A Grateful “Hello” to all!

No, I have not gone away, it has just been a busy time since the last time I posted here and I do apologize for it tremendously.  Tis the season for many thanksgivings for me.  I did something I never did before. Actually two things have happened and they are both good. One, I walked my first 5K(see posts on Facebook under Vicky Duecker in August) and I have now been hired to cook for a hunting lodge!  That has been a dream come true for me and the people who own  it are such great and wonderful Christian people.

I cooked for a group of girls at a B&B here in town and I found out that they located me through Google and not through Hire-A-Chef. It hit home to me that they did their homework by reading about me on facebook, found out that I have a blog but no web page. I had one through the USPCA but it was phased out and we were to go to “goDaddy.com” to create our new web site at a discounted rate. This happened back in the summer of this year. As of yet, I have not taken the time nor spent the money to get one set up. But after hearing them, I will put it on my priority list of things to get done soon. That is also why I am posting this on my blog: the visibility of my business in the social media world.  I know that when I post on facebook, it goes there and on Twitter, unless FB has done something to that feature. Hopefully, when I blog, it will also be on my web page too, if GoDaddy has that feature, I do not know. I am not a computer guru like some people are. (would love for someone to do the GoDaddy thing for me…?? I don’t want to screw it up  :/)  Anyway, that is a goal for me by the end of this year, if possible.

Now, back to the lodge…….it is a place that you would/could only imagine ever being in…it is a place you would only see in hunting magazines and on TV hunting shows for the “celebs”. The kitchen is to die for. Granite counter tops everywhere, cabinets-top and bottom, everywhere; sink, dishwasher, trash compactor in two different places in the kitchen. One set across from the six burner gas stove on a huge wooden bar area. That is my work area since it is across from the stove. The wooden bar reminds me of the big table that my grandmother had in her house. Fridge is like the cabinets and you would not know it is there unless you looked and saw the ice/water maker. There are two additional stainless steel freezer/fridges back in the wet room. I could go on and on but I won’t. The lady of the house made this comment: : “God puts people in certain places of your life for a reason” and she was aiming it at me and her friend that comes there with them on their weekends. I really feel blessed to have this in my life because it is not about the amazing place of where I am cooking, it is the people I am cooking for that brings me the greatest pleasure of all. It is always better to give than to receive and I try my best to give as much as I can to them because it is just an honor to be able to do what I am doing for them because it relieves them from that pressure and they can relax more and enjoy their time away from their hustle and bustle world of where they live during the week.  It brings me joy and satisfaction knowing they are pleased with what I am doing for them. God is with them and me both and I am just so thankful for wonderful people who are in my life now, both family and friends. Blessings to you all.  Vicky


I am posting this again because I did not find this on my facebook pages….hmmm….

Published in: on November 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sleet/Snow and Cooking

Snow! 2012

There is nothing better to do on a cold day than to experiment with recipes that you found to see how good or bad they are!  Yes, it snowed and sleeted here in this town of Fredericksburg, Tx.  Every so often it does that, thank goodness it is not very often….(did I ever say that I hate cold…..)

Back of the house.


BitBit does not know what to think of the snow and cold.

After eating brunch (home-made sausage, eggs and toast with coffee), I proceeded to get ready for the great recipe cook-out!  First on the list is Lemon Biscotti!  I read the recipe and re-read the recipe and nearly ditched it because it did not have eggs in it……but, I told myself to try it anyway……..it is from elanaspantry.com/lemon-almond-biscotti.  Go there and see what all she has there!  Anyway, here is what I did!

Biscotti ingredients.

I got out the trusty KitchenAid food processor, added the 1 ¼ cups of almond flour, 1 TBSP arrow root powder and ¼ tsp sea salt; hit pulse 5 or 6 times to blend it all together.  I then measured out the ¼ cup of agave nectar and zested one lemon into the processor bowl.  I then pulsed it for a few minutes until it all looked like little pebbles of dough.

Biscottie dough pebbles.


Once I chopped the roasted almonds, I added them into a bowl that held the dough.  Using my hands, no I cannot take pictures and knead the dough at the same time…, I worked the ground almonds into the cookie dough; then put it into the USA biscotti pan and formed it into a rectal “log”.

Almonds worked into dough.

Dough in Biscotti pan.


My oven was pre-heated to 350 degrees F, so I put the pan in to bake for 15 minutes.  Once the buzzer went off, I pulled them out, they smell so good, and cooled them for one hour on a rack in the pan.

Once baked Biscotti.


Using a serrated bread knife, the cookies got cut into little logs and baked again, cut side down, at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes on a cookie sheet.

Cut Biscotti.

Biscotti cut and on second bake.

They then cooled on the sheet for quite a while on cooling rack so they would get crispy and ready for eating!

Taste test:  (drums are rolling……….) they taste purty good!  Will put some melted white chocolate on them next time! (I’m not getting outside to the store just for that…..did I say that I don’t like cold weather?????)


Next………Clean Whole Wheat Bread….

This recipe came from www.cleaneatingmag.com/recipes/clean-whole-wheat-bread.aspx The author is Eric Pater.  I have been looking for a clean and easy whole wheat bread recipe so that I could make my own and know it was good and good for you!  I saw this and printed it out.  With 6 ingredients, how complicated would this be?  I think I can handle it…..

I keep my flours in the fridge outside, so I got my white whole wheat flour and Old Fashion whole wheat flour out, measured 1 ½ cups of each one in a bowl to come to room temp.

Ingredients for bread.

Recipe calls for 3 cups whole-wheat flour, 2 tsp yeast, 1 tsp kosher salt, 2 TBSP honey, 2 TBSP EVOO, 1 ¾ cups warm water.

Here is what I did……..

Measure out flours into bowl, mixing flours evenly, let come to room temp.  In large mixing bowl, put 1 ¾ cups warm water, 1 envelope active yeast or the 2 tsp if using bulk yeast and the blended flours.  Stir with wooden spoon, mound dough into ball shape.

Dough ball.

Cover with warm towel(microwave towel for 15 seconds) and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place, my stove was still warm from the biscotti, so that was the perfect place!

Covered dough bowl, rise one.

While this was rising, I took a small bowl, added the salt, then the EVOO and then the honey, mixing as well as I could. My tip is that you measure out the oil first and use the same spoon to measure out the honey; you will notice that the honey just slips right out of the spoon without sticking to it because the oil has coated it for easy release!

Salt, oil and honey.

Once the dough has risen, uncover and add salt, honey, oil mixture and stir with your cleaned-up wooden spoon, stirring until the dough is sticky.  Take your bread pan, I used a stone loaf pan from Pampered Chef, and coat it lightly with pecan oil.  Pour the sticky dough into the loaf pan, cover with warm towel, and let rise another 30 minutes in a warm place (back on my stove)(I warmed my towel in the microwave for about 15 seconds before covering the dough each time-another tip)

Dough in pan.

Covered pan to rise second time.

Second risen bread.

About 25 minutes into the rising, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Once pre-heated, put bread in the oven, positioned in the middle of the rack, rack needs to be in the middle of the oven too.  Bake for 40-50 minutes.  Take out, cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, invert pan, continue to cool until you can remove pan from loaf. You may need to take a knife and run it around the edges to get it out of your pan.

Once I got the bread out of the pan, I could not let it cool completely, I had to see what it looked like on the inside and eat a piece of the heal with butter…….note for next loaf…let it bake for 1 hour, not the 40-50 minutes recipe read.

Not bad for a first time!

Center was a little doughy, but the taste…………O.M.G.!!!!!!!  I just love hot home-made bread with butter!  Will definitely make this again!  It is easy and it is good!!!!!!!  Toast a piece, put butter or cream cheese on it and enjoy!  Hope Larry eats this too……..Much better than store bought bread….now it is your turn!!!!!   Hugs!  Vicky

Published in: on February 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cook day!

I designated to day to be a cook day! Pork and Pepper Stew, Quinoa Salad with black beans, baked chicken legs with house seasoning and sprinkle of the Spicy Fish/Chicken Seasoning! Romain Lettuce cut and vac packed to be eaten with Quinoa Salad mixture with added avocado and radishes! Can’t wait to have a good food week!

Hope you all have a good week too! Hugs! Vicky

Published in: on January 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Starting a New Year

Starting a New Year.

Hay all!

This is the blog that my daughter, Alex, is doing!  Hope you read this because she is doing an amazing job of writing and sharing of her food experience too!  Hugs!  Vicky

Published in: on January 3, 2012 at 7:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Back on track!

Hi all!

Today is the first day after all the holiday binges and that means for me to get back on track with healthy eating!  We were at my mom’s house yesterday celebrating her birthday and exchanging gifts for the grand kids in the family.  All four sisters were there and that doesn’t always happen at the same time like that!  We were sitting around the table with mom & dad having a pow wow about dad needing to have knee surgery.Edlena, my youngest sister, leaned over to Kim, next to oldest sister, and whispered something.  Juanice, oldest sister said “No whispering at this table.  It is an open conversation table.”  Edlena was telling Kim about her sugar levels…….she is diabetic and taking meds and checking her blood levels.  We did not know that.  Then we got to talking about diet, food, and things we/she should be eating, as those conversations go, you know!

Well, I always carry my Oxygen, Eat Clean mags with me to read, along with my healthy cookbooks to read, and I showed Edlena the rules of Clean Eating from the “Stripped” book I had! She started balking because she said she doesn’t cook and there is no way she could do this.  I offered her my Personal Chef services to come to her house, in Buda, and do some cooking for her so she would have healthy, clean food to eat when she went to work and when she was at home.  I got her e-mail address and I e-mailed her the rules plus other great information I had on my computer for healthy eating and then I asked if the weekend of January 21st would be ok to come to her house for the weekend to shop, and cook for her!  She took me up on it! (she has the excuse to have to clean house now too! LOL!  LOL!)  I am so excited to be doing this for my “baby” sister!  We have been out of touch for quite some time and this is great for me and for her too plus her health!

She called me this evening around 6:15, she was at the store wanting to know what she should get for lunches this week and I was so surprised and excited that she did!  I just started rattling stuff off to her so fast that she said “STOP!! BRAIN OVERLOAD!”  I am so glad for her that she is trying to clean up her diet and do herself a BIG favor!

Pics of today’s food:

Breakfast plus vites!

Smoothie consisted of 1 ripe banana, scoop of ground roasted almonds, scoop of quick oats,scoop of protein powder and home-made almond milk for liquid!  Hand-made coffee (this was my second cup-half decaf&half regular) along with my slurry of vitamins!

Lunch for lunch box.

Left-over chicken fajita meat, carrots, 3 radishes, garbanzo beans, Romain lettuce in a jar, two Campari tomatoes(not shown-nearly forgot to put them in my bag!) and an apple to eat for snack if I was hungry with peanut butter.  I also had one more cup of coffee at work and then water after lunch!  This evening’s meal is left-over grilled pork loin chop, 1/2 baked potato, carrots, radishes and peeled japs!  Yes, it will be a late suppper/dinner……we have been cutting up deer meat…….

Hope you all will stick to your resolutions!  I have had a good start so far!  Hugs!  Vicky



Published in: on January 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm  Comments (1)  

New Years Resolutions??!!!!!

As we all know, we have resolutions at the beginning of each new year!  What is yours??!!

Mine is to get back on the Eat Clean plan by doing the “Stripped” plan from Tosca Reno’s book “Stripped”!  It is the 28 day plan to shed 5-10 pounds in 28 days by eating clean and exercising!  I have joined “Anytime Fitness” here in Fredericksburg and I plan to go there at least every other day if not every day if possible.  My food plan is to cut out milk products for the 28 days, and to cut off alcohol in the evenings like I have had in the past months (I have gotten hooked on bloody mary’s with potato vodka in the evenings…1 or 2)…….PLUS!  Larry had agreed to eat like I need to eat in the evenings with me!!!!  Pan fish, oven fish, grilled meats, steamed veggies, fresh veggies, soups, and I/we will not be doing fried foods during this time!!!!!!! (Dear Lord, please give me the strength to say NO! when he wants to do fried fish…)

Hope y’all will stick to your resolutions!  Team support will get you there!


Hugs!  Vicky D

sorry….no pics this time……


Published in: on January 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Christmas Spirit!

Hi all!

Hope you are ready for Christmas!  The store (Der Kuchen Laden) has been very busy, which has kept me from sending out recipes and messages.  Today is my day off and I am playing Heinz 57 here at the house.  Going to have lunch with my walking buddy, Rose, and run around town to get things done!

We had our Christmas with the kids this past Saturday nite and it went really well!  Everyone had a big time!  Food was fried catfish, pinto beans, cole slaw, cucumber salad and potato salad from Der Linden Baum(the good German restaurant here in Fredericksburg!), chocolate chip cookies, rice crispy ornament balls, and chocolate layered dessert…too much food but it was all so good!

This Sunday, Larry & I will be going to my parents house for dinner and what a dinner it will be!  Mom’s roast beef with brown gravy, mashed potatoes and I will be doing some veggies on the side along with salad!  That is one of my favorite meals that I chose for my birthday meal when growing up!  Yum! Yum!

Ok..here are some pics of the Christmas bash last Saturday nite!

The Tree!

This is the tree with the two cats giving their approval!  The deer heads have bows tied to them for decorations! (red neck decos??)


Yaya and Robbie opening his presents!

Robbie & I opened his gifts.  He was more interested in just tearing the paper off slowly and giving it to me until he opened his computer, then he did not want to open any more!  He wanted to play!

Everyone involved!


Robbie was helping Makenna open her box while Koen was watching and unwrapping his own things!  Barret & Christine helping Makenna too!


Tooter had to be in the middle of it all but protected in a box!  Where was JR?????  He was under the couch out from under feet….

Heather opening present for baby girl Koch while Kyle looked and Koen watching Makenna!

Heather is due around the first of April with a baby girl, so we got baby girl something too!  Koen needs a baby sister to take care of!

Katie, my adopted daugher, friend of Alex.

Katie flew in from Arizona to be in Meagen’s wedding on Monday and she stayed with us until yesterday, Tuesday.

Alex & Koen.


Alex was helping Koen with his box while Robbie was playing with his phone…Larry was taking pics, so I don’t have one of him involved with anyone.





The grand kids!  Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  God Bless!  Vicky






Published in: on December 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Taco meat salad for lunch this week!


My salad this week is taco meat salad!  Go to the link of saladinajar and read her blog about keeping Romain lettuce in glass jars!  REALLY neat!  This will be my second week of doing salad in a jar, YES IT WORKS!!!!.  Last week was Tuscany tuna salad and this week is taco meat salad.  This is my way of keeping my weight under control during this winter cold stuff that is keeping me from doing my morning walks with my friend Rose.  I am a fair-weather-walker, so, needless to say, when it is either raining or the temp is below 40 degrees, I don’t go walking early in the mornings….(I hate cold weather…)

This weekend we are having Christmas here at the house  with all the kids!  If I had an unlimited budget/money source, I could really decorate the house in a rather large way….give me some time and I will accumulate what I want!  I bought a little arrangement at Hobby Lobby that I will set on the bar and put a candle in the center, the cats will just love it and probably chew on it and get sick…cats do that, you know. Came close to buying a wreath to put outside or somewhere in the house but decided my cart was full enuff…there is always next year….Alex, Robbie and hopefully Michael will get to come with them this weekend.  Katie Harvey will be staying with us this weekend also and that will be great!  I will be posting pics from the celebration Saturday nite!  Meal will be fried catfish, fries, hush puppies, cole slaw, pinto beans, veggies and who knows what else!  The non-traditional Christmas meal!  We love it and everyone else does too!

Hope y’all have a good week and stay warm!  Hugs!  Vicky D

Published in: on December 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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  

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)  
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