Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of my childhood favorites made with comforting layers of long tubular pasta, a delicious homemade Mediterranean meat sauce spiced with ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves,  nutmeg, this classic Greek dish is topped with creamy béchamel and Kefalotyri cheese and guaranteed to be a family favorite for the dinner table.

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of those wonderful Mediterranean pasta recipes that take me back to my teen years in Ohio. It reminds me of two things, the holidays with my friends and one of my favorite festivals in Warren, Ohio that Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church hosts every year; The Greek Fest. This year will be their 50th Annual hosting of the Greek Festival, one of the largest Greek festivals in Ohio.

Pastitsio is one of the cherished classic Greek recipes I used to beg my friends to ask their mom’s for. In the beginning, no one was budging for my request of their cherished recipe for that delicious baked pasta, it actually took me years to earn the rights to the recipe. That request of mine required me to watch a few amazing women make their traditional family recipes several times to get this recipe on point. Moral of the story, if you want something special you need to be willing to put the labor and time in to make it properly. Continue reading

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Southern-Style Bean Salad

This sweet yet Tangy Southern-Style Bean Salad is the perfect side dish for potlucks, Church gatherings, and family picnics. It’s a super easy recipe to make; combining fresh flash steamed green beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, white beans, black beans, chickpeas, red onion, cilantro, and a deliciously fresh tasting simple to make homemade dressing.

Southern-Style Bean Salad is my a spinoff of the 60’s generation of Three Bean Salad. The great salad revolution began in the early 1960’s like so many other cultural cuisines in America. In the decade of more natural and organic ingredients; many Americans were first introduced to bean salads in the sixties, not to mention rice, Bulgar, wheat, all of which were destined to become increasingly popular in the near future.  The original 3 Bean Salad of the 60’s consisted solely of the combination of marinated or pickled kidney beans, chickpeas, and green beans.I know it’s been a good deal of time since I have even thought of that bean salad, so I decided that a good old-fashioned Southern update was in order for this recipe. I decided that three measly types of beans were not going to cut it. I wanted to pay more of a Southern homage to my Bean Salad and decided white beans, black-eyed peas, and black beans would combine really well with the fresh flash steamed green beans and kidney beans. Continue reading

Funeral Potatoes Recipe

Whether you’re  hailing from Utah and refer to the recipe as Funeral Potatoes or a Southerner from Mississippi that calls it Hashbrown Casserole, this recipe is pretty darn delicious if you ask me or any of the folks I have made it for. It’s really the perfect casserole for the holidays, work potlucks, church functions, any gathering that requires a covered dish. Just simply combine shredded hashbrowns, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded Colby-Jack cheese, cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, sautéed onion, and minced garlic.

The list of names for this casserole dish that uses those famous frozen hash browns is almost endless depending on where you live in the United States. I have heard them called, Church Lady Potatoes, Christmas Potatoes, Heartstopper Hashbrown Casserole, Ward Potatoes, Cheesy Potato Casserole,  Pittsburg Potatoes, as well as  Church Social Potatoes by some.
You might ask, “How did this casserole ever became known as Funeral Potatoes in Utah?” It seems about 15-16 years ago  Funeral Potatoes became a staple served at dinners given for bereaved friends and family after a Latter Day Saints funeral. I’m sure they were being served up in Utah long before they were fondly nicknamed, “Funeral Potatoes” Continue reading

Southern Baked Bean and Ground Beef Casserole

Southern Baked Bean and Ground Beef Casserole is another iconic Southern covered dish our family loves to share at family functions, Church Potlucks, picnics and even on some of the spring and summer Holiday gatherings.

This Casserole is a total cinch to make; combining VanCamp’s pork and beans, crisp bacon, lean ground beef, sweet red bell peppers, Jalapeno peppers, sweet onions, BBQ sauce, spicy brown mustard, and brown sugar.

If you have ever resided or visited the South and you’ve been to any gatherings at all where the community shares a covered dish aka casserole, then chances are you have tried a variation of Southern Baked Bean and Ground Beef Casserole. If not you are missing out on one of the best tasting Southern casseroles.What are you waiting for?

Let me just tell you this recipe is so darn good you will even find this being served at the homes of Trisha Yearwood,  Paula Dean, and Ree Drummond, just to name a few who know a good Southern covered dish at family gatherings. Now if one of y’all tell me you have no clue who these lovely women are; I am just gonna cry myself to sleep tonight. Continue reading

Purple Potato Salad Recipe

This vibrant looking Purple Potato Salad is Easy to make and deliciously gorgeous to look at on the dinner table; made from a spectacular tasting colorful medley of small purple potatoes, new potatoes, small red potatoes, crunchy baby dill pickles, crisp celery, red salad onions, sliced carrots, and garden fresh herbs.

It’s Springtime and the colorful veggies are popping up in every market here on the Memphis border, that means there’s a fresh bag of those brilliantly purple colored potatoes we all love and adore in stores here as we speak. I don’t know about you, but there’s something to be said for a lovely springtime Purple Potato Salad Recipe that you can serve with your favorite dinner items.

Awhile back my friend Francesca invited me over to dinner and made her mom’s version of Purple Potato Salad and by the way, it was delicious. Shortly after that decided I wanted to do my version to shall with all of you while purple potatoes were in season.

If you’re one of our diehard hardcore potato lovers but suddenly cut down on eating potatoes due to their bad reputation of being high in carbs/starches and causing weight gain, you may be in luck. Recent studies show it could be the potato you choose in addition to how the potato is prepared or cooked that make the difference. Instead, why not opt for some of these colorful purple potatoes? Continue reading

SPICY PENNE PASTA WITH ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE

This Cajun flavored Spicy Penne Pasta with Andouille Sausage is made with pure Southern love combining penne pasta, grilled Andouille sausage, a deliciously creamy cheese sauce, diced tomatoes with chiles, Roasted Red Peppers, onions, fresh garden grown herbs, and Cajun spices.

I wish all dinners came with an easy button, this Cajun Flavored Spicy Penne Pasta with Andouille Sausage only took me about 30 minutes after the grill was fired up to cook. While I waited for my grill to heat, I used the time to do a bit of prep work for my recipe such chopping a medium onion, garlic, and fresh parsley from my herb garden.

Just a hint if you don’t live in an area where you can pick up andouille sausage at your local market you can take one of two routes; either go with a spicy country sausage or you can use a smoked sausage you enjoy. I have actually had to do so myself. The flavor changes slightly but it’s still totally delicious and easy to make for dinner. Continue reading

BROCCOLI APPLE SALAD

Crisp broccoli, Pink lady apples, celery, cranberries, raisins, shredded carrots, and sunflower seeds come together to make an amazing salad with delicious flavors and various textures. The creamy dressing on top makes this Broccoli Apple salad absolutely delicious.

Broccoli Apple salad is one of those salads that’s so deliciously good, it’s hard to remember it’s the main ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli has long been a  love-hate relationship with many adult and children alike over the years. However, Broccoli Apple salad recipe has always been a huge hit with my children and family thankfully.

broccoli-apple-saladI  totally love broccoli as long as it’s not just bland steamed broccoli tossed on my plate. That’s where I draw the line with broccoli. I also won’t eat overcooked broccoli; it’s just kinda downright gross. What’s your broccoli pet peeve?
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