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Month: July 2016

Caramel Brownies

Caramel Brownies

I love having my kids and their friends around the house – both when they were growing up and now as adults.  This recipe was one of their favorites – certainly one of their friends’ favorites.   These brownies are so delicious that they don’t need frosting.

1 box Betty Crocker German Chocolate Cake Mix

1 cup chopped nuts (optional – my kids say NO)

3/4 cup melted butter

1/3 cup evaporated milk OR – heavy whipping cream

Mix until blended.  Place one half of the cake mixture in a greased 9 x 12 pan.

Bake for 18 minutes at 350 degrees.

While that’s baking, get a large microwave-safe bowl and add:

1/3 cup evaporated milk OR – heavy whipping cream

1 package of either unwrapped Kraft caramels – 11 ounce –  Kraft caramel bits – you find them in the baking section – not all stores have them.

Melt in the microwave for one minute and stir – then for 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until melted.

Pour caramel mixture on top of baked cake mixture.  Sprinkle 1 cup milk chocolate chips on top.

Pour remaining cake mixture on top. I use a knife to spread the batter evenly on top.

Spreading top layer of brownie mixture.
Spreading top layer of brownie mixture.

Bake for 26 minutes at 350 degrees.   This smells SO good when it’s baking!  If you want to cut brownie squares, you will need to cool first. However, if you want a decadent treat. . . . spoon  out a corner while they are warm and have a little ice cream on top of it.  Wow!







Welcome!!  Sit back, relax and enjoy delicious recipes, photos of tropical life and loads of family & fun with me!  I hope that you will enjoy the tropical postings and find recipes that are appealing, easy to make and that fit into your lifestyle.

We recently returned from the British Virgin Islands (Jost Van Dyke) where this pic was taken.  Such a fabulous place!  Gorgeous water and those beach bars are so much fun!

My dad used to tease me and say “I don’t know why in the hell you think everything should be fun!”  I always thought “Why Not?  Shouldn’t Life Be Fun?”

Here’s hoping you are having some fun.   You deserve this break from your daily routine – and it’s time to start planning that tropical vacation – or life of your own.

Sweet dreams on your favorite beach.


Italian Steak Sandwich with Roasted Pepper Mayonnaise

Italian Steak Sandwich with Roasted Pepper Mayonnaise

I love steak. I grew up on a farm in the Midwest where we butchered our own beef and usually had a freezer full of beef in the basement.  The best steaks still come from my family’s own freezers in their South Dakota homes.

This is the Italian version of grilled steak and the combination is outrageous!  I found the recipe in my Cuisine At Home magazine, which is a fabulous publication if you ever get a chance to read it.  This is from their June 2006 issue and I’ve made it steadily for the past ten years.  It’s well worth the time to make the mayonnaise to go with the steak – be sure to try them together.

For the Mayonnaise—

Purée in a food processor or in your blender:

1 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers (in pickle section of grocery)

1/2 cup creamy Gorgonzola cheese

1/4 cup shallots, chopped

Add and Pulse:

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

salt & pepper to taste

Cover and chill.

For the Steak and Sandwich:


1/4 cup olive oil

2  tablespoons fresh minced parsley

1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme

1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Grill a 1 – 1.5 pound sirloin steak to desired doneness  – I like medium rare. Let steak rest five minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.   Toss steak strips with oil-herb mixture in large bowl and season with salt to taste.

Brush 4 ciabatta rolls, halved, with olive oil and grill until toasted.

Assemble sandwiches on rolls:  steak, watercress and roasted pepper mayonnaise.

If you can’t find ciabatta rolls, just use a roll with a thin, crisp crust and soft inside.  Blue cheese can be used if you can’t find gorgonzola cheese.  Fresh baby spinach can be substituted for the watercress.  The watercress has a peppery bite that tastes great with the steak.  It’s in the produce section by the fresh herbs.

It’s a great steak sandwich, but if you’re saying NO to bread, just the steak with the sauce is great, too.



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