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Lemon Pepper Potato Salad

by Jane Wangersky July 24th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
potato saladIt’s too hot to turn on the oven and make my lemon pepper oven fries, which is a shame because they’d go so well with the burgers we’re going to be grilling in the backyard . . . but that doesn’t mean we can’t have potatoes flavored with lemon and pepper. This occurred to me as I was thinking about potato salads made with vinaigrette instead of creamy mayonnaise-based dressings. Why not make one with a lemon pepper vinaigrette?

You may be able to find lemon pepper easily in the store -- if so, you’re way ahead of me. (They
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10 Fitch Tropical Breakfast Sorbet

by BnB Finder July 22nd, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
file4041257954147Where I live, we handle winter a lot better than summer -- we're much more used to winter. Lately, it's been too hot even for coffee or tea at breakfast. That's the kind of day when our thoughts turn to breakfasts like this. Though this sorbet is much like ice cream, the creaminess comes from ripe bananas -- and coconut milk, which, like most of the ingredients, comes out of a can. You don't need an ice cream maker; your freezer does the work overnight. If you'd like a getaway that's also quick and easy to plan, try this
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Make Pickles in Your Refrigerator – It’s Easy

by Jane Wangersky July 17th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
fridge picklesAs I’ve mentioned before, I’m (maybe a little too) wary of trying to can or preserve anything at home, which is why the only jam I make is the freezer kind. I’ve been doing this for years, but until recently I wasn’t really aware that freezer jam had a counterpart: refrigerator pickles. (I had noticed that when I marinated cooked beets in vinegar and spices, they seemed to keep for weeks in the fridge -- these pickles are made in somewhat the same way.)

Though I’m not as crazy about pickles as I was in my teens, they’re still one
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Gazpacho with Grilled Lime Shrimp

by BnB Finder July 15th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Gazapacho with Grilled Lime Shrimp

Gazpacho -- a cold soup, usually tomato-based and including raw vegetables -- evolved in Spain and has become popular all over the world. The reason is simple: Coming from a country with a killer summer, it's perfect for the hottest days of the year. This recipe takes it a step further, adding shrimp flavored in a zesty marinade and hot off the grill, for a dish that's elegant enough for company and still surprisingly simple. From the Swiss Woods B&B in Lititz, Pennsylvania, voted "the coolest small town in America" in 2013, where

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Salsa Aspic: Hot and Cool

by Jane Wangersky July 3rd, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
aspicYou might think of this as really thick salsa. Or maybe as Jello for the main course. Or as something like cranberry sauce -- it’s made of fruit (tomatoes are fruit), it’s jellied, and it’s meant to be served along with meat or another main dish. However you look it at, this side dish is perfect for dinner on a hot night, packing both coolness and spice.

Aspic has been largely unknown for years -- a friend nearly as old as me had never heard of it -- but I’m not sure why. Maybe the availability of instant gelatin desserts
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Mixed Greens Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

by BnB Finder July 1st, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Mixed Greens SaladWhat makes this very simple salad special is the fresh homemade dressing -- and that's simple, too. Leaves of fresh sweet basil, with their unique taste, are puréed with olive oil and white wine vinegar, which will take you just seconds with an immersion blender (a food processor will do the job also). The Inn & Spa At Cedar Falls - Hocking Hills Lodging in Logan, Ohio, where "Fine American cuisine is the specialty" has provided this recipe. There's plenty to do around Logan, from ziplining to winery visits to watching your meals being cooked in the
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Asian Asparagus Salad — With A Touch of Sushi

by Jane Wangersky June 26th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
nori saladIt's asparagus season -- it must be, the stuff was half price the last time I went grocery shopping. Though asparagus certainly isn't the first vegetable I think of when I've got a salad to make, it's what we had this week, so it's what I went with. All I needed was some new, slightly unusual ingredient to pair it with.

On the Internet I found a recipe for appetizers made of asparagus wrapped in nori -- the sheets of roasted seaweed used for making sushi. The recipe also called for salmon, I think. It looked good, but I wasn't
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Roasted Pepper and Olive Salad

by BnB Finder June 24th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Roasted Pepper and Olive SaladHere's a quick but complex-tasting and spicy salad -- quick, that is, if you have roasted peppers around. If you don't, they take some time but they're really easy to cook. Just heat up the broiler, cut some fresh peppers in half, flatten them out as much as you can, and broil till they look burned -- actually only the skin will be charred. When they're cool, you'll be able to peel off the brittle skins easily, as well as seed and chop. From the Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield, Illinois, where you can book not only
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Ham and Cheese Salad

by Jane Wangersky June 19th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
ham saladWith a salad to invent and a lot of ham and cheese in my fridge, I began wondering why we’ve come up with ham and cheese, ham salad, but not ham and cheese salad. Well, as it turns out, many people have had that same thought, judging by the number of ham and cheese salad recipes you can find with a quick Google search. But my version is extra simple, and, unlike others, has no vegetables to put off the kids.


1 cup diced (¼ inch) cooked smoked ham*
2 tbsp mayonnaise
½ tsp dry mustard (or to taste; my tester said
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Chocolate Banana Tacos

by BnB Finder June 17th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Chocolate Banana TacosThis week we're taking a break from salads to bring you a recipe for a unique dessert that delivers plenty of sweetness without a whole lot of sugar.  Though this looks like decadent pastry with a rich filling, it starts out as simple flour tortillas baked into cup shapes. The creamy filling is sugar-free white chocolate pudding, finished off with bananas and a drizzle of chocolate sauce and maybe some whipped cream and cocoa. From Bass & Baskets Bed and Breakfast on the shores of Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, "Your Home at the Lake" complete with
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Beets Stuffed with Cucumber Salad

by Jane Wangersky June 12th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
beet cuke saladBeets, like revenge, are best served cold, which means, like revenge, they take some planning. This beet dish is no exception, but once you’ve got your cold, cooked beet(s) at hand, it really doesn’t take much time or work. Yet it still looks pretty enough to be special. It also combines some of the elements of borscht -- mostly beets, set off by cucumbers and sour cream -- in salad form. Last but not least, it makes a nice change from pickled beets, while calling for way fewer ingredients.

Speaking of which . . .

Ingredients (for one serving, multiply as
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Caprese Salad

by BnB Finder June 10th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Caprese SaladSimple but special and complex-tasting, this recipe delivers a mouthful of pizza-like flavor in a salad. For a change of pace, there are no greens required for this salad, except some fresh basil leaves. (Running them through your salad spinner -- it's not just for lettuce! -- will ensure they're at their best.) Though this traditional Italian salad is named after the island of Capri, the recipe comes from mid-Ohio, where you'll find the HideAway Country Inn in Bucyrus. As they say, "Stop to breathe deeply the fresh, clean, country air - but don’t forget that world-class
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