Beet & Arugula Salad with Feta

And Bacon, if you’re into it

Beet and Arugula Salad

104 degrees today and an ongoing drought have me thinking lighter more hydrating meals. This means fruits and vegetables. Are you thinking what I’ve heard many times before beets taste like dirt. I consumed my fair share of dirt as a toddler, so I’ve been told, and I can honestly say it’s not sweet and while red beets are earthy they lack the grittiness. Still fearful? For a less earthy taste try the golden beet.

Make this recipe an easy quick fix with jarred baby beets (not pickled) or use fresh with a little added prep time. Make this completely vegetarian or add a little cooked bacon. Just a great dinner salad for a hot hot day.

Continue reading

Not The Usual Slaw

Rutabaga or Turnip

SlawHave you ever heard of mashed rutabagas in place of potatoes for a Thanksgiving side dish? Or was it Christmas? Well, I have! What do you know about this vegetable? Maybe more than I because my knowledge is slim. Not so many years ago I’d be looking for turnips for a recipe and unknowingly pick up a rutabaga. (It’s ugly cousin.) When my “turnip” cooked up yellow … yikes! If the top hadn’t been removed (I tell myself now) and I hadn’t thought they were turning a bit yellow because they were getting old I wouldn’t have made such a mistake. Ha!

Did you know this root vegetable is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. So, guess what! This slaw is versatile … make it with cabbage, turnips or rutabagas. And don’t fear the ugliness of the rutabaga … it cleans up nicely and really doesn’t taste much different from a turnip … neither having a strong flavor in my opinion. My excuse for ground black pepper!

Continue reading

Broccoli Chicken Salad


Broccoli Side Salad without Chicken

Broccoli Chicken Salad



This salad is as beautiful as it’s nutritious and delicious! Revised from the good old days of raisins and sunflower seeds to a main dish with chicken. But works as a side dish without the chicken if you prefer. Crunchy multi-flavor with a sweet-n-sour dressing. Perfect for the barbecue season ahead!



Continue reading

Greens with Eggs and Ham & Much More

Eggs and Ham

Putting this recipe together was motivated by my abundance of eggs, and leftover ham … The place you might find yourself after this coming Easter Celebration.

I hadn’t given thought to Dr. Suess’s birthday today, March 2 … And how with a few changes to my post title it could become the title to one of his most loved children’s books, Green Eggs and Ham. It wasn’t until my visit to Pearls + Girls that I even realized Dr. Suess was being celebrated today. Shame on me! If you haven’t visited Pearls + Girls for a time, Katie has given her site a new look. I’ve always loved visiting her blog. You’ll meet and enjoy this warm family from one of our cold midwestern states, Ohio.

What do I know about Ohio? You’ve heard me talk about my road warrior days. Akron was one of my stops … in the cold of winter, of course. I worked as a CRA for a company called Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) out of North Carolina. As I recall I was doing this Akron visit for a sick colleague. I always tried to make a fun thing out of these last minute flights and visits. What could I visit in Akron when doing a 24 hour turn around? Stay in a Quaker Oats Company silo at the Quaker Square Inn! Historic!

Continue reading

Creamy Basil Spread

and What’s Coming Up Next!

Creamy Basil Spread

Family is coming to visit and the arrival time will be influenced by traffic. it’s a four hour drive on a good day. So, no one is sure if dinner will be here or on the road. It’s hard to plan! But I have an idea. Family’s favorite Turkey Sandwich and a Spicy Tomato Soup for a late night dinner or snack.

In our little town there’s this family restaurant, Tazzaria, that makes these fabulous turkey sandwiches among other goodness, mostly Italian. Much of their produce is organic and local. We love the place! This Turkey Sandwich is inspired by Tazzaria’s. Focaccia is missing here … That recipe will have to wait for another day. Condiments bring this together, Dijon mustard and a basil spread. I have no idea what’s in their spread but I’ve whipped up one I find is more than a good substitute. It’s simply an equal part of my Milk Mayonnaise and an equal part of finely chopped (in a processor) fresh basil. In a pinch you can use your favorite mayonnaise and basil sold in a tube as a paste.

The turkey and cheese are hiding in this sandwich photo but you pretty much can see everything else! No recipe here but be looking for Spicy Tomato Soup, up next.Spicy Tomato Soup

Estrada’s Kitchen Look A Like Taste A Like

Tostada Compuesta

Tostada CompuestaThis looks simple enough. And perhaps you might be feeling a little too simple for your palate. But I promise this salad will surprise you! A few of the techniques in building this Tostada Compuesta create the distinctive flavor and shouldn’t be skipped. You’ve heard me boast about Estrada’s Spanish Kitchen. I’ve been fortunate enough to come across an enchilada sauce recipe that tastes just like theirs. If you wish to try it out just let me know and I’ll send the recipe. My brother has given the recipe a try and, it’s spot on! And for those interested in the Chile Relleno give my recipe a try. It’s so so close.

There you have it! A complete meal!

Continue reading

Two Cheese Asiago Pasta Salad

Asiago Pasta saladEcstatic! A surprise package of cheeses, fresh and seasoned (aged), arrived from the producers of Asiago Pdo (Protected Designation of Origin) … from the Asiago Region in Italy. Cheese has been produced not for hundreds of years in this region but thousands. I’d say, practice makes perfect!

Not sure if I’ve ever tasted fresh Asiago before today … soft, melt in your mouth texture but not sticky, mild smelling and tasting, not bitter nor salty-definitely maintaining a bit of sweetness all the way through. It’s amazing! As far as shelf life after opening, this one is fairly short … maybe two weeks but don’t hold me to that. It won’t last that long around here anyway. The seasoned Asiago Pdo has three levels of maturity, 3-6 months, over 10 months and over 15 months. My little wedge was from the first level. And just an aside, domestic Asiago that I purchase locally (made in Wisconsin) is in the 5 month range. Obviously the flavor (nutty) and smell (bread-like) increase and change with the seasoned process. And rather than accepting my opinion that there is a definite taste difference, Pdo vs Domestic Asiago, do your own taste test.

Try it in a great pasta salad like this one!

Continue reading