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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Mom's Oven Baked Ritzy Chicken

* This is a repost from many years ago. My mom is experiencing some health problems right now and I decided to share this "lovin from the oven" from her . If you were sick and she knew it, she would be lifting up your name to our Creator, praying and believing for your healing. I'm asking the same for her, from you. Her name is Rose. 💗

This is my family's go-to chicken recipe that my Mom has been making for many years.It has a very buttery flavor, and the crust is so good, when no one is looking, I even try to eat the crumbs from the baking pan. Sometimes I do it when people ARE looking because it's that good!

This is easier than frying chicken since you don't have to stand over the stove waiting, then turning each piece. However, often Mom will go ahead and brown each piece in the skillet BEFORE baking it. Which really is the best way to prepare, but to save on time and a little more fat, I just bake them.

I'm not trying to pass this off as a healthy baked chicken recipe, because it's not, however, baking is better than frying, but browning in the skillet is mom's secret before should listen to my Momma!

If you want to give it a try, you will need:

Chicken- boneless, skinless (see, saved yourself a little fat right there!)
*Cut into strips
1 stick of butter (You may need a little more)

1 sleeve RITZ crackers , or more depending on how heavy you like your coating.  (This brand does make the difference- don't substitute.)
Dip chicken in butter, then roll in crumbs. Place on GREASED baking sheet . Pour extra butter over top. Bake a 350 for about 30 minutes.

You'll have to practice moderation.

Now, you can send a thank you note to my Momma!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Crunchy Rice Krispie Sandwiches

This yummy little treat was shared with me by my friend Glenda, who got it from a mutual friend of ours who passed away many years ago, Evelyn Newcomb. These were also known as "Brian cookies" because Evelyn used to make them every Sunday for her son Brian. She loved having all of her kids home for Sunday dinner. She was a great lady who influenced many. I love that I have a recipe to make and share in her memory.

These are crispy and sweet, and a little change of pace from the ordinary rice Krispie treat.

You will need:

1 (12 0z.) bag butterscotch chips
1 cup peanut butter
9-10 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 (12 oz.)pkg. chocolate chips
2 T. water
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter in the microwave. Then add cereal. Mix well. Grease a 9x13" pan. Put 1/2 the cereal mixture in it.

Melt chocolate chips, water, butter in microwave (1-1/2 minutes). Add powdered sugar to the chocolate mix. Pour over cereal; mix in pan. Add the rest of cereal mix on top of chocolate. Press down gently. Refrigerate 3-4 hours before cutting into squares.

Thank you, Glenda, and Evelyn, for this one!


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Birthday Cupcakes

Today, my granddaughter, Lia Rose, celebrates her 5th birthday!

Yesterday, she wanted me to help her make her own birthday cupcakes for her party, and I thought it would be a good idea to snap some photos and share it on my blog.

I love it when she wants to help me in the kitchen. And she really enjoyed making and decorating the cupcakes with me.

We followed the box directions on a Devil's Food cake mix. Adding ONE EXTRA egg. She chose three different canned frostings: Vanilla Funfetti, Fluffy White and Milk Chocolate and added sprinkles.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, precious girl!

*Here's a pic of Lia Rose just 2 months old in my kitchen. Time flies when you're havin fun!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Crumby-topped Blueberry Muffins

Muffins are one of my favorite breakfasts treats. Blueberry and banana muffins have always topped my best-loved list.

Muffins are simple to prepare. They are very versatile. They can be enjoyed anytime-- for breakfast, a snack, a dessert-- even a bunch of muffins in a basket makes a great gift anyone would appreciate.

I prepared these in just a few minutes.I left the topping off some for those who prefer their muffins plain and simple. But I think the topping helps bump them up a notch. You decide. Give it a try!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup All-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups or use liners. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cups sugar, salt and baking powder. Put oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in berries. Fill about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour , 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Cool on wire rack.

*I found this recipe on
They were called "To Die For Muffins", but I'm not calling them muffin is worth dying over! 😃


Photo credit goes to my friend, Abby Hance.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Italian Green Pepper Chicken and Quinoa

I love to cook, but I'll tell you what I don't love to shop. And then load the car, unload the car, put it all away and then wash dishes when it's all said and done. Really, all that extra just takes the fun out of a wonderful hobby of mine.

Since clean-up is necessary, and cooking is fun, I try really hard to at least get out of going to the grocery store unless I MUST.

So, tonight's dinner was the creative expression of my head/heart/hands as I concocted a recipe with ingredients I had on hand. NO GROCERY STORE TRIP necessary!

I had boneless, skinless chicken strips. I had green peppers and onions. I had Good Season' Italian seasoning mix (and you should keep it on hand too because it makes EVERYTHING taste better!)

 I had boxed Quinoa, (I LOVE quinoa! ) If you've never tried it, it can be used in place of rice, but it is healthier and has a slight, nutty flavor.

I had chicken bouillon, garlic and seasonings and butter and I knew I could throw those things together and make a good meal. And I was right. I love when that happens.

SO, here's the new recipe created just so I wouldn't have to go to the grocery store.

You will need:

1 pkg. boneless, skinless chicken strips (cut into bite-size pieces)
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, sliced
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
1 pkg. Good Season' Italian Dressing mix
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 box Quinoa
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 T. butter
1/2 pkg. of a small bag of sliced almonds.

 I cooked the chopped onion and green pepper in some olive oil and butter (about 2 T. each.). I sprinkled in some minced garlic (about 1 tsp.), added 1 pkg. of Good Season's Italian dressing mix and continue cooking over med. heat.When the veggies were tender, I added the chicken and cooked until browned and no longer pink in the middle.

I prepared the box of Quinoa according to pkg. directions, adding bouillon cubes to the water (makes it taste so much better). I boiled it for 10 minutes.s. I added a little butter to it before I served it. Then I saw a small pkg of sliced almonds, and I added about 1/2 of that. Raw.

To serve, I placed chicken and veggies on top of Quinoa, with a side salad and glazed carrots. It was wonderful! Give it a try!

*Take a pic of your meal if you do. I'd love to see and hear how it turned out for others.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Easy Italian Salad

I love salads. I do. I love healthy ones and also salads that have more fat and calories than a juicy cheeseburger. I don't judge them.I just enjoy them.

I'll eat one as an appetizer before my meal.
I'll enjoy one as a side dish with my meal.
I'll devour one as the main entree when the mood strikes.

Salads are so versatile. They are also EASY to prepare. Especially since you can purchase bags of pre-washed, ready-to-eat greens. Even organic varieties. I call it"lazy lettuce" since no washing, drying or chopping is necessary.

I also love the fact that you don't have to be very skilled in the kitchen to pull off a great salad recipe.
So, I want to give you a tip on a special salad I make that everyone always asks me for the recipe--and especially the dressing recipe. And it's a cheater version. Very simple. NOT from scratch, but who cares?

This salad can be served as a main entree for lunch (since it does have meat) or serve it as an appetizer or a side dish.

First, save yourself some time and purchase the bagged Italian blend. Then add your favorite vegetables. The following are my favorite (and I won't pretend this salad is a healthy one, but you can omit the cheese and pepperoni and it would be healthier...but it won't taste as good., but how you build your own salad is none of my business.).

1 -2 bags Italian blend salad mix in a bag
1/2 can black olives, drained and sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup pepperoncinis, drained and sliced
1 small pkg. pepperoni slices
1 red/green pepper, chopped
1-2 T. dried onion flakes (or use  rings of a sliced onion)
1-2 cloves minced garlic (or 1 tsp. of minced garlic in a jar)
chopped basil leaves or parsley--just a bit if dried (1 tsp.-1T.)
1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup or more-shredded Parmesan cheese
*Other veggies of your choice

Empty bag of lettuce blend into a large bowl. Add your favorite veggies.Toss. Cover with plastic wrap till ready to serve.


Prepare one pkg. of Good Season's Italian Dressing mix according to pkg. directions (which includes vinegar-I use apple cider vinegar- and oil -I use olive oil).

Add about 1 T. white sugar (or a little more) and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese. (This was a wonderful tip from my friend Gail who is a fabulous cook with all sorts of great ideas in the kitchen.) This tastes like a signature or House Salad at many fine dining restaurants. You can also add the sugar and Parmesan cheese to a bottle of prepared Italian dressing, like Wishbone.

Mix very well.

Right before serving, toss well with the salad. Sprinkle with more grated Parmesan on top. Serve with croutons or crusty bread.

You're welcome!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Favorite Kitchen Gadget Review: Mario Batali Potato Peeler

September is National Potato Month, and I love all things potato.

I am the "Bubba Gump" of the potato world.

I love mashed potatoes. Boiled Potatoes. Fried Potatoes. Baked Potatoes. Grilled Potatoes. Potato Casseroles. Potatoe Soup...well, you get the idea.

Since potatoes are consumed often in this house, my Mario Batali Potato Peeler became my favorite kitchen gadget. But I'm sorry to say I can no longer find them available for purchase online.

You can watch this video review from my facebook page that I made several years ago. (And sorry for all the " and ums" and pauses in the video 😏 )  Click on the first video you see.  While you're there, be sure to LIKE and FOLLOW my page and leave a comment so you will continue to get daily updates. And then go ahead and share the page with your friends.

CLICK HERE for the video and let me know how you enjoy your potatoes.

“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” 
― A.A. Milne

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