Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Banana Split Dessert

























I love this summery dessert. I can remember my Mom making it from the time I was too little to even know what it was.  But I know now and I love making it.  It is so cold and creamy and just the best thing out there to satisfy every decadent need!  This is a keeper my friends.


Banana Split Dessert

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 whole crackers crushed)
1 ¼ cups sugar, Divided
1/3 cup butter, Melted
2 pkgs (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (20 oz) crushed Pineapple, drained
1 cup strawberries, sliced thin
4 ripe bananas
2 cups cold milk
1 large box vanilla Pudding
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

In a medium sized bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 x13 inch pan. Set aside.

Beat together remaining sugar and cream cheese until well mixed. Carefully spread over cookie crust. Top with pineapple. Slice bananas and layer over pineapple. Add sliced strawberries over bananas.

In another bowl mix together cold milk and vanilla pudding and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Remove 1 cup of whipped cream and mix into pudding. Layer pudding over bananas. Spread remaining whipped cream over pudding and sprinkle with huts. Chill for 5 hours before serving.

NOTE: You can also use 1 carton (8 ounces) Cool Whip, thawed instead of the whipped cream.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Panko Breaded Patty Pan Squash





















Wondering what to do with all that squash you still have in your garden? My favorite squash are those little Patty Pan squash that come in green and yellow. Some know them as summer squash or scallop squash. They are a tender summer squash, like zucchini or yellow squash. The scalloped shape makes them a bit of a novelty and kids are tempted to try them because of their fun shape. They taste like any other summer squash.

Panko Breaded Patty Pan Squash

6 small patty pan squash sliced 1/2 inch with mandolin 
2 eggs, beaten 
1 tablespoon milk 
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder






















Beat eggs with a tablespoon of milk in a wide shallow bowl. Mix the panko, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and garlic powder in another shallow bowl. 


























Dredge your squash into the egg mixture, then into the crumb mixture, taking the time to press the crumbs all around each slice. Place breaded squash onto a plate until you have enough to fill (but not crowd) your frying pan. 

In a large heavy fry pan (I use my Mom's old 12" cast iron skillet), heat the olive oil and butter until it shimmers. You can drop in a bread crumb and know it is ready when it sizzles. Place slices one by one into the hot oil being careful not to loose to much breading. Let slices brown for at least a minute or two. When the bottom is golden brown flip each slice over and brown the other side.

Let the cooked slices drain & cool on the paper towels or wire rack and repeat the process until all your batches have been turned into crispy fried deliciousness. I also use this same recipe for zucchini and other squash and even eggplant. 



















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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pull Aparts

























These ooey-gooey miniature cinnamon pull-aparts make a comforting breakfast treat any time of year. I also call them my little personal monkey breads.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pull Aparts

4 – 4½ cups flour
4½ teaspoons dry yeast
2 cups warm water
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ cups sugar, divided
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon butter, room temp
1¾ teaspoon cinnamon, divided

Mix 2 cups flour and the yeast. Add the water, oil, sugar and salt. Beat on low for ½ minute and then on high for three minutes. Stir in the remaining flour until a moderately stiff dough forms.



















Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl, greased side up. Cover the bowl and let it rise for 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide it into half, letting it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of the sugar, ¼ cup of the brown sugar, milk, butter and 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon in a small saucepan.  Bring the syrup mixture to a boil and cook it for 1 minute. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.


Combine remaining ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Cut each loaf of bread dough into 24 equal portions and roll into balls. Roll each portion into the cinnamon sugar mixture and then lay three balls of dough in each greased muffin tin.

Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough balls. Then spoon the cooled sugar syrup over the dough in each muffin tin.


Cover the pan and let it rise for 35 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately loosen the edges of bread from the muffin tin using a knife.



 Cream Cheese Drizzle

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sugar and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add salt, lemon juice, and milk; mix on low speed until smooth. If glaze is too thick to drizzle, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.



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Vanilla Crepes with Warm Blueberry Compote
















Crepes are actually very easy to make and a lot healthier than pancakes. The ingredients are very simple and once you get the idea, you’ll find they are easier to make than pancakes too.  Fill them with whatever you like….chocolate, whipped cream, cream cheese and strawberries.  Here’s my favorite….

Vanilla Crepes with Warm Blueberry Compote
4 cups frozen blueberries, divided
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced and zested

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the water, lemon juice and zest, sugar and corn starch until smooth.
Add one cup of the blueberries and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened and the blueberries have started to break open.  Stir continuously.






















Reduce heat to medium-low, add the remainder of the blueberries, and cook for 5 to 8 more minutes or until compote reaches your desired consistency, stirring frequently.  You do not want the compote to completely break down.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Vanilla Crepes

1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons melted butter
Powdered sugar
Whipped cream (optional)

In a large bowl, mix together the milk, egg yolk and vanilla. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until well blended.
Heat a round, smooth 9-inch pan over medium heat until hot. Coat lightly with cooking spray or melt a small amount of butter.  When the pan is hot, pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan, and slowly tilt the pan to evenly spread the batter in a circle, until the bottom is completely covered.  

















Cook for 45-60 seconds, or until the batter is just set and the bottom is lightly browned and then flip to brown the other side. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the rest of batter.

















Place the crepe on a plate, fill with 2 tablespoons blueberry compote, and fold the bottom up and over the filling, tucking in both sides as you go and roll.  You should end with the seam side down. Repeat with rest of crepes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.  Top with whipped cream if desired.

















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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

THE WELCOME HOME ONLINE MAGAZINE 2017!


























Attention: I am starting another brand new year of the Welcome Home Online Magazine and now is the time to subscribe for the first time or renew your current subscription, if you haven't already.

What is the Welcome Home online Magazine? 

It's a place where I post recipes exclusive to subscribers only....over 800 recipes you've never seen before. Everything from Main dishes to desserts....from soups to salads....from country food to Mexican and Chinese! You'll love it!


Friday, May 26, 2017

Grilled Chicken Thighs in Zesty Orange Sauce


Grilled Chicken Thighs in Zesty Orange Sauce


2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup orange marmalade
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablesoons olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes

Heat marmalade in sauce pan over low heat until liquid. Add to orange juice, garlic, soy sauce and olive oil along with the pepper flakes.  Reserve some of the marinade for later before adding chicken. Place chicken thighs in a shallow dish or in a re-sealable  plastic bag. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover and marinate at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.



























Shake off excess marinade and place chicken thighs on preheated grill over medium-high heat and grill just until grill marks are visible. Lower the heat to medium and continue grilling for additional 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  
























Warm Sauce in sauce pan over low heat. Brush sauce all over chicken, covering top and bottom of thighs.  Wrap in aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. Uncover and serve on a platter



















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Grilled Rib Eye Steaks

























Some people only want a Porterhouse or a T-bone steak. Some love a New York strip and then there are those that won't eat anything but filet mignon because they are convinced it is the most tender. But for me, the ultimate steak is the  rib eye also known as the Delmonico.  

It's the superstar of the steak world. An incredibly tender cut and known for it's extensive marbling. During cooking, that fat marbling melts and bastes the meat from within. The result is a richly-flavored juicy and tender steak! Rib eyes are flavorful enough that they don't need anything more than salt and pepper and a little garlic powder

Rib eyes do best when cooked on a high heat, so be sure to preheat the grill prior to cooking.  It is important to take them out of the refrigerator 35-45 minutes prior to grilling and allow them to come to room temperature on your counter.  Finally, it's important to allow your steaks to rest for five to ten minutes after cooking to allow the proteins to reabsorb the juices and the flavor within them.

How to Choose the Perfect Rib Eye
















Look for bright red coloring on the meat.  It should be at least an inch thick, ideally more like an inch and a half thick. It should have abundant marbling. Good marbling should be obvious in good rib-eye steaks; the veins of fat running through the meat are a sign that the cut will deliver a rich meaty flavor. 

The fat melts into the steak, creating a buttery richness.  The proportion of the rib-eye steak is also important; when you are holding the rib-eye steak the right way up (with the widest part with the “eye” in it at the top) the top piece round the eye should be generously proportioned and there should be a decent sized defined fat nugget at the “eye” of the steak.  Most important is the amount of tenderloin surrounding the outer edge of the steak. This is the most tender part of the steak. I call it the melt in your mouth part.
























Grilled Rib Eye Steaks

2-4 rib well marbled rib eyes cut 1 ½’ to 2” thick
Salt and pepper
garlic powder
olive oil 

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes. This is important if you want them to cook evenly with no cold spots.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high (about 500 degrees). It is important to preheat your grill for at least 10-15 minutes to reach that temperature. Add some vegetable oil to a thickly folded paper towel or old dish towel and using tongs, oil the hot grill by rubbing the oil saturated towel across grill grates.

Meanwhile, Place steaks on a large platter and drizzle them with a little olive oil. Then generously season all sides with salt and pepper and garlic powder. When the grill is ready, place the steaks on the grates and cover the grill. Cook, undisturbed, for about 4-5 minutes. Flip steaks over, cover the grill and cook for another 4-5 minutes for medium rare.






















  1. To check for doneness, use an instant thermometer to register 130 degrees for medium rare.  

    Rare: 120-125°
    Med-Rare: 130-135°
    Medium: 140-145°
    Medium-Well: 150-155°
    Well Done: 160°+


























Or use my tried and true hand test as follows: 

For Rare Steaks:  touch the middle of the steak with your fingers. It should have a similar feel as when you touch your cheek. It should have plenty of give and cushion. 

For Medium Steaks:  touch the middle of the steak with your fingers. It should have a similar feel as when you touch your chin. 

Well-Done Steaks:  touch the middle of the steak with your fingers. It should have a similar feel as when you touch your forehead. 

Important:  Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.  I don't tent foil because the steaks will continue to cook if you do.  Just set them aside and allow the juices to flow back into the steaks.










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