Saturday, July 18, 2015

Just wanted to stop by and say.....

I have been so busy today working on the magazine and doing my best to make this the best issue yet. After all, It's the first issue to start a whole new year of new recipes and I want to make sure you like each issue better than the last. So I have been at it now for 12 straight hours today and have finally loaded all the photographs in. Now comes the hard part...writing all those recipes! That will take another two weeks and bring me right down to the wire as it does every month.
That's not why I stopped by. I wanted to stop for a minute and say something to those of you who have already renewed your subscription. I want you to know that you touch my heart in the most profound way. I am so deeply humbled each time I see any of your names come up in my email when you renew your subscription for another year. I am amazed at the kindness and generosity of the people here and feel loved and surrounded by friends.
For those of you who have renewed, you need to know that I am flattered beyond words. You couldn't compliment me more than when you invest in my work. It says you love my cooking, my recipes, my photography, and my writings about my life with my Mom. To know you trust me and believe in me and stand by me means more than you know.
Oh I know it's not just about a cooking magazine. It's not just about food and pictures and stories. It goes way beyond that. Let's face it, there are thousands of bloggers out there putting out recipes. You didn't invest in the magazine just for that reason. You're not here just for that. Your renewal says so much more....
It says, I want to walk with you on this journey to help others. I want to be a part of the efforts you take to make sure that those who have lost their way can find hope again. It says, I'm right there with you in spirit and I am part of the reason you can take food and warm clothes to those that are hungry and poor.
It says you want to share my joy as I watch fur babies walk happily out the front door of these horrible kill shelters, instead of never walking out because no one got there in time. It says you are with me in mind and spirit and want to continue to walk this journey with me.
So thank you my friends. Thank you from my heart. Who knew I would find such good people in my life. Who knew God would bless me with such incredible friendship. Our paths have crossed for a reason.
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Chicken Parmesan Bake over Farfalle

What a quick and easy recipe for a classic meal.  Now and then I take shortcuts just like everyone else when it comes to making good food.  This time I used ready made store bought ingredients to put together a quick delicious meal.  Your friends and family will never know!

Chicken Parmesan Bake over Farfalle 

4 Tyson Chicken Breaded, chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella cheese
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 26 ounce jar of Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion Sauce
1 pound farfalle or bow tie pasta

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Open sauce and heat in a saucepan over low heat until heated through.

Lay chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 according to package instructions. Once chicken is golden brown, remove from oven.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese on each breast and then cover with a slice of mozzarella cheese.

Prepare pasta as directed on package and drain well.  Pour hot pasta onto plate or serving bowl and ladle warm sauce over it.  Place chicken breast on top of pasta and serve.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Incredible Steak and Shrimp Fajitas

I am such a fan of Mexican food. But I am not always a fan of all the red and green peppers that go into making them.  So sometimes I just like to make my own and keep it simple. Making your own fajitas is simple and you can add whatever you like.  These are my favorite surf and turf fajitas. Tender marinated shrimp sauteed with onions and steak.  Oh My! 

Steak and Shrimp Fajitas

Shrimp Marinade

12 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and de-veined with tails removed
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 pinch of red pepper flakes

Mix ingredients together in a large plastic resealable bag and add shrimp. Refrigerate for about one hour.

Steak Marinade

1 lb flank steak (or flat iron or skirt steak)
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup cilantro

Combine all marinade ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag. Add steak and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.  Remove steak from bag and shake off excess marinade. Next, slice the steak across the grain in thin strips. 


1 medium onion, sliced
2 tbsp  olive oil, divided   
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese 
8  (6 to 8 inch) flour tortillas
sour cream
1 cup  refrigerated guacamole
2  limes, cut into 6 wedges
Red, green, yellow bell peppers and other vegetables (optional)

In a heavy skillet set on medium high heat, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil until it starts to smoke lightly.  Add onions and saute until caramelized.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Add steak and saute for  3 to 4 minutes or until medium-rare and well browned on surface. Remove steak to a plate and tent with aluminum foil.  If you would like to add peppers or any other vegetable, now would be the time to do it.  Just saute them until tender in the same skillet once steak has been removed.

In a large skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Remove shrimp from bag and discard marinade.  Saut√© shrimp until they turn pink and tender and heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove shrimp to plate and cover with foil.

To build fajitas, first warm them in a skillet over very low heat. Divide meat and shrimp mixture equally among tortillas.  Add sauteed vegetables, sour cream, guacamole, fresh salsa, shredded lettuce, cheese, or whatever filling you like.  Fold tortillas in half and enjoy! 

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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♥ Chicken Enchiladas In Cheese Sauce

I love Mexican food!  Well, I love my version of it. I am not into hot and spicy but I do like a little kick.  I prefer more mild and creamy like my recipe for these delicious Chicken Enchiladas. Don't get me wrong. You can add all the spices and peppers you want to make them just the way you like them.  

Chicken Enchiladas in Cheese Sauce

10 soft corn or flour taco shells, medium size
1 can of whole kernel yellow corn, drained
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
3 cups Mexican cheese blend, shredded and divided
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese for sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 can (4 ounces) green chilies, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
3 cups white rice, cooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking pan by lightly coating with non stick spray. Set aside. Make white rice and spread out on the bottom of baking dish.

In a sauce pan on medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in flour and cook one minute while stirring constantly to make sure it doesn't burn. Add chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 cup Monterey Jack and sour cream and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Pour about 1/2 cup of cheese sauce on top of rice and spread evenly with rubber spatula.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, corn, 1 cup of the Mexican blend cheese, red pepper, chilies, and salt. Spread one large heaping spoonful onto one end of the taco shell. Roll up the shell and place it seam side down on top of rice and cheese sauce. Repeat for remaining shells.

Next pour remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas making sure to cover in between and the sides of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining 2 cups of cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Then turn on the broiler to high and broil quickly to melt and brown the cheese making sure to keep an eye on it. Remove from oven and serve.

 Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Deep Fried Artichoke and Rice Croquettes

My friend Lori and her daughter absolutely love these little croquettes.  So whenever they plan to visit I make sure they are on the menu!  Serve them as delicious little "pop in your mouth" appetizers or as a main course for lunch or dinner.  A wonderful light and crispy panko coating surrounds an artichoke and rice mixture. Break them open to reveal a melting cheesy center. Yum!

Deep Fried Artichoke and Rice Croquettes

1 (14.75 oz.) jar CARA MIA Artichoke Hearts in Water, drained and diced (or use their marinated hearts)
1 cup uncooked rice
½ cup dry bread crumbs
½ onion diced fine
4 ounces Gruyere or Fontina cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped


¼ cup Flour
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup Panko
Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying

Prepare rice by combining 1 cup rice with 2 cups of water. set aside to slightly cool.

In a large bowl add the rice, artichokes, breadcrumbs, onion, salt and pepper and parsley, cheese and egg. Mix until all ingredients are combined. 

Dampen your hands and shape mixture into balls and set aside.  
Beat the egg in shallow bowl and set aside. In two similar sized bowls make a dredging station by filling one bowl with flour and the other with Panko.

Heat oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees. Roll the rice balls in flour then egg and then panko. Next, using a spoon gently place balls in hot oil and fry for about 3-4 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Do not crowd.  You may have to fry in batches. Place on paper towels to remove excess oil. 

Photography is the property of and Copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

Cara Mia Marinated Artichoke Hearts can be found at select grocery stores nationwide either in the produce section or the canned vegetable aisle and online at

Star Fine Foods now has a promo code for all Welcome Home fans that will give you a 10% discount on anything you order online. Just enter WELCOMEHOME10 at checkout!

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Southern Orange Buttermilk Cake

Just imagine how wonderful this orange cake smells when it is baking in the oven.  And it tastes even better!  Truly an old southern recipe from my Mom's collection.
Southern Orange Buttermilk Cake
1 cup butter, softened
2-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoons orange zest

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended.

In a another large bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Begin adding your dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time mixing after each until smooth.  Finally, stir in the vanilla extract and orange zest.
Spray the inside of a 10- or 12-cup very well making sure not to miss any spots. Pour in the batter and set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for about 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
Whisk together the confectioners sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Add more orange juice, a few drops at a time, if needed to make the icing pourable. When the icing is smooth, drizzle all of it over cooled cake.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Raspberry Peach Pound Cake

I love this recipe for my Mom's pound cake and she loved it too. I've made this with fresh or frozen peaches. And I always add that little hint of another berry to add to the color and the flavor. You can make it with strawberries, raspberries and even blueberries to go along with the peaches and all of them were delicious. Just remember if you decide to use frozen fruit, don't allow it to thaw first. Just chop it up and add it to your batter frozen. I made this for you this past weekend....hope you like it!

 Raspberry Peach Pound Cake

2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 ½ sticks butter, diced, at room temperature
1 cup peaches, chopped
1 cup raspberries, washed and chopped fine. If using frozen, do not thaw first.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Then line with parchment paper leaving excess paper over each side to be able to use as handles for lifting cake out later.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. With a mixer, blend the eggs, butter and sugar and then mix in the dry ingredients until just blended. Then fold the diced peaches and chopped berries into the batter and pour into pan. Bake for 1-1¼ hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Transfer to a cake rack to cool and then life cake with parchment paper handles and allow to cool completely before adding icing or drizzle.


4 tablespoons butter
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Melt butter in a saucepan or microwave. Sift 2 cups of powdered sugar into a medium size bowl. Add the melted butter to the powdered sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and beat until smooth and creamy with a hand mixer. Add a little more cream if you need to. Stir in vanilla and then drizzle over cooled cake.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

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Saturday, July 04, 2015

No Bake Coconut Peanut Butter Balls

Years ago I used to make these  energy balls or fiber balls and they were a pretty good snack. The recipe would call for just peanut butter and oats and a little bit of honey. Not really a dessert but a great snack between meals and for that protein boost.  Then one day I discovered I could make them even better with some sweetened shredded coconut mixed in, They were really good. But something was always missing. So one day, I decided to add in some mini chocolate chips and I said, "Now we're talkin."  Finally, last  weekend, I went one step beyond incredible when I added some mini M & M's! Now I have the recipe just like I want it! Perfect! 

No Bake Coconut Peanut Butter Balls 

3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup dry milk (powdered milk)
1/2 cup creamy Peanut Butter ( or chunky if you like nuts)
1/2 cup Honey
2-3 tablespoons Mini Chocolate Chips
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons of mini plain M & M's
1/4 cup shredded coconut or coconuts flakes
Dash of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix until everything is mixed together very well. Using about one heaping tablespoon of the mixture, roll into small balls about the size of a ping pong ball. 

 If dough is too moist to roll, add more dry milk. If it is too dry, add more peanut butter or honey. Store in the refrigerator in a air tight container. Makes about 18-20 balls.

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