Mexican and Italian happen to be two of my favorite cuisines so I’m always eager to tackle a new recipe in either department. Our youngest daughter recently spent a month in Los Angeles, where I’m told you can find some of the best Mexican food other than well, Mexico. She raved about the Carnitas that up until now I had never tried, but I knew this had to change. I wanted an easy, everyday version ~ real food for real people. This Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas checks all the boxes.
We spent few days this winter in New Orleans and though personally, I wouldn’t recommend going during Mardi Gras like we did, my only real regret is not staying long enough to taste more of all the amazing food. I guess that means a return trip is in order. It doesn’t have to be Mardi Gras to enjoy Cajun New Orleans cooking, like this Spicy New Orleans Style Shrimp. It’s a great one-pan, any-night meal and if you’re a follower, you know I’m a fan of Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice which gets dinner to the table even faster.
If you’ve ever travelled to northern Michigan, especially Traverse City you may have tasted a Michigan Salad (sometimes called the Michigan Cherry Salad). It’s A bed of greens, a bold cheese (usually blue), some dried cherries, apples, nuts and a vinaigrette dressing. For $12-15 it can be yours in most restaurants there. For another $5 they’ll throw on some grilled chicken. Plus tax and tip. It’s really easy to make at home for a lot less so much I have a hard time shelling out that much for it. Today I’m sharing my version along with a really simple raspberry vinaigrette dressing that may not change your life, but will make you very happy when you eat it. You don’t have to be from Michigan to enjoy this gem from ‘the mitten’.
I’m not sure how Easter is already upon us, but the calendar says it’s so. In our house that means ham, an Easter egg hunt and Easter baskets for my adult children and grandchildren. Do you still make Easter baskets for your adult children? Leave me a comment ~ inquiring minds and all that. Every year I swear it’ll be the last for the grown ones, especially since the grandchildren came along, but like the ham, it’s part of our Easter. So I hit Target for candy other stuff like spa facial masks to fill the baskets (you can roll your eyes, I am). This year my husband with his very traditional meat-and-potatoes palate gave me a recipe from a magazine from a rum-pineapple ham that looked really delicious ~ way better than my Vernors ham, so the Vernors was moved to the back of the refrigerator for now and this Rum Pineapple Glazed Ham was born.
I make a mean ‘Adult’ Grilled Cheese sandwich – prosciutto, goat and couple of other cheeses, a smear of bacon jam, grilled to a beautiful golden, perfect for dunking tomato soup . I’m just not one of those people who routinely creates amazing sandwiches. Until now. This Smoked Salmon BLT is a big high-five, fist-bumping sandwich. It’s everything we crave in a classic Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich – salty Applewood smoked bacon, sliced tomatoes, crispy lettuce and like the Adult Grilled Cheese, this Smoked Salmon BLT is all grown up.
Dorothy was right. There really is no place like home. We just got back Saturday after a lazy month in Florida eating way too much delicious but not-so-good-for-us food, cocktails *may* have been served mid-afternoon, binge reading (list down below), kayaking, shark tooth hunting and toes in the sand most days. The trip was made even better with visits from our good friends and when our kids all came down for a week. Arriving home, there were all sorts of big girl stuff that needed attention like laundry, sorting through mail, unpacking and trying to get back on a smarter eating path starting with this Chickpea Tomato Cucumber Salad.
Sometimes less really is more ~though not with shoes. Never with shoes. It is the case with this Lemon Vegetable Spring Pasta ~ sautéed spring vegetables, shrimp, pasta and a little cheese all dressed in a light, lemony sauce. I published this recipe quite a while ago when I was brand new to blogging under the title Girls Night In Pasta. I’m rolling my eyes now at the name, but I thought it was clever at the time because it was my favorite go-to pasta when my husband travelled for work and the only appetite I had to please was my own ~ a glass or two of wine, a good dinner and my favorite TV show ~ Girls Night In.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? For my sister-in-law it means hats and beads for the group, even my somewhat reluctant brother-in-law, green shirts, a couple of drinks and of course, some good Irish food like this Irish Guinness Beef Stew. Her enthusiasm is contagious and it’s always a good time, so when we’re in Florida where they live in the winter, it’s one party we won’t miss. This stew has all you need for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime you’re looking for a great comfort dish ~ chunks of tender, seared beef, potatoes, onions and carrots in a thick stew made more robust than you can imagine with the addition of Guinness beer. I’m ready for St. Patrick’s Day ~ are you?
If you think beef is the only way to go with meatballs, think again. Turkey Meatballs and Marinara are pan-seared then braised in rich, robust marinara for a dish that not only your family will love but it’s classy enough (if you’re the type that has classy friends) for company too. While I could be perfectly content with old-school marinara my husband is a card-carrying carnivore that needs meat and actually believes it improves his life. Who am I to argue? These turkey meatballs won over the carnivore who calls them “fowl balls“. I can’t make this stuff up. They’ll win over your pickiest eater, too.
Do you want to know the one ingredient for the creamiest risotto ever? I just discovered it and I’m happy to share it with you. First off, creamy risotto is one of my favorite dishes and if it’s on the menu, it’s a pretty safe bet I’ll order it. I don’t care what it’s served with or what kind of risotto it is. I love making it at home, too like this Artichoke Lemon Risotto or Tomato Basil Risotto. This flavor of risotto is ramped up with bits of crispy prosciutto ~ the perfect briny topping for this creamy dish. But wait ~ that secret ingredient. . .