Monthly Archives: June 2012

“4th of July” Cookout Possibilities

The 4th of July is upon us. Usually we have Mark’s family out for a celebration but this year it will just be us two. A simple menu will ensure both of us can relax in the pool and enjoy each other’s company. Generally I like to keep the menu simple and easy for a day outside and am thinking some of you would appreciate some easy ideas so that you too can sit back and relax on that day. The following are a few items I will probably be serving on our 4th of July pool party for 2. All are recipes I have posted earlier in my blog. I hope you all enjoy whatever type of celebration is planned and like us will be enjoying some good ole homecooking from the recipes from my kitchen.


Nothing easier and more American than a good old fashion hamburger at a cookout. You can find my recipe for these hamburgers under “Hamburgers, done my way”.

Macaroni Salad

How about an easy and flavorful macaroni salad? This is my mother’s recipe that I have been enjoying all of my life. You can find this recipe under “My Mother’s Easy Summer Macaroni Salad”.

Deviled Eggs

It wouldn’t be a 4th of July celebration without some deviled eggs. What more festive than red, white and blue deviled eggs. You can find this recipe under “Deviled Eggs in Colorful Shells for All Occasions”.

Fruit Salad

I am crazy about fruit, so no cookout would be complete without a simple fruit salad. Find this recipe under “Fruit Salad”. (That was inventive, wasn’t it?)

Key Lime Tart

The day will be ending with some big bangs….so why not end your menu with a delightful bang of its own. My Key Lime Tart is just the dessert for the end of the party. You can find my recipe under “Key Lime Tart”.


Posted by on June 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Mark’s Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

I just love it when Mark cooks dinner. Not only are his meals tasty, but no fuss and easy to replicate. Here’s one of my all time favorite dinners that he surprises me with.

Ingredients:   yields about 6 kabobs

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 6 pieces each.
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into 12 pieces
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges, you’ll want about 18 good size wedges total
  • 12 new potatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges each
  • juice & zest of 1 lime
  • juice & zest of 1 lemon
  • salt & cracked black pepper for seasoning

Heat up your grill on medium low to medium heat. Combine the juice and zest from the lemon and lime and set aside. Assemble your kabob skewers by evenly distributing your ingredients and alternating them on the skewers. Mark likes to use potatoes pieces on the ends to hold everything on. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle some of the lemon lime mixture over the kabobs. Place them right on the grill and cook for 1 hour, rotating every 10 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and you have a nice char on everything. Baste with the lemon lime mixture periodically.

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Chicken, Paleo recipes, Vegetables


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Skillet Fried Sweet Corn

Skillet Fried Sweet Corn


  • 2 Tb Olive Oil
  • 4 Tb unsalted butter
  • 3 ears sweet corn, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tb fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tb fresh parsley, chopped
  • Garlic salt and Cracked Black Pepper for seasoning

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the Olive Oil and butter. Once the butter is melted into the oil add the sweet corn pieces and toss well. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes constantly tossing, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. Toss in the basil and parsley, continue to toss so that the corn pieces are coated well. Cover again and cook for another 10 minutes. The sweet corn is done with it becomes tender.  Place corn into a serving dish and pour any remaining mixture from the pan over them.

Suggestions: Not that Indiana Sweet Corn needs any help with flavoring, but this is just a pleasant way to mix it up a bit. You can never have enough Sweet Corn from Indiana.

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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Vegetables


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Bacon Fried Asparagus

I really enjoy the flavor of bacon wrapped asparagus, but I just can’t get the hang of wrapping the bacon around the asparagus. So to save myself some frustration I created this easy way of achieving the same flavors and a little bit more savory by adding some garlic and onions.

Ingredients:  4 servings

  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 bundle of asparagus, enough for 4 people
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 onion, diced

Heat a large skillet over medium heat add the bacon and fry for a couple of minutes until some of the oil is released. Add the asparagus and continue to fry until the bacon starts to brown. Add the garlic and onions to the pan and toss well with the bacon and asparagus and continue to fry until the bacon is fully cooked. When the bacon is done, the asparagus is done.

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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Paleo recipes, Pork, Vegetables


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Chocolate Cherries Ole Fashion Drop Cookies

Chocolate Cherries Old Fashion Drop Cookies

I just love chocolate covered cherries and was craving them badly….so the next best thing was to create a recipe that would bring those flavors to me. This is an old fashion drop cookie which is soft and chewy and cake like in texture. But don’t be fooled by its smooth and silky feel, it’s packed with a wonderful flavor of chocolate and cherries.

Ingredients:   yields 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies

  • 1/4 cup shortening, softened
  • 1/4 cups salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and diced. (That’s about 3 cups whole)
  • 6oz of chocolate chips

In a large bowl cream together the shortening, butter, sugar and egg. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together and stir into the wet ingredients until well blended. Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 and prepare your cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Drop the cookie batter by tablespoonfuls on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. (This is a wet cookie batter.) Bake 11-13 minutes until they are lightly browned and when touched lightly no finger imprint remains. Keep the batter refrigerated between uses.


Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Cookies


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Watermelon Sweet Tea

Watermelon Sweet Tea

How do I begin expressing my love of Southern Sweet Tea. As a Southern California girl I was no stranger to Sun Tea. I Grew up making and drinking it by the gallons. Every once in a while it would be slightly sweeten with a teaspoon or so of sugar, but not often. The first time I had Sweet Tea here in Indiana I was hooked. What a delightfully refreshing drink on a hot and humid summer’s day.

Tom Morales, the owner of “The Loveless Cafe” just outside of Nashville Tennessee says “Sweet Tea is better known as the “Champagne of the South”, sweet tea is an essential part of meals in cafes and in homes. “It’s not just the sugar that makes ice tea southern, it’s the way you say sweet tay.”

So after trying his wonderful Sweet Tay in his restaurant I was excited about making some simple syrup variations of my own. This is my recipe for Watermelon Sweet Tea.

Watermelon simple syrup Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup watermelon puree

Sun Tea Ingredients:

  • 4 regular sized Lipton Tea Bags
  • 1 gallon cold water

Place you tea bags and water in a clear glass or plastic pitcher and set outside in direct sunlight for at least 4 hours.

In a small saucepan bring the water to a boil, add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled a bit. Combine with the watermelon puree. Add as much or as little as you prefer of this watermelon simple syrup to sweeten your ice tea.

Suggestions: Try substituting the watermelon with peaches or strawberries, all are so delicious in sun tea. A couple of fresh mint leaves in your glass really sets the glass of tea apart from anything else.


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Can you remember the apron? Do your children know of the kitchen apron?

This little diddy was found on a table card in one of my favorite restaurants here in Evansville Indiana. The St. Joe Tavern is known for its fried chicken, where you are bound to find a wait to get a table in this 50 person joint.

The apron was good for many, many purposes.

I don’t think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Great Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath. Because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken coops, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were an ideal hiding place for shy kids. and when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust is a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER: My generation’s Great-Grandmas used to set their hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Grandma had air condition and was able to let her pies cool inside. My mother’s generation was busy working outside of the home to bake a homemade apple pie, my generation of women generally use ready-made pie crust and our daughters and great grand-daughters set theirs on the counter to thaw.  This generation would go crazy trying to figure out how many germs were on my Great Grandma and Grandma’s apron.


Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Places to eat, Tips, Uncategorized


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