Tag Archives: special recipe

it’s fall … make a great chicken recipe!

8 Oct

this week i’m heading to beautiful new york state and i get the opportunity to pop in to spend some QT (quality time) with some of my very favorite people in the world.  that would be the prendevilles!  

in honor of that, i’m going to repost susan’s awesome chicken recipe from last year.  you must know that it was and still is my #1 most looked-at post!

so looking forward to seeing you this week!

hi, my name is susan

and i am lucky enough to be “the appreciator’s” sister in law and ROF’s sister. she asked me to share a recipe and since i would do anything for her, i agreed. leave it to the appreciator to invite guest bloggers – always the includer.

dear trish – my sister in law on my husband’s side – made this dish when we visited years ago and it has become a family favorite. i selected this recipe because i wanted the opportunity to tell you about (appreciate) trish.

trish & my mother-in-law eileen

she is a gentle soul and one of the best listeners i know. one of the things i like best about her is the way she shows me things. trish tells the story and holds the thing in her cupped hands in a way that conveys her treasure of it. i can always feel her feelings… when she shows and tells.

trish has given me:

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best spaghetti, buttery breadsticks & mom

8 Sep

today’s guest recipe blogger is my mom. 

if you don’t know her already, you can read about her here.  Or click the “wednesday story” to the right!

i’m joan krause, mom of “the appreciator”.  she invited me to supply a favorite recipe and story.  my absolutely favorite thing to make and to eat is spaghetti.  who knows, maybe it’s because of the lycopene in the tomatoes. 

 according to wikipedia:

 “lycopene is not an essential nutrient for humans, but is commonly found in the diet, mainly from dishes prepared from tomatoes. When absorbed from the stomach, lycopene is transported in the blood by various lipoproteins and accumulates in the liver, adrenal glands, and testes.”

hello?  testes? well, i’ll tell you one thing, they have never found lycopene in my testes and that’s a fact!

i truly think i’m a spaghetti-a-holic.

when I turned 16, my mother gave me a surprise birthday party.  i’ll never forget it.  she told me that i had to babysit my cousin on my birthday and i just couldn’t understand how a mother could ask her daughter, on the most important birthday ever, to babysit.  when i got home, mom asked me to go in the basement and get something out of the old chest freezer. i went downstairs, there were all my friends and i was surprised!  i, obviously, forgave my mom.  plus, she fixed spaghetti for us all.

then, on our mom and dad’s 25th anniversary, i was around 22 and my sister sally was 18 or 19.  we decided to give them a party (much to my mother’s dismay).  our mom was quite the entertainer, so losing this control was not easy for her.

side view of our house in cincinnati - wish i could find the front view - darn!

what did we decide to cook? 

spaghetti of course – not necessarily my parents favorite dish, but it was mine.  my parents were out on our beautiful long front porch having drinks with four other couples.  meanwhile, sal and i were busy in the kitchen and i’m carrying the spaghetti pot from the old chambers stove to drain the water.  sally said, “don’t drop it!” which i promptly did.  spaghetti was everywhere.  we were literally skating on the starch and sally was laughing so hard.  i shouted, we’ll laugh later, these people have to eat now!

my mother

walked through the closed swinging door from the dining room – had her hand over her mouth and not saying anything, turned around and went out to the porch.  needless to say, the cocktail hour was extended, more spaghetti was made, and the guests were finally able to come to the table.  we heard that it was the best party ever.  hmmmmmm …could it have been the extended cocktail hour?

mom, sally & me (mom is turned around and Sal to her right)

oK, i’ve changed my mind – everyone has their own favorite spaghetti recipe.  i’m going to give you something you can make that is so easy and always goes with my spaghetti and everything else.

hot dog breadsticks

i have passed this recipe on so many times and i feel it’s a real winner.  this was my mom’s recipe.

take a package of hot dog buns – cut the buns lengthwise, so that each bun makes 4 breadsticks.

take 2 sticks of BUTTER – not margarine – and melt in a frying pan.

get a cookie sheet lined with foil ready.  dip one of the sticks in the butter till coated and put on foil lined cookie sheet.  put them close to one another.  after all have been dipped and warm from the butter,

take parmesan cheese, out of the shaker container, and heavily coat the sticks. 

then sprinkle lots of poppy seeds on top – you can shake a little garlic salt on top if you want. (I don’t do this – but you can).  now, if you’re making a lot, you might have to melt more butter.

i have cooked these several different ways – fast oven and a slow oven.  The main thing is that you have to watch them.  They brown fast.

400 degrees for 15-20 minutes and watch – could take longer

325 degrees for 30-40 minutes and watch – could take longer

a couple of variations are that you substitute cinnamon and sugar for the parmesan cheese.  douse them in the butter and shake the combined cinnamon and sugar heavily over the top.  or douse in butter and put any kind of finely grated cheese on top.  so good!

you can do ahead and freeze then warm in the microwave. Great for large parties – everyone always asks about them!

stuffed brie, paradise & vino

31 Aug

by m. decker

“if you’re alone, i’ll be your shadow. if you want to cry, i’ll be your shoulder. if you want a hug, i’ll be your pillow. if you need to be happy, i’ll be your smile… but anytime you need a friend, i’ll just be me.” – anon

the above quote pretty much sums up my love and adoration of “the appreciator.”  so, when she asked if i wanted to post a recipe on her blog, i instantly said yes! as the best female friend always obliges.

the “appreciator” and i met many light years ago at a dog park in uptown dallas (yes, very romantic..)  our dogs instantly clicked, which left us with little choice but to go out for an alcoholic beverage at our favorite pooch patio (for the sake of the dogs, of course!).  luckily for all of us, the booze never ran out, the laughter never stopped and the friendship blossomed.  i feel blessed to have you in my life.

the below mushroom stuffed brie was recently created on vacation in Seaside, FL.  30A, is the 20-mile scenic shore tucked neatly between destin and panama city beach, florida, or as my son called it, “paradise mommy.”

mushroom stuffed brie a la “30A”


  • sancerre sauvignon blanc – in a glass, straight up
  • chopped mushrooms — (2 hands full)  cos that’s how I roll
  • chopped fresh garlic –  (1 clove) yes, the real stuff you have to peel
  • chopped crabmeat(1 generous hand full) preferably not from Fiesta
  • one egg  — (1) beaten not stirred
  • defrosted phyllo pastry sheet – (2 sheets) “fee-lo” for all you Southern Folk
  • round of brie –– (the bigger the better) – “that’s what she said..”


what next?

  • set your oven to 350 degrees on bake.
  • in a pan, fry with butter the mushrooms, garlic and splosh of wine.  sprinkle salt and pepper to season.
  • slice the brie in half (like a bread roll) and stuff the cooked fried pan mix from above in the middle of the brie.

  • place the crabmeat on top of the fried pan mix.  cover this with the brie top – sandwich style. drizzle salt, pepper and EVOO on top of brie.
  • swaddle the whole brie with the phyllo pastry sheets, like an itty bitty baby.
  • baste the egg over the fillo before putting in the oven :
  • place itty bitty baby brie in the oven for 20mins or so.
  • remove from oven and eat with a spoon or crackers of your choice.

to quote woody allen (the “appreciator’s” favorite movie icon), “i am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.”


pretzel jello salad

24 Aug


my name is katie krause.  ” the appreciator” is my favorite older sister.

ok, she is my only sister.

but she is still my favorite.  other than my parents, she has taught me what unconditional love means.  i’m very appreciative of her.

let me first start off by saying that this is very hard to write all in lower case.  you see, i’m a compulsive capitalizer.  i’m known for capitalizing words that should not Be capitalized. (side note: i’m grateful for the appreciator for pointing this out.) this is a great lesson in self control.

the recipe I chose is the jell-o pretzel desert.

i chose this because it’s been a staple at our thanksgivings and Christmas’ for as long as I can remember.  we all LOVE this dish.  When things were upside down for the holidays and we didn’t make a big dinner, my brother jim would always say, “can we at least make the jell-o?” and so we would.  This dish signifies HOME for me.  one year, one of the children (who will remain nameless because this is her blog and I wouldn’t want to embarrass her) tried to make it and the jell-o never set.  you would think that the world was ending.  it ruined Christmas! (j/k)

where this recipe differs from the other similar recipes on the internet, is that instead of using 2 cups of boiling water, use 2 cups of boiling pineapple juice.   i also used 1/3 less fat cream cheese and lite cool whip.   OOHH sooo good!

the recipe:

2 c. crushed pretzels (katie side note: don’t use fancy choppers, pound your stress away with a baggie and a can!)
3/4 c. butter, melted
3 tbsp. sugar
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
1 (9 oz.) carton cool whip
1 (6 oz.) pkg. strawberry Jell-O
2 c. pineapple Juice
2 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen strawberries in juice

mix crushed pretzels, melted butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar together. press into a 9×13 inch pan. katie note: use a clear pan so you can see all the layers!

bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. cool.

combine cream cheese, cool whip, and 1 cup sugar. mix well and spread onto the cooled crust.

mix jell-o with pineapple juice, then add frozen strawberries. stir until berries soften and jell-o starts to thicken. gently pour or spread mixture over cream. refrigerate.

thanks for letting me share my memories and my favorite dish with you.  enjoy!

swimming pools, southern belles and peach cobbler

4 Aug

the fuzzy truth

by suzanne holzwanger,

who has the rare pleasure of actually liking her boss “the appreciator” and considers her a dear friend.

ah texas.

gorgeous sunsets, hot summers and swimming pools. and nestled snugly in the backyard of our far north dallas home, peach trees. thanks to my dad who filled the backyard with peach trees instead of a pool.

while the entire neighborhood was cooling off in their refreshing, glistening pools, my siblings and i were picking peaches. from the trees. from the ground. every peach went into the basket. everybody else (and in a young mind means everyone on earth) had a pool. they swam in their pools, ate by their pools, slept in their pools. not us though-we had peach trees and someone had to pick them. i was convinced my parents had the 4 of us only for this purpose.

and we didn’t just pick, we sorted.

it was usually punishment for chores not done or fights we got into. a far worse punishment though was hearing the sounds of “marco polo!” and “cannonball!” from our friends while we were stuck separating good and bad peaches in the heat (what? she invited her??)

i remember my great aunt Viola, who happens to turn 99 this month, driving down from sherman to visit. I thought she was coming to see us but it was really for the peaches. she and my mom would sit and peel, jar and bake with a kitchen full. boxes and bowls and all fruit ev-er-y-where. i loved the end result of their cobblers, pies, and jams though. such a bitter sweet relationship.

flashing forward a few years,

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