Author Archives: Laura Youngquist

St Patrick’s Day is fun day to celebrate, whether you are Irish or not.  You can typically find a parade or two around town, Irish themed food and drinks at your favorite restaurant or bar, and plenty of people wearing green!  It’s a festive day to celebrate and will unfortunately look a lot different this year due to COVID.  BUT…that doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate at home! We are going to celebrate by having breakfast for dinner.  You don’t tend to hear of too many Irish breakfast foods but we’re going to make it work!  The food doesn’t have to be Irish necessarily but can be themed to fit the event.  In this case, we’re going to make Shamrock Cinnamon Rolls and Shamrock Fried Eggs.  So instead of being traditional Irish food, we are shaping the food and adding some green elements to fit with the typical colors of … Continue reading

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Every so often I like to make a vegan dish for a few reasons.  First, the food is actually delicious (don’t knock it ‘til you try it) and second, I have friends and family members who are vegan (or follow a similar diet), so I like to have a few recipes in my back pocket in case I’m ever entertaining them.  I’d rather be accommodating so they know they can comfortably eat at my house than have them eat before coming over.  And truly, the food is quite good, in addition to being good for you! Bruschetta Pasta is one of my to-go dishes.  It is a vegan dish, but you could easily add parmesan cheese or a little shredded mozzarella if you aren’t following a special diet or don’t have dietary restrictions.  I like this pasta because it’s very light and refreshing.  Think of traditional bruschetta, but instead of … Continue reading

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French Onion Soup is one of my favorite soups, so I thought, why not try to make a slight variation and create a tasty weeknight meal.  The end result is French Onion Chicken Skillet.  It’s made with caramelized onions, juice chicken, yummy broth, and deliciously melted cheese.  It’s a great meal option and leaves you with some tasty leftovers. The recipe can be found here. Start by heating oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and thyme, and season with salt and pepper.  You can adjust the seasonings to your taste later on in the recipe.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to caramelize.  This should take about 15-20 minutes.  There is nothing better than the aroma of onions caramelizing and knowing you will get to enjoy every last morsel! Add the garlic to the skillet and stir to combine (another amazing smell!).  Cook for … Continue reading

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Looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal that is also flavorful and delicious?  Look no further!  Meatless Monday has a new fan favorite…. Lentils & Vegetables in Peanut Sauce.  This is a vegan / vegetarian meal that’s packed with fresh vegetables and protein.  I chose some of my favorite veggies to use in this dish, but you can add any veggies you like.  You can add mushrooms, squash, snap peas, you name it! The peanut sauce is what really brings it all together.  It’s bursting with flavor and is rich and creamy.  I think it tasted great when coated on the veggies or when mixes with some white rice.  So good!  And this dish comes together in about 20 minutes. The recipe can be found here. Start by adding the peanut butter, ginger, garlic, soy sauce (or tamari), lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, sriracha, cayenne, salt, sugar, sesame oil, … Continue reading

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Monte Cristo Sandwiches are my new go to sandwich!  They are served warm, so the cheese is perfectly melted, the bread is toasted, and the meat just seems to be extra tender and juicy.  It’s not quite a panini, because you aren’t pressing the sandwich or grilling it, but instead you are baking it.  I like to use French Toast as the bread as well.  It adds a little extra something to each bite! The recipe can be found here. Start by cooking the bacon according to package instructions.  Set aside. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make the French Toast.  In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cinnamon.  A pie plate or small baking dish works really well for this. Preheat a griddle to medium heat (or use a skillet).  Melt a small amount of butter on … Continue reading

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Have you ever tasted gnocchi so good that it melts in your mouth?  Light, pillowy morsels that are tender and airy make the best gnocchi.  We recently had this experience at a restaurant near our house and wanted to recreate the meal.  Ultimately, our goal was to recreate the perfect Homemade Gnocchi, which is in fact what we accomplished. For those of you that aren’t familiar with gnocchi, it’s more of a dumpling than pasta.  Gnocchi is made from potatoes that have been riced and mixed with flour and eggs.  They also have these little ridges (or cavities) that are very helpful at holding sauce.  Once mixed with a homemade or store-bought sauce, you’ll have a gourmet meal! The first recipe I want to share with you is for Homemade Gnocchi.  The gnocchi really does melt in your mouth.  It’s very light and fluffy and pairs with the homemade sauces (I’ll share those recipes next) really well.  It’s less … Continue reading

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Growing up I always loved a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I mean, who didn’t?  It was a staple in my daily life and it’s making a comeback.  However, instead of sandwich form I’m pairing it with another food I love.  What for it……chicken wings.  Yes, peanut butter and jelly chicken wings.  A little louder for those in the back…PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY CHICKEN WINGS! The recipe can be found here. These wings are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and will satisfy any craving.  They are the perfect combination of sweet and spicy while being incredibly savory.  The chicken wings are coated in a delicious peanut sauce and the raspberry jelly dipping sauce brings it all together.  The combination of peanut butter, jelly, and chicken might sound weird, but I strongly suggest putting your hesitation aside and giving these wings a try! Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F and lining … Continue reading

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If you need a fun new dinner idea, are looking for an appetizer for a party, or simply want to have Mexican night at home, Tostadas are the way to go!  They are very versatile yet simple and easy to make.  Tostada is the Spanish word for toasted, which fits the description perfectly, because a toasted (or deep fried) tortilla is the base of the dish.  You then top the tortilla with beans, cheese, meat, lettuce, fruit, and other toppings.  Basically, you want to pile the ingredients high and dig in…. these are meant to be messy! One of my favorite Tostada recipes is for BBQ Chicken Tostadas.  These are served warm and I think that’s part of the appeal for me.  I love the combination of melted cheese, tender chicken, and tangy BBQ sauce in every bite.  They are also fairly light so you will be satisfied without feeling … Continue reading

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Sliders are one of my go-to ideas when it comes to meal prep.  I want something easy to make that will also last a few days.  Let me tell you, they are delicious!  If you’re unfamiliar with “sliders” they are basically small sandwiches that are served warm with various meats, cheeses, condiments and toppings (think finger sandwich size).  You can mix and match the sandwich ingredients to create different flavors and serve as an appetizer or entrée.  I like to make sliders for lunches.  Two of the mini sandwiches are the perfect sized lunch plus they hold up very well over the course of a few days and are perfectly tasty when reheated. I have 4 recipes to share with you today for sliders.  All are yummy in their own unique way! First up is Balsamic Dijon Ham Sliders.  All the flavor comes from the balsamic Dijon sauce.  It’s very … Continue reading

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Looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal that tastes JUST like it came from a restaurant?  I have you covered!  I want to share my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo that comes together in 30 minutes or less and is something the whole family will enjoy. The recipe can be found here. In the bowl of an Instant Pot, add chicken broth, heavy cream, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Break the noodles in half and place in the Instant Pot.  Use a spoon to gently push down the noodles to cover with the liquid.  You don’t want to press too hard or you’ll break the noodles and you also don’t need to stir the ingredients at this point. You want to use pre-cooked chicken for this recipe.  If you don’t have any pre-cooked chicken breasts, make sure to either bake them or fry them before starting … Continue reading

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