Bread · Celebrations · Chicken · Dinner · Side dish

Celebration Dinner

Our family loves to celebrate, and that is usually interpreted into the meal planning. If it’s someone who is being celebrated, they rightfully get to help select their favorites.”What should we have for dinner for Father’s Day?” was an important question I asked my husband last week. He landed on some old favorites, then I chose one new recipe, and one I hadn’t made in a while. The result was a sumptuous fare that celebrated him and the gift he is to our family.

We missed our son-in-law who had to be out of town for Father’s Day!
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Dinner · Fast dessert · Fast meal · Fish · Sandwich

Catfish Po’boy Sandwich and An Old Fashioned Dessert

The meal I’m sharing today reminds me of childhood, only we’re going to take something simple and make it a little more special!

I love fish, but I especially love a fish sandwich!  I recently tried a Cooking Light recipe for Catfish Po’boy with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce. It was as amazing as it sounds! I used frozen catfish filets and we grilled them.  That alone added a great flavor to the fish, and of course it cooked up in no time.  This peanut sauce takes it up a whole new notch, adding great flavors to the sandwich!

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Comfort Food · Dinner

What To Do With that Ham Bone?

Holiday meals are creeping up on us, believe it or not! Last weekend I baked a Smithfield Brown sugar glazed ham (it’s one of the best I’ve ever bought!). After I sliced all the meat off, I tucked the bone into a freezer bag and put it in the fridge. I knew that bone had all kinds of possibilities! I usually always make Senate Bean Soup with our Christmas ham bone, but I wanted to venture out and try a new recipe.

I found this a recipe for Creamy Ham and Potato Soup and it sounded savory and delicious. It also didn’t take hours to make! The recipe suggested making ham stock with the bone and using that as the base of the soup. That’s exactly what I did. All that took was popping the bone into a stock pot with water to cover and simmering it for an hour. Easy peasy.

Here’s the simple recipe with my slight changes:

Creamy Ham and Potato Soup


  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup large carrot peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 2 cups Ham Stock or chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chicken Bouillon
  • 3 cups milk 
  • 1 pinch of salt, if needed 
  • fresh cracked black pepper


  • Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, celery until beginning to soften (about 4 minutes).
  • Add the potatoes, cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Mix the flour through and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in stock and bouillon and ham, mixing all ingredients together. Increase heat and bring to a boil until potatoes are ‘just’ fork tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add the milk and stir over the heat until thickened (about 5 minutes).
  • Add more and salt and pepper, as needed
  • Serve warm.

This was so savory! I was so happy to make such good use of that flavorful ham bone! It made a whole pot of ham stock, so now I also have more frozen for a couple more recipes of this wonderful soup!

To make your own ham stock, place the ham bone in a stock pot and cover with water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Discard bone. How easy is that?!

If you don’t have a ham bone on hand, you can purchase a bone at Honey Bake Ham! But I’d also encourage you to save this for those holiday hams in your future!

Here are a couple of our other favorite savory soups:
Sausage Corn Chowder
Chicken Gnocchi

Happy ham bone season!

Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes

So Many Tomatoes You Don’t Know What To Do?

If you have a garden or someone you know has one, it’s very possible you’ve been inundated with Tomatoes! I’m so blessed to have generous friends who share their bounty with me when my own Cherry Tomatoes quit producing.

I probably ended up with about 20 pounds of tomatoes last week, thanks to kind friends. My sister had told me about Ina Garten’s fabulous Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup and I knew I wanted to use my tomatoes to mix up a batch or two. I’m so glad I did! It’s super yummy!! I made a third batch and froze practically all of it. I did eat a small bowl for lunch and took a Quart to the friend who gave me her beautiful produce.Oh, if you love Cream of Tomato Soup, you need to make this! Just know this soup is in my freezer makes me excited about our fall lunches!

The next thing I made with all those tomatoes was this fresh salsa. I made two jars and it will just sit in the fridge and marinate for a number of hours and then disappear this week as we have chips and salsa and tacos. This recipe has a little honey in it for some sweetness, and a jalapeno for a little kick. Yum!

Here is the way I made the salsa recipe:

Fresh Salsa
4 or 5 red and/or yellow tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
Fresh black pepper

Mix all ingredients and let marinate in the refrigerator at least an hour.

I love fresh tomatoes on pizza! They can be Cherry Tomatoes or chopped up large tomatoes. This Two-Ingredient Pizza Dough recipe is my current go-to recipe!

One of the most savory tomato recipes I make is this Cheese Ravioli with Tomatoes. It’s a fast meal, but has so much flavor because of the roasted tomatoes. Oh, my goodness, I could eat this every week!

Lastly, there’s Tomato Pie. If you’re shaking your head, you’ve never tried it. I told someone recently that it’s like a grown-up BLT.

Tomato Pie

  • Baked pie crust
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbl. Olive Oil
  • Cooked Bacon Crumbles (2 slices)
  • 2 Sliced Tomatoes
  • 1/3 C Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/3 C Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 C Light Mayo
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Saute’ onions in Olive oil. Place in baked pie shell. Place bacon crumbles on sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix Mayo, cheeses and basil. Spread over tomatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned a hot.

When I made this last week, I also drizzled a LITTLE Balsamic reduction over the tomatoes. You can add that, too, if you want a depth of flavor!

This is so delicious, but don’t take my word for it. Use up those August tomatoes and make a Tomato Pie this week. I hope you’ll give some of the other tomato recipes a try as well! You’ll be in tomato heaven!

Who’s had Tomato Pie? Which of these recipes appeals most to you?

Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · salad

Big Mac Salad

These hot August days sometimes turn my appetite away from heavy, hot foods to cold, refreshing salads. But when you need some protein, and you want more than a garden salad, what do you do?

You add ingredients to the salad that have the taste of a Big Mac without the heaviness or the calories of a burger! This Big Mac Salad is basically a deconstructed hamburger without the bun. But it’s hearty and delicious!

Here’s how you make it:

Big Mac Salad


  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 8 oz Romaine lettuce (or iceberg if desired)
  • 1 cup Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Reduced Fat Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Pickles (diced)


  • 1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Pickles (diced)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  sweetener of choice
  1. Brown ground beef, adding salt and pepper. Break beef up into small crumbles as it cooks.
  2. In a large bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and pickles. Top with cooked ground beef. Top with dressing just before serving.
    You can also assemble each salad on the plates as I did in the photos here.
  3. For Dressing:
    Mix ingredients in a mason jar. Add warm water or oil to make it a pouring consistency .

This meal is also super fast and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes – probably faster than you could run to the local fast food restaurant and get served! It’s the perfect meal on a hot day, or a day when you want something delicious, but healthier than a hamburger!

What do you eat when it’s hot outside?