BBQ Side Dish – Three Bean Salad

three bean salad

This is one of those dishes that are easy to make, best to make the day before, and it’s delicious.

This recipe serves four to six and is super easy to double or triple depending on the crowd you need to feed.  It’s best to make the day before, but can be made a few hours before.

Three Bean Salad

One 16 oz. can kidney beans

One 16 oz. can green beans

One 16 oz. can wax beans

Drain the above and put in a plastic bag

Add the following to the bag

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Close the plastic bag and mix everything around.  Place in refrigerator and when you think of it, turn the bag upside down every few hours.  If you’re short on time, you can make it the same day, but allow for a few hours for the flavors to blend.

This is one of my favorite BBQ side dishes.

Homemade Ice Cream – The Summer Treat

three six ice cream

Many years ago I found a quick and easy ice cream recipe in my local newspaper.

It was delicious.  Light with a slight fruity taste, it was delightful.

Then somehow, I lost the recipe.

It’s taken me over twenty years to find that recipe again, and here it is.

Six Three’s Ice Cream

Three cups of cream

Three cups of milk

Three cups of sugar

Mix sugar and milk together until sugar dissolves

Three mashed bananas

Three oranges, juiced

Three lemons, juiced

Mix all together and freeze according to your machine directions.

That is it!

Super easy, except for mashing and squeezing and mixing.

How could I forget such an easy recipe?

Now to find the fantastic cake recipe that used to be on the back of a yellow cake mix box…it had crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges in it.  If you have it, please share.  Please, please, please…it was so delicious and would go perfect with this ice cream.


Special Meals

I’ll never forget the scrumptious holiday dinners prepared by my grandmother for her six daughters, her son, their spouses, and children. The elaborate affairs lasted a few hours with wine or beer served with the food among loud chatter and laughs. My mother kept the tradition and I did my best to continue.

In my books there is always a gregarious mamma, portrayed after my mother or mother-in-law. They were both loving and meddling, generous and strong women who cooked delicious recipes but never minced words.

“My deChristmas Babies ar, my Italian grandmother used to say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Mom fussed with the wooden spoon and swirled it in the pot of tomato sauce. A secret recipe she’d never shared with anyone.
Madelyn sighed. Maybe she should start baking.
“By the way, I’m leaving you a few of my recipes.”
“Wow, the secret ones?” Her jaw sagged. Mom had often repeated that her secret recipes’ book would go in her will for her daughters.
“Make sure you cook them for Nick.”
Ah, for Nick Mom would reveal her secrets.


“Please, Mrs. Vassilov, will you call me Jillian?”
Da, da. Jillian. You call me, Babushka, like everyone in the building. Give me your plate, dear.” His mother served Jillian generously and kept on chatting without taking the time to breathe. “We have stuffed cabbage today. I hope you like it. Later you will taste my home-made dessert, rice pudding. Fyodor, give me your plate.”
“Not so much.” He laughed at the mountain of cabbage his mother piled on his plate. “I will help myself. Take care of the children, Mama.”
His mother gave each of the children their share of the meal and cut the cabbage rolls into small pieces for the toddlers.

No More Lies FBOlivia loved her mother to death, but at the moment she wanted to scream her frustration at her beaming Mama. It was obvious Marianna Crane had fallen in love with Luc the moment she’d seen him, or more precisely at the very minute he bent over and kissed the back of her hand with an “Enchanté, madame.”
“I’m delighted to meet you, Luc. Please have a seat. Where have I put my glasses? Melissa, bring the tray of hors d’oeuvres from the kitchen. Olivia, can you serve the drinks? Luc, what can I get you?”
Mama bustled with energy, the way she always did before starting a new project. Seeing her fussing around Luc, Olivia was afraid to guess the name of the new project—her mother’s ongoing goal.
“May I help with the drinks?” Luc offered.
“Of course. Make yourself at home,” Mama purred.
Dropping onto one of the overstuffed chairs of the old-fashioned living room, Olivia rested a moment. She liked coming home to her mother’s. The warm aroma of potpourri soothed her rattled nerves. Tonight, the garlic and nutmeg smell of Mama’s masterpiece roast emanated from the kitchen. Her mother had sharpened her tools to conquer their guest.
Olivia recognized the symptoms. Good dinner, good drinks, good stories. Luc wasn’t going to leave unscathed tonight, not when her mother wanted Luc’s heart for her daughter.

And here is a simple recipe for a Breakfast casserole:

6 slices of bread
sausages (I use 2 little cans of Vienna sausages sliced
6 eggs
1 and 1/2 cup shredded cheese
2 cups of half and half
salt and pepper
If you want you can add 1 or 2 little cans of sliced mushroom, press it well to get the water out.

Butter or spray a rectangle pan the size of the 6 slices of bread
Beat the eggs, add the half and half, salt and pepper
Arrange the slices of bread in the tray
Add the sausages, the mushroom if you want, pour the mixture on this, spread all the shredded cheese on top
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Serve hot for breakfast or brunch.

Southern Potato Salad

Potato saladSince I haven’t taken time to make the salad for a photo, I grabbed this photo from MorgueFile.

As much as I love most types of food, I’m a Southern gal and partial to Southern food. We Southerners crave delicious potato salad. It’s a staple for about any get-together I’ve ever attended. Also it travels well. Usually, as time closes in on a special lunch or other meal, I get a call before the email listing foods to bring. “We’re hoping you’ll bring potato salad again. Can I take potato salad off the list?” I love it!

Okay, what else can I do except dig in and gather ingredients together? It’s delightful having people ask for your special dishes, and quite an honor.

Southern Potato Salad
Feeds approximately 20-25 people

10 lbs. Red Potatoes (peeled or not, your preference) dice small
1 extra large Red Onion diced small (Buy an extra small red onion, in case you need more)
4 large stalks Celery (including tops) Slice thinly or you can dice very small
2 jars cubed Dill Pickles (Not sweet) (can use dill relish, but not as tasty) Drain well
3 or tbsp. salt
4 level tbsp. yellow mustard (or to taste)
5 or 6 large boiled eggs, refrigerate to cool.
About 4 cups mayo. You may need more mayo, depends on how dry the mix is once you fold into potatoes, celery, onion and pickles.

(I use Hellman’s. I believe it makes a taste difference. You don’t want a thin or sweet mayo)

Step 1: Add peeled (or not) diced potatoes to pot, cover with water, add 3 or 4 tbsp. salt. Bring to a boil, turn down to low to simmer for about 15 min. Check potato for doneness after 10 minutes with a fork. If getting soft, take off heat and drain. Do not rinse. In a 2 gal. bowl, refrigerate potatoes to cool. Takes about 30 minutes or so. If some are a little warm, that’s okay. Fold potatoes over a couple of times with extra large spoon to help cool. Do not stir. They will be too much like mashed potatoes. You can still use, but won’t have a good potato texture.

Step 2: While potatoes are cooking, boil eggs, peel and separate whites from yolks. Dice or chop egg whites. Mash yolks, with a fork not a blender or the mixture will be gritty, into about 2 or 3 heaping tbsp. of mayo until smooth. (As you would for deviled eggs) Stir in 3 or 4 level tsp. mustard into mixture. In bowl, mix 4 cups mayo with the mustard mix, add egg yolk mixture, then fold in egg whites. Refrigerate.

Quick tip: Mixing the egg yolks with a lot of mayonnaise before creaming fully, will result in a gritty texture, therefore changing the flavor a bit. Also, the flavors blend well overnight. I like it better the next day, but hubby prefers it the same day. Go figure.

Step 3: Drain 2 jars cubed Dill Pickles. Dice onions, and celery. Add all ingredients to mayo and mustard mixture. Refrigerate.

Step 4: After potatoes are cooled, remove from refrigerator. Using a spatula to get all the mixture from bowl, fold in mayo mixture to potatoes. Do not stir too vigorous, you’ll have mashed potato salad.
If you’re going to add more salt, add it to the mayo mix, so you won’t need to stir potatoes more than necessary. Do not add more than a tbsp. of salt to mayo, it’s salty, plus the pickles and mustard are salty. Add more to taste though, if needed.


A Smoky Mountain Wedding – Book Two, coming November, 2013
My books are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Apple and Smashwords.
You can find links on my website, here.

Stephanie Queen’s Summer Fun Recipe

by Stephanie Queen

guacamoleLet’s have a party—or as they used to say in Latin—a festa! (well, someone must have actually spoken Latin—besides doctors and lawyers—back in the old-old days, right?)

In these lazy hazy summer days of pool parties, picnics and people gathering on the back patio of the palace, I have one good old stand by recipe that is a hit every single time. It’s mistake proof because you can test-taste it as you go and make adjustments.

“What is this miracle recipe?” you ask.  I answer, it’s Stephanie Queen’s Royal Guacamole Dip! (No, my Queendom is not in Spain, not even in South American or Mexico—but I’m very worldly (and I know a tasty dip when I taste one)).

Here’s the no fuss, impossible-to-go-wrong recipe:

4 avocados, rip and soft

1 package of mild guacamole spice mix

2 tablespoons of pre-made sour cream French onion dip (the easy & fun secret ingredient!)

Peel, pit and chop/mush-up four avocados. Add spice mix and French onion dip. Mix it all together to the creamy/chunky consistency you desire.

Then dip in chips, carrots, crackers or whatever you can find!

Bonum appetitu! (Latin for you-know-what!)

For more summer fun when you’re not in the mood for a party, read the  ImageInternational Digital Award winning novel, Playing the Game  by Vere Tuus (Yours Truly–Stephanie Queen).  This story sizzles hotter than the latest heatwave and promises a lot more excitement per drop of sweat!

Check out all my titles at and follow the progress on my next novel on my Facebook page.

Lazy Summer Days by Joan Reeves

SouffleTo twist a Steinbeck title, “This is the summer of my discontent.”

You see, I’ve spent the last few months in an assortment of delightful activities like jury duty, taking family members in for surgery, de-cluttering the house, giving said house the HGTV treatment (which means making it look as if no one lives in it), and putting it on the market to sell. Which it did — in 3 days.

Then the insanity of all this deepened into frantic packing in order to move out the last day of this month. Suffice it to say that I’ve been away from Main Street for so long that I thought I might need a compass to find my way back.

I’m Back

Fortunately, I just followed the delightful aroma of all the good food that the talented Authors of Main Street have been cooking up this month. I love food. I love cooking,  talking about food, sharing recipes, and eating of course. (I don’t like cleaning up the mess though and would love a sous chef to step in to handle that odious task.)

In all my romantic comedies, food is talked about and enjoyed. I’ve started sharing the recipes within the books and on my websites. Today, I’d like to share a recipe that’s perfect for the summer. It’s a lemon dessert the heroine makes in Cinderella Blue, my new book — coming in August if I can just get my office set up after this move.

Lazy Lemon Soufflé (okay, this is really a pudding, but let’s be fancy-schmancy and call it soufflé)

· 1 cup white sugar
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 4 tablespoons plain white flour
· 1 lemon
· 2 eggs
· 1 cup milk
· 1 tablespoon melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Select an ovenproof baking dish that will make a lovely presentation since you’ll be serving directly from the baking dish. Also put on some water to boil for step 6.

2. Grate the rind of the lemon until you have 2 teaspoons of rind. Squeeze the lemon to yield at least 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. In a bowl, mix sugar, salt, flour, rind, and juice.

3. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a glass or metal bowl, not plastic. (Egg whites won’t beat well in plastic.) In a large measuring cup or small bowl, beat the yolks, milk, and butter. Add this to the flour mixture. Then beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold this into the flour mixture.

4. Pour the mixture into the ovenproof bowl. Set the dish in a larger ovenproof pan. Pour hot water in the outer pan. (This technique is called a water bath, and it keeps soufflés and puddings from burning or getting hard on the bottom and sides.) The water should come up the side of the baking dish holding the pudding about an inch.

5. Bake at 325 for about 50 minutes. You know it’s done when you insert a knife around the sides and there’s no liquid left because it’s all been absorbed.

6. Serves 4-6. This delicate lemon dessert is as light and delicious as any soufflé you’ve ever had, but it’s much easier to make which is why I call it a lazy soufflé. Oh, and it’s good either hot or cold.

Perfect Combo: Dessert & Free Book

Whip up this dessert, chill it, and spoon it up while you read one of my sassy, sexy romantic comedies! In fact, I’ll make it easy to get one of my books. Leave a comment with your name, and I’ll send you a Smashwords coupon for a book of your choice!

Bon appetit! Bonne lecture! (Good Reading)

(Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy Romance Novels. For your consideration, get your flirt on with any of her novels, available at most ebook sellers, with audio editions available at Audible and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and Wordplay, a free subscription newsletter for readers. Find Joan Online: Blog ~ Website ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Twitter ~ YouTube)

Cooking in the Mountains

BBQ or any kind of meal preparation that involves fun and the outdoors is always more about enjoying the company of those I love than the food itself, although that is important too. This season, summer into early fall, is perfect for outdoor life and outdoor cooking.

ImageI’m typing this from the Starbucks in Jackson Hole, WY with very little battery life left in my husband’s computer. We’ve been hiking and fishing and wading in alpine lakes and streams as we bond as a family. And we’ve been camping in tents and preparing most of our meals on a gas stove or directly over a campfire.Image

My favorite so far has been our dinner of Cutthroat trout which we all took a hand in catching under the dam in the Snake River. I’m happy to say I caught four of the nine we consumed! The best way to cook mountain trout is fresh with butter. That’s it. That’s all. Just butter, mountain air and flame until they are no longer raw. No salt. No pepper. No lemon. Just a whole lotta love and an appreciation for the atmosphere and the fish who presented themselves for our dinner.

ImageImage  Image

When I get home I will be posting more recipes in the comment section of my post. Mainly because I LOVE to cook and I LOVE to share. 🙂

Below please find a link to my latest book in the Warrior Chronicles: DEFENDING DESTINY.Image

Happy Reading. Happy Eating. And Happy Trails, My Friends! Love from the Tetons,