I do not like raisins! I could not stop eating raisin bran crunch cookies! I love the cereal, but I pick out, and discard, the raisins before I add milk. I ate the cookies, raisins ’n all. As cookies go, they’re borderline healthy.

You dear folk who are vegetarian probably already have a delicious vegetarian version of chili. I didn’t.

Today’s offering can go either way. “Vegetable or vegetarian.” Simply use oil instead of bacon drippings. The chili is delicious. You can use whatever beans are your favorite. I recommend using the Bush’s chili hot because of the added chili flavor.

We live 500 miles from the coast, friends!! Fresh seafood is as close as your nearest freezer.

The shrimp salad is really delicious and fresh (enough) tasting if you don’t over cook the shrimp. When it’s opaque, it’s done. I ate it two days, hand runnin. It needs something. Let me hear your suggestions.

Raisin Bran Crunch Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour

I teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup crushed cereal

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet, or two, with parchment paper.

In a medium size mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until light. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, about one cup at a time. Beat briefly until well blended after each. Stir in cereal and nuts. Dip by large tablespoonsful, or a medium size ice cream scoop, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 16-18 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool about five minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough on a cool cookie sheet. These cookies do not spread much, so you can place them a little less than two inches apart.

Shrimp pasta salad

2 cups small pasta shells, cooked al dente, according to package directions. Cool

12 ounce package small, uncooked frozen shrimp, cooked according to package directions. Cool

3 ribs celery, finely diced

1/2 cup red onion, finely diced

4-6 radishes, thinly sliced

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, toss dressing and all other ingredients until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Vegetable Chili

1/4 cup oil or bacon drippings

1 cup chopped onions

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Cayenne pepper to taste, if desired

28 ounce can chopped tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

1 (15-ounce) can Bush’s chili hot black beans, lightly drained

1 (15-ounce) can Bush’s chili hot red beans, undrained

1 (15-ounce) can Bush’s chili hot pinto beans, undrained

In a large Dutch oven, cook onions and pepper in oil until translucent and pepper is tender. Add garlic; cook two minutes or so. Add seasonings and herbs. Cook and stir a minute or so. Add tomatoes. Heat through. Add beans. Simmer 15 minutes. Serve with corn muffins.

Miss Olivia Sipe, oliviasipe@msn.com, is the owner of Miss Olivia’s Table in Maryville.

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