• 10-12 tomatillos
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, halved crosswise and seeded
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled + rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • up to a 1/4 cup chicken stock 
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves 
  • kosher salt + pepper to taste

Remove papery husk on Tomatillos. Place them whole on a baking sheet and ROAST at 425° for about 20 minutes or until skins are blistered. Remove from oven and set aside. 

Slice crosswise and seed jalapeno peppers and chop. {be careful, those little seeds are the devil and don't you dare rub your eyes} Char your Poblano peppers, click here to see how. Then once skin is removed, chop and place in medium non-stick skillet with oil, jalapeno peppers and rough chopped garlic cloves. Sauté over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until soft.

Place the roasted tomatillos + pepper mixture + cilantro + chicken stock and S + P into your Vita Mix blender or food processor. As you mix, you'll see whether or not you need more or less liquid, or any at all. Quickly pulse (8-10 times) until chopped to a slightly coarse consistency or more if you prefer. Just depends on how chunky you like your salsa/sauce. 

It's delicious served warm over fish, we did that last night. WOW, so yum! If you prefer to serve as a salsa, cover and refrigerate. Also AHH-MAZING over eggs. The sky is the limit with this one. 


Makes about 2 cups. 




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This is a summer favorite of mine. There are many variations out there, but I love the kick that the jalapeno brings. I seriously can't get enough of this salad. It's the perfect side dish for your next outdoor BBQ. It's a dreamy combination of sweet + salty with a touch of heat. 

  • 1- 5 lb watermelon, about 7 cups cubed
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped and a few leaves to garnish 
  • 1 large jalapeno, diced [if small, maybe 2] I like spice. 
  • 4-5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • Kosher salt + cracked pepper

Combine watermelon + jalapeno and mint together. Season with Kosher salt and cracker pepper. Gently mix. Refrigerate. Just before serving, drain off excess juice and toss in feta. Otherwise it can become mushy and feta begins to melt away. You want the salty crumbles of feta in every bite. 




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Yesterday we spent a good two hours pulling weeds and picking veggies. We must have had ample sun and rain while we were gone. Because, we couldn't get over the amount of zucchini we had ready to eat. So much so, I wasn't even
sure how we were going to eat it all. I'm now contemplating opening a little vegetable stand next to my mailbox.
Kidding, not kidding. Two of the zucchini's tipped the scales at over 2 pounds each. They looked like something that would have taken home a blue ribbon at the state fair. The next question was, what am I going to make with all this zucchini?!?! First idea that came to mind was Zucchini Bread. One of my favorites, next to Lemon Bread.
Ahhhhh, I got an idea... combine my two faves. And just like that, MAGIC happened.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk  
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon



1. Use a cheese grater to grate your zucchini. Once grated use a paper towel and soak up moisture. Otherwise it will be watery and you don't want the extra water in this recipe. Set bowl of zucchini aside.   

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs on low speed. Add oil and sugar until well blended.

4. Next add lemon juice, buttermilk, lemon zest and mix altogether.

5. Gently fold in zucchini. 

6. Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and blend together until well combined.

7. Poor batter into a greased + floured 9 x 5 loaf pan. This mixture can be divided into smaller loaf pans or even made into muffins.

8. Bake on middle rack at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness at 40 minutes, making sure toothpick
comes out clean. Temperatures in ovens vary. For instance it baked for 55 minutes in my oven. 

9. In a measuring cup, mix powdered sugar + lemon juice. Add lemon zest and with a fork, stir well. Making sure all is well dissolved. Set aside       until bread is done baking.

10. When ready, remove bread from oven. Immediately pierce loaf with a wooden bamboo skewer. Making
holes all over bread. Spoon glaze onto bread, allowing it to seep into the holes and soak through.

*Allow glaze to set up and bread to cool completely before slicing. 

OH. Mm. GEEEEE. You guys. THIS is amazing. So good, that we broke the rules and sliced it before it cooled. 
So delicious and moist. It's the perfect summer time dessert or breakfast treat. After we each snuck a piece.
I wrapped it in plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerated it for a few hours. Personally, I love it chilled.
It's just so summery and light. This will definitely will be in my summer rotation. If you LOVE lemon. or even if you
don't, TRY THIS. I'm not yelling at you. Ha! I'm just getting my point across. It's THAT GOOD! 


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Summer is full of backyard get togethers and lots of eating. My favorite season by far. Plus, you have to remember I'm a Florida girl and grew up with "Martha Stewart" for a mother. I learned early how to outdoor entertain. Although a seasoned veteran, coming up with fresh + new menu ideas can sometimes be a daunting task. Most times I'll recycle family recipes and rotate the usual suspects. I mean, there are only so many picnic + bbq foods, am I right? But they still can become B O R I N G  and when entertaining our same great friends, the last thing I want them is unexcited about the menu. Including us. 

My favorite thing to do is just put a spin on the classics and think outside the box a little. This potato salad recipe is the perfect example. It was born with ingredients I already had in the house and one Sunday afternoon when I over heard my hubby on the phone say to friends, ' Sure, come on over!' I panicked for a minute, and then got busy. And you know what? It's one of the BEST potato salads I've made and everyone mentions it when invited over. I also like that it's mayo free and has a little kick from the feta and red wine vinegar. And no need to worry about it sitting out after the ice melts and to be honest it's damn good at room temperature. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think! 


  • 2 lbs small red potatoes, boiled + quartered (skins on)
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped (green parts too)
  • 3 TBS fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt + pepper
  • dash of red pepper flakes, optional


  1. Scrub potatoes and rinse. 
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. 
  3. Once water is at a boil carefully drop potatoes in, skins on, and boil for 18-25 minutes or until tender with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool, until you can handle them. 
  4. In a large bowl wisk together olive oil + garlic + salt and pepper + red pepper flakes and scallions. Set aside. 
  5. Quarter potatoes and put into large bowl with olive oil mixture. Stir, making sure to coat all the potatoes. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours. 
  6. Remove from fridge and add red wine vinegar + fresh dill and feta cheese. Mix well and serve or it can be re-covered fridgerated over night. I like it best that way. The flavors really have time to marinate nicely, and will save you some time the day of your party. 

This recipe serves 6-8, but can be doubled or tripled for a large crowd. It always goes fast! 

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This is my grandmother's best friend, sweet Ms. Beverly B's recipe and my family has been enjoying it for over 50 years. It's so good, and it's no wonder it's stuck around this long. It has always been a staple in our home during the holidays and will continue to be. So, if you're looking for a new side, this should be it! And if you're still needing a few more ideas on what will pair well with your main dish, look no further. Sweet Corn Soufflé, Roasted Asparagus, Marscapone Mashed Potatoes, Spiced Cranberry Sauce and Savory Sausage Stuffing. All of these go well, whether it's prime rib or turkey again. 


  • 3 cups mashed sweet potato or 42 oz can yams, drained 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 melted butter
  • 1/3 cup self rising flour


  1. Mix together first six ingredients.
  2. Pour into a medium baking dish.
  3. Mix together topping ingredients and spread evenly on top of sweet potato mixture.
  4. Bake at 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until topping begins to lightly brown.

*Can be made ahead and stored in the fridge overnight. Only leave off topping and store in an airtight container. Then add before baking. Adjust baking time by 10 minutes to account for being refrigerated. 


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If you didn't grow up eating artichokes, then yes they can be quite intimating and you may feel more comfortable sticking to the can. But if you're willing to give it a whirl, this is an easy way to enjoy these delicious things. There are so many ways to prepare and so many sauces to enjoy them, but I like to stick to the basics and how I remember eating them. Although I'm always looking for new ways to serve. So, comment at the end of this post if you've got a way I must try next!  But for those of you newbies that like the sound and ease of this one, keep reading. 




Fill a saucepan large enough to accommodate all artichokes with 2 inches of water. Add salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil; bring to a simmer. Add artichokes, stem end up; cover saucepan. Steam until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Cool for 10 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut in half. Spread leaves to get easier access to choke (the fuzzy center) and remove. You may need to peel away a few purple layers of immature leaves. 


2 fresh lemons, squeezed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
salt + pepper
8 gloves fresh garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and top the halved artichokes. Using the back of your spoon to spread in and out of every crevice. Sprinkle with a little more parm. Set on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the 400° oven for 20-25 minutes. 

Serve immediately, they won't last long.


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Cauliflower is probably one of my favorite vegetables to roast. Super simple and filing. And always makes a beautiful presentation on the table. *If it makes it to the table. I'm notorious for eating it right out of the oven while it cooks. The best part...the crispy little burnt ends that are stuck to the side of the pan. I call dibs on those. 

  • I large head cauliflower, cut in florets (I also love to use the already chopped bag of cauliflower)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • kosher salt + pepper

Preheat oven to 425°. Mix cauliflower florets in a large bowl with garlic + olive oil + 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese + salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and spread evenly. Roast, turning with a spatula occasionally, until almost tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and roast another 10-12 minutes until cauliflower is tender and golden on the edges. 






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Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Pepita Crust



  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour 
  • 2 cups of milk, room temperature 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard 
  • 1/4 ground black pepper 
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt 
  • 8 oz box of elbow macaroni 
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz of canned pumpkin 
  • Pinch of nutmeg 
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs 
  • 1/2 cup of shelled roasted + salted pepita's


  1. In a large pot, boil water and cook macaroni according to box directions. 
  2. Start by making a roux. In a medium sauce pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter and slowly add flour while constantly stirring. Then slowly add milk, while continuing to stir.  
  3. When milk, flour and butter begins to thicken add dry mustard, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. 
  4. Reduce heat to low, add cheddar cheese and pumpkin puree. Stir well. 
  5. Remove from heat. Mix in cooked and well drained macaroni pasta.
  6. Pour into a greased baking dish. 
  7. Melt one tablespoon of butter. Place pepita's in a ziplock bag, sealed tightly. Using a rolling pin, crush pepita's into fine pieces.
  8. In a small bowl, mix melted butter, pepitas and panko bread crumbs. 
  9. Sprinkle panko and pepita mixture evenly on top of mac and cheese. 
  10. Bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake an additional 5-7 mins and allow crumb topping to get slightly golden. 

serves 8


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  • 1 cup of wild rice 
  • 1 loaf of french bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup of onion, diced
  • 1 cup of celery, diced
  • 1 cup of apple, diced
  • 1 lb pork sausage 
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped  
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme  
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries 
  • 1 cup of chicken/turkey stock
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Cook wild rice according to package directions. Set aside. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Spread cubed breadcrumbs on parchment lined baking sheet. 
  4. Lightly toast for about 5 - 7 minutes (watch carefully). Remove from oven when lightly toasted.
  5. Brown pork sausage in a sautee pan until cooked through. Drain well on a plate with paper towels and to remove most of the grease.  
  6. Melt butter in a large sautéed pan, add celery, onion, apples- sautéed until tender about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Stir in fresh herbs seasoning and salt & pepper. 
  8. In a large bowl add rice, bread, celery mixture, sausage, cranberries, stock and egg. Mix together well.
  9. Pour into a greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Cover tightly with foil.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake and additional 10 minutes. 

serves 8



I carved out mini white pumpkins to use and serve individually to my guest. I thought it would be fun and they turned out perfectly. Bake the same as directed above. They are sure to get a kick out of these. I mean, who doesn't love a mini? Am I right.



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  • 1 lb of carrots, trimmed and quartered lengthwise, leaving tops attached
  • I bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 lb parships, trimmed and cut into long spears 
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 1 lb of medium thickness bacon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt + pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large ziploc bag place cut vegetables.
  3. Add olive oil, salt + pepper, garlic powder. Seal and shake. Making sure vegetables are well covered. Set aside for 20-30 minutes or refridgerate and let marinate even over night.
  4. Remove from bag and separate vegetable into bundles. Each bundle having two asparagus, two carrots and two parsnips and a few sprigs of leeks. 
  5. Carefully tie each bundle with a piece of bacon. Being careful not to tear bacon strips. 
  6. Then place each bundle on parchment lined baking sheet. 
  7. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, until vegetables are tender and bacon is starting to crisp up. 

*makes 10-12 bundles 


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