Author Archives: Laura Youngquist

I consider myself to be a cookie connoisseur… or a cookie lover of sorts… so I will never turn down the option to sample a new cookie or try a new cookie recipe.  One of my favorite desserts is a warm cookie a la mode.  I could easily skip dinner and go right to dessert if I know this is on my menu, so I thought I would try my hand at making a homemade version.  Something I didn’t need to be at a restaurant to enjoy.  The result is a Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie. The recipe can be found here. The cookie is hot right out of the oven with perfectly melted chocolate chips and wonderful ooey-gooeyness in every bite.  It’s big enough to share but you might not want to 😊 Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the butter to a saucepan.  … Continue reading

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One of our favorite side dishes or appetizers to make over the summer is Jalapeno Poppers.  The filling so simple to make yet incredibly rich and flavorful so we thought why not try to use the filling in other recipes!  The result was Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken. Let me tell you, it’s yummy!  You get tender, juicy chicken with spicy jalapeno and creamy cheese in every bite.  And it’s not that hard to make.  Let’s walk through the recipe. The recipe can be found here. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray. Butterfly each chicken breast by slicing it in half lengthwise, about ¾ of the way through.  You want the chicken breast to fold open, not be separate into 2 pieces, so don’t slice the whole way through. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and diced … Continue reading

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If you are looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal that is customizable to individual tastes and will get you outdoors and grilling so you can enjoy the beautiful weather while you cook, I have just the thing!  Grilled Naan Flatbread is the answer to your prayers.  We’ve made this meal multiple times over the past few weeks because it’s so easy! The recipe can be found here. When I say recipe, I really mean grilling instructions.  You don’t need much of a recipe for the flatbreads because it’s just assembly – pick and choose your own toppings.  It’s essentially pizza, and you can’t go wrong with pizza, so add the toppings you like! Start by preheating the grill to 450 degrees F. Turn a baking sheet over and place a piece of aluminum foil on top.  This will come in handy later in the recipe when you transfer … Continue reading

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Himalayan Salt Blocks are a simple and fairly inexpensive way to cook your food.  The non-stick surface sears meat perfectly, the heat is distributed evenly throughout the entire cooking surface, the seasoning is built-in (because it’s a block of salt), and you can chill it to serve chilled food (think charcuterie board, etc.). We like to use our Himalayan Salt Block for grilling.  The thought process here is low and slow, but it’s worth it!  The fun to watch a block of salt cook your food but it also tastes amazing.  The meat absorbs some of the salt while cooking but don’t worry, it’s not saturated with salt…just a subtle hint. You want to add the Himalayan Salt Block to the grill over the lowest heat setting and gradually increase the temperature until the desired temperature is reached.  This will take time!  If you heat too fast, you risk damaging … Continue reading

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Scallops are a type of shellfish with a rich flavor and springy texture.  They are a guilty pleasure in our household because they taste absolutely amazing when drenched in butter 😊 We recently acquired some “baking shells” and though it would be a fun way to bake scallops.  The shells are oven-safe up to 500 degrees F and create a vessel for the scallops, butter, and other ingredients you want to use.  It’s like the scallops are sitting in their own pool of buttery goodness!  If you have never tried scallops before, this is the route I recommend trying for your first time! The recipe I want to share with you today is for Baked Scallops on the Shell. Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F.  Place the scallop shells on a baking sheet. Make sure the scallops are completely thawed, if purchased frozen, and then pat dry.  … Continue reading

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Quesadillas are a simplified version of the classic dish.  You still get the amazing layers of ham, cheese, chicken, and Dijon sauce but this time it’s sandwiched between 2 tortillas and cooked until crisp.  Think easy to assemble and fuss free! The recipe can be found here. Start by making the Dijon sauce.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Whisk in the flour.  Then, slowly pour in the milk while whisking.  Add the bouillon cube and continue to whisk until dissolved.  Add the mustard and stir to combine.  Let the mixture simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Keep warm on the lowest burner setting while you prepare the quesadillas.  This stuff is good enough to drink! Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add one tortilla. Add one slice of cheese (or more if you like). Add 2-3 … Continue reading

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I recently acquired a spaetzle maker and thought I would play around with creating a fun and delicious recipe.  I bought the spaetzle maker without ever having spaetzle before but thought it looked like a neat kitchen tool to try and after researching recipes, thought it wouldn’t be too hard to make. Spaetzle is a type of pasta made with eggs and flour and it’s typically served as a side dish.  I wanted to make mine into more of a meal, but you could easily half the recipe or tweak some of the ingredients to enjoy it as a side dish.  It’s very popular in German cuisine so keep this in your back pocket when Oktoberfest comes around and you need a unique dish to celebrate with 😊 My recipe is for Bacon & Onion Spaetzle.  The spaetzle is homemade and perfectly tender.  When you pair it with onions, cheese, and bacon, it becomes quite the … Continue reading

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I can’t say that I’m super “with it” and on top of today’s trends but did come across a recent TikTok trend where people are baking an entire brick of feta cheese and turning it into pasta.  We tried it at home and not only is it a simple dish to prepare but it’s also delicious!  The result is Baked Feta and Tomato Pasta. The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F. Add your tomatoes to a 9×13 baking dish.  Either cherry or grape tomatoes are fine but make sure you have 2 pints.  Then, liberally drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir until the tomatoes are fully coated. Shift the tomatoes there is a large well in the center.  Place the brick of feta in the center.  If you can’t find a brick of feta that’s ok.  You can use crumbled feta but make sure to put it … Continue reading

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Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas are another way to enjoy a popular dish.  If I can find a way to eat buffalo chicken or find a way to make it into a new dish…. it’s going to happen.  And these quesadillas don’t disappoint!  They come together quickly, only take a few ingredients, and can be doubled or tripled if you need to feed a crowd. The recipe can be found here. Start by shredding or cubing the chicken.  I like to use rotisserie chicken because it’s tender and flavorful (and precooked), but you can easily bake your own chicken if you prefer.  Add the chicken to a mixing bowl and pour in the buffalo wing sauce.  Toss to coat.  You should also sample some, for quality assurance 😊 Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add one tortilla. Top with ¼ cup of shredded cheddar cheese (use more or less to your taste). Completely optional, but you can also add a … Continue reading

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Talk about comfort food at its finest!  Baked Ziti is a classic pasta bake that is loaded with multiple kinds of melted cheese, sizzling red sauce, and tender noodles.  You can substitute the red sauce for a meat sauce, similar to a Bolognese, but I think the dish has plenty of flavor without the added meat. Ziti is a tube-shaped pasta, very similar to penne.  The only different is how the noodles are cut, in a straight line instead of at a slant.  You can find Ziti in the pasta aisle.  If for some reason you can’t find it, penne noodles are a great substitute.  The noodles are cooked al dente and are a little firm because they soften up while baking.  The cheese and sauce fills the inside of each noodles and sticks to the outside.  This is a hearty meal! The recipe can be found here. Start by … Continue reading

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