Saturday, July 22, 2023

How to Make A Quick Quinoa Salad …An Instant Pot Recipe

I’m always excited to try new Instant Pot recipes. This easy, quick Quinoa Salad is ready in 35 minutes and serves 4. Make it one of your meatless Monday meals. 


2 cups quinoa 
2 cups vegetable broth 
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped 
1 cucumber, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon seasoned salt 
Juiced 2 lemons 
1/4th cup olive oil 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
1.5 cups crumbled feta 
Salt and pepper, to taste


Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold water for 90 seconds. Then place it in the Instant Pot with the broth and stir. Secure lid, seal valve and cook on high under pressure for 1 minute, then allow a 10 minute natural release, followed by a quick release. Fluff with a fork and let cool 10 minutes.

In a medium size serving bowl add the cooled quinoa with the remaining ingredients. Toss together and serve. Enjoy!

How to Make Spaghetti with Italian Sausage Meatballs


A different take from the same ole spaghetti and meatballs using ground Italian sausage instead. Super simple recipe with only 8 ingredients. Serves: 4 Total Time: under 1 hour 


1/3rd cup Italian bread crumbs 
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup finely chopped onions 
1 lb ground Italian sausage 
8 oz spaghetti 
4 cups spaghetti sauce 
Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese, optional 


Preheat oven to 350F (175C). In a medium bowl slightly beat egg then add the bread crumbs, shredded cheese, onions, milk and sausage. Combine using your hands. Form 12-20 meatballs and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160F (72C). 

While they are baking prepare spaghetti according to package instructions, then drain. In a medium size pot heat sauce. To serve: on a large platter place cooked spaghetti, top with meatballs and pour over sauce; add grated Parmesan cheese (optional). Enjoy! 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

How to Make a “Lactose Free” Hashbrown Casserole

 My granddaughter is lactose intolerant and we are always searching for food that are lactose free. (Especially ice cream) This Hashbrown Casserole is lactose free using lactose free milk and a rice flour or a gluten free flour blend. 

All cheddar cheese has relatively low levels of lactose, and 1 ounce of sharp cheddar cheese contains about 0.4 to 0.6 grams of lactose. In contrast to one cup of milk, cheddar cheese is clearly better suited for someone with lactose intolerance.

As far as the butter, you can by lactose free butter made with vegetable oil or use butter made from fermented milk products and clarified milk products, such as ghee which contains even less lactose than regular butter. 

Serves 4 Total Time: 1hr 20 minutes.


  • 1 – 30 oz. package frozen hash browns, thawed
  • 1 cup sliced scallions/green onions, green parts only (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 cup shredded lactose free cheddar cheese
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour (or a gluten-free flour blend)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups lactose-free milk


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 13″ x 9″ baking pan or casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss together the thawed hash browns, scallions and cheese. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sweet rice flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Slowly whisk in the milk, constantly stirring to prevent lumps. Continue to cook and stir the milk mixture until thickened and bubbly, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Pour the milk mixture into the hash brown mixture in the mixing bowl and stir well, until all of the hash browns are coated in the white sauce.
  • Transfer hash browns into the prepared baking pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 1 hour, or until casserole is bubbling and starting to brown on top and around the edges. Serve.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

How to Make Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings



  • 2 (8 each) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or to taste
  • 1 can (12oz) 7 Up (or Mountain Dew)
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Wash the apples, peel and cut into eight equal slices
  • Unwrap the crescent roll and separate the triangles
  • Place a piece of apple on each triangle of dough (on a wider side) and roll it in a croissant
  • Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish
  • In a separate bowl, combine the butter, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla, mix until you get a liquid mixture without lumps and pour over the rolls
  • Pour soda (7up or Mountain Dew) between rolls (but not over) and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until they become golden brown
  • Serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Thursday, June 15, 2023

How to Make Scalloped Potatoes and Ham


This Scalloped Potatoes and Ham recipe is easy to make, takes a total of 1 hour and twenty minutes and the kids love it. And the most important thing is it’s a budget friendly meal! I’m going to use Meijer prices, but I’m sure you can save even further if you shop at Walmart or ALDI. Serves: 4


5 large russet potatoes, peel and slice with a mandoline (.65 each = 3.25)

1 lb ham steak, cubed (3.50)

4 tablespoons butter (8 oz tub of land o lakes butter 2.20)

4 tablespoons flour (2 lb Meijer flour 1.30)

3 cups milk (1/2 gallon 1.70)

4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz Meijer shredded cheddar cheese 2.30)

1 tablespoon dried or freshly chopped chives (2+)

1 tablespoon dried parsley (2+) 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Under $20.00 for a family of 4! Try beating that at a restaurant. Even fast food these days is way over that price. 


Spray 9x13 baking dish with olive oil non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 375F.

Layer your prepared potatoes and cubed ham in the baking dish. Make the cheese sauce: in a medium size saucepan add your butter when melted add in the flour and stir until well combined with no lumps. On med high heat gradually add in the milk stirring constantly until thickens. Add in 1/2 of the cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Sprinkle the remaining cheese, chives, parsley, salt and pepper on the potatoes and ham. Pour milk mixture on top. Put in preheated oven on lower rack and cook 60 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Enjoy! 

*TIP…slicing potatoes with a mandoline will allow the potatoes to be equal in size so there should be no second guessing if all the potatoes are tender. 

This one is 10.99 at Meijer 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

How to Make Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells is another Meatless Monday Meal, but you can add shredded chicken or pork and sausage if you like. Chop up broccoli or mushrooms, add in spinach. Use various cheeses, so many options to make this recipe your own. This is a basic recipe I got from Ree Drummond. Serves 8 Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes 


Kosher salt

8 oz jumbo pasta shells

30 oz whole milk ricotta cheese 

1/2 cup grated romano cheese

2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley 

12 leaves fresh basil, cut into chiffonade This is accomplished by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then slicing the leaves perpendicular to the roll.

1 large egg

Freshly ground pepper, to taste 

8 oz Parmesan, grated 

2 jars marinara 

8 oz mozzarella, grated or shredded 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta shells and cook for half the cooking time on the package; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, Romano, parsley, basil, egg, some salt and pepper and half of the Parmesan. Stir until combined.
  4. To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with some sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture and place face-down on the sauce. Repeat with the shells until the cheese mixture is gone. Top the shells with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle on the mozzarella and extra Parmesan.
  5. Bake until hot and bubbly, 25 minutes. Serve with crusty French bread.

Monday, April 24, 2023

How to Make Yorkshire Pudding


Yorkshire pudding is an English popover made from eggs, flour and pan drippings most often with a roast beef dish.  It’s savory with crispy edges but has a moist flavorful center that is often seasoned with the herbs you have seasoned your meat dish with.

They are a type of popover that is made with an egg, milk (or cream) and flour batter with seasonings.  They can be made in individual muffin tins or in large rectangular shaped pans.  They are baked at a high temp where the edges get crispy and flaky and rise up and pop up super tall and the center remains moist and a savory meat au jus flavored center.

Tips… Let the batter rest for at least 30 mins after making.  This allows the flour to fully incorporate into the liquid.

It is very important you heat the pan with the oil to HOT before adding the batter.  This allows the edges to start cooking immediately and the edges will get crispy and you won’t end up with a soggy, mushy pudding.

No drippings, no problem…you can use any oil that has a high smoking point like a vegetable oil to make them.  If you have any brown bits in the pan scrape them up and put them in the oil for additional flavor!

Total Time: 25 minutes 


  • 5 large Eggs 
  • 1 cup Half & Half 
  • 1 cup Flour, all-purpose 
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh herbs; tarragon, basil, oregano, chives are options 
  • 12 tablespoons pan drippings or vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Using a whisk in a bowl, blend the eggs until nice and frothy.  Add half and half and stir to combine. Sift flour and salt into the eggs and  blend well.  Add herbs and pepper.   Place in fridge for at least 30 mins up to 3 hours.   
  2. Preheat oven to 450F. Take the pan drippings or vegetable oil and place 1 tablespoon in the bottom of each muffin tin. 
  3. Once oven is hot, place the pan with the drippings in for 5 minutes until the oil is just smoking. 
  4. Remove the bowl with egg/flour mixture from fridge when you put the pan in the oven, stir to remix. 
  5. Once oil is smoking you will add 1/4 -1/3 cup batter to each muffin tin. (the muffin tin cup should be filled to about 1/2-2/3 full) any more than that or it will make a mess in your oven.  
  6. Carefully place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 13-14 minutes until they have popped.  
  7. Serve immediately. I like mine with butter, but a lot of folks like brown gravy.