Mini Cheeseburger Salad with Yellow Mustard Vinaigrette

It came to my attention today that I did not have this recipe posted. First let me say, I am sorry for not sharing this sooner and second, be prepared to keep this recipe at the front of your recipe file. You will be making this one OFTEN!!  I like to serve it with warm garlic bread and some fresh sliced melon.  Kudos to Rachael Ray!
This is one of her fabulous recipes.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                                         
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 small red onion, grated and chopped, divided
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
3/4 pound brick sharp cheddar cheese, or American cheese, sliced
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large hearts of romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
1 cup sliced pickles, drained and chopped – choose from sweet, half-sour or dill varieties
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
Preparation Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 TBSP of olive oil. (You can also pre-heat a grill pan or a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat or pre-heat an outdoor grill instead of the skillet).While the pan is heating up, combine the meat with about 3 tablespoons of the grated red onion, the Worcestershire sauce and the grill and poultry seasonings (you may substitute salt and pepper for the grill and poultry seasonings). Form two-inch meatballs, then flatten them into patties.Cook the mini burgers for 3 minutes on each side, then top with cheese. Tent the mini cheeseburgers loosely with foil to help the cheese melt.

While the burgers are cooking, whisk together the mustard and cider vinegar in a large salad bowl. Continue whisking and stream in the remaining 2 TBSP olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Finely chop up the remaining red onion and add it to the bowl along with the romaine, pickles and tomatoes. Toss the salad to evenly coat everything in dressing.

To serve, arrange the salad on a large platter and slide the mini burgers on top.

NOTE: You can use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef


Black Eyed Pea and Ham Stew (via Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide)

After reading this post I knew I had to make this wonderful concoction. Only problem, I don’t have any more leftover ham. Solution: going to the market today and getting another ham just so I can make this recipe and savor the goodness! I think this soup, some delicious brown bread and a cold beer sounds like the perfect dinner here in Michigan. Have a good day everyone.

Black Eyed Pea and Ham Stew Here is another great way to use up some of that leftover ham. Much like chili, many different ingredients can be thrown into the pot for a delicious combination. Below are the basic flavor components, after that whatever happens to be in the refrigerator and sounds good can be included. The fresh spices can also be tweaked de … Read More

via Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

This is a soup I make regularly for my Families-on-the-Go.  Everyone of all ages just loves it. It comes together in less than 30 minutes from start to finish so it’s a great meal you can whip up if you are short on time.  The leftovers only get better, so don’t be afraid to make a whole recipe if it’s just one or two you are cooking for or a double batch if you have a large family!

Enjoy and Happy cooking,



1 1/2 pounds chicken breast

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1  large potato, peeled and diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 rib celery, diced

1 bay leaf  fresh or dried

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

2 tablespoons flour,

2 quart chicken broth

1 small box biscuit mix prepared following directions on the box

Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup frozen green peas


Cut chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.  Place a large pot on stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Season mixture with salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning.  Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir. Place biscuit mix in a bowl and mix according to directions on box. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in chopped parsley and peas.   Serves 4 to 6

Mom’s Pickled beets and eggs

Every Easter my mother makes a large jar of pickled beets and eggs.  I, not being a fan of eggs and especially hard-boiled eggs, NEVER participated in this Easter tradition.  I would however, eat all the beets!  Mark and I married in June and that following spring he was overly excited to see a very large jar of pickled eggs on the table from which he consumed many eggs.  My mother was very excited that her new son-in-law would love her cooking, so for 23 years she makes him his own jar. Thanks Mom….

Enjoy and Happy Cooking, 


12  eggs

2 (15 ounce) cans whole pickled beets, juice reserved

2 onion, sliced thinly

1 cup white sugar

3/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

12 whole cloves

1 tsp. pickling spice


Place eggs in saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to boil.  Cover, remove from heat, and let eggs sit in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from hot water, cool, and peel.

Place beets, onion, and peeled eggs in a non-reactive glass or plastic container. Set aside.

In a medium-size, non-reactive saucepan, combine sugar, 1 cup reserved beet juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, cloves and pickling spice.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Pour hot liquid over beets and eggs. Cover, and refrigerate 48 hours before using.

Slow Cooker Ham and Split Pea Soup

This is another great recipe to help you with your leftover Easter ham.  I made this hearty soup for a staff  lunch not too long ago and it was a big hit!  It has a really nice taste and texture. Since it cooks on the slow cooker for 8- 10 hours there is no need to emulsify.  Complete the meal with a nice crusty wheat bread or some homemade buttermilk biscuits.

Enjoy and Happy cooking,


3 cups dried split peas

1 ham hock, or leftover ham bone with meat

5 cups chicken broth

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. marjoram

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. basil

Combine: All  ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6 hours. Stir and remove ham hock or bones. Shred ham into bite size pieces. If soup get too thick after sitting, add a little water or chicken broth to desired consistency.