Cucumber & Tomato Salad

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Plate Empanada and cuc tom salad
Empanadas de Picadillo with Tomato-Cucumber Salad and Lime Creme’ Fraiche

In the spring I visited my son Cory, and he introduced me to Blue Apron meal delivery service.  The Sumac-Spiced Salmon he made for us was outstanding.  Recently he sent me an invitation to try Blue Apron and they sent me one free delivery of 3 meals for 2 people.  One of the meals was for Empanadas de Picadillo with Tomato-Cucumber Salad and Lime Creme’ Fraiche.

Cucumber Tomato Salad
Cucumber Tomato Salad

Please forgive me for posting another salad recipe  on the heels of this Family Favorite Fresh Vegetable Salad!  But it is garden season in the USA and the vegetable stands and farmer’s markets are brimming with fresh vegetables like juicy wonderful tomatoes and sweet tasty cucumbers.

This may be a no-brainer salad for you but for me it shocked my shoes off!  I have never made a vegetable salad that is dressed with only a little olive oil, salt, and pepper!  Yep, that’s right – never.  In my mind, the vegetables need a little help dressing – like a bottle of salad dressing, a creamy homemade dressing, or something more than olive oil, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice

Cucumber and Tomato salad plated

But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Sticky Biscuits

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Sticky Biscuits
Sticky Biscuits

Here is the problem … these pictures don’t do these sticky biscuits justice. I have tried on several occasions to take just the right picture to make you want to pluck the biscuit right off the page and gobble it up. Well, let me back up ….

Beersheba Vesper Point Cross

Last spring I was at a Community Bible Study leadership retreat at a beautiful conference center in middle Tennessee called Beersheba Springs Assembly.   Besides the stunning site of serene beauty and peace, the kitchen staff is really friendly and prepares delicious  and nutritious meals for the guests.

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Sticky Biscuits layering

As I approached the breakfast bar one morning my eye caught a huge tray that looked like cinnamon rolls or some kind of gooey delight.  As I soon discovered Sticky Biscuits are a morning staple at Beersheba and the cook was more than willing to give me the recipe. In fact, when I approached the kitchen window to ask about the gooey, sweet, yummy biscuits, the cook smiled, moved to a drawer where she extracted the recipe and handed it to me.  She keeps multiple copies on hand because I wasn’t the first or the last to ask for the recipe! But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Family Favorite Fresh Veggie Salad

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Family Favorite Fresh Veggie Salad

When our entire family meets every two years for a week of family reunion fun, we all take turns cooking.  Each family is responsible for one meal.  Lunch is usually prepared by one family and dinner is prepared by two families that team up for lots of kitchen fun and exceptional food!

Ryan Paulsen
Ryan Paulsen

This salad was new to me and a big hit with the family.  Ryan and his friend Nick made this fresh vegetable mixture from a recipe that belonged to Nick’s mom.  You may have made it for years, but I have not and the flavors, crispness, and texture took me by surprise.

Ryan says that you can get creative with adding chopped black olives, sunflower seeds, or maybe a favorite ingredient of yours!

Ryan's veggie salad

Ryan and Nick made one big pot full with red onions and one without.  I definitely prefer the one with red onions, but both were gone when the evening was over, suggesting there are others who prefer it without onions.

Nick, Cory, and Ryan

Nick (left), my oldest son Cory (middle) and my nephew Ryan (right) are no doubt, talking food …. or maybe not!  They could be talking about running, biking, hiking, diving, or just about a million other topics all the cousins enjoyed chatting about during the reunion.

Lord-Family-Joy
Let your creativity reign as you make this fresh summer salad!  And the best part – these vegetables can be found at your local farmer’s market for out-of-the-garden freshness!

Happy Summering!
~Catherine

Our Family

Family Favorite Fresh Veggie Salad
 
Fresh ingredients right out of the garden make this a keeper recipe for any summer meal!
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small bottle zesty Italian salad dressing
Instructions
  1. Wash vegetables and cut into small chunks. Pour a small bottle of zesty Italian dressing over the vegetables and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
Notes
Can add black olives, sunflower seeds, raisins, craisins, cooked crisp bacon, or a favorite ingredient of yours!

Double the salad and use a larger bottle of salad dressing. But beware, the veggies do not need to be drowning in dressing, less is more in this case!

 

If You Can Keep It, by Eric Metaxas – Listen Up!

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Happy-4th-of-July-Independence-Day-300x169Hello friends!  Can you believe it is July?  My head is still stuck in April and I honestly can’t believe May and June have flown by.  It was my intention to give you a super new recipe for the 4th of July but I changed my mind yesterday.  (For my readers from around the world, you may not be doing any celebrating this weekend, but in the USA we are celebrating Independence Day!  Independence Day, or more commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.)

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yesterday I spent a good bit of time in the kitchen.  My good friend and neighbor Kathy is moving (boo-hoo) and I wanted to feed lunch to her moving crew.  Hearty ham, turkey, and cheese sandwiches were in order for the hungry bunch but I wanted to add a touch of homemade. I did this with a batch of fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip bars (recipe coming) and  our favorite Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting!

slice banana bread upclose

I didn’t use up all my old bananas with the Banana Bars and so I added two loaves of Brown Sugar Banana Bread to the morning activities! (If you’ve never used this recipe for banana bread – you must! It is wonderful.)

KC Bread

Now you are going to really understand what happens in my kitchen sometimes, when I tell you today was my turn to bring 5 loaves of fresh bread for visitors to our church — and so I had my kitchen work cut out for me!

I have several pastors that I listen to regularly, and so it has long been my habit to play their current online sermons or recordings when working in the kitchen.  A friend had told me that Eric Metaxas spoke at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on Father’s Day weekend.  I generally listen to the sermons from WOC and so I eagerly went searching to see if his recording was there.
It was!

Eric Metaxas  is an American author, speaker, and radio host. He is Eric Metaxasbest known for two biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   My husband, sous-chef dish-washing mom and I met him when he was in middle Tennessee after writing Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  (Which is excellent, highly recommended reading!)

I tell you all this to say when I listened to his presentation about his recently released book If You Can Keep It – The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, I couldn’t help to think what a timely and appropriate message for our Independence Day weekend!

Click HERE —  I have attached the link so you can listen also!  I promise it is worth the time! But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

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