Tortellini Mediterranean Salad

I am super excited to be here today to share a recipe with you! A couple weeks ago we had a casual dinner of brats and corn on the cob. I needed another side dish to go along with the dinner so I threw together some ingredients I had on hand to make a pasta salad. It turned out quite tasty so I thought I’d share it with you.


2 small packages Buitoni Chicken Prosciutto Tortellini {found in the refrigerator section}, 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts. 1 medium tomato, 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, a large handful of fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions {be sure to add some salt to your cooking water}, drain and allow to cool slightly.
In the meantime, chop the tomato, artichokes, olives and basil into roughly the same size pieces {a trick I learned from Ina Garten, otherwise known as Barefoot Contessa}.



In a small bowl combine Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.



Whisk to combine well.


In a separate larger bowl, add pasta and chopped veggies.


Add the dressing to the pasta and veggies.


Mix well to combine and refrigerate for several hours.

Apple and Fennel Salad Recipe

Well, it took 2 days but I finally found my the cord to download my photos from camera to computer! Jeesh! Sorry for the delay on sharing the Apple and Fennel Salad recipe I mentioned the other day.


Anywhooo, it’s apple season! One of my favorite things about fall is the flavors. I’m talking about apple, cinnamon and pumpkin. We normally go apple picking at least once in the fall. The kids love it and it gives us an excuse to visit the mountains. But somehow we always come home with too many apples so I have to find recipes to use them up. This one I tore out of Southern Living in September 2010. And yes, I just now got around to making it! But I’m glad I did because it was yummy!


Here are your ingredients…

apple fennel salad

Dressing: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 shallot, minced, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together first five ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Salad: 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, 1 Gala apple, 1 medium fennel bulb, 1 celery rib, 5 oz. package fresh arugula, 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves

chopping fennelToast walnuts either in pan on stove or in oven. Thinly slice apple, fennel and celery. (If you’ve never used fennel, cut off the stalks and bottom end and slice like an onion.) Coarsely chop parsley.

apple fennel salad

Place arugula in a bowl and top with parsley, apples, fennel, celery and walnuts.

IMG_5398apple fennel salad

Toss with dressing and serve immediately.

apple fennel salad

If you are unfamiliar with fennel it has a wonderful licorice scent and flavor. I have used it only once before this recipe, and it was cooked, so I was a little hesitant, especially eating it raw. But it was absolutely delicious! It really compliments the sweetness of the apples and the peppery arugula.

fennel and apple salad

You can find the original recipe here.

Oh, I have one more thing to share. The winner of the giveaway never contacted me. SO, that means I get to pick a new winner!

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 10.41.22 PM

Congrats #7, Kris S!

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PLEASE contact me Kris to claim your prize!

Itty Bitty Pumpkin Treats (revisited)

I’d like to say happy fall y’all. I don’t know which part of the country (or world) you are in, but I hope you are able to enjoy some fall-like weather. Here in South Carolina it was 87 degrees today. In parts of Colorado, I heard it was snowing. What happened to fall? Did Mother Nature forget about it this year?
Well, besides the weather, fall is showing its colors and everything is apples and pumpkins. This is an old post, but I thought I’d re-share because it’s a really cute idea for a fall treat.
These little guys are “Itty Bitty Punkin’ Treats!” They may be tiny but they are pure deliciousness!
Here is what you need:
1 box powdered sugar
1 small jar peanut butter
1/2 stick of butter
red & yellow food coloring
chocolate chips
Mix powdered sugar, peanut butter and softened butter in a bowl just until combined.
 Mix red and yellow food coloring with 1/4 cup of water until you get the desired orange.
This was a good job for Little Man #2.

Add the food coloring, a little at a time, to the peanut butter mixture and mix well.
Roll the dough into small teaspoon size balls. Little Man #2 had fun helping me with this.
Use a toothpick to create criss-cross markings across the top of the balls.

Top each ball with a chocolate chip and you have your little punkins!
You can share or save them all for yourself! :)
I should note that the first time I posted this recipe I had a lot of emails asking about the bake time. There is no baking!

 By the way, forgive the appearance of my blog! Not sure what happened but something removed the buttons on the sidebar and also the design of the blog. Oops! Anyway, a new design is in the works and I can’t wait to reveal!

Fun Fall Peanut Butter Cereal Treats

peanut butter cereal fall halloween treats

I found the recipe for these bars last year in a magazine. I can’t remember which one. I thought they were really cute for a fall treat and the recipe sounded yummy. Plus they are simple enough that the kiddos can help. They are basically Rice Krispy treats using a different cereal and adding peanut butter and M&Ms. I found these red, brown and yellow ones for fall. If you can’t find them, you can always use regular and take out the blue and green.

You’ll need: 30 large marshmallows, 3 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 6 cups Cap’n Crunch peanut butter cereal, and 1 cup M&Ms.

Add marshmallows, butter and peanut butter to a large saucepan.

Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until melted and combined.

Add the cereal…

and M&Ms…

and stir, just until combined. Don’t over stir because the M&Ms will start melting and breaking.

Transfer mixture to a greased 9×13-inch pan. Press firmly to cover bottom of pan.

Allow to cool and then serve!
I decided to cut them into bite-size squares and serve them on a lollipop stick!

peanut butter cereal fall halloween treats


peanut butter cereal fall halloween treats

A Few Fall Recipes {Revisited}

Fall is officially here! That means pumpkins, apples and spice! I love fall flavors!
Today I’m revisiting a few of my favorite recipes that I’ve shared with you in the past. Enjoy!
pumpkin pie dip scissors and spatulas
  This dip is soooo good! And you can make a fun fall presentation by serving it out of a pumpkin! I wish I could call it my own, but I got it from Southern Living.
It’s very easy.

Recipe for Pumpkin Pie Dip 

pumpkin treats scissors and spatulas
These little guys may be tiny but they are pure deliciousness! Not to mention, adorable!
And they are simple enough that the kiddos can help!
You can get the recipe here.
apple brown betty recipe scissors and spatulas
It’s apple season! We always head up to the mountains to do some apple picking. This recipe uses both fresh apples and apple cider.
You can get the recipe here.
pumpkin chili scissors & spatulas

I have to say I was a bit skeptical of this recipe at first. But I’ll try anything once, so I went for it. So glad I did! The pumpkin gave the chili a rich, nutty flavor.

The ingredients are pretty basic. You can find the measurements here. The recipe calls for 2 jalapenos but I didn’t even use a whole one. I used white kidney beans (cannellni beans) because I thought they would go better with turkey than dark kidney beans. I also used fire roasted diced tomatoes because I really like the flavor.

Happy fall y’all!

Grilled Garden Salad

I found this recipe for Grilled Garden Salad from Kraft quite awhile ago but completely forgot about it until the other day when I was going through my piles (and piles) of recipes that I’ve torn out of magazines! I figured I’d better hurry up and try it since summer is on it’s way out the door and fresh veggies won’t be so fresh pretty soon.
So I made it yesterday (Labor Day) to go with some ribs and it was good! And really pretty too! Here is my version…

Ingredients: 1 large squash, 1 large zucchini, 2 ears fresh corn or 1 can corn, 2 small tomatoes, 6 large basil leaves, 1/4 cup zesty Italian salad dressing, 1 clove garlic,  2 Tbsp. lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Chop zucchini and squash lengthwise into three sections.

Just as I was going to put these on the grill, the skies opened up! Dang!

Luckily I have this fabulous grill pan from Pampered Chef!! I heated about 1 Tbsp oil in the pan.

And grilled the zucchini until tender, turning once.

While the zucchini and squash are cooking, chop the tomatoes.

You can also chop the basil.

Remove the zucchini and squash from the grill and chop.

The original recipe calls for fresh corn which is also grilled. I felt like taking the easy route and using canned corn. I threw it in the grill pan after the squash to give it a little grilled flavor.

Place corn, squash and zucchini in a large serving bowl.

Add tomatoes and basil.

Mix dressing, garlic (Love this Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic! Makes my life easy!) and lemon juice.

Pour over vegetables.

Toss to combine all ingredients.

 Sprinkle with parmesan cheese!

Gently toss again. Now it’s ready to serve!

You can find the original recipe from Kraft here.

TennTucky Blackberry Cobbler with Bourbon-Butterscotch Sauce

 DId y’all see this recipe for TennTucky Blackberry Cobbler in the July 2012 issue of Southern Living? 

TennTucky Blackberry Cobbler southern living july 2012

Did you try it? I did. Wanna know how it was? Phenomenal!

I made the cobbler and dressed it up just like in the photo…{courtesy of Southern Living Magazine}

TennTucky Blackberry Cobbler southern living

layering it with vanilla ice cream and Butterscotch-Bourbon Sauce. It was DE-LISH!

When I saw this recipe in the July issue of Southern LIving, I knew I had to try it! My boys LOVE to eat fresh blackberries so I had a bunch in the fridge. {It wasn’t quite 6 cups though, so I added some frozen mixed berries I had in the freezer.}

Start by mixing 3 Tbsp cornstarch and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl.

Add 6 cups berries to the cornstarch mixture

and toss to coat.

Spoon into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

Beat 1/2 cup softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, beating well.

Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Set aside.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together 8 oz. sour cream and 1/2 tsp. baking soda.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Your batter will be thick, kind of like cookie dough.

Spoon batter over berry mixture.

 Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. If necessary, shield loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, and bake 20 or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake topping comes out clean.

For the sauce: Cook 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until butter melts and mixture is smooth.

Gradually stir in 3/4 cup whipping cream. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.

 Boil and continue to stir constantly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 3 Tbsp. bourbon. 

Now to assemble the dessert.

Layer cobbler, vanilla ice cream and Butterscotch-Bourbon Sauce.

Repeat layers.

Alright, Southern LIving’s picture is much better than mine. But mine tasted just as good!

TennTucky Blackberry Cobbler southern living

You gotta go try this one!
You can find the original recipes here:
TennTucky Blackberry Cobbler
Butterscotch-Bourbon Sauce 


Georgia Peach Trifle Recipe

Peaches, my second favorite (the first being tomatoes) summer fruit. The original recipe for Georgia Peach Trifle came from an old (2004) issue of Southern Living Magazine. I’ve had it forever, but this is the first time I’ve tried it and it was yummy! I did make a few adjustments however. This version is with my adjustments. Here it is, Georgia Peach Trifle, made with South Carolina peaches!

Southern Living Georgia Peach TrifleWe are fortunate to have a well-known peach farm smack dab in the middle of our town! And we eat lots of Springs Farm peaches all summer!

Obviously Georgia Peach Trifle calls for peaches. Here are the other ingredients.

Georgia peach trifle ingredients1 (3 1/2-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix, 2 cups cold milk, 6 large fresh peaches, (peeled and sliced), 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/3 cup bourbon, 1 small loaf pound cake, 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Mix the pudding and 2 cups milk according to package directions. Cover and chill for 5 minutes.

Toss peaches with sugar and bourbon.

Cut pound cake into 1-inch cubes.

Place half of pound cake in bottom of trifle dish.
**Here is where I changed the recipe based on my experience making it the first time. The original tells you to drizzle the bourbon over the cake. However, I found it hard to drizzle such a small amount evenly over all the cake so I ended up adding a little more and it was too strong. It’s not that I don’t like the flavor of bourbon, I actually really like bourbon. But it was a little strong for this dessert. So instead I thought to just mix with the peaches and sugar mentioned above.**

Georgia peach trifle

Top with half of peaches.

Georgia peach trifle

Then half of pudding.

Georgia peach trifle

Repeat layers using remaining ingredients.
Cover and chill for at least two hours.

Georgia peach trifle

Beat whipping cream until foamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form.

Spread over trifle and top with toasted almonds.

Southern Living Georgia Peach Trifle

Enjoy! It’s delish!

Adapted from Southern Living Magazine.

Recipes for Ruby: Tomato Basil Meatloaf

Hey Y’all! You may recognize the recipe I’m sharing today. Tomato Basil Meatloaf is a recipe I’ve shared before. The reason I’m sharing it again is because it’s the prefect freezer recipe for the virtual baby shower I’m participating in today.

You may be wondering what on Earth I’m talking about, so let me explain. My sister-in-law, Ilke, knows a fellow food blogger, Shelley, who is expecting her first baby in August. She’s calling her Ruby (isn’t that adorable?!). Since it’s pretty much impossible to gather a group of long distance blogger friends, Ilke came up with the idea to host a virtual baby shower in which we post easily prepared meals or freezable meals. When she asked me to participate, this was the first recipe that came to mind. It’s by far my favorite freezer meal and it’s a staple that I use when I need to make a meal for a friend.

{From Etsy Shop of}
At the end of this post you will find the list of all the friends who will be providing a recipe for Shelley and Ruby all week long. Most participants have already posted and the recipes look fantastic so be sure to stop by!

 Tomato Basil Meatloaf
{Original recipe from Southern Living Magazine}
I was skeptical because I, personally, do not like meatloaf! But hubby does and I wanted to make if for him. It was, and still is, one of my favorite meals! So if you usually turn your nose at meatloaf, give this a try! I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Here is the recipe, adapted from


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound mild Italian Sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic, drained
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup {or more} shredded mozzarella cheese

Drain the tomatoes {do not forget this step} and process in a food processor for a few seconds, until slightly chunky.

Combine meats, tomatoes, and all remaining ingredients except the Mozzarella cheese in a large bowl.

Using your hands, mix ingredients gently but well. Do not over mix!

Okay, here is the great part! Once the meatloaf ingredients are combined, divide into two portions. Shape the meat mixture into two equal loaves. Not only does this recipe make enough to give to a friend, it also makes enough to keep for yourself!
Place one loaf on a wire rack over a foil-lined cookie sheet.

Okay, yes, this may seem strange. Isn’t meatloaf supposed to be baked in a loaf pan? Not this meatloaf! The pork sausage will yield a lot of fat and you probably do not want your meat sitting in it. I’ve experimented cooking this meatloaf several other ways, but this is the one that works for me. I take a jelly roll pan and line it with foil. I use the inside of my roasting pan on top. It fits perfectly. The fat falls below and the foil makes for easier clean up!

Bake in a 375* for one hour.

Wrap the other loaf in plastic wrap and then foil and stick it in the freezer for a meal to share! It just needs to be thawed overnight, unwrapped and baked.

Remove meatloaf from oven after one hour. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top and place back in oven for another 15 minutes.

Yum! {See what I mean about all that fat down there?}

Use a large spatula to remove meatloaf from the wire rack. Allow to sit for five minutes before slicing. {NOTE: the meatloaf will be reddish inside. It’s the tomatoes! Don’t cook any longer!}

I like to serve tomato basil meatloaf with spaghetti and extra marinara sauce. They are the perfect accompaniment!

shower shelley Summer Corn Chowder to Welcome Ruby
I’m honored to have been able to participate in Shelley’s virtual baby shower! Be sure to check out the other participating bloggers’ recipes. You won’t be disappointed!

Ilke from Ilke’s Kitchen

Anna from Keep It Luce  

Carrie from Bakeaholic Mama

Christina from Girl Gone Grits

Elaine from   California Living  

Esra from Irmik Hanim

Jennie from Pastry Chef Online

Jennifer from Scissors and Spatulas

Lana from Bibberche

Lisa from Lisa Is Cooking

Renee from Sweet Sugar Bean

Robin from A Chow Life

Sarah from Snippets of Thyme


Caramelized Vidalia Onion Quiche Recipe

Check this out. . .

I really don’t have much to say except that you MUST try this recipe! Even if you don’t like onions! I promise, it’s so rich and delicious and not “oniony!”
I found this recipe in Southern Living March 2012 and made it for dinner (with a few modifications from the original) a little over a week ago. Here is how I did it.

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Quiche Recipe

Slice 2-3 large sweet Vidalia onions.

sliced vidalia sweet onion

Cook onions in 2 Tbsp hot olive oil for 15-20 minutes until they are a nice caramel color.

caramelizing onions

caramelizing onions

caramelized onions

While the onions are caramelizing, grate, cook and crumble 6 slices of bacon.

Add bacon and 1 tsp chopped parsley (1/4 cup chopped fresh) to the pan.

Stir to combine.

Lay prepared pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan.

pie crust

Add half of onion mixture to the pie crust.

Grate 8 oz of Gruyere cheese (enough to equal 2 cups).

grated gruyere cheese

Add half of the shredded cheese on top of the onions.

Repeat the layers with remaining onions and cheese.
In a bowl, mix 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups half-and-half, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground pepper and 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg (I added a dash more).

Whisk until well combined.

Pour the egg mixture on over the onions and cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until set.

Let me warn you that this smells DIVINE while it cooks!

Ready to see the inside?

Oh my gosh y’all, this was SO good. I couldn’t stop eating it out of the pan after dinner! Even if you don’t think you like onions, be brave and try it, please?!

Caramelized onion quiche

I served it along side some grilled tilapia and green salad. This would also make a great luncheon dish with a salad and fruit!

Go get some Vidalias and try this! You won’t be disappointed!
Recipe adapted from Southern Living Magazine.