Cream of celery soup

Dear Sweetie Pie,

Here is a great recipe for celery soup.

  • 3 cups chopped celery
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1 cup diced potato
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 quart chicken stock or broth
    Salt, pepper, celery salt
    Heavy cream (for garnish)
  • Saute celery and onion in oil and butter over medium heat in a covered pan for 10 minutes.
  • Add the potato and stir to coat with butter and oil.
  • Don’t let the vegetables brown. Add the stock. Bring the soup to a boil and gently simmer for 30 minutes or until celery is tender.
  • Blend the soup with a wand mixer or blender. The soup should be creamy and smooth, but if the celery is stringy pass it through a seive.
  • Add salt, pepper, and celery salt to taste. To serve, ladle soup into a bowl, spoon over a little cream, swirl and eat. Enjoy!
  • Pumpkin Spice Bars

    Dear Sweetie Pie,
    Well, it’s that time of year again. Pumpkin spice time! I imagine where you live pumpkin spice is everywhere. Not so up here in the north of Norway. Even though pumpkins are available for Halloween, canned pumpkin is not something easily found.Which is why I smuggle a few cans home with me after a trip to the states.

    Now, I’m not a fan of pumpkin spice lattes, or lattes in general. I like my coffee black. I’m probably one of few people that actually goes into a Starbuck’s and orders black coffee! But I do like pumpkin, especially this easy to make pumpkin spice cake.IMG_8673I got this recipe more than 30 years ago from a lady I used to work with. Way before pumpkin spice was a THING. And way before Starbuck’s was more than just a local business in Seattle. I can remember a time before Starbuck’s? Geez! I must be getting old!


    Thank’s, Nancy D.!

    Pumpkin Spice Bars

    • 2 cups canned pumpkin (one can)
    • 1 cup cooking oil
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 6 oz. cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
    • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons cream or milk
    • 2 tsp. vanilla

    This is so easy! Preheat oven to 350 F (175C). Grease a 9X13 inch cake pan.

    For the cake, dump EVERYTHING into a mixing bowl.IMG_8643Mix with a wire whisk til smooth.IMG_8644

    Pour into your panIMG_8645

    and bake for 25-30 minutes.IMG_8649

    While the cake is cooling , make your frosting. Place cream cheese and butter in mixing bowl.IMG_8652

    Beat until fluffy.IMG_8653

    Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well after each addition. Add milk or cream and vanilla and beat til smooth and creamy.IMG_8655

    Spread on cooled cake. Refrigerate to let the frosting firm up a bit bfore cutting into bars.IMG_8664

    This cake stays nice and moist for several days. You can also freeze it. I like to freeze it after it’s been cut. then I can grab a piece or two to thaw a little and have with my morning coffee. IMG_8668IMG_8674

    I hope you enjoy making AND eating this! And have a wonderful day!

    Dessert For Two

    Dear Sweetie Pie,

    The title of this post was supposed to be A Valentine’s Dessert for Two. But I struggled trying to learn to post on my tablet, and in the end I just gave up. And now Valentine’s Day has come and gone. But hey! Any day is a good day to have a creamy, chocolate dessert. Right?

    I was browsing through my favorite food magazine,, and came across this recipe. French recipes have always intimidated me. I mean, if I can’t pronounce it, it must be hard to make, right? Boeuf Bourguignon, Croque Monsieur, Coq Au Vin. Sounds complicated. But this recipe looked so simple and easy, i just had to try it. img_6535.jpg

    Pots de Crème

    • 1/2 cup half-and-half
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
    • 2 Tlbs. sugar
    • A dash of saltimg_6489.jpg

    Heat the half-and-half and milk  in a small saucepan over medium heat until scalding hot. (not quite boiling, but very hot)img_6490.jpg

    Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl.img_6491.jpg

    Slowly whisk the hot milk into the eggs. You have to do this SLOWLY so as not to cook the eggs.img_6497.jpg. Return the milk mixture to the pan, reuce heat to low, and whisk until it thickens. About 1 or 2 minutes.img_6499.jpg

    Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, sugar, and salt. Whisk until smooth.img_6503.jpg

    Pour into two small serving glasses. You can serve this in small coffee cups, or martini glasses, or whatever fancy little cups you have. img_6512.jpg

    Regrigerate until set, a couple of hours. decorate with a little whipped cream, and maybe a fresh strawberry or raspberry. (I was berry free).img_6541.jpg

    I hope you try this, it simply delicious!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Crunchy, Creamy Cole Slaw

    Dear Sweetie Pie,

    Home made cole slaw is just one of those dishes that every one should be able to make. It’s ridiculously easy. I admit, though, that buying a bag of pre-shredded cabbage and a jar of dressing is tempting. But home made just tastes better. If you’ve got cabbage, a carrot and some mayo, you’ve got cole slaw!

    Chop up half a head of cabbage. I first slice it thinly, then take the knife and chop right through it again.


    Place the cabbage in a strainer over a bowl and toss with a teaspoon of salt. Let this sit for about an hour. The salt will draw moisture out of the cabbage, and make your finished slaw crunchy without becoming watery.

    Depending on how much moisture is in the cabbage, you will have some water in the bowl under the strainer. Just toss that. At this point, taste the cabbage and if it seems salty, rinse under cold water. You should then pat it dry with a towel. However , if it tastes fine to you, continue with the recipe.

    Place the cabbage in a bowl and grate a carrot into it.IMG_6054

    Now you are ready for the dressing. You need half a cup of mayonaisse, and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar.IMG_6055

    I like to add a few dashes of tobasco, also.IMG_6056

    Now just season to taste with salt and pepper. Some folks like a little sugar in the dressing, but that is up to you. I prefer it without.IMG_6058

    So that’s how easy it is to make Cole slaw. I hope you enjoy it.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Shredded Pork AKA Pulled (ew) Pork

    Dear Sweetie Pie,

    Today we’re making shredded pork in the slow cooker. Now, some people call this pulled (ew) pork, but as you can see, I have a serious problem with that word. Pulled (ew). How is that appetizing? It’s NOT! It just sounds so…wrong! Am I right or am I right?

    pulled porkShredded is a much nicer term. The meat is shredded not pulled, with two forks. Even if you use your fingers (which you shouldn’t because the meat is hot and you’ll burn your little pinkies) it is still shredding, not pulling. Now that we covered that, this dish shall only be referred to as Shredded pork.IMG_6063This is more of a method of cooking than a recipe. And doesn’t take a long list of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need.

    • A pork roast
    • An onion
    • Spices (whatever you have on hand)
    • Barbecue sauce

    Cut the roast into manageble pieces.                          IMG_6043Season well with whatever seasonings you choose. I suggest seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper or lemon pepper, smoked paprika. Season liberally, the meat can handle a lot of salt and spices.IMG_6044

    I used a blend of smoked paprika, alder smoked salt, garlic, pepper and brown sugar.

    Slice or chop an onion and place in crock pot. I had a couple of shallot onions threatening to grow legs and make a run for it, so I threw them in the pot, too.IMG_6046   Place the meat in the pot.IMG_6047

    And add 1/4 cup of water.IMG_6049

    Put on the lid, and let cook on low for 6 hours.

    Now, vacuum those floors, pick your dirty clothes off the floor and start a load of laundry. In the next few hours a wonderful smell will start to permeate your apartment, drifting over to the neighbor’s apartments. Don’t be surprised if people start knocking on your door, asking what that heavenly smell is. It’s absolutely heartbreaking! BUT, resist the urge to peek!

    I peek all the time!

    I peek all the time!

    They say it takes 45 minutes for the crock pot to come back up to temperature after you’ve lifted the lid. I still peek!

    When the meat is fall-apart tender, take it out of the pot and SHRED with two forks.IMG_6060

    Pour off the cooking liquid in the pot, strain it, and throw away all the solid stuff. Reserve some of the liquid for moistening the meat. Wipe the pot out with a paper towel, and dump the shredded meat back in. Now it’s time to add your favorite barbeque sauce.


    Use as much sauce to suit your own taste, and also some of the reserved cooking liquid to add a little more moisture.

    IMG_6062Cover the pot, and let cook another half hour to an hour on low.

    That’s it! Easy wasn’t it? Just pile that delicious meat on a toasted bun, crown it with some crunchy homemade cole slaw,

    IMG_6066 and enjoy!IMG_6070Have a wonderful day!

    Roasted Broccoli is the shit!

    Dear Sweetie Pie,

    Eat your vegetables! That’s what mom’s are always telling their kids. But most kids turn their noses up at vegetables, especially broccoli. Now, I happen to love broccoli, even just plain steamed or boiled broccoli, unadorned with butter or some kind of sauce. But I’ve recently discovered roasted broccoli and I’m here to tell you  that this stuff is incredible. Even the most hardcore, veggie hating veggie haters will love this. Even your brother, who’s allergic to all things green, loves this. In fact, I’m quite certain that even George Bush Sr. would change his mind about broccoli.



    This is how you roast broccoli:

    Place your broccoli in a baking dish

    Place your broccoli in a baking dish

    Drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, and lemon pepper. Lemon pepper is the KEY!

    Drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, and lemon pepper. Lemon pepper is the KEY!

    Add a little butter, because, well, ....butter!

    Add a little butter, because, well, ….butter!

    Roast at 375F or 400F for 20 minutes, or until broccoli is starting to be brown.

    Roast at 375F or 400F for 20 minutes, or until broccoli is starting to be brown.

    Give it a stir or two while roasting.

    Give it a stir or two while roasting.

    That’s all there is to it. Be sure to make plenty, cause there won’t be leftovers, and if there is, hey, it’s delicious cold, too!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Sticky Coconut Chicken (AKA Candy Chicken)

    Dear Sweetie Pie,

    It’s that time of the year again! The days are getting warmer, the sun is shining more, and it’s time to bust out that grill! Here is a great and tasty recipe that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Would that be you? Naw! You were never picky, as long as rice wasn’t involved. Or soup. Or stews. Or fish. Or anything white. I’ll stop now. You’ll love this. You do love this. The chicken is marinated in cocnut milk, and the coconut milk does amazing things to the meat, making it tender and juicey. And to top it off is a sweet,hot chili glaze that is almost like pancake syrup. Sweet, syrupy, and spicey. Delicious! But you have to plan this meal a day in advance. You want that chicken marinating over night. Okay? Here we go.IMG_5838

    Sticky Coconut Chicken

    • 6-8 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless (or skinless, boneless thighs)


    • 1 can coconut milk
    • 1 Tlb. fresh ginger, grated (or 1 tsp. ground ginger)
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 tsp. hot chili flakes
    • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

    Wash and trim the chicken breast. In a large bowl, mix the marinade ingredients.IMG_5814

    Place the chicken breasts into the marinade, making sure the meat is below the surface of the marinade.IMG_5815

    Now let this sit in the fridge overnight so the cocnut milk can work it’s magic.

    The next day, get ready to cook! Prepare your grill, and make the chili glaze.

    Chili glaze:

    • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 3 Tlb. soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. hot chili flakes

    Combine all ingredients in a medium size saucepan, and bring to a boil.IMG_5819

    Let it boil for 8-10 minutes, until reduced and syrupy. Keep it at a rolling boil during that time, but keep an eye on it and stir occasionally to prevent boiling over.IMG_5821

    When it’s done, just remove it from the heat and let it sit until the chicken is done.

    Now back to the chicken. Remove the meat from the marinade. If the marinade is really thick, just scrape it off the chicken.IMG_5825

    Grill over high heat for 4-6 minutes, then flip and grill the other side for 4-6 minutes.IMG_5831

    Continue flipping until chicken is no longer pink in the middle, maybe 5 minutes more. Enjoy the scenery while you’re outside waiting.IMG_5829

    When the meat is done, transfer to a platter and pour the chli glaze (reheat if needed) over the chicken. Garnish with chopped green onions.IMG_5839

    I served this with roasted potatoe wedges and fresh asparages. IMG_5844

    Yeah, it was literally finger lickin’ good.

    Hope you enjoy it, and have a wonderful day!

    Sloppy Joes (for the Crock Pot)

    Dear Sweetie Pie,

    It’s the dead of winter. Cold temperatures, blowing wind, wind chill, blizzards, OH MY! Time for some warm and warming comfort food. Sloppy Joes are easy to make, tasty, and sure to please. Especially if you throw everything in the crock pot before work. I know I love coming home to dinner already to go. It makes life so much easier.DSC_0690 This is one of those meals where I don’t really follow a recipe. I have the recipe from my mother, but I’ve tweaked it over the years. I’ve added a few things, such as jalepeno pepper, and you can add or remove things also. Sloppy Joes always come out good!

    Sloppy Joes

    • Ground beef ( 2-3 pounds)
    • Chopped onion (1 onion)
    • Chopped green pepper(1 pepper)
    • Chopped celery (1 or 2 stalks)
    • Jalepeno, chopped
    • About 2 cups of ketchup (Heinz, of course)
    • 2 Tlb. brown sugar
    • 2 Tlb. vinegar
    • 2 Tlb. dry mustard
    • 1 tsp. ginger
    • 1/2 tsp. allspice
    • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp. cloves

    Brown the ground beef with the onion, celery and peppers.DSC_0684

    Now you can transfer it to your crock pot. Add all the rest of the ingredients.DSC_0685


    Give it a good stir.DSC_0686Cover the crock pot and cook on low for about 6 hours.DSC_0687

    You can also cook this on the stove. Just follow the same directions, but add everything to the pot you browned the meat in. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours.DSC_0689


    Serve up on toasted buns or warm pita bread. It’s nice to have cole slaw or veggies and dip on the side. Enjoy!DSC_0693

    Have a wonderful day!













    A Norwegian Christmas Delight

    Dear Sweetie Pie,

    Christmas will soon be here! You are probably watching all your favorite christmas shows and planning all the goodies you want to make. And of course planning your first Christmas dinner away from home. By the way, children shouldn’t be allowed to grow up and move away from home and not come home for Christmas!!

    With that said, You might like to have a little norwegian tradition for Christmas Eve dinner. So today we are making Riskrem, or Rice Cream with red berry sauce.IMG_5694

    This is quite simple to make, with only a few ingredients. IMG_5667

    Let’s start with the rice. You can use regular rice, but if you can find pearl rice in the grocery store, use that.

    pearl rice


    Pearl rice cooks up a little differently, and is better for this type of dessert.

    Norwegian Delight

    • 1 cup rice
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 quart milk
    • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla

    First cook the rice. In a medium sized pot, bring water to a boil. Add the rice, turn the heat down to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until water is almost cooked in, about 10 minutes.IMG_5669


    Add the milk, and allow to cook until thick. This will take about 45 minutes. Remember to stir the pot occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the pan, and don’t let lit boil over. (Because that’s a mess)IMG_5672


    When the mixture is thick and creamy, remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a bowl and place in fridge. IMG_5682


    While the rice is cooling in the fridge, you can make the sauce.

    Red Berry Sauce

    • 1 package frozen strawberries
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup water

    Place the water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until just beginning to boil and the sugar dissolves. Add the frozen berries.IMG_5674


    Bring this to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.IMG_5676


    Allow to cool, and then place a strainer over a bowl. Pour the berries into the strainer and with the back of a spoon, press the berries to get as much juice out as possible, leaving the pulp and seeds behind.IMG_5684


    This will give you a relatively clear and seedless sauce. Add a little squeeze of fresh lemon, and let cool in the fridge.

    Now back to the rice! When everything is nice and COLD, using a electric mixer, whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.IMG_5686


    Fold the whipped cream into the cold rice with a rubber spatula.IMG_5692


    The only thing left to do now is get out  your prettiest bowls, and serve this up!IMG_5704



    If you serve this to some friends during the holidays, I guarentee they will be impressed! You don’t have to tell them how easy it is.

    Have a wonderful holiday season!IMG_5705


    The Best Broccoli Soup

    Dear Sweetie Pie,

    I’ve always liked broccoli soup but never made it because I’ve never found a recipe I much cared for. Until now, that is. This soup is as delicious as it is easy. Even Mr. Muscle, who seems to be allergic to anything green, called this awesome.

    IMG_5460The Recipe:

    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 2 Tlbs. butter
    • 1 large head broccoli
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • 3 Tlbs. butter
    • 3 Tlbs. flour
    • 2 cups milk
    • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

    Wash the broccoli and separate the florets. I used  the florets and stalks.

    Saute the onion and celery in 2 Tlbs. butter. IMG_5446


    Add the broccoli and 3 cups chicken broth. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until broccoli is tender.IMG_5450


    In another pot, make a white sauce by melting the 3 Tlbs. butter, stir in the flour…IMG_5451


    and whisk in the milk. Stir until thick and bubbly.IMG_5454

    When the broccoli is tender, mash it with a potato masher, or use a wand mixer to puree everything.IMG_5457

    Now add the milk mixture , and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. I like mine with a little bit of kick, so I sprinkled in some cayenne pepper. Serve with some crumbled bacon on top if you like.IMG_5461

    This is really delicious! Give it a try, and have a woderful day!