Stuffed Zucchini with Homemade Pasta Sauce

Summer is a great time of the year to load up meals with fresh, seasonal vegetables such as zucchini and yellow squash. The quality of fresh picked vegetables is excellent and the price is usually inexpensive. But what if you don’t like summer squash? In searching for ideas to use a huge zucchini growing in my garden, I found a recipe which is absolutely delicious. Zucchini is a mild flavored squash and this recipe tones the flavor down even further by stuffing the zucchini with a meat mixture and topping it with pasta sauce. It is a good way to learn to like a new food and is the best recipe I’ve found in a long time.

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Bonnie’s Miniature Strawberry Cheesecakes for Easter

I happened to mention to a friend that I was looking for recipes which use fresh Louisiana strawberries for my blog. She replied by saying that she has a great recipe which she makes every Easter using local strawberries. Bonnie shared her family tradition and recipe for “Miniature Strawberry Cheesecakes”. It’s a delightful recipe.  Surely everyone will love to eat it!

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Ramen Chinese Cabbage Salad

My winter garden is rapidly coming to an end as warmer weather and longer daylight hours of spring arrive. My Chinese cabbage grew very well this winter, I am pleased to say. I’m going to make one of my favorite salads — Ramen Chinese Cabbage Salad — with the last cuttings. This salad is easy to make and is very healthy, too. How nice to have a healthy vegetable which also tastes great. The salad has plenty of crunch which includes the “surprise” ingredient of dry ramen noodles.

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Homemade Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

I decided to make a batch of pickled jalapeno peppers with my remaining garden produce. I have just enough of the peppers for three small jars. And surprise. It is really quite easy to make your own pickled peppers. These brined peppers turned out to be crunchy and full of hot flavor — much better than store bought ones, in my opinion. Although they can be kept in the refrigerator for several months, I doubt if they will last that long.

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Garden-Fresh Cottage Cheese Salad

This summer, I’ve started on a mission to eat more fruits and vegetables each day. Here’s one way to meet that goal. This recipe features cottage cheese — which was a staple in our meals when I was growing up — and pairs it with fresh summer vegetables. I’d forgotten how tasty this combination was –cottage cheese and garden vegetables.  It is one way to meet my goal.

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Ripe Louisiana Tomatoes and Tuna Fish Salad

I like to support local farmers whenever possible and to purchase their produce. While driving through the countryside about an hour north of here last week, I saw a sign pointing to the Naquin Family Tomato Farm. Wow, I love garden-ripened tomatoes in the summertime. I took a quick detour and stopped in at the roadside packing building. I left with a large bag of vine ripened Celebrity tomatoes. Now to savor the tomatoes and make a few of my favorite dishes such as ripe tomatoes and Tuna Fish Salad.

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Easy and Elegant: Blueberry Dump Cake Dessert

I’m on a mission to cook recipes with the blueberries on my backyard bush. It has my creative ideas going. The berries don’t last long — it’s a huge crop (for me). Here’s a second easy and elegant dessert to make with the blueberries. It is so simple — it fools you. This is a “dump” cake recipe, meaning that you just dump the ingredients directly into the baking dish and mix– no mixing bowls clean up.

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Traditional Southern Fried Green Tomatoes

I’ve been told that it is it possible to grow tomatoes in the springtime in Louisiana and then to plant another crop in the fall. I love ripe tomatoes and two crops a year seems like a gardener’s dream. But being somewhat an unbeliever, I decided to prove this for myself in September by setting out a large number of tomatoes seedlings. The experiment turned out to be partially successful. Here is some of my autumn tomato crop. Continue reading

Let’s Cook Something New: Braised Red and White Russian Kale

Thought I’d try to plant something new in my autumn garden in September. Red and White Russian Kale are new to me and they are turning out to be star performers in my garden. This sent me scrambling to learn how to cook the kale. Looks like Braised Kale should be easy. Continue reading

Eclectic Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

The inspiration for “Thai Crunch Salad” is my backyard garden. I planted an autumn garden on the first of September. A month later, I am pleased and proud that the pak choi has grown prolifically with very little help from me. It is ready for harvest and I need recipes.

I remember eating a dish for “Thai Crunch Salad” with chicken and a peanut butter, cilantro and lime dressing at  California Pizza Kitchen. Although flavor combination was a bit unusual; the dish was outstanding. I’ve always wanted to try making it at home. Here’s my version. Continue reading