Going For The Gold – A Winning Cherry Coca Cola Salad

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Cherry Coca Cola Salad
Cherry Coca Cola Salad

This morning, my friend Gaye gave me the gift of time.  Here is how it went down:

It is 5 AM and from an early morning sleepy fog,  I can hear my cell phone ringing in the other room. Once awake I jump up and run to silence the phone. It is my neighbor Gaye’s  daughter, Abigail.  Abigail and a friend are flying to California today and her sweet frantic voice says “Miss Catherine I’m so sorry to wake you up but we are on the way to the airport and I forgot my wallet. Can you go to my house and get it and meet us?”

Immediately I spring into action. I throw on some clothes, gently pull our bedroom door closed and head for my car.  On the way to their house, I call Abigail  and ask if the house is locked and if there are lights on.  I also need to know  where Abigail’s brother Nathan is in the house.  My mind and my heart are racing faster than handoffthe Olympians I saw  running a relay last night!

I sure don’t want to frighten Nathan and end up getting hit over the head with a baseball bat!  My imagination is running wild as I am set  for a relay this morning.  As it turns out there was no worry about Nathan. Nothing was going to wake him up on this early morning including many phone calls his sister had  made to the house.

As I maneuver my car  through the early morning darkness on the back country roads of Tennessee I feel alive and excited that I am a part of this relay team.  I reach over and feel the wallet on the front seat of the car.  Yes, I am prepared for the handoff.   But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Luscious Peach Pie

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Luscious Peach Pie
Luscious Peach Pie

I experience some real joys from living in the country.

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In the early morning, I can sit on my front porch in the solitude of nature. I enjoy the sights and sounds of the world coming awake, from the buzzing of the hummingbirds to the babbling of the nearby brook.  Often a momma deer and her newborn will come to the creek to drink or nibble on nearby foliage.

Truly, for me, the one downside is the limited quantity and quality of internet service in our area.  Our internet is supplied by satellite and I suppose that is better than none.  But when 10 family members converged on our homestead the first of the month our internet data allotment slipped away faster than ice cream melting on a hot Tennessee afternoon!  Our little 11-month old great-grandson Elijah was the only one who didn’t sport a data-devouring device!

Summer's Bounty
Summer’s Bounty

I share this information simply to say … I haven’t had enough data to blog and share some of our fun summer recipes! This morning I got up at ‘O dark hundred and beat back the data gremlins to write for a few minutes!

Alice's Peach Pie
Alice’s Peach Pie

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Baked Blueberry Cream French Toast

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Blueberry French Toast upclose

I have been MIA from my blog for almost a month!  Yikes!  I am so sorry.  But the good part for me is that this summer we have spent time with almost all of our children, grandchildren, and one great-grandson!  We have only missed seeing one granddaughter (miss you Abbey) and one darling little great-granddaughter, who we will see this fall.  This has been quite exciting for us because our kids and grandchildren live in Alabama, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada, and California.  Can you see how hard it is to see all of them each year?

This summer has been full of family and fun!  My blog has taken a backseat to all that excitement, but on the flip side – I have a stack of awesome new recipes to share! 🙂

I am starting with this one because hands down it is one of the best overnight french toast recipes I have ever made.  I adapted it from a recipe I found on Taste of Home.  I changed the bread, adjusted the cream cheese added some vanilla and voilà – here you have it!

Bread for french toast

One loaf of soft Italian or French bread works perfectly.

blueberry french toast panful

Fresh berries are in season in the USA and plentiful from our berry bushes, so I used fresh, but frozen will work also.
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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

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