Happy Thanksgiving!



From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

I’m cooking up a feast, Turkey, cranberries, stuffing and “peertjes” pears in red wine sauce.

Repost from last year my recipe for “peertjes”

Ask any Dutch person about “peertjes” and they might very well drool.

Growing up this was the one dish my mom could cook to perfection, maybe because she was the queen of all things simmered/cooked forever.

I’ve always made it for Christmas, and for the last 21 years for Thanksgiving as well, because it is a bit of a fancy side dish. One that doesn’t really fit well with an every day meal for us.


Peertjes or Pears in Red Wine sauce.
(this will serve up to 6 people)

6, hard Anjou pears
Bottle of cheap red wine
1/2 cup sugar
2 cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Peel pears and cut in 4 parts
Bring pears, wine and all other ingredients to a boil
Lower heat and let simmer until pears are soft.

You can bind the wine sauce with a little bit of corn starch if you want to eat it warm.
I always let the pears cool off and we eat it cold.

 If you do bind it with corn starch, take a little bit of the sauce and stir a table spoon of corn starch until smooth.

Transfer to pan with pears and gently mix corn starch mixture in with pears/wine sauce.



The blog will be back on Monday!


Happy Wednesday….


Chicken Waldorf Salad

When I was in Culinary school I learned how to make this salad.
I can’t believe it took until today to make it again.
It has the sweetness of the grapes and the crunchiness of the apple making this a nice fresh salad for lunch.
I added chicken and swapped out one tbs of mayo for a tbs of yogurt.
(and until I find out what caused my allergy reaction there are no walnuts)

4-8 ounces of chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced
1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and the lemon juice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt,
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.
Mix in the chicken, apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts.


It’s Wednesday!



I’ve been so lucky as a cook that I never had food allergies, there have been sensitivities to some foods but no reactions to anything.
Until this past Saturday and it was a very scary incident.

My farmers market has a wide array of food vendors and I’ve picked up lunch from there for about 2 years now and never a problem.
One of the vendors has these amazing spring rolls and they stand out because they are made right in front of you.
I can eat them as a treat because they are gluten free.

I bought them and 3 egg rolls and went to my favorite yarn store to help out and to spin.
Thoroughly enjoyed eating my food dipped in spicy peanut sauce.
15 minutes after I started eating I noticed the rings on my right hand wouldn’t come off, odd because they are sliding easily on and off.
I also felt a bit warm but thought it had to do with eating rather fast.
Got up, washed my hands and helped my friend wind some yarn.

And that’s when it got really scary. As I was winding I felt terribly congested and a bit light headed.
My friend looked at me and commented that I looked a bit fuller in the face.
At that moment I could feel my face swell from the inside out.

I was having an allergic reaction to whatever I ate earlier.

Quick action in the form of giving me 2 antihistamines and getting hold of Himself was taken by my friends.
I went to Urgent Care, was whisked in fast.
Blood oxygen was good and I started to feel less swollen.
The Dr. told me the antihistamines had done their work fast and that my friends essentially had saved my life.
It wasn’t a reaction that needed my epi-pen (beesting allergy) at Urgent Care but he told me next time to use the epi-pen and no antihistamines.

24 hours later I’m feeling fine, a bit loopy from the anti-histamines I’m taking every 4 hours but fine.
And Alive.
Himself told me later that there had been an obituary last week of a young woman who had died from an allergic reaction.
Scary thought.(and not very reassuring coming from Himself)

I always have been a label reader but now I have to be doubly so.
Until I can get tested I need to be super cautious, no shrimp, nuts, seeds or Asian food.
No foods cooked in the same area as shrimp or other shell fish.

In a way I’m rooting for it to be MSG, life without shell fish would be so sad. Crab season opened last week!

But, as my friend Pamela said last night,giving up shell fish beats being dead.

ps….I’m going to have to sit down and write a will. If you have one I applaud you. If not,get one made up.
There are simple templates online you can fill out and have signed by 2 witnesses.
Then you make sure your loved ones know what you want.

Take care….

Swedish Chef Sunday, spice it up!

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday!


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