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Cheese in a Jar

Cheese in a Jar

Cheese in a Jar

Throughout the Mediterranean, cheesemakers have traditionally preserved their fresh cheeses in jars of olive oil, often with the addition of wild herb branches. It is a glorious snack to make at home. After only a few days in a flavorful marinade, it’s ready to eat with a good crusty loaf or with Real Garlic Toast. Make sure to get a little herby oil in each bite. Cheese in a jar is handy to take on a picnic too—and just as nice for an indoor picnic at the kitchen table.


1/2 pound fresh goat cheese log or mild feta

A few thyme branches

A few rosemary sprigs

A bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, halved

A few black peppercorns

About 1 C. olive oil


Slice the cheese into 2-inch chunks. Carefully layer the cheese in a clean jar or glass bowl, adding the thyme branches, rosemary sprigs, bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorns as you go. Pour over enough olive oil to cover. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least several days before serving. This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.

Sweet and Spicy Three Bean Salad

Sweet and Spicy Three Bean Salad

Sweet and Spicy Three Bean Salad


1 15-ounce can organic cannellini beans drained and rinsed

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed, chickpeas

1 cup frozen shelled edamame thawed

1/2 cup fermented ginger orange carrots

1 medium jalapeño seeded and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup  Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup avocado oil

2 T. Honey

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper


In a large bowl, combine the cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, edamame, carrots, jalapeño, cilantro, vinegar, oil, honey, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Refrigerate, covered, for a minimum of 3 hours, or preferably overnight, for the flavors to blend. Enjoy.

“Persinnamon“ Crisps

“Persinnamon“ Crisps

“Persinnamon“ Crisps

This recipe couldn’t be simpler. I enjoy adding salty-sweet fruit crisps to picnic spreads because they’re unexpected and round out a menu nicely. Bags of greasy potato chips—sure, people expect that. But a homemade persimmon chip? Not so much. This is the type of DIY recipe that is absolutely worth doing. It’s so easy: just a little slicing and a quick sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, and the oven takes it from there. I call for Fuyu persimmons here, as they are firmer and less astringent than Hachiya persimmons, and better suited to recipes like this. They’re also much more readily available. You can swap out the persimmons for apples or pears (“pearcinnamon” chips?) and proceed right along with the recipe. Makes about 4 servings


11/2 tsp. sugar

11/2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

4 Fuyu persimmons (not too ripe)

Juice of 1/2 lemon


Preheat the oven to 250°F [120°C] and spray two baking sheets lightly with nonstick cooking spray (or use a silicone baking mat). Combine the sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Remove the green leaves from the persimmons and slice them very thin (with a mandoline, if you’ve got it); no need to peel them. Try to keep the slices at a thickness of less than 1/8 in [4 mm]. Toss these slices with the salty cinnamon-sugar mixture and the lemon juice. Lay the seasoned persimmon slices on the baking sheets in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes, flip, and continue baking until golden brown and crisped, about 30 minutes more. Transfer the persimmon chips to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Crispy Garlicky Fried Chicken

Crispy Garlicky Fried Chicken

Crispy Garlicky Fried Chicken


2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 C. seasoned bread crumbs

1 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 C. milk

1 egg

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 C. oil for frying, or as needed


In a shallow dish, add the egg and milk and beat well.  In another shallow dish mix together the flour, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, paprika, salt and black pepper.  Get your oil, in a skillet to 350 degrees F.  Dip the chicken breast halves in the egg mixture and then roll in the flour mixture evenly.  Fry the chicken breast halves for about 10 minutes, flipping once halfway.

Savory Apple Tart with Onions, Cheddar and Thyme

Savory Apple Tart with Onions, Cheddar and Thyme

Savory Apple Tart with Onions, Cheddar and Thyme

16 T. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and frozen until firm

2 2/3 C. (13 1/2 oz./425 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

1/4 C. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) plus 3 Tbs. ice water


1 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

2 yellow onions, sliced into thin rings

1 C. (8 oz./250 g) crème fraîche

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 1/2 C. (6 oz./185 g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 T. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped, plus more for garnish (optional)

3 or 4 baking apples, such as Granny Smith, cored, partially peeled and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the butter, flour and salt and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some large pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk and ice water. While pulsing, drizzle in the egg mixture until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, shape into a rectangle and wrap well. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 14-by-21-inch (35-by-53-cm) rectangle and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Coat a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Fit the dough into the prepared baking sheet. Fold the excess dough under and pinch to form a crust that comes 1/2 inch (12 mm) above the rim. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven. Preheat to 375°F (190°C).  Line the dough with parchment paper, pressing it flush against the surface of the dough and leaving a 2-inch (5-cm) overhang on all sides. Top with pie weights or dried beans. Fold the parchment over the edges of the crust. Bake on the lower oven rack for 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.  Remove the parchment and weights. Continue baking until the crust is golden brown and crisp, 15 to 17 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and swirl the pan to combine. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned and starting to caramelize, about 8 minutes per side. Remove from the heat.  In a small bowl, stir together the crème fraîche and mustard and spread evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with 1 C. (4 oz./125 g) of the cheese and the thyme. Arrange the apple slices and onions on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 C. (2 oz./60 g) cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Bake on the top oven rack until the pastry is golden and the cheese is melted, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then garnish with thyme, cut into slices and serve. Serves 6.

Blueberry & Green Grape Jewels

Blueberry & Green Grape Jewels

Blueberry & Green Grape Jewels

2 cups light sour cream

¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups blueberries

2 cups seedless green grapes

Stir together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Chill at least 30 minutes for flavors to blend.  Set aside 1/4 cup of the blueberries. In a large serving bowl or individual dessert dishes, combine blueberries and grapes, then top with the sour cream mixture. Garnish with reserved blueberries.

Composed Fruit Salad with Ginger-Lime Syrup

Composed Fruit Salad with Ginger-Lime Syrup

fruitMost fruit salads are served as chunky mixes — appealing to the mouth, yes, but less so to the eye. With a stylish green-and-gold palette, this composed salad is an elegant alternative. A zingy ginger-lime syrup to pour on top makes the flavors sing.

Fresh Ginger
Fresh Fruit: Choose from mangoes, yellow watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, nectarines, golden raspberries, yellow and green kiwi fruit, green grapes, and golden plums.

In a 1- to 1 ½-quart pan, combine 1 ½ C. water, 1 C. sugar, 10 slices unpeeled fresh ginger (each about the size of a quarter), and 5 slices (¼-in. thick) lime. Simmer until liquid is infused with ginger flavor, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 T. fresh lime juice; strain and cool. On a platter, arrange 3 quarts sliced or chopped fruit. Pour syrup into a bowl or glass; garnish with 3 lime slices. Serve with fruit.

Alternatives to Typical Party & Picnic Foods

Alternatives to Typical Party & Picnic Foods

Shrimp Lafayette (instead of chilled shrimp cocktail)

Fill a frying pan with about 1/3 C. of olive oil, add 4 or 5 bay leaves and heat on medium. Add about 2 lb. of raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined, raise the heat a notch and cook until they start turning opaque. Then add a can of beer, a tsp. of corn starch and hot pepper flakes. Cook for another 4 or 5 minutes, then transfer shrimp and the juice to a serving bowl and enjoy.


Mediterranean platter (instead of celery, carrot sticks and dip)

On a large serving tray, arrange several slices of pita bread cut into triangles, a pile of broken-up feta cheese, a couple handfuls of shelled, halved walnuts, a few scoops of flavored hummus, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. Park a ramekin of olive oil in the middle of it all, and viola.


Baked green olives with bacon (instead of a relish tray)

Wrap each pimento or garlic-stuffed green olive in a thin thread of bacon and fasten with toothpicks. Bake on a cookie sheet in preheated 325-degree oven until bacon is cooked (about 10-12 minutes). Arrange on a platter with canned black olives and jarred pepperoncinis.


Chicken-stuffed endive leaves (instead of green salad)

Start with two C. of either homemade or store-purchased chicken. Add fresh tarragon, walnuts and finely diced apples to the mixture. Then fill the bottom tip of a dozen or more baby endive leaves with the salad. Arrange the leaves in a star formation on a large platter and sprinkle with dried chives.


Pierogis (instead of pasta or potato salad)

Boil one or two dozen of frozen potato-cheese-stuffed pierogis (purchased from freezer sections of major grocery stores) for 5-10 minutes. Drain and transfer into shallow baking pan filled with two sticks of cut-up butter and 2-3 chopped brown onions. Salt and sprinkle generously with black pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes in 225-degree oven, occasionally turning the pierogis with an oven spoon. Serve in a wide, shallow bowl with a ramekin of sour cream on the side.


Asian pork tenderloin (instead of meat skewers)

Marinate a two-or-three-lb. pork tenderloin overnight in a half-C. each of orange juice and Hoisin sauce, one-quarter C. each of dark molasses and soy sauce, four cloves of minced garlic and dash of salt and pepper. Bake in a roasting pan according to package instructions. Let cool 20 minutes and then roll the meat in toasted sesame seeds before slicing. Serve on a cutting board with sliced baguette or Kaiser rolls.


Turkey-cranberry rolls (instead of cold-cut platter)

Spread thin layer of cream cheese over three to five sheets of Lavash bread (from Trader Joe’s), then top with another layer of cranberry sauce, covering only about half of each sheet. Add over the cranberry sauce a thin layer of shaved turkey. Roll each rectangular sheet beginning at one of the shorter edges. Refrigerate one hour. Cut into one-inch-thick pieces and transfer to large plate garnished with parsley sprigs.


Smoked turkey asparagus (another alternative to plain cold cuts)

Remove the hard bottoms of a dozen or so asparagus spears and discard. Then blanch the spears in boiling water for about four minutes and let cool. Roll each spear in a slice of medium-thick smoked turkey, arrange onto a platter and serve with aioli, hollandaise or plain.

Crack Corn Salad

Crack Corn Salad

Crack Corn Salad


4 C. sweet corn

12 slices cooked bacon (finely chopped)

1/4 C. green onions (chopped)

1 jalapeño (finely diced)

1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing

1 C. cheddar cheese (shredded)

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp. garlic powder

Kosher salt (to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


Ranch Dressing:


1 1/2 C. mayonnaise

1/2 C. sour cream

1/3 C. whole milk

1/4 C. buttermilk

1/4 tsp. onion powder

2 cloves garlic (minced)

2 T. lemon juice

1 tsp. fresh dill

salt and pepper (to taste)


Ranch Dressing: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing, stir and set aside.


Salad: In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients. Add the dressing. Stir until ingredients are completely mixed and coated in dressing. Garnish with herbs, if desired, then serve.

Mighty Hero Sandwiches

Mighty Hero Sandwiches

1 lb. round loaf sourdough bread
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
6 (1/4-inch thick) tomato slices
2 purple onion slices, (1/4-inch thick) separated into rings
2 C. shredded zucchini
1 C. (4 oz.) Fat Free Mozzarella Shreds
4 oz. Deli Thin Sliced Bologna
4 oz. Thin Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

Slice Bread in half horizontally. Remove soft bread from inside each half, leaving 1/2-inch-thick shells; set shells aside. Reserve soft bread for another use. Combine vinegar and next five ingredients in a shallow dish; add mushrooms, tomato and onion. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain, reserving marinade. Brush marinade inside bread shells. Layer half each of zucchini, mushroom mixture, and cheese in bottom half of loaf; top with bologna. Repeat layers; top with turkey and remaining half of loaf. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill. To serve, unwrap loaf; cut into wedges.

Deviled Chicken with Pecan Panko Crust

Deviled Chicken with Pecan Panko Crust

Preheat the oven to 450. You will need 8 large chicken legs, patted dry. Coat them all in about 1/3 cup of dijon mustard (I’ve used whole grain and regular and both have worked well), rubbing it on by hand. In a shallow bowl toss together 1 cup of panko crumbs; 1/2 a cup of crushed, toasted pecans; 1/2 cup of grated parmesan, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add stir it into the crumbs. Press the legs one at a time into the crumb mixture, rolling them around so they’re fully coated. Place on a buttered baking pan large enough to hold all the legs comfortably. Continue breading the remaining legs. Place pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. These are delightful hot out of the oven or chilled and eaten the next day at a picnic or for leftovers.


Picnic Chicken

Picnic Chicken

1 chicken cut into pieces

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne


Rinse the chicken parts and then dry them. Mix together the salt, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, pepper, and cayenne. Rub the spice mix under the skin as well as over the skin of the chicken. Using toothpicks, secure the skin back in place so that it does not shrink away from the chicken pieces as the chicken cooks. Place the chicken pieces on a cookie sheet and cover it loosely with foil. Place the sheet on an oven rack. Let the chicken rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but 6 hours or overnight would be best. The longer the chicken rests, the more of the spice rub that will be absorbed by the chicken and the deeper the flavor will be. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roast chicken for 12 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 500 degrees and roast for 8-10 minutes more or until breast pieces reach 160 degrees. Remove the breasts from the oven and let the dark meat pieces cook for five more minutes or until they reach 170 degrees. Remove the remaining pieces from the oven and let the chicken cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the chicken overnight. Serve the chicken cold.

Warm Potato and Green Bean Salad with Summer Savory

Warm Potato and Green Bean Salad with Summer Savory

PotatoGreenBeanSaladx8 ounces green beans, rinsed and ends snapped off

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons minced shallots

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Click to see savings

2 tablespoons summer savory leaves, chopped

Salt and fresh-ground pepper


In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until bright green and tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water until cool (or plunge in ice water); drain again. In same pan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add potato slices and cook until tender when pierced, 10 to 12 minutes; drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, in a 1-cup glass measure, combine shallots and vinegar. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over medium heat, combine olive oil and summer savory. Stir occasionally until savory is limp and slightly darker and oil is fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. If oil sizzles, reduce heat slightly. Pour half the oil mixture into vinegar mixture and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over warm potatoes and mix gently to coat. Top potatoes with green beans and drizzle remaining oil mixture over beans. Serve warm or at room temperature.




Hawaiian Burger Bites

Hawaiian Burger Bites

picaONdjD1/2 cup Sweet Honey Barbecue Sauce

¼ cup grape jelly

24 small frozen fully cooked meatballs (about 1 lb.)

24 drained canned pineapple chunks (about 1/2 of 20-oz. can) (or fresh pineapple)

1 large red pepper, cut into 24 pieces

COOK barbecue sauce and jelly in large skillet on medium heat 2 min. or until jelly is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently. ADD meatballs; cook 10 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. THREAD 1 meatball onto each of 24 wooden skewers or toothpicks alternately with 1 each pineapple chunk and red pepper piece.


Easy Crisp Cucumber Salad

Easy Crisp Cucumber Salad

Easy_Crisp_Cucumber_Salad4 large cucumbers

8 radishes, thinly sliced

½ cup Crumbled Feta Cheese with Basil & Tomato

1/3 cup   Zesty Italian Dressing

1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives

¼ cup chopped red onions


USE vegetable peeler to cut 1 cucumber into long thin ribbons. PEEL remaining cucumbers; cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss with remaining ingredients. SPOON cucumber mixture onto center of platter; surround with cucumber ribbons.


Quick “pickle” Garlic Beans

Quick “pickle” Garlic Beans

1/2 lb. French-cut or Whole fresh Green Beans

1 Medium Onion, sliced

4 cloves Garlic, halved

1/4 C. Granulated Sugar

3/4 C. Vinegar

1 C. Vegetable Oil

1/2 tsp. Salt


Clean beans; place in casserole dish with onions and garlic.  Sprinkle with sugar and allow to stand for 2-3 hours.  Blend remaining ingredients and pour over beans.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours’ drain before serving.

Itty Bitty Lobster Rolls

Itty Bitty Lobster Rolls

AItty Bittyll purpose flour for dusting
6 frozen Parker House rolls, thawed and each divided into thirds

12 oz. poached lobster meat, diced
3 1/2 T. diced hothouse cucumber
2 1/2 T. mayonnaise
1/2 lemon zested and juiced
2 tsp. thinly sliced chives, plus more for garnish
2 1/2 T. salted butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste

For mini baguettes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll each piece of dough into a small, 2”x 1/2” loaf and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake mini loaves for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and fluffy. Set aside and allow baguettes to cool before slicing in half and assembling. (Tip: The baguettes can be made up to three days ahead of time and kept in an airtight container. They can be warmed in the oven at 200°F for about 10 minutes before using.) For the filling: In a mixing bowl toss together the lobster meat and cucumber. Add the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice and chives to the lobster mixture and season with salt and pepper. Gently mix together until well combined. To assemble: Split each baguette open and fill with about 2 tsp. of the lobster mixture. Brush the tops of each roll with melted butter and sprinkle with sliced chives. Serve.

Spiced Pear and Cranberry Pocket Pies

Spiced Pear and Cranberry Pocket Pies

Although I used pear and cranberry to fill these pies, you could really tuck almost any fruit or savory filling you want inside. The key is to keep the liquid level low, so that the bottom layer of dough doesn’t become soggy during or after baking. Let your imagination run wild!

IMG_1719_crop1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick of butter, cold, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4-5 tablespoons of ice cold water

3/4 lb. (for me this was 2) sweet, ripe pears; I used Red Bartlett
1/2 cup orange-flavored dried cranberries from Trader Joes (or, plain dried cranberries plus zest from one orange)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 T. flour

2 T. brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp water
1/4 cup milk

First make dough. In a food processor, add the flour and salt and pulse just once or twice to mix. Add in all the cubes of butter, and pulse until it is all incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse, dry sand (just a minute or so). Add 4 tablespoons of the ice cold water, and pulse just until the dough comes together (only a few times). Squeeze and a bit of the dough between your fingertips: If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time until it is soft and sticks together. I find 4 tablespoons is usually perfect for me. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and work with your hands for only a minute or two to evenly distribute butter (remember, keep this quick so the heat from your hands doesn’t warm the butter in the dough). Roll dough into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the filling. Peel and mince the pears, then mix with the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Let fruit sit for 15 minutes to macerate. To make pies, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust a clean surface with flour, and roll out the dough very thinly (the thinner the better). Use a round cutter, or the rim of a drinking glass, to cut 3-3 1/2 inch rounds from the dough. (The dough should make 12 rounds (for 6 pies) but you will need to re-roll the dough at least once or twice to cut them all out.) Place one round on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and carefully place about 2 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center of the round, making sure to leave the edges clean. Lightly brush the edges with the beaten egg, then top with a second dough round; press the edges together gently with your fingertips, then press completely together using the tines of a fork. Use a sharp knife to make a few slits in the top for venting. Repeat for the remaining pie rounds. Just before baking, brush the top of each pocket pie with a little bit of milk, then bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 25-27 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Sopressata and Provolone Italian Pressed Sandwiches

Sopressata and Provolone Italian Pressed Sandwiches

IMG_16991 loaf of ciabatta bread
1/4 lb. very thinly sliced good-quality sopressata (hot or sweet depending on your taste)
1/3-1/2 lb. sliced provolone cheese
8 oz. roasted tomatoes, purchased (or use this recipe, minus the thyme)
About 3 T. pesto, purchased (or use this recipe, or your own)
1 large bunch, or 2 small bunches of basil, leaves torn from the stems

Slice the ciabatta loaf horizontally to make two large halves. On the top half, evenly spread the pesto in a very thin layer (don’t over saturate the bread). On the bottom half, first place the roasted tomatoes in a single layer, then top with a layer of sopressata. (Place the thin slices of meat on top of each other to form a thicker layer.) Top the sopressata with the sliced provolone, and then place a layer of basil leaves over the top of the cheese. Place the top slice of bread over the basil layer, and press down to bring all the layers flat. Continue pressing down, and wrap the entire loaf tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped loaf in the fridge overnight (or for at least 3 hours), and put something heavy on top of the loaf to compress it. I used a cast iron skillet and placed a couple of soup cans on top of the skillet. The next day, unwrap the loaf and slice into large sandwiches or small squares, depending on your preference. Serve immediately, or keep chilled until needed.

Sandwich with String

Tortellini Salad

Tortellini Salad

tortellinsalad1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini

1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed

1 cup pepperoni, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half

1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped

2/3 cup Caesar salad dressing

Salt and pepper to taste


Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water and drain again. Transfer cooked tortellini to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Toss well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Fall Off the Bone BBQ Ribs

Fall Off the Bone BBQ Ribs

479107896_f3f3c13e971 (2-3 lb.) rack of ribs (I use pork loin ribs)
3 1/2 cups pineapple juice (reserving 1/4 cup for later)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 (16 oz.) bottle BBQ sauce

Spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray (or use a slow cooker liner to make clean up a breeze!). Take your slab of ribs (make sure that they are defrosted) and cut into individual slabs (about 2-3 ribs each). Throw the ribs into the slow cooker. Mix the pineapple juice and brown sugar together and pour over the ribs. Put the lid back on the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 7-8 hours or LOW for 10-12 hours. After they are done in the slow cooker, use tongs to gently pull them out (they will literally fall apart when you touch them). Turn the grill on medium heat. While the grill is warming up, mix together the bottle of BBQ sauce and the 1/4 cup of pineapple juice you saved from earlier. Place the ribs gently on the grill and brush with BBQ sauce. Turn the ribs twice, slathering with more sauce each time (you can’t have enough sauce!); they will take about 10-15 minutes to glaze over (as soon as that sauce starts to turn sticky, you know they are done!). Serve immediately and enjoy

Green Apple Slaw

Green Apple Slaw

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Dash of cayenne (optional)

6 cups coleslaw mix (a 1-pound bag)

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into matchsticks

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1 cup raisins


In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne, if using. Stir in the coleslaw mix, apples, pecans, and raisins.  Taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper if desired. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours before serving. Serves 8 to 10.







Fast and Easy Coleslaw

Fast and Easy Coleslaw

1/2 C. mayonnaise, whipped

2 T. milk

1 T. white vinegar

1 T. sugar

1 (16-ounce) package coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage

1/2 to 1 C. shredded carrots


Combine mayo, milk, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to blend.  Add coleslaw mix and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle shredded carrots over the top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.







Cucumber and Dill Pasta Salad

Cucumber and Dill Pasta Salad

Cucumber and Dill Pasta Salad2 C. uncooked macaroni pasta

2 C. peeled and chopped cucumber

1 C. chopped tomatoes

1 (8 ounce) carton light or non-fat sour cream

1/2 C. skim milk

1 T. minced fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill

1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1 T. vinegar

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer noodles to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together sour cream, milk, dill, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Set dressing aside. Mix cucumbers and tomatoes into the pasta. Pour in dressing, and mix thoroughly. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour and preferably overnight. Stir just before serving.

Layered Pizza Salad

Layered Pizza Salad

Layered Pizza Salad1 package (16oz) uncooked rotini pasta

2 tsp. salad supreme seasoning

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 package (3.5oz) sliced pepperoni

8 oz fresh mozzarella ciliegini (cheese balls) drained, halved

3 green onions with tops, sliced (about 1/2 C.)

1/2 C. sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives

1 C. zesty Italian dressing

1/4 C. shredded parmesan cheese


Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain. In 3 to 4 quart clear bowl, layer 4 C. pasta,1 tsp. of the seasoning, the red bell pepper, tomatoes, green bell pepper, remaining 1 tsp. seasoning, the pepperoni, mozzarella, onions and olives. Pour dressing over salad; sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Refrigerate 2 hours, stir just before serving. (Made for AD BBQ; was a hit)






Cashew Chicken Salad with Baked Wontons

Cashew Chicken Salad with Baked Wontons

8 egg roll wrappers

4 skinless chicken breasts, boned and defatted

2 C. shredded napa cabbage

1 C. chopped bok choy

1/4 C. chopped daikon radish

1/2 C. sliced red onion

1 C. thinly sliced carrots

1 C. broccoli florets

1/2 C. snow peas



1 T. minced ginger root

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. chopped cilantro

1 T. minced scallions

2 T. minced shallots

3 T. lime juice

1 1/2 T. rice vinegar

2 T. water

2 T. low-sodium tamari

2 1/2 tsp. sugar

1 T. cashew butter

6 T. minced cashews


Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a sheet pan with canola oil. To prepare wontons, cut wrappers in half and distribute over sheet pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool. Place chicken breasts in baking dish. Cover and cook in oven for 15 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Cool and slice. Place vegetables in a large bowl and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients for dressing. Lightly toss with vegetables and divide into 4 equal portions. Top each salad with a sliced chicken breast and garnish with 4 baked wontons.


Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Tarragon Butter

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Tarragon Butter

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Tarragon Butter1 large English cucumber, peeled, sliced paper thin

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. white vinegar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup minced fresh tarragon

1/4 cup minced fresh chervil

30 thin slices whole-wheat bread, enough to make 72 (2x4inch) rectangles

Watercress leaves, optional


Put cucumber slices in large bowl. Toss with salt. Sprinkle with vinegar. Toss to mix well. Let stand 1 hour. Drain well in colander. Combine butter, tarragon and chervil. To assemble, spread butter over 1 side of each bread slice. Cover 15 slices with cucumbers, dividing evenly. Close sandwiches. Trim crusts. Cut into 36 rectangles. Arrange on platter, garnished with watercress leaves.

Picnic Basket Baked Beans

Picnic Basket Baked Beans

2 15-oz. cans Ranch Style Beans, drained
1 large Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 cup BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup Ketchup
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup Jalapeño Peppers, drained and chopped
1 Tbs. Steak Sauce

Preheat oven to 350-F degrees and prepare a 2-quart glass baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans, chopped onion, BBQ sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, Jalapeño  peppers, and steak sauce. You can elect to moderate the “heat” of the completed dish by adjusting the amount of Jalapeño peppers used.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the prepared beans from the oven and let stand about 15 minutes prior to packing the picnic basket, or refrigerate and take the beans with you when you’re ready to go.

Patti’s Potato Salad

Patti’s Potato Salad

3 lb. red-skinned potatoes, well scrubbed Salted water to cover

6 large hard-cooked eggs, divided

1 medium red onion, peeled, finely chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 medium celery ribs, washed, finely chopped

2 tsp. celery seeds or more to taste

2/3 C. mayonnaise

2 T. yellow mustard

3 T. sweet pickle relish

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced, optional

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Paprika for sprinkling


Place the potatoes in a large pot.  Add enough salted water to cover them by 1 inch.  Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the potatoes until tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Pour out most of the water and place the pot in the sink. Run cold water over the potatoes for about 2 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Drain well. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl. Chop 4 of the hard-cooked eggs and add to the potatoes along with the red onion, green pepper and celery. Sprinkle with celery seeds. Gradually stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, relish and, if desired, minced jalapeno, being careful not to smash the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Slice the remaining 2 hard-cooked eggs and arrange on top of the salad. Sprinkle the top with paprika.  Serve immediately, or chill, tightly covered, in the refrigerator, about 2 hours.






A Collection of Tea Sandwiches

A Collection of Tea Sandwiches

Curried chicken salad


2 C. diced chicken

3/4 C. Mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. Curry powder

1/2 tsp. Lemon juice

1/2 tsp. Chutney


Mix ingredients together and spread over bread.  Use cookie cutters to trim into fun shapes.  Decorate with edible flowers, berries, or springs of herbs.



Chili Pepper-Cilantro Butter:


1 stick salted butter, softened

1 red chili pepper, finely chopped

1 tsp. cilantro

1 1/2 tsp. lime juice


Mash butter and mix in remaining ingredients. Spread over bread.  Use cookie cutters to trim into fun shapes.  Decorate with edible flowers, berries, or springs of herbs.



Rosemary-Garlic Butter


1 stick salted butter, softened

1 T. fresh rosemary

1 clove garlic, minced


Mash butter and mix in remaining ingredients. Spread over bread.  Use cookie cutters to trim into fun shapes.  Decorate with edible flowers, berries, or springs of herbs.



Scallion-Ginger Butter


1 stick salted butter, softened

1 T. minced scallions

1 1/2 tsp. grated gingerroot

1 tsp. rice-wine vinegar


Mash butter and mix in remaining ingredients. Spread over bread.  Use cookie cutters to trim into fun shapes.  Decorate with edible flowers, berries, or springs of herbs.









A Collection of Chicken Pasta Salads

A Collection of Chicken Pasta Salads

Chicken Pasta Salad


1 whole cooked broiler-fryer, boned, skinned, cut in chunks

1 16 oz. package frozen broccoli

1/4 tsp. salt

1 8 oz. package pasta shells, cooked

2 cubed large tomatoes

1/2 C. coarsely chopped red onions

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 C. low calorie Italian salad dressing


In saucepan, steam broccoli over boiling water for about 5 minutes.  Remove broccoli from pan, drain and sprinkle with salt.  While still warm place chicken, broccoli, shell macaroni, tomatoes and onion in a large bowl; sprinkle with pepper.  Add Italian dressing and mix gently but thoroughly.  Chill in refrigerator.  Serve cold.

Chicken Rainbow Salad


8oz. Rotini Noodles

2 C. Chicken, cubed and cooked

1 medium Cucumber, sliced

1 C. Celery, sliced

1/2 Red Onion, sliced thin

1/2 C. Mayonnaise

1/4 C. Sour Cream

2 T. Milk

1 tsp. Dried Dill Weed

1 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper


Cook pasta.  Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine chicken, cucumber, celery, and onion.  Mix in pasta.  In small bowl blend mayonnaise, sour cream, milk and seasonings. Mix in pasta.  Toss dressing with salad mixture.



Chicken Spiral Pasta Salad


10 oz. spiral pasta, uncooked

2 C. cut asparagus tips

2 C. yellow squash, sliced

2 C. red bell peppers, diced

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 C. cracker meal

1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp. parsley flakes

1/2 tsp. thyme

1 Butter Buds Mix, reconstituted

1/3 C. cashews, roasted, unsalted

1/2 C. plain lowfat yogurt

1 T. Miracle Whip Lite

1 C. 2% lowfat milk

1 Good Seasons salad dressing


Using multicolored vegetable spirals makes a colorful salad.   Mix the cracker meal with the pepper, parsley and thyme.  Dip chicken breasts in Butter Buds mixture, then dip into cracker crumb/seasoning mixture (in a separate bowl).  Place on a lightly greased or teflon baking sheet in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes (turn chicken over after about 12 minutes).  While chicken is cooking, boil pasta, lightly steam vegetables and diced red pepper. Mix the yogurt, Miracle Whip Lite, lowfat milk and Good Seasons salad dressing mix, or use your own seasoning, in the processor or blender.  When chicken breast is cooked, cut into thin slices or chunks and toss everything together in a large serving bowl.  Serve chilled.







24 Sandwiches

24 Sandwiches


Tuna, green onions, radishes, apples, and mayo on a crusty   roll. SmokedGouda  and thinly sliced apples broiled on pecan raisin bread.
Artichoke hearts, tuna, onion, cukes, and radishes stuffed   into a pita. Jimtown Fig Olive Tapenade and blue castello on walnut   bread.
Leeks & green garlic sautéed in olive oil with grated   Parm-Reg on rosemary bread. Egg salad with lots of white onion and grated carrots on   whole wheat.
Boca burger with romaine, red onion, avocado, and chutney   on sliced focaccia. Grilled scallions and arugula with chopped French olives   on a warm baguette.
Cambozola cheese on thinly sliced pecan raisin bread with   blood oranges on the side. Thinly slice fennel, gruyere, and proscuitto on a thyme   roll.
Leftover chicken with olive tapenade on a baguette. Roasted asparagus and watercress with mayo and cracked   pepper on potato rosemary.
Heaps of turkey pastrami on Russian rye withDijonmustard and apple   slices. Smoked whitefish spread and sliced red onion on a toasted   poppy seed bagel.
Steak, lemon mayo, green leaf lettuce, and radicchio on   Artisan’s jack bread. Bodega queso fresco banana chutney on thinly sliced pecan   raisin.
Peanut butter and banana (or honey or both!) on whole   wheat. Roast beef, horseradish cream cheese, and roasted red   pepper strips on rye.
Thinly sliced ham and gruyere cheese withDijonmustard grilled up   crispy. Chicken salad doctored up with toasted almonds and green   grapes.
Leftover meatloaf and organic ketchup on sliced sourdough. Roasted turkey and cranberry sauce on a small dinner   rolls.
Jimtown tapenade and teleme open-faced on heath breads. …and of course The Classic BLT.


3 Color Warm Pepper Salad

3 Color Warm Pepper Salad

1 T. Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed

1 Small Red Onion, chopped

6 Bell Peppers (orange, red, green), cut into 1/2” strips

6 Roma Tomatoes, chopped

Salt and Pepper

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook garlic and onion until onion is tender.  Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in bell peppers.  Cover and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, salt, and pepper.  Cook uncovered 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until peppers are crisp tender.  Serve warm, or refrigerate 2+ hours until chilled.

Watermelon with Fennel Salt

Watermelon with Fennel Salt

2320231 T. fennel seeds

2 tsp. kosher salt

12 (1-inch-thick) slices from a 5-pound quartered chilled watermelon

6 lime wedges


Heat a dry small heavy skillet over moderately low heat until hot, about 3 minutes, then toast fennel seeds, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer seeds to a work surface and cool 10 minutes. Coarsely crush seeds using bottom of skillet, then stir together with salt and sprinkle over watermelon. Serve with lime wedges.






Very Berry Salad

Very Berry Salad

2 T. lemon juice

2 T. orange liqueur (recommended: Cointreau)

2 tsp. honey

1 16-ounce container strawberries, trimmed

1 8-ounce container blueberries

1 6-ounce container raspberries

1/4 C. chopped fresh mint leaves

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, orange liqueur, and honey. In a large bowl combine the berries and the mint. Pour the dressing on top and toss gently.

Yield:  4-6 servings

Calories: 83

Fat: 0g

Fiber: 4g

Artichoke Potato Salad

Artichoke Potato Salad

2 lbs red potatoes, cooked and cubed

1 (14 oz. ) can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, drained again and quartered

1 small red onion, chopped

1 1/2 C. cubed brick cheese or monterey jack cheese

1/2 C. crumbled blue cheese

3/4 C. vegetable oil

1/4 C. red wine vinegar or cider vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

1 tsp. dill weed

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper


In a large bowl, combine potatoes, artichokes, onion and cheeses. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, dill, salt and pepper; shake well. pour over potato mixture; toss to coat.






Annabel’s Chicken Croquettes

Annabel’s Chicken Croquettes

3 C. fresh Bread Crumbs, from white bread, crusts removed

4 ½ tsp. Milk

1 C. grated Carrots

1 C. grated Zucchini

2 T. Canola Oil, for frying

1 medium Onion, finely chopped

1 clove Garlic, minced

7 oz. Ground Chicken

1 tsp. dried Oregano

1 T. Catsup

1 ½ tsp. Maple Syrup

1 tsp. Soy Sauce

½ tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

½ tsp. Balsamic Vinegar

½ tsp. Sugar

Salt & Pepper, to taste


¼ C. Flour

1 Egg

3-4 T. Canola Oil, for frying


Put a heaping cup of bread crumbs into a bowl and add milk; let soak 20 minutes.  Put remaining crumbs on a plate and set aside for coating later.  Squeeze as much water from the carrots and zucchini as you can.  Heat a little canola oil in frying pan and sauté onion for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, then add carrot and zucchini, stirring for 5 minutes, over low heat.  Remove to a plate and cool.  Mix together the soaked bread, chicken, cooked vegetables and remaining croquette ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  For coating, spread flour on a plate.  Beat egg in small bowl.  Using floured hands, form mixture into patties, coat in flour, dip in egg, then coat with remaining bread crumbs.  Heat oil in frying pan and cook croquettes, turning occasionally, for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.

From Top 100 Finger Foods






Taco Cheese Swirls

Taco Cheese Swirls


2 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup cold hard butter, cut up

3/4 cup milk

1 T. water

2 T. taco seasoning mix (stir before measuring!)

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese


Combine first 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in centre. Slowly add milk to well, stirring with fork until soft dough forms. (I just do it all in the stand mixer on low.) Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 6 times. Roll out or press into 10 inch square. Brush top of dough with water. Sprinkle taco seasoning evenly over water, leaving 1 1/2 inch edge on 1 side. Sprinkle cheese evenly over taco seasoning. Roll up dough, jelly roll-style, toward unsprinkled edge. Press seam against roll to seal. Place, seam-side down, on cutting board. Cut into 10 – 12 equal slices. Arrange, cut-side down, about 2 inches apart on lined baking sheet (best: silpat liner.) Bake in 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Freezes well.  Serve with salsa and sour cream. We like to just toss the rolls in a container and snack on them while we’re out and about. They’re simple, easy, and yummy!

Speckled Spirals Recipe

Speckled Spirals Recipe

4 oz. block of cream cheese, softened

½ cup finely chopped cooked chicken

½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

2 tbsp. finely chopped green pepper

2 tbsp. finely chopped red pepper

2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 1/2 tsp. flakes)

1 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. salt

2 flour tortillas (9 inch diameter)


Combine first 8 ingredients in medium bowl. Makes about 2 cups filling.  Spread filling evenly on 1 tortilla, almost to edge. Roll up tightly, jelly roll-style. Repeat with remaining filling and tortilla. Wrap rolls with plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours. Discard plastic wrap. Trim about 1/2 inch from both ends of each roll. Cut each roll into 1/2 inch slices.  BAKED SPECKLED SPIRALS: Arrange slices, cut-side down, on greased baking sheet. Lightly brush top of each with cooking oil. Bake in 350ºF oven for 10 to 12 minutes until edges are golden.

Salmon Croissant

Salmon Croissant

1/3 cup canned salmon, drained, skin and round bones removed, flaked

2 T. finely chopped red pepper

1 T. salad dressing (or mayonnaise)

1 tsp. lemon juice

salt, sprinkle

pepper, sprinkle

1 T. finely chopped green onion (optional)

1 croissant, split


Combine first 7 ingredients in small bowl. Makes about 1/2 cup filling. Spread filling evenly on bottom half of croissant. Cover with top half.