Friday, June 6, 2014

Rhubarb Custard Pie...Oh my!

Having truly not made a point in being a rhubarb fan, the only time I ever tasted it was in strawberry rhubarb jam. Knowing that my dad enjoys rhubarb, I wanted to make him something special for father's day (early).

I had a great friend, Jerry Carden, share with me his late Swedish Grandmother's Rhubarb Custard pie recipe. I am always game to try making something new. I also thought this was the perfect opportunity to actually try tasting something out of my comfort zone.

Much to my surprise, it was actually tasty. The recipe is definitely a keeper in my book. I also heard this morning that my dad decided to have a late night snack last night. You guessed it...a piece of rhubarb custard pie!

Rhubarb Custard Pie

4 c rhubarb, cut up (I diced mine up)
1 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
4 T flour
Pinch of salt
10 inch pie shell
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 1/4 c cream or milk (I used half n half)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
 Butter (to dollop on top)

Place rhubarb in pie shell. Cream eggs, flour and sugar. Add cream or milk, salt and spices. Dot top with butter. Bake at 350 degrees F.  for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until custard is set. 

Apparently today I found out it is good with ice cream per Jerry's email. Refrigerate any of the pie that isn't devoured. 

I have to confess, I might put a little tweak on this recipe and create a crumble for the top. Hope you take a step into the uncomfortable zone and try this pie even if you don't like rhubarb.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Garden Vegetable Salad

When I was younger, I had the pleasure of working at the local golf course back home. I started out working in the pro shop as an assistant then I moved into helping out with junior golf instruction. After going off to college and returning home, I enjoyed the golf course atmosphere so much that I decided to keep working there during the Spring, Summer and Fall.

While working there, I had the pleasure of helping out in the restaurant. I learned a lot of delicious recipes and learned a few tips here and there. One recipe that I remember making for banquets was a salad that originally was called Cauliflower salad. I have since switched out some of the ingredients. That isn't to say the original wasn't terrific.

Here is my version of the Cauliflower Salad that is now called...

Garden Vegetable Salad


1 head of cauliflower broken into florets
1 head of broccoli broken into florets
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1/2 a sweet onion chopped (you can substitute green spring onions approx 6)
1 c of frozen peas
5 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled (optional)
1/2 c of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
1 1/2 c of light mayo
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/8 c white sugar
dash of pepper
4 T red wine vinegar (I use pomegranate infused red wine vinegar- adds a fruity background flavor)


In a large bowl (you will need a large bowl trust me)  toss all your veggies and added optional bacon and cheese.

In a medium bowl, mix together mayo, parmesan cheese, sugar and vinegar.

Now toss the dressing mixture in with the veggies and chill for about 30 minutes before serving. As the salad sits, it will marinate even more.

I must confess, I could eat a huge bowl of this tasty goodness. Sure the dressing could probably be modified to something more healthy but I like it.

Back in the day at the restaurant, they used to add chopped lettuce to the mixture as well. I find that if this sits for too long the lettuce gets really mushy.

Ham Salad

Do you have some leftover ham and can't imagine eating another sandwich?

How about whipping up some ham salad!

Ham Salad

3 1/2 c ground ham (fully cooked)
2 hard boiled eggs chopped
3 T finely chopped celery
4 tsp pickle relish (I used dill)
3 tsp finely chopped onion
1 1/4 c mayonnaise
1 T prepared yellow mustard

Mix all ingredients together and chill.
Enjoy on your favorite cracker or sandwich bread. Oh what the heck grab a spoon!

Green Chile Stew

I want to give a shout out to Mike Anaya for sharing an authentic recipe he grew up enjoying.

Green Chile Stew

7 roasted peeled and seeded green chiles
1 clove garlic minced
1 onion chopped
5-8 red potatoes cubed
1 lb cubed pork (I used pork loin but you can get pork stew meat)
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp Chinese Five spice
1/2 tsp salt ( adjust to taste)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place chilies on baking sheet and drizzle a bit of cooking oil on chilies.
Bake for 15 minutes then turn chilies and bake for another 10 min. Remove chilies from oven and place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam for about 10 minutes. Remove and peel the skin and seed the chilies. Chop the chilies and set aside.

In a Dutch oven brown cubed pork with a bit of cooking oil. Then add onions and potatoes. Add water to your desired consistency. I used 5 cups of liquid (to be authentic you use all water but I used 2 c chicken stock and 3 c water).

Let simmer 15-20 minutes then add chilies and garlic. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Again thank you Mike for sharing this recipe with me. It was delicious.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I am a lemon lover. This Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin recipe is delicious! 

I tend to take recipes I find and tweak them. This recipe I found needs no tweaking! Visit
For the tastiest lemon poppy seed recipe.

My son enjoyed whipping up a batch of these tasty muffins.

Strawberry Nutella Muffins

I curse the person that introduced me to Nutella. That chocolatey, creamy sin in a jar is so delicious! As you many of you have come to know me, you know I am addicted to Pinterest. Well here is a recipe I stumbled upon while cruising through all the food pins. Follow the link I have pasted. This blog has some wonderful recipes.

Strawberry Nutella Muffins

Check out Two Peas and their Pod for this delicious recipe. They have other variations as well.

Collard Greens

Growing up I never took on a liking for "green" anything! As I slowly got older, I was introduced to collard greens when a friend took me to a BBQ "joint" back home (Anderson, Indiana). I think the place was called Jes Right at the time...Oh I probably botched the name but it was some good eatin! I don't think the place is in business anymore or it changed hands and goes by something different.

They had the BEST rib tips, mac n cheese, heavenly cornbread and their COLLARD GREENS...Oh my gosh out of this world!

So that was the beginning of my love for collard greens and my attempt to make them myself...and taste just as good as that bbq joint.

I have enjoyed greens here in the Champaign-Urbana area. The best so far have been a place called Seaboat. Dribble a bit of hot sauce on their greens and you are transported to heaven!

Here is my closest attempt to making greens that could stand up to the best I have had.

Collard Greens

3 T olive or grape seed oil
2 med onions chopped
4 garlic cloves chopped
2 smoked turkey wings*
2 quarts of chicken stock
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 T white sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
24 oz of collards chopped

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat up oil and cook onion to where it begins to brown. Add garlic at this point.

Add smoked turkey wings, chicken stock, vinegars, sugar and
pepper flakes.

Bring to a boil then add collard greens. Return to boil and the reduce heat and cover pot. Gently boil for 45min to an hour.

Remove the turkey wings and cut meat off and return the meat to the greens in the pot.

Enjoy. I must confess, I could probably eat the whole pot. But not sure my stomach would be happy with me.

*You can substitute ham hocks for the smoked turkey.