Springtime Salad

If you’re looking for a traditional type potato salad, but with bright flavors, this is it! With plenty of fresh vegetables and delicious seasoning, you can’t go wrong. There is no boiling required (which I love) and several options to change the recipe from season to season. It’s creamy and spiked with a secret ingredient. You’ll never go back to that boring old potato salad after you try this!

 

Springtime Potato Salad

Serves 4-6

  • 1 bag (about 3lbs) Fingerling potatoes or red/yellow potatoes  (halved)
  • 4 tbsp EVOO
  • S & P for roasting and salad
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground fennel
  • 1 tbsp Fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 + 2 tbsp Miracle Whip
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 stalk Celery (diced)
  • 1 Carrot (peeled and diced)
  • 3 Green onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives (halved)

 

First, preheat the oven to 375 °. Place the halved potatoes in a bowl and add the EVOO, S & P, onion powder, and garlic powder. Toss until the potatoes are completely coated. Pour the potatoes onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until they are fully cooked. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

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In a large bowl, add and mix the mayo, miracle whip, mustard, vinegar, ground fennel, S & P, parsley, celery, carrots, green onion, and olives. Then add the cooled potatoes and toss until everything is completely coated. Add additional parsley if you desire. Place in the refrigerator for an hour. Serve and enjoy!

Add bacon, cheddar cheese, and a dab of sour cream for a twice baked potato salad

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Not Just Any Cookie

On any given day, I would normally pull out a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips and follow the recipe on the back with just minor adjustments. This time, I wanted a rich, ooey, gooey, soft, and fluffy cookie that I could eat with my morning and afternoon coffee. Anyone that truly knows me, knows how much I love cookies. They are the most perfect little treat and always bring a smile to my face. Sharing cookies spreads that joy and that is what baking is all about. Try this delicious cookie next time you feel the want and need for a chocolate chip cookie!

 

Miranda’s Ultimate Cookie

Approx. 24(large)- 36(small)

  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup White sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 sticks Unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • 1 bag Dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 bag Dark chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350° and line the baking sheets with parchment paper. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars, salt, eggs, and extracts together. They should turn into a thick liquid. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix the ingredients until just combined. (about 30-45 seconds) Add in the chocolate chips and chunks and pulse until they have been combined. If you over mix the dough, the cookies will be tough With a tablespoon, scoop up the dough and form into a ball. Smoosh the ball so it flattens slightly. This will determine how flat the cookies will get. Place about an inch apart on the baking sheet.

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Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes or until just slightly browned. Let cool, for just a couple minutes. Serve and enjoy with milk or cookie! You’ll just love these!

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Creamy Alfredo

If you’re looking for a delicious, easy dish to serve to your honey for Valentine’s Day or to impress your special someone on a date night, this is it! Alfredo is rich, creamy, and guaranteed to fill you up. It’s a higher calorie meal but it’s so worth it. You can add any type of meat, seafood, or veggies you want to this and only make it better!

 

Alfredo with Pasta

Serves 4

  • 6 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp AP flour
  • 1 pint Heavy Cream
  • 2 Garlic cloves (grated)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp Fresh parsley (chopped-keep 1 tbsp for topping)
  • S & P to taste
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 lb Cooked pasta (fettuccine or linguine)
  • Any vegetable, meat, or seafood (cooked)

In a large skillet, melt the butter down on medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds to cook the raw taste out. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until dissolved. The flour will help to thicken the sauce along with the cooked heavy cream.

Turn the heat to medium high. Add in the heavy cream, nutmeg, 3 tbsp parsley and S & P. Wisk continuously for about 4 – 5 minutes. The sauce should start to thicken and boil. Turn the heat down to low and add the parmesan cheese. Wisk until creamy. Add in the meat, seafood, or veggie just to warm it (about 2 minutes). Add the cooked pasta and begin to toss all ingredients together. Plate and add addition cheese and parsley. Enjoy with garlic bread (highly encouraged!)

 

Mini Bacon Meatloaf

Anytime I have ever made the traditional meatloaf, in a loaf pan, it always falls apart. I tend to put lots of favor into my meatloaf and that usually causes the loaf to fall apart. Lots of favor means several wet ingredients that guarantee an awesome meatloaf. Since I had such a problem with the loaf part, I thought, why not make it into a ball/patty. They have never fallen apart and have stayed even more flavorful. An opinion of mine is to always add an alcohol… whiskey, vodka, beer…etc. I have tried all three and whiskey has been the best secret ingredient. It gives off a smoky note and adds a touch of sweetness. If you are worried about serving this to children, the alcohol will cook out so all should be fine. Also, always add ketchup! And add hot sauce to the ketchup! You’ll never go back to plain old meatloaf, again.

 

Mini Bacon Meatloaf

Serves 4

  • 1 lb Ground beef (80/20) *if you use leaner beef, it may be drier than the recipe states
  • 1/2 cup White onion (fine chopped)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (grated)
  • 2 tbsp Fresh parsley (chopped)
  • S & P to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp ketchup (meat) 1/4 cup ketchup w/ 6 drops Hot sauce(topping)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Whiskey
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Bread crumbs (store bought)
  • 1 slice of White bread (grated)
  • 4 pieces of Bacon

 

Preheat oven to 375° and cover a baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray with nonstick spray. Combine all ingredients except the additional ketchup with hot sauce mix and the bacon. Mix until all ingredient are combined. *if you over mix the meat, it will become dense.

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Form the meatloaf mix into ball, about the size of a tennis ball. Slightly flatten the top and bottom. Wrap a piece of bacon around the outside. If the bacon over laps slightly, that is fine. If it doesn’t touch, you need to make the meatloaf ball larger. Place the meatloaf ball down on the baking sheet. With a brush, add the ketchup and hot sauce mix to the top.  Add additional pepper to the top.

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Bake the mini meatloaves for 40-50 minutes. During the baking process, if you wish to add more sauce to the tops, please do! Once they are ready, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. This will allow them to set. Serve and enjoy! Try this recipe with ground turkey and/or turkey bacon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mama’s Mac n’ Cheese

Comfort food alert! From childhood to my adult years, when someone says mac n’ cheese, you always say, ” Yes please!”. My mother always made a casserole type mac n’ cheese and I prefer that versus the runny, soupy type. You can put as much cheese as you want, it just melts! You can add meat to it or veggies and it doesn’t really change this favorite comfort food. Give my mom’s recipe, that yes, I have altered, a try tonight! Make extra for leftovers!

 

Mama’s Mac n’ Cheese

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 1 lb (box) Cooked pasta ( elbows, spirals, or ruffles)
  • 2 tbsp AP flour
  • 3 tbsp Butter (unsalted)
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups Whole milk
  • 1 tbsp Hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 8oz. Pkg Mild cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 8 oz. Pkg Velveeta melting cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 4 oz. Sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)

Cook pasta while cheese sauce is being prepared

In a large kettle, on medium to high heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until combined. Let the butter and flour cook for about 30 seconds. This allows the raw flour taste to dissolve. Add the milk, hot sauce, S & P,  garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to the sauce. Continue whisking and turn the heat down to medium. When this mixture begins to boil and thicken, add all of the cheese except the sharp cheddar (that is for the topping). Whisk until cheese melts down and turn to the lowest setting on the stove possible.

 

When this mixture has turned into the cheese sauce, pour it into the pot of drained, cooked pasta. Stir and then pour into a buttered casserole dish that can be covered. Sprinkle with cheese and cover. Pre heat the oven to 375° and cook the mac n’ cheese for 30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling. Remove and serve. (Buttered bread crumbs are also delicious on top over the casserole) Enjoy.

 

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I’m sure that most of us buy bananas, they begin to turn, and we throw them out. Am I right? Make these easy muffins and you’ll never throw out another banana. Do you have to add peanut butter? Nope, you don’t but I do recommend it. Do you have to add chocolate chips? Why not! Make them the night before and take them to the office. You’ll be so appreciated!

 

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips

12 Muffins

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  • 3 Mashed bananas
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 tbsp Coffee (brewed and cooled)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Peanut Butter
  • Pinch of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Salt
  • 1/3 cup Semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 3/4 cup White sugar
  • 1/3 cup Brown sugar (lightly packed) + 3 tbsp (topping)
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350° and add lining cups to the muffin pan. In a mixer, combine all the wet ingredients together. Add the sugars. Finally add the dry ingredients. With an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin cup up just past 3/4 of the way to the top. Sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake for 19-21 minutes. Remove and cool. Enjoy these muffins warm with butter or extra peanut butter!

 

 

Cheesy Chicken Salad

Veggies, protein, and fruit….. how can a healthy meal get much better? Add cheese and bacon of course! This is not your standard chicken salad . It’s rich, delicious, and has all the goodies to kept you going through your day. Eat this for lunch in a pita or a wrap or make it for dinner and put on a croissant or on a bed of spinach. Any way you have it, it’s so good!

 

Cheesy Chicken Salad

6-8 servings

  • 1 package Chicken thighs (skin on, about 4)
  • S & P (approx. 1 tbsp each for the whole recipe; to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp  Ground fennel powder
  • 1 5oz.container Plain Greek yogurt (low fat)
  • 1 tsp Mayonnaise
  • Dash of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup Celery (small diced)
  • 1/4 cup White onion or green onion (small diced)
  • 1/2 cup Red grapes (quartered)
  • 1/2 cup Granny Smith (sour) or Gala (sweet) apple (smaller diced)
  • 1/3 cup Sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 3 Strips cooked bacon (crumbled)
  • Croissants, whole wheat wraps, pitas…etc. (to serve on)

Preheat the oven to 375°, place the chicken thighs on a baking pan lined with foil. Season the chicken with S & P. Cook the chicken for about 35-45 minutes, remove from oven and cool. Remove all the meat and skin from the bones. Chop up the chicken and place in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until completely mixed. The bacon and cheese are optional if you are trying to really be healthy, but I suggest trying the recipe with them first. Transfer the salad to a sealed container and refrigerate for about an hour. Serve as a sandwich or for a topping on a salad. I’ve heard this salad is awesome stuffed in an avocado. Enjoy!