Category Archives: Recipes

One Skillet Cheesy Yellow Squash Casserole


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 medium yellow summer squash, sliced in 1 inch cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning or salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar
½ cup sour cream
½ cup of good salsa
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed medium to fine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat the oil and butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Saute the squash, onion, celery and dry seasoning ingredients until soft.  When done, remove from heat and stir in the parmesan, 1 cup of the cheddar, sour cream and salsa. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
Mix cracker crumbs and the remaining ½ cup of cheddar together and sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.11081142158776871108114425877666


Venison Meatloaf




  • 1½ lbs. of ground venison
  • 8 slices of bacon, ground or chopped very fine
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of steel cut oats
  • 1 11.5-ounce can of organic diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • dash of worcestershire sauce


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 6 tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix all of the meatloaf ingredients together and place in a greased loaf pan.
  • Shape to form loaf.
  • Mix ingredients for topping and spread over meatloaf.
  • Cover with foil.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake 20 more minutes or until done.

Salmon Croquettes with Sour Cream Dill Remoulade


For the last week my darling daughter Rachel has asked me to make her some “Smack Mackem” which is her silly term for Salmon Croquettes.  I’m not sure if this is a Southern dish or if people everywhere eat Salmon Croquettes, but I’ve eaten them my whole life.  When I was a kid we dipped them in ketchup, but now I like mine with a little Dill Remoulade.  Since mayonnaise is forbidden in my household, (Rachel hates it) I always substitute it with sour cream or greek yogurt.  Have you ever eaten Salmon Croquettes?  If not, here’s my version.  I hope you’ll try it sometime and let me know what you think.

Salmon Croquettes:

1 egg beaten

14.75 oz can Wild Alaska Pink Salmon crumbled and bones removed

1/3 cup chopped onion

2 TBS Sour Cream

1 TBS Melted Butter

1/2 cup Flour

1/2 cup Yellow Corn Meal

1/2 tsp Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning or use Salt, Pepper and dash of Garlic Powder

Oil for Frying

Mix all ingredients and form into 4 equal sized patties.  Meanwhile in cast iron or heavy skillet add 1 inch of oil and heat on Medium setting.  Place patties into hot oil and cook about 4 minutes per side or until browned.  Place on parchment paper to drain.

Sour Cream Dill Remoulade:

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 1/2  tsp Dill Weed

Mix together and serve with Salmon Croquettes.

Vegetarian Pho (Pho Chay)


I just winged this recipe with what I had in the pantry and fridge.  I would have added tofu if I had any on hand.  Please feel free to improvise.  This recipe took me about 15 minutes to make and I think it was better than the Pho I get in our local restaurants.  I may try to make Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Peanut dipping sauce next. 🙂

100 grams or 1/2 package of Bean Vermicelli or Rice Vermicelli

Enough water to cover

3 Cups Organic Vegetarian Broth

or 2 Cubes Pho Chay Soup Seasoning in 3 Cups Water

2 TBS Vegetarian Mushroom Flavored Stir Fry Sauce

A couple of dashes of Bragg Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce

1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Onion

1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Mushrooms

1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Green Bell Pepper

1 to 2 TBS Olive Oil

Sliced Jalapeno, Lime and Cilantro to garnish

Soak the Vermicelli in water for 7 minutes then drain and discard water.  Put broth or soup cubes and water in pot and bring to a boil, stir in the Vegetarian Mushroom Flavored Stir Fry Sauce and Liquid Aminos add the Vermicelli and cook for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile stir fry the vegetables in hot oil for a few minutes.  Add the vegetables to the Vermicelli and Broth.  Divide between 3 to 4 bowls. Top with sliced Jalapeno, a squeeze of Lime and Cilantro.

Easter Bird Nests


My mother always made Easter special by making fun little treats.  She would make coconut cake, dye the coconut green and place jelly beans on top.  Or make bunny shaped cakes.  So here’s my fun little Easter treat.  I have seen a similar recipe on Pinterest and decided to make my version today.  I think they turned out pretty adorable.



Nestle Butterscotch Morsels (11 oz.)

1 cup peanut butter

La Choy Chow Mein Noodles (12 oz.)

Cadbury Mini Eggs (10 oz.)

Line  two cookie sheets with foil.

Over medium low heat in a large dutch oven sized pot, heat the butterscotch chips and peanut butter until melted.  Stir often and be careful not to burn.  After melting, gently fold in the chow mein noodles until all noodles are coated.  Drop large mounds onto lined cookie sheets and let cool for 2 or 3 minutes.  Then kind of mush them together and make an indention in the middle.

Once they are cool place on serving platter and add Cadbury Mini Eggs.  Voila!

Happy Easter!

Apple Fritters


I love apple fritters, but the ones available at the local donut shop tend make my tummy a little upset.  Something about the oil they use.  So here’s my homemade version.

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup peeled apple chopped into small bits
Coconut Oil


2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Whisk together milk and egg and stir into dry ingredients until just combined.  Fold in apple.  Pour about 1 1/2 inches of oil into skillet.  Heat oil on medium high heat.   Use a big spoon and kind of dribble batter into hot oil until you get the size of fritter you want, they puff up a bit in the hot oil.  Cook until brown, then flip and cook the other side.  Transfer to cooling rack placed on top of sheet pan and glaze.

Make glaze by stirring milk and powdered sugar together in a small bowl.  Drizzle over apple fritters.  Wait approximately 3 minutes for glaze to harden, then flip fritters and drizzle glaze over the other side.

Crispy Kale Chips


Oh my goodness!  How did I survive all these years without kale?  This kale recipe is incredibly healthy, too.  Do yourself a favor and try some asap.  Here’s a quick way to prepare it.

1 Large Bunch of Kale

1 to 2 TBS Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Wash kale and throughly dry (very important).  Tear into large bite sized pieces and discard the tough stem part.  Place on a large sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil then very lightly sprinkle on sea salt. Toss to coat.  Place in oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and toss around so all kale will get crispy.  Return to oven and bake additional 10 minutes. Watch closely or it may get overcooked.

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.


1 Minute Egg Muffin Breakfast Sandwich


Try this recipe if you need a nutritious take along breakfast in a hurry.  It only takes a minute and gives you a good protein and carb boost to start your day off right.

 1 Egg (organic cage free please)

1 Whole Wheat English Muffin

1 Slice Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Toast english muffin. Meanwhile, get a small microwave safe cereal bowl.  Rinse with water and leave wet. Coat lightly with Olive Oil. Break egg into bowl.  Cover with paper towel.  Microwave on full power for about 30 seconds or until done.  Place egg and cheese on toasted muffin, add salt and pepper (cayenne pepper if you like a little kick) and enjoy!

Calories: 280
Fat: 10 g
Protein: 19 g
Carbs: 27 g
Calcium: 35%
Iron: 16%
Vitamin A: 12%
Weight Watchers Points: 7

Vegetable Pot Pie


First of all, let me say that my recipes are not necessarily healthy or diet friendly.  They have been born out of necessity.  My husband and daughters will not eat meat.  Therefore, I have had to be creative in preparing tasty meat free meals that they would actually enjoy eating.  Sometimes I will sneak in chicken broth, or in this case chicken gravy mix.  Mostly because it’s very difficult to find vegan or vegetarian alternatives in my small town.

Secondly, I like simple recipes with very basic ingredients.  The easier, the better.  This recipe is very quick and easy to make, and It’s great on a cold winter day!

2 large potatoes peeled and cut in cubesImage
1 1/2 cups of carrot cut in small pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup frozen peas
Salt and Pepper
2 packages Organic Chicken Gravy Mix
or Vegetarian Chicken Gravy Mix
1 package of Pillsbury Rolled Pie Crust or Homemade Crust

Place veggies in a medium sized sauce pan, add water to cover and season with salt and pepper.  Go easy on the salt because the gravy mix already has salt in it.  Bring to boil and cook for 20 mins. Remove from heat.  Mix both packages of gravy with 1 cup cold water and add to veggies, stir. Pour into pie pan lined with 1 crust. Put on top crust, flute edges and cut slits on top. Place on foil line cookie sheet and bake in Preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let set for 20 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

Black Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk


1 cup black rice
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 can unsweetened coconut milk

Bring rice, 3 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with a tight-fitting lid, 45 minutes (rice will be cooked but still wet). Stir in sugar, a scant 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups coconut milk and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and rice is tender but still slightly chewy, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool to warm or room temperature, stirring occasionally, at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, stir pudding and divide among 8 bowls. Stir remaining coconut milk and drizzle over pudding.

Health benefits of Black Rice

“Consumption of black rice has been linked to marked decreases in risk for dangerous conditions such as heart disease and cancer.  High blood pressure, circulation and overall blood health also seems to be maintained well by those who add Black Rice to their diet. Because this special type of rice is considered to be anti-inflammatory and a great source of antioxidants, it may be useful in avoiding long term problems like Alzheimer’s and Diabetes.”


Vietnamese Iced Coffee

3 TBS ground Vietnamese Coffee
  (or espresso, dark roast, etc.)
1 – 3 TBS of sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup hot water
Coffee Press

Directions: Heat water for press, to almost boiling;  add coffee and then hot water in press, replace lid, but do not plunge and allow coffee to steep 2-4 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour sweetened condensed milk into bottom of glass.  Once coffee is ready, gently and slowly plunge press, wait 30 seconds after plunging for additional sediment to settle; pour hot coffee into glass.  Stir contents to combine – the coffee will turn a lovely mocha color.  Top the glass off with ice and enjoy!

Rosemary Bread


2 packets of active dry yeast
1 TBS sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 scant tsp salt
2 TBS fresh chopped rosemary
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS melted butter + 1 tsp rosemary and ½ tsp salt

Place yeast, sugar and water in large bowl or bread machine and allow mixture to become bubbly. Mix in flour, 1 scant tsp salt, 2 TBS rosemary and olive oil. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or use dough setting on bread machine. Add more flour if necessary. Let dough rise in a covered oiled bowl or leave in bread machine until doubled, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Punch down dough and divide in half. Spray baking pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray. Shape the dough into 2 small rounded oval loaves. Rub the 2 TBS melted butter + 1 tsp rosemary and ½ tsp salt over the loaves and press lightly into the surface.  Let loaves rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.



1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough (thawed)
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or pistachios
1 cup butter melted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 cup sugar
9×13 inch pan


  1. Make sauce. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. 
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 inch pan.
  3. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon, cardamom and 1/8 cup sugar. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack  to fit pan, save scraps. Place 2 sheets of dough in pan, lightly drizzle with butter using baster. Repeat until you have 6 layers. Make 1 layer using crumpled scraps and crumpled sheets then 2 more sheets. Sprinkle nut mixture on top and drizzle with butter. Top with 2 more sheets of dough and butter, layering as you go for about 6 – 8 more layers.
  4. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes or until baklava is golden and crisp.
  5. Remove baklava from oven and immediately drizzle sauce over it. Remove from pan while warm. If possible, leave it uncovered because gets soggy if it’s wrapped up.

Potato and Pea Curry with Saffron Rice


5 TBS salted butter
1 medium yellow onion cut in1 inch chunks
1 – 3 TBS McCormick Red Curry (1=mild – 3=spicy)
3 TBS sugar
1 10 oz package Mahatma Yellow Saffron Rice
1 can organic cream of mushroom soup
6 cans water
4 medium potatoes peeled and cut in chunks
1 1/2 cups frozen english peas
Salt to taste (butter, rice and soup already have salt)

In large dutch oven sized pot saute onion in butter until lightly cooked. Add curry, sugar and rice mix and saute for 1 minute. Add soup, water and potatoes and stir. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to between low and medium. Cook for about 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Add frozen peas and cook until peas are done and potatoes tender, about 10 – 15 more minutes. Serve with hot Naan bread you can now get at most grocery store bakeries. Makes a bunch, but I never have any left to throw out!

Pasta Salad Caprese


1 container of fresh grape tomatoes (about 2 cups)
1 container of fresh sliced mushrooms (about 2 cups)
1 bunch of small fresh asparagus sliced in 2 inch lengths – remove about 2 inches of tough stalk end and discard
olive oil
garlic powder
McCormick perfect pinch italian seasoning
Fresh Basil, chopped
1 box barilla penne pasta
8 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Place tomatoes, mushrooms and asparagus on sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on garlic powder, italian seasoning and salt, toss to coat. Place in 375 degree oven and roast about 25 minutes then let cool. Cook pasta according to directions and cool by running under cold water in colander. Place pasta in bowl, add roasted veggies and cheeses. Then make dressing by mixing the following together.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of balsamic or apple cider vinegar
2 TBS Fresh Chopped Basil
McCormick perfect pinch italian seasoning
Black Pepper

Drizzle over salad and gently toss. Refrigerate and serve.