The kids are finally back in the classroom, and when they come home from school or sports they are generally ravenous, right? It’s a pretty good bet that if given a choice between chicken nuggets and anything else, my guess is it’s going to be the nuggets. So, why not make them delicious and perhaps healthier than the fast food version? Plus, kids love to cook these days, and if your young ones are old enough to be safe around the cook top and oven, this might be a great meal that they can make themselves! (Studies show that when kids take the initiative to cook a meal, they enjoy not only eating the food, but are more apt to want to learn how to prepare meals more often.) I discovered that on a field trip a few years ago to a Boys & Girls Club where I was teaching a cooking class. About fifty kids huddled around as I taught a hands-on cooking demonstration. They were mesmerized. Many shared their at-home cooking experiences with Mom and Dad. I was, quite frankly, stunned at their interested in every aspect of cooking, whether chopping and dicing, sautéing and of course, sharing what they had prepared. Back to the chicken nuggets. This recipe is fairly simple and super delicious, and it’s the kind of recipe that may flesh out whether you have a budding Jacques Pepin or Julia Child just waiting to cook up something fun for the family!
What Scottsdale resident Susan Jaramillo remembers most about her Grandma Denise Nerone was her magnificent homemade bread. In fact, Susan vividly remembers her grandma’s words:
“You’re the only little girl I know who begs for bread for dessert!”
Susan said the only time she would choose dessert over bread was when her French born grandmother made Apricot Pie. Once Susan shared her mouthwatering memories about the sweet-but-tart apricots arranged in a flakey homemade crust with a juicy apricot sauce poured on top and covered in lattice strips, I had no choice but to go into bake mode. What a fabulous, unique fruit pie! It’s delicious warm or cold, and of course, the better quality of dried apricots you use, the better the filling will turn out so look for plump, moist apricots. The original recipe called for whole apricots, but Susan and I agreed that cutting them in half is a bit easier to eat. You can cover your pie with an entire crust instead of cutting lattice strips if your choose. Either way, it’s Vive le Apricot Pie!
There are two things I absolutely love–a great recipe and great neighbors.
When the two come together, life is pretty awesome! It happened this week when my sweet neighbor, Deborah Alyea saw me pull up to the driveway, and scurried over with a beautiful baking dish of bountiful goodness right out of the oven. “I wanted you to have it while it’s still piping hot and bubbling!” Deborah has just baked the most amazing Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler and I was the lucky recipient. I’m not sure I should admit this, but I texted her a picture of her baking dish just several hours later. It was scraped clean except for maybe one more serving. Yes, it was that good. I’m not sure who came up with the combination of strawberries and rhubarb, but thank you, whoever you are! Rhubarb season is incredibly short and right now is the peak of it, so I’m so happy to pass along this delicious dish to you right now, while you can still find those long red stalks. The filling is wonderful with either a pie crust topping or cobbler, and I was ecstatic that Deborah chose the latter. I love that rich crumble topping with the sweet fruit below. So, if you love Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler, this is the recipe to try! And if you have a neighbor as wonderful as Deborah Alyea, maybe make an extra and make someone’s Day!
Watch my How to Video for Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler here!
What a delicious way to combine Mother’s Day with a delicious Spring Pie! This Heart Shaped Strawberry Pie has a sweet history that’s worth remembering! In 1949 if you had wanted to know about rural life in Iowa, you would have looked to Evelyn Birkby, the newspaper columnist, author, and radio personality who for almost 60 years shared stories of farm life, recipes and tales from her own country kitchen. Evelyn was also one of the famed “Radio Homemakers” who, for 40 years broadcast across a five-state area on radio station KMA in Shenandoah, Iowa. (In the 1950s, domesticity dominated the lives of most rural Iowa women. Somewhat isolated on the farm, many relied on the radio to hear a friendly voice. The KMA Radio Homemakers were the ones they turned to for advice and information about cooking, gardening, household hints and beauty tips.) Evelyn Birkby was by far the most popular of the “neighbors on the air,” helping women with everything from menu planning to child rearing. For more than a quarter century Evelyn was a regular monthly columnist for Kitchen-Klatter Magazine, and broadcast on the syndicated Kitchen-Klatter radio program. Birkby is the author of ten books radio homemakers. Her book Up a Country Lane stitches together stories, photographs and recipes from Iowa farm life in the 1940s and 1950s. The Strawberry Pie in Up a Country Lane is reflective of all of the recipes in the cookbook. They are fun, simple, and were often sent in to Evelyn from her adoring radio fans and newspaper readers. While so many recipes for Strawberry Pie use a strawberry gelatin as a thickener, the
natural pureed strawberries in this version really gives this pie a through and through fresh strawberry flavor. I think you Mom will enjoy a little neighborly Iowa hospitality with Evelyn Birkby’s summertime favorite!
It’s Arizona State Fair days! Time for your deep-fried-everything fix! This year you’ll find the usual fan favorites like corn dogs, deep-fried butter, cotton candy and cheese fries. But they’ve added more of the zing factor the year with things like a jumbo hollowed out pickle stuffed with melted cheddar cheese, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and jalapenos and the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crusted turkey leg. Oh! Also new this year, bacon and Cheetos cotton candy that will feel a bit like pop rocks in your mouth! To get you into the state fair spirit, I’m sharing my recipe for Deep Fried Onion Rings. They are super easy to make and really fun for a side, snacks or game day munching. They’re as delicious as you’ll find on the midway!
Watch my How To Video for Homemade Onion Rings Here!