Halloween 2017

Last weekend I helped cater a Halloween fundraiser for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. We all had a lot of fun in the kitchen taking direction from the talented chef. The tour will be open to the public this weekend on Friday October 27th and Saturday October 28th from 6 pm until 9 pm. Here are some pictures of the spooky tour.

Halloween Tour PCH

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays for baking and decorating. Here are some treats I’ve made from Halloween’s past.

Halloween Card 2016
Yours Truly,

Charisse the good witch

Charisse Witch

How I got lucky

How I got lucky . . . yesterday I tagged along with my husband to southeastern Arizona while he looked at several gas station locations to give quotes on gas tank removal. When we arrived at the first location in Pearce, Arizona next to a dollar store, I spotted a building nearby with a darling green sign which said Lorraine Patisserie. I thought I think that means bakery. I told my husband I am going to walk over to that bakery. Wow! I couldn’t believe it, when I walked in the door and saw the most beautiful pastries. I purchased an almond and chocolate croissant and saved them for today. The owner told me he learned to bake thirty years ago in Paris. I’ve always had a deep respect for the bakers who make the world a sweeter place. I just ate the chocolate croissant and it was the best one I’ve ever had. Here is his site Lorraine Patisserie. 

Happy Fall Dinner Menu

Living in Cave Creek. Arizona  where the weather is extremely hot June through September, when the cooler temperatures arrive, they are a welcome relief. Today I decided to celebrate fall with an easy comfort food menu.

  • Roasted Mustard Potatoes
  • Steamed Green Beans
  • Roasted Lemon & Thyme Chicken
  • Pumpkin Custard

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Pistachio Ice Cream

This is one of my favorite flavors of ice cream to make. I don’t make it a lot since pistachio nuts are so expensive and it is high in calories. Today I let the dogs lick the ice cream spinner which made me very popular.

Pistachio Ice Cream

  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pistachio nuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Chop the pistachio nuts in the food processor leaving some large chunks of nuts. In a large mixing bowl stir together all the ingredients. Add to the freezer bowl and spin for 20 minutes. Scoop into a quart container and place the ice cream in the freezer and set up for at least 2 hours. I use a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. It’s simple and easy to use. The containers to store the ice cream I purchase from sweet bliss containers on Amazon.





Basil & Tomato Farfalle

This is a fresh and simple pasta dish.

Basil Tomato Farfalle

  • 5 roma tomatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lb farfalle pasta

Chop tomatoes, garlic and basil. Cook the garlic and tomatoes in the olive oil on low in a skillet with the lid for 20 minutes. Cook the farfalle pasta. Add the basil and pasta to the skillet and mix together and serve.





Turkey Sausage Rotini

Turkey Sausage Rotini

  • 1 package Jennie-O hot Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 – 24 oz. Jar of tomato basil sauce
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb rotini pasta

Saute carrots, onions, celery and garlic in olive oil until tender for 10 minutes.

Cook turkey sausage (I like to put it in the food processor to create a smooth sauce)

Add the turkey to the sauce and cook on low for 1/2 hour. Prepare the pasta and serve with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Easy Bruschetta

If you have tomatoes and bread you can make an easy bruschetta. Perhaps the other versions are a tad bit more difficult. I made three different bruschettas: tomato, blue cheese fig and salmon pesto.

Start with a french baguette. I sliced the baguette into slices 1/2″ thick which I grilled in olive oil until golden. I topped one with chopped tomatoes, sea salt and a fig balsamic drizzle; I topped one with gorgonzola cheese, slices of Spanish pajarero figs, chopped pistachio nuts and fig balsamic drizzle and one with prepared pesto, a slice of smoked salmon and topped with capers.


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