Lee's Olive and Pepper Salad

Lee's Olive and Pepper Salad - Art in Entertaining - Cindy Rippe
This has been a family favorite for many years and my husband, Lee, takes pride in getting it "just right" each time.  Once you try it, you'll probably be asked to make it again and again.

You should make the salad the day before you serve it to allow time for the dressing to marinate the vegetables.

You can cut the vegetables any size you like.  Lee says slicing them is the best way to get flavor throughout the salad.  (The photo is a good example)

You can change the amount of vegetables depending on what's available and what you like to eat.

Ingredients - Vegetables:
15 oz jar of Green Olives - drained.  Cut them in half or use Salad Olives.
1 Lg can of Black Olives - drained.  Cut them in half or slice.
2 stalks of Celery - sliced into 1/4 inch pieces.
3 or more Green Peppers (Yellow, Red or Orange if you wish) - slice into strips.
1 medium Sweet Onion - chopped into small pieces.
3 or 4 Tomatoes - Cut into slices or chunks.
Ingredients - Marinade/ Salad Dressing:1/4 cup Salad Oil
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 Tbs of Dry Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp fresh Ground Pepper

Mix Vegetables and Dressing together in a covered bowl.   Refrigerate and stir the salad every few hours for about 24 hours and immediately before serving.  

Serve using a slotted spoon to drain excess dressing as you place it on your plate.

YUM!  Thanks for sharing the recipe Lee!  LYM 

Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies
The Loving Spoonful


2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons fine salt
18 large marshmallows (not minis) or use Marshmallow Fluff (you'll find more Whoopie Pie Recipes there)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.
Put the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl; heat at 75 percent power until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir, and continue to microwave until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching the water, and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.)
Whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until smooth.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into another bowl. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until moistened. Switch to a rubber spatula and finish folding the batter together; take care not to over-mix.
Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the prepared pan. Repeat to make 36 cookies, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Bake until the cookies spring back when lightly touched, about 6 minutes.
Cool the cookies slightly. Transfer half of the cookies to a rack. Turn the remaining cookies on the pan over, so they lay flat side up. Place a marshmallow on top of each flipped cookie and return pan to the oven. Cook just until the marshmallow begins to soften and puff, about 3 minutes. Cool marshmallow topped cookies slightly, about 2 minutes. Top with the remaining cookies, pressing lightly to make sandwiches. Cool whoopie pies completely on wire racks. Serve, or store in tightly sealed container for up to 1 week.

If you use a pan designed specifically for Whoopie Pies please follow the manufacturer's baking directions.
If you use Marshmallow Fluff as a filling allow the cakes to cool first.

*Whoopie Pie recipe and image adapted from Food Network Kitchens please visit their website for more recipes.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Eagle Brand
  • Servings: 8
  • Nutrition: See Below
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel*
  • 2 or 3 drops green food coloring
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat egg yolks in medium bowl on low speed of electric mixer. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until smooth. Blend in cream, lime peel and food coloring, if desired. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven.
  • BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in medium bowl on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar on medium speed. Beat 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and stiff glossy peaks form. Spread over hot pie, carefully sealing to edge of crust to prevent meringue from shrinking.
  • BAKE an additional 15 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Cool 1 hour on wire rack. Chill at least 3 hours before serving. 
Cindy's NOTES

I prefer Whipped Cream on my pie, use a little more grated lime peel, less food coloring and use Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust.

Recipe compliments of Eagle Brand.

Banana Nut Bread

This is an easy and really delicious recipe for Banana Bread.  It's just as good without the nuts and is really tasty made into French Toast.  Have you ever tried that?

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.

2 very ripe bananas - smashed
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 softened butter
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup or more of chopped nuts (large or small pieces as desired)
(Walnuts or Pecans are good)

Blend banana, butter, eggs and sugar.
Add flour mixture, mix until blended thoroughly.
Add nuts if desired.

Bake in a greased loaf pan for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.


1 16oz pkg of Lasagna Noodles
1 lb ground Italian Sausage or Ground Beef
1 Tbs chopped garlic
1/2 small onion chopped
1 26 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
1 tsp Penzeys Italian Herb mix
1 14.5 oz can Hunt's Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic, and Oregano.
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lb of sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 pepper

Brown the meat, garlic and onions. Drain excess fat.
Add spaghetti sauce, Italian Herbs and diced tomatoes. (you can drain some of the excess juice from the tomatoes if you wish).  Simmer while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Mix the ricotta and cottage cheese with the parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and eggs. 

Cook pasta noodles for 5 minutes (enough to soften but still hold their shape).

In a greased 9 X 13 pan, build lasagna by layering strips of lasagna, meat sauce, ricotta cheese mixture, and mozzarella cheese in thirds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins. I like to cover the pan with foil (spray with cooking oil spray to prevent sticking) for part of the cooking time to keep the pasta moist. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Serve warm with extra sauce on the side.

Notes:  This is one of those recipes that you can adjust easily to taste.  More cheese, extra vegetables, combine or eliminate meats, or you can use just one of the ricotta or cottage cheeses.  I make enough for two or three batches at at time and find myself opening more spaghetti sauce sometimes or having a small amount ingredients left that I use to make lasagna roll ups with. I do recommend making it the day ahead if you are making a lot.  It can be quiet a production but so worth it!

I have adapted this recipe from the box of Jewel brand Lasagna noodles but use it just as a guide. I make so much at once that I keep throwing things in depending on what I have at the time but it always turns out good.

To freeze leftovers:  Cut serving size pieces and wrap in foil sprayed with cooking oil spray.  I have also been known to add a few Tbs of extra sauce in a small ziploc bag to the foil package.  That way I have just enough sauce to add when reheating.

Spiced Apple Cider

Photo: http://blogs.familyeducation.com/parenting/moms/aliki-mcelreath/my-top-six-best-party-foods-ever

Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,193,154162-237204,00.html
Content Copyright © 2010 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.
1/2 gallon apple cider
12 cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 c. orange juice
1/2 c. lemon juice
Heat apple cider. Add all ingredients. Allow the mixture to simmer for half hour or more. 
Add orange slices right before serving as decoration.

Makes 12 servings
NOTE:  I double this recipe for my crock pot.

Gingerbread Man Cookies

Photo from McCormick.com
Gingerbread Men Cookies
Adapted from a recipe found at the Simply Recipes website.  Posted by Elise.
 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
1/2 cup Butter flavored Crisco
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses (or honey if you don't like molasses)
  • Optional raisins, chocolate chips, candy pieces, frosting
Royal Icing
I use Wilton products for Royal Icing.  Instead of just water add 1/2 tsp of Clear Vanilla and 1/2 tsp of No Color Almond Extract after the first two Tbs of water.  The original recipe is HERE.


1 In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.

2 In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.) Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more flour.

3 Heat oven to 350°. Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Use either a cookie cutter or place a stencil over the dough and use a knife to cut into desired shapes. Press raisins, chocolate chips, or candy pieces in the center of each cookie if desired for "buttons".
4 Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Makes 16 5-inch long cookies.