Summer Garden Salad

Cucumber salad

Summer Garden Salad

2 C. Cucumber chopped in tiny pieces
2 C. Tomato chopped
½ C. Fresh parsley
2 C. Red onion
½ C. Mint
Salt to taste
Olive oil
Dash of lime juice

Mix all ingredients, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours.

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Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies

One of the guys brought these to work one day. Even though he hid them in a drawer, they disappeared like ice cubes on a sidewalk in July.

• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 tablespoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 ½ cups packed light-brown sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
• 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
• 2 cups usweetened flake coconut
• 2 cups chopped pecans (8 ounces)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl.
3. In a very large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in sugars, and combine thoroughly.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.
5. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.
6. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.
7. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies from rack to cool.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Blueberry Pancakes



Serves: 6-7 pancakes


• 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1½ tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 2 tbsp lemon zest (approx. 2 lemons worth)
• 2 tbsp poppy seeds
• ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
• 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
• 1 cup Silk Vanilla Soymilk
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• ¼ cup sugar


1. Preheat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Stir in the lemon zest, poppy seeds, and blueberries.
3. Add the lemon juice to the vanilla soy milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.
4. Stir sugar into the vanilla soy milk + lemon juice.
5. Stir the melted coconut oil into the dry ingredients.
6. Add the soy milk/lemon juice/sugar to the dry ingredients. Use a fork to mix well, until there are no lumps in the batter.
7. Spoon ¼-1/3 cup of the batter onto your preheated pan. Cook the first side for about 1-2 minutes – until the edges appear dry and cooked. Always flip the pancake before dry spots begin to form on the tops of your pancakes.
8. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
9. Store the cooked pancakes in a single layer on the racks in your warm oven – this will keep them warm but not soggy.
10. Continue cooking the pancakes until all the batter is used up. Makes about 6-7 pancakes.

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Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie


Chocolate-Pecan-Bourbon Pie
Adapted from Michele Stuart’s “Perfect Pies”
Makes one 9-inch pie



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. To Prepare the Pie Shell: On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half a ball of dough into a 10-inch circle.
3. Place the circle in a 9-inch pie plate so the edges of the circle drop over the rim.
4. Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie shell.
5. Brush the edges with heavy cream to create a golden brown finish. Set the pie shell to the side.
6. For the Filling: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and bourbon. (Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl at least twice while mixing.)
7. Add the warm melted butter, and mix well.
8. In a separate bowl, combine the pecans and chocolate. Sprinkle the mixture over the bottom of the pie shell. Pour the filling over the nuts and chips.
9. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the pie is firm. (The middle will remain a little loose but firm up after the pie is removed from the oven.)
10. Transfer the pie to a wire cooling rack, and let it cool for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
11. Serve with a drizzle of Bourbon Sauce or ice cream.

Note: This pie is best served at room temperature or warmed at 350 degree F for about 10 minutes. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 2 weeks.

Traditional Pastry Piecrust

If you’d prefer not to use all-Crisco, you can substitute an equal amount of butter or use a half-butter, half-shortening mixture.

Makes enough for 2 single 9- or 10-inch piecrusts

1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour and salt.
2. Add the Crisco.
3. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, mix the ingredients until the dough forms coarse, pea-sized crumbs. (You don’t want the Crisco to become too incorporated.)
4. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, delicately incorporating each tablespoon. (You may have to use 1 more or 1 less tablespoon than the recommended amount, depending on the humidity.) You’ll know you’ve added the right amount of water when the dough forms a ball that easily holds together.
5. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
6. Divide the dough in half. You now have enough dough for either two 9- or 10-inch single crusts or one double-crust.
7. For this pie,wrap and store one-half of the dough in the refrigerator for up to 5 days for future use. Take the remaining half of the dough, and use it for this recipe.

Bourbon Sauce

Makes 2 cups

1. In a heavy-bottom medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat, whisking continuously for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the butter melts and the sugar is dissolved and turns light brown.
2. Slowly whisk in the cream, and then the bourbon.
3. Use immediately, or let the sauce cool to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight storage container and refrigerate for about 1 week.

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Copy Cat Panda Express Fried Rice

Copy Cat Fried rice


1. 2 cups cooked long grain rice
2. 2 eggs, beaten
3. 3 tbsp butter, divided
4. 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, slightly thawed
5. 1/4 cup roughly diced white onion
6. 2 tbsp soy sauce, or more to taste
7. 1/4 tsp sesame oil, or more to taste
8. 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
9. 1/8 tsp salt, or more/less to taste


1. Set the cooked rice aside- in a large bowl until needed.
2. Scramble the eggs with 1 tbsp of the butter in a wok on stove top. While the eggs cook use a spatula to break them up into pea sized pieces.
3. Transfer the chopped scrambled eggs into the bowl of cooked rice along with the thawed peas and carrots and diced white onion, stirring until everything’s evenly incorporated.
4. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of butter in the wok over medium heat. Add the rice mixture to the skillet. Give it a good toss to thoroughly coat and then add the soy sauce and sesame oil, again tossing until they’re evenly incorporated. Saute the rice, stirring constantly, for 6-8 minutes– or until the onions have softened slightly and the veggies and rice are completely heated through and just slightly browned.
5. Remove the wok from heat and season the fried rice with salt and pepper, to taste.
6. Serve immediately as is or alongside your favorite Asian entrée.

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Mrs. Beaver’s Generously Sticky Marmalade Roll


One of my grandsons called this week.

“Grandma, can we bake? I found a recipe that looks good.”

“Of course. Come on over.”

With his recipe in hand, we set about creating a yummy bread. I think this recipe could be two rolls instead of one, as you can see from the picture! When it was finished, we enjoyed a hot slice (actually a couple–we couldn’t resist.)

Here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much has we did.

Mrs. Beaver’s Gloriously Sticky Marmalade Roll
From The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I package yeast (I T. yeast)
1 T. sugar in ½ cup warm water at about 85 degrees
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water
½ cup melted shortening or oil
¾ cup sugar
1 beaten egg
8 cups flour
¼ cup butter softened
Orange Marmalade


Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the 85-degree water. Allow to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.
Beat in egg, shortening, water, salt, and sugar. Add flour. Knead until smooth, elastic and satiny.
Let the dough rise until double in bulk in the bowl. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 9 x 10 and ¼ inch thick.
Spread surface with ¼ cup butter. Then spread marmalade thickly in the center of the rectangle lengthwise. Add chopped pecans, raisins, etc. if so desired.
Cut the dough on each side of the marmalade diagonally into 2-inch strips and lace them across the marmalade, folding the ends inside.
Spray with Pam. Sprinkle sugar on top. Let rise until nearly double. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly and cut into serving pieces.

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Gluten Free “Little Debbie” Brownies

gluten free brownies.2

You wouldn’t know these were gluten-free. They’re yummy!

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Yield: 12 brownies


For the Brownies
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons neutral oil (like vegetable, canola or peanut oil)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
For the topping
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces miniature M & Ms candies for decorating

• Prepare the brownies: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8-inch square pan with two sheets of unbleached parchment paper, crisscrossed in the pan with enough paper to overhang all the edges, and set it aside.

• In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk again, working out any lumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, oil, vanilla, corn syrup and eggs, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter should be thick and smooth. Scrape it into the prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer with a moist spatula. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, 25 to 28 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

• When the brownies are nearly cool, prepare the topping: Place the chocolate in a medium-sized, heatproof bowl, and set it aside. Place the cream in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the salt to the cream and stir to combine. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow the mixture to cool for about 2 minutes before pouring over the cooled brownies, still in the pan, in an even layer. Scatter the miniature M&Ms (Ms side down, if you’re being fastidious) over the chocolate layer, and allow to set at room temperature for about 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator. Allow to chill in the refrigerator until firm, about another 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and lift the brownies out of the pan, using the overhanging edges of the sheets of parchment paper in the pan. Place on a cutting board and slice the brownies into twelve equal rectangles. With a butter knife, create a seam widthwise down the center of each brownie.

• Storing instructions: These can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, seal tightly in a freezer-safe wrap or bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature.

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Copy-Cat Chick-fil-A Sandwich and Sauce


Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich

The key to getting an extra crispy and delicious coating on the chicken is double-dipping. If you like your chicken spicy, directions are below for a Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich. We’ve included the recipe for homemade Chick-fil-A sauce.

Yields 4 Sandwiches

4 skinless, boneless chicken tenders
1/2 cup pickle juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
Oil, for frying
4 hamburger buns
Dill pickle slices, lettuce, and cheese slices for the sandwich

For the breading:
1 cups flour
3 T. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
(*For a SPICY chicken sandwich add 2 tsp cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp more of chili powder to the breading.)

For the Chick-fil-A sauce:
1/2 cup mayo
3 tsp yellow mustard
3 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon honey mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of BBQ sauce (hickory tastes best)

Combine the pickle juice and water in a zip lock bag. Add the chicken tenders and let marinate for 30 minutes.
Make the Chick-fil-A sauce by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Next, in a large bowl mix the breading ingredients together: flour, powdered sugar, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, salt, and baking powder.

In another bowl mix the milk and egg.

Heat 2-3 cups of oil in a large saucepan. Heat oil to about 350 degrees F.

Dip the marinated chicken tenders into the egg mixture, and then coat them in the flour breading mixture. Now repeat this step and dip that same chicken tender back into the egg mixture and then back into the flour again! Double dipping is how to make a super yummy, crispy sandwich!

Place chicken in hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove to paper towel to dry.

Toast the sandwich buns. Grab the Chick-fil-A sauce and smoother it on both sides of the buns. Top with lettuce, cheese, and crispy chicken! Enjoy!

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