Simple advice for a better life.


Independence Day in the U.S. is always celebrated on July 4th.  Many businesses are closed that day in observance of this holiday.

Families and friends get together for a cook out, outdoor fun.  In the evening everyone is looking forward to an exciting display of fire works, usually prepared by a local fire department.

My contribution to this celebration will consist of links to some of my previously posted recipes, which you may wish to prepare for your guests.


These  Pork Ribs with Bourbon Whiskey Barbecue Sauce take little more time to complete, but are awesomely delicious, and the meat, literally, falls of the bone.


For the vegetarian guests, this easy to assemble Vegetable Platter will be a hit, for sure.


Sweet and Sour Coleslaw is another vegetarian choice, as well as an excellent side dish to accompany your barbecue meats.


Delicious and healthful Broccoli Salad.



Your gusts will just LOVE this easy, no bake Low Fat Jello Cheesecake.

This dessert should be made a day ahead, or several hours before serving, to give it a chance to firm up.


If you are looking for much simpler dessert recipe, nothing will take less effort than this Strawberry Cream Cheese Jello Mold.

Enjoy your Independence Day party, and stay safe!







The hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping is over for most of us (many Ukrainians will still celebrate Christmas on January 6th and 7th), so now it’s time to plan the New Year bash.

Since I will not be hosting  New Year  party this year, and not preparing anything exciting, you may click on the highlighted links to my previous posts with many fun party foods.

Also, I pinned a lot of interesting party foods on my Pinterest board, which you are more that welcome to check out, and test them out.

H A P P Y   N E W  Y E A R!!!







Fresh Tomato Salad 2Growing up in a household with an abundance of home grown fruits, vegetables and herbs, made me accustomed to include them in my daily diet, and loving them all.

Meatless dishes are a welcome change to our family’s routine of meat based meals.

During the summer months, my mom utilized her home grown fruits, herbs and vegetables , in most of her cooking and baking.

Today I will post one of the tomato salads she used to prepare, which brings back many childhood memories.

This salad can be served as a side dish, or as a light lunch, accompanied by a piece of toast, or a piece of fresh Jewish Rye Bread, smeared with sweet butter.

I am sure you will agree that homegrown tomatoes have much richer flavor, and smoother texture, than the store bought ones, making this simple salad that much more delicious.

Sliced cucumbers and radishes may also be added to this salad, to enrich its color and flavor.

If you are not a big fan of sour cream, you may use Greek Yogurt, or omit them both, and enjoy still very flavorful salad, but much lighter in calories.

Since sour cream was not available during those days in Europe, my mom would use heavy cream mixed with clabbered milk .

This recipe yields 2-4 servings.


  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 Tbs. chives, chopped (0r you can slice 1/2 onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream


  1. Wash the tomatoes, and cut out stems.
  2. Cut each tomato in half, horizontally, then cut each half into 6 or 8 wedges.
  3. Peel and mince the garlic
  4. Place the tomato wedges, minced garlic and chives in a medium bowl.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Fold in the sour cream, just to coat the tomato wedges.
  7. Sprinkle some chopped chives, as garnish.



Pickling cucumbers - Day 1If you like pickles, this post will interest you, and you will be pleasantly surprised about how easy it is to make your own delicious pickles.

You already know that besides cooking and baking, I also enjoy gardening.

This year my garden did not do very well, but I did have lots of tomatoes, potatoes, green peppers and cucumbers.  My green beans, red beets, corn, zucchini and squash were not as productive.

My sister does a lot of canning and pickling, so she encouraged me to pickle my own cucumbers.

She shared her recipe, but I did not have the Red Currant leaf or horseradish root, so I had to improvise and use the ingredients I had available.

Since I wanted to use my pickles as soon as they were ready, rather than preserving them for winter,  the recipe is quite simple, and it does not require any special equipment.

If you are wondering about the type of pickling jar I was using….well….I did not have a jar large enough for this project, so I used a large glass vase……it worked perfectly fine.  I sterilized it first, of course, and used a tea towel  over the top, during the pickling time of about 4 days.

Pickling my own cucumbers was very easy, fun, and rewarding, especially after sampling the finished product.

Homemade pickles


  • 10 medium pickling cucumbers (they are short, firm, and low on seeds)
  • 10 medium garlic cloves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 10 Allspice kernels
  • 2-3 whole Dill weed stalks with seeds
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 3 quarts of cold water
  • 1/2 cup of Kosher Salt


  1. Prepare the pickling brine by boiling 3 quarts of water, with salt, then set aside to cool off to room temperature.
  2. Wash the cucumbers under running water, and brush off the small pricks found on their skin surface.
  3. Trim off both ends, and cut each cucumber into 4 sections, lengthwise.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Peel the garlic, and cut each clove in half, lengthwise.
  6. Trim off the roots of the dill weed, rinse the stalks under running water, set aside.
  7. Clean your jar (vase in my case) with hot, soapy water, and rinse well.
  8. Place half of the dill weed stalk at the bottom of the jar.
  9. Drop in half of the peppercorns and whole allspice.
  10. Place half of the cucumbers in the jar.
  11. Place another dill twig over cucumbers, drop in more garlic and spices, plus a bay leaf.
  12. Add the remaining cucumbers, cover up with another dill weed twig, and pour the brine over the cucumbers until totally submerged.
  13. Tie the top of the jar with a breathable material (such as a tea towel), and keep it in a dark, cool place for few days, to let them pickle.
  14. Once the cucumbers are ready (4 days later), you can leave them as is, or remove the dill weed, and transfer them  into few smaller jars, along with the garlic, spices and pickling brine.
  15. Close each jar with a lid, and store them in the fridge, to extend their shelf-life.

I use pickles on  sandwiches, as well as in Deviled Eggs, Potato Salad, or even in a veggie soup to enhance its flavor to an interesting light tangy taste.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all who are celebrating this very traditional holiday here in the US.

I always have the pleasure of attending St. Patrick’s Day party, hosted by my daughter and her husband.

If you are still searching for party food ideas, I will contribute with links to my previous posts of  “green” food recipes for this occasion.

You can also check out my Pinterest board for “Party Foods”, for lots of new ideas and recipes.


Perfect Non-alcoholic Green Punch for those who prefer to keep it that way, or for ALL designated drivers.

Not only green, but really filling and delicious, is this Broccoli/Bacon/Cheese salad.  Everyone’s favorite…really!



Green Beans Vinaigrette is another wonderful salad for St. Paddy’s Day.



I like to prepare  a  Corned Beef, cabbage and boiled potatoes meal for my family, around St. Patrick’s Day, just to be a good sport, and support those who are more into it.


You know how the Irish feel about their potatoes…hence these Irish Potato Pancakes.  Sooooo yummy!!

I am always looking for your comments and suggestions of party foods you like to prepare.  Thank you.

Enjoy your party!!

« Previous Entries  Next Page »