Marinated Cauliflower Salad

Marinated Cauliflower Salad.

Looking for a unique healthy, yummy, fresh, light summer salad?

Especially after all those cookies recipes last week! 

This one was a crowd pleaser with my family at the function I recently made it for.  It’s a great different way to serve cauliflower, which we eat at least once a week in our house.

Hope you will give it a try and let me know.  Here is how I made it.

Marinated Cauliflower Salad*



  • 6 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil


  • 4-5 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets (approx. 2 small heads cauliflower)
  • 2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese


Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.  Add to cauliflower in a large glass or plastic bowl and marinade in refrigerator for 4-8 hours or overnight.

Stir bell pepper and parsley into marinated cauliflower when ready to serve.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan.  


Cheers & Hugs,

*Original recipe from Vegetarian Times powered by Clean Eating

Baked Brie with Candied Bacon

Baked Brie with Candied Bacon.

Need I say more?

Gooey, buttery, melted baked brie smothered with smokey bacon candied with brown sugar and maple syrup and balanced out with tangy rice vinegar, coarse black pepper and a few shakes of hot sauce.

This heavenly appetizer recipe really puts the crack in cracker.

If you are looking for the next must-have appetizer to make or take to a picnic or party, look no further.  I can pretty much guarantee this will be a winner! It sure was with my family this past weekend.

Here is how I made it, adapted from a recipe found here.

Baked Brie with Candied Bacon


  • 8 oz wheel of brie cheese
  • 8 slices thick bacon, diced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 heaping Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4-5 drops Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or your fave)
  • 1 box water crackers (or your fave)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook diced bacon in a hot skillet until just crispy.

While bacon is cooking, stir together brown sugar, maple syrup, rice vinegar, black pepper and hot sauce in a small bowl.

Drain grease from bacon, and add sauce.  Simmer for 3-4 minutes until thick and bubbly.

Place brie in small stoneware casserole or baking pan.  Top with candied bacon.  Bake 10 minutes or until brie is warm and gooey inside.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes or so.  Serve with water crackers or your favorite cracker.


Cheers & Hugs,

Lake Park Bash 2016

flags and roses

Happy Fourth of July to the USA!


We are relaxing today after a fun-filled weekend

flag centerpieces

at the Second Annual Lake Park Bash

flag pallet

hosted by the the best ever “hood”

da hood

in Conneaut Lake, PA…


Look at this crew in their red, white, and blue

lake park gang

from Lake Park Way!

lake park way

Whether by land or by sea…

lake park landing

a fun time was a guarantee!


A photo booth welcomed guests


and hosts alike.


Some of us were silly…

pb 1

pb 3


an others were very pretty.

pb 2

pb 10

pb 7

pb 8

pb 11

pb 6

Friends and family

pb 4

and my most specialiast of all ladies.  ❤

pb 5

There were refreshing drinks




greenhouse drinks

because the cutest mixologists/most generous hosts/sweetest family ever made sure!

Nik and Mike

There was food galore…

food line 1

food line 2

with lots of meat…


food chicken

food chicken 2

food line 3

and of course there were also

food desserts

plenty of treats!

food desserts cookies

food eating

To work  play it off

hot rod

there where games a plenty…  Like Twister


and life-sized Kerplunk

kids noah kerplunk

and Jenga


and corn hole

corn hole

and Bocci Ball to name a few.


bocci 2

bocci 3


There was also music


kids music

and young ones to make life bright.


kids mason

kids running

All were winners

twister winner

on a gorgeous Saturday.


And when the sun set

greenhouse night

the bonfires lit and the sparklers twinkled


while fireworks glowed and banged and shined.


And then since one day was just not enough…

there were bloody marys and screwdrivers with the next morning’s coffee


and a shared breakfast of pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips


and scrambled eggs and bacon and sausage.

morning after breakfast

morning after breakfast 3

morning after breakfast 2

The Lake Park Bash was a real holiday treat!  Thanks to all that made it so sweet!


Hope you are enjoying –
wherever you are –
the special moments to cherish.
Reach for a star!

Cheers & Hugs,

Fresh Red Raspberry Puff Pastry Tart

red raspberry puff pastry tart 1

If you are looking for a fresh, light, simple, yet surprisingly impressive dessert to take to a holiday picnic or serve for a simple weekend dinner party, I’ve created this quick, but scrumptious and beautiful fresh red raspberry puff pastry tart using fresh fruit combined with the convenience of frozen puff pastry.

red raspberry puff pastry tart

For the Memorial Day holiday weekend (or Fourth of July or Labor Day), you could use some blueberries in this one too for a red, white, blue theme.

red raspberry puff pastry tart 2

Here’s my easy peasy recipe that is bound to to get rave reviews!

Fresh Red Raspberry Puff Pastry Tart

Ingredients:red raspberry puff pastry tart 1

  • I pint fresh red raspberries
  • 1/4 cup apricot or raspberry or your favorite jam (I used apricot, because it is what I had, and it made a nice combination of flavors)
  • 1 sheet Pepperidge Farms Frozen Puff Pastry (thawed 40 mins. at room temperature)
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • Powdered Sugar for Garnish


Unfold and place sheet of puff pastry on baking stone or baking sheet and turn up edges on all sides to create a crust edge.  Poke center with fork 6-8 times to prevent center from raising up too high.  Bake at 400 degrees F for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.

While still warm, spread jam on bottom of baked puff pastry. Place half of fresh raspberries on top and mash with a fork.  Allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, place whole fresh red raspberries on top.  Drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

To serve, cut into 6 pieces and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  

Hope you enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,

Fried Egg Burger ala Marty

fried egg burger

Happy Labor Day!

It’s a day for barbecue…

A day for burgers and hot dogs and family and friends…

A day for picnics or just relaxing…

A day to celebrate the end of summer.

Here’s a photo of a burger hubby recently made.

We love to mix Lipton Onion Soup mix in with our ground beef to make the burger patties.

For this yummy sandwich, we topped the grilled burger with a fried egg, sauteed peppers and onions, an heirloom yellow tomato, a greens mix of arugula and spinach, and some smoked Gouda cheese sandwiched between some toasted sourdough bread.

What your favorite way to to enjoy a burger?

Cheers & Hugs,


Crockpot Chicken Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

chicken philly cheesesteak 2

Last week, I made some yummy chicken sandwiches: Chicken Philly Cheese Steaks, which were easy peasy and full of flavor.

Just imagine juicy, shredded chicken with ooey gooey melted cheese and sweet caramelized onions and peppers on a buttery, toasted bun.  Sound like heaven?

Crockpot meal to the rescue!

If you’re looking for an easy, satisfying dinner, lunch, picnic or party pleaser, look no further, and enjoy these yummy sammies.

I know we did!  We enjoyed ours with some fresh garlic green beans and a vinaigrette-based light cole slaw.  Do I have you hungry yet?

I found a recipe I tweaked every so slightly from

chicken philly cheesesteak

Crockpot Chicken Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Ingredients:chicken philly cheesesteak 2

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp each onion and garlic powder
  • Olive oil for sauteing
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced
  • 2 large red or orange or yellow bell peppers sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 buns
  • 8 slices Mozzarella or Provolone cheese (or your fave)
  • Pickled Jalapeno or Banana Peppers or Pickles to garnish
  • Hot sauce if you want to “zip” it up some more


Add the broth, mustard, Worcestershire, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper to a crockpot set on high and whisk together.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place on top of sauce in the crockpot.

In a skillet, saute the onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, cook, stirring occasionally for 5 – 7 minutes. Remove half the mixture and place on top of chicken in the crockpot and save the other half for serving.  You can store it in a small covered container in the refrigerator.

Cook the chicken mixture on low for 6 – 8 hours.

During the last hour shred the chicken with 2 forks right in the crockpot and let cook in the juice.

Reheat the onion, pepper and garlic mixture you set aside earlier.

Butter the insides of the buns and toast on a hot skillet until golden brown. Lay your choice of cheese down then top with chicken, some of the onion mixture and pickles or pickled peppers and hot sauce if you like.


Cheers & Hugs,

The Babies are Here!


Ok – I know – I know – some of you are out there shouting at me reminding me they are called “cria.”  Baby alpacas are called cria.

But they are so doggone cute, and I was so excited to see them, and they are the sweetest little “babies.”


You may recall our friends, Don and Christina Wright, owners of Four Points Alpaca Farm, who I featured in a blog post a few weeks ago when I was just smitten with my first visit to their amazing farm, Inn/Bed & Breakfast, and Alpaca Apparel Shop.



At that time, ten of the Mama Alpacas were due to have babies (cria), and now they are here!


Just in time for showing off at the Four Points Annual Pig Roast!


I think Marty was more interested in the pig…..


and it was way more delish thank it looks – even all “dressed up.”

Look how excited these little cuties were to get their picture taken with Miss Piggy.


Even an unseasonably cool early September Saturday couldn’t suppress the fun, and a couple of our favorite girls won the Corn Hole Championship!


They had a blue grass band, farm tours, games and giveaways, and even a demo of spinning alpaca wool.


And, of course, some amazing food!


But once again, the views STOLE the show where to the East, a beautiful rainbow appeared at the end of the day…


and a bit later, and turning to the West, we enjoyed an amazing sunset.


Another great day, with some great friends at Four Points Alpaca!