Monday, July 26, 2010

Fried Squash

 Simple Cookery Country Dinner

Notice anything unusual about this dinner plate?  The majority of space is filled up with vegetables.  Fresh yellow squash, green beans, cucumbers, mashed potatoes, and yes, just a little beef.  It just doesn’t get much better than this!

This fried squash recipe is a little different than the one I grew up eating.   That vintage recipe took the yummy squash and called for frying it in bacon grease until dark brown and mushy.  While tasty, I prefer my squash to still resemble squash.  So, I updated the family recipe just a bit.

Fried Squash

4 cups sliced yellow squash

1 medium onion

1 slice bacon

salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste (or 1/4 tsp each)

1 cup water

Dice bacon and slice onion.  In medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté bacon and onion for 2 minutes.  Add squash, water, and seasonings.   Continue to cook until squash reaches the desired consistency.  I usually cook until the water is absorbed, but if this isn’t tender enough for you, just add more water to continue cooking.  After water cooks off, continue to stir the mixture until squash is lightly browned.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Guest Recipe - Zucchini Apple Crisp

Sunflower Sue sent me this picture of garden goodies recently along with a link to a recipe for Zucchini Apple Crisp. It's an apple crisp with NO apples! Sunflower Sue says it tastes just like an apple crisp. Sounds like a nice way to sneak in some veggies! You can also find an abundance of zucchini recipes by clicking here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Free Stuff & Contests

I keep running across the most interesting contests and giveaways. So, I thought you might like to visit a few sites...

Win FREE Tennessee Pride products for a year or a $500 gift card. Visit to enter. Better hurry - the contest ends July 31, 2010.

REDBOOK has lots of giveaways monthly. Enter daily to win a $100 gift card from Click here, until July 31, 2010.

How did you get your handful of Walnuts today? California Walnuts wants to know! Enter daily to a chance to win a prizes. Contest ends July 31, 2010.

Woman's Day has a list of Incredible Prizes & you can enter daily. Click here for more information and a list of contests. There are some external links to other companies, but it's a handy list of current contests, some of which are good through September, 2010.

Check out's Ten Best Summer Tools Sweepstakes before July 29,2010 for a chance to win, you guessed it, kitchen tools!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Foodie News - Check Out This Month's Woman's Day

I've always enjoyed reading Woman's Day. I love the articles, but especially love the recipes! In This Month’s Issue of Woman’s Day Learn How to Make Great Summer Meals Without The Hassle in “No Cooking Required”

Woman's Day, on newsstands now, is the best selling, most recognized women's lifestyle magazine. They want women everywhere to enjoy their summer, and that means getting out of the kitchen. This article provides quick and easy 35 minute or less recipes. Forget the hassle of lighting the grill, or heating the oven, these wholesome healthy meals just require ingredients. There's recipes for everything from a delicious southwestern shrimp dish to an exotic Thai salad.

Pick up an issue today and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mailboxes and Recipes

There's talk again of raising the price of postage. That reminded me of the simple pleasure of getting a personal letter out of my Mailbox. When was the last time you received a real handwritten letter? Of course, we still send Birthday cards and Christmas Cards in the mail. But, handwritten letters? I have to admit it's been a while since I sent one myself.

I trade coupons and notes with friends. So, more than bills end up in our mail boxes. Even so, letters take a little more thought and time. I bet I'm not the only one that misses the thrill of getting a new letter. Remember pen pals? Just the thought of them reminds me of a lovely wall mount mailbox. I've always wanted one of those on the front porch. You know, the kind of mail boxes that have the little loops at the bottom for the morning paper? They invoke an image of a simpler time.

Let's try spreading some random acts of kindness through sharing recipes. Pick out an address of a stranger or neighbor out of your phone book. Print out one of your favorite recipes or feel free to use one of mine. Write a short note. It can be something as simple as 'thought you'd enjoy this recipe.' Then, drop it in your mailbox and wait for the joy to spread.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Foodie News - The Great Food Truck Race


Tyler Florence Hosts Cross-Country Culinary Journey in ‘The Great Food Truck Race’

Premieres: Sunday, August 15th at 10PM; Post-Premiere Timeslot: Sundays at 9PM

NEW YORK – JULY 12, 2010 –Amazing chefs across the country are leaving traditional restaurants behind and hitting the streets in mobile kitchens serving some of the most unique and delicious dishes ever tasted. Food Network’s new primetime series, The Great Food Truck Race, features seven such gourmet food trucks as they embark on an epic coast-to-coast culinary road trip to convince Americans to step outside their culinary comfort zones and try something new – from a truck. Tyler Florence hosts this six-episode competition premiering Sunday, August 15th at 10pm ET/PT; the series resumes in its regular timeslot of Sundays at 9pm ET/PT on August 22nd. From out-of-the-box sandwiches, burgers, and crepes to unique takes on Vietnamese, French, and Cajun cuisines, the trucks compete in weekly challenges to see who can sell the most food and race to the next episode while the losing team drives home. The last truck standing wins a $50,000 grand prize.

“Not only does the series focus on a hot new culinary trend, but the drama of the competition pushes these teams’ cooking skills, business savvy and relationships to their limit,” said General Manager/Senior Vice President Programming, Bob Tuschman.

The seven trucks include: Austin Daily Press (Austin, Texas), Crepes Bonaparte (Fullerton, Calif.), Grill ‘Em All (Los Angeles, Calif.), Nana Queens (Culver City, Calif.), Nom Nom Truck (Los Angeles, Calif.), Ragin’ Cajun (Hermosa Beach, Calif.), and Spencer on the Go (San Francisco, Calif.). Click here for team bios.

In the premiere, the teams meet Tyler in Los Angeles, the center of the food truck revolution, and the race begins with the teams’ first game-changing twist known in each episode as the Truck Stop challenge: Instead of starting in Los Angeles, the race commences in San Diego. To even the playing field, the teams begin with empty trucks and an equal amount of seed money. They have three days to prepare, promote and sell their food by any means necessary. After a weekend of triumphs, teamwork, and tests of character, the totals are tallied and the trucks find out who continues the great race and who goes home. New twists and turns arise as the race continues through Santa Fe, N.M.; Ft. Worth, Texas; New Orleans; Jonesborough, Tenn., and concludes as the final two trucks race to the finish line with through the hungry streets of New York City’s five boroughs. Guest chefs throughout the season include: Tim Love, Jacques Leonardi, Eric DiStefano and Nate Appleman. The Great Food Truck Race is produced by RelativityREAL, LLC.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Treasure from Sunflower Sue


Just look at the wonderful treasure of recipes that Sunflower Sue sent me recently.  This recipe collection included lots of clippings from magazines along with some wonderful cook booklets.  Some of these great recipes date back to the early 1970’s.  I’ll be posting some of them on my vintage recipe site – Tales From The Hollow.  So, be sure to visit soon.

In the meantime, here’s a summer salad recipe to help cool you down in all this heat!

Tomato Salad

4 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 small cucumber, chopped

1 green onion, sliced

1/2 green pepper, chopped

2 cups Italian dressing

Combine all ingredients and stir well.  Store overnight in refrigerator before serving.  This also works great as a pasta salad if you want to add your favorite pasta.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Foodie News - 24 Hour Restaurant Battle


Aspiring Restauranteurs “Battle” in new Food Network Competition

Scott Conant Hosts ‘24 Hour Restaurant Battle’ Premiering July 21st at 10PM ET/PT

NEW YORK – July 5, 2010 –Temperatures rise this July as teams of hopeful restaurateurs attempt to open their dream restaurants in Food Network’s new primetime competition series, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, premiering Wednesday, July 21st at 10pm ET/PT. Hosted by renowned chef, Scott Conant, owner of Scarpetta and Faustina at the Cooper Square Hotel, each one-hour episode features dueling teams who must conceive, plan, and open their own restaurants in 24 hours. On each team, one person handles front-of-house issues like décor, seating, and service while the other manages back-of-house matters like menu planning, shopping, and cooking. When the doors open, each restaurant serves a group of diners along with Scott and a rotating panel of judges. Based on the restaurant’s concept, execution, and viability, the judges choose a winning team who receive $10,000. For more information visit:

Episodes include:

Premiering Sunday, July 18th at 10pm ET/PT-- SNEAK PEEK!

This battle pits two teams of three against each other in a clash of Italian cuisine. Rosella and Angela Rago, along with “Nonna” Romana Sciddurlo are three generations of Italian women from Brooklyn, N.Y., who keep their cooking authentic with recipes passed down through their family. Best friends from Connecticut, Anthony Longbardi and Chris Gentile, together with Anthony’s sister, Debra Jean, use their culinary educations to put a twist on the traditional Italian fare they grew up with. The patrons have a difficult time choosing between the time-honored and innovative dishes, but a critical mistake from the kitchen ends up on the judges’ table. Judges include: Karine Bakhoum, Gabriella Gershenson, and Marcus Samuelsson.

Premiering Wednesday, July 21st at 10 pm ET/PT-- SEASON PREMIERE!

A team of brothers battles it out against a mother/daughter duo in this family feud of comforting meals versus posh plates. Brothers Mookie Hicks, the chef and owner of a Jessup, Md. catering company, and Saoul Vanderpool, a Bronx, N.Y. graphic designer, hope to combine their soulful style and creative experiences into a restaurant. Rachel Goldman Nason, the chef and owner of a catering company from Brookline, Mass., and Jane Poefcher Goldman, a Waltham, Mass. nurse and event planner, form a fiery team. Blood bonds are tested as Rachel and Jane bicker over plans for small plates in a modern setting while Mookie and Saoul go for a progressive soul vibe. Judges include: Jason Denton, Gabriella Gershenson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Premiering Wednesday, July 28th at 10 pm ET/PT

Two teams with restaurant experience face-off in a heated battle. Erik Ruminski, a personal chef from Oak Park, Ill., and Ces Lopez, a food service manager from Chicago, are goofy and inseparable best friends. Sisters Barbara Apt, a food services sales account manager from Lantana, Texas, and Lisa Sheehan, an Argyle, Texas restaurant equipment sales representative, hope to combine their culinary backgrounds into a venture dedicated to their dad. When the battle begins, Erik and Ces develop ambitious plans for a European bistro with mystique while Barbara and Lisa take a more homey approach with a modern tavern piano bar featuring regional American cuisine. Judges include: Karine Bakhoum, Ben Leventhal, and Marcus Samuelsson.

Premiering Wednesday, August 4th at 10pm ET/PT

Two teams of best friends battle it out with very different restaurants: a bustling Italian joint and a quiet, swanky bistro. Charlie LoGrasso, a barbershop owner from South Boston, Mass., and Mark Conde, a Dorchester, Mass. concessions chef, are best friends who bonded over their Italian heritage and love for boxing. The striking duo Danushka Lysek, a New York model and private chef, and Angela Bartys, a private chef in Los Angeles, put their culinary degrees together to whip up organic and rustic menu with French country inspiration. Mark and Charlie plan to pack their menu full of authentic central Sicilian fare with New England charm for a unique Italian restaurant experience. Danushka and Angela decide on a smaller menu in a chic bistro to highlight their execution abilities. Judges include: Alison Brod, Gabriella Gershenson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Premiering Wednesday, August 11th at 10pm ET/PT

Things heat up in this battle as two couples with restaurant experience contend for the best concept. Justin Warner and J.J. Pyle met while working in a New York City restaurant and have been inseparable ever since. Zach Gaynor and Lisa Fernandez, from Philadelphia, have been dating for five years (and are now engaged) after meeting at the restaurant where they worked together. Justin and J.J. cook-up a brunch restaurant serving sweet and savory jellies on a variety of waffles and pancakes while Zach and Lisa specialize in rustic comfort food. Judges include: Alison Brod, Drew Nieporent, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Premiering Wednesday, August 18th 10pm ET/PT

A father/son team faces-off against two best friends in this restaurant battle. Glahad Dizon is willing to give up his career as a postman in Teaneck, N.J., to make his son Andrew’s dream of opening his own restaurant come true. Neeka Dockeny, a stay-at-home mom from Philadelphia, and Dorinda Hampton, a New Castle, Del. bakery business owner, have been inseparable since age one. Some unexpected twists to their menus arise: The Dizons go back to their roots with a Filipino-American concept in a modern setting featuring traditional tripe and tongue while Neeka and Dorinda focus on a contemporary vegetarian menu that includes fish. Judges include: Karine Bakhoum, Gabriella Gershenson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Premiering Wednesday, August 25th at 10pm ET/PT

This battle pits two couples with failed business experience against each other for a second stab at a venture together. Washington D.C.’s Chris Alvear and Francisco Pliego have had a rollercoaster relationship in both love in business, and though neither endeavor worked out, they remain ambitious friends with plans to open a restaurant. Sara and Mitchell Matzek are a husband-and-wife team from Harpers Ferry, W. Va., whose roadside BBQ stand was hit by a car and destroyed. Chris and Francisco focus on Latin fusion with Mexican influence while the Matzeks stick to their specialty, authentic Texas barbeque. Judges include: Alison Brod, Drew Nieporent, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Premiering Wednesday, September 1st at 10pm ET/PT

This battle features two teams putting their own radical spins on Southern cuisine with uniquely themed restaurants. Gary “Skip” Klavans, a writer from North Hollywood, Calif., and Alan “Buzz” Klavans, a paramedic and musician from Winter Garden, Fla., are two brothers pursuing a dream they had since they were kids – a caveman restaurant. Best friends from Denver, Aaron Seelbinder and Baylor Ferrier, hope to introduce some “new blood” and life to the restaurant industry with an upscale redneck chic concept. Judges include: Alison Brod, Steven Schussler, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Guest Recipes - Susan's Stuffing Balls

Christmas in July? Try this great recipe from Sunflower Sue...

SUSAN's STUFFING BALLS (you can stuff a turkey too)


3/4 Cup finely chopped onion

1 & 1/2 cup chopped celery (with leaves)

1/4 cup chopped dry parsley

1 cup and a half butter

9 cups soft bread cubes

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp ground sage

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

1/2 tsp ground pepper

Cook and stir the onions and celery in the butter, until tender. Add about a third of the bread cubes to this. Turn it all into a large bowl along with all the other ingredients. Mix well and then form balls. I used a ¼ cup measure to get the uniform. Place in a greased pan

Bake covered in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake another 15minutes. Just to get them golden brown.

Unbaked, these stuffing balls can be frozen. Then take them out of the freezer, allow to thaw. Then bake as directed above.