Today is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day!

That’s right folks, November 20th is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day. I wonder who declared it such, but I’m going with it. So, in honor of the day that honors one of my favorite treats, I will reprise my mom’s recipe.

I still have the handwritten recipe card she gave me. Mom passed away in Y2K but my last memory of this fudge was when she was very ill, toward the end of her life, yet she made me the fudge at my request. I only realize now how she must have struggled to stir the peanut butter into the stiff batter.

A mother’s love knows no bounds — sweet memories of mom, food and hospitality. Here’s to you mom!

Make some fudge for someone you love. They’ll be glad you did.

Mom’s Peanut Butter Fudge
From the kitchen of Lois Garneau

  • 1 box confectioner’s sugar (1 pound or 4 cups)
  • 3/4 stick margarine (no butter, seriously, use Parkay margarine)
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind will do, I used skim)
  • 1 twelve-ounce jar of peanut butter (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 nine-ounce jar of marshmallow cream (closest I could find is 7.5 ounces)


In saucepan, mix confectioner’s sugar, margarine and milk. Cook and stir for about 6-1/2 minutes until it boils. It should be at the candy soft ball stage.

Add peanut butter and marshmallow cream. Beat by hand, Pour into square pan. Cool and cut.



Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese

This is an amazing twist on an old favorite. I used spreadable Brie and chopped Peppadews®, the brand name for sweet piquanté peppers grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa.

Toasty-Tasty Grilled Cheese
For an even more pungent cheese flavor, use Brie sliced from the wheel with the rind. 

2 slices of sourdough bread
Brie cheese – either spreadable or sliced from the wheel
1/4 cup chopped Peppadews®
Butter, softened for spreading

Spread Brie on one slice of bread, top with Peppadews®, top with the other slice of bread. Butter each side of the sandwich and grill in a hot grill pan or a Panini press.

Wait! Don’t Eat the Leftover Halloween Candy…Yet

Don’t know what to do with that leftover Halloween candy (besides scarf it down?). I have a quick weekend breakfast pastry made with three ingredients—refrigerated crescent rolls in the pop-open can, raspberry preserves, and a Milky Way® bar. This makes a gooey and hot breakfast surprise for the family or overnight guests. But, if you have other candy leftover, why not try it with Twix® or Kit Kat bars? Maybe even a Snickers to add a peanuty crunch.


  • Pop open the crescent rolls and separate according to the package directions. Spread each triangle of dough out on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Spread each triangle with a teaspoon or so of raspberry preserves. Coarsely chop the Milky Way® bar (or Twix® or Kit Kat®) and put about a teaspoon on top of preserves.
  • Roll the triangles into a crescent roll according to package directions.
  • Brush each croissant with lightly beaten egg white to give it a nice glazed and browned look.
  • Bake for 20 minutes in a 375⁰ oven. Serve hot.

Yield: 8 croissants.

Photo of Barbara’s easy breakfast pastry by Cindy Dyer .

BK’s ‘Shrooms

It’s not every day that someone plops a bag of fresh mushrooms on your desk at work. But I’d been hearing about these mushrooms for awhile and Heather likes to promote anything healthy and veggie. She tells me that mushrooms are high in antioxidants – a kind of a super food that can lower cholesterol, prevent tumors and cancer, serve as a “nerve tonic” and much more. She reminds me they are also more nutritious cooked than raw.

Pioppini mushrooms are deep, robust flavor. Good with pasta and meats. Photo by Heather Callin.

Pioppini mushrooms have a deep, robust flavor. Good with pasta and meats. Photo by Heather Callin.

My variety bag was purchased from Ferial Welsh, the Mushroom Lady, at the Bethesda, Maryland, farmer’s market. Talk about fresh! Although, some of the upscale grocery stores carry a wild mushroom mix, but nothing can beat the freshness of ‘shrooms straight from the market.

Wild mushroom mix with marinara sauce.

Wild mushroom mix with marinara sauce.

I used the ‘shrooms that night to make an otherwise dull marinara sauce rich and interesting. I used every single variety! Mushrooms make anything better. Make a white mushroom pizza, mushroom frittata, or sauté them with onions in olive oil to accompany steak, chicken or pork. Mushrooms tend to take on the flavor of the food you cook them with – kind of like tofu. And like vodka with a mixer.

If you want to know more about how mushrooms are grown, read this fascinating blog by Forrest Pritchard from Smith Meadows Farm who goes behind the scenes at the Phillips Mushroom Farm.

Thanks, Heather, for introducing me to fresh, wild mushrooms…they’re a beautiful thing!

Grazing at HOK

We share the dinner prep here at HOK (House of Kelley). When it’s my turn I have a problem waiting for everyone to get home. I can barely stave off hunger while chopping, slicing and sautéing. I’m a grazer.

Here’s my new hold-me-off-until-dinner graze plate:

Zero fat.
Only 35 measly calories in five of them.

What am I describing?  Peppadews of course!

Prepare yourself a little plate – Peppadews, cucumbers, Feta, and some Peppadew brine lightly sprinkled on top, punctuated with cracked pepper. This also makes a tasty and light appetizer. Keep the ingredients on hand. Maybe pour a glass of wine while you graze and cook? (Just a thought…)

Savory 16? Keep This in Your Hip Pocket

I don’t know what to call it when a boy turns 16 — for girls it’s Sweet 16. And, when you have a boy who wants everything lower than low key, you can’t go all out.

Here’s an idea for your new driver’s 16th birthday. Find a baby photo like this in your archives. My local Giant made the cake. I am not going to say he was thrilled – but at least it wasn’t naked baby pictures!

Sweet 16 for Girls?
That one is easy. Here is my eHow video on how to make unique Sweet 16 centerpieces for a girl’s party.

To all the teens I love who turn 16 this year, Happy Birthday!

A Fine Brine

It’s complex, it’s big, it’s tangy, it’s the varietal brine of that sweet, yet spicy, fruit called the Peppadew®. I’ve incorporated these morsels of good in many recipes, but I’m telling you, do not throw away the brine!

Use the Peppadew® brine in place of vinegar when tossing your favorite oil and vinegar dressing on your greens. Use the brine when making slaw dressing for some added tang.

Here’s a dressing I created using the Peppadew® brine to go along with a salad using fall fruits. Pair this salad with any grilled beef, chicken or pork. And remember, don’t throw away that brine!

Pear-Apple Salad with Peppadew Dressing
16-oz of mixed salad greens
1/3 cup Peppadews®, chopped
1 cup Swiss cheese, shaved
1 cup roasted nuts – either pecans or cashews
1 red apple (Gala or Honeycrisp), sliced thinly
1 green pear (Anjou), sliced thinly
Toss together all the above ingredients with the Peppadew Dressing (recipe below).

Peppadew Dressing for Pear-Apple Salad

Morsels of Good

Morsels of Good

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Peppadew® brine
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Process ingredients in a blender or shaker until smooth. Can make ahead and store in the refrigerator for up to one week; bring to room temperature before using.

Yield: 6-8 servings