Stuffed Peppers

Jack O’ Lantern Stuffed Peppers

Halloween is almost here and while costumes and candy distribution get top priority, don’t forget to have fun at meal time! I make stuffed peppers every year, and love to carve Jack O’ Lantern faces into each pepper. It takes only a few extra minutes and turns an everyday meal into a Halloween treat. Spooky good! For a meal as iconic as stuffed peppers, I turn to a trusted source: Betty Crocker. Betty tells us to make our stuffing from one pound of ground beef, one cup of rice, a garlic clove and tomato sauce. When the peppers are stuffed

Pepperoni Cheese Ball

Pepperoni Cheese Ball

Halloween is coming so, of course, we need an appetizer! This Pepperoni Cheese Ball works great because, like all cheese balls, you can pick the shape. So go ahead and make a football for a tailgate party, but if you’re having a Halloween party, use your head . . . or skull shape instead. I adapted this recipe from sugardale.com and it’s a crowd pleaser. Almost all cheeseballs start with cream cheese and shredded cheese, but this one adds pepperoni and a packet of Italian dressing seasoning to rev up the flavor. Green olives are an optional add-in. I added

Split Pea Soup

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

As a child, I always turned up my nose to Split Pea Soup. Was it the color? Too bad, because I’m sure Mom’s soup was great: starting with a ham bone, cooked on the stove top; the whole bit. As an adult with wiser taste buds, I love this. However, I thought I could do it the way Mom did: purchasing ham on the bone, serving a “normal” meal of ham and then saving the bone thinking I could use it for soup. You know what? HUGE pain! My pot was too small for the bone and I had no

Beef Stew

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

This classic beef stew can be made in a Crockpot or Instant Pot to produce a delicious, warming stew for a cool weather meal.

mini bell peppers

Mini Bell Pepper Poppers

Turn mini bell peppers into a tasty appetizer or side dish for any Mexican-themed meal.

cilantro lime sauce

Cilantro-Lime Sauce

Sometimes all you need is a great sauce to take a dish from good to great. Some people like a little, others a lot, so a sauce on the side pleases all palates. The idea for this cilantro-lime sauce was inspired by Café Rio’s Creamy Tomatillo dressing. Like many others, I am a big fan of Café Rio. For those not familiar, Café Rio is a fantastic casual restaurant chain based in Salt Lake City. My daughter lives there, and a Café Rio visit is mandatory every time I visit. Hey Café Rio people: your brand would be HUGELY popular

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White Russian

A couple of interesting holidays this week. October 1 is National Coffee Day and October 4 is National Vodka Day. Hmm… combine coffee liqueur with vodka and – White Russian, anyone? This recipe comes from liquor.com, where the drink is described as “decadent and sophisticated.” It was created in the 60’s when someone added a little cream to a Black Russian. For those movie buffs and mixologists (aka bartenders), the White Russian had a bit of a “stodgy” reputation until “The Dude” re-branded it in the 1998 movie, “The Big Lebowski.” No bathrobe required here. It’s acceptable in any attire.

Cheese Ball, football

Cheese (Foot)Ball

I once saw someone refer to a cheese ball as the Brad Pitt of appetizers: always looks good, everyone likes it, and you’re always glad to see it. Sounds about right, yes? 😀 A cheese ball is quite simple and fun to make (certainly easier than getting Brad Pitt to your party) and easy to customize to individual tastes. This particular recipe is a product of combining my recipe cards with my mother’s. Cheese ball fun comes from forming it into different shapes. Of course, the classic round ball never goes out of style, but since it’s football season I

apple crisp

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is the perfect dessert during apple season! All the tastes of apple pie in a fraction of the time. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream and prepare for the applause!

caprese chicken

Caprese Chicken

This one-pot meal can be ready in under 30 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights!

apple dip

Apple Brickle Dip

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. So dip that apple in something delicious for a tasty treat.

Meatballs

Make-Ahead Meatballs

Meatballs are pretty easy to make – so quick! But, there’s a way to launch your meatball dinners into hyperdrive by freezing the meatballs. Yes, you can freeze them (gives you chills, amirite?). Now you know the secret to the poetically named: Make-Ahead Meatballs recipe. And, here’s another plus: You can please everyone at the dinner table by making these morsels for carnivores and keep a portion of the sauce meatless for those who prefer it. The recipe is pretty straightforward with simple seasonings that complement a variety of sauces. The proportions are suitable for 1 ½ pounds of ground

Avocado Dip

Avocado Dip

This avocado dip comes together in 10 minutes for a delicious and healthy option! Serve it with tortilla chips or as a lettuce wrap for a low carb option.

Pancakes from scratch

Breakfast for Dinner

When schedules are crunched and there’s hardly time to think, much less plan a meal, don’t forget about breakfast. For dinner, I mean. And let’s face it: EVERYBODY loves pancakes. Oh wait – no pancake mix in the pantry? Worry not, pancakes are super-simple to make from scratch! This recipe comes from allrecipes.com and uses staple ingredients, which I always have on hand. It takes minutes to mix together and just a few more minutes for cooking time. The recipe says it serves four but let’s be honest … in my house it serves 2. Your results may vary. 😀

Salsa

Roasted Salsa

Tomatoes everywhere! Every farm stand, grocery store and farmer’s market is bursting with fresh, ripe, luscious tomatoes. Maybe you grow your own! If you are scouring cookbooks and the “Internets” to use these beauties, this is easy and fun. I found this in the August issue of Bon Appetit and although it took me three tries to get salsa the way I like it, that was the fun! Making salsa at home provides free range for individual creativity and preferences. For the first batch, I followed the recipe to the letter. The result was very “soupy” and so hot I

Oatmeal

Not your Grandmother’s Oatmeal

September 8 is National Grandparents’ Day. Have you ever heard the advice “eat like your grandparents”? This bon mot encourages us to step away from over-processed foods and hew to meals your grand- or great-grand parents would make. Good advice, but beware. Marketers have cleverly wrapped an old-time word around new products such as quick-cooking oats, steel cut oats, pre-sweetened instant oats, and oatmeal bars packaged to look like granola bars. I’m pretty sure Grandma would look at these with a curious eye. Some may be as nutritious, but when I see the added sugar and unpronounceable preservatives, I get

Energy Bites

No-Bake Energy Bites

Once Labor Day is over, the pace of life picks up: It’s back to school for the kids; it’s back-to-school shopping for the parents; there’s more traffic, longer lines at the stores. Time for a shortcut – and a nutritious energy boost. Energy bites, courtesy of allrecipes.com, are just the trick. They take minutes to make and are so tasty it’s easy to forget how healthy they are. Ingredients? Peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips, flaxseed meal, honey and vanilla. My granddaughter calls these “cookies,” and they really are like a cookie, only no flour, no butter and most importantly, no

taco dip, packers

Packer Party Taco Dip

This week marks the start of the 100th season of the National Football League, or NFL. I’ve lived and died through so many Packer games, it feels like a century. Traditionally, each year in the NFL, the first regular season game is hosted by the defending Super Bowl champion (*Bonus question: Can you name that team?). However, this year, the season kickoff game will be fittingly played by, who else? the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears, one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL. So, of course, a special game-day snack is required! With this dip, I am

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Salt ‘n Squeeze Slaw

It’s the end of August and recipes that take minimal effort without generating heat are super handy. This “cool” recipe, found in the August issue of “Bon Appetit,” fits the bill. It’s possibly the simplest way I’ve ever seen to make a slaw-type salad. Think of this as a technique as much as anything – it’s intended to be a mix and match of vegetables according to your preference and/or vegetable availability. For instance, I’m showing a combination of radishes and cucumbers. However, other combinations work, such as Napa cabbage and cucumbers, or red cabbage and red onion. So far,

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Grape Tomato Mozzarella Salad

I love this time of year. It’s the time of the harvest and there’s such an abundance of fresh vegetables available. So many of these veggies can be purchased year-round but let’s face it, they taste best in season. For example, grape tomatoes, there’s a little extra sweetness in every bite. I bought them in bulk last week and snacked my way through in two days. This recipe has been heavily adapted from one of my America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks, and it takes the grape tomato from snack to salad while still maintaining a “star of the show” status. The

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Green Smoothie

Before I get into the makings for the Green Smoothie, here’s a reminder close to my heart: I’m a former dog(s) owner and August 26 is National Dog Day. If you share your life with (wo)man’s best friend, give your lifelong pal(s) an extra treat today. It’s also the “dog days of summer,” signaling the beginning of the end of summer. A quick and nutritious and non-stove meal (aka smoothies) always comes in handy. Smoothies, in fact, are a “two-fer,” combining “deliciosity” and nutrition. Typically low in calories and fat, it’s the perfect remedy for a guilty conscience (Raise your

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Tuna and Bean Salad

I’m a big fan of tuna salad, but when I want something different and lighter, Tuna and Bean Salad is a great option. This is a modified version of one found on nytimes.com. It uses tuna and white beans to deliver a healthy protein boost. And, the dressing enhances a light lemon flavor without adding tons of calories. The result is a salad that’s less than 150 calories, for one serving. And that’s perfect for lunch. Especially if eaten with some salad greens. Feeling hungry? Just have it all! The whole bowl is still under 300 calories and if you

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Sweet Potato Salad

August 19 was National Potato Day so, of course, a potato dish is needed. Plus, it’s August so let’s think cool. As in potato salad! And let’s give that old saw a new twist by using sweet potatoes! Technically, sweet potatoes are distant relatives of the everyday potato visitors to your dinner table, the red and white “taters.” Sweet potatoes are root tubers found in the company of beets, carrots and turnips. Whereas “regular” potatoes are part of the nightshade family, who count tomatoes, eggplants and peppers as family members. As any respectable bar food denizen knows, sweet potatoes are

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Roasted Baby Potatoes

August 19 is National Potato Day and even though we are smack dab in the middle of August and therefore certain to be hot, I can’t resist sharing my favorite go-to hot recipe for potatoes. Is there anything better than roasted red potatoes, crispy on the outside and creamy-good inside? I think not.  They remind me of a cross between a baked potato and a French fry. Irresistible! Red potatoes work so well for roasting: In addition to that lovely skin (no peeling required), the potato itself has enough starchiness to roast well. For this batch, I purchased a supply

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Pineapple Kiss

As mentioned before, August 16 is National Rum Day so I thought I’d better post at least one recipe using rum. And this one is super simple. It’s another one of those recipes that started with a restaurant menu. I took note of the description and played with the proportions at home. The final combination was perfect: sweet and refreshing with mild tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut. Perfect for a hot summer day, like a pineapple-flavored kiss on the shores of Maui. Enjoy!

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Kahlua Mudslide

There are so many recipes for ice cream drinks that use Kahlua. Many use a combination of liqueurs, but I wanted to keep it simple. The following is called the “Applebee’s copycat” by some, which implies that Applebee’s invented it, but I can tell you for certain that I made this drink long before I heard of Applebee’s. You see, I was in college (I told you it was a long time ago) and my roommate’s boyfriend went to Mexico for spring break. He came back with many bottles of Kahlua. So, a blended drink seemed the perfect option. As

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Kahlua Chocolate Cake

with Chocolate-Kahlua Frosting August 16th is National Rum Day. Right about now you are probably thinking, “What kind of summer recipes use rum?” Well, actually, there is rum in Kahlua!! So, it totally counts! Kahlua is a sweet, coffee-flavored liqueur that hints at dark chocolate, at least to me. The drink that always come to mind for me is Kahlua and cream. If you think about it (after a couple of these) it’s just an adult glass of chocolate milk, right? Coffee is a popular additive to baked goods to enhance chocolate flavor, so this Kahlua chocolate cake (found at

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Frozen S’mores Pie

August 10 is National S’mores Day. Now THIS is a holiday I can really get behind! In case you were abducted by aliens for 100 years and don’t know what a S’more is, I will explain: a S’more (short for “some more”, as in I want some more) consists of a roasted marshmallow with a layer of chocolate bar sandwiched between two pieces of Graham cracker. Yum! The Girl Scouts are commonly credited with this campfire treat, but there is at least one other person, a Presbyterian minister, who contributed to the treat because of his moral crusade.* *Little known

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Frozen Banana Bites

When my granddaughter came to visit this summer, I was looking for fun frozen treats to make. I tried a few Popsicle recipes, but they drew mixed reviews. Then, I struck gold. Or, chocolate. And bananas. Yes! Frozen banana pops! A winner! These pops have the shortest ingredient list ever: bananas and chocolate chips. I got fancy and made half white-chocolate and half chocolate-chocolate, but that is strictly optional. Oh, and the googly eyes. Very important. They’re optional, of course, but really, who can resist watching a 3-year-old place googly eyes on edible objects? Not me! (Googly eyes can be

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Guacamole

July 31 was National Avocado Day and probably everyone was surprised that I did not publish a guacamole recipe. Well, I saved it because this week the NFL begins the first pre-season football games of the year. In this house, on football Sunday, we call chips and dip “lunch”. To kick off the pre-season, let’s start with Guacamole. Originally from Mexico, the word guacamole is derived from two words in the Aztec language: ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). So basically it is avocado sauce. We of course use it as a dip 😀 And it is a healthy dip! Formerly,

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Corn Tomato Avocado Salad

I’ve had today’s recipe on my radar for a long time. Finally, I tried it and my very first thought was – “Why did I wait so long?” followed by “How soon can I make this again?” It’s filled with the fresh flavors of just picked sweet corn and tomatoes paired with the creamy, healthy goodness of avocado. So easy and so amazingly delicious! Credit for this goes to skinnytaste.com Note: I have played a little with the proportions and find that I’m happiest with a bit more sweet corn so I bumped it up from the original 1 cup

Avocados!

July 31 is National Avocado Day so I thought I would share some general avocado tips to help everyone maximize their enjoyment of this wonderful fruit (yes, it is a fruit!). Tip #1: Ripening avocados For me, finding a perfectly ripe avocado is almost impossible. It happens about one trip in 20 to the grocery store, and then it’s usually when I don’t want an avocado that particular day! Instead, my approach is to buy unripe avocados, preferably not super green but at least starting to ripen. Then, at home, I place these in a brown paper bag, which I

Strawberry Shortcake Roll

Strawberry Shortcake Roll

Today’s recipe delivers all the wonderful flavors of strawberry shortcake: fresh strawberries, whipped cream and shortcake, in one package. I found this recipe on crazyforcrust.com and to my great distress the cake looked like a complete failure at one point. In the end, I snatched victory from the (hungry) jaws of defeat. Normally I wouldn’t post a recipe before getting it right all the way through, but people from the neighborhood Bridge Club are clamoring (“Clamor! Clamor! Clamor!”) for the recipe, and I am here to deliver! The aforementioned Bridge Club, is not named for a card game, but it

Grilled Margarita Shrimp

July 24 is National Tequila Day. I’m sure everyone is looking for creative ways to celebrate. A margarita is an obvious choice, especially delicious in slushee form on a hot summer day. But don’t stop there! Since you already have tequila on hand, make some margarita shrimp. Yes, there is such a thing and it’s delish! Also very simple. I originally found this recipe on Allrecipes.com. To start, marinate the shrimp in a mix of tequila and lime juice (sounds like a margarita to me!) as well as some Mexican-y spices. This step needs at least 30 minutes but can

Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Sometimes the mood for shrimp hits, but not the mood for making it. This recipe from skinnytaste.com satisfies both those needs by using pre-cooked shrimp to throw together a wonderful and healthy salad. The tastes of this salad remind me of ceviche, which is essentially raw fish cured in citrus juices. Ceviche is delicious, but sometimes the mental image of raw fish might spoil it for some. In this salad, the shrimp is already cooked, which makes it a perfect compromise. It takes very little time to assemble, and in the case of a rare leftover portion it is still

pie

Frozen Tropical Lime Pie

I wanted to bring to your attention an important holiday coming up. I’m hoping it’s marked on everyone’s calendar. Every year on the third Sunday in July our nation should set aside time to observe National Ice Cream Day. This year it’s July 21st. Should be a national holiday, right? Clearly, an ice cream pie is in order. This recipe is adapted from Pillsbury.com and features both lime sherbet and vanilla ice cream. The crust was the greatest challenge for me as I couldn’t figure out what kind of cookie Pillsbury asked for with the description “crisp coconut cookie.” So

pie

Lemonade Pie

Is there anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than lemonade? It’s tart, sweet, thirst-quenching (and I swear it cools body temperature) all at once. I love it! That made this recipe an easy choice: a no-bake pie with the flavors of lemonade. This is another super-easy pie that requires very few ingredients, and the result looks like you labored from dusk til dawn. Note: While this is not a labor-intensive recipe, planning ahead is essential since preparation for this cool confection includes four hours of defrost time for the Cool Whip (I ALWAYS forget this step) and four

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Creamsicle Pie

It’s mid-July, which means summer is definitely in full swing and we need some cool and refreshing desserts. But let’s not bake unless we have to; there are plenty of no-bake options to choose from. Everyone remembers Creamsicles, right? Or is it Dreamsicles? One site I found stated that one (Dreamsicle) is made with Ice milk and the other (Creamsicle) with ice cream, another said the word ”Dreamsicle” was created to emulate but not infringe upon the copyright of the Creamsicle. But basically Creamsicle is the brand name used by the makers of Popsicles (and I consider that a VERY

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Caprese Pasta Salad

I love the fresh flavors of a Caprese salad: mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic. So “old country.” A pasta salad version couldn’t go wrong. I adapted this recipe from one on Delish.com. Their version would feed a small crowd, but I was feeding two so I scaled it back, making most ingredients half of what was called for, with one exception: cheese. I used the same amount of cheese for half the salad. Why? Because (repeat after me) “There is no such thing as too much cheese!”   Looks right to me! In my opinion, what takes this

kebabs

Sweet and Sour Pork Kabobs

(Also known as “Kebabs”) The first formal cooking class I took (aside from Junior High Home Economics) was for Chinese cooking. It was the 1980’s and I worked at a hospital that offered sports leagues and enrichment classes to employees. What fun! My co-workers and I, all lovers of Chinese take-out, signed up to learn how to make it ourselves, and we had a blast. But the real winners were the guys playing basketball in the same building. They worked in various departments of the hospital, and felt comfortable showing up at the door the minute they smelled us cooking.

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Grilled Beets

With summer in full swing, a lot of cooking happens on the grill. But that doesn’t mean just meat. Many vegetables are both easy and delicious when grilled. One such is the beet. For many people, beets seem to fall into either the “love” or “hate” category. For me, I SUPER love (new category) beets (but not pickled, because I just don’t think you should do that to a perfectly good vegetable). You’ve heard of sugar beets, right? They’re called that for a reason: Beets are naturally sweet, due to their high sugar content. But here’s the magic: sugar +

chickpea salad

Chickpea, Carrot and Arugula Salad

Time for a great summer salad that provides plenty of protein and needs no cooking. Even better, it requires only 6 ingredients, plus spices. As a vegetarian main or a side dish, this salad delivers your veggies in a delicious package! This is another recipe from one of my favorites: The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook. It features chickpeas, arugula and carrots, plus Kalamata olives and a lemony dressing. Since this salad uses arugula, let’s detour a minute to my backyard. This year I decided to grow a few greens in some leftover empty pots. I filled each pot with soil and

Potato Salad

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

For the Fourth of July, you need potato salad.  Since you’re probably going to make some anyway, why not make it to celebrate the holiday? This post is simply a different twist on my Classic Potato salad. To make it fun for the Fourth, I use red, white and blue POTATOES! Have you seen these? They are typically sold as a “medley” of very small potatoes – usually about an inch in size. The advantage to this is that they are all about the same size, and there is no need to cut any before cooking – bonus! The small

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Red White and Blue Vodka Slush

This recipe is just pure fun. I wanted something relatively simple, but entertaining for the holiday, something that stands out, like – what else for July Fourth? – red, white and blue Vodka Slushies! I first thought of using three different beverages but quickly realized that the logistics were terrible: Make big pitchers and store them in the fridge? Who has that kind of room? I mean, we need some food at this gathering too, right? So, I decided to use a Vodka-Lemonade slush recipe found on Foodie Misadventures. Making these red, white or blue works like this: Red: fill

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Frozen Patriotic Torte

The Fourth of July isn’t one of those holidays associated with a certain food so much as a place: outside. The almost certainly warm holiday means eating outdoors is preferred. And you want something cold and refreshing. Layers of Jell-O? That’s one approach. This patriotic dessert seriously ups the game! This marvelous recipe is courtesy of the folks at wisconsincheese.com and requires no baking, just mixing and freezing. Perfect for a hot summer day! Picture this (or, just look at the photo): A white base of mascarpone cheese, whipped cream and pound cake, accented with blueberries and raspberries producing a

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Red White and Blueberry Crumble Bars

Here’s a red, white and blue version of a simple berry-crumble bar. I found this recipe years ago on Allrecipes.com, using blueberries. The notes said that any berry would work, so I thought why not strawberry? Better yet, why not both? By making this half blueberry and half strawberry, you create red, white and blue all in one 9×13 pan. (I’m counting the neutral-colored crust as white here) Simply mix up the dough ingredients and pat half of it into a 9×13 pan. The berries are mixed with some sugar and cornstarch and then added to the pan. The rest

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American Flag Taco Dip

I don’t exactly know why, but I simply LOVE to make red, white and blue food for the Fourth of July! When my kids were young, it was layered Jell-O. At some point, I graduated to layered cakes and other foods. No matter what direction I take, I always want to have at least one item with the right colors on July 4th and that’s why I have been eagerly anticipating this week leading up to the Fourth – and now it’s here! YAY! That is my theme from now until Independence Day – all recipes will have a red,

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Mimosa Sunrise

Today, June 21, is the summer solstice. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year. What better way to commemorate this day than with a sunrise drink? (No, I don’t mean a drink at sunrise. Unless you are so inclined of course. No judging here!) My first thought was tequila sunrise, but I wanted something different, so I tried a Mimosa. So fun! I’m pretty sure you could drizzle grenadine into any orange juice based drink and make the lovely sunrise effect. What I like about this drink is that it is

martini

National Martini Day!

Good Morning! June 19 is National Martini Day. So, of course, my decision for what to make was already made for me. A martini, obvi. But which one? The traditional martini is made with gin and vermouth, garnished with olives or a lemon twist. Purists will say to only stir a martini. Some, like James Bond, feel martinis should be shaken not stirred. I for one, do NOT intend to disagree with 007.   What I think is much more fun is the development of martinis with all the other types of liquor available. Since I prefer vodka to gin,

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Cranberry Grapefruit Kiss

Here in Madison, Wisconsin there used to be THE perfect (to me) restaurant. It had something for everyone: think bar food, wonderful salads and appetizers, decent prices, plenty of seating, a casual, friendly crowd, and in the summer a HUGE outdoor patio. Those who live in Wisconsin LOVE places with outdoor seating, even though it’s relevant only 3-4 months of the year. It makes up a tiny bit for those days of winter. ⛄️ So, I was particularly sad when this restaurant closed. Something about using the (truly awesome) location for a different purpose. What?! Don’t they know? We NEEDED

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Easy Pasta Salad

When a quick salad is needed to go with whatever is on the grill, pasta salad is an easy choice. I typically use whatever fresh vegetables happen to be on hand plus cheese and meat according to preference or mood of the day. I have found this to be a good venue for whole grain pasta, since the use of a dressing makes it hard for those “picky eaters” to distinguish between the “white stuff” and whole grain. This time I used tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, yellow bell pepper, green onions, salami and mild brick cheese with rotini pasta. My dressing

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Juicy Lucy

Have you ever heard of a “Juicy Lucy”? No? In that case, I will consider this my public service message for the day J. A Juicy Lucy is a cheeseburger with cheese inside the patty instead of on top resulting in a melted core of cheese. Cool, hey? Two bars in Minneapolis claim to be the inventor of the burger, though other bars and restaurants have their own interpretations. One, “Matt’s Bar, where I had my first JL (and not my last) ” uses a different spelling: “Jucy Lucy.” Cooking the cheese in the burger gives you two “wins.” The

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Grilled Pizza!

Make it Vegetarian OR Meatlovers! Pizza is America’s favorite food, according to a survey by the California Pizza Kitchen. (I’m sure they were COMPLETELY unbiased, LOL). But it is summer, and we love to grill. So can we combine these two loves? Yes, we CAN! Grilling pizza is essentially just a technique to get used to, particularly for the crust. Once you have that figured out, the rest is easy. The pizza can then be customized with whatever ingredients are preferred. Please note: I do all my grilling on a gas grill. In theory this can also be done on

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Quinoa Edamame Salad

With summer coming isn’t it nice to have an “easy button” to throw together last-minute salads? This one is something I quite literally THREW TOGETHER, using .. whatever .. in my fridge and freezer. I liked it so much, I make it regularly. On purpose! Both quinoa and edamame provide a protein punch. Corn gives hints of sweetness, and grape tomatoes provide a mild tang. I’ve also used cooked carrots and peas with success.  The possibilities are endless! One note about edamame: when I find a package labeled edamame in the freezer section, it is a package of beans in

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Asparagus and Cannellini Bean Salad

I was raised on a farm where we grew our own asparagus, so for me this vegetable always shouts “Spring!” Luckily, due to the marvels of modern growing and shipping practices, we have access to this vegetable almost year round. But let’s face it: Asparagus is still best in the spring. Sometimes all you want to do is steam your asparagus and have it on the side with fish or even steak. But other times, you want something different. And for that we go to one of my cookbooks from America’s Test Kitchen. And it delivers! By including cannellini beans

SOUP

Spicy Mushroom-Noodle Soup

You know, ramen has come a long way. I don’t think I ever heard of it until I was in college. At the time, ramen meant cheap instant noodles with a flavor packet. And cheap! What were they, three or four packs for a dollar? Perfect dorm room fare: Carbs that didn’t require a lot of cooking or kitchen equipment. Of course, you were always hungry an hour after. Fast forward to today. Ramen has been dressed up and taken downtown. Seems like there’s a ramen restaurant on every other corner, each claiming to be better than the last. How

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Classic Potato Salad

Does anything say summer more than potato salad? (Okay, maybe ice cream, popsicles, shorts, sandals, suntan lotion – you get the idea…) I have a true love affair with potatoes and therefore potato salad. I also believe that everyone should have at least one “go to” potato salad recipe that they love and can rely upon. (I have three, at last count) There are many different potatoes and ways to make the dressing, and you might have your own preferences, but here are mine: Potatoes: I use red potatoes, baby-sized if possible. The reason? It’s such a bother to peel

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Quinoa with Broccoli and Parmesan

This is one of my “go to” dishes, any time of year. It takes a mere 3 ingredients and only minutes to assemble. With two of those ingredients being quinoa and broccoli, this dish packs a punch of superfood action covered in one swell foop! AND it’s truly delicious! Since May is coming to a close I wanted to be sure to mention that it is Celiac Awareness month. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage to the small intestine. So many people seem to be affected by this! Fortunately, there are