Thursday, August 1, 2013

Coconut Broiled Chicken

Fresh herbs from your garden make all the difference in this delicious recipe!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thai Ginger Chicken Soup

Thai Ginger Chicken Soup

Quick and easy Thai Ginger Chicken Soup!
Thai Ginger Chicken Soup
1/2 lb of boneless chicken breast
3 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1 inch section of ginger thinly sliced
1 to 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons of sliced green onions
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1.  Cut chicken into thin strips
2.  Bring coconut milk and water to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low
3.  Add chicken and cook for 3 minutes
4.  Stir in Ginger, fish sauce and lime juice
5.  Sprinkle with green onion and parsley

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer In Rain

"Rain In Summer"

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!
How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs!

How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the over-flowing spout!
Across the window pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and side,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Eggplant Salad

From Ciao Italia

The flavor of this eggplant and sun dried tomato salad only gets more intense as it marinates at room temperature and it is best made several hours before serving.

Use small eggplant which have less seeds. Served with crusty bread, this is a perfect and easy summertime dish.

4 small eggplant (each about 5 inches long)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, cut into small pieces, and oil reserved
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
1 tablespoon finely minced mint
Salt to taste
Grinding black pepper to taste
1/2 cup cubed Ricotta Salata cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets.
  3. Trim the stem end of the eggplant and discard. Cut the eggplant into rounds that are 1/4-inch thick and place them in a single layer on the baking sheets. 
  4. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the slices are soft and lightly browned. 
  5. Transfer the slices immediately with a metal spatula to a cutting board and let cool. Then cut the slices crosswise into 2-inch pieces and transfer them to a medium size bowl.
  6. Add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the reserved oil to the bowl with the eggplant. Mix to combine, then stir in the vinegar, garlic, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. Mix well. If the eggplant seems dry, add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a platter and sprinkle the cheese over the top.
  8. Cover and allow the salad to marinate several hours before serving.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Summer Toast

Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year -- it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul.  Anonymous

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Best Baked Beans - Simple Recipe

We had neighbors over for dinner last night and had a great meal.  The neighbors brought deviled eggs, coleslaw and a nice bottle of wine.  My husband made beef brisket on the grill (cooked slow through day) and we had the baked beans below.   Dessert was vanilla ice cream with fresh sliced peaches.   Yum!


2  28-ounce cans of Bush's Original Baked Beans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of ketchup
1 small onion chopped
1 tablespoon of prepared mustard
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of bacon


Mix all ingredients together except for bacon and place in 9 X 11 baking dish
Cut each piece of uncooked bacon into 3 pieces and place on top of other ingredients
Cook in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Best Biscuits

We try to eat healthy at our house most of the time, but when the tomatoes come in,  we treat ourselves to homemade biscuits.   My Mom passed down her recipe.  She would fix them for the kids routinely when we were growing up and we ate them at breakfast with eggs or with her canned blackberries, heated and poured on top.  


4 Tbsp of vegetable shortening
2 cups of self-rising flour
3/4 cup of milk (butter milk is good also)


1.  Cut the shortening into the flour with a fork until it resembles coarse meal
2. Pour the milk into the mixture and use fork or clean hands to work the flour in (Do not over mix...just enough to make a soft dough)
3.  Knead on a floured surface 3-4 times until dough is smooth and manageable. I like to use wax paper as surface; this also makes it easy to clean up afterward.
4.  With your hands or rolling pin, flatten dough to abut 1/2 inch and use a floured glass or biscuit cutter to cut biscuits.
5.  Cook in preheated oven at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Avocados - Kitchen Tip

Tip:  The best way to slice and avocado is to use a small knife, make parallel cuts in the flesh of a halved avocado.  Then rotate and slice in the other direction.   Scoop out with spoon.  

Avocados have  a markedly higher fat content than most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated fat, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of populations where access to other fatty foods (high-fat meats and fish, dairy products, etc.) is limited.
The avocado fruit is not sweet, but rich, and distinctly yet subtly flavored, and of smooth, almost creamy texture.The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, as substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Restaurant Review - Chillfire Bar and Grill, Denver, NC

TheTrendyKitchen Restaurant Review – Chillfire Bar and Grill, Denver, NC

Excellent!  A great addition for Denver. 

Best Deviled Eggs


6 Large Eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. cubed dill pickles
1 tsp of yellow mustard

If pickles is not your taste, try:  
6 Large  Eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. butter


1.  Place eggs in large saucepan and bring to a boil.
2.  Remove from heat and cover and let set for 15 minutes
3.  Run cool water over eggs and remove shells
4.  Halve the eggs and remove yolks (move yolks to small bowl)
5.  Mash yolks and add 
6.  salt and pepper to taste
7.  Add other ingredients above
8.  Spoon mixture into halved egg whites
9.  Sprinkle with Paprika

Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Time for a Picnic?

Best Picnic Spots in North Carolina

North Carolina is one of the easiest places to lay a blanket and basket, with each region offering a variety of landscapes for any appetite.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
Located in the far reaches of Graham County, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is one of the last stands of virgin timber in the United States. Four-hundred-year-old trees, standing 100-feet tall and 20-feet around, welcome you to this natural cathedral.
Sliding Rock 
Whether you just sit and watch or actually swoosh down the 60-foot rock waterslide into the fresh mountain water at the bottom, this natural waterslide offers a cool respite from the heat. Crowds of laughing and frolicking people keep this spot jumping all summer long.
Linville Gorge 
The Linville River has carved a gash in the earth more than 2,000 feet deep to create this wild, rugged area with some of the most spectacular panoramic views east of the Rockies. Rich in both plant and animal life, you won’t run out of things to see and enjoy as you hike to your perfect picnic spot.
New River State Park 
The slow, peaceful river and abundant wildflowers makes this a perfect place for a quiet picnic. If you’re feeling adventurous, launch a canoe and enjoy your picnic atop placid waters. Flowing on its present course since before the Appalachian Mountains were formed, New River is thought to be one of the oldest rivers in North America.
Stone Mountain State Park 
Numerous trailside dining spots along the Stone Mountain Loop Trail offer great views. About 1.25 miles from the top is Stone Mountain Falls, a cascading waterfall tumbling about 200 feet into a pool.


Morrow Mountain State Park
Two picnic grounds, one atop the park’s namesake and the other near the pool, make for great resting spots during a day of hiking, horseback riding or fishing. For the adventurous picnicker, take a canoe for a row across Lake Tillery and up the Uwharrie River. Canoe and boat rental is available.
Hanging Rock State Park 
This 6,000-acre park has 18 miles of hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, caves and great views. Not far from Winston-Salem, Hanging Rock contains the highest peaks of the Sauratown Mountains – named for the Saura Indians.
Eno River State Park 
The park, a 2,600-acre sanctuary with five access areas, offers a multitude of picnic sites for hikers and boaters alike. Beavers, river otters, whitetail deer and even mink have been seen here. At least 61 species of fish call the river home, as do 12 species of freshwater mussels.
Cliffs of the Neuse State Park 
Turn-of-the-century visitors flocked here to “take the waters” from local mineral springs. Today, picnickers enjoy spectacular views of the multi-colored cliffs that rise 90 feet above their surroundings and extend for 600 yards along the banks of the Neuse River near Goldsboro.
Lumber River State Park 
One hundred and fifteen miles of scenic waters flow through this great dining location. Wildflowers ranging from mountain laurel and wild azalea to spider lily and native wisteria can be seen from the river, while bald cypress, tulip poplar, river birch and water elm form a canopy over the park’s swamps.


Jockey’s Ridge State Park 
Located in North Carolina’s storied Outer Banks you’ll find the tallest sand dunes on the East Coast and some of the most gorgeous sunsets anywhere. Spend your day hiking, hang gliding, kite flying and swimming and then enjoy a sunset picnic atop Jockey’s Ridge.
Hammocks Beach State Park 
One of the most pristine stretches on the Atlantic coast, Hammocks Beach is located on 3.5-mile-long Bear Island and is accessible only by park ferry or private boat.  Herons and egrets greet you as you pass through the Intracoastal Waterway.
Merchants Millpond State Park
An enchanted forest of bald cypress trees and Spanish moss beckon visitors. From the millpond’s shallow waters to the dark swamp where the forest of cypress and tupelo gum thickens, this is a nature lovers dream.
Lake Waccamaw State Park 
Sandy shorelines and tree-lined natural areas offer a peaceful picnic spot. You will find species of animals here that are found nowhere else on the planet, as well as rare plants and endangered animals.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Yellow Squash Casserole

We have made this a few times as a side dish at dinner.  This is easy and delicious!


4 cups sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
35 buttery round crackers, crushed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2.Place squash and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in a small amount of water. Cover, and cook until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well, and place in a large bowl.
3.In a medium bowl, mix together cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir half of the cracker mixture into the cooked squash and onions. In a small bowl, mix together eggs and milk, then add to squash mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cracker mixture, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Spring Fruit Salad

My favorite fruit salad:  

2 cups of sliced strawberries
1 cup of fresh blueberries
2 naval oranges cubed
1 apple cubed
1 cup seedless grapes halved
2 kiwis sliced and halved
1 mango cut in bite size pieces
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice

Combine all fruit in a large bowl.  Mix honey, lemon and lime juice together and poor over fruit.  Mix thoroughly.  Top with shredded coconut and garnish with mint leaves.   Refrigerate.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunrise Casserole

My husband and I had this casserole about a year ago at a local winery and the owner shared the recipe.   Delicious!

From Mean Aunt Jenny

I like to use corning ware for this one.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Easy Appetizer - Cheddar Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls – make ahead appetizer

1 lb. sausage
3 cups bisquick
1 lb. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1.        Mix ingredients thoroughly and shape into golf sized balls.
2.       Place on greased baking sheet
3.       Bake in preheated oven at 300 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes

Nice Appetizer - Small Cherry Peppers

Stuffed Cherry Peppers

1 Jar Sweet Cherry Peppers – halved and seeded
3 oz.  Cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
Garlic salt to taste
Chopped olives to taste
Stuff Peppers and keep store in covered container  refrigerated until serving

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thai Coconut Chicken

Nice and light, but full of flavor! 


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut in bite size pieces)
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
1 clove garlic - chopped
2 serrano chilies or 1 jalapeno chili (remove seeds and finely chop
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 can of coconut milk (14 oz)
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup sugar snap pea pods
1 medium bell pepper - sliced or cubed
1 medium tomato - chopped
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
Fresh cooked jasmine rice


1.  In a nonstick wok or skillet, heat oil over medium heat
2.  Add chicken and stir-fry for about 3 minutes until chicken is no longer pink in middle
3.  Add lime peel, ginger-root, garlic, chilies, cilantro and stir-fry about 1 minute
4.  Pour coconut milk over chicken.  Stir in brown sugar, salt, soy sauce, pea pods and bell pepper.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5.  Add tomato last
6.  Serve over rice and top with fresh basil.

Monday, May 13, 2013

German Chocolate Cheesecake "exceptional"

I have made this a few times over the years and each time I get great compliments.  This one takes a bit longer than my typical recipe, so save for a special occasion!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Avocado and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

This salsa is excellent with grilled fish and chicken 

or just for dipping tortilla chips.

  •      1/2 pound fresh tomatillos husked, cored and quartered
  •      3 cloves of garlic, minced
  •      1 jalapeno
  •      1 leek (white part only) chopped
  •      1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  •      2 avocados
  •      ¼ cup of cilantro
  •       1 teaspoon of sugar
  •       ½ teaspoon of cumin
  •       ¼ cup chopped onion
  •       ½ teaspoon of oregano
  •       1 tablespoon of lime juice
  •       Salt to taste
    1.  Remove husks and rinse tomatillos under warm water.
   2.  Halve onion and arrange on baking pan with tomatillos and garlic.
   3.  Broil vegetables 1 to 2 inches from hat, turning them once, until softened and slightly crisp.
   4.  Place garlic in a food processor with tomatillos, onion, cilantro and salt.
   5.  Discard seed from jalapeno and chop.  
   6.  Add jalapeno to tomatillo mixture and puree until almost smooth.
   7.  Add all other ingredients to food processor except avocado and puree until smooth.
   8.  Transfer tomatillo mixture to a bowl.
   9.  Halve and pit each avocado. 
  10.  Mash avocado into tomatillo mixture with a fork until a coarse texture obtained.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Chocolate No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

This is an easy old recipe given to me in the late 1970's by a kind volunteer at the hospital that I worked at in Asheville, NC.  It was a favorite of the nursing staff and also a hit with the kids.  


I like to drop the oatmeal chocolate mixture on wax paper, then store in covered container when cool.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bourbon Meatballs

This is a repeat request from our neighbors for our neighborhood holiday party and a delicious appetizer to serve in a  warmer for any special occasion:
Makes 10-12 appetizer servings

2 cups of your favorite  barbecue sauce
1 cup bourbon
1 cup honey
1 cup of prepared mustard
1/8 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 (32 ounce) package frozen cooked Italian style meatballs-thawed

Cook first nine  ingredients in a dutch oven over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add meatballs and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes.  Serve in a warming tray or slow cooker on warm setting.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Dip

A great appetizer from a Golfing friend who brought it with her to a Couples Best Ball  Golf outing last summer:   

I like to serve in glass pie plate.    

Monday, April 29, 2013

Great Finger Food - Garlic Cheese Roll

This cheese roll recipe is great to prepare and bake ahead of time for a get together.


2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of soft butter
1 cup of dairy sour cream
3 cups of shredded cheddar
garlic salt

1.  Combine butter,  sour cream and flour
2.  Divide dough into 4 sections, wrap in wax paper and chill
3.  Roll out each section on floured surface to 6 x 12
4.  For each section, sprinkle with garlic salt and then 3/4 cup of cheese
5.  Roll each section leaving 12 inches long and secure edges
6.  Place on baking sheet with seam down
7.  With a sharp knife, cut 7-9 one inch slits diagonally across top of roll
8.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and paprika
9.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes
10.  Cut in thin pieces for a delicious finger food

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pork Ribs in Slow Cooker

My family loves these caribbean spiced ribs.   An easy dinner to cook while you are busy with other things through the day.   Add the corn and avocado salad previously posted and you will have a great meal!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Light and Delicious - Corn and Avocado Salad

2 cups of fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil
1 container cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber
1/2 cup of thinly sliced radishes
1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup additional olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tsp mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 avocados, chopped
1 hand full of  fresh basil leaves, torn

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2.  Toss the corn with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and spread in single layer in a baking pan - Bake at 450 degrees for 7-8 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes
3.  Combine corn, tomatoes, and next 2 ingredients
4.  Mix together vinegar and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add tomato mixture and coat well. 
5. Chill ahead before adding Avocado and basil....can chill ahead up to 24 hours
6. Gently stir in Avocado and top with torn basil just before serving

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Simple Berry Pies

2  6oz packages fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 packages of refrigerated pie crust
2 Tbsp.  butter, cubed
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbsp. sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2.  Toss together first 5 ingredients
3.  Unroll pie crusts and cut into 10 rounds; if you have them, fit into 10 lightly greased 3 inch tart pans; otherwise, you can fold over. 
4.  Spoon berry mixture into rounds and dot with butter or place tops on the 10 rounds. 
5.  Whisk together egg yolk and 1 Tbsp. of water.  Brush tops of rounds or folds with egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with sugar.
6.  Bake at 425 degrees for 24 - 26 minutes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Best Pulled Jerk Sandwiches

The southeast is well known for it's good barbecue!   We love pulled pork sandwiches and here is our favorite recipe: 


2 1/2 lbs of boneless pork
1 tablespoon of Jamaican jerk seasoning
1/4 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 cup of coke - I use diet coke
2 cups of barbecue sauce


1.  Spray slow cooker with cooking spray
2.  Rub seasonings to pork
3.  Place in slow cooker and sprinkle with onion
4.  Poor cola over pork
5.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours
6.  Remove from slow cooker and use 2 forks to pull meat to shreds.  Return to cooker with 1/2 cup of the juices from slow cooker and stir in barbecue sauce.
7.  Increase slow cooker setting to high and cook 30 to 45 min longer.  
8.  Spoon onto buns and enjoy!

Serving Suggestion:  Serve with coleslaw and corn on the cob

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tom Ka Gai Soup - A Family Favorite

My family loves Thai food. I particularly enjoy the soups. This soup recipe took awhile to perfect, but I did get it and it is now a favorite at our house.


A Quick and Delicious Recipe - Shrimp with Artichokes and Whole Wheat Pasta


1/3 cup olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon capers in salt, rinsed and minced
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or to taste
One 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted and cut in half.
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups cooked small shrimp
1/2 cup diced sundried tomatoes in oil
Salt to taste
Grinding black pepper to taste
1/2 pound whole wheat penne or fusilli, cooked al dente


In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Stir in the onion, capers and pepper flakes. Cook until the onions soften. Stir in the artichokes, peas, oregano, and lemon juice and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and tomatoes and cook a couple of minutes just to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the sauce with the pasta and serve.