Tuesday, August 23, 2016

BLT Pasta Salad

Sometimes its the little things in life that mean the most, like picnics in the park with your best friends. Today was such a beautiful day. It was warm and sunny, and besides my zebra-like sunburn that I came home with, things were just as perfect as these pictures.

My friends and I relaxed, talked, went for a beautiful walk in the park, and enjoyed this yummy (and healthy!!) pasta salad. We set up our picnic right next to the water, and had the most beautiful view.
The park also has great walking paths, and the scenery is just GORGEOUS. I'm so blessed to live five minutes away from this place. It's a great place to just come by yourself and clear your mind, or enjoy it with friends like I did today.
Now back to what you probably came here for...THE FOOD. For lunch, I made us ham and cheese sandwiches, fruit salad, and this pasta salad. I didn't want to make anything heavy so this pasta salad was just PERFECT. Hope you enjoy!

  • 1 pound of pasta, cooked
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 cup lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup scallion onions
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a small bowl, mix sugar, vinegar, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Mix the mayonnaise mixture with the pasta and tomatoes. 
  3. When ready to serve, mix in the lettuce, and place a scoop of the pasta salad on the plate. Sprinkle with bacon and scallion onions. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Game Day Cuban Sliders

If you are unfamiliar with cuban sandwiches, you are missing out. Normally, a cuban has ham or shredded pork, cheese, mustard and pickles. Then, it is pressed on a panini grill. So yes, this recipe isn't authentic by any means, but it is super fun and delicious. It is SO easy and fast to put together and is great finger food so it is perfect for a potluck or on game day. We ended up having it for dinner with a side, which was also great. No matter when you make it, I'm sure everyone will love it. I'm definitely going to be saving this for game day. I get so excited for football season for the sole reason of getting to make yummy and fun dishes like this, and I already have SO many recipes saved. I can't wait!!

  • 8 small hamburger buns
  • 1 package of ham
  • 1 package of sliced swiss cheese
  • dill pickles
  • half of a white onion, chopped in small pieces
  • dijon mustard
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease two baking dishes (or one depending on how big your baking dishes are)
  • Place the bottom buns in the baking dish.
  • Layer two slices of ham, one slice of swiss, and a few pickles on top of the bottom buns, then place the top of the rolls on top. 
  • Whisk together melted butter, dijon mustard, and onion.
  • Pour butter mixture on top of sandwiches.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

SERIOUSLY the BEST Mac and Cheese in the WORLD

I love mac and cheese more than anything and for YEARS I've been trying to find the perfect mac and cheese recipe. I like my mac and cheese creamy and cheesy (but who doesn't?!), and I will NOT settle by using velveeta. As I may have mentioned before, I hate the stuff. In order to find the perfect recipe, I am constantly trying different techniques, but nothing seems to do the trick. Usually, the mac and cheese turns out to not be creamy enough, or taste cheesy enough. Fear not though!! After continuous trial and error, I have FINALLY found the million dollar winner. THIS recipe is BY FAR the BEST mac and cheese I have ever had. As you can see, it is ridiculously rich and creamy, and it is SO flavorful. If you want to treat yourself, or impress someone special, make this recipe. If you follow the recipe perfectly, I can GUARANTEE you will love it!! This is the only mac and cheese recipe you will ever need.
Just a side note, this is a stove top recipe. If you like baked macaroni and cheese, follow these directions after making the mac and cheese: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; 2. Spray a baking dish with Pam; 3. Pour the mac and cheese in the baking dish; 4. Mix panko bread crumbs with melted butter or olive oil; 5. Top the mac and cheese with shredded cheddar; 6. Sprinkle the panko on top; and 5. Bake the mac and cheese for 25-35 minutes, or until the mac and cheese is golden brown.
  • 1 pound cellentani pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cook pasta according to package directions
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and whisk in flour. Whisk for 2 minutes then turn heat to low. Whisk in milk. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch into evaporated milk.
  • Add the evaporated milk to skillet.
  • Add the Dijon mustard and all remaining seasonings to the skillet.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened (continue to whisk). 
  • Whisk in sharp cheese until melted. 
  • Add pasta and toss until evenly coated.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Crockpot Irish Beef Stew

The best thing about living around the corner from friends is getting free dinner. Okay, there are other benefits to living close to each other too...but really...that food though. My friends Ericka and Cornelius are THAT couple who you always want to hang out with because they are thoughtful, outgoing, positive people, and overall a fun time to be around. Not to mention, they love food as much as I do and feed me, so thats always a win win. (As you can see, I'm TOTALLY trying to butter them up so they make me more food lol. No, but really, love you guys.) Yesterday, Cornelius made this amazing Irish Beef Stew and I just had to share it on the blog. Gotta love a man that cooks. This was such a comfort food meal. I can't wait to save it for those cold fall and winter nights. Cornelius made it with irish soda bread, and it was the perfect pair. Can't wait to see whats for dinner tomorrow guys!! lol just kidding....but not really.

  • 2 lb chuck round, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, halved
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 medium white potatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • rosemary, thyme, parsley (equal parts chopped to 1 tbsp)
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • flour
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

  • Mix flour with salt and pepper and coat beef.
  • In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and brown beef on all sides. 
  • Place beef in in slow cooker. 
  • Add the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 10 to 12 hours. 

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