Fresh Tomato Pasta

Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce

Fresh Tomato Pasta - super easy, super fast, super fresh.

So they’re finally here. Tomatoes. First one, then three, now nine – all from our little garden. As you can see, they’re multiplying exponentially! But even if you don’t grow your own, you’ll find great tomatoes this time of year, and great tomatoes make the best Fresh Tomato Pasta.

Fresh Tomato Pasta

Fresh Tomato Pasta

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Lemony Chicken with Green Beans

Lemony Chicken with Green Beans - simple enough for every day; elegant enough for company! There are potatoes, too, making it a complete meal. Try it with artichokes in the spring!

A gorgeous dish, it really should have a fancy name…a little wine, lemon and a handful of sun-dried tomatoes spark up gorgeous green beans, chicken and a few potatoes. Fingerling potatoes or Yukons are perfect but a red potato makes a great budget stand in. And everything is napped with that bright sauce. Shhh…don’t tell anyone how simple this dish is and they’ll think you’re a genius.

Lemony Chicken with Green Beans

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Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagne - easy meal with all the taste of a real deal lasagne

I think cooks must be divided into two camps when it comes to Lasagna. Those that toss it together with no problem (and yeah, I’m jealous of them) and those that think, “Yeah, it’s great, but it’s a production and the mess!” That’s me. Love Lasagne – hate making it. Raise your hand if you’re with me, here!

Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna

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Balsamic Glazed Chicken & Tomatoes

Balsamic Glazed Chicken & Tomatoes

Balsamic Glazed Chicken & Tomatoes - so simple & so good. The big surprise? Those tomatoes steal the show.

As summer morphs into fall, it’s fun to make recipes that still take advantage of the abundance of tomatoes out there (yes, it’s me again – the tomato lady, lol!) but to give them a heartier twist. And when that twist includes easy boneless-chicken breast and a simple balsamic vinegar reduction? Well, count me in.

Balsamic Glazed Chicken & Tomatoes

Balsamic Glazed Chicken & Tomatoes

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Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Pina Coladas. They’re so good. Sweet, but good. What if you could make a fruit salad that had all the flavor (but none of the booze) of a Pina Colada? I’d drink to that. And the fruit in this salad, especially the bananas and pineapple, play so nicely with the lovely coconut flavors of the Pina Colada mix. Whoaa – mix? Yeah, mix.

Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Pina Colada Fruit Salad

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Quickie Tonkatsu Sauce

I love slightly sweet, slightly tangy Tonkatsu Sauce, but it can be a little hard to find, depending on where you live. Of course, there’s always Amazon, lol, but boy do I have to try to stay away from there if you know what I mean. My cupboards would be bursting, my bank account empty!

Tonkatsu Sauce

Tonkatsu Sauce

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Steak & Vegetable Ramen Bowl

Steak & Veggie Ramen Bowl

It's so easy to customize these Ramen bowls & use just what you like!

As some of you know, I’ve been “bunking” with my folks ever since they had some health issues last year; I’m in the middle of nowhere South Dakota (they moved here so it’s not even my home state) with Gibson, my labrador, Homer, my cat, a few clothes and a laptop. In a spruce green room…yikes! At least it has a big window…

Steak & Vegetable Ramen Bowl

Steak & Veggie Ramen Bowl

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Nam Prik Ong as featured by Ming Tsai, Diners Drive Ins DIves

Nam Prik Ong

Hot little dip for veggies & pork rinds. Incredible flavor!

Quite some time ago, I watched an episode of Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives, the Best of Las Vegas. Ming Tsai just couldn’t seem to get over Nam Prik Ong from the Lotus of Siam. And I couldn’t get over his ravings! Months later, I finally made it.

Nam Prik Ong as featured by Ming Tsai, Diners Drive Ins DIves

Nam Prik Ong

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Mom's Old-Fashioned Crab Dip

My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip

Such a classic, easy & quick and great for a party

Simple and good, just minutes to make, perhaps it’s nostalgia, but I love this old-fashioned crab dip. My Mom put this out for just about every holiday party I can remember and I often do the same. It seems sometimes party buffets are so full of hot, ooey, gooey appetizers and lackluster crudites – this little dip fills in the gaps beautifully. Cool, luscious and flavorful, rich without being over the top.

Mom's Old-Fashioned Crab Dip

Mom’s Old-Fashioned Crab Dip

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Cumin Dusted Pork Chops with Citrus Glaze

You can have a plain old pork chop any day of the week, but why, when in about 10 minutes you could pull of this gorgeous little dish and look like a hero? Napped in a garlicky, citrusy glaze tempered by the earthy cumin, the flavors just pop. This is so good, you’ll seriously want to lick your plate and so simple it will feel like a cheat.

Cumin Dusted Pork Chops with Citrus Glaze

Cumin Dusted Pork Chops with Citrus Glaze

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Hot & Sour Soup

The Best Hot & Sour Soup - customize it how you like it!!

Since my very first taste, too many years ago to admit, I’ve been wild about Hot & Sour Soup. I think I order it whenever it’s available on a menu and it’s always exciting for me to sit at the table of a new restaurant, just waiting for their Hot & Sour Soup (which is always my first course) wondering what theirs will be like.

Hot & Sour Soup

Hot & Sour Soup

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Pan Roasted Mushrooms & Onions

I often search out flavors and ingredients from across the globe – but sometimes I find the simplest, truest flavors are the most welcome. Savory onions, beautifully browned mushrooms, cooked simply in their own juices. A touch of butter and a sprinkle of salt is all that’s needed to make this dish shine.

Pan Roasted Mushrooms & Onions

Pan Roasted Mushrooms & Onions

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flourless chocolate cake gourmet november 1997

The Inner Sanctum Chocolate Cake

Inner Sanctum Flourless Chocolate cake - originally from 1997 Gourmet. It's a little homely but so good!!

I remember nothing else about the day – but this I do remember: I came home and the November 1997 issue of Gourmet was in the mail. I leafed through, as I often do, looking at the photos before a more (hopefully) thorough reading later on. I was instantly captivated by this humble little five ingredient cake. I made it that night, and many, many times since. Too many times to count. This is “our” cake.

flourless chocolate cake gourmet november 1997

Inner Sanctum Chocolate Cake – so ridiculously homely, so delicious!

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Cowboy Caviar Salad

I just recently learned the history of Cowboy Caviar – along with the original recipe. The earliest recipes were basically pickled black-eyed peas with a bit of onion and garlic! While we’ve come a long way since then with all kinds of additions, bottled salad dressing just isn’t one I approve of! But then you probably already knew that if you’re a regular reader! Simple dressings like this are so easy and inexpensive to make at home and there are no worries about strange additives.

Cowboy Caviar Salad

Cowboy Caviar Salad

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Classic Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

I was at a picnic not too long ago and someone had brought this old-fashioned salad along. You wouldn’t believe how fast it went. Sometimes these simple, old-fashioned recipes really hit the spot; they’re almost a welcome relief! Of course, I had to show it to my to my son and his girlfriend. It’s a great little recipe to have on a hot summer’s day for home or to bring somewhere.

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad

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Chicken & Fruit Salad with Raspberry Dressing

I’ve been making this Chicken & Fruit Salad for years, originally culled from Cooking Light. It’s just such a gorgeous salad, full of all kinds of great things and it’s all set off by a creamy raspberry dressing. It’s one of my favorite ways to make sure I get some fruit in my diet along with a few greens. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better.

Chicken & Fruit Salad

Chicken & Fruit Salad

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