Welcome & Stay a Little Longer!

Welcome to Slice of Pie! I'm glad you dropped by to visit. You'll find a variety of life styling ideas on my blog ... and lots of grand daughter pictures, too! Miss Phoebe is my best helper and we do lots of special things together. Make sure you take a look down my sidebar! Under the "You're Invited" icon you'll find picture links to dinner parties I've hosted. Under the "Good Food" icon, you'll find picture links to food posts I've done. I usually post a sidebar picture link to magazine articles I've written. You'll find something you like! Hope you enjoy and stay around for awhile!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Strawberry Coffeecake


After our big adventure to the strawberry fields last weekend, I decided I'd better bake my favorite strawberry coffee cake.  It is really good and I always end up freezing several slices for a quick brunch snack later on.  This recipe looks like it is difficult, but it isn't!




Strawberry Coffeecake

Cake Base and Crumb Topping:
Put these ingredients in a food processer and pulse until it is crumbs.  Reserve ¾ cup of the mixture to use for the topping.
2 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick of cold butter, chunked

Now, add ¾ cup sour cream, 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon of almond extract.  Continue to process until it is a thick batter.  Place this batter in a 9 inch spring-form pan, prepared with cooking spray.  The batter is very thick and I find that if I dip a spatula in cold water, it is easier to pat it down into the pan.

Cream Cheese Filling:
Put these ingredients in the food processer and cream together.  Then place it on top of the cake batter.
8 ounces Mascarpone Cheese (or cream cheese)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg

Strawberry Filling:
Mix these ingredients together and bring to a low boil.  The filling with thicken quickly.  Remove it from the heat.  After it cools slightly, pour it over the cheese filling layer.
1 ½  cups fresh strawberries, chopped
3 Tablespoons white sugar
3 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Now, sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top of the strawberry filling and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes.  The topping won’t get too brown, but don’t leave the cake in the oven too long.   The cheese and strawberry fillings will not set until the cake cools.  Let it cool for 30 minutes before removing the sides of the pan.

I'm going to share with a couple parties, so make sure you click through!   First ... go to my home page and take a look at my other posts!

Full Plate Thursday-Miz Helen's Country Cottage 
Pink Saturday  


Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Civil War Veteran

Winfield Scott Douglas – Civil War Veteran and My Great-Grandfather



Winfield Scott Douglas was born in 1847 in Obion, Tennessee to John and Fariba (Dume).    He was one of 7 children. 1850 U.S. Census records reflect that the family lived in Weakly, Tennessee and that Scott was 6 years old.  This is the first discrepancy in records regarding his age.  He was actually 3 years old in 1850. 

1860 U.S. Census records reflect that the family lived in Duck Creek, Missouri and that Scott was 14 years old.  The records indicate that the household included both parents, Scott, and his older sister, Francis. The youngest child of this family, George, was born in February 1850.  He George is not listed in the 1860 Census, and because family historians have not found death records for George, it is believed that he remained behind in Tennessee with older siblings. Family oral history fills in the detail of the life of Winfield Scott Douglas between the 1860 Federal Census and the time that he enlisted in the Civil War.
In 1861, Fariba Douglas moved with two of her youngest children, Scott and Francis, from Missouri to Illinois in order to avoid being in a Confederate State during the Civil War.  Fariba crossed the Mississippi River near Rockwood, Illinois on a flatboat, which was large enough to hold a dozen hogs.  The family owned a few slaves, and she bravely smuggled the slaves with her, hiding them among the hogs.  When the group reached Illinois, Fariba Douglas freed her slaves.  She and her husband disagreed on the status of slavery and she left him behind in Missouri.   She was 53 years old at this time.   Fariba Douglas lived the remainder of her life near Chester, Illinois.   (Fariba Douglas’ first name was actually Phoebe.  It is spelled Feby in the 1860 Census.  Winfield Scott Douglas named his youngest daughter Phoebe, after his mother.)
Winfield Scott Douglas ventured from Randolph County to Jackson County where he remained until he enlisted in the Illinois 81st Infantry on December 1, 1863.  He was transferred to the Illinois 58th Infantry on January 1, 1864 and mustered out in Montgomery, Alabama on April 1, 1866.  Winfield Scott Douglas had just turned 16 at the time of his enlistment, but he lied about his age in order to enlist.   It is possible that at this time during the War, recruiters overlooked his age and allowed him to enlist.  Family oral history reveals that originally, Winfield Scott Douglas served as a drummer, until he reached an appropriate age to serve as a soldier.
Winfield Scott Douglas returned to Jackson County, Illinois.  In 1867, he married Mary Amine Ellis.  They had four children before her death in 1875.  In 1879, he married Margaret Ellen (Lindsey) Wolf, a widow of Philip Wolf who had died in 1869 from complications that had continued from a Civil War bullet wound that entered his back just under his lung and went through his body into his elbow.  Winfield Scott Douglas and Margaret Ellen (Lindsey-Wolf) Douglas had one daughter, Phoebe.









Phoebe married Albert Raines and had 9 children; two died in childhood.  Their 7th child, James L. Raines married Doris L. Schuster in 1940 and had a family of five including James, Kay, Gary, David and Debbie (me).
Winfield Scott Douglas remained in Jackson County and raised his family and worked his farm, which was located on the north side of Murphysboro. At the end of his life, he and Margaret lived in Murphysboro in the house ... shown in the above picture ... that still stands on what is now 4th Street.  Scott and Margaret are show here with grandchildren in approximately 1910.
He died on July 2, 1913 and is buried in the Boucher Chapel Cemetery on Harrison Road in Murphysboro, Illinois.

Winfield Scott Douglas lived his life as a simple man, dedicated to his family.  He was not distinguished in his military service, but was anxious to serve at his young age, because he shared his mother’s beliefs regarding the abolishment of slavery.  He was a member of the Grant Army of the Republic.  He was a dedicated follower of Civil War General John A. Logan (the creator of Memorial Day) and named his first child John Logan Douglas.




Sunday, May 18, 2014

Silk Will Do!


I love flowers ... all kinds of real flowers ... and I love silk flowers!  My daughter and I went on another one of those junkin' jaunts and I found a big basket of brand new silk flowers ... still in their packages, so I grabbed anything I thought I would use.  This bundle of tiny flowers had several colors that I've needed recently and not been able to find at my regular silk flower haunts, so I got lucky!

I've moved all my ceramic owls to the back deck for summer.  That's a post you'll see later, but I thought "Say no Evil" had a spot on the brunch table I was putting together!  Friends gathered for brunch should never gossip.

I put a cute little bit of pig humor together for this table, too.  I'll celebrate "Pink Saturday's" 6th birthday with it this week, but for now, Petunia Pig is going to hold the cute spatulas that my daughter had tucked in my Mother's Day gift basket!

Before I show you the other elements of the Centerpiece, take a look at the overall table ... and my dog's rear end!  He is usually under my feet, but always manages to get in pictures.  It is never his face ... just his butt!





I tucked the flowers in a couple decorator items from Pfaltzgraff's Napoli pattern.




Aren't these blue and white napkins adorable?   I bought them at a cute little shop in my hometown, Murphysboro, Illinois.  I'm thrilled that there are a few new shops in my favorite little town.  The pig came in my Mother's Day basket and it is really a bag clip ... but I love it so much I might just wear it as jewelry!  I got the pink doilies in another little shop.  I can almost never pass up a reasonably priced handmade doily!


I used some of my old Noritake Perspective wine glasses as a juice glass for my brunch.  The wine glasses of old ... are almost too small to use for wine, now. I guess we drink bigger servings, but it is perfect for a cordial or juice.  The latte mug and luncheon plate are Pfaltzgraff Napoli and the flatware is plastic from the Hampton Forge ... nothing expensive.  The rim of the Napoli pattern isn't really pink and isn't really salmon in color ... so I decided my pinks were perfect! When is pink not perfect?



I'm going to share my post with lots of parties, this week.  Before you move on, though, make sure you check out my home page to see my other posts.  If you didn't see my wedding china post last week, you'll want to look at it and read the story about my husband's mother and grandmother.

Then go visit ...

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday  
Rain on a Tin Roof for Give Me The Goods Monday  
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Tuesdays With A Twist!
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home  
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 
Tablescape Thursday-BNOTP  
Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less
Vintage Thingie Thursday-Coloradolady  Inspiration Gallery
Alphabe Thursday-Jenny Matlock  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Let me Introduce you to Witchy Rose!

Please meet Witchy Rose!  

She blooms only when she wants ... not every year ... just when special things are about to happen ... in our family.  True story.


I planted this rose bush in 1985 ...  at the end of my rose bed ... close to the front porch.  It is a Queen Victoria, and I think it has her personality!  It grew and grew.  It didn't bloom!


It didn't bloom for years ... then 11 years ago it bloomed and gave us a dozen beautiful long stemmed roses just in time for my daughter's wedding shower!   Then .. it didn't bloom for a few years and I had our front porch extended ... cut the bush down to the ground ... and just laid a new deck right over the bush.  I figured it would die ... but oh, no!  Queen Victoria found her way to sunshine ... through the small space between the slats of the wooden floor. In 2007, she bloomed again ... we had a new grand baby!   In 2010 she bloomed again ... to celebrate another occasion ... last year it bloomed again ... and this year, we have two beautiful blooms ... and we are getting two new babies in the family!


So ... I'm glad Queen Victoria stuck with us!



Here's a little more of that rose bed ... Knock Out roses and a couple other old bushes that I cut back considerably this year.  Enjoy!

Hope you'll check out my home page ... to see my other posts ... before you check out this blog party!  I'm sharing with ...

The Outdoor Link Party




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Flow Blue Wedding China!


I am thrilled to be able to share an antique set of Flow Blue wedding china with you … but I want to share the story of the bride, too!  


My husband’s grandmother, Marian Veronica Essler, was a beautiful young one-room school teacher in South Dakota when she met Charley Jones.  Charley was stationed at Fort Meade.   Their courtship was brief and they were married on February 12, 1910.   




They had three children:  Mildred (my husband’s mother), Douglas and Donald.
  They lived in South Dakota and Minnesota, but eventually moved to Cairo, Illinois.  Cairo was a very active river town that had gained great wealth and notoriety during the Civil War.   With all that wealth came all the negative elements and Charley went there as a member of Federal law enforcement, but eventually was employed by the County Sheriff’s Department during prohibition.







Verna and Charley Jones had a strong marriage, but Charley died young and Verna eventually moved to Harrisburg, Illinois and lived with my husband (Joe) and his mother.  Joe’s father abandoned his family, so Grandma Verna moved in to help take care of him so his mother could have a full-time job.   Verna and Joe had a love-hate relationship!   Verna’s strong personality and her intention of making a better man out of my husband than his father had been … was intense!   I have to say, though, that she accomplished her desires.  My husband was a hard-working man who loved his family and delighted in watching our daughter grow into a wonderful young woman.  The day before her wedding, Joe gave Nicole his grandmother's wedding band ... It was her "something old" ... Black Hills gold and 92 years old.


Grandma's china pattern is "Lorne" ... you will notice the clover in the design. It was made between 1891 and 1914 by W. H. Grindley & Co. in England and sold exclusively by J. Mortlock.  

A little research revealed that Mortlock's was a fine retailer in London and that this china was probably special ordered.  

Before I show you more of the china, let me show you Verna and Charley ... while Verna was pregnant with my mother-in-law, Mildred ... her first child.   This china has been safeguarded because of a very special story.


Baby Mildred came early.  She was almost two months premature and was born at home with a midwife.  This large covered vegetable bowl was used as an incubator ... lined with a flannel blanket and placed near the fireplace.  Baby Mildred was tiny enough that she was placed in the dish to be kept extra warm.






You can imagine how important this china was!  Mildred grew to be a healthy child and she cherished the set of china as much as her mother had.  Needless to say, it has been in a glass cabinet at my house for the last 40 years and Joe always loved telling the story of his mother's china incubator!


The china was protected ... but it was also used ... probably daily for decades. You can see the wear on the liner of the butter dish in the next picture!


I have twelve place settings of this china ... and lots of serving pieces.   Early in my marriage, I would use the salad plate as an underplate for a smaller clear salad plate ... just to be able to grace a dinner table with the memories.   The story of the incubator always made for incredible dinner party conversation!



Grandma Verna lived a long life and got to see Joe finish college and start his career.  She died before I had a chance to meet her ... but I sure feel like I know her!   Here she is with two of her grandsons ... my husband is on the right!



If you'd like to know more about Verna, you can visit my daughter's blog and read about Grandma Verna

She also has a post about Grandpa Charley

This post is especially for sharing at the wedding china challenge with



Before you move on, though, check my home page to see my other posts!











Audrey Hepburn in Black & White


When I think of Audrey Hepburn, I instantly think of black and white.  I'm not sure why ... maybe because many of the publicity photos of her are in black and white ... maybe because she frequently dressed in black and white.  
Whatever the reason, I'm celebrating her in BLACK & WHITE!




I've been experimenting with some new looks for wreath-making!  I love the popular geo mesh and find it very easy to work with.  Black & white is a very classic look and kind of contemporary for my country traditional decor, but when I made this ... it reminded me of two people:  Audrey Hepburn and my mother!  One of my favorite photographs of my mother is from 1960.  She got a new camera for Mother's Day ... and somebody snapped her picture with it.  She was sitting in the living room ... ready for church ... dressed in a black and white hounds tooth print dress.  She was chewing gum and her mouth is open in the picture ... and she had her legs crossed and her garter belt was showing!   The picture was a little embarrassing, but it was truly "classic Mother"!


I was pleased with my wreath ... and pleased to celebrate two special women!  If you haven't made one, there are tutorials all over the internet.  The process is simple and I like the fact that when you're tired of it, you can take it apart ... roll the ribbon back up and use the frame for something else ... and save the ribbon for another project.  I suspect that mine will be used again for Halloween!



I'm sharing this with the Summer Style Soiree at

Be sure you click through to visit the party posts!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Best Mother's Day Gift!


I gave Mother's Day a great deal of thought this year ... because I have been admiring my daughter's mothering abilities!  I decided that the best Mother's Day gift I will ever get is the fact that I raised a young woman who is an excellent mother.  She is a university professor with a continual overload of students ... a mom and wife that believes in cooking dinner every night and sitting around the dinner table with her family ... a mom who makes sure that homework is done and when Miss Phoebe was having trouble with first grade math, she did exactly what her daddy had done with her and taught "old math" to Phoebe ... so she could understand this generation of "new math"!  Between art projects on the kitchen table ... runs to dance class, trips to the frozen yogurt shop and occasional roller skating jaunts ... she manages to find time to get the laundry done, clean the house and maintain an interesting blog site!

Now, I know that there are plenty of young moms out there in blog world that are just like my daughter!   That, too, amazes me ... and that is one of the reasons I blog ... to stay young!   I love visiting those sites ... seeing things they have made ... or made over ... what they cook ... how they raise their kids ... I love it all!

I just wanted to share my Mother's Day gift ... and have to say that I am amazed that my very busy daughter is making beautiful soy candles!  I was thrilled to receive two of them in my basket of good things!  Take a look!



This is a pineapple candle in the pretty mug ... Love that look and can't wait to burn it!


She painted pint jars so they will have a pretty glow ... and put citronella candles in them.  The mosquitoes in our neck of the woods are as big as cats ... so I know I will enjoy burning this one on the back deck!

My basket was filled with other goodies, too!  ...walnut oil, balsamic vinegar and these adorable kitchen pigs!   I love pigs and have a perfect idea for how I will display these pretty things!


I hope everybody had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!  I'm sharing this post with a few parties, so make sure you click through to visit the other posts!

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday  
Rain on a Tin Roof for Give Me The Goods Monday  
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 
Tablescape Thursday-BNOTP  
Thrifty Thursday-Tales from Bloggeritaville  
Vintage Thingie Thursday-Coloradolady  Inspiration Gallery
Alphabe Thursday-Jenny Matlock  
Full Plate Thursday-Miz Helen's Country Cottage   

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

My mother was plagued with Alzheimer's the last ten years of her life.  If you are lucky enough to have never experienced that tragic disease ... good for you.   We dealt with it, and my daddy kept her at home and cared for her until the last few months of her life.  She began to "walk home" and her jaunts were frightening. My parents built a home just a block away from where Mother was raised and when she said she walking home ... she headed to her childhood home.

When I remember my mother, I don't ignore those last ten years.  There were some good times ... but the best times were before that dreadful disease took her away from us.

We always thought our mother was very pretty!  Her hair was dark brown and wavy ... and her complexion was very dark.  In the summertime, she tanned beautifully ... not because she sunbathed ... but because she worked in a garden and hung clothes outside! She was busy raising five nearly perfect children, working in her church ... and taking care of a carpenter husband who also worked hard. Daddy gardened ... but Mother canned all that produce, so we were never hungry!  Mother was a fantastic cook back in the times when everything was made from scratch!  I have never made ... or even tasted ... a coconut cream pie as good as the ones my mother made!   I eventually mastered her pot roast and one of my brothers can make vegetable soup just like hers ... but for the most part ... we just talk about how good Mama's food was!


Most of the candid pictures we have of our mother are of her holding babies! We are pretty sure that is her job in Heaven ... rocking babies! She was blessed with grandchildren and great- grandchildren and she loved them all!   Here she is with my baby daughter in 1975 and then later posing on Easter Sunday!  Daddy's eyes are closed and Nicole is anxious to eat lunch!


By the time we surprised Mother and Daddy with a little celebration of their 60th Wedding Anniversary ... Mother was losing ground.  She lived another seven years and we continued to celebrate everything about our lives ... birthdays, graduations, weddings, every holiday ... and she was included in everything we did.  During her few months in the nursing home, I still took parties to her.  I'd make special foods, pack a picnic basket and take pretty paper plates and napkins ... and we'd celebrate!  Sometimes, I'd just make up a reason to take her a party basket!

We cherish our mothers ... probably more after they are gone.  My mother wasn't perfect.  There were moments ... but my memories are perfect!

Happy Mother's Day!








Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Swiss Chard Stuffed with Risotto


This time last year, I was ready to launch a special project called Good Food: Local.  My team and I created a special curriculum and taught over 1,000 students how to cook using crops grown right here in Southern Illinois!   Our students ranged in age from preschoolers to 87 years young!

I wasn't successful in getting the grant to do this a second year and we are all pretty sad about that ... Part of our project included a series of cooking columns published in local newspapers.  I'm posting one of those columns today ... because it is almost time for the early harvest of kale and chard!  I can't wait!


Good Food: Local

When I want to grill Filet Mignon, I always buy the whole beef loin and cut the steaks myself.  I do that for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the price per pound is much less for the whole piece of meat.  I am also a bacon snob and prefer just a couple brands, so I like to wrap my own bacon around my steaks.   If you don’t want to bother with this little bit of extra work, at least buy your filets without the bacon.  Often times you are paying the same per pound price for that slice of bacon that you are paying for this most expensive cut of beef.  There are butcher shops, though, that weigh the beef only and throw in the slice of bacon for free.    When you use the whole piece of loin, you usually have a little section of the meat left.  The thin end is hard to piece into a steak, but it is a good piece of meat to cook whole and slice thin.  It makes a great meal.  That is what I prepared for today’s column.


We are so lucky in Southern Illinois to live in our own little melting pot of ethnicity!  I have always enjoyed friendships with people from all over the world and early in my marriage I was fortunate to learn cooking techniques from an elderly neighbor who had come from a big Italian immigrant family.   She made the most wonderful red sauce that cooked all day on the back of her stove and on the other back burner; she often had a big heavy pot filled with risotto.  She cooked her rice the old fashioned way, adding a little chicken stock to it every thirty minutes, until it absorbed the most wonderful homemade flavors!  Today, I’m sharing a recipe for quick cook risotto and I’ve used it to stuff tender leaves of Swiss chard.



I’ve spent a lot of time this summer encouraging our cooking class students to put lots of dark green vegetables in their daily menus.  There was a time when I would have turned my nose up at chard or any other kind of greens, but after a cancer diagnosis fifteen years ago, I changed my ways!  Dark green vegetables are really good for us and if you want to boost good health, I encourage you to add them to your diet.  A cup of cooked Swiss chard provides twice the Vitamin A we need in our daily diet and over half the Vitamin C we need.  You also get a dose of iron and calcium from that cup of chard.  We’ve encouraged our students to add a handful of chopped kale or chard to other things they are cooking.  Try it with scrambled eggs or added to a pasta cream sauce or red sauce.  Today, I’m stuffing mine with that delicious risotto!  I think the combination of flavors and the texture of the chard with the creamy texture of the rice makes a delicious bite of goodness!


It’s blueberry time and they are so delicious this year.   Each of the children in our cooking classes this week is taking home a quart of blueberries.  Kids love berries of all kinds and you should see their eyes light up when we tell them that they have a whole quart to share with their families.  I try to really think ahead during our Southern Illinois fruit and vegetable season and because I enjoy giving Blueberry Crumble Bars to friends at Christmastime, I’ve frozen eight quarts of blueberries.  Freezing blueberries is easy.  All you have to do is wash them and pop them in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer.   I’m also sharing that cookie bar recipe today, so you’ll have a reason to add some vitamin rich blueberries to one of your summertime menus.   

I hope you’ll try some of my recipes this week.  We are at the peak of blueberry season, so don’t miss out on that sweet treat.  You should be able to find some Swiss chard at a farmers’ market and the rest is up to you!  Buy local and you know you’ll have good food!

Recipes:
Risotto Stuffed Swiss Chard Leaves

Ingredients for Risotto:
1 cup Arborio rice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 pinch of Saffron
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken broth

Additional Ingredients:
12 Swiss chard leaves
6 small cubes of mozzarella or provolone cheese

Sauté the onion in the olive oil and butter for 2 minutes, then pour in the dry rice and stir the mixture as it toasts for another 2 minutes.  Add 1 cup of the broth and stir until the liquid is gone.  Add another cup of broth, the Saffron and pepper flakes.  Turn the burner to low, cover the pot and let this cook gently for about 5 minutes.  Add the remaining cup of broth, cover the pot and let it cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.  Check the rice and stir it occasionally.  When the rice has absorbed all the liquid, it should be done.  Put the lid on the pot and remove it from the heat.  It will continue to soak up the flavors and will have a creamy, sticky texture.

To make the stuffed chard leaves, blanch each leaf in simmering water for about 30 seconds.  Place the leaves on a couple layers of paper towels.  Using a sharp knife, cut the center stem from each of the leaves.  Place two leaves on a cutting board so that the opening in the leaves is covered with the other leaf.  Using an ice cream scoop, place about ¼ cup of the rice in the palm of your hand and use your hands to make a ball.  Stick a small cube of cheese down into the rice ball and seal the opening again.  Place the ball on the leaves of chard and wrap them up around it.  Place the stuffed leaves in a casserole dish, with the open edges of the leaves on the underneath.  Place the stuffed leaves side by side.  Add 1 cup of chicken broth or water to the casserole.  Cover it and bake it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Serve them with Lemon Mustard Cream Sauce. 


Lemon Mustard Cream Sauce

Gently sauté 1 Tablespoon of lemon grass paste and 1 Tablespoon of honey mustard in 2 Tablespoons of butter for 2 minutes.  Whisk in 1 cup of Half and Half and continue to simmer for about 3 minutes, until the sauce bubbles and begins to thicken.  Pour this over prepared stuffed chard leaves and serve immediately. 



Grilled Rosemary Filet of Beef

Place your beef on the counter so it can come to room temperature.   Make sure all the silver skin has been removed from the surface and dry it with a paper towel.  Rub the surface of the meat with olive oil.  Prepare 2 Tablespoons of chopped Rosemary leaves and pat those onto the surface of the meat.   Salt and pepper the surface of the meat.  Place the filet on the grill over high heat and turn it to char all sides.  Let it grill for 1 minute on each side.  This sears the surface of the meat and helps keep the juices in.     Move the meat to indirect heat or turn your gas grill flames down to low and continue to cook the meat until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees for medium rare.  The amount of time required to cook the meat depends upon the weight and the thickness of the meat.  It will take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, turning the meat one time during that time.  Remember that your filet of beef has almost no fat on or in it, so don’t overcook it or you’ll dry it out too much. 


Blueberry Crumble Bars

For the Crust and Topping:

In a food processor with the cutting blade in place, combine 1 cup of sugar with 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon of salt, 2 sticks of butter and 2 eggs.  Pulse the processor until you have a crumbly mixture.
Press two-thirds of this mixture into the bottom of a prepared 9 x 13 inch pan.   Reserve the remaining mix for the topping.

For the Blueberry Filling:

Combine 4 cups of blueberries with the zest and juice from a lemon, ½ cup of sugar and 4 teaspoons of corn starch.  Mix this well and spread it over the crust.

Now, top the blueberries with the remaining crumble mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.  Let these cool before cutting.


 ** You can make these with blackberries, raspberries or strawberries!

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