Crazy tomato cracker salad

This is the craziest and most delicious side dish ever!  If you are a true fan of Jersey tomato sandwiches, you will love, love, love this!  And making it will make you smile almost as much as eating it.


3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
(this is a great recipe to use tomatoes that are a little soft),

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 to 2/3 of a sleeve of saltine style crackers (your preference)



  1.  Wash, seed, and chop the tomatoes and put them in a bowl (seeding the tomatoes helps prevents soggy crackers)
  2. Dump mayonnaise in the bowl with the chopped tomato
  3. Crush saltine style crackers (do NOT pulverize and make crumbs) and dump in the bowl with the tomatoes and mayonnaiseIMG_0093
  4. Mix all ingredients together
  5. Eat! (do not let this sit for long…don’t want soggy crackers).


Done!  I told you …crazy.  Crazy delicious!  This would be a super side dish for burgers (any kind…veggie, beef, bison, turkey…) at your next picnic!  No roll needed!

Tomatoes were purchased at Collingswood Farmers’ Market vendors….AT Buzby Farm, Springdale Farm, Viereck Farm….any Jersey tomatoes will be perfect!

Crustless blueberry pie!

One problem I have after shopping at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market is that I buy too much.  I frequently buy too much of one thing, usually the newest crop to arrive for sale.  This week.  Too many blueberries!

But wait.  Here is an easy (no mixer) dessert that uses 2 1/2 pint boxes of fresh blueberries.  And is absolutely delicious!

Perfect for a picnic dessert!



1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plus 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, divided


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray a 9 inch round pie dish very well with cooking spray; set aside.IMG_0068

2. In a large bowl, add sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and whisk to combine; set aside.IMG_0071

3.  In a glass microwave proof bowl or cup, add the butter and heat in a microwave to melt.  Wait a few minutes for the butter to cool before adding the eggs so they don’t get scrambled.

4.  Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter and whisk to combine.IMG_0072

5.  Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine; don’t over mix.

6.  Add 2 cups of blueberries and stir to combine;  batter is very thick.

7.  Put the mixture into your prepared pie dish.  Smooth the top lightly with a spatula.

8.  Evenly sprinkle 1/4 cup blueberries over the top.IMG_0079

9.  Evenly sprinkle 2 Tablespoons sugar (that you set aside) over the top and bake for 34 to 39 minutes or until edges are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter.IMG_0080

10.  Allow the pie to cool in pie dish on a wire rack before slicing and serving.  Can be topped  with whipped cream or ice cream.  Pie will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.  If it lasts that long!


Blueberries purchased from AT Buzby, Muth Family Organic Farm, and Springdale Farms. They are available nearly EVERYWHERE in the market!

Steak dinner for Dad!

This Sunday is Father’s Day.  If you shop at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market you can purchase everything needed to make a perfectly wonderful summer grill.

Our meat of choice for this grill is a bison rib eye steak.  My husband is newly retired and is having a great time with his smoker and grill.  He has discovered that all one really has to do to be successful is PAY ATTENTION.  We both have fond and not so fond memories of our fathers burning nearly everything they cooked in the name of charcoal grilling.

To cook our bison rib eye steaks, my husband used a method called cold grate reverse sear.  It requires a grill with a spinning grate, a meat thermometer, and for the cook to pay attention.

If you are interested you can learn the method used here: Cold Grate / Reverse Sear Rib Eye Steak .  But I’m sure that your dad will love steak (or even burgers) cooked the way you usually do.


What makes this dish holiday special is the addition of (and discovery of) a NEW item from Hillacres Pride (purveyors of meat, poultry, and cheese)….Maitake fresh cheese.  It is a soft spreadable cheese made by Judy that includes Maitake mushrooms from Davidson’s Mushrooms.  Tasting was available and it was delicious.  It would be wonderful on a cracker or grilled bread.  It was great on that little plastic spoon!  But it really cried out to be melted on grilled meat.  A steak. A burger.

So grill your meat and plop a dollop of Maitake fresh mushroom cheese on right before serving.


Spring cauliflower is available now.  And it is delicious.  Much more delicate in flavor than the fall variety (which I also love).  I cleaned and cut up a small head of cauliflower and dropped it into my steamer basket for about ten minutes.  The cauliflower should be easily pierced with a knife, but it should not be mushy.

While steaming the cauliflower, melt butter in a large frying pan.  When the butter is melted sprinkle in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs.  Stir around until the panko starts to color.  Do not burn!  Then place the cooked cauliflower into the skillet with the butter and panko and stir to coat and crisp.  Again.  Do not burn.  Salt to taste.


In case your father is not a cauliflower fan…..

In a large skillet melt about two tablespoons of butter.  Cut up a garlic scape (don’t use the knuckle) and a spring onion.  Saute them lightly until the onion is translucent and the garlic scape is a bit limp.  Next clean and cut up a zucchini, clean and half some sugar snap peas, and clean and cut up some mushrooms.  Put all the vegetables in the skillet with the garlic, onion, and butter.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and put a lid on the pan.  Lower the heat under the pan to medium/low and let it cook until the zucchini is no longer crisp.  About ten minutes.  When the vegetables are done, scoop some Bacon Chive Cheddar spread from Cheese Etc. (they are at the market every other week).  Put the lid back on to melt the spread.  When read to serve, stir the vegetables and melted cheese together.


When I was a child, my father ate everything on the table.  Whatever was there, he ate it all.  After my mother passed away, I noticed my father didn’t eat cooked vegetables.  I asked him about it.  Perhaps I wasn’t making the ones he liked.  He said that he preferred raw vegetables…indeed he ate carrots, broccoli, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers…raw.  He went on to say that he ate them when I was young because he was setting a good example.  Indeed he did.

If your father is like mine…he probably won’t eat either of these vegetable dishes.  He’ll eat the steak…with the Miatake fresh cheese melted on top.  And he’ll eat the gorgeous fresh salad also prepared with fresh lettuces, cucumbers, hot house tomatoes.  But I’m guessing he’ll simply enjoy having a meal with you…

There are lots of new things appearing at the market.  Spring has sprung and summer it hot on its heels.  Experiment.  Take a stroll through the market.  Try new things.  You really can’t make a mistake.


Food purchased for this post:

Rib Eye Steak : Buck Wild Bison
Maitake Fresh Cheese, butter: Hillacres Pride
Cauliflower, oak leaf lettuce: Muth Family Organic Farm
Garlic Scapes: Savoie Organic Farm
Bacon Chive Cheddar cheese spread: Cheese Etc.
Zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers: AT Buzby Farm
Sugar snap peas : Viereck Farm
Spring onion: Formisano Farm
Mushrooms: Davidsons

Purple bok choy!

IMG_9964Spring greens are coming into their own.  The market is full of lettuces, kales, spinach, and bok choy.  For the first time I’ve seen purple bok choy for sale. Purple!  Exotic.  Lovely.

I asked the man behind the table if indeed that was purple bok choy.  And he nodded with a smile.  “It’s delicious too,” he said…as if being beautiful wasn’t enough.  He went on to explain that he had made a dinner of it just the night before.  He said he sauted it with some onion and then threw in some potatoes.  He said, “it was a whole meal and delicious”!

I find that when I ask the people behind the tables…the farmers…their helpers…I get the best information.  And today I got inspiration too.

I had never had purple bok choy before.  I asked.  I learned.  I cooked.  I ate.  I will buy again.

1 head of purple bok choy, cut into strips
1 spring onion, diced
1 garlic scape, sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups of cooked fingerling or small new potatoes or 2 cups of (leftover) French potato salad

1. Cut the bok choy in thin strips and soake the cut pieces (stem and leaves included) in a large bowl of water for about ten minutes.  Swish the cut purples around, scoop them out, and put in a colander to drain.  Because there was almost no dirt in the bottom of the bowl I spray rinsed the vegetable one more time and let it drain.

2. In a skillet heat some olive oil on medium heat

3. First toss chopped onion and garlic scape into the heated olive and stir for about 3 minutes. (Those made their appearance at the market today too.  Spring onions are sweet and delicious and must be kept in the refrigerator.  Garlic scapes are an easy way to add mild garlic flavor…just don’t use the “knuckle”).

4. Next drop the drained bok choy into the skillet.  Stir to sauté.  Do not brown any of the vegetables in the skillet.  Cook over medium heat until the bok choy is crisp tender…about 12 minutes.

5. Finally, drop in about two cups cooked potatoes or leftover French potato salad.  Using the leftover French potato salad adds flavor as the dressing for the potato salad incorporates olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard.


After adding the potatoes cook another five to ten minutes over medium heat.  Again do not let any of the vegetables brown.

BONUS RECIPE : French Potato Salad

2 1/2 pounds fingerling or small new potatoes
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 green onion (scallion) minced
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1.  Place potatoes in a large pot.  Cover with cold water by 1 inch and season generously with salt.  Bring to a boil…then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain.  Cool slightly.

2.  While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the oil, mustard, vinegar, green onion, parsley, thyme, season with salt and pepper.  Add the still warm potatoes and toss to combine.  Serve at room temperature. (To store, refrigerate).IMG_9961


This is a wonderful dish to go with grilled fish, chicken, pork, beef, or bison.   Add leftover French potato salad to the bok choy and you’ve made a delicious, nutritious, and elegant new side dish.


There are many new vegetables appearing at the market.  Farmers are excited to share some new produce with us.  Purple bok choy…a winner!  What will be new next week?


Available at The Collingswood Farmers’ Market:
purple bok choy, green onions – Muth Family Organic Farm
spring onions (red and white) and fingerling potatoes – Formisano Farm
garlic scape – Savoie Organic Farm
fresh herbs – Flaim Farm