Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Can we all just agree that pesto is magical?

It is like the most perfect combination of ingredients.  Whoever, created it first needs a medal...seriously!  

I love that it is fresh and can be used in so many ways.  Tonight, I had a recipe that called for pre-made pesto, but it is so super easy to make and quick that I didn't even consider not making my own.  If you have a food processor, you can have it made in 5 minutes...or less.  

The good thing is that you can put pesto on pretty much anything and make it taste ahhh-mazing!  Try it on those vegetables you can't get your family to eat.  Put it on toasted baguette slices instead of garlic butter or toss some pesto with your favorite pasta for a delicious entree.  And a little goes a long way, so I still have some in my fridge from tonight's dinner.   Think I'll toss some over pasta tomorrow night's dinner.


2 cups fresh Basil
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
2/3 cup Olive Oil

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth...about 30 seconds to 1 minute.


Thursday, January 19, 2017


I have been making this recipe for Casserole Spaghetti ever since my kids were little.  My friend, Kelly Galloway, first made this and it has been one of my favorites ever since.

For some reason, I have not made this since my grandson, Alexander, was born.  But today, I was craving something cheesy and something with pasta and this popped into my head.  Such an easy recipe to make...have you noticed a pattern with the "easy" recipes?  I don't know if I would have ever tried this recipe if Kelly had not made it first because of the cream of mushroom soup, chili powder, and olives.  Those three items seem strange to add to spaghetti but I can attest that they are delightful little additions.  Now tonight, I did not put olives in it just because I wasn't sure if my grandkids would eat it if I added them.   What was funny was that little baby Hope, who is 16 months old, ate what was in her plate and then had seconds...along with her garlic bread because this girl is just like her Nannie...we like our bread!  Alex loved it too.  So, I got a two-thumbs-up on this recipe from the littles!

A couple of things you should know.  I used thin spaghetti and I cooked it al dente.  I knew that the spaghetti would cook more in the oven and I cannot stand mushy pasta of any sort.  I would rather under cooked spaghetti than overcooked.  Actually, I just want it cooked perfectly.  Sometimes that works out and sometimes not.  Today, we got it right!  Woo-Hoo!  Also, if you do not want to cook the meat sauce for 2 hours then you do not have to.  I have done it both ways and honestly, I cannot tell the difference.  

I made a salad and some lemon vinaigrette to drizzle over it and garlic bread to serve with the spaghetti.  It was perfect for a quick meal.  Oh and I had leftovers....that is a plus. 


1-1/2 pounds Ground Round
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
1 large Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Celery, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 can Water
1 (14 ounce) can Petite Diced Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garlic Powder
1 (12 ounce) package of Spaghetti Noodles,cooked al dente
8 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cut in chunks
1 (4 ounce) jar Olives
2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese

Brown ground round and add garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.   Add next 9 ingredients and simmer for 2 hours.  Combine meat sauce, cheese chunks, and olives in 3 quart or deep 9 X 13 ceramic baking dish.  Sprinkle grated cheeseon top.  Bake in 325 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly.



Monday, January 16, 2017


My friend, Kelly, makes these green beans the best!

I got the recipe from her.  Before that, green beans were relegated in my house to a green bean casserole.  I like flavor and green beans never seemed to have any....until this recipe!

I literally could eat these yummy little beans all by themselves....cold on a salad....or hot with a meal.  For some reason, this sounds like the beginning of a Dr. Suess book to me!  Okay, anyway, my daughter is just as obsessed with these as I am.  I am sitting here thinking that a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes would take this up a notch.  Why have I not thought of that before?  Next time!

Super easy to make and super flavorful....enjoy!


2 lbs. fresh whole Green Beans
5 cloves Garlic, minced
Little less than 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar (You might want to start with a 1/4 cup and then add more     to your liking and taste)
Little less than 1/2 cup (I use less because its my preference) Olive Oil (I use a good, extra virgin like Bertolli) 
Salt to taste.

Bring salted water to boil.

Add beans and cook for 5-6 minutes.  I like my green beans al dente.  I don't like them too soft or to crunchy, just somewhere in the middle.

Drain and submerge in cold, ice water to stop the cooking process.  Or stop the cooking just a little early and then skip this step. 

If you have chosen to submerge in cold water, then drain and place in a large, glass bowl.  Mince the garlic and add to the beans.  Shake vinegar over beans. Toss.  Drizzle oil over beans and add salt to your liking and toss again.

When you are ready to serve, reheat in microwave for approximately one minute. 

Stir to coat beans.


Monday, January 2, 2017


My Mom, Dorothy, used to make this salad every Thanksgiving.  She loved it and I think everyone else did too....except me.  

I just never did like this dish.  I guess it might have been because it had green peas and canned green beans. Those two items are two of my least favorite things in the food world, right behind oysters and vital organs.  So, every year she would ask what she could make to bring over for the Thanksgiving meal and I would say "bring whatever you want."  I knew it was going to be this salad and that was okay, but I was not going to eat any of it.   Then, one a weak moment...I put some on my plate...and then I understood what everyone else had figured was really good!

I think I have already told y'all this, but my Mom has dementia now.  She hasn't been able to make this salad in years and I really miss that now...I really miss the old her...the one who would make this salad every year.  This CHRISTmas I found myself really wanting to eat this salad.  I bought all of the ingredients but somehow never found the time to make it.  Well, I made it today for our One-Day-Late-New-Years-Day-Meal.  My sister-in-law made an Apple Pie and a Peach Pie, my son made his famous Pork was so delicious.  I made Blackeyed Peas, Sauteed Cabbage, Cornbread and my beautiful Mom's Marinated Vegetable Salad.   Maybe, it was a good thing to wait because I think it was a good way to start the New Year remembering the good matter how seemingly small.



(1) 14.5 ounce can French Cut Green Beans, drained
(1) 11 ounce can White Shoepeg Corn, drained
(1) 8.5 ounce can Green Peas, drained
(1) 2 ounce jar chopped Pimentos, drained
2 Bunches Green Onions, chopped
1 cup Celery, chopped
3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt and Pepper

Did you notice that in the picture above I bought the wrong beans?  I didn't notice until I opened them up.  
So I took each bean and sliced it into "french-cut" green beans.  
Yep...every....single...bean! (facepalm)

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium glass bowl.

In a small saucepot,  bring to boil the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Let cool and pour over ingredients.

Refrigerate overnight.