Pizza Times Two? Thank You Food Network Magazine!


, , , , , , , , ,

I guess I’m just a sucker for pizza.  Growing up in Burbank, California, my friends and I and our family spent many fun times at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor on San Fernando Road enjoying their many varieties of pizzas and subs.  And after all these years, they are still there today.

You all know that I love different flavor combinations for my pizzas so when I flipped through the pages of the October 2016 issue of the Food Network Magazine, you can only imagine my joy when I spied “Pizza with Jalapeno Popper Crust” and “White Pizza with Everything Bagel Crust.”  Oh, my goodness, I thought to myself.  Two of my favorite flavor combinations, but in pizza form.  And yes, I had to try making them myself.  See for yourself:

Pizza with Jalapeno Popper Crust

Pizza with Jalapeno Popper Crust

White Pizza with Everything Bagel Crust

White Pizza with Everything Bagel Crust

Thanks to Food Network Magazine, I now have two new pizza flavor profiles that I just love.  I did make a few minor tweaks to each recipe.  I used a one pound package of refrigerated dough from Food Lion and cut the dough into two pieces.  I then stretched each piece into a nice shape.  Because I was only using half of the dough that is called for in each recipe, the other ingredients were cut in half.

For the Pizza with Jalapeno Popper Crust, I replaced fresh tomatoes for the marinara sauce and replaced the fresh jalapeno peppers with candied jalapeno peppers that I found at a local shop.

For recipe, click here:  Pizza with Jalapeno Popper Crust

For the White Pizza with Everything Bagel Crust, I did not use the shallots but added dried onions to the seed mixture.

For recipe, click here:  White Pizza with Everything Bagel Crust

Thanks, Food Network Magazine, I now have two new recipes to add to my list of favorite pizzas.  Both of these new flavor profiles offer something different for the palate, crispy crust, cheesy goodness and fun toppings.

I will definitely make these again.  See ya around the pizza oven ~ Barbara

The Villages Fall Market at Brunswick Forest (NC) – Saturday, Sept. 24 – We’ll Be There


, , , , , , , ,

Now that the summer farmer’s markets have ended for the season, my sister and I are focused on holiday arts and crafts festivals from now through December.  Our first festival is The Villages Fall Market at Brunswick Forest (North Carolina) this coming Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Over 60 artisans will be set-up in the commercial area (parking lot) next to the Lowes Foods located at 1152 East Cutlar Crossing, Leland, North Carolina, just off of Highway 17. Look for our tent and “Southport Sisters.”

I will bring a wide array of my photography on note cards along with new “Recipe Collections” that are perfect holiday gifts (food photography on note cards), and Francine will bring her hand-painted growth charts with new designs not yet seen at our shows.


dsc_5603_cropviv_webStop by our tent, say “Hi” and do some of your holiday shopping.

dsc_6517_vivcrop_logo_webAnd many thanks to the North Brunswick Magazine, Summer 2016 issue, page 35.

nbm-summer-2016-coverOn page 35 of this Summer issue (below), you will see my photos from the event held this past April.  Many of the same vendors will be returning for the Fall Market, the Southport Sisters included!nbm-summer-2016-villages-art-fest-photos

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Fall Market this Saturday. If you need directions to the Lowes Foods in Brunswick Forest, just google Lowes Foods in Leland, NC.  There is only one store in Leland so it should pop right up.

Bring good walking shoes and get ready to see some fine arts and crafts this Saturday. ~Barbara

NOTE: If you can’t make it out to this craft festival, here’s a list of our other shows through December:

October 8, 2016 – Harvest Market and Pumpkin Fest (Town of Shallotte, NC) | 9:00 am – 1:00 pm | Mulberry Park – 123 Mulberry Street, Shallotte, North Carolina 28470 | Click here for more information

November 5, 2016 – 25th Annual Holly Days Arts and Craft Show | The Bellamy Group of Southport Baptist Church | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm | Southport City Gym-Atlantic Avenue | Southport, North Carolina

November 19, 2016 – Holiday Market (Town of Shallotte, NC) | 9:00 am – 1:00 pm | Mulberry Park – 123 Mulberry Street, Shallotte, North Carolina 28470 | Click here for more information

December 10, 2016 – Southport’s Annual Winter Craft Festival 2016 | Downtown Southport, Inc. | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm | Fort Johnston Garrison Lawn | Southport, North Carolina | Click here for more information

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Fall! At Least In My Kitchen … Iced Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts


, , , , , ,

Now doesn’t this look like Fall to you??  And who doesn’t like pumpkin? Especially in these easy to make and bake pumpkin spice donuts.  Thanks to the “Hungry Girl” website and postings, which I follow regularly, this is probably the easiest and tastiest recipe I’ve ever made.  Thanks Hungry Girl!


The recipe calls for a standard donut pan, which I highly recommend purchasing, but purchase a heavy-duty one.  I have, or should say, had both a heavy-duty and a silicone donut pan but after a near disaster with the silicone pan, it saw its way to the trash today.  Too flimsy for me and not worth the few dollars you save.  Invest in good baking pans and you’ll be happy. The donut in front in the photo above was baked in the heavy-duty pan; the other two in the rear were baked in the silicone pan.  The flavor is the same but the appearance is not.

Now, on to this yummy, and oh so easy recipe. Below is Hungry Girl’s original recipe.  I doubled the recipe as I didn’t want to have half a box of cake mix left over or a half can of pumpkin.  The original recipe makes 6.  By using the entire box of cake mix and can of pumpkin, I made 12 donuts.  I used the same amount of water and made a simple icing. The result was a moist and light baked spicy pumpkin donut.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Donuts (Baked)
Makes 6 Donuts – Recipe courtesy of Hungry Girl

Donut Ingredients
1 1/4-cups moist-style spice cake mix – just about one-half of the box (I used Duncan Hines)
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin (I used Libby’s)

Glaze Ingredients
1 tablespoon reduced fat-cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar (not packed)
1/4 teaspoon maple extract
Dash salt
Optional topping: cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 6-cavity standard donut pans with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine donut ingredients.  Add 1/4 cup water and whisk until completely smooth and uniform. Distribute mixture evenly into the donut pan and smooth out the tops.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in a donut comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Let donuts cool, about 10 minutes in the pan and 15 minutes on the cooling rack. Place a sheet of waxed paper under the cooling racks to catch drips from the glaze.

When donuts are completely cool, make the glaze.  Combine cream cheese with 1 tablespoon hot water and whisk until smooth.  Add remaining glaze ingredients and whisk until very smooth.  One at a time, dunk the tops of the donuts into the glaze, coating the top halves. Return to cooling rack and allow glaze to set, about 10 minutes.

Click here for the recipe on the Hungry Girl website:  HG’s Iced Pumpkin Spice Donuts

Be sure to check out the Hungry Girl website for more health-conscious recipes.  I just saw a recipe for HG’s Hungry Spice Girl Pumpkin Latte … guess I know what I’m making next!

Happy Fall … see ya around the pumpkin patch ~ Barbara

Fig & Cocoa Spread and Hungarian Bukta – A Winning Combination


, , , , , ,

I’ve baked some interesting combinations before, but this is, by far, one of my favorites.  I’m sure you’re wondering … what is a Hungarian Bukta? A Hungarian Bukta is a pillow of sweet yeast dough filled with jam, chocolate, poppy seeds or cottage cheese. They may remind you of a Parkerhouse Roll, but with a filling. My Hungarian grandmother made some pastries that were very similar but with apricot jam for the filling.

The other day I stopped at my favorite cheese shop here in Southport, the Southport Cheese Shoppe, to see what was new on the shelves.  I’ve used Divina products before (Orange Fig Spread) and love them. Lisa, one of the owners, gave me a sample of a new Divina item, Fig & Cocoa Spread.  I imagined the tasty eats I could make with this spread.  Ah, I thought, use it as a filling for Bukta.


The sweet yeast dough compliments the strong fig flavor of the spread with a hint of cocoa.  Little pockets of the spread are a nice surprise when you cut into these pillows of dough.  If you have a heavy-duty stand mixer, it will do all the kneading for you, unless you’re like me and I just have to get my hands on the dough and knead away. The other surprise of these jewels is a slight sugary crunch on the bottom of each one.  And if you’re like my sister, you’ll sit at the table and watch the timer count down until it’s time to pop one out onto a plate. Note: These really are best eaten hot from the oven.  Don’t be afraid to make yeast doughs.  You will be rewarded with heavenly flavors.

For the recipe, click here: Hungarian Jam-Filled Sweet Buns (Bukta)

For more spreads, cheeses, and olives, be sure to stop by the Southport Cheese Shoppe and visit owners, Lisa and Eric Stettner.  Tell them the “Southport Sisters” sent you.  And be sure to ask for samples of their cheeses and spreads.

The Southport Cheese Shoppe is located at 417 B North Howe Street, Southport, NC 28461.  Phone: 910-477-6387.
Click here for their website:  Southport Cheese Shoppe
Click here to visit their Facebook page:  Southport Cheese Shoppe

To learn more about the Divina Fig & Cocoa Spread, click here: Fig & Cocoa Spread

Hope to see ya in the kitchen. ~Barbara

Worms and Coffee … Saying Goodbye To A Local Icon In Midway, North Carolina


, , ,

While you may not think Worms and Coffee is a good combination, other Midway locals would beg to differ with you.  Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of spending time with Carole Richards, the owner of Worms and Coffee, a local icon in Midway, North Carolina.  Carole, and her late husband Mike, operated the convenience store for many years until Mike’s sudden passing in 2015.

Just before the store was set to close, the editor of the South Brunswick Magazine asked me to take a drive to get one last story.  I got my story just in time. At the end of July, the store closed to make way for the widening of the main highway.

The Summer 2016 issue just arrived in our local stores.  Flipping through the pages, I see my article and photographs and I see Carole’s smile.  The closing of the store was bittersweet, but she showed me strength that she would be fine as she will fill her days with her art.  Carole and I have a lot in common.

To read my article and see my photographs of Worms and Coffee, and Carole, click here: Worms-and-Coffee-Article-Summer-2016

Many thanks to Carole, for spending time with me this summer and to the South Brunswick Magazine for the opportunity to tell her story.  Looks like I’m officially on the payroll for the magazine!


See ya around the typewriter ~ Barbara

Coconut, Chocolate and Nuts … What’s Not To Like?


, , , , , , , , ,

I’ve tried my hand at making granola bars before, but with not much luck. Too dry, too crumbly, not enough taste, you get the picture.  In a recent food magazine, I came across this recipe that states the bars are chewy and healthy.  Give it a go, I thought.  After all, who doesn’t love coconut, chocolate and nuts?


Chewy Coconut Granola Bars

This recipe did not disappoint me. Coconut oil is used in place of other fats, and is a bit healthier.  Lots of flaked coconut, rolled oats, nuts and mini-chocolate chips, bring this all together with honey for sweetness and peanut butter for that extra nutty taste.  Stir everything together, spread in a pan and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  That’s it! Now this is one recipe that I will make again.

Maybe you’ll give it a go.  See ya on the trail. ~ Barbara

Chewy Coconut Granola Bars
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 cup almond butter or peanut butter
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, cashews or almonds)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, melt together the coconut oil, honey, corn syrup, almond butter (or peanut butter), salt and ginger, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, nuts and chocolate chips. Pour warm coconut oil mixture over the oats and stir together to combine.

Pour mixture into a parchment-lined 9×13-inch baking pan and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle with extra coconut and mini chocolate chips, if desired. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Use the parchment to remove the bar from the pan and cut into squares or bars. Store bars, separated with parchment, in the refrigerator. Can be stored for up to 2 weeks.

Thanks for the recipe, Mom … but where’s the directions?


, , , , , , , , ,

The other day I was asked if I had a specific recipe.  I replied, “No, but I’ll look in my mother’s old recipe box to see if she had such a recipe.”  To look through my mother’s recipes was a fond reminder of our days in the kitchen baking together.  When we baked together I just followed her lead, never bothering with the recipe or directions.

As I was searching through her hand-written recipes, I came upon a recipe for “Loaf of Gold.” The only problem was the card had a list of ingredients but no directions, no pan size, no oven temperature and no baking time.  The ingredients sounded simple enough, sort of like a tea bread, so I set off to try the recipe.

Loaf of GoldMy first attempt was not bad, as I pulled everything together like I have in the past for a tea bread.  The only problem is the pan I used was not big enough so the center did not bake.  Wait a minute, I thought to myself.  I should “google” the name and see what comes up.  Low and behold, a link appeared.  It seems that back in the 1960’s, folks were introduced to the art of baking angel food cakes which require many, many egg whites.  So what’s a person to do with all the egg yolks?  Voila! This cake was then developed to make good use of egg yolks.

I searched our cookbook collection and found that famous “red” cookbook and took a look inside.  Sure enough, there was the recipe for this one-bowl cake, complete with directions, pan size, cooking temperature and cooking time.  I tried again with a few changes and additions of my own (less cake flour, added lemon zest and sliced almonds.)  What I ended up with (see photo above) was a light, moist cake that I would be proud to serve to family and friends.

Thanks, Mom, for sharing your gift of baking, even if I had to do some research.  And to my friend who was looking for that specific recipe, sorry, I couldn’t find it.  Maybe I should “google” it too!

Below is my mother’s actual recipe card.  The notation at the top right “St. Joseph” was where she worked in the kitchen for many years.


Below is the recipe for this delightful cake from that “red cookbook” with my few tweaks. Treasure your family favorites, have fun in the kitchen, and share your joys with others.  ~ Look for me in the kitchen, Barbara

Loaf of Gold
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an angel-food pan.  Using a stand-mixer, beat butter until smooth; add sugar and beat well.  Add cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add egg yolks and 1/2 of the milk; mix till all flour is dampened. Then beat vigorously 2 minutes.  Add remaining milk, vanilla and lemon zest; beat vigorously 1 minute longer.  Gently stir in sliced almonds.  Pour into angel-food pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.  Let cool completely before slicing.

Need Something Different for Breakfast? How About Ham and Cheese Hash Brown Waffles?


, , , , ,

Are you a creature of habit? Do you have the same bowl of cereal for breakfast? Are you afraid to make pancakes or waffles?

Fear not, I give you a foolproof recipe for waffles.  Now, not just any waffle, but Ham and Cheese Hash Brown Waffles.  Yes, that’s right, hash brown waffles made so easy in your waffle maker.  I have a small, two-section waffle maker that works just fine.


It’s as simple as putting everything in a bowl and heating up the waffle maker.  No need to “fry” these hash browns in a skillet; let the waffle maker do its thing.

This recipe is a good foundation; just change the flavor profiles by substituting cooked sausage for the ham, change the type of cheese and use different spices.  But try this recipe first to see if it works for you.  After that you can make changes.

For recipe, click here: Ham and Cheese Hash Brown Waffles

To serve these waffles, try adding an over easy egg with a side of fresh fruit and a hot cup of coffee.  These would be great for a Sunday Brunch, or even dinner!

So, let’s get busy and with these tasty eats.  See ya at the waffle maker. ~Barbara

Give This Batter Bread A Try … Dried Figs, Raisins and Orange Zest … A Combination That Can’t Be Beat!


, , , , , ,

What is a “Batter Bread” you may ask?  I know I did while doing some research.  Batter breads are made just like Quick Breads, with two differences. First, yeast is used instead of baking powder or baking soda, and second, the batter is beaten for several minutes so the gluten has time to form to hold the carbon dioxide made by the yeast. There is no kneading and only one rise time, but you still get the same great aroma and taste. Expect a more open texture and a top crust that has a rougher appearance than kneaded breads.


Dried Figs, Raisins and Orange Zest Batter Bread

Since I haven’t baked  in a while, this type of bread appealed to me. I don’t mind kneading dough, but if I don’t have to and still get good results, why not give it a go? Most recipes I looked at were for plain white or wheat batter bread. Hmmmm, what could I add to give the white batter bread a bit more pizzazz?

Checking out our pantry, I decided to add dried figs, raisins and orange zest.  The aroma that filled our house as the bread was baking was heavenly.  At one point my sister says “When can I have a piece? Just give me a slice and a pat of butter and I’ll be just fine.” This batter bread is definitely a keeper.

For recipe, click here:  Dried Figs, Raisins and Orange Zest Batter Bread

Don’t be afraid to use other flavor combinations in place of the figs, raisins and orange zest.  Some other combinations to try:

~Dried blueberries, sliced almonds, lemon zest, and a touch of nutmeg
~Dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and orange zest
~Dried apricots, chopped macadamia nuts and lime zest

Be adventurous, be brave, just give this recipe a try.  It will be a keeper for you.

“Okay, I say. It’s time to get out the butter.” See ya at the table. ~ Barbara

Store #9 – Southport Tea House Now Carries Barbara Sammons’ Photography on Note Cards


, , , , , , , ,

I’m very excited to announce Store #9, the Southport Tea House, is now carrying my photography note cards.  They will carry note cards that are related to afternoon teas, breakfast scones, light desserts and tasty tarts, all complete with recipes.


The Southport Tea House is located at 611 N. Howe Street in Southport, North Carolina, next door to Mad River.  They serve breakfast (by reservation only), lunch, high tea and Sunday Brunch.  They offer over 60+ loose leaf teas along with scones of the day.  If you need a lovely setting for a bridal party or a family holiday gathering, be sure to give them a call.

Click here to go to their website:  Southport Tea House
Click here to go to their Facebook page:  Southport Tea House

For a list of all stores that carry my note cards, click here: Store Locations-Note Cards

So, head on down to the Southport Tea House for a cup of tea, a scone, or a light lunch.  And be sure to say “hi” to Sherri and her staff.

I’m off to brew me a small pot of tea.  See ya in the kitchen. ~Barbara