Sunday, December 4, 2022

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels with (Huh?) secret ingredients

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheel

I had the neighborhood Christmas potluck today so I decided to make an appetizer which turned out to be a big hit.  “What is IN these?” This was the common question followed by “these are SO GOOD!”

I can’t stake my claim as the inventor of these delicious morsels.  My friend Kathryn introduced me to these at her annual cookie exchange, where is these appetizers would fly off the counter.  Her friend Jennifer gave her the recipe.


  • 20 slices white sandwich bread, crust trimmed (about a loaf)
  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard (I like to use spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (I probably use 2)
  • 1.5 pounds sliced bacon 
  • 8 oz. (2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  • Flatten the bread slices with a rolling pin or by hand. Combine the condensed milk, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl and mix well.  Cute the entire block of bacon into halves and separate slices. 
  • Arrange 3 bacon halves side by side on a work surface. (I overlap them slightly)
  • Place 1 flattened piece of bread on the bacon and spread with 1 tablespoon of the condensed milk mixture.
  • Top with 1 tablespoon of cheese.
  • Roll the bacon to enclose the bread and secure with wooden toothpicks (I don't use toothpicks, unless it looks really necessary).
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cut each roll into three pinwheels, cutting the bacon slices. 
  • Arrange pinwheels on a baking sheet (I often cover the tray first with aluminum foil and spray with Pam - makes for an easier cleanup) and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. They should get nice and brownish but don’t burn the bottoms. 

This is what it looked like before I baked:

This is after baking:

The potluck was outdoors so I kept them warm on this new warming plate I got at Home Depot. I figure it will be handy for entertaining during the holiday season  

Enjoy! These will be the hit of the party!


Friday, November 25, 2022

Thanksgiving Leftovers re-emerge into Quiches

Quiche #1:  Broccoli Cheese Casserole and Macaroni and Cheese Quiche

Quiche #2:  Creamed Spinach, Honey Baked Ham, Parsley and Gouda Quiche

First, here’s the story:

The day after Thanksgiving I look into my fridge and see a motherload of leftovers. What to do? Eat them again? An option. Or…turn them into a new recipe. I choose new recipe.  What comes next will blow your mind. I invented thanksgiving leftover quiches that might be the best thing I ever made.  Quiche #1:  Made with leftover broccoli and cheese casserole and leftover macaroni and cheese. Quiche #2: Made with leftover creamed spinach, leftover ham, leftover parsley and leftover gouda cheese cubes.  Quiche is pretty easy:  4 eggs beat with a cup of milk or cream. I used whole milk which was leftover from my chocolate pudding pie. Then up to 2 cups of other toppings and a cup of cheese all put into a (pre-made in my case) deep dish pie crust.  BEST CREATIONS EVER.

Recipe and Ingredients for Quiches

Ingredients: Quiche #1

  • 1 deep dish frozen pie crust (I used pillsbury)
  • 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup whole milk (or you can use half and half or a 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream)  I used whole milk because I had it leftover from a chocolate pie and also because the add ins to the quiche already had cream in them
  • Leftover broccoli and cheese casserole (I think it was about 1.5 cups ish)
  • Leftover macaroni and cheese (I used about a cup)
  • Note: I didn’t add extra cheese to this one as the casserole and Mac had plenty of cheese in it  

Ingredients: Quiche #2

  • 1 deep dish frozen pie crust (I used pillsbury)
  • 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup whole milk (or you can use half and half or a 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream)  I used whole milk because I had it leftover from a chocolate pie and also because the add ins to the quiche already had cream in them
  • Leftover creamed spinach (I think it was about 1.5 cups ish)
  • Leftover Honey baked ham (I used about 3 thick slices that I then cubed and pan fried to make brown and reduce the water in the ham. Water is the enemy of quiche)
  • Leftover cheese cubes (about 1/2 cup or a little more of Gouda/white cheddar cubes from the charcuterie tray yesteray)
  • Leftover parsley (a handful I chopped up). Note in hindsight I might have sautéed the parsley first to get a little water out. 


  • I let the frozen pie crusts sit on the counter to thaw them out while I got some of the ingredients together and preheated the oven to 400 F
  • After the pie crusts thawed a bit i poked the crusts all over with a fork  
  • I then baked the crusts for about 8 minutes on 400  degrees. This doesn’t totally bake them but just baked them enough so the crust isn’t raw layer  
  • While those are in the oven mix up the ingredients for your quiches. You will need 2 bowls (one for each quiche)  
  • Break 4 eggs into each bowl and whisk up with a fork  
  • Add your cup of milk to each bowl and whisk up 
  • Add your respective fillings to each bowl and whisk with a fork until all combined and mixed together  
  • Take crusts out
  • Pour mixture into each crust
  • Top with a little black pepper and a touch of salt (no salt in mixture because the mix ins already were well salted)
  • I put them on a cookie sheet to bake in case any spillage 
  • Lower oven to 350 F and bake 45 mins to 1 hour they won’t look completely set in the middle
  • That’s ok
  • Take them out anyway at max an hour (don’t over bake)
  • Let sit on the counter patiently for 15-30 minutes before cutting it
  • Eat warm or wait another couple hours til room temperature 
YUM! You can get creative with the leftovers you have and the flavors that you think would go together!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Chili Cookoff Winning Chili Cornbread Pie

This chili bake won me #1 of 10 entries in the neighborhood chili cookoff!!!

 Chili Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion chopped 
  • 1.5 - 2 lbs ground sirloin 
  • Garlic powder
  • Kosher salt 
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder 
  • Paprika 
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Brown sugar 
  • Cayenne hot sauce
  • Tomato paste 
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 2 cans of chili beans in chili sauce
  • 1/2 can of corn (drained)
  • Beef broth 
  • Olive oil 
  • Sour cream (optional)
Corn Bread Topping 
  • 2 boxes of jiffy corn bread mix
  • 1/2 can corn (drained)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup pimiento cheese (optional)

  1. Sauté chopped onion in heated olive oil over high in a large pot until soft 
  2. Add in ground beef to the pan and keep sautéing until brown 
  3. Add in Approx (adjust to your liking) a tablespoon of kosher salt, 4 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of cumin, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, and a couple of shakes of hot sauce. You can adjust this seasoning more later 
  4. Mix in seasonings and sauté and then mix in a small jar of tomato paste (4 tablespoons ish)
  5. Sauté a little more then add in your drained can of chopped tomatoes, your 1/2 drained can of corn, your 2 cans of chili beans in chili sauce and stir
  6. Pour in 1 cup or so of beef broth. You can add more to loosen it up later if you want as well
  7. Bring to boil and then cover and reduce to low. Simmer about 30 mins or as long as you want. 
  8. Taste. Not salty enough? Add more salt. Too acidic? Add some more brown sugar. Not smoky enough? More cumin. Not chili enough. More chili. Not spicy enough? More hot sauce. 
While the chili is simmering:

Make the cornbread topping and mix together the 2 boxes of cornbread mix, the 1/2 can of drained corn, the 2 eggs, the milk, the cheddar cheese and pimiento cheese (optional). 

Preheat  oven to 375 F

To finish:

  • Pour chili into a big baking dish. I used a big deep metal aluminum disposable pan. 
  • Top with cornbread mixture. Smooth it out with a rubber spatula. It’s ok if a little chili mixes into topping. 
  • Bake for 30-45 mins til baked and brown 
  • I topped with another cup of cheese 15 mins before done baking 
  • Serve with sour cream

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The Perfect French Onion Soup to eat with Hemingway's Movable Feast

I started off 2022 with one of the Hemingway novel's I bought after visiting his former home in Key West last year.  A Moveable Feast is a behind the curtains peak into the world of the 1920's in Paris, the cafe's and restaurants and haunts of Ernest Hemingway and his writer pals Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound etc. Hemingway started writing the book in Cuba and finished it in Spain, but it was published after his death.  The best parts for me were hearing about what he ate and drank in these bistros and cafes.

Finished French Onion Soup

Inspired to make a quintessential French bistro dish I landed on a classic - French onion soup.  I had no shortage of inspiration on the internet recipe troves or my cookbooks, but decided to sign up for an authentic Airbnb online cooking experience live from France. 

Emma lives in Nice, France and also runs a bed and breakfast there.  She teaches a wonderful French Onion Soup Class which you can find on Airbnb. No one else ended up joining so I had my own private class with her which was awesome to be able to ask a lot of questions and get great advice.

Nice France

Emma's Recipe is listed here if you want to follow it precisely, but in a nutshell, here is what I did:


  • 3 lb bag of yellow onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Loaf of french bread (thanks publix)
  • 1/2 stick of butter (come to think of it...maybe I used a half of cup...that's more like a stick...well who's counting?)
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 3 tbls of balsamic vinegar (regular balsamic would be best but all i had was white)
  • (I added 2 sugar cubes and a dash of Worchester - sorry Emma I went off script) 
  • 8 oz of Gruyere cheese, grated
  • A bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 3/4 cup (hah maybe more) of white wine

Basic Instructions - for those that need more, again go to Emma's Recipe

  • Peel and chop onions into small chunks
  • Heat butter over high heat and add onions and cook stirring occasionally until golden
  • Chop garlic and add to onions when golden
  • Deglaze the pan with the white wine and stir
  • Add the flour and cook a couple of minutes more
  • Add the balsamic and stir
  • Add the broth/buillon and let simmer 
  • Add the thyme
  • Maybe let the soup simmer 15 minutes
  • While the soup is simmering, slice and toast some french bread and rub it with raw garlic (rub it hard into the bread)
  • Pour the soup into oven safe bowls
  • Top the soup with a couple of bread toasts and big handful of cheese (Don't skimp on the cheese)
  • Put the soup into the oven on broil for about 3 minutes just to melt the cheese - don't brown the cheese or the oil will separate from it and lose the flavor (thanks for the pro tip Emma)

Soup pictured before the big handful of cheese put on top of the bread