Today Dave tried this Rib Rub prior to grilling and sauteing in Sir Charles BBQ sauce.
1/3 cup paprika
3 tablespoons dry mustard
3 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground basil
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons red pepper

Combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container. When applying to ribs, coat heavily and massage into the meat. If you want to make a sweet rub add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
cook on the grill at 250 for about 30-45 minute a side in a foil wrapped and paritally open for 15 minutes rib side up and then direct heat on grill 10 minutes each side.


Cod Butternut Stew

A few years ago a dear friend back in Indiana gave us the recipe. She gleamed it from a cooking program when they lived in Florida, years ago. It has become one of our family’s favorite winter stew’s, it encompasses the fall vegetables and the coastal fish. So it’s perfect North Carolina meal.

2 Tbsp of butter
1 C finely chopped onion
1 C finely chopped celery
1 C finely chopped green pepper
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp curry
1 tsp salt
3 medium potatoes
3 medium carrots
2 lb of cod
2 butternut squash or 4 cups chopped
64 ounces of chicken broth

Melt butter in large pot, add onion, celery and green peppers; saute until soft. Add broth and bring to boil. Add potatoes, carrots, cubed squash. Add salt, pepper and curry. Boil until veggies are tender about 20 minutes. Add cubed cod, boil for 5 minutes and serve.

I grew up eating Pat Vaughn’s Sloppy Joe’s. My mother made them whenever we had a big gathering, be that family or friends. It was one of her favorite easy go to meals. Pat Vaughn was our next door neighbor when I was a young girl. Her oldest daughter and I would play in our adjoining yards, in the winter sledding down my terrific hill in the side and front yard, climbing trees – well mainly I would climb tree’s I was the tom boy, Laura was more of a girly girl. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

To this day, Pat will always have a special place in my heart. Both her and her husband Joe were a great influence on me and a wonderful support. They loved and treasured me just like I was there daughter and I appreciate that today.

Well I must give up my memory lane and put pen to paper or shall I saw fingers to key board and document this recipe. Because tomorrow I will be making it for our first ever Pumpkin Carving Party. I am hoping we can carve pumpkins outside in the driveway. Hurricane Sandy is threatening to give us rain shows, but maybe they will only go as far as the Triangle area. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sloppy Joe’s ala Pat Vaugh

1 lb of ground beef
3/4 C ketchup
1/2 C water
1/4 Vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp minced onion
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
2 T sweet relish (maybe 3 to taste)

Brown the beef in the pan, then combine with ketchup, water, vinegar, sugar and spices. It can be kept warm in a crock pot for easy serving.

This is our favorite go to meal for our family. Dave has this recipe memorized we have had it so much in our married life. Natalee now loves it too.

  • 500 g/1 lb of spaghetti (we use 100 g per person)
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 Tbsp of chopped parsley is using dried substitute 1 tsp per 1 Tbsp of fresh
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 C of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper

Heat olive oil and add the chopped garlic and parsley. Stir continually over low heat, gradually adding drained and flaked tuna. The heat should remain low so that none of the ingredients changes color

Cook the pasta, following directions. Drain pasta, add sauce and stir well. Next add lemon juice, grated cheese, butter divided into small pieces, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir well.

* Another more strongly flavored version of this sauce can be made leaving out the cheese and butter and adding 3 chopped anchovy fillets, 1/2 small chilli pepper to the intial frying of the garlic and parsley.


Today I needed a quick and easy dish for dinner. So I threw together some black beans that I had soaking with rices, diced tomatoes and some herbs. It was quite the easy and tasty meal. Serve with salsa, greek yogurt or sour cream and tortilla chips.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cups of black beans or 1 (15 ounce) can drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice

This is one of my family’s favorite meals. I first discovered this meal in a Weight Watchers cook book years ago. Since that time I now make my own yellow rice and sometimes if I remember to soak the black beans – I’ll use dried instead of canned. I found this link that converts dried beans to canned ratio’s.

  • 1 (5 ounce package of rice mix or use this recipe
  • 1 (15 ounce ) can black beans, undrained
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp sliced green onions or chives

Cook rice according to directions or recipe. Set aside and keep warm. Drain beans, reserving 2 tbsp liquid. Combine beans, reserved liquid, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until throughly heated. Remove from heat, stir in 1 Tbsp cilantro. Spoon 3/4 cup of rice onto plate and top with 1/3 cup of bean mixture. Sprinkly with remaining 1 Tbsp cilantro. Dollop each serving with 1 Tbsp sour cream/greek yogurt and sprinkle each with 1 tsp green onions. Also serve with tortilla chips.

Serves 3

Source: Down to Earth

Last week I tasted this fantastic snack mix from Zen Cat, called Cat Chaat and I fell in love with it. So much so that I decided to recreate it at home. After checking with google on various Indian spice snack mixes I came up with the following. I think it’s pretty darn close but I really need to go out and purchase a bags of Cat Chaat to really compare.

1 Qt of puffed brown rice cereal
1 Cup of cashews,
1 Cup of shredded unsweeten coconut
1 Cup of Pepitas
1 Cup of Raisins
3 Tbsp of Agave
2 Tbsp of oil or butter
1/3 tsp of Turmeric
1 tsp of Chili
3/4 tsp of Cardamon
1/2 tsp of salt – but I think next time I will omit
juice of one whole lime or lemon

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Mix spices and set aside. Then heat or melt butter and mix with Agave. When Agave and Oil or Butter are will mixed stir in spices and toss with snack mix. The microwave for 3 minutes and stir for a total of 9 minutes. Spead to cool. Because it was still a bit soggy for me, I put it in a low tempeture oven over night. The result was a perfectly crunchy tasty snack mix that both Dave and I devoured on our trip to Cincinnati.