Fresh Bottled Pickles

We have so many pickling cucumbers this year we cant eat them fast enough. One thing I am picky about is my pickles. If they are the nasty ones that sit on the shelf at the store I don't want them. They are limp and flavorless. I love the refrigerated kind that still look like pickles and have a crunchy snap. These are just like that.

Ingredients: per jar

2-3 Pickling Cucumbers depending on size use as many will fit, sliced in wedges
3 garlic gloves, smashed just enough that they are still whole
2-3 sprigs of Dill
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. white vinegar

Directions: I find it easier to place as many pickles in the jar as I can then fill the jar with water. Once you do that add the salt, vinegar, garlic, and dill. Close the lid and shake vigorously. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating. If they are not salty enough add 1 more tsp. of salt. I usually wait 2 days before I try one.
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German Pancake

My Grandma is German but this is not from her ha. Actually I just really wanted to eat one and researched a bunch of different recipes. I combined what I liked and lucky for me I wrote it down.

6 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup flour
4 tbsp. butter

Directions: Mix all ingredients except for the butter. In a 9x13 pan melt the butter in the oven first. Then pour the batter into the pan. Cook on 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

* If using a round pan I would reduce the recipe. Otherwise it may be too thick on the bottom and puff up too large.

*Also I put my batter in a blender so it didnt have any lumps.
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Southwest Turkey Burgers

I had a sample of a turkey burger at Costco the other day and oh baby! They were delicious. They never really sounded appealing to me but I am a changed woman. I bought some and tried to think of ways that would make it more flavorful and this is what i came up with.

Turkey patties (I used Kirkland brand)


Chipotle Mayo
1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp. pureed Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce

1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can corn drain and rinsed
1 diced red bell pepper
1/2 yellow onion diced
1-2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp. cilantro chopped
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika

Cook patties on grill with seasoning according to package. Spread on the chipotle mayo and add toppings. For Relish: saute veggies in a pan until onions have cooked and translucent. Not too long or else it all starts to break down. Add cilantro at the end and remove from heat. Top warm relish on burger, and eat the rest with chips. Delicious!
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Chicken Croquettes

This is a little piece of heaven. They have a ton of flavor and the creole sauce just adds a little tang that I love. Perfect little snack!

2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1/2 onion chopped
3 cups cooked chicken chopped
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup mayo
2 eggs beaten
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp worchester sauce
1 tsp. creole seasoning or seasoned salt

1 clove garlic minced
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp creole seasoning

Saute peppers, onion, celery, and garlic in butter/oil. When cooked add chicken and remove off heat. Add all the wet ingredients and panko and form patties.  Cook in shallow olive oil just until golden on each side. Top with the sauce.
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Greek Pasta Salad

One of my favorites. So refreshing I am a pasta salad girl all the way. The end.


1 16 oz. Penne pasta cooked until firm
3 cups cooked chicken
1 English cucumber diced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup grape tomatoes halved
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup feta cheese
1 pkg. baby spinach leaves

1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup veg. oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 garlic cloves
1 green onion stalk
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp. poppy seeds

Directions: Put ingredients in a blender for the dressing. Puree it and then add the poppy seeds. Combine ingredients and add the dressing no more than 30 min before serving or the spinach wilts. Also if making ahead keep dressing separate before serving.
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Pizza Sauce the Right Way

Making your own pizza sauce is a little time consuming but the more you make it the better and faster it gets. I had been thinking about making my own sauce for a really long time and I just didn't know where to begin. I have used both canned and fresh and I prefer the fresh. I figure if your going through the trouble you might as well make it as fresh as you can. In the Winter would be the only time I would use canned tomatoes.


10 large tomatoes
2 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
1-3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp. vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Bring to boil a pot of water. Cut an X in the tomatoes and drop them into the water. When the skin cracks they are done. Transfer to an ice bath and cool. Remove skin and seeds from inside. chop the tomatoes. In a pan saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes and herbs. Simmer on low-med for 20 minutes. The longer the simmer the more moisture is removed. If you like it liquidy instead of chunky you can use an immersion blender or puree it in a blender. I prefer the immersion blender. At the end add the sugar. Go really slow with this and taste it, you don't want it to be too sweet. Then add a splash of vinegar and that's it.So good you will never turn back I promise!
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Homemade Basil Pizza Dough

It seems like every pizza dough I try is good, but it doesn't quite have that chewy texture that you get at the pizza chains. I seriously think this is the best pizza dough and I really like the flecks of basil and flavor it adds. I also make this on the grill a lot and its delicious.

1 tbsp yeast
1/3 cup really warm water
1/2 tbsp sugar
mix together and wait until foamy and doubled in size
then add:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour plus more if needed
1 tsp basil

Add all in a mixer with a dough attachment add the salt very last so it doesn't kill the yeast. knead and add flour until it pulls away from the bowl. If mixing by hand knead for about 5 minutes. Poke the dough with your finger if it bounces back with no dent, it's ready.

When I make pizza I cook it on 500 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.
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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Probably my most favorite salad of all time! Im not kidding it's so good, and the feta cheese just tops its off.


1 bag or box cooked farfelle/bowtie pasta (or whatever you have)
1 pkg cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced roasted red bell peppers
2 cans marinated artichoke hearts
1 container grape or cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 4oz. can whole black olives
1/2 cup fresh Basil, chopped
2 cups shredded chicken (opt)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon white sugar
1 tsp. salt
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Red Velvet Cupcakes

It has been my mission to find a a great red velvet cupcake recipe. You would think it would be easy because of their popularity but, indeed it wasn't. Most just were not moist enough for my liking until I found this recipe. Truly the best cupcakes and the frosting...well you get the point! I would rate this a 5 out of 5.


1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
mix together in a mixer

In a separate bowl or cup combine:
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. red food coloring (if you want a more intense red add a splash of bright pink if you have it)
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla

And in other bowl combine:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

After you have the butter, sugar and egg mixture you will add the wet and dry ingredients in rotations. Add a little wet and mix, and a little dry until all combined. Just make sure you end with dry before baking . Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and frost.

Whip together

1 8oz. cream cheese room temp
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla (if imitation vanilla double it always)
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
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Shrimp Dip

This dip is delicious. My friends mother is a great cook and so I'm not shocked that this shrimp dip came from her collection of recipes. We had this at a BBQ and ate it with potato chips. Thanks Kathy!
I even had my mom who does NOT like shrimp try this, and she loved it. Just saying.


1 8oz. Cream cheese room temp
3 tbsp. Miracle Whip ( i do half mayo, have miracle)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. celery chopped fine
1 tbsp. onion chopped fine
1 can baby shrimp drained, crumbled (looks like a tuna can, shrimp size- tip of pinkie)


With a hand mixer, mix the wet ingredients. Then fold in the veggies and shrimp, so hard i know. Serve with potato chips.
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