Tomato, Fresh Herbs and Feta Crostini for Mother’s Day

Since Mother’s Day is this weekend, I thought I would share a super easy recipe from my new cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Burgers & Classics to Wraps & Condiments”. These Tomato, Fresh Herbs and Feta Crostini would be considered an open-face sandwich and a simple spring appetizer that is pretty, fresh and versatile with a brunch, lunch or dinner menu. I am making this recipe today along with 4 other recipes on Nashville’s Newschannel 5 “Talk of the Town”. My television segment will air at 11 a.m. central as well as on Comcast channel 50 at 12 p.m., 4 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Monday. I hope everyone has a great weekend and Mother’s day celebration.

Late Summer Salad: Vegetable Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese

Even though it’s the end of summer, I think it’s the perfect time to make fresh salads filled with your favorite produce. This Vegetable Salad is so colorful and flavorful from fresh roasted beets, corn, potatoes, tomatoes and lettuces topped with goat cheese and pecans. It makes a great main-course vegetarian salad because it is so hearty. This recipe is adapted from a recent recipe in Cooking Light for a Corn and Basil Salad. I added and deleted various ingredients, and this version turned out even better than it looks. My friend, Nancy, served it the other night along with beef tenderloin, and her friends raved about it. You can also add chicken or shrimp if you want to add extra protein. Also, feel free to prepare the beets, potatoes, corn and salad dressing ahead of time so all you have to do is assemble the ingredients.

Healthy Protein-Packed Salad: Edamame-Corn Salad


Edamame have become increasingly popular, and my kids honestly love them. Edamame is an excellent source of low-calorie protein, fiber and even iron.¬†This recipe for Edamame-Corn Salad is so light and wonderful using fresh ingredients such as corn, tomatoes, fresh basil and chives. It’s so easy to prepare, but you might want to double it. It goes really fast!

By the way, the incredible pottery in this photo is my absolute favorite from Earthborn Pottery. If you live in Alabama, it can be purchased at The Cook Store in Mountain Brook.

Summer Dessert Comfort Food: Peach-Blueberry Crisp


I’ve been searching for a great crisp recipe using fresh peaches and blueberries that I bought yesterday from the farmer’s market. My sister just recently purchased Emeril’s book “20-40-60 Fresh Food Fast”, and showed me his recipe. I adapted his recipe just slightly reducing some of the butter and using whole wheat flour. It came out great! Enjoy the peak of delicious summertime fruit with this comforting dessert.

Healthy, Light and Easy: Roasted Vegetable Wraps


Roasted Vegetable Wraps are as good at they look. You can’t go wrong when you combine fresh Farmer’s Market produce such as squash, zucchini and bell peppers with fresh basil and goat cheese (Belle Chevre is my favorite). This is a light vegetarian lunch or dinner idea, and it’s so easy to prepare. As summer nears, feel free to grill the vegetables over medium heat on a lightly greased grill rack 3 to 5 minutes on a side. You can also warm the tortillas slightly 1 minute on each side.

Shirley Temples with Fresh Cherries


My three kids are the best, and I try to treat them with something new and different all of the time from the kitchen. I came up with the idea of a healthier version of Shirley Temples using pomegranate-cherry juice¬†100% juice and fresh cherries. This recipe is so simple, and they love it! It’s perfect for this time of year when cherries are in abundance.

Easy Peach Cobbler with Steel Cut Oats Topping


If you ever get the chance to try Chilton County peaches from Alabama, you’ll relish in their fabulous juicy fresh taste. We had a basket of fresh peaches so I decided to make a simple cobbler with ingredients I had on hand. I love oatmeal in my cobbler toppings, but all I had was steel cut oats. It worked great! Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for an added touch.

Summer Side Dish: Grilled Beer-Basil Corn


Grilling corn is so easy, and it’s so versatile to prepare. I was out at the farmer’s market this weekend and thought I would try my hand at a simple ingredient combination to flavor the corn: using light beer and basil. It came out great! Feel free to add sea salt, pepper or your favorite herbs. It’s wonderful this time of year.

Greek-Style Chicken or Shrimp Summer Saute


This saturday I will be the guest chef at a new farmer’s market in town-the Valleydale Farmers market in Birmingham, Alabama. The director said they will be selling a lot of squash, zucchini, onions, tomatoes and red bell pepper so I thought why not come up with a simple, healthy recipe with all of these summer vegetables and cook with chicken or shrimp. I decided to flavor it Greek-Style with fresh oregano, Italian parsley, feta cheese and kalamata olives. Come see me at 10 a.m. See Valleydale Farmer’s Market.