Luscious Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

I’ve tried several recipe ideas to use the 13 Meyer lemons from my backyard tree before they “sour.” With cold weather and two freezes now, I picked the entire lemon crop. Don’t want to waste a single lemon. I love cheesecake and experimented with making a “lighter” version of traditional cheesecake using the Meyer lemons and ricotta cheese.Lusious Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake - slice 2- IMG_7096_1

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Chicken Dippin’ Sauce with Lite Crispy Chicken Fingers for Super Bowl Sunday

When I think of Super Bowl Sunday and party foods; I always think of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and Cane’s Sauce. Raising Cane’s is a fast food restaurant chain founded in Baton Rouge serving hot, juicy fried chicken fingers and an incredible dipping sauce. Cane’s was the unanimous choice for party foods when my kids were growing up. “Just get Cane’s, mom,” they would chant. Chicken Dippin' Sauce - Chicken Tenders - 2 - IMG_6962_1

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Shenandoah Valley, Virginia-Style BBQ Chicken on the Fourth of July

Hot summer days — swimming, picnics and fireworks — are my memories of the Fourth of July when growing up in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. And the picnics often included a unique style of BBQ chicken found only in that part of Virginia. But it is by far the best BBQ chicken I’ve ever eaten.

Virginia-Style BBQ Chicken - IMG_3738

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Cajun Pastalaya for Superbowl Sunday

Pastalaya is a take-off on jambalaya, a Louisiana favorite. Pastalaya contains the most of same ingredients–substituting pasta for the rice. It’s easy to took a large batch; great for a Superbowl Sunday party or for any crowd.

Jambalaya is a standard Cajun food here is South Louisiana, with Gonzales claiming itself as “Jambalaya Capital of the World.” (They like to brag–but they also make good jambalaya!)  Real jambalaya is rice, smoked meats, seasonings all cooked in a cast iron pot–the cast iron pot is a must.

pastalaya - 2 - IMG_2307_1

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Sweet Potato Spice Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping

What to do with the left-over or remaining sweet potatoes from the holidays, one might ask? This recipe uses sweet potatoes in a cake.

sweet potato spice coffee cake with crumb topping - 1 - IMG_1633_1

Before you discredit this seemingly unusual idea, the cake tastes much like a banana cake or applesauce cake. The sweet potatoes make the cake very moist and the molasses and spices blend the flavors together. Try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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