Hidden Valley Ranch Pasta Salad Remix

My daughter is a sucker for pasta salad.  All I have to do is drizzle a little Italian dressing on some pasta and she's one happy kid. While that's fine every once in a while, I like to have a little more variety in my food.  Instead of the same old pasta salad, I thought I would sweeten things up a bit by adding grapes and substituting Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Mix for the usual Italian dressing.  Ingredients1 12 oz box of your favorite pasta 1 cup of grapes, cut in half1/2 cup diced ham1/2 … [Read more...]

Day 9 of Being Thankful: Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Day 9: I am thankful for sun-dried tomatoes. They make everything taste better. Well, except maybe for chocolate. I'm not sure how chocolate covered sun dried tomatoes would taste but I'm willing to try... If you haven't had the pleasure of eating a sun-dried tomato, you are definitely missing out.  Sun-dried tomatoes are a piece of tomato sunshine that has just the right bite for those creamy pasta dishes, homemade pizzas and salads.  They are sweet and chewy and so, so good!  I usually have a … [Read more...]

Broccoli and Bacon Salad

Broccoli and bacon salad.  What could be better?  Maybe I should switch it around and call it bacon and broccoli salad.  I'm sure I had you at bacon.   Every time I make this recipe someone asks me for the recipe.  When I tell them how to make it, they are happily surprised at how simple it is.  You can easily whip this together in 15-20 minutes (depending on your chopping skills).  It tastes better when you let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours but I've eaten it … [Read more...]

Salmon BLT Recipe With Avocado Aioli and Steak Fries

I have a bad habit.  Well, I have many bad habits but the one I'm going to talk about today involves food.  I know, I know, that probably isn't narrowing things down much.  Especially if you read my goals for April.  The one bad habit that I have is buying food and then never using it.  Our family wastes a ton of food and we're trying real hard to reduce what we throw out.  So I've designated Sunday nights as leftover nights.  We have to make dinner from whatever is in the house.  Depending on … [Read more...]

Stovetop Chicken Mac & Cheese with Broccoli

I'm trying to reduce the amount of pre-packaged food that I prepare for my family.  One thing we've (yes, including me) always liked is boxed macaroni and cheese.  Off to find an alternative recipe that would pack more of a punch nutrition wise and be a complete meal, I came up with this recipe.  It's easy and makes a ton. Stovetop Chicken Mac & Cheese with Broccoli Ingredients: 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded 1 1/2 cups of fat-free milk 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 1 cup … [Read more...]

Cornbread Salad

This cornbread salad recipe came from the HUSBAND of a nurse practitioner I used to work worth.  That's right, her husband.  Whenever we would have a potluck at work, one of the first questions we'd ask was, "What is Jim making?"  Jim is an excellent cook and I wish I had more of his recipes.  Ann told me she used to cook for her family but I'm not buying it. :)   Cornbread Salad Ingredients: 9x9 pan of cornbread 1 cup of ranch dressing 1 can whole kernel corn, drained and … [Read more...]

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Our family has mashed potatoes about four times per year.  When we do have them, we want them to be creamy and buttery.  The perfect combination in my eyes.  Poking around the blogosphere I found several recipes for mashed potatoes that looked peel worthy (peeling potatoes is ONE of the reasons we only have them 4x per year) but settled on this one by Steamy Kitchen.  Steamy Kitchen is written by Jaden Hair, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer all in one.  What … [Read more...]

Crazy Cooking Challenge #1- Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

You would think this first challenge would be as easy as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Wrong!  With all the wonderful food blogs out there, I spent hours drooling over pictures, wondering just how unhealthy it would be if I ate homemade macaroni and cheese every day for a month.  After changing my mind several times, I finally decided on this recipe posted by Recipe Girl. What drew me to this recipe was first and foremost: bacon.  Additionally I was intrigued by the use of herb & garlic … [Read more...]

Bada Bing Potatoes

I love going to the farmers market and letting the produce decide what I'm going to eat for the week.  A few weeks ago I visited our local market and came home with a some beautiful new potatoes.  Not wanting to do my typical roasted potatoes, I poked around for a slightly different variation and found this recipe.  My technique and ingredients were slightly different but the results were the same, beautifully crisp potatoes full of flavor. Bada bing potatoes, who knew they'd be so good! … [Read more...]

Food For Thought Friday – Blue Cheese

Fifteen years ago if you would have told me I would be a fan of blue cheese, I would have told said you need medicated.  Blue cheese stunk, I wasn't a fan of the crumbly texture and it was expensive.  As a broke college student the only type of cheese I was buying came in slices and was pre-wrapped.   Then something happened, I went on a date.  On that date I had my first steak with blue cheese butter and I became the biggest fan of blue cheese you could find. And coincidentally enough, one … [Read more...]