Jerry’s Scalloped Corn Dish
November 18, 2917

1 15 oz can whole kernel corn 2 15 oz cans cream style corn
1 8 oz box Jiffey Corn mix 1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs or 4 egg whites and 2 yolks 1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
8 oz package grated Monterey Jack Cheese

Mix all ingredients, except cheese, together and then fold in the cheese. Place in 9 in x 13 in pan and bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Yes, this is a popular repost. But Thanksgiving is approaching and this is a must in our family. Jerry loved this dish and he always made it. So, if we eat this he will be with us in spirit.

It’s an easy quick dish, always popular.

By Maggi Smith Hall with illustrations by Jean Light Willis
November 13, 2017

Love reading this book which good friend Mary Sommers was kind enough to send to me. All kinds of interesting historic recipes of Florida from the earliest times of the Timucua, through the First Spanish Period then the British and the Minorcans, the Spanish return, the Americans, the young State of Florida and the Gilded Age of Henry Flagler and on to the present. The blend of history, cultures and recipes makes for fascinating reading.

I don’t expect to try Char-Split Venison from pre 1565 but I hope to find some recipes from later years.

Let’s start with these interesting simple salads from the First Spanish Period and easily adaptable to today’s eating.

La Valencia

3 Valencia oranges, sectioned
2 grapefruit, sectioned
3 T olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Sprinkle the fruit sections with spices. Pour oil or the fruit and mix thoroughly.

Avocado Salad

3 Avocados, peeled and sliced
2 oranges, sectioned
2 cups grapes, seeds removed (today we are fortunate to have the seedless varieties)

Gently toss these ingredients together

3 slices bacon
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 orange rind grated

Fry bacon until crisp, Drain and pat dry. Dissolve the sugar in the hot grease. Add lemon juice and bring to a quick boil. By all means, if you wish, crumble the bacon into the dressing. Add rind, stir well and drizzle over the salad.

The picture is from Food 52 and the viewer will notice the addition of shallots. Interestingly enough I could find no modern avocado citrus salad that did not include many more ingredients. I guess modern cooks think more ingredients makes a better salad.

In the First Spanish Period salads were consider to be cheap food for lower class society. Today these salads, ensaladas, seem quite elegant.

This Early Spanish period began in 1565 when Pedro Menendez de Aviles came to Florida with 200 men determined to purge Florida of the French. Which he did with the slaughter at Matanzas. He then began to colonize La Florida in earnest and for the next 200 years the Spanish held power. Early on food shortages were a problem. But the Spanish discovered potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado, cocoa and corn. They used many spices, some brought with them, others shipped from the Orient, and some grown in America.

The Spanish brought Seville and Valencia oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit from Spain and the soil and climate of La Florida were perfect for these fruits. By the 1700s orange groves were very plentiful in the San Austin (St. Augustine) area.

Ximenez-Fatio House Orange Glazed Nuts
November 10, 2017

Many of you know that the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum is one of my favorite places in St. Augustine, Florida. Now I am enjoying a book sent to me by a friend title Flavors of St. Augustine,An Historic Cookbook. Food history is a topic I find endlessly interesting. I’ll probably be blogging more about this book and how much fun I am having with it.

Today, knowing readers might well be ready for a new recipe, I decided to share one from this book. Maybe you still have some pecans left from those Trader Joe’s nuts I suggested along with a winter green salad for the holidays.

This recipe will be great for the holidays, too. Sounds like delicious fun.

Ximenez-Fatio House Orange Glazed Nuts

12-1/2 cups sugar
½ cup water
2 oranges, juice
2 oranges, rind, finely grated
1 lb pecan halves
pinch of salt

Cook sugar and water in a heavy saucepan until it forms a soft ball when a half teaspoon is dropped in cold water.

Add rind and juice, salt and nuts.

Stir until well coated.

Spread on wax paper and separate.

When glaze is hard store in an air-tight tin

Note: the many pictures I have taken at the museum over several visits have mysteriously disappeared. Thank goodness for the website. The house was located in the original boundaries of the Spanish Colonial Settlement, constructed of coquina block with tabby floors and a typical detached coquina kitchen of that period. From 1830 until 1875 it was a first rate boarding house. The structure remains, furnished as it was at that time. I highly recommend a visit there and when I am in Florida I seldom miss it.

These orange glazed nuts might well be the perfect addition to your holiday foods.

The Perfect Holiday Green Salad

Yes, this is a repost, but it is so perfect for the holidays. Use your choice of greens, cheese, etc.

Winter Greens with Fruit, Cheese and Candied Pecans

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Lucini)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Greens: romaine, endive, escarole, Mediterranean mix

2 pears or pear and apple (granny smith), small cubes
6 oz. white cheese with cranberry (imported, or lemon stilton), small cubes
5 0z. candied pecans (at Trader Joe’s), chopped

Note: I confess I put this together because I had left over pecans and fruit. I had used the cheese before and the dressing went with another salad recipe that called for the pecans with pears and blue cheese but had added maple syrup which I did not use and I liked the tart dressing better with the sweet nuts.

Sorry you didn’t want to know all this but I can’t help myself.

And these nuts from Trader Joe’s are the best. For the holidays they are worth the extra stop.


I love the whisper of a crunch that arrives when eating spaghetti squash.

I saw this recipe on the internet from
It calls for a large spaghetti squash. I used a small one and only one egg and went with less of most of the ingredients. So the amounts are forgiving and you will still have a great dish if you are cooking for two or four or more. It can easily be a side or a main.

1 large spaghetti squash
6 slices bacon
2 large eggs
¾ cups grated Parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic. minced
salt and pepper
fresh parsley
More Parmesan, freshly grated if possible.

Slice the squash in half, lengthwise. I cut my small one in four pieces to make them easier to handle.
Remove the seeds and stringy innards. Place flesh side down in a mirowave glass baking pan.
Cook 10-12 minutes, until soft. Cool.
Turn pieces and rake the flesh with a fork until you have those distinctive strings of goodness.

While the squash is cooking, cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a large skillet. Drain on a paper towel. Reserve a small amount of bacon drippings to cook the squash.

Combine eggs, cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl. I used a whisk. Set aside.

Add garlic to the bacon drippings in the skillet and cook about 1 minute until fragrant, not dark. I used a shake of garlic powder. I like a light touch with garlic.

Now add the spaghetti squash and bacon and heat. When mixture is hot, turn off the heat. Then, add egg/cheese mix. Toss quickly to combine. Egg will cook. Stir quickly so egg will be less noticeable and more a sauce for the squash. Chunks of egg are okay but not as attractive.

Garnish with parsley and more cheese.

Yum, Yum! And inviting to look at too, don’t you think? It’s creamy and crunchy all at once. Bits of bacon and lots of thickly grated cheese make it even better. All those textures come together in some kind of near perfection.

October 16, 2917

How about this old favorite for an easy week-night meal? You probably have your own favorite recipe for this dish. Recently I decided to try a recipe adaptation of Ree Drummond’s recipe which appears in the cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime.

¼ cup butter
1 shallot, chopped
3 ounces white button mushrooms, chopped
1 ½ Tablespoons Wondra flour
1 ½ cups whole milk, or combo with half and half
¼ cup dry white wine
salt and pepper
1 can Italian tuna
1 and1/2 Tablespoon Roasted Pepper Bruschetta Red Pepper, finely chopped
6 ounces egg noodles, or pasta of your choice
½-1 cup frozen peas
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs and additional butter.
Paprika, celery salt and additional parsley to sprinkle atop the casserole as it finishes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook noodles according to package directions and add peas as noodles are finished cooking. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion until it starts to soften.
Add mushrooms and stir while cooking for a couple of additional minutes.

Sprinkle flour evenly over the mixture and stir so that flour coats onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring for another minute.

Add milk, then wine. Whisk to combine.

Cook until sauce thickens, three to four minutes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste. Taste and adjust salt.

Add tuna and stir into the sauce along with the roasted red pepper and 1 Tablespoon of parsley.

Stir in noodles and peas. Stir until all are coated with sauce.

Transfer to baking dish.

Melt 2 more Tablespoons of butter and stir in breadcrumbs and more parsley.

Top the casserole with breadcrumbs and more seasoning.

Bake about 15-20 minutes.

Note: As with many pasta dishes season as you go, rather generously. Kosher salt in the pasta water. And taste during preparation. This recipe serves 4-6.

My dish was under salted and that is why I added Paprika and Celery salt to the finished product. Plus it made it look pretty. I used wide noodles because that is what I had on hand and what Pioneer woman’s recipe called for. I believe I would prefer a smaller macaroni type pasta in this dish.

Very tasty!

35 thoughts on “Food

  1. Judith Vitali

    Gas was just as you proclaimed … yummy burgers and home made chips … brûlée coconut custard pie was superb!

  2. Kim

    After reading about burgers we’re having them for dinner tonight. I’m venturing out on the wild side because typically I always use the outdoor grill which is currently under about 12 inches of snow. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  3. Judith

    polenta … the Vitali signature dish … from northern Italy … chicken and polenta …. chicken sautéed in butter … cream and sage added … polenta served with the cream sauce … a family favorite

    1. Post author

      Hi Kay, Thanks for your comment. The answer is no, but I think you could substitute some artificial sweetener for some sugar, and I think you could use less sugar and still make a good cobbler.

  4. alice reed

    We are having our annual dine around this Saturday. I have the soup and salad course. I
    have my favorite acorn squash soup and because I have to make two soups I am doing also
    a minestrone soup. I will definitely make your acorn squash recipe in the coming weeks.
    Thanks for sharing. Alice

    1. Post author

      Alice, you are cooking up a storm. The two soups sound fantastic. Send one along and I will post your recipe. Send a picture if you like. YOu can e-mail me.

  5. Judith

    osso bucco … my mouth is watering

    as you all can see, Paulette is not only an intrepid reader, but also an adventurous cook … one of our favorite soup recipes came from her … Tuscan bean with shrimp … perhaps she’ll share that as well 🙂

  6. Norma Jean

    So I think even I can do the pulled portK I love recipes that are done when the guests arrive. Thanks for sharing. You are the most amazing chef. I just love your creativity–in your cooking and your writing! Your blog is just fun!

  7. Jerry Lein

    Good list Love, but I would add Garlic/Garlic Powder, Montreal Steak Seasoning, Catsup and Soy Sauce. All essential ingredients in almost any marinade that I would make.

  8. Judith

    Green Dot Stables … what a fun menu!

    think Jerry needs to make the scalloped corn for the Summerhouse cookout 🙂

  9. wsample

    Paulette – After sharing an office for several years, I had NO idea you were so creative in the kitchen!
    The meal you prepared for the group tonight was amazing. I must say that Aunt Nell’s Peach Cobbler is the
    best I’ve ever tasted. I’ll be making this one day soon, Thanks!!

  10. watch dogs trailer

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after looking at many of the posts I realized it’s new to
    me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  11. Bonne

    As I said before…bleu cheese or feta could be used
    Also, pecans or slivered almonds…
    This is a good basic salad to play with
    Fruit, chicken or shrimp go well also

  12. Dominique Klem

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  13. Emily Kluze

    Thanks for sharing all this information! I was wondering: what day is the Market open? It looks like a great place to buy fresh local veggies…

    1. Post author

      The Royal Oak Market is open on Saturdays. I think 8:00-2:00. Did you see the post that is just about the Royal Oak Market?

      1. Judith

        love fresh or dried fruit in a green salad … find Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette to be a great accompaniment

  14. mary ann phimister

    Wow, you brought back memories of Royal Oak market. I must get there again soon. Your story makes me very hungry for fresh produce!!!

  15. Judith Vitali

    I’ll pass on the soy, but love the roasted vegetable idea! have discovered vegetables that I thought I didn’t like … brussel sprouts and cauliflower … as sweet as candy when roasted with olive oil

  16. Stephanie Wicker

    Love the Royal Oak Farmers Market and Eastern Market too! I plan to make your feta dip this weekend and take it to a gathering I am attending.

  17. melinda

    I’m going to make the feta dip over the 4th. Thank you. I also felt nostalgic about the bowl. My grandmother had one, although a larger size. I’m wondering where it is and thinking one of my sisters made off with it! Enjoyed your blog and will anticipate “The Wardrobe”.12`1


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