Mixed Berry Pavlova

When I was younger and starting a family, it seemed as though I never got my own Mother’s Day. So when my children got married and had their own family, I suggested that they enjoy their own Mother’s Day without entertaining me as long as each of them planned a special day for the two of us sometime during the year. This way I got three fun special events on different days and a lot of face to face quality time with each one of my children.

Mixed Berry Pavlova

Named for the legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova; this dessert combines tangy fruit and crunchy meringue.

1 Pavlova shell (see newsletter/May 2011)
6 cups mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blue berries, blueberries etc.) cut as for
fruit salad and mixed with a pinch of salt and super-fine sugar to taste.
2 pints best-quality vanilla ice cream (optional; not traditionally included in a Pavlova
but very good)
Whipped cream topping (see recipe in May 2011 recipe/joke)

Place the Pavlova shell on a cake plate. Soften the ice cream (if using). Spread first the ice cream and then the whipped cream over the shell. Top with the berries. Slice into wedges.

This recipe has been shared with us from out good friends at the Wall Street Journal. See Cooking & Eating section Saturday/Sunday April 2-3 2011

JOKE: ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new

Posted in Recipes from Jill | Leave a comment

How To Teach your Husband to Cook Dinner

Posted in Recipes from Jill | Leave a comment

March Recipes – Think Green


If you want to have a lucky March, think “Green”. This is the month of green leprechauns, green four leaf clovers, and the “Luck of the Irish”. Your “pot of gold” will be at the end of each delicious recipe you serve.

Chicken, Kiwi, and Mango Salad

Prep 35 minutes. TOTAL 35 minutes
4 MAIN COURSE SERVINGS For a tangier salad, substitute yogurt for half the mayo.
CALORIES 490 FAT 31 g Fiber 3 g

2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
2 cups cooked diced chicken from store-bought rotisserie chicken
1 ½ large mango’s, peeled, pitted, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 ½ pounds kiwi, cut into ½ -inch cubes (about 2 cups), divided
1 tablespoon sliced fresh mint plus sprigs (for garnish)
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
¼ cup roasted cashews, halved

Place grated ginger in a small strainer over a bowl. Press on solids to extract 4 teaspoons ginger juice; discard solids in strainer. Stir mayonnaise, ginger juice, lime juice, and lime peel in a medium bowl. Add chicken, mango pieces, 1 ½ cups kiwi cubes, and sliced mint; toss to coat. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Divide lettuce among 4 bowls; mound chicken atop lettuce. Scatter cashews and remaining kiwi cubes over; garnish with mint sprigs.


Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender, “Pour me a stiff one. I just had another fight with the little woman”.
“Oh yeah”? said Charlie, “And how did this one end”?
“When it was over”, Mike replied, “She came to me on her hands and knees”.
“Really”, said Charles, “Now that’s a switch! What did she say”?
She said, “Come out from under the bed, you little chicken”.


This recipe has been brought to you by our good friends at bon appétit magazine. Visit their web site at www.bonappetit.com

Posted in Recipes from Jill | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


Valentine’s Day is an exciting excuse to throw a party. Have everybody wear red apparel. Guests will be in a loving mood and looking for a good time. It doesn’t matter whether you invite couples or singles or a mixture of both but it always adds spice to add some new friends.

Make the house bright and festive. Decorations are easy and available. Buy or cut out red hearts then cut the hearts out in double layers using a jigsaw pattern so that each heart half only matches one other.

Put half of each heart into a container for the women and the other half into a container for the men. Before your guests sit down for dinner, have each person draw half a heart from the proper container and find the person with the matching half. This will really spark dinner conversation and it will also eliminate the need to worry about seating.

Joke for the week:

A gal went to a doctor with black eyes, a badly bruised arm and missing teeth.
“What happened to you?” the doctor said.
“Every time my husband and I argue, he beats me up. I love him, but I just can’t take it any more.”
“You need the Sweet Tea solution.”
“What’s that?” she said.
“Every time your husband is in the same room with you, take a mouthful of sweet tea. As long as he remains in the room you may swish it around or even gargle, but don’t swallow it or spit it out. Come back in a month and we’ll see how that works.”
The next month she returned and looked great.
“How are you doing?” the doctor said.
“The Sweet Tea solution worked great. What’s the secret?”
“Well… you couldn’t talk.”

For more great ideas and recipes, drop in for a visit at http://www.lettucemakeyoulaugh.com.

Posted in Recipes from Jill, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


This is an old but fun party idea. Invite friends and neighbors and ask each one to bring a few dozen cookies. Each person brings a different kind. At the party they exchange cookies and everyone takes home a few dozen assorted cookies.

Or… try something new and have a couple’s party. Instead of cookies, have the guests bring freezable hors d’oeuvres. Ask them to bring a copy of the recipe. (Don’t let that name throw you. “Hors d’oeuvres” is a fancy way of saying “appetizer”.)

For fun hors d’oeuvre ideas visit www.lettucemakeyoulaugh.com to read the newsletter and recipe/jokes.

Here’s an easy cookie recipe for the holidays:


1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
¼ pound (1stick) butter, salted
¼ cup pecans, chopped
Hershey chocolate bars
Candy canes, crushed

Place sugar, butter, and flour in a food processor and blend. Grease a 4 sided jelly roll pan
with Pam and spread evenly with flour mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes. To keep the edges from burning, take a fork and stir the batter frequently. Pat it back into the form of the pan each time. Continue cooking until crust becomes brown and crumbly. Total cooking time should be about 16 minutes.

Remove crust from oven and cover pan with aluminum foil. Invert pan and immediately cover top with pieces of Hershey bars. Move the Hershey bars around until melted and cookie top is covered with chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Top with crushed candy canes.


Cookies may be broken into small irregular shapes. Freeze or stored in a tightly sealed cookie container until ready to serve.

If you wish to receive next month’s newsletter and recipe/joke, go to http:/www.lettucemakeyoulaugh.com and sign up.


My husband said to me, “What have you been doing with the grocery money?”
I said, “Turn sideways and look in the mirror!

Posted in Recipes from Jill | Leave a comment


John’s birthday gift was a parrot, once owned by a sailor. The problem was, it had a foul mouth (pun intended). It was rude, obnoxious and profane so John decided to retrain it by playing soft music and speaking to it in low tones, but no dice. The bird had a mind of his own.

Finally, they had a knock down, drag out shouting match and John totally lost it. He grabbed the parrot and stuffed him into the freezer. It squawked, cursed and floundered for a full minute – and then fell into silence. One minute passed. Two. Three. John opened the door to see if it was still alive.

The parrot walked out, shivering so hard it could barely stand, and said, “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions, sir.  I’m sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior. One question, if you please. May I ask what the turkey did?

Happy Thanksgiving! For more great jokes, chef’s recipes and catering tips, see http://www.lettucemakeyoulaugh.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Christmas gift question

A reader comments and asks a question:

Hi, Jill – Tom forwarded your newsletter to me. Many thanks for your easy Thanksgiving prep tips. I am always looking for ways to present delicious food that allow me to “play” with my guests. Will use the insulated cooler trick next week!

For Christmas I want to stock the freezers of my 100+ yr old friend (looks 30 yrs younger)and almost 90 yr old dad (looks over 20 yrs younger) with yummy homemade meals (in single portions – quart baggies?) they can easily reheat. Both are excellent cooks, but — as now-singles — often do not feel up to cooking for one. Ideas????

Thanks for sharing your wonderful cuisine and humor.

Happy Thanksgving to you and Dave.
Diana Hepner

Stay tuned for the answer, Diana! Gotta put the ole brain in gear for this one. 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment