Monthly Archives: October 2013

Creamy salad dressing

I can’t remember where I found this one, but it was advertised as a copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s salad dressing; it’s not. However, it is quite good nevertheless – it’s almost a merging of Ranch-style and Italian-style dressings.

If you know the origin of this recipe, please comment or email me so I can give them credit.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup

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Creamed corn chowder

Although I’ve had this recipe from The Rookie Cook Cookbook for a long time, I just made it for the first time tonight. Honestly, it’s not something I probably would have tried on my own but you-know-who has been professing his love for creamed corn for years.

  • 3 bacon slices, diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • sprinkle of pepper
  • 2 (10 oz) cans cream-style corn
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn (frozen, canned, or fresh)
  • chopped green onions or fresh chives

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Bird watching

The past few years I’ve been more into bird watching than I used to be. I’m going to try keeping up the bird feeders and “birdbath” (it’s a small thing hanging from the tree, not a stationary one) as the winter approaches and see what happens. There must be some non-migratory birds that will hang around, right?

Over the late summer and early fall we’ve had multiple chickadees, a cardinal and, more frequently as of late, a blue jay.

The blue jay is a big bully at the bird feeder, let me tell you. He screeches as he flies in, making sure everyone gets out of the way so he can eat as much as he wants.

Here are a couple photos I snagged of the cardinal and blue jay:

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Pickled hot peppers in cream cheese chicken enchiladas

After I made pickled hot peppers with jalapenos and habaneros I was wondering what to do with them. I considered putting them in chili, but I’m so attached to my specific chili recipe I use that I didn’t want to alter it in any way.

However, tonight I used pickled hot peppers instead of green chilis in cream cheese chicken enchiladas, and it worked out fantastically.

Give it a try. 

Better yet, let me know if you have a recipe that specifically calls for pickled hot peppers.

Beef Parmesan (also known as chicken parm steak)

I’ve made this one from The Rookie Cook Cookbook several times, but not in years. It’s basically chicken Parmesan, except with steak instead of chicken.


  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 4 beef steaks
  • olive oil (1/2 tbsp per beef steak)
  • at least 8 oz pizza sauce
  • sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese (1 slice per beef steak)

Note: The original recipe yields 4 servings, but I made it with just 2 beef steaks; I adjusted a bit accordingly. This is really one of those recipes that you don’t need to measure things too carefully, so don’t over think it.

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Keene Pumpkin Festival 2013

Yesterday, the fiance and I went to the Keene Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire for the second year in a row. Every year they attempt to break the world record for the number of jack-o-lanterns lit at one time.

What I really like about this event is that everyone brings a jack-o-lantern and helps to light them; there is a real feeling of camaraderie and participation.

This year, for the first time since 2003, they beat the world record, coming in at 30,581 pumpkins lit at one time. It is awesome to say I was there and I participated.

Although I cannot find an article on the record breaking number yet, the Wikipedia page has already been updated.

In any case, I thought I’d share some of my favorite jack-o-lanterns here.

This is my fiance’s. I’m not showing mine because he really puts me to shame every year.

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