When it comes to honoring other culture’s holy days with something as potentially flippant as a cocktail tribute, you have to walk a fine line between humor and reverence. So I’m going to apologize now for the very bad pun I’m about to make.

Light One Cocktail Hanukkah beverage

Most people know that Hanukkah is the Jewish celebration of the night when they had only …


Our Anjou Pears: 07-07-07

Anjou Pears

This Pear-Cranberry Crisp was the grand finale to our 2011 annual LAFF Gal Pals holiday feast (see the entire menu).  It’s a sweetie, literally.  Everyone loved it.  Don’t forget the cinnamon ice cream.  My favorite!

  • 3 pounds ripe Anjou pears (about 5), peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 c. fresh cranberries or frozen, thawed
  • 3/4 c. sugar

Sweet Potato Spoonbread with Friends Carolyn, Nancy, and Pam

I love to try new recipes on family and friends and this one is a WINNER.  It came from this year’s December Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but I modified it slightly and used curry instead of thyme.  It is not what you think!  It is savory, not sweet.  Light and …


Asparagus botanical

Image via Wikipedia

I think that asparagus is so good just steamed that at first, I did not see the need for this recipe, but let me tell you, it is good.  A lovely accompaniment to plain meat.

Yield:  8 to 10 servings

  • 2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 t.

Castroville's nickname celebrates its status a...


Elegant and simple! This is a delicious soup that I will definitely serve again.

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 bunches green onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14-oz) cans artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
  • 3 T. flour
  • 8 c. chicken broth
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 t. thyme
  • 1/3 c.

Own work


This makes a great companion to the Baked Ham with Marmalade-Horseradish Glaze recipe.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

  • 1 c. dry mustard (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 T. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 c. raspberry vinegar
  • 1 c. fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T. honey
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground

This ham was the best ham I have every eaten.  Ever.  It was better than the honey-baked hams that you can buy at the gourmet stores.

NOTE:  Although labeled fully cooked, the ham will still need a gentle baking for maximum tenderness and flavor.

20 Servings

  • 1 18-pound fully cooked bone-in smoked ham, room temperature
  • 48 (about) whole cloves
  • 4

Two Sisters (Sandy and Pat) Show Off Their Plates

The holidays are over and nobody is thinking about food now, but I always post the photos and recipes to our Christmas feast that Carolyn Mueller and I put on for our LAFF Gal Pals.  It is always held at Carolyn’s lovely home.  This year we had a total of 12 …


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