Grilled Corn and Summer Fruit Salad

With these hot summer days, using the stove and oven are not an option around here.  This easy and refreshing summer salad features corn grilled on the barbeque.


1-2 ears of corn

1 nectarine or peeled peach

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

DSC01853Grill the corn on the barbeque, then cut off the cob.  Slice nectarine and strawberries.

DSC01854Add all the ingredients to a salad bowl, then tear the basil leaves in.

DSC01855Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

DSC01860Add dressing over salad and toss gently.  Serve

Lemon Herb Crackers

We found this recipe in a recent issue of  “Something Extra” magazine.  It looked easy so we gave it a try. They came out pretty good.  They are tasty by themselves or with some hummus dip.


Cooking spray

1 package of egg roll wrappers

1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon dry rosemary, crushed between your fingers

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Ground pepper to taste

DSC01727Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cover 2 baking sheets with foil and spray them with cooking spray.  Olive oil cooking spray is best, but it works with any kind.

DSC01728Place Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, rosemary, garlic salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix together well.

DSC01730Cut each egg roll wrapper into six equal pieces.

DSC01731Place the cut wrappers on the baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.

DSC01732Sprinkle topping on the top.

DSC01733Bake for 10 minutes until lightly brown.


Hot Appetizer for Super Bowl Sunday

This appetizer recipe has been in the family for a long time.  We usually have it during the holidays.  It is so easy and so tasty! Give it a try.


1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 small (4.25 ounce) can chopped olives

2 teaspoons curry powder or to taste

cocktail rye bread slices

DSC01722Place grated cheese, mayonnaise and chopped olives in a medium bowl.

DSC01723Add curry powder and stir all together well.

DSC01724Place rye bread slices on a cookie sheet.  Spoon mixture onto the bread.  Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

DSC01725Serve immediately.

Layered Salad

This recipe has been in the family for years.  It is a great “make ahead” salad for special dinners.  It does make a lot, so sometimes we cut it in half.


One bag (8 ounce) salad greens, iceberg or romaine

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup grated carrot

1 small bag of frozen peas

1 small can sliced water chestnuts

2 cups mayonaise

4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

3 teaspoons sugar

DSC0170124 hours before serving the salad, assemble ingredients.

DSC01702In a large bowl, start layering salad ingredients: lettuce, carrots, green onions…

DSC01703Frozen peas and water chestnuts last.

DSC01704Mix mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and sugar together in a small bowl.

DSC01705“Frost” the top of the salad with the dressing, sealing all edges.  Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator 24 hours.  Just before serving, toss the dressing with the salad and serve.

Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Roasted Butternut Squash


2 cups cubed butternut squash

3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

8 ounces orzo pasta

2 Tablespoons butter

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 cup Marsala wine

4 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DSC01686Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place cubed butternut squash in a casserole dish.  Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar, toss all together.  Place in the oven to roast for about 1/2 hour, until soft.

DSC01688Bring a large pot of salted water to a  boil.  Add orzo and cook according to package directions.  Drain in a colander.

DSC01689Place a large saute pan on medium high heat.  Add one tablespoon of olive oil and butter.DSC01690Saute mushrooms for 3-4 minutes.

DSC01691Add the Marsala wine

DSC01692Cube the cream cheese and stir into the mushrooms. Melt, making a sauce.

DSC01693Spoon in the cooked butternut squash and drained orzo.

DSC01694Stir in salt and cheese.

DSC01695Serve immediately.  Yum!

Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms


1 16 ounce package Cremini mushrooms and stems

2-3 slices provolone cheese

1 8 ounce cream cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil

1 Tablespoon prepared pesto

DSC01616Wipe off mushrooms with a wet paper towel and remove the stems.  Keep the stems for the filling.

DSC01618Place the cleaned mushrooms on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

DSC01619Break up the cream cheese and place in a food processor.  Add the rest of the filling items: mushroom stems, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and pesto.  Process until mixed and smooth.

DSC01620Spoon filling into the mushrooms.  Cut small squares of provolone to fit  on each mushroom.

DSC01621Place under the broiler until browned and bubbly.  Serve immediately.  Great for an appetizer or side dish.


Clean mushrooms with a wet paper towel.  Remove the stems and set aside for the filling.  Break up cream cheese block and place in a food processor.  Add the rest of the filling ingredients; pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and pesto.  Processor until mixed and smooth.  Spoon filling into mushrooms.  Cut small squares of provolone to fit on top of each.  Place under broiler until brown and bubbly.  Serve immediately.

Curried Pasta Salad

We found this recipe in Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Cooking.  Here’s another easy summer salad.


3/4 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks

1 red apple, cored and chopped

8 ounces bow tie or farfale pasta

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

DSC01560Blend together the sour cream and curry powder.

DSC01561Core and chop the apple into chunks.

DSC01562Drain the pineapple.  Chop the peeled avocado into chunks.  Add apple, pineapple and avocado to a large bowl.

DSC01563Add the dressing and mix together well.

DSC01564Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.

DSC01565Drain and rinse with cold water in a colander.

DSC01566Mix the pasta into the salad, add salt.  Chill for about 15 minutes before serving.



In a large bowl, mix sour cream and curry powder.  Chop apple and avocado.  Drain pineapple and place all in a large bowl.  Add the dressing and mix together.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Add pasta to the salad along with salt; mix well.  Chill in the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving.

Panzanella Salad

The tomatoes and peppers in our garden are starting to ripen!  We had some leftover french bread and decided to make a panzanella salad.  It is an easy and flavorful summer salad.


2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

leftover french bread, cubed (about 2 cups)

3-4 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cucumber, chopped

1 red onion, sliced

fresh basil leaves, torn or sliced

Parmesan cheese (optional)


1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

DSC01548Set the oven to broil.  Place bread on a large cookie sheet.  Toss with 3 Tablespoons olive oil.  Set in the oven and toast the cubes.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

DSC01551Chop ingredients for the salad, starting with the tomatoes….


DSC01554onions, peppers and basil

Place all the vegetables in a salad bowl.

DSC01555Add the cooled, toasted bread cubes.

DSC01556Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing:

mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

DSC01557Grate a little parmesan cheese over the top.

DSC01558Toss all together and serve.

Zucchini Butter

We are starting to get a lot of zucchini in the garden this year.  Here is a quick and tasty use for some of our squashes!!


1-2 pounds of zucchini squash

2 shallots

1 green bell pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

DSC01543Chop shallots and place in a saute pan with the olive oil.

DSC01545Shred the zucchini and pepper with a grater or in the food processor.  Wring out the excess liquid with a clean kitchen towel.

DSC01546Add the zucchini and cook on medium high until it becomes “jam-like”.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

DSC01547Spread on toasted french bread.  We served it on french bread with goat cheese spread on it and the zucchini butter on top.


Chop shallots and saute in the olive oil.  Shred the zucchini and green pepper.  Wring out the excess liquid with a clean kitchen towel.  Add the zucchini and pepper to the saute pan.  Cook to a “jam-like” consistency.   Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spread on toasted bread.

Grilled Corn and Tomatillo Salsa

We had some delicious grilled summer corn left over.  This week we made a corn and tomatillo salsa, served it with taco salad one night and on top of grilled pork chops for another meal.  It is easy, fresh and yummy!


2 ears of corn, grilled and cut off the cob (about 2 cups)

4 tomatillos, halved

1 tomato, chopped

3 mini bell peppers

1 fresh lime, juiced

2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno

3/4 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled

2 teaspoons fresh cilanto, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Ancho chili powderDSC01527Spray some non-stick spray on an indoor grill pan.  Add the tomatillos face down on medium-high heat.  This can also be done on an outdoor grill.

DSC01529Grill both sides until grill marks appear.  Remove from grill and allow to cool.

DSC01530Place corn in a large bowl. Chop the tomato, peppers and cilantro and add to the bowl.

DSC01531Juice the lime and stir into the vegetables.

DSC01532Chop the cooled tomatillos and add to the salsa.

DSC01533Stir in the jalapenos, Cotija cheese, salt and chili powder.

*Note: Cotija cheese is a Mexican cheese.  It is a little salty, similar to feta.



Grill tomatillos on a grill pan until grill marks appear.  Remove and allow to cool.

Place corn in a large bowl.  Chop tomatoes, peppers and cilanto; add to the corn.  Juice the lime and stir into salsa.  Chop cooled tomatillos and add to the salsa along with Cotija cheese, jalapenos, salt and Ancho chili powder.