Tomato and Asparagus Salad It's a Keeper

Fresh Tomato and Asparagus Salad

There is nothing like the taste of fresh asparagus to signify that spring is here.  As one of the first harvests of spring, there’s a small window of time when asparagus is at its finest. This tomato and asparagus salad, topped with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect way to welcome warmer weather.

This crisp, light salad showcases all that tender asparagus has to offer.  It’s almost like you can taste spring-time in every bite.   It’s truly a beautiful salad.  The red, juicy tomatoes contrasted with the bright green asparagus and ribbons of fresh basil.  The whole thing glistening from the vinaigrette.   It’s a sight, I tell you.

Lemon Blueberry Bread It's a keeper

Blueberry Lemon Bread

There is something magical about the combination of blueberries and lemon.  Just the thought of these two flavors together makes my mouth water.  When I came across this recipe for Blueberry Lemon bread, I couldn’t resist.

This bread is really more of a cake.  It has the consistency of a pound cake but with all of the added flavor a quick bread.   Plus it’s bursting with the bright, happy flavors of lemon and blueberry!

Burger with caramelized onions

Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Don’t tell my husband, but I’m having a love affair.  I’m obsessed.  I just can’t seem to get enough…..of onions!  Yes.  Onions.  It’s nothing that sordid, but oh, so wonderful, nonetheless!

I seriously, can’t seem to get enough.  I like them roasted, sauteed, grilled, raw.  Basically, any way imaginable.  So, it only makes sense that when I watched The Pioneer Woman a few weeks ago on Food Network, my mouth started watering when she made her sliders with caramelized onions!  I mean, c’mon!  A big pan full of golden-brown strands, glistening from the butter…all tender and silky.  I can almost taste them!  There was only one thing left to do…slap a pan on the stove and melt some butter…honey, we’re gonna caramelize some onions!

Peach Cake 1 It's a Keeper

Summer Peach Cake

The other night, my mother called and asked if she could come over…with dessert!  Uh, duh!  She had found a recipe in the newspaper for a fresh peach cake and, since her peach tree has produced a lot of fresh peaches she thought she would give it a whirl!

Our local newspaper, The Scranton Times Tribune, has a weekly feature where they select two recipes to showcase in Wednesday’s edition.  About a year ago, I was lucky enough to be selected and have my recipe for Braciole featured!  It was quite exciting — my 15 seconds of “fame”! So, I was excited to try a recipe from another local cook! The recipe below is from Marilyn Altomare.

Wegman's Grilled Orzo Salad

Grilled Orzo Salad

A few years ago I went to a cooking class at my local Wegman’s supermarket.  It was a great class on grilling.  I learned a log of great tips and techniques.  One of the recipes they made that night was a Grilled Orzo Salad.  I must have liked the recipe, because I found it buried deep in my recipe stash. 

Grilled Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction

Grilled Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction

During the hot, sticky summer months, I’m always on the lookout for new salad ideas. Maybe it’s because I’m not in the mood for heavy dishes. Or, maybe it’s because my garden is always so plentiful during the dog-days of summer. Whatever the reason, my recipe pile is full of contenders — everything from slaws, pasta salads and mayo-based concoctions to plates full of leafy goodness.

S'mores Bars

S’mores Bars

One of my favorite parts of summer is sitting by a roaring fire outside as the sun sets and disappears behind the mountains.  Maybe it’s the peepers and crickets chirping…or the cozy feeling of the warm fire and soft blanket around my shoulders.  Maybe it’s the conversation and storytelling?  Or, maybe….it’s the marshmallows! 

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pie

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pie

A few weeks ago, Mrs. Happy Homemaker linked up this delightful recipe. The minute I saw it, I had to give it a try. I literally dropped everything, threw my son in the car (well not really threw, but quickly ushered him) and headed to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients I didn’t already have.

Once I got home I was able to whip this pie up in no time flat! And, it’s a good thing. Because I had a peanut gallery that was drooling over my shoulder!

It's a Keeper Recipes

Roasted Cinnamon Pear Bruschetta

When I came across this recipe in my in-box, I don’t know what I liked better — the “cinnamon pear” part or the “bruschetta” part!  Put both of those things together and it sounded like bliss!   The recipe came from The Pioneer Woman blog — if you’ve never checked it out, I highly recommend it!  She does a great job — great recipes (like this one!), great photos, just plain awesome! Oh, and check out her photo for this recipe…I had a camera mishap and don’t have a photo for this recipe. 

Bread and Butter Pickles

For those of you that have been following my blog, you know that I’ve been dying to learn how to can!  A few weeks ago I sent out a plea for a little old lady to teach me!  I have to say, I was shocked (and touched) at how many people offered up their grandmas and aunts to me!

Well, I never did complete a canning apprenticeship with a little old lady.  But, this past weekend, my mother and I decided we were going to take the bull by the horns and teach ourselves! 

Chicken Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

I’m always on the lookout for dishes that I can pre-make for my work lunches.  So when this recipe popped up in my inbox I thought I would give it a try. 

Open faced chicken caprese sandwich

Open Faced Chicken Caprese Sandwiches

My husband works a swing shift as a crime fighter so some nights, it’s just Joey (my 4 year old) and I for dinner.  Tonight was one of those nights.

Grilled Garlic Corn on the Cob

I just got home from my friend Jill’s house tonight and, not only did we have great conversation but she had the BEST corn on the cob that I’ve ever had!

They say that a great hostess makes her guests feel right at home and gives the impression that nothing is too much trouble for her guests.  This is Jill.

It was a simple cookout.  The kids swimming in the pool.  Hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill.  Big wedges of watermelon on the table.   And, corn on the cob.   A perfect, warm June evening. 

Creamy Coleslaw and Remembering Bingham’s

Coleslaw is one of those foods that I either love or hate.  If it’s made well (translation: to my particular liking), I can’t enough of the stuff.   I think the best coleslaw I have ever tasted was at Bingham’s Family Restaurant in Lenox, PA.  It was perfectly creamy with a hint of sweetness and a little kick.  Of course, I’m not surprised that their coleslaw was fabulous.  Everything I’ve ever ordered from Bingham’s was wonderful.

Copycat Ruth's Chris Vanilla Cream with Berries

Copycat Ruth’s Chris Sweet Vanilla Cream with Berries

A few weeks ago, I had a wonderful birthday dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  The food was absolutely to-die-for!  I remember feeling a little bit sad when I took my last bite of filet mignon.  It was heavenly!  Just when I thought I couldn’t eat another bite, the waiter brought our dessert.  It was a small dish of vanilla cream with fresh berries on top.

Oh…my…god!  Words cannot describe how good that stuff was!  I knew I had to figure out to make this for myself! 

Cherry Jubilee Cheesecake Squares

My sister-in-law, Cathy, make this dessert for Easter dinner.  She found the recipe on the back of a cake mix box.  While I didn’t make the recipe, per se.  I was an active taste-tester! And, that’s what this blog is about.