I first saw this recipe on La Bella Cook and I was so excited to try it..."no-churn" ice cream...what could be better!?

After a little Internet search I found out it is Nigella Lawsons' recipe. She claims "If you want to serve it in glasses dipped in sugar or salt, by all means do. But it is so good...I find I can spoon it straight into my mouth from the container I've chilled it in...This is truly the express way to dessert-deliriousness."

Ok, now I am sold. It doesn't take much...any one who knows me knows I am addicted to ice cream.

I loved this...especially the lime. It isn't quite as delicious as churned ice cream but it is definitely a close second. Next time I make it I will add lime zest into the ice cream before its frozen and don't forget to add lime zest on top of the ice cream before serving.

Margarita "No-Churn" Ice Cream
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Serves 6

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Cointreau or Triple Sec)
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups heavy cream

Pour the lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur into a bowl and stir in the sugar to dissolve.

Add the cream and then softly whip until thick and smooth but not stiff.

Spoon into an airtight container to freeze overnight. This ice cream does not need ripening (softening before serving), as it will not freeze too hard and melts speedily and voluptuously.



This is a simple buttermilk cake recipe. Delicious with raspberries and would also be wonderful with any berry of your choice.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009 via smittenkitchen
Serves 6 (not in my house!)

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (146 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 oz)

Note: if you dont have buttermilk, you can make it by mixing 1 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice or vinegar with 1/2 cup milk and let sit for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Make the buttermilk if you are using.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Add egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Place raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar.

Note: The cake will be most beautful if you place the raspberries' tips side down (opposite of the way I did it).

If you place the tips up, they will sink into the cake. If you place them tips down they will float on top of the cake.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. You can invert onto a cooling rack then flip again once cool onto a serving plate or serve directly out of pan.

On our way to the birthday party...




Here is a recipe for a quick and easy vinegar and oil salad dressing.

Use your favorite vegetables and salad ingredients. I happen to love most things in a Cobb salad but don't always have all the ingredients so I use whatever is on hand.

This will make 5 Tablespoons of salad dressing. If you like more feel free to double it or go to the link to adjust measurements.

Favorite Salad with Vinegar and Oil Dressing
Dressing adapted from

1 head of Romaine Lettuce, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
handful of cherry tomatoes, diced
3 hard boiled eggs, cubed
4 strips of bacon, crumbled
Cheese, cubed or crumbled (I prefer sharp cheddar or blue cheese)
Green onion, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
pinch teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
freshly ground pepper

Make Dressing:
Add all ingredients to a container and shake vigorously. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Make Salad:
Cover a large platter with Romaine lettuce. Add all the other ingredients in sections, except for green onions. Sprinkle green onions over top.

Drizzle salad dressing over salad or put in a container on the side of salad (for all the dippers out there!)

Last night my dog decided to go skunk hunting! He of course got sprayed...the smell is unbelievable! I poured freezing water on him and rubbed in tomato paste but so far no luck. It was only 9 months ago that he and my other dog were least this time it is only 1 stinky dog instead of 2!




I love these turn overs; they taste just like the frozen toaster strudels that my daughter is always begging for at the store. I had a bowl of cherries on my counter for a couple days now so this was the perfect recipe. I am still looking for a "healthier" brand of puff pastry and I will let you know if I find one. You can find puff pastry in the freezer section of your grocery store.

Cherry Puff Pastry Turnovers
Adapted from
Serves 9

1 pound fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoons butter
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg (for egg wash)
1 Tablespoon water

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Remove puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, vanilla and cornstarch.

Cook the cherry mixture on medium/high heat until it boils, stirring constantly.
Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens (for about 5 minutes).

Remove from heat and stir in the butter...

and set aside.

On a clean, flat surface, lay out a sheet of parchment paper and sift flour to lightly coat. Lay your thawed puff pastry flat on the floured paper and lightly cover with sifted flour. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper.
With a rolling pin, roll the pastry until just under 1/8 inch thick, keeping the dough as square in shape as possible.

Place the paper covered dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes, until cold.
Return the pastry dough to the surface and, using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into nine squares. (Note: I wanted large turnovers so I cut four squares, mine were baked perfect at 20 minutes so if you make them smaller they may be done sooner.)

Spray your baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix the egg with the water. With a brush, paint the edges of one pastry square (only paint about 1/4 inch border).

Spoon a dollop (about 1/8 cup) of cherry filling directly into the center of the dough. Fold dough over into a triangle, keeping the cherries from leaking out the sides, and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush tops with a little more egg wash. Cut 3 1/2-inch slits into the top of the pocket and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all squares are completed.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Make the glaze if using. Whisk confectioners sugar, 1 Tablespoon of milk and vanilla in a bowl. If it is too thick add more milk, if it is too thin add a little more sugar until you have the desired consistency.

Cool on a cooling rack.

Drizzle glaze over turn over. Store in an airtight container, not in the refrigerator.




Pasta and Chickpeas....I adore this soup! My husband, not so much, but that's ok you can't please everyone! I love how all the flavors combine matched with the scent and flavor of fresh rosemary (one of my favorite herbs).
Make sure when you are done with your fresh Parmesan you keep the rind for soups, such as this one. You can wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer until you are ready to use it.

My little baby is growing up fast!

Pasta e Ceci
Adapted from Rachel Alice Roddy
Serves 4

16 ounces canned chickpeas or 8 ounces dried chickpeas soaked overnight and then simmered for 2 hours until tender
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
medium carrot peeled and finely diced
stick of celery finely diced
mild onion peeled and finely diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
small sprig of rosemary
16 ounces vegetable or chicken stock or water the chickpeas were cooked in with more plain water added to make up the 16 ounces if necessary.
Parmesan rind
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces small dried tubular pasta
your nicest oil for on top

Note: I made it without celery and it still tasted great. Try to find a small pasta the same size as the chickpeas. I used rigatoni which was way to big even after I cut it in half after it was cooked.

Over medium high heat, add oil to a large heavy pan or dutch oven. Saute the chopped onion, carrot and celery until soft and translucent.

Add the tomato paste and a sprig of rosemary, stir, and then add 2/3 of your cooked chickpeas.

Stir again and then cover everything with stock or water, throw in a Parmesan rind. Bring the pan to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a separate pan, boil water for pasta and cook according to directions, 1 minute less then recommended time. Once cooked, drain and set aside.

After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, remove the rind and rosemary sprig. Puree the soup with a hand blender (you can also use a blender, be careful and do so in small batches).

Now you add the rest of the chickpeas and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add pasta to the soup, let the soup rest for about 5 minutes so the flavors mingle.
Serve dribbled with more extra virgin olive oil and some freshly grated Parmesan.




Smashed potatoes are one of my favorite ways to prepare Yukon Gold potatoes. A perfect side to almost anything; tonight, in our house they are accompanying slow cooked pork. Make sure you let them brown well on both sides so they are delicious and crisp.

Smashed Potatoes
Adapted loosely from Rachael Ray's Yukon Gold Potatoes: Jacques Pepin Style
Serves 6

3 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes, washed
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves

Place the potatoes in a deep 12-inch skillet. Cover potatoes almost completely with chicken stock and water (add more water if needed),

add the butter, season with salt and pepper and cover skillet with a lid.

Cook the potatoes on high to medium-high heat in the stock until almost tender, about 10-20 minutes, depending upon the size of the potatoes.

Once tender (you can poke a knife in the potato and it is soft) remove the lid and allow the stock to evaporate, about another 10-15 minutes. Once the stock has evaporated pop each potato using a large flat metal spatula or large spoon, creating a small crack in each, but do not flatten completely.

Allow the potatoes to brown on each side, about 4-5 minutes per side, and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary or desired. Remove the browned potatoes from the skillet and place onto a serving platter, garnish with the parsley.




I had some left over watermelon from when I made Watermelon Pops so I pureed it and froze it just waiting for a hot muggy summer day to make Watermelon Margaritas. Friday proved to be that perfect day...cranked Bob Marley and enjoyed a few with my father!

Frozen Watermelon Margaritas
Adapted from Bobby Flay
Serves 8

5 cups cubed watermelon, seeds removed
1/2 cup simple syrup (equal amounts sugar and water, heated until sugar melts), cooled
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups silver tequila
4 ounces orange liqueur (Cointreau)
2 ounces melon liqueur (optional)
Watermelon wedges or lime wedges, for garnish

Note: I used a little more Cointreau because I didn't have melon liqueur. It tasted great and could still really taste the watermelon. You may need to adjust to your own taste.

Place watermelon in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the pureed watermelon into 2 empty ice cube trays (I used a silicon muffin pan) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Place 8 martini glasses in the freezer to chill.

Most blenders will be too small to accommodate all the ingredients so place half of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. It will be frothy, add a few ices cubes if desired and blend again. Pour into 4 glasses and repeat with the other half of ingredients. Garnish each glass with a watermelon or lime wedge.

Now, this little guy gave me a surprise when I opened my door last night to let my dogs outside. I ran back in to grab my camera and was praying he wouldn't decide to fly straight at me. Luckily he stayed put and let me take a few shots.



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