Friday, June 29, 2012

Melon Mozzarella Salad

  • 3 cups peeled, coarsely chopped fresh peaches (about 1 1/2 lb.) 
  • (8-oz.) tub fresh small mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing
  • 4 cups seeded and cubed watermelon
  • 4 cups cubed honeydew melon 
  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries 
  • 2 cups seedless green grapes, cut in half
  • Garnishes: fresh raspberries, mint leaves 


  1. Toss first 3 ingredients with 1/4 cup Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing.

  2.  Layer watermelon, peach mixture, honeydew, berries, and grapes in a large glass trifle dish or tall glass bowl. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours. Toss with remaining 1/2 cup dressing just before serving.                Garnish, if desired.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tex-Mex Shrimp Cocktail

  • 1/4 cup hot red jalapeño pepper jelly
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 pound peeled, large cooked shrimp (31/40 count) 
  • 1 cup diced mango 
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (Eric's favorite)
  • small avocado, diced 
  • Garnishes: lime slices, fresh cilantro sprigs


  1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients.
  2.  Pour into a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; add shrimp and next 3 ingredients, turning to coat.
  3. Seal and chill 4 hours, turning occasionally. Add avocado. Garnish, if desired.

Shepherd's Salad

  1. 1 Large Tomato, chopped into small pieces
  2. 1 English Cucumber(Remove seeds in you are using big cucumbers), chopped into small pieces
  3. 2  Hot Green Chili  Peppers, very thinly sliced (May be replaced with bell peppers) (OPTIONAL!)
  4. 1 Small Red Onion (or green onions)
  5. 1 Cup Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped
  6. Few Fresh Mint Leaves
  7. Feta Cheese (Optional)
  8. 2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  9. 1 1/2 Tablespoons  Lemon or Vinegar
  10. 2 Tablespoons Very Lightly Toasted Sesame Seeds (Optional)
  11. Salt & Pepper to taste

Try to chop/dice all the veggies in small & equal size.
Combine onions, diced cucumbers & tomatoes, sliced peppers and chopped parsley & mint.
Whisk the Olive Oil, Lemon (Or Vinegar), Salt & Pepper & pour on to the salad & toss well.
Let the salad sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours for the flavors to infuse really well.
Garnish with feta cheese if you want. Lightly toast the sesame seeds & sprinkle on the salad before serving.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Berry Summer Buttermilk Bundt Cake

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups mixed berries
2 cups powdered or confections’ sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, very, very soft
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 10-cup Bundt pan, either with butter or a nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk or sift 2 1/2 cups flour (leaving 2 tablespoons back), baking powder and salt together and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and impossibly fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then, with the mixer on a low speed, add your eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Beat in vanilla, briefly. Add 1/3 flour mixture to batter, beating until just combined, followed by half the buttermilk, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk and remaining flour mixture. Scrape down from time to time and don’t mix any more than you need to. In the bowl where you’d mixed your dry ingredients, toss the berries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. With a silicon spatula, gently fold the berries into the cake batter. The batter will be very thick and this will seem impossible without squishing the berries a little, but just do your best and remember that squished berries do indeed make for a pretty batter.
Spread cake batter — you might find it easier to plop it in the pan in large spoonfuls, because it’s so thick — in the prepared baking pan and spread the top smooth. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, rotating the cake 180 degrees after 30 (to make sure it browns evenly). The cake is done as soon as a tester comes out clean of batter. At 10 minutes before my baking time was up, a tester was totally wet with batter and I wascertain it would never be done in the estimated time. 7 minutes later, the same tester was clean as a whistle, so fret not.
Set cake pan on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes, before inverting the cake onto a serving platter to cool the rest of the way. Cool completely. Once cool, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and butter until smooth and very, very thick. (If you’d like it thinner, add more juice, but I like the thick drippiness of it, seen above.) Spread carefully over top of cake, letting it trickle down the sides when and where it wishes. Serve at once or keep it covered at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.

Quinoa Fruit Salad

1 cup quinoa (I used Red Quinoa)
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
For the Honey Lime Dressing:
Juice of 1 large lime
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
For the fruit:
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cups chopped mango
Extra chopped mint, for garnish-optional


1. Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool to room temperature.
2. To make the Honey Lime Dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, honey, and mint together until combined.
3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, blueberries, strawberries, and mango. Pour honey lime dressing over the fruit salad and mix until well combined. Garnish with additional mint, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vickie's Breakfast Casserole

4 c. Seasoned croutons
4 c. Shredded cheddar cheese
12 eggs
1 qt. Half and half
1 t. Salt
1 t. Dry mustard
Dash of pepper
1 lb. Cooked bacon,drained and crumbled
1 lb. Cooked and crumbled pork sausage

 Place croutons in bottom of 13 x 9 pan, sprinkle with cheese. Pour mixture of beaten eggs, mustard, onions, sausage and half & half over cheese. Sprinkle bacon over top. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Veggie Salad

1 can shoepeg corn (or frozen corn), drained
1 can French-style green beans,drained
1 can baby peas (or frozen peas), drained

1/2 c. chopped green onions (or red onion)
1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper

Mix 3/4 c. vinegar
       1/4 c. oil
       1 c. sugar
Salt & pepper to taste.
Mix together.  Pour over vegetables and refrigerate over night.
Serves: 6-8

Shared by Patty West

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spaghetti in Garlic Gravy with Chicken

1 lb. spaghetti  (cooked al dente)
1 pound chicken breast fillets (sliced into 1 inch chunks)
For the chicken marinade:
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (if using dried, use half of the amount)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt (not table salt)
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to sauté the marinated chicken)
-  Add all the marinade ingredients into the chicken and marinade for 20 minutes (if making this dish for immediate serving) or overnight (if making this dish the next day… much better).
-  Saute the marinated chicken in extra virgin olive oil until cooked (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside.
For the garlic gravy:
½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup parsley, chopped (to sprinkle/finish the pasta)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
-  Place sauté pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.
-  Saute garlic until fragrant and soft.
-  Add the flour and cook for a minute.
-  Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened then add the chopped basil.
-  Season with salt and pepper.
-  Add the sauteed chicken in the gravy then toss the cooked spaghetti into this sauce.
-  Add the cherry tomatoes and finish the dish with the chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese (serve extra on the side).
Makes 5-6 servings.

Broccoli Crunch Salad

2 heads fresh broccoli
1 red onion
1/2 pound bacon
3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Cool and crumble.
Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces and cut onion into thin bite-size slices. Combine with the bacon, raisins, and almonds and mix well.
To prepare the dressing, mix mayonnaise, SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener, and vinegar together until smooth.
Stir into the salad, let chill and serve.

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup butter melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (use the boxed kind, or grind them in a food processor. Tiny granules.)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and 
1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Texas Coconut Pound Cake

2/3 C. Crisco
2 sticks butter
3 C. sugar
3 C. All purpose flour
5 large eggs
1 C. Milk
1/2 t. baking powder
1-1 1/2 C. coconut
2 t. coconut extract

 Cream butter, Crisco and sugar. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each. Add coconut flavoring. Sift flour and add baking powder. Alternate adding flour and milk to sugar mixture. Add coconut.
Spray tube pan with Crisco no stick spray with flour.
Bake @325-350 for 1 hr to 1 hr 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes turn on cooling rack.

Glaze, if desired.

2 c. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk
1/4 t. coconut extract