On the last Tuesday of the month there is a rather eclectic collection of women who gather together to exchange books, eat, talk, gripe, laugh. We are NOT a book club. We don’t discuss books, we just share them if we enjoyed them. We are our own lending library.

Each of us brings a dish, mine is usually a dessert, and we spend an inordinate amount of time enjoying the selection of food and each other. Sometimes there is a theme – salad night – but usually not.

In July my long time friend and confidante, who hosts each month, presented us with….

    Marinated Crawfish

My friend does not cook. Her oven has been unplugged for several months and with both of her children either gone or partially gone she and D eat a lot of salads or microwaveable dinners. So this dish was perfect for her to bring.

    3 – 5 green onions, chopped
    1 small stalk celery, chopped
    1.2 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 lb crawfish tail meat
    1/2 jar capers
    1 bottle Wishbone Italian Dressing
    2 tbl butter

Sauté the tails in butter. Cool. Mix all ingredients together. Marinate for a few hours. (The long you marinate, the better it is.)

She served these with pita bread.



When I first saw the title of this recipe I thought we were making something like a pizza. Then I remembered that ‘Down Under’ a slice is a quick cake, kind of. I only remember this because a few months back I made Bill’s Blackberry Slice from Bill Granger, an Australian chef, and it was a quick cake. So now we have Donna’s Hummingbird Slice which is like the Southern Hummingbird Cake but lighter, unfrosted, and made in an 8″ x 8″ pan rather than a layered cake.

Can you see all the coconut, carrots, and pecans in the cake. It is very like a carrot cake except the raisins are replaced by crushed pineapple which adds a tad more sweetness. But this cake wasn’t that sweet, although Kayte disagrees with me (you can find her mini cake on her site). The cake is drizzled with honey which just sweetens the whole light concoction. I have NEVER made a cake that came out so LIGHT!! It almost floated off the plate. Maybe the honey is to hold it down!! 🙂 And it is very very moist. Even three days later it is moist and delicious.

Thank you, Gaye. You just picked what is now one of our fave snack cakes. I think I’ll try these as cupcakes. Little cupcakes.

You can find the recipe on Donna’s Website. And check with Chaya for her ‘slice’ of hummingbird cake!!!

Donna Hay Wednesday is taking a break over the summer or winter if you are Chaya and Gaye. I hope you will come back and visit with us, or JOIN US!!! when we come back in August!!

Several days ago Abby of MixItBakeIt shared a recipe for Pepperoni Rolls with Kayte who then shared it with me. The result of all this sharing was a day of bread baking with Kayte. And that bread baking resulted in a tasty little treat that was a hit with everyone in her house and in mine.

Think of them as home made Hot Pockets but WAY WAY better. The pepperoni is microwaved until the pepperoni renders its fat and then some of the fat is added into the bread instead of butter. The flavor of the pepperoni is part of the dough. Inside the dough are sticks of pepperoni and I added cheese sticks (which didn’t melt).

The only alteration I made in the recipe, besides adding the cheese, was to have less meat than was called for. The recipe called for four pieces and I only used one. It really needed more, but I didn’t have enough. As it was I filled two of the eight pockets with deli ham and shredded cheddar cheese. THAT was good too.

These came out beautifully browned because of the egg wash and the dough stayed soft but slightly chewy. You could fill these with just about anything. Like mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce instead of dipping them in the sauce. OR you fill them just with tons of shredded cheese. Or taco meat. Or use butter in the dough and fill them with jam or chocolate. Like I said. Endless possibilities.

Kayte has them posted on her blog and when Abby posts them we will link to the recipe. So come on back later.

Don’t you just love that name??

Shelby’s site is just as interesting as her blog’s title. Interesting because it has such a great mix of recipes. From Bread to Venison, from decadent to healthy (Weight Watchers), you can find it all on Shelby’s site. And so so many I wanted to try. Unfortunately life got in the way and I ended up with only time to try two. So I made the choices good ones.

“Keeping Grumpy Happy” was the title of the post containing Italian Bread using a Bread Machine. It is a free form loaf that starts in the bread machine. The machine does all the work, you get all the taste. Since we are allowed to modify recipes I decided to make…

    Asiago Italian Bread

    4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    1 1/3 cups warm water
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1 cup freshly shredded Asiago Cheese {this is all I added to the mix}
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon water
    2 tablespoons cornmeal

{BTW! I cut the recipe in 1/2 so the bread DID have a lot of cheesey flavor!!}

Place flour, brown sugar, warm water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the pan of bread machine in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press start.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into two loaves and place seam side down on a cutting board generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise, until doubled, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the risen loaves with egg mixture. Make a single long, quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife. Gently shake the cutting board to make sure that the loaves are not sticking. If they stick, use a spatula or pastry knife to loosen. Slide the loaves onto a baking sheet with one quick but careful motion.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

I was afraid that a whole cup of cheese would be too much, but it turned out to be the perfect amount. I like to be able to actually taste the cheese in a cheese bread. Good plain, buttered, or toasted!!


Despite the fact I had several ‘meal’ recipes picked out I only got to dessert – Traditional Peanut Butter Cookies. According to Shelby,

    “The peanut butter cookie recipe comes from “Feeder’s Digest” which is a cookbook that was put together by locals in the Dekalb-Hermon Senior Citizens club back in 1974.”

Don’t you love the older local cookbooks put together by schools and churches, etc. I have several myself and can always find something to make from them.

These are definitely traditional but definitely tasty. They are traditionally flattened with a fork but I chose to just scoop some and let them flatten on their own.

    1 c. granulated sugar
    1 c. brown sugar
    1 c. crisco
    1 c. peanut butter
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. soda
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    2-1/2 c. flour

Mix together well. Roll in balls. Flatten with fork and bake at 375 for 8 – 10 minutes.

1/2 of the recipe gave me 26 cookies. I baked two sheets worth but had a little dough left over so I threw in a few chocolate chips. PB and Chocolate = TASTY!!

These cookies were made as part of a Baking Gals post. Shelby is one of hundreds of bakers who supply goodies to our troops overseas!! GO Shelby!!

NOW!! About those recipes I wanted to make – I will get to them….

And that’s just some of the deliciousness from Shelby. Y’all really need to visit with her!!!

BTW Shelby was my ‘assignment’ for February’s Secret Recipe Club. Once a month we are given a blog to bake/cook from and then blog about our cooking adventures. It is a wonderful way to find new blogs and wonderful recipes.

There are times when a snack is all you want.

Nothing fancy, just something savory and tasty.

Like dip.
Like this dip.
Like this dip my SIL made up. And it is delicious.

Cheesy Chicken Dip

    4 chicken breasts cut into small pieces or leftover cooked chicken {could use Rotisseri chicken}
    1/4 cup canola oil
    4 tsp McCormick Montreal low-sodium chicken seasoning
    1 can Ro-tel tomatoes, regular
    2 8oz packages cream cheese
    1/2 cup milk

Saute chicken and season in oil for 10 minutes.
Add Ro-Tel and cook 10 minutes more, stirring often
Add cheeese and milk and stir often over low heat unti cheese is melted. If too thick add tablespoon milk.
Serve with snack crackers. {or chips}

This is okay eaten cold, but so much better when it is hot.


Want something a little healthier in a finger-food!! How about…

    ….Brenda’s Veggie Bars

    2 (8 oz.) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
    2 (8 oz.}packages low fat cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup light mayonnaise
    1 – 1 oz. envelope ranch-style salad dressing mix
    1 cup shredded cheese
    Chopped vegetables {I used a cup or more of broccoli; a half cup of each of the following: carrots; cauliflower; bell pepper; sweet red, yellow, and orange peppers; celery; lots of sliced green olives}

* Unroll crescent roll dough in a lightly greased jellyroll pan or large cookie sheet, pressing edges and perforations
together to line bottom of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until browned.
* Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and salad dressing mix; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer a minute or
until smooth. Spread over cooled crust in pan. Sprinkle vegetables over cream cheese mixture; then top with cheese.
Cover and chill for several hours. Cut into squares.
*Makes 8 dozen 1 1/2inch squares. Unless your party will be huge, make half the recipe.

Brenda said this is a variation of a recipe from a 1990s Southern Living recipe.

I know! It’s a stretch! (Sarah, Plain and Tall) But I try.

This week’s TWD goodie is a simple little cake with lots of flavor.

      Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake(lettes)

With just two of us home most of the time now I am still trying to cut back on the amount of sweets I make. Cutting recipes in half is easy sometimes. Sometimes not. This one, fortunately, was quite easy to cut back. And instead of using the 11 x 7 pan Dorie recommended I used my silicone cakelette pan which makes 12 – 2.5inch mini-cakes. Half of the recipe gave me 8 plain and short blueberry cakes.

The brown sugar adds a little sweetness, the blueberries a little tart! And my Blueberries were quite tart. And they were the last ones from our picking last summer.

These are good little snack cakes. Just the right size if you want a little something sweet.

You can find the recipe on Cindy’s Blog – Everyday Insanity because it was her pick this week. Nice one, Cindy!!

Or you could just break down – finally – and buy Dorie’s Book: Baking From My Home To Yours.

I don’t really care much for Summer. I know. I know. I live in the South and basically it is almost Summer year round. Right now the weather is FANTASTIC!!! because it is cool at night and pleasantly cool (comparatively) during the day. It’s the heat I don’t like. But there are some major perks. Fresh veggies from the garden. Fresh fruit from the local farmers – strawberries, mulberries, peaches. Especially Peaches. Cobbler! Pie! Ice Cream!


      Ellie’s Peach Pie Smoothie.

Granted, this is made with Frozen Peaches, but it brings a tease of the summer to come.

The smoothie includes cinnamon, nutmeg, and cinnamon which is where the PIE quality comes from. Quite Nice! Even though I forgot the honey (it’s still sitting on the counter) and used Lemon Yoghurt rather than plain simply because that is all I had. I think the lemon actually helped by bringing out the Peach flavor a tad.

A very refreshing choice made by Chaya of Comfy Cook’s Kosher Kitchen

The recipe is on Chaya’s blog and on FoodTV.

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