• Apple Season 🍎

    My Newfoundland dog, Eve, is an apple connoisseur. She loves apples, has her own apple tree and picks her own apples right off the branches.

    I love making applesauce from my Macintosh apples. They are tart and a firmer apple that stands up to pie baking and a delicious chunky applesauce.

    It is also a very healthy treat for dogs. If you make the recipe below exclusively for your dog, just reduce the amount of sugar by one half.

    Some facts of the benefits of apples for canines: They are full of vitamins, vitamin A, C and antioxidants.

    They are a low calorie treat that’s full of fiber for healthy digestion and they are great for dog’s teeth.

    Here is Eve’s favorite applesauce recipe.

    It’s apple season in Pennsylvania, so if you have a tree , make some applesauce or go to your favorite farm stand and buy a bunch! It’s always best to eat what is in season.

    Happy Fall! 🍂🍁🍎

    Xoxo, Erin
  • My favorite kind of evening

    It’s almost September and you can just start to feel that Fall is right around the corner. The nights are cooler and the sun is casting longer shadows on the grass.

    One of my favorite things to do is to start decorating for the new season to arrive.

    Try something different! Use the big pumpkin leaves from your garden in various bottles, you don’t have to have flowers all the time.
    Hydrangeas & dill from the garden.

    One of my favorite dinners to make is decadent yet simple, grilled halibut with a cucumber salad.

    The fish is a tender , melt in your mouth texture that’s buttery and delicate. Just a simple side is all you need . The fish is the star of the meal.

    Grilled halibut
    Simple cucumber salad, dressed with champagne vinegar, sesame oil, a dash of Tamari, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and green onions.

    The end of the perfect evening is a fire, a glass of wine and a beautiful sunset.

    Turn up the sound to hear the crickets.
    Spectacular sunset
    Hope you have perfect evenings and beautiful sunsets. Xo , Erin
    The end of the day.
  • Growing up Irish

    I come from a big Irish family, five boys and three girls, I’m the youngest of the girls.

    If anyone else is from an Irish family you’ll probably recognize these traits.

    1.) My mother not only lit candles in church for the family, she most likely lit them for the entire neighborhood, city and country.

    2.) We heard the name St. Anthony several times a day.

    3.) Anytime my mum wanted my attention, she called me every name in the family, even the dog’s name, until she finally got my name correct.

    4.) Anytime my family got together for a birthday, holiday, whatever, it was always extremely loud, crowded and lasted all day long and into the night.

    5.)The minute anyone would visit, they were fed immediately whether they were hungry or not and that was followed by many pots of tea.

    It was a wonderful way to grow up, all of the weddings, parties, funerals all revolved around food. Our Irish kitchen was certainly the heart of the home.

    My Irish culture is in my blood , I named my dog, Clover, I love my green rolling hills and most of all my passion for cooking, baking and all things blarney.

    My dog Clover in the clover.
    My rolling green yard.

    Let me share my recipe for Irish soda bread. It doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s day to bake this. It’s great in Autumn with some homemade jam.

    Irish Soda Bread

    What you need:


    Baking soda



    A bit of sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste.

    4 cups of flour

    1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

    1 teaspoon of salt

    1 3/4 cups buttermilk

    A few teaspoons of sugar, optional

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees – Grease and flour a 9” round cake pan

    In a big bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt ( and sugar if using) Gradually add the buttermilk and mix until it becomes a big sticky ball.

    Turn out dough on to a floured board, knead a few times and form a ball

    Put dough into the cake pan and Pat it into a disk shape.

    Cut an X into the top of dough with scissors or a knife.

    Cover the pan with another round pan turned upside down, and bake for 25 -30 minutes, then uncover, brush with some melted butter & a bit of milk mixed together and bake 10 more minutes.

    When the bread is done it should be a deep golden brown and sound hollow when you tap it.

    I have made this just on a greased sheet pan and it still came out delicious. I would brush it with butter/ milk combination more frequently if using this method.

    This bread really needs to be buttered with Kerry Gold Butter. It’s delicious with jam or even with a dinner of Guinness beef and gravy.

    Hope you try it !

    Xoxo, Erin ☘️

  • Peach pies and chopping wood 🪵

    It’s August in Pennsylvania and that means peach season.

    We have the most delicious peaches here , many types , but in my opinion the Chambersburg peaches are the best.

    They are not designated by their type, but by their growing location. The flavor isn’t one that you’d forget, sweet, juicy and very peachy tasting.

    August is also the time to start thinking about fall and winter. They are just around the corner and if you’re like me, I love a big fire on chilly nights, so that brings me to chopping wood.

    The seasoned wood pile.
    The split pile all ready to go.

    I love being prepared, and also I find wood piles very pretty. I find them very comforting with a promise of a beautiful fall evening, offering up that scent that only the Autumn will bring.

    With a bunch of mouthwatering peaches what is better than a peach pie?

    I use a very easy and reliable pate brisee pie crust. It turns out flaky, buttery and delicious every time.

    Pate Brissee

    2 1/2 cups flour

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon sugar

    2 sticks of real butter chilled and cut into small pieces

    1/4 – 1/2 cups ice water

    In your food processor, combine the flour, salt, sugar and butter and pulse until it looks like coarse meal. Around 10 seconds.With machine running, add ice water a bit a time until dough comes away from the sides and isn’t wet or sticky but will form when pinched together.

    Take dough and divide into 2 balls, flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

    When ready to use , roll out on a floured board into a large round that will fit in your pie pan.

    Peach Filling

    5 – 5 1/2 cups of peeled, sliced fresh peaches

    1/3 cup all purpose flour

    2/3 cup sugar

    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    In a big bowl combine all dry ingredients, then mix in the peaches and lemon juice

    Fill your rolled out bottom pie crust that’s in a pie pan and preheat oven to 400 degrees

    While your oven is heating, roll out second crust, at this point you can make a cross cross pattern or just cover the filling with a whole crust and cut slits in the top to let the steam out. Around 6 slits are fine.

    Bake pie around 45 minutes, all ovens are different. The pie will be golden brown and the juices will come through the slits in the top crust.

    I hope you get to enjoy a homemade pie whether you bake one or your lucky enough for someone to bake you one.


  • Yes I’m a crazy cat lady

    I got my first cat when I was 2 years old.

    A friend of the family found a little black and white kitten and gave her to me. I named her Murdock and had her for 20 years. I’ve been a crazy cat lady ever since.

    Fast forward many years…. I have my two cats , Mui Mui, a Persian, and Cocoa, a Himalayan. They are half brothers that I adopted 6 years ago.

    Loving brothers.

    These two boys have been a source of laughter and love every single day!

    Mui Mui

    If you are lucky enough to be owned by a cat, then you know how different their personalities can be.

    Cocoa stealing jewelry.

    Cocoa, the Himalayan, is a gorgeous boy with a kleptomaniac disorder. He steals all of my jewelry and hides it in his lair. I fortunately know the location of this so called hiding spot.

    Cocoa also loves to do impersonations of zombies.

    Cocoa also likes to monitor the kitchen and let me know when we are low on supplies.

    Mui Mui is notorious for causing shenanigans and stalking me from every room.

    Eddie Munster, his look alike.

    Mui also loves to do impressions.

    He has his own clothing line.
    A proud narcissist.
    Saying hello and a good bye

    Thank you for meeting my cat family and if you’re a cat fan / owner you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that I’m crazy about cats and they are just a must in my lifestyle.

    Cocoa & me. Xoxo ♥️

    I have been raising dogs and cats for decades! One of my favorite things to make is bone broth for a daily addition to the rest of their meals or when any illness may occur.

    Why bone broth is so beneficial…

    When you make bone broth, bones , ligaments, feet, tendons are used. These release collagen when cooked. Collagen is an important part of protein.

    Here are just some of the benefits ;

    It aids in repairing injuries• It can form a protective lining to repair a leaky gut issue • It’s perfect for elderly pets and ailing pets because it’s the perfect hydration for them when they aren’t eating well • Joint health, the broth is broken down into amino acids that are necessary to rebuild tissue. Skin and coat health is unbelievable in pets fed bone broth.

    If you do have a pet with health issues and are using medication, bone broth aids in liver detoxification.

    Clover and Eve’s shiny coats
    My Newfoundlands always have very healthy coats with no dryness even in cold Pennsylvania winters.

    Beef bone broth recipe

    I make mine in a crockpot. It’s simple , doesn’t take any effort and you basically put in the bones, meat , vegetables if you like and let it cook for 12 hours.

    The method:

    Buy beef bones at the grocery store, I use 6-8 , they are very inexpensive. You can also add any cuts of beef that you like, you can add carrots, celery, parsley, all are good choices.

    In your crockpot, put all the bones, meat and vegetables in the bottom and add water to cover plus *** very important, apple cider vinegar. Add 3-4 big tablespoons full. This is what is going to leach, or draw all the collagen and marrow out of the bones.

    Cook on high for 2 hours, then reduce to low for another 10.

    When finished it will be gelatinous, that’s what you want. If it isn’t, it’s ok, just add more vinegar next time.

    Let cool & strain. Do not give your dogs cooked bones , ever. Throw them out.

    Store in fridge. The amount depends on your size of dog or cat. I would start out with a small amount for a dog / cat 20 pounds and under, 2 tablespoons full with their meal or alone. For larger dogs, 4 ounces, my Newfs get 6 ounces per day.

    Eve running to get her dinner.

    In my experience, dogs fed a species correct diet are healthier in many ways.

    An ancestral diet aids in the correct balance of protein, fats, bone & vegetation, and virtually ends allergies and so many health problems.

    Clover has a long wait… 12 hours in the crockpot.
    Happy dogs equals happy mom.
    Happy eating healthy for yourself & your pets. Xoxo, Erin
  • Stuffed Banana Peppers

    I plant all sorts of peppers in my garden every Spring and they seem to all ripen at once.

    Most of my hot peppers are dried and ground into special mixtures that I give as gifts during the holidays.

    I love using the banana peppers in a large casserole that makes a great appetizer for a party, or served as a main course.

    Stuffed banana peppers

    6-8 banana peppers, washed, seeded & cut in half longways

    Parmesan cheese, grated for topping the casserole

    Salt & ground black pepper, to your taste

    1 1/2 pounds of hot or sweet sausage ( depending on your heat tolerance)

    1 egg

    One cup of breadcrumbs if fresh , soaked in milk , then squeezed to drain the milk OR use 3/4 cup of dry breadcrumbs.

    1/2 cup of ketchup

    4 minced garlic cloves

    One large can of crushed tomatoes , I use Cento brand

    One can of Cento pizza sauce, or your favorite brand.

    One small white onion, minced

    Herbs; oregano, parsley, basil, thyme, salt and pepper, all to your taste, I use fresh herbs in this recipe.

    Sauté the onion and garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil until just turning soft. Add all tomatoes and herbs. Set aside.

    In a bowl, ground sausage, egg, breadcrumbs & ketchup, mix thoroughly.

    In a big baking pan, put half of the tomato sauce, then a layer of the peppers, proceed to stuff the peppers with sausage ( do not pack) any leftover sausage just make small meatballs and put into the sauce. Cover with the rest of the sauce and top with grated parmesan cheese, you can certainly add any provolone, mozzarella, or even Monterey Jack cheese.

    Bake @ 375 degrees 40 minutes or until peppers are soft and the stuffing is cooked through.

    I like to serve with French bread cut on a diagonal, toasted in the oven, rub with a garlic clove & sprinkle with olive oil & sea salt.

  • Saving the Season 🌽🌽🌽

    It’s that time of year when most of us can enjoy the first corn of the season, whether you grew it yourself or your favorite farm stand can supply you with that golden cob.

    Two of my favourite types of corn are the Bread and Butter corn , and Silver Queen. They are both so sweet and have that pop in your mouth goodness!

    Todays project is what I call , saving the season, I’m processing fresh corn on the cob and freezing it for later in the year.

    One of husband’s favorite things to do was to enjoy the corn that we processed in July, at our Thanksgiving dinner, it a tradition that I’m going to keep.

    You know your going to crave that taste of summer in the cold days of winter, and by planning ahead , you’ll have a special treat just sitting in the freezer. This tastes nothing like store bought frozen corn! It tastes the same as if you were eating off of the cob.


    First off, I bought just 2 1/2 dozen ears at a road side stand that was from our favorite farm here in Pennsylvania.

    Here’s the fun part, shuck all the cobs, wash them and put aside.

    Peeled and washed.

    Get your big stock pot out and fill it with water and bring it to a boil.

    Add as many cobs that will fit, let cobs in the water for 5-6 minutes. We are only blanching the corn. Take out & set aside, continue until all corn is cooked.

    Let it cool , and get out your plastic freezer bags and pen to mark the date on the bags.

    When cool , remove kernels from the cob. Here’s a simple way to do that : Cut cobs in half, place cut side down so you have a stable ear of corn to cut. Slice kernels off.

    Blanch 5-6 minutes, then set aside.

    When all kernels are off, go ahead and bag the corn. I try to make cup sized portions. I ended up with 14 cups from 26 ears of corn. Label & freeze.

    Ready for the freezer.

    Another delicious meal to make is Cheesy Corn Chowder. There’s nothing more satisfying in chilly weather to have a bowl in front of the fire.

    Cheesy Corn Chowder

    What you need…

    Bacon – about 1/2 pound

    1 small onion, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    5 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth

    2 cups of milk ( 2% is ok )

    2 cups chopped potatoes

    3 cups of your frozen corn

    1 teaspoon of rosemary ,if fresh. Dried is 1/2 teaspoon.

    Salt and pepper to taste

    2 cups of your favorite cheese, shredded, it can be cheddar, Gouda, Swiss or Monterey Jack.

    Fry bacon until crisp. Save 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add chopped onion to the same pan & sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and flour. Coat all of the onion mixture with the flour.

    Add broth, milk, potatoes, corn , rosemary, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil , reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender

    Add your shredded cheese , stir until melted. Taste and season again if needed.

    Serve in bowls with crumbled bacon on top and maybe with a delicious garlic toast.

    Enjoy and happy eating!!! Xoxo, Erin

  • The Scent of Summer

    Whenever I smell a fresh picked tomato, I’m instantly teleported back to my childhood summers.

    My father would plant a gigantic garden every spring filled with different varieties of tomatoes, hot peppers, eggplant, corn, okra and everything you could imagine.

    Every summer we would wait for the first red tomato and be so excited to taste it, usually we would just brush the dirt off and take a bite into the sun warmed delicious tomato.

    I remember the heat of the summer sun beating down on all the plants, but the most distinctive scent was the tomato plants.

    We would have so many big green tomatoes that we couldn’t resist picking some and making fried green tomatoes and also pickling some to eat with sandwiches, grilled meats and cheese and crackers.

    The traditional way to make fried green tomatoes is by slicing the tomatoes, dipping in flour, then egg , then dredging in cornmeal and frying in oil.

    The only thing I did differently is , I skipped the cornmeal and used Panko crumbs instead for a lighter, crispier crust. I also cut the tomato slices 1/4” thick to ensure a tender, cooked through center.

    I love these fried in my cast iron pan with about an inch of olive / canola oil combo until brown and crispy.

    A combination of fresh horseradish & mayo as a dip or just your favorite marinara sauce is Devine!

    If you have never tried picked green tomatoes,you have to make them! They are just pickled in a simple brine and refrigerated, no canning procedure at all!

    Early Girl tomatoes
    Simple refrigerator pickled tomatoes

    To make the pickled tomatoes ……

    Wash and sterilize mason jars in boiling water. In a large pot, just place mason jars in boiling water and let in the water for a few minutes. Set jars aside on a dish towel to drain and cool.

    Make your pickling liquid …

    2 cups water, 2 cups vinegar, 2 1/2 tablespoons of pickling salt or coarse salt , 2 bay leaves, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 sprigs of oregano & 2 Tablespoons of whole pepper corns. Bring solution to a boil and let it boil 2 minutes. turn off heat and let cool.

    Cut cleaned tomatoes into bite sized wedges and stuff into the clean jars. I like to add purple onion slices, peeled garlic cloves , a cayenne pepper to each jar , a bay leaf and extra peppercorns.

    Top with the pickling liquid and seal your lids.

    Let the tomatoes sit in the refrigerator for one week to let all the flavours marry. These will keep for a month in the refrigerator.

    First green tomato! Early Girl.
    The tomato stalker.

    I hope you are enjoying all the sights, sounds and smells of summer! Eat well & enjoy!

    Xoxo, Erin

  • A Simple Salad

    Some days a really healthy salad and some fruit are all you need on a hot summer day, after working in the yard, sometimes this is all I can muster without grabbing something quick that’s not really healthy.

    Sometimes when I’m trying to be as healthy as possible I’m left feeling unsatisfied with my meal, so I came up with this very simple solution.. breaded & fried jalapeño peppers on my salad.

    It seems like such a minor addition but it goes a long way in satisfying that crunch factor, and the breading is minimal as compared to using croutons or a piece of bread.

    You can use any kind of pepper it doesn’t have to be a hot pepper, red sweet peppers are particularly good.

    The method: Slice peppers to 1/4 inch pieces, toss in flour, dip pieces into one beaten egg, then toss in breadcrumbs. Fry in a few tablespoons of olive oil , then drain on paper towels.

    Spinach, baby romaine, tomatoes, onions, parmesan cheese, olives ( for extra good fat) and the peppers of course. Use your choice of dressing.

    If you don’t have the time or aren’t inclined to frying peppers, I found these products that are already made and are really tasty! You can find them in with the croutons and salad dressing aisle in the grocery store.

    These products are low in calories and are very useful in a low carb diet.

    Here’s to eating healthier and being satisfied!

    Xo, Erin