Asian Noodle Salad

You are going to LOVE this yummy and versatile recipe.  We make this as a side dish, or add a little grilled chicken or poached shrimp and turn it into a meal!  We get mad raves on this easy to make salad… we’re sure you will too.

What makes it so easy is that we use this yummy bottled dressing.  As we’ve said before, we love to make yummy food, and we love it when we can find a product that makes the job of preparing that yummy food easier.  This is one of those products… Soy Vay Toasted Sesame Dressing and Marinade.  It can be found in most grocery stores, in the salad dressing isle.  I use about half the bottle on the salad and then throw the rest in a ziplock bag with some chicken breasts to marinate for grilling.

Asian Noodle Salad

  • 1 pound angel hair pasta, broken in half and cooked to Al Dente, then immediately flushed with cold water in a colander
  • 3/4 cup Soy Vay Toasted Sesame Dressing
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup snow peas, diced to 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup baby peas (frozen is fine)
  • 1/2 cup chopped water chestnut

In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients, and enjoy!

*I will also sometimes add some chopped brocoli and/or salted peanuts

Chantilly Potatoes

What are Chantilly Potatoes? I knew that Chantilly was a town just outside of Paris, France. Is it such a great town that it had the way you prepare some potatoes named after it? YES! And did you know that Chantilly is famous for its cream? It is actually believed to have been the precursor for modern day whipped cream. And wouldn’t you know, the secret ingredient in this recipe is whipped cream! It’s all making sense now.

So in honor of Julia Child’s 100th birthday, here is a French inspired, easy, tasty potato side dish.

CHANTILLY POTATOES

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
 (may also use Havarti, Gruyere)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Place potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for about 10 minutes, or until soft and tender. (I gave mine a shake halfway through) Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes well. Add salt and pepper then cover again and microwave for an additional 3 minutes.

In a large bowl beat the whipped cream until stiff and peaks form. Gently fold in about 2/3 of the whipped cream into the potatoes. Most of the cream will be absorbed into the potatoes. Pour potatoes into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Potatoes will look slightly uneven. Do not rub with spatula to even out as potatoes will lose their airiness and lighter texture. Mix the parmesan cheese and all but 1/4 cup of Swiss cheese into the remaining whipped cream. Spread the mixture over the potatoes and sprinkle with remaining Swiss cheese.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, until top is golden brown. Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.

Smashed Potatoes

How many ways can you make potatoes? Baked, mashed, roasted, boiled, twice baked, and on and on and on. How about smashed potatoes? This is one of my most favorite side dishes and so easy to make. These smashed potatoes take on a crispier outside and soft inside. My fave!

These measurements for this recipe are more like guidelines. I tend to like my food a little saltier than my husband, so I use almost 3 teaspoons of the Kosher salt. But you can cater this to what your family likes. I have left out the pepper completely when I know I will be serving this dish to little kids.

SMASHED POTATOES

  • 12 or so baby red potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add potatoes and two pinches of salt and boil for about 20 minutes, or until a fork inserted into potato feels tender.

On a jelly roll pan, drizzle some olive oil so potatoes do not stick to pan. Place potatoes on jelly roll pan and arrange like you would cookies. Then, using a potato masher, smash the potatoes then turn the masher 90 degrees amd smash again. (I find this takes a delicate touch) Then brush or drizzle more olive oil over the tops of the potatoes. Then sprinkle the salt on the potatoes. Lastly, sprinkle rosemary on. Remember that if you are using dried rosemary, to use less than if you are using fresh.

Place in a 450 degree preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops start to golden. Serve immediately!

Cheesy Garlic Bread

An oldie, but a goodie! I love ordering cheesy garlic bread when we go out, but it’s even better homemade! Yes, it’s bad for you, it’s a lot of carbs going in, but can’t a girl live a little?? I would not make this every night, but it sure is a great complement to any Italian meal. (Have you tried our homemade Alfredo sauce yet?) I love that it is a crispy, cheesy delight on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. It is quick and easy to make and will dress up your meal!

Here they are right before going into the oven….yum!

CHEESY GARLIC BREAD

  • 1 loaf of French Bread
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup Shredded or Grated Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup per side)
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – no need to measure, enough to cover
  • 1 teaspoon dry Parsley flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Soften the butter in the microwave then add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Mix together well. Cut your bread in half the long way and spread the butter and garlic mixture on top. Take the Parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of both halves. Then cover with the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle dry parsley flakes on top and salt and pepper to taste. Cook  for 13-15 minutes, or until edges are browned and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and slice bread horizontally for serving.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Creamy Coleslaw

Pulled pork is a summertime staple in our home.  I love it because it’s made in the crock pot, with out a lot of fuss and muss, and without heating up my kitchen.  The yummy combination of the tangy BBQ pulled pork and creamy coleslaw is so so good!  And it can all be made in the morning, so in the heat of the day when it’s time for dinner, you’re not slaving over a hot stove!

BBQ Pulled Pork

  • 1 pork tenderloin roast
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
In the bowl of a large crock pot, place the pork tenderloin roast, the water and 1 cup of the BBQ sauce.  Heat on low for 6 hours.
Remove from crock pot into a large bowl, and shred.  Return to crockpot, add the remaining 2 cups of BBQ sauce and heat for another hour.
Serve on toasted sandwich rolls, or hamburger buns, topped with creamy coleslaw.
Creamy Coleslaw
  • 1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 large carrots, finely shredded
  • 3/4 cup best-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, celery seed, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, and then add to the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired.

Corn with Flare

Ok, so this isn’t a recipe as much as it is a way to spice up your boring corn in a huge, flavorful way! I get on auto pilot sometimes and forget there is so much more to cooking than heating a frozen vegetable. There are so many thing to try and experiment with! Some of the greatest “recipes” are happened upon when I am trying to spice things up! This really doesn’t take that much longer than the usual corn you serve, and it is much more flavorful. And I promise, your family will thank you for it.

CORN WITH FLARE

  • 1 bag frozen corn (or fresh)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, rough chop
  • 1/2 red pepper, rough chop
  • 7-10 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add peppers and corn. Saute for about 4-5 minutes. Then add basil and salt and pepper. Continue to saute until heated through. Serve hot. Serves 4

Scrumptious Baked Beans

One of my husband’s favorite meals is a plate loaded with my sweet cornbread and these scrumptious baked beans.  He can practically down the entire thing himself, and be perfectly happy.  Now, as for myself and my other 3 boys, we need a little something more.  So, I’ll usually throw on some grilled flank steak and a nice fruit salad to round it out.

SCRUMPTIOUS BAKED BEANS

 

  • 3 (16.5 ounce) cans baked beans or pork n’ beans
  • 1 pound thick cut bacon
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

 

Cut 8 slices of the bacon into 2 inch pieces.  In a large cast iron skillet, over medium low heat, fry the bacon just until fat is rendered, but not turning brown.  Do not crisp the bacon, as we will need it to do that in the oven. Remove the bacon onto a paper towel to drain.  Reserve a coating of  the fat in the skillet to brown the onion.  Add onion and cook over medium heat, until tender.  Stir in the 3 cans of baked beans and warm through.

 

In a small bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and mustard.  Add this mixture to the skillet, and bring to a simmer.

 

Pour beans into a 9×13 casserole pan or a large dutch oven.  Top with bacon slices.  (Since you’ve already rendered the fat, they will crisp up nice and brown without leaving a layer of grease)

 

Bake for 2 hours, until the beans are cooked and soft, the bacon is brown and crispy, and there is no soupiness to the dish.