Candied Winter Squash with a not so sweet alternative!

“Growing food was the first activity that gave us enough prosperity to stay in one place, form complex social groups, tell our stories, and build our cities.” ― Barbara Kingsolver

Unique Heirloom Turban Squash!

Fall is full of wonderful delights to cook with…. really all the season’s are, but fall is for comfort food. This recipe for sure falls into that category! You can make this a super sweet dish or a savory side to go with any meal.

I will be using Sweet Dumpling squash for this recipe, however you can use any winter squash.
Other options include: Acorn, butternut, delicata, turban, & more.

Our Favorite Recipes

Ingredients:

2 Winter Squash- I am using Sweet Dumpling for this recipe

4 TBSP Butter, divided

½ cup brown sugar, packed- divided

Non-stick cooking spray

The finished product… soooo yum!!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Wash your squash of any debris and dirt.

3. With a sharp butchers knife, carefully cut squash in half stem to bottom end. If there is a stem on the squash, break it off before attempting to cut it.

Pro Tip: For those who don’t want such a sweet dish, simply omit the brown sugar and add ½ tsp each salt & pepper in its place.

4. Scoop all the seeds out and discard. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray evenly across the bottom; Place cut side up in a 9” x 13” x 2” baking dish.

5. In each squash cavity, place 1 TBSP of butter and 2 TBSP brown sugar; cover and bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Once a knife goes into the squash without any resistance it is done. Do not poke all the way through.

6. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes uncovered; With hot pads on, take each squash and pour butter brown sugar mixture into a large bowl; then with a spoon carefully scoop out the meat; mix together with butter brown sugar until thoroughly mixed.

Here is a video on how to scoop the cooked flesh from your squash!

If you enjoyed this post & thought this was a super yummy recipe leave me a comment.
…. and of course please LIKE, Follow & Share.

You can purchase my wonderful cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats & Treats again! Click this link to purchase: https://fordragonfliesandme.com/purchase-my-cookbook…/

Be sure to check out my Facebook page & follow me there for daily inspirations, lovely photos, & of course all kinds of great home & garden tips! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049613212778

Happy Day,
Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content without written permission.

Chicken Parmesan Made Easy!

“Real cooking is more about following your heart than following recipes.”
– Unknown

With the abundance of tomato’s we’ve had in the garden this summer, I’ve been able to make a few batches of my marinara sauce. That means we eat a lot of Italian dishes in our home. Believe me when I say no-one is complaining! I wanted to share this super yummy & easy Chicken Parmesan recipe with my favorite friends… yep, that is all of you!

Our Favorite Recipes

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts, tenderized about ½ inch thick
1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs
1 ½ cup white all purpose flour
½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 eggs, beaten
2 TBSP’s whole white milk
1 cup Canola oil for frying
4 cups Marinara Sauce 
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Click this link for my super easy Marinara Sauce recipe!
https://fordragonfliesandme.com/2022/09/21/marinara-sauce/

Tenderize chicken breasts to about ½ inch thickness. You don’t have to have a meat tenderizer. Watch Dave’s video demonstration with an every day kitchen item on Facebook !

1. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk until mixed thoroughly; in another bowl add flour, salt & pepper and mix; in a third bowl put bread crumbs.

While oil is heating, dip each chicken breast first in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs; make sure each piece of chicken is thoroughly coated; place one or two pieces of chicken in heated oil making sure they do not overlap;

2. Put oil in a frying pan and bring to temperature on medium-high heat; you will know when the oil is hot enough when you put a drop of water in and it bubbles.

3. Fry on each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown- chicken will not be fully cooked; place paper towels onto a plate or cookie sheet; when chicken is done, remove and place chicken on paper towel to drain excess oil; repeat this process with new paper towels for each piece.

4. While the chicken is frying, put 2 cups of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking dish; spread until the bottom is evenly coated.

5. When chicken is done, place side by side in the baking dish; divide mozzarella cheese and spread evenly over each piece of chicken.

6. Bake covered for 30 minutes; uncover and broil for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

Serve with additional sauce and a delicious salad & garlic bread!

Added bonus tip: To find recipes like this one & more, you can go to my blog at www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook go on over & give it a like & follow me for daily tips & tricks for the home and garden! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049613212778

Happy Day,
Jean

Copyright Policy

All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content without written permission.

Wholesale Case Pricing for my Cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats And Treats!

Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats

My cookbook contains almost 1000 easy & delicious recipes gathered from the women at Bethany Mennonite Church in Michigan.

Wholesale pricing is available for either half case (10 books) or full case (22 books). Message me for more information.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta

“A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.”
– Thomas Keller

This recipe has become an all time favorite for my family, so I thought I’d share it with my Dragonfly family to enjoy as well!

A few years back I was invited to prepare this recipe on Fox TV2 while promoting my cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. It was so fun to share my pesto recipe on air. You can find my original recipe at the link provide below.

Our Favorite Recipes

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken Breasts- about 2 pounds
1 TBSP Garlic Salt, divided
1 cup Shredded Parmesan cheese for topping
1- 16 ounce or 1 pound box of Cellentani Pasta or similar
1 cup Pesto- see recipe link for Pesto recipe
2 cup Alfredo Sauce:
Ingredients for sauce:
1 stick salted butter or 1/4 cup
1 cup whole milk
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1- 8 ounce container of whipped cream cheese
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black Pepper

Pro tip: I recommend making the pesto sauce first, as this can be refrigerated allowing the flavor to intensify!

Pro tip: For the best results with the alfredo sauce, use as quickly as you can so it doesn’t begin to firm up. However if it does, simply warm on low heat until desired consistency, stirring constantly.

Click here for my Pesto Recipe. https://wordpress.com/post/fordragonfliesandme.com/3166

As a side dish, my yummy Bruschetta recipe makes a great accompaniment! You can find that recipe here: fordragonfliesandme.com/2022/09/14/bruschetta-with-feta-cheese-balsamic-glaze/

1. Sprinkle half the garlic salt on one side of chicken, flip and season second side.
Grill chicken breasts until fully cooked and juices run clear;

2. Once chicken is cooled, using kitchen shears cut chicken into bite size chunks; set aside

3. Prepare both your pesto and alfredo sauces; see recipe link for instructions for pesto above.

4. Put a large pot of water on high heat while you are making your alfredo sauce. Add pasta once the water comes to a full rolling boil; cook until Al Dente. Follow box instructions for cooking time.

5. While water is heating, prepare the alfredo sauce:

i. In a medium sized pot melt the stick of butter.

ii. Once the butter is melted, add cream cheese and half the milk; whisk until well blended.

iii. Once cream cheese is melted and blended evenly, add remaining milk and parmesan cheese; mix until completely melted and is a smooth consistency.

iv. Add salt & pepper; blend thoroughly. Set aside while pasta is cooking.

6. Once pasta is done, drain and then place in a large serving bowl.

7. To drained pasta, add chicken and both sauces; blend until both noodles and chicken are evenly coated with sauce. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and serve with bruschetta or any other garlic bread.

Pro tip: Once you’ve drained your pasta, add a tablespoon of olive oil, blend thoroughly. This will prevent the noodles from sticking. Butter works too!

If you enjoyed this blog & bonus recipes, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!

If you aren’t following me on Facebook, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049613212778

Happy Day,
Jean

Black Bean & Corn Salsa Nacho Skillet!

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
– Harriet Van Horne

Dave said, “Lets make some black bean & corn salsa!” Of course it was game on… & of course I said, “Let’s give it a twist!” You can make this recipe as is served with chips, or you can add the Queso & chorizo to give it that special Jean twist! Let me know how you like it in the comments below!

Our Favorite Recipes

Ingredients for the Salsa:

  • 1-15.25 ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1-15.25 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup diced Roma tomato- about 2 large
  • 1/2 cup diced red shallot- about 1 medium to large
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapeno pepper, ribbed & seeded- about 1 large or 2 medium
  • 1 glove fresh garlic OR 1 tsp jarred
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBSP Lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • Bag of your favorite tortilla chips!

    Ingredients for Nacho Skillet:
  • 1 pound chorizo pork sausage fried & drained
  • 1 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil to fry sausage in
  • 1 cup taco blend shredded cheese
  • 1 cup your favorite Queso- I like On The Border with Monterey Jack

We have been feasting from our garden daily. Using fresh ingredients gives this recipe such wonderful flavor.

Pro tip: If you would like to use fresh sweet corn, simply purchase 2 ears, steam until cooked, and then cut the kernels off. Super easy, & super yum!

1. Drain & wash both the black beans and corn in a colander until the water runs clear.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients into a large bowl; mix well, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.

3. While the salsa is chilling fry chorizo sausage in olive oil until cooked thoroughly; once cooked drain in a colander.

4. Place fried sausage in a 6×9 baking dish.

5. Spread 2 cups of the salsa over the sausage evenly.

6. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese over salsa. Then pour 1 cup of Queso over cheese.

7. Cover baking dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

You can also warm this in the microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes if you prefer.

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips!

Pro tip: I purchase all my pork & beef from local farmers. The taste is genuinely so much more flavorful!

One of the meat, egg, & cheese vendors at The Royal Oak Farmers Market

If you enjoyed this post & thought this was a super yummy recipe leave me a comment.
…. and of course please LIKE, Follow & Share.

You can purchase my wonderful cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats & Treats again! Click this link to purchase: https://fordragonfliesandme.com/purchase-my-cookbook…/

Be sure to check out my Facebook page & follow me there for daily inspirations, lovely photos, & of course all kinds of great home & garden tips! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049613212778

Happy Day,
Jean

Peach Marmalade- Pectin Free!

“Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors—it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.”

– Wolfgang Puck

Even though it’s October, you can still pick up some delicious peaches at the farmers market- or worse casa scenario, the grocery store. Farmers markets generally are open through the end of October, and some move indoors for the colder winter months, while others like Detroit Eastern Market & the Ann Arbor Farmers Market are open outdoors year round! I encourage all of you to support your local farmers throughout the cold months as well… after all, they keep coming for all of us!

My grandmother & mother were incredible cooks. I have always hoped my children would enjoy my cooking & baking as much as I did theirs… they say they do. Every summer and throughout the fall they would begin making their jams, jellies, & marmalades. I loved to sit on a stool and watch them make the magic happen. This is one of my favorite recipes, and I’m so happy to share it with all of you!

Our Favorite Recipes

Ingredients:

12 cups sliced, peeled peaches
This is about 4 pounds fresh peaches or about 10-12 medium peaches

1 cup orange slices, plus zest. About 1 large orange

2-3 cups sugar- more or less depending on how sweet you like your marmalades or jams.

2 TBSP Lemon juice

Yields approximately 6 cups of finished marmalade.

What you’ll need to prepare this recipe:
Large stock pot
Potato masher or dough blender
Jar filler
Zester
Ladle
Large bowl
6- half pint canning jars or freezer containers

Did you know: Jam is a fruit spread that includes crushed fruits cut into pieces, while jelly is a clear fruit spread made out of firmed fruit or vegetable juice. Marmalade, on the other hand, is usually made out of citrus fruits and their peel, which are boiled with water and sugar.

1. First wash your peaches in a clean sink of cold water; using your hands rub as much of the fuzz off as you can; place on a dry dish towel.

2. Peel your peaches with a sharp paring knife; cut each in half and remove the pit; slice each half in 4 pieces.

3. Using a zester, zest the orange and set aside; now peal your orange, discarding any white membrane. Peel orange(s) and cut inside flesh into small pieces. Remove large pieces of whitish fibrous layers. You should have about 1 cup.

4. Place sliced peaches, fresh lemon juice, oranges with zest and sugar in a large pot.

5. Using a potato masher, begin pressing the mixture until desired consistency. I like to leave some chunks.

6. On medium heat, bring mixture to a low boil for 20-30 minutes. Cooking time will depend on how thick you prefer your marmalade; Your marmalade is ready when it runs off a spoon slowly.

7. Using a jar filler, ladle your marmalade into ½ pint jars, or spoon into freezer containers.

 You can freeze these for up to a year or refrigerate for up to 2 months.

If you enjoyed this recipe post, please LIKE, share, & of course follow me to receive notifications on all my posts. 

Follow me on Facebook for daily inspirations, & more tips and tricks for your garden & home!
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Added bonus: You can go to my blog at www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Happy day,
Jean

How-to preserve your herbs, & bonus recipes!

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

– Julia Child

My freshly dried basil

Growing your own veggies & herbs is a such blessing! Although having the ability to preserve them is a wonderful use of what you’ve grown & harvested. It helps save a ton of money as herbs can be very expensive, especially organic brands. Whether or not you garden organically, your home grown herbs will taste remarkably richer than any purchased from the store.

The following how-to can be used with just about any herbs you grow. Here are a few processes I want to share with all of you.

Pro tip: You don’t have to wait until the fall to preserve your delicious herbs, you can start early in the spring and work at it all season long! 

As I mentioned there are a few ways to dry your herbs. Let’s look at each one.

Pro tip: You can have herbs all year in cold weather states. In the spring when you are purchasing your seeds, save a few to plant in late summer in pots. You can keep these in your kitchen all winter long.

Pro Tip: De-stemming your herb leaves from the stem is essential for the highest quality finished product. You can see in these photo’s the original stem of basil, then plucking each leaf off. The stems will not dry well and are often times stringy.

For recipes using all your wonderful dried herbs, check out my blog post here: https://wordpress.com/post/fordragonfliesandme.com/2829

https://wordpress.com/post/fordragonfliesandme.com/2324

https://wordpress.com/post/fordragonfliesandme.com/1429

Some seeds do not have a long shelf life when kept at room temperature. If you keep the seeds in your freezer they will have a better chance of germinating. 

1. Using a dehydrator. Your dehydrator will come with instructions and is very easy to use. You can use a dehydrator for all types of herbs as well as fruit! You can even make fruit roll ups! 

2. Place herbs on a cookie sheet and dry in your oven. After you’ve de-stemmed the leaves, place them on a cookie sheet and bake in a 250 degree oven until dry. The length of time will be determined by the size of the leaves.
For example, thyme and oregano leaves will be quicker than basil or parsley as their leaves are larger

Place leaves in a single layer on the cookie sheet so they are not overlapping each other. You do not need to turn the leaves. Check every 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Hanging your herbs to dry in a shady spot works too! You can bundle your herbs with a rubber band and hang them to dry. This generally takes a bit longer to dry as the herbs are more densely packed.

This photo was taken at
Greenfield Village

Pro tip: Don’t hang these in a sunny window as the sun will fade the color of the leaves.

Once the leaves are crumbly to the touch, remove them from the cookie sheet into a shallow bowl; gently crumble the leaves, do not crumble so hard that they become dusty. Think about how herbs look purchased from the store.


4. Besides drying your herbs, you can also freeze some of them. I have found that chives and parsley both freeze well. Most others will turn black and slimy.


Storage: Once you have dried your herbs, you can store them in glass jars with tight fitting lids, freezer storage bags or I like to use half pint jars with cute labels.

Other tips!

Freeze your pesto for use year round! We use pesto for so many recipes. I will make a large batch when my basil and parsley are at their best and then freeze them in half pint jars as these are equivalent to 1 cup which most recipes call for. You can also freeze them in ice cube trays and toss in a freezer bag.

Pro tip: Remember to leave at least an inch headspace when freezing!

Herb infused oils can be rather expensive even though they are so easy to make! Simply pack 2 cups of most any fresh culinary herb with 1/2 cup canola or safflower oil.

Pro tip: Olive oil can have a strong taste so I generally only use a few herbs with it. Basil, Thyme, & oregano. I also love to add fresh minced garlic with these. Soooo yummy!

Bonus Herb Salt & Salt Free Recipes

Here are some of my yummy herb salts-less recipes!
If you are trying to watch your salt intake, here a some great salt substitutes that the whole family will enjoy and they won’t even miss the salt!

For each recipe, combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly I even use a mini food processor. Once blended, store each one in a separate airtight container; shake before using, contents will probably settle.

Salt-less Herb Blend

5 tsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all and store in an airtight container. Great on fish & chicken!

I had to use this pic of Aaron back on the farm after he harvested these onions!!

Italian Blend

1 Tbsp. garlic powder
5 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all and store in an airtight container. Great in ground beef when making goulash!

Basic Herb Salt

1 cup sea salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. rosemary
2 Tbsp. thyme
1/4 cup parsley
2 Tbsp. tarragon
2 Tbsp. dill week
2 Tbsp. paprika
1/4 cup basil

Blend together in a food processor; store in an airtight container. Great for grilling or putting on pork or beef roasts!

All of these are great Great sprinkled on burger patties before grilling and really adds something special to ground beef when fried.

If you enjoyed this blog & bonus recipes, please LIKE, Follow & of course Share! Let me know what you think ! I love your feedback! If you aren’t following me on Facebook go on over & give it a like & follow me for daily tips & tricks for the home and garden! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049613212778

Happy Day,
Jean

Eggplant Parmesan & Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms & Cipollini Red Onions

“I no longer say, as I once did, “I have to work in the garden today.” I say, with deep contentment, “I’m gardening today.” I have truly reaped the bounty of the garden.”
Martha Stewart

Eggplant is not on everyone’s radar… including mine I must admit. Dave swore by this recipe, but of course I had to add a twist… hence the shiitake mushrooms & Cipollini red onions! I honestly can’t believe how good this was… even my picky Aaron liked it!

Added bonus tip: To find recipes like this one & more, you can go to my blog at www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Our Favorite Recipes

INGREDIENTS:

  • I medium to large eggplant
  • Pink Himalayan salt- you’ll use this to sweat the eggplant
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup all purpose white flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil for frying eggplant
  • 3 ½ cups Marinara sauce- See my recipe here.
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 TBSP shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 TBSP Salted butter
  • 2 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 fresh garlic clove minced or 2 tsp jarred
  • 4 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms- about 8 ounces
  • 1 cup diced red cipollini onions
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt

PRO TIP:  When using vegetables like eggplant, summer squash, & zucchini salting the slices draws out the moisture. By doing so the vegetable is not as mushy or slimy when cooked.

Part 1: 
*Take eggplant and slice 6- 1” slices horizontally.
*Place slices on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
*Sprinkle with salt evenly, about ½ tsp on each slice; let set for 15 minutes.

*With a paper towel dab off all the water droplets until dry.
*Turn each slice over and repeat the process.

Part 2:
*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
*In a frying pan add the ½ cup oil; heat on medium-high until a drop of water sizzles when dropped into oil. 
*While oil is heating up, put eggs, flour, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls.

*Taking 1 slice of eggplant at a time, dip in flour making sure both sides are covered evenly; dip into beaten egg; dip into bread crumbs making sure both sides are covered evenly.

Place breaded eggplant into heated oil and fry on both sides until golden brown, turning once- approximately 1 to 1 ½ minutes on each side. Once they are browned evenly on both sides remove eggplant slices onto a paper towel lined plate; pat dry with paper towel being careful not to rub breading off. Set aside

In a 9×13 pan pour 2 cups of the marinara sauce evenly; place the 6 slices of fried eggplant into the pan

Sprinkle ½ cup of mozzarella cheese onto each slice; Pour ½ cup of the marinara sauce onto the mozzarella in the center; sprinkle 1 TBSP parmesan cheese onto the marinara sauce.

Bake uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Part 3:
*Remove stems up to the cap of shiitake mushrooms and slice into ¼ inch strips; Dice onions.

*In a frying pan add butter, oil, garlic, mushrooms, onions & 1 tsp of Himalayan salt; sauté on medium-high heat until mushrooms are golden and onions are caramelized- about 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve eggplant slice topped with the mushroom & onion mixture along with any Italian bread you enjoy and a delicious salad!

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to Like, Share and of course Follow me here and at my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049613212778.

Happy Day,
Jean

Bruschetta with Feta Cheese & Balsamic Glaze

“To make a great garden, one must have a great idea or a great opportunity”
Sir George Sitwell

Aaron & I were in Myrtle Beach last summer and visited a local restaurant where we ordered pizza & bruschetta. To my surprise it was served with feta cheese & a delicious balsamic glaze. The best part about it though was that Aaron loved it!! I could hardly get him to eat my ‘basic’ bruschetta, but he devoured this. So of course I decided to put my own spin on this for my sweet little guy to enjoy at home! 

Our Favorite Recipes

INGREDIENTS:

  • I loaf Italian bread unsliced
  • 6-8 large roma tomatoes diced, Heirlooms are the most flavorful!
  • 2 fresh garlic clove minced or 2 tsp jarred
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil + ¼ cup+
  • ½ cup fresh basil, snipped- Watch my video on how-to snip basil or any fresh herb in the video to the right
    OR 2 TBSP dried
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, snipped OR 1 TBSP dried
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1- 8 ounce container feta cheese crumbles
  • 1- 8.45 ounce bottle of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena glaze (I love the Kroger Private Selection brand).

With the garden bursting at the seams with ripe tomatoes, now is the perfect time to experiment with new recipes. Let me know if you have any tips for your bruschetta in the comments below!
Watch this video on how-to snip basil & other fresh herbs!

1. Combine in a medium sized bowl all ingredients EXCEPT feta cheese and balsamic glaze; mix well. Set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. While the tomato mixture is in the fridge, cut 6- 1” slices of Italian bread; use the ¼+ cup of olive oil and brush oil on both sides of each slice; place on a cookie sheet and toast bread on both sides under a broiler until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

3. Once bread is toasted, spoon tomato mixture evenly over bread; sprinkle 1 TBSP feta cheese on top of tomatoes; drizzle glaze over top.

Serve immediately with any pasta dish, chicken or fish dinner!

PRO TIP:  When snipping your fresh basil, bunch about 8 to 10 leaves, hold firming with your fingers and snip with kitchen shears. Also, be sure to only use the ripest tomatoes, and of course Heirlooms are best!

Added bonus tip: This recipe has been altered from the original in my cookbook. You can go to my blog at www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Rhubarb Strawberry Dump Cake

Who say’s rhubarb is only for the spring? If you harvest your rhubarb properly, you can get a second harvest!

This is a super easy recipe anyone can make! I recruited my son Aaron (12) to put together this recipe! He chopped, and measured all by himself… & then got to enjoy the fruits of his labor with some Hudsonville Vanilla Bean ice cream… oh yum!

Here’s what you’ll need for this supper yummy dessert!
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1- 3 ounce box of strawberry Jello
1 cup granulated sugar, organic preferably
1 box moist yellow cake mix- I like Betty Crocker
1 cup cold water
¾ cup unsalted butter melted
9″ x 13″ casserole dish
Vanilla ice-cream!

Freshly harvested rhubarb!

Did you know that rhubarb is a perennial vegetable?
Rhubarb is generally harvested in the spring & used to make pies, jams & jellies, compotes, and super yummy cobblers, like this one! After harvest, rhubarb will send up a white flower stalk from the center… buttttt you can still harvest new growth late!

My son Aaron ready to make his cake!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9″x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray butter flavor is great!

Arrange the rhubarb in an even layer in the bottom of the baking dish.

Layering the rhubarb evenly in the dish
Sprinkle sugar over the rhubarb

2. Next, sprinkle the sugar over rhubarb evenly, then repeat with the strawberry Jello.

Add the Jello as you did the sugar
Sprinkle the cake mix evenly across
Carefully drizzle butter over the cake mix

3. Sprinkle the yellow cake mix powder evenly over the sugar & Jello.
Pour the melted butter and the cold water evenly over the mixture.

Pour water evenly over the mixture.

4. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until crumb topping is golden brown.
Pro-tip: You can test the doneness of the cake by inserting a butter knife into the center to see if it comes out wet or not. If it is wet, check again every 5 minutes until it comes out dry.

Serve this delicious dessert with vanilla ice cream warm, or chill and serve with a tall glass of milk. Either way this dessert is sure to please!

Rhubarb Strawberry Dump Cake with super yummy vanilla bean ice cream!

What’s your favorite rhubarb recipe? Let us know in the comments below!
If you found this post interesting, please LIKE, SHARE, & Follow me for more informative gardening tips & how-to’s, yummy recipes, & organizational help!

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Happy day,
Jean!