Saturday, May 28, 2016

BLT Pasta Salad {Cookbook Giveaway}

I'm honored and excited to be sharing this recipe with you. It's from my friend Melissa at Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen. And she is now a cookbook author! Her new cookbook is titled Melissa's Southern Cookbook: Tried-and-True Family Recipes.Maybe you saw her over on QVC? I am so incredibly proud and excited for her as she shares her heart and passion into her first cookbook (hopefully not the last!) 
So, let's talk a bit about this cookbook and then we'll get to her recipe for this scrumptious BLT Macaroni Salad! Let me tell you what I love about blogger-created cookbooks. They are real. They are personal and they are tried-and-tested recipes. I can tell you that each and every one of these recipes were made in Melissa's kitchen. She tested and tweaked them and took all the photos herself.
This isn't a celebrity cookbook where a ghost-writer writes the entire thing and they put a celebrity's face on the cover to sell the cookbook. Those are a dime-a-dozen. But these recipes from Melissa? They are the real deal. You know that she has made these recipes herself and tested every single one. Many are recipes that she has had for years and years. She also did all the photography! So you can feel confident knowing that this is a well thought-out cookbook and she put forth her best recipes to share. 
I also had the honor to write a 'blurb' for the back of her debut cookbook. Melissa is an absolute sweetheart. She is genuine and warm and she is the definition of a kind and gracious southern woman. 
I know that I can open up any page in this cookbook and find a recipe that I can trust will turn out good. Every single recipe is accompanied with a photo. I love that! I am a visual person (as most of us are) and it helps to see what the final recipe should look like. 
There are all kinds of recipes from biscuits to salads to dinner to dessert. A little something for everyone! Generally I go straight to the desserts when I first crack open a cookbook. But this time, everything caught my eye (probably because of all the gorgeous photos!) When I saw this recipe for BLT Macaroni Salad, I knew that I had to make it! (Scroll down to enter the giveaway to win a copy for yourself!)
This is such a fun take on pasta salad. Melissa describes it as "a pasta salad (that) combines the flavors of a classic BLT with creamy macaroni salad. It's chock-full of crispy bacon, tomatoes, and crunchy green leaf lettuce, plus a tangy dressing. It's a fusion macaroni salad that takes BLT's to a whole new level." I couldn't agree more!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Homemade Hot Dog Sauce ~ Weekend Potluck #224

The recipe with the most clicks was...

Homemade Hot Dog Sauce by Grandma Honey’s House

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Spaghetti Salad

Tis the season for pasta salads! As those veggies start popping up in your garden, you will want to make this recipe often. It is light and refreshing and it gets better the longer it hangs out in the fridge! There are lots of variations to this particular recipe. I first heard about it from my friend Patricia (remember her, from the Huli-Huli Chicken recipe?) Anyhow, she has a recipe similar to this that her Mom used to make. I'm sure it's one of those recipes that lots of folks remember being at every barbecue in the 70's and 80's. Pasta salads were hitting their stride in those years! 
Basically it is made up of cooked spaghetti, Italian dressing, some seasonings, cheese and a whole lotta veggies. You can use whatever veggies you enjoy. There are lots of ways to change this up. I am not using as much of the McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning as some of the original recipes call for but you can certainly add more of it to suit your taste. It tastes like summer! And hey, it looks daggone pretty too, don't it? 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Creamy Lemon Squares

Happy National Egg Month! And Happy "Almost Summer"! I am celebrating both today on the blog. I am combining a couple of my favorite things: Eggland's Best eggs and lemons. If you've been following me a while then you already know what a huge fan I am of these eggs. Mainly because they make it easy for me to eat better. I ain't gonna lie - my eating habits are not always ideal. I'm not proud of it but that's just how it goes sometimes. But when I use my Eggland's Best eggs to whip up a quick omelet or scrambled eggs or pop them into some stir fry or fried rice, I feel like I am doing myself a healthy favor. I am a true advocate for baby steps and doing what you can - when you can! And this is the easiest change you can do for yourself and your family.
Some of the benefits include: 3x more Vitamin b12 (that helps with my energy, y'all), an excellent source of Vitamin D, Vitamin E and it's a good source of Omega 3's (shown to be good for heart health!) 
Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for using these yummy and good-for-you eggs:

Omelet-in-a-Cup: (I make these A LOT. It is the quickest and easiest protein-filled breakfast or late day snack.)

  • 2 Eggland's Best eggs
  • 1 tbsp. milk (or water)
  • desired toppings (bacon, green pepper, onion, sausage crumbles, cheese, etc.)
  • Spray 12- to 16-ounce microwave-safe coffee cup with no-stick cooking spray. Crack Eggland's Best eggs into cup. Add milk; beat with fork until well mixed. 
  • Microwave 1 minute. Sprinkle with desired toppings. Microwave 30-60 seconds or until egg is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Photo credit: Eggland's Best eggs

Hard-Cooked Eggs in the Oven (great for a crowd or if you need to make-ahead for deviled eggs)

  • 12 Eggland's Best eggs (large)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place Eggland’s Best eggs in a muffin tin.
  • Bake eggs in muffin tin for 30 minutes.
  • Using oven mitts carefully remove muffin tin from oven.
  • Remove eggs from muffin tin and place in ice water for 15 minutes.
  • Peel eggs and enjoy!
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