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March 23, 2017

Carrot Recipes

Probably everyone has eaten cooked carrots with brown sugar and butter. But carrots can offer a savory side that will delight your taste buds. Here are 2 recipes from Cooking Light Magazine, March 2017 issue that I've tried and added to my go to list when looking for a great vegetable side dish.

I included my modifications for the recipes.

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April 03, 2016

Easy Baked Beans

Beans, beans good for your heart. They are a very healthy choice as a side or meatless main dish. Not only do they provide a good source for protein, they are also high in Vitamins A and C, calcium, phosphorus and iron.

Bush's Best Beans are my go to for baked beans. They come in so many flavors now that you can decide on what you're in the mood for.
My favorite choices are traditional and homestyle. They also have a vegetarian style.

The secret is to slow cook them.

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March 07, 2016

Potato Head Baked Potatoes

Remember the game Mr. Potato Head? With a little creativity you can
have the same fun with baked potatoes. It only takes a few colorful ingredients and a little bit of time to turn your kitchen into a party room.


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Kids in the Kitchen II

Several years ago I taught a cooking class for a little girl's birthday party. She was turning 7 and most of the kids at the party were between 5-9. Her mother is a friend of mine from a previous job. She selected the menu and I brought the food and equipment. It was a blast. I loved watching the excitement on their faces as they made their food and enjoyed every bite.
Kids in the Kitchen I

Shortly after that, I left my 20 year public health career to teach more cooking classes. I recently got connected with a home school program after one of the moms contacted me to teach classes for her kids.


This was our first menu.

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January 13, 2016

Dennis’s Macaroni and Cheese

While looking for the perfect macaroni and cheese recipe it became apparent that there are about 20 great recipes. So Dennis took a few that looked really good, combined, switched and added to until he came up with his favorite version. It was the best macaroni and cheese ever.

And a perfect time for comfort food.

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December 29, 2015

Yellow Rice with Raisins

This delicious South African side dish has turmeric which gives it the yellow color.

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December 28, 2015

Grilled Honey Lime Corn

This recipe is best with summer fresh corn but frozen will work when necessary.

Grilling corn gives it an amazing smoky flavor. With a few other ingredients you will be going back for seconds and thirds.

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October 29, 2015

Curried Cauliflower and Green bean salad with Lemon yogurt

Roasting vegetables enhances the flavors by concentrating their natural sugars. You will be amazed. If you don't like cauliflower try this recipe to possibly change your mind.

You'll love it so much you'll want more so I adjusted the recipe to make extra vegetables to use as a side later in the week. Simply remove half of the vegetables and refrigerate before adding the curry. You can later add any seasoning you want to them. I tried a squeeze of lemon juice and a little pepper and they were great.

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September 04, 2015

Cherry Tomato salad

Use tomatoes in season for the best results. When out of season, it is often possible to find good cherry tomatoes. They will work very well in this recipe.

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September 01, 2015

Rice with Vegetables

There are so many ways to prepare rice you could have it every week and never realize it. This is a very simple, healthy dish with lots of color and flavor. You could prepare your own fresh vegetables instead of using frozen. But frozen vegetables maintain their nutrients, flavor and texture very well.

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August 25, 2015

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are edible roots in the morning glory family. They are a great source of vitamins A and C with less carbohydrates than Irish (baking) potatoes.

Baking is a simple way to prepare sweet potatoes. They can also be diced and roasted with other vegetables.

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August 18, 2015

Tomato Jam

Tomato jam is a blend of tangy, spicy and sweet flavors. It is a perfect side for meat, fish or even as an appetizer served over cream cheese. My favorite way to serve it is over meatloaf with scallions and herbs.

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UT Cooking Class, Comfort Foods

Comfort food in August?? Well it was a hit and the food was delicious. The class participants perfected my recipes and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal.

Thanks guys for your enthusiasm. It was a great class.

These are really simple and yummy recipes you could make anytime of the year.


On the menu
Mini Meatloaf with Herbs and Scallions served with Tomato Jam

3 Cheese Mac and Cheese
Apple Cobbler and Ice Cream

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August 07, 2015

Pancetta and Herb Risotto

Risotto is made with Arborio rice, a very traditional Italian dish. There have been many variations created with added ingredients such as shrimp, vegetables and cheese but the basic recipe is standard. The dish begins by sautéing onions and rice, stirring in white wine and adding hot broth until the rice is creamy and tender.

To serve this as a vegetarian dish, omit the pancetta and replace the chicken stock with tomato juice.

Wine Pairing: A French or Spanish Rose wine

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August 03, 2015

Fresh Fruit with Mint

Fruit salad makes a wonderful side dish for pork or fish. It can be served on a bed of salad greens or over rice. It could also be served as a light and healthy dessert.
Try it with Five Herbed Encrusted Pork Tenderloin

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July 31, 2015

Tortellini in a Parmesan Cream Sauce

It amazes me how flavors come together to create a delicious recipe. I wanted a creamy sauce without all the calories so I used chicken broth as the base as in my Afredo sauce but this is even richer.

Evaporated milk is used to give it a creamy texture, providing only 2 grams of fat/serving.

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June 09, 2015

Broccoli with Almonds and Red Pepper

Easy, Delicious Broccoli Recipe. Thanks Penny for sharing

Who would have thought broccoli could be so delicious? A burst of red pepper and crunchy almonds add spice to this scrumptious side dish or wholesome snack.

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February 25, 2015

Arugula Salad with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette

A wonderfully fresh and flavorful salad with a crisp vinaigrette that would make a great side for any dinner. Arugula is becoming more popular and is a great source of vitamin A and C.

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February 16, 2015

Stir Fried Asparagus

Cook Illustrated tried several techniques and found that adding a little steam created evenly cooked asparagus with just the right texture.

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January 05, 2015

Vegetable Tart

This tart was delicious and the presentation was inviting, beginning with a flaky crust that was filled with roasted vegetables and creamy goat cheese.

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August 11, 2014

Risotto with Asparagus

This is the best Risotto and Asparagus recipe I've enjoyed to date.
The flavor is enhanced with beef broth and the asparagus flavor is fresh and crisp.

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February 13, 2014

Mac and Cheese

Not only is Mac and Cheese a great "Comfort Food", it is a Southern Comfort Food" and it doesn't get any more comforting than that. This dish uses the traditional recipe with bacon and herbs added for additional flavor.

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January 29, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Long ago people made relish to use and preserve the vegetables out of their gardens. Today we are more likely to use relish to spice up a dish or add a flavorful topping to meats and vegetable dishes.
Roasting the peppers intensifies the flavor and creates a slightly sweet and smoky flavor.

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January 20, 2014

Mexican Rice

I use home canned tomato juice but if you don't have this available, any store brand will do. The important thing is to sauté the rice before adding the liquid. It not only adds flavor but it also cuts the cooking time.

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September 10, 2013

Sauteed Summer Squash with Bacon

This is one of my successful original recipes. Not that some aren't successful. Okay, I'll admit, once in a while I've made something that we most likely won't have again for at least 20 years!
But this one was really good.

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August 30, 2013

Mango Ancho Chili Salsa

Mango has a light and refreshing flavor somewhere between a pineapple and a peach. The brilliant golden orange flesh creates an attractive dish especially when paired with the red bell pepper. The Ancho chili gives the salsa a slightly smoky flavor.

Serve as a side or as a topping for chicken or fish. Especially good with Salmon quesadillas.

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August 05, 2013

Olive Orange and Anchovy Vinaigrette

Another great topping for grilled eggplant. I loved this topping and I found many other uses for it too.

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August 04, 2013

Grilled Eggplant

Eggplant is a wonderful when grilled. With its meaty texture, it can be served as a main dish or in this case a great side. Since eggplant will absorb oil like a sponge, grilling is a great cooking method that requires little oil. The grill will impart a delicate smoky flavor and a slightly crisp surface.

I wanted a new recipe and found this in one of the Fine Cooking issues and got three recipes for one!

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April 20, 2013

Carrot Soufflé

A souffle is a light and airy mixture that begins with egg yolk and lightened by stiffly beaten egg whits. This souffle is savory and is richly colored by the carrots. Souffles are usually baked in a class souffle dish that has round and straight sides to facilitate rising. Individual servings cook faster and are wonderful served for lunch with a Caesar salad and cheddar cheese biscuits.

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Carrot Soufflé

A souffle is a light and airy mixture that begins with egg yolk and lightened by stiffly beaten egg whits. This souffle is savory and is richly colored by the carrots. Souffles are usually baked in a class souffle dish that has round and straight sides to facilitate rising. Individual servings cook faster and are wonderful served for lunch with a Caesar salad and cheddar cheese biscuits.

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April 18, 2013

Haricot Verts with Sesame Seeds and Oil

This is another version of a recipe I posted several years ago. It lacks the soy sauce, getting its flavor from toasted sesame oil. It doesn't take much of the oil to create a lot of flavor.

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Haricot Verts with Citrus and Herbs

Haricot Vert is French for green bean. When a recipe calls for haricot vert often young tender green beans are used whole. The prep time is reduced in this case making this a quick and easy side to prepare.

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April 12, 2013

Jicama and Lime Salad

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March 24, 2013

Stone Ground Grit Casserole with Provolone and Portobello

This recipe can be served at brunch or as a side dish.

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December 30, 2012

Mediterranean Vegetable Pie

I love the presentation and the taste. The outside is crispy and the inside is creamy and cheesy. Try as a side dish or a vegetarian dish.

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September 27, 2012

Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are large enough to make a meal out of just one. Cremini mushrooms are the smaller version and also work great for this recipe. You can either grill these or roast them in the oven.

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September 24, 2012

Stuffed Tomatoes

Tomatoes should be in season for this recipe. You can add other vegetables like peas, chopped onions or bell peppers. Rice, couscous or quinoa is the base for the stuffing. Quinoa is a seed from a plant that is very high in protein.

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Stuffed Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a winter squash that adds vibrant orange color and a sweet, nutty flavor to this dish. There many ways to prepare this squash but roasting enhances the wonderful flavors.

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Baked Mashed White and SweetPotatoes

New side dishes for your Thanksgiving Dinner
If you can’t decide which to make- Mashed garlic Potatoes or Sweet Potato Casserole, then try this recipe to solve your holiday cooking dilemma.

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July 02, 2012

Zucchini and Dill Slaw

Zucchini, a popular summer squash replaces the traditional cabbage for this slaw. It's a very cool and refreshing side dish that goes really well with grilled or fried fish. Try it with Fish Tacos.

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April 23, 2012

Ham and 3 Cheese Macaroni

If you are in need of a little comfort food try this rich cheesy side. And if you want a meatless bowl of Mac and cheese simply omit the ham.

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April 06, 2012

Orange and White Potato Bites

Create a colorful and delicious side dish with white(red skin) potatoes and sweet potatoes with a few simple steps.

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February 05, 2012

Marinated olives with orange zest

I love olives on pizza, in green salads, potato salad, and tuna salad. But most of all I love to eat them on a relish tray after marinating in herbs and orange zest.

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February 04, 2012

Mango Lime and Red Bell Pepper Salsa

To me, mangos taste like a cross between a peach and a pineapple. They are absolutely delicious when ripe. The bright colors in this recipe make it a great side dish.

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January 08, 2012

Poppy Seed Crepes with Cream Cheese and Apricot Sauce

Crepes are thin pancakes. Every county has their own version. For example in Mexico they are called tortillas. Any sauce can be used, chocolate, rum or even blackberry. Enjoy

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November 23, 2011

How to Roast Garlic

It's easy, fast and so good

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November 18, 2011

Fruit Chutney

Chutney can be made with fruits or vegetables, flavored a variety of ways with many different spices. Vinegar or citrus juices are added as a preservative. Chutney is often served with Indian dishes such as curry and can be hot to mild in flavor.

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Curried Turkey and Rice Salad

How many ways can you use the left over Turkey from Thanksgiving? Turkey soup, turkey pot pie, turkey casserole, and then there's always a good turkey and cheese sandwich.

For something new try this recipe idea.
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November 14, 2011

German Hot Potato Salad

The real authentic German Potato salad uses the bacon drippings to sauté the onions. To cut calories and create a healthier dish my version use olive oil for sautéing. You won't miss the fat but your waistline will!

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Mustard Potato Salad

You can create many types of potato salad by starting with the basics and adding different herbs and spices. This recipe uses mustard to replace the sour cream in Creamy Potato Salad.

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Creamy Potato Salad

There are many varieties of potatoes, some make the best mashed potatoes or baked potatoes but red skin potatoes make the best potato salad because they hold their texture best when cooked. To increase the creamy texture for this recipe I also add a few russet potatoes.

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October 02, 2011

Sundried Tomato Risotto

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Citrus Bow Tie Pasta

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September 30, 2011

Mango and Papaya Salad

Add salad back to the mango peel to serve or place on a bed of lettuce.

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September 16, 2011

Leek Tart with Bacon and Goat Cheese

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Cheese, Rice and Vegetable Strudel

A wonderful dish for a brunch. Serve with Champagne or sparkling wine.

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July 11, 2011

Buttered Almond Green Beans

Green beans are in season July-late September in the south. I usually have more than I know what to do with. This recipe uses the tender, young beans. The almonds are a great source of nutrients, including protein plus they add great flavor.

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June 03, 2011

Mixed Salad Greens with Macadamia Nuts, Avocado and Goat Cheese

One of my favorite salads and the presentation is so cool. The tartness in the goat cheese demands an acidic wine and a Pinot Grigio fits that profile.

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May 08, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sugars. Try roasting them on a grill prepared with medium hot coals to add a little smokey flavor. Use a vegetable grill pan.

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May 07, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

Use an assortment of peppers, green, yellow and red bell peppers or poblano for a color and flavor rich dish.

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Mediterranean Endive Salad

A new way to present a salad, or just put out the ingredients and let your guests top their own endive leaves. If you can't find endive any type of lettuce will do. In the picture I used Boston Bibb.

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Texas Caviar (Black-Eyed Peas)

If you have ever turned your nose up to black-eyed peas try this recipe for a surprising result. Mom always served black-eyed on New Year's Day. She said for every one we ate we would have a day of good luck. I remember eating 365 but I didn't like it at all. If only I had this recipe I would have eaten two for every day of the year and doubled my luck.

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April 23, 2011

Romaine Caesar Salad

This popular salad was first made in 1924 by Italian chef Caesar Cardini at his restaurant in Tijuana Mexico. As coincidently the first time I had Caesar salad was in Mexico while on vacation. It was prepared right at the table and what a show that was.

A "real" Caesar salad has salad greens that are tossed with a garlic vinaigrette with grated Parmesan cheese and anchovies.

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April 14, 2011

Carrot Pachadi

I don't remember where I found this recipe but I love it. The traditional Indian spices combine with the sweet carrots creating a flavor sensation

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April 08, 2011

Cauliflower au Gratin

If this recipe reminds you of one of your favorites it might be because it is a remake of one of the most popular potato casseroles in the world. The potatoes are replaced with cauliflower that are high in vitamin C with a lower amount of carbohydrates.

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April 07, 2011

Italian Stuffed Eggplant

A bottle of red Italian wine such as a Sangiovese will be a very good pairing with the rich tomato sauce in this dish.
You can easily make this dish vegetarian, see below under make it your own.

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March 28, 2011

Cole Slaw

Generally speaking, people are very particular about their Cole Slaw. Some like it sweet, some like it tangy, and some like lots of mayonnaise. I like my Cole slaw the same way I like my wine: balanced. Try this recipe for that perfect balance of flavors.

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March 27, 2011

Easy Broccoli Casserole

This was the recipe my mom made for Thanksgiving dinner for as long as I can remember. She doesn't make it anymore but on occasion I do. I usually make a lighter version without the mayonnaise. But this is a traditional recipe that everyone loves.

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Broccoli Stir Fry with Oyster Sauce

Don't let the oyster sauce scare you away. It provides a wonderful favor profile with the ginger and red chile pepper.

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March 23, 2011

Cilantro Lime Rice Salad

The flavor improves if you make this dish a day in advance. It is one of my favorite side dishes. You can add grilled shrimp or chicken for a complete meal.

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March 07, 2011

Sweet potatoes in Orange Cups

Cooking sweet potatoes in orange cups is a festive way to show off your creativity. The flavor the orange gives the sweet potato is delicious.

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Sweet potatoes, Pearl Onions and Raisins with Honey Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

Not everyone has sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving dinner. This is a new way to prepare sweet potatoes that you will keep coming back to time and time again.

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March 06, 2011

Mixed Vegetable Slaw with Citrus Vinaigrette

What a great way to use fresh vegetables from the garden. The crispness from the vegetables and the acidity from the citrus make a great side dish for fish.

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Herbed Zucchini Bundles

The presentation for this vegetable dish is impressive and the flavor is delicious.

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February 23, 2011

No Guilt Creamy Spinach

When you taste this rich, creamy dish you won't believe it's a healthy version. Enjoy as a side dish or serve with vegetables, crackers or low fat tortilla chips for an appetizer.

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Basmati Rice with Apricots and Almonds

This is an elegant side dish that has a wonderful combination of color, texture and flavors. As a bonus it contains your daily requirement of Vitamin C. Serve it with baked chicken or fish.

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Basmati Rice with Shiitake mushrooms

This dish creates a delicious side dish or it can be used as a stuffing for chicken, fish or pork.

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Roasted Winter Vegetables with Apples and Thyme

I never really cooked with Butternut squash until I tried this recipe. Now I love it. The color is so vibrant and the health benefits include a rich source of vitamin A.

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December 15, 2010

Cinnamon Apples

Even though apples are a favorite with pork chops, this simple side can also be enjoyed with toast for breakfast or try it as a dessert.

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December 13, 2010

Hot Spicy Fruit

This recipe is so versatile- serve hot as a side dish, cold as a snack, over roasted pork or on top of your favorite pound or angel food cake

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November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

All the planning and work that goes into the Traditional Thanksgiving dinner can send you into a tizzy. I have some great tips and recipes to help you create an incredible meal without all the stress. It begins with putting a plan together and starting early. Set the Menu, divide the tasks, relax and enjoy the meal!

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Traditional Mashed Potatoes with Special Ingredients

You can turn an old time favorite into a new favorite by adding a few simple ingredients, see my ideas for creative mashed potatoes.

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Cranberry Apple Salad

This will be one of your favorite cranberry relish dishes. Serve it with turkey for Thanksgiving or serve it as a salad over romaine lettuce. You'll never reach for the canned cranberries again!

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November 15, 2010

Fresh Apple Salsa

Try this side dish with chips, roasted meats, or your favorite quesadillas. It's even good as a salad served over spinach greens

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November 01, 2010

More Sweet Potato Ideas

Just a few more new holiday recipe ideas to help you create a new menu.

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New Ideas for Sweet Pototoes

Bet you didn't know that the sweet potato is a tuberous root vegetable belonging to the same family of plants as the morning glory. It is a particularly popular food in the southern United States, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Their sweetness makes them versatile so think outside the traditional recipe this holiday season and try these new ideas.

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October 14, 2010

Caramelized Brussels sprouts with bacon and pecans

Even the Brussels sprout skeptics will love this recipe, everyone in my class sure did!

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September 26, 2010

Mom's cornbread dressing

Did your mom ever make something that just couldn't be matched? Well this is that recipe. I've watched her make it at least 45 times and her's still turns out better. Wonder why that is :o).

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Ginger Cranberry Relish

Add beautiful color and zest to your Thanksgiving turkey or try it as a side dish with my other suggestions

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September 04, 2010

Carmelized Onions

"This is every cook's opinion
No savory dish without an onion,
But lest your kissing should be spoiled
Your onions must be fully boiled."
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Carmelizing onions brings out the sweetness of the onion and creates a wonderful flavor. Try them on a pizza, in pasta, over a steak or burger, or in cream chesse as an appetizer.

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September 02, 2010

Mushroom Ragout or Sauce

This is a fantastic side dish that can be used with anything even cardboard :o)Enjoy it with steak, chicken, or add more stock and create a wonderful mushroom soup. See my tip on how to make a very simple mushroom side dish

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June 30, 2010

Bourbon and Benton Baked Beans

What a great side dish for Barbeque. I demonstrated this recipe in a BBQ cooking class and it was a hit. The winning ingredients were Of coarse the Bush's Best beans and the Benton bacon which is available at Benton's in Sweetwater Tennessee. I made this at home before class to perfect the recipe. After a few experiments I found the best canned beans were Bush's Best Original Beans.


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June 08, 2010

Shrimp with Caribbean Rum Barbeque Sauce

Remember Bubba in the movie "Forrest Gump" listing all the many ways shrimp can be prepared? Well, I have one more: serve it with a delicious Caribbean Rum Sauce!

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Roasted Tomato and Garlic Salsa

You can practically build a party around a bowl of salsa and some chips, or you can use it in numerous ways as part of a great meal! The roasted tomato and garlic salsa here is one of my favorites!

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Roasted Tomato and Garlic Salsa

You can practically build a party around a bowl of salsa and some chips, or you can use it in numerous ways as part of a great meal! The roasted tomato and garlic salsa here is one of my favorites!

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June 07, 2010

Potato Casserole with Smoked Gouda and Thyme

This potato casserole is without a doubt the best I've ever eaten. It is rich and creamy without all the calories using chicken broth thickened with a beurre manie. The smoked gouda adds great smoked flavor without using bacon!

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Basil Pesto

Basil, called the royal herb by ancient Greeks and a token of love by the Italians is the main ingredient in pesto. It provides a peppery flavor with a little spice with hints of clove and licorice

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June 06, 2010

Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding

My friend Nancy shared this recipe with me many years ago and it is one of my favorites. It is a wonderful side dish for the Holidays that utilizes any combination of mushrooms. One mushroom that enhances the flavor is the shiitake but the baby Portobellos (cremini) are also a good choice.

I usually serve it only on special occasions because it is high in calories with lots of cream, eggs and butter. You can alter it to a healthier version but in this case I would recommend you just have a small piece and Enjoy!

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Grilled Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms with Tomato Basil Relish

The meaty dense texture of Portobella mushrooms make them a wonderful substitution for steak. When grilled, they have a rich flavor that can be enhanced with marinades. They are actually a mature form of the crimino mushroom and because of their size can become a complete meal when stuffed. Mushrooms have little or no calories, fat or cholesterol.

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April 30, 2010

Recipe: Sicilian Green Beans & Fennel Salad

Italians know how to make a salad, and this Sicilian green bean and fennel salad is one of my favorites. The ancient Romans already knew how to use fennel to spice up their cuisine, and the French later used it to make absinthe!

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Recipe: Lemon Green Beans & Celery Salad

Bored with the same old salads? Try making one with green beans! I'm also adding some celery and use lemon to give it a delightfully refreshing taste!

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Recipe: Green Beans, Feta & Pecans

This a totally new way to make green beans, it's simple with great crunchy flavor.

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Recipe: Sesame Green Beans

Here's how to quickly whip up a batch of delicious Sesame green beans in a wok or skillet. It takes just ten minutes and goes great with just about any dish.

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Recipe: Rosemary Rosted New Potatoes

The Irish knew a good thing when they saw the potato and with hundreds of varieties of this versatile vegetable the possibilities are endless. This recipe uses red potatoes which are great for roasting.

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Granny Mae's Sweet Pickles

Granny Mae made pickles every summer. I learned a lot about cooking from her. She also taught me how to can fresh vegetables, jams and jellies.

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Granny Mae's Dill Pickles

Granny made pickles every summer. I learned a lot about cooking from her. She also taught me how to can fresh vegetables, jams and jellies. I loved dill pickles. I use the pickles in potato, tuna, egg, and chicken salad. A lot of love must go into these pickles.

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