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Classic Potato Salad

Does anything say summer more than potato salad? (Okay, maybe ice cream, popsicles, shorts, sandals, suntan lotion – you get the idea…) I have a true love affair with potatoes and therefore potato salad. I also believe that everyone should have at least one “go to” potato salad recipe that they love and can rely upon. (I have three, at last count) There are many different potatoes and ways to make the dressing, and you might have your own preferences, but here are mine: Potatoes: I use red potatoes, baby-sized if possible. The reason? It’s such a bother to peel

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Quinoa with Broccoli and Parmesan

This is one of my “go to” dishes, any time of year. It takes a mere 3 ingredients and only minutes to assemble. With two of those ingredients being quinoa and broccoli, this dish packs a punch of superfood action covered in one swell foop! AND it’s truly delicious! Since May is coming to a close I wanted to be sure to mention that it is Celiac Awareness month. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage to the small intestine. So many people seem to be affected by this! Fortunately, there are

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Cheesy Brat Stew

Since Memorial Day is upon us, I thought I would post this recipe just in case you’re about to throw some sausages on the grill, and are worried about having leftovers. This stew is so yummy, you might want to cook up some extra on purpose! The recipe is meant for bratwurst or Polish sausage, but really almost any sausage will work. When I made this recently I used 4 bratwursts and 2 Italian sausages – naturally, because that’s what was in the fridge! I can’t give you a link for this recipe, because I got it before there was

Mediterranean Salad

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

If you are looking for a salad that is bursting with bright, fresh flavors, look no more! This “Middle Earth” delight has a simple vinaigrette dressing that, through some alchemy, “pops” the flavors of the tomatoes and cucumber; “crunches up” the taste of romaine lettuce; and smooths the palate with feta and chickpeas. Kalamata olives provide the “Ta dah!” moment with an exclamation point of piquancy. I absolutely love the flavors and textures of this. Transport your taste buds to the Mediterranean! This recipe comes from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, from America’s Test Kitchen. I made a few small adjustments

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4 Ingredient Coleslaw

I think there’s a rule that you can’t serve pulled pork without coleslaw. (Maybe it’s just a guideline). Contrary to popular opinion, coleslaw does NOT have to come from a deli. It is, in fact, one of the easiest salads to make and you probably have all the dressing ingredients on hand already! Buy yourself a package of pre-shredded coleslaw mix and you are good to go! If you are determined to make this COMPLETELY from scratch, you can shred your own cabbage. You could also simply leave a knife out so it looks like you slaved all day over

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork – Instant Pot

Includes Dry Rub Recipe for Chicken or Pork Memorial Day is coming and you’re probably planning to grill, but if the weather is sketchy or more meal choices are desirable, pulled pork is an excellent and easy choice. Plus, you can make it in your Instant Pot, which frees up other cooking methods for additional menu items. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, just use this rub. Then, slow-cook your meat in the crockpot (at least 6, up to 12, hours on low). Dry Rub First, the dry rub. A couple of years ago, I started using dry rub

roasted carrots

Roasted Baby Carrots

Something I always have on hand are baby carrots.  They’re the perfect snack, any time of year.  Some call them the perfect health food, too, as they provide beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. They are also thought to lower cholesterol levels and improve eye health. Sign me up!  I like carrots raw as well as steamed.  But if you haven’t yet discovered the rewards of roasting vegetables, using this method on carrots takes it to another level. According to the carrotmuseum.co.uk (there is a website for EVERYTHING), a “true” baby carrot is basically an immature carrot. If

Roasted Chickpeas

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

As I stated in my last post, I am focusing this week on ingredients for Buddha bowls: a grain, a green and a bean. Sometimes the bean can be a challenge, so I was really happy to discover that you can roast chickpeas to make a crunchy treat. They can be eaten as a quick snack anytime you are in the mood. I’ve tried a couple different methods to accomplish a nice crunchy chickpea. The ingredient list is short: canned chickpeas, olive oil, and seasonings.  Simple, right? Well – not exactly. Turns out, there are many different approaches to roasting

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Quinoa

for Buddha bowls and more This week, we celebrate Buddha’s birthday.  We have to pick a week because apparently there’s no agreed-upon date for his birth (or “name day” for you Game of Thrones fans).  So, if you are using the 8th day of the 4th month in the Chinese lunar calendar, the 2019 day is May 12. If you’re using the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Buddhist calendar, then it’s May 19. Yeah, I’m confused too. Try Wikipedia, they explain it in great detail. But that brings us to Buddha bowls.  According to The Urban

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Feeding Hummingbirds

May 11 is World Migratory Bird Day, and since I love to feed backyard birds, I could not let this day pass without talking about it!  My hairstylist, the fabulous Jenny, was asking me about feeding hummingbirds so Jenny, this is for you! Hummingbirds are the most amazing little creatures.  And when I say little, I mean TINY.  The average ruby-throated hummingbird (the species seen in my backyard) weighs 3 grams.  By comparison, a nickel weighs 4.5 grams. Just absorb that for a minute. A hummingbird’s wings flutter in a figure 8 pattern between 50 and 200 rotations per second,

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts

If you haven’t tried roasting vegetables, then you have really been missing out!  Don’t get me wrong, I love my steamed veggies as much as the next, and they definitely take the least amount of time to prepare, but sometimes roasting brings out different flavors and textures, which makes them seem like different vegetables all together! So, let’s walk step by step on how I roast brussel sprouts.  Now to be honest, I was never that crazy about this particular veggie, which is kind of weird because I really love cabbage, and brussel sprouts are quite similar; however,  I think

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Easy Stuffed Sweet Potato

So, do you have a few leftovers from Cinco de Mayo?  Whenever I make my Brown Rice and Bean Bake , I love eating the leftovers, but sometimes I like a little variety for it.  Of course, you can go with the classic Burrito Bowl: lettuce or spinach with tomatoes, maybe a little sweet potato and avocado, a scoop of the warmed-up Brown Rice and Bean Bake, and you are good to go! Need more? Add cheese! More still? Thrown on some salsa! You get the idea. One day, I wanted something a little more substantial, so I decide to

International No Diet Day

May 6th is International No Diet Day.  When I first saw this, I thought, “SWEET!  Let’s have dessert!” But then I started to read up on this holiday.  What it is actually promoting is the idea of having a healthy relationship with food rather than focusing on whatever diet happens to be the trend right now as a way to lose weight.  This day means we should be celebrating our health and body diversity, instead of trying to achieve the unrealistic air-brushed images we see of celebrities in magazines. In 2012, I went on one of those diets—I followed the

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Margarita Slush

Cinco de Mayo is almost here, and I couldn’t let go of this theme without a margarita recipe! I have to tell you, margaritas hold a special place in my heart.  When I first moved from Central Wisconsin to the “big city” of Madison, I was a senior in college and joined a high school friend and her roommates in their bachelorette pad.  I vividly remember their reaction when they realized I came with a blender and about 15 pints of frozen strawberries from my parents’ berry patch.  What a fun party THAT was! (I’m pretty sure that’s not what

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Vegetarian Crunch Wrap

Here is something a little different for your menu—a Veggie Crunch Wrap! This is similar to the menu item at a Mexican fast food location near you, but if you make this at home, you have control over exactly what is going into your wrap.  I have made these with seasoned ground beef, as well as with Salsa Chicken, to rave reviews, but wanted to make a vegetarian version for myseIf.  It took me a couple of tries to get what I wanted, and I can tell you that for me, the key ingredient was a nice thick slice of