Monday, October 23, 2017

Capri Salad

 I'm sharing this one again because it's wonderful!

This recipe can be made very quickly, and is a very nice appetizer for an Italian meal.

I have sweet basil growing like crazy in my little garden (emphasis on LITTLE-- only THREE PLANTS!) but it excites me, because my gardens, even herb gardens, don't normally do well.

*I used about 5 Roma tomatoes, sliced (can also use beefsteak tomatoes)
* 4 1/2 oz. mozzerella cheese (sliced, fresh would be best, but I had shredded on hand, and it was fine)
*about 12 black olives, sliced (or however many you think you would like)
*8 basil leaves, torn, if large
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1T. olive oil
 salt and pepper to taste

Slice tomatoes.  Slice Mozarella and place over the tomatoes (or sprinkle on if shredded ). Save some for adding to the top.
Slice olives into rings and place on top of cheese.
Add some of the basil (same some for garnish)
Top with cheese.

Broil in a pre-heated oven for about 3-4 minutes (watch carefully so it doesn't burn)
When done, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and the oil that have been mixed together, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Pumpkin Cream Muffins--encore presentation

My friend, Glenda, shared this recipe with me many years ago and it has become a favorite of the masses! I whipped up a batch of the DELICIOUSLY moist muffins that are a cross between pumpkin bread and pumpkin cheesecake -- very moist and perfectly sweet.

A perfect way to welcome the fall season. Enjoy them for breakfast with warm coffee or tea, or have them for a snack or dessert.

You gotta try em.

So, here's what you need:

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 T. flour
2 T. butter

Mix together batter ingredients; set aside.

Blend filling ingredients till smooth; set aside.
Combine streusel ingredients; set aside.

Pour pumpkin batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Fill 2/3 full. Spoon heaping tsp. cream mixture in center.

Sprinkle with 1 tsp. streusel topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-22 minutes (depending on your oven. Insert a toothpick in center and when removed if it's clean, your muffins are done.)). Makes 18 muffins.


Bacon Cheese Dip

Easy and very tasty party dip that can also be used as a sandwich spread. Simple to throw together, just allow about an hour in fridge before serving. Just right for a simple weekend recipe, but good enough to share at your holiday get-togethers.


1/2 lb. bacon, chopped (or use Bacon Bits)
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (I actually prefer the plain yogurt in this one)
1/4 cup  mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing)
1 tbsp finely chopped green onion
1 tbsp  finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

*Assorted fresh vegetables, crackers or potato chips or tortilla chips


Cook bacon in large frypan until crisp. Drain well reserving l tsp dripping; set bacon aside. Chop bacon.

Combine reserved bacon drippings, yogurt , mayonnaise, onion, parsley, salt and crisp bacon in small bowl; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Garnish with more chopped bacon.

Serve as dip for vegetables, crackers or chips
Also can be used on a BLT  or other lunchmeat sandwich instead of mayo. (Omit bacon)


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

I love salads! Healthy, not-so-healthy, meat-veggie-fruit- and pasta salads. You name it, I've made it and devoured it!

I really enjoy when two of my favorites get all blended together and my taste buds smile and beg for more. This happened when I ran across this recipe.

I initially saw it on DELISH. Then again on several other recipe sites, all assembled a bit differently which is the beauty of it.

You get the rich, tangy creaminess of the Caesar dressing, poured over chicken, and penne pasta and Parmesan cheese. You can add more pasta if you prefer it to be more of a pasta salad, or add more romaine lettuce if you want it to be more of a traditional Caesar. Some recipes call for the addition of cherry tomatoes and also croutons. Some call for making your own dressing, and some used rotisserie chicken. Fresh chicken or canned chicken can also be used.

Hey, this is YOUR salad. Make it like you want it. But be sure to make it. It's interesting and will pleasantly surprise your guests when you combine the pasta with this familiar salad.

I served this at a baby shower for my second granddaughter, Eliana. The bowl was returned empty.

It can be served as a side dish, or a main dish at lunch. It's perfect for luncheon and I think that adding the cherry tomatoes would work nicely around the holidays since the red and green would look even more festive. Summertime would be a great time to serve it too.

Give it a try!

This was my very simple "cheater" version that allowed me to get it on my table quickly.

2 cups cubed chicken (I used frozen)
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. Penne pasta, cooked (or use less if you don't want as much pasta)
1 bag of Romaine lettuce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Prepared Ceasar Salad dressing (The best brand you can afford)
*You can also add 1 cup halved grape tomatoes and a half cup garlic flavored croutons

Cook chicken in oil in skillet till cooked through, adding the seasonings. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to pkg. directions. When done, drain and rinse with cold water.  Set in fridge to cool.

When ready to serve, mix together the romaine leaves with pasta ( whatever ratio you prefer of each). Toss with Parmesan and dressing (and tomato, if added).
Top with more Parmesan (and croutons if using).

Serve immediately.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

And the winner is.....

The winner of the 1-year subscription to ALL RECIPES magazine is...


Congratulations, Amanda! Send me your mailing address and we'll get this party started!

I hope you'll share one of your recipes with us.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Nancy's Bread Pudding (a repost)

A wonderful memorable recipe passed down from one generation to another is a deliciously moist bread pudding shared by my friend Nancy Wilburn, an Elementary School teacher who has been making her mother's recipe for many years.

 "When I make this dish, I always think of my Mother [the late Vertis Vaughn]. She would take it to all the church functions." ~Nancy

Not only is this recipe enjoyed during the Wilburn family holidays, it has been a special request for potlucks, church socials and was also most one of the most requested dishes by the West Frankfort athletes for their sports banquets.

Nancy recently prepared this dish for me and I can honestly say that it is THE BEST bread pudding recipe I've ever tasted! Extremely moist, without being soggy. A subtle blend of mild flavors. This would make a perfect  Brunch entree, or breakfast or dessert, an afternoon snack, midnight get the idea. This is comfort food at its best!


1 loaf of white bread
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 stick Parkay Margarine ( used Butter)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)


1 cup sugar
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
1 stick Parkay Margarine (I used butter)
1 Tbs. vanilla

Break bread into pieces and put into a buttered (or sprayed) 9x13 pan. Add raisins on top (if desired). Beat eggs, then add sugar, milk and vanilla. Pour over bread in the pan. Take a spoon and push bread into milk mixture. Sprinkle cinnamon over top and dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. (place on top of cookie sheet to avoid spillover). *This will rise while baking but will fall after removed from the oven.

Sauce directions:
Mix sugar and cornstarch in 2 qt. pan. Gradually add boiling water. Cook until sauce is thickened. Remove from stove. Add butter and vanilla. Stir until well blended. Pour sauce over baked pudding and add cinnamon on top if desired.

Thank you, Nancy!

Thursday, October 12, 2017


GIVEAWAY TIME!!! I am going to give someone a FREE  1-Year Subscription to ALL RECIPES magazine (This is my favorite place to find many of my new recipes to try). There will be 6 issues coming to your home.

Here's what you need to do to be eligible:



2. SHARE THE GIVEAWAY FACEBOOK  POST on your facebook page

3. LEAVE A COMMENT  ON THE GIVEAWAY FACEBOOK POST telling me which recipe I've shared  that  is your favorite. 

I will choose a winner THIS SATURDAY, October 14th at 10:00 pm.

I hope you'll participate.