Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tomato Sandwiches

If there is one recipe that means summer to me, this is it.  These are best with fresh tomatoes warm from the garden, but if your only option is one from the grocery store, these sandwiches will still be wonderful.  Just make sure you eat them outside to truly enjoy the experience. 

picture from

Tomato Sandwiches

4 slices whole wheat bread
4 sliced white bread
1 onion, grated
1 c mayonnaise
black pepper
2 tomatoes, sliced
seasoned salt
basil, chopped


Begin by cutting the bread into circles with a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. Combine the grated onion, mayonnaise, and black pepper. Spread mixture onto the cut out bread circles. Cover and refrigerate.

To prepare the tomatoes, peel, slice, and drain thoroughly between layers of paper towels. Sprinkle the tomatoes with seasoning salt before assembling the sandwiches. Place a tomato slice on top of the whole wheat bread. Top with basil. Place the white bread on top of each stack. Prepare the sandwiches several hours before the party. Cover with a damp towel and refrigerate until ready to serve.

*** I use regular salt, not seasoning salt.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Garden Party #4

Linking up again to Jami's Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage

There has been A LOT of growth in my garden the past 2 weeks.  Just look....

This is the largest of my green tomaotes.  I have about 8 more that are tiny and at least 20 more blooms.  Can't wait for that first ripe tomato. 

See those tiny white buds? Those are potato blooms and they are on EVERY ONE of my potato plants.  That means that under the ground I have little potatoes growing, just getting bigger and bigger, waiting for me to eat them.  Since potatoes were an experiment for me this year, I am particulary excited about this gardening milestone.

Here is my first head of broccoli.  It looks great and so far no unwelcome critters.  The sad part -- I am leaving town for about 10 days and this little beauty will be ready to eat while I am gone.  My husband is not a huge broccoli fan and will probably let it rot on the plant.  I think I am going to offer it to my neighbor if she will make sure my husband waters my other babies while I am gone.  The good news -- the other 8 plants have teeny tiny heads just started that I will be able to enjoy after I get back from my trip.

And finally, my peas.  Love that in each pod you can see the small peas starting to form.  Hopefully these will be ready when my new potatoes are.  Can't wait to make creamed potates and peas just like my Granny. 

Have a garden?  Jump over the An Oregon Cottage and share your progress. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Silky Corn Casserole

When the first Florida corn appears in the grocery store in May I always make this recipe.  The first corn is typically not good on the cob, but is fantastic prepared this way. 

Silky Corn Casserole
originally from Cooking Light 1993

1 T margarine/butter
1/2 c sliced green onions ( I used chives this time)
2 1/4 c 1% milk
1 T plus 1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t red pepper
1/3 c plus 1 T all purpose flour
2 eggs plus 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
3 1/2 c cut from the cob corn (about 7 ears) use only fresh, not frozen or canned

Melt margarine in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add green onions, saute 1 minute.  Add milk and next 3 ingredients; cook 3 minutes or until hot (do not boil).  Remove from heat, and set aside. 

Combine flour and eggs in a bowl;  beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until well blended.  Gradually stir in 1/2 c hot mixture;  gradually stir in remaining hot milk mixture.  Stir in corn; pour into a shallow 2 qt. casserole coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

                  Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairy Tale
                  Tuesday Tastes at Crazy Daisy

Meal Plan Monday 5/24/10

Our favorite recipes from last week were Greek Chicken Roll Ups from Southern Living and Hoosier Homemade's Twix Bars.  Both have been added to my Family Favorite Cookbook

This week's menu is a bit simpler than last as it is the last week of school and there is lots of work to be done to wrap everything up.


Crockpot Ham  This will be the first time I have tried this.  Hope it turns out!
Mashed Potatoes
Baked Beans


Cheesy Ham and Pasta Bake using left over ham from Monday

Party with School Friends
Pizza for kids and DH

Bubba's Pick since he is graduating from 5th grade, he will get to pick 
the menu tonight.  If I had to guess it will be dinner at his favorite
Italian restaurant or homemade lasagna. 

Shrimp Quesadillas
Chips and Salas

Weekend Discoveries

Just a few discoveries from the weekend I plan to try. 

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars from Cooking During Stolen Moments

Easy Homemade Maple Syrup from the Frugal Girls

Corn Salad from A Southern Life

Can't wait to add these to our weekly menus.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Garden Party #3

Linking up again to Jamie's Tuesday Garden Party hosted at An Oregon Cottage

This is my first hydrangea of the year.  This is the official sign for me that summer is here!   Our rich, acidic Georgia red clay makes these beauties a gorgeous pale blue.  Probably my favorite summer flower.  I have 4 HUGE plants, just bursting with buds.  Can't wait to show y'all how beautiful they are in full bloom. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meal Plan Monday 5/17/2010

Last week's meal plan was in my head... that did not work out so well for us.  We ended up picking up take out a couple of times and that is really just not in the budget.  This week is even crazier than last week, so I am planning ahead, which means making a good meal plan.

Sunday -
Lacrosse End of Season Party
I made cupcakes and homemade salsa to take

Monday -
Corn Souffle
Lima Beans
Fresh Pineapple and Strawberries

Tuesday -
Carrots, Celery and Cucumber Slices
Potato Chips
Fresh Pineapple and Strawberries

This is a busy night for us, I am going to grill the chicken on Monday with the flank steak and reheat on Tuesday before making wraps.

Wednesday -
Lunch at school -
Tomato Pasta Salad

Dinner -
Flank Steak or  Greek Chicken Salad
Corn Souffle
Fresh Fruit

Thursday -
Kindergarten Picnic
Me - Pasta Salad and Fruit
Boo-Boo - Chicken Salad Wrap and Fruit

French Bread
Fresh Fruit is there is any left.

Friday -
Supper Club - Date Night!

Saturday -
I'm thinking we will have some friends over for cocktails on the back porch.
Everyone will bring something terribly yummy to share.  Can't wait! 
I think I will make Pimento Cheese and West Indies Salad. 

West Indies Salad
1 med. onion, chopped
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
4 oz. Wesson oil
3 oz. cider vinegar
4 oz. ice cold water

1.  Spread 1/2 onions on bottow of a glass bowl.
2.  Cover with separated crab lumps.
3.  Top with remaining onion.
4.  Salt adn pepper to taste.
5.  Pour oil, vinegar and ice water over all.
6.  Cover and marinate 2 - 12 hours.
7.  Toss lightly before serving.  Serve with crackers (we like Club Crackers with this). 

Sunday -

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Southern Living Cookbook Collection

My favorite magazine is Southern Living.  I anxiously await each issue, eager to discover a new recipe, flower or decorating idea.  Consequently my love of all things Southern Living has taken over my cookbook collection.  I have almost every Annual Recipe collection since we got married in 1995.  Whenever I need a new recipe, this collection is the first place I turn.  What I like most about these cookbooks is they are organized by month.  For example, I can turn to the section for May and find a plethora of recipes targeted to May celebrations and festivities as well as what is in season. 

I have been in a cooking rut lately, depending on my old standbys to get us through the busy months of April and May.   This morning over a couple of leisurely cups of coffee I selected several May recipes I plan to make during the month.  Be on the look out for....

Baked Fish
Southwestern Pork Chops
Butter Brickle Loaf Cakes
Sicilian Artichoke Flatbread
Thyme Potato Bake
Pineapple Mint Dessert
Basil Cheese Pasta

I don't know if I will get around to making all of these in the remaining days of May, but it is nice to have some new options to spice up our dinner menus. 

April Kitchen Goal

I realize I never posted about my April Kitchen Goal - Type up Family Favorite Recipes and add to my cookbook.  To see my other goals with progress go here.  I started with this....

And ended with this...

I sorted through hundreds of recipes, culling out those I knew I would never make and ones I made that we weren't crazy about.  What was left is going in our Family Favorites Cookbook.  I still have many to type up, but I made a great deal of progress on this project.  I plan on getting all of them typed up this summer. 

Saturday Morning Pancakes

These pancakes are my go to Saturday morning breakfast, especially when the kids have had a sleepover and I have extra breakfast guests.  They are always a big hit.  Today I made just plain ones, but chocolate chips, blueberries and diced strawberries are delicious too.  This recipe comes from my very favorite cookbook, The Southern Living Ultimate Cookbook

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 c all-purpose flour (I use 1 1/4 c white flour and 1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour)
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
2 T sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 c buttermilk ( I rarely have buttermilk-- add 2 T white vinegar to milk to make 2 cups, works perfectly)
1/4 c vegetable oil

Combine first 5 ingredients; stir well.  Combine eggs, buttermilk, and oil in a bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. 

For each pancake, pour 1/4 c batter on a hot, lightly greased griddle.  Cook until tops of pancakes are covered with bubbles (here is where I add choc. chips, berries, etc).  Turn and cook the other side.  Serve with maple syrup or your favorite jam.

I freeze leftovers on a baking sheet and then put in a freezer proof container for a great breakfast on busy weekday mornings.

Linked to It's A Blog Party's Delicious Dishes

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Garden Update #2

What a difference a week makes!  Last week my potatoes were barely poking out from the dirt, this week, WOW...

My mint has taken off as well.  Can't wait to make this fantastic iced tea recipe I found this week at Southern Living with my mint harvest.

And finally, my very favorite flower in my garden...peonies.  I have no idea the name of these lovelies.  I call them my "Grandmother Flowers" as I inherited one from each of my grandmothers.  They smell heavenly and I have at least 20 more buds ready to burst.

Linking up to Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage. 

Garden Journal

One of my favorite, quick, inexpensive projects is to cover a composition book with paper, ribbons, and other pretties.  The first trip I took to Europe with high school students, I made each girl a travel journal to take on the trip, they were a hit.  This time around I made a garden journal for myself to keep up with what I plant where each year.  Hopefully this will keep me from committing any gardening faux pas.    I like to buy a bunch of composition books during the back to school sales for 0.50 each.  Using supplies from my scrapbooking stash, I can make a quick gift in about 15 minutes. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Garden Party 5/4/2010

Jami at one of my favorite blogs, An Oregon Cottage, is hosting a Tuesday Garden Party. To participate, just link up a post about your garden. How easy is that! I can't wait to see everyone's garden progress.

Bed 1 - Mixed Lettuce and Spinach - used the first spinach last night. Tastes sooooo much better than what you buy at the store.
Bed 2 - Peas, green onions, green peppers and winter onions.

Bed 3 - more peas, jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, zucchini and early tomatoes

Bed 4 - broccoli and my herbs - rosemary, thyme, chives and basil

Bed 5 - strawberries

Bed 6 - sweet, red and white potatoes - this is an experiment, we will see how it goes....

And finally, I just had to share these, I actually grew these gorgeous roses! I wish you could smell the light pink ones, they smell heavenly.

Don't forget to show off your garden at An Oregon Cottage.

Natalie's Texas Beans

Several years ago a friend of my moved to Texas to attend law school. She brought back a law degree and this delicious bean recipe.

Natalie's Texas Beans
2 1/2 lbs dry pinto beans, soak overnight, drain
Cover drained beans with 3 inches of water. Cook for 3 - 4 hours on low with lid.
Add the following ingredients
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 4 -5 sliced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 - 6 sliced of bacon
  • season salt
Cook on low until ready to eat.
I experiemented with making these in the crockpot. I did NOT soak the beans, just added everything to the pot, cooked on low for about 8 -9 hours and they were great.

This made enough for dinner and 5 (2 cup) portions to freeze for later.

Linking up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.
Eat At Home Ingredient Spotlight - Bacon

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meal Plan Monday - 5/3/2010

First off, some reviews from last week. I tried 3 new recipes and all were a big hit. We LOVED these Sugar Cookie Bars from Crazy Daisy. They will be making many more appearances on our menu. Savory Lemon Chicken got a 2 thumbs up from everyone, even my picky DH. I substituted onions and sliced mushrooms for the peppers. And finally, I made homemade Ranch Dressing using the recipe from Homemade Happiness. We really liked it and will be making it again.

This week's menu...

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
Toated French Bread

Spinach and Mushroom Smothered Chicken - using spinach from my garden!
Corn on the Cob
Sauteed Apples

Bourbon BBQ Salmon
Mashed Red Potatoes

Wednesday - Cinco de Mayo
Beef and Shrimp Quesadillas
Avocado Salad Dressing

Pick Up Zaxby's after Gymnastics and Lacrosse

Baked Potato Bar

Saturday and Sunday
Lacrosse Tournament