Hamburgers New Orleans Style

These are a little out of the ordinary, but we all need a little spice…try these.

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/4 tsp. Creole mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lime peel
  • 1/2 tsp. lime juice
  • pinch of pepper and salt
  • dash hot pepper sauce
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 hamburger buns

In a small bowl mix together the first 10 ingredients well and keep refrigerated until serving.

In a skillet, sauté the onion, carrot , cilantro for about 5-6 minutes until tender. Cool slightly.

In a bowl combine the vegetable mixture, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper sauce. Crumble the beef over this mixture and mix really well. Form into 4 patties.

Grill these over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side until completely cooked through.

Grill the rolls, cut side down for about 20 seconds. Serve burgers with the chilled sauce.

Penne With Ricotta and Tomatoes

This is a nice light lunch for warmer days in the Spring.


  • 30 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 limes, zest only
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 sundried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
  • 1  2/3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. grated asiago cheese

In a bowl combine the fresh tomatoes, thyme, garlic, sugar and half the olive oil, lime zest, salt and pepper

In a skillet, heat the remaining oil. Add the cherry tomato mixture and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the confit from the heat and set aside to cool down to room temperature.

In another bowl, combine the sundried tomatoes, ricotta cheese, asiago cheese, salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta al dente. Drain.

Add the tomato confit and the cheese mixture and toss to coat. This will serve 4 for a main course or 6-8 as an appetizer.

Serve with a chilled glass of wine, garlic toast, yummy.


Chilled Chocolate Icing

This is really a nice icing for either a German chocolate cake or the really dark Devils Food Cake. It has to be chilled sufficiently to keep it shape on the cake.


  • 24 oz. semisweet chocolate wafers
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. light corn syrup

Place the chocolate and cream in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until melted, combined and thickened. (20-25 minutes).

Increase the heat to medium and cook a further 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the corn syrup. Transfer this mixture to a metal bowl and refrigerate. Check every 15-20 minutes and stir until it is cool enough to spread (about 2 – 2 1/2 hours).

It is worth it, I promise you.


Companion Puffs

These are great and even better when served with something….like a crab and two cheese omelette for example.


  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon blended

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl cream together the shortening, sugar and egg until fluffy.

In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients and blend together.  Add to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk. Fill a greased muffin tin two-thirds full and bake for 20-23 minutes until golden brown.  Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the top.

Remove puffs immediately and while still hot, roll in the melted butter and then in the sugar and cinnamon mix.

This makes 12-15 medium puffs or 7-9  large ones.





Lemon Mousse

In three weeks time, we will be hosting our “pre-Christmas dinner” with about 10 new friends. We have done this for years (if you are a follower of this site, you will know that). It will be their first.  After searching everything I have, I decided on this. I think it will be a good one.  Since it can be made 3 days ahead of the dinner, it is a good choice.


  • 8-10 lemons
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks, plus 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1  1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. whipping cream
  • chilled candied lemon zest *
  • 1 eight ounce container of creme fraiche

In a large bowl, prepare an ice bath. Set aside.  Juice 1 lemon and set aside.  Juice enough lemons to make 1 cup of juice.  Place the juice, sugar, egg yolks, whole eggs and butter in a saucepan.  Cook over a medium heat for about 8 – 10 minutes until it begins to boil.

Strain this through a fine sieve into a bowl set on top of the ice bath.  Stir occasionally until it cools down.  Place plastic wrap over the entire surface and set in the fridge for about an hour.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Reserve 1/2 cup of the lemon curd to be used later and add the remaining curd to the whipped cream.  Gently fold this together with a whisk until well combined.

Fill your ring molds (8-10) equally and place them on a cookie sheet to be placed in the freezer for up to 3 days.


Candied Lemon Zest*


This should be made one day before you make the mousse.

Scrub the skins of 4 lemons


2 cups sugar


1 cup cool water


Remove zest from the lemons with a vegetable peeler.  Remove the white pith with a sharp knife and finely julienne.  Place the zest in a small bowl and over with boiling water. Let stand for half an hour and then drain.


Bring the sugar and cool water to a boil , stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the lemon zest and cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover and let stand overnight.  Next morning store the zest in the syrup in an air tight container in the fridge until ready to use.


Drain the candied zest and reserve the syrup.  Whisk 1/3 cup of the syrup, reserved 1/2 cup lemon curd and the juice of 1/2  lemon in a bowl.


Place the frozen mousse on pretty plates, letting stand for about 5-6 minutes to warm.  Mix the creme fraiche wth the 2 remaining tbsp of whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Remove the molds, spoon the lemon sauce around the base of the mousse, spoon some creme fraiche on top and add a spoon of candied zest on top.


Put a couple of your best shortbread cookies on the side and serve.  (Your choice: whipped, lemon or pecan shortbread). What the heck, make it 1 of each.


Lemon Bars

Oh my goodness – another scrumptious square.


  • 1-15 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal (not instant)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix the milk, juice and extract and let stand while preparing the other ingredients.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and add the balance of the ingredients.  Layer one half of the mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch  pan and pat down.  Now stir the lemon mixture until blended and pour over the base.  Top with the rest of the oatmeal mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven to cool.  When completely cooled and you are ready to put on the trays (plates) cut into 2 inch squares.

You could change this for Cherry or Saskatoon pie filling.