Category Archives: Side Dishes

Irish Colcannon


Here’s another recipe to consider for your St. Patrick’s Day feast!  This side dish is really nothing more complicated than mashed potatoes with cabbage and onions stirred in.  But it’s easy and delicious, and do you really need any more reason than that to make it? 🙂

Again, I am not an expert on Irish cooking, this is just the way I make and I’ve enjoyed it this way for many years.  I hope that you’ll give it a try too!

It’s especially nice with the bacon stirred in, but often I’ll leave the bacon out if I’m feeling lazy and just cook the cabbage and onions in a little bacon grease for flavor.  Mmm pork fat.  Gotta love it.

The traditional way to serve colcannon is to make a well in the middle of each serving, then drop a pat of butter in.  Eat from the outside in, dipping each forkful into the butter in the middle.

Until next time, happy cooking! 🙂

Irish Colcannon


  • 2 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon OR a few Tb bacon grease


Boil potatoes until tender.  Drain and mash with butter and milk.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While potatoes are boiling, fry up the bacon then crumble and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan.  Or just melt a few tablespoons of bacon grease in the skillet.  Add the cabbage and onions, cooking until softened.  Fold into the mashed potatoes.  Add the bacon as well, if using.



Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetables

Spiced Cranberry Applesauce

I love making homemade applesauce (you can find my favorite recipe here).  It’s one of those things that’s so easy to make and tastes WAY better than anything you can buy at the store.  I just about always have a few jars stashed away in the freezer.  I especially love to serve it with quiches and breakfast casseroles, and it’s also great for when you need just a little something else still to go with dinner. 

 I recently had some apples in the fridge that needed using up and after coming across a recipe for cranberry applesauce, I decided to take elements from it to add to my standard applesauce and create something a little different.  It was a delicious variation!  And if you happened to stock up on clearance-priced cranberries over the holidays this would be a great recipe to use them in.  I had intended to buy some more myself but forgot, and truthfully, I still have a few bags from last year in my deep freeze!

One last thing to mention regarding the type of apples you use.  In my standard applesauce recipe I have posted, I have listed Granny Smith apples as the type called for simply because that’s what the cookbook the recipe is found uses.  I have always used McIntosh apples, though, as they’re my favorite, but feel free to use whatever is your favorite.  Also, I have not altered the amount of sugar called for, but since the cranberries will add more tartness to the applesauce, taste and add more sugar if it’s too tart for you.


Spiced Cranberry Applesauce


  • 3 1/2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled & sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tb lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice


Add all ingredients to the crockpot.  Stir to get all the sugar and spices mixed in well.  Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours (depending on the firmness of your apples).  Using a potato masher, mash to the consistency you prefer.


Filed under Crockpot Meals, Fruit, Side Dishes

Scalloped Corn Casserole

Say hello to the first recipe of 2011 on my blog!  I couldn’t have picked a better one because this recipe is a perfect example of the kind of cooking you can expect to see on my blog this year.  It’s comforting, uses inexpensive and familiar ingredients, and is  quick and easy to make. 

I used to go thru phases in my cooking where sometimes I was all about being adventurous and trying lots of new foods and cuisines, and then sometimes I just wanted some good ol’ down-home comfort food.  I’m sure many of you are the same way!  But  I’ve realized that over the past year or so I’ve kinda settled more permanently into the down-home side of things.  I get the most joy and satisfaction from that kind of cooking.  Since I went back to work last August I’ve also been much more focused on making recipes that are quick and easy or that can be made ahead of time and popped into the freezer for later.  And, of course, I’ve always got the budget in mind with any recipe I make! 

So the majority of the recipes you see on my blog will fit into those categories.  And I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year! 🙂

If you like corn, then here’s a delicious casserole for you to try!  The recipe comes from this old cookbook called Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers.

It caught my eye at my local thrift store recently, and I just had to buy it.  It was published in 1966 in Montgomery, Alabama.  And the cookbook isn’t kidding about there being 2000 recipes.  Many of them are somewhat repetitive, but that’s alright.  I love old cookbooks, and this one’s still got some great recipes in it such as this one.

I made this scalloped corn casserole to go along with our Christmas dinner, but it would be delicious any time of the year.  It’s quick and easy to throw together and would go well as a side dish for all sorts of things. 

Two little minor changes I made to the recipe were to substitute fresh parsley for the bell pepper, only because I happened to have the parsely already on hand and didn’t feel like digging in the deep freeze for the bell pepper.  The bell pepper would be delicious!  I also chose to leave out the cheese, but it would be even better I’m sure if you included it.  I’m not certain, but I’m assuming that the American cheese called for would be like Velveeta cheese?  I would probably just use grated cheddar cheese instead.

Happy cooking!

Scalloped Corn Casserole


  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (I used Ritz)
  • 2/3 cup grated American cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tb melted butter


Mix together all ingredients until well combined.  Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until set.

This recipe is being shared with:


Filed under Casseroles, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

In the mood to try something a little different than your standard sweet potato casserole(not that I’m knocking sweet potato casserole!)?  Then give this recipe a try!

I recently came across a pile of old Kraft What’s Cooking magazines at work that someone had thrown out, and I immediately snatched them up to bring home with me.  One of the recipes I found while flipping thru was for twice-baked sweet potatoes.  I changed the recipe around a little bit to come up with this one that I’m sharing and that I think turned out quite yummy.

I was actually lucky to be able to make these at all.  Usually the sweet potatoes I see in the store are the humongous ones that could easily feed 4 people per potato.  But last weekend I came across a bag of (gasp!) normal sized ones!

And take a look at how I cooked them.

That’s right, I cooked them in the crockpot!  I got the idea from one of my favorite blogs, Finding Joy in My Kitchen, which recently had a post on making regular baked potatoes in the crockpot.  I thought, why not sweet potatoes too?  Worked like a charm, and they only took about 3 hours on high.  And I saved a lot of energy by not heating up the oven!

Once they were done, I split them in half and let them cool so they wouldn’t burn my fingers.  Then I scooped the filling into a bowl and mashed it up.

Then I added all the yummy filling ingredients and stirred them all together.

Then that filling went back into the sweet potato shells.

After a quick bake in the oven, they were done.  Yum!

Here’s the recipe 🙂

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes


  • 4 small sweet potatoes, baked until tender (crockpot works wonders!)
  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Once sweet potatoes have cooled slightly, cut them in half and scoop out the filling, leaving about a 1/4 inch thick shell.  Mash the sweet potato pulp, then stir in the remaining ingredients.  Spoon potato mixture back into the shells.

Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 8 minutes, or until potatoes are heated thru.

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Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Southern Living’s Best Mexican Cornbread

I love cornbread.  In fact, I could probably happily eat it every day.  I do have definite opinions when it comes to the kind of cornbread I like, though (see this post for one of my favorite no frills, down-home cornbreads).  While I generally steer clear of any fancy shmancy cornbreads, one variation that I do really like is Mexican cornbread, and this recipe from my old Southern Living cookbook (acquired from my Aunt Martha, originally my Maw Maw’s.  Don’t you just cherish those cookbooks?  It even has her notes still that she wrote next to cookie recipes that she made for vacation bible school. Whew, this is a long aside!) is my favorite.

I like to make this into muffins, as you can see from the photo, but of course, you can’t go wrong cooking it in your cast iron skillet as well.  This was the perfect thing to go along with the chili I made on a cold night last week. 

I hope to have some photos to share  in my next post of the onset of fall here.  I was going to take some pictures when I got home from work this evening, but it was overcast and not great weather to take pictures of the pretty leaves.  So maybe in the morning I’ll be able to snap some nice pictures and show y’all what it looks like where I live right now 🙂

Mexican Cornbread


  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup canned cream-style corn
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tb baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour into a greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet.  Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.


Filed under Breads, Side Dishes

Miss Gayle’s Southern Green Bean Salad

I do not know who Miss Gayle is, but I do know that she sure makes a wonderful green bean salad.  This is a recipe that I copied from a little cookbook of my mom’s called Wesson Down-Home Cooking.  The green beans I used in this salad were some of the nicest, freshest green beans I’ve ever had.  They came from the Hutterites, just like the potatoes I used in my ham and cheese potato bake a little while back.  This year is the first time I’ve gotten the opportunity to buy their produce, and let me tell you, they’ve made me a huge fan.  I’ve got a pile of their potatoes in the bin under my microwave cart, and a bag of yellow wax beans in the fridge.  I’d better get cookin!

You can serve this salad warm, but it really is best if you refrigerate it for at least a few hours to let it marinate.  Enjoy!

Miss Gayle’s Southern Green Bean Salad


  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tb Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh parsley
  • 2 lbs fresh green beans


Steam grean beens until crisp-tender.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients.  Add the green beans and stir well to make sure they are all coated.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

This recipe is linked to:


Filed under Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Crispy Tuna Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce

Even though I’m from south Florida where you can get just about any seafood you want whenever you want it, I actually can’t stand the stuff.  There are a few types of fish I’m okay with (shark is my all-time favorite!), but even then I need lots of tartar sauce to smother them in. 

With those little jars of tartar sauce in the store being so expensive, though, I thought there must be a recipe out there that I can make myself and like just as much as the store-bought kind.  Well, there is, and I found it!   I made it to go with my crispy tuna cakes last night, and Jay and I both loved it.  So my search is over, and no more buying those over-priced jars at the store!  Just a heads up, this tartar sauce is a bit more on the sweet than tangy side since that’s how we like it.

Since my crispy tuna cakes are so yummy too, I’m posting that recipe as well for y’all.  Enjoy!

Crispy Tuna Cakes


  • 2 cans tuna, drained
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Creole seasoning (Old Bay would also be nice)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tb lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


Combine the breadcrumbs and Creole seasoning.  Measure out 1/3 cup and place the rest in a shallow bowl for coating the cakes.

Mix together the 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs and remaining ingredients.  Form into 8 balls.  Roll them around in the breadcrumbs until well coated, then flatten out slightly into patties. They’ll be kinda soft, so handle them gently.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet.  Place the patties in the skillet and cook until browned on both sides.  Serve with tartar sauce.

Homemade Tartar Sauce


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 2 Tb minced dill pickle
  • 1 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of Tabasco

Mix together all ingredients.  Refrigerate for several hours, at least, before serving to allow the flavors to combine.

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Filed under Seafood, Side Dishes