Straberries Strawberries 

As a kid my family looked forward to the day of picking wild strawberries. There was always a small two week perioud every early summer to get. We would have our buckets and climb the big hill and find the fields of heaven. Id eat more than hit my bucket. 

Mom would pull out the old blue icecream maker and the rock salt snd make fresk custard icecream for those tiny sweet berries. Oregon berries have that flavor and size and small picking season. So I jam as much as I can to savor all winter. 

Slow cook All fruit Jam(low sugar) just eyeblling it recipe. 

10 cups of fresh berries cleaned and destemed

4 cups sugar 

Mash berries with potato masher and slow  simmer for 1.3 hours. You can see when you hit a jam consistency stirring frequently. Yields 3-4 jars. Put in warm clean jars and lid. 

Water bath seal. 

I always have this cooking as I prep for the big pectin batches. Follow Pectin jam recipe in box for jam. 

Black skillet London Broil (aka Top Round) they come back for more … good! 

This is a cut Ive always been scared of because of the little marbling in the meat. But the secret is don’t over cook! You dont even have to marinade with this recipe its so simple.  

Trim any tough pieces or fat off edges

Dry rub

  • Garlic powder 1 Tbs
  • Dry mustard 1 Tbs
  • Blk pepper 1 tsp
  • Kosher salt 1 tsp
  • Cayene Pepper 1/4 tsp

Mix and rub all over cut. Allow to rest to room teperature for 1-2 hours 

Heat skillet on high heat 

Rub soft butter all over meat 

Sear in hot skillet 4-5 minutes flip and cook 4-5 minutes . Make sure you have that nice browned sides. 

Take off heat and foule tent with meat themometer in pan. 10-15 minutes until internal temp hits 135-40 degrees. 

Slice thin. Sooo good! 

Summer garden salsa (pico de galla) 

My big sis Leslie taught me this easy fresh recipe that has flavors of hot summer nites and complements a cold beer or a margarita! I dont like it spicy but you can spice it up all you want! I make s huge batch and share or enjoy in many recipes over the week. Will keep up to 10 days. 

Cant screw this up…

  • 8 Tomatos riper the better
  • Sweet vadalia onion
  • Green and red pepper
  • Cilantro fresh
  • 1/2 Tbl spoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbs garlic salt w/ parsley
  • Black pepper to taste 
  • Juice of two limes 

One bowl. I hand chop fine … but you can pulse up invlender or food processor if you like a finer bite.
This is fantastic with cherry tomatoes. I also add acan of fireroasted diced organic tomatoes for a light smoky flavor. 
Alway better day two. Keps in air tight container 10 days in fridge. 
Mix it up … add a diced up mango.  

Stewed Italian Tomatos – a summer harvest must! 

My amazing mother-in-law Ann got me hooked on the multi levels of gratification from canning. She and I make it weekend events with tomatoes, peaches and pears as seasons deliver. She will bring full bushels from the valley farms super ripe. 

My all time favorite is stewed italian tomatoes. A winter “must have on the shelf ” staple.  This is a cook up – whatcha got recipe… so you cant mess it up on measurement. 

  • tomatos fresh summer ripe 5 quarts? A bunch 
  • Multi peppers green red yellow orange 4 cups chopped
  • Sweet onion 4 cups chopped 
  • Garlic 6 cloves or so
  • Fresh oregano
  • Fresh basil
  • Olive oil 
  • 2 Tbs sugar 

Prep jars for canning. Follow ball jar instructions. I prefer to water bath mine and I heat jars in oven as I work, wide mouth are really great to use as well. 

Blanch and ice bath tomatoes to remove skin -chop

Dutch oven or large stock pot sautee in olive oil chopped onion , chopped peppers, garlic and seasonings. Once limp add tomatoes and sugar. Simmer low boil 45 min- hour. 

Gently add hot tomatoes to hot jars and lid. Pre-prep is crutial with your jars. 

Follow water bath instructions with Ball. 

Youll see I have recipes that refer to my stewed  and jarred  tomatoes often. 

Black Skillet Pinapple Upside Down Cake (easiest cake you will ever make! ) 

This is a real childhood love! Mom never let me see it assembled… just the heavenly smells of butter, brown sugar and punapple warming the house. Then we all gather round for the magic of flipping the skillet and seeing the beautiful golden fruit sparkle. Oh… my mouth watering memory. 


Cast iron skillet(14 inch) 

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

1 and 1/3 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 lrg eggs

3/4 cup milk

Cake botton/top: 

1-20 oz  can of pineapple rings

1/2 cup brown sugar

Heat oven to 375.

Melt half stick butter 1/2 cup

Mix wet ingredients, egg, milk, melted butter , vanilla then add dry. Simple yellow cake one bowl. Prep pan .

Black skillet 14inch. over low heat melt 1/4 cup butter with brown sugar. 

Once warm melted- do not bring to boil ( dont want  andied cake) assemble your pinapple rings remove from heat. Add a halved marichino cherry forcolor. I personally dont like these but they add such color. Halved seem to work best- whole one seem to float in the batter move.

Carefully pour batter over fruit inpan. 

Bake in 375 oven for 45 minutes or until toothpick pulls out clean.

Then its magictime. Use a heat safe plate. 

I carefully takea knife and go around the outside of pan. Oven mits hold plat over pan and quickly flip. Ahhhhhhhhh !!! 

Summer salad with spring baby greens… a must! 


Baby greens from my porch planter and fresh straberries and blueberries just coming into season. Summer is here … 

baby greens

Sliced strawberries fresh

Blueberries fresh

Carrot ribbons


Crumbled danish blue (realy creamy bite) 

Drizzle with light fresh dressing… my choice is basalmic and olive oil … just dont drown this yumminess! 

Green is so good- fresh! Just plant it. 

We have such cold nights here and garden items just arnt as successful for me like my garden in Virginia. Ive learned planters are my best friend for yummies like herbs and salad greens. This planter was a 50 cent spring mix seed packet I planted in my house just a few weeks ago. A little water – sun- and a few Aretha songs and we have Salad tonight! ( laughing there is a stray tomato growing right in the middle of the party)