Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Month: June 2009

Strawberry Apple Fruit Jam

“Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.” Although to my Grandmother Jepson’s house we had to go a round a lake and pass farm lands of south central Florida. On the way home from our Sunday trips we would stop […]

Cheap and Tasty: Skillet Tamale with Polenta

One of the first questions I am asked after someone finds out that I am from Southern Florida is, “so did you have alligators in your backyard?” No alligators but we did have a family of peacocks down the street. And by the way, there […]

Lemon Orzo with Mushrooms and Pine Nuts

Lemon Orzo with Mushrooms and Pine Nuts

Orzo is a type grain often times referred to as Orzo Pasta. Depending on the market it is either shelved with the pasta or the rice. Or you can readily find it in the bins of a health food market. All my small town grocery store offered was a box of Orzo with a season packet similar to those boxes of Rice-a-Roni.

Lemon Orzo with mushrooms and pine nuts is one of my favorite side dishes. I love the excitement the lemon lends to this light fresh dish.

Source: Rachael Ray
1 pound orzo
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Juice of 2 lemons, plus grated peel of 1 lemon
Two 6-ounce packages sliced white mushrooms

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo until al dente; drain and return to the pot. Stir in the pine nuts, parsley, lemon juice, lemon peel and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; season with salt and pepper. In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over high heat until rippling. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes. Divide the orzo among 4 plates and top with the mushrooms.

Cherry Breakfast Cake

A couple of weeks ago we took the kids to an annual blueberry festival at a local farm. The kids enjoyed plucking ripe blueberries and cherries, munching a few along the way. The highlight of my day was Mason’s dirt streaked face. Evidence he had […]

Making Time for the Family: Good Morning Hello’s

The curtain opens on a bed, two people lost in dreamland. All of a sudden three little children come bursting into the room and pounce on the unmoving bumps hidden under the covers. Laughter ensues as the kids are tackled with tickles and kisses and […]

Clarifying Honey


I went to make some whole wheat banana scones one day but discovered the honey was crystallized. My brother mentioned how to clarify honey once.

Crystalized Honey

Heat the bottle in a pan of simmering water until the honey begins to separate.

Crystalized Honey after heating

Pour the honey through a sieve to separate.

Chili Beef Stuffed Zucchini

How well do you know your kids? When I was a kid I often stayed at my best friend’s house. A few times I had the unfortunate pleasure of being there the nights her mom served stuffed baked tomatoes. As a kid I thought that […]

Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

The combination of sweet potatoes and muffin mix was the deciding factor in trying this version of corn chowder. Surprisingly the soup was light with a hint of sweet. Source: Cook’s Country serves 6-8 3 cups whole milk 1 cup yellow corn Jiffy muffin mix […]

Watermelon, Feta and Grilled Shrimp Salad

Watermelon Feta and Grilled Shrimp Salad

This salad is by far one of my favorite summer dinnertime passions. I love seafood. It is one food Florida offered plenty of while the valley of California does not. While I lived in Texas a friend of mine would drive to the coast about an hour away to bring back fresh shrimp. The night before my departure we enjoyed a shrimp feast of grilled jumbo shrimp and boiled shrimp on ice. These days I like to keep some in the freezer for special occasions.

I used frozen cooked shrimp thawed in cold water. I added the oil, salt and pepper to the drained srimp then let sit for about five minutes. Since it was already cooked I added the shrimp to a hot skillet for 1-2 seconds tossing to heat through. Cooking the shrimp any longer would have resulted in tough dry shrimp.

I also omitted a few ingredients from the dressing. I loved the lime juice and honey by itself. It tasted sweet and tangy without the weight of the oil.

Source: Adapted from
Serves 4
1 pound shrimp, peeled and devined (21-25 shrimp)
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp Kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp honey
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 cups mixed salad greens
8 seedless watermelon wedges
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high.

Toss shrimp with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lightly spray grill or grill pan with olive oil spray, and cook shrimp about 2 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Transfer shrimp to a plate to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and honey (see variations for alternate dressing).

To serve, place 1 cup greens on each of 4 plates and top with 2 melon wedges, onion slices, feta, about 6 shrimp each and a drizzle of dressing. Serve immediately.

The dressing originally included a 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars

A friend of mine and I were discussing how our mother’s helped wipe away our heartache with chocolate and a movie. My friend has carried on that tradition with her teenage daughter as I will one day with mine. I certainly am not suggesting downing […]