Farmer's Market Tortellini Salad

This recipe is slightly adapted from one I tore out of SouthernLiving magazine.

It's perfect for this time of year with all the fresh fruits and vegetables available.
The parmesan vinaigrette is light and wonderful, and would be good 
used on most other salads or as a marinade.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.
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Farmer’s Market Tortellini Salad

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
2 small squash, thinly sliced into half moons
1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips 
1 cup fresh corn kernels 
1 cup diced firm, ripe fresh peaches (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions 
Parmesan Vinaigrette
8oz fresh cheese filled tortellini
2 cups shredded chicken (about 10 oz.)
1/3 cup torn fresh basil
1/3 cup torn fresh parsley

Toss together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Add hot cooked pasta and chicken to tomato mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with basil and parsley.

Parmesan Vinaigrette

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Process Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add basil and parsley; pulse 5 or 6 times or just until blended.


Fruit Pizza

Ok, so this recipe has been in my family for ages and I made it for my 
hubby the first time a couple of nights ago. 

He told me it is now his favorite dessert that I have ever made him, then asked if it was a new recipe. Of course I told him no, that my family had been making it for years. 

He looked at me with this incredulous look on his face and has been talking about me holding out on him every since. He wants one every week for the next month to make up for it, lol.

 It is awesomely good and easy to make so yea, I can do that. 
Oh, and he wants me to make one for MY birthday, instead of cake.

This picture is before the delicious fruit juice reduction, isn't it beautiful.
You can use any fruit that you want but I make sure I use at least one can of something for the juice. I found that the combination of pineapple and mandarin orange 
makes a great combination for the glaze. Oh, and I need to mention the crust.
It is AWESOME. Almost like a buttery shortbread. Not too hard and not too soft. 
It supports the fruit when cut and has a perfect bite.


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

8 oz cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

20oz can pineapple, drain and reserve juice
11oz can mandarin oranges, drain and reserve juice

1 cup reserved juice from canned fruit
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice

Heat oven to 350*

Mix flour, sugar and salt; cut in butter and vanilla. Press onto a round pizza sheet or stone. Bake 12-15 minutes (cooking time of the crust is approximate so check it as it cooks) or until light brown. Cool.

Beat together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; spread over cooled crust.

Arrange fruit of your choice on top.

Stir together glaze ingredients and boil until thick; cool, then pour over the pizza. I used a sauce brush to help spread it on the fruit.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.


3 Birthdays and the 4th of July

Leah (my sister) is what you would call "the hostess with the mostess".

She's very generous and love's celebrating special moments.
With a large family that can be a bit much, especially with 
3 birthdays in July plus the holiday. 

So this year she combined my dad's, mom's and my birthday 
along with the 4th of July. It was a blast!

Everything was so festive.

This is her potting shed all decked out for the 4th. Love it!

Nothing says the 4th like tossing raw eggs at each other. 
Huge fun and my partner and I actually won the 2nd game. Thank You!

This was also a birthday celebration so of course we had to have cake.

And what a cake it was. Not only was it delicious, it looked awesome. Leah has a huge talent for making and decorating cakes. Gorgeous!

Just because I think this bird is awesome.

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Black Eyed Pea Salsa aka Texas Caviar

This is my version of Texas Caviar and I want to let you know, "it rocks".

I made it for the first time for a camping trip my hubby and I took a couple of weeks ago.
We ate the entire jar the minute we cracked it open.

I think it's a great alternative to regular salsa. Also would work great in place of relish on hot dogs, on grilled chicken and I'm sure a ton of other ways that escape me for the moment.

Linked with Foodie Friday and Weekend Potluck.

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Black Eyed Pea Salsa

15oz black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp red onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 plum tomato, chopped
3 tbsp red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
7-8 shakes of tabasco
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tsp honey
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and Pepper

Stir all ingredients together. Let sit for 30 minutes for flavors to develop.


Fettuccine with Herb Roasted Tomatoes

This is one of those delicious pasta dishes that is full of deep flavor but very easy to make.
I served it along side Caribbean Chicken and some of the 
most awesome Pepper Jack Cornbread.

Roasting the tomatoes covered with the garlic and seasonings is the key.


Linked with Sunflower Supper Club & Foodie Friday.
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Fettuccine with Herb Roasted Tomatoes

2 pounds medium plum tomatoes (10 to 12), halved lengthwise
1/2 cup olive oil, divided use
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
8oz  tomato sauce
2 tsp sugar
8 oz  fettuccine
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, if desired

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place tomato halves, cut side up on baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed.

Mix 1/4 cup of the oil, minced garlic and seasonings in a small bowl; spoon over tomatoes. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil. Roast 30-40 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat and saute onion with a pinch of salt and pepper until softened. Add roasted tomatoes and juices to the skillet and break up with a potato masher (I like to pull most the skin off of the tomato before adding). Stir in tomato sauce and sugar; bring to a simmer.

Prepare pasta as directed on package until al dente. Add to the skillet along with parmesan cheese and basil. Toss to combine.

NOTE: I like to cook my pasta just shy of al dente and add it to the sauce with tongs so some of the cooking liquid gets added, then toss it well with the sauce and cheese while still on the heat.

Adapted from McCormick recipe.


Pepper Jack Cornbread

I know I'm not the only one that hoards recipes. So when I tell you I came across this one that I had printed out who knows when, with no information other than the ingredients and directions, and that I have no idea where it came from, I know you understand.

What I can tell you about it is that it's totally amazing. Really moist with a wonderful kick.

Just wait until I tell you what I did with the leftovers.

Here's a hint.

Linked with Weekend Potluck.

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Pepper Jack Cornbread

1/2 cup butter, divided use, chilled and cubed
1 cup onion, chopped
1 3/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese
1 1/3 cups frozen corn, thawed and drained
2 oz roasted marinated red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 400*. Butter a 9x9x2 baking pan.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in medium skillet; sauté onion until tender; cool.

Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and soda in a large bowl. Add 7 tbsp butter and rub with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Whisk buttermilk and eggs to blend; add to dry ingredients and stir until blended. Mix in cheese, corn, red peppers, basil, and onion. Transfer to prepared pan.

Bake cornbread until golden and tester inserted comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool 20 minutes in pan before serving.