Simple Pico de Gallo

You may notice when you look at my recipes that I use minimal or no cilantro in dishes where it is customary.  This simple Pico de Gallo is no different.  If you like cilantro, feel free to add it anywhere and everywhere, just please do not put it into foods you want me to eat.  I can do small amounts of it when I go to Chipotle’s or certain Mexican restaurants, but if there is too much of it in anything I just have to leave it on my plate.

I am one of the few people in this word apparently that thinks cilantro smells like dirty gym socks.

Since I do like Mexican food though, I just make my recipes without an overload of cilantro.  I also use minimal amounts of jalapeno peppers, but just like cilantro, feel free to add more if you prefer more heat.    I serve this Pico de Gallo alongside my Midwest quesadillas because I love all things tomatoes and I think they go well together.  I also think it goes great with chips, it’s more than an acceptable substitute for store bought salsa only I get to decide how much cilantro goes in mine – none.

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Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans

Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans have been in my life since I was old enough to eat.  The first indication a holiday feast brewing in the kitchen is the smell of bacon and onions cooking at the crack of dawn.

My grandmother and mother both made green beans often.  I don’t know if it was tradition, cheap, a comfort food, or just the first vegetable that came to mind at dinner time.  When I was growing up, everyone’s normal evening meal included a protein, a starch and a vegetable.

My grandmother used a spoonful of bacon grease when she cooked almost anything.  She had a can of bacon grease sitting on the stove.  She added to that can every time she made bacon for breakfast, which if memory serves me right was daily.  My grandfather loved his bacon.  Even after my grandma passed, he still made himself a breakfast of bacon, eggs, biscuits, and grape jelly.  He also drank his coffee out of a saucer instead of a cup.  I never did know why he did that.  It remains a mystery to me to this day.  He lived to be 89 and had it not been for dementia he probably would have lived longer than that. Continue reading “Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans”


I cook soups frequently. They are easy to make, easy to tweak, and hard to mess up.

Cooking Hint: I did NOT say soup is impossible to mess up.  I have proven it is, in fact, possible.  I have scorched chicken on the bottom of a pot before I even got started doing anything besides boiling a whole chicken. Words of wisdom, don’t be like me and try to salvage it. Throw it away! Or better yet, prevent a disaster before it happens and do not start anything on scorching high heat and walk away. See that tiniest bit of black stuff on the bottom of the meat? Do not even try to pick it off and rinse it off. That not-so-flavorful taste will permeate the entire dish.

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Tomato, Cucumber, & Onion Salad

This is one of those rare recipes my mother made well. But she made it all the time. The recipe for Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad stayed taped to the inside of her spice cabinet. I don’t remember a time not seeing it anytime I went for a salt shaker.

It was always present at her parties by the pool. There would also be the required steaks on the grill, mushrooms, cucumbers and onions, boxed scalloped potatoes, and those little sponge cakes you can buy in the produce section of most stores alongside sweetened strawberries and vanilla ice cream (my mother’s version of strawberry shortcake).

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