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Posts from — April 2013

baby sister birthday wishes

6e-Gennine's 1st bday

Today is Sloane’s birthday. She is my baby sister by 5 1/2 years. I may have mentioned before that all four of us siblings are adopted. I vividly remember the day we brought her home.

4jj-bring Gennine home 5:66

I had an older brother and a younger brother but I wanted… no, I Needed… a baby sister! I was so proud and excited to be getting a baby girl, of my very own! As you can see in the picture above, with the whole family standing in front of the Catholic Social Services building, I was all business and raring to get my baby home. I can’t tell what all I’m holding there, but it looks as though I’m taking the responsibility designated to me quite seriously!

5l-Gennine 11 months

Before Sloane turned one, we had new puppies too!

4ff-Gennine footies puppies

There’s nothing better than a new baby and new puppies!

5d-Gennine 1st Chistmas

At least, not when you’re the six-year-old big sister! Pictured L to R: Dennis age 7 1/2, Andy age 2 1/2, Linda age 6, and Sloane age 6 months.

6p-Christmas '69 Gennine and Linda

I love you, Sloane!


Then, now, and forever!

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April 30, 2013   9 Comments

Spinach, Chicken and Feta Spaghetti

Spinach, Chicken and Feta Spaghetti  recipe

On the last day of Les Gourmettes classes last week, Barb sent me home with a big box of spinach and a package of feta. Both would have gone bad in her refrigerator – since she would be eating out all weekend.

The following pasta recipe is what I created with it.

Waste not, want not.

cooking fresh spinach

It’s magical to watch a huge pile of fresh spinach wilt down …

cooked spinach

and down … to a little handful of cooked spinach …

add balsamic

… in only a couple of minutes.

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April 29, 2013   No Comments

100 degrees ~ it’s too darn soon

I’m not sure if the official temperature yesterday was 100 degrees in The Valley of The Sun, but my car thermostat said it was.

The Valley of The Sun

No matter, if it wasn’t – it will be either today or tomorrow – and It Is Too Soon to be hitting triple digits! I’m not ready for the heat.

For that reason and more, today I shall give you a recipe for a cool and refreshing chicken and bean salad that you don’t have to heat up your kitchen for. An added bonus … it is Easy-Breezy!

I call for canned white beans for the recipe, If you are the observant type, you may notice that is not what I used. The only reason is that I had more beans left from the batch I cooked up for THIS recipe.

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April 28, 2013   2 Comments

Les Gourmettes #wow #pow dessert

Last week Les Gourmettes owner, Barbara Fenzl, made this beautiful and delicious dessert for her classes. Everyone was wowed.

Meringues plus Berries and Cream. They made for a glorious presentation! Light, refreshing, and perfect for spring. This will continue to be the ultimate dessert throughout the upcoming summer months.

Orange Flower Water

Orange Flower Water is one of the special ingredients. Although it is added to three different components of the recipe, less than 1/2 teaspoon is used in total.

Measure carefully and do not be tempted by the notion that if a little is good then more is better. Like Rose Water, Orange Flower Water is potent and if too much is added, your dessert will end up tasting like perfume. Not a good thing!

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April 27, 2013   1 Comment

Friday funnies

It’s Friday!

That means it is once again time for some funnies.

Can you relate to any of these?
Which is your favorite?
My favorite, this week, is the last one.


work from home




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April 26, 2013   3 Comments

sneak peek

mother's day cake

A sneak peek at one of the four Mother’s Day recipes that will be featured in the Food section of the Arizona Republic in two weeks.

Thanks to those of you who ventured a guess yesterday at what the recipes would be.

They are –

Layered Lemon-Berry Angel Cake
Sparkling Berry Morning Cocktail
Mixed Berry Parfait
Sweet and Savory Ricotta & Bacon Stuffed French Toast

Plus a little look at the French Toast filling…

french toast filling

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April 25, 2013   2 Comments

photo shoot

mother's day breakfast recipes

Later this morning, a photographer from the Arizona Republic is coming out to do a photo and video shoot that will be featured in an upcoming article in the Food section and on AZCentral.com.

I’m prepping four recipes that dad and the kids can make for an indulgent Mother’s Day Breakfast.

The article will run, on May 8th, the Wednesday before Mother’s Day.

From the ingredients on the counter, can you guess what four things I’m making?

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April 24, 2013   5 Comments


For those of you who are over, let’s say 35, do you remember way back in the 80’s when one of the most popular appetizers in just about every hip eatery was Deep-Fried Mushrooms and Zucchini?

Those were the days, weren’t they?


Magical Days.

Wonderfully magical, I tell you!

Every weekend at happy hour, we’d waltz into Lunt Avenue Marble Club and eat a huge platter of those crunchy delights. Dipping them into a creamy white dipping sauce …  and not gain a pound!

And at that heavenly happy hour, you could order 2 for 1 cocktail for three bucks and the waitress would deliver both drinks to your table at the same time. Sometimes you’d order your second round before you finished your first, and you’d have four drinks sitting in front of you. At the same time!

Honestly, kids, that is not a dream! It used to happen.

The part about not gaining a pound is true too. It may have had a little tiny bit to do with my 20-something metabolism … I miss those days.

I miss Deep-Fried Mushrooms and Zucchini.

I really miss my metabolism!

I miss it all so much that I tried to bring it back for a remix.

These days, just looking at a platter of Deep-Fried Mushrooms and Zucchini would cause me to instantly gain 10, maybe 20 pounds. So, I gave the zucchini a “makeover” – just to see if I could recapture at least a little slice of the glory days.

As far as makeovers go – this was a major fail! As far as your basic low-cal, low-fat, low-cholesterol makeover – it was fine.

These zucchini rounds are NOTHING like the glory days of zucchini, but they are an OK side dish. With that ringing endorsement, I’m sure you’re going to want to run into the kitchen and whip up a batch or two.

I miss the Magical Days!

I used diet cheese puffs for the yellow zucchini and diet honey mustard pretzels for the green zucchini. The cheese puff zucchini was disgusting! I’m only mentioning it because it is shown in the photos. Otherwise, I would prefer to forget it completely!

The pretzel variety was tasty … as tasty as diet-baked zucchini can be when you are really wishing you were at Lunt Avenue with four cocktails in front of you.

For those of you who still own a 20-something metabolism or are willing to throw caution to the wind… the original recipe for LAMC Deep-Fried Mushrooms and Zucchini is at the end of the post. If you make it, do not let me know. It will only serve to make me feel sad.

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April 23, 2013   3 Comments



Galette is a French term that refers to a variety of flat round cakes, usually made with flaky pastry dough.

Galettes can be sweet or savory. Although it is most common for galettes to be filled with fruits or chocolate and served for dessert, savory galettes are a satisfying meal on their own.

When making this galette, it is important to have the filling ingredients chilled or at room temperature. A hot filling will melt the butter in the dough before it hits the oven, preventing the crust from becoming flaky and crispy.

add thyme

One of the filling ingredients in this galette is an onion jam. I link you to that recipe in the list of ingredients.

I made a simpler version for this galette by eliminating the vinegar and raisins in that original onion jam recipe and instead of adding a couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves. Either version will work wonderfully here.

Joanne Weir made a Mushroom and Blue Cheese Galette in cooking class at Les Gourmettes last week. It was fabulous! I was the lucky recipient of an extra round of dough for the crust. It is an outstanding dough. It is flaky and crispy and delicious. The recipe below is for Joanne’s dough and my filling.

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April 22, 2013   3 Comments

sitcom or reality

“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who was …”

No, stop there! Not “bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls.”


Let’s try again…

“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who is all about getting what she wants. She uses trickery and scams plus plans and schemes, and drives her youngest child insane.”

That could be the theme song for my own sitcom or reality show. Honestly, I drive poor Connor crazy with all my ideas. He desperately tries to resist, but somehow he can’t escape when I pull him into these plans, completely against his will and better judgment.


I’m going to give you the recipe today first, and then if you feel like hearing the story behind it, feel free to read all about it, after the recipe.

waffled ingred

This is a fun way to make grilled cheese.

3 cheeses

Use whatever cheese or cheeses you like.

the stufings

Top the cheese with your favorite additional fillings, or no fillings at all.

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April 21, 2013   8 Comments