Baked, Stuffed Artichokes

Recipe adapted from
  • 2 lbs. artichokes, about 4 medium
  • 1 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice from one lemon

Preheat oven to 375F.  Prepare the artichokes – cut the stem flat so artichokes sit flat. Trim the pointed end of each of the leaves with scissors so that they are flat. Trim the very top of the artichoke with a serrated knife by approx. 1 inch.  Brush the cut parts of the artichoke with a wedge of lemon to keep the artichokes from browning while being prepared.

This following step is optional – removing the choke.  Spread out the leaves to reveal the choke. Pull out all of the feathery pieces with purple-tinted edges. Remove the choke by using a spoon with a sharp edge, being sure to scrape the sides so all of the fuzzy pieces are removed.  Personally, I don’t do this step as it can be easily removed while consuming.

In a medium bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, oil, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Pull apart the outer leaves just enough to ‘stuff’ the artichoke, pulling apart the leaves and pressing the filling in between them. 

Place the stuffed artichokes in a large Dutch oven then fill with water until it reaches the level of the first leaves. Cover with lid and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.  Remove and serve immediately with a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

* Can be served with a side of remoulade sauce or melted butter to dip the leaves into.


Serving suggestion.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, plain or tri-color, cooled
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • 1 7.5oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried or fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – crumbled feta cheese

Combine all ingredients, except the feta, in a medium bowl. Chill for a half an hour to allow the flavors to meld. If using the feta, sprinkle desired amount on top of the salad just before serving.

Cheesy Skillet Domino Potatoes

This recipe is from @jesseszewczyk .
I found it so amazing I had to share it here!
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 pounds medium yukon gold or russet potatoes (10-12)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or Gruyere)
  • 1 cup grated store-bought parmesan cheese
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350F. Rub 2 tbsp. unsalted butter on the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.

Wash the potatoes. Using a mandoline or sharp knife to thinly slice the potatoes. Set aside.

To a large bowl add the cheeses. Mince the garlic and add to the cheeses. Pick the leaves from the fresh thyme and finely chop until you have approx. 4 tsps. and add to the cheese mixture. Add the heavy cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir to combine. 

Transfer about a third of the mixture to the skillet and spread to coat. Arrange a few of the potato slices in a flat spiral to cover the bottom of the skillet. Then stack bunches of the sliced potatoes vertically in the skillet so that you can see most of the edges of the slices. Continue stacking and arranging to use up all the slices.

Spoon the remaining cream mixture evenly over the potatoes. The cream should come about 1/2″ to the top of the skillet.  If you have too much, don’t use it all.  If you have too little simply add some cream to the skillet.

Place the skillet on a baking sheet. Bake until the top is deep golden brown and the potatoes are tender, 1 hour 40 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes. You can remove a slice of potato from the center and check for doneness if you are uncertain. Check after 1 hour 15 minutes. If the top is already browned loosely cover the top with aluminum foil and continue baking. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with more fresh thyme if desired.

Pork Roast with Apple, Sage Bread Stuffing

  • 1 medium size pork roast
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 1/2 cup dried bread cubes, can be homemade or store bought suffing cubes
  • 1 tsp. Bell’s brand seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried sage
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Prepare the pork roast by placing on a large cutting board. Slice the roast open by cutting through with a sharp knife being careful not to cut all the way through. You should be able to lay the roast out open and flat.

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onion. Saute’ until translucent, approx. 10 minutes. Add the apples and the bread cubes and toss well.  Add the seasonings.  Add the broth and mix together well.

Spread the stuffing mix onto one side of the prepared pork roast.  Fold over the other side of the roast and tie together with butcher’s twine.  You may have to push the stuffing in to create a tight seal.  It doesn’t matter if some of the stuffing is protruding.  (see pictures)  Bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes, rotating the meat once. Check the internal temperature by using a meat thermometer stuck into the meat portion only, not into the stuffing mixture. Return to the oven until the temperature should read at least 160F when done. Remove from the oven and tent with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes before slicing. 

Individual Traditional Quiche in Phyllo Pastry

This recipe works best in large sized muffin tins
  • 1/2 cup butter – melted
  • 12 sheets phyllo pastry
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half

*note – use a large sized muffin pan for best results. The yield will be six individual quiche.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lay two or three of the phyllo sheets on a clean surface and brush with the melted butter. Add another one or two and brush again. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets. Brush the muffin cups with the melted butter. Cut the phyllo pastry into six squares. Press each square into the muffin cups.

Beat the eggs until well incorporated. Add the scallions and the cheese. Beat in the cream or half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Pour evenly into the lined muffin tin. Bake at 350F until set and puffed a bit or until egg is set, approx., 18 – 20 minutes. Time may vary depending on oven types. Remove from the oven and loosen around the edges to remove the individual quiches. Serve immediately.

Spicy Dilly Beans

These add just the right amount of crunch to a salad or just eat them right out of the jar – a great addition to a classic charcuterie.

Approximate yield is 5 pint jars

3 pounds green beans, washed and stem end snipped off

2 1/2 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups water

4 tbsp. pickling salt

5 medium whole cloves of garlic, peeled

5 tsp. dill seed

5 tsp. red chile flakes

5 tsp. celery seed

Place the prepared beans into clean pint jars. To each jar add the one clove of garlic and the dill seed, chili flakes and celery seed. Prepare a brine by combining the vinegar, water and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Distribute the hot brine among the jars. Seal and refrigerate. The beans should be ready to eat in about one week.  They should keep several weeks in the refrigerator.

Note – I added small peppers (similar to pepperoncini) that my daughter had growing in her garden just for some added flavor. I also experimented by adding fresh dill as well. There is a margin for practicing with your own additions here. Enjoy!

Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions are probably one of the easiest things to make. This recipe does not call for traditional “canning” as in using a water bath. Instead these will keep in the refrigerator for easily a month or so due to the vinegar brine.

  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. kosher or regular salt
  • 2 tsps. black peppercorns
  • 4 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced and separated

Divide the sliced onions among 4 pint size canning jars. Add the peppercorns evenly between the 4 jars.  In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Pour the hot brine over the onions. Seal and refrigerate. The onions will be ready to eat in a few days. Great on salads and sandwiches!

Praline Mousse

This recipe comes from Southern Lady Magazine,
super easy and very delicious!
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup caramel topping, such as Smucker’s or Ghirardelli Brand
  • 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup cold whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped praline pecans*
  • Garnish – toffee bits or toffee brittle

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, caramel topping and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until well combined – about one minute.

In a separate medium bowl, whip the cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture until combined, then fold in the praline pecans until just combined. 

Spoon into 9 approx. 3-ounce sized dishes or glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with toffee bits or brittle, if desired.

*I used Heath Brand english toffee bits instead of the praline pecans for those who cannot eat nuts.


Mustard Potato Salad

  • 2 1/2 lbs. white potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1-2 medium dill pickles diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley – roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • approx. 1 tbsp. juice from the dill pickles

Boil the potatoes until fork tender. Drain and set aside to cool. When completely cooled, peel and cut the potatoes into bite-size cubes. Add the celery, onion, pickles, herbs and salt and pepper. Lightly toss together. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard and pickle juice in a small bowl. Add to the potato mixture and toss to completely coat. More mayo/mustard can be added if you prefer a heavier coating. Chill and serve.

Egg Bites

A delicious and nutritious alternative for carb friendly breakfasts or just an anytime healthy snack

This recipe has a lot of wiggle room.  The quantity of eggs used can be reduced and the ingredients can be changed. I chose scallions and peppers, but other ingredients could be substituted such as fresh spinach, chopped bacon or sausage. I would shy away from mushrooms as they add moisture which could affect the consistency of the eggs while cooking. I used a large size muffin pan but I would suggest a regular size and always one with a non-stick finish.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare non-stick muffin pan by spraying liberally with cooking spray.

12 eggs

1/2 bell pepper finely chopped

3 scallions finely chopped including the greens

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parseley

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

Pepper as desired

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until completely blended.  Add in the chopped vegetables, cheese and seasonings. Blend well. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin to about 1/2 full. 


Place into preheated oven and bake for approx. 20-30 minutes. Eggs will puff up while baking. Do not overbake.  Remove from the oven, the eggs will shrink while cooling.  When they have shrunk down, carefully run a sharp knife around the egg bites and remove to a platter and serve.

Note – if the eggs are not removing easily, use a small spatula to slowly scoop under the egg bites to loosen from the pan.  Also the egg bites can be frozen and reheated for use at another time.  Simply thaw and reheat in the microwave for approx. 40 seconds.