Thursday, June 11, 2015

Important information to All Subscribers to the Welcome Home Kitchen Online Magazine

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lemon Raspberry Cream Buttermilk Cake

The next time you need to bake for a special occasion, try this beautiful layer cake. It's so pretty and has the most irresistible filling and frosting.  It's a bright and sunny cake where lemon is the star but raspberry compliments it perfectly.

Lemon Raspberry Cream Buttermilk Cake

Buttermilk Cake

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk

Butter and spray 3 (8 inch) round cake pans. Then line them all with parchment paper and butter and spray the parchment paper. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and one egg at a time making sure you mix after each one while scraping the bowl.

Turn the mixer to low speed and add the buttermilk (make sure you shake it well first) and mix until just combined. Don't worry that it might look curdled. Next, add flour mixture...a third at a time until batter is well blended. Spread batter evenly in cake pans, then rap pans on counter a few times to get rid of air bubbles. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of pans. invert onto rack and peel off parchment paper, then cool completely.

♥ Lemon Cream Filling

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice    
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1 inch pieces                   
pinch salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a double boiler or a large heat proof bowl that is sitting over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering hot water, combine lemon juice, zest, eggs, salt, and sugar and continually whisk until mixture has thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and take off stove then strain it through a fine mesh strainer and let cool for a couple minutes. Once cooled, transfer it to a blender and add butter pieces a little at a time. With a hand mixer, beat in the heavy cream until stiff peaks form and then fold into the lemon cream. Set aside to use for filling your cake.

Whipped Raspberry Cream Filling 

1 (12 ounce) bag of frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Using a fork, coarsely mash raspberries in a medium bowl. Reserve a few for garnishing your cake. With your mixer, beat the cream and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar until firm peaks form. Then fold in the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream. Set aside to use for filling the cake.

Whipped Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting

4 sticks butter, cut into cubes and left at room temp                     
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons of whole milk
2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla)
a pinch or two of salt

With a mixer, whip butter for about 8 minutes. Butter will become pale and creamy. Then add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for about another minute. Finally, whip on medium speed for 6 minutes. The frosting will be very light and creamy.

Assemble Cake 

Trim the tops of the cake layers with a serrated knife to make an even tops. Place your bottom layer on a cake plate or cake stand. With a spatula, spread your whipped raspberry cream filling on the bottom layer. Use all of the filling. Then place the second layer on top. With a spatula, spread the lemon cream filling on this layer, again use all the filling. Top with the last cake layer and place in the refrigerator to firm up a bit. Finally, frost the cake with the butter cream frosting and garnish with fresh or frozen raspberries and white chocolate curls.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home. 
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Monday, June 08, 2015

Broccoli Bacon Pasta Salad

I love pasta salads all year round and this is one of my favorites! Creamy dressing with bacon and diced tomatoes with broccoli and a few pecans for crunch!  What more can I say? 

Broccoli Bacon Pasta Salad

8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

1 pound pasta such as Rotini pasta
1 small head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
2 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or you can use 2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half)...
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in salted water as directed on package. While pasta is cooking, make your dressing. Whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider, honey, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy.
Just before pasta is done, add broccoli to pot and let it blanch for no more than a minute. Then drain both pasta and broccoli and run cold water over both in your colander until they are cool.
Add bacon and pecans and stir until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving add your tomatoes and add more salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Creamy Pasta Salad

Summer is here and that means lots of cold salads to take to your cookouts and picnics. And what is a picnic or barbecue without a favorite pasta salad?  This happens to be one of my favorite and it always gets great reviews.....or should I say, I always take home an empty bowl after every gathering! 
Creamy Pasta Salad

3 cups multi-color rotini pasta, cooked and drained 
1 cup Star Fine Foods Farmer's Market Spanish Ripe Medium Pitted Olives

1 cup mayonnaise 
1 (1 ounce) packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 cup milk (more if needed)

1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, chopped fine 
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese 
salt and pepper to taste 

Prepare pasta according to directions. It is important not to overcook your pasta. Rinse under cold water and drain very well.  Set aside to cool while you prepare the dressing.

In a large bowl, mix mayonnaise, ranch dressing mix and garlic powder. Stir in milk until smooth. Add the sweet red pepper and the carrot and mix well.  Slice olives into halves and add to salad dressing. 

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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

The STAR Farmer’s Market Olive pouches are available at Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, Albertsons (Southern California), Safeway (Northern California) and Savemart stores 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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Tuna Pasta Salad

How old must this recipe be? I think we've all had it growing up because it was both economical and delicious. It's versatile too because you can add different things to it. Sometimes I boil some eggs and chop them up in this salad for a different taste. I have added a little cheddar cheese at times. I've served it warm and chilled. But this one I kept pretty basic and for lunch today I'm am having it with some buttery club crackers. So good.

Tuna Pasta Salad

1 (12 oz) can tuna, drained (regular or albacore)
1 box (12 oz) small shell pasta
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise (add more or less to make it creamy)
1 teaspoon of fresh dill weed
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. 

In a large bowl place the sliced onions, celery, peas, drained pasta, and drained tuna. In a separate bowl, mix the mayo and dill weed. Stir into pasta mixture. Serve warm or chilled.

Optional ingredients: Chopped hard boiled eggs, shredded or cubed cheddar cheese, green pepper, tomatoes, etc.

Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Friday, June 05, 2015

Strawberry and Cream Eclairs

I was always under the impression that eclairs were very difficult to make.  Then a few years ago I watched Martha Stewart make them on her show and I couldn't believe how simple they were to make.  She whipped up the pastry using only butter, water, flour and eggs. Then she piped it them onto a cookie sheet and baked them. What you get is a  little light pastry shell that you can fill with just about anything.  I have been making them ever since!  This time I filled them with Bavarian Custard and some ripe strawberries and topped them with delicious whipped cream. Oh My! 

Strawberry and Cream Eclairs 

1 cup water 
1/2 cup butter 
Pinch of salt 
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
5 eggs, room temperature 
1 tablespoon water 
honey and nuts optional 
powdered sugar for dusting

​In a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over high heat, bring water, butter, and salt just to boil. Remove from heat and add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture comes away from sides of pan, making a smooth ball. 

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook flour mixture, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until coating begins to form on bottom of pan. Turn into large bowl; stir for 30 seconds. Make well in middle of dough and, using electric mixer, beat in 4 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny and holds its shape when lifted.​ 

Place dough into piping bag fitted with 3/4-inch wide tip. On parchment-lined baking sheets, pipe fingers of dough about 4 inches long and 1 wide. In bowl beat together remaining egg and 1 tbsp water; brush each bun lightly, being careful not to drip down sides.​ 

Bake in 425 degree oven for 12 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 5 minutes longer or until golden brown. With sharp knife, pierce side of each eclair twice. Turn oven off and let eclairs stand for 5 minutes, then remove and cool on rack.​ 

Slice the eclairs lengthwise. Brush tops lightly with honey and sprinkle with nuts if desired. Add filling and dust with powdered sugar just before serving.​

Pastry Cream​

2 cups half-and-half (half whole milk/half cream) 
½ cup sugar Pinch salt 
5 large egg yolks  
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces 
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy. Next whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick.​ 

When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half into the yolk mixture to temper. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 2 hours.

Whipped Cream​

1 1/4 cup heavy cream 
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar​ 

Chill your mixing bowl and beaters by placing them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before using. When ready, remove the bowl and beaters and pour in the cream and sugar. Using a mixer, begin by beating the cream on low speed for about 30 seconds and then increase speed to high, continuing to beat until soft peaks form. Add your vanilla and beat until blended. Serve right away or refrigerate.​ 


Once the eclairs have cooled completely, slice off the tops with a serrated knife, making sure to leave the tops and bottoms of each eclair together so that they match up. Fill the bottom half of each eclair with a layer of pastry cream. Then line your strawberries on top. Next, Pipe on a layer of the whipped cream. Place the top of each eclair back on, and dust with powdered sugar. 

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Scrambled Egg and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham Sandwich

This was breakfast this morning....simple and delicious! 

Scrambled Egg and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham Sandwich

4 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.

Brown Sugar and Apple Glazed Ham slices

1 fully cooked thick ham slice
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple juice
1/2 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.

Assemble sandwich by toasting and buttering bread first. Then add some ham and eggs and you have a great sandwich good for any time of day or night!

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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Homemade Tomato Soup with Bacon

Does everyone remember tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches when we were little? It was always a cafeteria favorite at my school. So the other day I got a craving for a bowl...but I wanted a more than just plain tomato soup. So I set out to make a grown up tomato soup....I think you'll love this one! Rich and thick and creamy with specs of  bacon and absolutely delicious
 Homemade Tomato Soup with Bacon

3 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces bacon, diced small
1 quart chicken stock, divided
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
About 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Drain the diced tomatoes, reserve the juices. Spread the tomatoes, garlic, onion on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil – about 1/4 cup. Roast for about 20 minutes until caramelized.

Next, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the bacon and saute until golden brown and crispy. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of fat but drain the rest.

Add the roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion. Add in the reserved tomato juice and 2/3 of the chicken stock and stir. Then add the bay leaf and butter to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Next add the fresh basil leaves. Next pour soup into blender or use an immersion blender and puree the soup until smooth. If you want the soup to be thinner, add more chicken stock. Taste and adjust seasoning. Last, stir in cream and make a grilled cheese sandwich and enjoy! 

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Barbecue Cheeseburger Sliders

I adore these little sliders.  I mean there's nothing to them, but I just love them. I love the sweetness of the roll and the beefy flavor of the burger. I love everything about them. It all happened one day when I decided to grill some burgers and I spotted some potato dinner rolls in the pantry. I ended up making sliders instead.  Then I saw the Sweet Baby Rays in the fridge and some shredded cheddar cheese and I knew I had a hit.  Now I can't live without them! 

Barbecue Cheeseburger Sliders

1 pound ground Chuck 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons of heavy cream or evaporated milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
8 small dinner rolls or potato rolls

1 cup Sweet Baby Rays Brown Sugar and Hickory Sauce

In a medium bowl, mix ground chuck with Worcestershire sauce, cream, salt and pepper and form mixture into sliders. Make a depression in each burger with your thumb so they continue to lay flat while cooking.  Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

Split your potato dinner rolls in half and put them, cut side down, on the grill. Toast for a minute or two.  Spread the inside of each roll with a little butter and set place on a platter. Cover lightly with foil to keep them warm.
Place the burgers on the grill and grill for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of each burger and continue to grill for an additional 2 to 3 minutes depending on how you like them cooked. Remove to a platter. Add one burger to each roll and top with Sweet Baby Ray's.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Soft Shell Crab Sandwich

For all my true seafood lovers out there...I bring you Soft shell Crabs today! Oh My goodness! If you have never tried them you have no idea what you're missing!

Soft-shells are actually just blue crabs that have shed their shells in a massive warm-weather growth spurt. If they stay in the water, they grow new, larger shells, but when they’re harvested, that process comes to a halt and the crabs stay soft and edible. 

Soft-shell crabs are sold live when in season and we just love them here in Maryland. What people don’t know is that it’s actually really easy to make at home. It’s incredible in summer food—a classic.  I am convinced that Maryland restaurants cook the best soft-shell crabs in the world - after all, we invented the recipe. Crispy, crunchy and beautifully browned, with sweet succulent crab meat inside.

Soft Shell Crabs
4 soft shell crabs

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup four

½ cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

½ teaspoon pepper

After the crabs have been cleaned soak them in the buttermilk for about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, mix together the flour, panko, Old Bay, and pepper in a platter for dredging.  Heat the butter for frying.

Remove the crabs from the buttermilk and allow the excess to drain off then dredge in the flour mixture.  Make sure they’re coated very well.  Add each crab to the butter and cook until the shell looks pink, and the coating is nicely browned.  If cooking more than 1 at a time, don’t overcrowd the pan. When nice and golden brown, transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

Serve on a sandwich with Lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise!  YUM! 

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