Sunday, July 10, 2011

Balsamic Hard Lemonade

Some people like nothing better than a cold beer on a hot day.  Not me. For whatever reason, I have never liked the taste of beer (other than Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss - thanks to @Dave_Flys!).  This super refreshing beverage is my new summer fave.  Even better, when you make it with Just Like Sugar or Stevia or another natural no-cal sweetener, it's low-calorie!  Serve it with some baked chips and salsa, and you've got cocktail hour covered, without bloating your waistline.

  • 5 whole lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup Just Like Sugar (or sugar or artificial sweetener, whatever you prefer)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • Combine the lemon juice, Just Like Sugar, and water in a large pitcher and stir thoroughly.
  • Mix in the balsamic vinegar.
  • Add the vodka and stir.
Serves 2.

Walnut Pie

What makes this pie special is using honey as well as corn syrup.  You can change the flavor of the pie depending on which type of honey you use.  It gives the pie dimension and depth.  Regardless of all that, the bottom line is: it tastes fantastic!  It was so tasty, my husband Mike and I couldn't control ourselves, and I had to throw the remaining pie away!  Next time, I gotta bake this one first thing in the morning and bring it into work to share with my office peeps. Be forewarned: if you lack willpower like us, you may want to save this for an office party or BBQ.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spritz a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick buttery spray.
  • In a medium bowl, beat eggs slightly.
  • Add corn syrup, honey, butter, vanilla and salt, stirring until well blended.
  • Stir in nuts and pour into pie crust.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  • Let cool before slicing.

Homemade Meatloaf

 I made this for my husband Mike for Father's Day.  He's a meat-n-potatoes kinda guy, so he was diggin' it. :)  Next time, I'll make the potatoes from scratch, too.

  • 1 cup Spicy -Hot- V8 (or tomato juice)
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Seasoning to taste (I used Paymon's Athen's Fries Seasoning, but you can use oregano or any spice blend you think would go well with the beef.)
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spritz an 8x4 inch loaf pan with non-stick olive oil spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the ground beef and blend thoroughly.
  • Add the ground beef and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  • Place mixture in the loaf pan.
  • Bake for 60 minutes.

Cranberry Nut Bread

I made this bread for a flying club meeting we attended at North Las Vegas Airport.  It was very moist and flavorful.  One tip: don't leave out the orange peel.  It really bumps up the flavor.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup walnut topping (finely chopped walnuts)
  • 1 cup Craisins (or chopped cranberries)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice (I fresh-squeezed mine.)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix  the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  
  • Stir in the Craisins and walnuts.
  • Mix orange juice, sugar, butter, egg, and orange peel.
  • Add to flour mixture and stir until just blended.
  • Spritz two loaf pans with non-stick buttery spray.
  • Divide the batter between the two loaf pans.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until done.

Adapted from

Broccoli & Tomato Tart

My recent Bountiful Baskets pick-up was so bountiful, I was running out of time to use up all the fruit and veggies before they went bad!  I wasn't sure what to do with the broccoli, tomatoes and single pie crust I had in the fridge.  After a little searching on the web, I found a recipe I could adapt for what I had on hand.  The result was a delicious, healthy dish that's perfect for a light summer supper.


  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese (or cheese of choice)
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash seasoning (or other seasoning of choice)
  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Heat a large skillet with olive oil and saute broccoli florets, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, about 5 minutes.
  • In a bowl, beat together eggs, almond milk and Mrs. Dash.
  • Spritz a pie plate with non-stick buttery spray.
  • Fold pie crust over pie plate, pressing lightly into the plate.
  • Pour broccoli florets and chopped tomatoes into the bottom of the pie crust.
  • Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheese.
  • Pour egg mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes.

Adapted from

Peanut Butter Sauce

I made this for a 4th of July BBQ and served it over pound cake with sliced bananas. Yum!

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Stir over medium heat until thoroughly combined.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups of sauce.