Wednesday, September 11, 2013

♥ Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Cream Sauce

Sea scallops can be one of those delicacies that can either turn out perfect or into a complete disaster. If you sear them at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time, you will get a sweet and delicate dish to remember. This was my dinner tonight and they were perfect. Just the right amount of sear on the outside and so buttery, sweet, and tender on the inside.

Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Cream Sauce

1 dozen fresh, large sea scallops
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Place a skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter and one teaspoon of olive oil in the middle of the melted butter. Roll butter and oil around pan to coat.

Place the large sea scallops on a clean plate and pat as dry as you can with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the scallops, one at a time into the hot skillet. Sauté the scallops for a 2 minutes on each side until they become golden brown- make sure not to overcook them. They are opaque when cooked. Cook the remaining scallops, set aside.

For the Sauce

1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon minced parsley
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat- reduce by half. Add the remaining ingredients, and taste for seasoning. Arrange the cooked scallops on a plate with the lemon sauce. Garnish with fresh lemon slices and chopped parsley.

Photograph is the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Monday, September 09, 2013


What a great buy through Welcome Home! Welcome Home friends can get this 12 inch pre-seasoned Cast Iron Skillet for only $18.97 while supplies last. A simple Cast-Iron skillet, like the one your grandmother used, still ranks as one of the... best cooking utensils ever made. It gives you a nearly non-stick surface, without the possible harmful fumes generated by preheating chemically treated nonstick cookware. And it's an excellent source of nutritional iron.

Made of cast iron
Assist handles for easier handling
Pour spouts for draining
Pre-seasoned and ready-to-use right out of the box
Virtual Non-stick surface
Works with glass top or induction stove tops
Brutally tough for decades of cooking

Can Be Used With A Variety of Heat Sources. At home in the oven, on the stove, on the grill or over the campfire. This skillet may be used on various heat sources including gas, electric, induction and ceramic-glass top stoves and ovens. Seasoned cast iron can also be used on the grill or outdoor fire and coals for camp cooking.

Pre-Seasoned with soy-based vegetable oil that is baked into the pores of the iron to prevent rusting and to eventually provide a natural, non-stick cooking surface.

Remember, the proceeds from anything you buy here at Welcome Home, goes to the NO KILL Advocacy Group to save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting for their forever homes. If you look at the link you will see Welchome08 is there to let Amazon know you are from Welcome Home.

Click on this link for more information and to purchase.....I think this is a fantastic buy!
See More
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♥ Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Love this cake!  It's an old fashioned cake that comes from my Mom's collection of recipes and one that I remember well as a little girl. I love the smell of blueberries baking in the oven and it is just perfect with warm cup of coffee in the mornings. Yum!

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon extract (or 1 tbs grated lemon zest)
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen if you don't have fresh)

Lemon glaze:

1/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon extract. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture a little at a time alternating with the milk, a little at a time. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the 1/3 cup of sugar and the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot bread all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with the hot lemon glaze. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 30 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with Lemon Sugar topping (recipe below)

Lemon Sugar Topping

1/3 cup sugar
zest from one lemon

Stir the sanding sugar and the lemon zest together in a small bowl and sprinkle on to warm bread.

Photograph property of ©Welcome Home
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♥ Egg Salad Sandwich

I love egg salad sandwiches...not those cold egg salad sandwiches you get at your local deli that are full of chopped celery, pickles, onions, and anything else you can chop up. I love just basic egg salad, still warm.... on light buttered toast, with just a little mayo and a little pepper and nothing else. Now and then I might add a little mustard powder but not often. You can add whatever you want, but my idea of a classic egg salad sandwich is all about the eggs. Here's a snap shot of my breakfast this morning.....

Classic Egg Salad Sandwich

6 eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (Hellman's)
pepper to taste (optional)
Your favorite bread, toasted lightly and buttered

To hard boil eggs – Gently place eggs into a single layer in a sauce pan. Add just enough water to cover the eggs completely. Bring the water to a rapid boil for about 5 minutes. Then remove eggs from heat tightly cover with a lid. Let the pan site for 10 minutes. Transfer eggs into a bowl with cold water. Allow to sit for a few minutes and crack and peel.

Chop hard boiled eggs. Place chopped eggs in a medium bowl. Mix in mayo, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you like. Add a little pepper to taste. Spread egg salad onto toasted and buttered bread slices.

You will have enough here to make three sandwiches. I keep it in the refrigerator and then microwave it to warm it up again the next day. 

Photograph property of ©Welcome Home 2013
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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

♥ White Chocolate Cheesecake with Berries

 I love cheesecakes and I make them often.  Who does like a dessert so rich and smooth and creamy and decadent!  And look how many ways you can change them up!  You can make so many flavors and add any of your favorite toppings.  Cheesecakes really are very easy to make....don't ever be afraid to make them. And they freeze so well.  I like to give them as gifts or bring them out of the freezer for an elegant dessert for friends and family.  I make these perfect little 6 inch cheesecakes instead of the much bigger ones and there's never any leftovers. I have included a link at the bottom of the recipe so you can find the little ...spring form pans I use in case you're interested.

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Berries

For the crust:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 sticks salted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a spring form pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

For the cheesecake

1/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup good quality white chocolate chips
3 eight ounce packages ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream for cheesecake batter

Over low heat in a small saucepan, heat 1/3 cup of whipping cream until scalding. Stir in the white chocolate until melted. Set aside while you make the rest of the batter.

Cream together cream cheese and sugar until creamy and then add one egg at a time beating well after each one. Add the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate. Finally blend in the 1 cup of whipping cream.

Pour your batter into your prepared crust and bake in a water bath at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes depending on the size of your pan. The cheesecake will be slightly brown around the edges. It will be slightly wobbly just at the center. Allow the cheese cake to cool on a wire rack at room temperature.

When completely cool remove the cheesecake from the spring form pan by running a sharp knife around the outside edge before removing the sides of the pan and then run a knife under the crust to release it from the pan’s bottom. Cover the top with fresh raspberries and drizzle with raspberry glaze.

For the glaze and topping

1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
1 tablespoon water
strawberries and blueberries for garnish

Place the jam in a small saucepan. Heat the saucepan over low to medium heat on the stove, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add about 1 tablespoon of water and stir constantly over low heat, until the berries begin to break down and the sauce develops a thinner, pourable consistency. Taste and add sugar or a little honey if you want it sweeter. Turn off the heat when the sauce has reached the consistency you desire. Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes or until it's still thin enough to pour but no longer piping hot. Drizzle over strawberries and blueberries and then store in refrigerator. If the sauce thickens too much, simply reheat it on the stove for a minute or two and allow it to thin.

If you are interested in these little 6 inch spring form pans you can click on this link to find them. Remember, anything you purchase on Amazon through Welcome Home will help me save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting for their forever homes. Note the Welchome08 in the link.
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♥ Apple Crisp

I found this dessert among my Mom's old recipes and it brought back memories of the house smelling like apples and cinnamon. As usual, there is a little note on the back of the card that reads..... "You are young and probably won't remember... that this was your favorite dessert growing up. It's so easy to make and such a good dessert that makes the house smell so good. I hope that you will remember me making it for you when you grow up and have a family of your own. I love you baby girl....Mom." So I made it today and yes Mom....I remember. I miss you.

Apple Crisp

8×8 glass dish, buttered
5 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup oats
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put apple slices in bottom of greased dish. Mix remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over apples, completely covering them. Bake about 30-35 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. So easy. So Delish!

Photograph property of ©Welcome Home
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♥ 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.

Photograph property of ©Welcome Home 
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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Rose's Pie Plate

I love this beautiful pie plate because not only is it pretty, it is functional for those of us who aren't very good at making fluted edges for our homemade pies.

It has deeply fluted edges making it easy to create a fluted border simply b...y pressing the dough into the fluting. It's an award winning pie plate made of ceramic with that fluted edge that creates a beautifully scalloped pie crust. It's made of high fired ceramic with a scratch free glaze so it's broiler, oven and dishwasher safe. It comes in sage green, bayberry blue and red (as shown)

Click on this link to purchase and remember the proceeds from anything you buy here at Welcome Home, goes to the NO KILL Advocacy Group to save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting for their forever homes. Click on this link for price and availability.....
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♥ My Mother's Lap

My Mother's Lap

I have quite a few memories of my childhood, but the sweetest memory that still lingers, is the memory of laying my head in my Mother's lap whenever I needed her. I can still feel her soft, gentle hands stroking my hair an...d the sweet sound of her voice telling me she loved me and her promise that everything would be okay.

Even later, when I was a grown woman and life had dealt me a broken heart or two, I would run to her for those comforting moments, time and time again. And of all the moments in my lifetime, these will forever be the most precious to me.

How ironic this journey of life can be at times... for little did I know that one day I would be comforting her and stroking her hair as she lay dying. And I would whisper those same words for the last time. "I love you Mom. Go on to a better place. Everything will be okay."

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♥ Always Pray

"Always pray for eyes that see the best in all people and a heart that forgives the worst. Pray for a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith.

Pray for the courage to love again when your heart has been broken in a thousand pieces. Pray for the wisdom to learn from your mistakes and the understanding that you may fail again. And pray for the strength to go on when you think your world has come to an end.

But most of all, pray that you can live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God, will come to know God because they know you."

Welcome Home
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♥ Her Hands

Her Hands

  Her hands held me gently from the day
I took my first breath.
Her hands helped to guide me
as I took my first step....

Her hands held me close when the tears
would start to fall.
Her hands were quick to show me
she could take care of it all.

Her hands were there to brush my hair,
or straighten a wayward bow.
Her hands were there to comfort the hurts
that didn't always show.

Her hands helped hold the stars in place,
and encouraged me to reach.
Her hands were there in prayer for me
because she always believed.

Her hands are now twisted with age
from pain and years of work.
Her hands now need my gentle touch
to rub away the hurt.

Her hands are more beautiful today
than anything can be.
Her hands are the very reason
of how I came to be."

~Maggie Pittman

photo source: Timothy Hamilton Flickr
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♥ Great Mac and Cheese

There are a lot of mac and cheese recipes out there. I have featured many on my page including crab mac and cheese and several others. However, when I want the best mac and cheese out there, this one is my go to every time. I have create...d a velvety texture and flavor from all the different cheeses and a wonderful buttery crunch from the bread topping. Try it and let me know if it becomes your favorite too! Oh...and you've just gotta click on this photo for drool mode!

Great Mac and Cheese

1 lb elbows macaroni
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup muenster cheese, shredded
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 and 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a deep 9 x 13 baking dish.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rapid boil. Add macaroni and the 1 tablespoon salt to your boiling water. Cook for 7 minutes, or until somewhat tender. Drain well, and return to the pot. Add 8 tablespoons of melted butter to the macaroni and stir.

In a large bowl combine all the shredded cheeses. Then add the half and half, the beaten eggs, the sour cream and about 2 cups of the combined shredded cheeses and mix thoroughly. Pour all the macaroni mixture into the buttered casserole dish, and top with remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of shredded cheese.

Bread Topping

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup or more as needed)
8 slices of bread, cubed or torn into pieces

In a large skillet, melt one stick of butter. Toss in bread cubes and stir to coat bread thoroughly in butter. Top entire casserole with buttered bread cubes covering the cheese completely. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and bubbly and the bread cubes are lightly toasted. Serve hot.

 Photograph is the property of ©Welcome Home

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♥ Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

There is nothing better than pulled pork from a roasted pork butt or pork shoulder. Tender and flavorful and the perfect sandwich! I use Sweet Baby Rays to give it that sweet smoky barbecue flavor....oh my! Click on the photo for full drool mode!

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-5 pound) pork shoulder (I use a pork butt)
Sweet Baby Rays Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Using a pastry brush, spread the mixture all over the pork butt.

Place a rack inside a roasting pan and put the pork butt on the. Roast for 20 minutes at a high temperature of 425 degrees and then reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Slow roast at the lower temperature for about 4 hours or until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 185 degrees. Remove the pork from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.

NOTE: You can make this same recipe in a crock pot as I did in the photo shown. Simply follow the same instructions but pour 1 cup of chicken broth in the slow cooker before placing your meat inside. Cover and slow cook on high for 6-8 hours or until your meat is fork tender.

With two forks, shred the meat into pieces and add heated barbecue sauce. Mix well and serve alone or on sandwiches.

NOTE: While I used to make my own sauce and have several recipes for it, I have stopped since being introduced to Sweet Baby Rays. There is nothing like it and I only use this sauce on everything I would normally 

make a barbecue sauce for now.

Photographs are copyrighted and the  property of ©Welcome Home
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♥ Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes

Is it your turn to make cupcakes for your child's birthday party or bake sale? Here's a real head turner and a huge hit with the kids. Who doesn't like S'mores?

Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes

1 cup graham cracker crumbs ...
1/8 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Pinch of salt

Line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter and salt with a fork. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each cupcake liner and press down firmly and push a little up the bottom part of the sides. Reserve remaining mixture for topping cupcakes. Set aside and make your cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes:

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350. Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the buttermilk until combined. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks of the butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture. Carefully spoon the cupcake batter over graham cracker crusts in muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the center comes clean with a toothpick inserted in center. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Marshmallow Cream Filling

2 teaspoons very hot water
¼ teaspoon salt
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
½ cup shortening
⅓ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl add the water and salt. Stir to dissolve the salt in the hot water and allow to cool. With an electric mixer, blend the marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the salt water mixture and whip on medium speed until the mixture becomes fluffy.

To fill the cupcakes I used a small melon baller to cut a circle into the top of each cupcake, putting the removed cake circle to the side. Spoon cream filling into a ziploc bag and seal tight. Cut the bottom tip out of the bag and pipe in about a tablespoon of filling into the hole on top. Replace the removed cake circle. Now you are ready to frost the cupcakes.


1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium, and slowly add milk and vanilla, beating until smooth. Microwave the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl on medium for 1 or 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30 second intervals. Gradually add melted chocolate to mixture; beat until blended and smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Drop a dollop of marshmallow cream on top of cupcake and garnish with any leftover graham cracker crumbs or nuts if desired.

 Photography property of ©Welcome Home
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♥ Surf and Turf Dinner

This was my Surf and Turf dinner I made last night for my best friend, Randy. I started him off with a fresh tossed salad with my homemade poppy seed Then it was on to my pan seared Ribeye steaks, my very own Maryland Crab Cake, and my homemade velvety mac and cheese. A special meal for my special friend. Click on photo for drool mode.

 My Maryland Crab Cakes

1 lb Jumbo Lump Crabmeat (I get mine at Costco)
1 large egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 cups fine breadcrumbs made from white bread
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, mayo, mustard, Old Bay, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently stir in crabmeat and breadcrumbs and mix with hands lightly without breaking up the lumps. Mixture will be somewhat wet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more.

Once chilled, shape the mixture into rounded mounds whatever size you'd like. I usually make mine the size of baseballs and get about 4 crab cakes from one pound. Do not flatten or make into patties. Place on lightly sprayed baking sheet with sides. Drizzle tops with just a little olive to speed up browning.

Just before putting crab cakes in the oven, drop two or three ice cubes onto the baking pan between crab cakes. This will keep the high temperature from burning the bottoms of the cakes. Bake in hot 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the size you made your crab cakes. If they are not brown enough at this point turn your oven to broil and watch them closely until they brown to the point you prefer.

Pan Seared Ribeye Steaks

Take your steaks out of the Fridge and leave them out for about an hour before you are ready to cook them. Season both sides with sea salt and black pepper.

Preheat my cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Once the skillet is VERY hot you are ready. One way to test it is to sprinkle a tiny bit of water dances and if it sizzles across the skillet, you'll know it is ready for the steaks.

Next, drizzle olive oil into the bottom of the skillet and make sure it has been well-coated. Place each steak in the pan making sure you don't crowd them. Cook for two minutes on one side and do not touch them while cooking. Then flip them on the other side. After two minutes, reduce the heat on the skillet to low.

At this point, you want to test the steaks for doneness. I use this method...I call it the FACE method. See today's post for instructions.

Baked Mac and Cheese with Bread Crumb Topping

1 box (16oz) elbow macaroni
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup muenster cheese, shredded
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 and 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a deep 9 x 13 baking dish.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rapid boil. Add macaroni and the 1 tablespoon salt to your boiling water. Cook for 7 minutes, or until somewhat tender. Drain well, and return to the pot. Add 8 tablespoons of melted butter to the macaroni and stir.

In a large bowl combine all the shredded cheeses. Then add the half and half, the beaten eggs, the sour cream and about 2 cups of the combined shredded cheeses and mix thoroughly. Pour all the macaroni mixture into the buttered casserole dish, and top with remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of shredded cheese.

Bread Topping

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup or more as needed)
8 slices of bread, cubed or torn into pieces

In a large skillet, melt one stick of butter. Toss in bread cubes and stir to coat bread thoroughly in butter. Top entire casserole with buttered bread cubes covering the cheese completely. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and bubbly and the bread cubes are lightly toasted. Serve hot.

Photograph is the property of ©Welcome Home

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Blueberry Pancakes

I made blueberry pancakes and bacon this past weekend. I tried making my bacon in the oven for the first time and I'm so glad I did. It's so much better than frying it and watching it shrivel up. It stays true to its shape and it just tastes better...and no more wondering what to do with all that left over bacon grease!

Blueberry Pancakes

2 cups buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, rinsed and dried,
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil or butter for frying

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to combine. Whisk egg and melted butter into buttermilk until combined. Make well in center of dry ingredients in bowl; pour in buttermilk mixture and whisk very gently until just combined (a few lumps should remain. Do not over mix.

Chop or slice the blueberries you plan to add to the batter but leave some whole for the topping. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon oil or butter and brush to coat skillet bottom evenly. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto 3 spots on skillet ; sprinkle 1 tablespoon of chopped or diced blueberries over each pancake. Cook pancakes until large bubbles begin to appear, 1 1/2 minutes to 2 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer. Serve immediately, and repeat with remaining batter, using remaining vegetable oil only if necessary.

Oven Baked Bacon

Lay bacon strips flat on a rack above a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 400 degrees until bacon is the way you like it! Delish!

Photograph property of ©Welcome Home
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♥ Oven Roasted Memphis Ribs

On my menu today will be my oven roasted ribs that I have shared with all of you many times here at Welcome Home. I stopped using a grill or smoker make my ribs. No need to...this rub and this method of cooking them will make you use that ...grill for burgers and chicken and steak. These delicious ribs come out so fall-off-the- bone-tender and they even have grill marks! Take a look at the photo of the ones I made today. Better yet, try them....let me know what you think!

My Oven Roasted Memphis Ribs

4 pounds pork ribs or two big slabs
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue sauce

Dry Rub

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
2 tablespoons course salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons celery seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
3 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground allspice

Mix all ingredients together until blended. Lay ribs out flat and rub both sides generously with rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put a rack inside a large shallow roasting pan to keep the ribs off the bottom of the pan. Lay ribs across rack and fill pan with water under the ribs making sure the ribs are not touching the water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes in a hot oven. Turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and allow ribs to cook slowly for at least 4-6 hours until the meat begins to fall off the bone.

Remove from oven and carefully remove foil so that steam escapes. Brush ribs generously with Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue sauce. Return to the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Carefully use tongs to lift ribs in one piece and place on platter.

Photography is the  property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home 
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♥ The Simple Things

The Simple Things

Yesterday I went to a flea market and a thrift store looking for some dishes for my photo shots. I normally  am not into that sort of thing but yesterday I found some really pretty dishes and bowls to use when I take my... food photos in the future. While I was at the thrift store, a dear sweet little lady, well into her late 80's, asked me if I could tell her the price of something because her eyes were failing her.

She handed me this tiny little tea cup and saucer. She was just so fascinated by it and could not stop looking at it. She kept saying how lovely it was and how she so loved it and could not get over how delicate and fragile it was. She was even near giggling at one point as she picked it up and admired it.

I carefully took the cup and saucer from her frail hands and looked on the bottom and saw that it was marked $8.00. I told her that the markings on the bottom said it was by an artist named Allyn Nelson and that it was made of bone china and from England. She said, "Oh my, no wonder it is so beautiful." She thanked me for my help and with her shaking hands she took it and put it back on the shelf never taking her eyes off it. She stood there for another minute admiring it and finally let out a big sigh and walked away.

I immediately knew I had to buy it for her. She had touched my heart profoundly in those few moments. I knew she loved it and wanted it, but for whatever reason she decided against it. Maybe because her money was now meant for her medications or for food and housing and not for things that brought her pleasure anymore.

Just a few seconds later, I saw a woman approach her and tell her it was almost time to go and they began walking toward the front of the store, but still stopping to look at things on the way out. So I hurried up to the counter as I looked over my shoulder to make sure they were still there. With cup and saucer in hand, I told the clerk I was in a hurry and what my intentions were, so she quickly rang it up and wrapped it carefully.

I then went to search for this dear lady so that I could present my gift to her. I was so excited about seeing her face when I told her it was hers to enjoy. But the beautiful lady was gone. I searched the entire store looking for her and could not find her anywhere. Two of the cashiers even helped me search the store but we couldn't find her.

What was so odd was that in order to leave the store, she would have had to walk right by us. No one saw her leave. It had taken me all of 3 minutes to pay for it and get it wrapped and now I stood there thinking maybe these two store employees thought I might be delusional. I stood there shaking my head and wondering how it could be that no one saw her leave. Actually no one saw her come in either and if I didn't have the actual cup and saucer here in my possession, I might be thinking it was all a dream.

I am still shaking my head about it all today. I know it was real because I have this little cup and saucer to tell me it really happened. Maybe it was a reminder that I can do more to help those who can't enjoy the simple things in life anymore. I'm not sure what the significance our brief meeting had...all I know is that she instantly touched my heart, opened my eyes, and made me want to do more.

I felt so terrible all day yesterday....I wanted so much for her to have it. Here is a photo of the little tea cup and saucer that will forever remind me of this beautiful little lady and every other precious senior out there that still wants pretty things but just can't afford them. I have now made a new promise to myself that I will do my part to make sure that more can afford the simple little things that might bring them such joy.


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♥ Perfect Scrambled Eggs and Ham

I don't know about you but I am one of those people who can eat breakfast any time of day or night! It's easy to make and always so good. Here's what I call a great meal...perfect scrambled eggs that are so light and fluffy, oven baked bacon and angel cream biscuits!

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

6 eggs
1/4 cup evaporated milk (or half and half)
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

Crack the eggs into a glass mixing bowl and whisk them until they are blended well. Add milk and whisk until blended and light yellow. The more you whisk, the lighter and fluffier your eggs will be. Melt butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour in your eggs and let them begin to set for a few seconds. Then push the edge of the egg into the center of the pan, while tilting the pan to allow the still liquid egg to flow in underneath. Repeat with the other edges, until there's no liquid left. Turn off your heat and continue moving egg around in pan until it is not allow them to brown or overcook or break them up too finely. Keep most of the egg in large pieces. Transfer to warm plate.

Oven Baked Bacon

Lay bacon strips flat on a wire rack above a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 400 degrees until bacon is the way you like it! Remove from the oven and dispose of foil for little or no mess! Delish!

Angel Cream Biscuits

1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1 and 1/4 cups whipping (heavy) cream

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in just enough whipping cream so dough leaves side of bowl and forms a ball. (If dough is too dry, mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons more whipping cream.)

Place dough on lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times, sprinkling with flour if dough is too sticky. Pat dough to 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve hot.

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♥ Chicken Parmesan

One of my Dad's favorite meals and I enjoy cooking it for him when he comes for dinner. Tender, moist chicken breast battered in light and crispy panko and fried until just brown. Then topped with a homemade Marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese. He just left with some extra to take home for the weekend. Click on photo for drool mode!

Chicken Parmesan

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups panko
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices

Cut each chicken breast in half horizontally. Place 1 piece between 2 sheets of plastic wrap pound to an even thickness about 1/2 inch thick with a meat pounder or the bottom of a pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper; set aside.

Place the flour in a wide, shallow dish, season well with salt and pepper, and mix; set aside. Combine the milk and eggs in another shallow dish and mix until the eggs are broken up; set aside. Mix the panko and Parmesan together in a third shallow dish.

To bread the chicken, dredge a breast in the flour mixture and shake off the excess. Next, coat it in the egg mixture and let the excess drip off. Finally, press it into the panko mixture until it’s well coated. Set the breaded chicken on a large plate or baking sheet and repeat with the remaining breasts.

Line a clean baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan) and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

While frying the last batch of chicken, bring the tomato sauce to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once warmed through, stir in 1/4 cup of the basil and reserve the rest for garnish. Remove the paper towels and place the chicken directly on the baking sheet. Divide the mozzarella slices evenly among the breasts and place under the high heat of the broiler until the cheese is golden and bubbly. (Rotate the baking sheet as needed for even browning.) Keep an eye on it as the cheese can burn quickly.

To serve, add your favorite pasta. Then ladle 1/2 cup of your favorite marinara sauce onto each plate, top with chicken, and sprinkle with the remaining basil.

Simple Tomato Sauce:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

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