New Backyard Visitor

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My neighbor used to have a pile of wood stacked on the edge of his lot. It was occupied by a big old woodchuck who would periodically come out just to torment my dogs. I was so happy when the woodpile disappeared, because then so did the woodchuck. Until now. After all these years, I have daily sightings of a woodchuck. He looks much too comfortable in my backyard! I’m starting to think I need to get a dog again!

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

Frozen Tropical Lime Pie

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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

Lemonade Pie

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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

Creamsicle Pie

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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

Caprese Pasta Salad

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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

Sweet and Sour Pork Kabobs

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(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.