Category: Side Dish

Salmon, Potato and Spinach Salad

I love summer – I love that my boys get to sleep in, the weather is warm, and just the overall more relaxed vibe that summer brings.   I love a good salad, but the warm weather always brings my cravings for fresh, delicious salads to the forefront so I decided to come up with a new creation which is where I came up with this Salmon, Potato and Spinach Salad.

Spinach is a superfood and one of my favorite greens to use in salads.  Not only is spinach rich in niacin and zinc but also provides a plentiful amount of  fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.  Definitely a great addition!  Then there’s salmon, another superfood which is rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium.  Salmon is also a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.

OK, so we have two super foods and then I decided to add potatoes for their creaminess and additional texture.  I added my favorite vinaigrette recipe and some parmesan to round out the salad and give it a salty, creamy bite.  A squeeze of lemon makes the whole dish come together.

Southwest Chicken with Cilantro Pesto Orzo

As much as I love to cook, when my husband isn’t home, I basically don’t make big dinners. My boys prefer simple meals like eggs & bacon, basic pasta dishes and things of that nature, so if my man isn’t around I will take a pass and make things easy on myself.

Well, it had been about a week or so and due to conflicting schedules and basic life craziness, I hadn’t been cooking much and this particular evening I decided to make something new since my honey was back in town. I had some Emeril’s Southwest rub that I had mixed up for a chili recipe and decided to rub that on some bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts that I had brined for a few hours earlier in the day.

When looking for a side dish, I decided to use some yummy cilantro I had purchased earlier in the week for a cilantro pesto and I have to say, this is now one of my favorite meals. It blew my husband away and had him happy to back for some of my home cookin’. 🙂

My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  I love eating with reckless abandon and turkey day is the day to do just this – as far as I am concerned anyways….  Over the years I have come up with my traditional thanksgiving favorite recipes and I wanted to share them with you.

My normal menu consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, pumpkin crisp, gravy and cranberry sauce.  In looking at this menu, the first thing I always notice is that there is nothing green – no vegetable or salad and I must say that is just fine with me.  So without further ado…

The turkey recipe I use is Martha Stewart’s Turkey 101 which is amazing and turns out perfect every time.  I am sure that it has something to do with the bottle of wine and pound of butter used to baste the turkey that makes it so succulent and amazing!

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As for stuffing…I used to make Martha Stewart’s standard stuffing recipe that can be found here, however about five years ago I was introduced to a stuffing recipe that won a Good Morning America stuffing recipe contest.  OMG – this stuff is SOOOOOOOOOO freaking good!  It is ridiculously fattening so I only make it once a year, however it is so worth it!  The recipe dates back to 2007, however you can still find it online here.  I have included the recipe below just so I always have it in the event that page ever gets taken down.

Corn casserole might sound a bit unusual for Thanksgiving but again, I make it once a year and just seems to mesh well with everything on the plate.  Think cornbread but more delicate and buttery.  The recipe is from AllRecipes and can be found here.

Now Gravy is so easy and I do cheat by using a bottled product, but it is so delicious nobody will ever, ever know and you don’t have to worry about lumps!  Williams Sonoma Turkey Gravy Base is a gem!  You can thank me later.

I am not a pumpkin pie fan.  I think it is part texture and part overall pumpkin taste but I always had a pumpkin pie and an apple pie at Thanksgiving until I stumbled upon Pumpkin Crisp.   This dessert is made with boxed yellow cake mix so if you have any nostalgia for a basic yellow cake then this could be one of your new favorites as well.  I blogged about this a while ago and you can see the full recipe here.

The cranberry sauce I make is the standard Ocean Spray version that can be found on the back of the fresh cranberry package.  Sometimes I will add some fresh orange zest to add an additional flavor element to the sauce but that is optional.

So….that is my run down for what I make for my family on turkey day.  I hope you try some of these delicious recipes.  They are tried and true for multiple years so I can vouch that they are all super yummy!

Down Home Italian Dressing


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 extra-large yellow onion, chopped
  • 7 large celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 ounces pancetta, diced&
  • 6 cups day-old, finely diced French bread
  • 3 cups crumbled unsweetened cornbread
  • ½ cup butter, cubed, cold
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1½ tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 4-5 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • large Parmesan shavings


  • Heat oil in large skillet on medium. Sauté pancetta for 2 minutes.
  • Add onion and celery and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook another 3 minutes.
  • Mix together breads and ¾ cup toasted pine nuts in a large mixing bowl. Add cheeses and cooked sausage to the breads. Mix together with the dried seasonings.
  • Add sautéed veggies with any pan drippings.
  • Slowly add broth and stir until mixed thoroughly. The consistency should not be soupy, but very moist. If not, add more broth.
  • Test for saltiness and add a dash more if needed.
  • Place in an extra deep 9-inch-by-13-inch greased pan.
  • Dot the top with the cubed butter and cover with foil. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until slightly crusted on the edges.
  • Top with remaining toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh sage. Add shaved cheese just before serving.

Slow Cooker “Baked” Potatoes

My slow cooker is kinda like a bad boyfriend that I just can’t break up with.  You know those boyfriends that will make promises but let you down – kinda like a casserole that looks amazing on Pinterest but it looks like roadkill in reality.   Yet, just like a crap boyfriend (that is really good looking) I can’t give up on my slow cooker.  Maybe one day things will change and some form of magic will occur in the form of a meal worthy of sharing with Martha Stewart, however  I am not too optimistic of that, however I will continue to try out my “bad boyfriend” and see if I can make some magic with it.

Being that it is about 90 degrees in Seattle I am trying not to turn my oven on, yet I am wanting some loaded baked potatoes.

I have read that you can make baked potatoes in the slow cooker so once again I busted out my large oval device and hoped for the best.   Rubbed down with olive oil and sprinkled liberally with salt and pepper I placed them in the pot, turned them onto low for 6 hours and went on with my business.  Here you can see the beginning of what my Idaho russets looked like:

Here is my finished product.  This slow cooker actually did what it said it would do – cooked a large baking potato until tender.    They weren’t soggy or anything and man was this easy!  Definitely give this one a try and let me know what you think.

Potluck Potatoes (aka White Trash Potatoes)

Whenever I go to a BBQ or cookout I always bring my tried and true White Trash Potatoes.  There are three things I LOVE about this recipe which becomes a favorite at all cookouts I attend:

1. They are super fast and easy to make
2. They are delicious
3. They are always a crowd pleaser.  I have yet to take any home after a BBQ.

Now, these are not Paleo friendly, they are not Raw, they are not low carb and I would guess that a generous serving would all but obliterate your Weight Watchers points. So in a word – these are awesome!

I should also add that my family loves these as well so don’t feel like you need to wait for a potluck to make these.  I have been known to make a batch and freeze half and bake the other half.  When frozen I increase the cooking time about 20 minutes until they are warm in the center.

White Trash Potatoes

2 lb. frozen hash browns, thawed
1/2 c. diced onions
1 c. cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1 stick melted butter
8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika

Mix all ingredients and add to potatoes.  Pour into a 9″x13″ pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.  Can be made up to 2 days in advance before baking.

Here is a close up….YUM!