Author Archives: Laura Youngquist

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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Butter & Parmesan Baked Scallops is a quick and easy meal that will leave you and your family or guests, speechless!  The large sea scallops are baked to a lovely opaque color in yummy pool of lemon and butter.  No fuss, no searing, and little clean up! The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Ever so lightly spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.  If you are doubling the recipe or using very large scallops, use a 9×13 baking dish instead. Make sure the scallops are completely thawed.  I like to put mine in a strainer for a few minutes to really pull any liquid out.  I then pat them dry with a paper towel and place them in an even layer in the baking dish.  You want to leave a little room in between each scallop so it cooks evenly. … Continue reading

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Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Pasta with Shrimp is an Italian inspired seafood pasta recipe.  It’s decadent, easy, and you’ll love it!  I’m always looking for an excuse to use sun dried tomatoes.  I love the sweet yet tart flavor and the chewy texture.  They add some incredible flavor to any dish, especially when you use some of the oil from the jar to sauté other items vs traditional olive oil.  It’s a great combination of tender shrimp, creamy sauce, and sun-dried tomatoes in every bite. The recipe can be found here. Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil.  Cook the noodles according to package instructions.  I like to use fettuccini noodles, but any noodle shape will work just fine.  Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water before draining.  Then drain the noodles and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  I suggest using the … Continue reading

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Beyond Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers are a bright and colorful dish complete with roasted peppers, rice, veggies, and a plant-based protein.  Stuffed peppers are traditionally made with ground beef but a few simple substitutes and voila, you have yourself a vegan meal.  You can use any color bell pepper (use a variety of colors for a nice plating presentation) or even substitute the Beyond Beef with another plant-based protein product.  Anything goes while you are creating this meal because these peppers are a meal in itself! The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F.  Set aside an 8×8 baking dish (if using 4 bell peppers) or a 9×13 baking dish (if using 6 bell peppers). Use a knife to remove the tops of the bell peppers.  Don’t remove too much of the top because you want to fill as much of the pepper … Continue reading

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We recently tried Beyond Meat Plant-Based Ground Beyond Beef in Sloppy Joe format and let me tell you, it was delicious!  I think Sloppy Joe’s transport you back to your childhood where you ate dinner around the family table.  It was a classic meal and a staple in a lot of homes growing up.  However, tastes have changed for some people and others follow a plant-based diet, so a traditional Sloppy Joe just won’t cut it anymore.  That’s where Beyond Meat comes in! Beyond Beef BBQ Sloppy Joe’s are the perfect meal for anyone following a vegan diet or for someone who wants to give it a try.  It’s a plant-based recipe the whole family can enjoy!  The Beyond Beef BBQ Sloppy Joe’s are just as meaty as the traditional version and can be dressed up a bit with onions or peppers. The recipe can be found here. Start by … Continue reading

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