Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Slow Cooker Turkey Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

I love a recipe that keeps your kitchen cool on a hot day, and that’s why I made up this recipe for a Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers Sandwich! It’s ridiculously easy to pull together and it’s amazingly delicious and it keeps your kitchen cool – because you use a slow cooker to make it! You could even have all the fixin’s ready to go the night before and just throw it all in the slow cooker the next day. I really didn’t look at any other recipes to make this – I just used things that would taste good together on a bun – and this is what I came up with! Let’s see how this went.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

I used turkey sausage for this one, but you could use any sausage or brat you like.

Brown in a pan:

1 package of sausages (I used turkey)

Cut into 1/4″ slices:

3 peppers (I used red, yellow, and green)

2 onions (use more peppers and onions if you really like the sandwich loaded up)

Saute if you like, or just put them into a slow cooker.

Add the browned sausages.

Top with:

1/2-1 bottle marinara sauce (use your favorite)

Cook on low for 4-6 hours, until sausages are cooked through.

Serve on hoagie roll topped with:

2 slices mozzarella cheese

Load them up with a sausage and as many peppers and onions as you can fit on the roll.

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First I browned the sausage in a pan. I usually don’t like doing extra steps when making a slow cooker recipe – I like to just be able to throw it all in (that’s the beauty of the slow cooker). In this case, with turkey sausage, I thought it would be better to brown them first so they’d look better after cooking.

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Slicing the peppers means you can just throw them into the slow cooker. I like that. I used 3 peppers – red, yellow, and green. I also sliced up 2 onions to add to the pot.

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I also sauteed the peppers and onions as long as I had used the pan for the sausage (I wouldn’t do that next time – it wasn’t necessary – they cooked just fine in the slow cooker). Then the peppers go into the slow cooker.

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The sausages go on top. I got both mild and hot sausages in my grocery order (I only ordered mild – you know how that goes), and my daughter doesn’t like hot sausage, so I cut the mild ones in half so we’d know which was which. You can see that turkey sausages are a bit more fragile than other kinds of sausage.

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Over the top of all, I dumped a half of a bottle of marinara sauce – just use your favorite kind. Because these were turkey sausage, I only had them in the slow cooker on low for the afternoon (mine runs hot), but if you’re not using turkey sausage, you could maybe get away with having them on low for the day.

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I served the sausage and peppers on a hoagie bun layered with 2 thin slices of mozzarella cheese.

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Oh my goodness. These were so good! It was so easy to do, and easy to put together for dinner. It could hardly be easier – just brown the sausage, cut up the peppers and onions, top with some marinara sauce, and turn on the slow cooker for the afternoon. Done! That’s my kind of dinner – nice and easy. Make it on one of our hot summer days and keep your kitchen cool, or make it on a rainy day at the cabin. Your family will LOVE this delicious Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers Sandwich for dinner – don’t count on many leftovers!

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Refrigerated Rhubarb Cream Squares

Today’s recipe for Refrigerated Rhubarb Cream Squares comes from my mom’s recipe file. It IS a rhubarb recipe and it IS rhubarb season – it’s time to try this one! I’m not sure that this recipe comes from anyone in the family, but I know the family will sure like it. Grandma would have liked it, too! She loved to make desserts like this for her friends and family, so she would have totally loved to make this one. Maybe she would have made it for Grandpa’s family when they came to visit. This photo is of Grandpa and two of his brothers on their horse – I think his name was Dan. This was such a beloved horse, it’s not too funny that they have a picture taken with him. At Grandpa’s 95th birthday party, one of Grandpa’s brothers still had a picture of this horse in his wallet (the brother was a mere 97 at that party). Grandpa is the little “squirt” on the back here! They told a lot of stories about this horse – riding him to school and entering him in a race at the county fair (which they would have won if Grandpa had ridden him instead of his older, heavier brother).

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Anyway, both sides of the family loved desserts and they would have loved this one, too!

Refrigerated Rhubarb Cream Squares

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Here is the recipe as I made it:

Refrigerated Rhubarb Cream Squares

Mix together:

1 package of graham cracker crumbs (she says 20 here, which is great because the packages aren’t the same size as they used to be – this means 20 square crackers, not rectangles)

1/4 cup butter, melted

Reserve 1/4 cup for topping, and pat the rest into the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bring to a boil and simmer until rhubarb is done and thickened:

4 cups rhubarb, chopped

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

3 Tablespoons corn starch

Pour over top of graham cracker crumbs.

Whip:

1 cup whipping cream

1 Tablespoons sugar

Fold in:

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Pour over cooled rhubarb.

Prepare:

1 small package instant vanilla pudding

Spoon over cream.

Sprinkle on the reserved graham cracker crumbs (my mom had written to sprinkle on 1/4 cup of rhubarb, but I assume she meant the 1/4 cup of reserved crumbs).

Refrigerate overnight.

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Again, not a lot of rhubarb this year in my garden. I might have to do some research and figure this out. I need more!

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I just used my hand to pat out the crust.

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The cooked rhubarb really thickens!

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Putting mini marshmallows into the whipped cream seems weird, but we decided it’s to help with stability? Maybe? Whatever –  it’s delicious!

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When putting the instant vanilla pudding on top, I tried using a squeeze bottle to make a pretty design. It was pretty, and I could have left it this way – just sprinkling the reserved crumbs on top – but I decided to go ahead and use it up, so I squeezed all of it on. It was an easy way to go – it made it nice and even!

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After sprinkling the reserved crumbs on top – into the refrigerator overnight!

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Oh yum!

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This dessert is really, really good! My daughter said, “tastes like Svea”! Svea is the small town near Grandma and Grandpa’s farm where their church was, where most of their family was centered, where they spent most of their lives. All good desserts/coffee/memories come from there, so I wasn’t surprised that she said that. I think you should make some memories with your family and make these delicious Refrigerated Rhubarb Cream Squares for them – find some rhubarb and do it this weekend!

 

 

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B-B-Q Ribs #2

These B-B-Q Ribs #2 aren’t the kind of ribs we usually think of. This recipe is for boneless ribs, but I’ve labeled it #2 because I have made the usual ribs you think of for BBQ Ribs on the blog already (that’s a recipe from my brother-in-law). While the recipe doesn’t say exactly WHAT KIND of ribs to use here, I know that boneless ribs are what is called for here. My mom made these boneless ribs a lot when we were growing up, and they are total comfort food for our family. It’s a very easy recipe, and when they’re in the oven baking, it smells like home to me. Throw a few potatoes in with the ribs while they’re baking, add a vegetable, and dinner is ready!

BBQ Ribs

Here is the recipe as I made it:

B-B-Q Ribs

Mix all together in a saucepan:

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon mustard (I used regular yellow mustard)

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

1 small bottle of ketchup (I used about 2 cups – we use a much bigger bottle of ketchup than they must have used in the old days!)

Bring to a boil and pour over meat (I used one package of boneless pork ribs).

Bake at 325 degrees for 2 1/4 hours.

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This recipe uses simple ingredients, but the sauce sure is delicious!

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Bringing the sauce to a boil helps to mellow out the sauce and bring the flavors together.

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The package of boneless pork ribs I used had 4 ribs, so there was extra sauce, even though I poured plenty on them. I kept what was left over in the refrigerator and used it another time.

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Baking the ribs at a lower temperature makes the sauce caramelize and makes the ribs juicy and tender.

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I served the ribs with baked potatoes and some frozen mixed vegetables. It made for a very easy and delicious dinner!

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I highly recommend trying this type of ribs. They are juicy and tender and the sauce is so, so, so good. This is a pretty easy recipe for something so delicious. Make a bit of comfort food and try this recipe for B-B-Q Ribs, and your family will love the ribs AND they’ll love you even more – if that’s possible! 🙂

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Rice Salad

Today’s recipe for Rice Salad was one I made up several years ago when my husband and I had lunch and spent the afternoon at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. We enjoyed a similar salad for lunch that day and I just had to try and recreate it. It’s going under the “Make-Ahead” category AND the “Pantry Recipes” category because you can make it a couple of days ahead and most of the ingredients can be found in your refrigerator or pantry. I love quick recipes that you can make and have ready to go as you’re running out the door to your next picnic or gathering (now that we can finally gather again). I hope you like this new and very delicious recipe!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rice Salad

Cook according to package directions:

1 cup white rice (brown rice will also work)

Let cool.

Cook according to package instructions:

1 cup wild rice

Let cool.

Mix 1/2-1 cup or so of all these chopped veggies together (this is what I used for this salad):

carrots

celery

red onion

red pepper

corn

peas

cucumber

chive blossom

Options: green onion, water chestnuts, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, hot peppers, whatever you like

Dressing:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

I added an extra Tablespoon of vinegar because I think I had a lot of veggies (add more vinegar if too dry or adjust sugar to taste).

Gently toss together the rice, veggies, and dressing.

Chill or enjoy at room temperature.

You can get the dressing ready ahead of time. It uses pretty simple pantry ingredients.

The parmesan cheese leaves the dressing just a bit lumpy-looking, but it’s also what makes it really tasty.

You can add whatever fresh veggies you have in your frig – make it colorful!

Mix them up! This salad was very colorful and that makes me happy! 🙂

Because my chives are blooming, I added some chive blossoms for added flavor! It might be time to make some Chive Blossom Vinegar!

Mix it all up – the veggies, the two kinds of rice, and the dressing. If you only have white or brown rice, this will still be fine. This salad uses the same type of dressing as Cabbage Salad, so you know it’s good.

It’s still colorful even when all mixed up!

Oh yum.

This salad is one of my go-to dishes for the summer. It’s pretty healthy, it’s fairly easy to make and pull together (the hardest part is cooking the rice), and it’s really, really delicious! I served this one with a grilled flank steak that was marinated in the Round Steak Marinade, and it was totally delicious. Bring it to a picnic, bring it to a family gathering, bring it out when you’re grilling some steak (or anything, really). This Rice Salad will brighten up ANY meal!

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Haystacks

These Haystacks are a ridiculously addictive cookie, and I just want you to know – you have been warned! I don’t really have a recipe card for these because we just made them constantly when I was growing up. It’s a retro kind of cookie- well, let’s be honest here – they’re more like a candy. I always have a problem with treats that use chocolate, butterscotch, or almond bark with peanut butter like Cereal Bars, Special K Bars, or Nut Goodie Bars, and these cookies are a problem, too. I just can’t stop! The GOOD thing about these cookies is that they’re no-bake and can be made during the heat of summer without turning on your oven. Kids will LOVE to help make these, and I highly recommend saving this recipe for that time during the summer when the kids are tired of doing all the summer things and need something new and exciting to do! They get something new to do and a delicious treat at the same time!

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I look like I’m at that point of the summer in this photo of me when I was about 5 years old. Maybe this IS when I started to make these, I’ve been making them so long!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Haystacks

Melt together in the microwave or over a double boiler:

2 cups butterscotch chips (you can substitute half chocolate chips for this and make them even more addictive)

2 Tablespoons peanut butter

Stir until smooth.

Stir in:

1 bag chow mein noodles

Options to add: mini marshmallows (I added 2 cups because I had them and wanted to use them up), coconut, peanuts, raisins, small candies, whatever you want

Drop using two spoons onto waxed paper lined baking sheet.

Let harden.

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I used 2 cups of butterscotch chips for this, but you could substitute chocolate chips, go half butterscotch and half chocolate, or just a portion of this could be chocolate chips, too.

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This is where the addictive quality comes in – adding the peanut butter. I don’t know what it is, but this makes these treats deadly addictive. For me, anyway.

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When the mixture is all melted, stir until smooth.

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I added chow mein noodles and mini marshmallows for this batch. You can add in whatever goodies you like.

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Gently stir it all together.

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Using two spoons works well to make the cookies.

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I got 28 cookies from this mixture. I’m sure I made these waaaayyy too big – again. My excuse is that the people I live with always give me a hard time about making cookies too small, so I made them bigger. Yeah – I’ll stick with that one.

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So good. So addictive. Yikes!

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This is one of those old stand-by recipes that is just always perfect. These cookies are delicious and you’ll find it hard to stop at just one! Not that I would know anything about that. Have your kids help – that’s an extra added benefit – they’ll love it! Try these retro Haystacks and you can be nostalgic while trying not to eat them ALL! 🙂

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Chewy Coffee Brownies

I had never seen or heard of this recipe for Chewy Coffee Brownies that I found in my mom’s recipe file. That’s funny because my mom was a chocoholic and she LOVED brownies, but she HATED coffee! She was a tea drinker. Well, this recipe for brownies is a little bit different – the only chocolate in them are the chocolate chips! They’re more like a Blonde Brownie, but with a nice coffee flavor. That’s why I’m surprised my mom kept this recipe – there’s coffee in it and not even close to enough chocolate in it! While these brownies don’t call for frosting in the recipe, my mom was probably thinking she would put chocolate frosting on them to both add more chocolate and tone down the coffee flavor a bit. Yep – I’m sure that’s what she was thinking! 🙂

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chewy Coffee Brownies

Combine in a small saucepan:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup reduced-calorie stick margarine (I used butter – I don’t use margarine)

2 1/2 Tablespoons instant coffee granules

Place over low heat and cook for 4 minutes or until butter melts and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently.

Combine sugar mixture with:

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 egg whites (I used the whole eggs)

Beat at low speed.

Combine:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating well.

Stir in:

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Spread in 9″ x 13″ pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-23 minutes.

The first ingredients used in the brownies are butter, brown sugar, and instant coffee granules. Good start!

Next, in go the vanilla and eggs.

Combine the dry ingredients . . .

. . . and mix well. Stir in the chocolate and you’re good to go.

With the pan greased, it takes a little bit to get the batter to spread into the corners.

Out of the oven and smelling divine!

It helps to have these brownies with a cup of coffee to accentuate the coffee flavor, but it’s not absolutely necessary!

Oh. My. Goodness. If you like coffee, you’re going to enjoy these brownies. That little bit of chocolate just adds the flavor to enhance both the coffee AND the chocolate. They ARE chewy. They ARE delicious. They ARE ridiculously good. They ARE easy to make. Checks all my boxes. Try these Chewy Coffee Brownies and you’ll see that they’ll check all of your boxes, too!

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Dreams

The recipe for these Dreams comes from one of Grandma’s sisters. Grandma and her sisters exchanged recipes all the time, and they only shared the most delicious ones! They would always volunteer to bring treats to church functions, family functions, and friend functions, and they never had enough recipes! I’m sure even at the different functions, church members, family and friends would also exchange the best recipes and expect only the best from each other. Well, they had the system down, because they sure had a lot of amazingly delicious recipes between them all. This one is no exception – it’s delicious. Again – this one seems more like a candy bar than a cookie bar. They are that good.

Dreams

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Dreams

Use an ungreased 9″ x 13″ pan for this.

First Mixture:

Mix together:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

Pat into pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Second Mixture:

2 eggs, well beaten

2 heaping teaspoons flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup coconut

2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnuts

Spread on top of the first mixture and bake 25 minutes.

Cool and cut.

(There are changes to the original recipe, and I went with the changes. I learned a long time ago to do what is changed because they really do know best – if it’s changed, it was for a reason!)

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Here is the baked first layer.

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On goes the second mixture

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This is the whole thing all baked and ready to cool and cut.

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Oh my goodness.

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These bars are so chewy and delicious – totally more like a candy bar.

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While they don’t look that impressive, these bars are absolutely delicious! They’re simple to make and make a large batch, so you’ll have enough to freeze for another time. I still say they’re more like a candy bar – they really ARE that good! You’re going to love these Dreams – and they are that – the stuff of dreams!

 

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A Year of Bundt Cakes

I thought it was about time I put A Year of Bundt Cakes all in one place and on one post. I started this idea in 2017 before I got sick (with 4 week long hospital stays and 3 days in ICU with pancreatitis over the course of 6 months), and finished it in 2020 (I did the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s cakes in 2020 – you can see by the photography I was feeling better by that time). This is where you can see how one incredibly simple recipe can be used to celebrate a whole year of holidays! You can dress them up or dress them down – add whatever holiday you want or even add birthdays. Maybe each person has their own special theme – go nuts! It’s so easy to do and so much fun – you and your whole family and all of your friends will love this idea! The cakes shown below are the holidays that my family happens to celebrate. Happy all of the Holidays to you all!

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Happy New Year!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Happy Easter!

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Happy 4th of July!

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Happy Halloween!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Merry Christmas!

 

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Ham and Asparagus Quiche with Swiss Cheese

This recipe for Ham and Asparagus Quiche with Swiss Cheese comes loosely from the recipe for Quiche Lorraine I’ve posted before. Actually, I made it up when we had leftover Easter Ham and I couldn’t be happier about it. It makes a nice lunch or a quick weeknight dinner. A quiche might be a retro thing – I’m talking 1970’s here – but they sure are delicious! You can get it ready and just add the custard mixture before baking. Add a salad and some bread and you’re golden.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Ham and Asparagus Quiche with Swiss Cheese

Make one pie crust (I use this recipe – but halve the recipe – it makes 2 crusts) and put into the refrigerator to chill.

Mix together for custard:

4 eggs

2 cups Half-n-Half

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place in bottom of pie crust:

1-2 cups ham, in about 1/4″ cubes

Saute in 1 Tablespoon olive oil:

1 pound asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces

1 small onion, sliced

Layer over top of ham.

Top with:

1 cup swiss cheese, shredded

Pour custard mixture over all.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees for 30 minutes longer until knife inserted between center and edge comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

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After getting the pie crust ready to go, I like to get the custard ready.

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This was delicious with our leftover Easter Ham, but any ham will do!

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Sauteeing the asparagus and onion before baking just helps them cook better.

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You should add at least 1 cup of swiss cheese – or more. It’s totally up to you.

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The custard fills the quiche to the brim. I baked this on a baking sheet in case of overflow.

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Oh boy. This was a beauty, especially when garnished with frozen chives from my last year’s garden.

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This was a very delicious lunch!

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I highly recommend this springtime quiche. It’s so tasty with the combination of ham and asparagus, but when you add the zing of the swiss cheese? Oh man – heaven! Your family will love this for lunch. Or dinner. Or brunch. Anytime. I’m telling you – make this Ham and Asparagus Quiche with Swiss Cheese and take them deliciously back to the 1970’s!

 

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Hummus

My daughter wanted me to try to make Hummus, and our family now has a favorite new recipe! It’s ridiculously easy to make, and it’s SO good for you! This is not something Grandma would have made. She didn’t mind fresh veggies with a dip, but I really don’t think she’d have enjoyed THIS dip. On second thought – she may have totally enjoyed it, but she may have balked a bit at the EXOTIC nature of it! Ha! Chickpeas were not on her menu. Summer is the perfect time for fresh veggies and dip – all those farmer’s markets that are available, not to mention our own gardens and all the beautiful veggies they produce. Here’s a new way to enjoy those veggies, with a delicious dip you can make yourself with a can of chickpeas and a few other ingredients. It’s very easy to make and you can zip it up in just a few minutes. It’s healthy, delicious AND easy to make! Yassss!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Hummus

Put all into food processor:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup tahini

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon

1 garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup of water, or more if needed to blend

garnish with olive oil and topping of your choice (I used olive oil, sea salt, paprika, and a few dried thyme leaves)

Serve with fresh veggies, crackers, or wedges of pita bread.

Everybody into the pool! Just put all the ingredients into the food processor and give it a blitz!

I put it into a bowl, smooth with a spatula or back of a spoon, then give a drizzle of olive oil on top.

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There’s nothing wrong with topping it with a sprinkle of sea salt and dried thyme.

Fresh veggies and/or crackers are delicious with the Hummus – the more the merrier! Use your favorites – any fresh veggie will do, and any cracker or pita chip will do! I think you’re gonna love this twist on veggies and dip. It’s healthy, it’s delicious, and it’s ridiculously easy to make. Try this for the weekend – it packs easily so it’s easy to take anywhere. You, your family, AND your friends – everyone – will love this tasty Hummus!

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