Author Archives: Laura Youngquist

We made Taco Rice with Queso earlier this week and it’s probably one of my favorite new recipes we’ve tried lately!  It’s a one-pan recipe with meat, taco seasoning, and rice that is coated in warm, melted queso.  Talk about delicious!  The rice is perfectly seasoned and tender, and pairs well with the meat, but my favorite part is the queso.  You drizzle some over the top of the dish before serving and then add more and more and more until you have the appropriate amount (aka a lot) of queso on your plate. Don’t mistake this recipe for a burrito bowl.  You don’t add lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, etc. on top (but you sure can!).  You simply enjoy a bowl of taco meat, rice, and queso.  And it’s amazing. The recipe can be found here. I did use plant-based meat for this recipe.  You can use ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork – whatever … Continue reading

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This time of year is prime for family gatherings, holiday parties, potlucks at work, you name it!… and I want to help you kick of the holiday season with a few simple (yet tasty) appetizer recipes that are sure to get the party started. I like to create delicious appetizers that look like I spent hours in the kitchen or appear to be store-bought but in fact didn’t take much time or effort to make.  You want the conversation to start flowing and to interact with your guests, really be part of the celebration vs. spending the entire event in the kitchen preparing the meal, and I have you covered.  These recipes are quick, easy, and tasty. Here are the recipes: Citrus Herbed Olives Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes with Burrata Cheese Roasted Red Pepper with Burrata Cheese   Citrus Herbed Olives take about 5 minutes to make (plus time to marinate) and are a wonderful … Continue reading

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Flautas are a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla that is filled with meat and cheese and tightly rolled before frying.  The recipe I want to share with you today is for Baked Chicken Jalapeno Popper Flautas, which is a combination of jalapeno poppers and chicken flautas.  They are made with shredded rotisserie chicken, cream cheese, shredded cheese, jalapeno, and tortillas.  This recipe is very easy to make, doesn’t take a lot of time, and makes the perfect appetizer or meal, depending on how many people you are serving.  We ate these for dinner and had 2-3 each so there was plenty to go around, and we had leftovers. The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then generously spray with cooking spray. I like to use rotisserie chicken for this recipe, so I start by removing the chicken from … Continue reading

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Individual dessert cups are an easy, no bake desserts that are perfect for birthday parties, holidays, a treat for your coworkers, or for you to have on hand at home whenever you are craving a little something sweet 😊 They come in a variety of flavors (3 of which I’m sharing with you today) and are the perfect bite-sized treat.  Think cookie base, creamy filling, and festive toppings.  You will not be able to stop after one! Here are the recipes I’ll be walking you through today: Individual Birthday Cake Dessert Cups Individual Peanut Butter Dessert Cups Individual Banana Pudding Dessert Cups   Let’s start with Individual Birthday Cake Dessert Cups.  These taste just like birthday cake batter and are to die for!  There is a vanilla cookie crust, birthday cake cheesecake filling, and plenty of sprinkles to go around.  Super yummy and will be the talk of the party. The recipe can be found here. Start by making … Continue reading

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Loaded Brownie Ice Cream Cake screams indulgence!  The bottom is a thick fudge brownie that is topped with hot fudge, caramel sauce, ice cream, Oreo cookies, whipped cream, and more cookies.  It’s a rich dessert that you won’t want to share, lol! I think ice cream desserts can be enjoyed year-round.  Sure, they are necessary during summer months but every now and again I do crave a yummy ice cream dessert during fall or frigid winter months.  It’s dessert…it’s for any time of year.  This recipe in particular is a showstopper.  It’s rich, indulgent, sweet, and you don’t need a big slice to feel satisfied because it’s so dense. The recipe can be found here. Start by preparing the brownie mix according to package instructions, using a 9×13 baking dish.  Don’t over bake the brownies!  But do let them cool completely.  If you have a deeper 9×13 baking dish, use that.  The ingredients get piled high!  If you have a standard 9×13 baking dish that … Continue reading

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Spicy Grilled Queso is the perfect appetizer or side dish for your next party!  It’s SO SIMPLE to make…you cook the meat, add all ingredients to a disposable pan, heat on the grill, and serve.  It could not be simpler to make or more delicious to eat 😊 It has a slightly smokey taste from the BBQ, a hint of heat from the jalapenos (don’t worry, it’s not overpowering), and plenty of melted cheese for dipping. The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the grill to 250-300 degrees F. While the grill preheats, prepare the ingredients.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the pound of meat and cook until cooked through, crumbling as it cooks.  Then remove from the heat and set aside. I used Beyond Meat for my recipe because that’s what I had on hand.  This recipe would be amazing with ground beef or a pork sausage.  You could also use ground chicken … Continue reading

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I’m starting to plan my menu.  Do you feel prepared?  I think most families have a list of recipes they make every year and traditionally serve and aren’t necessarily looking for new recipes.  For example, my mom makes 2 turkeys every year.  One goes on the grill, and one goes in the oven.  Both are delicious and there is always a ton of meat to go around.  Everyone (and I mean immediate family, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.) looks forward to her cooking every year.  My point is that she isn’t looking for a new turkey recipe.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Or in this case, if no one is complaining about the food, why make something else? 😊 BUT…there is always room for more sides or different sides.  Are you assigned to bring something this year?  Perhaps you are hosting Friendsgiving and aren’t sure what to make.  Or you simply want to change things up a … Continue reading

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bars are one of my top 10 favorite desserts.  They are essentially cream sandwiches you make on a rimmed baking sheet.  A combination of chocolate and peanut butter makes up the flavors in the cookie with a hint of sea salt sprinkled on top.  The filling is basic vanilla ice cream.  However, you can use any ice cream flavor of your choosing.  Chocolate ice cream would make the perfect chocolate extreme dessert.  Salted Caramel ice cream would pair nicely with the chocolate/peanut butter cookies.  You get the idea!  Make this dessert your own. The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously spray an 18×13 rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Please do not forget this step or you will have quite a hard time removing the bars! Melt 2 sticks of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. … Continue reading

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Scones are a new favorite baked good of mine.  When I was younger, I thought they were hard and dry, and not very tasty, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate the texture and flavor.  They are sweet, dense, dry, and crumbly, yet oh so good!  They pair well with a cup of tea or coffee in the morning for breakfast.   I was recently gifted a Mini Scone Pan, and this is the only way I will make scones.  Sure, you can prepare the dough, roll it out, cut it into triangles, and bake it but the pan reduces many of the required steps and is so easy to use.  Plus, you get 16 scones so there is plenty to serve at brunch, to bring to work to share, or to save for leftovers are home.  Click this link for the Mini Scone Pan. The 3 recipes I want to share with you … Continue reading

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Homemade Buster Bar Ice Cream Dessert is one of those desserts you can’t get enough of!  It’s loaded with peanuts, vanilla ice cream, an Oreo crust, and a chocolatey-fudgy topping.  It’s perfect on a hot summer day…or really any day because ice cream isn’t limited to summer enjoyment 😊 It’s a dessert I would recommend for a dinner party or birthday party.  It has something for everyone, is filling, and will feed a crowd. The recipe can be found here. Start by softening the ice cream so it’s easier to work with.  Do this by placing the quart of ice cream on the counter for 15-20 minutes to soften while you prepare the other ingredients. Add the Oreos to the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until you have fine crumbs.  Pour the crumbs into a mixing bowl and add 1 stick of melted butter.  Stir to combine.  The mixture will resemble wet sand.  Press this mixture into the bottom of … Continue reading

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