Fried Green Tomatoes

My tomato plant on my patio is getting big and I have a feeling we’re going to be enjoying these some time soon. I lived in the South for a total of about 10 years before I ever had an opportunity to try this authentic Southern original. Simple fare, but a tasty way to use up some of those extra tomatoes.

4-6 medium to large green tomatoes


salt and pepper

bacon grease

Heat bacon grease (or vegetable or canola oil if you are a killjoy) in a skillet over medium heat. Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Salt and pepper the slices to taste. Dredge in the cornmeal and fry in the hot grease for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on bottom. Gently flip the tomato slices and continue cooking on the flip side for another couple of minutes. Serve hot!

Breakfast Shake

Two of my three kids are not breakfast eaters. I am one of those die hard "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" people.
Here is what I came up with in my desperation;

2-3 TBSP of whole flax seed

I use my magic bullet and the flat grinding blade to grind that down.

1 banana
1 cup vanilla yogurt
2 TBSP peanut butter
4 TBSP chocolate milk mix
2 TBSP cocoa
2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves (They drank these for 2 weeks without even knowing the spinach was in there!)
2 cups of skim or 1% milk

I blend that up until it is smooth and split it between my three kids. The kids love it and drink it down pretty fast. It has plenty of fiber, protein, calcium, etc.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

cheddar bay biscuitsA friend of mine (Heather Howell for you current and former New Yorkers that know her) introduced me to this Red Lobster biscuit knock-off recipe a few years ago. They are really simple--actually more of a “semi-homemade” type item than real home cooking but still a delicious treat. We don’t have them too often but when we do they go fast! They go great with spaghetti in lieu of garlic bread or just with some fried chicken and cooked mixed vegetables like we had tonight.

3 cups Bisquick® baking mix (or other similar mix)
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I like sharp)
1/4 cup butter (margarine works too), melted
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Parsley flakes for garnish (optional)
Mix baking mix, milk and grated cheese with a fork until moistened--will be lumpy. Drop by spoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until nicely browned. Generously brush tops with melted butter that has been mixed with the garlic powder (I use all the butter). Serve while hot. Good stuff. Serves about 8.

That's a Good (Breakfast) Cookie

We are having snack issues at our house. There are three certain children who think it must be bathed in sugar in order to qualify as a good snack. I found this recipe and tweaked it a whole lot. It is now snack time approved in our house.

2 cups brown sugar (I used 1 cup of Splenda/ Brown Sugar blend)

2 cups rolled oats
1 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup prune puree (you can use baby prunes for this. I soaked 5 prunes in water and then blended them up until they were a smooth consistency)
5 tablespoons water
3 eggs
1/2 cup of soaked raisins (I soaked them for about 15 minutes to keep the cookies moist and chewy)
1/2 cup craisins chopped

Mix all of the dry ingredients listed from the brown sugar to the cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix together all of the fruits and eggs. It will not be very pretty. :) Combine the dry mix and the fruit mix together. The dough will be very sticky. It has to be in order to keep the cookies from being dry. Wheat flour needs more liquid!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper. Scoop about 2 TBSPs of dough and place in balls on the cookie sheet. Flatten them down, as they do not flatten in the oven. (Yes, I know they are sticky!) Bake for about 9 minutes. Do not overcook or the cookies will be dry. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.
These are one of those cookies that taste the best at room temperature.
They are not the prettiest cookie you have ever eaten, but they have Sadie's approval, and that is saying something.

Grandma’s Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of those things that most people probably already have a favorite recipe for. It is also one of those things that I am particularly picky about. I really don’t like potato salad unless it is Grandma’s recipe. Not too gloppy or mayonnaisey. Simple and tasty.

6 to 7 medium potatoes with skins

6 to 7 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into pieces

1/2 cup salad dressing (Miracle Whip)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon mustard (yellow or brown—either works)

salt and pepper


crumbled bacon, sliced green onions, parsley or other garnish as desired

Boil the whole potatoes with their skins on for about 20 to 30 minutes checking to make sure they are done with a fork or bamboo skewer. Rinse them in cold water and peel while hot. Place them in a bowl and cut them this way and that with a sharp knife into small pieces. Add the boiled eggs to the bowl. Make a dressing of the salad dressing, mayonnaise and mustard. Stir dressing into the potatoes and eggs while they are still warm. Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Garnish as desired and serve either warm or cold.

This is a summertime staple at our house. Every meal seems a little bit better with a side of potato salad.

Frozen Blueberry Lemonade

And one more to celebrate the weekend...

from Real Simple magazine

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 cup lemonade
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving (I left these out)
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a blender, puree the blueberries, lemonade, mint, confectioners’ sugar, and 3 cups ice until smooth.  Garnish with mint sprigs.