Naf Naf Lentil Soup

Naf Naf Lentil Soup

I’ve been meaning to post Naf Naf Lentil Soup for awhile, but today I was inspired because it has to be the perfect after tax day soup – especially if you’re not getting a refund! Made in minutes with a handful of ingredients, it’s not only absolutely delish, it’s downright cheap to make. It’s modeled after the soup at the fast casual restaurant, Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill. I had to stop in awhile back to try their Chicken Shawarma, but it was the Lentil Soup that blew me away!

Naf Naf Lentil Soup

Naf Naf Lentil Soup

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Kale Salad With Creamy Caesar

Kale Salad With Creamy Caesar

First of all, a disclaimer! This really isn’t a “Caesar” dressing in this Kale Salad With Creamy Caesar, but it IS a dressing that’s creamy and cool and punching with enough flavor to stand up to and tame any kale salad. It’s a little bold, a little brash and as the kids would say, “Gangsta.” (That’s when the kids say, “Mom, no one says that, lol!) I don’t think there could be anything more perfect with a Kale salad than this creamy dressing.

Kale Salad With Creamy Caesar

Kale Salad With Creamy Caesar

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Fresh Pea Pesto

Fresh Pea Pesto

Spring has finally started to spring here! I have a shoot from a daylily coming up. And of course, raking and clean up (with some snow still in the yard) is happening, thanks to my son. We’re hoping to get some of the leaves up before the spring rains hit – a horrible job since I couldn’t rake last fall. But with spring comes renewed life & renewed hope – and this Fresh Pea Pesto.

Fresh Pea Pesto

Fresh Pea Pesto over pasta

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Braised Pork Roast with Sausage & Cabbage

Braised Pork Roast with Sausage & Cabbage

Usually, I think of long, slow cooking like Braised Pork Roast with Sausage & Cabbage in the fall, but a pot of this glorious dish couldn’t be better on a cold, drizzly spring day. This is like Sunday dinner extraordinaire! You might want to try to make this sometime this spring before it gets too warm for a hearty dinner.

Braised Pork Roast with Sausage & Cabbage

Braised Pork Roast with Sausage & Cabbage

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Not Grandma's Salmon Loaf

Not Grandma’s Salmon Loaf

As a child, I don’t think anything struck more terror in my heart than learning dinner was Grandma’s Salmon Loaf. It was on regular rotation during both Advent, the weeks leading up to Christmas and Lent, before Easter, when there were many days of fasting, abstinence, and obligation when meat wasn’t served. I’ve always thought about making a post for that Salmon Loaf, but just never could do that to y’all – or to me! So that’s prompted me to come up with Not Grandma’s Salmon Loaf!

Not Grandma's Salmon Loaf

Not Grandma’s Salmon Loaf – this is the recipe that will win you over!

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Best Bacon Waffles

Best Bacon Waffles

There are a lot of “holidays” in the Spring, but ya wanna know what one of my faves is? Waffle Day. It’s on March 25th but I celebrated it this year, early, with these glorious, crispy and fluffy Best Bacon Waffles! And then I slathered them with my Bacon Pecan Syrup (although I left the pecans out) and had my own little celebration. This is an excellent waffle recipe, btw, without the bacon, too. I like it even more than the Alton Brown’s Really Good Waffles that are already on my site.

Best Bacon Waffles

Best Bacon Waffles

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Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup with Simon Pearce's Rory's Scones

Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup

I’ve become a pretty big fan of Simon Pearce’s Restaurant and an even bigger fan of the Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup. And the weird thing is, I’ve never been to the Mill at Simon Pearce, the restaurant in Quechee, Vermont. And never had their Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup there, either. But no matter, I can have it right here in Minnesota (you betcha) where it seems just as at home on a snowy March night.

Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup

Simon Pearce Vermont Cheddar Soup

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Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Ya gotta know I have a bit of a thing for Corned Beef. Heck, I and can hardly wait every year to make it for St. Paddy’s day! I even have a couple of recipes already on my site, Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner for the Crockpot or Oven and a Whiskey & Marmalade Glazed Corned Beef. Both are delish but I just had to make an Instant Pot Corned Beef for this year. I’ve actually made it several times just to make sure I got my fill I perfected it before I posted the recipe, here.

Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

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New Orleans Creole Jambalaya

New Orleans Creole Jambalaya

Mardi Gras is almost upon up, and Mardi Gras always makes me think of New Orleans and New Orleans always makes me think of Jambalaya. See how my mind works? It’s all about the food, lol! And while my fave Jambalaya Recipe is already on my site, one made with a roux (that’s said to be the Cajun-style) I really wanted to up my game this year and perfect a Creole-style Jambalaya, the tomato-y kind. Yeah, I’ had to get out of my (very delish) Cajun rut and make this New Orleans Creole Jambalaya for Mardi Gras this year.

New Orleans Creole Jambalaya

New Orleans Creole Jambalaya

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Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup Instant Pot/Stove Top

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup Instant Pot/Stove Top

So I was trying to think of the last time I made Soup. It was so long, I had to look it up! I made a White Chicken Chili that can be made in the Slow Cooker, Instant Pot or on the Stove in January, and it’s pretty soup-like but the last bone fide soup I made was in December: My friend Tanya’s Instant Pot Mexican Chipotle Chicken Soup. So I’m due! You, my friends, are due! I’m getting out of my Mexican soup rut and shaking things up with this Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup Instant Pot/Stove Top.

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup Instant Pot/Stove Top

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup Instant Pot/Stove Top

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Orzo with Sausage & Peppers

Orzo with Sausage & Peppers

If you follow me (and if you don’t, I’d love it if you do, see the right sidebar) you know I made Boston Sausage & Pepper Grinders right before Superbowl 2019. See the New England Patriots were playing the Los Angeles Rams (and the Patriots won) and I thought those “grinders” (that’s just the local name for sandwiches) would be perfect for the Superbowl or any game day, or really anytime! What’s not perfect? Leftovers. Leftover link sausages? They’re kinda sad. So I’ve refashioned them into Orzo with Sausage & Peppers.

Orzo with Sausage & Peppers

Orzo with Sausage & Peppers

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Grilled Hawaiian Pineapple Pork Chops

Grilled Hawaiian Pineapple Pork Chops

Ok, so I hate January. And February. And I’m not too wild about March, either. That’s because I live up Nord in Minnesota, you betcha, and while December is kind of exciting, by the time January rolls around, I’m just about done with it! But you know what I love about January? Pineapples! You heard me right! And I now love these Grilled Hawaiian Pineapple Pork Chops.

Grilled Hawaiian Pineapple Pork Chops

Grilled Hawaiian Pineapple Pork Chops

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White Chicken Chili Slow Cooker - Instant Pot - Stovetop

White Chicken Chili Slow Cooker – Instant Pot – Stovetop

It’s been pretty bitter in the Twin Cities, but we’re having a little heatwave and are up to 12 degrees. Which would be great if we didn’t get about 7 inches of snow last night and even better if the high tomorrow wasn’t expected to be -5 with a low of -25 and worse on Wednesday. But that’s exactly the time you want soup! And even better a pretty much pantry soup (if your pantry is anything like mine) and not just any soup. You want this little White Chicken Chili Slow Cooker – Instant Pot – Stovetop number coz it’s going to warm you from the inside out!

White Chicken Chili Slow Cooker - Instant Pot - Stovetop

White Chicken Chili Slow Cooker – Instant Pot – Stovetop

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Simon Pearce Quechee Quiche

Simon Pearce Quechee Quiche

We are having “Arctic Chill.” It got ccccold last night and right now it’s minus 11. And I have no right to complain because I live in Minnesota, but we’ve been so spoiled this year it’s a shock. We Minnesotans know that a real Arctic Chill can be 34 to 35 below, so there’s that. Maybe we’re actually lucky. But today I feel particularly lucky because I don’t have to go anywhere and I have a piece of Simon Pearce Quechee Quiche I’m going to have for breakfast!

Simon Pearce Quechee Quiche

Simon Pearce Quechee Quiche – it’s a little puffy out of the oven but it settles a bit

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Cheap Holiday Party Tray

Cheap Holiday Party Tray

When the holidays roll around and you’re asked to a party, do you usually say, “What can I bring?” And what if you don’t usually cook, or can’t cook. And maybe your budget is overextended as it is. That’s when you might think Party Tray. And if you know how to assemble a Cheap Holiday Party Tray, all your problems are solved. At least the what to bring option is. I apologize that this tray isn’t decked out in Christmas trappings. Between my bad shoulder and hand, I’m a bit limited and obviously made this Cheap Holiday Party Tray right around Thanksgiving. If you follow me, you might even recognize a few of these items. I’ll link to them, too.

 

Cheap Holiday Party Tray

Cheap Holiday Party Tray

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Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf

Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf

Do y’all know Nathalie Dupree? She’s like the queen of Southern cooking; the Southern Julia Child. So when a friend (the same friend who introduced me to Panera’s Steak & White Cheddar Panini and many other meals & recipes over the years – she has great taste!) mentioned that Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf was a family favorite, I couldn’t wait to try it. It’s actually been on my must make list for a while and I gotta say it’s just the perfect thing to make on a cold winter weekend.

 

Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf

Nathalie Duprees Meatloaf

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Almost Bon Appetit's Dry Rubbed Turkey

Almost Bon Appetit’s Dry Rubbed Turkey

I know I probably should have had this post out weeks before Thanksgiving, but better late than never, right? Anyway, I figure a lot of you must have Turkey for Christmas, too, or you can pin it for next year. And what a turkey this Almost Bon Appetit’s Dry Rubbed Turkey is! The “Almost” is because I’ve changed it up, just a bit. Find the original recipe here on Bon Appetit’s site; they have several dry-brined turkey recipes.

 

Almost Bon Appetit's Dry Rubbed Turkey

Almost Bon Appetit’s Dry Rubbed Turkey

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Fast Fresh Instant Pot Lo Mein

Fast Fresh Instant Pot Lo Mein

I’m a huge fan of Lo Mein so when a friend mentioned she saw a recipe for Instant Pot Lo Mein, I was wowed. Could I make a Fast Fresh Instant Pot Lo Mein? One that’s as good or even better than my skillet versions? Maybe even better than takeout? The answer’s “Yes!” As in yes, yes, yes, pluheese! If you love Lo Mein, this Instant Pot version will rock your world.

Fast Fresh Instant Pot Lo Mein

Fast Fresh Instant Pot Lo Mein

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Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Copycat

Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Copycat

There’s something about Olive Garden. People love it or hate it, but I have to say they’ve cracked the code on how to keep America’s diners happy and coming back. My folks are big fans (more about that, below) but my favorite thing, by far on the menu, is their Zuppa Toscana Soup. Luckily, it’s super easy and fast to make at home. You just need Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Copycat recipe.

Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Copycat

Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Copycat

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Vietnamese Beef & Potatoes Bo Xao Khoai Tay

Vietnamese Beef & Potatoes Bo Xao Khoai Tay

I’ve seen quite a few versions of Stir-Fried Beef & Potatoes and quite a few photos, and this recipe for my version, Vietnamese Beef & Potatoes Bo Xao Khoai Tay seems to be different. It’s how the Chef at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the Twin Cities makes their Vietnamese Beef & Potatoes and it is utterly crave-worthy!

Vietnamese Beef & Potatoes Bo Xao Khoai Tay

Vietnamese Beef & Potatoes Bo Xao Khoai Tay

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Minnesota Cassoulet "Bean Pot"

Minnesota Cassoulet “Bean Pot”

It’s easy to always think about St. Paul & Minneapolis, the Twin Cities, as a Swedish/Norwegian city and we do have a large population. Maybe our weather made them feel at home. But it’s just as easy to forget that our earliest settlements were French and/or French Canadian. So in honor of our French, here’s a “Bean Pot” or if ya want to be fancier, I’ll just call this a Minnesota Cassoulet Bean Pot.

Minnesota Cassoulet "Bean Pot"

Minnesota Cassoulet “Bean Pot”

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Freshly Popped Homemade Popcorn

Freshly Popped Homemade Popcorn

As far as a frugal snack, there’s not much that beats out popcorn. That is if you’re ditching the boxes of the microwave stuff and sticking with a bag or a jar of kernels and making your own Freshly Popped Homemade Popcorn. Yanno, microwave popcorn packets are the biggest rip-off since instant oatmeal packets. Hey, it HAD to be said! I mean really, what’s going to be next? Bottled water, lol?!

Freshly Popped Homemade Popcorn

Freshly Popped Homemade Popcorn

 

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