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This simple, wholesome loaf is very quick and easy to make – and a delicious way to celebrate St Patricks day


2 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour, divided use

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/3 cup oat bran

2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 3/4 cups buttermilk, divided use

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Heat oven to 400F.

In a bowl, stir together 2 1/4 cups of the whole-wheat flour, the all-purpose flour, rolled oats, oat bran, brown sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. With a fork, stir in 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk and the melted butter. Add more buttermilk if needed, a little at a time, just until a soft dough forms.

Knead dough in the bowl until smooth, about 2 minutes. If dough is too wet, knead in up to 4 teaspoons whole-wheat flour, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Flatten slightly. Using a sharp knife, make 2 crisscross slashes on top of each loaf.

Bake loaves for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and bottoms of loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Remove bread from baking sheet and place on a rack to cool.




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After giving a recent presentation about New Zealand to two middle school classes as part of International Week (during which I attempted to divert attention and gain favor with the miniature candy bars my Mum sent over to share)

I was inspired to share a little of my home country cuisine with friends we had invited for dinner.


1 rack of lamb

4 cloves garlic, halved

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350F.

Cut 1-inch deep slits in lamb, insert garlic. Place lamb in shallow roasting pan, set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine honey, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt, cook over low heat until bubbly, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, stir in lemon zest, mint and walnuts. Spoon glaze over lamb, bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until internal temperature registers 135 degrees, baste occasionally. Remove from oven, let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Slice and serve.


Recipe adapted from The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, April 2015


4 egg whites, at room temperature

pinch of salt

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 tablespoon cornflour

3 tablespoons boiling water

Heat oven to 150C.

Beat all ingredients together in an electric mixer for 15 minutes until the mixture forms firm, glossy peaks.

Spoon the mixture onto greased baking paper in 8 small circles. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the pavlova inside for at least another hour. Do not open the oven during this time.

To serve, place onto plates and garnish with whipped cream and fresh fruit.


Recipe adapted from Good Food New Zealand Style, Chanel Publishers, 2001‎




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1 egg

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons flour

1 package puff pastry sheets, thawed

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons sugar plus more for decorating

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 package raspberries

Heat the oven to 400F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.

Sprinkle the flour on the work surface. Unfold one pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Using a round cutter, cut 12 (3-inch) circles. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.

Stir the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium bowl until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the white chocolate chips.

Brush the edges of 12 pastry circles with the egg mixture. Place about 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture in the center of each. Top with 1 to 3 raspberries. Place the remaining pastry circles over the filling. Press the edges firmly to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut a small slit in the top of the filled pastries. Place onto baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.



Heat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine 2 lightly beaten eggs with 1 3/4 cups eggnog, 2 tablespoons bourbon, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk until well combined. Pour into crust, bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.


Recipe adapted from relish, November 2015



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At the age of 26, my husband first opened the doors of Eureka Pizza. We subtly celebrated this noteworthy anniversary, delivering bar-b-que and cupcakes to the crew at the original store, and picking up pizza for our family to savor at home.

inside the original store – Fayetteville, Arkansas

We opened a bottle of champagne and poured the blue bubbles into tall glasses (one of Eureka Pizzas signature colors), while I sprinkled the top of the cake I had baked with silver dragees (the traditional 25th anniversary color).



2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

5 egg yolks

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup coconut

3/4 cup chopped pecans

5 egg whites, stiffly beaten


1/4 cup butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 to 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350F.

Mix the flour and baking soda together. Beat the shortening and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar. Add the egg yolks and beat well. Beat in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Beat in the vanilla, coconut and pecans. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cakes test done. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Beat the butter and cream cheese in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread between the layers and over the top and side of cooled cake.


Recipe adapted from Add Another Place Setting, 2008



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With the light dusting of snow we experienced on Saturday, I felt justified in featuring a flourish of spectacular, temptingly delicious, warm and cozy pumpkin recipes.

the scouts remained at their campout – even with the snow


1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter into the pan, using about 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.


Recipe adapted from allrecipes


5 cups roasted pumpkin

2 ripe pears

olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

3 cups vegetable stock


goat cheese to garnish

Heat oven to 425F. Core and quarter the pears, spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until soft and golden on the edges, stirring once or twice.

In a medium saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and the butter over medium-high heat and saute the onion for a few minutes, until soft. Add the ginger and cook for another minute. Add the roasted pumpkin and pears and the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until everything is very soft. Add a big pinch of salt and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Serve hot, sprinkled with crumbled goat cheese.



1 spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed

1/4 cup butter

1 shallot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup cream

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon white truffle oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place the squash halves cut-side down onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until the squash skin is easily pierced with a fork, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, shred squash flesh from rind using a fork, set aside in a large bowl.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the shallot and garlic in the hot butter until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir the pumpkin puree, yogurt, cream and parmesan cheese with the shallot and garlic until well combined, cook until hot. Remove from heat and serve with the spaghetti squash. Drizzle with the truffle oil, season with salt and pepper.





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I have discovered the only thing I love more than a great book, is a great book with recipes. “Three Many Cooks” was a delightful and delicious read, filled with fabulous stories and wonderful recipes.


the creole sazerac

1 1/2 ounces dark rum

1/2 ounce rye whiskey

1/2 ounce simple syrup

1/4 teaspoon absinthe

3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

1 dash old-fashioned bitters

lemon peel for garnish

Combine the rum, rye, simple syrup, absinthe, and bitters in a mixing glass, add a handful of ice, and stir vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a lemon peel.


Recipe adapted from Three Many Cooks; Pam Anderson, Maggy Keet and Sharon Demelio, 2015



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At our most recent dinner parties, we have endeavored to feature and highlight our own home grown and local ingredients. Lemons from our glassed in front porch (or what I facetiously refer to as our orangerie), eggs from our back yard chickens, the newly emerging mint from our herb garden, and the venison, pheasant and heritage pork my husband harvested over the Fall.

eggs from our back yard chickens

lemons from our front porch


Fill four glasses and a cocktail shaker with ice. To shaker, add 6 ounces bourbon, 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1 cup apple cider, shake vigorously. Strain into glasses.


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart


5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch strips

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 shallot, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

fresh salad greens

4 eggs

Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, transfer to a paper towel. Transfer 3 tablespoons bacon fat to a large bowl, add lemon juice, mustard, shallot, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until vinaigrette is emulsified. Add bacon and salad greens, toss and divide among plates.

Poach eggs, divide among plates, garnish with more black pepper.


Recipe adapted from Saveur



1 1/2 cups cream

1 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons Scotch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 (12.25 ounce) jar butterscotch topping

8 egg yolks

Heat oven to 325F. Place 8 ramekins in a roasting pan, set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream, half-and-half, brown sugar, Scotch, vanilla extract and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Add butterscotch topping, whisking to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk butterscotch mixture and egg yolks to combine. Pour 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

Pour tempered egg mixture into cream mixture, whisking to combine. Return pan to heat, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.

Divide mixture among serving cups. Fill roasting pan with enough water to come halfway up sides of cups. Cover pan with foil. Bake until set, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove roasting pan from oven, remove foil. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove pots de creme from pan, cover, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sea salt if desired.




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My daughter still loves to ride, but after competing for a few years, she has decided to take a break from the shows. They come around once a month during the year, involving early mornings and impeccable grooming – although after the first year, they weren’t quite as intimidating and overwhelming.

Elise with friends at the 2017 NWAHJA Banquet

the girls from the horse barn

On show days, I tried to pack our trainer a lunch – although she often wouldn’t find time to eat during the day, transforming the food instead, into a quick and convenient dinner. She would start her days earlier than everyone, transporting horses and completing necessary chores at the farm before leaving to spend the day at the competitions.


edamame quinoa salad

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 cup whole kernel corn

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and 1 cup of water. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover, simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine edamame, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro. Add quinoa, toss to combine. Add lime juice and olive oil, toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, June 2014


proscuitto sandwiches with broccoli pesto


1 pound of broccolini


6 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup grated Pecorino

2 teaspoons honey


8 slices bread

8 ounces sliced provolone cheese

4 ounces sliced proscuitto, lightly cooked in pan


Cook broccolini in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green, about 30 seconds, drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Squeeze out water, cut into 1 inch pieces.

Combine broccolini, garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes in pot. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until broccolini is very soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Let pesto cool, mix in Pecorino and honey.


Build sandwiches with bread, provolone, prosciutto and broccolini pesto. Brush a large skillet with oil, heat over medium-low heat. Working in batches and brushing skillet with oil as needed, add sandwiches to pan, cover and cook until bread is toasted and cheese melts, 4 to 5 minutes per side.


Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2013



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After reading about this amazingly luxurious, creamy, caramelly, buttery, toasty white chocolate, I couldn’t wait to order a few bars and bake the recipe that a pastry chef from New Orleans had created and commended.


I was meeting a friend to catch up and commemorate her birthday (that had occurred two months previously), and to accompany the pretty bottle of champagne and serving tray I had chosen, I chopped two bars of the chocolate that had been delivered to my front porch, and made the White Chocolate Blondies – thinking they would be a unique and special addition to her gift.


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup chopped white chocolate (I of course, used the Blond Dulcey)

Heat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with foil and grease with baking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugars at medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste. Then beat in the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden and set. Let cool. Cut into bars and serve.


Recipe adapted from Food and Wine



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I recently made a delicious Short Rib Goulash for my family for dinner – preparing it in the morning and letting it slowly simmer all day, filling the house with its gorgeous savory aroma.

I separated the bones out, and saved them for our sweet puppy, Lulu – boy and dog were both happiness filled.


short rib goulash

8 bone-in beef short ribs

1 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch cubes

1/2 cup beef broth

1/2 cup red wine

2 tablespoons soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

Season ribs with paprika, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown meat in hot oil over medium-high heat or until well browned, tuning occasionally. Transfer to slow cooker. Add squash, broth, wine, soy sauce, garlic and dried thyme. Cover, cook on low 10 to 12 hours or high 5 to 6 hours.

Remove ribs and vegetables to a serving dish, skim fat from cooking liquid. Whisk in tomato paste and horseradish. Remove bones from meat and coarsely chop meat, stir into sauce. Serve over hot pasta if desired.


Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, January 2017