Chicken Pot Pie Casserole. Blasting British Sea Power.

Oh boy.

What a mess we are all in.

I hope that all of you and your families are doing alright. Stay safe and be well. Sending love from my kitchen to yours.

If ever there was a need for comfort food, it is right now. This Chicken Pot Pie Casserole is super easy to make, will warm you up and will hopefully make you feel better.

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole


3 Tbs olive oil
4 cups mixed vegetables (I used frozen peas, carrots, green beans and corn. You can use fresh, of course.)
1 onion, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1 (9 inch) refrigerated pie crust


1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 9-inch round baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add mixed vegetables and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the chicken, chicken broth, soup, milk and flour. Mix well and cook over medium-low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Pour the chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover with the pie crust, letting the edges hang over the sides of the dish. Crimp the crust a little then use a sharp knife to cut a few slits into the dough.

5. Place baking dish on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Recipe slightly adapted from Pip & Ebby

I spend a lot of my time listening to new music. But when I need to pull myself up, it’s usually something older that goes on the stereo.

To say I was obsessed with ‘Waving Flags’ by British Sea Power would be an understatement. It’s been 12 years since I first heard it and those first 5 seconds still transport me to a place that only music can take me.

Somehow the cry for kindness and unity that ‘Waving Flags’ delivers seems so right at this moment.

“We’re all waving flags now
Waving flags
But don’t be scared”

Since the lead singer is very easy on the eyes, sharing the video gives you some visual happiness, too. That voice, those drums, the insane build-ups….brilliant.

Turn it up.

Check out British Sea Power on the band’s Website where you can buy their music.


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Blueberry Streusel Pancake Casserole. New Music From Thrillhouse.

If you are looking for an easy breakfast recipe to feed a crowd, this Blueberry Streusel Pancake Casserole is for you. It uses store-bought pancakes that you wedge into a casserole dish with blueberries, soak with vanilla scented custard then cover with a sweet streusel. Served with a lashing of orange maple syrup, it makes waking up extra special.

Blueberry Streusel Pancake Casserole


1-1/4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided
18 (4 inch) frozen buttermilk pancakes, thawed and halved
4 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla
Streusel (recipe follows)
Orange Maple Syrup (recipe follows)


1. Grease a 2 quart baking dish.

2. Place 3/4 cup blueberries in prepared dish.

3. Arrange pancake halves upright, with the cut side down, over the blueberries.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla. Pour over the pancakes and let stand for 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 350℉.

6. Crumble the streusel over the pancakes and top with remaining 1/2 cup blueberries.

7. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until set, about 20 minutes longer.

8. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm with the orange maple syrup.

Serves 6 to 8



1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
2 Tbs brown sugar, packed
2 Tbs butter, melted


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats and brown sugar.

2. Add the melted butter and stir just until combined.

Orange Maple Syrup


1-1/2 cups maple syrup
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange zest


1. In a small saucepan, bring maple syrup and orange juice to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Remove syrup from heat and stir in zest. Serve warm.

Makes about 2 cups

Recipes slightly adapted from Paula Deen

“Lesser” is new from Brighton-based indie trio Thrillhouse. I can easily jumpstart my day with a blast of this 80s throwback, synth-heavy, Will Butleresque gem.

Yes, life is a struggle but we are all going to get through it together.

Check out Thrillhouse on Facebook where you can keep tuned for info on where to buy the music.


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Crema di Limoncello. Listening To My Little Hum.

Hi friends!

I know it has been awhile, but I had a good excuse.

My eldest son (in the middle, in the photo) is currently doing an abroad semester in Sydney so it seemed logical to go and visit. It was a lovely trip, but a crazy amount of travel. We were there for 7 days with two full days of travel on each end. Totally worth it, though.

A week’s holiday was a nice break from American politics, snow and constant coronavirus newscasts.

A good way to make re-entry easier? A lovely little glass of Crema di Limoncello. Limoncello, the sweet, lemon-flavored Italian liqueur, gets a hit of custard that results in a refreshing, creamy, lemony libation.

Here’s to all of you! x

Crema di Limoncello


5 lemons, scrubbed
375 mL 80-proof vodka
1/2 vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water


1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove lemon peel from the lemons.

2. Place lemon peels in a blender with the vodka. Process until the lemon is in very small pieces.

3. Transfer the lemon vodka to an airtight container and let steep for 1 week in a cool dark place.

4. Strain lemon vodka through a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a medium bowl. Discard solids.

5. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds.

6. In a large saucepan, combine vanilla bean and seeds, half-and-half, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat then set aside to cool completely.

7. Strain vanilla mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a large bowl. Add the infused vodka and whisk to combine.

8. Transfer the crema di limoncello to bottles and refrigerate until cold. (Can be refrigerated for up to 1 year.)

Makes 5 cups

Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

“One of a Kind”, from California-based duo My Little Hum’s second album, feels like taking in a happy pill through your ears. Catchy and poppy, with an intoxicating retro vibe, it’s perfect for destressing and crema sipping.

‘All they ever need to know
Is you’re one of a kind’

Check out My Little Hum on the band’s Website. You can buy their music on Bandcamp.


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Pretzel Crust Pizza. New Music From Suzy & The Lifeguard.

I love pizza. I love soft pretzels. Put them together and you get this insanely delicious Pretzel Crust Pizza.

The crust bakes up chewy-crisp and somehow gets that lovely, toasty brown pretzel color. I made a pepperoni pizza, but any of your favorite toppings would be delicious here.

Pretzel Crust Pizza


1 1/3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon fine table salt
1/3 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon melted butter
Coarse sea salt
1 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded cheese
Pepperoni slices or any other toppings you might like


1. Combine water, yeast, and honey in bowl of a stand mixer and stir to mix. Let rest for 5 minutes.

2. Add flour and the teaspoon of fine salt to yeast mixture. Mix until a dough forms then use dough hook to knead for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and not too sticky. Remove dough from bowl and allow to rest on a well-floured surface for 10 minutes.

3. Fill a large pot, at least 10 inches wide, with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda (be careful, it will bubble and rise) then reduce heat to a simmer.

4. Divide dough into three equal portions and roll each out into three 8-inch disks.

5. Gently drop one dough disk into the simmering water. Allow to boil for 30-40 seconds. Use slotted spoons to carefully lift dough from the pot and transfer to a paper towel lined cooling rack. Repeat with remaining two dough disks.

6. Transfer dough disks to parchment lined baking sheets. Brush the disks with melted butter then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

7. Bake for 10 minutes at 425℉. Remove crusts from oven and top with pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni (or other toppings).

8. Bake for 10-15 minutes longer until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.

Serves 4

Recipe from Creme De La Crumb

“Now” is the new single by LA-based band Suzy & The Lifeguard from their EP ‘Anima’. I adore the tempo changes, the sizzling vocal energy and that brilliant chorus.

Check out Suzy & The Lifeguard on the band’s Website where you can buy their music.


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Cookie Dough Cake. New Music From Anthony Mills.

Now you don’t have to worry about digging into the cookie dough. The cookie dough icing in this cookie dough cake uses heat-treated flour so the risk of E. Coli is eliminated and there are no eggs so no salmonella.

Cookie Dough Cake fits the bill when you want an over the top dessert to celebrate any special occasion or to make a Monday bearable. Layers of rich chocolate cake are sandwiched with that delicious, edible cookie dough icing and draped with a thick chocolate ganache. Crumbled chocolate chip cookies are the crowning touch.

Since I made the cake to bring to a friend’s birthday party I didn’t get as many photos as I had hoped for. And none of the beautiful slices. You must go have a look at Olivia’s photos of this cake.

Cookie Dough Cake


1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for dusting cake pans
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup hot coffee
Cookie Dough Icing (recipe follows)
Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
Chocolate Chip Cookies, crumbled, to garnish (I used this recipe)


1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease three 6″ round baking pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment.

2. Place all dry ingredients into bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in coffee.

4. Add coffee mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. (Batter will be very thin).

5. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. (Use a kitchen scale to be sure each pan has the same amount of batter).

6. Bake until a cake tester comes out mostly clean, about 35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes then remove cakes to racks to cool completely.

7. To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with about 2/3 cup cookie dough icing. Repeat with remaining layers. Smooth the outside of cake and chill for 30 minutes.

8. Use a teaspoon to drip ganache along the edges of cake and over the top. (My ganache got pretty thick in my cold kitchen so I also used some fudge ice cream topping to drip down the sides of the cake. If yours gets too thick you could briefly microwave it until it is pourable again…I was in a rush, though). Chill for 15 minutes.

9. Top with chopped cookies before serving.

Serves 12

Cookie Dough Icing


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups heat-treated all-purpose flour (instructions follow)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Beat butter until creamy. Add sugars and beat on high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined.

2. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in flour and sea salt. Mix until incorporated then slowly pour in milk. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in chocolate chips.

How To Heat Treat Flour

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Spread flour evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the flour reaches 160℉.

3. Cool flour completely.

Chocolate Ganache


2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz heavy whipping cream


1. Place chocolate and cream into a microwave safe bowl.

2. Microwave for 20 seconds then stir. Continue to microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until ganache is smooth and silky. Set aside to cool completely before using on cake.

Recipes from Liv For Cake

Let’s mosey over and hop into Anthony Mill’s Rusty Cadillac. It’s a great ride.

Check out Anthony Mills on Facebook. You can buy his music here.


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Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup. Listening To The Kooks.

I’ve been listening to talk radio host Todd Schnitt since 1996 when I moved to Tampa and he hosted a popular morning drive time show there. His current afternoon show, The Schnitt Show, is nationally syndicated so I was able to continue listening even after I moved to Vermont in 2004. Schnitt’s so funny and entertaining. He’s also a foodie who can be counted on to document his adventures in tracking down the best pizza…here and abroad. My kind of guy.

This past August, Schnitt developed kidney stones and chronicled his struggle on the air. I’ve been following his show for so long it felt like listening to a friend. I had some insider insight on the topic, too, since my husband is a urologist.

Then, early this fall, my aforementioned husband attended a medical meeting. He usually brings me back a canvas bag or other novelty with the meeting’s logo on it. But this time he brought back a cookbook.

Seriously, it’s crazy that I listened to kidney stone stories throughout August and then this book drops into my lap shortly after. And the recipes are really good! Described as “an educational recipe book designed to help prevent kidney stones with nutrition and diet”, it contains easy to make soups, salads, sides and mains. You can download the cookbook here.

Today’s Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup is a no frills, classic version that gets a flavor pop from some chopped dill. It’s what the doctor orders for a warming, delicious meal.

Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup


2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp fresh dill
8 ounces egg noodles, cooked 1 minute less than package directions


1. In a stockpot, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and sauté until softened. Add carrots, celery and pepper and cook another 4 minutes.

2. Add the chicken broth and chicken. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, add dill and simmer for about 20 minutes

3. Stir in the noodles and serve.

Serves 6

Recipe from Urology Care Foundation

Stir that soup. Turn up the stereo. Dig that hook that cooks.

“I don’t drink alone (I never drink alone)
I got a big fine mamma at home (I can’t get enough)
She calls me chicken bone…”

Check out The Kooks on Facebook and the band’s Website where you can buy their music.


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Top 5 Posts In 2019

Lemonies top the list. They have been in the top 5, three times at number 1, since I posted the recipe in 2014.

There are a ton of comments to attest to how delicious the Lemonies are, so give them a try if you’re wanting a yummy, lemon flavored dessert.

Coming in at Number 2 is Detroit-Style Pizza. Since I first tried the recipe in 2017, I’ve made it a few times and it is always fantastic. To quote myself “The dough is super easy to work with and bakes up crisp with a buttery flavor. The Jack cheese melts like a dream and any bits that touch the edges of the pan transform into crunchy, caramelized bits. The herbed tomato sauce in its trademark stripey pattern gives the pie a fun look.”

Scottish Tablet debuted on the Top 5 list in 2017. It was Number 5 for 2017 and 2018. Last year it moved up to Number 3. Sweet melt in your mouth perfection.

Yep. We’ve got ourselves some new kids on the block.

The Number 4 top post of 2019 was Jello Custard Bears At The Beach. Very cute and so easy.

Finally, more gummy bears are coming in at Number 5. Specifically, Drunken Gummy Bears. Hic!

I adore today’s song, but let’s hope it never comes to this. :)

Seriously though, I sincerely wish frontman Mark Christopher Lee all of the best as he faces his challenges. xx

“If I Have Another Drink It Will Kill Me” is new from English Indie band The Pocket Gods. It’s upbeat and catchy even if the subject isn’t.

Check out The Pocket Gods on Facebook. You can buy their music here.


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Sticky Gingerbread Bundt Cake. ISITK Is 9 Today!

I’ve got myself a tween blog.

Gingerbread is, of course, on the menu as it is January 6th aka the 12th day of Christmas aka Nollaigna mBan.

Sticky Gingerbread Bundt Cake looks as good as it tastes. Stem ginger ups the spicy game and the crunchy pomegranate seeds lend some texture along with their lovely visual pop.

Sticky Gingerbread Bundt Cake


200g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
300g (1 1/2 cups) dark muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
200g (a little less than 2/3 cup) black treacle (or molasses)
4 balls stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
200g (about 1 1/2 cups) flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
225ml plain yogurt
Topping: 75g confectioners’ sugar and fresh pomegranate seeds


1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350℉. Grease a 1.5 liter bundt pan.

2. Heat the butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan over low heat until the butter and sugar have melted. Beat in the stem ginger and eggs with a whisk.

3. Sift the flour, baking soda and spices into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar-butter mixture then add yogurt and whisk until combined. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan.

4. Bake for 50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5. For the topping, in a bowl, gradually whisk a little warm water into the confectioners’ sugar until a thick icing forms.

6. Drizzle the icing over the cake, then scatter with the pomegranate seeds. The cake will keep, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 days in a cool place or it can be frozen, wrapped well, for up to 3 months.

Serves 16

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

Birthdays can be a combination of sadness and hope…sort of like this lovely new tune from Indiana-based band Hoops.

“It’s blinding me
but I can get by
If I try”

Check out Hoops on Bandcamp where you can learn of an upcoming show in Chicago and buy their music.


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Baked Camembert. New Music From Big Cheese.

I was looking for a cheese meme when I came across this gem.

I don’t know why I find those Real Housewives/Cat memes so funny. They really made my day when I was scrolling through social media last month and would come across them. Ridiculous…but you know that’s how I roll.

I also roll with super easy starters that are ready in a flash.

Baked Camembert, while so simple, makes for an elegant and tasty hors d’oeuvre. I love how it is baked in its box. Looks cool on a serving platter.

Baked Camembert


250g boxed Camembert or Brie
1 Tbs vermouth or dry white wine or kirsch
2 thyme sprigs
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
Crackers or crusty bread, to serve


1. Preheat oven to 200℃/400℉.

2. Unwrap Camembert from its packaging then place back into its box.

3. Make a few slash marks on top of the cheese and top with the vermouth, thyme and pepper flakes.

4. Bake on a baking tray for 20 minutes until gooey. Serve with bread or crackers.

Recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine

Here’s some Big Cheese to shake you out of your cheese coma.

“Golden” is from Brooklyn-based Big Cheese’s third album ‘Wild To Be Born’. It’s loud and proud.

Check out Big Cheese on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.


Posted in Starters | Tagged | 1 Comment

Short And Sweet. Hanukkah Gelt Cookies.

These are the easiest cookies.

Slice and bake sugar cookies then press a chocolate coin in the center of each. I love the contrast of the crisp chocolate and the cookie. Really good.

Hanukkah Gelt Cookies


1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookies
16 pieces foil-covered chocolate coins (Hanukkah gelt), unwrapped


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut dough evenly into 16 slices. Place the slices 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Flatten each slice until it measures about 2 inches in diameter.

3. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.

4. Remove cookies from the oven and immediately place 1 piece of gelt on center of each slice.

5. Cool 5 to 10 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cookies will stay fresh up to five days in an airtight container.

Makes 16 cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from Betty Crocker

Time for a short song….and it’s a recipe!

And a metal rock out sweet song. :)

“And while we were singing the candles were burning low
one for each night as they shed a sweet light,
they remind us of years long ago,
one for each night as they shed a sweet light,
they remind us of years long ago…”

Sweet, right?

Check out Dan Bern on his Website where you can learn of upcoming US and Canada tour dates and buy his music.

Learn more about Gods Of Fire on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.


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