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Refreshing Watermelon Salad
 Dressing:
1/4 cup watermelon
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tsp Lime juice
1/4 Tsp salt
Mash watermelon with a fork in small sauce pan.  Add sugar, orange juice, lime juice and salt. then turn down to medium heat and continue to lightly boil for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Salad:
6 cups watermelon
2 cups nectarines
2 cups celery
2 TBSP Mint leaves
Combine 6 cups diced watermelon, 2 cups diced nectarines, 2 cups celery finely sliced, and 2 TBSP fresh mint leaves (also can used dried mint.  Pour dressing over fruit and celery, and add 2 TBSP mint leaves.  Gently stir, coating fruit and celery with dressing.  Cover and store in refrigerator at least  1 hour before serving.  I  left mine in the frig overnight and it was perfect! When serving, use a slotted spoon so marinade/dressing will drain out, but keep stored in marinade/dressing because it will keep the watermelon crisp due to the lime juice and sugar. Have fun and enjoy!


 
 
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Remember those experimental cookies I was talking about in my blog last night?  Well, here they are!  I just love it when it all works out for the best, don't you?  And I am always SO excited to share a really great shortcut with you.  These cookies are fabulous, and everyone will think you spent hours on them...so it's our little secret, okay?

Remember what I used?
1 Betty Crocker Peanut Butter cookie mix
1 Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip cookie mix
1 stick softened unsalted butter (not melted)
2 eggs
1/2 bag white chocolate chips
1/2 bag milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Then I dropped rounded golf ball size portions of cookie dough on a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray, and baked for about 15 minutes until golden brown.  Let set on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes after taking out of oven, then transfer to cool on a wire rack.  YUM!  And remember, it's our little secret, okay?

 
 
 Here is my lightened up version of a hamburger steak that is perfect for summer.  There is no heavy gravy weighing this baby down!  And of course, it is budget friendly, too!   Vidalia onions are in season, and they are a wonderfully sweet onion to cook.  Check out the slide show on the left to see how it's done.  --Slice 6 to 7 Vidalia Onions, 1 Red Bell Pepper, 1 Green Bell Pepper, 1 Banana Pepper(optional), 2 cups Mushrooms
--Melt 1/2 stick butter in electric skillet (so you don't heat up the kitchen) or on the stovetop.   Add the onions and peppers.
--Add 1/2 cup beef broth to the skillet and saute onions and peppers until they get "flexible." 
--Add 2 cups of mushrooms, and continue to saute until onion mixture is tender.
--Remove from skillet, place in a bowl, and set aside.
--In a bowl, mix together 2 pounds lean gound beef, 1 egg,  1/4th cup finely chopped onion, 3 TSBP Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
--Press mixture out and divide into 6 steaks.
--Cook in skillet over medium heat about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. 
--Add  onion mixture back to skillet with the steaks, and continue to heat until onions and peppers are heated thoroughly.
--Enjoy!

 
 
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Better Breakfast Sausage
Better Breakfast Sausage
It is so exciting to me when I discover a new method for cooking an old favorite that makes it taste even better!  This tip really serves up some moist and juicy sausage patties.

What is the secret?  It's cold water.  Incredibly simple, isn't it?  Very cold water, actually.
After some trial and error with quantities,  I discovered the correct amount of water to be 1/4th cup per pound of sausage. 

--Keep sausage in refrigerator until right before use.  It needs to be as cold as possible without being frozen.  Put ice in water to get it as cold as possible, also.
--In a bowl, mix 1/4th cup very cold water into 1 pound very cold sausage.
--Sausage is now very moist, and a bit harder to make into patties, so just gently form round ball portions.  I was able to get 12 patties out of a pound. 
--Place in skillet with 1 tbsp. melted butter.  Gently press and flatten patties as you place in the skillet. 
--Over medium heat, cook thoroughly, being careful NOT to press patties with spatula.
--Get ready for praise, because your family is going to love these!