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Showing posts from July, 2011

Amazing Bacon Tomato Cups!

“I can resist anything but temptation.”  I know Oscar Wilde said it years before my time but, it’s my motto!



And as an example, it’s that bacon and tomato thing that is hard for me to resist!  If you need a savory appetizer in the near future, here’s the one to try!  

A friend gave me this recipe a while back.  She told me she took the train into Chicago one day to visit an old family friend who served these delicious little bites.  Joyce told me it was the best appetizer she could remember eating.  Thankfully, her friend shared the recipe!
It combines the great flavors of tomato, bacon and mayo.  But that’s not enough!  Add a little chopped onion, some shredded Swiss cheese and a little dried basil if you want to; pile it all in biscuit dough lining a mini-muffin tin, bake and VOILA!  You have a very divine little temptation that’s hard to resist!
You have to try it to believe it!
By the way, have you ever heard of a tomato called Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter?  A West Virginia auto …

Home-made Salad Supreme Seasoning

You’ve probably bought a jar of Salad Supreme Seasoning at your favorite grocery store but, did you know it tastes the same and it’s easy and cost effective to make your own?
This is a great blend of herbs and spices and Parmesan cheese.You can claim it as your version by adding more or less of one of the ingredients.I go a little heavy on the garlic powder and cayenne pepper.Parmesan cheese can be replaced with Romano cheese, or leave the cheese out altogether.
Home-made Salad Supreme Seasoning tastes great when added to most any salad:potato salad, cabbage salad, chicken salad, pizza salad, crab salad and pasta salads.Sprinkle some on grilled or steamed vegetables ~ try it on baked potatoes or deviled eggs and even egg salad.It will spice up your hamburgers and chicken wings before grilling.Slather it on buttered breads before toasting, appetizers and sprinkle some on cottage cheese.Add it to vinegar and oil for a delicious vinaigrette.Then try it on pork ribs!Wherever your imaginatio…

Carolina-Style Barbecue Chicken Breasts

OK, I know there are endless recipes for chicken on the grill but, you really should try this one ~ it really attracted me!  Maybe it was the “mustard” that caught my eye.  Or, maybe it’s because of the word “Carolina.”  I love, love the “Carolina’s” and envy you if you reside there!
We looked at homes, and fell for one, in the Greenville, South Carolina area before we retired.  Due to some circumstances of elderly relatives here, we decided it was best to stay put.  And now we have our first grandchild, Matthew, who is 5½ months old and South Carolina is just too far from him.  Here is a photo of him since some of you have kindly asked about him:



As for the chicken…
This grilled chicken is about the best I’ve ever eaten.  According to the recipe in Food Network Magazine, they only have to marinade for about 10 minutes.  (Their recipe is for chicken thighs).  

I’m a “mustard” addict and this is a perfect mustard marinade.  It’s loaded with the good flavors of apple cider vinegar, brown su…

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Bill said, “Why don’t you make tuna macaroni salad like my Mom did?”I told him that's because I've never had it.
This time of year, Bill reminisces about being a kid at the family picnic, anticipating beating his uncles in the baseball game and eating his Mom’s tuna mac salad.He claims it was the best and I’m a believer.

Kelly’s Calico Beans

I remember when she was born; it took a while to receive mail back then.  The letter announcing her arrival reached us a good week after the fact.

She was born a month and 4 days after Bill and I married, while we were living in Oberheid, Germany when Bill was serving in the Army.
She's Bill's niece, Kelly...


Calico beans is her specialty, this is her recipe. 

Baked beans are the best, especially in the summertime with meat from the grill.  This recipe calls for 4 types of beans:1 can each of Great Northern, butter and kidney beans, plus 2 cans of pork ‘n beans.

Use whatever beans you prefer.  I swapped Pinto beans and mayocoba beans for the butter beans and kidney beans.The ivory-yellow mayacoba beans are a meaty bean with a mild-flavored buttery taste.
Browned ground beef is added also, ending up with a delicious side dish for your family or a crowd.They go quickly and that can be good but, bad too because they are just as delicious left-over!

Calico Beans
Ingredients:
½-1 pound bac…

Mom’s Pressed Chicken Spread

I was going through Mom’s recipe box recently and came across this recipe.  I don’t know the origin of it but, I remember her making the spread for some pretty tasty sandwiches when I was a kid.  This is simple and light for the hot summer days we’re having now.  



It may sound like a lot of celery---include it all; it won’t give the chicken spread a strong celery taste.Combining the celery with the nuts adds a little crunch to the spread with the flavors complementing the chicken perfectly.Mom always put the chicken through a manual meat grinder but I use the food processor for a speedy job. When adding the broth, be careful not to add so much as to make it mushy.You can always add more of it or a little mayo if needed after it has been well chilled.
It’s good on about any type of bread or toast and slider buns also, with a lettuce leaf or two for a savory sandwich; however, spread it on crackers and you are treated to a saporous appetizer! Mom’s Chicken Spread is great summer fare that…

The Storm from Hell Meant No Cooking for This Week!

HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re back on line in more ways than one!!!! If it had to happen, fortunately it was the day after the cookout for Bill’s birthday!





Our power is finally on after being off for 103.5 hours.It all started Monday morning during a fierce thunderstorm that ripped through here and left us without power at 7:45 a.m.The power came back on this morning at 10:45 ~~~ 98 hours later, only to go out an hour later.Thankfully, it came back on a while ago at 3:00 p.m.!

The thunderstorms ripped through Northern Illinois Monday with wind gusts up to 70+ MPH.It lingered around for a while and left our neighborhood with incredible damage.Trees uprooted, roofs ripped off and fencing blown over.We lost part of one of our 50-foot maple trees.Luckily, it didn’t hit the house.A 24-foot section of fencing in our backyard had 4x4 posts sheared to ground level.All in all, our damages were minimal compared to a lot of people involved in the storm.













Our entire town was not without power, the ho…

Honey Poppy Seed Pasta Salad/w Shrimp

Woo hoo!!!The heat has arrived in Northern Illinois, bringing with it the craving for cold pasta salads!



There’s nothing quite like a crisp cool salad to dig into at your backyard barbecue when the thermometer soars.Pasta salads are not only quick and easy to make ~ they can be prepped in advance, allowing you more time to join the esprit de corps of your guests.
Honey Poppy Seed Pasta Salad can be easily adapted to your taste with whatever flavors you favor.Start with wagon wheel pasta and add colorful veggies of your liking, combining it all in a honey, poppy seed and Dijon mustard dressing for the finishing touch.
This versatile salad recipe was published in our local newspaper, The Northwest Herald, recently.I made a vegetarian version of it using shrimp; however, it is really delicious using cut-up chicken, as in rotisserie chicken ~ or you could try it with ham.The recipe also includes one diced apple and one cup grape halves and toasted slivered almonds which I omitted, catering t…

Sirloin Steak and Peppers over Rice

I’m a total carnivore who really likes about any meat, but especially sirloin steak. Although, my favorite way to enjoy steak is cooked rare on the grill with a dash of salt, once in a while I enjoy it smothered with peppers and onions and so does Bill.


Turning your favorite steak into a stir-fry dish makes for a gratifying quick dinner that your whole family will like.Having all the ingredients prepped and ready to add to the skillet makes it easy, easy.
Pepper steak is another of those comfort food dishes that’s full of flavor ~ color also and I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!


Sirloin Steak and Peppers over Rice
Ingredients:
1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 2-inch strips
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
½ teaspoon each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 green bell peppers, sliced into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin slices
½ cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups hot cooked rice

Method:
In a la…

Spicy Blackened Catfish with Salsa

I favor plain old fried catfish until blackened catfish arrives on the scene!




When most people think of blackened fish, they think “Cajun” when in actuality it’s a modern creation accredited to Chef Paul Prudhomme, one of New Orleans famous chefs. The food is dredged in a combination of herbs and spices such as oregano, paprika, thyme, peppercorns, chili pepper and then cooked in oil in a very hot cast-iron skillet. The spice rub makes a delicious flavorful crust. If you like more heat, go heavier on the ground red pepper ~ at your own risk!
Next time, I’d really be happy to find red snapper to blacken. I’m sure it would be delectable. Red snapper has not been available in the markets or restaurants here for several years. How about where you live? Can you purchase red snapper?
I hope you give my version of blackened catfish a try! It’s quick and piquant and is heavenly served with a little salsa on the side! Spicy Blackened Catfish with Salsa
Ingredients: 4 (6-ounce) catfish filets, dried 2…









Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape…

~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird






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