Quick Asian Pickled Cucumber Salad….

It’s so hot outside and I’m over it. It’s the humidity that I just can’t tolerate. You take a shower and then as soon as you step outside, your sweaty. Sorry. Gross huh? But it’s true! I just want to eat and drink cold things. Things like ice cream….and watermelon fresca‚Ķ.lots of fruit and ice cream. The only good thing about this weather is that I drink alot of water. Yep, and if you know me, you know how much I hate water.

I keep trying to think of cool, refreshing dishes like this slightly pickled cucumber salad. It’s so light and yummy and super quick to put together. Usually I make this with cucumbers only. But I had some baby bok choy stalks, so I sliced those up too. I love bok choy. My bunny loves them too but she only likes the leafy part. So, I always have the stalks on hand. Cabbage also works great with this.

I happen to use a Japanese pickle seasoning to pickle my veggies, but it may be hard for a lot of you to find, so I’m showing you a way to do it with salt and a wee bit of vinegar. These are not the kind of pickles that are stored in liquid. This is more like a little side salad.

As you can see in the picture, I added some red chili paste. You can find this in most grocery stores now. But if you cant, red pepper flakes will be ok if you want some heat.

Here ya go!

Quick Asian Pickled Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber (regular or the longer Japanese or English cucumbers)
1 cup sliced bok choy stalks
1/2 tsp kosher salt (add a bit more if you’re a salt freak)
1 tsp regular white vinegar

Peel and slice the cucumber. Mix together with the bok choy. Add salt and vinegar and toss it all together. At this point, add the chili paste if you want to. Chill for at least 20 minutes, allowing the salt to “pickle” your cucumbers.

Sprinkle with a couple drops of soy sauce.


Betty’s Best Biscuits for 2….

Hot biscuits. I can’t even tell you how much I love a good biscuit. I always order a biscuit when I go out for breakfast. Sadly, I am often disappointed. I always ask the server, “are your biscuits good?” Hmmm, why do I ask? Like they are really going to say “oh nooo, our biscuits are really crappy”. They all say “yeah, they are….we make em here”. Hmmmm.

Well, I grew up with fresh biscuits served on the weekends. My dad made a damned good biscuit. His mother taught him. She was from Louisville Kentucky. Now, they know how to make biscuit! I used to watch my dad make them. He used to say “Better pay attention cuz you have to know how to make biscuits.” Well, I paid attention. I make darned good biscuits. I have a few recipes that I like, and I have my go-to recipe, which I think I posted here quite some time ago.

Now, sometimes (almost always) I want a biscuit but I don’t want to make a whole bunch of them. So, that’s when I make this recipe. It makes 2 good sized biscuits or 4 smaller ones. These are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. They’re so tender and good plain with butter, or with some good fruit jam or even smothered in sausage gravy. I ate them with both jam and with gravy, just so that I could show you. The things I do for you all…I did it all for you. ūüôā

You will love these.

Biscuits for Two

1  cup all purpose flour
2  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup COLD butter
1/2 cup whole milk (not low fat)

Heat oven to 400.
In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with your fingers, until it looks like coarse crumbs. Place the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Add the milk and gently stir just until everything is moistened. Dump it out on a floured board and gather up any dry bits and work into the dough just briefly. Dough will seem a bit sticky. Don’t keep playing with it.

Gather it together into a square shape. Or round will do also. It should be about 1″ thick. Using a spatula, lift it onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut into fourths. You can slightly separate the 4 pieces, about 1/4″ apart, but you don’t have to.
Bake for 12 – 14 minutes.

Easy Cheesy Velveeta Potatoes…..

There are so many versions of cheesy potatoes out there. I’ve had many. I can’t say that I really have a favorite.¬† Usually I prefer a creamy saucy¬† kind. But I happened to have a block of Velveeta cheese in my fridge and thought hmmmm. I know a lot of people don’t consider Velveeta a real cheese and they wouldn’t think of eating it. But I grew up with this stuff. My dad would make open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches topped with a tomato slice. M-m-mmm-mm, or what could be better than mac and cheese made with Velveeta!

Anyway, this is a really easy cheesy potato dish. It’s simple, but really rich and good. You can always jazz it up by adding some bacon, green onions, chiles, etc.

Easy Cheesy Potatoes

4 medium size potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cups milk
1  1/2  cup cubed Velveeta cheese

Spray a baking dish with a non stick cooking spray. Layer in the potato slices.

Melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour until smooth.  Add the milk and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup of the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Your sauce should be nice and smooth.  Pour the mixture over the potatoes.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cubed cheese on top. Cover the pan with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes. If you want a browned top, remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Sticky Chewy Fudge Sauce…

Well, we are approaching summer time! What goes with summer? Ice cream! I’m practicing for summer. Ha!

Who doesn’t like a hot fudge sundae. But ya gotta start with a good fudge sauce. Not just any fudge sauce. I like the kind that’s sticky and chewy. Like when it hits the ice cream, it firms up a bit and is like chewy chocolate yum-ness. Have you had that kind of fudge sauce? You don’t want the runny kind that just slides off your ice cream. So, that’s why you just have to try this fudgy goodness.

It makes great gifts. Imagine a cute little (or huge) jar filled with fudge sauce, in a gift basket. You could include an ice cream scooper, maybe some nuts or a jar of cherries, or  some sprinkles. Oh! and a couple of cute ice cream sundae bowls! Is that a great gift idea or what!! Ok, please feel free to send me one! hahahha, just kidding.

This fudge topping is super inexpensive to make. It’s also very easy. You will make it again and again. I know you will love this stuff.

Sticky Chewy Fudge Sauce

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
6 Tblsp cocoa powder
3 Tblsp corn syrup
1/4 cup milk or half and half
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

In a saucepan, add everything but the vanilla. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sauce is smooth. Bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Allow to cool slightly before serving or pouring into a jar. This will keep for a few weeks in the fridge, but trust me, it wont last that long.
Reheat  for 15 seconds in the microwave, before serving.

Makes 1 1/2 cups



Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks….

Ohhhhhh, these are good. So good. Crispy, chewy, buttery, cheesy and garlicky. Oh, and they are so easy to make.

These are not your average bread sticks. These are very rich. I like them as is and dipped in a good marinara sauce. I must warn you…..if you serve these before a meal or along side a meal, you will get full on these and not be able to finish your meal. You won’t be able to stop eating them!¬† Just give me a basket of these and a bottle of wine and all is good. Did I just say a bottle of wine?? I meant to say a glass of wine. Yeah, right.

If you are hesitant to work with yeast, please don’t be. This is the easiest recipe ever. Just make sure your yeast is not expired and you will be fine. But if you still feel uncomfortable, you can always use a ball of pizza dough from the grocery store. But please, please try this dough.

Ok, are you ready?


Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1¬Ĺ teaspoon dry active yeast
1 cup lukewarm water

For the spread:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons salted butter
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced very fine
1 tsp parsley or chives
2 cups Italian Shredded Cheese (I used a mixture of parmesan, asiago, fontina and provolone)
Optional:  pizza sauce for dipping

In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Slowly add the water, making a dough. The dough should come together and be soft, not dry and shaggy.
Knead for two minutes and form a ball.
In another bowl, add about a tsp of oil and place your dough ball in. Move the dough ball around, coating it and the bowl with the oil.
Cover with a dish towel for 1 hour or until dough has doubled.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly oil a baking sheet. Place your dough ball on the sheet and press it out with your fingers, to a thickness of approximately 1/4″
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, olive oil, garlic and chives/parsley. Spread it all over the dough.
Sprinkle dough with the shredded cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough has browned and cheese is all melty.
Cut into sticks and serve immediately.
I should tell you….these really are best eaten the same day. Oh darn! They aren’t as good the next day, reheated.