Image of a jar filled with basil pesto

Basil Pesto


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 4 chopped medium-sized garlic cloves
  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • Salt and pepper, per your preference


Process the basil, garlic, and walnuts in a food processor fitted with a steel blade or in 2 batches in a blender, until finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream. Add the cheeses, a big pinch of salt, and a liberal grinding of pepper. Process briefly to combine. Remove to a bowl and cover. Add to some toast, pasta, or other dishes.

This basil pesto also freezes well. You could use a small mason jar or other container to save for later.

photo of a bowl of vegetable dip and small bowl of crackers

Vegetable Dip


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Optional: Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning


Chop carrots, celery, cucumber and bell pepper into small pieces and combine in a large bowl. Add the cream cheese and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix well into a thick dip consistency. Add ground pepper to taste and Tony Chachere’s seasoning for added spice. Serve with crackers, if desired.

Tip: Add just a bit of cream cheese and lemon juice, mix, and then do a taste test. You may want to add a little more of something, but it helps to be conservative to get just the right mix. Ingredients are approximate and easier to add a little as you go.

Store covered in the refrigerator. Flavors improve if stored 4-6 hours before serving.

photo of Texas caviar

Texas Caviar



  • 2 each 1 lb. cans of black-eyed peas, drained
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (we use green and orange)
  • 1 small jar chopped pimentos, drained
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 1 T. chopped cilantro or parsley (or both)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


Combine all ingredients in a covered container. Refrigerate overnight. Stir occasionally. Keeps well in the refrigerator. Serve with chips, crackers, or on lettuce leaves.