B.L.A.T. Wrap


Here’s a twist on the traditional BLT. Put the bacon, tomato and lettuce on a whole-grain wrap, add some avocado and a little jazzed-up mayo. Then pair this with some creamy coleslaw on the side for a very nice lunch.

I have to admit that avocadoes are just not BeeBop’s thing. As I’ve said before, he’s a meat and potatoes man and, well, avocado just doesn’t fit within that framework. He would even ditch the lettuce in this wrap and add a bunch of cheese. I, on the other hand, would add even more avocado, lettuce and tomatoes. But to each his own.


Make sure you have excellent, fresh tomatoes for this wrap. It really makes all the difference. Our tomato plants are producing faster than we can use them this year. Particularly the yellow ones. And this variety, Yellow Boy, has a great, earthy flavor. So, that’s what I used for these wraps.


To start, cook your bacon. I always cook a full pound whenever I cook bacon. The leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days and you can toss them into a salad or crumble them on a baked potato. Or just sneak one to nibble on while you’re cooking something else. In case you missed it, here’s the link to an earlier post about my easy method for cooking bacon.


While the bacon is cooking, prep all your other ingredients. Make your jazzed up mayo by adding 1/2 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt to 1/4 cup of mayo. Mix it together well. Slice the tomatoes and avocado. Shred the lettuce if needed. I’m using arugula in this wrap, so no prep was needed. Now you’re ready to assemble the wraps.


By the way, I used a whole-grain rye wrap for these BLATs, but you use whatever you like.


Spread the wrap with about a tablespoon of mayo. Add tomato slices down the center. Sprinkle with pepper (I like a very generous amount of pepper). You probably don’t need any additional salt because of the Lawry’s you already have in the mayo. Add 2-3 slices of avocado and 4-5 slices of bacon.


Top it all with the lettuce of your choice. I used argula on this one because I like the spicy, peppery bite it gives to the wrap.


Roll the whole thing together. Slice it on an angle. And…


Easy Cheesy Mac

Isn’t macaroni and cheese just one of the all-time ultimate comfort foods? I know it is for me. All that cheesy, creamy goodness wrapped around soft pasta. What more could you want? Of course, there are a multitude of recipes for mac and cheese. Everything from the ordinary to the sublime. But this is one for days when you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table. It’s really quick. It can be ready in little more than the time it takes to boil the macaroni and it’s very satisfying.

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Turkey Burgers


What’s better in the summer (or any time for that matter) than a good old hamburger? When cooked to perfection, a burger is one of life’s great All-American pleasures. And as much as I love (and I mean really, really love) beef, I know that it’s not the healthiest thing for me.  So every once in a while we have a turkey burger instead of that good old beef burger. And they’ve been pretty good. Usually somewhat dry, but I just wrote that off to it being turkey with little to no fat. That is until I found this recipe! This has to be the ultimate turkey burger. It’s flavorful and moist. It holds its shape well and is just excellent.

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Potato Salad


I wonder how many recipes there are for potato salad. Hundreds? Maybe thousands? At least. It seems that every culture, every country, every cuisine has some sort of salad, hot or cold, based on potatoes. And, of course, every cook puts his or her special touch on the recipe.

That’s what I’ve done with this recipe. I’ve tweaked it and tweaked it until it perfectly suits our tastes. Try it and maybe it’ll suit yours as well.

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Chicken Kay


The inspiration for this recipe came from two sources. The first is one of mine and BeeBop’s favorite restaurants for a quick, casual dinner – Carrabba’s Italian Grill. It’s not 5-star dining by any means, but I actually think it’s pretty darned good. I usually have the Spiedino di Mare, shrimp and scallops grilled with a lemon butter sauce. It’s a real favorite of mine. However, the last time we went we both were in the mood to try something new and ordered the Chicken Bryan. It’s a grilled chicken breast topped with goat cheese and a sauce of basil, dried tomato, lemon and butter. We both like it very much, but I knew of something that could take that dish from really good to spectacular. That little something was Kay’s Pesto Rosso. The combination of the idea of Chicken Bryan with Kay’s Pesto Rosso and Chicken Kay was born!

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Okra and Tomatoes


Okra! It’s one of those vegetables where you find very little middle ground. It seems that people either love it or they hate it. I, of course, fall into the “love it” category. I like it every single way I’ve ever had it. Fried, boiled, in gumbo, in soup, and of course the classic dish of okra and tomatoes.

BeeBop on the other hand, falls into the “hate it” category. Just not his thing. That’s okay. We don’t judge. I try to tell him what he’s missing, but that just falls on deaf ears.

Okra and tomatoes is a quick side dish that goes with so many entrees.  And the frozen okra is always just as good as fresh. Cooking okra with something slightly acidic like tomatoes, cuts out nearly all of the slime factor, too.

So, next time you’re at the grocery store, grab a bag of frozen okra and give this a try.

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A couple of days before Father’s Day I handed BeeBop my copy of Hershey’s Classic Recipes and told him to pick out anything in it that he’d like for his special Father’s Day treat. What he chose was this classic no-bake cheesecake. And, although the title says it’s no-bake, you do actually bake the crust but not the filling. But don’t let that keep you from trying this one. The short baking time for the crust doesn’t heat up the kitchen too badly on these hot, hot summer days.

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All the elements of a classic caprese salad in an appetizer!  I actually wanted to call this “Caprese on a Stick” but thought that really wasn’t quite nice enough for this little appetizer. Make these in advance if you like, but be sure to let them come to room temperature before serving. Much more flavorful that way.

For 20 appetizers, you will need:

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Southern Butter Beans


Fresh, green butter beans. What a southern summer time delight! Served alongside fried chicken with cornbread and sliced tomatoes on the side, butter beans are a perennial favorite at many a southern table.

Now, I’ve read lots of opinions about whether butter beans and lima beans are the same thing. And I still don’t know for sure. They certainly don’t taste anything alike to me. Lima beans, in my opinion, have a horrible mealy quality that I dislike. Butter beans, on the other hand, have a luscious creamy texture. Limas are pale grey to white when cooked and butter beans keep their pretty green color.

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“Summer time and the living is easy.” Really? Easy, maybe; HOT, yes! Today was the tenth day in a row with high temperatures above 90 degrees and humidity to match. But that’s really just typical for the deep south at this time of year. Hot and humid. So humid that there’s a hazy look in the air. It’s like living in a sauna, but hey, it’s wonderful for your complexion!

Because of the heat I was looking for something fabulous for dinner that wouldn’t heat up the kitchen and I found it in this delicious grilled recipe from Real Simple (www.realsimple.com). This chicken is marinated in a wonderful citrus and rosemary mixture, grilled and then served with a salad of romaine, orange sections and grilled onions.

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