Category Archives: Salads

Yummy Guacamole Salad (Salsa)


I saw this recipe on Pinterest.   I have mentioned pinterest before….warning, it is addicting, but I love it.  This recipe came from Barefoot Contessa Show on Food Network. It is really yummy. I sent some with Mark to eat and he even called me to tell me how good it was 🙂

Guacamole Salad

    • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1/2-inch diced
    • 1 (15-ounce) (!/2) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 cup small diced red onion
    • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately 2 limes)
    • 1/4 cup  olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    • 2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and 1/2-inch diced

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well.

Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve.

MY NOTES: I did not add the zest because my limes did not look so good on the outside. I think it was fine without it. I had some cilantro on hand, so I added around 2 T. I increased the garlic to 1 tsp because I love garlic. I am not crazy about beans. I am ok with black beans…but there are A LOT of beans in a can. Therefore, I only put a half of a can 😉

Ingredient line up, except for the onion and pepper. I need to not read the ingredients so fast. Oh, and the cilantro. That was a last minute addition.

Combine the tomatoes, pepper, jalapeno and onion.

Whisk together, olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic.

After adding the beans. Toss with dressing.

Right before serving add avocado.

So fresh and I think healthy 🙂

Guacamole Salad ~ So good and pretty.

This is also good served as an appetizer with tortilla Chips.
Inspiring Thought:
~ Relish Food & Life

Pasta Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette


Looking for something quick to make? Look in your frig for leftovers.  I made a yummy pasta salad for lunch today from leftovers in the frig.  I found 2 ears of corn on the cob, a tomato, zucchini, tomato basil feta cheese and pennette pasta. I love pennette pasta. It is small penne pasta.  I made Alfredo Pasta the other day. I did not use all the pasta, so I rinsed it and kept it in the frig.

I remembered seeing a recipe on Prevention Rd\’s Blog. for a pasta salad. She made her pasta salad with roasted veggies and looks awesome. I had all these leftovers and thought a pasta salad would be a good way to use them up. So,  I just made her dressing and it is really good. It would be great on a pasta or lettuce salad.

Pasta/ Salad Dressing

  • 3 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp pesto
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • pinch of pepper

Refrigerator Pasta Salad with Pesto vinaigrette.

I loved the corn and feta in the salad. It gave it great flavor.

~Relish Food & Life


Apple & Cabbage Slaw with Poppy Seed Dressing and Jalapeno Corn Dip


We had a wonderful Sunday afternoon spent with  friends. The atmosphere was beautiful.

Big fish!

A person stopped by with these blackberries she just picked! I love Blackberries...they were super yummy!

They were huge!

They had a homemade wine tasting...this one was the Floor Wine...not sure what that meant 😉

It was a perfect sunday… floating in the lake, drinking homemade wine, eating freshly picked blackberries and good food prepared by everyone…doing all that with Friends = Perfect Sunday!

I purchased a HUGE cabbage from the Farmer’s Market in Edwardsville.

It was a whopper!

I was in search of a different slaw recipe. I found this one on Tasty Kitchen website. It was really good.

Apple & Cabbage Slaw with Poppy Seed Dressing


  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cups Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
  • 1-½ teaspoon Kosher Salt, More Or Less To Taste
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, More Or Less To Taste
  • I added 1/4 tsp Paprika


  • 1 whole Medium Head Of Cabbage, Quartered, Cored And Sliced Thin
  • 2 3 whole Fuji Or McIntosh Apples, Quartered, Cored And Julienned
  • ½  Lemon, Juiced
  • 3 whole Medium Carrots, Peeled, Trimmed And Julienned (I purchased already julienned carrots)
  • 5  7 hole Green Onions, Trimmed And Sliced Thin
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped

For the dressing: Place all of the dressing ingredients into a small bowl, whisk until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed; chill until ready to use.

For the slaw: Quarter and core the cabbage. Slice thinly and add to a large bowl. Add prepared apples (squeezed with lemon juice to keep apples from turning brown), carrots, green onion and chopped parsley to the bowl as well. Pour the poppy seed dressing over and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to one hour before serving.

Ingredient line up minus Paprika and extra apple and green onions.

Mix dressing ingredients together.

I decided to add paprika. Refrigerate until ready to pour onto slaw.

Slice slaw. I just used half of that huge cabbage. I figure that was about the size of a regular head of cabbage.

Ready to be tossed with dressing.

Apple & Cabbage Slaw with Poppy Seed Dressing

When I was in Edwardsville I picked up a new kind of sour cream, they were flavored 🙂  The brand is Breakstones, they had jalapeno, chipotle and roasted garlic and herb…yummo! I had to get one. I bet these are tasty on a baked potato 🙂

There was a tag on the container with a recipe, Jalapeno Corn dip. It was really good and I think it could be also served as a side dish. Just do not over cook it. I put it in a crock pot and forgot that I had it on high…it was ok,  but a lot better right after I took it out of the oven. I double this recipe.

Jalapeno Corn Dip

  • 10 oz frozen corn
  • 1 cup of Four cheese Mexican shredded cheese.
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Breakstone Jalapeno sour cream
  • My addition 1 tsp Adobo seasoning (or cumin would be good also)

Mix it all together and put in a baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until heated through and top is lightly brown.

Ingredient line up. I double the recipe.

Mix it all together.

Ready to pop into the oven.

I forgot to take a finished photo…trust me it good! Super Duper Easy!

On our way home, I enjoyed the scenery in the country. I love when there are round bales in a field.

~Relish Food & Life

Mexican Dinner


We hosted a Mexican Dinner at our home on Saturday night. A group bought the dinner at Mater Dei High School Auction. Jan, my friend and I prepared the food. I thought I would share the photos from the evening and the recipes.

All set up and ready for the dinner to begin.

The Menu.


Roasted Tomato Salsa (Yolanda's) and Watermelon Salsa

I used canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes  and 3 jalapenos. Yolanda\’s Mothers Easy Salsa

Watermelon Salsa

  • 2 cups seedless Watermelon, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T.  minced onion
  • 2 T. water chestnut, diced
  • 2 to 4 jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

Mix all together and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

Sausage Stuffed Peppers.

Here is the recipe for the peppers – Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Chorizo with a Sweet pepper dipping sauce, Tequila Spiked Queso Fundido and Bacon Wrapped dates stuffed with Chorizo.

The chorizo was Johnsonville brand. I grilled the sausage then sliced it. I served it with Captain Rodney’s sauce.

Tequila Spiked Queso Fundido

  • 1/3 cup chopped , seeded fresh poblano pepper ( we roasted the poblano)
  • 1/3 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 1/4  cup of tequila
  • 1½ cups shredded Chihuahua, Queso Oaxaca, Monterey Jack cheese-mix of three is great.
  • 1 Tbl flour
  • ½ cups finely chopped tomato
  • 1 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro
  • Chorizo sausage,cooked,well-drained, and crumbled ½ cup , cooked, optional.

Preheat oven to 350’F. In a skillet, cook the poblano and onion in hot oil until tender. Remove pan from heat. Carefully add tequila. Return to heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 seconds or until most of the tequila has disapated.

Spoon mixture into the bottom of a 7 inch cast iron skillet or a 2 cup dish. In a medium bowl, toss cheese with flour; sprinkle cheese over vegetables.

Bake uncovered for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is just melted. Sprinkle with chorizo and cook some more, until heated through. Sprinkle with tomato and cilantro. Serve with tortillas or tortilla chips.

This next recipe came from a cooking class that was at the Design Studio. Chef Sheila taught the class.

Chorizo Filled Dates wrapped in Bacon

  • 1 chorizo sausage cured and fully cooked
  • pitted dates
  • bacon, cut into half

Cut off ends of the chorizo, slice then slice in half. Make a slit in the date and fit a piece of chorizo inside. Wrap with bacon. Place on parchment lined sheet. Place bacon seamside down. bake in 375 degree oven until bacon is done and crisp.

This is also good stuffing the dates with parmesan cheese and….

Dishing up the soup.

So pretty!

This soup was very tasty and pretty! It did take some time to make… It came from Gourmet Magazine

Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup and Roasted Tomato Soup with Jalapeno Cream

For the pepper soup:
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 yellow bell peppers, roasted (procedure follows) and chopped coarse (about 6 cups)
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth plus additional to thin the soup1/4 cup heavy cream
fresh lemon juice to tasteFor the tomato soup:
3 pounds plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
3 unpeeled large garlic cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth plus additional to thin the soup1/4 cup heavy cream
fresh lemon juice to tasteFor the serrano cream:
3 fresh serrano chilies or jalapeños, seeded and chopped fine (wear rubber gloves)
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream


To roast peppers:
Using a long-handled fork char the peppers over an open flame, turning them, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the skins are blackened. (Or broil the peppers on the rack of a broiler pan under a preheated broiler about 2 inches from the heat, turning them every 5 minutes, for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the skins are blistered and charred.) Transfer the peppers to a bowl and let them steam, covered, until they are cool enough to handle. Keeping the peppers whole, peel them starting at the blossom end, cut off the tops, and discard the seeds and ribs. (Wear rubber gloves when handling chilies.)
Make the pepper soup:
In a heavy saucepan cook the shallot, the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the shallot is soft, add the bell peppers and 1 1/2 cups of the broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the peppers are very soft. In a blender purée the soup in batches until it is very smooth, forcing it as it is puréed through a fine sieve set over the pan, cleaned, and whisk in the cream, enough of the additional broth to reach the desired consistency, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. The soup may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated.
Make the tomato soup:
Spread the tomatoes, skin side down, in one layer in 2 foil-lined jelly-roll pans, add the garlic to 1 of the pans, and bake the tomatoes and the garlic in a preheated 350°F. oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the tomatoes are very soft and their skin is dark brown. Let the tomatoes and the garlic cool in the pans on racks. In a heavy saucepan cook the shallot, the orégano, salt and pepper to taste in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the shallot is soft, add the tomatoes, the garlic (skins discarded), and 1 1/2 cups of the broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 15 minutes. In a blender purée the soup in batches until it is very smooth, forcing it as it is puréed through a fine sieve set over the pan, cleaned, and whisk in the cream, the additional broth if necessary (both soups should have the same consistency), the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. The soup may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated.
Make the serrano cream:
In a blender blend together the chilies, the garlic paste, and the créme fraîche until the mixture is combined well. (Be careful not to overblend the mixture or the cream may curdle.) Force the mixture through a fine sieve set over a small bowl. The serrano cream may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and brought to room temperature before serving.
To serve the soup:
For each serving ladle 1/2 cup of each soup into 2 glass measuring cups, pour the soups simultaneously into a shallow soup bowl from opposite sides of the bowl, and drizzle some of the serrano cream over each serving.

Chopped Salad with Salsa Verde Dressing

This next recipe I clipped out of Bon Appetit

Chopped Salad with Salsa Verde Dressing


3 tomatillos, husked, quartered
1/3 cup (lightly packed) cilantro
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeño chili
1 garlic clove, peeled
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions2 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped green cabbage
3/4 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped peeled jicama
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, diced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Corn tortilla chips (optional)


Puree first 5 ingredients in blender. Pour into medium bowl. Whisk in oil, then green onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix all remaining ingredients except chips in bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Serve with chips, if desired.

Crepes Con Queso with filled with Chicken, Black Beans with Cumin and Garlic and Yellow Rice.
I clipped this recipe from Southern Living.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 large eggs
  • Vegetable Cooking Spray
  • Crepe Filling
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro sprig


Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add flour and next 5 ingredients. Process until smooth. Cover batter, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Coat an 8-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot.

Pour 1/3 cup batter into pan; quickly tilt pan in all directions so batter covers bottom of pan. Cook 1 minute or until crêpe can be shaken loose from pan. Turn crêpe over, and cook about 30 seconds. Place crêpe on a towel to cool. Repeat procedure with remaining batter.

Spoon about 1/2 cup Crêpe Filling on half of each crêpe; roll up, and place seam side down, in a lightly greased 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle crêpes evenly with Cheddar cheese.

 Crepe Filling

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese  Monterey Jack
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun poultry seasoning blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add large chopped onion and next 4 ingredients, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in chiles and whipping cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in cheese and next 4 ingredients; cook 3 minutes.

Black Beans with Cumin and Garlic

    • 2 (16 ounce) cans black beans
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
    • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
  1. Drain and rinse black beans.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute garlic and cumin until fragrant.
  3. Add black beans, broth and salt.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring frequently until beans are heated through.
  5. OR, after sauteeing the garlic and cumin, you can place everything in a crockpot on low heat for a couple of hours.
  6. If desired, stir in the cilantro just prior to serving.

I found this recipe for the beans on

Blueberry Corn Bread Pudding with Custard Sauce. Served with Tequila Cream

Blueberry Corn Bread Pudding with Custard Sauce

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe Blueberry Corn Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Custard Sauce
  • Confectioners sugar in a sieve

Preheat the over to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Add the corn bread cubes, stir once, just to coat the cubes. Transfer to the baking pan making sure that the cubes and custard are evenly distributed. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the pudding is puffed, the edges are lightly brown and the pudding is evenly, but not firmly set. Let it stand until you serve it.

The pudding can be served warm or cool. Cut into squares and place each square on a plate. Spoon the sauce around each square, dust lightly with confectioners sugar and serve immediately.

Blueberry Corn Bread

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cultured buttermilk, at room temp.
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drain

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the buttermilk, egg and melted butter and stir until partially combined. Add the berries and stir until just combined; do not overmix. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and spread it to the edges. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the corn bread is firm, the edges are golden and the tester inserted comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes on a rack before cutting. Serve hot or warm or use in corn bread pudding.

Custard Sauce

  • 4 egg yolds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup Triple sec or other orange liqueur
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In med. bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. In a heavy saucepan bring the half and half just to a simmer. Slowly whisk the hot half and half into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and set it over low hear. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a heavy track when a finger is drawn across it, about 4 minutes.

Transfer immediately to a bowl and stir in the triple sec and vanilla extract. Cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, pressing the film onto the surface of the sauce and refrigerate until cold, at least 5 hours. This can be prepared 3 days ahead.

The weather was great.  I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  Jan and I always have a good time cooking together. A big THANK YOU to Reagan,  Kate, Grace and Tina for helping!  It was a great night….until I could not find Jingles, our dog. We did eventually find him. He was hit by a car and died.  The police found him on the side of the road.

Jingles was with us for 14 1/2 years. He was a crazy wonderful dog. He loved us unconditionally. He loved to snuggle,  run around the house crazy fast (which was pretty comical when we got wood floors), and no matter how aggravated I would get at him…he still loved me.  He would drive me crazy at times, but I sure am missing him and wish he was still here. It has been a sad 2 days…

RIP Jingles Bellies..I love you!

~Relish Food & Life

Jill’s Strawberry and Blueberry Romaine Salad


This is one of my favorite salads to make in the spring/summer. The original recipe (which is not listed below) came out of The Junior League at Home cookbook. I added ingredients and took some away and really made it my own.

Jill’s Strawberry and Blueberry Romaine Salad

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 T dried minced onions
  • 1/2 tsp. dried mustard
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Put all ingredients into a jar or something with a lid. Shake until all ingredients are blended. Store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Salad ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • sliced strawberries
  • blueberries
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • glazed walnuts

You just use as much as you want of each. Shake dressing and pour desired amount of dressing over salad. Toss and serve.

Dressing Ingredient Line Up.

Just combine all ingredients

And Shake!

Ran out of time to do the salad ingredients photo, but I think you know what most of it is. I did take a photo of the walnuts I use.

Toss all the salad ingredients then toss in with dressing!

I am on the hunt for a picture of the  “Last Supper” to hang in my kitchen.  In a magazine they had an interview with a famous chef. It had photos of his kitchen. He had a picture of the “Last Supper” in his kitchen. He said he has it there to remind him that each meal should be treated like your “Last Supper. You should treasure the moment of eating good food and the people you are sharing your meal with. I thought that was great! So, I have been hunting on ebay for the perfect one to go in my kitchen.

The fondest memories
are made when
around the table.

I hope you all have a very Happy Easter. Relish… the moments spent with family and Friends.

~Relish Food & Life

~Spinach Salad~


Samantha called the other day and asked for this recipe. I had not made it in a while and had the ingredients on hand, so I made it for lunch today. It is really good and easy.

Spinach Salad

  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 10 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 T Ketchup
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T bottled Italian salad dressing
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • salt to taste

Thoroughly clean spinach, discarding stems. Tear into bite size pieces. Chop eggs (I sliced) and combine with spinach, bacon and water chestnuts.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake thoroughly to combine well. Toss with spinach just before serving. Dressing can be made several hours ahead of time.


These are the ingredients for the dressing. Use whatever Italian dressing you have in the frig...vinegar and oil type.

Put all the ingredients into something you can shake. Shake until ingredients are all combined well.

Spinach Salad

I had a bag of spinach mixed with other lettuces in the frig. I used that. It turned out fine, but I prefer spinach only. I did not have any water chestnuts so I did not add them.

This recipe came from Celebrate San Antonio by The San Antonio Junior Forum. That is one place I want to visit. Has anyone been there before? If so, what are some must see, do and taste that I need to know about for when I visit?

~Relish Food & Life