Hockey season is back!  Finally. . .  after a long summer break, the Wings are about the hit the ice for another year of Red Wings Hockey.  I can’t wait until tonight when they open the season full of excitement and high expectations for a successful season.  For 23 years straight my Red Wings have made the playoffs, gone to the finals 6 times and won the Stanley Cup 4 times in 17 years.  Last year I watched HBO’s 24/7 which featured behind the scenes with the Red Wings organization and players leading up to the outdoor Winter Classic on New Years Day. There was a scene where the Wings were flying to a road game and while on the plane the guys were served sugar cookies with their jersey names and numbers.  They were so COOL!!  I searched online and found a jersey cookie cutter then sent off for some winged wheel edible icing images to decorate the white jerseys.  I used icing tips to write their name and numbers on the home red jerseys.  They were so much fun to make, a lot of work but worth every minute. I’m especially looking forward to this season because we are flying to Detroit in January to see the Wings play at Joe Louis Arena!!  I can’t wait!


It’s Hatch season and I just picked up my first green chiles of the season.  I’ve had this recipe in mind for such a long time and waiting on chile season to try it out.  I have a cookbook from The Museum of New Mexico Foundation, “Dulce, Desserts from Santa Fe Kitchens”.  In it there is a recipe for lime ice cream with caramelized green chiles.  Every time I flip through it I wonder how this combination will taste.  You might think it sounds like an odd combination but I can vouch that it’s really quite tasty.  Think of candied jalapenos paired with cream cheese. . . yummy huh!  Well, this sweet and hot combination tastes like frozen key lime pie with some chile jelly on top.  It’s sweet with a back heat that tempts your taste buds and leaves you satisfied.  Now you could go with a mild green chile, but the hot chile is tamed considerably by the sweet syrup.  And to top it off I added some crystallized lime zest which added another layer of sweetness.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!


I’ve always wanted to make my own red pepper sauce like Tabasco brand but I rarely find good and fresh cayenne peppers.  I just happened to be shopping for jalapeno’s last week when something red caught my eye.  Beside the jalapeno’s were a few habanero peppers, some ghost peppers and a tray of fresh cayenne peppers.  The cayenne’s were long and curly and crisp and I felt compelled to bring some home.  Not knowing how many it would take to make a batch of sauce, I took a wild guess and estimated about a pound of peppers would do.  The ingredients listed on the back of a Tabasco brand bottle are distilled vinegar, red peppers and salt.  I basically made it the same way with the addition of some water.  I had to play around with the amounts and do a lot of taste testing to get it just right.  When you’re taste testing something so hot and spicy it takes some time in between tastes to make an accurate assessment.  The coloring of my homemade batch turned out much more vivid and bright than the original but the Tabasco brand sauce is fermented which would definitely affect the coloring.  Also my sauce was a little bit thicker but the taste was very close.  My taste testers (Joe and Josh) found one difference . . . they both tasted a variance in the vinegar.  I used an apple cider vinegar (which was what I had on hand in the pantry) but probably should have used white vinegar.  It didn’t even occur to me at the time, but next time I’ll be sure to make it with distilled white vinegar.   If your family goes through bottles of Tabasco red pepper sauce the way mine does, you might try making it yourself, if you can find the cayenne peppers that is!



I’m still on an Aussie kick, this time I’m having summer shrimp tacos with a fresh jicama salsa and jalapeno cream.  The medley of colors, textures and flavors are so appetizing starting with the salsa which is made from fresh ingredients with a bite of crunchy jicama.  And topped with sour cream with roasted jalapenos to add a bit of spice.  Everybody loves finger foods that you can pick up with your hands to eat.  These were no exception literally being wolfed down in minutes.  Portion control just went out the window!


My favorite grilled shrimp comes from a copycat recipe for Outback’s Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie.  This is such a quick and simple meal to put together . . . you only need a blend of spices, melted butter and some lemon wedges. The spice blend is perfect and makes for the best grilled shrimp to serve as an appetizer, topper for a salad, shrimp tacos, or even as the main event.   I served these beauties alongside a bowl of creamy risotto and a tomato salad.  It was yummy to say the least!   If you want to show off, dunk these in a Remoulade Sauce that will make everyone smile.  It’s a big hit around here and expected at every shrimp gathering!  Hope you enjoy!


Ever listen to the song “Millions of Peaches” . . . it’s the song that sticks in my head this time of year.  You know the one . . . Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me, Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Free. . .   I love peaches and when they are in season I could eat them every day.  Each summer I make myself a peach pie, it’s like tradition.  I usually make a deep dish pie but this year I used the same amount of peaches to make a smaller pie plus 6 individual pies in ramekin cups.  The individual pies are great to share with neighbors and friends and are so much fun to make.  Instead of the traditional pie crust topping I made a pecan crumble for Joe who prefers a streusel topping to pie crust.  You can’t go wrong either way.  And a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side makes for one delicious dessert!


This summer I’ve been really good about grilling foods and eating healthier but I just fell off the wagon.  I’ve been craving comfort food and made some Chicken Fried Chicken with some of the best cream gravy I’ve ever had.  It tastes just like fried chicken but the process is a little different. Chicken fried chicken is boneless and run through an egg buttermilk bath before heading to the flour and into the fry pan.  It fries up crispy brown and topped with cream gravy which makes it taste so good.  If you’ve never had this Southern comfort, well . . .  you just don’t know what you’ve been missing!


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