Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I've tried something very different with my pumpkin pie this year. I love pumpkin pie. I don't have it other times during the year, so it was important to me not to ruin the integrity of the taste . . . and I didn't! I'm posting this today just in case you want to try it along with me. Here's the recipe.

1-15 ounce can of pumpkin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
6 ounces evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
3 eggs, beaten

PREHEAT the oven to 350 degrees

Pour the contents of pumpkin into a mixer bowl, and add the sugar and spices. Whip to thoroughly blend. In a 4 cup measuring cup, drop the eggs in one at a time and whisk, add the evaporated milk and heavy cream and blend to thoroughly mix. Pour the liquid into the pumpkin mixture and beat to incorporate.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish and transfer to the oven.
Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

Cool and return to refrigerator overnight so it nice and cold. If you don't do this step and mix it with the whipped cream while it's warm, I can promise you, you'll have soup.

Shape the pie crust into the pie plate and bake according to manufacturers directions.

3 cups cold heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

Whip together until semi-firm peaks form.

In your mixer bowl, spoon all the custard into the bowl and mix until it breaks up. Add 3/4 of the already whipped cream and beat on low until blended.

 Scoop the mixture into the already baked pie shell, spreading until even.

Add remaining whipped cream over top, sprinkle with chopped nuts and you're ready to serve.

8-10 servings

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

Sunday, November 22, 2015


3 lbs eye round roast
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp granulated onion
salt and pepper
4 large carrots, sliced
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2 tbls Crisco
32 ounces beef or chicken stock

As you can see, I do not use the traditional chuck roast for my pot roast. The reason is because I like my pot roast to slice more like roast beef than stringy dried pulled beef. However, if that's your choice of cut of beef, by all means. It's not going to ruin the taste. It's more the texture thing.

Okay, trim the fat off the roast leaving a thin layer on. Using a gallon-sized plastic bag, add the flour and seasonings and shake to blend the seasonings. Place the roast inside and shake to coat the entire roast. Save the bag if you have left over flour. You'll use it to thicken the gravy.

In a five quart heavy pot, melt the Crisco just to brown your roast on all sides--ends too. Once you've seared the meat and you have a nice crusty coating that has been browned, you've sealed in the juices.

Leave the roast right in the pot and add the 32 ounces of stock and allow to simmer for 1 1/2 hours--that's a half hour per pound.

When the roast is done, I remove the meat to a serving platter, cover until you're ready to slice it after you've made the gravy. Pour the juice, onions, carrots right into the pan into the blender to emulsify for the gravy. Do this in batches because juice will be hot. Add two tablespoons of the left over flour, cover and whirl around to thicken. Check to see if the gravy is thick enough. If not, add another tablespoon of flour. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Now, you're ready for slicing.

Slice the meat, and serve on a platter.

I serve this roast with mashed potatoes, vegetables--typically string beans, cranberry sauce and lots of gravy. This is my absolute favorite fall meal.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tres Leche Cake!

My husband is celebrating his birthday tomorrow, and although he likes angel food cake for his birthday, I decided to make Tres Leche cake instead because this year's theme is his favorite, Mexican food, hence, this recipe. He tasted this cake at a local Mexican restaurant and liked it, but the dessert didn't even come close to being as moist and rich as this recipe. This is a very easy recipe that is done in steps, each taking very little time to do.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces granulated sugar

6 3/4 ounces cake flour (no, not a cake mix)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

5 whole eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


12 ounce can evaporated milk (whole)
14 ounces can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half-n-half


2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 degrees

First things first. Measure out the cake flour and rest of dry ingredients in a separate bowl, blending together. Let sit.

Using the paddle on your mixer, add the butter and sugar and whip until fluffy on medium speed. If all you own is a hand mixer, that's fine too. Now, add 1 whole egg at a time, whipping after each addition. Add the vanilla and blend. Remove bowl from mixer and add the dry ingredients a little at a time, whisking with a wire whisk after each addition until you have a smooth batter with air bubbles. Coat a 13 X 9 rectangular baking dish with spray and add the batter.

Transfer the cake pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The top will be a golden brown. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes or until internal temp is 200.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the 3 milks until thoroughly combined. Poke mucho holes in the top of the cake and pour the milk mixture over top. At first, it will look like you've flooded it, but trust me, the cake will absorb the moisture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

This is what it looks like after you pour on the three-milk liquid
This is what it looks like an hour later

I used this 10 X 2 round only because my 13 X 9 rectangular baking dish was still at the party we attended the other night. Either will work.

Whip the frosting and cover top of cake.Return to refrigerator. This cake is served right from the baking vessel you baked it in. Sprinkle each serving with cinnamon and get ready for the compliments--this recipe is another one of those OMGs, because every bite just melts in your mouth with moisture and deliciousness.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Today, I'm giving you a recipe for herbed baked salmon. This dish is so delicious, you'll be making it for years to come. It's quick and easy and definitely a hit with everyone!

Dishing Up Romance

2 bagels, crumbled
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 pound salmon cut into filets
salt and pepper to taste


Break the bagels into bite-sized pieces and place in a food processor to crumble using the pulse setting. I've used sun-dried tomato bagels, plain bagels and cheese bagels. Add the minced garlic, thyme, parmesan cheese and zest and pulse until mixed. Pour the melted butter over top and pulse again until completely blended. Set aside.

Prepare your filets by removing any skin, season with salt and pepper and place in a greased baking dish.

Pour the bread crumbs over top of the fish, distributing evenly until fish is completely covered. Bake for approximately 20 minutes and stuffing top is golden. Do not overcook because it will dry out the salmon.

Serve with a side vegetable and a huge glass of pinot noir. Yes, this is one fish you can enjoy with a red glass of wine.


Monday, November 2, 2015


One of our favorite dinners is Caprese. I make this about once a month and serve it with garlic bread. It's easy, fast and so delicious! Here's how I do it.

8 red peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
Extra Virgin olive oil
Pesto, prepared or homemade
Tomato slices
Buffalo mozzarella, sliced, one ball per person

Another drizzle of olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Let's get started!

Cut the peppers in half.Clean out the white membrane and seeds

Place them cut side down on a sheet pan and place under the broiler, until they  . . .

look like this!
Remove from oven and cover with syran wrap. The heat and condensation will lift the burnt skin and make for easier peeling. The burnt part will have a smoky taste.

30 minutes later, remove the cover and peel the skin off.

After peeling, place the skinned pepper down on a cutting board, slice into strips and place in a bowl with 2 cloves of minced garlic, add salt and olive oil, stir and allow the ingredients to marry. 

Slice the buffalo mozzarella. And before you ask, no, it's not made with buffalo. LOL That's just the style they use to make it.  I buy mine at Trader Joes. It comes in water. Don't buy the mozzarella wrapped in plastic alone--it won't have the right consistency for this dish. Slice the tomatoes.
Now, start to put the dish together in layers. I use a pesto instead of just using the basil leaves and place a dab on each mozzarella slice. Layer until you use one round mozzarella starting with a tomato slice first.
Sorry this picture is sideways, but iPhone doesn't have a rotate feature.
I add the roasted peppers on each side of the log, but you can place them in between the slices if you'd prefer. Once the roasted peppers are placed, run two beads of olive oil down the center and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Serve with garlic bread. Here's a picture of the finished product that won't last very long. It's sure to become a favorite of yours too!

Buon Appetit!

Sunday, October 18, 2015


(Recipe from Dishing up Romance) 

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup peanut butter - creamy
5 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup finely chopped dates
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (approx. 40-45 cookies)
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar

Place the first three ingredients in a medium sized saucepan, and using medium low heat, stir to incorporate. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa, again stirring to blend.

In a large bowl add everything except the confectioners sugar. Pour the chocolate mixture over top and work with your fingers to form into a pliable dough. If the dough is too dry, you can add no more than 2 tablespoons of hot water, one tablespoon at a time, and blend.

Form the dough into 30 one-inch sized balls, then roll each ball into the confectioners' sugar twice to coat generously.  Instead of using the confectioners' sugar, you can also roll these balls into cocoa, cinnamon-sugar or shredded coconut.  Place each ball into a mini cupcake liner and place on a serving platter.

These Snowballs are a big hit at every party.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Sandra Leesmith
Today, instead of a recipe, I'm giving you a recipe for love. Yup, you heard me right! My friend, Sandra Leesmith has a brand new release titled Love's Dream Song.


Autumn O’Neill came to Arizona on an archeological dig hoping to find out what happened to the ancient Anasazi tribes, but her true desire was to discover her own Navajo roots. It didn’t help that the dig was located on Jess Barron’s ranch and that the handsome rancher scorned his own native American heritage and believed Autumn was part of a drug ring operating on his land. When the dig is compromised and danger threatens their lives, Jess and Autumn can no longer fight their attraction for each other. They both come to understand that finding answers means listening to the voices of their ancestors and the longings of their hearts.

Link to Amazon:Click here to purchase

Author bio: link for my website: 
Sandra Leesmith <> writes romance designed to warm the heart and make you smile. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. A retired teacher, she lives in Arizona with her husband. During the hot summers she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome, where she enjoys the outdoors and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project.