Author Archives: Laura Youngquist

Friday night is pizza night at our house.  With COVID, we’ve been cooking at home a lot more than ordering in or going out to eat so we’ve taken to preparing our own pizzas from scratch at home.  It’s been fun to play around with toppings and be creative with what we add to each pizza.  You can definitely stick with the traditional toppings if that’s what you prefer on pizza, but we like to branch out and make each pizza unique. This crust is a favorite of mine as well.  I’d prefer less dough and more toppings in each bite so I’m going to share with you my recipe for Thin Crust Pizza Dough.  This is the base I use for all my homemade pizzas.  It’s thin, doesn’t require any time to rise, and gets nice and crispy when you bake it on a pizza stone.  One plus side … Continue reading

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Halloween might look a little different this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some spooky treats!  I for one, love Halloween and all the fun food, scary movies, and candy.  I’m sure a lot of families are deciding what is right for them…do you send your kids out to trick-or-treat or keep them home?  Do you plan a small get-together with your closest friends or family to celebrate?  Dress up and parade around the neighborhood?  Whatever people decide to do, I hope they stay safe and healthy. If you are staying in, I highly recommend making some themed treats to enjoy.  This year, I’m going to have a dessert buffet for us to enjoy.  When I say “us”, I mean Andrew and me.  It will be the 2 of us…enjoying plenty of sweets…while we binge watch Halloween movies 😊 Here’s what I’m going to make: Spooky Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats Spider Web Pretzels Frankenstein … Continue reading

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We recently ordered a whole roasted cauliflower as an appetizer at a local restaurant and man was it delicious!  We talked about it all night and knew we had to *attempt* to recreate it.  Our flavors were slightly different than what the restaurant served, and we added additional vegetables to make it a meal versus appetizer, but the end result was amazing.  The cauliflower was tender and cooked through (and it wasn’t burned!), and the seasoning had great flavor.  It was like eating a pot roast dinner with a side of vegetables.  We call it Pan Roasted Whole Cauliflower and highly suggest giving it a try! The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F.  Make sure you check the oven racks first!  You want to bake the cauliflower on the middle rack but need enough room for the height of the pan to … Continue reading

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Buffalo Chicken is an obsession of mine and seems to be a very popular food item in general.  Most people I talk to have a favorite buffalo chicken dish of some kind.  I don’t know what it is that draws me back but it’s SO juicy and flavorful…. I could eat it every night of the week. Recently, we made Crock Pot Pulled Buffalo Chicken.  I have a long list of why I love this recipe but the gist of it is, it’s juice, spicy, simple to make, and absolutely delicious!  It can be a meal by itself or used in sandwiches, salads, wraps, tacos, dips, on pizza, and more.  We chose to use it in sandwiches.  It’s a crock pot meal and makes a healthy portion so you’ll be able to eat it for a few days or serve to a crowd. The recipe can be found here. Make … Continue reading

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Pumpkin Spice Season is upon us.  It symbolizes the end of summer and the start of fall.  I know summer isn’t officially over, and to be honest, I’m not ready to say goodbye to warmer weather, but I am going to enjoy some delicious pumpkin treats either way 🙂 I have a few go-to recipes to share with you today.  All are themed around, you guessed it, pumpkin spice.  It’s hard to say which recipe is my favorite because they are all delicious in their own way.  Luckily, because it’s still technically summer and not fall, I have even more time to enjoy them all! First up is Individual Pumpkin Pie Pops.  These are miniature pumpkin pies on lollipop sticks, so you eat them like a candy sucker.  It combines all your favorite pumpkin pie flavors in an individual size, grab and go treat. The recipe can be found here. … Continue reading

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Veggie French Bread Pizza is incredibly flavorful and the perfect weeknight meal, especially if you’re in a hurry!  It’s an alternative to traditional pizza and is completely customizable so you can tailor it to meet anyone’s taste preference.  It comes together in about 30 minutes or less. I selected vegetables to use that I knew both Andrew and I would like but use whatever you have on hand or whatever is fresh in your garden.  It’s your creation so it’s up to you! The recipe can be found here. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the French bread in half, horizontally.  If the bread is too long to fit on the baking sheet, slice the bread in half again so you have 4 shorter pieces instead of 2 long pieces. I bought one long French bread, but I know you … Continue reading

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The Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race held in, you guessed it, Kentucky.  Typically, the race is scheduled on the first Saturday in May but thanks to COVID and the current pandemic status, it was rescheduled for September 5, 2020.  I’ve never been to the Derby and would love to go someday but until that happens, I’m content staying home and watching it on TV. Like most other holidays or celebrations, there will be themed food.  Did you expect anything else?  🙂 Our appetizer will be Pimento Cheese Spread with sliced baguette.  Pimento Cheese Spread is essentially the caviar of the South.  It’s very cheesy and tangy, and there is nothing quite like it.  It’s a great comfort food…and super easy to make! The recipe can be found here. Start by softening the cream cheese.  You can do this by letting the cream cheese sit on the counter for … Continue reading

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Have you ever used a wooden board to grill?  These so called “planks” are wooden board that are soaked in water and set over direct heat on a grill and used as a means of cooking food.  It’s known as plank grilling or planking. Planking is a fun way to grill!  The planks get a slight char to them that creates just a hint of smokey flavor that enhances the food.  I typically buy the cedar plank because I like the taste the plank gives off, and also enjoy the smell.  Cedar planks are the most common, but you can also buy cherry, hickory, maple, and more. You can grill fish, protein, or vegetables on planks.  Fish tends to be the most common and is a great form of grilling fish because it doesn’t stick to the grates.  Salmon is my favorite fish to cook on a cedar plank.  If … Continue reading

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Have you ever eaten something and thought “this is the only way I can ever eat this again”?  That happened to me with this sandwich. Don’t get mad, but I have to admit I’m not really a fan of BLT’s.  They are fine sandwiches but there isn’t much to them.  It’s like they are missing something, and I think I found out exactly what’s been missing.  You have to revamp the entire sandwich…. bread and fry the tomatoes, candy the bacon, make a delicious aioli, and eat it all on a pretzel bun. It’s a souped-up BLT…a gourmet BLT if you will…it’s a Fried Tomato Sandwich with Pecan Bacon and Chipotle Aioli.  And, it’s delicious. The recipe can be found here. Start by making the chipotle aioli.  Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready … Continue reading

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The MN State Fair is cancelled.  Those are words I never thought would come out of my mouth, but it’s 2020, and anything is possible this year 🙂  And what a year it’s been!  Luckily, some food trucks and vendors are still able to sell their highly demanded food at various locations around town.  If you have ventured out and waited in line for any of your favorites – good for you!  If you have not, there’s still time.  OR…. drum roll, please…. you can enjoy fair food in the comfort of your own home. Just think….no crowds, no waiting in line, no overcrowded buildings, no “sold out” signs, etc.  I love the MN State Fair so if I have to miss out on one of my favorite summer traditions, this is as good as it gets.  The list of foods we “have to get” is quite long and the … Continue reading

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