Easy Carrot Salad!

My mom used to make this when I was a kid and it was my job to grate the carrots. I never minded because whoever did the grating got to eat the little carrot nubs too.

We always called this Carrot & Raisin Salad but I was afraid that if I put raisins in the title, people like my husband would skip right over this recipe.

Besides, the last time I made this, I used Craisins or dried cranberries instead of raisins and I think I might like that even better.

This is one of those good old fashioned salads – super simple to make and it goes with everything!

Here’s what you need:

Carrots, Celery, Lemon (optional, not pictured), Raisins or Craisins, Mayonnaise, Salt & Pepper

Click here for an Easy Carrot Salad Shopping List

(Shhhhh…the kitchen helpers are snoozing.)

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It’s too bad you have to rely on a picture and not on aroma for your introduction to African Beef Stew.

Stew (and brown foods in general) rarely take a pretty picture. But the smell!!! The smell from cooking this stew was absolutely heavenly!

I cooked this in my crockpot on my back patio and I’m pretty sure my neighbors got a serious whiff of this stew.

In spite of the array of spices in the ingredient photo, this recipe is pretty basic & easy to prepare.

The spices used here combine to make Berbere, a common spice blend used in Ethiopian cooking.

Here’s what you need:

Beef or Stew Meat, Onions, Crushed Tomatoes, Red Wine, Butter, Ginger, Cinnamon, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Tumeric, Cardamom, Cloves, Allspice, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for an African Beef Stew Shopping List

Yes, I realize that I’ve just cleared out your entire spice rack for one recipe but that’s where the incredible flavor of this stew comes from.

All of these spices are easily found in the regular grocery store. If you have a place to buy bulk spices, you can get things like cardamom (which can be a little pricey) in small amounts so you don’t have to commit to a full spice bottle. That’s what I have in the little baggie in front of the paprika can. A little cardamom goes a looooong way.

Check all those spices that have been lurking in the back of your cabinet since Thanksgiving because you might already have cloves, allspice, cardamom, and cinnamon.

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Quick Spiced Shrimp is a new recipe that resulted from writing this website and my love of (addiction to) cookbooks.

Obviously to keep a cooking website going, I have to try new recipes several days every week.

I’ve already confessed more than once to being terrible at meal planning. I’m great at it for holidays or if we’re having a party, but I’m not a sit down and plan out the meals for the week kinda girl.

So, I had shrimp thawing in the fridge and no real plan beyond that.

I have plenty of go to shrimp recipes but was still feeling fairly uninspired and definitely not intending to go back out to the store after a long day.

I went to my bookcase, grabbed the giant, red New York Times Cookbook, and searched the index for shrimp.

Happily, I found this recipe and with a few modifications for the fact that I don’t keep clam juice in my pantry, made these terrific, Quick Spiced Shrimp in minutes!

Here’s what you need:

Shrimp, Butter, Garlic, Fresh Rosemary, Fresh Thyme, Bay Leaves, Dried Oregano, Cayenne Pepper, White Wine, Fresh Parsley (not pictured), Salt & Pepper

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According to the calendar, tomorrow is the first day of Autumn.

According to my thermometer, it’s still grossly hot where I live.

Even if you’re lucky enough to get fall weather, chances are you still have a garden or a farmer’s market that is going strong.

So while everyone else is engrossed in pumpkin spice madness, let’s make a Summer Corn, Bean & Carrot Salad!

The fresher your veggies, the better your salad. That being said, I’ve now made this 3 times and 2 of them have been good old veggies from the grocery store.

Here’s what you need:

Green Beans, Green Onions, Carrots, Corn, Red Bell Pepper, Dijon Mustard, Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Click here for a Summer Corn, Bean & Carrot Salad Shopping List

If your corn is really fresh and tender, you can just cut it off the cob and use it raw.

Mine had been sitting around for a couple of days so I wrapped it in waxed paper and nuked it in the microwave for about 4 minutes.

It’s not fully cooked like for eating corn on the cob, but it hel;s make it a bit less chewy and more tender.

Unwrap it to let the ears cool then cut the kernels off the cob.

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Chicken Milanese

I can’t believe that in the 5 years I’ve had this website, I haven’t posted this recipe for Chicken Milanese.

It’s one of my favorite dishes and certainly in the top 5 chicken dishes that I make…if not the top 3.

You probably know that anything with Milanese in the title refers to a cutlet, breaded and fried.

Where THIS Milanese differs is in the tangy, mustard coating beneath the breading. Flavor galore!

I top mine with a simple arugula salad and try not to eat more than my fair share.

There are a few steps in the breading process (I made my own Gluten Free breadcrumbs) but other than that, this is a pretty simple and straightforward dish.

Here’s what you need:

Chicken Breasts, Breadcrumbs (GF optional), Flour (GF optional), Eggs (you need 2!), Lemon, Dijon Mustard, Garlic, Oregano, Olive Oil, Arugula, Parmesan Cheese (optional), Salt & Pepper

Click here for a Chicken Milanese Shopping List

I have 3 of our old faithful friends  – the boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves.

If you tire easily of boring chicken breasts, you should try making them into quick cooking little cutlets. The method here is similar to our Sesame Ginger Lime Chicken where splitting and pounding the chicken breasts slightly thinner lets them cook quickly without drying out.

Run a sharp knife horizontally through the chicken breast to make 2 thinner cutlets.

I haven’t shown it here, but if you place your hand flat on top of the chicken, it will keep it from shifting around on your board.

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Cream Cheese Bacon Poppers!

Easy appetizer. Perfect tailgating treat. Tapas night tidbit.

Saturday afternoon snack!

These little nuggets of goodness have it ALL going on.

I have never been one to deep fry things at home. Now that I am also gluten free, breaded fried poppers are out of the question.

So I was super excited to have these delicious Cream Cheese Bacon Poppers at my friend Jen’s house this summer.

Warning! Once you see how easy they are to make, you’ll be a popper addict.

Here’s what you need:

Mini Peppers, Cream Cheese, and Bacon

That’s it!

Click here for a Cream Cheese Bacon Poppers Shopping List

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

I have thick cut bacon because I’m sick of the skimpy, whimpy bacon that falls apart when you take it out of the package. Pick the bacon of your choice and place about 6 strips on a parchment lined baking tray.

Make an extra strip if you’re a bacon snacker. Know thyself.

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Salmon Roasted in Butter & Herbs is a perfect weeknight meal.

You might be thinking it’s too complicated to make dinner like this when you’ve had a busy day on the go, but in this case, you’d be wrong!

This recipe is so simple but yields flavor that is quite impressive.

If you have good fish – mine even came out of the freezer and into the fridge the morning I cooked this – you’re half way there.

The only other must have for this recipe is fresh herbs. You might have them growing in your garden or in pots on your patio or balcony or you can easily find them at almost any grocery store.

Even though I think this is a perfect weeknight meal – it cooks in 10 minutes, it’s also something I will happily serve to guests. They don’t need to know how easy this is to make.

Here’s what you need:

Salmon Fillet, Butter, Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Thyme, & Mint), Salt & Pepper

Click here for a Salmon Roasted in Butter & Herbs Shopping List

I plan on 6-8 oz. of fish per person so my fillet (which serves 2) is about 1 pound.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Yes, that’s very hot but the idea here is to cook the fish quickly so it doesn’t dry out.

The herb combo is kind of up to you. I have a robust 2 Tablespoons total of chopped parsley, mint & thyme and I LOVED that combination.

The orignial recipe calls for dill but says that you can make some fairly liberal subsittutions. I think anything in the leafy herb family would work just fine. I’m definitely thinking to add tarragon next time. Basil is a good idea too.

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Rosemary Lemon Zucchini Bread is the recipe for those of you in the grips of summer Zucchini Mania!

My yard is too shady for a garden so it’s particularly annoying to me to have to buy zucchini at the store when my friends up north can’t give the stuff away.

You’ve probably heard the old joke about midwesterners locking their cars in summer so that no one can slip bags of zucchini in while they are unattended.

Well, if those folks had this recipe, they would WELCOME extra zucchini!

Hints of rosemary and lemon take this quick & easy zucchini bread to a whole new heavenly level.

Here’s what you need:

2 Zucchini, Flour, Sugar, Fresh Rosemary, Lemons, Butter, Olive Oil, Eggs, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt

Click here for a Rosemary Lemon Zucchini Bread Shopping List

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

You’ll need 2 medium sized zucchini to equal about 3 cups grated.

I like to grate my zucchini first and let it sit in a strainer to get some of the moisture out.

No need to squeeze it, just let it hang out and drip.

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Roasted Potato & Asparagus Salad. We’re roasting potatoes for a salad!

What a great idea. Wish I’d thought of it.

I’m a huge fan of roasted potatoes (especially Smoky Roasted Potatoes) so when I saw a recipe that used roasted rather than boiled potatoes for a salad, I was eager to try it. Add roasted asparagus to the mix and I was hooked!

Another great thing about this recipe is that the creaminess in the dressing comes from avocado rather than mayo. Brilliant!

Here’s what you need:

Potatoes, Asparagus, Green Onions, Avocado, Lemon, Fresh Dill, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Click here for a Roasted Potato & Asparagus Salad Shopping List

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remember our lesson of lining the trays with parchment paper? This has to be the best cooking tip I’ve learned in ages.


Also no more horrible pan to scrub free of stuck on potatoes. Hooray!

I’m using 2 pounds of small yellow “new” potatoes that I’ve cut into quarters. You could also use red potatoes or even larger potatoes cut into bite sized cubes.

Drizzle the potatoes with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and season generously with salt & pepper.

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I love Mexican Food.

Authentic, Tex-Mex, fast(ish) food, tacos made at home by someone with red hair, freckles & zero Latin/Hispanic heritage…I’m not picky. I love it all.

If it has beans, salsa, and chilis, I’m pretty much guaranteed to be happy.

Easy Chicken Fajitas are one of my quick go-to weeknight dinners.

Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine wouldn’t let anyone order fajitas because the steam would give her “fajita hair?”

I can relate!

Here’s what you need:

Chicken Breasts, Onions, Bell Peppers, Olive Oil, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salsa, Salt & Pepper.

You will also need all the fajita fixins (not pictured here) – tortillas, cheese, beans (sometimes black, sometimes refried), guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, etc.

Click here for an Easy Chicken Fajitas Shopping List

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