Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My My My...Tomato Pie

My My My Tomato Pie


  • One pre-made 9-inch pie shell, baked as directed
  • 1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • sprinkle of grated Parmesan
  • half of an onion, sliced thinly
  • olive oil (or garlic infused olive oil)
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces Colby-Monterey blend, grated
  • 4 ounces yellow Cheddar, grated
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried Oregano




Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sautee onion in oil and set aside.

After pie crust is baked according to package, spread the inside of the pie crust with melted butter, mustard, and Parmesan. Layer the first half of tomatoes in the crust and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Top with the sauteed onions then top with half of cheeses. Repeat tomato and cheese layers. Sprinkle with Parmesan and Oregano.

Bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Good stuff!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chorizo Cheese Dip and Salsa

Invite these two spicy dishes to your next taco night! I did and they will be coming back on a regular basis. Both of these recipes make quite a bit so they are great for parties and get-togethers, too.  The cheese dip is a recipe that I came across from Taste of Home, one of my favorite magazines. If I make either of these at home for just family, there will be plenty left over so, I usually end up giving out a batch to a lucky friend or co-worker. My salsa recipe is one that I adapted from a very good friend of mine who made it for me several years ago when I was visiting her in Arizona and I've been hooked on it ever since.

Chorizo Cheese Dip
• 1/2 pound uncooked chorizo (I used a 10 oz. tube)
• 1 small green pepper, chopped
• 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 cartson (12 ounces each) white Mexican dipping cheese
• Tortilla chips 
(The chips were absent for picture day).
Crumble chorizo into a large skillet; cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until fully cooked. Drain. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, saute the peppers, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in cayenne and chorizo; heat through.

Heat cheese according to package directions; stir into meat mixture. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Nutritional Facts 1 serving (1/4 cup) equals 133 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 488 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 7 g protein.
Originally published as Chorizo Cheese Dip in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2006, p223

Homemade Salsa
• 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes
• 4 oz. can of green chilies
• 7 oz. can of salsa verde
• one bunch of green onions (sliced)
• 2-3 slices of jalapenos with a spoonful of juice from a jar (if you like it super hot, you can use 1 fresh jalapeno)
garlic salt (to taste)
• garlic powder (to taste)
• a handful of cilantro leaves

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until everything is blended together. Take a spoonful taste and adjust to your liking. Usually, this is where I add more jalapenos, cilantro, or garlic powder.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shrimp Crostini


If you are going to any gatherings or hosting your own party this upcoming holiday weekend you might want to make these scrumptious shrimp appetizers! They are crowd pleasers for sure! I'll probably be making these delicious little morsels a lot over the summer. And trust me, if you make these they will all get snatched up and you will get lots of compliments and be asked to make them again!

Shrimp Crostini 

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

1 (1-pound) loaf ciabatta bread, trimmed and cut into 14 (1/2-inch thick) slices
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 garlic clove, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped parsley*
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro*
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

  1. For the toasts: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes. Rub the warm toasts with the cut side of the garlic. Set aside.
  3. For the topping: In a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 2 minutes.
  4. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste, and add them to the skillet. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  5. In the same skillet, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the tomatoes start to soften, about 4 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the stock and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tarragon, arugula, mascarpone cheese, and chopped shrimp. Stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  9. Arrange the toasts on serving plates and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.
Serves 6.
* The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves and 1 packed cup arugula, chopped.  But since, I am not a fan of either, I substituted with parsley and cilantro and it was perfect!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hip Girls Have Tea Parties

I have friends that are just plain fun to be around! Not too long ago, one of these girlfriends of mine, Tracie, decided to host a tea party! We had a lot of laughs! We kidded ourselves that tea parties are for women much older than ourselves. But we mixed it up fresh with great food and decor...and of course US!

We did however, use some antique glass plates to dine with. They were pretty darn cool, they were rectangle, crystal plates and were sectioned off to separate your food. But, the funny part about them, there was an indention to hold a cigarette! We of course had to use that special cigarette holder in our modern day hip way. Check out the delicious recipes below from Tracie along with some photos!

Tea is liquid wisdom. ~Anonymous

Springtime Asparagus Quiche

1 prepared 9” pie crust

1 lb of asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces but keep a few whole

3 eggs

1 ½ C half and half (do not use ultra-pasteurized)

1 t kosher salt

Freshly grated nutmeg, about ¼ teaspoon

1 C shredded Gruyere/Swiss blend (Trader Joe’s)

Crushed red pepper to taste

Prick the crust with a fork and at 425 degrees for about 8 minutes. (Place an aluminum pie pan inside the crust to keep it from shrinking or use pie crust weights.)

Roast the asparagus with a little bit of olive oil at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes. Shake the pan about half way through. Plunge the roasted asparagus into ice water.

Place the grated cheese on the pie crust. Drain and dry the asparagus with a clean towel. Sprinkle evenly over the cheese. Whisk the eggs with the half and half. Add the salt, nutmeg and crushed red pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese and asparagus. Top with a handful of extra cheese, if desired and arrange the whole spears on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until set covering the edge about half way through. Serves 8.

Buttermilk Herb Potatoes

Herb Mix:

1 T dried, minced onions

¼ t dried basil

¼ t dried thyme

¼ t garlic powder

1 T dried parsley

½ t black pepper

1 t kosher salt

¾ C buttermilk powder (found in the baking aisle)

Potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½” dice—one medium potato per person

Vegetable oil

Combine the herb mix ingredients. Toss 1 t of the herb mix with each diced potato. Heat 1-2 T vegetable oil in a heavy skillet. Add the potatoes and toss to coat with oil. Cook, covered over low to medium heat about 20 minutes. Stir frequently. Store the remaining herb mix in a Ziploc bag for up to 2 weeks.

Adapted from Rise & Dine by March Claman

Sangria at a tea party? You betcha!

Hudson Cream Pie Crust This is the pie crust for Tracie's quiche.

Hudson Cream Flour is a local product. The mill is in Hudson, Kansas, a very small town. I try to support local products, so Hudson Cream is my flour of choice.

1 C Hudson Cream Short Patent Flour

½ t kosher salt

6 T butter-flavored Crisco, chilled

2 ½ to 3 T ice water

Fluff up the flour with a wire whisk before measuring, use the spoon and level method. Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl with the whisk. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add 2 ½ T of ice water and work the dough into a ball. Add a few sprinkles of ice water, as needed, until the dough comes together.

Form the dough into a ball and place on a large piece of plastic wrap. Press it into a disk and wrap the plastic wrap around the disk. Refrigerate the dough for about 5 minutes, then roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap or a floured surface.

Strawberry and Rosemary Scones
recipe was from Giada De Larentiis’ Food Network site. Tracie "I think they would be good, substituting lemon zest for the rosemary, if you are not into the sweet and savory thing. I would also cut the Glaze recipe in half, I had a lot left over."

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Little Dessert

I am very pleased to turn my Dish Diary spotlight on a little dessert!

Actually..."A Little Dessert" is a not-so-little but oh-so-sweet endeavor whipped up by a mother-daughter team...and with those two ingredients what's not to love! Janis Spidle and her daughter Kait have combined their culinary, business, and artistic talents to create a dessert catering business.  They specialize in baking and displaying dessert tables for small events in the Kansas City area.

Janis learned to bake by watching her mother (now 80 years old and still working her magic in the kitchen) she always encouraged her to do her own own thing, a tradition that Janis has passed on to Kait. As a child,  Janis would give her extra dough to make her own cookies and frosting in decorating bags so she could create her own designs.

This inherited love of baking has deemed Kait the "Cheesecake Queen" - her mom admits that her daughter makes a better cheesecake than she ever could - Kait is also putting together a fantastic lineup of individual parfaits, some of which will have a coffee house theme.  

Janis handles fruit and cream tarts, mousse-filled chocolate cups and a whole host of other items. And she has recently become very excited about recipes for scratch cakes, the kind our grandmothers used to make and she is on the hunt for family recipes.  (If anyone has a tried-and-true recipe that they'd like to share with them, that would be most welcomed).

A Little Dessert was created to expand both mom and daughter's horizons as bakers but not limit themselves to one item like cakes or cookies.  They do everything from scratch and do not cut corners. However, they also help their clients do things on a budget.

You name it, A Little Dessert can do it!  Their goal is to put a little passion on everyone's plate! 

Here are a few of their more popular and eye-catching yummies:

- Chocolate Mousse Cups
- Cherry Pear Tarts
- Cheesecake Bites
- Two-Tiered Cakes
- Frosted Sugar Cookies
- Cupcakes galore

Please consider my friendly dynamic duo for your next event and "like" them on FB!  A Little Dessert.  You can contact Janis directly at 816-654-3051.

"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." - Ernestine Ulmer

Monday, March 19, 2012

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers from www.realsimple.com

I used a little over a pound of ground beef, and only a 1/2 cup of the corn, and I also had a little bit of shredded Pepper Jack cheese to  in add for some kick!  Oh...and I also added some freshly chopped cilantro and parsley to the mix.  The yogurt drizzle to top it off...yummy!!!  It gives it a special creaminess that you usually don't get with stuffed bell peppers!   With my changes, this made 6 deliciously stuffed babies!  


Southwestern Stuffed Peppers



  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites and beef and cook, breaking the beef up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the corn, chilies, cumin, cooked rice, ½ cup of the Monterey Jack, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  3. Arrange the bell peppers, cut-side up, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or pan. Divide the beef mixture among the bell peppers, add ½ cup water to the dish, tightly cover the dish with foil, and bake until the bell peppers are soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of Monterey Jack, and bake until browned, 5 to 7 minutes more.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and ¼ cup water. Drizzle over the bell peppers and top with the salsa and scallion greens.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crunchy Avocado Salad

Bobby Flay's Crunchy Avocado Salad

I do a couple of things different from Bobby Flay's recipe.  I add cilantro along with parsley, and I use black olives, and as far as the champagne vinegar goes, I use whatever flavor of vinegar I happen to have (raspberry vinegar is pretty yummy in it).  And last time I made this I used taco flavor chips.  However you make it, I think the cumin in the dressing is a key ingredient.  

A lot of times, I make this ahead of time and then just add the avocados and chips right before dinner.

Try it soon!  You will be so glad that you did!


Crunchy Avocado Salad


  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup pitted nicoise olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed and drained again
  • 2 tablespoons roughly torn flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces blue corn tortilla chips


Gently toss the avocados, tomatoes, olives, chickpeas, parsley, vinegar, olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Crumble the chips over the top and serve.

Grilled Mozzarella Cheese Sandwich w/pesto & tomato

Grilled Mozzarella Cheese Sandwich with pesto and tomato  

Since I started making grilled cheese this way, I haven't gone back to the same old grilled cheese. It's simple and fast and good!

Grilled Mozzarella Cheese Sandwich with pesto and tomato


Olive oil
Butter (or soft margarine)
Sourdough bread (sliced)
Basil pesto (I used store-bought in a jar)
Mozzarella cheese ball (thinly sliced)
Tomatoes (thinly sliced)


In a medium skillet heat up about 1 tablespoon of oil mixed with a little bit of butter on medium high heat.

For each sandwich that you make, butter one side of  two slices of bread with butter or margarine and on the opposite side of bread spread a generous amount of pesto.  When skillet is hot, place one slice of bread butter side down.  Place 2-3 slices of mozzarella on top of the pesto side, then add 1-2 slices of tomatoes.  Place the second slice of bread pesto side down.  Cook bottom of sandwich until the bread is golden brown and then flip to brown the other side.  Yumyum!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Berries with Champagne Cream

Remember the anticipation of Valentine's Day parties in elementary school?  I loved taking a cardboard tissue box and turning it into a beautifully decorated box soon to be filled with fun cards from my classmates!  What I wouldn't give to see some of those cards now!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Berries with Champagne Cream (from Taste of Home)

  • Ingredients

    • 8 egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup Champagne
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
    • 1 pint fresh raspberries
    • 1 pint fresh strawberries

    • In a heavy saucepan, beat egg yolks and sugar with a portable mixer until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in Champagne. Place the saucepan over low heat. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating over low heat until mixture reaches 160°, about 5-6 minutes.
    • Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Press plastic wrap onto surface of custard. Refrigerate until chilled.

    • Fold in whipped cream. Spoon three-quarters of the Champagne cream into stemmed glasses. Top with berries. Spoon remaining Champagne cream over berries. Yield: 6 servings.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    My 11

    Hi everyone!  I was tagged by Beth at Kitchen Minions to take part in this question list. It is a fun way to get to know other bloggers and to do something a little different from the same old routine.

    Ok so let's get to it! It has RULES and everything! I also need to TAG a few peeps...so make sure you scroll down to see if you are "IT".

    The rules: 
    1. Post these rules.
    2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
    3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
    4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
    5. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them.
    6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.
    So here we go ....

    Lisa's Random 11:

    1. I'm the oldest of 4 kids, I have two sisters and a brother.  We all have a goofy sense of humor, nothing sophisticated about any of us.
    2. I cringe whenever I am the center of attention.
    3. I'm a Food Network addict.
    4.  My first memory was my dad taking me and my sister to the hospital to see my new baby brother.
    5.  I had surgery and physical therapy on my knuckle - the old "cheese grater kitchen wound story".  Everyone has one don't they?  No?
    6.  In second grade, I decided I was going to be an artist when I grew up.
    7.  I have parachuted off the wing of an airplane!
    8.  I believe in angels.
    9.  Lavendar is my favorite color.
    10.  I've lost count of how many times I've seen Aerosmith live in concert.
    11.  I have had "Red Solo Cup" stuck in my head since new year's eve...please help!  How do you get rid of a song that your brain won't let go of?

    My answers to Beth's questions:
    1. What do you drink in the morning? Coffee? Tea? Smoothie? Something else? Chocolate milk
    2. What do you listen to in the car? Talk Radio, Comedy 24/7
    3. Beach or Mountains? Mountains
    4. What is your funniest high school/college memory? Picture of graduation class standing outside of school.  We thought we were cool.
    5. What was the last book that you read? Plate to Pixel - Helene DuJardin
    6. What’s your favorite comfort food Shepherd's Pie
    7. Why did you start your blog? Inspiration from other bloggers (uhmmm..."Namely Marly") at a  food photography workshop given by Helene DuJardin
    8. What magazines do you read regularly? Food Network, Everyday Food, Cuisine at Home (you get the picture)
    9. What is your favorite type of wall decoration? Earth tones - landscapes and floral
    10. What’s your favorite color? Lavendar
    11.What do you like most about where you live? You get all four seasons in the Midwest.

    My Tagees:

    1. Johnna at 52 Sweets
    2. Ali at Give Me Some Oven
    3.Audrey at Muffys123
    4. Marly at Namely Marly
    5. Bev at BevCooks
    6. Melissa at MelliBakes
    7. Jenny at JDs Journey
    8. Alison at This Homemade Life
    9. Kathy at Plugged in to Cooking
    10. Roxanne at Plugged in to Cooking
    11. Turns out I only know a total of 11 bloggers and I can't send this back to Beth. :)


    Questions for the tagees:

    1. What is your favorite movie of all time?
    2. What is your "go to" herb you use to cook with?
    3. Is there a method to your madness when writing posts for your blog?
    4. What is your first vivid memory as a child?
    5. Have you ever written or plan to write a book (cookbook)?
    6. I don't really have a bucket list, do you?  If so, what is at the top?
    7. Do you have a most requested signature dish that you make?
    8. Where are you in birth order? (first born, middle child, baby of the fam, only child)
    9. Do you have any old handwritten recipes handed down to you?  If so, what recipe comes to mind?
    10. What is the biggest or most special event that you have hosted?
    11. What was your inspiration to start a blog?

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Crab Cup Appetizers

    I made these little nummies for tomorrow, Super Bowl Sunday so we'll have something to snack on while watching the commercials.  The advertisement that I am most looking forward to is the Honda spot with Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller.  I never get tired of watching that movie...it seriously never gets old for me (I don't think Matthew does either). " Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 


    Crab Cup Appetizers


    3 T. mayonnaise
    1/4 cup softened cream cheese (or feta cheese)
    1/4 cup red bell pepper (chopped)
    1/4 cup carrot (shredded)
    2 T. green onions (chopped)
    1 1/2 - 2 cups cleaned lump crab (fresh or canned), diced
    1 t. Creole (or Cajun) seasoning
    1 t. garlic powder
    2 T. grated parmesan cheese
    1 t. Tabasco sauce
    salt and pepper to taste
    2-3 boxes of pre-made phyllo cups

    In medium bowl, combine mayo, cream cheese, pepper, carrot, and onions.  Fold in crab meat.  Season with Creole seasoning, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, hot sauce, salt and pepper. (This can be made ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate when ready to bake).  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill cups with crab mixture.  Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

    Yield: 30 cups