Category Archives: vegetables

Lentil Chorizo Soup

Lentil Chorizo Soup
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ C lentils
  • 1 link Chorizo sausage
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Homemade Tomato Catsup (
  • 4½ C beef stock
  • 2 C water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp dried chopped bay leaves
  • ½ tsp ground thyme
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp dried tarragon
  1. In a stockpot or large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Saute onions and garlic 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in crumbled chorizo sausage.
  4. Add carrots, celery, lentils, tomato catsup, beef stock, water, bay leaves, thyme, salt and cayenne pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Lower heat, cover and simmer 60 minutes.
  7. Stir in tarragon and ground pepper.
  8. Simmer additional 30 minutes before serving.


lentil chorizo soup

Music to Cook by . . . 

Until next time, Happy Cooking!  :)

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.” 

-   Emily Dickinson

Beef Vegetable Skillet

This recipe is a great use for ALL those garden vegetables!  Some of you know what I mean….it’s August, and you’re tired of dealing with the garden, but the pesky things won’t stop growing!  If you have something else you need to use, just toss it in.

Beef Vegetable Skillet
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 C beef stock
  • 1½ C uncooked bow-tie pasta
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ C chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 C chopped yellow squash
  • 1 chopped banana pepper
  • ½ C frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 C chopped tomatoes
  • 1 C shredded Mild Cheddar Jack cheese
  1. Brown ground beef with onion powder in large skillet; drain.
  2. Add beef stock.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  4. Reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in seasonings and vegetables.
  6. Add pasta and return to a boil.
  7. Lower heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  8. Place cheese on top of mixture.
  9. Remove heat and let skillet set 5 minutes while cheese melts before serving.



Music to Cook By . . . 


Until next time, Happy Cooking!  :)

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker



After moving back to Kentucky last fall, we anxiously awaited the first signs of Spring.  We perused seed catalogs all winter daydreaming of the garden we would plant this year.   As soon as it was remotely warm, we started transferring seedlings from our basement to  the outside.  And now, finally, we are seeing the fruits of our labor.  I think it might be safe to say we may have a bumper crop of squash this year!  :)   Look for more squash recipes on here  as I try to come up with more creative ways to cook one of my favorite vegetables, and don’t be surprised if I seem to be using more fresh herbs than usual.  We also planted an herb garden, and it’s coming along nicely, as well.


 Butter Sauteed Summer Squash


1 tbsp bacon grease

2 tbsp butter

1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped into chunks

1 yellow squash, chopped into chunks

1/4 onion, chopped into chunks

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh cilantro, minced

1 tsp fresh basil, minced

1 tsp fresh parsley, minced

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, to taste


In cast iron skillet, heat bacon grease and melt butter on medium high heat.  Add pepper, squash, garlic,  and onion; stir with wooden spoon until vegetables are mixed with butter.  Saute 10 minutes, or until tender.  Stir in Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.


Yep, bacon grease; I went there.  Welcome (back) to Kentucky….. 


Until next time, Happy Cooking!  :)

A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables. – Gertrude Stein


Can you tell I’m still excited about Spring?  I had missed the change of seasons for so long, that every day I can’t wait to look outside and see what’s happening out there.  A bird built her nest right outside my kitchen window, and it’s been amazing just watching that little drama unfold.  “Bird Watch 2013″……..

Okay, so today it’s rainy and overcast; so what?  We need the rain for the garden we’re going to plant this year, and yesterday we had a record high.  It was in the 80s, people!  Very nice weather.  Had the windows open; we’ve been working in the yard getting ready to do some minor landscaping changes, and sometimes we just like to sit in the front porch swing and watch the traffic go by.  All three cars……LOL

Enough of that; let’s eat!  I had a craving for asparagus a few days ago (don’t you just feel so good about yourself when you crave something healthy for a change?)  and this is the result.  I admit that the cheese “unhealthified” it somewhat, but I didn’t use that much cheese, so I refuse to feel guilty.  


1/2 C water
1 lb asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 C shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 C roasted garlic dry bread crumbs (Kroger brand)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp dry mustard
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a skillet, bring water to boiling; add asparagus and cook 2 minutes.  Drain.  Mix remaining ingredients.  Place asparagus in a glass baking dish.  Top with bread crumb mixture.  Bake 10 minutes.

Until next time, Happy Cooking!  :)

“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.” – Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay)  


Good morning!!! And I do mean morning.  It’s 4 a.m. as I’m writing this.  One of the joys of insomnia is that I can sit in the utter quiet of the early morning and contemplate the joys of okra.  Yep, you read that one right; I said okra.  I find that of all the vegetables,  okra is probably the most maligned of all vegetables.  It is also the one of which family fights are made.  I mean, no one is just “meh” regarding okra.  You either love it, or you want to shoot the person who put it on the table.  Now, I’m a versatile foodie. That’s a polite way of saying I’ll eat anything at least once, which could explain my dress size.  But Jorge?  Not so much.  So I really think he felt last night that he took one for the team by trying this recipe.  But he lived through it, and the beautiful thing about it is, he doesn’t know it yet, but some of the leftover okra made it into his lunch container for today.  ROFL!!!!!  Aaahhh…..I wish I could be a fly on the wall when he makes that discovery.  But, I disgress.  I am always on a quest to introduce new vegetables into our diet, as well as new ways of cooking vegetables.  We can only eat corn so many times a week, you know?  So, I decided to try this recipe, and I thought it was good.  Yeah, it was a little slimy as okra usually is, but the celery in the mixture kept it crunchy, so the trick is to always get a bite of celery with a bite of okra.  As a matter of fact, you might want to use a little more celery than I used to get a little more crunch.  But not too much, or you’ll be serving Celery Creole, which is just weird.
In case you’re wondering, Creole cuisine, which I think almost everyone knows originated in Louisiana, combines the influences of French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, African, and Native American cooking.  The main difference between Creole and the possibly more popular Cajun cooking is that Creole cuisine evolved more in the kitchens of the more affluent and the pre-Civil War plantations.  And, like so many other types of cooking, some of it is good, and some of it must have been a kitchen experiment gone bad.
Which brings us back to okra.  A lot of people, especially in the South, will eat okra if it has been breaded, battered, and deep-fried, but heck!  in the South, there are people who eat deep-fried Twinkies, so that means nothing.  I realize deep frying it hides some of the dreaded sliminess, but if you’re going to deep fry it, you might as well forget cooking at home and just go on down to the local McFast Food place and order a heart attack to go.  And we’re not doing that, are we?  And why not?  Because it’s Low Carb Thursday, that’s why!  Oh, and because we want to be healthy.  Yeah, that’s it.  We’re doing this for our health.  Keep telling yourself that.

Recipe type: Low-Carb
Serves: 6
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 c frozen okra
  • 1 -14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 C water
  • ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ⅛ tsp file powder
  1. First, in your trusty cast iron skillet (the deep one) or better yet, your trusty cast iron Dutch oven, fry the bacon until crispy.
  2. Remove and let cool.
  3. Using the bacon grease left in the pan (if you're really afraid of the Health Police, pour it out and use vegetable oil; I used the bacon grease like the good Southern girl that I am), cook the onions and celery on medium heat for 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the okra, tomatoes, water, red pepper, black pepper and bay leaf.
  5. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Crumble the bacon into the mixture and cover.
  7. Simmer 12-15 minutes.
  8. Stir in the file powder.

okra creole


Until next time, Happy cooking!  :)


… cooking is just like religion. Rules don’t no more make a cook than sermons make a saint. ” – Unknown