home cooking sign

You know your family loves your food. They ask for it , crave it, and insist on Mom’s home style cuisine whenever they can. Or it may be Dad’s or Grandma’s. You know some home cooking tricks and so does everyone else you know.  Whether it’s your famous mac and cheese that chocolate cake that  everyone wants for their birthday. Or it could be that delicious dish that combines ten vegetables that no one even suspects. You are the Chef!!! You know that food equals love.

Here’s your big chance to heat it up in the kitchen and tell everyone you know about it. Or ar you THAT person that leaves out an ingredient in a recipe so you remain the Queen?  Here’s your chance to compete for a huge cash prize on NBC tv’s hit show FOOD FIGHTERS. You will go against top chefs in this second season. You can be 9-90 to compete.

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1.  Your name (first and last)
2.  Contact phone number
3.  City/State where you live
4.  A brief description of yourself and your cooking, and why you want to be on this show
5.  Photos of yourself, and your best dishes (jpg format please)



downton abby tea

I don’t think the Dowager  or Lady Mary would approve but here’s  the easiest way ever to get your scones ready for your cup of Earl Grey while you’re watching  Downton Abby Sunday night. I made up this recipe and it’s so easy and yet so amazingly deceptive. But before I pat myself on the back, give them a try. Let me know what you think

scone ingredients properly

These are all the ingredients you need. Seriously. And you can add a little sugar too, if you like. Mix the Shawnee Mills buttermilk biscuit mix (which by the way is only about 69 cents) with 1/2 cup of half and half or whipping cream. Add raisins and some sugar (if you like) mix andput on some parchment paper  on a baking sheet. The dough is a bit glumoy but make them like drop biscuits. Set over to 400 and in 15 minutes…voila.!!! This makes 6 scones

scones and tea service

Tea is served Madam. Music to my ears.




squash 2

It’s January and that means a hideous look at our dietary sins over the holidays. You know what I’m talking about. Those angelic Christmas cookies with the Royal icing , the Chex mix, the fudge, the cardamam cookies made by my Mom along with the English Christmas cake . Not to mention that  toffee that Michelle makes and the endless dinners with family that included everyone’s specialties. We bring out our culinary A game over the holidays and by God we expect  participation!!

I regress. Today I took a look in my fridge and low and behold there was a lonely spaghettti squash. I think I bought it before Christmas on some insane bargain with my waistline. But it was still firm and I thought…why not.? I was making turkey meatball subs for my daughter so I thought I’d make an even healthier version for me. I love it. I will try many , many more ideas with this spaghetti squash. I can see Tex-Mex, Chinese and maybe Thai. Hope you enjoy it too.


for two…add more squash as needed


Spagetti sauce

Turkey meatballs

Italian blend cheese in a package.

Spaghetti squash.

How to

Make your sauce, use bottled, make your own. It doesn’t matter. I sautéed a package  of turkey meatballs and dropped them in the sauce.

Take one  Spaghetti squash. Cut in half (this was a tough part) . You don’t want to be slicing off your hand.  I drizzled it with olive oil and put the cut part down on the tin foil lined pan.I baked it at 350 for 40 minutes .

Take the squash out and run a fork through it. It’s like a miracle…you get strands of the squash that look like spaghetti. (am I the only one in the world who hasn’t done this?) Salt and pepper

Take all the “strands” out and put in a layer of sauce. Squish up some turkey meatballs then a layer of the squash strands then cheese . Repeat. Top it up with cheese. Bake for another 30 minutes until bubbly.

Good eats!!!









This summer I went to the Dead Center Film festival with a friend.  It’s something I really look forward to. One of the most poignant documentaries  I saw was about a man who would give music on an ipad to people who had lost all touch with reality. They would listen to songs of their era and BOOM!!! people who hadn’t smiled in years laughed…sang along…even danced.

That’s what music is. Music is truly the soundtrack of our lives.  My kids got me some Dre Beats for Christmas and I am one happy girl. I’ve been thinking of what my soundtrack iss….and so far this is what I have. So if I ever go in a coma…please play these songs for me.

1956 Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill…..it was my Dad’s. I played it over and over.

1961 Take Good Care of My Baby…my first slow dance.

1963 I Want to Hold Your Hand…yep. I fell in love with the Beatles. We lived in Holland and there was no rock and roll music except at night on Radio Luxemberg. A transistor radio. I was in heaven.

1966 Like a Rolling Stone. I was in boarding school in Lakenheath , England and we were all dressed up for prom and had to walk past some soldiers that were leaving for Vietnam. I can still hear them singing….how does it feel to be on your own.

1970 Jr. Walker and the All Stars …What Does it Take. I went to the airport to pick up some band members for their gig at st. Gregory’s. I have loved that song ever since.  Its always the last song on my workout. This always became the theme song for my many romances ever since. Some songs, have staying power.

1973 Marvin Gaye…Let’s get it On. This needs no explanation

1977 Abba…Dancing Queen. I had found the career of my life in tv and I was the happy Dancing Queen.

1978 Stevie Nicks …Go Your Own Way….Went to interview her at a concert. I was so excited. She was so stoned she had to be carried out. No interview. but i still love her music.Rumours

1984  Bruce Springsteen…Born in the USA… My firstborn was three and we actually took him to Dallas to see Bruce Springsteen in concert. Were we freaking nuts?????

1984 Sam Cooke…You Send Me. My song for my second baby boy who managed surviving me singing that to him over and over.

1988 Pretty Little Angel Eyes…beautiful baby Mallory.

Songs come and go. I love Motown. I grew up on that in England in the 60’s and it always makes me happy. As for me now. Top pick song has to be Pharrell Williams…Happy.!!!

What is your’s







young women   1. DO NOT ASSUME YOU CAN SIT ON YOUR LAURELS. If you are a guest for Christmas ask to help. Get up and wash the dishes, empty the trash.  Act better than you would do in your own home.  You move that toned little tush at the gym.  Show your potential new family you can work it at home too. 2.DO TRY TO LEARN A LITTLE ABOUT THE FAMILY. Find out what your potential mother-in-laws interests are.  Bring Mom  a special  heirloom tomato plant for her greenhouse  or bottle of scotch for Dad.  Research pays off. 3.DON’T ORDER THE MOST EXPENSIVE ENTREE ON THE MENU. When the folks take you out for dinner remember that it is not  polite to order the most expensive entrée on the menu, or the $150.00 bottle of wine. Good way to alienate everyone. 4. PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF. Before you leave ask if she want you to strip the bed and  ask wheer to put the towels.  Don’t leave the room a mess and avoid leaving thongs and really personal items.  She doesn’t want to know.  I promise you. 5.WRITE A THANK YOU NOTE. Not an email.  A thank you note that shows you are well-mannered and grateful. (even if you’re not)


winston in car

Trying to sell your house after 26 years is one hell of a job. I have been trying to get rid of stuff for years. I thought I was pretty savvy when I told my kids I didn’t plan on keeping their bedrooms as a shrine, so they should take it all. Well that really worked. No one took a thing. I had various methods of getting rid of stuff. For my middle son, who lives not too far away, I would leave bags of old trophies and the like on his doorstep. Sort of a Mom version of ringing the doorbell and running away.

For the older son with the fancy taste, I let my daughter put his stuff on ebay. And the rest–well 37 trips to Goodwill later, and  intimate knowledge of the attendants family history I was done. Well sort of  . They had to beg me not to bring anymore my little ponies or he-men figures.

The next step is sprucing it up. That means fixing up dart holes and bad temper punches in the playroom sheet rock. Who was that ass kid that did that? Then peeling Grateful Dead stickers off white door. The list goes on. None of  it pleasant.

Perhaps the biggest trick of all is trying to act like you don’t have any animals in your house. I leave out the hermit crab that should have died two years ago that my daughter bought. This is the same crab I have been known to go out in my pajamas in search of  salt water .No pet is left behind in this house .  No one apparently wants the slightest hint that a dog has ever scooted across the wood floor or licked the woodwork. Let alone some of the other dastradly deeds that dogs do. Right?

So when potential buyers come its like a Chinese firedrill to throw the dog equipment (which is massive) in the garage and haul them off in the car. My daughter Mallory and I tried the dog park first  but her Basset Hound, Winston,  was scared of the other dogs and sat terrified for half an hour. We decided driving around with them was a better plan.  Charlie, the rescue dog, was the easiest. Charlie has a cool old school  vibe and was more than happy to listen to Marvin Gaye and Junior Walker and eat chicken finger at Cains. My daughters dogs, Winston and Louie, were a little more difficult. Especially since they like to cling terrified to your neck, making it virtually impossible to turn the steering wheel. Winston, who weighs about sixty pounds likes to dig his claws in your legs and beat his ten pound brother out of the choice spot on your lap. You look like you were a Pamplona survivors after this little adventure. A trip to the ER is always a possibility.

You can stand anything for half an hour, right? But then you have people that come late and linger and there you are driving in cars with dogs.








This is so easy I’m almost embarrassed to share it. But I’m a giver so I
will and you will not be disappointed. This came to me from a good friend.
Not the kind of friend that gives you their treasured recipe and eliminates a bunch
of stuff so it will never be as good as theirs. I mean, who are those people?
 Lady,if your freaking recipe for chocolate chip cookie is your claim to fame….I
feel for you. Real friends give real friends real recipes.

So here you go friend.

Add a piece of roast. Your choice.

Add a stick of butter

 Just stick it on top of the roast. Then pour on a packet of au jus gravy.

Then a package of Ranch dressing mix.

Last thing ….either five whole pepperoncini peppers or the equivilant in
sliced ones.

Then it should look like this

Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Great with mashed potatoes. Lots of
wonderful gravy. You are welcome!!!!!



Foodies have four star quality viewing this summer with two fantastic movies.
I saw Chef with no expectations and loved it. Actor John Favreau was also the
director of this winning movie which had a fraction of the budget of 100 Foot
Journey.The cast was brilliant with  stars like  Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson,
John Leguizamo and Sofia Vergara, Oliver Platt and Ribert Downey Jr.

The restaurant culture was vivid and real . The plot revolves around a reviewer
who puts a culinary kiss-of-death to the once inventive Chef , who is now forced
to stick to the trite menu his boss, Dustin Hoffman, insists he dishes out.

So what does he do ? He gets a food truck and with his best sous chef and son
makes his way across the country. The food and the fun are fabulous and the
inventive use of social media is exciting to see.

Of course he ends back up with his ex wife Sofia Veregas. Hey , it’s his movie!!!
I went home and made Cuban sandwiches.

The Hundred Foot Journey (film) poster.jpg

Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Spielberg produced the most anticipated
food movie of the year. It was sweet, beautiful scenery and everyone did
what a good movie needs. The food and the market scenes were luscious.
and there were two generations falling in love mixed in this delectable
two hours between riveting shots of France that made you want to pack up
your bag and move there..

I have to tell you I am the biggest fan ever of Bollywood movies. I love them.
I can’t get enough of them and then I can’t wait for the end of the movie to see
the unbelievable dancing. it gets me every time. Monsoon wedding and Slum
Dog Millionaire brought it home.  This movie, however lacked the passion I
was looking for.

Dame Helen Mirran did a great job and the dreamy star Indian actor was a new
kind of leading man. The story was good but the movie was two hours and could
have seriously been cut by half an hour to make it perfect. But in spite of those
little flaws I loved it.

It’s amazing when you go to a movie at four thirty on Sunday afternoon and it’s packed.
Mostly with middle aged people. Let’s face it, make a decent movie and they will
come. So wake up Hollywood and remember that I have nine kick ass script like The
Estrogen Files, Where Have All the Prom Queens Gone and Fever Dancing in
War Zones just waiting to be discovered.


I grew up in mostly in England. We also lived in
 Italy and Holland but
England was where my Nana and Grandad lived. England was home. I
loved the rainy weather and the traditions like having afternoon tea. No
matter where I am I check to see if there a cup of Earl Gray and a scone with
clotted cream anywhere in sight.
Everyone thought I was bat-ass crazy when I wanted to build the above
conservatory. But I got my wish and it arrived like an erector set in big boxes
after taking with a jolly fellow named Barry who assured me that it was an easy
project, dispute the fact that his company had never sold one in America.
Several builders later it was up. Lots of plants hit an untimely death until I
agreed to have it tinted. What was I thinking ?
I love this place. I love to drink coffee there and work on my screenplays . I
love to listen to the rain and watch the snow fall. It is amazing. I also like to
dine there. So I set it up fancy and I’m giving you two easy going  dishes that are
conservatory worthy.They aren’t your usual tea and crumpet fare, but they are
easy and modern.  Let me know which ones you like.
 Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Sesame Noodles with Chicken
Courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa

I like this cold !!!!!!

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti or Chinese egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 6 scallions (white and green parts), sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Game Plan: Make the sauce while the noodles cook.
Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat. When the pasta water boils, salt it generously, add the spaghetti or noodles, and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Put the spaghetti in a large bowl and toss with the sesame oil.
To make the Peanut Sauce: In a blender drop in the garlic and ginger while the motor is running. When the chopping is complete, stop the machine and add the peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and red pepper. Process until smooth, then–with the blender running–slowly pour in the water.
To serve, toss the spaghetti with the Peanut Sauce, then top with the cucumber, chicken, scallions, and peanuts.
Cook’s Note: Toasted sesame oil delivers richness and intensity to our sesame sauce with just a drizzle. Maintain its punch by storing it in your refrigerator.

Frittata Sandwiches Mario Batali


  • ingredients
    • For the Frittata Sandwich:
    • 1/4 cup Milk
    • 6 Eggs (beaten)
    • 2 tablespoons Butter
    • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil plus more for the bread
    • 1/3 cup Spring Onion (sliced)
    • 3 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese plus a block to shave onto sandwiches (grated)
    • 1 bunch Asparagus (blanched and cut into coins)
    • 1 Baguette
    • Salt and Pepper
    • For the Asparagus Salad:
    • 1/2 cup shaved asparagus
    • 2 scallions (sliced)
    • juice of 1/2 a lemon
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons Parmesan (grated)
    • 12 pancetta slices/wheels

      For the Frittata Sandwich: Preheat oven to 325F.
    • 2
      1/4 cup Milk
      6 Eggs (beaten)
      Beat together the milk and the eggs.
    • 3
      2 tablespoons Butter
      1 tablespoon Olive Oil
      1/3 cup Spring Onion (sliced)
      1 bunch Asparagus (blanched and cut into coins)
      3 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (grated)
      Salt and Pepper
      In a large non-stick skillet, add the butter and olive oil, and sweat the spring onions and asparagus until soft. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Add the eggs and cook until set around the edges, about 4-5 minutes. This should be a thin frittata. Add the cheese, a pinch of a salt and pepper and stir in. Transfer to the oven and cook until just set, about 5 minutes.
    • 4
      1 Baguette
      Olive Oil
      Slice the baguette through the equator, and then into 6-inch-long sections. Brush the inside of the pieces with olive oil. 
    • 5
      Parmesan Cheese (grated) 
      On a grillpan preheated to medium-high, grill the brushed pieces of baguette until toasted and golden. Shave parmesan over the still warm baguette.
    • 6
      1/2 cup shaved asparagus
      2 scallions (sliced)
      juice of 1/2 a lemon
      2 tablespoons olive oil
      salt and pepper to taste
      2 tablespoons Parmesan (grated)
      12 pancetta slices/wheels
      For the Asparagus Salad: Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. 
    • 7
      Flip the finished frittata out of the pan and onto a cutting board and cut into slices. Place on top of the shaved parmesan on the baguette and sandwich. Top with some of the asparagus salad, a couple sliced of pancetta and the top of the baguette.
    • HAPPY DINING!!!!!!   



If you’re not familiar with the term Hoes Over Bros…let me spell it out
for you. It means putting your friends first. Doesn’t mean always putting
them first. We know all about priorities at our age. But our female friends
should never be put on the back burner. Believe me, you’re going to need
I just heard a story about a group of boomer women who were divorced
and widowed. They planned a great trip to Europe together and the one
by one they started dropping out. Why? Because they were afraid the men
in their lives would replace them in the ten days they were gone. If a middle
aged man would dump you for not being around while you were having a
wonderful time with your friends, well he doesn’t deserve you. I would
take another look and run like hell because you will always be looking over
your shoulder..
 Have we not progressed from junior high when as soon as
a boy came in the picture, bye-bye girlfriends. But who were the first ones
you went running to when the the love of your life dumped you. But face it
ladies…this is the story of our lives. I know because I’ve been there.
It gets worse when the biological clock starts ticking and the primitive hunt
for a husband begins. Those chicks aren’t letting go for anything.  Female
friendship is at an all time low. God Bless those friends who would still
listen to you after twenty break ups.
You would think in our later years that we would be a little smarter about
friendship. But apparently , we’re not. Not that we don’t want men in our
lives …we do. Of course we do. Men can be your best friend. Lucky are
those ladies who have a spouse and best friend all rolled into one.
But celebrate the Hoes….they are the ones who remember that you like
peonies and love a Gin and tonic on a hot day. They will tell you that
your ass looks big in that outfit. (although in a nice way).
They are the ones who will be there for you in a special way when your
daughter gets married or you find out you have a lump in your breast.
Hoes Over Bros. Oh yes.