Category Archives: Food

Food items


Recently I was able to reconnect with a dear friend. Such a joy it was!! She brought me a treasured gift, a well-known Michigan cookbook Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dayton’s Marshall Field’s Hudson’s. It contains much-loved recipes well known in our area (Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota) because these dishes were served at the department store restaurants and became favorites throughout the region. I had seen this cookbook over the years but had never had the pleasure of owning it. I am beyond thrilled to add it to my collection.

So many recipes such as Maurice Salad, Gazpacho, Chicken Pie, Seafood Louie, Apple Praline Pie with marvelous photos grace its pages. The soup section is marvelous! I call the recipes in this cookbook sophisticated Midwestern food at its best.

The first one I tried was Marco Polo Salad. This one was new to me and completely intriguing. In spite of that, I put my own spin on this salad by changing a few ingredients.

Paulette’s Marco Polo Salad
Adapted from Hudson’s Marco Polo Salad

8 oz spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ pound Jarlsberg or other Swiss cheese, cut into thin strips.
6 oz. marinated artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
6 oz. jarred red peppers cut into thin strips
½ cup sliced pitted kalamata or black olives
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper

Place cooked spaghetti in a large bowl and let cool slightly. Toss spaghetti with the olive oil, vinegar, parsley and spices.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Chill thoroughly.

Add salt and pepper at serving time and top with additional grated parmesan cheese.

Inviting and tasty! I overdid the garlic a bit because I misread the recipe. But if you like garlic, you might want to do the same.

This can serve as a main dish or a great accompaniment to all sorts of summer menus.


All right! I’m already crazy. And I admit that this pinched nerve pain I have had since February doesn’t help. I can’t cook much, although I promise I’m making a special recipe to share with you very soon. Finally I have all the ingredients on hand.

Back to being crazy – and as many of you know, I’m having a year’s worth of dental work, so I’m missing a few teeth, makes even eating crazy. Still here are some food trends that are crazy laughable as far as I’m concerned. They are often so over-the-top they detract from the taste of the food.

#1 Over Arrangement of Food on the Plate.
Each piece of food is carefully placed. One looks at the plate and hesitates to move anything, much less toward one’s mouth. The white space not the food may capture one’s attention. Often the higher the tower the better and even an ordinary meal is implied to taste better if piled high, one ingredient on top of another.

One example: Stacked Chicken Tostado Salad p. 53 of May Rachel Ray Every Day One bite and the whole pile will collapse. No doubt it will still taste good. (pictured at top of the story.)

#2 Originating as Far from the U.S. as Possible.
Whatever happened to American Food? Oh dear, I sound like a fuddy-duddy and the word fuddy-duddy only confirms it.

Example from Hanoi. Spiced cha ca fish with noodles and herbs in a lettuce wrapper. P. 28 May issue of Food and Wine. Cha Ca is fish fillets with ginger, turmeric and other herbs. Tumeric-Marinated Swordfish with Dill and Rice Noodles.

# 3 Throw Everything In a Bowl

Will it taste better because it is served in a bowl? I know, it won’t run all over the table trying to escape your fork.

Example: Shrimp and Okra Bowl p. 22 June 2017 Cooking Light
Cornmeal, okra, bell pepper, honey shrimp, tomato, onion, parsley, celery red wine vinegar and if you wish Fresno chile – into a bowl. Something like gumbo. Does this sound good to you. If yes. I’m out voted.

I’ll admit that travel is big and food is an important part of any travel experience. But sometimes I feel like foreign food has taken over. And, where to find all the ingredients?

This Crabapple is signing off. Let’s hope we hear very little from her in the future!

Thanks to Southern Living, Bon Appétit , Food and Wine,and Rachel Ray Every Day for being trend setters in food writing.

If you try one of these dishes, do let us know! All opinions welcome.


It is a spring rite of passage for me to get to Ellen’s Bakery and Café for breakfast or lunch. It’s a one of a kind place with food so delicious it is unsurpassed by any other place to eat. So with gratitude and pleasure I announce that I was able to have lunch there last week.

I tried something new and I also enjoyed old favorites.

First the Lobster Bisque. There’s nothing like it. Silky smooth, flavorful. Great way to get a lobster fix in the Midwest.

Next a beautiful, easy to eat savory salmon burger. How do they make salmon taste so outright delicious? The tarter sauce and cole slaw are equally perfect. Perfect!

And as usual, I took something home: my favorite muffin – apricot-almond. Soft lovely texture but the flavor carries the day.

And a loaf of asiago bread. Cheesy but not too cheesy.

Everything at Ellen’s is always just right!

Oh and I picked up a teacake to take to a friend for her moving crew. I don’t have to worry for one minute that it won’t be delicious!!!

If you live in the D, you must find Ellen’s, located on Orchard Lake Road in the Waterford, Sylvan Lake, Commerce area. Find them on google or Facebook. Really, it’s a must!

For those of you in other regions, do tell us about you favorite place to have breakfast or lunch in the spring or any time. We want to hear. Good food deserves to be talked about!!!


Cousin Noel Strobehn posted a picture of a cheesecake she had made at home along with the caption, “Who Needs Cheesecake Factory? The picture that sold me was one without whipped cream that so clearly showed the beautiful raspberry swirl.

She was kind enough to share her recipe and comments with this blog. Her mother and grandmother are fabulous cooks known all over their Iowa County and beyond, and she is following the tradition. You can’t go wrong following her advice. If you wish for cheesecake factory cheesecake, this is the recipe for you. No chance of dropping it on the way home; make it in the comfort of your own kitchen thanks to Noel.

Big time thanks Noel for taking the time to send us the recipe you used and your personal tips!

From Noel: This was the recipe I used. I think next time I would skip the water bath and just put a pan with some water in it on the bottom rack below the cheesecake. I also used Reddi-wip for the top but I think real whipping cream would hold up better and not melt so fast. It’s also fairly time consuming to strain out the raspberry seeds so maybe I’ll use pie filling or raspberry jelly next time.


1 1/2 c. (approx. 20) finely crushed OREO cookie crumbs
1/3 c. butter, melted
Raspberry Sauce
10 oz. fresh raspberries, washed & rinsed
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Cheesecake Filling
4 (8 oz.) pkgs. Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. sour cream, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
5 eggs, room temperature
4 oz. white chocolate, roughly chopped
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. powered sugar
2 ounces shaved white chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a large pan or oven-safe skillet filled with about 1/2-inch of water into the oven while it preheats. In a food processor, crush cookies until they are a fine consistency. Be sure you’ve removed the white filling. Mix cookie crumbs and butter, and press in to a 9-inch springform pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to prevent the water bath from seeping in. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done. Add the ingredients for the raspberry sauce to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring frequently, until raspberries are dissolved. Strain into a bowl. Allow to cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softened cream cheese with the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix on the lowest setting for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the eggs one at a time. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the eggs. Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle 4 ounces of white chocolate chunks onto the bottom of the crust. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into the crust. Drizzle about 1/4 c. the raspberry preserves over the entire surface of the filling. Use a butter knife to swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese. Pour the other half of the filling into the crust. Drizzle another couple of tbsp. of the raspberry sauce over the cheesecake and swirl, refrigerate the rest of the sauce. Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color. After 60 minutes, do not open oven door, leave cheesecake for at least 1 hour, up to 2 hours to cool down. When cooled, cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to sit overnight. Before serving, sprinkle the entire top surface of cheesecake with 2 ounces of shaved white chocolate. Make fresh whipped cream by whipping the heavy cream and powdered sugar in a stand mixer for 5-6 minutes on high. Dollop fresh whipped cream with fresh raspberries and sprinkle with white chocolate shavings for garnish.

Find the recipe from Yvonne at, a great food blog.


Finally I am learning about those bumpy ugly oranges I think I first saw on the ground in the yard at the Oldest House in St. Augustine, Florida some years ago. My sister-in-law picked them up, hoping to eat them. Oh, no I told her. They are bitter, best put in the trash or left to decorate the ground. Now I discover there is more to that bumpy discolored orange than I knew.

I learn that a favorite restaurant (one I was unable to visit on the Florida trip this year) The Yearling, located over near Hawthorne and the Marjorie Rawlings State Park, serves Sour Orange Pie. Many love it. My search for the pie continues.

The orange known as the Seville Orange made its way to the states via Spain. I read about it via Cathy Salustri in her book Backroads of Paradise. The Seville is not sweet, nor does it taste exactly like a lemon. It is bitter, works well in mojo sauces. But it is also served in pie. I’ll keep my eyes open at Florida shops and restaurants for Sour orange marmalade, pie, cheesecake and other such items. Sour oranges can sometimes be purchased at Cuban grocery stores or other local outlets.

Several recipes for Sour Orange Pie are available on the internet. Soon I hope to try one. Substitutions will have to do until I get my hands on some sour oranges, strange as they may be. I’m curious about the sour flavors, especially put right up against the sweet creamy texture of the pie. The authentic Florida eating experience must include eating sour orange pie. Even if Key Lime pie is the queen of Florida eating, certainly Sour Orange Pie is a princess?

Cook’s County is a magazine that trumpets authentic food, true to taste and tradition. You can check their site on the internet, or perhaps you are a subscriber. Their recipe includes substitutions if you do not have Seville Oranges.

Garden and Gun ( claims their recipe has a bright clean flavor and is topped with meringue. This is the recipe I plan to try, using whipped cream topping rather than meringue.

Here are the basics of the recipe with thanks to Garden and Gun

Sour Orange Pie

1 and a half sleeves saltines
3 Tablespoons sugar
½ cup butter, softened

Combine these and knead until crust comes together. Press into an 8-inch pie pan and chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Bake in a 350 degree oven until brown.

½ cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon orange juice
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in butter. Slowly pour 1 cup hot water into the mix, whisking to dissolve lumps. Whisk in egg yolks and citrus juices. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes . Mixture will coat the back of the spoon.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes. Top with meringue before baking if you wish.

Garden and Gun calls this pie a forgotten classic

Another recipe has been shared at the website

This recipe suggests using Florida sour oranges, Florida calomondins ( a small fruit like a lemon), you may find at a Florida citrus shop or key limes or a combo of lemon and orange. Zest the fruit before juicing to add to the flavor of your pie.

Here’s the recipe:
Sour Orange Pie

Purchase a graham cracker crust or make your crust with 1/3 pound graham crackers, 5 Tablesppons of melted unsalted butter and ½ cup sugar.

4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons of zest
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup of freshly squeezed calomondin juice, or 1/3 cup orange juice with 1/3 cup lemon juice, all fresh squeezed.

Beat egg yolks and zest until fluffy using an electric mixture with a whisk attachment, if you have one. Gradually add the condensed milk and heat three or four more minutes. Lower the mixing speed to add juice and mix just until combined. Pour mixture into the crust and bake at 350 degrees in the oven for 10 minutes or until set. Cool. Refirigerate. Freeze 15-20 minutes before serving.

Top with whipped cream. Make your own with heavy cream or purchase at the store.

Do comment if you have prepared, eatened or purchased sour orange products. Let’s find out more about these crazy oranges.


A creative name for a restaurant that serves creative food. Recently a large number of our Summerhouse Snowbird group enjoyed that food at the family-owned Purple Olive Restaurant located in Seaside Plaza 4255 A1A South St. Augustine, Florida. Here are some pictures of the food at a recent luncheon.

Artisanal lettuce, corn, chickpea tossed with sherry vinaigrette as a starter choice

crab bisque topped with a miniature crab cake as a starter choice

We choose from three starter items and then were served an Intermezzo of fresh pineapple with raspberry sorbet. Entrée choices included: Pan-seared salmon over mashed potatoes and wilted spinach topped with lemon sherry crab cream, Sautéed chicken breast with artichoke, caper and lemon sauce over angel hair pasta, Espresso rubbed pork loin topped with port wine mushroom gorgonzola demi-glace served with mashed potatoes, and grilled vegetables and gnocchi tossed with basil pesto.

pineapple and sorbet intermezzo

salmon entree

And, wait until you see dessert – a sampler of key lime pie, berries and zabaglione, and tiramisu. YUM. Absolutely!

The staff did a great job serving a large crowd from a limited menu. The cook deserves special recognition. This restaurant serves dinner from 5 p.m. and tells us they support local farmers and businesses. They have won a number of awards including most recently The Great Chowder Debate, RSVP Chocolate Gala and Chowder Challenge for Children.

One of our group summed it up perfectly when she said, “Love their food and loved seeing all the ladies.”

More info and a full menu at


The recipe for this pasta dish appeared on the Food Page earlier this week. This morning, I prepared it. If only I would demonstrate more patience as a cook, things would no doubt go more smoothly.

This dish has much to recommend it, so I’ll share the process. It is mostly healthy and the colors are beautiful. Only a sprinkling of bacon and a healthy dose of vitamin rich winter squash.

I cooked the 2 oz. bacon, drained, blotted and chopped or crumbled it earlier in the day, saving only a whisper of bacon grease.

The recipe as I prepared it would serve two to four people for a main course. It also makes a great side dish for Sunday dinner roast pork or ham.

In a good sized skillet I heated 2 tablespoons of oil to the bit of bacon grease, about a teaspoon, and added the pieces of Kabocha squash, ½ small onion, chopped and 1 large clove of garlic. This was seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper with a pinch of dry sage. I cooked it for 5-8 minutes until the onions were soft and the garlic just beginning to brown.

Kabocha squash is not easy to cut and peel. Mine was small and it yielded the required 1 pound of squash pieces. If using a larger squash or a butternut squash you may wish to buy squash from the refrigerator counter that has already been cleaned and peeled and cubed.

Next I added 1 cup of chicken broth to the skillet and brought it to boil. Then I turned down the heat and simmered the squash and liquid for about 15 minutes. This reduced the liquid. I used an immersion blender to puree the mixture. You could mash and whisk or use a blender.

I used pasta that cooked quickly in a large pot of boiling salted water. I wanted to save up to a cup of pasta cooking liquid.

Lately it seems I’ve been reading about how to properly drain pasta that you expect to add directly to the sauce, in this case the squash puree. One is advised to use a strainer and dip the noodles using the strainer from the water to the skillet filled with sauce. I got into some trouble here because I at first did find the right size strainer, and simply wasn’t thinking straight. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? After sopping up my water mess and trying to save more pasta water, I finally was ready to proceed.

It is hard to say how much pasta water I added, at least a cup, probably more. I had too much water and so cooked the whole shebang a bit more and let it sit for a few minutes to allow some liquid to be absorbed by the noodles.

To the pasta and puree I added the cheese, more seasoning and the chopped bacon. I was using Bella Vitano Gold, a hard cheese I like very much because the store did not have the Pecorino the recipe requested/suggested. When tasting, (Emeril Lagasse says this is a must!), I discovered the dish was not as flavorful as I had expected. Probably, the Pecorino cheese would have been at least a partial remedy. I added more cheese, more salt and pepper and a shake of cayenne. Be careful. My dish was just on the edge of too much heat.

This dish is colorful. And I think very appealing. It is a dish that needs seasoning at every step. 1 tablespoon of fresh sage, finely chopped would add flavor. I may have not used enough of the dried sage I had on hand. But too much sage can be too much. If possible I advise trying the fresh sage.

In this case, left-overs are a good thing. It was more flavorful on the second day.



The smart margaritas and beer selection had our group cheering. Gogi tacos with Korean style pork, Shrimp and Chorizo Alhambra, Cuban Tacos, Chicken and Cheese Quesadillos and wonderful chips with every kind of sauce imaginable – these dishes and more were deliciously fun to eat.

Follow Mex at and on Facebook. This imaginative restaurant is located t 6675 telegraph road in Bloomfield Hills, MI. This won’t be my last visit. Being there with family at the holidays was very special indeed.


Merry Post Christmas Week to all. You have no doubt mostly been basking in good food.

Here are a few of our Christmas special foods with recipe references.

In our family, there is nothing more beautiful than rib roast.

No recipe needed when you have two expert chefs in the family named Jon and Cindy. But I always take a peek at Ina Garten’s Sunday Rib Roast in one of her early cookbooks, Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Family style.

The yellow vegetable this year was tsimmes. There’s a recipe in Cooking for Jeffrey from Ina Garten. I prepared a stovetop version consulting a recipe by Tori Avey for Stovetop Tzimmes. Essentially the same dish, different stove location and a slight variety of ingredients, but this one relies on sweet potatoes, carrots, dried fruit and orange juice, cinnamon and honey for flavoring.

We also served butter and lemon roasted shrimp to go along with the beef.

Again Ina Garten has several recipes for roasted shrimp. One appears in her Make It Ahead cookbook.

Wish I had snapped a picture of the cooks in the kitchen, a true cooperative effort. Daughter Cindy brought green beans and potatoes, so good I still dream of them and hopefully obtaining the recipe.

There was a olive plate, salads of spinach and fruit and apricot Stilton cheese, Dresden sauce for the beef and cocktail sauce for the shrimp. Cheesecake, berries and ice cream for dessert along with cookies and candy.

But the best was having all the family together, even if Jerry was with us only in spirit. Food is always better with family. And my children are such good cooks, if I do say so and I do. We all had a great time!



Cinnamon Roll Cookies from Judith

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
MAKES: 72 servings

Bite size cinnamon roll cookies ~
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
• 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
• 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon until blended. In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and orange peel. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, yeast and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
2. Divide dough into four portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each into an 8×6-in. rectangle; sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons brown sugar mixture. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
3. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut dough crosswise into 3/8-in. slices. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
4. In a small bowl, whisk glaze ingredients. Dip tops of cookies in glaze or spread gently with knife. Let stand until set.
5. Yield: 6 dozen.

Can’t wait to taste these. Makes me almost ready to bake. Yum!