Tuesday, July 25, 2017

My New Favorite Restaurant, Alas!

It's "alas" because I don't have anybody to eat there with anymore.

I'll 'splain.

My church (yes, I go to church. no, the roof doesn't fall in when I enter) has a group called Food For The Soul, where anybody who wants to can meet once a month for lunch and fellowship. We usually stick to our town, but sometimes we go out of town (a bit) to a place one or more of the members recommend(s).

This month, we went to a hole-in-the-wall place we would never have found, if JD hadn't given us clear directions. The restaurant was behind another building; the sign for it on the road was a piece of cardboard with the name in four-inch letters. The parking lot was rough gravel.

Inside, the decor was plain, but everything was spotless, if a little time-worn.

The food? REAL. By that, I mean it was food I grew up with. Comfort food, every bit of it. Yeah, there was pizza. Yeah, there were hamburgers. But here's what I got.
That's country-fried steak, mashed potatoes with white gravy, and fried green tomatoes. Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about!

In case you don't know, country-fried steak (or chicken-fried steak) is steak that has been tenderized by pounding (or, sometimes, ground beef), breaded and fried and served with white gravy. It should be meltingly tender, and this was.

Time was, Mom and I would have haunted that place like Banquo's ghost. But Mom is on a feeding tube, and will never eat real food again. Alas.

Maybe I can talk Charlie into trying it. Probably not. ~sigh~ Alas.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Our Secret Blueberries

Lookkee what we got.
We thought we weren't going to have any, because the raccoons and birds and turtles and such like marauders were ... well ... marauding, chomping up all the blueberries we planted RIGHT NEXT TO THE PORCH to discourage such ... maraudishment.

They missed these, though, Charlie having cunningly hidden them in the garden. So there is much joy in the Allen house, and many blueberries.

There will be pancakes.

Blueberry Pecan Pancakes

Mix pancake batter
Add blueberries
Also: pecans

Cook. Eat. Repeat.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, July 14, 2017

Grilled Tuna with Charred Corn and Watermelon Salsa

This Grilled Tuna with Charred Corn and Watermelon Salsa recipe is from Fine Cooking, and it looks delicious! Don't take my word for it--click on the link for a photo and for additional information.


2 medium ears corn, husked
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. minced jalapeño
1 small clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup small-diced seedless watermelon
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallions
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
4 tuna steaks (about 5 oz. each)


Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until the kernels are charred in places and crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Cut the kernels from the cob.

In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, jalapeño, garlic, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Whisk in 2 tsp. of the oil, and season generously with black pepper. Stir in the corn, watermelon, onion, scallions, and basil; set aside.

Brush the tuna with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and season generously with salt. Grill until done to your liking, 2 to 3 minutes per side for rare to medium rare. Serve with the salsa.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Nutty Buddies

I have a page on my Marian Allen, Author Lady blog called Recipals, which is a dozen recipes I got from friends. This was the December, 2008 entry. Jessica is the now the mother of our only great-grandchild. 
This treat is probably something Mrs. Brandt would have made for the kids at the Home where Mitch, the main character in my paranormal suspense novel, A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE, grew up.
My terrific granddaughter, Jessica, brought this recipe over and we made it together. Fun AND yum.

Muddy Buddies
  • 9 cups Chex cereal (any variety)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter (do not use soft spreads)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Measure cereal into a very large bowl (or use your largest pot). Heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and margarine in 1 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal in bowl. Stir until evenly coated. Pour into a large plastic food-storage bag; add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, July 7, 2017

Semifreddo with Honeyed Peaches

This Semifreddo with Honeyed Peaches recipe comes from Woman's Day. Find nutritional information and more by clicking the link.


8 oz. (about 1 c.) very cold crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
8 oz. very cold heavy cream
1/4 c. shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. honey
4 ripe peaches, thinly sliced
1/4 c. small fresh mint leaves


Line an 8 1⁄2"-x-4 1⁄2" loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on all four sides.

Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the crème fraîche until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar, whisking to combine.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in cream. Increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

Fold in pistachios, then transfer to the prepared pan. Freeze until set, at least 4 hours.

Ten minutes before serving, make the peach topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice and honey. Add peaches and toss to coat. Let sit, tossing occasionally, until peaches begin to release their liquid, at least 5 minutes.

Invert the semifreddo onto a serving platter and remove the plastic. Fold the mint into the peaches, then spoon the mixture and any juices over the semifreddo.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


There are only two of us at home, and sometimes I bake potatoes in the toaster oven (you have to wrap them in foil and turn them every so often), but sometimes I heat up the Real Oven and bake a butt-load of spuds at once.

Then we use the leftovers here and there, but my favorite thing is twice-baked.

Here is the prep.
Cut a potato in half (two, here, 'cause I done TOLE you there's two of us). Scoop its guts out with a spoon and mash it with butter (or vegan margarine) and cheese, salt and (unless you're a pepper-hater like Charlie) pepper. And, yes, you caught me, there is cooked bacon in there BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THAT, RIGHT?

Put the mashed yumminess back into the potato skins. Then you can heat it like that in the oven or toaster oven, you can microwave it, or you can (as I did) squoosh the halves together, rub the skin with butter (margarine), wrap it in foil, and bake it again. TWICE-BAKED, yeah?

VERY yummy.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes