Bubble Tea

Buy large tapioca pearls at any Asian Grocery. Slowly add 1/2 cup pearls to pot with 5 cups of boiling water. Stir lightly until all pearls float to top of water surface. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes. Keeping cover on, turn off heat and keep on hot burner to simmer another 2-3 minutes. Remove lid (pearls will “pull down” to the bottom of the pot.) Scoop pearls from pot and shock in a bowl of ice water for 20 SECONDS. Place in prepared sweet tea of your choosing. I like mango tea lightly sweetened with honey. Make sure you have a fat straw, so you can suck pearls with tea. Enjoy!


Kefir Heart Cookies



Modified from my Grandma Preston’s recipe, these Valentines are soft inside with a slightly crunchy, yet tender “crust”. Since she fed hungry farmers on a daily basis, she had simple yet pleasing recipes for a crowd.

1 1/2 C sugar.

1 C shortening (she used Crisco).

1 C kefir (can also use milk).

1 egg.

1 t baking soda.

1 t baking powder.

1 t nutmeg.

1/2 t salt.

3 C flour (plus extra for rolling out) Cream sugar & shortening. Add egg & milk. Combine with dry ingredients.

Prepare surface with flour (to roll out cookies). Sprinkle with extra flour and roll out dough to about 1/8th inch thick.

Cut out your cookies. Place on ungreased jelly roll pan or cookie sheet, about 3/4″ away from each other. Bake 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Let cool on pan before removing.

They should be barely golden brown on the bottom. (I flipped the darkest one over, to show you that they shouldn’t be any darker than this.) Enjoy plain or frost, as desired.

3 Ingredient Pizza Dough

5.3 oz Greek yogurt  – 2/3 C self rising flour – 2 t Italian Seasoning

Using an electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, blend ingredients together until soft dough forms. With floured hands, form into ball. Turn onto floured (regular flour) surface and place on prepared baking sheet. (I stuffed the crust with quartered mozzarella sticks on the counter, then transferred it to preheated pizza stone – not recommended as it is difficult to move from counter).



On baking sheet, pizza stone or other pan, bake crust for 7 minutes at 350 degrees or until firm and partially baked. Add toppings. I used jarred pizza sauce, sliced black olives, shredded mozzarella (made with 3 grated par-frozen mozzarella sticks) and fresh parsley.

Bake another 7 minutes at 350 degrees with ONLY pizza sauce. Then add remaining toppings and bake a 3rd and final 7 minutes.imageI topped with fresh parsley AFTER the full 21 minutes in the oven. Recipe modified from The Skinny Fork by Amanda Plott.


Elderberry Pie

As easy as pie is a popular colloquial idiom which is used to describe a task or experience as pleasurable and simple. The idiom does not refer to the making of a pie, but rather to the act of consuming a pie (“as easy as eating a pie”) which is usually a simple and pleasurable experience.

My first elderberry pie...
My first elderberry pie…

elderberriesThese are ripening elderberries. They turn a deep purple when they are ready to pick. To make a pie, you will need 4 – 5 cups of elderberries (stemmed/sorted/rinsed),

Dilly Wax Beans

1st3rd                                   Trim 1 1/2 pounds yellow wax beans (or green string beans).

Blanch beans in salted water 4-5 minutes (until tender, but still a little crisp).



Meanwhile, melt 4 T butter (half a stick). Add zest and juice of one lime (or lemon), 1 1/2 t sea salt, 1 1/2 t dill weed, 1 t cracked black pepper, 1 t parsley,       1 t grated fresh ginger, 1/2 t ground mustard. Combine.




Drain beans and gently toss with butter mixture. Serve immediately. The last time I made these I used haricots verts (French String Beans), lemon & garlic.

Crab Turkey Hors d’Oeuvres

Combine 8 oz. softened cream cheese with 4 oz. cooked Maryland Blue Crab or Blue Swimmer Crab (chopped), 2 scallions (chopped finely), 1 T ketchup, 1 t white wine , 1/4 t each (lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ground mustard). Spread onto slices of deli turkey.crab1     Then roll up the slices and cut into small chunks.

image     Spread a small amount of crab spread onto each cracker and top with one of the “chunks” and some prepared or homemade cocktail sauce (I mix ketchup with a little lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish). Serve immediately.

image  ENJOY!

Simple Chicken Cordon Bleu #BreedStyle

When I decided to make Chicken Cordon Bleu today, I realized that I never actually got my recipe from a cookbook. For years, I just made it “the way I thought it should be made.” I usually avoid dishes that involve breading or frying, so this version may not appeal to a lot of people.introIf you’ve ever made a wrap (sandwich rolled in a tortilla), you can easily make this, too. For 2 servings, you’ll need a whole boneless chicken breast, excess fat removed and halved:

12             Pound them until uniform in width (about 1/2 inch). Top with a couple thin slices of deli ham and put slivers of swiss cheese on the half of the breast with the narrowest “end.”

34             Roll tightly from the narrow end to the wide end.56             Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (or your favorite oil) to a large skillet on medium high heat. Place them “seam side down”, to get a good sear (seal in ham/cheese).


Quickly sear on all sides until browned (some cheese will ooze out – I remove this from the pan, so that it doesn’t burn onto the pan.)

910                              Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes (depending on size).


Just before removing from the pan, melt one slice of Swiss cheese on the top. Enjoy with a green vegetable and some rice or a baked potato.


But, wait… my husband would say, “It’s missing something.” For those of you who NEED sauce (in addition to the melted Swiss cheese), just grab a can of good old fashioned cream of mushroom soup and whisk with a little chicken broth or stock (milk, or even water). Heat it up and pour it over the top. Simple is better for me…sauce