Fried Green Tomatoes

I wanna say just about everyone has seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, if you haven’t I recommend it. It’s a movie that inspired strength, while also making you laugh and cry. 

We had seen this movie so much on the tv the last few days we started craving fried green tomatoes. I search and searched for the right recipe one that was easy and would do it justice. We had been in the grocery store when we found this recipe in a magazine on the check out stand. 

4 green tomatoes, sliced to about 1/4 inch thick. 
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup plain cornmeal 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1 cup of buttermilk 
1 large egg


Place each slice on a drying rack pat with a paper towel and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. The salt will help absorb a lot of the liquid 

I let mine sit for about 45 minutes give or take. Preheat a skillet or fry pan on a medium high heat. Once heated place the oil in the pan. Place your first tomato in the flour mixture turning and shaking off the excess. Move to the buttermilk/ egg mixture and then the cornmeal. Suggest using 2 forks. 

Now place in the skillet, cook 3 minutes each side. 

Once they are golden brown each side place on a paper towel lined plate. Continue with the rest. 

For dipping you can use ranch, i decided to pair mine with “Sweet Baby Ray’s “ Secret Zesty Sauce. 

Pan Burritos


(Photo by Taste of Home)

My family loves Mexican food. This is another great “Make and Take” recipe and another kid approved recipe.


  • 2 packages (1-1/2 ounces each) enchilada sauce mix
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 9 large flour tortillas (9-inch)
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans, warmed
  • Taco sauce, sour cream, chili peppers, chopped onion and/orguacamole, optional 



In a saucepan, combine the first six ingredients; simmer for 15-20 minutes. In a skillet, brown the beef. Drain; stir in one third of the sauce. Spread another third on the bottom of a greased 13×9-in. baking pan. Place three tortillas over sauce, tearing to fit bottom of pan. Spoon half of the meat mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with 1-1/2 cups cheese. Add three more tortillas. Spread refried beans over tortillas; top with remaining meat. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 cups of cheese. Layer remaining tortillas; top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with taco sauce, sour cream, chili peppers, chopped onion, and/or guacamole if desired.



**** Note if you cannot find enchilada seasoning like I couldn’t use 1 28 0z and 1 16 oz can of already made enchilada sauce. If you use this you can leave out the first 5 ingredients.

Chicken and Okra Gumbo


(Photo by Taste of Home)

If you have never been to New Orleans, you defiantly should. For those who don’t know New Orleans is a fusion of French, Creole and Cajun backgrounds. Several of my family members are from New Orleans area, I credit my cousin for the introduction to several New Orleans classic dishes. She never made this version of Gumbo, but her File’ Gumbo and Red Beans and rice were always my favorites.

I made this recipe for the first time last week, I was so proud of it I took it to work to show a co-worker who was a New Orleans native. He teased me a few weeks back about making Jambalaya in the crock pot.

My family consisting of 2 picky children loved it. My youngest I was surprised ate all of it.


  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (2-1/2 to 3 pounds), cut up *** I used 2 1/2 pounds of chicken breast***
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or bacon drippings
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, drained *** Diced**
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce *** I let everyone add their own***
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • Minced fresh parsley
  • Hot cooked rice


Cut you chicken into pieces


I seasoned my chicken with my creole season. I put this stuff on a lot of things.

Boil you chicken in 4 cups/ 2 qts of water for 45 minutes in  large pot covered. Once it is tender pull the chicken out and place in a separate down and place the broth in another.

In the same pot combine bacon drippings or oil, whisk till it is smooth. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir about 5 minutes more or until mixture is reddish-brown (the color of a penny). Turn the heat to high. Stir in 2 cups reserved broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the onions, celery, green pepper and garlic; cook and stir for 5 minutes.


Add the tomatoes, okra, bay leaves, basil, salt, pepper and pepper sauce. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Discard bay leaves. Garnish with green onions and parsley. Add the chicken the last 3 minutes so the chicken does not dry out .Serve with rice.




I was able to freeze the reminder of the broth and also freeze the left over gumbo for later. You can make this in a crock pot just make you roux before placing in the crock pot.

Baked Ham and Colby Sandwiches


(Photo curtesy of Taste of Home)

I seriously  eat these morning, noon and night. When I first made these I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. These have now become a quick fix dinner favorite when I am rushed from time after getting home from work.  These sandwiches can easily make good fixes for kids lunches through out the week or a nice cold picnic item.


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 hamburger buns, split
  • 8 slices Colby cheese
  • 16 thin slices deli ham (about 1 pound)
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Pre heat the oven to 350

In a small bowl combined the first 5 ingredients mix until blended together.

Now if you like me and tend to deviate from a recipe I used Hawaiian sweet rolls. I think the flavor in these rolls brings something out that just plain bread doesn’t.

What you will want to do is cut your rolls in half. I left all of mine together just separating the top and bottom. Place the bottom half in a baking dish big enough to hold them. With a basting brush, brush half of the butter mixture on the bottom half of the rolls.

Time to layer, start with you Colby cheese layer one slice, after you have layered with cheese add the ham I did three slices of ham each across the attached rolls. Finally sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the ham and replace the top half of the rolls. Brush the butter mixture on top of the rolls and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes enough to melt the mozzarella cheese.


I paired mine with my Paprika Parmesan fries

Note: I used honey ham, I loved the flavor of the honey ham vs the deli ham. I used 3 teaspoons of sugar, spicy brown mustard. Since poppy seeds where hard to come by I used minced garlic instead, also forgot the minced onion at the store and used onion powder. I tops with parsley .



Chicken Parmesan Sliders


(Photo curtesy of Taste of Home)

I love chicken parmesan, it’s one of my favorite dishes to make. This recipe combines it into a fun kid friendly appetizer or entree, that will surly make your friends wanting more or the recipe.


  • 24 ounces frozen breaded chicken tenders
  • 1 package (18 ounces) Hawaiian sweet rolls 
  • 1 package (7-1/2 ounces) sliced provolone and mozzarella cheese blend
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare chicken tenders according to package directions. Meanwhile, without separating rolls, cut horizontally in half; arrange roll bottoms in a greased 13×9-in. baking dish. Spread half of cheese slices over roll bottoms. Bake until cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes.Layer rolls with half of sauce, chicken tenders, remaining sauce and remaining cheese slices. Replace top halves of rolls. For topping, microwave butter, garlic powder and red pepper flakes, covered, on high, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Pour over rolls; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown and heated through, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

Note: the 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper can be a bit much for younger kids, either use a 1/4 or 1/2  a teaspoon. Also suggest last 10 minutes cover with foil.

Make and Take

With the 4th of July approaching planning for dinner this week was a bit crazy, lets face it the whole week was crazy for me. My two loving kittens Remi and Harley have been busy at work teething including using my Macbook’s power cord as a chew toy. Thankfully I didn’t have to spend $80 for a new Apple branded cord.

So this week I wanted to make dinner simple and stress free.

Friday my boss wanted to do “Backyard BBQ” themed potluck, I made ribs early in the morning and kept them warm in a crockpot. I also made something my mom had been making for years and one of my favorite pasta salads.

pasta salad

Friday night I made Chicken Parmesan Sliders.


I think what tops the cake is what I made last night, it was the best Make and Take.

Baked Ham and Colby Jack Sandwiches



Soy- Ginger Pot Roast

( courtesy of Taste of Home) 

My family loves pot roast especially when it’s not your traditional pot roast. This recipe definitely takes you down a different avenue. 

1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 to 4 pounds)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

1-1/2 cups water

1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 large onion, halved and sliced

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold water

Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown roast on all sides. Transfer meat to a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix water, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, garlic, ginger and mustard; pour over meat. Top with onion. Cook, covered, on low 7-9 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove roast and onion to a serving platter; keep warm. Transfer cooking juices to a large saucepan; skim fat. Bring cooking juices to a boil. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into cooking juices. Return to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with roast.
I chose to serve with rice and fresh carrots from the Farmer’s market. Recipe for Glazed Spiced Carrots also to be featured. 

Created by: Lisa Varner

Glazed Spiced Carrots

(Courtesy of Taste of Home) 


2 pounds small carrots

1/2 cup peach preserves

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

Toasted chopped pecans, optional

Place carrots in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Combine the preserves, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into preserve mixture. Pour over carrots.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender. Stir carrots; sprinkle with pecans if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Editor’s Note: To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Carribean Spiced Pork Tenderloin with spicy peach salsa

(Photo courtesy of Taste of Homes)

To continue on our adventure with farm fresh ingredients. I found yet another recipe to rave about. Just the salsa allow in mouth watering. 

* 3/4 cup chopped peeled fresh peaches

* 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped

* 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

* 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

* 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

* 1 tablespoon lime juice

* 1 garlic clove, minced

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* 1/8 teaspoon pepper

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 1 tablespoon brown sugar

* 1 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning

* 1 teaspoon dried thyme

* 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

* 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

* 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound)

In a small bowl, combine the first nine ingredients; set aside. 

In another small bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, jerk seasoning, thyme, rosemary and seasoned salt. Rub over pork.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 9-11 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with salsa. Yield: 4 servings (1-1/3 cups salsa).

Served with roasted red potatoes seasoned in italian and creole seasoning. 
Created by: Holly Bauer

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