Testing Holiday Recipes

I’ve never been much of a baker, rather I enjoy preparing meals. Dinner and breakfast are my favorite meals to cook – and in that order. I do like a good dessert, and over the years I’ve dabbled more, and more. When it comes to sweets that I enjoy, I’ll try to make it at least once.

I’ve had scones on a few occasions, most recently while having lunch at Panera Bread. Since then, it’s been in the back of my mind to make a batch. With Christmas around the corner, and a little extra time on my hands yesterday, I whipped up a quick batch of cranberry orange scones.

Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

My family has been more muffin eaters, and scones are a welcome addition. The batter being thicker is a cross between shortbread and a biscuit dough. It was firm enough, without being too stiff, making it easy to press into a circle using my hands instead of a rolling pin.

Cranberry Orange Scones 2 Testing Holiday Recipes

I followed the recipe almost to the letter. Instead of 2 Tbsp. I added about a-half-cup of sugar. I prefer just a little more sweetness. That half-cup of sugar was just enough, perfect even. After baking fifteen minutes at 400 the scones were perfect!

The orange glaze was a nice contrast to the cranberries. When I make these for Christmas treats, I’m thinking of topping it with a cream cheese glaze instead.

Scones Testing Holiday Recipes

Mr. Husband, who can be picky, asked questions, nibbled, and ate a whole scone. That was a good sign. I even packed one with his breakfast this morning.

I’m looking forward to cooking, baking, and creating holiday treats with and for my family for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

What are your favorite holiday recipes?

Homegating – Season 3

It’s that time of the year again…


There is high school football, college football, professional football, football, football and more football! Football from Thursday, through Monday night.

Once Mr. Husband gets in from work on Saturday, afternoons I literally give up on watching TV. Our son comes over and they watch football well into the night, one game after the other. College football is their favorite.

Actually, the entire football season Mr. Husband takes over the television. During this time the DVR is my best friend!

In 2014, I had a great idea,  since I couldn’t beat them, I might as well join them. Dinner is inevitable, why not make it a “thing” and homegate? Yes, I made that word up.



a social gathering at which an informal meal is served, instead of from the back of a parked vehicle, in the comforts of home.

It’s turned into a great tradition for our family, and the perfect reason to have family time. Most of all, it gives me the opportunity to try new recipes every week, along with a new theme.

As always I’m on the lookout for great recipes. My favorite sites and Pinterest have provided exciting ideas for the past two years of homegating menus.

I’ve even created a Homegating Pinterest board dedicated to building an arsenal of recipes. And I’m always on the lookout for more.

Our first homegate of the season, I’m considering a burger bar. And eventually, I’m going to try fried chicken necks. A classmate made a FB post about them last year, and it’s been in the back of my mind since. This football season, it’s going down. Now I just have to find chicken necks!

What are your favorite homegating/tailgating recipes?




The Taste of Summer

Taste of Summer The Taste of SummerSummer is my favorite time of the year. The flowers have bloomed, bright colors are everywhere, and the grass is green. I love the warm days, sounds of crickets and frogs after a rain, and watching fireflies light up the yard at dusk. I don’t even mind swatting a mosquito or two. I exaggerate.

Most of all I enjoy the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables available during the summer months. Some of the best foods are related to summer.


Many of my favorite memories are tied to food, and summer.

For a while, I’ve pondered the “Taste of Summer.” I know it may seem a little odd, equating food with a season, but indulge me.

Recently, I started asking everyone I come in contact with “What does summer taste like?”

I’ve gotten some really great responses from barbecue to homemade ice cream, iced tea, and watermelon, along with others in between. And they all have their very own connection to the season.

This summer I’m on a quest to find The Taste of Summer. I’ll taste summer, cook up a little summer and share it in words, pictures and recipes along the way.

So I’ll ask you…

What does summer taste like to you?



Tea Party Fit For A Queen

Tea Party Menu 1 683x1024 Tea Party Fit For A Queen

Recently, we had a bona fide tea party to honor our pastor’s wife, as a part of their 39th Pastor & Wife Anniversary. We wore spring dresses, hats, and gloves, and ate pretty tea party food.

More than 60 ladies attended, dressed in a great display of southern charm and sophistication, in true tea party fashion.

Related Article: Etiquette and History of Afternoon Tea

The idea for the tea party was my friend’s. ‘Mrs. P’ is a real life Martha Stewart type/renaissance woman. She cooks, decorates, and sews. Pretty much, she can bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan.

Although simple, the tables were beautifully decorated with teapots of different shapes, sizes, and colors. They created an ambiance perfect for tea with the queen, our queen that is.

My Favorite Menu Items

Everything was delicious, but I did have a few favorites. What is a good food post without recipes? I bothered ‘Mrs. P’ for her menu, and looked up recipes to match on Pinterest.

As you can see, the sandwiches were a hit with me. This tea party was so well received, everyone wants to make it an annual event. I am looking forward to the next one!




Southern Teacakes and Fond Memories

Teacakes Southern Teacakes and Fond Memories

I have a love affair with food, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

Good food seems to be front and center for good times and celebrations. Food has given us a reason for large and small family gatherings. For me, those gatherings are priceless.

Particular foods conjure up warm and fuzzy memories, especially those of my grandmothers. Both of them were excellent cooks. My father gave me the BEST complement a few months ago. As he was inhaling my candied yams he said, “Your sister may look like your grandmother, but you cook like her.”

That was the best compliment ever!

We called my dad’s mom My’Dear, and she was an excellent homemaker. She cooked, sewed, crocheted, and gardened among other things. And she was great at them all! One thing in particular that comes to mind when I think of My’Dear is her teacakes. *Insert deep heavy sigh.*

This morning teacakes and My’Dear were heavy on my heart and mind. I was not going to let the sun go down with out making a batch. Armed with Paula Deen’s Southern Teacakes recipe I went to work.

Teacake dough Southern Teacakes and Fond Memories

I took creative license and added 1 tsp of Cream of Tarter to punch it up a bit. Another thing I didn’t do was put the dough in the refrigerator to chill, roll out, cut and then bake. I didn’t have time for all of that.

I used the spoon drop method. Unlike other cookies, teacake dough is stiff, and doesn’t rise and spread. If you’re not going to roll out the dough and cut it with cookie cutters, be sure to flatten your cookies.

Using a plastic cup, I sprayed the bottom with cooking spray and mashed the dough to flatten the cookies.

My teacakes look a little different, and even have a little something extra. But like My’Dear’s, they turned out great!

Happy Baking… Always La Tonya.