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Monday, September 8, 2014

Garden Harvest Cucumber and Tomato Salad

It is the end of the summer when the garden is bursting with all kinds of veggies.  We seem to have an abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers this year.  So for a quick salad, fresh from the garden, I made up this little salad to go along with dinner tonight.  Light, refreshing and healthy too!

2 large English cucumbers
1/2 onion
2-3 tomatoes

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or balsamic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. oregano or basil

Cut up veggies in slices.  Toss with dressing and serve!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Garlic Pesto Chicken with Tomato Cream Penne

My daughter made this recipe tonight.  It was delicious and made enough for a crowd!  She found the recipe on My Recipes.  It has a savory sauce and nicely seasoned chicken pieces. 

  • 1 bottle(s) Lawrys Herb and Garlic Marinade
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Pesto
  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts 
  • 8 ounce(s) Penne Pasta 1/2 box
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Olive Oil 
  • 3 clove(s) Garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Pesto
  • 1/2 cup(s) chicken broth 
  • 8 ounce(s) Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup(s) half-and-half 
  • 1 tablespoon(s) Flour as needed
  •  Pour marinade and pesto in a bowl or glass baking dish.  Cut the chicken into strips.  Place into marinade mixture over night in the refrigerator.
  • Cook Pasta in boiling water until tender.  Drain.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan.  Saute the garlic over medium heat.  Stir in the other 2 T. pesto, chicken broth and tomato sauce.  Bring to boil , reducing by half.  Mix the half and half and flour and add to tomato mixture.  Stir and thicken.  Add in the chicken and pasta.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Let It Bean Salad

A refreshing change from potato and macaroni salad for summer dinners or a picnic ...also healthy with lots of fiber.  This is a recipe taken from the Looneyspoons cookbook.

2 c. fresh or frozen cut green beans, cooked and cooled
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 c. corn
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1 c. diced red or orange bell pepper
1/2 c. chopped parsley

Mix all these ingredients together.   Then mix and add dressing.  Cover and refrigerate overnight for the best flavor.

1/4 c. safflower or olive oil
1/4 c. vinegar
2 T. sugar
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. celery seed

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lemon Cooler Cookies

When I was growing up they sold a boxed cookie called Lemon Coolers.  They were light, lemony deliciousness.  Recently on the blog, "Uncommon Designs" I came across a recipe for these cookies.
They are perfect for the summer.  They only make 3 dozen so portions aren't a problem--anyway they are gone before you even become worried about that.  My gand daughter thought they were so good that we should just sit and eat them all and not worry about sharing with anyone.  To her disappointment, she got 3 and we saved the rest.

2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
The topping:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Preheat your oven to 350.  Then line cooky sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Beat butter, powdered sugar and regular sugar until well creamed.
Mix in vanilla, eggs, and lemon extract.
Then add flour, baking powder and salt.
Finally add in the lemon juice, and the zest.
Roll into balls and put on cooky sheets.  Bake for 15 minutes.

For the topping mix the zest and powdered sugar.
When the cookies are done let them cool for 4 minutes then roll in the powdered sugar mixture and allow to continue cooling.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Snickerdoodle Waffles

My grand daughter is a big fan of breakfast for dinner.  So one busy evening, I decided that this recipe was just the thing for a simple and quick dinner.  You can use the recipe and make up the batter, or cheat and mix some cinnamon and vanilla into a Bisquick waffle mix recipe.  Then dip and serve.  Watch for smiles all around!
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk warm
  •  1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
Mix all ingredients.  Cook in waffle maker.  After cooking, dip waffles in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar.  Serve as is or with maple syrup.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Lemon Berry Angel Food Cake

This cake is beautiful but the whipping cream melts fast.  My suggestion is to assemble it and then freeze it.  Defrost shortly before serving and it should stay as nice as when you made it.

1 angel food cake
1 jar lemon curd
whipped cream
2 c. raspberries or strawberries
2 c. blueberries or blackberries

Cut the cake in half, making two layers.  On the bottom layer spread lemon curd-just enough to cover the cut 1/2.  Sprinkle with half the berries.  Cover with whipped cream.  Place remaining layer on top and repeat the lemon cur, berries and whipped cream.  Freeze until almost ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Berry Spinach Salad Gone Nuts

I had this salad at a recent potluck and just had to ask for the recipe.  It combines all the wonderful flavors of summer.  It would be great with some shrimp or grilled chicken or grilled fish added in for a dinner salad.

1# spinach leaves
1 c. blueberries
1 c. sliced strawberries
1 c. raspberries
1 c. nuts (I used mixed nuts)
1/2 c. feta or blue cheese
Combine all these ingredients well.  Mix with dressing.

1 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
Mix well and add to salad.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lou's Vegetable Salad

Yesterday at the bus garage potlluck there were too many tasty dishes to describe.  This one was brought by Lou and is a perfect summertime salad.  No need to worry about mayonnaise spoiling in the heat.  Lots of vegetables so very healthy.  Other vegetables can easily be added or used to replace ones your family doesn't like.

1 head of cauliflower, broke into small pieces
1 head of broccoli, but into pieces
3 carrots, diced
(Optional:  green pepper, red onion, olives, mushrooms)

Marinate all the vegetables in Bernstein Italian dressing overnight.  Use 1/2-2/3 of the bottle.
Nest morning, crain all dressing and add the following vinegar dressing:
Vinegar dressing
1 c. sugar
1 c. vinegar
1 T. salt
Bring this to a boil and cool. 

After mixing in vinegar dressing add optional vegetables.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

3 Berry Slab Pie

Wednesday is the last day of work for all the staff at the bus garage where my sweetheart works...another end of a school year.  The day will be celebrated with a BBQ potluck.  I decided a nice slab pie would be a great addition as a dessert.  It can be served topped with ice cream or whipped cream.

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
1 egg yolk
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
6-8 c. of berries in any combination-I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

Pie crust
Mix flour and salt.  Cut in butter using a food processor until the butter is crumbly.  Slowly mix in the milk and egg yolk.  Form into 2 balls of dough-one larger than the other.  Flatten the balls to disc shape, wrap in saran wrap and put in freezer for about 20 minutes.

Take dough out, roll the larger ball into a large rectangle, slightly bigger than a 13 x 9 pan.  Put into a 13 x 9 pan.  It should cover the bottom and sides.  Roll out the remaining dough for the top.

Mix the berries, sugar,  and cornstarch.  Pour onto the pie dough in the 13 x 9 pan. Spread to cover crust.  Add top crust over the berries.  Cut several slits on the top crust.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Chicken is Going To Scarborough Fair

My sweetheart suggested the name for this because of the main herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme that flavor this dish.  This is a light meal that is perfect just by itself.  It would be equally good with substitutions of zucchini or broccoli for vegetables.  It is an easy one skillet dish.

2 chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalk celery, sliced
1 can bamboo shoots, drained
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/2 t. thyme
1 t. parsley
1/4 t. sage
1 t. rosemary
1 1/2 c. cooked rice (I used wild rice)

Put 1T. canola oil in the skillet.  Add all the vegetables and chicken.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is well done.  Stir in the lemon juice, spices and rice.  Serve

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lemon Scones

Thanks to Maria, I received a big bad of luscious big lemons from California this week.  Nothing like those little ones at the grocery store.  Yummy!  Tonight after school I baked up this batch of lemon scones.  Wonderful with breakfast for dinner...something we are doing once a week thanks to all the eggs our chickens are providing.  These would also be great just with a cup of tea.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Roasted corn, avocado and shrimp salad

It is beginning to heat up here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  Tonight I just did not want to heat up the kitchen.  This salad with a few slices of french bread were perfect.   Open a bottle of wine and enjoy on your deck in the sun.

  • 2 ears of sweet corn, shaved off the cob
  • 3 strips of bacon, cooked and dice
  • 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled with tails on or off
  • 4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/3 cup grated Fontina cheese (optional) 
  • 1 egg, hardboiled
  • 1 c. chopped celery

  • buttermilk pesto dressing
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayo or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredient well with a whisk.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mango Curried Chicken and Pasta Salad

I had this for lunch recently at a local restaurant and wanted to try to see if I could make something similar at home.  This salad would be great without the meat for those of you who prefer a vegetarian meal.  It is a nice lunch or light dinner.  I found this recipe on Eating Well.
12 0z. penne cooked al dente
1 tablespoon curry powder,
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 c. plain yogurt
 1/3 cup mango chutney
1 t. turmeric
1/2 re pepper chopped into thin strips
1/2 c. green onion (optional).

Mix all ingredients together and chill until served.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Green tea Martini

Another refreshing martini from the Martini Chronicles website.  Depending on the green tea you use you may or may not need to use the honey.  I made mine with Sobe green tea and no honey and it was plenty sweet.

1.5 Oz of Your Favorite Gin
4 Oz of Brewed and Chilled Green Tea
2 Tsp of Honey
Lemon Wedge (For Garnish)

Shake ice, gin, tea and honey in a shaker.  Pour into a martini glass.  Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon slice on top and garnish with the other 1/2 of slice.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Coconut Mojito Martini

I just discovered a great new blogsite: The Martini Chronicles.  If you are a martini lover you need to check this site out.  Lots of great martini recipes.  Today I tried out this one.  Lip puckering good!  Would be great with Mexican food!

3 Mint Leaves
3 oz of Coconut Flavored Rum
1 oz of Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon of Sugar
Lime Wedge (For Garnish)
Mint Leaves (For Garnish, optional)
Muddle the mint, lime juice and sugar in the bottom of a martini shaker.  Add rum and ice.  Shake shake shake and serve!  Cheers!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Food

I thought I might repost some of the wonderful past posts for delicious Easter food.  Enjoy!

I have some beautiful green and blue eggs from my chickens..perfect to use for Easter.  When I saw this recipe for Easter bread I knew I had found a perfect match for my eggs.  You do not need to hard boil the eggs before using them in this bread as they will cook in the oven as the bread bakes.

 1 package yeast, about 2-1/4 teaspoons
1.1/4 cups milk
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 1/2 cups flour (approximate)
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
6 dyed  eggs
1 undyed egg
sprinkles or sugar

Heat the butter and milk together in a saucepan just until the butter melts.  In a large bowl combine the salt, yeast and sugar.  When the milk is just warm..not hot..add to the yeast and whisk well.  Whisk in 2 eggs and then 2 c. flour.  Stir in  at least 1 more cup of flour..or enough that the dough is not longer sticky.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Put in a large buttered bowl, place in a warm spot and allow to rise for one hour.  It will look like this after rising:

Punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a rope about 14" long like this:

Twist two ropes together and form in a circle.  Place on a cooky sheet covered in parchment paper or silipat.  It should look like this:

Let rise for one hour.
Take the one undyed egg and  whisk with 1 T. water.  Brush over your bread "nests".  Place an egg in the center.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

OK super yummy sugar cookies

3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
Cream these well together on medium speed with your mixer.  Then
(This is the weird part)
Mix 1 c. milk (cold) with 1 t. baking soda
In another bowl mix 3 c. flour and 3 t. baking powder
 Alternately, mix flour and milk mixtures into the creamed egg/sugar mix.  Add
1 t. vanilla
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. zlmond
1 T. lemon zest
Add enough flour to make the dough thick and no longer sticky (about 3 more cups).  Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Roll out on a floured surface. Cut into shapes and place on greased cooky sheet,  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Cool, frost and decorate.

I know you all love chocolate mousse, and I am certainly never one to downplay the taste of chocolate.  But this is another light mousse..light and airy, tasting of summer to come.  Put a few ladyfingers in a martini glass, put this mousse in the middle, top it with whipped cream and you have a wonderful fancy about for Mother's day?

Strawberry Mousse

2 pints fresh strawberries, pureed
1 c. sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 egg whites
1 1/2 c. whipping cream
Combine puree and sugar in a medium bowl.  Soften gelatin in lemon juice, dissolve over hot water.(Stir over another bowl with hot water in it, or over a pot with hot water in it.)   Stir gelatin into puree.  Beat egg whites until foamy and add to puree.  Place mixture into the freezer.

When partially frozen, about 45 minutes later, beat in a food processor or blender until pale pink.  Transfer to a bowl.  Whip 1 c. of the cream and fold into berry mixture.  Place in serving sidhes.  Decorate with more whipped cream and and a strawberry.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easy German Rollatin

Rollatin is a German dish that my grandmother used to make.  Basically it is steak coated with horseradish mustard, cooked bacon bits and cooked onion then rolled and baked.  Recently I had it again at my Aunt Jane's and it got me thinking about the dish.  This version uses cube steak-often found at a good price.  I served it up with some baked potatoes and lettuce dressed with oil and vinegar-heavy on the vinegar.  It is a delicious dish and easy to prepare.

4 cube steaks
1 T. horseradish mustard for each steaak
2 pieces bacon
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2- 2/3 c. beef bouillion
Chop bacon into bits and fry with onion until bacon is almost done.
Spread mustard on the surface of the steak.  Put about 1-2 T. of the bacon and onion mixture on one end of the steak.  Roll up and secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine.  Put in a baking dish.  Pour in broth, and cover with foil.  Bake at 350 for one hour.  You can make gravy from the broth-add a little mustard to it for an authentic flavor.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Parmesan Baked Tilapia

I am working hard at trying to incorporate a bit more fish into our diets.  This recipe from is a great working night dinner.  It takes about 10 minutes to prep and about 20 minutes to bake.  Dinner in 30 minutes!  What's not to like about that?


2 lbs tilapia fillets
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup breadcrumbs
2/3-3/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon parsley

Beat the eggs in a bowl, add in lemon juice and mayonnaise.  Beat well again.  On a plate mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, and spices.  Dip the tilapia fillets in the egg mixture, then the breadcrumb mixture.  Place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lemon Yogurt Poundcake

This last week I went to visit my aunt and uncle in Syracuse, N.Y.  My Aunt Jane served this delicious pound cake after lunch just as it was.  No special garnish or topping needed.  This was a recipe she got from Ina Garden's website.  It is light, lemony and just the thing to celebrate spring.

1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. plain yogurt
1 1/3 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 t. grated lemon zest
1/2 T. vegetable oil
1/3 c. lemon juice
Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper.  Grease and flour pan with paper in it.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.  In another bowl whisk together yogurt, 1 c. sugar, eggs, lemon zest and juice and vanilla.  Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Pour into pan.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

Glaze:  Mix remaining sugar and 2 T. lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to boil.  Cool and add 1 c. of powdered sugar.  Pour over cooled loaf.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Maple Oatmeal Scones

Scones are such an easy bake.  They are scrumptious and not too sweet.  Great with jam or butter or alone.  Matched with a cup of tea or coffee a nice breakfast.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick or old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, sliced
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 eggs
 In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Mix together butter, buttermilk, maple syrup, and eggs.  Mix the two together just until mixed.  Do not over mix.  On a floured surface pat the dough into a circle and cut into  8 wedges.  Put onto a sprayed  cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.