Category: <span>Side Dishes and Salads</span>

Honey Mustard Dressing

Honey Mustard Dressing

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3-4 tablespoons honey, to taste
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground Himalayan Sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  • Combine all the ingredients listed in a small bowl and whisk until well blended and creamy. Taste. Adjust honey, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Alternatively, add all the ingredients in a medium mason jar, secure the lid, then shake until blended.
  • Dressing will keep in the refrigerator up to three weeks.
  • Makes one cup.

Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffing

Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffing

1 Box Uncle Ben’s long grain wild rice original – use chicken stock instead of water and cool after cooking
1/2 to 3/4 pound pork sausage – crumbled and cooled (crumble the sausage in your hands and cook it in a skillet until done)
Keep drippings from sausage to cook onions and celery
1 full stock of celery – finely chopped
1 finely chopped large onion
Cook in drippings and add some butter, too. Cool.
Mix together rice and sausage and onions and celery. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff turkey or chicken or place in baking dish heat in oven until hot.

Serves 4. Can easily be doubled or tripled.

More delicious if it’s made ahead of time and refrigerated a day or two.


Recipe by Tommi White

Orange Pomegranate Salad with Honey

Orange Pomegranate Salad with Honey

5 medium oranges or 10 clementine or mandarin oranges – peeled, membrane removed, and coarsely cut
½ – ¾ cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons honey


  • Combine oranges, pomegranate seeds, and honey.
  • Refrigerate several hours or overnight for flavors to blend.
  • Best when eaten within two days.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

I’ve made this flavorful salad several times over the past few months. I use the fresh basil and parsley from my garden. It’s easy, keeps well, and seems to go with everything. Our guests welcome our offer to send them home with a container!


½ (16 oz package) of uncooked orzo pasta
½ pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup diced red onion
1 cup diced cucumber (seeds removed)
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
1 cup finely diced Asiago cheese


1 tsp fresh garlic or ½ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Cook orzo according to package directions, about 9-10 minutes. Drain well. Rinse with cold water and drain well again.
  2. Combine orzo, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, olives, and asiago cheese in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients except basil and parsley.
  4. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing to add right before serving. Drizzle the rest over the orzo salad and toss well. Add the basil and parsley and toss again.
  5. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to allow flavors to blend. Right before serving add the remainder of the dressing and toss well.

Recipe adapted from several mediterranen salad recipes.

Grilled Potato Packets

Grilled Potato Packets

Serves 4.

In a medium bowl, combine:

Two medium russet potatoes – sliced ¼ inch thick – peeling is optional

½  medium sweet onion – sliced

Toss potatoes and onions with olive oil until all are lightly coated.

Add your choice of seasoning and herbs. Here are some we like:

  • McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb
  • Fresh chopped garden herbs – rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley. Add a bit of salt and pepper with fresh herbs.
  • We buy wonderful hand-mixed spices from The Spice and Tea Exchange in Blowing Rock, NC. Our favorite for the potato packets is Tuscany Spice Blend.

Toss mixture with spices to completely coat.

Using two large pieces of non-stick foil, you’ll make two separate packets. Two packets cook more evenly and are easier to flip when on the grill. Place half the mixture in the middle of each piece foil. Fold the long sides to seal in the middle, then fold the ends and crimp well.

Place on the grill cooking 20-25 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.

Be careful not to get burned from the steam when opening the packets to place in a bowl.

Note: We use this cooking method for vegetables as well. Sliced zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and cherry tomatoes make a great combination with the same seasoning selections.

Wilted Lettuce with Hot Bacon Dressing

Wilted Lettuce with Hot Bacon Dressing

This fabulous salad is sweet, tangy, and salty all at the same time! We love it! Great with homegrown spring leaf lettuce.

Serves 4


  • 8 slices thick-sliced hickory-smoked bacon
  • ¼ cup finely diced Vidalia onion (or another sweet onion)
  • ¼ – ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

8 cups of clean and dry leaf lettuce in large salad bowl.


  • Cook bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel-lined plate.
  • Remove all but 3 tablespoons grease from pan.
  • Add onion and cook until softened.
  • Dice or snip the bacon into small pieces. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, water, and vinegar.
  • Pour the mixture into the pan with the onion. Add the diced bacon and black pepper. Cook and whisk mixture until it boils.
  • Immediately pour the hot dressing over a variety of garden-fresh leaf lettuce. Toss well to wilt the lettuce.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lemony Pea and Mint Salad

Lemony Pea and Mint Salad

This salad pops with flavor and texture. I love the crisp fresh lemon dressing. I make the salad in the morning and let it marinate all day stirring periodically. Add the almonds and mint before serving.

1 pound frozen baby sweet peas
1 lemon
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 sprigs fresh mint (optional)
4 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

  1. Place the peas in a colander and rinse with cold water. Let sit until peas have thawed.
  2. Zest the lemon and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a small mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk shallot, salt, sugar, and pepper into the lemon juice until sugar has dissolved. Continue whisking while slowly pouring in the olive oil.
  4. Place mint leaves on top of each other and roll tightly. Slice mint into thin strips.
  5. Place the thawed peas into a serving bowl. Pour vinaigrette over peas and toss. Garnish with fresh mint, lemon zest, and slivered almonds. Note:If making this dish ahead, wait until serving time to slice the mint.

Our State magazine, April 2020



Pear Cobbler

Pear Cobbler

This fast and easy one-pan cobbler is wonderful served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

½ cup butter
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 cups canned pears in heavy syrup – drained (use either cut or halves)


  1. Melt butter in 8” Pyrex baking dish.
  2. In mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar and milk until well blended.
  3. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do NOT stir.
  4. Spoon fruit over batter. Do NOT stir.
  5. Bake cobbler at 350 for 30-40 minutes until crust rises to the top and is lightly browned and the liquid is bubbly.
  6. Let cool slightly and serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers. Briefly warm refrigerated cobbler in microwave, if desired.

Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts

Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts, Sage, and Romano

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the squash either in the oven or the microwave.
  2. For the oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. Place the squash, cut side down, in a large baking dish. Bake the squash in the preheated oven for 50 minutes.
  3. Microwave method. Poke the entire squash several times with a paring knife to allow steam/heat to escape. Place the whole squash in the microwave. Cook on high for only 5 minutes turning halfway through. Be careful handling the hot squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place the half squash in a Pyrex dish cut side down. Add an inch of water to the pan. Cook on high about 10 minutes, checking a few times for doneness.
  4. Scrape flesh of squash from the rind using a fork and place in a bowl. Add the pine nuts, cheese, sage, butter, salt, and pepper; toss to combine. Serve immediately.


Variation of the recipe by Sarah Stephan on


Onion Marmalade

Onion Marmalade

Adapted from an recipe

If you need a savory and slightly hot relish to jazz up pork, chicken, sausages, or mashed potatoes, look no further. Make this a day or two ahead of serving to let the flavors blend. Another added benefit is that the kitchen smells divine while it is simmering on the stove top. Enjoy!

2 large sweet white onions, chopped – Vidalia if you can get them
1 large red onion, chopped
3 T olive oil
2 fresh jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped (use rubber gloves to handle)
2 T honey
3-4 T red wine vinegar
¼ cup water

In a large heavy skillet cook onions in olive oil over moderate heat stirring often until softened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add jalapenos and cook one minute stirring often. Add honey and cook, stirring often. Add vinegar and simmer, continuing to stir until almost all liquid has evaporated. Add water and simmer, stirring until mixture is slightly thickened and onions are very tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Marmalade can be made two days ahead and chilled. Serve chilled or at room temperature.