Greek Zoodle Salad

Zucchini noodles (zoodles) are the base of this refreshing Greek-inspired salad.

My niece Gina recently paid a visit and demonstrated how to make this refreshing salad for our family cookout. She grows zucchini, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes in her garden where she lives in North Carolina so she and her husband are eating this a lot. If you haven’t tried making noodles from zucchini, I heartily recommend you give it a try. You don’t have to have a spiralizer (30$ or so) to make the zoodles but it sure makes the process easier if you like them as much as I do.

Since Gina offered to help, I decided to try my hand at creating one of the new rapid-fire food videos as put together by Tasty, Delish and others. Now that I figured out i-Movie (barely), I present to you my first attempt.

Greek Zoodle Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A refreshing salad with zoodles, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and feta.
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Greek-inspired
Serves: 6 servings
  • 3 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 medium cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup feta cheese, crumbles
  1. Use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles (zoodles) or slice by hand with a knife.
  2. Prepare cucumber and tomatoes. Set aside.
  3. To make dressing: add juice of lemons into a pint-size Mason jar, then olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Shake or whisk to combine.
  4. Heat zoodles in a large sauce pan or skillet just until hot. Don't cook so long that they get mushy. Empty noodles into a colander or strainer, and use the back of a spatula or wooden spoon to press out as much liquid as possible. Return zoodles to the original pan.
  5. Add all other ingredients to zoodles and toss together with a light hand. Serve immediately if you like it warm or at room temperature if you prefer. I like warm because it makes the cheese slightly melty and oh so delicious.

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Rescuing bread dough when you forgot to add the yeast

Help! I forgot to add the yeast. Can this dough be saved?

On Christmas Eve afternoon, a family member texted me in desperation.

Her: “Help! I just realized I forgot to add the yeast to my cinnamon roll dough now that the dough cycle on my bread machine has completed.The dough hasn’t risen at all. I’ve obviously got too many things going on around here.”

Me: “YIKES! When were you planning to serve them?”

Her: “Tomorrow morning.”

Me: “Whew! We’ve got time. I’ve done the same thing several times myself, so call me, and I’ll walk you through it. We can probably save it.”

Yes, I’ve made this mistake a few times. I’ve also left out the salt (tastes boring), the sugar (not good for cinnamon roll dough), and miscounted the cups of flour I put into the bread machine. (That mess-up is easy to remedy when you open the lid to check the dough–just add more flour until it looks right, which means the dough sticks to the side, then pulls away.)

So here’s what you can try:

1. Measure out into a small bowl the amount of yeast called for in the recipe.

Rescuing Bread Dough-10.jpg 2. Add about 1-2 tablespoons lukewarm water to the yeast and stir until yeast has dissolved. If yeast is too dry and won’t dissolve, add a few more drops of lukewarm water until it does. It should be a smooth paste with no undissolved granules of yeast.

Rescuing Bread Dough-12.jpg

3. Add dissolved yeast to kneaded-but-unproofed bread dough. Whether you are using a bread machine or a large stand mixer, the directions are the same.

Rescuing Bread Dough-14.jpg

4.  Now restart your bread machine on the dough cycle and allow to mix/knead.  If the dough is now too sticky because you added the yeast/liquid, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time while the dough mixes until the dough sticks to the side, then pulls away. Keep mixing/kneading until the yeast mixture disappears and is completely incorporated into the bread dough. It is not necessary to redo the entire kneading process.

5.  At this point, you can unplug the machine and remove the dough from the bread machine pan into a large mixing bowl. Cover loosely with a tea towel or shower cap and set in a cozy warm place to rise until double. Proceed with the original recipe.

Rescuing Bread Dough-24.jpg

Bread dough after yeast was added and allowed to rise.

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Blueberry-Stuffed Sally Lunn Bread (Mixed in a Bread Machine)The tastiest bread I've ever experienced in my life came from the Sally Lunn house in Bath, England. My older sister and I had accompanied our two elderly aunts on a genealogy-fact-finding trip back to the origins of the Herd (my maiden name) family in Sedburgh, England. We skulked around graveyards, rifled through dusty files in small libraries, hiked through gorgeous countryside in search of old homesteads, and were even privy to an impromptu sheep dog demonstration put on by a Herd relative we happened onto during one of our treks. After a week of looking at tombstones, we set out to explore the rest of England. Sally Lunn HouseOne of the best memories of the trip was Cream Tea at Sally Lunn's House in Bath. Not only were their famously light and sweet yeast "buns" the most delicious bread I ever tasted, but they were also the most expensive. I have been on a mission to reproduce the recipe ever since. Not surprisingly, many others have tried to figure out the secret but the original recipe found in the 1930's in a previously undisclosed cupboard over the downstairs corner fireplace remains just that, a secret. I found this recipe for Sally Lunn in the Bread Machine Magic Book of Helpful Hints by Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway. It is an essential guide for bread machine users.

The idea of adding blueberries was inspired by the recipe for Fresh Blueberry Brioche published in Huckleberry and authored by Zoe Nathan. Brioche is time-consuming (best made over a two-day period) and high calorie so I decided to do the next best thing and use a recipe for brioche-like Sally Lunn. The results were so spectacular, I couldn't stop myself from having one more slice and then another. It's almost like eating light-as-a-feather pound cake with the freshest blueberry jelly you can imagine.

A word of warning:  The second rise of the loaf after you place the dough in a loaf pan takes much longer than the usual bread recipe because you have used frozen blueberries in the filling. Allow at least 2 hours, possibly longer, for this rise.

Blueberry-Stuffed Sally Lunn Bread
A light, sweet, brioche-like yeast bread with fresh, sweetened blueberries swirled throughout
Recipe type: Sweet Bread
Cuisine: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
  • 1 and ½ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, lukewarm
  • ¼ to ⅜ cup water, lukewarm
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Granulated, sanding, or coarse sugar for sprinkling on top of loaf.
  1. Place clean, fresh blueberries onto a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. (Do not use frozen blueberries from the store as they are too watery.)
  2. Dump remaining ingredients into the bread pan of your bread machine. Select the dough cycle and press start. Open lid and check dough after about 10-15 minutes of mixing to make sure the consistency is correct. Dough should stick to the side, then pull away. If dough is too dry, add more water 1 teaspoonful at a time. If too sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon a time.
  3. When dough cycle completes and dough has risen to double its original size, remove dough to a floured surface. Press or roll dough into a rectangle roughly 10 x 16 inches. Short side should be closest to you. Scatter berries over dough, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Carefully roll top of dough towards you to make a cylinder.
  4. Turn cylinder of dough and reshape into an approximately 12 x 6-inch cylinder. With short end closest to you, roll dough tightly from the top. Place in greased 8 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan.
  5. Allow to rise until almost double.
  6. When you see the bread has almost risen enough, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Whisk together ingredients for glaze in small bowl. Paint raised but unbaked loaf with a light touch so glaze won't puddle at the outer edges of the loaf. Sprinkle with plenty of sugar. I use sanding sugar but regular sugar works too.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Watch to make sure crust doesn't overbrown before bread is done in the middle. If necessary, consider tenting loaf halfway through baking time with aluminum foil to avoid burning crust.
  9. Cool in pan about 15 minutes before removing loaf from pan to a rack to continue cooling. Best eaten after an hour but good luck getting people to wait that long.


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Crispy Chicken and Spinach Flautas

We arrived home from NYC a couple days ago. It was our last trip to the city that never sleeps (and where I don’t sleep much either because of the street noise), at least for a few years. Our kids who lived there for the last three years are moving back to our corner of Texas at the end of September. My excitement is matched only by the same feelings I had when my oldest son and his family recently moved to a house only about 5 minutes from ours. Mimi and Papa are in grandparent heaven!

(Now you know the real reason why I haven’t been blogging so much here lately.)

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to work off the damage done by the fabulous Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies and the Oatmeal Raisin cookies we always pick up from Levain’s Bakery on our way out of town. Have you tried them? To begin with, they are huge. But they are also buttery, chewy, and downright addictive. Almost thankfully, they cost a lot at $4 apiece, so that helps to tame the temptation.

So… more sweets for awhile. I’m sure it won’t last, but here’s a recipe that’s so easy and tasty, I usually have no room for dessert when I’ve had my fill.

It’s similar to the Crispy Egg and Sausage Breakfast Flautas I wrote about here. Start with my favorite TortillaLand uncooked flour tortillas (available dependably at Costco and other grocery stores not so dependably.) Any brand of flour tortilla will work, but I can’t recommend the uncooked flour tortillas enough. I like the TortillaLand tortillas because they bake up flaky and crispy. Stuff the tortillas with shredded rotisserie chicken and fresh sauteed spinach. The choice of cheese is up to you. I prefer Pepper Jack cheese for the heat and flavor it adds. Monterey Jack would be a milder choice. Cheddar cheese also works.

Make some fresh guacamole or use salsa as a dip for your flautas. They aren’t the same without condiments. By the way, I recently discovered I peel avocados all wrong. Check it out here.


Crispy Chicken and Spinach Flautas.jpg

Crispy Chicken and Spinach Flautas
Recipe type: Entree or Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8 flautas
  • 4 flour tortillas (8-inch diameter)
  • 4 oz. (3 cups) chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 2.5 oz or 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack, shredded
  • Olive oil or coconut oil spray
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. If you are using uncooked tortillas, go ahead and cook them per directions on the package. Otherwise, cut cooked flour tortillas in half.
  3. Place fresh spinach into hot skillet and heat just until wilted. Drain any excess liquid.
  4. Distribute equal amounts of chicken, spinach, and shredded cheese onto long side of each tortilla half. See picture above.
  5. Starting with the long side, tightly roll each tortilla and place onto cookie sheet seam-side down. The cheese will melt and stick, so I recommend lining cookie sheet with non-stick aluminum foil, parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat for easy removal of the flautas and quick clean-up.
  6. Spray both sides of rolled tortillas with olive oil or coconut oil.
  7. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes or until flautas start to brown. Carefully flip flautas to seam-side up and continue to bake for another 5-8 minutes until flautas are golden brown and crispy all over.
  8. If seams start to pop open after you flip flautas, gently press them back together with your tongs while flipping. Flautas are done when they are golden brown and crispy.




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CPK's Honey Wheat Pizza Dough adapted for the bread machine

Will you look at that fabulous texture? …compliments of my bread machine.

  Thank you for the advice. Many of you told me to take it easy on myself after my mom passed away back in March. So I decided to put my camera away for awhile and take a blogging break. Meanwhile, both of my married sons along with their families have or are in the process of buying homes and moving back to our town. These changes have been a blessed distraction.

One of the original reasons for starting this blog was the convenience of having all my recipes organized and in one place. I discovered a new pizza dough recipe a while back and haven’t added it to this space yet. I’m getting tired of hunting for the recipe every time a pizza craving hits, and I’ve been too lazy to memorize it. So finally, I’m inspired once again.

When I’m in the mood, or get a bad report about my cholesterol, I try to add more whole grains to my diet. For years, guilt about eating pizza has driven my search for an irresistible whole wheat pizza dough.  Mostly the texture and sometimes the flavor has been a disappointment so I kept going back to My Favorite Pizza Dough. Being a fan of California Pizza Kitchen, I have a couple of their cookbooks and thought it might be worth trying their recipe for Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Dough since they seem to know a thing or two about pizza. Turns out I loved it and think you will, too. I realize it is not 100% whole wheat, but it’s better than none. Right? Of course, the original recipe wasn’t written for a bread machine, but I simply won’t do it any other way. So, I changed the directions and adjusted the amounts to fit the size of most bread machines.

CPK's Honey Wheat Pizza Dough adapted for the bread machine

This recipe will make two 12-13″ pizzas.

CPK's Honey Wheat Pizza Dough adapted for the bread machine

A heavy, dark-colored pizza pan greased with olive oil will give you the nicest crust.

CPK's Honey Wheat Pizza Dough adapted for the bread machine

Please note the dough is best when made a day ahead, so plan accordingly.

CPK Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Dough from Your Bread Machine
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 2 pizzas
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast
  1. Put all ingredients into your bread machine in order listed. Set machine on the dough cycle and press start. When dough cycle has completed, remove dough to a large bowl (cover tightly) or a gallon zipper lock bag and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Approximately 2 hours (less in my warm kitchen) before you plan to put together your pizza, remove the dough from the fridge. Divide in half and form each half into a smooth, rounded ball. At this point I place each ball into a well oiled pizza pan and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. When dough has warmed and looks puffy, preheat oven to 450 F. Use your hands/fingers to flatten the ball until it is the thickness you prefer. I use a 13" pizza pan and try to press it to the edge. If you tear it or make a hole, patch it with your fingers.
  4. Assemble pizza as you prefer. For me that would be sauce first, then cheese, then meat or other toppings. If I have enough, I usually sprinkle a little more cheese over the top.
  5. Pop into the oven and turn temperature back to 425 degrees. How long you bake the pizza will depend on how liberal you were with the toppings, and your specific oven so I hesitate to be specific about the time. My pizzas usually take around 12 minutes, but yours might be different, so watch carefully after the first 10 minutes.



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