Friday, March 31, 2023

March Books


My first book in March is a banned book-Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The book has been around for ages. I didn't remember it. Sure any kid in a Florida school will never read it- SAD.

Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach by Meryl Gordon was the next book I really liked. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor - there always seems to be rotten family members.

Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter: A Biography of Princess Louise by Lucinda Hawksley. 

Twice as Hard: The Stories of Black Women Who Fought to Become Physicians, from the Civil War to the Twenty-First Century by Jasmine Brown.

When Night falls. Number 14 in the Bunburry series. Love this cozy series!

The Beekeeper's Cottage by 
Emma Davies- not a cozy mystery but a sweet story.

Wayward by Emilia Hart--When I downloaded this book there wasn't a wait list. I loved it and finished it in a day. Today I saw it's on the Times Bestseller list! Really liked it

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post- wonderful book

The Golden Spoon- sort of a take off of the BBC series baking show. I'm a fan of The Great British Bake Off and mysteries,  I found this to be overall an entertaining tale.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Retro Campbells Chicken Crunch Ole



1 can Campbell's Chicken Soup

1/2 cup water ( I used chicken broth)

1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce

2 pounds chicken parts ( used thighs)

1/2 cup flour

2 cups finely crushed taco flavored corn chips

2 tablespoons butter


Mix soup, water, hot sauce.

Dust chicken with flour- dip in half a cup of the soup mixture

Roll in chips

Place on rack on a shallow baking dish

Drizzle with butter

Bake at 350 for 50- 60 minutes

Heat remaining chicken soup mixture and pour over cooked chicken ( it's sort of like a gravy)

The photo is my piece of chicken. I didn't add the chicken soup mixture. Gabe had it on his with his mashed potatoes and thought is was good.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Strawberry Daiquiri


1 cup (8 oz.) light rum

4 cups (32 oz.) frozen strawberries (if you only have fresh, remove the leaves, hull and chop the berries and add extra ice)

¼ cup (2 oz.) simple syrup (homemade or store-bought; see below for instructions)

½ cup (4 oz.) lime juice

Ice to taste


 1: To make simple syrup, bring 1 cup water to a boil and stir in 1 cup sugar until dissolved. Let cool.

 2: Add the rum, strawberries, simple syrup and lime juice to a blender.

 3: Add the ice. Start with a ½ cup and add more later if you want it thicker.

I had a bunch of frozen strawberries in the freezer I wanted to use up. Plant City Strawberries are in the stores now- ❤

Step 4: Pulse the blender on low a few times to warm it up. Blend on high until smooth. Taste it to see if it’s to your liking and adjust rum or ice accordingly.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Pizza Hummus



1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 to 3 cloves garlic

3 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 1/2 cup liquid reserved

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt- to taste


Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomato paste, oregano and basil and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the tomato paste mixture to a food processor. Add the garlic, chickpeas, chickpea liquid, tahini, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth and creamy.

I remember when I could pick up a can of chickpeas for 49 cents. This morning at Walmart chickpeas we 78 cents each. Guess it isn't as bad as eggs- 5.22 a dozen!

LOVED this hummus! 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup


¼ cup unsalted butter

½ cup diced onions (yellow or white)

1 cup shredded carrots 

2 ½-3 cups broccoli florets, chopped small

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1 cup milk 

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or more as desired)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


In a large pot over medium high heat, melt butter. Add in onions, carrots and broccoli. Cook to soften about 5 minutes (may be more or less depending on the size vegetables you cut).

Slowly add in broth, milk, and cream. Sprinkle with flour and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring and heating over medium heat until thickened. This will take about 10-15 minutes.

Once thick, add cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Serve soup and enjoy!

Friday, March 17, 2023

Spinach Soup


2 tablespoons butter

3 cups peeled, chopped onion

3 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach or two 10 ounce packages frozen spinach- thawed

2 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoon flour

3 cups milk

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch of pepper


Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add onion and saute over low heat until transparent- you don't want the onions to brown. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. All of the spinach. Bring the soup to a boil again, then remove from heat. Let cool.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Continue stirring as you slowly add the milk. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Pour spinach mixture into a food processor and puree until smooth. Combine spinach and milk mixtures into a saucepan.

Add salt and pepper but do not bring to a boil.

Serve hot.

Loaves and Fishes is located in Bridgehampton New York. I never shopped in it due to it being was to expensive.

While working at the Rogers Memorial Library Anna Pump ( owner of Loaves and Fishes) did a cooking program, where she also sold her cookbook.

This recipe stated that the soup could be served hot or cold.

At the time the  cookbook was published this soup was the most popular sold at the store.

Good One for St. Patty's Day!


Sunday, March 12, 2023

Thai Cabbage Salad



1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoon sugar 

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 fresh serrano chili- seeds and ribs removed- minced

1/2 cup vegetable oil

For Salad:

1 head green cabbage, quartered, cored and thinly sliced

3 medium carrots, grated

1 medium cucumber, peeled and finely diced

1 large red bell pepper- finely diced

5 - 6 green onions ( white and light green parts only) thinly sliced on a diagonal

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts- coarsely chopped

To make the dressing-

In a small bowl or glass jar with a tight fitting lid, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, garlic and chilies. Slowly whisk in the vegetable oil or if you are using a jar- shake-shake shake!!!!!!

Make Salad:

In a large salad bowl toss together the cabbage, carrots and red pepper. Shake or whisk the dressing thoroughly then pour over the salad and toss- coat all the veggies.

 Add onions and cilantro* and toss again.

Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.

Note: THE DRESSING can be made ahead and stored in fridge in a glass jar with tight lid for up to a week. Shake before using.

Recipe from The Epicurious Cookbook

Growing my own cilantro this season!