Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

…with doublemint gum!

I just found out..I’m going to be a grandma times two!

My son and his wife are expecting twins! She is six weeks along today. I am beside myself!

Hopefully they won’t look like this photo.

So in celebration of my expected children running the roost at our home again, and Halloween,
I am posting a kid happy recipe for Popcorn Balls.

Caramel Candy Popcorn Balls

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon whole milk
4 cups popped corn

Dissolve brown sugar in water. Stir and bring to boil. Once brown sugar dissolves, stop stirring and boil for another 5 minutes (mixture will begin to thicken). Remove from heat and stir in milk. Cool to room temperature. Pour over popcorn. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray and form balls.

“8 Popcorn Balls”


Sage Shortbread

The Sage Shortbread recipe posted by The Inadvertent Gardener a few weeks back has to be one the the best shortbreads I’ve ever tried. The only problem with it is I can’t stop eating it. She says it was originally by Christiane Britton with Rosemary.

I didn’t try any herb but the Sage. Who would have thought this particular herb would make such a great cookie? I ground it fine in my coffee mill. Not sure how my next batch of coffee might taste though.

Now I’m wondering if I should let someone close to me that always makes shortbread in on this? I wonder if they would take offence? Maybe I’ll just have some laying around and let her taste it.

Warm Tarragon Dressed Potato Salad- WHB

Up The Creek Without a Patl is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging this week.

Check Pat out for more WHB posts.

My own post this week is a potato salad that I mix together
in the fashion of Nicoise dressing.

I’m not sure if anyone has ever done this before. I just love Nicoise type dressings.

This one is a mixture of a couple I have tried, and I added the wine.

I don’t peel the potatoes but you could if you wished.

I named it-
Warm Tarragon Dressed Potato Salad

3 cups potatoes — cubed
2 each eggs, hard-boiled — chopped
1/2 cup green onion — sliced thin
salt and pepper — to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cooking wine — white
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard — good deli type
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon — snipped

Cook the cubed potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain.

Add the eggs and green onion, mix well.

For dressing wisk together all ingredients well. Pour over
potato mixture, toss.

Salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.

Fall in Virginia and Leftover Pintos

I proclaim fall in Virginia to be most beautiful from the back of
our motorcycle.

Here we are gassing up for the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As you can see from the back of a motorcycle
you get a little helmet blockage.

We do have to stop and take in the view every 20-25 miles and
rest our honcho. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most beautiful
drives in the USA.

After our motorcycle excursions we don’t feel much like cooking.
Who wants to cook with sore behinds, plus we had pintos that needed to be used.

Pinto beans are such a staple in our home that they
often yield leftovers. Everyone has a chili recipe and pintos
are the base of mine. Chili is one of the best ways to use pinto
leftovers, in my opinion.

Since we are trying to diet a bit, turkey meat is great in chili.
There is always a bit of ham in my beans because that is how they
are originally cooked, also salt.

This is a little mild so,
add hot sauce or red pepper to put on the

Me-“Hey Pinto where ya bean?”
Pinto– “All over the world and back again. I get much love and disdain from USA, South”
Me- “Ok, no more corny bean jokes.”

Leftover Pinto Beans Chili

1 pound ground turkey
1 each large onion — chopped
1 each green bell pepper — chopped
2 each jalapeno chile peppers — minced, one red- one green
8 cups pinto beans, cooked with salt — plus liquid
3 cloves garlic — minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh oregano — chopped fine
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Fry the turkey with the onion and peppers until done.

Place Pintos and all other ingredients in a large dutch oven then
add turkey, onion, pepper mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce heat
to simmer about 1/2 hour.


If anyone looked in my fridge they would think my yogurt was out of date. If anyone looked at my spice rack they would think I buy McCormick.

The reason is I save the containers and refill. The spice rack bottles have sentimental value and the yogurt containers are just convenient.

Here is Martha Stewarts recipe for yogurt

5 cups whole, low-fat, or skim milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt with active cultures

1. In a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan, heat milk, stirring frequently over medium heat, to 185°. Remove from heat, and let cool to 110°.
2. Place yogurt in a medium bowl. Using a whisk, gradually stir in cooled milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until smooth between additions. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, poking two or three holes for ventilation. Transfer to a warm place (about 90°), and let sit until milk begins to thicken around the edges and the yogurt is set, about 5 hours.
3. Place bowl in refrigerator until completely chilled. Reserve at least 1/4 cup of this yogurt to begin next batch. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

I usually place in a tightly covered termos to sit. Everything else about the same.

I would show photos but it just looks like yogurt.

Anyway I found a recipe for a yogurt brine that I am trying today.

I will hopefully post results later.

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese and Rosemary

Sher at What Did You Eat is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging this week. Check out Sher’s site for more WHB posts from around the world.

My own little part of the world submission is my chicken salad. I love fruited chicken salad so here is my own version using the herb Rosemary. It might not be “world famous” but it is “family famous”.

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese and Rosemary

2 each Golden Delicious apple — peeled,cored and diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
12 ounces cooked chicken — shredded
1/4 cup chopped pecans — toasted
2/3 cup light mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon rosemary — chopped fine
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Coat the diced apple with the lemon juice.

Mix all ingredients.

Chill or serve just made. I enjoy it more just made, (personal preference).

Crab Mayonnaise Wraps with Mango Salsa

Well ..the Eggbeater mayo held up in the fridge overnight.

I could have used store bought mayo in trying this recipe by Gordon Ramsay..But I wanted a reason to try the Eggbeaters. I’m not disappointed but it does seem more like Miracle Whip than true mayo.

Anyway.. I found this recipe and wanted to try it even though I’m not a fan of GR’s mouth as portrayed in his TV shows. Here is a link to the recipe.

Crab Mayonnaise Wraps with Mango Salsa

I can report they were good even with the eggbeater mayo. I will probably make them again but the next time I’ll probably just pile everything on a plate and forget all that wrapping business.

Homemade Mayo

I have always been afraid to try and make mayonnaise. The egg thing always got me. I recently ran upon a recipe using Eggbeaters at Cooks.Com. Here is what it looks like-

It isn’t bad and I also used Splenda in place of the sugar. I guess you could use lemon juice in place of the vinegar but I haven’t tried that yet.

Here is the recipe.


1/3 c. Eggbeaters
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 c. Mazola corn oil

Combine Eggbeaters, spices, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup oil in blender container. Cover and whirl on medium-high speed just until blended. Without turning off blender, slowly pour in remaining 1/2 cup oil in a fine stream. If necessary, use rubber spatula to keep mixture flowing to blades. Store in covered container in refrigerator. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

“Taken from –”

Meat Ball Stroganoff- WHB

I missed Weekend Herb Blogging last week ,so I don’t wish to miss out this week.

The weather here has gotten much cooler making me dream of hearty, filling
dishes. Thyme leaves and fennel seed are great for such dishes.

So without more adieu, here is my WHB post for this week, hosted by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast.
Check Ruth out for more Weekend Herb Blogging.

PS- Don’t start out with 1 inch lopsided balls and end up with
2 inch lopsided balls by the end of your fry batches.
Do as I say and not as I do!

Meat Ball Stroganoff

6 slices rye bread — crumbled
1 each large onion — chopped fine
2 each eggs–beaten
1 tablespoon thyme — leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 clove garlic — pressed
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
3 each bay leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seed
3/4 cup sherry
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Mix together all meatball ingredients and shape into 1″ balls.
Fry in batches in a small amount of your oil preference, in a large pan. Set aside.

Pour the beef broth and sherry in the pan to de-glaze. Add mushrooms,
bay leaves, and fennel.
Bring mixture to a slow boil.

Carefully replace the meat balls and bring to a slow simmer for about 1/2 an hour.

In a measure combine the cornstarch with the sour cream. Remove the bay leaves and
carefully add the sour cream mixture stirring slowly until thickened.

Serve immediately over hot rice or noodles.

Basil Shrimp with Feta and Orzo

I added black olives and some fresh oregano to this Cooking Light Mag recipe. Very good.

Basil Shrimp with Feta and Orzo

1 regular-size foil oven bag
Cooking spray
1/2 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
2 teaspoons olive oil — divided
1 cup diced tomato
3/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese — (2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 pound large shrimp — peeled and deveined
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 450°.

Coat inside of oven bag with cooking spray. Place the bag on a large shallow baking pan.

Cook the pasta in boiling water 5 minutes, omitting salt and fat; drain. Place the pasta in a large bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon oil and next 7 ingredients (1 teaspoon oil through pepper). Place the orzo mixture in prepared oven bag. Combine shrimp and basil. Arrange shrimp mixture on orzo mixture. Fold edge of bag over to seal. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until the shrimp are done. Cut open bag with a sharp knife, and peel back the foil. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil.

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 cup orzo and about 5 ounces shrimp)