All posts by peacocksbookswritingsandrecipes

My grandfather, Anastasios Kavadas, born March 3, 1893 in Vathi, Lefkado Greece, came to America for the first time at the age of 14 as a stowaway. After a short time, he returned to Greece. Later on he came back to America on the TSS Themistocles from the Port of Patras. The ship landed at Ellis Island February 24, 1912. He simplified his name to Thomas Robert, and eventually made his way to Dixon, Illinois. Grandpa operated Tom's Shoe Shop in Dixon before he became a restaurateur. He owned several restaurants, two of which were the Chuckwagon and Villa Cafe. His baked chicken was the best. People would come from Lasalle and Peru Illinois on a Friday night just to eat his fish fry. My family are all into fishing for fresh fish still today. I loved the Chuckwagon, which was directly across from the train depot. My mom and us kids lived above the restaurant where Grandpa Tom gave her a job as a cook.Today they would have been called, chefs.The restaurant was my playground. Even though I was only about nine, I loved serving the customers and eating special foods my grandpa prepared for me. In the back was a special butcher shop where they prepared all their own meats. Food hasn't tasted the same since he passed away. One of the favorite special drinks Grandpa made for the grandkids was Nesbitt Orange Grapette sodas. I can't imagine drinking that now.

Chicken Poblano Soup with Spicy Baked Tortilla Strips

Chicken Poblano Soup
Serves 6

Cooking spray
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 poblano chiles, chopped
2 cups cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 (32 ounce) carton low or unsalted chicken stock
1 (15.5 ounce) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Serrano smoked chili powder
1 tablespoon lime, approximately 1/2 lime
1/2 cup light sour cream (2 tablespoons per bowl)
Spicy Baked Tortilla Strips

Spray a large Dutch-oven with cooking spray. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. 
Add the diced onion, garlic and chopped poblanos; saute for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the cooked chicken, chicken stock, tomatoes, white hominy and pinto beans to 
the vegetables, bring to a boil. Next, add the salt, white pepper, coriander, 
cumin, ancho chili powder, Serrano and smoked chili powder. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. 

Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice. Serve 
immediately. Top each bowl with 2 tablespoons sour cream and spicy baked tortilla 
strips. Enjoy!
Spicy Baked Tortilla Strips
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

(2) 10-inch flour tortillas 
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (salt to your preference)
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon Serrano smoked chili powder

Place the 2 tortilla shells on a cookie sheet, on top of each other. Carefully, cut the tortilla shells crosswise in 1/2 inch strips; place on a large cookie sheet. 
(I use cooking scissors).

Whisk the olive oil, salt, pepper and Serrano smoked chili powder in a medium bowl.
Toss the strips in the oil mixture and coat. Spread the coated tortilla strips in a single layer on the cookie sheet. 

Bake the tortilla strips in a preheated 425 degree oven for approximately 7-10 
minutes or until golden. Check after 4 minutes, the strips burn easily. Place the 
baked chips on wire racks lined with parchment paper to cool. After the chips are 
cool and feel crisp, store them in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Super Seed Sprinkle and Candied Orange Crisps

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Serves 6-8

1 1/2 cups Hemp milk (shake well)
1 cup golden Agave nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin coconut oil
4 medium avocados pitted, remove the avocado from the shell with a spoon
3/4 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (read labels carefully for ingredients added)
Super Seed Sprinkle
Candied Orange Crisps

Place the Hemp milk, agave, coconut oil, avocados and orange zest in a blender on
high speed and blend until smooth. Add the cacao powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger,
orange extract and vanilla to the ingredients in the blender. Blend until the
pudding is smooth.

Refrigerate the pudding for 30 minutes prior to serving. Top with Super Seed
Sprinkle and Candied Orange Crisps.

Super Seed Sprinkle
Serves 6

1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons Hemp seed
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (read labels to make sure nothing has been added)
Pinch of sea salt

Heat a small pan over med-low heat. Add the pistachios and sunflower seeds to the
pan. Heat the nuts for 4 minutes or until the seeds are lightly golden, stirring
often with a wooden spoon.

Add the sesame seeds and heat about 1 minute, stirring. Add the Hemp seeds, maple
syrup, and pinch of sea salt, heat 1 more minute.

Have parchment paper ready on wire racks. Transfer the seed mixture to the
parchment paper. Cool completely. Store in a covered container. Great on ice cream!

Candied Orange Crisps
Preheat oven to 212 degrees

7 ounces of caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1 orange sliced
1 star anise
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring the ingredients to a boil.

Add orange slices and star anise to the sugar water mixture. Cook on low heat for
20 minutes or until the syrup is glossy and oranges are translucent. Allow the
orange slices to cool in the pan.

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the candied orange slices on the parchment paper to dry out in a preheated 212 degree oven for 3 hours or more.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Cool the orange slices.
Break apart the orange slices until the resemble small chips.

Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mini muffin tin or regular

Organic spray for tins or paper liners

Organic Ingredients

2 cups blanched almond flour ( I used Bob’s Red Mill)

2 large organic (cage free) eggs

1/4 cup applesauce

1 tablespoon baking Truvia or to your taste. If you prefer Stevia, adjust amount

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon sea salt or a dash

1 tablespoon Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon unsweetened vanilla, ( read the ingredients in the vanilla)

2 tablespoons virgin organic coconut oil (or other healthy oil) heated slightly to liquefy (If you use organic canola oil or even regular canola oil in baking, the finished product has to be refrigerated.)

1 cup organic fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place all ingredients except the blueberries in your food processor and blend until smooth. Once it is smooth, gently fold in the blueberries. Fresh works best.

Alternate method for this step:

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Next, slightly whisk the eggs and egg whites together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vanilla, then the applesauce. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Beat or stir with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are smooth. Gently fold in the blueberries.


Have the muffin tins prepared either with an organic spray or the paper liners. For the mini muffin tin, put three blueberries in each sprayed hole or on the paper-liners and fill the holes evenly almost to the top. The mini muffin tin should give you approximately 24 muffins. Bake for approximately 17-18 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven. Cool on a wire-rack.

For the regular muffin tins, place blueberries on the sprayed bottoms or paper- liners and fill the holes evenly almost to the top. You should have about 12 muffins. Bake for approximately 25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Cool on a wire-rack.

Check the middle of the muffins with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are done. When testing the muffins, the blueberries make areas more moist. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Stone Cold Killer

He peers in the door
A ghost of a figure
Eyes cold...deep
Meaningful, yet evil
The hair on my skin...rises
Chilling me to the bone
As cold sweat drips from my hair
Beads of moisture cling to my clothes
The night air is thick
His musky odor burning deep into my soul
A milky fog grows ever so close
Surrounding me...
In a whirlwind of torment
The hideous creature
Lashes out at me
With a tongue like a snake
And scales of a lizard
His presence is ever so close
The smell of death lingers
His harsh gurgled voice
Claims he is here to take me...
Deep into the darkness of Hell
The sword glowers in the shadowy night
As he thrusts it in my heart...
Stabbing deeper...and deeper
Eyes showing no fear
As I took my last breath
I looked deep into his eyes
Of the stone cold killer I always feared!

By Roxe Anne Peacock

Cooking with Grandma

As a cookbook author and growing up with many relatives in the restaurant business, I feel it is my duty as a grandma to pass the pleasure of cooking and eating at the table with family on to my eight grandchildren. There is quite a difference in this generation than fifty-years ago. My generation was taught to eat everything on their plate, which included foods that made us gag. Even if you were getting ill from liver and onions, we had to sit at that large table alone for hours.

Speaking of eating at the table, I find most families today eat on the run due to family and work obligations. No one is sitting at a table having conversation about their day, friends, or upcoming events. And if they are at a table eating, they have headphones on, are on their cell or laptop. Do parents even check if their child’s homework is done? Do they know when parent teacher’s conferences are, know when to expect a report card, or if their children are actually in their beds? I am sure a lot of you do, but some slip by the wayside only to be eaten up by predators. We all are guilty of leading such busy lives that there is barely time to sleep.

There are many causes for today’s obesity epidemic. From low-income to sugar addiction, which is difficult to conquer along with carbs that turn into sugar. Some of us choose not to eat healthy. It is okay to indulge once in a while, being bored is a sure way to overeat as well as depression. Lack of exercise, which we can all do easily at home is not an excuse. Not getting enough sun isn’t good for our health and don’t forget about all the regulations on daycares. I know my children had way too much sugary juice. I am guilty of doing several items listed above.

My next cookbook, Cooking to Live, is going to be about my journey to lose weight the healthy way. I also need and want to be a better role model for my children and grandchildren from this point forward. Even though I am fighting the, “Mom…Grandma…can’t you cook something good like you used to years ago? Poor Grandpa…he can come to our house and eat.” Did I mention that in the past year, I have had foot surgery, right knee replacement, need left knee replacement, carpal tunnel surgery, kidney disease and I need back surgery. Maybe I should have lost this weight many years ago?

This mystery writer and cookbook author needs to lose about eighty pounds. So exactly how am I going to achieve this healthy weight goal you ask? My lifestyle needs to be about a healthy body, mind, and being around positive people. Children are positive for the most part at a young age until the hormones-testosterone kicks in.

Begin teaching children about healthy eating and cooking as soon as possible. No, I am not suggesting a sword fight with knives. You will know when your child is responsible enough to handle a knife. Even with that, many chefs get knife cuts. It goes along with the job.

The idea at first is to make something fun like my English muffin funny face pizza. Two-year-old Madyson, is a bit shy when her twin brothers aren’t around. She can count, knows her colors, shapes etc. I chose pizza for our first project because it is a happy project, a bit like a piece of artwork. Did I expect her to eat the pizza? No, but she did pick a few black olives and pieces of pepperoni off the pizzas. And she sampled the cheese and sauce with her fingers before the pizza was cooked. I delightfully ate a piece of her pizza after it was cooked. Then I told her how good…it tasted. Don’t forget to take photos of this project with the child’s finished product. This is a great dish to prepare around Halloween. A two-year-old isn’t quite old enough to carve their own pumpkin, but they can make a funny face on a pizza.

I am forever learning how to do modern technology. For the life of me, I spent four hours trying to download the cooking video on this blog. And then I had to change all my passwords and still don’t have it attached. Good grief!


English Muffin Funny Face Pizza

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Large cookie sheet, small bowls, plates, spatula, and cooking scissors

1 package sliced English muffins

Turkey pepperoni (cut two eyes, nose, mouth for each pizza)

Small 8 ounce package low-sodium, low-fat Mozzarella or Italian cheese

Small can sliced black olives, drained (about 5 per slice)

1 small jar low-sugar, low-sodium pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the English muffins in half if they aren’t already. Give each child two halves English muffins on a large plate, or one at a time if the child is small. Use approximately two teaspoons sauce per muffin. Spread the sauce evenly on the top of the muffin. Add about five black olives on the top of the sauce. If the child is still learning to count, this is a good time to count with them. Top with cheese and press the cheese down lightly. (Have a parent cut the pepperoni to make two eyes, a nose and mouth for each pizza). Next, give the child the mouth to place on the bottom of the muffin. Then add the nose just above the mouth. And last, place the eyes above the nose on each side of the muffin. I find adding the mouth to the muffin first makes it easier for a toddler to position the pieces of the face.

Use the spatula to lift the pizzas off the children’s plates to the large cookie sheet. Have a parent place the cookie sheet with pizzas in the oven. Cook the pizzas for about 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Have a parent remove the pan from the oven. Place the pizzas on the child or children’s plates. Make sure you remember which pizza belongs to each child. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes. Slice into four or six pieces. Take photos!

Note: If adults are going to join in at dinner, you might increase the amount of ingredients. My husband eats two whole muffins, which makes four pizzas. He uses all the above ingredients. The only differences are he uses three pieces of pepperoni and a few real bacon bits. Add a few pieces of raw carrot and apple to round off the meal. Enjoy!




About the Author

Roxe Anne Peacock is the author of five books, History Lover’s Cookbook in full-color print, black and white print, Kindle, and Audible. Her mysteries consist of Fatal Catch and Leave No Trace. The second cookbook, Smokin’ Good Eats, was released in print April 25, 2017 on CreateSpace and will be available on Amazon April 29, 2017. She is currently working on a science fiction series, Alien Justice, and a healthy cookbook, Cooking to Live.

Leave No Trace is available in eBook, print and Audible at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Whiskey Creek Press and Simon and Schuster Digital Sales. Leave No Trace was published in 2011 by Whiskey Creek Press and  beginning 2015, the eBook is sold by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.

Jessica Waters was looking forward to attending college in the fall with her best friend, Sandra Adams. But when Sandra disappears the night after prom, mutual friend, Jason Harris becomes the number one suspect.

Jason isn’t the only suspect in the tight-knit community of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Before Sandra disappeared, she confessed to having an affair with coach and teacher, Carl Lundstrum.

Now, Jessica is going to make it her mission to find out what happened to her best friend if it is the last thing she ever does.

Fatal Catch was published in October 2011. It is available on Amazon as an eBook, print and Audible.

It’s 1963, and Chief Riley Bennett knocks on Dody Canfield’s door informing her that her husband died instantly when his car struck a telephone pole. Not wanting to raise her three children alone, it isn’t long before she brings home Frank Billings; and he’s moving in.

Mama sends thirteen-year-old Missy to take her little brother, Billie, fishing so she can have some alone time with Uncle Frank. Billie casts his line into the murky river water hooking the big one; granddaddy of all fish. He quickly hands the reel to Missy hoping not to lose his catch. Missy reels in slowly-bubbles begin emerging-releasing an undercurrent of secrets, deadly lies, and terror on the Canfield family.

History Lover’s Cookbook was published January 9, 2013. It is available in eBook, print and Audible on Amazon. A black and white print version was released 2016. This book took the author over ten years to complete. There are over 150 full-cover photos inspired by nineteenth century recipes, anecdotes, and the Civil War.

History Lover’s Cookbook will transport readers through the Battle of First Bull Run/Manassas to April 9, 1865, where General Robert E. Lee stood under an apple tree to dispatch his surrender to General Grant. Do you know what he was eating when he surrendered?

Prepare a picnic of lemonade, raspberry shrub, mint julep, fried chicken, ham sandwiches, potato salad with boiled dressing, cold slaw, soda biscuits and quince marmalade to observe one of the many Civil War re-enactments throughout the United States.

Enjoy eating tea cakes while viewing more than 150-full color photos of replica Civil War items, re-enactors portraying Abraham Lincoln, Generals Custer, Lee and Grant, foods and recipes inspired by the nineteenth century.

Share ins the Union’s Thanksgiving holiday by preparing recipes from the chapter, Siege at Petersburg.

Find out what General Grant ate every morning with his breakfast.

Roxe Anne Peacock brings the nineteenth century era to life through the wonderful photography depicted throughout the book.

Roxe Anne currently just completed her newest cookbook, Smokin’ Good Eats. She hopes to have it available spring 2017. Smokin’ Good Eats has over 70 recipes with 50 full-color photos of delectable alcohol and smoke infused flavors. Whether you are a meat lover or vegetarian, there are recipes for everyone in the book, from brines, rubs, glazes and sauces to smoked bacon wrapped meatloaf with maple bourbon sauce, smoked pork shoulder, pulled pork, ribs, pork belly, smoked sausage, chicken, smoked salmon with maple Grand Marnier glaze, smoked gourmet mac & cheese, smoked portobello mushrooms and even smoked Mexican cornbread.

Where there is smoking, there are beverages, serve your guests up a pint of bourbon ginger beer lemonade while the food is cooking. There are plenty of sides to go along with the smoked meat or vegetarian dishes. Add some smoked family style baked beans with hamburger and bacon, lime jalapeno slaw, Greek pasta salad, or grilled corn on the cobb with compound butter.

But don’t forget about dessert. Smoke you up some honey bourbon apple gingerbread cake or smoked lemon blueberry cornmeal cake for diving dessert. If you are looking for something different, try chocolate bourbon cake with ganache icing or one of the other fine desserts.

Need a break from smoking, invite your guests for one of the best Guinness smoked Gouda burgers with caramelized onions and Guinness burger sauce. This burger will keep your guests coming back for more.

Roxe Anne is also working on a healthy cookbook, Cooking to Live, and a science fiction series, Alien Justice, (The Garbage Eaters, Book 1). Alien Justice should be available fall 2017.

Smokin’ Good Eats is available on CreateSpace as of April 26, 2017. It should be available in print on Amazon April 29, 2017.

Smokin’ Good Eats begins with brines, ribs, glazes and sauces to a show stopper smoked basket weave bacon wrapped meatloaf with maple bourbon sauce. There is also bone-in pork shoulder, pulled pork with creamy apple slaw, smoked St. Louis ribs with Supreme St. Louis rib sauce that includes English stout beer. Fantastic Guinness baby back ribs, smoked Guinness pork belly, smoked sausage with cheese bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers, smoked kielbasa, spicy honey bourbon lime wings, honey bourbon chicken drumettes, and smoked wild-caught center-cut sockey salmon with a maple and Grand Marnier sauce.

Where there is smoking, there are beverages. Serve your guests pineapple rum infused pink Moscato wine, raspberry infused rum lemonade garnished with lemon, fresh raspberries, and a mint sprig, or a pint of bourbon ginger beer lemonade while the food is cooking.

There are plenty of sides to go along with the smoked meat or vegetarian dishes. Add some smoked family style baked beans with hamburger and bacon, smoked stuffed Portobello mushrooms stuffed with leeks, kale, Swiss chard, Gruyère cheese and pecans, muffin tins lined with prosciutto and filled with gourmet mac & cheese, smoked Mexican cornbread with some jalapeños and roasted red peppers is a spice lovers delight  lime jalapeño slaw, Greek pasta salad, or grilled corn on the cob with compound butter.

But don’t forget about dessert. The addicting honey bourbon soaked apples in the smoked honey bourbon apple gingerbread cake is a guest favorite and the authors. Try the mouthwatering smoked lemon blueberry cornmeal cake. Bake a delectable chocolate stout orange cognac cake frosted with cream cheese orange cognac to impress the best beer connoisseurs around.

Craving chocolate? Look no further than the chocolate bourbon cake with ganache icing. Savor the craving by licking icing bowl. Want an easier baking recipe? The French vanilla Applejack cake with Applejack cream cheese frosting starts with a box of French vanilla moist cake mix. The flavors are enhanced by the warmth of the Applejack, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and a can of apple pie filling. the aromas of fall with fill your house with warmth.

Need a break from smoking? Invite your guests for one of the best Guinness smoked Gouda burgers with caramelized onions and Guinness burger sauce. This burger will keep your guests coming back for more instead of going to a pub. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, grill the lamb and Havarti burgers which includes White Zinfandel wine and lamb and Havarti yogurt burger sauce.

CreateSpace print: