Hurricane Cocktail

In keeping with our current weather conditions I thought I would post a recipe for a cocktail that my mother-in-law Mary LOVES. Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane!  When we all still lived in Ohio she would make these for special dinner parties or on Sunday’s when all of us would get together.  One year while she was visiting New Orleans’ she brought us back a set of Pat O’Brien Hurricane glasses!

Here’s a toast to all those who are in the path of Hurricane Irene. Please be safe and know prayers and blessings  are coming your way.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                                                                                                

 Just a little history lesson behind the Hurricane!

The Hurricane became popular at Pat O’Brien’s bar in 1940’s New Orleans, apparently debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair and was named after the hurricane lamp-shaped glasses the first drinks were served in. It’s said that O’Brien created the heavily rummed drink as a means to get rid of the large stock of rum his Southern distributors forced him to buy.


  • 2 oz light rum
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 2 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • juice of a half a lime
  • 1 Tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp grenadine
  • orange slice and cherry for garnish


  1. Squeeze juice from half a lime into shaker over ice.
  2. Pour the remaining ingredients into the cocktail shaker.
  3.  Shake well.
  4. Strain into a hurricane glass.
  5. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

Vegetarian Chili with Cornbread

 The lazy days of summer are coming to a close. If you are a parent of school aged children like me, then you are juggling  your regular daily functions, plus getting all the back to school things they need. In honor of second to last Meatless Monday in the month of August, I chose to share a recipe for vegetarian chili with cornbread . I know there is a lot of ingredients, but it is so worth a trip to the grocery store if you don’t have everything. I love to make this time to time because it is a great way to “clean” out my panty. You can also throw all your ingredients in a crock pot and let it do all the work. Put the setting on low and let it cook for a few hours.  YUM:)
Hope you enjoy and Happy Cooking.

4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer( I use a red ale)
4 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 dashes hot pepper sauce, optional
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix

In a 4 quart pot, saute garlic in oil.
Add diced tomatoes (undrained), tomato sauce, tomato paste, beer, chili powder, mustard powder, oregano, pepper, cumin, hot pepper sauce. Stir in the pinto beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, red and white kidney beans, and corn. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 20 minutes. While soup is simmering make your cornbread.  To serve, Top each bowl with cheddar cheese and a slice of cornbread.


Cantaloupe Bread with Praline Glaze

I stopped at the market and got some great deals on cantaloupes.  They are absolutely mouth-watering.  But, knowing we won’t able to finish them all before they went bad I went to my computer in search of a way to freeze my leftovers.  I discovered this wonderful recipe on

I hope you enjoy it as much as we are. I also pureed the extras and poured into ice-cube trays. Once frozen I will put the cubes in freezer bags. This way when melon is at a premium in the fall and winter months and definitely not as tasty,  I will be able to make this delicious bread and remember how sweet summer has been!

As always,

Enjoy and  Happy Cooking.




Original Recipe Yield 2 – 9×5 inch loaves


3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups cantaloupe – peeled, seeded and puree

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup butter

1 2/3 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable, sugar, vanilla and cantaloupe. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Stir flour mixture into cantaloupe mixture; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean. Meanwhile, combine margarine and brown sugar. Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals; mix in pecans. Pour sauce over warm bread. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

BBQ Ham Sandwiches

I know I have shared this with you before, but it’s worth repeating.  My mother-in-law, Mary Jeffers is a wonderful cook. When I married Mark she gave me a recipe card book with all of Mark’s favorite dishes.  I remember looking at this binder filled with 60 or more recipes in it and thinking,  Make Mark’s favorite recipes?  Wait… I really don’t even know how to cook.  I mean I can make a mean grilled cheese, or fry up some minute steaks and pour some canned gravy over them,  but make Chicken a L’ Orange, or Linguine with Clam Sauce, French chocolate Pie? Uh oh… I’m in trouble.

Growing up in Northeast Ohio in a very small Farming and Steelmill town,  I wasn’t exposed to a variety of  fancy meals. My mom wasn’t the greatest cook.  Don’t get me wrong,  she had her staples and that’s what we had for dinner every week. You know,  Sloppy Joes,  Beef Vegetable Soup,  Meatloaf,  Pan Fried Steaks or if it was summer, Fried Green Tomatoes, Corn on-the-Cob, and BLT’s.  We were a big beef eating family.  Chicken… WHAT?  My mom made chicken once a year. When it was time for Daddy’s company picnic, she would go to the Sparkle Market(the only grocery store in town) and buy a mini-charcoal grill, a package of chicken and a bottle of Open Pit.. Vola!  And Seafood?  Please… I didn’t even know what fish was except for canned tuna or salmon. Mom would make a concoction of tuna, noodles, and canned soup with crushed potato chips on top or Lord help us all when she would make Salmon Patties with this white congealed sauce on top YUCK!

So now I was faced with making dishes I have never heard of.  HELP!!  Mary worked so hard on the binder.  Every recipe hand written beautifully and organized. I gave her a big hug and with a deer in headlights smile said “Thank you, I can’t wait to start cooking for Mark”!  When I  got home later that night, I pulled the binder out and started reading recipe after recipe. I was thinking, What am I going to do? Is he really going to expect me to cook like his mother? I mean, I have sat at her beautiful dining room table and she has served Honey-Glazed Cornish Hens with Risotto,  Steamed Asparagus, and Coconut Cream Pie for dessert.

And then I came across this recipe.  I knew I could make it!  I have been making these sandwiches for 23 years now and it’s one of my favorites. Yes, I know what you are thinking… I can make everything in the binder and I would like to think I am as good a cook as my mother-in-law!
I hope it becomes one of your favorites too!
Enjoy and Happy cooking,

2 pounds cold cut ham, chipped
1/2 bottle of ketchup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp.  yellow mustard
1 Tbsp.  white vinegar

Mix together all ingredients except ham. In a large skillet cook sauce to boiling point, add ham. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until ham is heated thoroughly.
Serve on hamburger buns.

The Perfect Iced Coffee (Ree Drummond’s Recipe)

Let me start off by saying, Oh My Goodness  I am in coffee heaven!   I love this method.  It did result in a smoother, richer, more delicious concentrate than simply brewing strong coffee and refrigerating it.  Just as Ree said it would.  I have been the type of coffee drinker that when I wanted an iced coffee, I would brew a cup and then pour over a large glass of ice. I was always disappointed because all I got was diluted coffee water. Not anymore!  This was so easy to make. I strained my coffee through a double layer of paper towels since I didn’t have any cheesecloth on hand.  I pack my glass full of ice and poured the coffee concentrate about 2/3 of the way up. I added 1 TBSP. of Hazelnut Syrup, 1 TBSP. sweetened condensed milk, and topped it all off with some iced cold milk and gave it a nice stir. ” Heaven… I’m in heaven, And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak. And I seem to find the happiness I seek”….ok well, maybe that’s a little over kill, but it really is the Perfect Iced Coffee. Thanks Ree for sharing. Go to and read the whole article.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                      


Ingredients                                                                                                                                           The Pecfect Iced Coffee
■1 pound Ground Coffee (good, Rich Roast)
■8 quarts Cold Water
■Half-and-half (healthy Splash Per Serving)
■Sweetened Condensed Milk (2-3 Tablespoons Per Serving)
■Note: Can Use Skim Milk, 2% Milk, Whole Milk, Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners, Syrups…adapt To Your Liking!
Preparation Instructions
(Adapted from Imbibe Magazine)

In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight.

Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Discard grounds.

Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. Use as needed.

To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid. Add healthy splash of half-and-half. Add 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (can use plain sugar instead) and stir to combine. Taste and adjust half-and-half and/or sweetened condensed milk as needed.

Posted by Ree on June 12 2011

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

This is a delicious and tangy cold pasta salad with grilled vegetables that is so satisfying it’s perfect for Meatless Monday! I serve mine with warm cornbread muffins, and green grapes.  This is a great way to beat the heat and have a great, satisfying dinner. What a great way to end very busy day. Add a glass of your favorite wine or iced cold beer!

PS…for the meat-eaters, just add 1 pound of  your favorite grilled meat or seafood.  I love this with grilled shrimp, chicken or steak thinly sliced.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,


1 pound penne pasta, cooked and rinsed in cold water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves washed, dried, and thinly sliced
2 TBSP. lemon juice
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 large onion, thickly sliced in rounds
2 medium zucchini, peeled,thickly sliced in rounds
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper thickly sliced and cut into chunks
1 cup of grape tomatoes
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Combine mayonnaise, basil, lemon juice and red pepper flake in a large bowl. Add cooked pasta and toss.
Heat grill on high heat. Place onions and zucchini on grill. Turn heat down to medium. Grill for 2 minutes and turn. Add the rest of the vegetables except tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are tender. About 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cook for 2-4 minutes. Remove vegetables from grill and add to pasta.  Add Italian dressing to pasta and vegetables.  Toss mixture and mix well.  Add lemon rest and parmesan cheese. Stir and serve. Can be served warm or cold.
Serves: 6