Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

For many years now (we won’t discuss how many, thank you very much), I have loved watching the Summer Games when they air every 4 years. When I was young, I would sit and watch the swimmers and the gymnasts with my mom, telling her that someday I totally WOULD be doing that. While it made for great family time with my mom (something I have continued with my kids), it didn’t quite turn out how I had hoped. When it came to being a gymnast, I was too tall by the time I was ten. There are no 5’8” gymnasts. As for swimming, I can honestly say that if they ever create a category called “Floating In The Pool While Dozing And Getting Sunburned”, I’m the gal who will win the gold. Until then, not so much.

The athletes at both the Summer and Winter Games amaze me. The total dedication to their sport, the passion to succeed. I can be that passionate over a pint of ice cream, but to work as hard as they do to be the best? Again; they amaze me and have my undying admiration, especially these tiny little girl gymnasts who are so strong, so creative and so wonderful at what they do. I could never be one of the judges. I’d want to give everyone gold, then feed them all cookies and milk and tuck them in for a good nights sleep.

The thing is, we all live our lives the best we can, and while this may not be as exciting as competing in the games in Rio this year, it can be so medal worthy regardless. Admittedly, some days, you’re lucky to get a bronze, but life is about so much more than the gold, don’t you agree? For me, it’s finding my favorite flavor of ice cream on sale, it’s getting to the satisfying ending of a book I’ve loved and knowing that everyone lived more or less happily ever after, it’s time spent with family, enjoying the Summer games together and listening to my youngest son tell me that someday he will be a gymnast (he is already too tall. I’ll let him figure it out for himself) or a swimmer (we just got him out of the safety vest. Let’s NOT scare the momma), it’s listening to the wind rustle through the trees as I lie in the pool dozing, it’s creating a recipe that I know my family loves. Those are MY moments of gold and I’m honored to have been able to share them with you. What are yours?

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing 5

Meijer asked me to create a recipe for their More Than A Medal campaign. I knew I wanted to create a recipe that I thought any athlete of the games in Rio or aspiring athlete would love and also could eat with no guilt. I have to admit, this salad fits both criteria. It’s completely delicious. The chicken is moist and tender with a crispy outside and a tiny bite from the pepper. Mix that with the juicy berries and peaches, the crunchy greens and the creamy lemon poppyseed dressing and you have a definite gold medal winner here. All with no guilt. This is a perfect Summer entree for two that is easily doubled or more to feed extra hungry mouths. I hope you all love it as much as we did!!

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

  • Lemon poppyseed dressing-
  • 1 6 ounce container Chobani non fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup good quality honey
  • 2 tablespoons Minute Maid lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional, but recommended)
  • 1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Chicken-
  • 1 large Meijer True Goodness Boneless, Skinless chicken breast (about 8 to 10 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt free onion/herb seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste (be careful with this if your lemon pepper is salted)
  • 1/2 to one full bag salad greens of choice
  • Fruit Mixture-
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 small ripe white peach, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  1.  Make your dressing- In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients. Whisk well to combine. Taste for seasoning. When ready, pour into a covered container (a mason jar works wonderfully) and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour to combine the flavors.
  2. About half an hour before you start the chicken, you need to get the berries ready. These couldn’t be easier. In a small bowl, combine the white balsamic vinegar and the sugar and honey and give it a quick whisk. Spoon the berries and peach chunks in with the vinegar mixture and toss gently to coat the fruit. Set it in the fridge until you make the salad, making sure to give it a good stir just before you add it to the salad.
  3. When ready to grill, preheat your grill to medium high if using an electric or propane grill. This can also be done easily inside using a grill pan. Pat the chicken breast dry. Coat with the vegetable oil on both sides. Sprinkle half the seasonings on one side of the breast and press it gently into the surface of the meat. Repeat on the other side.
  4. When the grill and the chicken are ready, place the chicken in the pan (or on the grill) and cook on one side until golden brown. Flip carefully to the other side using tongs and continue to cook, turning as needed, until the internal temp of the chicken breast is 165°f. Remove the chicken to a plate and let rest for about 5 minutes.
  5. While it rests, divide your salad greens between two plates. Slice your chicken breast on the bias and place half on each plate. Give your fruit a stir and divide it between the two plates. Whisk the lemon poppyseed dressing one last time and drizzle it over the greens, chicken and fruit. Serve.

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing 1

Disclosure- I was compensated by Meijer for this post. All contents within are original and developed by myself.



Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

I can see some of you (yes, even you, my dear brother) scratching your heads and saying, “Who is this blogger? I don’t remember this blog at all. Ohhhh, wait, this is that crazy woman who hasn’t blogged in weeks, isn’t it? NOW I remember”. I also then envision you running into the night, screaming in terror. Please tell me I’m wrong on that last part? But… yes, I was gone for a couple of weeks. Reasons don’t matter; it’s just time now for you to rejoice, throw confetti and be glad I’m back. Or something like that.

Did I ever mention that my husband does NOT like peaches or nectarines? He doesn’t care for stone fruits in general, actually. Why I stay with this man with these fatal flaws he has is beyond me. he also doesn’t like sushi, mushrooms, the skin on fried chicken or any sort of fat on meat. Pray for me.

But I like nectarines, so he has to deal with it; that or just not eat any of this deliciousness. I had a bag of nectarines that I needed to use in some way other than my normal sliced in a bowl with a little bit of sugar and cream. Plus, I had berries in the fridge that were getting long in the tooth. Not that that takes very long with berries, mind you. I wish there was a fool proof way to keep them fresh for longer than three days or so.

So I decided I wanted a crisp. I think my love for streusel is well known at this point considering I have about 9,452 recipes in here that use streusel. Fine, not quite that many. But I do love streusel. Add in some of my favorite fruits and I’m in heaven. With this one though, I went a bit further. The other night, I was having my usual bowl of berries and cream, but on a whim, I mixed some homemade lime curd into the cream. It was wonderful, so I decided to make it for this crisp. It adds a nice creamy yet tart finish to this. All in all, this was quite good (if I do say so myself). Buttery crispy streusel, sweet juicy fruit, all topped with a creamy topping. What else do you need? Other than ten million dollars. I can’t help you there.

You know the drill…

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup oats, not instant
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fruit filling-
  • 2 pounds (about 7 to 9, depending on size) ripe nectarines (could sub peaches), peeled and chopped
  • 6 ounces (one small container) fresh raspberries
  • 6 ounces (one small container) fresh blackberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Lime Cream Topping-
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 store bought or homemade lime (or lemon) curd
  1. Make your topping and refrigerate it. In a small bowl, combine the cream and curd. Use a whisk and beat until soft peaks form. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 400; butter 6 8 ounce ramekins or a 13×9 inch baking dish (preferably glass, as metal dishes tend to discolor fruits) In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. Stir well, then set aside.
  3. For the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to break up any large lumps in the sugar.
  4. Using a pastry blender or your fingers (I usually start with the pastry blender, then go to my fingers to finish it up), cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  5. Divide the fruit mixture evenly among the buttered ramekins. Top with the streusel. If, by chance, you don’t use all the streusel, it freezes wonderfully.
  6. Bake at 400 until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve at desired temp, topped with the lime cream.
Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

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Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler


Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Years back, before the internet became the place to go to get every recipe known to man, as well as some known only to The Mirthful Mermaids of the Planet Playtex (quick! Where’s that from?!), there were lots of options to get recipes via snail mail. Although it wasn’t called snail mail back then… just mail. 😛 One of the options came from various companies hawking recipe cards. They would come in a cute little hard see through plastic case or binders. I was subscribed for a while to one called The Great American Baking Company. It was like Christmas every month as I opened up the new cards and got to look through them to find ones I wanted to make.

The fly in the ointment? Out of a year of doing this, at what I realize now was a ridiculous price (I believe it was like $9.99 a month for about 12 recipe cards), I have now about 5 of those cards that, through various moves, I felt were worth saving. The rest either got thrown out over time, colored on by children over the years or peed on by cats because cats are Satans Spawn.

One that I will always keep is this one. I’ve changed it up a little bit through the years (the vanilla and almond in the fruit are my own idea and I use extra cinnamon in the fruit plus add vanilla to the whipped cream), but not much really in the way of changes at all. This is another one of those recipes that I’ve seen in various places on the web with this person or that claiming credit, but nope… came from a mail order company 😀 I love this one because, in the middle of Winter (or the tail end, like now) I can still have a yummy fruit dessert. This uses canned fruit and couldn’t really be any easier. Plus, I absolutely adore the whipped cream topping. It uses honey and cinnamon instead of the typical sugar and that adds such a unique twist to it. So if you have like 15 minutes to throw this together and an available oven….

You know the drill… 🙂

Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 28 ounce can sliced peaches in syrup, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 15 ounce can apricot halves in syrup, juice drained and combined with the peach juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Topping-
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 egg
  • Whipped cream topping-
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons honey (depends on how sweet you like it. Start with the lower amount.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in one cup of the combined juices from the fruit, along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add in the fruits. Pour this all into a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish or casserole dish.
  4. For the topping, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt butter and egg. Spoon this over the fruit. It’s a thick mixture, but it will spread as it cooks.
  5. Bake at 400 until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly, about 30 minutes. You may want to either place foil on the rack below or put the baking dish into a larger pan to catch drips. When done, let cool slightly.
  6. For the topping, simply beat together the cream, honey, cinnamon and vanilla and top each serving with a nice big dollop.

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Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits

Back in the day, when they first came out, I loved McDonalds Yogurt Parfaits. They were a quick fix when I wanted something light, relatively nutritious and still sweet. They were also cheap at a dollar for a good sized serving. Now though, the serving size has shrunk, the price has gone up and they just aren’t as good as they used to be anyway.

So I made my own.

A lot of blogging isn’t even recipes, it’s just helping your readers think outside the food box. This is one of those times. I am giving specifics here on amounts and fruits and the granola I used, etc etc, but unlike this recipe and when you buy these at a store for a bazillion dollars or at McDonalds and wonder if the 16 year old making it sneezed in it, this can be made to YOUR specifications, with the fruits and granola YOU like, the yogurt brand and flavor YOU favor. These just happen to be mine is all.

You know the drill… 🙂

(This makes enough fruit for quite a few parfaits. But that is deliberate. The fruit is wonderful on its own, just mixed with yogurt as is, over ice cream or frozen yogurt, etc. Feel free to halve the quantities if you don’t think you’d use it all within three days or so.)

Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

  • 2 cups vanilla or vanilla honey yogurt (my bottom layer was Oikos vanilla, top layer was vanilla honey from Greek Gods)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 3 peaches, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • juice and zest of one large lime (about 2 tablespoons each juice and zest)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (and a little extra for drizzling over the top)
  • 1 cup of your favorite granola (I used Trader Joes Pumpkin granola)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, lime juice and zest and the honey. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to get some juices going in the fruit and for the flavors to meld.
  2. Now comes the oh so hard part lol; in 4 purty glasses, layer the yogurt, fruit, granola and top with another dollop of yogurt. Drizzle with some extra honey.
  3. They can be served right away or let them sit in the fridge for a while if you prefer softer granola.
  4. Enjoy!! 🙂

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Peaches And Cream Jello Salad

Peaches And Cream Jello Salad

Peaches And Cream Jello Salad

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m old! Yep, compared to many bloggers, I’m old. I have six kids, three grown and married and have 7 grandchildren. The bulk of food bloggers are working on their first child, if that.

Why do I mention my old fart status? Jello. That’s why. Back in the stone age, when I was a kid who played with T-Rex bones for fun and dodged falling pterodactyl poop, jello was the dessert of choice. That and canned fruit, though that may have just been my mother who bought that…every…single…payday. Lots of canned fruit. LOTS. I still don’t care for canned fruit. Jello however, I still like. Though I have this bad habit of stockpiling it like there’s going to be a run on jello and then I end up with, no lie, about 50 boxes of jello. And we won’t mention how many boxes of pudding mix that I buy thinking it would be a quick dessert and then never make. And brownie mixes. And…and…never mind. Just suffice it to say that I hope you aren’t wanting to buy gummy candies anywhere anytime soon.

This started out as a creamsicle salad, which, while yummy, isn’t what I wanted. I hate being a conformist. EVERYONE makes it with orange jello. I’m a rebel.

Or something.

I made it with peach jello. And cheesecake flavored pudding mix.

It’s yummy. You need this. This is creamy and peachy and jello-ey (yes, that is now a word) and very refreshing after you’ve spent an hour or so watching your body shrink as you drip sweat over a red hot grill. It’s also so easy that anyone can do it, even my husband.  Ok, maybe I’m stretching the truth there.

Peaches And Cream Jello Salad

  • 2 3 ounce packages cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix (you can sub vanilla or maybe white chocolate if you want to)
  • 1 3 ounce package peach jello
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chopped fresh peaches
  • 16 ounces cool whip
  1. In a large bowl, combine the pudding mix and jello. Pour the boiling water over it and stir until smooth and well blended.
  2. Stir in the heavy cream and stir until combined.
  3. Fold in the peaches.
  4. Fold in the cool whip.
  5. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
  6. Serve. Eat. Burp. Ok, you don’t have to burp if you don’t want to.

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Show Me The…Pork??


No, you may NOT reach in and snag a blackberry *smacks your hand* Make your own darn it!

I think that it has been established that I like pork. Maybe even love it and want to bear it’s oinky children. Though trying to imagine how said children would sound when laughing rather frightens me considering I tend to snort like a pig when laughing hard (maybe that’s not info I want out there on the web. Hmmmm…). As well as what their nose would look like. I don’t have the smallest schnoz in the world myself so join that with a piggy nose and Lord help the child socially. Plus, that only being able to cool down by rolling in the mud part could cause issues. I can see it now… “Junior, how many times do I have to tell you not to come into the house after you’ve been wallowing?!!!” But…but…*snort snort*… MOMMMMMM… I was hotttttt and…*snort snort*… you said no more 3 hour cold showers!” “No dear, no more cold showers. You’ll need those later when all the women see your nose. Now go get one of your brothers and the axe so I can make dinner”.

Maybe it would better if it were the children of a Llama. I don’t think I’d ever eat llama meat. Food for thought…. or dinner. *Snorts* I crack me up.

I started a pork loin roast marinating a few days ago. Yes, a few days. I like to do a two day marinating time usually and meant to make this last night but it didn’t happen that way. Why? Because I’m a lazy slug. What can I say?

I was worried that the three days would lead to an overly salty piece of meat with the texture of liver. I was pleasantly surprised when that was far from the case. We ended up with a pork roast that my husband ate I think 4 pieces of, I ate two pieces which is rare for me (unless I’m eating mid rare beef in which case just set a side of beef and a knife in front of me). Let’s just say that out of a four pound pork loin there is enough left for a sandwich. Add in the salsa that I made (which my husband actually tried…GASP!!) So yeah… it turned out. 😀 So if you’re a pork fan or like to have fruity relish/salsas with meat, this may be for you.

The marinade is an extreme adaptation of one from all recipes recipe. The salsa is me though as with 99.9% of the things we think we are creating, I am sure there are 500000000 variations online somewhere.

Roast Pork Loin In An Asian/Mex Fusion Marinade

With a Blackberry Peach Salsa

  • 1 3 to 5 pound pork loin
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 small jalapeno, sliced thin
  • SALSA-
  • 1 6 ounce container blackberries
  • 1 large peach, chopped
  • 6 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag. Leave the lime halves in the marinade. Add the pork roast, turning to coat. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. You heard me; 450.
  3. Put roast in a foil lined pan. Again, why make more clean up for yourself if you don’t have to. I want to give a huge kiss to whomever invented foil. On a side note, remember when it was “Tin Foil” not aluminum foil. If you do, that means you too are old like me. Welcome to the club 😀
  4. Cook roast until it reaches an internal temp of 145 degrees; about 40 minutes. Start checking at 30 and frequently there after. It goes up quickly at that temp. But doing it this high, you get a nice crispy outside and a juicy inside.
  5. While it cooks, make your salsa (can also be done earlier in the day)- mix your salsa ingredients. Taste for seasoning but remember all flavors will get stronger as it sits.
  6. When pork is done, let it rest for about ten minutes before cutting. Drives me nuts when people cut meat the second it comes out of the oven. LET IT REST! The juices go back into it and make it that much juicier and more flavorful.
  7. Slice as thin or as thick as you like and serve with the salsa.


Is It Permissable To Marry A Panini?

And what do I do if my husband protests the union? Can we all live in gooey panini sin together?  How do we put the sandwich on our health insurance? And would said insurance cover bite marks in the panini? Can I be hit with domestic abuse charges for the bite marks? I don’t even want to THINK about the issues surrounding procreation and paternal rights!

I like Paninis aka smooshed up crispy sandwiches. I have posted paninis before. Because I like them.


I like.


Or something.

Shutting up now.

I lied. No shutting up.

I, like most people who didn’t live in whatever city they originated in, hadn’t heard of paninis until fairly recently. Maybe 6, 7 years ago? When I was a kid, crispy sandwiches were old fashioned grilled cheese. Preferably served with tomato soup (though I actually had never heard of that either until I got married the first time at 20). Now though, grilled cheese has given way to paninis, which, if we are to be honest, are really grilled cheese with grill marks and fancy ingredients. Not that I mind. I tend to like fancier ingredients on sandwiches. I grew up in the era of Oscar Mayer bologna, processed cheese food (you hear that Chef Dennis? 😛 ) and because I am a product of the Chicago public school system, ham sandwiches on mushy white bread that has been spread with butter. I am shamefaced as I admit to still having a certain fondness for that last one.

But I love paninis. Mentioning that in case I didn’t make it clear earlier. I especially love them with “fancy” ingredients. The following is one I created tonight when I realized I had some Brie I needed to use (I ALWAYS forget it and find it somewhere in the back of the fridge and have to smack myself). I had also bought some white peaches today and had some thin sliced chicken breast to use. Add in some bacon and a couple of other assorted yummies and it made one hell of a sandwich. So go… make this. Eat.

Sourdough Panini With Caribbean Jerk Chicken,

Brie, Bacon & White Peaches

  • 2 slices sourdough bread (preferably the square loaf)
  • 1 tablespoon peach or apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced uncooked chicken breast (I used Tysons thin cut chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon (more or less as desired) of your favorite brand Caribbean Jerk seasoning (I used McCormicks)
  • 4 to 6 slices crispy bacon (depends on how gluttonous you’re feeling & whether you’re sharing 😛 )
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Brie, rind removed
  • 1/2 of 1 white peach, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat the panini press.Over medium high heat, heat a medium (lots of medium here) sized pan on the stove until very hot. Add your chicken slices, doing one at a time. Quickly cook on one side until golden brown then flip over. Sprinkle seasoning on chicken and cook other side until it is brown. It probably won’t be cooked all the way but that’s what you want. It will finish in the sandwich cooking process.
  2. Spread one piece of bread with the preserves. On top of that, layer the brie, chicken, peach slices and bacon.  Slap on (yes, you have to slap it on. Just cause.) the other piece of bread. You can lightly (and I do mean lightly) butter the bread on the outside to increase crispiness if you want but really in panini presses there is usually no need.
  3. Toast…grill…cook…. dry fry… call it what you want the sandwich until it is nice and toasty and golden brown. Cut in half and it will serve two people; one if they are starving to death.

I have NO idea how my camera "messed up" and focused on that bag of cheetos in the background! I plead the fifth!!

Shakin’ Things Up A Bit

If you look back through my blog, you’ll discover that I kinda like drinking. No, not that kind of drinking. Welllll, not often anyway. I’m too old and wimpy and can’t handle booze well. I start giggling like a 16 year old girl out on a hot date with the football team captain. Then I fall asleep. And drool.

But I mean… just…drinking. I am a tea addict and happy about it 🙂 I love pop even though I am aware of how bad it is for me. To my credit, I only consume about 2 cans worth a week usually. I also love milk shakes and any creamy drinks as evidenced by the key lime shake I have posted and the coconut mocha frappuccino wanna be I posted. I also don’t have them often because I’d like to keep my weight UNDER a ton. This is the same reason I don’t eat much of what I make for the blog as much as I’d love to because it’s yummy! If I did, we’d have to reinforce the bed frame. And the house. And quite possibly the earth. I’d tilt it off of its axis or something and we’d all end up on Venus with all of you giving me dirty looks.

But I can not tell a lie (just call me George). The shake that I made tonight? I drank it all. Well, almost. The boys are staying the night at friends across the street & Zach (my 14 year old) came in when I was drinking it & I kindly let him have the dregs from the blender. hey; there was enough left for him! And I was proud that I didn’t just tell him no and hide myself somewhere safe with the blender cuddled to my chest.

I had some raspberries and a peach that I needed to use up and the dessert Peach Melba popped into my head. But that was way more trouble than I felt like going to. I’m lazy; what can I say? I wanted my fruit and ice cream NOW dammit! So I made a shake! Yep. A nice creamy oh so bad for me shake. But wait! It has fruit in it… REAL fruit… not just fruit flavor and chemical dye number 3000. So I can tell myself that it’s good for me right?

This is nice and tart from the fruit (thus why you have to add a touch of powdered sugar or it’s TOO tart) and while I usually prefer really thick shakes, I was quite happy with the fact that this one isn’t so thick. It made it easier to drink quickly 😀

Peach Melba Shake

(Peach Raspberry)

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 medium peach,  chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup milk (soy milk, cream, whatever trips your trigger)
  • 1 cup peach ice cream or peach frozen yogurt (can sub vanilla)
  • splash vanilla extract
  • whipped cream and fruit for garnish
  1. Obviously this is pretty easy. Put it all in the blender and..well… blend 😛 then garnish with whipped cream and more fruit.
  2. This direction is for nothing. I just felt like it looked empty without more directions.
  3. This one too. Ok, that should be enough now. 😀





Memories Are Made Of This

One of my favorite photos of my dad. It is just so HIM

It’s Fathers Day once again. My recipe won’t have anything to do with Fathers Day; my dad would have pretended to gag and turned his nose up saying I was getting too fancy when he saw what I had done to perfectly good peach jam. He would have then scarfed down half a jar on burnt toast (he liked it that way) when no one was around 😀 The man did love his sweets.

I miss my dad. He died in April of ’06. He was ornery, opinionated (you could not be right with my dad even if HE was obviously wrong lol), stubborn, narrow minded, broody and had problems with his temper. He was also funny as hell,  tenderhearted and easily hurt by inattention and feeling he was unloved. He was generous to a fault, loved to cook (he made one hell of a Giardiniera) and loved to eat (his favorite tease for me would be to eat a gazillion pieces of my fried chicken, which he loved and tell me it was ALMOST as good as a Swansons TV dinner.) and was one of my biggest fans. He lived next door to me for the last 8 years of his life and I made 99.9% of his meals. I would cook dinner, plate his up, take it over and he would usually be sitting there watching Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy. He’d ask what we were having tonight, give the requisite “oooo’s and ahhhs”, I would get him what he needed to eat and he would go back to his TV show while I sat next to him and we chatted while he ate if I had time to sit for a while.

I remember long hours of Scrabble where he would teasingly gripe cause it made no sense to him that I always kicked his ass at the game 😛 . We would have Rummy marathons that would last for days. Back when he drank (he stopped later in life because he was on so many medications for various health problems and couldn’t drink with many of them) these game sessions would involve his contagious giggle when something made him happy. He had a giggle like a little boy…except when he started snorting lol. I also remember hours of talking during all of this. I could tell him anything and often did.

When I took him to do his grocery shopping, I learned to not eye anything on the shelf or pick things up or say that something sounded good. If I did, it invariably went into his cart no matter how much I protested. My kids of course loved to go shopping with him for just that reason 😀

I miss his smile. I miss hearing him say “Hey hon. Come in and sit a while” when I’d come over. He would be sitting at his kitchen table working on his sweepstakes entries, candles or incense lit and classical music playing. I miss his overly greasy spaghetti or chili (took me years to get him to drain the grease lol.). I miss how everything he cooked had 300 jalapeno peppers in it. I miss his laugh. I miss our Scrabble games and card games. I miss hearing him cuss when people gave stupid answers on Jeopardy. I miss him saying “you’re gonna mess my hair up, girl!” when I would ruffle his mostly bald head. Most of all, I miss the man who was my best friend and my biggest cheerleader. He wasn’t perfect, but he was mine. Happy Fathers Day Daddy.

Lavender Peach Jam With Vanilla

Adapted from the Peach jam recipe in the book “Blue Ribbon Preserves”

  • 3 lbs peeled and crushed peaches (refer back to my Peach Salsa recipe to learn how to peel them easily)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 7 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 5 large sprigs lavender (don’t chop; leave whole) plus more for adding to the jars if desired
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 3 ounce pouch liquid pectin
  1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the peaches, lavender and half the sugar. Cover the pan and let sit for about 2 hours, stirring frequently to infuse the Lavender flavor throughout.
  2. Remove the cover. Stir in the remaining sugar, the butter and the extracts.
  3. Over medium low heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.
  4. When sugar is completely dissolved, turn heat up to medium high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that can NOT be stirred down), stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any foam (a ladle works best for this)
  5. Return the pan to the heat and again bring to a full rolling boil. Stir in the contents of the pouch of pectin. Again return to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute and then remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam.
  6. To prevent the jam from separating, allow it to cool for five minutes, stirring every minute to help distribute the peaches evenly. Ladle the jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving a 1/4 inch head space and adding a small sprig of Lavender to the jars if desired. Make sure to wipe the rims well with a clean cloth. Apply the lids and boil for ten minutes in a boiling water bath. The recipe said that this made 8 half pints but I actually got 11 out of it.

This jam is really quite tasty. I was kind of tickled with it. It has a subtle (Almost too subtle; next time I think I’ll use more Lavender) Herby flowery flavor that melds very well with the delicate flavor of the peaches. I can see using this as a glaze for roast poultry with some Herbs De Provence added to intensify the hit of Lavender you get. Also just adding it to a plain old English Muffin is pretty yummy too :-D. If you try it, please let me know what you think of it. 🙂