Category Archives: Holidays

Willkommen (or welcome) to Oktoberfest!  If you aren’t familiar, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest…or beer festival and traveling funfair, for those of use that don’t speak German.  It’s held in Germany and runs about 2 weeks, typically from mid-Sept to the first Sunday in October.  You can find traditional German food such as sausages, oversized soft pretzels, mustard and curry ketchup, cabbage and radish salads, dumplings, spaetzle, and obviously, plenty of ice-cold beer!  More than 6 million people from around the world attend the event every year. Unfortunately, the Oktoberfest celebration in German is cancelled again this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy plenty of yummy food.  So, pull out the decorations, get your house in order, invite some friends and family over, and cook up some delicious German food! I’d like to share with you 5 different ideas to host the perfect Oktoberfest party.  We’ll … Continue reading

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Sheet Pan Pancakes are like one giant perfect pancake!  Once you make these or try these, there is no going back.  No standing at the counter flipping pancakes for an hour over the griddle!  Simply bake, slice, and devour.  They are moist, fluffy, and easy to assemble. The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F.  Generously spray a baking sheet (11×17 size) with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, milk, and eggs.  Any brand of pancake mix will work just fine. Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet.  It might look like the batter isn’t filling much of the baking sheet, but it will rise as it bakes so you don’t need to add additional batter.  If you do, your pancakes will turn out more like cake! Add any toppings of your choice – blueberries, bananas, … Continue reading

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Cake Pops are a fun phenomenon and something I had to try.  When I think of a Cake Pop, I think of cake that is coated in melted chocolate, skewered on a stick, and served as a bite sized treat.  They can be made in most cake flavors and decorated as simple or elaborate as you want.  They are very similar to truffles but are often a little lighter and truffles aren’t served on a stick. I started my Cake Pop venture before the 4th of July (can you see I’m a bit behind on writing this? :)) but thought these are great treat for any time of year!  You could make some to celebrate Labor Day, the end of summer and kids going back to school, dessert at a BBQ, or just make them because you love cake 🙂 I purchased this fancy Cake Pop maker (little countertop appliance … Continue reading

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When I think of crisp and refreshing, I think of caprese salad.  It has juicy, ripe tomatoes, slices of soft mozzarella, and is finished with incredibly fresh basil leaves.  If you add some French bread and a smear of pesto and can turn a lovely caprese salad into a tasty pizza.  It’s bursting with flavor and is to toasted to perfection. The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the French bread in half, horizontally.  If the bread is too long to fit on a baking sheet, slice the bread in half so it will fit.  Make sure you look for soft Italian bread or French bread.  You don’t want to use a hearty baguette or anything that will be too hard and crusty after baking. I like to use store-bought basil pesto, but you can make homemade pesto if you have … Continue reading

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The Minnesota State Fair is in full swing.  Do you plan on going?  I know a lot of people that plan on attending the fair and a lot of people that don’t, for various reasons.  I sure love the fair and missed not being able to attend last year.  Unfortunately, this year, it’s also not in the cards for me.  However, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some delicious fair food at home, and you can do the same! First off, I want to share with you a link to a blog I wrote last year.  The blog is called Your Favorite MN State Fair Food…at Home, because that’s what the blog is about – creating and enjoying all the classic state fair foods in the comfort of your own home.  I wrote this blog because the fair was cancelled last year and wanted to give everyone the option of … Continue reading

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Chicken.  Bacon.  Ranch.  Three things that pair amazingly well together.  Combine them in sandwich form and you have one mighty fine meal.  Think tender chicken, creamy ranch (which really goes with just about anything), and crispy bacon smothered between a bun with some melted cheese for good measure.  This is what dreams are made of.  I may be getting ahead of myself, but I do sure enjoy a good Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich! The recipe can be found here. Start by cooking the bacon according to package instructions.  I like to move the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to absorb some of the grease and set aside until I’m ready to use. Add the cream cheese to a large saucepan or pot and heat over medium-low heat.  Stir occasionally to melt the cream cheese.  Once it’s about halfway melted, add the entire packet of ranch seasoning (Ugh, it … Continue reading

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If you are searching for the perfect appetizer or side for your next cookout, look no further!  Grilled Jalapeno Poppers are the way to go!  They are stuffed with an addictive mixture of bacon, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese.  The rich and creamy combination of the stuffing contrasts the spicy jalapeno peppers leaving you wanting more. This is a great alternative to the breaded and fried version because they are fresh, cook up nicely on the grill, and are quite addicting 🙂 You can even skip the bacon for a vegetarian option if you prefer. The recipe can be found here. We own a Jalapeno Grill Rack that we use for this recipe, which I find quite wonderful to use.  If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one! Start by preheating the grill to 325 degrees F.  It can be tricky to keep the grill temperature consistent once … Continue reading

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The 4th of July is right around the corner and as things seem to be returning to normal, I’m sure a lot of people are planning a gathering with friends and family to celebrate.  I know we sure are!  The weather is predicted to be beautiful and sunny, and we haven’t entertained in a while, so we are really looking forward to the holiday. I have a few new recipes to share with you today.  They are all 4th of July themed and something you can easily add to your menu – or anytime throughout summer!  I plan on making a few of these this upcoming weekend and look forward to enjoying them at our party. The first recipe is for Firecracker Hot Dogs.  Think hot dog wrapped in breadstick or crescent roll dough and baked to perfection.  They are super simple to make, will satisfy even the pickiest eater, … Continue reading

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We don’t use our air fryer often but every now and again it’s fun to try a new recipe.  This time we tried an Air Fryer Blooming Onion.  A blooming onion is essentially a large onion that is sliced to resemble a flower, battered, deep fried, and served as an appetizer.  My recipe removes the deep-frying step and has you air fry it instead. The batter creates this lovely crust that is crispy, the onion is tender, and the dipping sauce adds a nice tang to each bite. The recipe can be found here. Start by preparing the onion.  Peel the onion and slice off the stem.  Do not remove the base on the other side of the onion – only remove the stem or end of one side.  Otherwise the onion will fall apart!   Turn the onion so the cut side is down.  Cut an inch from the … Continue reading

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Beer Can Whole Grilled Chicken is a fun way to cook chicken.  You need a beer can chicken stand to do this.  The stand along with the can of beer and chicken legs helps support the chicken on the grill, and the beer helps keep the chicken moist while grilling.  I don’t taste a lot of beer flavor in the chicken but if this is a concern of yours, you could easily swap out the beer for a can of pop – any cola flavor will work well.  Coca Cola or Dr Pepper seem to be the most popular, but I bet you could get a hint of citrus flavor if you used Mountain Dew. The recipe can be found here. Preheat the grill to 350 – 375 degrees F.  If you have an upper rack in your grill, remove it before preheating because the chicken will not fit with … Continue reading

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