Friday Favorite – Pasta e Fagioli


This week’s Friday Favorite is by popular request.  This is my mother’s recipe and I have actually never made it – only eaten it! I attended a luncheon yesterday hosted by my friend Daurie who recently built and moved into her beautiful new home.  She treated a group of us to a delicious lunch at her new home.  She served my mother’s Pasta e Fagioli.  The request at lunch was for me to “put in on the blog”. I told them I couldn’t because I didn’t have my camera and [Continue Reading…]

My Favorite Sugar Cookie


I love a good sugar cookie and after a lot of recipe trying and sugar cookie eating this is my favorite sugar cookie ever!! The last few months I have been on the hunt for the perfect sugar cookie.  The perfect sugar cookie would be one that did not need to be rolled out or refrigerated, would have an almond flavor and a yummy almond frosting on top. You see, I found the perfect sugar cookie at a small little deli in Kalama, Washington.  Kalama is about an hour north of Portland, [Continue Reading…]

Gardening 101

woodland path

Fourteen years ago we built the house that we currently live in.  We moved from our small, one bathroom bungalow in the city to our 5 bedroom home in the suburbs.  With the birth of our fourth child – we had definitely outgrown that house! Not only did we buy a lot more house – we bought a lot more yard.  We went from a small city lot to a 17,000 square foot yard – or rather 17,000 square feet of clay dirt.  That’s all there was – dirt – there was [Continue Reading…]

In the Garden

flower flower

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend.  We are spending some time in the garden. Today I thought I’d share with you what’s blooming in the Wilkes’ family garden.  Tomorrow I’ll share with you my how I went from being  a “pot of geraniums on the porch” kind of non-gardener to a having a garden that has been featured in the newspaper and in magazines! But for right now – enjoy a peek into my garden. A yellow ‘Happy Returns’ daylilly and  one of my favorite hardy geraniums ‘Johnson’s Blue’.  [Continue Reading…]

Friday Favorite – Lemonade Pie

lemonade pie

This week was Senior Quilt Night at church.  It is an evening where all the girl’s graduating from high school are honored and the women from church and young woman come together to tie quilts for each of the graduating girls.  I was in charge of the dinner for the evening – yes, that is the second large group meal I have been in charge of this week – will someone please slap me!!! Here is a cute picture of Cali and I wrapped up in her soft, fuzzy green [Continue Reading…]

A Crowd Pleaser – Spinach and Chicken Pasta Salad

pasta selnate

Today’s recipe is a definite crowd pleaser – I know that because I have fixed this salad for a total of about 600 people!!  Most recently, I fixed this salad for a luncheon I did for the American Mother’s State Convention this past Saturday.  I have also served it to a church group of 450 woman! Yes – that is 450 people all at one time.  Each time I fix it I have numerous requests for the recipe. Last week a sweet friend emailed me about a salad someone had brought [Continue Reading…]

Free Day


If you were to survey a group of homebased business owners and ask them to tell you their number one reason for having a homebased business I bet 9 out of 10 of them would answer FREEDOM!  I know it’s mine.  I don’t mean the freedom WHETHER to work or not (if you want to make money – you’ve got to work) but the freedom to choose WHEN to work! That choice is why I started my homebased business 17 years ago.  I have the freedom to work around my families schedules [Continue Reading…]

Friday Favorite – Sweet and Sour Chicken

sweet and sour

This version of Sweet and Sour Chicken has definitely become a family favorite.  I found it over at Stephanie’s Kitchen  and we have made it twice in the last month.  I am not a big fan of the heavily breaded Sweet and Sour you usually get at Chinese places but this version is light and yummy!  The chicken is just dredged in flour and then cooked in olive oil until browned.  It is just the right amount of sweetness too. It is great for a weeknight dinner because it is [Continue Reading…]

Boccone Dolce – Sweet Mouthful


When Jim asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day dinner I tried to keep the menu as easy as possible since his culinary skills are limited to breakfast and what he can throw on the grill.  I told him I would be in charge of dessert.  I had been planning for weeks to make my ALL TIME favorite dessert – Boccone Dolce or “Sweet Mouthful” in Italian. A local restaurant, Papa Haydens, that is famous for their desserts, serves this amazing dessert.  I order it EVERY time I go there [Continue Reading…]