Monday, July 21, 2014

Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Salad.

There are few things better than fresh vegetables in the heart of summer.  Whether they are straight from your garden, or the farmer's market, or your generous neighbor, they just can't be beat!


After a weekend of eating summer event food (think: burgers, beers, cheesecurds) I knew I wanted something light for supper and as lunch the next day.  I also wanted to use up the beautiful cherry tomatoes I had on the counter and some of the cucumbers from the neighbor.  Enter Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Salad.

Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Salad
(Recipe by Me)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (quartered)
2 small cucumbers (chopped)
1/2 small onion (thinly sliced)
3 tablespoon Tastefully Simple Balsamic & Basil Dipping Oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt/pepper to taste

Toss ingredients together to coat with oil/vinegar and salt/pepper.  Serve as a side or enjoy as a light meal.


I LOVED this.  Even my picky husband ate some and my nearly-two year old picked out the cucumbers and then the tomatoes.  :)

SIDE NOTE:  I am happy to help you with any Tastefully Simple needs you may have.  I am an independent consultant who loves the products.  While they can all stand alone, my favorite use is incorporating them into delicious dishes beyond their stand-alone use :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad.

I've had many of broccoli-cauliflower salad in my life, but my favorite ones have been from deli cases that don't share recipes.  Fast forward to the end of June when I came across one on the internet that looked pretty promising.  I did a screen shot of the recipe and sent it my husband with the subject YUM.

I tried it and fell in love.  And then it sat in the fridge overnight and it was even better.  YUM.



Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad.
(Recipe Adapted by Holly)

1 1/2 heads broccoli (cut into bite size pieces)
1/2 head cauliflower (cut into bite size pieces)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 package bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1 cup shredded cheese

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and sugar.  Pour over broccoli/cauliflower mix.  Stir to coat.  Add bacon and stir again.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  Stir in cheese just before serving.

If you are wondering what size package for the bacon: it's bacon; the bigger the better!  :)  For real though, I made this a couple times already and have used as much as half pound to as little as a few ounces.  How much do you like bacon?  :)

That's it!  It's simple and so good.  I've never been a mayonnaise person, but I'm telling you it is worth it for this recipe.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus.

This year's Wisconsin winter is old and I'm over it.  And one of the first fresh tastes of spring is asparagus and I'm all about that...even if it has to come from the store instead of my garden for a couple more months.

My family loves asparagus.  And everyone loves bacon.  Asparagus + Bacon = perfection.


Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
(Recipe Adapted Slightly from Tastefully Simple)
30 stalks asparagus (rinses and trimmed)
5 pieces of bacon (cut in half)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons Garlic Pepper Seasoning (this is an amazing and versatile TS product!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.  Wrap 3 stalks of asparagus with each 1/2 slice of bacon and set them on the baking sheet seam-side down.  Sprinkle brown sugar over the bacon each bundle.  Drizzle the whole dish with oil.  Sprinkle generously with Garlic Pepper Seasoning.  Bake about 20 minutes or until bacon is lightly crisp. If bacon is not cooked crisp, turn on broiler for 3-5 minutes.  Serve hot.

So, so good.  And while a little bit putzy, this really isn't hard to make and does come together super fast.  


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza.

This past fall, our family picked up a pizza from a local pizzeria.  When Gary was ordering he opted for the Bacon Cheeseburger variety.  I was pleased with his decision as I've had "cardboard" pizza in that variety before (i.e. Jacks, Tombstone, etc) and always enjoyed it.  But then we had said pizzeria pizza.

Upon first taste we were both a little unsure.  And then we immediately went on to eat half of a large pizza.  About the unsure taste...it was a ketchup and something sauce.  We had been expecting a traditional pizza sauce.  We kept eating and trying to figure out the sauce.

This is what I came up with and it's pretty similar.  And if you decide to give it a try, you'll likely have that moment of uncertainty and then indulge in this pizza.


Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza.
(Recipe by Mom Taught Us)

1 pizza crust (You MUST make Melanie's crust.  It's super easy and was so delicious.  I'm pretty certain this is the only crust that I will make going forward.  It's perfect.) 
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Sprinkle oregano over crust.

Sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons thousand island dressing
1/3 cup mustard
Combine all ingredients and allow to sit in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.  Spread evenly over the crust.

Toppings:
3/4 lb ground beef (browned)
1/2 onion (diced and cooked with beef)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
6 slices high quality bacon (cooked and crumbled)
Place toppings (in order listed) on top of sauce.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese is melted to your liking.

For real.  You'll like this pizza.  ...if for no other reason than it has bacon on it.  :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cheeseburger Soup.

It's been cold and snowy in Wisconsin since Mid-November.  Colder and snowier (ok, probably not snowier, but some days it feels like it) than normal.  It's getting old...

...but the eating soup and fresh bread part...that part is wonderful.

And so is this soup that I created after failed attempts of finding what I wanted in my cookbooks and Pinterest (shocker, I know). 


Cheeseburger Soup
(Recipe by Me)
1 lb ground beef
3 small onions (small like the size of a golf ball and sliced into rings)
1/2 cup carrots (sliced)
1/2 cup celery (sliced)
1 teaspoon garlic
4 tablespoons of butter (divided)
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups potatoes (peeled and sliced)
1/3 cup flour
16 ounces process cheese (cubed)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Brown ground beef and set aside.  Saute onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender.  Place potatoes, beef, veggie mix, and broth in stock pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  In a separate skillet, melt remaining butter.  Add flour and some of the broth to make a roux.  Add the roux to the soup.  Bring back to a boil then reduce heat to low.  Add cheese, milk, salt, pepper, and ketchup.  Stir until cheese melts.  Remove from heat and serve with a slice of fresh bread.

I'm certain this will quickly become a household favorite.  If serving for a gathering, I would recommend making a double batch.  My single batch was gone before we knew it...granted I do feed a dairy farmer and growing 1 year old :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Easy Artisan Style Bread.

I'm glad to be back on the homemade bread train.  For years we only had homemade bread in our house, but real life (i.e. a child) lessened the frequency.  Now that we've settled in more, it's back to homemade!!

And with this homemade bread recipe, it's hard to decide if the pure ease of making the bread or the taste of this bread make it a favorite in our family.  Let's go with both.

I feel pretty confident that this is a no fail bread recipe.  I trust that anyone could make this bread and be successful.  

The only downfall with this bread is that it does require twenty-four hours of sitting.  Sadly, you can't start this bread in the morning and have it for supper.  (Ok, you can but I do really recommend following the instructions as indicated; it enhances the taste and texture.)


Easy Artisan Style Bread
(Recipe adapted from my mother-in-law)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 2/3 cups warm water 

Combine flour, yeast, salt, and water in a large bowl.  The dough should be sticky and shaggy.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 18-24 hours.  The dough will rise and become bubbly.

Prepare a pie pan or heavy-duty casserole dish by lining the bottom with parchment paper.

Flour a work surface.  Remove dough from bowl, using flour to handle the dough and prevent it from sticking to your hands (though it will stick some).  Form a loose ball and place in the prepared baking dish.  Cover with a dish cloth and allow to rise for about two hours. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (not an error, this bread bakes at a high temperature).  Bake for 45, remove from the oven, run a cold stick of butter across the top of the bread to soften the crust slightly.  Remove from the baking dish and cool slightly prior to cutting.

So, yes, it's slightly time consuming for this bread to be created, but it's all hands-off.  The bread it chewy when eaten fresh and toasts up nice the following days (if it lasts that long!)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Corn Casserole.

You guys.  I'm embarrassed by the length of time that has passed since my last post.  My excuse?  Real life.  It happens and I enjoy it.  But I also enjoy all of you and will attempt to bring you a new recipe or two each month in the coming year!

This evening's post is on corn.  I was introduced to this recipe at Thanksgiving and have made it twice since.  That's pretty good considering a month hasn't even passed yet.  Meaning I've had it three times in less than a month.  I introduced this side dish to my inlaws and it was received with rave reviews.  My husband says its so good that it's almost like a dessert.  It is good and it's easy.





Corn Casserole.

(Recipe Adapted Slightly from Paula Dean and introduced to me by my cousin Karla)
1 can whole corn (drained)
1 can cream corn
1 package corn bread mixture (Jiffy brand recommended by Paula and used by me)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 stick butter (melted)
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a casserole dish.  Bake for 55 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


I realize that people will either love this or hate this, but found that most love.  You can double or triple the recipe if feeding a larger crowd; adjust the baking dish appropriately.  You can also get away with cooking this in the slow cooker.  It's done when the top sets up.  


Easily a top pick for an addition to any holiday spread.  It's on my list for two of our celebrations!