Rhubarb Upside Down Cake


Rhubarb has the power to evoke wonderful childhood memories for me.  I have always loved it and  find all kinds of ways to use it while it is in season.  This classic cake boasts a whole pound of spring rhubarb on top of a fluffly moist honey cake. Although the original recipe on Delish.com was a vanillla cake, I changed it to be a honey cake with cardamom spice which I find such a winning pairing of flavors with rhubarb.  Enjoy rhubarb season!

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Take-out Tuesday, September Soup & Squash Croutons

The French Gardener Kitchen has been a little quiet as we are getting ready to move to temporary housing during some construction work in our home. This recipe for a very unique and flavorful soup comes to you from one of my favorite bloggers, Jenna@ The Painted Apron. Enjoy!

The Painted Apron

A double treat’s in store today, a lightened up chowder made with roasted yellow squash and corn, topped with crispy bacon

September soup with squash and corn thepaintedapron.com

AND Parmesan Squash Croutons!

salad with squash croutons

Let’s make the croutons first so we can nibble on them while the soup simmers


All you need is some tempura batter mix, the old fashioned Parmesan cheese in the signature green bottle, or any finely grated Parmesan, and some oil for frying


Dip in batter, coat with Parm, and fry!


Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt

Parmesan squash croutons thepaintedapron.com

Try not to eat them all while you’re making the soup  😋


Roast squash slices on a parchment lined sheet until done, 20 minutes or so at 400

roasted squash

Give it a rough chop


While the squash is roasting, fry bacon until crispy and saute the onion and celery in bacon drippings until soft


Stir in flour making a thick roux, and then add 2 cups of the broth…

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Roasted Poblano and Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese


With fall around the corner, thoughts turn to comfort dishes.  Nothing like mac ‘n cheese for the quintessential comfort dish.  With the addition of roasted poblano peppers, bacon and a crumb topping this dish will appeal to adults and kids alike.  The poblanos add very mild heat to the dish.  To kick it up a notch, use hotter peppers such as Italian or Hatch peppers.  The mac’ n cheese is rich and creamy with layers of smokey flavors.  Easy to make, it is a perfect marriage of creaminess and depth of  flavor imparted from the smokey bacon and peppers. Using a larger corkscrew pasta rather than traditional macaroni really increases the ratio of creamy cheese sauce to pasta.  In  mac’n cheese, that is a very good thing!  This mac’n cheese is fancy enough to serve to company, if you’re willing to share!

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Pizzeria Beddia: Believe the Hype!


When Bon Appétit magazine declares the best pizza in America is in your backyard, you’ve got see for yourself if it lives up to the hype!

At Pizza Beddia there is no phone, no preorders, no chairs, no slices, no restroom.  Cash only. Whole pies only. One size only.  Maximum of 2 pies per party.  40 pizzas per night sold.  2 small tables for stand-up dining.  BYO. Open Wednesday to Saturday 5:30 pm-10:30pm.  On several recent summer days, my husband determined to get one of these pizzas and see why it was declared the Best Pizza in America.  And days it took!


The dreaded sign that turns hundreds of hungry customers away!

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Asparagus and Caramelized Shallot Deep Dish Quiche


The recipe for this quiche was born from what was available in the fridge at the time, the way most of my cooking usually goes.  Caramelized shallots layered in the bottom of the quiche add a depth of flavor which does not over power the tender spring asparagus. Continue reading

Fiesta Friday #49

My mom’s meat pie won a coveted feature spot in the talented community of Food Bloggers at Fiesta Fridays today! Food bloggers from all over the world come together for Fiesta Fridays each week and share outstanding recipes. Founded and passionately led by Angie at The Novice Gardener, this weekly gathering showcases incredible cooking talent. Take a look at this week’s enticing offerings!

The Novice Gardener

Fiesta Friday Badge Button I party @

Hello, fun-loving, fantastic, fabulous Fiesta Friday friends! It’s the first fiesta for 2015! Are you as stoked as I am? You’d better be. I have Mr Fitz @CookingwithMrFitz and Kaila @GF Life 24/7 as my co-hosts! And you know what they say. Ain’t no fiesta like a Fitz & Kaila fiesta ‘coz a Fitz & Kaila fiesta don’t stop! I’d say we’re starting the new year the proper way. It feels happening already over here. You had better join us soon!

And if you were here last week, you’d know how impressive all the contributions to the party were. If not, just take a look at the sampling.

Egg Curry, Dhaba Style from Sonal @simplyvegetarian777.

I was completely bowled over by Sonal’s egg curry and her photos. First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever had eggs in curry before. The idea is totally intriguing. And how astoundingly beautiful are…

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Fall Window Box



Fall is my favorite season to decorate.  The rich colors in nature and the bountiful pumpkins, gourds, mums and kales available everywhere just make it so easy to bring fall’s flourishes into your home décor.  When temperatures start to dip a bit, it’s time to start entertaining outside again.  Near our patio table we have a window box that is filled with annuals all summer.  By now the flowers are spent and ready for a refresh.  A no-maintenace window box bursting with fall’s bounty is what I set out to create.    No mums, grasses or kale were used to avoid having to water or deadhead. Continue reading