Tuesday, July 30, 2013

♥ Garlic Shrimp Over Pasta

 Can you tell I bought too many shrimp this past weekend? It was on sale at my local grocery store, But shrimp is so versatile and you can use it in so many ways. This dish is one of my favorites One of my favorites. It's simple, fresh an...d soooo good! It's one of those dishes that gets better the second day! I think you'll love this one.....click on the photo for drool mode!

Garlic Shrimp Over Pasta

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 lb medium to large shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 cups farfalle pasta, uncooked
Salt & pepper
Dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add a few drops of oil to prevent sticking. Cook pasta until al dente and drain well but reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta water and set aside.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the minced garlic and shallots for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add the shrimp to the skillet along with 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Saute and stir constantly until shrimp have turned pink. Add the pasta to the skillet and mix until cheese melts and blends in well. Using a vegetable peeler, shave sheets of Parmesan cheese onto pasta and serve immediately.


Photography ©Welcome Home

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♥ Strawberry Glazed Cheese Cake

For this little delightful dessert, I baked a vanilla cake just to keep  it simple. I sliced the layer in half and between each layer I spread a generous amount of no-bake cheesecake filling. Then I topped it with some fresh whole strawberries.  To top it all off,  I poured on a strawberry glaze. It's incredible!

Strawberry Glazed Cheese Cake

1 super moist vanilla cake mix
1 egg
butter, melted

Follow the directions on any super moist vanilla cake mix you choose (I like Duncan Hines), however, replace the oil in the recipe and use melted butter instead. Replace the water in the recipe and use whole milk instead. Add one more large egg than the directions call for, and then follow the directions for baking. Once cake has finished baking, allow it to cool completely.

No Bake Cheese Cake Filling

24 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
2/3 cups plus 6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In the electric mixer on high speed whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form and set aside. Then in another bowl, on medium speed, mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until light and creamy. Fold in the whipped cream.

Strawberry Glaze

2 pounds (32 oz.) fresh strawberries, stems removed
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn starch

Combine the water, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large saucepan on high heat. Stir thoroughly while bringing it up to a boil. After the mixture begins to

boil, reduce the heat to low, and allow to cook for up to ten minutes, occasionally stirring throughout. As the strawberries soften, use a wooden spoon to break them in pieces to release the flavors from the strawberries.

Remove from heat. Using a strainer, pour liquid into a bowl ensuring to press as much juices through strainer with wooden spoon. Dispose any of the solid strawberries leftover from mixture, and return liquid to pan on low heat. Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Then, pour into the simmering pan of strawberry juice. Increase heat to high, and continue to whisk the mixture until it thickens into a glaze (approximately 3-5 minutes). Remove glaze from heat, and pour into separate bowl to cool down. Once the glaze has reached room temperature, place in refrigerator until it is chilled.

Cake Assembly

Make cake as directed and cool completely. With long serrated knife, slice one cake layer in half lengthwise to make it evenly flat on top. Generously pour and spread cheese cake filling on top of bottom layer and top with second layer. With flat spatula spread more filling all around the sides and top. Place fresh strawberries on top of cake and top with strawberry glaze. If desired, apply cake crumbs to the sides of cake for an added garnish. 

Photography ©Welcome Home

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Giant Ornamental onion plant

 From my garden...these are Alium also known as Giant Ornamental onions. They are definitely a show stopper in the garden with their purple softball-sized flowers and strong stems that reach 3- 4 feet tall.

Ornamental onions perform beautifully, blooming late spring through early summer; they add a different, spectacular architectural dimension to the garden and they are also wonderful for cut and dried flowers.
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♥ Fried Cornbread

Fried Cornbread (Also Called Hoe Cakes)

1 ½ cups of Yellow Self-Rising Cornmeal
2/3 cups Buttermilk
1 Egg, whisked
½ teaspoon of salt
... Oil for frying
Place the cornmeal in a medium sized mixing bowl. Crack the egg, whisk it with a fork and add it into a well formed in the center of the cornmeal. Add the buttermilk. Add the salt. Stir the mixture just enough to incorporate the ingredients. If the batter is dry, add a little more buttermilk as needed for a smooth consistency.

Test your oil for proper frying temperature. Drop a spoonful of the batter into your skillet. Adjust the amount depending on the size you desire. If necessary, use the back of the spoon to spread the batter out. You want thin hoe cakes. Watch for the edges to brown then, carefully flip the hoe cake over. Fry until the hoe cake is golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil, place on folded paper towels and let drain.

Repeat the process. You need two hoe cakes for each sandwich. Serve warm and enjoy.


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

If you can't see anything beautiful about yourself....

get a better mirror,
look a little closer,
stare a little longer....
Because there's something inside you that made you keep trying, dispite everyone who told you to quit. You build a cast around your broken heart, and signed it yourself. It says.... "They were wrong."

The author is Shane Koyczan. The poem is called, " To This Day." It is powerful. Watch it:
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♥ Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding

What did I whip up in the kitchen yesterday? I finally got rid of all those peaches...in a good way! Love this recipe from my Mom's collection. Click on photo for full drool mode...you might need a napkin for this one! It's as good as it lo...oks!

Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding

For the pudding:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 cups 1-inch cubes of day-old bread
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (you can use canned or frozen)
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the sauce:

1 stick butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, heavy cream and milk and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the bread is soaking, heat 3 tablespoons of softened butter in a large skillet. Add the peaches and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peaches are golden brown around the edges and softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg and whisk well to combine. Stir the egg mixture into the bread mixture and fold to combine. Add the warm peaches and fold gently but thoroughly to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Melt three tablespoons of butter in microwave and drizzle the melted butter on top. Bake until golden brown, puffed, and slightly firm when pressed in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack until just warm, about 20 minutes.

Almond Cream Sauce

In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, add a stick of butter and cook until melted. In a small bowl combine the cream, sugar, and egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the cream mixture to the melted butter and stir well. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and add the almond extract. Transfer sauce to a small heatproof bowl and serve hot or warm over warm bread pudding.

Photography ©Welcome Home
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♥ Brown Sugar and Apple Glazed Ham slices

Ham and Egg Biscuits

Instead of making a whole ham, I sometimes buy the slices and make my own glaze before baking. This time, I made the ham and some cream biscuits and added a fried egg on top....oh so good!
Brown Sugar and Apple Glazed Ham slices

2 fully cooked thick ham slices
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dash of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil and boil for about 2 minutes Place ham on rack in a foil-lined roasting pan. Brush with hot glaze. Bake at 325° for about 10 minutes. With tongs, flip ham slices over and brush glaze on other side. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve any leftover glaze on the side.

Cream Biscuits

3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in a microwave dish, and set aside. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little.

Turn dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds. Dip the top of each dough round into the melted butter and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes and serve hot.

Photography ©Welcome Home
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♥ Sunny Side Up Eggs and Homemade Biscuits

This was Sunday morning breakfast yesterday. We had eggs, brown sugar ham, homefries and buttermilk biscuits. I like eggs anyway you choose to cook them. I usually fry mine over medium, or scramble them, but yesterday I decided to make them... Sunny Side up. Here's how you make the perfect sunny side up eggs.

 Sunny Side Up Eggs and Homemade Biscuits

Add butter to a heated skillet set to medium high. When the butter starts to sizzle, crack your eggs on a flat surface and add them to the pan. Slip the egg into a saucer first if you have trouble keeping the yolks from breaking. Salt and pepper the eggs and cover the skillet. Turn down heat to medium. Leave covered until egg white around yolks is opaque, usually 3-5 minutes. Uncover and carefully run spatula under egg, and serve on plate.


Butter Milk Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, very cold
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 450. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal. Add the buttermilk and mix just until combined. At this point if it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.

Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet touching each other. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until they are a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom. Do not over bake.

Hints: Your dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits. So work quickly. If you use a food processor the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of over mixing. You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly. Don't roll these with a rolling pin or you will have tough biscuits.

You can also make them up and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, drop them into a ziploc bag or container for up to one month. Then just bake frozen biscuits as you need them in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

Photography ©Welcome Home

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Every Woman Should Know

A set of screwdrivers,
A cordless drill, and
A black lace bra...

One friend who
Always makes her
And one
Who lets her cry...

A good piece of furniture
Not previously owned by
Anyone else in her family...

Eight matching plates,
Wine glasses with stems,
And a recipe for a meal that will
Make her guests feel honored.

A feeling of control over Her destiny...

How to fall in love Without losing herself...

How to quite a job
break up with a lover
and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

When to try harder
and when to walk away

That she can't change
The length of her calves,
The width of her hips, or
The nature of her parents...

That her childhood
May not have been Perfect
But; It's over.

What she would and Wouldn't
Do for love or money...

How to live alone...
Even if She doesn't like it...

Whom she can trust, Whom she can't,
And why she shouldn't Take it personally...

Where to go...
Be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
Or a charming inn in the woods...
When her soul needs soothing...

What she can and what she can't accomplish
In a day...
A month...
And a year...
~Pamela Redmond Satran
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

♥ Brussel Sprouts in Butter

Brussel Sprouts in Butter

Who out there loves Brussel sprouts? I snapped this photo and then ate this entire bowl of them tonight. I didn't leave room for the steak and other vegetables I
put up in the last post

These were boiled in water with a teaspoon of sug...ar added. i did a slow boil until they were tender then I drained them...added butter and salt and a little pepper. Yum!
I also grill them, roast them, steam them. Sometimes I add bacon and onions and garllic...sometimes I just like them with butter! My Mom used to tell me I called them baby cabbage balls when I was really little. LOVE my brussel sprouts! Do you?
Photography Copyright Welcome Home

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♥ Roast Chicken

Moist and Tender Roast Chicken

5-7 pound roasting chicken
Kosher salt
black pepper
1 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 whole head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons butter, melted for outside rub
1/2 stick of butter for cavity
1 large yellow onion, cut in half
2 cups chicken broth or use water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Generously add salt and pepper to inside of cavity. Then add thyme, rosemary garlic, onion. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. I use my hands to make sure every part of the outside of the chicken is covered in butter. Tie the two legs together with kitchen string Place chicken on rack in large roasting pan. Pour chicken broth or water under rack but not touching any part of chicken. This way the chicken steams and stays moist, yet the skin gets crisp.

Roast the chicken for 90 minutes to 2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.... Or when the chicken registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove to platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve.

Photography ©Welcome Home
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

♥ Apple Swirl Streusel Bread

I used Gala apples for this one however, you can use Braeburn, Pink lady or Honey Crisp apples. Don't forget to click on photo for drool mode!

Apple Swirl Streusel Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups apple, peeled and diced
2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

With a mixer, beat sugar, and eggs until creamy. Mix in lemon juice and the vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt and then gradually stir it into the flour mixture until it is just moistened. Next fold in apples with a rubber spatula and scrape down sides of bowl.

In a small bowl add Streusel topping ingredients. I usually cut them in with two knives until blended and crumbly. Pour half the batter into a standard greased 8 x 5 loaf pan. Sprinkle half of streusel topping over batter. Repeat layers for 2nd half of batter and ending with rest of topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Let cool completely.


1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar(powdered sugar)
1-2 tablespoons milk

Mix powdered sugar with a little milk at a time to get the consistency you like best. Drizzle over cooled bread.

  Photography ©Welcome Home

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Welcome Home Cooking....Recipes From My Mother's Collection

It is an exciting day for me as I have just released my first cookbook. It's called....
"Welcome Home Cooking....Recipes From My Mother's Collection."
 It's a beautiful 196 page full color high quality cookbook with a complete recipe to match each photo.

"There's nothing like a home cooked meal made with love that can spark old memories of our childhood. Welcome Home Cooking is a collection of recipes left to me by my Mom, who now lives in Heaven. It is filled with down-home country recipes that a Southern Mom would teach her daughter. Recipes that have created memories that will never fade. Like her wonderful chicken and dumplings and her delicious homemade cornbread she used to make in her old cast iron skillet. Or, her Sunday after church suppers of Buttermilk Fried Chicken and her incredible Peach Cobbler, fresh out of the oven. I've put together a cookbook for those who yearn for those memories of good old fashioned, uncomplicated home-cooked southern food. The kind of food that memories are made of; and it comes to you straight from my Mother's recipe box. I hope you enjoy some of my Mom's favorite recipes and that you'll make some memories of your own."

It's available today in ebook format for your desktop or laptop (Windows and Mac) and for your iPad, iPod Touch and iPhones for only $24.99. You simply click on the link below to find it. Then you purchase it with a credit card or PayPal and you will receive an immediate email with a link that you can use to download the book to any or ALL of these devices. If you have an Apple Device, you will need to download the free ibooks app first. If you want to also download it to your computer, I suggest you download the free app for Calibre or any other ebook application.

That's all there is to it. You will have your new book in just a matter of minutes. Why an ebook? First it is the most economical way to purchase a book. It's convenient in that you can carry your book wherever you go. My ebook is on all my devices....it's on my phone when I go to the grocery store and need the ingredients to make something for dinner. It's on my iPad for when I know I have a long wait in the doctor's office or when I go to the beach and I want to read a book. And it's on my computer when I want to print something off to take to the kitchen to make a recipe instead of getting my beautiful hardback all dirty and smudgy. Ebooks are the way to go today.

The print book is also available today, however as I projected earlier this year before it was published, it is very pricey and you might find it outside your budget. Unfortunately I have no control over the Publisher's set price but I know that usually when I give much of the proceeds to a charity, they usually charge more. With this book, as well as all my books, I support No Kill Shelters across America in their effort to save the lives of healthy dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting for their forever homes.

"Welcome Home Cooking" is also being released today in a soft cover, hardback with a dust jacket, and a hardback image wrap book without a jacket. This book is bookstore quality and meant for those who are sticklers for top notch binding, gorgeous paper, and professional printing. This is not just an average cookbook. It is a limited first edition book and the production team at this publishing house produces each high quality book as they are
ordered, which doesn't always lend itself to affordability.

But you be the judge. If you'd like to preview a few pages of the book before deciding to purchase, go to this link and click on the book and it will show you about 29 random pages. Then if you like what you see, feel free to order it and they will start production of YOUR book right away and ship it to you before the end of the month. The publisher is offering Welcome Home fans a coupon that will give you 25% off the purchase of any print book. That's on Print books only. See below

To purchase Welcome Home Cooking in ebook format for $24.99 today go to: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/412757-welcome-home-cooking

To Preview Welcome Home Cooking and purchase it in softcover or hardback go to: http://www.blurb.com/b/4446916-welcome-home-cooking

For Print Books: Enter the code in all caps SAVE25BLURB and receive 25% off your purchase if used before July 31st.

Hope you like it!

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Sunday, July 07, 2013

♥ Roasted Sockeye Salmon

Roasted Sockeye Salmon

1 2-3 lb Sockeye Salmon Fillet (or any size you choose)
tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
lemons for garnish

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel. your hands rub the fillet with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and fresh minced garlic. Turn down oven heat to 400 and roast for about 15 minutes (depending on thickness of fillet) or until salmon flakes easily in the middle or thickest part. If you want to use a thermometer, it should register 125 degrees in the center of the fillet. Remove from oven and transfer to platter or cutting. Garnish with lemons.
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♥ Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup milk

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round baking pans. Set aside. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Set aside.

Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until creamy. Add 1 egg at a time; beat well after each addition. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition just until mixed.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 29 to 34 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edge of cake by running knife around inside edge. Carefully remove cake from pan; cool completely.

Pastry Cream Filling:

1 1/4 cups whole milk or light cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. Sift the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.

Meanwhile in a saucepan combine the milk and split vanilla bean on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.) Remove vanilla bean, scrape out seeds, and add the seeds to the egg mixture.

Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes very thick and it is hard to stir. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until cold.

Once filling is cold, Remove plastic wrap and with spatula spread half on on bottom cake layer. Top with second layer. Using a long angled spatula smooth filling around edges so that it is flush with the cake. Your cake is now ready for frosting.

Thick Chocolate Ganche:

12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream

Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow ganache to completely cool and set up. The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set. When you are able to spoon the ganache and it can hold its texture, it is ready for piping.

Pipe ganache around the top of the cake in a circular motion to resemble a rose as shown in the photo or be creative and make your own design.

Photographs are the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home
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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

♥ Purple Cone Flower

I shot this with my little Samsung MB250 as I do most of my close ups of food and flowers. It is one single flower in my spread of Purple Cone Flowers also know as Echinacea. Who doesn't love the gracefulness of this flower. I love them at each stage of blooming from the time they bud to the point where all the petals start to point downward. Mine are about 3 feet tall and blend well in the back of my garden.
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♥ Balloon Flower

love this little flower....I know I say that about all the flowers in my garden, but I love this one for different reasons. It's called the Balloon Flower because the buds like little inflated balloons before they pop... open to reveal a beautiful bell shaped flower. Click on the photo for full effect.

It is a popular perennial that comes in shades of blue, white, purple, and pink and while the one shown is the dwarf variety, the common Balloon Flower can reach up to 3 feet in height. Flowers appear in mid-summer and last for at least a month before fading, although proper dead-heading can prolong the blooming season somewhat.

Photograpy ©Welcome Home
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Monday, July 01, 2013


Biscuits just like your Mom or Grand mom used to make! Some recipes should never change!

Butter Milk Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, very cold
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 450. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal. Add the buttermilk and mix just until combined. At this point if it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.

Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet touching each other. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until they are a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom. Do not over bake.

Hints: Your dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits. So work quickly. If you use a food processor the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of over mixing. You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly. Don't roll these with a rolling pin or you will have tough biscuits.

You can also make them up and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, drop them into a ziploc bag or container for up to one month. Then just bake frozen biscuits as you need them in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

Photography ©Welcome Home
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

♥ Chicken and Dumplings

Of all the recipes my Mom taught me to make when I was young, my favorite is Chicken and Dumplings. It is the ultimate comfort food with the tender, moist chicken and fluffly biscuit-like drop dumplings that melt in your mouth. Of course my... Mom make her own handmade dough for the dumplings and I take a short cut and use Bisquick to get the same exact flavors in less time.  

Chicken and Dumplings

1 boiler chicken cut up
2 cups Bisquick baking mix (or make your own...see below)
2/3 cup whole milk
salt and pepper to taste

In Dutch oven or large wide pot, over medium heat, add chicken and cover with water. Heat to boiling and then reduce heat and cook for about 90 minutes until chicken is fork tender. Remove chicken from broth and set aside to cool.

Mix 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, to broth bring to slow boil. Meanwhile remove skin and bones from chicken and shred or cut into bite sized pieces. Add to soup mixture. Stir to combine and cover.

Mix the 2 cups of Bisquick and 2/3 cups of milk together to form a soft dough. Then drop spoonfuls of dough into the broth and bring it down to a simmer. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes and then cover and steam for 10-15 minutes or until dumplings are done in the middle. Season with salt and lots of pepper and sprinkle with a little parsley.


5 Cups All Purpose Flour (I used unbleached)
3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Cup Shortening (or cold butter cut into pieces)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cut in the shortening. You can use a pastry blender, however, I find it easier to just use my hands to get it mixed in really well.
Store in an airtight container. Use the same as you would use Bisquick in a recipe. If you use cold butter in the recipe, you will need to keep this in the refrigerator. If you use shortening you can store it in your pantry.

Photo and recipe ©Welcome Home
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

♥ Strawberry Short Cake Croissants

I whipped up this easy dessert at the last minute and wanted to share it with you. It is heavenly. I buy my croissants at Costco because they are so rich and buttery and they made this even better than I imagined. 

 Strawberry Short Cake Croissants

4 large croissants
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons honey

Fresh strawberry Syrup

1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, and let stand 30 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until warm.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix together honey and butter and brush on tops of croissants. Warm croissants in oven for 5 minutes or until warm. Remove from oven and set aside.

Sweetened Whipped Cream

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Beat cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Split warm Croissants in half lengthwise. Spread strawberry syrup on each half. Arrange strawberries on bottom half of croissant. Top with fresh whipped cream (I filled a plastic storage bag with whipped cream and snipped off the corner and piped mine in for a prettier presentation). Cover with top half of croissant. You can top with more whipped cream and fresh strawberry syrup if desired. Enjoy!

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home
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Saturday, June 22, 2013



Her heart is like her garden,
Old fashioned, quaint and sweet,
A wealth of beautiful blossoms,
And there a quiet retreat.

Sweet violets are in hiding,
We know as we pass by,
And lilies, pure as angel thoughts,
Are opening somewhere nigh.

Forget-me-nots there linger,
To full perfection brought,
And a bloom of purple pansies
In many a tender thought.

And in that quiet garden -
The garden of her heart -
Songbirds are always singing
Their songs of cheer apart.

And from it floats forever,
overcoming grief and strife,
Sweet as the breath of roses blown,
the fragrance of her life.

~ Alice E. Allen

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

♥ Baked Lemon Chicken

Baked Lemon Chicken

4 large bone-in, skin on chicken breasts, about 3 pounds
2 large lemons, zested, plus the juice of 2 whole lemons (or use 1 whole orange for zest and juice)
2 limes, 1 zested, both juiced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly cracked black pepper

Put the chicken in a large non-metalic bowl. Put the lemon (or orange) and lime zests in a small bowl and add the juices. Whisk in the olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and a generous grind of black pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss until well coated. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes but no longer than 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. With tongs, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and arrange them on the rack leaving space between each piece. Drizzle a small spoonful of the marinade over the top of each chicken piece; season well with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when meat is pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Cool slightly before serving or let stand until room temperature before refrigerating for later use.

Photo and recipe ©Welcome Home
Photography by Ramela Jimenez
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♥ Simple French Toast

Simple French Toast

4 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
8 thick slices of bread, better if slightly stale
1 tablesoon butter for frying
Real maple syrup, warmed

Whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla together until well blended. Pour into a shallow bowl. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, allowing bread to soak up some of the mixture. Melt some butter in a large skillet or flat griddle on medium high heat. Add as many slices of bread onto the skillet as will fit at a time. Sprinkle with cinnamon and fry until brown on both sides, flipping the bread when necessary. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.

Photo/recipe ©Welcome Home
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There is a story they tell of two dogs. Both dogs, at separate times, walk into the same room. One dog comes out wagging his tail while the other comes out growling.

A woman watching this goes into the room to see what could possibly ma...ke one dog so happy and the other dog so mad. To her surprise she finds a room full of mirrors. The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him. The angry dog saw only angry growling dogs looking back at him. Meaning: What you see in the world around you is a reflection of who you are.

My Mom used to tell me, "Always show the world your happiness and not your pain... because people gather in sunshine and hide from the rain." 

  "People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." ~Mother Teresa

For as far back as I can remember, my Mom taught me to "Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God, will come to know God because they know you." I intend to do just that.
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♥ Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

9 inches pie shells, baked
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cupwhite sugar
1/3 cupall-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoonsalt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoonsbutter
1 teaspoonvanilla
3 bananas

Have baked 9-inch pie shell ready. In a large saucepan, scald the milk. In another saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in the scalded milk. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened. Cover and, stirring occasionally, cook for two minutes longer.

In a small bowl, have the 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten, ready; stir a small amount of the hot mixture into beaten yolks; when thoroughly combined, stir yolks into hot mixture. Cook for one minute longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla. Let sit until lukewarm. When ready to pour, slice bananas and scatter in pie shell; pour warm mixture over bananas.

If desired, make a meringue (you'll have 3 leftover egg whites) to top the pie, or just let the pie cool until serving.

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♥ Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I love this recipe and have been making it for years. I experiment with all kinds of cheeses depending on what I'm in the mood for. I like this combo best....

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8... inch
1/2 lb Bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the potatoes, cream, milk, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and keep simmering for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender.

Remove and discard bay leaves. Transfer 1/3 of potato mixture to 3-quart gratin dish and sprinkle with 1/3 of all three cheeses and the bacon. Add another 1/3 layer of both and then the rest. End up sprinkling the top with a light layer of parmesan cheese.

Bake until the cream has thickened and is bubbling around the sides and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe and Photo ©Welcome Home
Photography Ramela Jimenez
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2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
3 tablespoon Soy Sauce (I used Kikoman)
2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 T Canola oil
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Few drops of hot sauce, optional (I used Tabasco)
Red and green bell peppers, sliced
Onion, sliced
Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Soak 4 barbecue sticks in water for about 1 hour. Line baking pan with aluminum foil, pour 1 cup of water over on top and put a cooling rack over it. Cut chicken breasts into about 2 x 2 inch pieces and marinate in soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, powdered ginger, garlic powder, ground black pepper, liquid smoke and sesame oil, hot sauce for at least 2 hrs. Cut bell peppers and onion the same size as chicken. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Thread chicken in between with peppers and onion on barbecue sticks.

Bake chicken for 15 minutes, brush with barbecue sauce and turn and bake for another 15 minutes. Put oven to broil and cook chicken 3-5 minutes longer. Brush chicken with more barbecue sauce as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Copyright ©Welcome Home 
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Here's a wonderful treat for you! A big glass of cold milk and a couple of these will bring sweet dreams! Yum!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
... 1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.
Stir together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add butter, eggs, vanilla, orange extract and orange zest. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven. Spread the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting over completely cooled brownies. Cut into squares

Creamsicle Cream Cheese Icing

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons softened butter
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
½ tsp. orange extract

In a large bowl, blend cream cheese with butter until smooth with a hand-held electric mixer. Add in 3 cups confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time, orange zest, orange juice and orange extract whip until well blended.

copyright ©Welcome Home.
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Sometimes we need to go where we can hear that screen door slam, and bring back memories of Mom calling us at supper time. Sometimes we need to wish on a falling star and lay in the grass and make shapes out of clouds. Sometimes we need to ...climb a tall tree, and skip rocks across a pond and catch fireflies in a jar. Sometimes we need to remember when life was simple and innocent. Sometimes we just need to be a kid again.


Painting by Jim Daly
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♥ Jumbo Stuffed Shells in Meat Sauce

Who doesn't love Italian Food? Especially stuffed shells. They are so easy to make and so full of flavor. You can make your own homemade meat sauce with this recipe or use a store bought sauce. I thought I would never use a store bought sau...ce until I started using Ragu Chunky Tomato Garlic and Onion about 2 years ago. I have never gone back to making homemade since. I love the texture...with chunks of sweet Roma tomatoes and sweet onions and lots of garlic. Good enough for me!

Jumbo Stuffed Shells in Meat Sauce

1 box large Pasta shells
1 lb. ground round
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 (26 ounce) Ragu Chunky Tomato Garlic and Onion Sauce (or make your own)
15 oz. whole milk Ricotta cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
5 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained by squeezing on paper towels
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Boil Pasta Shells as per directions on box and cook to al dente. Drain and let it cool until easy to handle.

Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add beef and saute until brown. Add salt and pepper and oregano. Pour in Ragu sauce then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through.

In a big bowl, mix the Ricotta cheese with the egg, mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper. Squeeze out all moisture from thawed spinach by wrapping in a paper towel or clean dish towel. Add to ricotta mixture and stir until blended. Stuff cooked shells with ricotta combination and lay flat with open side facing up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about 2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Add stuffed shells on top of sauce, still with open side facing upwards. set Spoon the rest of the meat sauce on top.

Completely cover top with mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.

Recipe and Photo ©Welcome Home
Photography Ramela Jimenez
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♥ 5 Minute Fudge

Forgive me....but 5 of the 6 voices in my head are saying, "eat the chocolate!" The best fudge I have ever made was from a recipe I picked up on the cooking channel. I thought something so easy and so quick to make can't be all that good.......WRONG! This is delish!

5 Minute Fudge

1 and 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (6 ounce) package of milk chocolate chips
16 large marshmallows
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine sugar, milk, butter and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in chocolate chips; cook until melted. Remove from heat; stir in marshmallows, vanilla and nuts. Mix well. Pour into a 8-inch pan. Cool cut into squares.

Yep...that simple!
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♥ Southern Chocolate Cake

So I have been looking at this recipe of my Mom's Southern Chocolate Cake for a long time and wondering if I had the nerve to tackle such a beauty. Her instructions on the card were pretty straight forward so I decided, why not. I can remem...ber her adding a big spoon or two of mayonnaise to it and some buttermilk and how incredibly moist this cake was. Today I decided to go for it. Here is the result...just as good as my Mom used to make! Only one question...Who's got Milk?

Southern Chocolate Cake

For the Cake

6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pans
8 oz. (1-3/4 cups) all-purpose flour; more for the pans
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk, preferably low fat, at room temperature
1/4 cup mayonnaise


1 lb. semisweet chocolate (preferably 58% cacao), finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened

Make the Frosting first. Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream directly over the chocolate and let it sit without stirring for 5 minutes. Using a whisk, stir in the center of the mixture in a small, tight circular motion until fully combined. Add the butter and stir until it is fully incorporated. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the chocolate mixture and set aside at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Make the Cake

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8 x 2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment paper round. Butter the parchment paper and dust with flour. Tap out any excess.

With a mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder onto a piece of parchment paper. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting. Using the parchment as a chute, add one-quarter of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add about 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and mix on low speed until incorporated. Continue to alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk, mixing until incorporated after each addition and stopping to scrape the bowl and beater as necessary. Using a whisk, fold the mayonnaise into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean and the sides of the cake have begun to pull away from the pan slightly, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the pans and parchment. Cool the cakes completely.

With a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Put one of the base layers on a cake plate and tuck strips of waxed paper under the cake to keep the plate clean while icing the cake.
Top the cake with about 1/3 cup of the chocolate frosting, spreading it evenly over the top. Add another cake layer, top with frosting, and repeat until the last layer is in place.

Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes to seal in any crumbs. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Remove the waxed paper. I patted some shaved chocolate curls all around the sides of the cake for garnish.

Recipe and photo ©Welcome Home
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

♥ Shrimp & Broccoli in White Sauce

Shrimp & Broccoli in White Sauce

5 tablespoons of butter or margarine
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup white wine, like Chardonnay ( or use chicken broth)
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 lb large shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
2 cups of broccoli florets
1 tablespoon cornstarch for thickening
Salt & pepper to taste
pinch of Garlic powder

In a saute pan over Medium heat melt 1 tablespoon of the butter, add chopped onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the water and 1/4 cup of the white wine or chicken broth into a small sauce pan. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, throw in the rice, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.

When the onions and garlic are done, mix them into the rice with a fork, fluffing up the rice as you do this. Keep covered until you are ready to serve. Taste for salt & pepper, season as needed.

In a large saute pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter over Medium-High heat, add another 1/4 cup of chicken broth or wine. Throw in the shrimp and broccoli and saute until shrimp is just pink in color. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder then sprinkle cornstarch over it all, giving it a good mix. Sauce should bubble and become slightly thick as the shrimp heats through and the dish’s flavor come together.

To serve, place a large spoonful of rice on the plate, cover with the shrimp & broccoli, then drizzle remaining pan sauce over each plate.

Recipe and photo copyright ©Welcome Home
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