Boo hoo! My Laptop Died

Sadly, good things come to an end.  I'm sad to say my laptop had a peaceful death yesterday and I won't be blogging for a while.  

The great news is that Bubba (Bill, Jr.) is the Director of IT where he works and will be setting up my new laptop once I purchase it.  It's wonderful having a great son who knows his way around a computer!!!

I was going to post a recipe for delicious Cornbread Cake with Blackberry Sauce today, but now it's on the back burner waiting for a new laptop.

So here's wishing you all a good day and happy blogging.  See ya' later!

Sautéed Zucchini Patties with Gruyère

A person can only eat so many slices of zucchini bread or cake!  You know how that goes ~ if your garden or your neighbor’s has a plant or two of zucchini ~ you’ll have copious amounts of zucchini!

For a change, this recipe comes into play. Combine shredded zucchini with the nutty, sweet and salty taste of Gruyère cheese, add some chopped onions, a little chipotle pepper sauce and seasonings; shape into patties and sauté in olive oil for a crispy, lip-smacking veggie dish.  These are quick to make; only needing a couple of minutes on each side for sautéing.

Serve them as an appetizer or as a side dish with grilled seafood, chicken or just with your favorite green salad!  Now you have a good recipe for your plethora of lovely zucchini!

Sautéed Zucchini Patties with Gruyère                                 


1 pound zucchini, shredded
1 egg
2 tablespoons onion, minced
¼ teaspoon chipotle pepper sauce, or to taste
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup Gruyère cheese, grated 
¼ teaspoon each, salt and pepper
Enough olive oil to just coat bottom of skillet


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except vegetable oil.
Heat oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Shape zucchini mixture into small patties.
Sauté for 2 minutes on each side.
Serve with sour cream or your favorite tomato sauce.


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes.  

Savory Baked Tomatoes with Ricotta

What do you need:  a delicious appetizer, a side dish, a main course?  These baked tomatoes can easily fill the bill for any of the three!

This warm dish unites tomatoes with the savory taste of spinach, garlic, ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses.  

The tomatoes aren’t stuffed so that means you don’t need extra preparation time to scoop out the pulp and seeds.  The cheese topping sits proudly on top of the tomato halves for a quick tasty dish that looks pretty too after being baked.

This is the perfect dish for your bumper crop of tomatoes.  

It’s a simple recipe for any meal of your choice ~ how about breakfast?  YUM!

On the left no Parmigiano-Reggiano yet/and with it  on the right~ ready for the oven

Baked Tomatoes with Ricotta


2 tomatoes
6 tablespoons ricotta cheese
½ cup chopped fresh spinach
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon seasoned pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut tomatoes in half crosswise.
Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, garlic, thyme and pepper.
Top each tomato half with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture.
Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over top.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese turns golden.

These cheesy tomatoes are GREAT!!!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes.  

Cucumber and Onions with Trivia Bits

Many gardeners have a surplus of cucumbers now and this recipe is an easy tasty way to utilize them.  The sweet and sour thing going on in it is so good and we enjoy eating it all summer long. 

I’m crazy about cucumber and onion salad but don’t like the high amount of sugar it generally takes to make it.  This is my solution to that and I’ve been making it this way for years.  Bill likes it topped with tomato wedges just before serving. 

Here are some interesting cucumber tips and trivia:

  1. Cucumbers are natural diuretics used to help lose weight!
  1. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
  1. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!
  1. Anyone allergic to pollen or aspirin should avoid eating cucumbers. They can cause an unpleasant mouth itch.
  1. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
  1. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
  1. Soak slicing cucumbers in salt water before slicing to suck some of the moisture out of the cucumber. Sliced cucumbers leak water when sliced.

  1. In Roman times, the Emperor Tiberius grew cucumbers in carts, and had his slaves wheel them around to catch the sun.
  1. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
  1. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
  1. General Ulysses S. Grant was said to have been extremely fond of cucumbers. General Horace Porter remarked in an article, 'Campaigning with Grant', the General "often made his entire meal upon a sliced cucumber and a cup of coffee."
  1. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
  1. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!
Can’t stop at 13 so, believe it or not:

  1. There is actually a mining community called “Cucumber” in Southern West Virginia.  As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 94.  It’s the only community in the U.S. with that name.       
I can’t vouch for all of the above ~ I just know that sometimes the most ordinary recipes are the best and this recipe lives up to that.  While making supper, I’ve been known to devour a good amount of this before it even makes it to the table.  

It’s all about the crisp cool cucumbers, the sweet Vidalia onions, the spicy pepper and the biting taste of the vinegar.  

It’s a delicious, simple summer salad!

Now for the recipe:

Cucumber and Onion Salad Sugar-free


2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
2 Vidalia onions, sliced thin
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
½ cup Splenda
Salt, to taste
2 teaspoons McCormick’s Seasoned Pepper Blend


In a non-metallic bowl, combine cucumbers, onions and garlic.
Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

It’s great! 

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes.

Chipotle Chicken Sausage Wraps

Wraps are a fresh change of pace from sandwiches and about as easy to make.  The tortilla is a flatbread made from corn or wheat.  The word “tortilla” comes from the Spanish word “torta” and translates “round cake.”  When Spanish explorers discovered the Aztecs making unleavened flatbread, they called it tortilla ~ little torta.

Tortillas have been made for centuries in Mexico and with the growing demand for Mexican food; they are especially enjoyed in North America, Europe and Eastern Asia.  Tortillas are generally prepared with meat for making burritos, tacos and enchiladas.  

And this is the way I decided to make ours after reading the recipe in a magazine ad for Johnsonville Chipotle Monterey Jack Cheese Chicken Sausage. 

The sausage is smoked chicken laced with savory Jack cheese, having a full-bodied spicy chipotle pepper kick.  These wraps make for an easy quick meal that’s tasty with the sausage and fresh vegetables.  They’re just right wrapped tight and drizzled with lemon juice!

Chipotle Chicken Sausage Wraps             


1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package Johnsonville Chipotle Monterey Jack Cheese Chicken Sausage, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 flour tortillas (8-inches), warmed
2/3 cup refried beans
1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Shredded lettuce


In a large skillet, sauté the onion, pepper and corn in oil until tender.
Stir in sausage and lemon juice, heat through.
Spread 2 tablespoons refried beans over each tortilla.
Spoon sausage mixture down the center of tortillas.
Sprinkle with cheese and lettuce.
Roll up tightly.
5 servings

If you like wraps, give this a try!

Be sure to visit my friend Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!

Summer Spaghetti Salad

Is a family reunion on your horizon?  How about a cook-out with friends or a company picnic?  If so, spaghetti salad is just the right dish for a hot summer day to fill up those bellies!

There are so many variations of spaghetti salad that is usually served cold but can be served hot as well.  You can add your favorite variety of vegetables to satisfy your tastes.  I use thin spaghetti but, you can replace it with linguine, vermicelli or the pasta of your choosing; just cook it until al dente. 

It is a refreshing salad due to the fresh crunchy brilliantly colored vegetables.  This dish will be eye candy and disappear fast.  It’s great for any get together because, not only can it be made ahead; it is mayonnaise free to avoid spoiling in this hot weather. 

This is a scrumptious go-to dish to satiate your hunger quickly ~ actually; I can make a meal of just this mouthwatering salad!

Summer Spaghetti Salad


1 pound thin spaghetti
10 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1/4 cup salad seasoning mix, recipe here
½ teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp.
Drain and crumble.
In a large bowl combine cooked spaghetti, celery, onion, bell pepper, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and salad seasoning.
In a small bowl, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice and minced garlic with olive oil.
Pour over spaghetti mixture and toss.
Add crumbled bacon and lightly toss.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Chill until serving.
8-10 servings

Give it a go ~ it’s a delicious people pleaser!!!

Mouthwatering Marinated Tomatoes

When the tomatoes are ripe and fresh from the garden, you can’t beat this great summertime dish! 

This recipe is from a friend of mine. The delicious flavors of the herb marinade enhance the juicy tomatoes for a savory side dish to serve with grilled steak, chicken or seafood.  I don’t always add the sugar and olives; however, if I do add the olives, I omit the salt--- it’s up to your liking.  

I don’t know about you but, I learned as a young girl from Helen, a family friend in Louisville, to always peel tomatoes no matter how you plan on serving them.  It makes all the difference in the world, no bitter taste or tough skin to chew.

So peel your tomatoes before making this; place it in the refrigerator for at least several hours to marinate and then allow it to warm up to room temperature before serving since cold tends to inhibit the flavor. 

If you’re lucky to have some leftover, try tossing it with pasta, combine it with rice, serve it on a bed of lettuce, or chop up the tomatoes for a delicious bruschetta.  Just be sure to serve it with lots of crusty bread to soak up all the mouthwatering marinade!

Do you always peel your tomatoes too?

Marinated Tomatoes


6 ripe tomatoes
½ cup green olives, sliced, optional
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup salad oil
1-2 teaspoons sugar, optional
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
¼ cup snipped fresh parsley
1/3 cup green onions, tops too, sliced
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Peel and cut the tomatoes into 6 wedges each; 4 wedges if tomatoes are small.
Combine all ingredients, except the tomatoes in a large bowl. 
Whisk well.
Add tomato wedges and blend.
Place tomatoes in a deep, narrow bowl or a resealable plastic bag.
Marinate the tomatoes in a refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
If the oil should congeal after being in the fridge overnight, allow it to come back to room temperature.
Place in a bowl and spoon sauce over top.

ENJOY!  It’s juicy scumptious!!!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes.  She’s still judging at the Iowa State Fair.

Stuffed Cuban Pork Tenderloin

We definitely have a fondness for Cuban food resulting from our first visit to Key West years ago.   While vacationing, we enjoyed our first Cuban sandwich at the Roof Top Café and were instantly hooked on the great flavors!

Our Canadian friends make us envious by telling us about their trips to Cuba ~ about the beauty of Cuba and the delicious spicy cuisine.  However, until Americans can easily travel there, Miami and Key West are about as close as we can venture to Cuba so all I can do is recreate those spicy flavors in a sandwich or roast for now.

This recipe for was in Cooking Light magazine.  The pork is tangy with just the right amount of spice.  I swapped 1/3 cup of cilantro for dried oregano.   

The pork is tender and just melts in your mouth.  We really like how flavorful it is from the first bite to the last. 

Off the subject ~ I’d like to share with you the view out my back door this morning.  As I am writing this, the sliding door is open to a cool breeze and the only sounds to be heard are the birds chirping and the gas from the hot air balloon.  There’s nothing like early morning peace and quiet and a cup of strong black coffee!

Now, back to the pork:

Stuffed Cuban Pork Tenderloin


1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
3 thin slices Swiss cheese, halved
1/3 cup chopped bread-and-butter pickles
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray


Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Cut a lengthwise slit down the center of the tenderloin two-thirds of the way through the meat. Open halves, laying tenderloin flat.
Place tenderloin between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or heavy skillet.
Spread mustard evenly over pork and sprinkle with cilantro.
Arrange cheese and pickles over pork in a single layer.
Roll up, starting with long side; secure pork at 1-inch intervals with twine.
Combine salt, pepper and oregano and sprinkle over pork.

Place the pork on a grill rack coated with cooking spray.
Grill 22 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155°, turning after 11 minutes.
Remove from grill.
Let stand covered for 5 minutes.
Cut into 12 slices.

Que rico!  Buen apetito!

Opa!!! Greek Cucumber & Kalamata Salad

Are you ready for a salad with some OOMPH!!!?  If so, you’ve stopped by at the right food blog!

Combining the nippy taste of goat cheese with salty Kalamata olives and spicy radish slices gives you a pleasant pungent little salad.   Goat cheese is a bit tangy with great flavor and a creamy texture.   It pairs perfectly with the Kalamata olives.  The olives come to us from Greece with their deep rich aubergine color, turning dark brown when brined.  They’re sweet, rich and a treat to eat, especially when paired with cheese. 

You’ll enjoy this spicy summer salad like we do with about any meat or seafood from the grill.  If you haven’t tried Robusto Italian Dressing, put it on your shopping list.  It’s so spicy delicious and blends well with pasta also or is an excellent marinade for seafood.  I use it often, in many dishes but not with lettuce yet.  So I guess that will be next!

I adore this salad and really want you to try it!  I think you’ll like it also!  I actually could make a meal of it along with a slice of crusty bread!

Greek Cucumber  & Kalamata Salad


1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
1 red onion, chopped
4 radishes, sliced thin
½ cup Kalamata olives
¾ cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ to ½ cup Wish-bone Robusto Italian Salad Dressing
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Toss all ingredients in a large bowl and allow to marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.  Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Καλή σας όρεξη!

Does that really mean, Bon Appetite in Greek?

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes.  

Baked Chicken over Spaghetti

Through the years, I’ve seen lots of recipes for Baked Chicken over Spaghetti with most of them having “cream of” soup added to the mix.  No “cream of” soup here to disguise the flavors!

I used boneless chicken breasts this time, but you use the chicken you like ~ your own baked, broiled or boiled chicken, a whole rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or grilled chicken, shredded chicken and even chicken tenders.

With the additions of tender baby spinach, sliced mushrooms, spicy Italian seasoning and your favorite pasta sauce, this can be thrown together quickly, baked and served over spaghetti for an appetizing meal for your family.  Be creative and throw into the mix

Baked Chicken over Spaghetti, a crisp green salad and a loaf of crusty bread ~ that’s simply another comforting meal!

Oven ready!

Baked Chicken over Spaghetti


4 boneless chicken breast halves or 1 pound cooked chicken of your choice
1 jar (24-ounces) pasta sauce (I use Classico Fire-Roasted Tomato and Garlic)
1 package (6-ounces) baby spinach
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound spaghetti, cooked


Coat with cooking spray a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Place chicken breasts in the baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine pasta sauce and spinach.
Add next 4 ingredients, combining well.
Pour sauce over chicken.
Cover dish with foil.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
Scatter cheese over chicken and cover with foil.
Bake until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Serve chicken with sauce over cooked  spaghetti.

Ummmm, good!!!

Visit my friend Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway! 

Cracklin' Georgia Cracker Salad

Here's a definitely distinctively delicious salad just for you!

This surely sounds like a Southern recipe and I’m curious about the origin.  Were saltines and a jar of mayo hanging out on the counter beside a bowl of juicy chopped tomatoes when the Georgia cook wanted a salad and VOILA?  

Any which way, I tore this recipe out of some newspaper years ago because we’re wild about tomatoes and the crackers with it intrigued me.  

Sometimes, I add another egg or an extra onion or two and use Hellman’s Reduced Fat Mayonnaise with Olive Oil instead of regular mayo.  I go light on the salt or not at all and heavy on the pepper. 

The saltine’s crunchiness combined with the egg, mayo and luscious, ripe, juicy tomato cries out summer time like nothing else!   YUM!!!

Georgia Cracker Salad


1 sleeve saltine crackers, about 40 saltines
1 large ripe tomato, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1½ cups mayonnaise
1 hardboiled egg, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a medium-size bowl, coarsely crush the crackers with your hands into big cracker pieces.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately.
4 servings

If you’re a tomato lover, you have to give this a try! 

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes. 

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:
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at:


Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!



Total Pageviews