Honey Crisp Kale Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Dressing

honey-crisp-kale-chopped-salad-with-apple-cider-dressing

Do you ever do something that just makes you so pleased with yourself?  That’s how I feel about creating this salad!  

To me, this Honey Crisp Kale Chopped Salad couldn’t get any better.  I hope you feel the same way.  I do hope you’ll go to your kitchen and give it a try!

This idea came to me in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep.  It’s a simple salad, with just a few healthy ingredients – kale, honey crisp apples, and a few dressing ingredients.  The dressing doesn’t even have to be mixed separately.  I just drizzled each ingredient over the salad and tossed.  So easy!

This is the type of salad I could eat forever!

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

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11 Slow Cooker Side Dish Recipes

I love my slow cooker. You can do basically everything in a slow cooker. From foods that can cook all day, to classic BBQ, all the way to even gorgeous desserts like cheesecake, the slow cooker can do it all.  Slow cookers save time and keep the house cool. And they are an awesome way to prep food for a crowd! I absolutely love using my slow cooker for gatherings. It makes my life so much easier.

SlowCookerSides

If you’ve never used your slow cooker to make side dishes, pull it out and give it a try! These 11 side dishes you can make in your slow cooker are the perfect thing. These recipes are easy to put together and are definitely crowd pleasers. They pair well with summer food and some of them are perfect for parties and holiday dinners.

11 Easy Slow Cooker Side Dishes

loaded-cheesy-potato-casserole

Loaded Cheesy Potato Casserole

honey glazed carrots in the slow cooker done

Honey Glazed Carrots in the slow cooker 

slow cooker corn casserole

 

Corn Casserole in the Slow Cooker

hashbrown casserole

 

Hashbrown Casserole in the slow cooker

Winter Squash in the Slow Cooker

Acorn or Butternut Squash in the slow cooker

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Homemade Apple Sauce in the Slow Cooker 

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Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker

scalloped potatoes done

Scalloped Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

sweet potatoes and apples done

Sweet Potatoes and Apples in the Slow Cooker

slow cooked apples and butternut squash

Apples and Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker

 

pinterestsides

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5 Minute Nightly Salad Method

5 minute Nightly Dinner Salad method

I really like having a salad with dinner.  Not every night, but for many meals it’s a great side dish.

But I hate making salads.

If you can relate to that, you’ll want to give this easy method a try.  I’m sure some of you already use this method for making salad.  It’s not rocket science, but for some reason I used to always tear the leaves into pieces, then wash them, dry them…  The process didn’t take forever, but I just hated doing it.  That meant I had lettuce languishing in the bottom of the crisper drawer.

romaine

Now I buy a large pack of romaine lettuce.  Costco sells six heads in a pack.  They stay fresh for quite a long time.  One head is about the right amount of salad for our family.

romaine leaves

I pull the head apart and rinse each leaf under cool water.  They get patted dry with a clean towel or a paper towel.

romaine chopped

Next, I chop them up by cutting across all the leaves and then running the knife lengthwise down the head as well.  This takes all of 20 seconds.

All the leaves go into a salad bowl and I pat them dry again.  Sometimes I add tomatoes or red pepper or another vegetable.  Sometimes we keep it simple with just the lettuce.

Since I started making them this way, we’ve eaten a lot more salad.  And I don’t hate making it.

Nightly Salad in 5 minutes or less

The other easy salad that gets served a lot around here is the Simple Wedge Salad.

Do you like making salad?  What method do you prefer to use?

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Easy Apple Salad

Easy Apple Salad

I could have sworn that I had a recipe for Apple Salad on my blog.  In fact, at Thanksgiving time, I started to make it to take to a gathering and the first thing I did was look search the recipe on the site.  Nothing.

So I snapped a few photos and I’m just now getting around to posting the recipe.  This one is great for holiday dinners like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, but it’s so easy that you can also serve it up on a plain old Tuesday night.  If you’re dishing it up for weeknight dinner, use the ingredients you have on hand.  Feel free to skip the pineapple, pecans or grapes.

The recipe is really more method than exact measurements, but the two ingredients that make the dressing are key.  Those are also the two ingredients I can never remember, hence the reason I was searching my blog for the recipe.

Since my search yielded nothing, I called my mom, of course.  Now that I’ve got the recipe posted we can all find it here and talk to our moms about something else.

Here’s what you’l need:   [Read more…]

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Cranberry, Pecan, Mandarin Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Cranberry, Pecan, Mandarin Spinach Salad

Adding pecans, dried cranberries, red onions and mandarin oranges to your spinach makes for a great salad.  This is more method than recipe.

Feel free to vary the ingredients for what you have on hand.  Use apple, celery, raisins, walnuts, sesame seeds…  You can also add goat cheese, feta or Parmesan.

I love a slightly sweet vinaigrette with this salad.  It’s easy to whip up homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette.  You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry now.

This is the type of salad I could eat and eat.  And that’s a great way to pump up your daily fresh fruits and vegetables!

Raspberry Vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs. seedless raspberry jam
  • ⅔ cup oil
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Warm the jam in the microwave for a few seconds until it become slightly melted.
  2. Place all ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid. A mason jar works well for this. Shake to combine the ingredients.

 

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Butternut Squash Casserole

Butternut squash casserole with cranberries and pecan topping

Raise your hand if you need to take something to Thanksgiving Dinner at someone else’s house.

I’ve got the perfect recipe for you.  This one travels really well.  No risk of spilling it in your car.  Or very little risk, anyway.

It stays hot for a long time, which is important for buffet line items.  And I think you could even make it in the slow cooker.  If you want the pecan topping to crunch up, just pop the slow cooker under the broiler for a minute before serving.

Butternut Squash Casserole is similar to sweet potato casserole, but the flavor of the squash is a little different.  This one also has fresh cranberries studded through it.  They add a tart flavor to the rich sweetness of other ingredients.  The McCormick Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Vanilla really bring out the autumn flavors of this dish.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

[Read more…]

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Creamed Sweet Pea Casserole

Creamed Sweet Pea Casserole served

You know how Thanksgiving is more about the sides than the turkey?  Well, this is one dish you are going to want as part of the feast.

Creamed Sweet Pea Casserole is similar to green bean casserole, only it has a creamy, homemade sauce.  And it’s chock full of sweet peas.  Specifically, Libby’s Sweet Peas. (Don’t miss the Cansgiving Sweepstakes below!)

I love simple, frugal recipes like this one.  It rings in at about .60 cents per serving.  It’s easy to put together and there’s a good chance you have all the ingredients in your pantry.

Here’s what you’ll need to make Creamed Sweet Pea Casserole:

Creamed Sweet Pea Casserole ingredients

The steps are as easy as making white sauce with chicken broth as the base.  Sour cream gets stirred into the sauce, making it extra creamy.

Fold the sweet peas into the sauce.

Creamed Sweet Pea Casserole assemble

All of this deliciousness gets poured into a greased casserole dish.  Finally, sprinkle french fried onions on top.  They give great flavor to the peas and crunch to every bite.

Creamed Sweet Pea Casserole

Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1½ Tbs. butter
  • 1½ Tbs. flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ⅛ tsp. onion powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans Libby's Sweet Peas, drained
  • 2.8 oz french fried onions
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter.
  2. Stir in the flour to form a paste and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in the chicken broth, cooking over medium heat until the sauce comes to a boil and begins to thicken.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Fold in the peas.
  6. Pour into greased casserole dish.
  7. Top with french fried onions.
  8. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, till hot and bubbly.

Cansgiving Sweepstakes

Libby’s is giving away 10 $350 electronic gift cards!  You can have a chance to win by posting a photo of what you are thankful for on Twitter, Instagram or Libby’s Facebook page using the hashtag #Cansgiving.  Find more information and all the details by going here.

Disclosure: Libby’s has supplied me with product and compensated me for my time, however all opinions are my own.

 

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Smoked Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner with Seasoned Potato Wedges

Smoked Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner with seasoned potatoes

I’ve been loving the ease of the sheet pan dinner.  This time I used smoked sausage and potato wedges, along with brussels sprouts.  This combination would be a little plain if it weren’t for the spice combo I used on the potatoes.

McCormick is my go-to brand for spices.  The quality is always fabulous at bringing out the flavor in a recipe.  This time I pulled smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder from the pantry. I also used generous amounts of kosher salt and black pepper.

Smoked Sausage sheet pan dinner seasonings

If you don’t have smoked paprika, use regular.  The smoked lends a wonderful flavor though, that goes really well with the smoked sausage.

Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:   [Read more…]

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Backyard BBQ Sides – Salads, Hot Sides and More

Backyard BarbequeIt’s the season for backyard barbecues!

I think one of my favorite things about backyard barbecues is the way it brings the family together for not just an hour at dinnertime, but an afternoon of fun and memories cooking and eating out under the big blue sky. There’s something about eating outside, off of the grill that just gives an extra special element to dinnertime. Not to mention an extra-good kick of flavors!

While grilling up meat and veggies is obviously the main part of a Backyard BBQ, the sides are equally as important!  A good side can really bring your meal to a new level and depending on what you serve, you can take your BBQ in all kinds of fun directions. I like getting creative with my sides, and there are so many delicious things you can choose from. Some of them are super simple. Some of them you can make in advance. All of them are really good and things we come back to time and time again.

Now, get out there and enjoy your summer evenings with some good BBQ and some of these sides!

 

pickles

Almost Homemade Pickles

Balsamic Strawberries

Balsamic Strawberries

Easy Peachy Fruit Salad

 

Easy Peachy Fruit Salad

grilledzucchinidone_thumb.jpgGrilled Zucchini

Green Bean and Tomato Salad

 

Green Bean and Tomato Salad

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Broccoli Tomato Tortellini Salad

Parmesan fettucini done

 

Parmesan Fettuccine

cucumber tomato salad done

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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Parmesan Zucchini & Summer Squash

cucumbers-and-onions-doneCucumbers and Onions

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Pasta Salad

hashbrown casserole

Hashbrown Casserole

Orange and Red Onion Salad - simple!

Orange and Red Onion Salad

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Mac and Cheese

corn-on-cob-with-butter

Microwave Corn on Cob

AuGratin Potatoes in the slow cooker

Au Gratin Potatoes

loaded-cheesy-potato-casserole

 

Loaded Cheesy Potato Casserole

bacon and tomato pasta done

Bacon Tomato Ranch Pasta Salad

oven fried potatoes done

 

Oven Fried Potatoes

asian broccoli salad done

Asian Broccoli Salad

hawaiin-coleslawHawaiian Coleslaw

Layered Cole Slaw

 

Layered Cole Slaw

237Detox Salad

Homemade Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker

Homemade Baked Beans

4 Tips for Making Perfect Pasta SaladPerfect Pasta Salad

potatosaladdone_thumb

 

Potato Salad

Pressure cooker mac and cheese

 

Pressure Cooker Mac n Cheese

One Pot Stove-Top Mac & Cheese

 

One-Pot Stove Top Mac n Cheese

slaw-ingrQuick Cole Slaw

ranch veggie salad done

 

Ranch Veggie Salad

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Roasted Broccoli and Red Pepper

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Simple Lettuce Wedge Salad

 

Simple Wedge Salad

ColeslawwithTomatoRedOnionandJalapenoPlate

 

Slaw with Tomato and Jalapeno

slow cooker corn casserole

Corn Casserole

corn salad done

 

Summer Corn Salad

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Sweet Potato Fries

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Tomato Artichoke Salad

tropical salad done

 

Tropical Salad

watermelon chili powder

 

Watermelon with a Kick

Wild Rice Salad - redeeming leftover rice

 

Wild Rice Salad

winter fruit salad done

 

Winter Fruit Salad

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Perfect Pasta Salad {plus tips I’ve learned}

4 Tips for Making Perfect Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is a great dish to bring to a party, family get-together or for summer entertaining. It makes a great side, and if you are like me, you can make a meal out of it. It’s also so versatile, that you can add just about anything to it. However, for years…I just couldn’t get it right. After much trial and error, I have come up with what I think is the Perfect Pasta Salad!

Perfect Pasta Salad Bowl EAH

 

  • First tip, it’s important to cook your pasta al dente (it should say on the box how many minutes this is, I like to use rotini pasta and it’s usually 7 minutes). This will prevent the pasta from getting too mushy/soggy because the pasta will soak up some of the dressing as it sits.
  • Second, and this is where I often went wrong, you need equal amounts of pasta to vegetables/add-ins. I like to chop my main veggies fairly uniform (“bite” size), like cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, etc. My other ingredients that I use less of because of the strong flavor, such as onions and peppers, are chopped smaller. By add-ins, I am talking about not only vegetables, but also cheese, meats (pepperoni, ham, chicken), etc.
  • Third,  the dressing…everyone has their favorite and how much they like, but too much or too little can turn your perfect pasta salad into a “ehhh, it’s okay” pasta salad. My rule of thumb is 4:4:14 cups cooked pasta, 4 cups veggies/add-ins, 1 cup dressing. Even when I make a large batch for a cook-out or party, I stick with my ratios. See, math does come in handy sometimes! The pasta and veggies will soak up some of the dressing, so if you make this the night before, you may need to add a little more dressing the next day. This is a good starting point, and you can adjust to suit your taste buds.
  • Finally, and this is just a suggestion because they are not always readily available, but I highly recommend adding fresh herbs. My favorites to use are basil or cilantro.

Pasta Salad Ingredients EAH

I am particularly fond of the above ingredients for my pasta salad. However, I usually add peppers and I always add some kind of cheese, which somehow did not make the picture! I usually use feta, but feel free to add whatever is your favorite.

Perfect Pasta Salad {plus tips I've learned}
This pasta salad is the perfect side or light meal. Great for parties, cookouts, and more.
Ingredients
  • 8 oz dry pasta (will yield about 4 cups when cooked)
  • 4 cups desired vegetables/add-ins (such as cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, onions, fresh herbs, cheese)
  • 1 cup dressing (such as House Italian, Oil & Vinegar, etc.)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package for al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  2. Place drained pasta in a large bowl, adding vegetables and desired add-ins.
  3. Add dressing, salt, pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Place in fridge to chill or serve immediately.

P.S. Want to save $60 and 2 hours each week on grocery shopping? Click herehttp://eatathomecooks.com/MealPlans429

Kim is a contributing writer for Eat at Home and author of food & family blog, Makin’ it Mo’Betta. She blogs about her adventures in the kitchen, incorporating life as mom to teen and tween girls, as well as a young son with nut allergies, and wife to a diabetic husband. Life is never dull!

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