Labor Day Weekend

Hot Dogs 8 Ways

May 23, 2017

Because sometimes ketchup & mustard just aren’t enough.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

September 1, 2016

I have out-of-town company coming for the weekend and like to have delicious bites on hand for breakfast and snacks. My Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is always a big hit. I like to use dark chocolate, which is a nice contrast to the banana.

Zucchini Guacamole

September 4, 2015

Holy Guacamole! You can’t be serious? Sure, why not?! What else are you going to do with all of that late summer zucchini?

Grilled Eggplant

September 3, 2015

I adore eating eggplant any old way. This holiday weekend throw a few on the grill to go with whatever it is that you’re preparing. Remember, if you don’t have a grill then a grill pan on the stove works quite well.

Potatoes In Foil With Mascarpone

September 2, 2015

Cooking outdoors is the perfect way to entertain during this holiday weekend. The scents and sound of cooking on the barbecue create a wonderful appetite for a feast. Another advantage is that cooking on a barbecue means that nobody has to spend time in the kitchen. A good barbecue should be very simple, and only requires good quality embers, seasoned with salt and pepper and perhaps drizzled with a little olive oil.

Chile-Spiced Bean Salad

September 2, 2013

Antique Picnic Basket

Chile-Spiced Bean Salad

A bit of chile mingles with corn and three kinds of beans in this colorful salad that stays crisp for hours. 


Spicy Dressing

2 Cups Red Kidney Beans

2 Cups Pinto Beans

2 Cups Garbanzo Beans

2 Cups Whole Kernel Corn

1 Sliced Large Celery Stalk

5 Sliced Green Onions (Including Green Tops)

1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley

1/2 Cup Diced Green Chiles

Prepares the Spicy Dressing and set aside (recipe below).  In a large-size bowl combine the kidney beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans.  If you are using canned beans then make sure to drain and rinse them.  Add the corn to the beans and mix.  Add the celery, onions, parsley, and chiles. Combine well.  Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.  Makes 8 servings.

Spicy Dressing:

3/4 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Wine Vinegar

1 Minced Garlic Clove

3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Oregano

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, stir together the olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic, kosher salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and pepper.  Mix well to combine.  

Parsley Potato Salad

September 2, 2013

Parsley Potato SaladPotato Salad with Chili Coriander and Allioli

For a new twist on the traditional potato salad, try this light; fresh-tasting version that combines sliced potatoes with an oil and vinegar dressing. 


2 Pounds Small Red Potatoes

1 Finely Chopped Large Celery Stalk

1 Hard-Boiled Egg

1 Minced Garlic Cloves

4 Canned Anchovy Fillets

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1/2 Teaspoon Sugar

1/4 Teaspoon Hot Sauce

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

3 Finely Chopped Green Onions (Including Green Tops)

1/2 Cup Chopped Parsley

Pour water into a 4-quart pan to a 1 inch depth.  Bring to a boil over a high heat.  Add the potatoes.  Cover and reduce the heat.  Cook for 20 to 30 minutes just until tender when pierced with a fork.  Don’t overcook.  Drain the water and let cool.  Peel and thinly slice into a large-size bowl.  Add the chopped celery.  In a blender or food processor, pulse the cooked egg, garlic, anchovies, mustard, sugar, hot sauce, olive oil and vinegar until smooth.  Add the kosher salt and pepper and pulse for another 30 seconds.  Stir in the green onions and parsley.  Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and stir gently.  Cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for at least 4 hours or until the next day.  Transport in a cooler when taking to a picnic.  Serves 6

Chocolate Buttercream Cake

September 1, 2013


Chocolate Buttercream CakeChocolate Buttermilk Cake

My moist, rich chocolate cake is an ever-popular dessert, indoors or at a picnic.  This one is frosted and filled with a fluffy chocolate buttercream.  Yum!


1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa

1 Cup Water

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Cups Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Cup Melted Butter

3 Lightly Beaten Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

Chocolate Buttercream

Preheat your oven to 350° F. In a large-size bowl, blend the cocoa and water.  Sift the flour, sugar and baking soda into the cocoa mixture.  Blend well.  Stir in the butter, eggs and vanilla.  Using an electric mixer, beat for 2 minutes.  Stir in the sour cream.  Pour into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.  Place into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans.  Remove from the oven when done and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.  Invert onto racks to cool completely.  Prepare the Chocolate Buttercream and spread between the cake layers and over the top and sides of the cake.  Makes 8 to 10 servings. 

Chocolate Buttercream


3/4 Cup Plus 4 Tablespoons Butter

1 Cup Sugar

4 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

4 Eggs

In a large-size bowl combine the butter and sugar.  Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the unsweetened chocolate and vanilla.  Beat well.  Add the eggs and beat until light in color and thick (for about 3 minutes).  If the mixture gets dark and runny from over beating then chill and beat again.  


Crusty Parmesan Chicken

August 31, 2013

Crusty Parm ChickenCrusty Parmesan Chicken

For chicken that is crunchy and delicious hot or cold, try this quick and easy oven-fried version.  The recipe multiplies easily to feed a crowd. 


1 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Tablespoons Freshly Chopped Parsley

5 Tablespoons Butter

4 to 6 Chicken Breasts (About 3 Pounds)

Preheat your oven to 350° F. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, pepper, and parsley.  In a large-size sauté pan, over a medium heat, melt the butter.  Dip the chicken breasts in the butter, and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture.  Place the chicken, skin side up, in a parchment paper lined baking dish.  Arrange the chicken breasts so they don’t touch.  Place into the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the juices run clear.  Remove from the oven.  To serve warm, wrap in foil and transport in a container designed to hold the heat. To serve cold, let cool slightly, cover loosely with foil, and refrigerate until well chilled.  Transport in a cooler.  Serve 4

Four Bean Salad

September 20, 2012

Four Bean Salad

This is one of my favorite salads.  Quite the guilty pleasure as it does have quite a bit of sugar. Sometimes I like to mix it with a green salad just to change it up a bit.  My Four Bean Salad is great for a barbeque, picnic or potluck dinner. 


2/3 Cup Sugar

1/8  Teaspoon Celery Salt

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/4  Cup Cider Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Minced Garlic Clove

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

16 Ounces Drained Canned Garbanzo Beans

32 Ounces Drained Canned Green Beans

16 Ounces Drained Yellow Wax Beans

16 Ounces Drained Canned Red Kidney Beans

1 Diced Red Bell Pepper

1/2 Diced Red Onion

In a medium size bowl combine the sugar, celery salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper.  Set aside.  In a separate large bowl combine the garbanzo beans, green beans, yellow wax beans and red kidney beans.  The beans should be well drained.  Add the diced red bell pepper and diced red onion.  Toss to combine the ingredients well.  Pour the dressing over the beans and place in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.  This salad needs to marinate.  Serves 8


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