Archive for the ‘Soups and Salads’ Category


Black Eyed Pea Salad

Here’s a delightfully different salad recipe I got from Pioneer Woman.  However, as with most anything I set out to do, I don’t follow the rules and do it MY WAY.  I’ve never really been a fan of black eyed peas, but this salad is incredible.  Before passing judgement – be brave, be bold, and try it! 

I served this as a salad, but you could also serve it as a salsa/dip along with corn chips.  Either way, you can’t go wrong.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon fine ground black pepper


  • 1 sweet red pepper, cored, sliced, and diced
  • 1 sweet green pepper, cored, sliced, and diced
  • 1-2 fresh jalepeno peppers, cored, seeded, sliced, and diced (if you love HOT, leave some seeds)
  • 1 peeled, cored, diced cucumber
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped and diced
  • 2 cans drained black eyed peas

 Prepare dressing, set aside.  Chop fresh veggies.  Place chopped veggies in a large salad bowl.  Add peas and stir.  Pour dressing over veggies and peas. Toss to coat veggies with dressing.  Cover and refrigerate a couple of hours before serving. 


I’ve already made this salad twice this week.  The second time, I used black beans instead of the black eyed peas.  When I make this again, I plan to add a chopped avacodo and a little fresh garlic in the mix.  I believe we have a new favorite at our house for the new year.


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Once you try this soup – you’ll never go back to Campbell’s again.  I keep the ingredients on hand at all times during the winter.  If we ever do get snowed in,  we’re ready!   Make this soup, put on your comfy pants, curl up by the fire, and read a book.  It’s just too easy to make and it tastes so good. 

Sherried Cream of Tomato Soup

  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 46-ounce bottle or can tomato juice or V-8 juice
  • 2 14 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 chicken bullion cubes (I use NO CHICK’N)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 cup cooking sherry
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream – yes heavy cream
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • chopped fresh basil (optional)

In soup pot, sauté diced onions in butter until translucent. Add canned tomatoes. Add tomato juice, NO CHICK’N bullion cubes, pinch of salt and black pepper then stir to dissolve bullion cubes. Bring to a near boil, and then turn off heat. Add in sherry and cream and stir. Garnish with chopped herbs if desired. Serve warm with French bread.

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Seven Layer Salad 

In a 9 x 13 dish place the following: 

  • 1 head chopped iceberg lettuce (1st layer) 


  • ½ cup chopped celery (2nd layer)
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper (2nd layer)
  • ½ cup chopped green onion (2nd layer) 
  • 1 package frozen green peas, thawed (3th layer) 
  • ¾ cup sour cream mixed with ¾ cup mayonnaise (4th layer) 
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar (5th layer) 
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (6th layer) 
  • 8 slices crumbled bacon – optional (7th layer) 

In the photo of my salad, I tired to get all fancy and place the salad in my trifle dish.  It turned out pretty, but I think the ingredients are more evenly placed in the 9 x 13 dish the original recipe instructs.   

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Festive Cranberry Pineapple Salad 

Over the years, I’ve sampled numerous cranberry salads.  Some were too tart.  Some were too sweet.  But this one is just right.  Sweet meets tangy for the perfect duo – and the crunch adds a nice pizzazz too.  Oh, did I mention it is pretty?? Did I also mention EASY?? 

  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 2-4 oz packages raspberry Jello
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 apple cored and diced
  • 1 cup walnuts  

Drain pineapple and save juice.  Add enough water to the juice to measure 3 cups of liquid.  Put liquid in a saucepan over high heat.  When liquid boils, add the 2 boxes of raspberry jello and remove from heat.  Stir about 2 minutes until jello is dissolved completely.  Add the pineapple, whole cranberry sauce, diced apples, and nuts.  Pour into a 9×9 glass dish – or a pretty crystal bowl.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. 

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Fall and winter bring a change of menu at our house.  As the chilly wind blows in from the north, a pot of soup is often simmering on the stove – its aroma promising to warm us from the inside out. 


Ann’s Taco Soup 

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion 
  • 2 cans mild Rotel tomatoes
  • 3 cans drained kidney beans
  • 1 can drained shoe peg corn
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 can beef broth or 2 NO BEEF bullion cubes added with 3 cups water 

In a large skillet, brown beef with the chopped onion. 

Transfer beef to large pot.

Add Rotel, kidney beans, shoe peg corn, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer at least 30 minutes, or longer. 


This soup could be simmered in a crock pot on low for 4-6 hours.

To avoid MSG, I buy NO BEEF bullion cubes and add extra water to the soup in place of canned beef broth.  If using canned beef broth, you may desire to add 2-3 cups of extra water, depending upon how long you simmer the soup.

This soup is hearty, but not heavy and is a good alternative to chili.



MeMa’s Sour Cream Corn Bread

This is absolutely the best cornbread to serve with so many different soups.  It can be whipped up in no time, while the soup is simmering.  It could also be a meal by itself.  My taste buds would have never known about this bread, if it weren’t for my mother-in-law.  It’s another one of her recipes I could never do without.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place 1 stick of real butter in 10” iron skillet.  Let butter melt as oven preheats and while you are preparing the batter.

In large mixing bowl add:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Martha White self-rising meal
  • ½ medium chopped onion (or use 1 Tablespoon onion powder if you’re in a hurry)
  • 1 cup cream style corn (I defrost a package of my fresh frozen garden corn)

Mix until mostly blended.  Batter will be lumpy.  Add half the melted butter to the batter, leaving the remaining half in the iron skillet.  Blend melted butter into batter.  Pour batter into the buttery iron skillet.  Cook for approximately 20-30 minutes until cornbread turns golden brown on top.  Serve warm.

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Lasagna Soup


Lasagna Soup

A good friend Vicki gave me the recipe for this soup after our middle child spent the weekend at her house.  I think our child cleaned up her soup because it was so yummy.  This is another one of those quick and easy recipes that we will be repeating.  Thanks Vicki and enjoy!

 1 pound Laura’s ground beef -browned

1 can 28 oz can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano

2 NO BEEF bullion cubes + 4 cups water (or use 2 cans beef broth in place of cubes & water)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooked spiral noodles (cook about 1 cup dry spiral noodles)

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

In large soup pot add the browned ground beef, bullion cubes, water (or beef broth) and tomatoes. Bring to boil and dissolve bullion cubes in liquid. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste buds. Reduce heat to simmer at least 30 minutes. Add cooked noodles before serving and let simmer another 5 minutes. Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

 You may also use regular diced tomatoes, and add 1 Tablespoon of Italian herbs.



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italian-pasta-salad1 Italian Pasta Salad

1 box rainbow noodles

1 head broccoli cut into florets

1 small head cauliflower cut into florets

1 cup carrots – sliced

3 stalks celery -diced

1 zucchini -diced

1 small can black olives

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes – halved

1 regular bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing

½ cup Parmesan cheese

Cook noodles. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again.

In large salad bowl toss together all the vegetables. Add noodles. Pour Italian Dressing over salad. Stir to coat veggies. Add Parmesan Cheese when ready to serve.

This salad can be made up to 24 hours prior to serving. You can also purchase 2 bags of mixed broccoli, and cauliflower to save prep time.

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