Not-Your-Grandma’s Creamed Corn (Better!)

You can’t imagine the deliciousness of this dish, the addictiveness of the first bite, the seductiveness of its power. It has been known to get one to promise to do chores for the cook one would never have dreamed of,  just to have it made again. Since so many of these “old” dishes aren’t done often anymore, perhaps you haven’t experienced this heavenly farm-to-table treat. Then you’ll probably have no real idea what I’m talking about.

Creamed Corn You'll Love (Even if you don't like corn)

Creamed Corn You’ll Love
(Even if you don’t like corn)

Your mother’s mother used to make this side dish  with fresh ingredients during the summer when the sweet scent of fresh corn not only filled the air, but every farmhouse kitchen across the USA. The piles of heavy green ears of corn, on the work counter by the prep sink, sported fresh auburn silks like coiffured tufts of well groomed debonair suitors. Getting someone to pull the shucks was as easy as saying, “I’ll make a big pot of creamed corn for dinner if someone will shuck those ears for me.” Just like that, it was done.

After that she’d cut all the kernels off the cobs into a big bowl, striping each one dry of all its creamy goodness then add the seasoning along with the addition of her special ingredients (everyone had a secret method and formula). When it was cooked and hit the table along side the rest of the meal, that meal had better be special, otherwise it would become the next days leftovers while the corn quickly disappeared.

In winter, she managed to make canned corn kernels taste like that day in summer.

This is our version, kicked up a little to include current palate tickles. We know you’ll enjoy it as much as we do. It is the perfect summer side dish for grilled dinners of anything you want to bbq. It is especially fantastic with grilled fish. Alone it is a great hot lunch main-dish casserole with a side garden salad of shaved lettuce and sliced heirloom tomatoes. On a rainy, cold winter night,alone or as a side dish for roasted pork, chicken, or fish, it will give you the warmth of mind and body you crave.

What’s for lunch or dinner? Yum!

Ingredients I

  • 6 cups of sweet corn (fresh, frozen, or well-drained quality canned)
  • 1 cup finely diced, seeded sweet red pepper
  • ½ cup finely diced, seeded green pepper
  • 1 finely diced red onion (medium sized)
  • 3 scallions,  thinly sliced
  • 1 finely diced, seeded jalapeño pepper, pickled okay, but use less. (Less fresh also, for less spicy heat)
  • 1 — 4 oz. cream cheese (reduced fat okay) softened
  • 4 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 oz.  grated sharp Cheddar
  • ¼ cup quality mayonnaise (Do not not substitute. Leave out altogether if you must.)
  •  ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp. regular chili powder

———Process I

Combine all from  Ingredients I in a large bowl and combine well. Pour into a generously buttered casserole and level with back of a large spoon

Ingredients II

  • 1 oz. grated japaleño jack
  • 1 cup tortilla chips
  • ½ tsp. fresh black pepper
  • ½ tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • ½ tsp. regular chili powder

———Process II

Run cheese and tortilla chips with spices in a small food processor until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over top of corn casserole.

Bake in a 400°F Oven for 22 – 25 minutes until bubbly and top is golden brown.

What’s for lunch or dinner? Yum, and yum again!

© A. Ziegler 2016 ~ All rights reserved

Posted in BBQ, Cookbook, EASY, Fun Foods, Quick -Easy, Sidedish, Taste Proven Recipes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chunky Mini-Potato Salad

Potato Salad is a favorite as old as time and every cook who’s ever taken it for a Company or Family get-together has a special trick to make hers/his the absolute best ever. Here’s ours. It is an award winner!


~~~This babies~~~ make spectacular potato salad!

~~~This babies~~~
make spectacular potato salad!


Sure it’s easy to pick up a large container of potato salad at just about any deli, and if you need to do that, by all means, enjoy the opportunity.

But the satisfaction of serving a delicious, homemade and unique bowl of goodness that will set you apart (writing down the recipe…don’t do that, just share the link), then here you are:


  • 1-½ lb. mixed variety mini-potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces (sometimes in half, sometimes quartered) and cooked until just done.
  • 1 small red onion chopped small(if the onion is strong, rinse under cool water and pat dry to remove some of the sharpness.)
  • 3 shallots, white and green, sliced thinly
  • 3 full ribs of celery, cut the ribs in thirds (long-ways) then slice small
  • 1 cup mixed color sweet peppers, seeded and chopped small
  • ½ cup diced pimento stuffed green olives
  • ½ cup chopped radishes
  • ½ cup chopped, crispy bacon bits*
  • 2 cups of chopped baby arugula
    • Dressing:
  • 1 cup top quality mayonnaise
  •  ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. good honey (I prefer Orange or Local)
  • ½ tsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp.  seasalt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.


This recipe is so straightforward with the listing of the ingredients, this part is probably unnecessary, but we’ll do it anyway.

  1. Boil or microwave washed and prepared potatoes until they are barely done. Microwaves differ in power and cooking times may vary, so simply check potatoes with the tip of a table knife and when it pierces easily, they are done. Remove them from heat source, drain off any water and allow to cool. (Refrigerate if you are rushed)
  2. Utilizing the easy “help” suggestions, prepare the additional ingredients and add all together into a large mixing bowl, finally adding the cooled potato pieces.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the dressing ingredients with a small whisk until smooth then add to potato salad ingredients. Toss gently and thoroughly to coat potatoes and blend ingredients together. Refrigerate and keep cold. If serving outdoors in a warm environment, place serving bowl in a larger bowl with cracked ice under and around the salad.
  4. Garnish with sliced boiled eggs and minced flat leaf parsley, if desired.*
  • Optional

© A. Ziegler 2016 ~ All rights reserved.



Posted in Cook Ahead Ingredients, Cookbook, EASY, Easy Entertaining, Eggs, Free Recipes, Fun Foods, Potatoes, Salads, Summer Salads, Taste Proven Recipes, What's for Dinner? Yum! | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tangerine Chicken via Slow Cooker

Tangerine Chicken Shown with Asparagus Veggie Stir Fry & Brown Rice Quinoa

Tangerine Chicken
Shown with Asparagus Veggie Stir Fry & Brown Rice Quinoa

An easy, not much muss, very little fuss for the best Tangerine Chicken you’ll ever eat.

Practically all the steps for this recipe may be negotiated in advance to pour into the slow cooker on your way out the door to a busy day away from home, be it work or play, to return home for a wonderful dinner in minutes.


Ingredients List:

  • 4 Chicken thighs (boneless/skinless)
  • 2 Chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
  • 6 Seedless tangerines (Cuties, etc.)
    • Zest and Juice
  • 2 tbsp. All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. Seasalt
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp. Grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Grated fresh ginger
  • 1tbsp. Lite soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. Sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. Granulated sugar
  • ⅓ Cup Honey barbecue sauce (or your favorite)
  • Other needs:
    • 1 gallon sized zipper lock bag
    • Oil or cooking spray for slow cooker.

Process and Details

Preheat covered slow cooker on high heat while prepping the ingredients or for 20 to 30 minutes.

  1. Cut Chicken parts into bite sized pieces. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Zest the Tangerines, then juice. You should have approximately 1 cup of juice and 3 tablespoons of zest from the 6 tangerines.
  3. Measure into a gallon-sized zipper lock bag flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger and Tangerine Zest. Close bag and shake well to mix all ingredients.
  4. To the Tangerine juice, add soy sauce, sesame oil, granulated sugar and barbecue sauce. Stir well to mix and dissolve sugar.
  5. When ready to cook, place chicken pieces in the zipper bag, close up tight and shake vigorously to coat the pieces well.
  6. Dump coated chicken into the oiled or sprayed hot cooker and distribute evenly. Pour the juice mixture over all.
  7. Cook covered on High for 4 hours or Low for 7-8 hours.
  8. Serve with your favorite rice and a bag of steamed Chinese Vegetables.

Wha’s for dinner? Yum!

© A. Ziegler 2016~ All Rights Reserved

Posted in Chicken, Cookbook, EASY, Easy Entertaining, Free Recipes, Light & Healthy, Recipe of the Day, Slowcooker Meals, Taste Proven Recipes, What's for Dinner? Yum! | Leave a comment

Guacamole Chicken Rolls

These Dolled-up Chicken Breast are a good “do ahead” (finished just before) for company dinners……………Guacamole Chicken Rolls

And/or for the freezer for when reheating is convenient on busy nights when dinner is required. When I make these for company, I make double simply to have that second meal handy. I’d like to add that finished and chilled, cut in half they are perfect finger food for picnicking.

The other thing I do when I make this recipe, is make extra guacamole for “on the side” addition at the table. That and  beautiful Salsa Pico de Gallo put art on the table.

Ingredients                                                         Serves 6

  • 6 Chicken Breasts (boneless/skinless)
  • 12 slices smoky bacon (uncooked)
  • Salt and black pepper for seasoning chicken
  • ————————
  • 2 large Avocados, smashed
  • ½ cup each diced red onion, chopped fresh tomato (seeds removed)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed/minced
  • 1/2 cup Manchego cheese


Make the guacamole:

  1. Peel and seed the Avocado.
  2. Smash Avocado until relatively smooth
  3. Add onion, tomato, salt, lime, garlic and cheese.
  4. Smash all together until well combined.
  5. Refrigerate until needed.

Prepare Chicken Breast for stuffing:

  1. Carefully slit a deep pocket in each chicken breast. Take care not to cut through the sides.
  2. Season with salt and pepper

Stuff the chicken:

  1. Using a clean spoon, divide the guacamole in half.
  2. Stuff the pocket in the chicken with guacamole mix, fill but don’t overstuff.
  3. Wrap bacon around chicken, covering the opening, secure with a toothpick
  4. Sear on all sides on high heat to brown about 4 minutes (*1)
  5. Remove to a 400°F oven for 15-18 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

(*1) For a “do ahead” for company dinner, finish to here, refrigerate then add 8 minutes to oven time when finishing. (Temp with instant read thermometer to 165° internal temp.) Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.


© A. Ziegler ~ All rights reserved.


Posted in Cheese, Chicken, Cookbook, EASY, Easy Entertaining, Free Recipes, Light & Healthy, Quick -Easy, Taste Proven Recipes, What's for Dinner? Yum! | Leave a comment

Barbecue Beans Bake

It’s getting to be that time of year. Barbecue and picnic weather, a need for quick and easy, but sadly, taste buds don’t hanker for a vacation.

This recipe is quick, using canned baked beans, canned or frozen butter beans and canned  Cannellini beans for starters. Adding to the mix sliced bacon, diced red onion, chopped multicolor sweet peppers, crushed pineapple (canned in juice is as good as fresh) and a chopped mango and papaya, a little tomato paste and seasoning complete the additions.

It sounds like a lot of chopping and adding, but 4 pulses in the food processor takes seconds. I do all the veggies in the FP. I do slice my bacon by hand, and chop my mango and papaya.  Adding the rest, seasoning, and stirring is about as easy as it gets. Golly, I love summer!

Yes, the recipe makes a lot, but you won’t mind having leftovers. In fact, if it is anything like a bbq/picnic at our house, you’ll make two recipes just to make sure you do. These Barbecue Beans Bake are better each day until the last little bites have been hidden away by your night snacker for a midnight tidbit.


  • 2-14 oz. cans your favorite canned baked beans (strain to remove excess sauce)
  • 1-14 oz. canned or frozen butter beans (large white or brown limas, cooked) If canned, drain and rinse. Make sure they are fairly dry, not too much retained liquid.
  • 1-14 oz. canned or cooked Cannellini beans (If canned drain and rinse)
  • 6 slices of your favorite bacon, sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 cup chopped red, yellow and green pepper.
  • 1-7 oz. can crushed pineapple (in its own juice)
  • 1-each, peeled, seeded and chopped mango and small papaya (should equal about 2 cups)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ½ tsp. each, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, chipotle pepper.


  1. Strain excess sauce from baked beans into a bowl and reserve in case you want to add some back to your recipe. Note: This is your call, you know how much sauce your family likes on their baked beans.
  2. Dump strained beans into a sightly oiled or buttered a 4 quart enameled dutch oven or oven/bbq proof casserole. (*Easy to do these beans in the slow cooker, too)
  3. Drain and rinse canned Butterbeans, Cannelloni beans. Note: If you are using cooked from frozen or dry beans, drain off excess liquid.
  4. Add these beans to the casserole
  5. Slice and add bacon
  6. Chop onion, peppers — add to the casserole
  7. Add crushed pineapple with juice to the casserole, along with chopped mango and papaya.
  8. Add tomato paste, seasonings, brown sugar and molasses.
  9. Stir all together well. Place in a 325°F oven or on the barbecue until  the sauce has thickened and the bubbly hot.( *Great for the slow cooker, too, on low setting for at least 4 hours. )

All you need to go with these beans are your favorite bbq meats (we do mixed grill) and  *chunky mini-potato salad*. The fruit and sweets have been grilled in the beans so you don’t really need dessert, but homemade or store-bought peach ice-cream and pound cake fill the bill for the hardliners who just have to have a finish of an authentic dessert item.

Drinks: Italian sodas for the kids, an ice cold tub of assorted local brews and frosty Chenin Blanc or Riesling.

What’s for barbecue dinner? Yum!

Happy Summer!

© 2016 Barbara A. Ziegler/   All rights reserved

*Check our recipe

Posted in BBQ, Cookbook, EASY, Easy Entertaining, Food Gone Rogue, Free Recipes, Full Menu + Wine Suggestion, Quick -Easy, Recipe of the Day, Slowcooker Meals, Taste Proven Recipes, What's for Dinner? Yum! | Leave a comment

Quinoa & Brown Rice Salad

This recipe started out as a simple side dish salad (because it has a fantastic mix of salad veggies and ingredients in it) intended to be the “starch” part of a meal but also meant to fulfill that “salad” role.

It has been such a versatile dish however that it has slipped into many otherBrown Rice Quinoa-Salad-1 fabulous meals in so many roles, my friend’s little girls call it the “Transformer”
salad. It has truly become the base for all kinds of side dishes for our table and appeals to all ages.

To tell you the truth, I took two things my husband liked and put them together as a substitute for potatoes (not that there’s anything wrong with potatoes unless you need a longer burning carb). Then I got the idea of hiding a few veggies in it as a “seasoned” hot side dish,

[1]Then it became a room temp side dish, then a salad (hiding more veggies)

Here, you can pick your own, your favorites, i.e., grated carrots, pickles beets, broccoli slaw,etc.) and if you add them in ¼ cup amounts, you can get away with it before you’re caught veggie-hiding.   

quinoa-brown rice-salad-w:feta[2] When 5 extra unannounced people showed up  as we were about to sit down to a roast beef dinner one evening, I added 3 cups of mixed crunchy greens and 3 tbsp. of Italian dressing, to it at room temperature and made it a true salad. It was a giant hit.

 [3] Since then it has been the base for the addition of tropical fruits (some sweet) with a bit of chili pepper for a summer side salad with grilled fresh fish and

[4] Some winter fruits (diced apple, cranberries, (sometimes dried apricots)walnuts and diced dried plums or prunes) to serve alongside roast pork or under pan-seared pork chops) but is also good with roast duck, chicken and turkey.

So you can see how valuable this base recipe might be in YOUR kitchen and why the little girls call it “transformer” salad.  

Ingredients and Process                      Serves 6

  • 3-¾ c. low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock, or water)
  • ½ c. good dry  wine (or water)
  1. Add liquids together and bring to a boil
  2. In a covered 2 quart casserole stir the next 10 ingredients together to combine.
  • 1  cup whole grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1  cup whole grain quinoa, rinsed and drained well
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher or sea salt,
  • 2 tsp. each, granulated garlic, *black sesame seeds*optional
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • a pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. dried chopped onion
  1. Pour boiling liquids over rice/quinoa mix and stir to combine.
  2. Place in a preheated 350° F oven for 30-35 minutes after which taste test to make sure both rice and quinoa are done.
    1. Yes, remove from heat, uncover, stir and cool.
    2. No, return covered to oven for 10 additional minutes. Repeat taste test. If not all the water is absorbed and mixture is not “fluffy” return for an additional 10 minutes, uncovered.
  3. When done, cool to room temperature.
  4. Add following ingredients into cooled rice/quinoa


  • ½ cup diced green onion (whites and green tops)
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced sweet red pepper
  • ½ cup diced radishes
  • ½ cup diced celery ribs (and leaves if possible)
  •  ¼ cup (your favorite) robust Italian dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup crumbled Feta Cheese*
    • *(you can substitute crumbled blue cheese, or Parmesan if you like)
  1. Stir to combine
  2. Cover and refrigerate

The above recipe is the base salad . The above mentioned variations are outlined in the numbered  groups of ingredients below. If the details of these variations are not clear to you or if you have other questions, please email us at with your question, and we’ll respond immediately, or almost so.

Variation Suggestions

[2] True Salad Addition (Great with beef or chicken)

  • 3 cups broken romaine lettuce (or)
  • 3 cups mixed spring salad greens
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite Italian dressing

[3] Chili Fruit Addition ( Fish Accompaniment)

  • ½ cup orange segments
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit segments
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tbsp. diced cilantro

[4] Winter Fruits Addition (Pork, Poultry, Game Accompaniment)

  • ¼ cup each diced apple, cranberries, walnuts and diced dried plums or prunes)
  • ¼ chopped dried apricots (when you have them or expressly, instead of plumbs) for duck or venison.)

While not in the citrus family, additions of Mango and Avocado elevate this salad to holiday status.

© A. Ziegler April 2016~All Rights Reserved

Posted in Alternative Ingredients, Cook Ahead Ingredients, Cookbook, Diabetic Alternatives, Diverse Diet Adaptable, EASY, Easy Entertaining, Free Recipes, Light & Healthy, Recipe of the Day, Rice, Salads, Taste Proven Recipes, What's for Dinner? Yum! | Leave a comment

Pork Loin Cacciatore

Chicken and rabbit have been traditional meats in Cacciatore

forever, but recently when I’d done all the prep work for the dish, only to realize I’d accidentally thawed pork loin not chicken. I decided to give it a go. As it turned out, not only was the results delicious, but it was the recipe my guests asked me to bring for an upcoming potluck.


  • 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (scant 4 cups)

    ~Pork Cacciatore~ Italian dinner so fine your new name will be Mama Mia.

    ~Pork Cacciatore~
    Italian dinner so fine your new name will be Mama Mia.

  • 8 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
  • 1 very large red onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups) (Reserve 6 rings for salad)
  • 1 each,large sweet red pepper and green bell pepper, seeded/coarsely chopped *
  • 5 tablespoons e.v. olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • 4 lb. pork loin (1″ thick chops, cut into 4 even pieces.)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, divided
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 14 ½-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (steam processed are best)
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced basil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers, divided
  • 12 ounces gemelli or penne, freshly cooked

* 2 cups mixed color sweet peppers may be substituted 


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine plum tomatoes, mushrooms, onion and peppers in large bowl.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons oil and vinegar; toss to blend.
  3. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread vegetable mixture in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until onion slices are golden brown and all vegetables are tender, stirring frequently, about 50 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  6. Sprinkle pork with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Add pork and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  8. Transfer pork to bowl and keep warm.
  9. Add wine to skillet and boil until wine is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, deglazing pan (about 1 minute).
  10. Stir in canned tomatoes with juice, then broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors.
  11. Return pork with roasted vegetables to sauce in skillet, remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, half of basil, and half of capers.Place skillet in oven and roast uncovered until pork  is cooked through , about 12 minutes. Don’t over cook.
  12. Remove skillet from oven, check seasonings, season with salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

Place pasta in large shallow bowl. Top with pork and sauce. Garnish with remaining basil and capers sprinkled over.

Dinner Menu:

Serve with a crunchy lettuce, black olive, and mozzarella salad w/Purple Onion Vinaigrette along side hand broken chunks of sourdough baguette. Fresh garlic butter and your favorite red wine (mine is a fruity Cabernet, Sirrah or a robust Chianti round off this excellent dinner.


  • six  large rings  purple onion. coarsely chopped
  •  4 tbsp. eveo
  • 2tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp.  grey coupon mustard
  • 1 tbsp.  balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. each kosher salt fresh black pepper

Run chopped onion, with all other ingredients together in a small food processor or blender jar until emulsified. Toss with salad ingredients and serve immediately.

Cacciatore dinner that will have your family/ guests calling you Mama Mia.

© A. Ziegler 2016 ~ All rights reserved.

Posted in Cookbook, Easy Entertaining, Food Gone Rogue, Full Menu + Wine Suggestion, Italian, Pasta, Pork, Quick -Easy, Recipe of the Day, Taste Proven Recipes, What's for Dinner? Yum!, Winter Favorites | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Superbowl Party Food ~ Ten Recipes You’ll Keep Forever

It’s that Superbowl time of year again and we’re just as jazzed as ever about getting the fun on the table with delicious foods, that make them stop and taste the flavors, regardless of the play-in-progress. Commenting the 50th Anniversary, we’ve got a slew of goodies to suggest. Have a look and taste, then let us in on your compliments.

Finger foods served on the buffet with an assortment of dipping sauces together with bite-sized slices of homemade pizza , a platter of crudités, football shaped mini-turkey meat balls in sour cream country gravy served with toasted refrigerated biscuit halves, Crunchy Okra Bites, chips and salsa (if you must).

Don’t forget the sweet things, too. Mini devils food muffins with a dollop of mocha frosting, Mini Lemon Squares with a bowl of mixed dried fruit and nuts and you’ve got delicious, healthy event food for a crowd from anywhere or a buffet (for any occasion) to be remembered long after the gathering has dispersed.

This ain’t your granny’s mini-sausages, spam meatballs with crackers, and delivered Pizza party.

I. Chicken Medallions*


  • 1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breast (cut in 1″ cubes)
  • Chicken Medallions

    Chicken Medallions

    1/2 c. sour cream

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp. seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground fine black pepper
  • 1 tsp. finely ground herbs d’ Provence
  • ———————————-
  • 1/2 c. finely grated parmasen
  • 1 c. fine dry garlic bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. crushed dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. finely crushed dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp. rice flour


  1. Mix sour cream, mayo, buttermilk and seasonings in a large (1 gallon) ziplock bag and mix until seasonings are well distributed throughout the creamy ingredients.
  2. Add the chicken* cubes and zip bag closed.
  3. Massage to thoroughly  distribute and coat chicken* pieces with  the creamy ingredients.
  4. Refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hours.


  1. Run the final 5 ingredients together in  food processor until well mixed and reduced to  a fine crumb texture …  pour crumble into a  a dry large ziplock or dry paper bag
  2.   Drop chicken medallions into crumb mix, a few at a time, shake to coat and distribute on a greased wire rack on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Allow space between each piece.
  3. Spray lightly with a quality cooking spray
  4. Bake at 400°F for 18 – 20 minutes until golden brown and internal temperature in largest pieces register 165 on an instant read thermometer.
  5. Serve with assorted dipping sauces (recipes follow) as a part of your game day party buffet.

*This recipe is adaptable to use 1″ cubes of turkey breast or thigh, dense white fish cubes (halibut, cod, etc.) and will remain one of the items most requested on your party bar.

Honey Dijon Mustard Sauce:

Stir together in a 1 cup measure:

  •  1/2 c. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c. Best Foods or Helman’s Mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. local organic honey**

Whiskey BBQ:

  • ¾ c.  tomato paste (catsup may be substituted)
  • 3 tbsp. champagne vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp. good whiskey or bourbon (I prefer JD Black Tennessee Whiskey)
  1. Heat /tomato paste(or catsup) in a small sauce pan
  2. Add vinegar, brown sugar, cloves and whiskey and bring to a bubbly roll
  3. Remove from heat and cool.
  4. Serve with chicken* (or turkey) medallions.

Cranberry/Orange Sauce

  • 1 c. canned cranberry sauce (your preference of jellied/whole berry)
  • ¼ c. frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tbsp. Grand Mariner liqueur
  • ½ tsp. Sriracha (optional)
  1. Heat canned sauce in microwave safe bowl in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on high until liquified. Stir once during process.
  2. Add other ingredients and combine well .
  3. Serve along side turkey (or chicken) medallions

II.   Homemade Pizza

Ingredients                                         8 servings            189 cals

A.  Crust:

1  (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

B. Toppings:


  1. Preheat oven to 450° F (230° C). In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round.
  4. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker’s peel dusted with cornmeal.
  5. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.

III.   Turkey Meatballs in Sour Cream Country Gravy

A.  Meatballs:


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste*
  •  1 Med. onion, peeled and minced
  • 3 Garlic cloves , samshed and finely minced
  • ¼ C. Fresh Italian (flat-leafed) parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 tsp. each sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. fat free brown gravy mix
  • 2 tsp. Worchester  sauce
  • ¼ C. fine dry bread crumbs
  •  1 lb. ground turkey*, a mixture of white and dark meat
  • Extra-Light Olive Oil


**This recipe instruction is written as a two step process where meat balls are browned before finished in the oven. This is done purely for adding an eye appeal to the meatballs in case you want to serve them separate from the sauce. If you are going to add them to the sour cream gravy or other sauce, it is unnecessary and you may do all the cooking in the oven, temping them to make sure they have reached 165°F doneness, but do not over cook! 

  1. Assemble ingredients,  (I make the bread crumbs here from herbed salad croutons, run in the food processor or blender until fine crumbs.)
  2. Combine the beaten egg, tomato paste, grated onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, gravy mix powder, and Worchester sauce .
  3. Mix well and then mix in the meat and bread crumbs. (These meatballs are stickier than traditional)
  4. Preheat the oven to 400º.
  5. **Using a medium ice cream/cookie scoop*, scoop out the meatballs and drop them onto a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet
  6. Heat enough of the olive oil to coat a nonstick skillet over high heat
  7. Shape all the scooped meatballs into football shapes, drop them into the hot pan.
  8. Cook to brown on all sides (for about 30 seconds, flipping them over using a spoon carefully to keep them intact).
  9. Transfer to the parchment or foil lined baking sheet. (about 24 meatballs)
  10. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and bake meatballs for about 15 minutes.  They will be firm to the touch when finished.
  11. Serve with Country Sour Cream Gravy, Marinara, or sauce of your choice.


B. Gravy:

~Mini-Turkey Meatballs ~

~Mini-Turkey Meatballs ~


  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, granulated garlic,
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 C. chicken stock

    Sour Cream Gravy

    Sour Cream Country Gravy

  • ½ C. whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted into
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • ¼ C. sour cream


  1. Measure flour, seasonings into a small bowl together and stir to combine well
  2. Measure chicken stock, whole milk together, set aside
  3. Melt butter into a heated non-stick skillet or saucepan, add EVOO and stir with a whisk
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir well to combine, cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat, but do not brown.
  5. And at the same time, heat measured liquids in microwave for one minute.
  6. Add liquids to the rue, stirring slowly to combine and cook until gravy begins to thicken.
  7. Cook for two minutes or so, finally whisking in the sour cream. Heat through but do not boil!


IV.   Crunchy Okra Bites

Crunchy Okra Bites Oven baked - not fried 1000 times better, too!

Crunchy Okra Bites
Oven baked – not fried
1000 times better, too!


  • 16 oz. pkg. frozen okra slices
  • ½ cup Best Foods (or Hellman’s) Mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups tortilla chip  (about) = 1 cup crumbs
  • 1 cup dry grated Parmesan
  • 2-½ cups garlic crouton (about ) = 1 cup crumbs
  • 1 tsp. each salt and cayenne pepper*, fresh black pepper, corn starch
  • Olive oil (or other good quality) Cooking Spray


  1. Measure tortilla chips, garlic croutons and Parmesan and corn starch into the bowl of a food processor and process to fine crumbs. Add seasonings and pulse (or run to combine) briefly. Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Make certain all the okra pieces are separate from one another,
  3. Measure mayo and buttermilk into a medium bowl and mix with a hand mixer or whisk until totally combined and smooth.
  4. Preheat oven to 450°F  and line two large cookie sheets with parchment or foil
  5. Place the okra into the mayo/buttermilk mix first and stir to coat.
  6. Remove with a cooking spider and allow extra liquids to drain briefly back into the bowl.
  7. Pour into the crumb/cheese mix and toss to coat.
  8. Place in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet
  9. Repeat until all okra has been dipped and coated.
  10. Spray lightly with cooking spray and
  11. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown
  12. *Sprinkle with a small amount of Sea Salt while still hot and served immediately. Keep warm through serving process in an uncovered appliance.

V.   Mini-Devils Food Muffins 

Mini Devil's Food Muffins Shown here unfrosted, but so fine with Mocha Frosting

Mini Devil’s Food Muffins
Shown here unfrosted, but so fine with Mocha Frosting


  • 1 (18oz) Devil’s Food Cake mix (I like Duncan Hines)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods/Hellman’s)
  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. In a mixer bowl, stir spices into cake mix into cake mix
  2. Add mayo, water, and eggs
  3. Beat together on slow speed for 1 minute to combine, scrape bowl.
  4. Beat together for 2 minutes on medium speed to mix.
  5. Scoop by ¼ cup portions into mini cupcake liners
  6. Bake @ 350°F for 12 to 14 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean
  7. Cool completely on a rack
  8. Frost with Mocha Frosting when cold.

VI.   Mocha Frosting


  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • ⅓ cup soft butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Instant Coffee (I like Yuban)+ 1 Tbsp. for garnish
  • ¼ cup dark unsweetened chocolate (chips ok)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 (+ up to 1 tsp.) Tbsp. heavy cream


  1. Gather ingredients and read through all the directions
  2. Melt chocolate in a bowl over hot (not boiling water) Do not allow bowl to touch water, stir  once or twice during melting. Keep warm and fluid.
  3. Stir instant coffee and salt into sifted powdered sugar
  4. Stir  in the butter slowly then add the cream and chocolate
  5. Whip with hand mixer to light spreadable consistency (adding more heavy cream if necessary, a drop or two at a time)
  6. Place into a pastry bag (with your choice of tip) (or a  quart sized zipper bag). Squeeze out all the air. (If using zipper bag, cut off a tiny portion of a corner, test flow by squeezing and snipping until you get the flow size you wish).
  7. Frost cold cupcakes. Sprinkle sparingly with Instant Coffee granules (a pepper shaker works beautifully)

VII.   Lemon Squares (Mini)


The best lemon square ever! One bite will surely dictate another.

The best lemon square ever! One bite will surely dictate another.

A. For the crust:

  • ½ lb. + 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar with the paddle attachment for two minutes.
  3. Combine flour and salt
  4. With mixer on slow speed, add flour mixture to butter/sugar until just mixed.
  5. Pour into a 9x13x2″ baking dish and press across surface to cover the bottom, building up a ½” edge on all sides. Refrigerate to rest and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Bake crust for 15 to 18 minutes until cooked, but not browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool, but keep the oven heated.

For the Filling


B. Filling

  • 6 extra-large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting top after cooking


  1. Whisk eggs together with sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.
  2. Pour over cooled crust
  3. Bake for 32 to 36 minutes until set.
  4. Let cool to room then dust top with Confectioner’s sugar.
  5. Cut in 2″ squares and serve.

VIII.   Fruit & Nut Bowl


  • 2 cups of unsalted roasted mixed nuts (heart healthy variety)
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 3 cups of  dried cranberry
  • 1 cup of dried blueberries
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  •  2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups peanutbutter chips (* optional)
  • 2 cups chopped dried mango



  1. Chop mango into bite sized pieces
  2. Measure the rest of the ingredients into a 2 quart serving bowl
  3. Toss and serve for a fantastic healthy, sweet and crunchy snack by the handful.

©2016 Barbara A. Ziegler/ ~ All rights reserved.

Posted in Cookbook, Desserts, Easy Entertaining, Free Recipes, Fun Foods, Lemon!, Recipe of the Day, Sauces & Gravies, Snacks, Special Occasion Recipes, Taste Proven Recipes, Turkey, What's for Dinner? Yum! | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tomato Crepes (Crepes di-pomodoro)

 The way we usually serve these Tomato Crepes (Crepes di pomodoro) is in Sausage Cheese Sauce with Vegetable Medley (Salsa di formaggio salsiccia con medley di verdure). It combines Italy’s wonderful flavors with French style and technique, a fusion of the best of each, for a  unique dinner Entrée you’ll love.

These crepes are also great served rolled with sliced provolone and topped with Italian Meat Sauce. Another variation is filled and rolled with seasoned ricotta and topped with mushroom gravy.

We’ll categorize these recipe in Food Gone Rogue and Make Ahead Ingredients in addition to the usual categories because of the unconventional use of ingredients, and because the crepes and the sauces may be made separately and ahead of the intended meal,  if you wish. Refrigerate crepes for up to 4 days, assemble with sauce at dinner time and heat for 20-30 minutes in a 325°F oven for a quick finish. (the cheese sauce can be made ahead as well, (up to 2 days) but I like putting the dish together just before heating to maintain the quality of the crepes texture.

Served along side a crisp Romaine salad with Italian olives, baby tomatoes and purple onion dressed in a tart/sweet balsamic vinaigrette, complimented with a good Chianti and you’ve got a winner, whichever sauce you choose.

Crepes                          Serves 4


  • 1-⅔ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup  tomato sauce or smooth marinara sauce
  • 4 eggs, beaten together
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup cool water (1-2 Tbsp) extra if needed for proper consistency)
  • 1 Tbsp evoo (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) (the fruiter-the better)


  1. Measure flour into a small bowl, add salt and stir well
  2. Measure tomato sauce or marinara into medium mixing bowl
  3. Add beaten eggs, whole milk, water and eveo.
  4. Stir to combine liquids ingredients
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to liquids and blend with a whisk until smooth
    1. Mixture should be a very thin pancake-like batter, about the consistency on an warm, unset custard.
    2. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
  6. Heat well oiled crepe pan or crepe cooker to medium (med/hi – depending on your equipment, heavier equipment requires a longer time to preheat, but needs a lower overall setting)
  7. Spread ⅓ cup batter over surface of hot crepe cooker/pan, cooking until top appears dry. Flip and cook for a few seconds.
  8. Remove cooked crepe to a parchment covered rack, and cover lightly with parchment, stacking the crepes together (separated by parchment) as they are cooked, repeating the process until all the crepes are done. Crepes may be held in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight storage container.
  9. Roll into “cigars” and place in a lightly buttered casserole dish, top with sauce. Cover lightly with foil or parchment  and heat for 20-30 minutes in 325°F oven until sauce is bubbly hot.

SEE: Salsa di formaggio salsiccia con medley di verdure (Sausage Cheese Sauce w/Vegetable Medley)
©2016  Barbara A.Ziegler ~ All rights reserved

Posted in Cheese, Cook Ahead Ingredients, Cookbook, EASY, Eggs, Food Gone Rogue, Free Recipes, Recipe of the Day, Sauce, Taste Proven Recipes, What's for Dinner? Yum!, Winter Favorites | Leave a comment

Sausage Cheese Sauce w/Vegetable Medley (Salsa di Formaggio Salsiccia con Medley di Verdure

 The way we usually serve this  Sausage Cheese Sauce w/ Vegetable Medley (Salsa di formaggio salsiccia con medley di verdure) is over Tomato Crepes (Crepes di pomodoro). Together it combines Italy’s wonderful flavors with French style and technique, a fusion of the best of each, for a totally unique dinner entrée you’ll love.

You’ll also find this sauce makes a perfect quick and nourishing meal served over, Pasta Pinwheels, Macaroni, or Hot Garlic Baguette. Also excellent served over polenta or scrambled eggs.

We’ll categorize these recipe as Food Gone Rogue and Make Ahead Ingredients in addition to the usual categories because of the unconventional use of ingredients, and because all may be made separately ahead of the intended meal, if you wish. Refrigerate sauces for up to 2 days, assemble with other ingredients at dinner time for a quick finish. I prefer “just before heating/eating” to cook pasta and heat the Baguette, putting them together with the sauce to maintain the quality of the pasta’s/bread’s texture.

Served along side a crisp Romaine salad with Italian olives, baby tomatoes and purple onion dressed in a tart/sweet balsamic vinaigrette with a good Chianti and you’ve got a winner, which ever sauce you choose.



  • 1 Tbsp each, butter and evoo (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • ½ cup each, onion, broccoli, red pepper, mushrooms, chopped small, but not diced
  • 4 oz. cooked crumbled sausage (I use Sweet Italian, sometimes Spicy Sage)
  • 1 tsp. each, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup chicken stock
  • 2 oz. grated cheese (with Italian sausage I use Asiago, with spicy sage, I use sharp cheddar)


  1. Melt butter in evoo in a 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat
  2. Add chopped veggies and sausage, salt and pepper, and cook until veggies are limp
  3. Add flour and stir well to distribute, lid and reduce heat.
  4. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring once to keep from sticking
  5. Add milk to chicken stock and heat (in microwave) for 30 seconds to warm
  6. Add warmed liquids to sauce pan and stir well and continue to stir often until sauce thickens.
  7. Add cheese, stir and heat to melt and combine into sauce. Do not boil!

SEE:Tomato Crepes, (Crepes di pomodoro)

©2016  Barbara A.Ziegler ~ All rights reserved

Posted in Alternative Ingredients, Cheese, Cookbook, EASY, Food Gone Rogue, Free Recipes, Recipe of the Day, Sauce, Sauces & Gravies, Taste Proven Recipes, What's for Dinner? Yum! | Leave a comment