Italian Pasta Salad

italian pasta salad ~ tortellini antipasto salad overhead view in colorful bowl

Side Dish | June 2, 2019 | By

Italian Pasta Salad ~ this easy recipe combines cheese-stuffed tortellini and bursting with flavor from all your antipasto favorites: salami, pepperoni, cheese, peppers, olives and onions dressed in a simple homemade vinaigrette.

Even if the weather hasn’t officially said summer, this salad does. We’ve had our fill of cold days and plates loaded with comfort food.

It’s time for summer fare, dips in the lake, toasted s’mores, staying out after the streetlights come on and Italian Pasta Salad with tortellini and the BEST Italian salad dressing.


Brown Butter Honey Glazed Carrots

Brown Butter Honey Glazed Carrots ~ tender carrots roasted in a delicious nutty, brown butter honey-garlic sauce.

Side Dish | April 5, 2019 | By

Brown Butter Honey Glazed Carrots ~ tender carrots oven roasted and glazed in a delicious nutty, brown butter honey-garlic sauce. 

Almost every family has a picky eater. Mine ate peanut butter and jelly every single day of first grade. Growing up, she stubbornly refused to eat a vegetable other than corn and potatoes. She called carrots “the devil’s vegetable”.

She loved chicken (still does) and couldn’t pass up a french fry if her life depended upon it (still can’t). For the record, she still won’t eat a carrot but if you do and you’re looking for a simple, gourmet level side dish, this is it.


Au Gratin Potatoes

Easy Au Gratin Potatoes ~ layers of tender potatoes in a creamy, cheesy sauce and golden brown slightly crispy top. A classic comfort food side dish.

Side Dish | March 26, 2019 | By

Au Gratin Potatoes ~ easy classic recipe for tender sliced potatoes blanketed in layers of creamy, cheesy sauce and a golden, slightly crispy top.

If you’ve already started planning your Easter menu a big high five to your organizational skills. To the rest of us frantically scrolling through Pinterest the day before the holiday, we’re kindred spirits. We’re not alone and I have us all covered.

There’s no better sidekick to that Easter ham than pretty much anything blanketed in layers of creamy, über cheesy sauce. Enter: Au Gratin Potatoes or if you got an instant pot for Christmas and are still waiting to take it for a spin, how about the BEST Mac and Cheese.


Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes

creamy potatoes in black bowl topped with fresh chives

Side Dish | November 1, 2018 | By

Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes ~ creamy, buttery bursting with smoked Gouda cheese flavor. The ultimate side dish for the holiday but easy to make on a weeknight.

For a foodie, it doesn’t get much better than the Wine and Food Festival in Epcot at Walt Disney World but if you think it’s nothing but ‘park food’, think again.

Disney rolled out a foodie’s red carpet as only Disney can do. Inspiration was everywhere. We paced ourselves sampling so many delicious dishes but still weren’t able to taste everything we wanted to. I guess that’s the best reason to go back.

My favorite dish was Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes that served as a base for fork-tender, Beer Braised Beef served in Epcot’s ‘Belgium’. When I got home I couldn’t wait to make both.

plate of potatoes topped with gravy, carrots and sliced beef


Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing

Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing ~ classic recipe baked outside the bird with delicious fresh herb & sausage flavors. Serve with turkey, chicken or pork.

Side Dish | October 21, 2018 | By

Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing ~ a classic recipe baked outside the bird with delicious fresh herb and sausage flavors. Serve with turkey, chicken or pork.

Whether you call it stuffing like we do in these parts or dressing because it’s baked outside the bird, this Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing is the dish that says Thanksgiving. It’s not a holiday without it. I love the crispy bread parts best, but that doesn’t stop me from scooping into the moist center because it’s all flavored with the same fresh herbs, vegetables and sausage. Mmmmm.

I’ve been making stuffing more years than I can count, but I always cooked it inside the bird. Today that’s said to be a big no-no, but we never had any issues.

A couple of years ago my daughter started hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner and she opted to cook two turkeys  in the air fryer. Both delicious with crispy skin, juicy meat, one with traditional seasoning, the other Cajun. But that meant the stuffing needed to be baked separately in the oven without sacrificing all that crazy good taste. Challenge accepted. 

Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing is the best stuffing I’ve ever eaten. I’ve perfected the recipe over the years. It’s simple, with classic flavors and the only recipe you’ll need.


Easy Hummus Recipe Without Tahini

easy hummus recipe without tahini

Watch the VIDEO to make this easy HOMEMADE Hummus Recipe Without Tahini! Delicious, creamy with fresh garlic, chickpeas and a hint of lemon.  No tahini needed. This healthy appetizer comes together in a jiffy!

I haven’t sworn off tahini and have nothing against it, but the last time I bought it I could only find it in a super size jar that could have easily come off the shelves of Sam’s Club (but didn’t). I couldn’t use it all before the expiration date and ended up throwing a good portion of it away.

When we were in Florida last March, I bought a container of the local grocery store’s own hummus and was really disappointed ~ thick, tasteless and a little clumpy ~ whaaat? I swore when I got home I would make the kind of hummus I like to eat ~ creamy, full of flavor with just a hint of lemon.

This Easy Hummus Recipe rivals any I’ve had with tahini and since I usually have everything on hand to make it, it’s easier than a trip to the store for pre-packaged and takes about as much time.


Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad ~ 3-cheese tortellini + fresh veggies, roasted red peppers, olives and feta tossed in a simple homemade Greek dressing.

Side Dish | June 30, 2018 | By

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad ~ three cheese tortellini blended with fresh vegetables, roasted red peppers, olives and feta, tossed in a simple homemade Greek dressing.

My daughter reminded me recently that even though I don’t need an excuse to eat Pickled Red Onions right out of the jar, there are many people that would actually like to put them in something ~ like this Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad.

If you haven’t made them yet (whyyyy?) you can still make this salad with great results using sliced red onions. But if you happen to have the few ingredients the pickled onions call for and a Mason jar . . . swoon.

Of course this salad isn’t all about the onions. It all starts with tortellini ~ tender bite size pasta pillows filled with three kinds of cheese and combined with fresh summer veggies in a simple homemade Greek Dressing. Give it a try. The combination of flavors is unbelievably good. 


Easy 5 Minute Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Easy 5 Minute Refrigerator Dill Pickles ~ crunchy, loaded with garlic and dill flavors; prepped and in the fridge in 5 minutes. This no cook, small-batch recipe is the best pickle recipe you’ll find!

I’m kind of on a pickling craze right now, starting with Pickled Red Onions that I’ve been putting on practically everything ~ or nothing ~ even a fork full right out of the jar into my mouth.

I’ve made quite a few batches, passing them along to my kids (ahem. . .my jars?). Not only are they really good, but ridiculously simple to make, like things should be in the summertime.

There are always a few different jars of pickles in my refrigerator but with these Easy 5 Minute Refrigerator Dill Pickles buying them premade is a thing of the past.


Pickled Red Onions

pickled red onions in mason jars with fresh dill sprigs

Side Dish | May 7, 2018 | By

Pickled Red Onions ~ easy and quick to make ~ this bright, zesty condiment is delicious on salads, burgers, hot dogs and even tacos.

My daughter has been raving about a salad she’s gotten hooked on from Panera. It doesn’t have either of my favorite salad ingredients, bread or pasta; but she said what makes it so good is the Green Goddess Dressing and Pickled Red Onions.

I ate my fill of Green Goddess Dressing in the ‘70’s when I rocked hip-hugging bell bottoms jeans, but the Pickled Red Onions definitely had my attention.

Pickled ~ anything ~ is just so darn good especially these 5 Minute Refrigerator Dill Pickles! Okay, almost anything is good pickled, but not pickled eggs in oversize jars you see sometimes in sports bars. But you can pickle a lot of other foods you want to add bright, zesty flavor to.


Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus ~ prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus, quickly sautéed makes a delicious side dish or appetizer.

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus ~ prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus, pan sautéed crisping the prosciutto and cooking the asparagus to tender perfection.

It may be mistletoe, egg nog, holiday cookies and ugly Christmas sweaters for now but New Year’s Eve will be here before we know it.

Last year I had a bright idea that we should go out for dinner, so we ditched our comfy pants and fuzzy slippers and embarked on our favorite neighborhood restaurant only to find our waitress frazzled, the place packed and the food not at all the quality we had come to expect there. 

This year we’ll ring in the new year with a delicious home cooked meal including Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus ~ thin sliced prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus spears pan sautéed crisping the prosciutto and cooking the asparagus until tender and of course good company too because isn’t that what the best celebrations are about?