On another note…..

I have come to the conclusion that I need to start posting recipes from all the cookbooks I have bought in the last 6 months and share them with you along with my thoughts about them.  I am trying to ween myself from Amazon, I hope, and from the store, of buying any more cookbooks for a while………(did I REALLY post that???)…….(Amazon will think I have fallen off the planet!!)

I have gotten quite a few really good books that have recipes in them that I want to try and what better way than fixing them and sharing them with you along with pictures of my endeavors!!! or flops????  This way I can justify buying them to my husband and accountant!

By the way, remember I am a Personal Chef also! Therefore I must try recipes before I make them for clients! So what better thing to do, right!!??!!!


Hugs!  Me!


p.s…….Stay tuned for the recipes to come!!!!!!!

Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thanksgiving & banana pudding!

Hi all!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this year!  I did and will share a twist on making banana pudding!  Larry & I went to Sister Juanice’s house Thursday and I made 4 salads for the feast!  All but one turned out good…let’s not go there…..

Friday I did not have to work at the store, so we had Larry’s kids and family over for supper!  The menu was smothered deer steak(the last of the elk from 2009-wonderful things, those Ziplock freezer suction bags); mashed red potatoes, green beans with bacon and onion, the left-over salads except the bad one; green salad mix; sweet corn-Heather brought this, and bread from Fredericksburg Bakery-Christine brought this!  I wasn’t going to do desserts but I had a hankering for banana pudding, so I gave in….Heather brought her chocolate layered dessert also! (she was craving chocolate-yes, the little girl will be here about the first of April next year!)

We all ate til we were miserable……the kids played and played and played.  I bet they slept good that nite!

The little "darlings"!


Makenna Duecker and Koen Koch…yes, those are the two grand-kids that live here in Fredericksburg.  Mr. Robbie is in Dallas, missed having Alex, Michael and Robbie here for this time but they will be down the weekend of December 17th.  Our family Christmas celebration will be at that time!  Menu is planning in my head, yes, of course!

Ok…..now for the banana pudding…….it turned out good…..hurt myself bad eating it……..

Here is the recipe!

Make a triple batch of tapioca pudding according to the box directions only use this milk substitution instead:

6 cups of 1/2 & 1/2 and the rest regular or 1% milk and use only 2/3 cups of sugar instead of the 1 cup for the triple batch.  I did not want a real sweet pudding.  When the pudding is done, set it aside to cool somewhat and get your box of vanilla wafers and bananas(I used 4) along with the big bowl for the pudding.  In the bowl, start with tapioca pudding, then cookies and then bananas and layer that way until the end and make sure your last layer is pudding and then vanilla wafers. Ok….I did a layer of pudding on top of the cookies and ten the first layer of bananas, but pudding was first…ok??!!

The thing to remember: make the pudding next to last and the wafers as last topping..hope that makes sense.  You don’t want bananas as your last or next to the last layer of the pudding…they will turn brown as you know bananas to do!  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until ready to enjoy!

Layer one!


Final product! Wonderful stuff...


I wanted to jump in the bowl head first….I love, love, love banana pudding……..

The way I grew up eating banana pudding is where Mom would make the Jello cook vanilla pudding and do the layers like this, but after a day in the fridge as left-overs, there would be liquid  in the bottom or sides from the pudding…….not too good like that……BUT!  I had some for breakfast this morning, today is Sunday and I made it Friday, and NO RUNNY STUFF IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL!!!!!!!   I am TOTALLY impressed!!!  From here on out when I make banana pudding, I will be making tapioca as my vanilla pudding!!!!!!!!!!  Hope you try this, if you like banana pudding, and it is as good as what I did here!  Hugs!  Me!


Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Meatballs are ready!!!

Hi all!

I could just kick myself….I wanted to take pics of nearly every step of me making the meatballs, but I did not…my dear sweet daughter called and I had to talk to her and I worked/cooked while talking…go figure, yes, multi-task, but I forgot to get the camera while mixing the meatballs up.  My fault but I DID get some pics to share anyway!

Ok…here goes…..

I made a double batch  so I would have left-overs and be able to put some in the freezer.

3 pounds of your favorite ground meat(mine is ground deer meat-1/2 deer,1/2 beef grind)

4 eggs and 1 1/3 cup milk, mixed together(this was an accident-recipe calls for 1/2 cup milk for double batch, I did not pay attention to my directions-was reading the bread crumb ratio for the milk- but it worked out fine!  Nice & moist!)

1 1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 tsp oregano, marjoram, salt, pepper and garlic powder(mix this in a bowl)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine meat, bread crumbs, seasoning and egg/milk mixture.  Take a large cookie sheet and cover with foil.  Spray with ns spray.  Using whatever size scoop you want to, scoop balls onto the foil.  Take your hands and round them out and replace them on the sheet.  I used a 11×17 jelly roll sheet pan an used a large cookie scoop (OXO large) to make the balls.  Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of meatballs.  Serve with your favorite sauce and sides!

Meatballs in the oven!

Waiting to get the rest of the sides ready, I have the oven off, the baked/microwaved potato in the oven with the balls.  As you can see, these are not little ones!  They would make nice meatball subs!


First frozen green beans from the garden.

I pulled out of the freezer a pack of green beans that I put up this summer from the garden.  Brown some bacon in a medium pan; add defrosted beans and some onion.  Stir around and add about 1 cup of water, 1 tsp chicken bouillon paste, and black pepper.  Turn burner to low and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes.  These turned out really good!  I will fix a big batch for Thanksgiving dinner Friday after the T-day!

Gooood gravy!

Ok…I do cheat on brown gravy but I change it up to add flavor.(are you surprised…)  2 packs of McCormick brown gravy mix.  In your non-stick pan, add about 1 TBSP EVOO and chop up about 1/2 cup onion.  Cook until onion is tender.  Add the 2 cups of water and packs of gravy mix.  Whisk to blend gravy powder and cook until thickened and bubbly.  Turn down or off if all sides are ready.  This mix is a staple at the Duecker house. You can’t beat it.


My plate! (yes, I ate the whole thing..) 🙂

Meat balls, 1/2 baked potato drizzled with EVOO&pepper, green beans, carrots, japs, avocado, and yes, gravy on the meatballs!  This is definitely a good supper!  I saved out 10 meatballs for left-overs and put up 2 quart vac bags holding 4 meatballs per pack for the freezer, just right for a meal for two!

I am stuffed……hugs……me!


Published in: on November 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm  Comments (1)  

Meat loaf/meat balls for supper

Hey all!  Going to post a recipe for my meatloaf that I am making tonite!  It is the recipe I use for a lot of things and it makes a good meat loaf too!  It is used for stuffed peppers, meat balls, and meat loaf, although meat loaf can get a bit crazy with ingredients as we all know!

The Dock At The Lake

This is the dock at the lake! (Lake Mathis/Lake Corpus Christi). As you can see, it is VERY low.  This pic was taken over two weeks ago when Larry & I went down for the weekend.  When I sing “Sittin on the dock at the lake”, this is the dock I am sitting on!  The white you see in the middle is a little table that is built into the doc to hold your coffee or other liquid refreshments you may be drinking!  This is my PEACE place, unless Larry has been shooting snakes…..another story from the past and mentioned in older posts……I hate snakes…….

My kitchen at the lake!

Not much space as you can see but as you know the saying, “The sign of a good cook is not where the cook cooks, but what is put into the pots!”  A good cook can cook anywhere and there has been quite a bit of good food from this little kitchen!  I can make it work!  Yes, a bigger kitchen would be nice but for the time we spend down there, this works fine!  It is my home away from home!  When we first walk into the cabin, we both say “I’m home!” and we both let out a big sigh of relief.  Anyway, just a glimpse of my “peace” place!  Stay tuned for the meatloaf or meatballs, which ever they go!  Hugs!  Me!


Published in: on November 14, 2011 at 8:12 am  Comments (1)  

Last of the garden & stewed cranberry & fruit

Mother Eggplant


Hi!  Sharing pictures of the last of the garden produce before the hard freeze last week.  This is the mother eggplant that produced all the eggplant we ate and shared with family, friends and neighbors!  She is just ONE plant that produced so many little babies!  Can you believe it??!!


Baby eggs and bell peppers...the last of them.


We picked 29 baby eggs and 57 bell peppers before the freeze hit Thursday/Friday of this past week.  We shared them with those who would take them.

Japs & Serrano peppers.


We did not take count on the Japs and Serrano peppers that we picked, but as you can see, there were quite a few…..hundreds…and hundreds……

Step back picture of the last load.....until next year....

Yes, until next year……..but here is the plan!  One eggplant again in the same bed, upper left corner by the well!  Two Serrano plants, two TAM jalapeno plants, no other than TAM next year.  Two bell pepper plants, maybe, depending on what Larry wants to do.  Yes to okra, squash, cucumbers, green beans, probably not carrots, but definitely radishes, for sure.  So, that is the game plan unless we decide to do something different??!!….broccoli?  Cauliflower? Swiss Chard???  Kale??  Hmmmmmm…………we will see next year!

Ok! Now for the recipe that is absolutely great!

This may not look like much to you but red mush

cranberryies, apples, and a pear!

This may not look like much to you but some red mush, but this REALLY is good!  Ok…take a bag of fresh cranberries, pick and rinse.  In a medium large heavy stock pot, put the rinsed berries in.  Chop up one large apple of choice, I used a Jonagold apple, and one pear of choice, I used a red pear (I wanted to put two in but the pears were a bit hard and really not as ripe as I wanted it).  Add about 1/2 cup water along with about 1/4 cup of agave nectar for sweetener.  Stir and bring to a simmer and turn heat to a low temp and stew for about 2 hours.  Take off heat, cool and put into your favorite container.  Now, the best part!  While still warm, you can put some in a little bowl, top with honey Greek yogurt, enjoy the mixture immensely!  I did!  That was my “ice cream and fruit”!   I will definitely fix this again!  It is good and good for you!(top with granola would be good too!)

My mother would make stewed apples and I had that thought when I was putting this together in my head before I did this!  I love you mother!  Such sweet memories!  Hugs!  Me!


Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cooking again… :)

Yes, my day off and I am cooking again!  I have Banana Bran Muffins in the oven now!  Go to eatingwell.com and put banana bran muffins in the search!  My variations is that omit the ap flour and use white whole wheat flour.  I add ground flax, ground almonds, instead of buttermilk, because I did not have any, I used 2/3 cup 1% milk and 1/3 cup Greek yogurt mixed together.  That gives it the tanginess that buttermilk has!  I follow the recipe to a point, as you can tell…..are you surprised???

Hubby likes them and I am taking some to Jerry when they come out of the oven and cool off enuff to handle! Will also bring one to Larry at work!

Hot muffins!

I use a stone muffin pan to make my muffins.  I really like how things bake in stone……Oh do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man! Oh do you know the muffin man that lives down Drury Lane!



Published in: on November 2, 2011 at 9:44 am  Comments (1)  
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