For the Glaze:                                                            

4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, and butter. Slowly add milk, stirring until smooth. Extra milk can be added to thin if desired...I like mine nice and thick.

NOTE: I have used strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and even peaches for this bread recipe.

Photograhy ©Welcome Home

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lettuce Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing and Warm Bacon

My lunch today...I love lettuce wedges instead of your traditional salad. Okay, I know they all taste the same....but there is something about a wedge of cold crisp iceberg lettuce with homemade creamy blue cheese dressing and sweet little ripe cherry tomatoes with warm crunchy fried bacon on top. Did that just make you hungry?

Lettuce Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing and Warm Bacon

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Wedge Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into quartered wedges
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes or 1 medium tomato, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste

Blue Cheese Dressing

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, garlic powder and onion powder. Whisk the mixture together until smooth. Add the cheese and mix just until blended. Chill in an airtight container in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve a generous amount of dressing over each lettuce wedge and top with the bacon and tomato. Season with salt and pepper.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home 2014.

Seasoned Potato Wedges

I love these fries! They are crunchy and spicy and so easy to make. I Par-cook my potatoes first so that the inside is done. Then all I need to do is get the outside crispy. I love these served with a little sour cream on the side. I can make a meal out of these!

Seasoned Potato Wedges

4 russet (baking) potatoes, sliced in wedges
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup of cooking oil plus more oil for frying
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Spice Mixture:

1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (or more if you like a kick)

In a large bowl, mix potatoes with 4 teaspoons of spice mixture and 1/4-cup oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 9 minutes. Drain any liquid and move potatoes to a baking sheet for about 10 minutes to cool.

Combine 1-1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch in shallow pie plate or bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk the buttermilk and baking soda. Working in 2 batches, dredge your potatoes in the flour-mixture first, then the buttermilk, then back in the flour.

Deep fry first batch of potatoes in very hot oil for 5 minutes in large and heavy deep skillet. While frying, dredge the second batch. When potatoes are finished frying to a golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels and sprinkle on more spice mixture.

Oven Roasted method: (do not microwave potatoes first)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil evenly onto a baking sheet with sides. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large zip-lock baggie. Add a few potato wedges at a time into the mixture and shake to coat well. Place coated potato wedges onto the cookie sheet, spreading out evenly. Repeat with all of the wedges. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip potatoes and bake for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home 2014.


My mother woke up in heaven today. She has lived there for 12 years now, and I wonder what she's doing and if she is watching me live a life without her down here on earth. Does she know how lost I am without her sometimes? Does she know how sad it can be? So many memories and so many traditions make it hard not to realize just how empty I am without her. Today is my birthday and this is the day I miss her most. This day is hard for me because it brings back memories of good times past and traditions that are no longer.

I was sent to the arms of an angel.  
When I was a teenager I can remember making a decision one day to take my allowance and spend it on my mother for MY birthday. I loved her so much that I wanted to make sure she knew how happy I was that God gave me to her on that day 14 years earlier. i wanted her to know that I wouldn't have wanted any other mother but her. I wanted to thank her for giving me life and for being the best mom ever. I wanted her to know beyond a shadow of a doubt how much I loved her and that it wasn't about me that was all about her.

So I went out and bought her flowers....not just any flowers. I bought her pink roses...her favorite. And that day when there was cake and ice cream and presents for me to open.... I felt sheer delight when I handed her that bouquet of pink roses. And she cried. And she hugged me for the longest time and told me how good it made her feel. And I remember her taking one of the dried roses when they died and putting in the family album and writing under, "from my baby girl."

And so started a tradition. For the rest of her days with me here on earth, I bought her pink roses on my birthday to thank her for being my Mom. And each year she was just as surprised and cried just as hard as she had the year before.

Later, when she moved to heaven, and I had the heart breaking, gut wrenching miserable task of sorting out her things and going through it all...I found each and every pink rose that she had saved for all those years....all 37 of them...each taped carefully to those pages in that old torn album with the same message underneath and the year it was given. And I cried so hard because that tradition that meant so much to both of us had come to an end. 

My Mom the year before she Moved to Heaven

Oh, I still take her pink roses on my birthday and I sit by her grave and tell her how lucky I was that God chose her as my Mother. But the hug is not there and I can no longer dry her tears of joy as I hand them to her. And the sadness is so profound that it takes me a while to put on my happy face carry on for the rest of the day of birthday wishes and celebration.

I know it's selfish of me to wish she was here because I know she is in a far better place than what this world could ever offer. I know that she is celebrating eternal life with no sorrow or tears or pain. I'm not sure what my mother is doing today in Heaven. I guess I won't know until I go there and find out myself. But here’s what I do know, whatever she’s doing, she’s home. That’s what Heaven is... Home.


Monday, October 20, 2014



I decided to put this slide show together for you. 

So many of you are asking what kind of recipes are in the Welcome Home Kitchen Magazine and on my Welcome Home Blog. So I decided to put this slide show together for you so you can get a feel for what goes into the magazine each month. You'll see some of my favorite recipes! Some are recipes from the blog and others are brand new and never shown anywhere before. And that's what you'll find in the magazine.

Some of these recipes will be coming up in the new Thanksgiving issue that will be available on November 1st. Take a look and get a feel for what you're missing!

 Click on this link to watch and listen:

 How do you subscribe? Click on this link for instructions:

 Want to buy it for just $2 an issue? Visit My Store to order it today! Check out our Easy Pay option:

 If you can't afford as little as $5 a month due to a hardship, please contact me.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Homemade Apple Cake with Vanilla Glaze

One of the most moist cakes you'll ever make. This is one of those throw it all in a bowl, mix it up a little and bake kind of cakes! So easy to make and so delicious! I made one on Sunday and put it in the freezer for one of those cold winter mornings. I snapped a couple pictures of this one for the comment section too.

Apple Cake with Vanilla Glaze

3 cups peeled, diced or sliced Honey Crisp, Fuji, or Gala apples
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
zest of one medium orange

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium size bowl, sift together all purpose flour, wholewheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.

In a small bowl toss apples, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and lemon juice; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the white and brown sugars with the oil. Add one egg at a time mixing in each one thoroughly. Add the vanilla extract, apple cider and orange zest. 

Slowly stir in flour mixture into wet batter stirring just to combine. Fold in apples and any juices that have accumulated. Pour batter into a prepared 12-cup bundt or tube pan. Bake in preheated oven on the middle shelf for 55-60 minutes or until cake is done. 

Remove from oven and let cool in pan on baking rack for 10 minutes before turning out of pan. While cake cools, prepare the vanilla drizzle.


8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons whole milk

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons whole milk; stir until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add the remaining tablespoon milk, a little at a time, until consistency is thick but pourable. Let cool 5 minutes. Then use to drizzle over warm cake. Frosting will harden as cake cools.

*** Photograph is copyri
ghted and the property of ©Welcome Home.