Sesame Sausage Ramen Salad. New Music From Coastal Club.

Here’s a fun salad that’s perfect for a quick meal on a hot summer night. A lime-tinged sesame dressing is tossed with ramen, spicy sausage, snow peas and carrots. A sprinkling of green onions and some peanuts add flavor and crunch.

The recipe calls for chopping the peanuts, but I didn’t so my youngest nut-hating son could more easily pick them out. :)

Sesame Sausage Ramen Salad


3 packages (3 ounces each) shrimp ramen noodles
6 cups hot water
1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage
3/4 cup Asian toasted sesame salad dressing
6 sliced green onions, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 cups fresh snow peas, halved diagonally
1-1/2 cups julienned carrots
4 tablespoons chopped dry roasted peanuts, divided


1. Break ramen noodles into quarters and place in a large bowl. Reserve one seasoning packet and set others aside for another use. Cover noodles with hot water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain well and return to bowl.

2. In a large skillet, cook and crumble sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain.

3. Mix salad dressing, 1/2 cup green onions, cilantro, lime peel, lime juice and contents of reserved seasoning packet.

4. Add salad dressing mixture to the noodles. Toss with snow peas, carrots, 3 tablespoons peanuts and sausage. Sprinkle with the remaining green onions and peanuts.

Serves 8

Recipe from Simple & Delicious Magazine

I’ve got a newly graduated high school senior. ‘Alleyway’ perfectly expresses this special time in his life as he moves on and into the future. It’s new from the exceedingly good 3 song collection just out from Cincinnati-based band Coastal Club.

“Let it go and clap your hands
Throw your cap in the air
Dance away every fear that you have
Breathe it out and take a risk
Let’s go travel the world
Fall in love with the girl of your dreams”

Check out Coastal Club on the band’s Website where you can learn of upcoming shows in Ohio and buy their music.


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Short And Sweet. Quick Crescent Pecan Pie Bars.

I’ve got a great dessert for your next picnic.

Ooey-gooey sweet with crunch from the nuts, these Crescent Pecan Pie Bars are super yummy. I love them slightly warm with the filling soft and the crust fragrant from the oven.

Quick Crescent Pecan Pie Bars


1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Unroll crescent dough and separate into 2 long rectangles. Place dough in ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan and press over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust.

3. Bake crust for 8 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix pecans and remaining ingredients to make the filling. Pour over partially baked crust.

5. Bake 20 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool completely then cut into bars. Store at room temperature.

Makes 24 bars

Recipe from Pillsbury

Time for a short song that is unbelievably sweet (and it is about a person).

And a sweet song that is more about things. I totally get the love that comes with an old favorite item of clothing.

“I got stories I can tell
And a few I never will
And a checkered dress that makes me feel sixteen”

Check out Shawnee Kilgore on her Website where you can learn of upcoming shows in Texas and buy the music.


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Best-Ever Green Smoothie. New Music From Be The Bear.

Green Smoothies are still riding a popularity wave. Healthy and full of flavor, it’s easy to see why people like to grab their nutrients in a quick, sippable form.

Today’s recipe for the Best-Ever Green Smoothie has just 4 ingredients. Who knew mango would go so well with leafy spinach and kale? Well, it does!

To make it super easy to have a smoothie anytime, make some single serving ziplocs of the kale, spinach and mango then store in the freezer. When you want a smoothie, just dump the baggie contents in the blender and add the apple juice. The make ahead method also makes it effortless to serve a crowd.

Serve your smoothie in a mason jar and get extra hipster points. :)

Best-Ever Green Smoothie


1 cup packed chopped curly kale
1 cup packed baby spinach
1 cup frozen chopped mango
1 cup apple juice (preferably without sugar added)


1. Combine ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth.

Note to prepare ingredients ahead of time: Combine kale, spinach, and mango in freezer zip bags. When ready to drink, empty contents of one bag into blender and just add juice. Blend and serve. Ready in a flash!

Makes 2 (8 oz) smoothies

Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

The lushly arranged ‘Erupt’ is new from Swedish artist Christina Wehage aka Be The Bear. Take it in and fight your fears. You’ll have extra strength from that power smoothie.

Check out Be The Bear on her Website where you can link to buy the music.


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Hummus & Salad Pizza
. New Music From Brad Byrd.

Salad on pizza?


This lightly dressed mixed green salad sits atop a baked pizza crust slathered with hummus. Positively delicious and that is not a lot of hot air.

Hummus & Salad Pizza


1 pound pizza dough

Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling

1 cup mesclun greens

1 cup parsley leaves

1 cup mint leaves

1 cup snipped pea shoots
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup prepared hummus
Flaky sea salt
Shredded ricotta salt or Parmesan, for serving 


1. Preheat oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes.

2. On a large baking sheet or pizza, stretch the dough a 14-inch oval or 12-inch round and brush with olive oil.

3. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is puffed and browned. 

4. In a bowl, toss the mesclun with the parsley, mint, pea shoots and lemon juice.

5. Spread the hummus on the hot crust. Pile the salad on the pizza and season with flaky sea salt 
and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and top with shredded ricotta salata. Cut into slices and serve right away.

Serves 4

Recipe from Food & Wine Magazine

‘1000 Pink Balloons’


This beautiful song is new from LA-based artist Brad Byrd. His soft, lovely voice takes you right into a swirl of uncertainty and there is nothing you can do about it.

“I won’t runaway
I won’t let you down”

Check out Brad Byrd on his Website where you can buy the music.


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Raspberry Meringue Torte. Listening To Allie & Ivy.

Now let’s clap our hands for some dessert.

Raspberry Meringue Torte is a delicious marriage of meringue, sponge, fresh raspberries, and cream. It’s unusual to me to combine cake and meringue, but I am now a big fan.

The rich egg sponge is baked with a light, airy meringue on top. These cake layers are sandwiched with walnuts, whipped cream and raspberries. Such a wonderful contrast of textures.

A note: The original recipe only calls for lining the cake pan bottoms with parchment. Well, I don’t know why I trusted that the pans would not need to be greased, but I did. It was extremely difficult to get the cakes out of the pan, so be sure to grease your pans and the parchment. Luckily, the rustic, cracked look was very inviting!

Raspberry Meringue Torte


3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons 2% milk
Meringue (recipe follows)
3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
Filling (recipe follows)
2 cups fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish


1. Grease well three 9-inch round baking pans. Line with circles of parchment paper and grease again.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

3. Combine flour and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.

4. Spread batter into prepared baking pans. (This is a bit of a fiddle as the batter is thick and causes the parchment to slide around when you are spreading it. There is also not a lot of batter for each pan. Don’t sweat it and just distribute it as best you can. It rises and spreads more during baking.)

4. Spread meringue evenly over cake batter and sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of walnuts.

5. Bake at 325°F for 30-35 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes (meringue will crack).

6. Loosen edges of cakes from pans with a knife. Using two large spatulas, carefully remove one cake to a serving plate, meringue side up. Carefully remove remaining cakes, meringue side up, to wire racks.

7. Spread half of the filling over cake on serving plate. Top with half of the raspberries. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake. Garnish with raspberries if you like. Store in the refrigerator.

Serves 16-18



6 egg whites
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup


1. In a large bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy.

2. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form. Add vanilla. Fold in walnuts.



2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


1. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Recipes from Taste of Home Magazine

Spend some pool time with your best friends then dig into some tall slices of cake.

Man, I adore my friends. I adore cake. Put them together and it’s the very best recipe for happiness.

“No one makes me feel better”

The video screams summer AND they are eating cake. :)

Check out Allie & Ivy on their Website where you can buy the music.


Posted in Cake, Dessert | Tagged | 3 Comments

Caipirinha. Listening To Jane In Space.

I had a Caipirinha a number of years ago in a Brazilian restaurant. It came impressively garnished with a stick of sugar cane. I loved how refreshing it was.

Well, a failure to learn how to pronounce Caipirinha as well as its main ingredient cachaça made me reluctant to try and order it out at other bars and I soon forgot about it. Then I was at the gym recently and was flipping through a copy of Men’s Journal, of all things, and came across a recipe for Caipirinha.

Cue up today’s cocktail. Simultaneously sweet and tangy, the Caipirinha is a go-to drink for warm weather entertaining. I still can’t help you on the pronunciation, but I am sure that there is an app for that.



3/4 lime, cut into pieces
2 to 3 tsp raw sugar
2 oz cachaça (Brazilian brandy)


1. Muddle lime and sugar in a rocks glass.

2. Add cachaça, and fill glass with ice. Stir well and serve.

Makes 1 cocktail

Recipe slightly adapted from Men’s Journal

It’s warm, you are finally able to relax with a drink and kick back. Try some industrial strength electronica from Jane In Space to get your head in a celebratory mood. Strong beats, a driving rhythm and that hook that cooks…great stuff.

Check out Jane In Space on the band’s Website where you can link to buy their music.


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Roasted Eggplant Caponata. New Music From Rory Lavelle.

I can’t even believe it. My eldest son is graduating from high school tomorrow. You know all those years when the children are young and everyone is telling you “It goes by so fast!” and you’re nodding your head and saying “yeah, yeah, yeah”. An end does not seem possible when those busy, sleep deprived years are in full force.

But an end does come and with it a new beginning for everyone. I couldn’t be prouder of my boy and wish him every happiness in life as he makes his way towards his diploma tomorrow.

Hosting a graduation party? With its array of flavors and textures, Roasted Eggplant Caponata makes a dreamy starter. The sweetness of the peppers and eggplant counters perfectly with the salty notes of the olives and capers.

Roasted Eggplant Caponata


1 large eggplant (1 1/2 pounds)
Extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 cup large green olives, pitted and chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Toasted pita triangles, for serving


1. Preheat oven to 400℉. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.

2. Place the whole eggplant on the pan, prick with a fork in several places, and rub with olive oil. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes, until the eggplant is very soft when pierced with a knife. Set aside to cool. Halve the eggplant, peel, and discard the skin.

3. Place the eggplant, peppers, and olives in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onion is lightly browned. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, and add to the eggplant mixture.

5. Add the parsley, pine nuts, lemon juice, capers, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, and pepper to the eggplant mixture. Stir to combine.

6. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop. Taste for seasonings and serve at room temperature with toasted pita triangles.

Serves 8

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? Cookbook

‘All These Horrors’ is new from Belfast-based Rory Lavelle. It’s from his debut album just out in April.

Listen to this song and let it soak in. I hope my son and his generation make their mark on creating a better place for us all.

“I’m going to find a world,
a brave new world out there.”

Check out Rory Lavelle on his Website where you can buy the music.


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