Oh yes my precious brother, his beautiful wife (inside and out), and my wonderful nephew shared the evening with us.  What a blessing to have family that you not only dearly love but really actually enjoy spending time with!!!  Now there is a novel idea.  Anyway they are a pleasure to cook for because they are such an appreciative audience.

The menu was a cheese appetizer; shrimp, sausage, peppers, and onions in a sweet /n spicy sauce; broccoli with a whole bunch of stuff; homemade bread; rice with goodies, and chocolate chip cake with French Vanilla ice cream.  This is funny—when I was making the cake I thought umm these ingredients look really familiar.  Well after I baked it I realized why.  It was like a giant chocolate chip cookie except with just a tad more cake consistency. 

Today I am going to share the appetizer and rice recipes—I may put some of the other items in subsequent blogs.  

Appetizer Ingredients:

Cream Cheese

3 grated cheeses; Cheddar, Mozzarella, Jack (I buy them in a combo at Trader Joe’s)

Diced Green Chilis (these are mild so you can be generous)

Sriracha Sauce (amount depending on your taste)

Smoked Paprika (careful as this is kind’ve strong)

Sliced brie (or similar)

Corn Tortillas

Mix all the ingredients together except the brie.  Spread generously on a corn tortilla.  Place slices of brie on the mixture then put another corn tortilla on top.  Be sure to push it down into the cheese mixture so it sticks really good.   Slice in 6 pieces so they are easily picked up and eaten.   Bake in a 350  degree oven for 10 -15 minutes—just until the cheese starts to melt.  You will know because a little will come out around the sides.  Serve warm.

Now for the rice—easy peasy.  I used white Jasmine rice but that is your call.  I sauteed the uncooked rice and a few fennel seeds in olive oil (I used my Tarragon/Rosemary) and butter until the rice grains and fennel started to get quite brown.  (I happen to really like the taste of fennel but if you are not familiar with it chew on one of the seeds to determine how much you want to use.)  Then I added Chicken Broth (instead of water), canned roasted diced tomatoes, diced green chilis, and a tad of kosher salt.  Cook as usual.  

Hey give this some thought:  If God has blessed you with an intimate friendship, be diligent to devote time and effort to develop and cultivate it.  It is irreplaceable. 

Create the Magic—YOU have the gift


Suga Momma

All the appetizer ingredients ready to be mixed.  Be sure cream cheese is soft.

Cut each tortilla into 6 pieces before putting in the oven.


OK this is not the only thing I had but it is what I want to focus on today.  And as good as it is it was mighty tempting to call it a one dish meal—LOL.

Use your favorite white cake recipe preferably with buttermilk.  I love using buttermilk in baking whether it is a cake, pancakes, biscuits, whatever.  It is always so moist (and the cake was very moist—inside joke) and tender.  Anyway as good as it is all of us discriminating chefs need something a bit more special.

Instead of using just buttermilk reduce the amount by about 5 tablespoons and supplement with Irish Cream.  Then add in some chopped dates, dried cherries, coconut, dried mango or apricots at the very end.  Be sure all the goodies are well mixed into the batter.  

Now if you are really in an experimental mood substitute some almond meal for the flour.  An example—my recipe is for a small cake so it calls for 1 1/2 cups of flour.  I used 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup  almond meal.  Yeah you got that right—oh my gosh yummy!!!

A cream cheese frosting using whipping cream instead of milk is really good.  Or if you want something a little lighter and quicker carefully prick the cake with a small pronged fork while it is hot and using a sifter sprinkle with powdered sugar—you can use quite a bit.  The reason I say “carefully” and “small pronged” is that it is easy to tear the cake since it is hot.  And the reason you do it while it is hot is that the powdered sugar will melt a bit on top forming somewhat of a glaze and kind’ve melts down into the holes also.

Now if you have a family the cake will probably pretty much disappear within a day or two at the most.  But if you are flying solo or as a duet I am hoping it is going to take more than a day to eat it all—LOL.  So what I do for my Leo and me is cut the cake into individual pieces, wrap each one tightly with a plastic wrap like Saran, put them all in an air tight baggie or container and pop ‘em into the freezer.  Then I defrost one piece at a time.  Nothing goes to waste and it all stays perfectly fresh.

I am leaving you with this: forgiveness is NEVER over rated.  The goal of forgiveness is not always to retain a relationship.  Sometimes it is to allow ourself and the other person to move on in love.  But the end result of ALL forgiveness is liberating.

Create the Magic—YOU have the gift


Suga Momma

Use a buttermilk recipe and then start adding these delicious goodies.

I know–the Irish Cream seems to pop up a lot!!

The batter with all the nummy yummy.

Ready for frosting or sifted powdered sugar.


A moment of silence please—we actually had BEEF last night—LOL.  I am sure it has not gone unnoticed by all my sleuthing chefs that it seems we eat nothing but chicken.  Well you are close to being correct.  However we have fish interspersed and once in a blue moon beef. 

So when that rare occasion occurs I try to make it count.  I will have to tell you all this is absolutely delicious.  My Leo loved it and we were privileged to have my son Patrick visiting.  He is a very accomplished cook and raved about it.  So it appears it was a winner. 

The roast was boneless chuck—an inexpensive cut.   I have found that the secret to a great ending is a great beginning—marinating the meat for 24 hours or more.  Sometimes I put everything in the marinade but the kitchen sink—this time I kept it very simple. 

Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki 

Trader Joe’s Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette

Red wine—keep it cheap

Trader Joe’s Sweet Onion & Bacon Vinaigrette

Loads of Onion—chunky slices  

Bunch of Garlic Cloves sliced into large pieces to open up the flavor.

Put the meat in an air tight container or giant baggie depending on the size of the cut, pour in the marinade, and refrigerate.  Turn a couple of times through the process to be sure the marinade is evenly distributed.

When you are ready to put the roast into the oven take it out of the marinade and put in the roasting pan.  Brown it well on the stove on both sides.  Put in the potatoes—I use the small white ones and leave them whole and unpeeled.  Then add the carrots—you can leave them whole or cut them in large pieces—you do not want them to get mushy.   Then pour the marinade over the whole shebang, cover either with a tight lid or foil and put in the oven.  I start the roast at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes and then turn it down to 325 degrees for about an hour per pound.  I suggest you check it after a couple of hours just to be sure all is well.  There should be plenty of liquid.  And about the last 30-45 minutes pull the meat to the top so the carrots and potatoes get to cook covered in the juice.  The meat absolutely falls apart and the potatoes and carrots are almost caramelized.  And you have dinner—protein, veggie, carb. 

So saucy kitchen comrades here is a little extra bang for your buck.  I am so blessed to have great cooks in my family and this pasta dish was inspired by my daughter-in-law Trudy.  She mentioned putting fresh sage in a gnocchi she had prepared and that got me to thinkin’—ummm.  So I did a flat noodle dish and seasoned them with my lemon/basil flavored avocado oil, (plain avocado oil is fine) shaved asiago, Romano, parmesan cheese, (they come combined) fresh sage (cut into small pieces—this is the SECRET ingredient), seasoned salt, and butter.  WOW

“Til next time—

Create the Magic—YOU have the gift


Suga Momma

Sweet, spicy, tangy, tart–great combo.

I told you it was delicious!!


Hail there my perky chefs.  Hope you all are in the mood to alter your mood—LOL.  In my last blog I mentioned that I just might be generous enough to share my Suga Momma Margarita recipe.  Well I decided to not keep you waiting  Just a word of wisdom—unless you are fortunate enough to not have to be on a budget, whenever you are making mixed drinks it is a waste of money to use top shelf alcohol.  Save the buck benders for shots, martinis, or two component drinks such as gin and tonic, etc.  Also if the ingredients are already cold that keeps the ice from melting and the taste will maintain its integrity.  For instance I always keep liquors for mixed drinks like tequila, vodka, etc. in the freezer.  And the lime juice and mix should be refrigerated.  In addition, if you are feeling extra frisky, the ice cubes can be made of tequila or whatever your main potion is.  Oh yes—an exact measurement alert is in order here.

5 shots tequila

2 shots Vanilla Vodka

1 shot Rum

1 shot Triple Sec

1 shot Brandy

1/4 shot sweetened Lime Juice—Rose’s is a good brand

Margarita Mix to taste

Serve over ice and garnish with a lime slice on the side of the glass.  The number of drinks this makes will obviously depend on how thirsty you are which will determine the size glass you use.

Hey guys—Life is a Dance.  Do not sit it out.  

Create the Magic—YOU have the gift—and the more of these you drink the more magical you become!!!


Suga Momma

What else is there to say—CHEERS



Howdy, howdy, howdy.  I hope you all had a delightful day and are feeling the urge for a little kitchen therapy.  Even though there are quite a few ingredients in the meatloaf it is very easy—just throw in a bit of this and toss in a bit of that.  I think of this dinner combination as being old fashioned—just kind’ve seems like my momma always served meatloaf, green beans, and potatoes together.  It is hearty and the flavors totally compliment each other.  And hey turn on some nice jazz for the “ambiance flavor”.   Or rock or rap or whatever—-just create a happy place.    

In a bowl mix together: 

1 Egg beaten

Ground Chicken

Parsley flakes

Celery Seed

Dry Mustard

Romano/Parmesan finely grated cheese

Pico De Gallo ( or a reasonable substitute)

Whole grain Dijon mustard

Kosher salt

A1 Sauce

Worcestershire Sauce

Aioli Mustard

Smoked Paprika

Sriracha Sauce

Put in a loaf pan in a 375 degree oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes.

Boil “new” or small white potatoes until soft.  Leave the skin—it is healthy and takes less time.  Drain totally and then add minced garlic, butter, seasoned salt and again the Romano/Parmesan cheese insinuates itself into the mix—not exactly sure how that happened but at least it provides continuity—LOL.  I call these “smished” potatoes.  I used a pastry blender just to smoosh them a bit—mainly to evenly distribute the goodies.  Far easier than mashing and they taste amazing.

Toss frozen french green beans into the microwave then add a bit of butter and seasoned salt. 

Thanks so much for checking this out.  And remember your mind defines your life.  So let that mind feast on the positive, lofty, kind, lovely and loving.

Create the Magic—YOU have the gift (something else for your mind)


Suga Momma

Beat the egg first then add in everything else.

The rest of the story!!  Yes you are right–you do indeed see a glass of Suga Momma’s margarita lurking close.  Give that recipe later.

Smished potatoes leave some nice big chunks.  Now that is one lovely plate!!