Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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This is  a repost from last year. I have had a few people email me about this recipe this week alone, so I thought I would share it with my newer readers. It is a great summer recipe.

We were invited to a party last night and my husband asked me to fix a side dish. Since I knew they were having hot dogs and hamburgers, I decided to make a macaroni salad. I always  get nervous when I make food for people.I  am always fearful that they might think my food is gross and I will leave with as much food as I came with. thankfully, last night I came home with an empty bowl.This salad is so easy to make. It is a sweet salad, but tastes so good when it is cold and the flavors have melded for a few hours. I do not think it is as good right after making it. So plan ahead and refrigerate it for awhile before serving it. I promise it gets better as it sits. You can add and omit as well. Although I would leave in the celery and onion. I leave out the peppers if I do not have any (as in this picture), just as long as I have the onion, celery and egg. And it is kid friendly as well. I think  they like it because it has such a sweet taste too it. As we left the party last night, I received a few compliments on it. I hope you do as well.


  • 1 box uncooked macaroni
  •  4 hard boiled eggs, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup  celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup  onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
  •  1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Directions : Cook and drain macaroni. Cool. Add eggs, celery, peppers and onion. Mix mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and sugar thoroughly, then add to macaroni mixture. Chill well .

Avocado Potato Salad

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I have a secret. I am a carb girl. Potatoes, rice, pasta. Growing up in NC, my nana had potatoes on the dinner table every night. I love potato in any form. I usually make the standard southern , mustardy potato  salad she taught me to make decades ago, but every now and again I want something different. I love avocado and try to incorporate them into as many meals as I can. I usually cu them up and add them to salad, or serve with eggs in the mornings. But I thought I would add hem to potatoes to make a potato salad . Y'all, this salad is good! Creamy, starchy and just right for lunches . picnics and cookouts. Make sure you save this recipe for warmer months. People with ooh and ahh and ask for the recipe. Pinky promise.

Avocado Potato Salad

2 1/2 lbs small potatoes, quartered
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
2 T fresh lime juice
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1.Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan , cover with water and bring to a boil . Boil the potatoes for 12 minutes, or until fork tender, and drain. Cool.
2.In a large bowl, mash the avocado until creamy. Add the hard boiled egg, sour cream , lime juice, cilantro, paprika, garlic powder, 1/2tsp salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and stir gently until they are coated with the avocado mash. Season with 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and refrigerate.


Mediterranean Feta Dip

I am always looking for great appetizers to take to friends parties and get togethers. This feta dip is wonderful and is very easy to put together. I was a hit with everyone who tried it. I snapped the picture before I added the drizzled balsamic vinegar, which was right before serving.  I serve these with fresh warm pita bread that I cut into triangles for easy dipping.

Meditteranean Feta Dip

6 oz crumbled feta cheese
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c plain greek yogurt
2 large garlic cloves
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 c diced tomato ( I use roma tomatoes)
3 T sliced green onion
fresh ground black pepper
balsamic vinegar
pita bread or crackers

1.In a food processor, blend together the feta cheese, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and oregano until smooth.
2. Transfer to a serving dish.
3. Top the dip with the tomato, green onion and black pepper. Right before serving , drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar .
4. Serve with pita bread or crackers

Roasted Peruvian Chicken with Spicy Green Sauce

A few years ago, a Peruvian restaurant opened in our town , and ever since then, I have been hooked on their roasted chicken. It is super flavorful and everyone in my family loves it. But what sets it apart , imho, is the green sauce that is served with it. Spicy, creamy,tangy.  So much awesomeness! I always ask for extra sauce and use I on everything from chicken to top shrimp tacos, spread over eggs, potatoes or rice. I may or may not have just eaten with a spoon :) I cannot say enough about the sauce.  So I set about recreating the chicken and the sauce a home.  I have to say, the chicken was easy. I just made a spicy marinade to put under the skin and all over the outside. Let it sit for a few hours in the fridge, then roast off. I didn't use a whole chicken like the restaurant does, I just used skin on breasts, thighs and legs and slow roasted them on a bed of onions on a rimmed cookie sheet.

The sauce was a bit more tricky. I used sour cream as the base at first and I could not get the taste right. Way to tangy. So I threw it out and started again, this time using old reliable, Duke's Mayonnaise. And that was exactly what I was looking for. Now, I have to say, the flavor may be altered a bi if you use Hellmans or Miracle Whip. I only use Dukes brand mayo , and it tends to be a bit sweeter than other mayos. Just experiment and adjust the salt, pepper and cilantro to get the taste you like.

Roasted Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce


3 garlic cloves, minced

1 T ground cumin
1 T paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 T olive oil
1 T distilled white vinegar
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 whole chicken or 1 cut up chicken ( 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs)
1 sweet onion, sliced

1. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and lemon zest and combine until mixed well.
2.In a 9"x13"  baking dish, place the sliced onions in an even layer. Place the chicken or chicken pieces on top of the onions.
3. Carefully lift the skin off of the chicken and massage the garlic spice mixture under the skin and then all over the top of the skin. Refrigerate the chicken for 30 minutes to meld the flavors.
4. Heat the oven to 425 degrees . Roast the chicken on 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, then reduce the het to 375 degrees and continue to roast for an additional hour, basting with the juices every 15 minutes or so.
5.When the chicken is cooked through, take out of the oven and let the chicken rest for  few minutes.
6. Serve with green sauce ( recipe follows)

Green Sauce
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper , to taste

In a food processor or blender, combine the jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, mayonnaise, lime juice, and vinegar. Blend until smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Smoked Sausage & Black Eyed Pea Stew

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This a slow cooker meal that is perfect for hurried nights. It uses ingredients that I have on hand to make a great tasting take on traditional hoppin' john. I use a large bag of frozen black eyed peas, but you can sub canned ones in this recipe  if you have them on hand . 4 cans would be the right amount. This cooks up to a nice stew and is perfect with corn muffins on the side.

Smoked Sausage & Black Eyed Pea Stew
1 large bag frozen black eyed peas ( or 2 small ones)*
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can beef broth
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 lb beef smoked sausage , sliced
2 bags of boil in bag rice,cooked per package directions
* you can substitute  bag of frozen black eyed peas with 4 cans of black eyed peas

1. In a slow cooker , add all the ingredients except the rice. Stir to mix well.
2. Cook on low 6 -8 hours or high 4-6 hours . ( Times will vary depending on your slow cooker)
3. The last 30 minutes of cook time, add both bags of rice and stir well into the stew.
4. Cook for 30 minutes longer, or until the rice is hot.
5. Serve warm with cornbread.

Simple Garlic Noodles

Sunday, February 26, 2017

One of the easiest  , quickest meals to make for lunch are these  simple garlic noodles. While the noodles are cooking you make the sauce , which is just mixing the ingredients in a bowl . Then cook the onions and garlic in a skillet and mix everything together. You can add a protein like chicken or shrimp for a heartier more filling dish. If I have leftovers from the night before I will add them, but I prefer them as is. I make these often for myself and my 19 year old before he heads to work.
You can find oyster sauce and sesame oil in the Asian food section of the grocery store.

Simple Garlic Noodles
8 oz spaghetti pasta
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
4 T butter
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
2 T light brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 T oyster sauce

1.Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. drain and set aside.
2.In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and oyster sauce. Mix well and set aside.
3.In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium low heat. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and green onion. cook for @2 minutes, until they are soft and fragrant.
4.Add the pasta and the sauce to the skillet and mix well to incorporate the sauce and the garlic and onions.
5. Garnish with extra green onion . These can be served warm or cold.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

One of the perks of being a say at home mom is that I can menu plan and get meals prepped during school hours to have ready to prepare when everyone gets home from school. I am a sucker for easy weeknight meals that showcase different flavors that I know my children and husband will love . These lettuce wraps fit the bill. I prep the sauce in the morning, which serves the dual purpose of the  awesome Asian flavors melding together and  having the sauce already made to add to the ground turkey mixture , making getting dinner on the table a breeze. I also get the lettuce rinsed and spun dry to hold the filling with. This recipe calls for a few Asian ingredients that you may no have on hand, but once you have the jars of hoisin sauce and roasted  red chili paste, you can make this recipe two or three times to use up all the ingredients. Hoisin sauce can be found in the Asian section of the grocery store. There are a few different brands of hoisin sauce on the market and they are very comparable in taste and price. The roasted  red chili paste that I  use is made by Thai Kitchen. Sometimes I have a hard time finding it, but he larger grocery store chains and our local wal mart carry it. When I first starting making these wraps a few years ago, I would buy an 8oz can of sliced water chestnuts ( also found in the Asian section) and cut them into smaller pieces. Now they have a diced water chestnut that I buy and just drain them and give them a quick chop with a hand chopper for more smaller, manageable dice. These wraps are very versatile. You can use ground turkey, chicken or ground beef. I usually always use ground turkey, although ground chicken is more traditional. Totally your preference. The lettuce you use is up to you. I usually use boston lettuce or romaine. Any lettuce that is sturdy and hearty work. you can even use cabbage leaves in a pinch.
I serve these lettuce wraps with baked brown rice and steamed veggies on the side. I usually have a family of 5 eating and there is plenty of meat mixture to feed us all 2 or 3 wraps each. To serve, I drizzle with a sweet chili mayo and sliced green onions. Enjoy!

Asian Lettuce Wraps
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey, chicken or ground beef
1 T coconut oil or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c shredded carrots
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (8oz) can diced water chestnuts, cut into small dice
3 T hoisin sauce
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 tsp roasted red chili paste
1/4 tsp salt
12 lettuce leaves ( boston or romaine)

1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 T of olive oil (or coconut oil).
2. When the skillet is hot , add the ground turkey, garlic cloves and ground ginger. Cook the turkey until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Crumble the turkey .
3. In a medium bowl, add the browned turkey, diced water chestnuts, shredded carrots and green onions . Stir well to mix.
4. In a separate small bowl, add the hoisin sauce,soy sauce, rice vinegar and roasted red chili paste. whisk together vigorously to combine.
5.Pour the hoisin sauce mixture over the turkey mixture and stir well to combine.
6. Add a scant 1/2 cup of turkey to each lettuce leaf. Drizzle with sweet chili mayo sauce and green onions. Serve .

Sweet Chili Mayo Sauce
1/4 c mayonnaise
2 T  sweet chili sauce

Mix the mayo and the sweet chili  sauce together in a small bowl.

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