Key Lime Pie

I kid you not, this is the best Key Lime Pie, thanks to a secret ingredient that enhances the flavors. It whips up quickly and is a proven winner.

Dessert | September 26, 2016 | By

Some of the best Key Lime Pie I’ve ever eaten is from Publix in Florida. Seriously. It’s made in their bakery and it’s smooth and creamy with just the right amount of tangy lime flavor, real whipped cream and slivered almonds around the edge. We escape to Florida every winter to relax with family, soak up some sun, swim in the Gulf and probably eat more Key Lime Pie  than should be legal. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Publix within several states of me, but whenever I get the chance to have a slice, it reminds me of warm breezes, swaying palm trees, Jimmy Buffett music, salty air and the sun on my face.

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Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, the perfect marriage of two all-time favorites, spicy buffalo chicken and creamy macaroni and cheese.

Main Dish | September 23, 2016 | By

Fall is officially here along with my favorite weather, sweaters and jeans, cider and donuts, better hair days thanks to less humidity and of course comfort food like big pots of soup, creamy mashed potatoes with savory gravy and my personal fave, mac and cheese. Last week Caprese Sliders were born out of two summer delights, the grilled burger and a Caprese salad. This week I combined two foods I never, ever say no to: buffalo chicken and macaroni and cheese and together they became Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. This dish. . .oh man. . .elbow macaroni and chicken in a creamy, cheesy, spicy buffalo sauce topped  with blue cheese and bacon ~ yes bacon too! ~ and Pankow breadcrumbs for a little toasted crunch. . .

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Chicken Kale Pasta

This Chicken Kale Pasta post was sponsored by Eat Smart as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received product samples to facilitate my review.

Chicken Kale Pasta made with Sweet Kale Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Kit and a few simple ingredients for an easy, any night tasty, nutritious meal.

Do you remember the days of having to buy salad ingredients individually, bringing them home, then washing and chopping everything? I’m whipped just thinking about it. Of course, you can still do that today, but it’s time consuming and frankly because I can be a bit lazy, a lot of times I ended up using fewer ingredients in my salad. I bought a salad spinner a few years ago thinking it would save my sanity ~ or at least time spent washing and drying ~ but alas, the ol’ salad spinner went into one of my garage sales. When I was offered a chance to try Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits recently, I jumped. They’re a complete salad all on their own, including the dressing  ~ just toss and serve but there’s much more you can do with them. Think Creamy. Chicken. Kale. Pasta. . .

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Boozy Brownies

Boozy Brownies ~ fudgy, moist brownies topped with a salted caramel Jack Daniels laced topping. A hit at every party and a touchdown at your next tailgate.

Dessert | September 15, 2016 | By

boozy brownies

This post and the following scrumptious recipe was written by my daughter, Lauren Dezenski who was on her way to Peru in this photo. Lauren works in advertising, loves good food and wine and is always on the lookout for her next travel adventure!

Summer is my season, but I welcome fall and all that it brings: boots and scarves, all things pumpkin and tailgate season for those of us more interested in the social aspect of football. Which brings me to Boozy Brownies. I’ll be the first to admit that I can get a little competitive when it comes to bringing food to a party because let’s be honest…Pinterest has me and the rest of the world in a frenzy about bringing THE best dish. Everyone now has access to everything from cutting edge fashion to must-see travel destinations, ways to get fit and of course a recipe for every occasion.

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Caprese Slider

Caprese Slider - two summer favorites - specially seasoned grilled burgers and caprese salad all between a delicious grilled bun.

Main Dish | September 12, 2016 | By

Caprese Sliders blend two of my favorite summer dishes ~ Caprese salad and grilled burgers – and since we still have a few more days of summer, I’m sneaking this Caprese Slider recipe in under the wire. You don’t want to let the summer season or the amazing tomatoes that are still everywhere pass without trying it. Imagine if a big juicy burger and a Caprese salad had a baby. The result would be a Caprese Slider ~ specially seasoned grilled ground beef mini burger topped with fresh mozzarella, garden tomatoes and a light chiffonade of basil all between a grilled bun. So utterly delicious, it may make you want to do a cartwheel. . .or at least consider the prospect. . .

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Crispy Cod

Crispy Cod, breaded in a cornmeal-pankow breadcrumb mixture and gently pan sautéed in a little olive oil. Sweet potato fries make a great side.

Main Dish | September 8, 2016 | By

Do you have any food traditions at your house? Growing up Catholic, Fridays were always meatless meals.  Even now, Friday dinners mean fish, usually lake perch from either one of the local restaurants or my husband’s specialty, a fried lake perch dinner complete with French fries and cole slaw. Lately I’ve been trying to find ways for us to eat a bit healthier and lighter, avoiding so much fried food. Last week we disagreed about something and being the stubborn people we are, we waged a bet ~ winner chooses baked or fried. We sort of compromised with this Crispy Cod, pan sautéed in a just a little bit of olive oil, along with baked sweet potato fries. . .so yes, I won. . .

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Easy Corn Chowder

Easy Corn Chowder - delicious one-pot meal bursting with fresh summer flavor. Pair with a loaf of your favorite bakery-type bread.

Soup | September 6, 2016 | By

I try to make a weekly trip to the farmer’s market from the time it opens in the spring until the last vegetables are sold in the fall. I love supporting local farmers selling fresh fruits and vegetables, watching the produce change as summer melds into fall and I enjoy the sense of community the farmer’s market brings. This Easy Corn Chowder is a great example of what a trip there can bring. There’s still plenty of sweet corn at the farmer’s market and roadside stands. Buy some sweet corn before summer’s over and make this Easy Corn Chowder. It’s delicious summer farm freshness in a one-pot meal.

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Beef Kabobs

Beef Kabobs-tender, juicy beef marinated for delicious, robust flavor combined with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms grilled for an easy meal on a skewer.

Main Dish | September 1, 2016 | By

Can you believe Labor Day weekend is already here? Subconsciously I knew it was coming up. After all, I even bought my first bottle of Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer last week in preparation for the days afterward. I haven’t popped the top on that creamer yet, but it’ll be coming soon, like fall leaves, football games, chili fest and hopefully some playoff baseball for the home team. But until then, let’s enjoy the last of what summer has to offer with these tender, juicy Beef Kabobs.

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Easy Black Bean Soup

easy black bean soup

Main Dish, Soup | August 29, 2016 | By

Have you ever been to Key West? We had a great time there this past winter. It’s beautiful, fun, lively and in case you’re wondering, the southernmost point of the U.S. If you ever get a chance to go, I’d highly recommend it. Key West Pink Shrimp that actually are pink are everywhere and make a great appetizer just dipped in spicy cocktail sauce while you sip a rum drink and listen to Jimmy Buffett style music. They also have other outrageously good seafood there, as you’d probably expect. What came as a surprise to me was the really great Cuban cuisine, like Ropa Vieja that I just had to make when I got home and some really fine Cuban coffee. Of course, Key West is only 90 miles from Cuba, so I’m not sure why I didn’t expect Cuban food. I also ate my fill of Conch Chowder and one day, just to switch things up, I tried my first bowl of Black Bean Soup. This Easy Black Bean Soup is my take on that version. It’s spicy, rich in flavor and ideal on those nights you want to go meat-free. It actually makes my mouth water just thinking about it and transports me to that laid-back lifestyle. . .

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Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ roasted tomatoes and capers surrounding a baked, warm mound of garlic herb goat cheese. Serve with toasted baguette.

Appetizers and Beverages | August 25, 2016 | By

Way back when a long, long time ago – actually in the winter of 2015, though it seems like 100 years ago, I posted a recipe for one of my favorite combinations, roasted tomatoes and goat cheese smeared thick on a lightly toasted baguette. Like good wine, I’ve improved with age and so has that recipe. Today I’m bringing you my updated version and if I must say so myself – though please feel free to say it too – this Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer  is way better…

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