Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Garden Bean and Potato Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

The balsamic and Dijon mustard create a wonderful and distinct flavor for some every day vegetables.
  • 1 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes, cubed
  • 3/4 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  1. Arrange potatoes in a steamer basket** over boiling water; cover and steam for 20 minutes or until tender. Place in a large serving bowl.
  2. Arrange beans in a steamer basket ** over boiling water; cover and steam for 10 minutes or until crisp-tender
  3. Add the beans to the potatoes; add the onion and basil.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and the minced garlic. Mix vigorously with a wire whisk.
  5. Pour Vinaigrette over potato mixture and toss gently. Serve immediately, or cover and chill.

Serves 6

Tortellini Salad

This is one of those make ahead meals. It needs to cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

  • 3/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS dried basil
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • (2) 9 oz. packaged or dried cheese tortellini
  • (1) 6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • (1) 2.5 oz. can sliced olives, drained
  • 1/2 c. sun dried tomatoes, cut into strips
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped


  1. In a food processor, mix olive oil, vinegar, basil, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
  2. Cook the tortellini according to package directions; rinse with cold water and drain. Add artichoke hears and remaining ingredients; pour dressing over salad and toss gently.
  3. Cover and chill at least 2 hours

Serves 8

Monday, April 13, 2009

Beef Pepperoncini Sandwiches

With a busy family, many times we have to eat meals on the hurry. My crockpot is my best friend when it comes meals on the hurry. One tip I can pass along is to buy the crockpot lining bags. They make cleaning up the crockpot very easy and are worth every penny, particularly on those nights when you don't have time for lot of clean up!

So my husband is a big fan of pepperoncini's. When we go to a sandwich shop for lunch, he expects his sandwich coated in them. When I came across this recipe, I knew he would love it. I cut back a little for my own tastes, but my kids are following in their father's foot steps, and they love these things. At least for now, lol...

  • 1 (3 lb.) beef chuck roast
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 (16 oz) jar pepperoncini
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 tsp beef bullion (paste or granules)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • French rolls


  1. Make small cuts in roast, and insert garlic slices in cuts.
  2. Dissolve the beef bullion in the warm water.
  3. Place roast in the slow cooker. Add the beef bullion, bay leaf, and pour the entire contents of the jar of pepperoncini, including liquid, over meat.
  4. Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. Shred the beef and serve on French rolls

For an added zip, mix up a dressing of horseradish sauce and sour cream, and top the sandwich with provolone cheese...mmmh, yummy