Monthly Archives: January 2010


We had dinner with the Bourne clan last night and I was in charge of an appetizer and side dish. I made one of our favorites, BLT dip, as the appetizer. This dip is so incredibly good. Well, anything with bacon is good, but this is especially awesome. In fact, between 4 adults, we consumed pretty much the whole damn bowl of it. We all made big pigs of ourselves. 🙂 This is easy to make. The hardest part is frying all the bacon up but once you finish that, it is smooth sailing. This is a Paula Deen recipe, so you know it is great. I served ours with Stacey’s Sea Salt Pita Chips.  You could use light mayo, sour cream and turkey bacon, but seriously, it’s BLT Dip. Just eat the real thing.


Recipe courtesy Phyllis Curlee as adapted by Paula Deen


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 large vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 pound lean bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled-I used thick cut bacon and it was wonderful
  • Sea salt bagel chips-Stacey’s Pita Chips are far superior


1. Combine the mayonnaise and sour cream in a small bowl with a snap-on lid. When well mixed, refrigerate until serving time.

2. When ready to serve, place the mayonnaise mixture in a large serving bowl. Combine with half of the bacon.  Top with the lettuce, tomatoes and remaining  bacon. Serve pita chips.

The picture below is not an accurate representation of what happened last night. We did not put ours on a plate all pretty like this. We were shoveling this dip in like it was our last meal on earth. But, I still like this picture.


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Filed under Appetizer

Black Bean Quesadillas

Even though I love to cook, I am always in search of something quick and easy to make on those nights that I am tired, busy or just plain at the end of my rope. These quesadillas are perfect for those days. The filling is super easy to mix up and can be made in advance. I usually make the filling and grate the cheese at Lily’s nap time so everything is ready to go at dinnertime. I leave out the cilantro because it makes us want to gag, but feel free to add it if you have it on hand. These are also great because you can add chicken if you like, but this is really a great vegetarian meal if your family doesn’t mind going without the meat.

Black Bean Quesadillas

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14 ½ oz) can petite diced tomatoes

½ c. finely chopped onion

½ c. finely chopped red pepper

½ c. chopped cilantro-Ok, I know I hate cilantro, but good Lord this seems like a lot.

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne

½ tsp. black pepper


Cheese-We like to  use a combination of Pepper Jack and Cheddar

1. Mix beans, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and seasonings in a large bowl.

2. Heat griddle over medium heat. Place one tortilla on griddle and top with some of the bean mixture and some cheese. Put another tortilla on top and grill until both sides are lightly browned and crispy.

3. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole if desired.


Filed under Cheese, Spicy, Vegetarian

Sesame Noodles

I am always trying to think of something clever to say in these posts. But, honestly the only thing I can say about these noodles is DAMN!!!! Just DAMN! These are not just good, they are crazy good. And, the best thing is that they are extremely versatile. You can have them vegetarian like we did tonight or add grilled chicken for an even tastier treat. This recipe is pretty much mine. I combined about 4 different recipes to come up with this one. Sesame noodles are best served either cold or at room temperature so the veggies stay crisp.

Sesame Noodles

ÂĽ c. soy sauce

ÂĽ c. rice wine vinegar

6 TBS cold water

3 tsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger-I used more because we LOVE ginger

4 cloves garlic-You might want less

6 TBS smooth peanut butter-I used Trader Joe’s smooth peanut butter but I think next time I will use chunky

3 TBS Sesame Oil

1 tsp. hot chili oil

1 tsp. honey

2 tsp. Sriracha chili garlic sauce, or to taste

12 oz pasta cooked al dente-I used the Barilla Plus spaghetti

Cucumbers, red bell pepper, shredded carrots, green onions, snow peas, grilled chicken and sesame seeds.

  1. Place the soy sauce, vinegar, water, ginger and garlic in a blender or food processor.  Process on high speed until the ginger and garlic are smoothed into a liquid, about a minute.  Add the peanut butter and process one more minute.  Combine the oils and, with the processor running on low speed, drizzle them in through the feed tube. Add the honey and Sriracha sauce and process just a bit more.
  2. Place the cooked pasta in a bowl and toss well with 1 ½ cups of the sauce or as much as you would like.
  3. Add any of the veggies or grilled chicken that you would like. We used cucumbers, shredded carrots, green onions, red bell peppers and sesame seeds.

**You can make this ahead of time. Simply remove from the fridge an hour before serving. I also served this with extra Sriracha and soy sauce.


Filed under Pasta, Spicy, Veggie

Squash Casserole

Ok, here’s the deal. I am Southern. That doesn’t  just mean I live in the South. I mean I eat grits, say y’all and most definitely eat at Waffle House. One of the best things about us Southerners is that we can take a healthy vegetable, say like, squash and turn it into a completely unhealthy dish that is OH SO GOOD! We add things like cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and any other fattening thing you might come up with. But, the true hallmark of any good Southern casserole is that it has a topping of some sort like Ritz crackers or even potato chips. This is the food of my childhood and the food I run to when I need comfort. So, if you are not concerned about fat, sodium and the like, try some Squash casserole. You will be glad you did. This recipe is from Southern Living magazine.

Squash Casserole

3 pounds yellow squash, sliced
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese-I used about 1 1/2 cups of cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
20 round buttery crackers, crushed (about 3/4 cup)

Cook squash in boiling water to cover in a large skillet 8 to 10 minutes or just until tender. Drain well; gently press between paper towels.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Remove skillet from heat; stir in squash, cheese, and next 4 ingredients. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Stir together melted butter and crushed crackers; sprinkle evenly over top of casserole.

Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until set.

Note: To lighten, reduce butter to 3 tablespoons, using 2 tablespoons to sauté onion. Substitute 1/2 cup egg substitute for eggs and low-fat versions of mayonnaise, cheese, and crackers. Proceed as directed.

Yield:  Makes 8 servings


Filed under Casserole, Cheese, Veggie

Goat Cheese Marinara

Saturday Ren and I got a chance to go to the DeKalb Farmer’s Market by ourselves. We had a great time just looking around unencumbered by our whining, I mean,  delightful children. We didn’t eat lunch before we left, so by the time we got home we were starving. So, I made Goat Cheese Marinara for us to snack on before dinner. I am almost embarrassed to put this on the blog since it is so simple that Lily could probably make it. But, it is so yummy that I had to share.  There really isn’t a recipe, but here is the basics:

Goat Cheese Marinara

1 bottle of Marinara sauce-We like Whole Foods 365 Marinara or Trader Joe’s Marinara

1 log (8 oz) goat cheese

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

2.Put the marinara sauce in the bottom of a Pyrex dish. Slice the goat cheese into rounds and put on top of the marinara sauce.

3. Bake in the oven for about 30 mins or until the cheese is slightly browned.

4. Serve with slices of French bread. We also like to serve it with sea salt and hot pepper flakes.

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Filed under Appetizer, Cheese

Sloppy Joes

Ok, so I am a bit behind updating the blog. Things have been a bit crazy here. On Wednesday we had Sloppy Joes. Now, I know some of you are thinking, “How can someone who has a Greek Pita Pizza one night also eat something so lame as Sloppy Joes.?” Well, I’ll tell you. They are good. Plain and simple. And I eat things I like.  You might also be thinking, “Sloppy Joes are gross.” I thought so too because all I had ever had were Manwiches mix from a can. Those ARE puke. These are not. So, for those of you who want to try a good ole’ Sloppy Joe, here ya go. This recipe is from Cook’s Country.

Sloppy Joes

Be careful not to cook the meat beyond pink in step 1; if you let it brown at this point it will end up dry and crumbly. The meat will finish cooking once the liquid ingredients are added. Serve, piled high on a bun, with your favorite pickles.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion , chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 cloves garlic , minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef-This is essential to get lean ground beef. I used chuck and they were too greasy.
Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water-Just FYI, I have NEVER used the water.
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 hamburger buns

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and salt and stir until coated with oil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 10 minutes (if onion begins to burn after 5 minutes, reduce heat to low). Add garlic and chili powder and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until just pink, about 3 minutes.

2. Add 1/4 teaspoon pepper, brown sugar, tomato puree, ketchup, water, and hot sauce. Simmer until Sloppy Joe sauce is slightly thicker than ketchup, 8 to 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Spoon meat mixture onto hamburger buns and serve.


Filed under Sandwiches, Spicy

Fish Tacos

About 5 B.C, before children that is, Ren and I used to make the most awesome homemade fish tacos. We would fry up some tilapia with a homemade beer batter and put them in flour tortillas with my homemade chipotle sauce. Well, those days have flown out the window along with my sanity. We still have fish tacos, but we buy the Panko Breaded Tilapia from Costco. I will admit to being embarrassed by using store-bought fish, but honestly, I love this fish. It is really good. Plus, it made fish tacos move from something we only had very occasionally to a fabulous, quick weeknight meal. I am only going to post my recipe for the chipotle sauce. Feel free to use any fish your family likes. I always make a double batch and keep it in the fridge since it keeps so well. Incidentally, this sauce also tastes really great on Sweet Potato Fries. 🙂

Chipotle Sauce for Fish Tacos

1/3 cup sour cream

3 TBS mayonnaise

2 TBS freshly squeezed lime juice-Ok, I do cheat here. I use bottled, but it does taste better with fresh lime juice.

1 canned chipotle chile (I use 2 plus some of the adobo sauce)-We like our food super hot, so I used 4.

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp. chili powder

Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. The sauce will thicken as it stands and will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.


Filed under Fish, Spicy