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Super Bowl Baked Beans.   Seriously Delicious.

Super Bowl Baked Beans. Seriously Delicious.

The food – I mean football – event of the year is coming up! It’s Super Bowl time! Okay, I meant food and we all know it. Busted. I love Super Bowl because it always means great food! My family refers to our game-watching-fun-Sunday-afternoon-food as […]

10 Things I Never Dreamed We Would Need To Tell Our Kids

10 Things I Never Dreamed We Would Need To Tell Our Kids

The news is scary. It’s real. When I was little and saw something on tv that frightened me, my parents told me “Don’t worry. It’s just tv. It’s not real.”. I knew then not to worry – my world was safe. Now I’m an adult and […]

🎶 Baby It’s Cold Outside 🎶 – Time to Make Cheeseburger Soup!

🎶 Baby It’s Cold Outside 🎶 – Time to Make Cheeseburger Soup!

If I make homemade soup, someone is sick or it’s cold outside. Well, it’s cold in Florida this week. . . cold for Floridians anyway. (It actually snowed in Tallahassee today!) We won’t see any snow this far south, but we will be seeing socks with flip-flops and shorts under winter coats because sadly, most of us really don’t know how to dress for this weather. Unless we travel to colder climates, it just doesn’t pay to buy cold-weather clothes. (I just saw a pic of a guy outside with oven mitts for gloves!) Women will proclaim the day as a “sweater day” and pull out sweaters and boots that are rarely worn. It’s kind of fun and it’s never lasts, which according to my sixth-generation Floridian husband, is a good thing.

It’s also kind of fun to come in from the cold and have warm soup for dinner. This is a simple pleasure not usually given to Floridians. Sure, we eat soup but that cold-day-warm-soup thing is in a class of its own. I’m sharing one of my favorite soup recipes – kids and grownups both love it and it’s hearty enough for a meal.

1/2 pound ground beef

3/4 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup shredded carrots

3/4 cup diced celery

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

4 tablespoons butter, divided

3 cups chicken broth

4 cups diced peeled potatoes (1 3/4 pounds)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups (8 ounces) Velveeta processed cheese

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup sour cream

In a 3-qt. Saucepan, cook beef until no longer pink, drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, sauté onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and beef, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter (3 tablespoons). Add flour, cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup, bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream.  Makes 8 servings or 2 1/4 quarts.

If you really want a treat, bake a batch of delicious corn muffins to go along with your soup! Stay warm!


It’s Not Pretty!

(Recipe originally from Taste of Home’s Contest Winning Recipes)

Cheers for a Fun, Smart and Safe New Year! 🥂

Cheers for a Fun, Smart and Safe New Year! 🥂

Be safe. How many times have you told your children to “Be Safe”? My youngest, who is an adult and is going to do whatever he wants to do, just walked out of the door with these words following him. I usually say “Have Fun”, […]

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas morning, and even the dog has gone back to sleep. Gone are the days where our three sons got up at the crack of dawn to see what Santa brought. Gone are the days of matching pajamas (although I’m threatening to bring that […]

WOW!!! Glazed Rum Cake.

WOW!!! Glazed Rum Cake.

I’ve been officially retired since February and frankly, there are not a lot of things I miss about working. I miss some of the people and I miss a few of the perks. And during this time of year, I miss the office Christmas goodies like Jan’s Glazed Rum Cake. This was one of those gifts that I didn’t even share with our staff (sorry guys – no one said I was nice). I took it home and enjoyed a slice with a cup of coffee for breakfast or with chai tea for my afternoon treat. It felt like one of those foodie-escape-the-world moments. It was delicious. One of my favorite holidays treats!

The good news? Jan was nice enough to share her recipe with me. And, it’s easy! I’ve got three rum cakes in the oven as we speak and my house smells heavenly! This recipe makes one regular loaf and two minis – or four minis – or two regular loaves.

Here’s what you will need:

1 package yellow cake mix

1/2 cup dark rum

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour (or use PAM baking spray) pans.

Mix together the ingredients. Mix to combine ingredients – don’t over beat. Pour batter into the pans.

Bake for 1 hour – or 45 minutes if you’re baking mini-loaves. Cool and remove from pan to serving plate. (Make the glaze while they cool).


1/2 cup butter

1/8 cup water

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup dark rum

Melt butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Add water and sugar and cover with paper towel while you microwave for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and add rum. Stir well.

Poke holes in top of cake and drizzle glaze over the top and sides. This is one of those foods that tastes even better the next day.

One of my mini-loaves

I’ve got these stored in an air-tight container for however long they last. . . what a great start to our holiday baking!

The Best Cranberry Salad For Thanksgiving

The Best Cranberry Salad For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without this cranberry salad. It is easy and delicious! This is a quick post to share my all-time favorite Thanksgiving cranberry salad.

Sort, rinse and freeze a one-pound bag of cranberries. Once they are frozen, grind them for the salad. I use my Dad’s old grinder, but I’m sure a food processor would work well. You could also finely chop the cranberries. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar to the cranberries.

In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups cool whip with 4 cups miniature marshmallows. Refrigerate both mixtures separately several hours or overnight.  Combine before serving.

My favorite!!!  Enjoy! (more…)

My downsizing just stalled. . . . .

My downsizing just stalled. . . . .

It’s the trophies. Three large bins of trophies. One for each son. There are trophies for soccer, wrestling, t-ball, baseball, football, tennis and basketball. With three sons, we were well represented in almost every sport.  There are also medallions, ribbons and other sports-based keepsakes. Some […]

Welcome to Tropical Life, Food and Fun!




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.


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