all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Monday, August 29, 2016

Peach Crisp with Sweet Topping

Woo hoo!
Bring on the sugar ~ butter and peaches!

After eating this peach crisp, you'll be dreaming about it in your sleep!

This is undoubtedly the shortest post I’ve ever written ~ and this is undoubtedly the best peach crisp I have ever eaten!

It’s Laurie's simple easy recipe from here that's pretty close to perfect!

                          Put it together                            and                                  baked!                                

It's peachy keen!

Peach Crisp with Sweet Topping


6-7 peaches, peeled and sliced
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ to ¾ cinnamon (I used 1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter 


Preheat oven to 375°.
Grease an 8” baking dish.
Mix the sliced peaches with the almond extract and pour into the baking dish.
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.
Sprinkle on top of the peaches.
Bake for 45 minutes until peaches are tender and the topping is evenly browned  (I baked it for 1 hour).
Serve warm with ice cream

Printable recipe


Monday, August 22, 2016

Crispy Cucumber, Celery & Sweet Onion Salad w/Sour Cream Dressing

You’re familiar with the old rule of thumb, you should drink eight glasses of water per day, some experts say more… 

That seems like quite a grind to me most days, but here’s the catch:  You don’t have to drink all that water...

Roughly 20% of our daily water intake comes from solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food at 97%, and they truly do have a cooling effect on the body, so there is some truth to the phrase, “cool as a cucumber”.

While it’s still important to drink plenty of water, especially on hot days, eating cucumber is a great way to get some of that fluid into your body and quench your thirst at the same time.

But, the great refreshing cucumber taste is the best part, and this slightly adapted Country Living recipe provides the proof ~

It’s a fresh, crunchy, tasty salad of cucumber, celery, and onion; enhanced with a touch of dill and seasonings,  swimming in a creamy tangy dressing coating.    

It’ll perk up your taste buds, for sure!

Cucumber, Celery & Sweet Onion Salad w/Sour Cream Dressing


3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste


Whisk together sour cream, oil, lemon juice, dill, and sugar in a bowl.
Season with salt and seasoned pepper.
Add vegetables and toss to combine.
8 servings

Printable recipe      


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Garlic-Herb Shrimp on the Grill

Nothing beats grilling in the summer
and this is 
another great recipe 
for your grill!

Super simple, is this recipe that comes together quickly and easily, all the better for you to enjoy another summer evening!

Lemon juice and herbs are exactly what puts this shrimp over the top.  Serve it with fresh steamed broccoli, corn on the cob or rice, or grilled veggies, the choices are endless.

Ready to move on to the grill!

You may prefer to peel the shrimp before grilling; however, cooking the shrimp with the shells on makes them remarkably flavorful ~ just peel and dig in at the table!

Garlic-Herb Shrimp on the Grill


1½ pounds large unpeeled shrimp
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary


Using kitchen shears of a paring knife, cut through shells along the back of each shrimp.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and place in a resealable plastic  bag.
Seal bag, making sure all shrimp is covered with marinade.
Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat grill.
Remove shrimp from marinade, wiping off excess.
Grill until opaque, 2-3 minutes per side.
Serve as is or with your favorite sauce.

Printable recipe


Monday, August 15, 2016

Buttery Balsamic Corn with Mushrooms and Grilled Onions

Fresh and sweet summer corn 
has a short season here,
I like making the most of it!

About as sweet and fresh as you can get...

Those were the days ~ growing up on the farm, running outside to our own sweet corn field, picking a few ears for Mom to boil quickly for lunch or dinner, maybe even breakfast, if she had her way!

I definitely took the abundance of fresh vegetables, fruit and meat for granted and didn’t realize how lucky I was until years later.

By the way, as you're driving down the road here in the Midwest, and you're seeing acre after acre of corn, don't assume you can leap out of the car and grab a dozen ears of sweet corn for your next meal.  Chances are, it's field corn...

Gravel road by a corn field

Sweet corn and field corn are cousins with very different tastes, different purposes

Sweet corn is harvested when the silks at the top of the ear are brown, when the kernels inside are fully developed.  The leaves wrapping around the ears are nice and green, with a little brown at the edges maybe.  Perfect for any meal!

Field of sweet corn

Sweet corn ear on the stalk

Field corn, aka cow corn, not so sweet, nor does it taste as good right off the cob.  Corn has a very high moisture content and field corn needs to dry out while the ears are still on the stalk. 

Silks commence to turn dark brown, shucks around the ears turn brown, the remainder of the corn plant dies, turning brown.  Finally, instead of being supported by the main stalk, ears fall with the silks pointing toward the ground.  That's the farmers' indicator to harvest.

Harvest time - Illinois field corn

Field corn kernels are a darker yellow and larger than sweet corn kernels.  Some of them have "dimples," another sign that the kernels have dried out; hence the name, "dent corn."

Dent corn

Cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, geese, deer and other wild animals love the taste of field corn ~ you want to attract Cardinals to your bird feeder?  Attach an ear to it!
Field corn is also the corn that is processed into corn meal or corn flour, and used in foods that have corn as an ingredient, such as corn flakes, and tortilla chips.  

And then, there's popcorn, another story...

Back to this recipe that’s slightly adapted from Fine Cooking magazine:

This is an easy, savory side dish that you can whip up quickly.

Uncooked corn?  Yes!  Just cut it off the cob raw.  It cooks quickly and is delicious prepared this way with the mushrooms and onion.   

The balsamic vinegar punches up the flavor in the vegetables, and the olive oil on the onion and butter to stir-fry the corn adds a dose of richness to the dish.  

While you’re grilling the onion for this tasty side dish, throw some chicken, steak or fresh tuna on the grate also:  Voila, Dinner!

Buttery Balsamic Corn with Mushrooms and Grilled Onion


1 small Vidalia onion or red onion, cut into 3 or 4 slices
1 teaspoon olive oil, more as needed
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces button mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
3-4 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, more to taste
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste


Prepare a medium-high grill fire.
Rub onion slices with a little olive oil, and grill, turning occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes.
Remove from the grill and coarsely chop.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat.
Add mushrooms, season well with salt and cook until light browned and almost tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add corn, onion, remaining butter and cook, tossing occasionally, until the corn is tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper and more vinegar.
Serves 4

Printable recipe


Monday, August 8, 2016

Ginger-Peach Shortbread Cobbler and ICD!

Woo hoo! 
You cat lovers, 
today is...

 ~ International Cat Day ~

a day to recognize one of humanity's 
oldest and 
most beloved pets!

And here's Bucky stylin' for the occasion:

Bucky, Bubba's proud Tuxedo cat who loved to "dress up!"

Now, on to dessert for any occasion ...


First you have to take a whiff to determine if it’s sweetly fragrant, next you give it a little gentle squeeze; it shouldn’t be too hard, best if it’s soft to the squeeze, then remember that the color tells more about what variety it is than its ripeness. 

That’s the way I find the best peaches at the farmers’ market!

We’re in the swing of peach season here in the Midwest now, and they are juicy delicious and fragrant this summer.  

They’re great eaten fresh just as they are with all the sticky juice running down your chin and fingers.

But, when you want to gussy them up, here you go…

Southern Living did it again ~ published a recipe I couldn’t resist!

Any recipe that begins with 2 sticks of butter, and turbinado sugar has to be good!

Mom's biscuit cutter, older than dirt and well-used!

Forked Medallions

Turbinado sugar is “sugar in the raw,” made from pure cane sugar extract, very light brown, with a subtle molasses flavor, that's great in baked goods, barbecue sauces,  and in your morning cup of java.  

And, if you've never added fresh ginger to a dish, this is the recipe to start with.  

Peel the yellowish-pink peaches, encase them in gingered-syrup,  let them bubble away with a shortbread topping of unleavened cookies.

Ummm, mmm!

Oven ready goodness...

Just imagine how delicious this is...

You’re gonna’ want seconds!

Ginger-Peach Shortbread Cobbler  


1 cup butter, softened 
½ cup loosely packed light brown sugar
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
2¼ cups, plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
1 (½-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
¾ cup turbinado sugar, divided
7 to 9 medium-size peaches, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 400˚.
Beat first 3 ingredients and 2¼ cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer just until combined.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface, roll to ¼” thickness.
Cut about 14 rounds with a 2½” fluted round cutter.
Place rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet; cover and chill until ready to use.
Pulse ginger and ¼ cup turbaned sugar in a food processor 5-6 times or until well combined. 
Stir together ginger mixture and remaining ½ cup turbinado sugar in a large bowl.
Add lemon juice, peaches, and remaining 3 tablespoons flour, toss to coat.
Place peach halves, slightly overlapping in a greased (with butter) 10” cast-iron skillet, and pour any remaining juice over peaches.
Bake at 400˚ for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, and nestle shortbread dough rounds among peaches.
Brush rounds with egg white, and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm or at  room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream.

Printable recipe


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hawaiian Pasta Salad

This is a flashback of our trip to 


where all the best juicy fragrant

 luscious pineapple grows!

Dole Plantation on Oahu Island, Hawaii

A great tour and delicious Dole Pineapple Whip!

Thanks to Bill's friend for this recipe that’s apparently all over the www, but this is the first I’ve laid eyes on it.
It’s pineapple, ham, red bell pepper, and green onion, all coated with a tasty pineapple dressing for a delicious pasta salad.

This is another potluck dish for the summer, that’s a little different in a great way.  It’s all about the fantastic sweet and tangy pineapple dressing that’s so easy to make.  

The creamy sauce has a whole lot of tang, thanks mainly to the added vinegar, Dijon mustard and sour cream.  Pineapple juice and a spoonful of honey take the edge off.  

It gives awesome flavor when combined well in the bowl filled with pasta, pineapple, ham, peppers and onion.  

It may not be the fanciest of dishes, but it’s one of the best of the season…

It will surely be a hit at your family cookout or at your next gathering!

Hawaiian Pasta Salad


8 ounces bow tie pasta
1 (14-ounces) can pineapple tidbits, juice reserved
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups diced ham
2 green onions, sliced thin


½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
⅓ cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss with the dressing.
Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
Store refrigerated up to 5 days.

Printable recipe 


Monday, July 25, 2016

Spicy Goodness ~ Grilled Cajun-Style Chicken Breasts

Just imagine

the aromas of Acadian cuisine 

in the Louisiana bayous,

the euphonious sound of their music…

This is the Cajun way of life.

St.Martin Bayou Sunset by DramaQueenB Photography

Acadians are the ancestors of present-day Cajuns.  The world “Cajun” derives from “Acadia" ~  a name used to refer to the Nova Scotia area in Canada where French immigrants settled during the early colonial era.  

They were hunters, fishermen, and farmers, well-versed in the art of living off the land, when they arrived destitute in the New Orleans area, and were given land grants.  The Acadians had a strong bond with each other as they moved into the bayous, swamps and prairies of Louisiana to start their farms.  

Their old traditions and language merged with the distinctive Louisiana landscape to fuse into a new Cajun cultural identity.

A lot of people are unaware that the typical Cajun food was developed by extremely poor people.  Refugees and farmers used what they had to feed large families.  

Bill and I have visited the New Orleans area many times, and love Cajun-style cooking ~ it’s aromatic, spicy, and rich, really good…  

This time, I used a generous portion of minced garlic, onion powder and oregano, all whisked together with spicy Robusto Italian dressing for the chicken marinade. 

Bill grilled the chicken to a spicy, moist, delicious meat for our dinner.  

Fire up your grill now for some seriously good Cajun-style chicken!

Grilled Cajun-Style Chicken Breasts


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Wish-Bone Robusto Italian Dressing
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon each, salt and pepper


Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl or a resealable plastic bag.
Add chicken breasts and let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess.
When grill is heated, place chicken on grill over medium heat.
Grill chicken until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes per side, depending upon thickness, or when thermometer registers 165°.


Printable recipe