These pickles became a family favorite from the very first taste! They are so easy, but they do need to sit in the fridge for one week before the flavor is where it is supposed to be. I tasted them each day and the flavor really changes as it sits. The first day the heat was right there in your face.  Day two it was the sweetness that came through and by day three and four the flavors mellow and you get just the right amount of sweetness to the little bit of spice. I will be making these all summer! I made them last week and we have already gone through 3/4 of the jar! If you like sweet/heat you will love these!

2 jars (32 ounces each) dill pickle slices or spears
4 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, peeled

Drain and discard the juice from the pickle jars. In a large bowl combine pickles, sugar, hot pepper sauce, and red pepper flakes. Mix well and cover. Let stand for 2 hours stirring occasionally. Spoon pickle mixture into 3 pint size jars and add one garlic clove to each jar. Cover and refrigerate for 1 week before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.


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This is another Taste of Home recipe that we really enjoyed.  We buy a variety of cream cheese and we do like the vegetable cream cheese found in the store.  This version has such a fresh flavor it beats the store version by a mile! This is a great spring and summer recipe to use up all of your garden vegetables! Not only did we use this spread on bagels and english muffins we dipped the leftover vegetables in it as well! NOTE– If you don’t want to buy all of the veggies you can get most of the veggies in a small amount already sliced from your grocery salad bar.


4 ounces fat free cream cheese
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2/3 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped celery
3 Tablespoons chopped carrot
1 radish, finely chopped
2 Tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 Tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Bagels or english muffins for serving

In a bowl beat cheeses, lime peel and lime juice until blended.
Fold in the chopped vegetables and basil. Serve on bagels or English muffins.


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This is a great Taste of Home recipe, but guess what? I did not make it. My Mom, Lydia, made it! We were lucky enough to get some of it for dinner one night! How lucky are we?! She made a couple small changes but otherwise followed the recipe as written below! I especially enjoyed how flavorful the broth was, not to mention all of those delicious vegetables. Perfect on a cold New Hampshire day!


Lydia used elbow pasta, packaged slaw (for shredded cabbage) and added shredded zucchini.


2 large carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each)reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cans (8 ounces each) no salt added tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.)chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup or so of grated Parmesan, to top soup

In a large saucepan sauté the carrots, celery and onion in oil and butter until tender. Add garlic and cook one minute longer.  Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, beans, cabbage, basil, parsley, oregano,and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add macaroni and continue to cook uncovered for 6-8 minutes or until macaroni and vegetables are tender.  Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Before adding cheese, freeze cooled soup in containers. When ready to use-partially thaw in refrigerator over night. Heat through in a saucepan stirring occasionally adding a little broth if needed.



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This is another fantastic recipe from Taste of Home! This is an easy dish to put together and easy to change up the vegetables to fit to your family tastes.  This would be a great summer lunch or perfect for a Mother’s Day or Easter brunch! I just love roasted vegetables so this dish was a big hit at our house!



1 small eggplant, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
1 Tablespoon cornmeal
2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (I used shaved Parmesan)
Fresh minced Basil, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl combine your vegetables, 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and the moisture has evaporated. Stir every ten minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pie pastry into a 13 inch circle. Sprinkle cornmeal over a greased 14 inch pizza pan (or ungreased pizza stone). Place pastry on prepared pan.
Spoon vegetable mixture over the pastry leaving a 1 1-2 inch edge around the edge of the pastry. Fold up the edges of the pastry leaving the center uncovered. Brush pastry with remaining oil.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese. Cut into wedges and garnish with basil if desired.


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