Zesty Pasta Salad

zesty pasta salad

When you hear Pasta Salad, do you think “summertime meal”?

If you answered “yes”, Zesty Pasta Salad will change your mind!

Yes, it is a cool refreshing meal in a salad. But, it is also so delicious, you will not want to wait until the summertime to enjoy it!

We are harvesting the last Montepulciano grapes of the year today! It is very exciting but it will be a long day – we have estimated that there will be about 29 tons – PTL, Hurray, Yippee…!

John and the boys run the harvester and move the bins of grapes from the truck to the scale and finally onto the reefer which is a fancy name for a refrigerated 18 wheeler truck. I keep a record of all the bin weights so we know how many tons we are actually sending to the wineries and how much to bill them for – that is important!

Needless to say, I won’t be spending time in the kitchen.

Enter Zesty Pasta Salad![Continue Reading]

Pumpkin Spice Gingerbread Cookies

easy pumpkin spice gingerbread cookies

Nothing says Fall like pumpkins!

And, nothing makes your kitchen and home smell more delicious than the mouthwatering aroma that comes from Pumpkin Spice Gingerbread Cookies baking!

Not only are they melt-in-your-mouth delicious, they are super easy. Just mix, drop by the spoonful, bake and eat!

Eating is definitely the best part![Continue Reading]

Best Ever Boiled Custard

best ever boiled custard

One of my all-time-favorite desserts is Boiled Custard – the old fashioned kind. If you have never had it, let me try to describe it…

Boiled Custard is creamy smooth,

Deliciously inviting – inviting you to eat more, that is!

Incredibly tasty.

Unbelievably satisfying.

OK, enough said. It just plain tastes great!

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My New Juicer and a Raw Carrot Juice Recipe

Juicing Bandwagon - Breville juicer and carrot juice recipe

Sometimes I am late jumping on the bandwagon and this is one of those times.

The bandwagon I’m talking about is juicing. I really enjoy carrot juice but to take the time to do it is another story. It is not so much the juicing but, the clean-up afterwards. You know, the juicer itself – it can really be a pain to get clean!

Then again, there are some juicers that leave quite a bit of juice in the pulp. Cheap, frugal or whatever you want to call it, when I see the pulp still wet with juice, I think I need to run the pulp through a second time – talk about a mess! Imagine trying to ring the feed spout with pulp that has already gone through the juicer – take my work for it, it is messy! Well, that has all changed – thanks to my new juicer!

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Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

One meal that our family enjoys is baked potatoes with all the toppings. Normally, I bake potatoes in the oven and it takes about an hour. That is not too long but, in the summer, the oven does put out a lot of heat. The bottom line is that during hot weather, I don’t want to heat up the kitchen if I don’t have too!

Maybe you can tell by the recipes I have shared lately, I have really been using my crock pot or more specifically, my roaster. With 5 growing boys and their farm boy appetites, my 6 quart crock pot (affiliate link) is just not large enough anymore, but my 22 qt roaster is! So, having just bought a case of potatoes, I wanted baked potatoes and I had what I thought was a brilliant idea – I would try them in the crock pot.

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Tuttie Fruiti Red Wine Sangria

Make Your Own Fresh Fruit Sangria

Tuttie Fruiti Red Wine Sangria may sound like just another red wine sangria recipe but the secret is freshly juiced fruit juices. There is nothing as refreshing as sangria made with fresh fruit juices on a hot summer day! Now, not only do you have the antioxidant benefits of red wine but add to that the health benefits of fresh juice and you just can’t beat it!

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Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Who says pumpkin pie is just for the holidays?

I used to!

But, not since making Pumpkin Pie Pudding!

It all started when I was cleaning out my pantry. If you are like me, it seems there are always items (usually canned foods) that are lost behind everything else. This time, it was canned pumpkin that I bought on sale after the holidays – last year or maybe the year before, who knows!

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Never Fail Brownies – Better Than the Box!


Never Fail Brownies

Fruits and vegetables are seasonal – they come and go.

But brownies – ahhh…

Brownies are ALWAYS in season!

Have you wanted a brownie recipe that turns out great every time and is quick to throw together?

I know, a box brownie does, right?

Don’t worry, I’m not judging! After all, I only used box brownie mixes for years. Homemade brownies always turned out dry when I made them or the recipe was so involved that it took too much time. But, not anymore!

[Continue Reading]

Fried Chicken with Kefir Batter


fried chicken with kefir batter

What says, “southern” better than fried chicken?

OK, maybe fried chicken and sweet tea.

The problem is, this southern girl doesn’t fix either!

My tea usually turns a bitter and I have always figured that if we want fried chicken, we can go out to eat!

Besides, drinking water is better for you!

So, imagine my dilemma when our soon to be 17 year old son requested, of all things, fried chicken for his birthday dinner … And watermelon.

The watermelon was NO problem!

But the fired chicken…

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Zesty Quinoa Salad

zesty quinoa salad

Before Quinoa Almond Pilaf made it to our table, quinoa really had a bum rap. But, that is all behind us now and quinoa has a changed reputation in our house!

So, how did we get off to such a rocky start with quinoa? It was all my fault. I didn’t know how to cook it. Years ago, before the GAPS diet, I did a detox diet in an effort to gain relief from my rheumatoid arthritis and this diet included, among other things, quinoa. John and the children, supportive as always, did the diet with me. I have to admit that the diet was very restrictive and offered very few seasonings or condiments so, I boiled the quinoa. And, served it plain. Have you ever tried eating quinoa plain? It does leave a lot to be desired – mainly taste!

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