Sweet As A Candy Apple

Sweet As A Candy Apple

Sweet as a candy apple . . . and so much fun to make! 

Staying home for Halloween? No worries.

Enjoy some time in your kitchen with your family. Candy Apples is an extraordinary culinary project. If you can boil water, you can make Candy Apples. With just a few more ingredients, craft sticks, a candy thermometer and a pastry brush, you can transform delicious red apples into a culinary dream!

Special Equipment:

Before:How to make Candy Apple

After:Candy Apples

Candy Apples

For a special treat make some Candy Apples for Halloween! You will be surprised how easy they are to make.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 1 package craft sticks - purchased at craft store
  • 1 dozen small red apples
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon candies
  • 1/2 t. red food color


  1. Wash the apples. Remove the stems. Set aside to dry

  2. Insert a wooden stick part way through stem end of apples.

    Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.


    Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

  3. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, cinnamon candies and red food color. Over a medium-high heat, heat the mixture to a boiling.

    Do not stir. With a brush dipped in hot water, occasionally, brush the sugar from the sides of the pan. (This prevents crystals from forming.)

  4. Boil the mixture until it reaches 290ºF, about 20 minutes.

  5. When cooked, remove from heat. Tip the saucepan; swirl each apple in the mixture, coating all sides. Lift the apple out of the syrup, swirl it around, allowing excess syrup to fall back into the pan.

  6. Place the coated apples on the prepared cookie sheet or silicone baking mat lined cookie sheet.

    Work quickly, dipping each apple before the mixture hardens.

  7. Cool for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Display on a cake stand or a serving tray.

Refrigerate apples to prevent listeria.




The Next Best Thing To Being In New Orleans

The Next Best Thing To Being In New Orleans

The next best thing to being in New Orleans is cooking your favorite creole cuisine at home. Grillades and Grits is New Orleans quintessential choice for breakfast or brunch. Grillades and Grits, pronounced “gree-yahds”, are medallions of various meats, usually veal or pork. They are slow-cooked in a tomato gravy, the “trinity”(onions, celery and green pepper) plus plenty of garlic. Smooth, rich, cheesy grits and fluffy biscuits are the perfect sides.Grillades and Grits

Grillades and Grits:

  1. Cut the meat into medallions.
  2. Pound flat.
  3. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  4. Dredge with flour.
  5. In a heavy-bottom skillet, brown the medallions. Set aside.
  6. Sauté the “trinity”, onions, bell pepper, and celery, add 1 tablespoon minced garlic.
  7. Add homemade beef stock. 
  8. Add the browned medallions and bay leaves.
  9. Simmer for 1 hour.
  10. Cook the cheese grits.
  11. Remove the bay leaves.
  12. Serve with cheese grits and crusty French bread.

Grillades and Grits are a popular dish at Mr. B’s in the French Quarter. 

The next best thing to being in New Orleans . . . make some Grillades and Grits for supper tonight!

Grillades and Grits

A classic brunch dish in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Enriched with creole flavors this is comfort food at its best!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 pounds veal round steak, about 1/2" thick
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 t. thyme
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. dried basil
  • 1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped
  • 3 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped

Baked cheese grits


  1. Combine the salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Set aside.

  2. Cut the meat into 2" squares. With a mallet, pound each piece of meat until slightly flattened.

    Sprinkle with seasoning mix and dredge in the flour. Shake off excess flour. Turn pieces of meat over and repeat the process.

  3. In a large cast-iron pot or enameled cast-iron, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the meat several pieces at a time and brown evenly on both sides, being careful not to overcrowd. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate. When all of the meat is browned, set aside.

  4. Remove any burnt drippings from the pan, add the oil. When hot, add the onions, bell pepper and celery, cook, stirring occasionally, in oil until vegetables are wilted, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 4 to 6 minutes.

  5. Return the browned meat to the large heavy pot, add the beef broth, sautéd vegetables, wine, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and basil.

    Reduce heat to a medium, simmer partially covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally.

  6. Meanwhile, cook the cheese grits.

  7. When ready to serve, remove the bay leaves, add the green onions and parsley.

    Taste. Add seasonings if necessary.

  8. Serve with cheese grits and biscuits.

Drapes Are Beautiful Inside And Out

Drapes Are Beautiful Inside And Out

Drapes are beautiful inside and out.

During our uncertain times, families are focused on building spaces that bring comfort and improve everyday quality of life. Before the coronavirus pandemic, everyone wanted patio spaces that would work for entertaining. Our needs have changed. Work spaces and living spaces are our top priorities. 

Now is the moment to take stock of our outdoor patios and porches. What items need to be replaced? Most likely, it is our furniture cushions.

Here’s a crazy idea . . . cover them with drapery textiles. You know, the living room drapes that you are thinking about replacing anyway. Combine these two ideas into one. Find a local seamstress or sew them, either way, before you now it, beautiful new cushions will emerge and the warm textiles will embellish your patio. Now, add a some throw pillows, blankets, lighting, and outdoor heaters. You will be ready for daily living as well as Covid-19 style outdoor entertaining!

#RepurposedTextiles for the lounge

Established in 1958, family-owned, Childress Fabrics for the pillow fabrics!

Before . . . Sustainable living

After . . . Draperies Are Beautiful Inside And Out

  • Close up photo of the patio lounges with new cushion covers and pillowsUpcycle drapesDrapes are beautiful inside and out!
Happy National Pasta Day!

Happy National Pasta Day!

Happy National Pasta Day! 

Surprisingly, homemade pasta is easy to make.Homemade Pasta

Four Simple Ingredients:

  1. Flour
  2. Eggs
  3. Olive oil
  4. Salt


Happy National Pasta Day!


A delicious pasta, takes about 30 minutes to make it and some time for resting. Serve with delicious butter/sage sauce.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 t. olive oil

Butter/sage sauce: 5 T. salted butter, 2 T. minced fresh sage, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and salt & freshly grated pepper to taste


  1. On a large work surface, pour the flour and salt into a mound. Blend together with a fork and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil to the center of the well. Beat the eggs with a fork, working in a circular motion, gradually blend the ingredients together. Be careful that the liquid egg doesn't run out of the well. Once the egg is incorporated into the dry ingredients, knead briefly. Leave the dough to rest, covered, for 30 minutes to one hour.

  2. Dust the work surface lightly with flour. Roll out the dough, pushing it away from you, turning occasionally. Try to keep it rectangular. Roll out to 1/8" thick and about 24" in diameter. Place a clean tea towel over the back of a chair, drape the dough over the towel. Let it dry for 30 to 45 minutes.

  3. On a work surface, roll the dough up into a flat roll. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into strips 1/4" wide. Gently toss and unroll the strips. Set aside for a few minutes.

  4. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Add the noodles and salt. Stir immediately with a wooden spoon. Cook until just al dente. Drain. Toss with butter/sage sauce.

  5. Toss with brown butter/sage sauce. Add Parmesan cheese and freshly grated black pepper.

Butter/sage sauce: In a large skillet, melt the butter, add the sage. Set aside while the pasta cooks. Add the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with the salt and pepper. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the pan and toss.




It Is Patio Season

It Is Patio Season

It is patio season! Cooler weather is on the way. We are enjoying football games on TV. I am cooking more comfort foods and we are dining on our patio. So . . . now is the perfect time for a patio makeover! 

Five tips for a patio makeover on a limited budget:

  1. Select a fall color theme.
  2. Cut and sew patio custom furniture cushions with covers made of repurposed vintage textiles. 
  3. Shop at a local upholstery store for additional fabrics for pillows. In Dallas, family-owned, Childress Fabrics has a grand selection of fabrics.
  4. Shop your house for table scape items; ie. lanterns, candlesticks, vases, baskets, table runners, etc.
  5. With the money saved, splurge on pumpkins, dried flowers and candles to decorate the table.

Five reasons the patio project is worth your time:

  1. It’s sustainable.
  2. It’s a clever way to repurpose used drapes when you are done with them.
  3. Engaging in a creative project is meaningful.
  4. Your patio will be original and beautiful.
  5. It is a great money saver!

Happy with my patio makeover! The fabric’s texture, design and fall colors are well-suited for patio cushion covers. Don’t worry if you don’t have any drapes for a patio project, resale shops and estate sales are a great source.Repurposing drapes

It is patio season . . . Enjoy!