Cold Asparagus Salad

Hopefully, you are still able to get fresh asparagus where you are! This makes a wonderful summer salad side dish and is fairly easy to prepare. We enjoy edit with a great hamburger and potato salad. There’s very little prep involved too. Follow the asparagus directions as shown and do not overcook it.

Asparagus Salad COLD

Ingredients

  • 1 large hard-boiled egg (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 2/3 cups chopped asparagus
  • 2 slices cooked and crumbled center cut bacon (check labels for Whole30)
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (check label for Whole30)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • pinch salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until tender yet firm. Drain and run under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Setaside OR place asparagus stocks, trimmed, in a microwave dish and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, Drain!

2. In a small bowl mix the Dijon, oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Arrange the asparagus on a plate, top with egg and bacon and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Asparagus Casserole with Ritz Crackers

Another Costco use up – LOL. Two people can hardly use up a whole package of their asparagus in less than a week? This was very tasty along with some Costco roasted chicken.

Asparagus Casserole with Ritz Crackers – Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers crushed
  • 1/2 cup bacon cooked, reserve 2 tablespoons bacon grease

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Cut asparagus in bite sized pieces and separate the tips from the stalks.

3. Add the stalks to salted, boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes.

4. Add the tips and cook for a minute or so more – or until the stalks are crisp-tender.

5. Drain.

6. Cook the bacon until crisp. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

7. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

8. Crumble the crackers and set aside.

9. Grease a 2-quart (9×9) casserole dish and add half the cooked asparagus.

10. Top with half the cream of mushroom soup.

11. Add half the cheese and repeat the layers.

12. Mix the reserved bacon grease with the cracker crumbs. You may substitute 2 tablespoons of melted butter if you like.

13. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

14. Top with the crumbled bacon.

15. Bake, uncovered, until heated through and bubbly, 25 – 30 minutes

Expert Tip: Separate the tips of the asparagus and the stems after you cut the stalks up. Add the stalks to boiling water first and let them cook about 2 minutes before adding the tips. That way the stalks will be cooked through but the tips won’t be mushy.

Carbonara with Shrimp and Scallops

Dinner with friends again, so I opted to make this old recipe again, which it seems I never posted before? I added some shrimp to the original.

Carbonara with Pan Seared Scallops

Ingredients for Scallops

  • 12-16 large scallops 3-4 per person + deveined shrimp
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Ingredients for Carbonara

  • 8 slices thick cut bacon diced
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic leave whole
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmigiana Reggiano grated
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 14 oz (400g) pasta of your choice -I used Linguine

Pasta Carbonara

1. Start cooking pasta in large stainless-steel pot.

2. In small bowl mix together cream, egg yolks and 3/4 of cheese.

3. In large skillet cook bacon until crisp, add shallots and ½ green onions.

4. Smash down garlic clove a bit, add to bacon. (remove prior to adding pasta)

5. When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then add to skillet of bacon.

6.. Toss well, then transfer to large bowl.

7. Add cream mixture to pasta and combined well. Make sure pasta is still hot in order to cook the eggs and melt the cheese.

Perfect Pan Seared Scallops (+ shrimp)

1. Blot scallops with paper towel to remove any water. Salt and pepper.

2. Heat large non-stick frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.

3. Make sure frying pan is hot before adding scallops but not smoking.

4. Add scallops leaving plenty of space between. Overcrowding the pan will drop the pan temperature and cause scallops to steam rather than sear. (may have to do in batches)

6.  Sear for about 2-4 minutes or when bottom is a nice golden brown. Don’t move them around in the pan or you will prevent them from forming that nice brown crust. After a couple of minutes have peek under to see if golden brown.

7.Turn to sear other side. (about 1-3 more minutes)

8. Spoon the melted butter over the scallops as the other side finishes cooking.

10. Transfer to paper towel covered plate.

11. Keep warm in oven, if making in batches.

12. Add butter to another frying pan. Cook shrimp until pink flipping once!

13. Add shrimp and scallops to pasta and mix well

14. Serve with more Parmesan cheese.

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

Who does not love a baked potato, especially when it is LOADED??? I must admit that it is one of my favourite things. This recipe is straight forward and comes together in a matter of minutes. You could use frozen potato cubes, but fresh is so easy. I was able to use frozen chicken breast cubes to simplify the preparation. Your toppings are your choice!

Potato and Chicken Casserole (Loaded Baked)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cubed raw chicken breast, marinated* (if you can find frozen, no need to thaw)
  • 1 or 2 potatoes, cubed with skins or cubed frozen potatoes
  • Spice Mix (See below)
  • Lawry’s Lemon Pepper Marinade

Spice Mix

  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Toppings

  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • ½ cup cooked bacon chopped
  • 3 green onions thinly chopped
  • Sour cream

Instructions

Grease an 8 x 10 Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray.

Place cubed chicken into a bowl and drizzle with lemon pepper marinade (unless pre-marinated). Set aside.

Add cubed potatoes to the Pyrex dish. Sprinkle with spice mix and mix well.

Add the marinated cubed chicken.

Combine the potatoes and chicken.

 Bake at 400 F for 50 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking.

When the potatoes and chicken are done, remove from the oven and top with shredded cheddar cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately with the optional toppings.

Southern Fried Cabbage

I am sure that I am not alone on Pinterest when I find a great recipe, make it, eat it and FORGET TO TAKE A PHOTO!!! Such is the case with me again. Nevertheless, it turned out great! Trust me!!!

Southern Fried Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon cut in pieces
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 cup onions chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds cabbage chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chopped
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or more to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes optional, to taste

Instructions

Sauté the bacon in a heavy skillet until crispy.

Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside.

Spoon off all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.

Add the onions to the skillet and sauté until they just begin to become translucent.

Add the cabbage and garlic; sauté, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and seasoned salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it is as tender as you like and the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Stir in the bacon and serve.

Wonderful Spring Salad!

When you feel like a salad and check the refrigerator for ingredients…

Ingredients

  • Chopped fried bacon (3 strips)
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Mushrooms of your choice
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Fried croutons
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Brianna’s Poppy Seed dressing
  • 2 Green onions sliced
  • 4 hard boiled eggs (optional) chopped

Fry up the bacon and remove from pan. Add some croutons into the bacon fat!

Assemble all of the ingredients and mix with Brianna’s Poppy Seed Dressing!

Loaded Mashed Potato Mix

What to serve with some beautiful beef filets? Of course, potatoes, but what kind? Since there were no real potatoes in the house, I turned to my fall back potatoes – INSTANT! (I always have a few different kinds of Idaho Instant potatoes in the pantry). For this recipe, I chose the Idaho Baby Reds.

Not wanting to simply whip up according to the package, I found a recipe on Pinterest. (You are NOT surprised.) It was delicious and perfect with the filets and roasted asparagus. So perfect, that I neglected to take a photo…

Loaded Idaho Mashed Potato Mix

Ingredients

  • 6 cups prepared mashed potatoes made with butter and milk (or broth)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix unprepared (I substituted Emeril’s Essence)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 6 slices cooked bacon chopped
  • 6 green onions thinly sliced (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, 1 cup cheese, bacon and onions.

3. Spread into large casserole dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

4. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese on top is melted.

5. Garnish if desired with extra bacon and green onions.

6. Serves 6-8

Romaine “Wedge” Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese

You will have noted that I put the word “wedge” in brackets. Actually I dislike it when I see romain served in wedges. It’s difficult to eat without a fork AND knife. I much prefer to have the romaine torn into smaller parts before it is served. This is true of some restaurant Caesar salads as well. Without a doubt, the highlight of this salad is the ranch dressing, which you can use on almost any salad OR as a simple veggie dip. Of course, you can skip the blue cheese, but why would you? LOL

Romaine Wedge Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Homemade Ranch Dressing*
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 slices sourdough bread cut into ½-inch cube (I did some store-bought croutons in butter and garlic powder)
  • 4 slices thick bacon cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce quartered lengthwise into wedges
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • finely chopped chives optional

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sourdough cubes; cook and stir until cubes are lightly browned on all sides. Remove from skillet and reserve.

2. Add bacon to same skillet; cook and stir until bacon is crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towel to drain.

3. Carefully rinse and dry romaine wedges, doing your best to keep them intact. OR tear them up

4. Arrange romaine wedges on a platter. Drizzle desired amount of dressing on salad and sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Serve.

*Homemade Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup chives finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • milk enough to reach your desired consistency (optional)

Instructions

Whisk together the sour cream, garlic, parsley and chives. Add milk to reach your desired consistency.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy as a salad dressing or a vegetable dip.

Make Ahead Breakfast Scrambled Eggs

Hope it is not to late for you to get these ready? The recipe makes about 4 breakfasts. Simply portion the ingredients into 4 small jars, refrigerate overnight. Come morning, dump the ingredients into a mug, add two slightly scrambled eggs, stir and microwave according to the directions!

*6 ounce jar pictured, prior to refrigeration

Make Ahead Breakfast Scrambles

  • 2 oz. ham, diced (I used a strip of bacon per jar).
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 8 large eggs

1. Divide the ham, bell pepper, onion, and cheddar between four resealable containers*. Cut the butter into 4, 1/2 teaspoon-sized pieces, and add one to each container. Sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt into each container.

2. Seal the containers and store them for up to 4-5 days.

3. When you’re ready to prepare a microwave breakfast scramble, pour the ingredients of the container into a ceramic mug, add two large eggs, and stir to combine.

4. Loosely cover the mug with a paper towel or another microwave-safe object and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir the contents of the mug and microwave for 15 seconds more. Stir again and continue to microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until the eggs are mostly set, but still moist. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 267.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.68g | Protein: 18.25g | Fat: 19.5g |Sodium: 609.48mg | Fiber: 0.5g

Beef Liver with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

First off, I am not including a picture of the finished dish this time? Why? Because it is liver and onions and just the thought of it puts many people off…LOL. BUT… if you love liver and onions you will really like this recipe from Pinterest.

I usually do mine without flour as I am a purist with liver. This recipe was intriguing because it soaked the liver in milk before cooking, supposedly to reduce the strong flavor some people dislike. Let me tell you that this was awesome and my new goto recipe for liver and onions. Here goes…

Beef Liver with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

First, cut the liver into strips and soak them in milk to remove any bitterness.

If you’re following a low-carb diet, you may choose to eliminate the onions for an even lower carb count,but hey… why would you?

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-pound beef liver cut into strips
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 5 tablespoons butter divided
  • Salt to taste
  1. Add milk to a shallow bowl. Soak liver in the milk for about 20 minutes to remove any bitterness.
  2. Meanwhile, cook your bacon in a large skillet. Drain on paper towels and cut into 1/2″ chunks. Set aside.
  3. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon grease and add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the bacon grease in the same skillet.

Add onions and cook over a medium heat stirring occasionally until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove onions to a dish, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

  1. Pat liver dry and discard the milk.

Return skillet to high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan. When the butter foam subsides, the butter is hot enough.

 Arrange the liver in the pan being certain not to crowd the pan. I worked in two batches. Sauté for 3 minutes regulating the heat so that the butter remains hot, but does not burn. Turn liver over and sauté about 2 minutes more. The inside meat should still be pink.

  1. Serve liver topped with onion and bacon.