Saturday, July 15, 2017


The peppers are coming on strong in the garden. We have had lots of rain in our area and a healthy amount of heat and sunshine. This recipe for stuffed peppers is sure to please the backyard barbecue fan who loves blue cheese and bacon. If you don't like blue cheese, try substituting a cheese you particularly enjoy. Follow her pictures, notes, and recipe and you are sure to enter a whole new realm of grilling pleasure.  Enjoy!

I used the small sweet peppers that come in a bag in the grocery store.  I cut the tops off, cleaned them out, and cooked them a bit over the grill.  I wanted to make stuffed peppers instead of the slices of pepper as the original recipe states.

I mixed the filling up and spooned it into a gallon sized plastic bag.  Seal the top of it, cut the tip off, and use the filled bag to fill each of the peppers.

I used a grill basket to place the peppers in so they would stand up and could go back on the grill.  The peppers didn't take up all of the space in the basket, so I wadded up a piece of foil and placed it in the basket so the peppers stand up.

I placed the grill basket back on the grill until the cheese mixture was hot and bubbling.

TA DA!  These are so delicious!!!



  • 3 medium sweet yellow, orange or red peppers
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced


Cut peppers into quarters. Remove and discard stems and seeds. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, blue cheese, bacon and green onion until blended.
Grill peppers, covered, over medium-high heat or broil 4 in. from heat 2-3 minutes on each side or until slightly charred.
Remove peppers from grill; fill each with about 1 tablespoon cheese mixture. Grill 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sugar Free Cucumber Salad

Sugar Free Cucumber Salad
When I was a kid, our summer food menu often consisted of sliced tomatoes, corn on the cob and anything fresh from the garden or produce stand.  Sliced cucumber salad was a staple, but my mother always made it with sugar.  Dietary restrictions require I not use sugar if possible, so I substituted stevia for this recipe and it worked beautifully.  Olivia has an abundance of cucumbers this year so she gave me some to make this salad.  My mother didn't use herbs in hers but I like herbs so I added them to mine.  You can use any seasonings you like. Let this sit in the refrigerator overnight for the best flavor.  We hope you like it.

1.  Peel and slice cucumbers and one onion (the milder the better).

2.  Salt and pepper to taste.
 3.  Add herbs you enjoy.  This time I used fresh dill and some fennel plus a little minced garlic.
 4.  Microwave on high for at least one minute equal amounts of white vinegar and powdered stevia (or sugar if you prefer).  Stir until the stevia or sugar is dissolved.
 5.  Pour over the cucumbers, onions, and herbs.  Mix well.  Refrigerate overnight.

Another tip:  Once you have the dressing made, you can keep adding cucumbers to it for a few days and enjoy the salad all week!

Monday, June 26, 2017


Most people like hash browns.  The thing a lot of people don't like about hash browns is that they aren't always crispy.  In fact, sometimes they are down right limp and a little on the soggy side.  Olivia made this delicious oven baked version that is probably a little healthier than the standard fried version (depending upon the kind of oil you use).  They are made really flavorful by adding garlic powder, paprika, cheese, and chives.  If you are making breakfast at home this upcoming holiday weekend, you might give these a try.  Happy Fourth of July!


  • 1 16-oz. bag refrigerated hash browns
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped chives


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss hash browns with olive oil, garlic powder and paprika. Season with salt and pepper, then add egg and cheese and gently mix until evenly combined.
  3. Spread the hash browns into an even layer. Bake until crispy, about 30 minutes.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Fresh vegetables are plentiful this time of year.  You can either grow your own or find plentiful options at local farm stands and produce auctions.  Olivia found a large quantity of cauliflower at a good price at a nearby produce auction this week. 

In addition to keeping some for eating raw and roasting, we are both freezing some for future use.  If you have never preserved summer's bounty by freezing vegetables, it is an easy process. 

We are sharing how to do cauliflower.  You can process  it when it is in season or even when you see it on sale in the grocery.  The first step is to remove the outer leaves and inner core.

 Next you can cut the head into smaller pieces and wash them thoroughly.

Start a pot of boiling water with some salt in it on the stove.  When it reaches a rolling boil, place one batch at a time in the water and blanch the cauliflower for three minutes.

With a slotted spoon, place the cauliflower on towels to drain.  Draining the vegetables aids in keeping the vegetables from getting icy and deteriorating faster when frozen.

When the cauliflower has drained, place it in a quart sized freezer bag and label it.  After it has cooled down, place it in the freezer.  Most packages will keep for at least a year.  Take it out of the freezer when you are ready to eat and heat it from a frozen state for 8-9 minutes or steam it on top of the stove.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

BBQ Chicken

Barbecue Chicken
Summer isn't officially hear yet, but it sure feels like it around here.  The temperatures have been in the 80s and the smell of grills cooking wafts through the neighborhood.  Whether it is steaks, burgers, fish, pork or chicken, who can resist the grilled goodness of meat?  Olivia came up with this yummy combination of salad dressing and barbecue sauce to create a delightfully simple marinade for chicken.  The ingredients are few, everything goes in a ziplock bag, and the combination of zesty and tangy is outstanding.  Try this if you are looking for something different.  Happy grilling!


1 cup bottled zesty Italian salad dressing
1 cup bottled medium - spicy BBQ sauce
4 chicken breasts
1 gallon sized storage bag

1)  Mix the Italian salad dressing and BBQ sauce in the gallon sized storage bag.
2)  Place chicken in bag and seal.  Rub the sauce around on the chicken inside the bag.
3)  Marinate overnight in the fridge.
4)  Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Olivia and I are blessed to have good friends.  They are the kind who invite you to join them for holiday meals and feed you the yummiest of food.  This happened at Easter.  A couple we know from church invited us to join them for the Easter meal.  It included this delightful massaged kale salad.  When I first heard the name I found it somewhat humorous.  After all, who gives their greens a "massage" as part of the recipe?

In this case the massaging of the kale gives it a great texture and breaks down the greens so they absorb the other flavors in the recipe and the kale, which can be bitter sometimes, takes on a pleasing texture and taste.  The mango, nuts, cheese, and honey give this salad a terrific appeal that you will love.

If you are tired of eating the same old salads all the time, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.  The Memorial Day weekend is coming up and this would make a super accompaniment to your barbecue.  Give it a try!


Monday, May 15, 2017


Olivia found this great recipe on the Food Network site.  It is a super way to jazz up the same old same old taco shells.  If your taco night gets a little repetitive, this could be a great way to step outside the box and create a tasty alternative to the plain hard shelled taco.

The recipe is simple and straight forward.  Just brush your standard hard shelled taco shells with a little vegetable oil then sprinkle with the seasoning mixture.  The combination of the cumin, coriander, and chili powder gives this recipe just the right amount of kick to make your taste buds wake up and say, "Fiesta time!"  Enjoy!

Seasoned Taco Shells: