Patty Pan Squash Salad

patty pan

 Patty Pan Squash Salad is my newest creation from this weeks CSA!

 I adore trying new recipes and am challenging myself to make up something new every week!

Patty Pan is a yellow squatty looking squash with similar taste and texture to it’s cousin the yellow aka summer squash.

The combo of the textures and flavors make this a winner.

Perfect addition to any summer meal.



You are Welcome!

Patty Pan Squash Salad

yep, it was a hot salad and oh my it was awesome!!

And comes together in under 15 mins, doesn’t get much easier than that!!

Shout out to the amazing Wild Pilgrim Farmstand for all the veggies!

Ok back to the creation.

Patty Pan {squash} Salad

3 patty pan squash, washed and cubed

1/2 large Vidalia (sweet) onion, chopped

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 T olive oil

fresh thyme, chopped

 1 -2 splashes balsamic vinegar

1 T feta cheese (trying to eat super healthy so feel free to add more or less)

Heat oil to medium/high saute onion for 2-3 mins, add squash, cook for apx 7 mins until the squash start to have a little color.

 Then add fresh thyme, salt & pepper to taste.

Just before serving add tomato, splash of balsamic, &  top with feta.

I am LOVING having the CSA box from Wild Pilgrim Farm 

look  for weekly veggie post throughout the summer

xoxo, Mama Bird


perfect {Southern} green beans

green beans

These are the most perfect Southern style green beans you have ever had!

And when you see how easy they are to prepare you will want to make them every night!

So I started with a big bag of “half runners” the Southerners favorite style bean.


snap the ends

break into pieces

set aside

get out a large pot and  cut the fat off the ends of a couple of pieces of bacon  (apx 4 1/2 inch pieces)

toss in pan with a tablespoon of olive oil

turn heat to high

chop up a Vidalia (sweet) onion and toss in

allow the bacon fat to render out apx 3 to 5 mins

toss in beans

the pan should be very hot

stir beans around so that they get all incorporated in with the oil add salt, pepper & garlic powder

cook for apx 7 mins

cover with lid and turn the heat off

leave coverd for 1 hour

when you are ready to serve you may want to re-heat

These beans are so tasty theyare not cooked to death but still have that Southern taste while holding shape and tasting great!!

Everyone will LOVE!!

Jen Hatmaker’s Lentil Rice Bowl {meatless monday}

 lentil bowl

For today’s Meatless Monday I was inspired by the amazing Jen Hatmaker she is a woman of God, has written oodles of books and is rasing a crop of kid-o’s! When I saw this recipe for Jen Hatmaker’s  Lentil Rice Bowl on her facebook page I had to give it a try!! YUM-O and am I happy I did! Hat’s off to you Jen this is a keeper!  Now mind you my friends this make A TON. Really, like a whole bunch, like invite the neighborhood bunch!! Also, is takes a lot of pans and makes your kitchen a cluttered mess. That all being said it is worth it! PROMISE. I am not even a curry lover and I am in love with this and you will be too! Go on now, make it tonight!

sweet pot

First,  you want to start with your sweet potatoes. I used 3 locally grown (so they were a nice size but, not ginormous!) peeled and cubed, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, curry powder and my addition of Nigella Seeds, these look kinda like poppy seeds they are insane when roasted on sweet potatoes.  Roast on 375 for like an hour.


Next, get your lentils going. Chop an onion and soften in olive oil, once they get soft add 1 bag of rinsed lentils, stir around and coat well with the olive oil. Add a heaping tablespoon of curry, tumeric, cumin, cinnamon, then add salt, pepper & garlic. Mix well.  Add 24 oz of broth, Jen used veggie broth, I used chicken cause it’s what I had.  Cover and simmer on low for about 45 mins until tender yet not mushy.


Get your onions going, I used a huge sweet onion and cooked low & slow the entire time the other ingredients were cooking, I added 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and a glug of balsamic vinegar after about 30 mins just to get the onions good and carmelized. You can skip this step, but you will probably regret it! They are so good!!

lentil bowl 1

Don’t forget about the rice!! Followed Jen’s recipe for coconut rice use 1/3 coconut milk, 1/3 broth & 1/3 water. It was so good and Jack LOVED the rice. Loved, loved, loved!

Now put it all together!


1. coconut rice

2. lentils

3. sweet potatoes

4. onions

5. plain yogurt


7 ~ layer salad

7layer salad

Seven layer salad is one of my favorite salads ever! It’s so old school and was served and nearly every family function as a child. It holds lots of memories for me. Like when I was little I only ate the hard boiled eggs and the bacon! It is a very simple dish, just chop everything and put together. There is one key element to this salad, YOU MUST MAKE AHEAD!! I always make the night before and it really needs the time to set and all the flavors to meld. I promise this is a crucial step!
7~layer salad
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3-5 green onions, chopped (whites & greens)
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 small bag frozen peas (throw in boiling water for 2 mins, drain and set to side)
4-6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
4-6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 T lemon juice
3 T sugar *
Mix all the dressing ingredients together and set to side, it should be kind of thin at this point like salad dressing, not watery! * If you use a sweet mayo like miracle whip you do not need to add the sugar! I like to add a tablespoon at a time and taste! You can always add more!
To layer salad, I love to do in a big giant bowl and I do 2 layers! Start with lettuce, pepper, onion, celery, peas, eggs, repeat. Then top with dressing, cheese, bacon crumbles and chives. Cover and refrigerate over night.
xoxo. Mama Bird

summer shrimp, garden veggie & pesto pasta

summer shrimp

I saw a pic on facebook today that inspired tonight’s dinner!! The zucchini, yellow squash and pesto all came from my garden! This meal was so fresh and yummy! I think you will agree it’s a keeper!!

1 box pasta of your choice, just undercooked

1 cup of Perfect Pesto 

2 zucchini, sliced

2 squash, sliced

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 shallot, diced

1 pound shrimp

juice from 1 lemon

salt & pepper

Cut all veggies and place on parchment or in a pyrex dish place in 350 oven for 10 mins . Peel, devein shrimp, toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper place on parchment or foil lined cookie sheet and roast on 350 for 8 mins. Cook pasta just shy if being done and pour almost water, reserve apx 1/4 cup of pasta water. Add pesto to pasta and then top with veggies & shrimp. ENJOY!

xoxo, Bird

couscous salad


Saturday night I realized that I needed a side dish to take to the church covered dish luncheon and I was at a loss. I had cous cous and some fresh veggies so I whipped up a fresh spring salad. It was delish, light and relativity healthy!

Here is how it went:

Cous Cous Salad

1 box of cous cous, cooked as directed

2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped fine

8 oz crumbled Feta cheese

1/2 c olive oil

1/4 c balsamic vinegar

salt  pepper to taste

fresh oregano, flat leaf parsley, and mint

lemon zest

cook cous cous as box states, set to side; chop all your veggies, add spices, vinegar and oil, toss the feta and add cous cous. Chill for several hours or overnight.


Split Pea Soup


After the Christmas gathering we had a ton of leftover Ham and the ham bone which I had always heard made amazing soup. Split Pea kept coming to mind, but I had only ever had good Split Pea soup once so I was a bit hesitant to try it. Boy am I glad I did! It was so good and I can not wait to make it again! YUMMY!!  It was creamy and just was delish!!

1 large onion. diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 red potatoes, cubed

olive oil

1 t thyme

1 t salt

1 t pepper

16 oz bag split peas, rinsed and picked

32 oz chicken broth


Add a swirl of olive oil to your heavy pan, I use a coated cast iron pot, toss in onion, carrot  and celery allow to soften apx 10-12 min; add garlic,spices, potatoes and split peas allow to get a nice coating of the olive oil and seasonings. Add ham bone and broth. Simmer apx 1.5 hours. Remove ham bone. Iprefer a smoother pea soup so I used the immersion blender and blended soup.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, Greek yogurt or a swirl of cream or half and half. For a even richer more velvety soup at 1/2 to 1 cup half and half or go for the gusto and use full fat cream!

It is awesome. Perfect on a winter day. Perfect with a grilled Sammy, fresh salad or ohhh a slice of tomato quiche!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Pea Salad

pea salad

This is an old school recipe that I am sure has been around lots of church socials and pot lucks around the country. But, like a lot of the old school recipes IT IS GOOD and Oh it is so EASY!! Two of he best combos out there. Now don’t blink or you may miss this!

2 cans (LeSeur) peas with mushrooms & pearl onions

1 jar pimentos

1/3 c white wine vinegar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

salt & pepper to taste

THAT’S IT! Dump. Stir. Chill in fridge a few hours or overnight. ENJOY!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Mema’s Potato/Tomato Soup {Souper Sunday}


After a really fun weekend in the mountains, watching football and even seeing some SNOW!! I thought Memama’s  Potato/Tomato Soup would be a yummy end to a great weekend.  It is a super easy soup and very forgiving. In other words you don’t need to stress. It always taste a bit different and I don’t think she has ever made it the exact same way twice!


3 medium baking potatoes, diced
1 lg onion, diced
3 ribs of celery, sliced
Cover with water and a teaspoon of salt. Simmer until cooked.


In sauce pan mix:
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 c milk
1 T worcestershire sauce
1/2 c catsup
3 T mustard

Melt butter, mix in flour, add milk & mix well (adjust to make thick) Blend in remaining ingredients and stir for 5 mins. Add to potato mix and add 2 cans whole tomatoes (rough chopped).
It gets better the longer it sits! And it makes a ton! I hope you enjoy as it sure reminds me of my Mema.

Summer in a Bowl {Gazpacho}


Gazpacho is one of my favorite summer eats. It is so versatile and just screams “SUMMER”!! I have tried oodles of different recipes and found “MY” perfect Gazpacho! My recipe does not use tomato juice or V8 (I like both fine to mix in my Bloody Mary, however adding either to Gazpacho, in my opinion just makes it taste like tomato juice!) The secret is simmering the tomatoes. It brings out a depth of flavor that is just amazing!! I hope you enjoy!!

2 Vidalia onions, peeled & quartered

8 large tomatoes, peeled

1/2 cup red wine

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1to 2 cloves garlic

1 T sweet paprika

2 t Hungarian Hot paprika

2 T olive oil

Start by placing 1 onion, half the tomatoes, wine and vinegar in food processor and blitz. Place in soup pot. Repeat with remaining ingredients adding the olive oil and spices, pulse just to chunk tomatoes and onion. Add to pot, simmer 10 mins. Chill overnight for best flavor!!

Add diced veggies such as cucumbers, celery, sweet bell peppers, grape or cherry tomatoes, croutons, shrimp, the possibilities are endless!!!!

What screams summer to you? Share your favorite summer recipe!!