Broccoli Salad


I wanted to make a broccoli salad, but wanted something a little different.  I found this Alton Brown recipe on and had to try it.  I still like the old broccoli salad recipe.  The one made with mayonnaise, raisins and bacon, but this is a nice change.


Broccoli Salad
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 1 lb. broccoli, rinsed, trimmed and sliced thinly
  • 6 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 oz. coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tbsp. chiffonade fresh basil leaves
  1. Whisk together the vinegar, zest, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. While whisking constantly, gradually add the olive oil. Add the broccoli and toss to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, pecans and basil. Cover and allow to sit, at room temperature or in the refrigerator, for another 15 minutes before serving.
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Apple Pie Bars

apple pie bars

I’ve had this recipe in my file for a while now.  My recipe file being the camera roll on my ipad.  I have a camera roll full of decorating ideas, gardening ideas, craft ideas and recipes.  Just one reason I love my ipad!!  No more stacks of printed “stuff to try”.

This recipe if from, one of my favorite blogs.  This makes a bunch of bars!!  I ended up giving my mother-in-law half to take to a church dinner she was going to.

For the apple layer I used 2 quarts of applesauce that I had made last fall and put into the freezer (apples, a little water and a little sugar).  I drained any excess liquid from them before using them, but added nothing to them.  I also used a half sheet cake pan which is 18 x 13.  I have stored my bars in the refrigerator and I think they are delicious straight from the fridge with a cup of coffee.  Savannah heated a bar and had it with vanilla ice cream which she said was great.  Either way, they would be great with any Memorial Day meal.


Apple Pie Bars
  • Crust:
  • 1½ c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ c. granulated white sugar
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Filling:
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  • ½ c. light brown sugar
  • 6 lbs. (about 12) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ c. water, as necessary
  • Topping:
  • 3 c. quick cooking oats
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1½ c. light brown sugar
  • 1¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ c. unsalted butter, cut into ½" cubes and chilled
  1. Prepare the crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 x 17-inch (or 18 x 13-inch in my case) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. With an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. At low speed, beat in the flour, spices and salt until a soft dough forms. Press the dough over the bottom of the prepared pan and ½" up the sides in a even layer. Bake in the center of the oven from about 15 minutes, or until the crust if golden and set. Let cool on a rack.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a very large, deep skillet melt the butter with the brown sugar. (If you don't have a large skillet, divide between 2 skillets). Add the apples to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until the apples are caramelized and very tender and the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes longer; scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet and add up to ½ c. water to the pan to prevent scorching. Let cool.
  3. Prepare the topping: In a large bowl, mix the oats with the flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Using fingers, squeeze the butter into the oats and sugar and crumble together until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press the mixture into clumps.
  4. Assemble the bars: Spread the apple filling over crust. Scatter the crumbs on top, pressing them lightly into an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for 50 - 60 minutes, or until the topping is golden (took about 40 minutes in my oven); rotate the pan halfway through baking, and keep an eye on it to make sure the top isn't getting too browned. Let cool completely on a rack before cutting into 2-inch bars.
These bars freeze well.
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Fruit Cobbler


Last year we planted blueberry bushes, blackberries, a fig tree and two plum trees.  We got about a handful of blueberries last year, a couple of blackberries, my fig tree died and we didn’t get any plums.  This year it looks like I’m going to get enough blueberries for a few pies and I picked about a cup of blackberries this morning.

What to do with 1 cup of blackberries?!?  I decided to make a mixed berry cobbler.  This is a cobbler that many of you probably already have the recipe for.  I’ve been making it forever.  In fact, it’s one of the first recipes I ever tried because it’s super simple.  I usually use a large can of peaches (pictured at the top of this posting), but today I used my 1 c. of blackberries, added 1 cup of blueberries from the freezer and sliced 1 c. fresh strawberries.  I served it warm with vanilla ice cream and it was delicious!

Uncooked cobbler



Fruit Cobbler
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 3 c. fruit (or 1 lg. can of fruit with juice)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put stick of butter in a 9 x 13 baking dish and heat in oven until the butter melts.
  3. In a bowl mix sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Add melted butter and combine.
  4. Pour mixture into 9 x 13 dish. Drop fruit evenly into batter.
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 30 - 45 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.


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Black-Eyed Pea Salad

This Black-Eyed Pea Salad is fabulous!  You use canned peas for this recipe so it’s super speedy.  I had this for lunch and it would be great at a summer cookout.  I made the recipe exactly as listed below but I think this would be great with cilantro instead of parsley.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped green onions
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • ¼ c. unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ c. canola oil
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  1. Combine the tomato, red onion, jalapeno, green onions, and parsley in a bowl. Add black-eyed peas and set aside.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sugar, and salt and pepper.
  3. Pour vinegar mixture over pea mixture and toss. Marinate in refrigerator for 8 hours.
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Marinated Olives

I love marinated olives.  When I lived in Florida I kept them on hand all the time because it was so easy to pick some up at Joe Patti’s.  I haven’t found any near me that compare to those.  However, I may have just found a recipe that’s even better!  I ran across this recipe a few weeks ago in Salad As A Meal by Patricia Wells.  I’ve been thinking about the recipe ever since.  I made the Quick Lemon Confit a few days ago so I was ready to complete the recipe this morning.  They are wonderful, I’m almost glad that nobody else in my family likes olives!


Marinated Olives
  • ½ c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c. best-quality red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • ¼ c. finely minced Quick Lemon Confit (recipe follows)
  • 2 c. mixed olives
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the oil and vinegar. Heat over low heat just until warm. Remove from the heat and add the fennel, pepper flakes, bay leaves and lemon confit. Add the olives and toss to coat them with the liquid. Transfer to a large, airtight container. Refrigerate, shaking the container regularly to redistribute the liquid, for at least 2 hours and up to 2 weeks.

Quick Lemon Confit
  • 2 lemons
  • ⅓ c. coarse sea salt
  • ½ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
  1. Scrub the lemons and dry them well. Cut each lemon lengthwise into 8 wedges. In a bowl, toss the lemon wedges, salt, and lemon juice to coat the fruit evenly. Transfer to a glass container with a non-metal lid. Close the container and let the lemons ripen at room temperature for 2 days. (Store the jar of confit in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.)

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