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Tomato Cucumber Salad II

Reviewed: Jul. 6, 2015
I've been making this type of summer salad for years. This one differs from mine mostly in that I dice all the veggies, instead of slicing then halving some. Still, you get the same delicious flavors from everything which adds up to a great taste! This is especially good in the months where you can harvest your own veggies and literally go from garden to table, or get them easily at a farmers market or grocery store. It's very simple, quick, easy to make, and on these hot days, it's a nice cool add on to a meal, or can be a stand alone meal. It's that good, and that good for you. Plus it's very open to adding more of your own favorite spices(I like mine with a bit of smoked Paprika, sometimes a bit of dill or parsley, and even some thin sliced baby portabellos on occasion)but it's great just with the few ingredients listed. For me, this is a "must have" in the summer, and an "I still want this" in the cooler months. My only advice is read the label on the mayo to avoid unneeded cholesterol, fat and added sugars, and TRY to get organic veggies if you can. You can always grow your own with very little space or effort so you'll KNOW where your food came from. This simple but delicious recipe is 5 stars any day of the week for me!
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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2015
This is very close to a recipe I used in a restaurant, except we didn't add any margarine or butter. We just cooked the pasta and immediately rinsed in cold water, poured it in a large casserole type dish and mixed in enormous amounts of cheese, then salt and pepper to taste(sea salt and fresh ground pepper is best) and mixed it all very well.(the cooling of the pasta kept the cheese from melting before we were finished with...)Then poured in a mixture of milk and eggs and slid the pan back and forth to spread it all out evenly, filling as many gaps in the pasta as is possible, and where the egg/milk mixture was just ever so slightly below the top of the pasta, then topped it with more cheese and bread crumbs :):) I'm glad to see someone else use milk and eggs in their mac and cheese because it DOES make a HUGE difference! Of course you can always "cheat" and add things on top like sun dried tomatoes, fresh mushroon slices or like I'm doing right now, adding pre-fried and drained bacon and adding only the meat part in crumbles. I figure there's already enough fat in the pan the way it is lol I've honestly not tried Meredith's recipe YET, but as a former cook for a living and just do it now for myself(boring but I get to experiment a lot!)for group events or just for my neighbor, it sounds DELICIOUS! Anyone who cooks a lot gets that "sense" of how something would taste, so you know what I mean. I promise to cook Meredith's version because it sounds like a DEFINITE WINNER!
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Best Bread Machine Bread

Reviewed: Dec. 15, 2013
Great recipe, but I made a couple changes of my own. Instead of 3 cups bread flour, I use about 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups bread flour. While the machine is still mixing the other ingredients, I add about 4 Tbs of cinnamon and about 6 Tbs of honey. Local is best is you can find it. If not, I like Clover honey. Since honey is thick, sticky and hard to work with fast, I get that measured and poured into a small wide mouth jar or bowl ahead of time. It turns out great, and the addition of the wheat flour, cinnamon and the honey, gives it a little more healthy kick to it. Naturally those additions make it a sweeter bread, but I've not found it to be unsuitable with any dish I've made so far. Give it a try! Just beware that the delicious smell while it cooks may drive you crazy. lol
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