Farmers Market Tomato Salad

summer salad
This classic tomato salad will be a staple every summer at my house. I especially love it not only for it's quick assembly, but that it is the perfect side dish for a summer bbq or get together.

I think the best dinners are the ones that are not overly complicated. simple ingredients, quick to pull together, no fuss. This leaves you with much more time for enjoying your company!  This tomato salad  does just that.

Jan's Tip: When it is just my husband and myself, we may just add in some slices of fresh Mozzarella cheese, even toss in a few baby corn from a jar for crunch and some slices of sourdough toast on the side  for a light lunch or supper.

Farmers Markets

A trip to out to your own garden, your local farmers market or road side produce stand is the first step. Any tomatoes will be fine, but I really love picking out a variety of heirloom tomatoes with a range of colors and tastes. It not only makes the dish pretty, it adds a subtle layering of flavor as well.
A jar of mixed olives, or olive salad from the deli will round out this recipe.

Farmers Market Tomato Salad


  • 2 lbs. tomatoes 
  • 1/4 cup mixed olives
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Arrange tomatoes and mixed olives on a serving plate. 
  2. Zest 1 lemon over salad. (Just grate the yellow rind, not down to the white part of the peel)
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with coarse salt and ground pepper.
    Summer Salads


Chinese All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce

chinese brown sauce
This Chinese brown sauce is a perfect all around base sauce for many dishes from stir fry's to beef or chicken and broccoli and more. It is super easy and very versatile.

Tonight I made it for my husbands favorite: Chicken and Broccoli.

You can play around with the ingredients to suit your own tastes as well.
Don't have any oyster sauce? That's ok, try increasing your soy sauce just a tiny bit, or grab your hoisin sauce if you have it.

Printable Copy

Chinese All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce:
Makes 3/4 cup

3/4 cup: Beef Broth
1 Tablespoon Oyster sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon corn starch
3 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute

In small bowl: whisk together corn starch and water. set aside.
In saucepan over medium heat mix broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar together, whisk till combined.
Whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
Heat till boiling and thickened
Removed from heat.
Use in your stir fry dish.


15 Minute Turkey Kielbasa & Vegetable Stir Fry with Quinoa

So as I write this it is the first week of January. By the time you read this I am sure I will be back to eating not quite as health conscious, but hey... I wanted to document that I tried.

Over Christmas when I had crowds of people I had pulled out a few turkey kielbasas intending to use them for a simple meal... but it never happened. So after the children and grandchildren all trickled back to their own lives I knew I needed to use them up!

I just made a simple but yummy stir fry in my cast iron skillet that turned out great!

First let start at the bottom: Quinoa.  (Keen-Wah)  it is sometimes called the Mother Grain and is almost a perfect protein.  It is a great substitute for rice.  In this case I had a box of quinoa mixed with brown rice in a red pepper-basil seasoning. It was easy to make in the microwave and had a fantastic flavor all by itself. I knew it was the perfect base for a simple stir fry.

Jans Tip: Use the Vegetables you have on hand! I added a handful of broccoli to mine and would have thrown in some mushrooms but someone finished them off in an omelet that morning! Get creative!

Turkey Kielbasa & Vegetable Stir Fry:
approx. 4 servings.

1 small box of quinoa.
1 Turkey Kielbasa sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 red pepper chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
1 zucchini sliced (I leave the skin son)
1 yellow squash sliced. (Skins on)
optional Vegetables: broccoli florets, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2-3 Tablespoons of water.

Cook quinoa according to package directions according to the number of servings you need.
Over medium high heat in a large skillet fry the kielbasa pieces till heated through and starting to brown on the sides.
 Remove meat from the skillet and set aside till  later.
Add olive oil to pan.
Add all vegetables to pan.
Reduce heat to medium and saute for about 5 minutes or until onions and peppers begin to soften.
Add water to help steam the remaining vegetable.
When vegetable are cooked to crisp tender (or cook longer if you desire a softer veggie). add the kielbasa back into the vegetables and stir to heat through.
Remove from heat and serve over the precooked quinoa.


How to Remove an Avocado From its Skin

Dicing an Avocado and/or removing it from it's skin can be a slippery mess, and can turn into guacamole if you're not careful!

My son in college called for my avocado -corn salsa recipe recently. So I talked him through it. I then sent him the following photos to help him out with the avocado part!

Slice open avacodo and remove seed.
Run a paring knife through avocado in both directions as shown below:

take a large spoon and run it between the skin and the avocado.
 This will pop the dices out of the skin. You can then mix them carefully into your recipe as needed.

Avocado Corn Salsa (AKA Texas Caviar, Cowboy Caviar, among others)


Country Fair Bog Party: May 16

It's another great blog party starting!  This is a month long link up. Come on and join us!
 Here are your hosts for the month: 

                       Jan                               Nicole                              Laurie                                Val

           Tip Garden                A Kansas Farm Mom                    Country LINKed            Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids


Our First Place Winner from last month:
This post was the most viewed/read post from last months link up!

We all must be craving salads!
Don't they just look scrumptious?

For more scrumptious recipes you must go over and check out this months winner.


Congratulations Ally!
Feel free to grab a Ribbon!

Also your post will be shared 
on my social media pages
and pinned to our Pinterest Board!

Country Fair Blog Part

 Country Fairs are full of food, crafts, cooking, gardening, farming, animals, family, and community

 So is our Country Fair Blog Hop!

Come Share what you are up to this month!

May is a busy month! Mothers day, graduations, Memorial Day, planting gardens, school wrapping up:
I can't wait to see what you guys are all up to for May!

Since it is Mothers Day Month I thought I would share a rare peek into my world.
Now, let me preface this by saying, I hate my picture being taken. I mean.. hate it. But I learned a very long time ago, that when the day comes that I am no longer here, my loved ones will not look back at our photos and see all my flaws, like I do. they see me through the eyes of love. they see their mama, their gramma. they see a person they love and miss. and if I am ALWAYS missing from the photos? what I am leaving behind. What I am teaching my daughters and grand daughters about how to feel about themselves along the way?
SOOO... I still hate my picture being taken. and they know it. But I do it anyway. There is a higher purpose, I keep telling myself.... acck. I still don't like it though.  sigh...

Story behind the photo:  At Christmas this past year, all our children came home and it rained and rained. The day before they all started leaving to go back home  the rain let up for just before the sun was setting. We dashed outside to the nearby park without a moment to lose, and just started taking family photos.
(who knows if or when we all be together again:)
No time to do our hair, or get fancy, just capture the moment.
The kids had several camera's going and this
was one of the shots we didn't know they had taken.

Here I am (Gramma), My husband (pawpaw)
and our 2 "Candy Sprinkles" 
Grandbabies are like the candy sprinkles on top of an already wonderful cupcake.

Now it's your turn: 

  • Link up to 3 of your best posts!
  • Visit a few other party goers and let them know you stopped by to see them!
  • Grab the button below and post it on your blog, so others will be invited too!
Country Fair Blog Party

Ready? Get set... Go!

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