Thai Cole Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing


IMG_0051Hello all– I was excited when I came across this recipe– so many of my favorite flavors tumbled into one crunchy, bright, cheerful bowl of slaw!!  I’m a cole slaw fan–  but add in peanuts, honey, sweet chili sauce and cilantro– better yet!

OK, is can see you’re saying–”too many exclamation points!”  But try and maybe you’ll exclaim as well.  It really is a scrumptious addition to any summer meal!!


1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tab. soy sauce
2 tab. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Thai sweet chili sauce*
1 tsp. ground ginger**
2 cloves garlic, minced fine

Add all ingredients into a container with a tight fitting lid and shake, shake until it’s all well blended.

Cole Slaw:
4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrot, peeled & grated
1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut to tiny bright bits
1 cup edamame
2 green onions, green parts, chopped
1/2 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Add together all the ingredients for the cole slaw and pour over the dressing.  Mix to coat it all well.  Set it into the fridge until your ready to eat.  Then stir it up again for get all that dressing that’s settled to the bottom and eat up!

*The recipe I worked from called for 1 tsp. of Siriacha sauce– but that’s a little too much heat for wimpy me.  I like this sweet chili sauce a lot.
** You can used fresh ginger if you have it on hand (I didn’t).



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Blueberry Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins

IMG_9689Hello friends–I’m admitting I have a minor addiction.  When I pass through the market and blueberries are on sale (again!) I can’t pass by without dropping a box in my cart.  I know that in a few weeks the price will jump up to it’s winter peak and stay there until next summer.  So I’m getting my fill now.  Blueberry cobbler, blueberries in salads–and what’s better than a blueberry muffin?!  Loving those blueberries.

1 cup oatmeal*
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil**
6 oz. carton of blueberries

Stir together the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the buttermilk, egg and oil.  And lastly, fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners.  And pop them into a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until they are golden and firm to the touch.

Eat at least one right out of the oven when they are their hot, tender best!

*I used whole old fashioned oats, but quick (1 minute) oats are great too.
*The recipe I worked from called for melted butter, but I substituted canola oil and it worked just fine.  But you can butter it up if you like!!

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“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”
—Oswald Chambers  (1874-1917) Scottish evangelist, author and teacher

Hello all- Loved reading this.  When I don’t understand life why is unfolding as it does, still I can trust in the character of my God, his goodness, mercy, faithfulness, wisdom…  That is a true and constant comfort.

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Peach & Blackberry Clafoutis

IMG_0049Hello all–  Peaches.  They are so so sweet and juicy right now and I picked up 3 juicy ample ones at the market.  So Jobay (my 2 1/2 year old assistant in the kitchen) and I mixed up this fruity dessert for after dinner tonight.

I loved all the sweet fruit and warm custard– but the 3 grand-girls were most interested in how to whip cream.  “How do you know how to do that Grandma Rhonda?”  “How does it turn “hard” into whipped cream?”  “Can I hold the mix we too so I can make whipped cream?”…

1 1/2 pound yellow peaches
6 oz. blackberries (a little more than a cup)
1 tab. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cream*
powdered sugar to dust the top

Slice the peaches (no need to peel them) into a bowl.  Add the blackberries and stir in the 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Then in another bowl, with an electric mixer beat together the vanilla, eggs, milk, flour, salt, sugar and cream.

Transfer the fruit into a 2 1/2 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Then carefully pour the cream mixture over the top.

Pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until the custard is set.  Let it sit at least 5 minutes and then dust with powdered sugar through a sieve.   Spoon it out into bowls and enjoy!

If you have whipping cream left in your carton– whip it up to serve along with the clafoutis–and top with a couple berries.

–and the secret ingredient in whipped cream is to add 1 tsp. of vanilla instant pudding dry mix.  It stabilizes the cream to stay stiff and beautiful until it’s time to serve it up.

IMG_0030P.S.– did you spot the photographer in the bowl of the spoon?

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Lime Cilantro Rice Bowl

IMG_0012Hello there–  Do you do this?– sit at a restaurant and examine someone’s plate to determine how you can summon up the same thing at home?  Well, this colorful bowl is my best effort to put together the dinner Larry sat down to at Rubio’s last week.

And it has the added plus that we can set out all the elements separate and any picky eaters (did I mention we have those adorable grand-girls staying with us?) can choose just the ingredients that will make it delectable to them!   I learned this trick from the always interesting blog,  Dinner: A Love Story  –  She calls it deconstructing a meal, serving the elements of the meal separately so her daughters can choose their own combinations.  It works!

So here’s a fast, flavorful and flexible meal that should leave everyone happy…


Lime Cilantro Rice:
1 1/2 cups rice
3 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 chipotle pepper, seeds removed and minced fine*
1 large lime, just the juice
1 tsp. olive oil

Cook the rice with the water and 1 tsp. salt according to the directions on the package.  While that’s cooking use a food processor or stick blender to pulverize the cilantro, onion, chipotle pepper, lime juice and 1 tsp. olive oil.  Then when the rice is cooked, thoroughly stir the cilantro mixture into the rice.  Done!  That was easy.

*I’m always careful to remove ALL the seeds, since I’m a wimp about hot peppers.  If you like less heat, just use half a pepper.  Be sure to mince it to a pulp…

Cooked chicken*
2 ears fresh corn
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped fine
1 tab. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted & chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

I just cooked bits of chicken breasts with heavy salt & pepper– but leftover cooked chicken or roasted chicken from the market would be A-OK.

Cook the two ears of corn in a pan of water in the microwave 7-8 minutes.  Then cut it off the cob and mix it up with the red pepper bits, red onion and olive oil.  Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.

Just heat the black beans to serve and set out the tomato and avocado.


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The Lowland

Unknown-2Hi Book Buddies–  Just closed the cover on The Lowland.  Loved it.  A moving story of people living between 2 cultures, set years ago in India, ending in present day U.S.  Lahiri is a compelling, if understated, story teller, quietly weaving the lives of the 5 main characters over 50 years of emotional conflict and cultural tensions.

The story starts In Calcutta with two closely knit brothers, who take divergent paths.  When a family tragedy occurs, their lives are connected in new ways and the ensuing years pay the price of decisions made.  The persistence of the past runs through each of the characters lives with emotional force and you find yourself waiting and hoping for the best for them against the odds.

Life in India, the story of immigrants, the unraveling of a family– all pull you through the story.  I love Lahiri’s writing (Pulitzer Prize winner) for its descriptions of time and place, for it’s quiet, clear opening of lives and relationships.  I’m glad it landed on my summer reading list.

P.S.  Lahiri’s other excellent works include:
Interpreter of Maladies
Unaccustomed Earth
The Namesake: a Novel
(also a movie)





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Artichoke Tapenade

IMG_9972Hello all–  Happily anticipating a wedding shower for adorable Jessica tomorrow afternoon!  We wanted to forgo the customary cheerful salad or those big slabs of shower cake– so we are putting together a table full of antipasti– including this tapenade to smear on to thin slices of baguette.  With a few good olive, some peppery salami, cheeses, marinated tomatoes* it should be festively delicious.

14 oz. can artichoke hearts (not marinated)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. capers
a small pinch of dried basil
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

OK this is easy– Drain the can of artichoke hearts and drop them into a blender with the garlic, capers, basil and olive oil.  Blend until it’s a creamy paste and taste to see if you want to stir in a touch of salt.

Serve it on toasty slices of baguette or slather it on just about any sandwich to make it that much tastier.

*Here’s the complete list of our antipasti spread: Brie, Jarlburg, goat cheese, peppered salami, olives, almonds, grapes, tiny sweet peppers, marinated tomato slices, fig jam, bread and that tub of tapenade–

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