• Love Muffins

    Valentine’s Day is upon us and with that comes many mixed feelings. Some love it, many others loathe it. What started as a simple card-giving holiday has morphed into an expectation of grand gestures and declarations. Every elementary student is now expected to provide a card for every person in their class, preferably with a non-offensive, non-allergy-causing treat attached. Oi, the pressure! Honestly, I am delighted that practice died out once my girls hit middle school. We generally keep it pretty low-key in our house. No fancy dinners out (who wants those crowds?) and no giant floral bouquets are required. My poor husband doesn’t buy me many flowers these days,…

  • Cold Remedies

    Well, we have survived January, which always feels like the longest month of the year. So far, our family has not suffered much illness, but cold and flu season is still in full swing. If you or someone in your family is suffering, over-the-counter medications help your symptoms, but sometimes you need a nice hot drink to help you feel better. Growing up, my Mom would always make us Russian Tea when we were sick. Made with Tang, the drink of astronauts, it is packed with Vitamin C. The blend of Tang, tea and spices soothes a sore throat and keeps you hydrated. It also mixes well in any water…

  • Mama Edie’s Hamburger Soup

    As I talk to more people about food, I have discovered that cuisine, like clothing, tends to go in fads. Pork chops and Rice-A-Roni, Chicken A La King, and Salisbury Steak are dishes synonymous with the 80’s and my childhood. Of course, some of these fads vary by region, but many followed popular cooking crazes that swept the masses. Our kids will tell their kids about the kale salads, turkey burgers and slow cooker meals their moms had in their meal prep rotation. If you were a child of the 80’s in the Midwest, it’s likely that you grew up eating some form of cabbage soup.  It was fairly healthy,…

  • Exotic Made Easy

    Every now and then, you need to shake up your normal dinner time routine and try something exotic. I love the spices and flavors in Indian cuisine but used to feel daunted by the thought of attempting it at home. One of the Indian dishes I love is Chicken Tikka Masala, a delicious creamy blend of tomatoes, spices and tender chicken. It is served over rice, and is wonderful sopped up with warm naan. As a side note, there is apparently some debate on the origins of the dish. Some say it was actually created in Glasgow, Scotland. That may seem strange, but the British have long had a love…

  • Banoffee Muffins

    My youngest daughter started the week with a 2 hour visit to the orthodontist. She had an appliance removed and braces put on the bottom teeth. She was very patient with the process, and we made a bee-line for Chick Fil A for lunch before the soreness set in. But it did indeed catch up to her and she has been eating softer food all week. That kind of week calls for soft, sweet comforting foods like muffins. I have already shared a recipe with you for healthier muffins in my Bursting Berry Muffins. The muffins I am sharing today are not healthy, but they are delicious and EASY! So,…

  • Instant Pot Magic

    It seems that every couple of years, a new craze sweeps across the kitchens of America. One of the most recent crazes has been the Instant Pot, which is a countertop electronic pressure cooker that promises to do so much more. I was intrigued about this mystical pot, and read lots of reviews and recipes before finally jumping on board. I found one on a decent Cyber Monday sale last November. Since then, I have been learning to master this new contraption. Let me clarify that Instant Pot is a brand of appliance, and the type I own. There are other brands and many models to choose from and my…

  • New Year’s Traditions

    Christmas may be over, but the holiday season is not complete until we usher in the New Year.  While thousands of people like to gather to watch the ball drop at fancy parties, we have a more homey tradition. For years now, we have gathered with the same friends and their kids for an in-town sleepover party. We alternate who hosts each year and this year the party is at our house. If you have been following this blog, it should not surprise you that the party revolves around fellowship, food and fun drinks. Many years we have opted for pizza or Chinese take out for dinner, and sometimes both!…

  • Making Memories & Lemon Bars

    As Christmas Day inches closer and closer, it’s easy to get a little stressed out – trying not to forget gifts for neighbors and friends, making sure all the cards get in the mail, wrapping gifts like a ninja while the kids are in bed, or tracking down those gifts you hid so well earlier in the season that you can’t find them again. But what really matters at Christmas is the time we spend with loved ones, sharing traditions and making memories. When all the hustle and bustle is done, what you will remember are the meals eaten together and the laughter and the love we share with those…

  • Chocolate Cherry Granola

    We have had an unusual snow event this week in North Carolina with the first major snow fall in early December in many years.  That means we found ourselves trapped inside with too much time on our hands.  This is always the perfect time to get some baking done and work on some handmade food gifts.  Sometimes, over the holiday season, you need a break from the overly-sweet treats and you might want to make an edible gift that is slightly healthier.  This granola is just the thing.  Don’t worry, it still involves chocolate. A few years ago, I decided to try to make granola at home.  It’s easier then…

  • Magic Christmas Chocolate Bark

    As a little girl, I remember my Mom spending hours making delicious Christmas cookies and candy.  She made chocolate covered peanut butter balls, chocolate nut clusters and fruit and nut clusters.  A lot of love went into each piece – and a lot of time. I still love lots of chocolate during Christmas but I also love short cuts.  I use my microwave to make my chocolate treats, the popcorn I shared with you last week, easy fudge, and the bark I am sharing today.  Last year, our microwave stopped working during the Christmas season and it was a major crisis.  I know it’s a first world problem for sure,…

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