Monthly Archives: July 2013

Pesto and Pasta Tomato Bake

Purple Basil Pesto & Tomato Bake

Pesto & Tomato Bake

Need a simple no meat dish. Here’s one I like to have on our Meatless Mondays. Well we don’t actually have it on Mondays, but we do eat it when I am serving a meatless dinner.

Ingredients:  4 to 5 servings

  • 2 handfuls of fresh basil
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese, plus some for sprinkling the top
  • about 2 tablespoons of Olive OIl
  • sprinkle of Kosher Salt and Ground Black pepper to taste
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • half a box of Bow-Tie Pasta, cooked al dente

Preheat your oven to 350, butter the bottom and sides of a baking dish. Using a food processor, add the basil, parsley, garlic, walnuts, 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, Olive Oil, Kosher salt and black pepper. Process these ingredients until smooth. Toss this pesto sauce with the cooked Bow-Tie Pasta until all is well coated. Spread half of the pesto and pasta in your baking dish, layer with the tomato slices from 1 of the tomatoes. Spread the rest of the pasta on top of that, then add the remaining tomato slices. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan Cheese and bake until the cheese melts, 10 to 15 minutes.


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Southern Indiana Style Coleslaw



This is the perfect addition to a pulled pork sandwich…..or in my case… a shredded chicken taco.


  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5 TB sugar
  • 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 head of green cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2 to 3 cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, cored and diced
  • DSC_1334 (2)1 yellow squash, peeled and thinly sliced

Soak the sliced red onion in salted water for about 30 minutes. Rinse and drain them well. In a large bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, Olive Oil, Salt and pepper, mix until the sugar has fully dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.


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Zucchini Beer Bread

Zucchini Beer Bread

Zucchini Beer Bread


  • 2 medium Yellow Zucchini, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 TB plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1 bottle of beer, 12 ounces, I usually use Budweiser
  • 3 TB Rosemary Herb Butter, melted, see my recipe

Preheat oven to 350 and butter a bread loaf pan.

Add the zucchini and garlic into a food processor and pulse until roughly shredded. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the light brown sugar, regular sugar and zucchini garlic mixture. Pour the beer in and mix with a wooden spoon until blended. Pour the bread batter into the buttered loaf pan and pour the melted Rosemary Herb Butter over the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. Let the bread cool in your bread pan for at least an hour before removing it and serving.

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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Breads


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Rosemary Herb Butter

Rosemary Herb Butter

Rosemary Herb Butter

We just love using seasoned butter on our steaks, potatoes and pasta. My herb garden is in full swing and producing lots of fresh herbs. This seasoned butter has become a favorite of mine.


  • 8 TB salted butter, softened
  • 4 springs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced
  • 2 springs of fresh oregano, leaves removed and minced
  • 2 springs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
Butter on Steaks

Butter on Steaks

Using a fork combine all the above ingredients together until fully combined. Place the butter mixture on parchment paper and wrap up. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. This butter mixture will last a very long time in your refrigerator. I’m not sure exactly how long because we use it up so quickly.


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Lavender Cookies with Rose Water Icing

Lavender Cookies with Rose Water Icing

Lavender Cookies with
Rose Water Icing

If you’re wanting to experiment baking with Lavender this might be a good recipe to start with. I used my Amish Friend’s Church Cookie recipe as the base, just to be safe. Please remember that freshly picked and dried lavender flower buds are full of perfume oils and strong in flavor. A little really does go along way. My first batch I used 1 tablespoon of these lover flower. The smell was incredible but each and every cookie tasted like soap, Lavender Soap. This batch is far better and has a very delicate flavor.

Ingredients:  makes 3 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 tsp Rose Water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried fresh Lavender buds, minced

DSC_1268Preheat your oven to 350 and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, shortening and butter. Add the eggs, buttermilk, Rose Water and mix well. Sift together the baking powder, baking soda and flour. Sprinkle the Lavender buds over the mixture then add the flour mixture a 1/2 cup at a time until all of it is thoroughly mixed together.

DSC_1263Drop by rounded tablespoons onto your prepared cookie sheets and bake for 13 to 14 minutes just until the bottom starts to brown. Let them sit for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cookies are fully cooled then they can be iced.

Ingredients for Rose Water Icing:

  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 TB shortening
  • 2 TB Rose Water
  • 1 to 2 TB milk

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the above ingredients, except for the last tablespoon of milk. Only add this if you need the icing thinner. I also added a couple drops of food coloring to the icing, just because it was so pretty.

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Posted by on July 20, 2013 in Cookies, Desserts


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Enchilada Salsa

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Would you like your family to eat more spinach and tomatoes without a fight? When I first met Mark that was the goal. Here’s an easy way to include vegetables with one of his favorite dishes, enchiladas. Just try topping your enchiladas with this simple salsa and rest easy that they are eating well.


  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, whites & greens
  • about 3 handfuls of spinach, shredded
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • a dash of Kosher salt
  • a pinch of ground black pepper
  • a drizzle of hot sauce, optional
Enchilada Salsa

Enchilada Salsa

Combine all the ingredients, cover and marinate in the refrigerator while you make your enchiladas. Just top the hot enchiladas with this simple salsa and enjoy.

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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Salsa and Chutneys


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Citrus & Saffron Grilled Chicken

Citrus & Saffron Grilled Chicken

Citrus & Saffron
Grilled Chicken

It’s summer time and grilling chicken is a must. I love citrus and saffron flavored chicken. Here’s an easy way to have it all.

Ingredients for brine:

  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and quartered
  • 1 TB Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Saffron
  • half an onion, quartered
  • water if needed

Using a food processor blend all of the ingredients until well blended. Place the brine mixture in a large freezer zip lock baggy and place your chicken pieces in the bag. Swish it all around and refrigerate over night. Add water if you are needing more marinade to cover all the chicken pieces.

Tips: We grill our chicken on low heat for 60 to 70 minutes. Basting frequently during the last 20 minutes of the grilling process.

Ingredients for basting mixture:

  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 1/4 tsp of saffron
  • juice of 2 limes

In a small sauce pan melt the butter, then add the saffron and limes juice. Use this mixture frequently to baste your chicken on the grill.

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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Chicken, Dry Rub & Marinades


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