Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Microwave Bread & Butter Pickles

Several  years ago, I saw this recipe in  If you have an abundance of cukes, you may want to try this.  My adaptions are in parenthesis because I don't always like to run to the store to get something!  This is an easy recipe & would make a great hostess gift.

1 large cucumber (I used 2 medium)
1 t. salt
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 t. mustard seeds (I used 1 t. pickling spice)
1 cup sugar (I used 2/3 cup & it's plenty sweet!)
1/2 c. distilled white vinegar
1/4 t. celery seed
1/4 t. ground turmeric

In a medium microwave safe bowl, mix all the ingredients.

Microwave on high for 7-8 minutes, stirring twice, until cucumbers are tender & onion is translucent.

Transfer to sterile containers.  Seal & chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Zucchini with tomato & mozzarella

When zucchini is plentiful in the garden, one always needs to be thinking of new ways to use it.  Here's an easy recipe to try:

2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/2" thick
Italian seasoning
salt & pepper
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
mozzarella cheese, grated

Arrange the sliced zucchini on a baking tray.  Sprinkle with the seasonings.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Top with the tomato slices & the mozzarella.  Broil for around 3-4 minutes, watching that they don't over brown.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken Parmesan in Slow Cooker

Wow, this recipe is easy & delicious & the chicken is fork tender!  One of my grandsons rated it a "10"!  I hope you do, too. 

1 T. olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
12 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. salt
14 t. pepper
1 egg, beaten
sliced or grated mozzarella cheese
jarred marinara sauce
cooked pasta of your choice

Coat the bottom of the slow  cooker with the olive oil.

Beat the egg in a shallow bowl.

Mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings & the Parmesan cheese in another shallow bowl.

Dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides.

Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Layer the mozzarella cheese on top.

Cover with marinara sauce.

Cover the slow cooker & cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Serve  with your favorite pasta.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This recipe was given to me years ago.  I have adapted it for a larger quantity.  It's great for summer cookouts.  Please give it a try.  If you don't like feta cheese, substitute it for one that you do enjoy.  Here's the recipe:

12 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked & drained
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
2 1/4 oz. sliced ripe olives, drained
3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1-2 cups prepared Italian dressing
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients except dressing in a large bowl.  Toss to coat with about 1 cup dressing.  Cover & refrigerate one hour or until ready to serve.  Sometimes the pasta absorbs the dressing.  If it seems too dry, add additional dressing according to your tastes.

Serves 10-12

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cucumber Salad

I am so happy that fresh cucumbers are here from the garden!!!!  This salad is one of my all-time favorite recipes.  Really & truly, I think I could eat it everyday!!  The pretty, pink depression glass serving bowl is from my 93-year-old Mother-in-law.  Isn't it so nice to have special things from someone that we can continue to enjoy?  If you LOVE cucumbers, I hope you try this recipe:

2 cucumbers, cubed
1 tomato, seeded & chopped (if I have cherry tomatoes, I prefer them)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1/3 c. oil
3 T. vinegar
3 T. sugar (I use 3 packets of Splenda)
salt & pepper

Put everything together in a bowl & stir.  Cover & chill until serving.  Most of the time, I just throw it together & we eat it right then.

Serve up a big helping & enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cheesy Beef Enchilada Casserole

We love enchiladas!  You know how you fill them, roll them & they still seem to mush together?  Well, here's an easy version.  You just layer the corn tortillas & it's almost like a Mexican lasagna.  I hope you try it.  The picture's not the greatest, but I promise, it tastes great!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can (7 oz.) chopped green chilies
2 cans (10 oz. each) red enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas
3 cups Mexican style cheese
sour cream, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Cook ground beef & onion in a large skillet over medium-high  heat.  Stir in green chilies & 1 can enchilada sauce.

Meanwhile, pour 1/2 can enchilada sauce in bottom of bottom of baking dish.  Arrange 8 tortilla halves over the sauce.  Spoon half of the ground beef mixture over the tortillas.  Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.  Repeat layers of tortillas, ground beef & 1 cup cheese.  End by placing the remaining 8 tortilla halves on top.  Spread remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas.  Cover with foil.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly around the edges & thoroughly heated.  Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.  Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes.  Serve with sour cream.

Makes 8 servings

I am sharing with:
Recipe of the Week

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Oh my, I've loved granola since the 1960's & even remember Neil Diamond's "Crunchy Granola " song!  Granola also makes a thoughtful gift for someone & while it's baking, your house will smell wonderful.  Here's an easy recipe, if you love granola, too:

4 cups oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 -1 cup coconut
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 t. Kosher salt
1/4 t. cinnamon

Mix all of the above in a large bowl.

In a saucepan, heat until warm:

1/3 cup oil
3 T. honey

Whisk in 1 T. vanilla & 1 t. almond extract.  If you don't like almond, add an extra teaspoon of vanilla.

Pour all of this over the oat mixture & coat completely.  Spread on a parchment or silpat covered baking sheet with sides.

Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.   If you love clusters of granola, don't stir at all during baking.  Once it is golden brown, cool completely & then break into chunks.

Store in a covered container & enjoy your homemade granola.  It's yummy to layer granola with some yogurt  & top with berries for a delicious snack or breakfast.

NOTE:  Don't be afraid to omit an ingredient & add what you love to make your own special flavored granola!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pink Soup

A while back, I read on about a strawberry soup.  Since I have an abundance of strawberries & raspberries in my fridge, I decided to make a berry soup.  Here's my adapted recipe for one person, courtesy of Butter Yum:

6 large strawberries
a handful of raspberries
1 T. sugar
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup half & half  (I actually used 2T. milk & 2 T. heavy cream)
1/2 t. vanilla

Clean & slice the strawberries & add the raspberries & sugar.  Stir & let sit for about 1/2 hour. 

Put the berries & the remainder fo ingredients in a blender. Blend all together until  it is a "soupy" consistency.

I put some heavy cream in a zip lock bag, cut a hole in an end & squeezed a design on top.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicken Salad

Oh, what to do with leftover chicken??  M-m-m. make chicken salad!!  What a delicious salad to have for the summer months.  Please try this yummy recipe:

4 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 T. onion, minced
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 cup mayonnaise (light is good)
1/4 cup heavy cream (I know, it doesn't make sense with the "light" mayo!!)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Mix everything together.  Serve on lettuce leaves or make a delicious sandwich for lunch or dinner.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Crunchy Slaw

If you love a good, crunchy cole slaw, try this recipe.  I know most people use Ramen noodles in theirs, but I just add extra almonds.  I'll put them in the recipe, but if you watch your carbs, you may want to leave them out, like I do!

1 head cabbage or 1/2 red & 1/2 green cabbage
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1 (3 ounce) package Ramen needles, crumbled


1/3 cup oil
2-3 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. sugar (I use 3 packets of Splenda)
1/2 t. pepper
1 T. soy sauce

Toss cabbage, almonds, sunflower seeds & crumbled, uncooked noodles (which I leave out!).
Add dressing just before serving & mix well.

Serves 8-10

Note:  I toast the almonds & sunflower seeds on a paper plate & place them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.  Just check to make sure that they don't burn!

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Favorite "Tearoom" Salad

I LOVE salad & probably could eat one for lunch everyday!  The roasted pecans & the dressing for this salad are from Southern Living.  Add whatever you like in your salad, but definitely try the pecans because they are so good.  You may want to double or triple the dressing & the pecans to have  on hand for another day.   This salad rivals any that you'd get in a fancy tearoom.    Make sure you make the Roasted Pecans first.  Here's the recipe:

For the salad

mixed salad greens
sliced purple cabbage
sliced strawberries (I also like blackberries & blueberries)
cubed avocado
blue cheese, crumbled (or goat cheese is delicious)
diced ham or chicken
Add whatever ingredients YOU love (onion, bacon, etc.)
Roasted Pecans, a few to sprinkle on  (recipe below)

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.


1/4 cup oil (I like Canola)
2 T. raspberry vinegar (I often sub balsamic)
1 1/2 t. sugar (I use 1 1/2 pkts of Splenda)
1/8 t. salt
freshly ground pepper

Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a jar.  Covers tightly & shake.  Pour over enough to coat your salad; save the rest for another time.

Roasted Pecans

1 T. butter
2 T. sugar
1 T. orange juice
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. ground red pepper (only if you like a little heat; if not, omit)
1 cup pecan halves

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; stir in sugar & next 3 ingredients.  Add pecans, stirring to coat.  Spread pecans on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring very 5 minutes.  Cool completely.  Sprinkle a few on your salad & store the remainder in the fridge for another salad.

Now enjoy a delicious salad for lunch or dinner!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tortellini Salad

I saw this recipe on  & after reading some of the reviews, adapted it slightly.  It's really filling & great to take for a potluck.

1 (16 oz.) pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
4 ozs. sliced pepperoni, quartered
2 green onions, chopped
1 (6.5 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
  (I actually poured some of the marinade over the pasta)
1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced black olives
6 ozs. mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 t. dried Italian herb dressing
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the tortellini according to package directions, drain in colander & rinse with cold water.

Place the tortellini & all the rest of ingredients in bowl.  (I added about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to mine & omitted the black olives because I didn't have any ).

Refrigerate to chill before serving. 

Serves 8