Patricia Rio

I have a passion for the many ways that food enhances our lives.

Good food not only can provide us with great nutrition; but it can stimulate our brain to give us a feeling of well-being. Food brings people together around the table to share their lives; and it is these experiences that touch our psyche or soul.

I am self-taught and began my love of food in my maternal grandmother’s kitchen. She was always cooking and baking for her family, grandchildren and friends. Her passion was passed down; and my childhood home was filled with fabulous desserts.

Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon Curd and Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon CurdThere is something about coconut cupcakes that remind me of Easter. They do look a little like nests if you let your imagination soar. Also, it’s probably because my grandmother would make coconut cupcakes for Easter. She dyed the coconut green, sprinkled it on top of the vanilla icing and put colorful jelly beans in the nest. All her grandchildren thought they were wonderful and they were....more

Scallop Tartlets with Mixed Greens

 My husband and I enjoy seafood very much, and we are fortunate to have a great seafood market that has a large selection of fresh fish.Here are some tips that will help you buy the freshest fish available. If you are buying a whole fish:...more

Hot Cross Buns

 Hot Cross BunsThe hot cross bun is made from rich yeast dough that is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg or mace and contains raisins or currants. In Christian households, this bun, whose cross symbolizes the crucifixion, is typically eaten throughout the Lenten season.There are some interesting superstitions about hot cross buns....more
Karen Ballum   These are not difficult to make, most of the time is spent letting the dough ...more

Shrimp Jambalaya

Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.” ~ Mitch Hedberg JambalayaYears ago, my husband was on a business trip to New Orleans. It was the first time he had visited the city, and he tried jambalaya. He loved it so much that he brought home a well-known box mix for me to make jambalaya at home. For a long time, this was our go to mix....more

Lemon Cornmeal Poundcake with Blueberry Compote

“Cake is happiness!  If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!” ~C. JoyBell C.Lemon Cornmeal Pound CakeOver the weekend, I was longing for something slightly sweet. I didn’t want anything over the top, and with just the two of us eating it, I didn’t want anything big....more

Artificial Sweeteners - Are They Safe?

Artificial Sweeteners – Are They Safe?March 21, 2014...more

Whole Grain Apple Filled Bars

Whole Grain Fruit BarsMy son- in- law is a firefighter, which means most days he has very long hours. He likes plain food with little to no sauce. Right now, you are probably thinking about all the fabulous cooking that occurs in firehouses across the country. Well, not every fireman is a great chef. To fill in the gaps, when the food is less than desirable, my son-in-law often eats pre-packaged grain bars....more

Veal and Peppers

Veal Stew with Peppers, Mushrooms and OnionsVeal and peppers is a great change of pace from chicken and beef stews. When veal is stewed it becomes so tender you can cut it with a fork, and it is so mild, that it compliments whatever flavors are in your dish. As I started writing this post, the teacher voice in my head kept nagging me with the question, “What is the difference between soup and stew?” Here are some fun facts that I discovered....more

Cherry Cream Cheese Cake

 Today, the third Monday in February, is President’s Day. On this day, we celebrate the birthday of George Washington. In honor of the legend that surrounds our first president, I decided to make a cherry cake. Recently, I stumbled across a well- worn 3 x 5 card with the recipe for “Philly Christmas Cake.” I had not made it in a number of years, and I decided to save it for today. This cake has the density of pound cake with a moist crumb from the cream cheese. It sure is nice to rediscover an old favorite....more

Italian Chicken Soup

Italian Style Chicken and Vegetable Soup On Tuesday of this week, another foot of snow blanketed upstate New York. My husband, who was working from home, and I watched the fluffy snow crystals fall from the heavens at the rate of an inch per hour. Since nothing is as it appears, we realized that what we perceived as serenity and purity was a big nuisance to the people who had to climb into their cars and navigate the icy roads. Thank goodness for the perception differences that allow us see nature’s glory....more