Sunday, February 17, 2019

Fresh Fruit Cobbler

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint
The things you will find after your kitchen's been remodeled. This time it was scrap of paper with my mother's fruit cobbler recipe, written in her own handwriting. I'm so happy to have found it as I thought this was one recipe that was gone for good. Her fruit cobblers were amazing, and she often served them with breakfast. They're also super easy to make and fabulous for dessert too. 

Mom usually made hers with peaches, but other fruits, such as blackberries or raspberries, would also work.


4 to 6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced, OR
2 packages fresh raspberries, blueberries or blackberries
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of cinnamon, if desired

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix fresh fruit, sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Add cinnamon, if desired. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle on top.


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Drop by spoonful over the fruit mixture. Bake for 30 to 25 minutes or until the topping is brown. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Alex's Macaroni and Cheese

© Can Stock Photo / MSPhotographics

When I'm not in the kitchen I write romance novels under the pen name Marina Martindale. So far, each novel has included a scene where my characters enjoy a home cooked meal, and I include the recipe in the back of the book.

In my second novel, The Deception, leading man Alex has just been reunited with Carrie, his long-lost childhood friend. When he comes to her apartment to prepare dinner he makes his mother's macaroni and cheese; their favorite childhood dish.

They say art imitates life, and macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite childhood dishes too. Problem was, I had no family recipe, and, ding, ding, ding, I'd been buying the prepackaged mac and cheese dinners for years. I confess. It was a bad habit I picked up back when I was a starving college student, and it was time to break it. So I compiled different recipes, did test runs and tweaks, and soon came up with a mac and cheese recipe that was absolutely delicious. No wonder Alex and Carrie loved it. You will too.



   2 cups macaroni, cooked and drained
   2 1/2  cups milk
   1 cup sour cream
   2 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend
   (or 2 1/2 cups cheddar)
   1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
   4 tablespoons butter, divided
   1 teaspoon salt
   1 teaspoon dry mustard
   1/4 teaspoon paprika
   1/3 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350F and cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. While pasta is cooking whisk milk and sour cream together in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add seasonings. Set aside. Chop two tablespoons of butter into small pieces. Chill in refrigerator until needed. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, blend thoroughly and set aside.

Layer half of the cooked and drained macaroni, butter and cheese into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Top with the remaining macaroni, butter and cheese. Pour in the milk mixture and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is crispy and brown.

If desired, ham or sausage may be added. Low-fat milk, sour cream and cheeses may also be used.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Rosie's Recipe--Cream of Vegetable Soup

We're certainly having quite a winter this year. We've even had some hard freezes here in southern Arizona, where I live. And while we can't change the weather, we can enjoy a cup of hot, homemade soup on a cold winter's day. It soothes the body and the soul.

This recipe, from Rosie's Riveting Recipes, is as delicious today as it was in her time. It's easy to prepare and the perfect way to use up any leftover vegetables that may be lurking in the fridge.



   2 tablespoons fat
   4 tablespoons flour
   3/4 teaspoon salt
   1/2 teaspoon pepper
   4 cups milk
   1 cup cooked vegetable pulp*

Melt fat. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Stir in milk. Add vegetable pulp. Cook 10 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

* Pureed cooked vegetables (of your choice)

Modern adaptation:  Cooking oil, olive oil, butter or margarine may be used as "fat." If you don't have a blender or food processor simply chop the vegetables into tiny pieces. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, to help keep the milk from scorching. Once soup begins to boil, reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for 10 minutes, as directed. For more zing, try lemon pepper or season salt instead of salt and pepper.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New Year, New Kitchen

Photo by Gayle Martin
Sometimes you have to hit the restart button, as was the case with my kitchen. My house was built in 1965, and I purchased it in 2008. For the most part it was a lovely home, and I certainly got a good deal, but it had one ugly kitchen. Somewhere along the way someone had laminated melamine onto the cabinetry, ruining the original wood surface underneath, which had been beautiful. Why someone would do that is beyond me, but melamine was all the rage in the 1980s and 90s, and perhaps they thought they were modernizing it. Melamine however doesn't age well, and it had turned dull and dingy. It also had tile countertops. Tile countertops look great when they're now, but they don't age well either, nor are they the safest surface for food preparation. No matter how hard I scrubbed, I could never get the grout clean.  

Photo by Gayle Martin
Over the past ten years I've done a fair amount of updating, including replacing all the major kitchen appliances, but I still had ugly cabinetry and countertops. That is until this past January. I saved up my money and had it ripped out to the bare walls. The tile flooring also had to be replaced as it actually wasn't actually a floor tile, and it was extremely slippery when wet. Let's just say that whoever remodeled this kitchen before did it cheap, and they got exactly what the paid for.

So, after three intense weeks of having my dishes, cookware and appliances all piled up in my dining room, and dealing with dust, table saws and power tools, it's gone from being the ugliest room in the house to the prettiest. I'm still waiting on a new window blind, and then it will be officially finished.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Grandma’s Tomato Soup Salad Dressing

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint
My grandmother was an amazing cook. We all loved her meals, and, fortunately, between my sister-in-law and all the cousins, we have most, if not all, of her recipes. This was one of my favorites.

Grandma Horn's Tomato Soup Salad Dressing

1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
garlic powder to taste 


Blend all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate leftover dressing in a mason jar or plastic container.