Tag Archives: vegetarian

Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.   Ecclesiastes 3:1  (KJV)

Before you claim you don’t like sweet potatoes let me confess I use to despise anything that even looked like sweet potato.  Annually mom would open up the tin can of sweet potatoes, add in her magic ingredients, top with marshmallows and bake.  EVERYONE waited for the baked sweet potatoes to be set on the holiday table.  Everyone but me.  That was then, this is now.
My sous-chef dish-washing mom is the first to agree that starting with a fresh whole sweet potato is the only way to go. Recently we visited a sweet potato farm and bought several boxes full of sweet potatoes right out of the field!  We eat baked sweet potatoes nearly every week with the added benefit that they are actually quite healthy. When writing this blog post I went looking for the fried sweet potato recipe I shared with you earlier. Problem is … I got this photo ready and then didn’t share the recipe!
The fresh sweet potatoes are easy to bake (about an hour at 375 degrees F.) or equally delicious when fried.  I like to slice the potatoes 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick and slow fry them in a combination of butter and olive oil.  When the potatoes are nearly done I sprinkle a little brown sugar over them and give them a toss.  Another 5 minutes cooking and the brown sugar becomes caramelized. I serve them right out of the skillet and that way they stay warm done to the very last one. Betcha can’t eat just one!

VIEW AND PRINT from my Tasty Kitchen Recipe Box.

My love of sweet potatoes began in 2004 when I moved to Tennessee.  It seems that no matter where we eat, the true southern meal includes some version of Sweet Potato Casserole.  One bite of the baked whipped potatoes mixed with real butter and topped with brown sugar and pecans and I was all in!  No marshmallow top for me — give me the real stuff — butter – brown sugar — pecans oh yum!

My sister-in-law, Liz, stopped by this week and I was anxious to share some of our newly dug sweet potatoes.  She said her husband had recently been looking at a recipe combining sweet potatoes, apples and nuts.  We all thought that combination sounded great.  That very evening my sous-chef dish-washing and sometimes cook mom made up a big ‘ol pan a fried sweet potatoes to go along with our favorite meatloaf.  At this point I had visions of sweet potatoes and apples dancing in my head.  She made plenty of fried potatoes and so I took the leftovers and made this sweet potato and apple casserole. This casserole is a lighter version of my regular Sweet Potato Casserole.  Because my potatoes were already cooked  it was so fast and easy.  About 10 minutes from beginning to in-the-oven.  Thirty minutes later I delighted the Chief and Mom with flavors of fall. The flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter topping turned this side dish into an almost dessert … almost.
You can use any variety of apples, whatever you have on hand. I used 2 small Winesap and 1 1/2 Golden Delicious.  They were small apples, but oh so tasty!

View and PRINT recipe from my Tasty Kitchen Recipe Box.

Happy Cooking and Have a Blessed Weekend!
~ Catherine

Broccoli Straws and Cheese Quiche

Even though the daytime temperatures are still creeping into the low 80’s it is during the night these little mums are making their beauty known. As the night time temps dip to the 50’s it is a clear signal to the fall plants — time to bloom! They have patiently waited through the drought and high heat of the summer, through hurricane force torrential rains in August and now it is their turn to show off their splendor throughout the fall.

This is my favorite time of year. Cooler temperatures encourage me to spend more time baking. I love that. I will still have my portable fan going full blast in my kitchen but during the fall it is open windows that will bring the cool air in to the house.  Last week I shared with you my go-to homemade pie crust recipe.  Today I want to share one of my favorite pie fillings — eggs + cheeses = quiche!

After following food blogs for awhile now, one thing I notice is that most bloggers have a “favorite”  food or two that continually pops up in their recipes. Tracey’s Culinary Adventures posts dozens of pancake recipes while The Brown Eyed Baker — well, she bakes hundreds of yummy desserts! And me — while I try to share the best of what we are eating, I am finding quiche continues to show up on my radar.  I hope you don’t mind.

It isn’t that we eat quiche every week, but sometimes I like to make it for a breakfast, sometimes brunch, and sometimes even for supper. A variety of ingredients is what keeps me from getting bored with quiche.  Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Gruyere Quiche kind of speaks for itself filled with wonderful veggies and Gruyere cheese! Last Thanksgiving I posted one our favorites, Ham, Bacon, Egg and Cheese Quiche. The basics for quiche are a pie crust, 4 eggs, evaporated milk or Half n’ Half, and cheese. Beyond that, your favorite ingredients will turn the basic quiche into something outstanding!  Sometimes I use evaporated milk or if I have Half n’ Half on hand I will use that.  In a pinch I have used 2% milk but the quiche isn’t quite as rich tasting.

I buy packaged broccoli straw mix to add to spinach for yummy salads. It was with that plan in mind that I had the package of  the broccoli, carrots, and red cabbage in my crisper drawer.  For a light supper I decided to make a quiche with the package of “straws.”  I had in mind it would be colorful and I wasn’t disappointed.

I was off to a good start with a little butter in a saute’ pan. I added minced sweet onion, minced garlic and the broccoli straw mix. I cooked them until the veggies were all soft.  While they were cooking I sprinkled a bit of cornmeal in a pie plate. I placed a single pie crust in the plate and then crimped the edges.  A Pillsbury pre-made crust works fine or if you have time, making your own from my Flaky Pie Dough recipe will make an outstanding quiche.

The soft vegetables are spooned into the prepared pie crust then sprinkled with cheese.  I use a little pepperjack cheese along with cheddar whenever I can. The pepperjack adds a really nice kick to any quiche!  The eggs are beaten and mixed with the milk and salt and pepper. The mixture is poured over the vegetables and cheese and baked until the quiche is set in the middle.I would really love to know what your favorite quiche ingredients are.  Please leave a comment and share as I am always looking for another great quiche!

This recipe can be viewed and PRINTED from my Tasty Kitchen Recipe Box.

~Blessings, Catherine

Green Tomato Casserole

Just about the time I was discovering a great fondness for Fried Green Tomato Parmesan, Mary at Deep South Dish posted a fabulous looking recipe for Green Tomato Casserole. What interested me was the use of green tomatoes that aren’t fried.   When I made the Fried Green Tomato Parmesan, I didn’t think about using the green tomatoes without being battered and fried first.  I found Mary’s casserole very curious.  Since I still had a little bit of marinara sauce to use up,     this recipe varies slightly from Mary’s.  After layering green tomatoes, onions, crushed Ritz crackers and some cheese thrown in for good measure, she puts a crowning touch of butter! Without a doubt I would love to eat at Mary’s house!  When in doubt – add more butter!

I started with three really green tomatoes and one “not-yet-ripe” tomato that was slightly pink!

The tomatoes are seasoned well on each side. I used salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of sugar.  I topped each slice with a tablespoon of marinara sauce. 
The next step is critical to the over-all taste of the dish.  Sweet onions are sliced and placed all around.  You can dice the onions if you prefer, but we love sweet onions and prefer the larger slices.  I used my favorite Vidalia onions, but any sweet variety will do.   Hot pepper jack cheese is a perfect next layer.

After another layering of tomatoes, seasoning and marinara, the whole thing is covered with crushed Ritz crackers.  The Ritz add to the sweetness of the onions and makes for a beautiful paring.

A final sprinkling of cheese and this casserole is ready for the oven.  Even though there is a little bit of marinara the flavor is quite different from the Parmesan.  This casserole fed us two full meals. The second warm-up was tasty and equally delicious!
I like this casserole so much I confess I have made it twice for my family, once for neighbors and once to deliver to our family down the road!  You will probably be quite relieved to know I have no more green tomatoes.  But there is always next year :)

Click to PRINT the recipe from my Tasty Kitchen Recipe Box.

~Blessings, Catherine


Weekend RoundUP Happy Mother’s Day!

A few years ago my mom and I were working side by side, in the kitchen, when I was struck by the similarity of our hands.  I remember when I was younger (and my mom was about the age I am now) mom would take my hands and hold them saying, “mine were once pretty like yours.”  At the time I had “young hands”, free of sun spots, freckles, age spots and wrinkles!  Years of wear and tear have aged us, including our hands.  When I looked at our hands together, I just knew that was the picture I wanted to remember forever.  I asked my son Cory to take pictures and with enthusiasm and creativity, he did!  We are so blessed to still have my mom with us. At age 81 she is active and vibrant and a joy to be around.  From time to time I share a picture of her, usually in the kitchen.  Today I would like to share a part of us that has never been more alike … our hands.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!  I love you.

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother” Abraham Lincoln

Chicken Thai Salad

Walk Through The Bible In One Year
Week 15 reading plan per day

Click on the colored link to read each day’s scripture.
Monday 1 Kings 1-3, Tues 1 Kings 4-6,
Wed 1 Kings 7-8
, Thursday 1 Kings 9-11,
Friday 1 Kings 12-15,
Saturday 1 Kings 16-19,
Sunday 1 Kings 20-22
Blessings as you read!

Are you having a good week? I can’t believe we are already half-way through the week, not to mention that we are in mach speed through May!  I am still wielding a paint brush by day and doing a bit of bloggin’ by night :)  Lucky for me awesome recipes just keep falling into my hands.  Like today’s recipe for Thai Salad aka Thai Chicken Salad.  Last week was the last get together of our Community Bible Study for this semester.  We enjoyed time together with a huge brunch buffet with those attending bringing some of their favorite dishes to share.  One such dish was a Thai Chicken Salad.  I had no idea who made the salad but it is so good with a perfect Thai flavor.  I left my calling card at the empty salad bowl with a message asking — who made this delicious salad?

Before I left that day a gentlemen I did not know, came up to me holding my card in his hand.  Mr. Payne told me about how he had made this salad and then when he went home he even sent me an email with the recipe details!  Turns out this is the ideal recipe … for starters — very nutritious.  Secondly, quick and easy.  A bag of sliced cabbage, a bag of broccoli straws (LOVE ‘em!),  carrot sticks, honey-roasted sliced almonds, crispy rice noodles and the dressing.  How easy is this?

The dressing is really the perfect crowning touch. Kraft Light Asian Toasted Sesame dressing.  It seems so simple to be this good.  The second time I made this wonderful salad I shredded some leftover chicken and mixed it all together.  It was perfect.  I served it as a main dish salad.

Any sliced almonds will do, but Mr. Payne said he has tried several and Almond Accents, Honey Roasted variety are the best.  All summer long we eat salads every day.  I really look forward to making this salad again.  I am imaging it with some sliced green onions … maybe an egg roll on the side.  Yum!
Have a great rest of the week!  Many Blessings and Happy Cooking!

Thai Chicken Salad

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
This salad can be served as a vegetarian dish side dish or crank it up a notch by adding shredded chicken. Makes a perfect main dish meal!


  • 1 Package Shredded Cabbage
  • 1 Package Broccoli straws
  • 2 Cups Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Small Can of Crispy Rice Noodles
  • 1 Package Sliced Almonds (Almond Accents, Honey Roasted )
  • Light Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing


  • 1/2 cup Sliced Green Onions
  • 2 Cups Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded


1 Combine all ingredients except dressing and crispy noodles.
2 When ready to serve, mix well with Sesame Dressing, using as much needed to taste. Mix well, sprinkle with crispy noodles and serve.


(1) Shredded chicken cooked fresh or canned works fine.








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