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Greek Salad

I’m back in the kitchen again! With the temperatures heating up and veggies readily available, it’s salad time! I found this recipe on Pinterest and modified it a bit. The result was super yummy!!! With plenty of leftovers I’m sure it will be even better tomorrow after cooling for a day or two in the ‘frig. The star of this recipe is the dressing. Super easy and zesty!

The Ingredients (my version)

The Veggies:

3 peppers (yellow, red, and green)
1 red onion
2 slicing cucumbers

Chop the above veggies in 1/4 inch pieces

2 cups grape tomatoes halved
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas) drained
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

Toss all of the above in a large bowl.

The Dressing:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 TBS red wine vinegar
1 cup curly leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried oregano flakes

Give the dressing a whisk and add to the veggies.

Last Ingredient:

8 oz block of feta cheese chopped into 1/4 inch cubes.

Add the feta to the salad and give it a quick toss.


Instant Pot Creamy Vegetable/Chickpea Tortellini Soup

I’ve been wanting to do a tortellini soup for a while. The recipe below is my own creation, based on reading several versions. If you like chorizo sausage, you can add a pound of chopped chorizo to the initial sauté. Being an ovo-lacto-pescatarian (I eat eggs, milk and fish with my veggies), I like to keep my soups meatless.

Once again, as I’m finding with these recipes, prepping the fresh veggies took longer than the actual cooking time. You could easily make this on the stovetop. What I like about the instant pot is that you don’t have to worry about it while it’s cooking. No stirring, no pot-watching. And it cooks in a fraction of the time.

Instant Pot Creamy Vegetable/Chickpea Tortellini Soup


1 Sweet Onion – Diced
3 Celery Stalks – Diced
3 Carrots – Diced
2 Garlic Cloves – Diced
2 TBS Olive Oil
5 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Can Ro-Tel / or Stewed Tomatoes
2 Cans of Garbanzo Beans, Drained
1 Tsp Dried Basil
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
6-8 Cups Mixed Super Greens (blend of Swiss chard, spinach arugula, or kale) – Chopped
10-12 oz – Fresh Cheese Tortellini (for frozen or dried see below)
1 Cup Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Prepare fresh vegetables. Add olive oil and vegetables and garlic to the instant pot. Set on sauté and stir until onions are translucent. Add broth, stewed tomatoes, garbanzo beans, basil and thyme to the pot. (If you are using frozen or dried tortellini add with the broth). Seal and cook for 5 minutes (my pot has a soup setting). Wait a few minutes before releasing the steam.

Add greens, fresh tortellini to the pot and simmer on sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring gently.

Blend in cream. Salt and pepper to taste.

Delicious and so easy to prepare. Serve immediately. The tortellini will absorb the broth if stored. You may need to add liquid to reheat. Or leave as is and call it stew! For me, this batch is another week’s worth of delicious home-made soup for my packed lunch. Bon Appetit!

Instant Pot Irish Potato Kale Soup

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe since I got my pressure cooker. I will definitely be making it again. I had to improvise on one of the ingredients. (See Below) My grocery store was out of leeks! The produce guy said the restaurants wipe them out every week! ☹️ And my brand of pressure cooker does not allow for under 5 minutes, so I split the time in two. It doesn’t seem to have affected the outcome. It came out great!

Thanks to Letty’s Kitchen for this awesome recipe. It’s a keeper, it’s delicious, it’s super easy, and it’s vegan. Quadruple win!


2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped (the original recipe calls for two leeks sliced thin)
  • 6 cups salted vegetable broth
  • 2 pounds potatoes (I used red potatoes), peeled and diced in ¾-inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces kale, stems and center ribs removed and discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped green onion, for garnish
  • In your pressure cooker, sauté onions (or leeks) in olive oil until tender. Add broth, potatoes and garlic. Close and seal the lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Quick release the steam.

    Lightly mash some of the potatoes (I like leaving most of the cubes intact) and stir in the kale. Close and seal the lid once more and pressure cook on high for an additional 5 minutes.

    Release and add the apple cider vinegar and 20 turns of fresh ground pepper. If you used salted veggie broth you will probably not need to add any more. I didn’t need more salt. Season to taste. Serve with chopped green onion garish.

    If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can do this on the stove top, cooking the potato portion 20 minutes and the kale portion an additional 10. I love how easy this recipe is. The veggie prep took longer than the cook time!

    The recipe makes 8 cups of soup. I’m going to enjoy this for lunch this week!

    Potato Leek Spinach Soup

    This is a variation of my standard potato soup. I had a leek and spinach on hand and decided to spice things up. My kitchen experiments don’t always work, but this one is a keeper. 😊

    Potato Leek Spinach Soup


    1 Leek diced

    2 Cloves Garlic diced

    2 TBS Olive Oil

    8 Potatoes pealed, cut in large cubes

    1 TBS Sea Salt (or more to taste)

    1 tsp Pepper

    8 TBS Butter

    2 cups Spinach, chopped

    1 can Condensed Milk

    2 TBS Cornstarch

    1 or 2 TBS Crushed Red Peppers (I like it spicy)

    In a soup pot sauté the leeks and garlic in the olive oil until tender. Add potatoes and fill the pot with enough water so that the potatoes are covered. (You won’t be pouring the water off.) Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are breaking apart. Remove from heat as mash the potatoes, leeks and garlic in the pot. Add butter, spinach, crushed red pepper, pepper and salt and half of the condensed milk. Stir the corn starch into the remaining condensed milk and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until thickened. Serve and enjoy!

    Clothespin Cookies

    Also known as Mini Ladylocks, Clothespin Cookies are rich little pastry-style cookies that will make you work for the reward of enjoying them. It took about 24 hours, but it is worth the wait. This recipe yielded about 72 cookies!

    I am told that this cookie is a favorite at the infamous cookie tables in northeast Ohio. Here’s the recipe, if you want to give them a try, I found this “authentic” recipe by Tracy McBurney at ‘Just a Pinch Recipe Club’, #justapinchrecipes.

    4 c sifted all-purpose flour
    1 lb oleo (margarine) / My Version: use 1 lb of butter – the cookies will have a lighter flakey pastry-like texture (Look at the photos below to see the difference.)
    3 Tbsp sugar
    4 egg yolks
    1/2 pt sour cream

    Marshmallow Cream Version

    2 stick oleo softened (I went with real butter for this ingredient)
    1 c Crisco
    2 c sugar
    2 tsp vanilla
    1 1/3 c warmed milk (I actually used just 1 cup)
    1 jar(s) marshmallow creme, 8 oz.

    Buttercream Version (My Version)
    1-1/2 sticks butter – room temperature
    3/4 cup shortening
    2-1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
    1-1/2 pounds (6 Cups) confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
    4-6 tablespoons very cold milk

    Powdered Sugar for dusting.

    Day 1

    1. For the dough: Cut oleo into flour and sugar mixture. Add egg yolks and sour cream.

    2. Mix well. ( I used an electric mixer.)

    Add egg yolks and sour cream.

    3. Shape into a long roll. Wrap in waxed paper and store in refrigerator overnight. (Don’t skip this part. It’s important!)

    Day 2

    4. Take a small portion of the dough at a time and roll out on a floured board, about 1/8 inch in thickness.

    5. Cut into strips of an inch wide and about 4 inches long. (I cut the strips a bit longer.)

    6. Wrap around a wooden clothespin. (Some people use wooden dowels, but I got a few packages of clothespins at the craft store. I have read accounts where cooks are still using the same clothespins their grandmas used. This makes the recipe extra fun!)

    This is the all Margerine version of cookies.



    Clothespins made using Butter.


    Flaky Butter Texture

    7. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for approx. 8 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned and not doughy. Keep your eye on the time, each oven is different. (It took about 14 minutes in my 400 degrees oven. You definitely do want to watch that first batch carefully, as you only want to see a very light browning.)

    Then let these babies cool completely.

    8. For the filling: In a large mixer, add oleo (or butter), Crisco, sugar, and vanilla.

    Cream for 10 minutes.

    (Do not skip this part! Set the timer…TEN minutes. It will save you the trouble of having to toss your first batch of frosting because it is a soupy mess…just sayin’ 😉)

    …and…we’re still creaming…10 minutes…3-2-1

    To that mixture add warm milk and marshmallow creme and whip until sugar dissolves. (You can also add food coloring for a festive flair.)

    Chill the filling in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, it makes for easier filling. (Again…don’t skip this step. Perfection takes time…and patience!)

    9. With a pastry bag fitted with the appropriate attachment, fill the cookie shell with the filling, (dust with powdered sugar), and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (I used a cookie/frosting press and it worked great!)

    10. For Buttercream Filling: Cream butter, shortening, vanilla and milk until smooth. Slowing add powdered sugar. Follow step 9. (We actually prefer the buttercream over the marshmallow fluff. And…it’s a LOT less work!)

    And voila! Picture perfect and oh so yummy!

    On a final note…save those clothespins! I soaked them lightly in soapy water, rinsed and dried them in a 200 degree oven for about an hour. This recipe is definitely a keeper. One that should be passed down to your children and grands, along with the precious inheritance of clothespins!

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