Pan-roasted Red Pepper and Bow-tie Pasta Salad for Your Happy Labor Day Cookout

Check out this colorful pasta salad that’s simple and easy, but tastes gourmet!

This slightly adapted recipe from the Deen Brothers, combines bow-tie pasta with charred peppers, peas, shredded cheddar cheese and black olives ~ all tossed together with a dressing of chives, mayonnaise, balsamic vinegar and seasonings.

Bow-tie Pasta Salad with Pan-roasted Red Peppers 


1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼” strips
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 cups cooked bow-tie pasta (4-ounces dry pasta)
¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup black olives, sliced


Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
When oil is very hot and begins to smoke, add the peppers and cook until lightly charred, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chives, vinegar, and salt to pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, peas, Cheddar cheese, bell peppers and olives.
Add the mayonnaise dressing and toss well to coat.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary, before serving.
Serves 6

ENJOY!  and...


Greek-style Tilapia with Tomatoes and Onions

Greek food is simple and delicious with its robust flavors and colors ~ it’s fresh, nutritious and healthy eating.

All of those words apply to this dish:  Luscious healthy fresh red tomatoes, spicy cinnamon, warm sweet paprika, with the “mild-bitter” taste of parsley, plus garlic ~ all simmering into a great sauce to top the fish.

The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature, or heat slightly in micro, before pouring over fish and baking. 

It’s truly delicious, colorful and healthy too!

Greek-style Tilapia with Tomatoes and Onions


2 pounds tilapia fillets
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large white onions, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thinly across the grain
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds fresh tomatoes, diced, or 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about ½ cup), divided


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Season fish with salt and pepper.
Coat one or two baking dishes with cooking spray and lay fish in dish in single layer.
Heat oil in large skillet and add onions.
Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add garlic and cook for a minute or so.
Stir in tomatoes, sugar, paprika, cinnamon and half the parsley.
Simmer, uncovered, until sauce has cooked down a bit, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour over tilapia.
Sprinkle on remaining parsley.
Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 30 minutes.
Serves 4


Tomato and Peach Salad

This is my new favorite summer salad!

I was doubtful when I came across this recipe in Cooking Light:  peaches with tomatoes and red onion???  But then I told Bill (the peach and tomato lover in the house), about it, became intrigued and had to give it a go.

It’s amazing how the individual flavors of tomatoes, peaches and red onions ~ each taste delicious on its own ~ generate a uniquely different flavor when combined.

Acid and sweet balances perfectly with the tangy vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, lime juice and honey, coating the blend.

It’s a saporous combination that uses great flavors of summer and goes well with any grilled meat!

I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do!

Tomato and Peach Salad


3 medium peaches, skinned, pitted and cut into thick wedges

3 medium red tomatoes, skinned and cut into large chunks

½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved

½ medium red onion, thinly slice


1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon seasoned pepper


In a large bow, combine the peaches, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and red onion, and toss gently.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lime juice and honey.

Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking to emulsify,

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the dressing to the peach mixture and gently toss.

Serves 8


Sweet ‘n Spicy Glazed Salmon

My father-in-law had a friend who fished for salmon in Lake Michigan.  Every year, he gave my FIL 3 salmon; my FIL converted an old refrigerator into a smoker, smoked the salmon for his buddy, and kept one for himself.  Those were the “good old days” when we raved about his smoked salmon, and he shared with us! 

Sadly, those days are long gone, but salmon remains my favorite seafood…

This recipe for salmon, with it’s mouthwatering sauce, is adapted from Cooking Light, and has all the right flavors ~ sweet, salty, spicy and sour ~ all the right flavors that don’t outshine the salmon! 

It’s still on the cool side here so I turned the oven on again for dinner last night, but this is a great recipe for the grill also. 

The salmon is very tasty, really good ~ I didn’t have any leftovers and doubt if you will have either, when you make it.

Sweet ‘n Spicy Glazed Salmon


3 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons Chinese-style hot mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Cooking spray
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil, remove from heat, set aside.
Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Place salmon on pan and sprinkle with pepper.
Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven.
Preheat broiler.
Brush sugar mixture over salmon.
Place pan under broiler and broil for 3-4 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.


Baked-crisp Lake Perch

We’re big fans of lake perch ~ straight from Lake Michigan ~ mild tasting, bearing snowy white meat with no “fishy” odor like ocean perch. 

It’s on the cool side here, a good excuse for starting up the oven yesterday, and baking the fish instead of grilling.

Now, here’s why I like this recipe so much:  The breading surrounding the perch bakes into a crispy crunchy coating ~ it’s the same mouthwatering texture of fried fish, minus a plethora of fat and calories. 

Adjust the seasonings to your liking; add red pepper flakes if you prefer a little heat, or Parmesan cheese, if that’s what floats your boat.   And then simply bake for a mouth-watering meal.

I hope you try it and like it as much as we do!

Baked-crisp Lake Perch


1½ pounds lake perch fillets
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dill weed
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk butter and lemon juice in small bowl, brush on each fillet.
In a zip lock, combine remaining ingredients and coat fillets with mixture.
Coat a baking pan with cooking spray.
Arrange breaded fish on pan, skin side down.
Bake 12-15 minutes, until fish is crispy and flakes easily with a fork.
Serves 4


Summer Squash au Gratin

This little dish would never win the most photogenic prize at the state fair culinary competition, but it would acquire a blue ribbon in the taste category.

This is your recipe, if you want to switch up your plain grilled veggies.  The zucchini, summer squash, and onions bake in their own juices until tender, and the crisp breadcrumbs with Parmesan turns it all into a comforting side dish.

It’s positively worth turning the oven on for! 

Summer Squash au Gratin


2 pounds zucchini and yellow crookneck squash
1 large red onion, sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon flaked salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove stem ends and slice the squash cross-wise into ¼” slices.
Slice onion into ¼” slices.
Toss veggies with olive oil to coat.
Arrange in a 9” x 12” rectangular or round baking dish or a 10” pie plate.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is crispy.



Galena Street Chicken Burgers w/Lime Mayo

I was sort of burned out eating the same old grilled burger on a bun.  Ground chicken was swapped for beef, onion and bell pepper was added and then Galena Street Rub furnished the seasoning for a mouthwatering chicken burger.

Penzy’s Galena Street Rub is a favorite seasoning of mine.  It’s an authentic Southern-style seasoning with hints of nutmeg, sage, paprika, a little red pepper and cayenne.  It’s great sprinkled on ribs, chops or chicken, and a perfect addition for ground chicken patties like these.

The piquant spicy lime mayo topping the burger revved up our appetites for sure…

Toast the bun on the grill, and Voila!

Galena Street Chicken Burgers w/Lime Mayo

Ingredients for burgers:

2 pounds ground chicken breast

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons Penzy’s Galena Street Rub

1 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Ingredients for Lime Mayo:

½ cup light mayonnaise

2 teaspoons lime juice

½ teaspoon lime zest

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

½ teaspoon Penzy’s Galena Street Rub


In a large bowl, combine all burger ingredients, and mix well.

Form into 6 patties.

In a small bowl, whisk mayo ingredients thoroughly.

Refrigerate until serving time.

Heat grill to medium heat.

Cook patties about 15 minutes, turning once, until cooked through.

Place on buns and top with spicy mayo.


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!!!



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