Kohlrabi and Yellow Wax Beans with Carrots

Kohlrabi was all new to me until I met Bill’s mother and tasted her great kohlrabi dish years ago.  

Kohlrabi, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is a German turnip.  The word comes from the German “kohl” (cabbage) and “rabi” meaning turnip.   You would think it is a root vegetable like a turnip but, is in fact a tightly packed version of its cousin, cabbage.  As you can see in the photo, it has a bulbous shape which is caused by the swelling of plant’s stem near the ground.  Some people think it tastes like broccoli, I think it tastes more like a mild turnip. 

Many people in the Midwest were raised in largely German communities who grew up growing and eating kohlrabi much like an apple.  Hamburg Township, Michigan has titled itself “Kohlrabi Capital of the World” and even had a kohlrabi festival but such enthusiasm has declined in recent years.

This is an excellent recipe for using kohlrabi whose taste complements yellow wax beans, carrots and onions.  After the vegetables have cooked in the water, make a gravy to thicken the mixture and there you have an excellent summer time side dish! 

Barely boiling

Kohlrabi and Yellow Wax Beans with Carrots

6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, reserve bacon grease
2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled, cut into large dice
2 pounds yellow wax beans, trimmed and snapped
3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large white onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste


Fry bacon until crisp, reserve bacon fat.  Set aside.
Place all vegetables into a dutch oven or large pan.
Fill with water to top of vegetables.
Add about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease to mixture.
Keep at a low boil until vegetables are fork tender, about 30 minutes.
Make a flour and water paste, approximately ½ cup water and 3-4 tablespoons flour.  Stir or shake until flour is a creamy paste.
Push some vegetables in the pan to one side.
Add flour paste while stirring.
It’s just like making gravy but, this should be fairly thick and hold its own on a plate, not soupy.  If it’s not thick enough, add more flour mixture.
Add crumbled bacon and stir gently.

I love this ~ it’s one of my favorite summer time dishes!

Burnt Tomato Halves

“Turn a classic summer favorite into a smoking-hot side dish.”

Do you like some foods when burnt, blackened, or charred?  You know, like marshmallows ~ they have to be charred!  And it used to be that I wouldn’t eat toast unless it was burnt.  I’ve changed on that some, especially when eating breakfast at a restaurant, they just don’t get it and usually won’t do it! 

But, have you ever tried tomatoes with a char?  I had not until just recently when I saw the above quote and recipe in Guideposts magazine.  We love tomatoes here and Bill and Bubba like to eat tomatoes just like I would eat an apple.  I haven’t gone that far yet. 

So give this a try; it’s easy with just a few ingredients and really tasty!

Burnt Tomato Halves


4 firm, ripe tomatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt
16 black peppercorns*
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves


Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface.
Cut tomatoes in half.
Brush cut side of tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste.
Place tomatoes cut side down in skillet.
Don’t move them for 8-10 minutes or they’ll burst.
The bottoms of tomatoes will show a black line of char all around when they’re done.
Using a spatula, lift tomatoes off hot surface and invert onto a plate, burnt side up.
Sprinkle with peppercorns and oregano, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

*Note:  If whole peppercorns are problematic, they can be ground or coarsely cracked. 
Serves 4

Have you cooked your tomatoes this way?

Shrimp Creole

“Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.”  Bubba Blue, “Forrest Gump”

Shrimp isn’t exactly Midwest food but, we forgive it as it is such a great food!

Talk about a good old Southern dish, what could be more Southern than Shrimp Creole?   I imagine if New Orleans were forced to select an official dish, Shrimp Creole would undoubtedly be in contention.  For those of you who like shrimp, you must try this unique dish.  There are probably a billion recipes out there for this ~ it all just depends on your personal taste.

Shrimp Creole looks and tastes like gourmet fare that took hours of fussing over.   In fact, it actually boils down to a simple skillet supper.  The only thing not right with my version is that it doesn’t have freshly-caught shrimp!  Lucky all ya’ll out there that have fresh seafood and fish available!  By the way, while on a trip in Texas, we learned there is a plural of “ya’ll,” it’s “all ya’ll!”

Shrimp Creole


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups clam juice
28 ounces whole tomatoes in puree
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 cups hot cooked white rice for serving


In heavy pot over high heat, heat the oil.
Add onion, stir 1 minute.
Add garlic, cook 30 seconds longer.
Stir in bell pepper, Old Bay seasoning, cayenne, salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
Add clam juice, tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf.
Cover, simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, cover, simmer 5 minutes longer.
Stir in shrimp and cook until the shrimp turn pink and the interiors are opaque throughout, 1-2 minutes.  Do not overcook.
Remove from heat.
Discard bay leaf.
To serve, fill individual bowls with the hot cooked rice and ladle the Shrimp Creole over.
Serve hot.
Serves 6

It’s a great, tasty, colorful dish!

By the way, today is the last day to enter my give-away posted on July 20th!       Here's the link:


I love Brun-uusto!!!

I came upon this cheese in the store the other day and it makes for a perfect appetizer or snack.  If you love cheese like we do here, you will love this one!  It’s “Brun-uusto,” Brunkow’s Baked Cheese made at Brunkow Cheese in Darlington, Wisconsin.

It’s a wonderful thing!  The recipe comes from Finland, where it is known as Juustalepia, (Hoostah-lee-pah) or “bread cheese.”  It is an appropriate name because Brun-uusto’s aroma and appearance likens itself to toasted bread.   The cheese has a browned, caramelized crisp crust with the flavor being mild, buttery and a little salty.

Brun-uusto can be eaten right out of the packaging but, it is meant to be enjoyed warm whether by heating in a skillet, on a grill or even in the micro for a short time.  It can definitely stand alone but is especially good with a tomato slice atop it and then warmed, adding a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  It also has an amazing flavor when warmed and topped with something sweet such as maple syrup, marmalade or honey.  

You simply have to try it to discover how incredibly delicious it is ~ it’s an addicting, unique cheese and you won’t be able to stop at one piece! 

By the way, don't forget to enter my give-away posted on July 20th!       Here's the link:



My Blackberry Buckle and So Forth

There are grunts, cobblers, crumbles, crisps, pandowdy’s, slumps, clafouti’s, betty’s and then there’s my favorite ~ buckles.

All of the above always confuse me so here’s the lowdown:

Grunt:  It is a simple, dumpling-like fruit dessert that is cooked on the stove-top.  Large dollops of biscuit dough are dropped on top of the fruit; the dough is steam cooked through the escaping steam of the fruit.  The name supposedly comes from the sound the fruit makes as it stews.

Slump:  It’s the same as grunt.

Cobbler:  A cobbler is a deep-dish fruit dessert with the fruit filling in the bottom of the dish and topped with thick biscuit dough, usually dropped in spoonfuls.

Crisp:  This dessert is baked with the fruit on the bottom and having a sweet crunchy topping which is crumbled over the top.  The crumb topping can be made with flour, nuts, breadcrumbs, graham cracker or cookie crumbs, or even cereal and baked until the top is brown and crunchy.  Crisps are the homey, American version of the British crumbles. 

Crumble:  Similar to a crisp except that it is topped with a crumbly pastry mixture.  The dish is of British origin and is not as rich as a crisp.   
Pandowdy:  This is a layer of sweetened fruit with a thick top crust, usually made with piecrust.  As the dessert bakes and the crust hardens, the crust is pushed and broken into the fruit with a fork, which allows the juices of the baking fruit to partially cover the crust.  The name supposedly refers to its rumpled or “dowdy” appearance after baking.  It’s generally made with apples; hence, apple pandowdy.

Clafouti:  This is a French dessert in which the fruit is topped with either a pudding or cake topping.  It’s often considered a baked pudding.  It’s easy to make, has a great presentation and is excellent for a quickie dessert for a dinner party.  It’s perfect for cherries and is usually served warm.

Betty:  This dessert goes back to colonial days and is usually known as Apple Brown Betty.  It’s made with brown sugar and baked between layers of buttered bread crumbs with an assortment of spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon.

Buckle:  A cake layer is on the bottom of the pan, the berries are spread over this and the top layer is a crumble mixture.  The result is a rich, dense cake with a moist crumb which can be compared to coffee cake.  It’s an excellent summer dessert, served hot or cold, dressed with drizzles of sauce, ice cream or plain.  The origin is mysterious ~ it may be colonial.

Like I said earlier, buckle is my favorite and especially if it’s made with blackberries!  This recipe for blackberry buckle is great.  The flavor with the combined cake layer, fruit and topping is to die for!  It keeps very well. 

The day after it is baked, heat a slice in the micro for a few seconds and it is a HEAVENLY thing when slightly warm with maybe a scoop of ice cream or a dab of butter on it as Bill does.  I like it just all by itself.  The aroma while baking is outstanding ~ it is truly delicious!

 Look at those berries ~ almost ready to bake...
Ready for the oven...

Blackberry Buckle

Cake ingredients:
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
5 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons blackberry brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla
2½ cups fresh or frozen blackberries


Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
In a mixer bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy and light with an electric mixer on medium speed.
Add egg.  Beat until smooth.
Combine milk, blackberry brandy and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to the batter, beating at low speed after each addition.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 1½ quart baking dish.
Spoon berries evenly over batter.

Crumble topping ingredients:
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter


Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon.
Cut in butter until crumbly.
Sprinkle over blackberries.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top.

Pam’s note:
Here’s a tip:  I use cold or frozen butter and grate it.  If you are in need of room temperature butter quickly, grate your cold or frozen butter!  I do this with butter in most of my baking and it aids the product in baking perfectly.  Cookies will not spread as they do when using room temperature butter.  Plus, if you decide to bake on the spur of the moment you are not concerned with having cold butter! 

This blackberry buckle gets rave reviews every time, bake it and yours will also!!!

Don’t forget to enter my give-away posted on July 20th!       Here's the link:


My Favorite Chicken Salad Sandwich!

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast, but it may be slipping fast after eating this great sandwich for lunch!

 I can make chicken salad myself but I’ve come to the conclusion that what really makes Bill’s chicken salad sandwiches so good is that he dices the chicken into larger pieces than I normally do.  But then, there’s something else ~ he uses MAYONNAISE!  If you’ve read a few of my posts, you know I’m a Miracle Whip kind of girl.  I forgive him though as he makes a great hearty delicious chicken salad sandwich!

Here’s his recipe:

Bill’s Chicken Salad Sandwich


1 cup chicken breast, roasted and diced
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons pickle relish
¼ teaspoon each, salt and pepper
Your favorite bread, toasted


In a mixing bowl, add first 5 ingredients.
Toss gently until well combined.
Assemble the sandwich.

Yum!  It’s a great filling sandwich!

Don’t forget to enter my give-away posted on July 20th!       Here's the link:


Smashed Potatoes

I’m a spudoholic and I admit it!  I like them prepared just about any way except for potato soup.  I would run fast when I knew Mom was cooking that for dinner!

A while back, I stopped by at the Clements Family’s great blog to see what was cooking.  I’m not really sure how they have time to cook with having 3 kids, 5 years old and under, but there is always something good going on over there!  

This smashed potatoes recipe got my attention.  I’ve made smashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, many times but never in this manner.  I always roasted them in the oven and then smashed them good after roasting.  This recipe calls for boiling them first and then smashing and roasting them.

It makes a big difference!  Par-boiling definitely is the secret to great smashed potatoes!  They are not dried out from roasting!  The potatoes bake creamy and smooth with the skin having a good crunch.  I used new potatoes; they’re excellent for this ~ small, with a good thin skin for roasting. 

That’s it!  Voila!  Perfect smashed potatoes!  

Smashed Potatoes


Small potatoes
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Wash your potatoes, then boil for about 30 minutes.  Remove, and put on a baking sheet.  Smash the tops of them.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then top with parmesan cheese and bake for another 5 minutes.

Pam’s note:  I added a tablespoon of dried parsley and 3 minced garlic cloves. Par-boiled the potatoes until fork tender, smashed and roasted them and then added freshly grated parmesan cheese just before serving. 


Garlic-Basted Chicken

Many folks insist that garlic is “good for what ails you.”  I know that it’s good for flavoring chicken, especially when combined with the subtle hop overtones from beer.

Chicken was definitely made for the grill but, with its mild neutral flavor it needs a little boost and that is why it is so nice to baste it.  The basting not only keeps the chicken moist, it flavors the poultry with something extra.

This dish brought rave reviews from Bill!  Of course, he grilled it but, I delivered the sauce for basting!  The melted butter with the garlic, beer and other flavors resulted in flavorful, very moist chicken. And it requires no marinating for hours!

So, start grilling and kick your chicken up a notch with this tasty recipe ~ it’s really delicious!

Garlic-Basted Chicken


3 whole chicken breasts or 6 whole chicken legs, thighs attached
½ cup butter
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup onions, chopped
1 cup dark beer
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon McCormick’s Seasoned Pepper


Rinse chicken, pat dry.
Melt butter in skillet or small pan over medium heat.
Add garlic and onion.
Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft.
Add beer, bring to a boil, stirring.
Remove from heat.
Stir in parsley, salt and pepper.
Pour into a large bowl.
Turn chicken in butter mixture to coat.
Lift out and drain briefly.
Reserve butter mixture.
Place chicken on grill and cook, turning and basting frequently until meat is no longer pink.

If you live for the grill, you have to try this!

Pepper Coleslaw

I love coleslaw and am always looking for different versions of it.

Coleslaw comes from the Dutch word “koolsla” with “kool” being cabbage and “sla” meaning salad.  The earliest settlers on our eastern shores were many people of Dutch heritage who brought cabbage seeds on their voyage and started growing cabbage patches throughout the area.  These settlers supposedly served cabbage in their “old-country” ways, mainly as shredded cabbage salad or “koolsla.” 

This recipe is from Southern Living magazine. There are so many variations of coleslaw and it is an absolute staple at barbecues and picnics.   I am a huge fan of freshly ground black pepper and that is why this recipe caught my eye!

What I also like about this recipe is that there is not a large amount of sugar such as most slaw recipes contain.  It has a great buttermilk based dressing with lemon juice, cider vinegar and olive oil.  It’s a delicious peppery coleslaw and one of our favorites!

Here’s the recipe:

Pepper Coleslaw


For the slaw:
½ head green cabbage, cored and grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
½ cup onion, chopped fine
¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped

For the dressing:
½ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons sugar


Toss together slaw ingredients.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Pour over vegetables.
8 servings

What makes your coleslaw different ~ do you add a secret ingredient?

Italian Sausage in Tomato Spinach Sauce with Pasta

Love that Italian sausage and this time I wanted it cooked inside instead of on the grill.  Good thing that it was made last night because today they are predicting the heat index to be around 105!  So it will definitely be back to the grill tonight.

I didn’t grow up eating a lot of pasta; just the usual macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs and occasionally lasagna.  There is such a wide variety of pasta now, it’s amazing and I like them all. 

We definitely never had Italian sausage back then when living on the farm in Ohio and having our own pork sausage made.  That is a whole other story from years ago.  My grandfather had a great recipe for making pork sausage and it was a wonderful thing; nothing like the store bought.  Bill would wholeheartedly agree!

This Italian sausage with pasta is cooked in a tomato sauce with a spinach addition.  We destroyed this quickly and liked every single bite of it!

Italian Sausage with Tomato and Spinach Pasta


½ pound rigatoni
1 pound hot Italian sausage links
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 large can tomato sauce
½ teaspoon each, dried oregano and basil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ pound baby spinach, chopped
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Cook rigatoni per package directions, drain well and set aside.
Cut sausage into bite-sized pieces.
Heat olive oil in skillet, add sausage and sauté.
Remove sausage when cooked.
Add garlic, sauté.
Place tomato sauce in skillet.
Add oregano, basil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Bring to a simmer.
Add spinach; cooking until wilted.
Add sausage and rigatoni to mixture.
Heat thoroughly.
Serve with parmesan cheese.


You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen

You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook


Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!



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