Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pecan Pancakes

I love the Pecan Pancakes at Crackle Barrel. I love the crispy edges and that wonderful flavor of toasted pecans. I decided one day to make my own and this my friends is right on the mark for the identical recipe for Cracker Barrel Pecan Pancakes. You'll love them!

Pecan Pancakes

2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 cups Buttermilk
1 Egg.
1 cup Chopped Pecans

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, Add in the buttermilk and combine, Add in the egg and mix until just combined. Pour baking mix onto a hot griddle, add chopped pecans to the batter prior to flipping the pancakes. Flip the pancakes when the bottoms are golden brown. Enjoy with warm syrup.

*** Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Five Cheese Quiche

Quiche anyone? I love making these for breakfast or lunch. They are just perfect when a friend comes to visit. They're easy to make and the perfect breakfast that stays warm until your guests are seated and ready to eat. I make 6 inch mini quiches that are perfect for just two people to share. But I have written the recipe for a 9 inch quiche. 

Creamy Cheese Quiche

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large eggs
1 pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup Swiss cheese shredded
3/4 cup Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup goat cheese, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon garlic minced
1 (9 inch) pre-baked pastry shell (see recipe below)

1 cup of ham, chopped (optional)

Whisk together whipping cream, eggs and dash each salt and pepper. Combine shredded Swiss, jack and mozzarella cheeses in small bowl. In another bowl mix goat cheese, cream cheese, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste until smooth.

Scatter shredded cheeses over bottom of pastry and add chopped ham. Spoon goat cheese mixture in small dollops over top. Slowly pour egg mixture over all. Place tart pans on baking sheet to make handling easier and catch any overflow. Bake at 375 degrees until top is lightly browned, about 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes before cutting.

Buttery Quiche Pastry Shell

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons shortening, cut into small pieces
4 1/2 tablespoons cold ice water

Place the flour, salt, butter and shortening in a large bowl.
Rub the flour together until it has broken into pieces the size of oatmeal flakes. Don't over-blend. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, add the ice water, a little at a time, mixing until it just starts to hold together.

Press the dough into a roughly shaped ball. Knead it briefly into a fairly smooth ball, then sprinkle lightly with flour and wrap in a sheet of waxed paper. Chill 1-2 hours in the refrigerator. When ready to roll, sprinkle work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll the pastry out into a circle 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick.

Butter a 9 inch quiche pan. Place the crust in the pan and press gently to line the inside. Crimp edges. Line the pastry with greased parchment paper and fill with pie weights. I use uncooked beans or rice.

Bake in the middle level of a preheated 400 degree oven for about 8-9 minutes or until the pastry seems set. Remove foil and beans, prick bottom of the pastry with a fork, and return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before filling.

*** Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Those of us from Maryland just love their seafood and that is why you will find so many recipes for every kind of seafood you can imagine here at Welcome Home.  I love every fresh fish, shrimp, lobster, crab and fried oysters when they are cooked to perfection!   And that's what I bring you today my friends. Delicious breaded fried oysters.

Now fried oysters should never have a fishy smell or taste.  If they do, it means they are not fresh.  So make sure you know where they come from and when they are caught.  I only buy my fresh seafood from Costco  because I know that it's fresh.

Fried oysters 

1 pint shucked oysters
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Salt, black pepper and Old Bay Seasoning to taste
Oil for frying

Drain the oysters and pat dry with paper towels.

In a shallow bowl, mix together the egg and buttermilk.  In another bowl add the cornstarch and in the last bowl, mix together the panko, salt, pepper, and Old Bay.

In batches, dip the oysters into the cornstarch, then into the egg mixture, and then into the panko. Place breaded oysters on a large plate or sheet. Repeat until all the oysters are coated.

In a large, heavy skillet heat 1/2 inch of oil on medium heat until it starts to shimmer....not to the smoking point, but just to the shimmering point. Cook the oysters for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once, until the fried oysters are light golden brown.

Depending on the size of your skillet, you will probably have to do in several batches. Drain on paper towels.

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Scallops Al Forno

This is probably one of the easiest recipes in my collection of seafood recipes, yet it ranks way up there as being one of the most delicious! Don't let the fancy Italian name fool you into thinking it is difficult.  Al Forno just means baked in the oven.

 I used to have to chop and mince garlic and then add other ingredients to give this dish the flavor I wanted. But now I have it all in one bottle of Star Fine Foods Garlic Infused Olive Oil.  I love this oil and it is just perfect for this recipe. Oh My Goodness this is so good.

Scallops Al Forno

1 pat of butter
1 pound of fresh sea scallops
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of Star Fine Foods Garlic Infused Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Use the butter to grease a small casserole dish large enough to hold the scallops.  Pat scallops with paper towel and add salt and pepper. Set aside.

Mix the panko and parsley with the olive oil until it just sticks together to make a nice crumb coating.  Add more oil or more breadcrumbs as needed.  Sprinkle some of the bread crumbs on the bottom of the greased casserole.

Arrange the scallops in the casserole dish and then completely cover them with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until scallops are opaque and topping is golden brown.

You may also put the scallops under the broiler for a few seconds to get even more golden. But be careful the bread crumbs will burn quickly if you are not watching.

You can buy Star Fine Foods Roasted Garlic Olive Oil at:  Walmart, Raley’s, Savemart and online at

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

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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Monday, October 13, 2014

Coconut Cookies

One of my favorite cookies! Soft and chewy with just enough coconut to make them wonderful! These are so good just out of the oven with a cold glass of milk!  Your friends and family will love these! 

Coconut Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually blend in the flour mixture, then mix in the coconut. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto an parchment lined cookie sheet. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted. Cool on wire racks

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Pecan Toffee Bars with Ganache

These are decadent and delightful and a big hit around here with my friends and family. Rich and wonderful and easy to make!  This is a keeper my friends.

Pecan Toffee Bars with Ganache 

Non stick spray
1 pound refrigerated Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
2 (1.4-ounces) chocolate-toffee candy bars, coarsely chopped, ( I use Skor Candy bars)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup toasted pecans
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 7 by 10 3/4-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Lay a 6 by 18-inch piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing the excess paper to overhang the sides. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the cookie dough, 1/2 of the chopped chocolate-toffee candy pieces and vanilla extract. Using damp fingers, gently press the dough into the prepared pan. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and then pour in condensed milk. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Continue stirring over the heat until mixture becomes thick and a light brown caramel color, about 15 minutes. Pour the caramel over the cooked shortbread and spread evenly using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle top of caramel with chopped, toasted pecans and chopped toffee bar. Set aside to cool.

Place the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Cool the chocolate mixture for 10 minutes. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until the mixture is smooth. Using a spatula, spread the a thick layer of the chocolate mixture over the cooled crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the chocolate layer is firm. Peel off the parchment paper and cut into 1 1/2 by 2-inch bars. Serve at room temperature.

Note: To toast pecans, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Pan seared Rockfish (AKA Striped Bass)

When you think of Maryland and food, the first thing that comes to mind is usually seafood because of all our treasures from the Chesapeake Bay. Usually the first thing that comes to mind is our incredible Maryland Crab cakes!  We are known all over the world for our crab cakes! 

But there is another treasure of the Bay and the top recreational sport fish in the bay.  The Rockfish, also known as Striped Bass or "Striper" as we call it, is the official fish of the State of Maryland.  It is an amazing fish that is so buttery and so delicious and so popular here that at one time it was so "overfished" that they had to put a moratorium on it here in Maryland to replenish the Bay with this wonderful fish. It was a sad time for the people here in Maryland to wait the 5 years until the controls were lifted.  

Rockfish is a fish everyone should try.  It is a hearty white fish is similar to halibut in taste and texture, with a little hint of swordfish flavor. Because of the durability of this fish, any cooking method will be good from frying to grilling. 

The most important part about preparing  this fresh fish is to keep it simple. In this recipe,  rockfish fillets are seasoned with nothing more than salt, black pepper and Old Bay seasoning. You want to retain their delicate texture and innate moistness with a quick, high-heat sizzling in a skillet to keep the meat nice and juicy.The fillets are  seared in a hot pan until crisp on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside. Rockfish is a local delicacy that everyone should try. 

Pan seared Rockfish (AKA Striped Bass)

4 center cut rockfish fillets; about 2 ½ inches thick
2 tablespoons olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper and Old Bay. Remove any noticeable pin bones from fish if you come across any.  Then dredge your fillet and shake off excess.  Melt your butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet; set to medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to ripple, not smokey, carefully add the fillets.  Sear the fillets on the first side without touching them for about 3-4 minutes. You want to leave it alone so that a crust can form to hold the fillet together when you flip it to the other side.  Cook the fillets with the skin on to ensure that they don't fall apart in the pan. Fry the skin-on side first, then flip the fillets and cook the skinless side.  Next, carefully flip and sear on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes. The fish is cooked when it is opaque in the center and flakes nicely.  Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired.

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Fried Egg Sandwich

Blogging is always full of surprises. I can make a recipe that takes over an hour to prep and cook and then to capture the essence of the dish I can spend another hour photographing it. 

A blogger never knows how it will be received or what to expect, which makes this work always interesting. For example, this past Saturday, while in my usual hurry to run out the door to do some errands, I threw an egg in a pan and fried it. Then I slapped it on two pieces of toast and took one single picture of it and posted it. I asked a question that brought in nearly 400 comments!

So I will pose the same question on it again my friends...."Would you eat this with a knife and fork or would you pick it up and let it run down your arms? How do you eat your fried egg sandwich?" 

And for those of you who do not like a runny yolk...oh you don't know what you're missing! 

Fried Egg Sandwich

1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter
bread of your choice

Heat butter in skillet on medium heat. Crack egg in the skillet and cook on one side until white is set. Flip over and cook on other side just until set and then serve on buttered toast. Oh yum...I could eat these any time of the day or night!

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Potato Latkes

Latkes are a traditional Jewish pancake made with shredded potatoes and eggs. One recommended way to serve latkes is to top them with applesauce.

Potato Latkes

1 package Shredded Hash Browns
2 eggs
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

In large bowl stir together Potatoes, eggs, flour, green onion, pepper, salt, and baking powder. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. 

Cook 4 latkes at a time: spread 1/4 cup potato mixture for each latke into 3 1/2-inch circles in skillet. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, turning once. Repeat with remaining potato mixture and add oil to skillet as needed. Season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Recipe adapted from 
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Thursday, October 09, 2014

Baked Cheddar Eggs & Potatoes

I love eggs any time of day or night!  I love this simple recipe! 

Baked Cheddar Eggs & Potatoes 

3 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 pounds red potatoes, chopped

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 eggs
1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400°. In a 10-in. ovenproof skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add potatoes; cook and stir until golden brown and tender. Stir in parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. With back of a spoon, make four wells in the potato mixture; break two eggs into each well.

Bake 9-11 minutes or until egg whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 1 minute or until cheese is melted.
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